Sunday, August 28, 2011

If you had one game...

So I didn't evacuate all the way to Indiana. After spending way too long in stop and go traffic on the highway, the wife and I decided to stay in Roanoke Virginia a little over 200 miles from the coast.
We've just been hanging out in our room trying not to think much about what condition we might find the house on our return. And entertaining the dogs.

Of course I had to bring a couple games along to read.
Here's what a brought in a brown paper bag:
AD&D 1st edition:
DM Guide
Players Handbook
Monster Manual
Monster Manual II
Fiend Folio
B2 Keep on the Borderlands
L1 The Secret of Bone Hill
L2 The Assassin's Knot
N1 The Cult of the Reptile God
Call of Cthulhu 20th Anniversary edition (Not leaving that behind to be claimed by Cthulhu)

I've read Secret of Bone Hill cover to cover, trying to discover what the motivations and back story are supposed to be. On the surface it appears to be just encounters on a map. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just want to know if the author intended more.
As it turns out, there's a blog for that!
The Restenford Project
I'm going to have to read that as well before I comment more. It looks very interesting.

So if you were stranded somewhere and had a game, maybe 3 or 4 books for it and paper and dice, what game would that be?

I guess I've made my choice: AD&D 1st edition core books.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Crazy Five Game Pileup

I swear I thought of doing this before I read about the Half Baked Adventure Idea on Tim Brannan's Other Side blog. I just wanted to make clear I'm not trying to rip off his cool idea, although mine is very similar.

It's based on the idea that the theme and execution of a campaign are more important than the rules system. The DM can lift anything from any rule system and apply it to their game. The very heart of the DIY RPG concept. This may be correct or not. Mileage may vary.
I'm not even sure if I'm up to this. It may just be a thought experiment.

The goal is to have a game that simulates a kind of mix between Hellboy and Steampunk flavors.
It uses five different games from 1st to 5th editions.
Here are the games.

1. Danger Quest. Using this for the random character backgrounds.
2. Villains and Vigilantes 2nd edition. Random super powers.
3. D&D 3rd edition. Fantasy races and spell lists.
4. Gamma World 4th edition. mutant animals and mutations.
5. Call of Cthulhu 5th edition. Using this for the core rule system and the Wild West Cthulhu rules from Worlds of Cthulhu magazine #2.
Link to Wild West Cthulhu Character Sheet PDF

Okay, all this sounds really crazy and maybe stupid to some. But instead of trying to do direct mathematical conversions between systems, I'm just using the ideas to influence the Basic Role Play game.
Or I might just go insane. Either way, fun stuff!
More later...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Character Detail Tables

The following ideas are based on an out of print game called Danger Quest and partly from ideas from the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game. Yes, the one with the cards.

But don't worry. There are no cards used here. In fact, there are no real rules except maybe a bonus or penalty here or there according to the DM.

These character details are mainly meant to be used as plot hooks or complicatins for the characters.
If you are using a skill system they might also provide a bonus in appropriate situations or influence reactions from NPCs.
Because of the background of Danger Quest, the details are geared toward more modern century characters. With a little imagination they can be adapted to any genre.

Basically, here's how it works: Roll twice on each table. After that, choose one of the two details you rolled from each category. It's got some randomness and some choices.

For example: I roll twice on each table.
Background = 42 Military Brat or 71 Fish Out Of Water
Motivation = 18 Explorer or 73 Responsibility
Secret = 28 Addiction or 57 Deadly Disease
Training = 14 Inventor or 66 Burglar

Now I choose one of those details from each category to create a basic background for my character.
Fish Out Of Water - He grew up in a port town and spent alot of time fishing, swimming, boating.
Explorer - He likes to travel and see new places, meet different people.
Addiction - He likes to knock back a pint and won't pass up an oppurtunity to carouse.
Burglar - He's been known to sneak around and steal stuff.

Because of the class systems used in most games, training could be tricky. It could be considered a previous occupation or it might influence class choice if possible.

Skill List from Masque of the Red Death.
Still trying to find a way to  use this.

I thought these tables would look cool scanned from my earlier printed documents, but I may have to retype them at a later date.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kamandi Ka-Monday

Okay, I admit it. This is another lazy post. In the future I will try to have more critical commentary and really intelligent things to say.
I really like sharing my drawings and I hope someone enjoys them.
More next time...

Kamandi cover art images found on

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gamma World Scenario: The Temple of Visions

This is my entry into the Loviatar Contest that Matt Jackson has been kind enough to sponsor on his blog, Lapsus Calumni.

The Temple of Visions
This short scenario is intended for play with Gamma World 4th edition and could easily be used with other post apocalypse or science fiction games.

Background: After the cataclysm that nearly destroyed humanity, society sank to ignorance and barbarism. Governments collapsed and most populations were ruled by the strongest. Out of this chaos were born the cryptic alliances. These secret or exclusive groups intend to recreate the world around them according their own, sometimes twisted, ideals.

The Teller of Visions is one such cryptic alliance.  The group was formed by those who found and repaired ancient televisions, which they call the Teller of Visions.  They seek out any kind of movies on disk, tape or any format to add to their libraries.  Some realize that the movies were just a form of entertainment or education to the ancients.  Others are convinced that the Teller of Visions shows how the ancients must have truly lived and try to imitate the characters and situations of the movies.
They believe everything they see on TV.

Getting The Characters Involved:
~ Strangers are seen about buying or stealing electronics and discs or tapes. Everyone else thinks the items are junk. Why are they so important to these people?
~ A traveling troupe of entertainers seems to have knowledge of ancient life and times.  The characters have followed them to their hideout to find out more.
~ "Talent agents" of the Teller of Visions want to cast the characters in one of their reenactments based on some movie.  They kidnap the PCs and take them to the temple.
The Temple of Visions

Map Details: All interior areas have no lighting unless otherwise noted.If any NPCs encountered feel threatened or decieved they will most likely try to escape and alert others nearby they are being attacked.

1. Main Entrance. Stone steps lead up to a platform and a corroded metal door leading inside. Two large statues have been placed here to frighten away more primitive or superstitious creatures.

Outside the Temple

2. Lobby. This room has a high ceiling and is lit by dozens of candles in a large chandelier. The floor is covered in the mouldy remains of what was once a lush red carpet.  Double doors of clear duraplas lead to the next room. Two small mutant rats sit on stools on either side of the entrance. They demand money from anyone who wishes to continue further into the temple. If the characters pay, the rats tell them "Make sure and get peppy before you enter the main temple." If anyone refuses to pay or the rats are threatened, they will pull a bell rope that will alert Bart-Arnie in room 6 to come to their aid.
Mutant Rats(2): AC 12; MD 10; HP 4, 3; THAC +1; #AT 1; Dmg 1d2(bite); Spd 6; Per 17; St +6; RU +10; XP 15; Mutations/Abilities: +3 bonus for climbing.

3. Dead End?  At the end of this passageway is an ancient vending machine in remarkably great condition. The large sign on the front and the vending buttons flicker and flash sporadically, casting weird shadows about. Every minute or so a distorted digital voice slowly drones some random commercial slogan such as "Number one in taste.", "Choose wisely. Choose Peppy Cola!", or "Now with more sugar!".
To get past, the characters must insert some coins or domar cards into the machine and press the Peppy Cola button. The machine will then roll into a recess into the north wall allowing passage.
Choose wisely. Choose Peppy!

4. Passageway. This is a dark four-way passage. All of the doors are closed but unlocked. Mumbling can be heard from the northern door. The smell of fire wafts from around the eastern door. The southern door seems featureless.

5. Concession Room. A gust of warm air and light smoke rolls out of this room as the door opens. Hot coals fill two fire pits dug into the dirt floor. Jury-rigged duct work vents most of the smoke through holes in the roof.
A popping sound can be heard from kettles placed on grates over the coals.
A mutant boar is scooping hot popcorn out of the kettles into small baskets. This is Missy the Pig. She has a very bad temper. If the characters don't have a very good reason to be there, she will become quite irate.
 Missy the Pig, Mutant Boar: AC 13; MD 13; HP 27; THAC +3; #AT 1; Dmg 1d6(tusk), charge with +2 THAC for 1d6+2(tusk); Spd 17; Per 15; St -1; RU +4; XP 175.
Missy the Pig

6. False Altar. This square shaped room is littered with decrepit chairs, stools and other small furniture. Large candles scattered about the floor provide dim lighting. A curtain on the eastern wall covers a passage to room 7. On the northern wall the  gutted frame of a large television sits on a wide platfrom.
An orlen named Bart-Arnie can be seen on the platform, acting like he is part of a program on the television, even though there is no way it could function. Bart-Arnie is not the brightest bulb and is definately not as peaceful as other orlens. Both of his heads will eventually start arguing with each other and the characters as well.
Bart-Arnie, Childish Orlen: AC 14; MD 17; HP 63; THAC +7; #AT 2; Dmg by weapon; Spd 14; Per 15; St +2; RU +2; XP 4000; Mutations/Abilities: Multiple limbs, dual brain, telekinesis, telepathy, will force, periodic amnesia, seizures.

7. Library. Several lanterns light this room. Pages from ancient magazines are pasted across the walls, making a crazy quilt of celebrity faces and movie scenes. Three large bookshelves sit on a rug in the center of the room. Stacked on the shelves are dozens of old books, video discs and data tapes.
Fuzzy, a mutated brown bear, is sorting through the stacks looking for a movie to watch.
If Fuzzy hears a disturbance from room 6, he may just go to the curtain and observe. He doesn't like Bart-Arnie all that much and wouldn't help him in a fight unless he was mortally wounded.
Fuzzy fancies himself a comedian. He will try to use puns and cliched jokes to get laughs from the characters. If they don't find him funny, he will resort to slapstick and pratfalls with the charcters as the butt of the jokes to get a reaction out of them. If they are still not laughing, fuzzy gets angry and actually starts shoving them around.
Fuzzy, Mutant Brown Bear: AC 14; MD 14; HP 54; THAC +6; #AT 3; Dmg 1d8/1d8(claws), 1d6(bite); Spd 15; Per 13; St -1; RU -2; XP 650; Mutations/Abilities: Heightened smell.
Fuzzy the Bear

8. Theater. In this huge room the cryptic alliance reenacts scenes form the movies they have. Six metal oil drums are spaced evenly in the center of the room. There are wooden double doors leading west. There is a concealed door on the east wall. Debris and crude props are scattered around two holes busted in the south wall.
A feral mutated human is chained to a ring in the south wall. His chain only reaches as far as the perimeter of the barrels.
When the characters enter, he will be hiding in one of the holes. If they get close to a barrel he will charge out and either attack or start banging on a barrel to alert the others of intruders.
Feral Humanoid: AC 10; MD 17; HP 16; THAC +2; #AT 1; Dmg 1d6(wrench); Spd 12; Per 14; St +1; RU +1; XP 65
Feral Human

9. Green Room. This room is dimly lit by several candles sitting on a tall dressing room mirror. Random costumes and props are scattered about or hanging on metal racks.
Gurmit the bullyfrog is using his chameleon ability to hide behind one of the racks. If the characters appear dangerous or they start stealing anything, he will attempt to sneak out and unchain the feral human in room 8 and then run for more help.
Gurmit the Bullyfrog: AC 14; MD 11; HP 21; THAC +1; #AT 1; Dmg 1d4(bite); Spd 12; Per 15; St +2; RU +2; XP 65; Mutations/Abilities: Chameleon power, heightened speed, hop attack.

Gurmit the Bullyfrog
10. The Teller of Visions. This room is lit only by the flickering static of a functional big-screen television. The device is powered by batteries that will last several days. A couple dozen video discs are stacked neatly near a DVD player. Altogether this collection of artifacts is worth a small fortune and can provide invaluable historical insight into the lives of the ancients.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kamandi Ka-Monday: Tigers

Yep, those are tigers in the background.

Stuff I drew.
Apologies for the brevity of this post.
It's past my bedtime.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Here Be Dice

In response to the Show Me Your Dice Marathon at Gothridge Manor, here's my pile o' dice.
Years of hoarding created this mess.
From L to R: My first Marvel Superhero dice, a Ghost Die from Ghostbusters. blue and orange dice I like to use with Gamma World for some odd reason.

My glass 30 sider. It's part of a fortune telling game called "Hindu Crystal Ball" made in 1924.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Kamandi Ka-Monday: Bugs

What can I say about Jack Kirby that hasn't already been said.
I'm just a fanboy.
Although the anatomy wasn't always correct, you can't deny the unbridled dynamism.
And then there's the illusion of depth and perspective. The explosive lines force Kamandi out of the background and off the page.
He's jumping out of the cover!
A boy and his bug.

And now, heres some bugs I drew. Hope you like 'em.
Kamandi covers found on Cover Browser.
Kamandi panel found on Comic Book Resources.