Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Raider War Band

The Raider War Band is waiting for the PC's party to the Southeast of the Villa. There are 7 fighters and 3 thieves. The 3 thieves are mounted and have been hunting for food. Ortaire has been keeping everyone fed with his bow skills, but is running out of arrows.

Albé and Guilbert are the only mounted fighters. Guilbert is one of the younger raiders, but has risen to be the nominal leader of the war band thanks to his high Charisma. All three thieves have short bows as does Warren. Raglan, Albé, Frédéris and Guilbert have slings.

One square is 10 yards.
Guilbert has selected a bend in the road to ambush the party. His plan is to hide the sling armed raiders on the right side of the road with the two melee only fighters on the other side. The horse mounted bow men will charge at the party, which will be the signal for the slingers to attack the oxen. That will allow the bowmen to dismount and attack from the front.

Click the link for a PDF of the 10 characters.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Continuing the Keep and Itching to Paint

It's going to be  a while before I can paint this keep. But I am itching to do something. I've decided that the keep has the stairs going to the right with a low wall and solid looking stone plinth.

This is just a dry fit of balsa wood while I wait for the glue to dry on the actual stairs. I think the basal wood wall will be stone, not wood, but I haven't decided yet.

While the paint dries, I am cleaning up some old models and finishing others. 

This little hovercraft was a modified Ice Rover by Revell. It was part of the Robotech Defender line. I made some changes to it to match my 1990s era Star Frontiers campaign. I used to have a spotlight on the top, but the mount vanished. The players modified it to be a transport instead of a weapon carrier, hence the wooden section on the back. 

The set was a 2 pack of a 1:72 model and a 1:48. I think this is the larger of the two. I want to clean it up and try to restore it. I also want to find the smaller one. 

Next up are a pair of F-4E's by Academy. They are 1/144th scale and went together really quick while waiting for the Keep to dry. I'm hoping that these can be painted up by Christmas for by boys. 

One of my solutions for gluing on the tanks is to use a 1/2" by 1 inch quarter rounds to support the model while I tack the pods in place.

Anyway, I'll be back at the Keep in the morning.

Keep Planning

Before I start my next major step, I need to plan the stairs. I don't like any of three options I came up with, but I think I am going to have the stairs project straight outwards. 

This would be good for 15 mm, but this is 28 mm.

This might be the best of all three, but I am not in love with it.

This what I originally pictured, but I don't like the way it looks.
In case you are wondering, the stairs are cut from soap stone. It's a great material to work with and I hope my next project incorporates more of it.

I don't know where this is going, but before the next step, I need a plan.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Honor Guard

The players were not supposed to court any retainers or followers at the Villa. However, due to circumstances beyond their control, they will have an honor guard traveling with them until they reach Nace.

Cassia, Florentina and Lucius have been selected from the ranks of villagers by the Emperor to escort the two accused to justice and then lay their master and mistress to rest. All are slaves that were instrumental in operating the Villa del Vino successfully.

Lucius is an elderly man, however he is a former gladiator. He has a head for accounting. He is in his late 60's but is still powerful. His daughter-in-law is Florentina, the head woman of the villa's mill and presses. Her husband died many years ago and she is representing him. The final member of the honor guard is Cassia, the master's mistress and bodyguard. She was horribly beaten during the raid, but was also responsible for scattering the other villagers before she was incapacitated. She has given a statement that could free or condemn the accused murderers.

Rona has healed Cassia as much as she is able to. Gurwinder has encouraged the woman to take up her master's bow, which is a +2 weapon. Cassia laments not having it during the attack, as she is a deadly archer.

The honor guard will travel with the party several miles north to hand over the prisoners. They will then return to the Villa and transport the Master's family to it's final resting place in Nace. This is a little trickery on the Emperor's part. He wants the bodies of the family removed from the Villa proper, but also honored in a major city so that when he replaces them with his own leadership, no one will have a reminder of the former Master.

NPC stats will have to be generated for these characters as they will respond to any encounters with the enemy with lethal force, for vengeance. These will be loaded to the Pregenerated character lists when time permits.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Who's Out There - Post Twoth

Twoth by sea. Who is out on the water ways?

The elven schooner and the raider ship. The elven schooner put 3 elven warriors ashore and left to go chart the comings and goings of ship of the Empire. The Schooner has a problem as the raider's ship has been ghosting them.

The raiders have a spy and informant network on the shore and believes that the schooner is the source of a power band of warriors who hit them at the Villa del Vino. Well, that's not true at all. The party captured two, killed 3 and the remaining men are scattered to the winds. They know the sea and the coastline, but have poor land navigation skills.

The raiders have a myoparo, a ship with 15 rowers and a crew of 55 men who are also raiders. Most of the rowers are slaves but some of the younger, inexperienced raiders also man the oars. The real crew is less than a quarter of everyone on board.

The raiders believe that the schooner has inflicted all the casualties on their crew, which they count as 25. In reality, only 5 are dead, three are horribly lost and wandering eastward on to the plains and the last two were captured. There are three groups of raiders prowling the area, each unaware of the others. Technically, most of the raiders are not lost, they merely don't know where the others are.

There is a group of 5 men on foot, northwest of the Villa del Vino. They are busy dodging patrols. In actuality, these "patrols" are runners bring news back and forth from the Capital to the Villa. They would like to reach the shore, but keep getting forced into the trees due north of the Villa.

There is a tiny group of 4 that has wandered in to the city of Nace. They are currently drinking themselves silly, believing that the Empire's assassins are on their tail. They couldn't be more wrong.

The third group is southeast of the Villa, waiting to bushwack anyone coming south. There are 10 men, half on foot and half on stolen horses. They have seen their myoparo come and go several times, but they believe that they can catch some or all of the slaves fleeing the Villa. Unfortunately for the raiders, the people of the Villa are now heroes surrounded by real heroes, namely the PC party. They won't be fleeing anywhere and the PC party will encounter these guys soon. So could the elven war party, which could make things interesting.

The last raider is walking home, to his farm.

Meanwhile, back on the myoparo, there are only 35 raiders and 10 slave rowers. All of the inexperienced raider/rowers have gotten lost on shore. Since the ship needs 15 rowers, the older raiders are pulling double duty and are very angry about this. Words have been said that can't be taken back and violence will erupt if they don't find something else to fight. So far, the only thing they have seen small enough to engage is the elven schooner. Things are getting dangerous on the ship, for everyone, except possibly the slave rowers.

(Hey, that adds up to 17 raiders... I am updating the numbers to add to 25.)

Who's Out There?

Ok, the characters are not all alone out there. These are 6 mile hexes, so there are a lot of unfriendly forces hanging out.

Closest to the party resting at the Villa del Vino is an NPC party. This group is unusual as they are made up of 3 elven spies/warriors. Eirien, Liscë and Turu have a couple of problems they need to solve.

They aren't supposed to make contact with anyone as they are spies. But they are wearing military uniforms. They were dumped off just south of the Fortezza Port di Nace during rough weather, because the horses were going crazy. The schooner that dropped them off is tailing ships and marking the tides. The spies are zig zagging the area making maps and avoiding people. They started with 3 horses but lost one, so they are in trouble. This is one of the horses found by the player characters. They don't realize it's an elven horse. 

The elves have spotted Jim, Felice and Felix riding their horse, exploring the area around the Villa. They intend to take the horse back. Elven horses are supposed to respond to a whistle. It should throw any unfriendly rider and return to the owner. Except Jim has been feeding the horse apples galore and the horse now believes Jim is his owner, so it doesn't respond to Turu's calls.

Jim is a zero level character and scout, so he hasn't noticed these calls. In fact, he has walked right by the elves several times.

Plan B. Solve two problems at once. Knock Jim off the horse and steal his clothes. One of the elves will get a horse while someone gets a non-military outfit. Jim's clothes are not much of a disguise, but at least they are not military uniforms.

They do know that Jim has a bow and that he is kind to the horse. He is also not much of a scout, as he has trotted by them several times. They will use Shield to protect themselves from the bow and try to use Floating Disk to prevent Jim from cracking his head. They think they can overpower him and rob him without killing him.

We shall see.

Why hasn't the schooner come back? I'll cover that in the next post.

The Misunderstandings So Far

It looks like we'll get in a game session this weekend. The whole thing petered out two months ago, so I need to refresh myself with what is happening.

The Emperor's Council hired the players to head south and gather intelligence on a Keep. The Council was willing to pay the characters 1d6x100 each for this mission. Additionally, the characters were supposed to buy a ship using 4000 gps cash and a script for 36,000. The ship should be left at the southern port as reinforcement.

What actually happened was, no one mentioned the ship, the characters thought that the 40,000 gps was their pay and that more money will come after the adventure. Since 40,000 gps was put on the table from the get-go, the party thinks the reward will be on the order of 100's of thousands of coin.

The party purchased a modest 1,400 gps worth of supplies, pack animals, horses and wagons using the 4,000 coins they were given. Additionally, they are flashing around the Emperor's signature at the bottom of the script, like it means something more. Most people they have met believe that this IOU from the Emperor is some sort of warrant, order or title. They can't or don't want to read it.

The party has no idea that this is the general interpretation of an IOU letter in the Emperor's hand. They believe they are honoring the deal to the best of their ability and people want to help them.

The Council is a bit confused by all of this. Since the players never inquired as to their pay, the Council believes that they are dealing with professional, super-patriots. There has been some back and forth about either not paying them at all, killing them off or rewarding them handsomely with titles, land, military ranks and duties, etc.

The Council also believes the party is traveling by ship. Because of this misunderstanding, when the characters attacked the raiders at the Villa, the Council believe that the party destroy an enemy ship and killed as many as 100 raiders, not merely 5 guys left to fend for themselves. The captured raiders are rare prize. In the intervening weeks, the Council has received mixed messages from the Villa, which they find suspicious, but continue to believe the characters are on a ship.

The view from on high is not any less confused, but IS slightly better.

The primary reason for human/demihuman antagonism is human slavery. To the Elves and Dwarves, humans are evil because of their culture of slavery. They are only slightly better than the horde of sea-faring raiders who take and use slaves. Since the raider are mostly human, there is little reason for demihumans to look for differences. If this could be settled, the détente with the demihumans could turn to a real peace.

If only there was a way for the Empire to flip a switch and end slavery. The Emperor is willing, but there is too much societal momentum for him to simply command this. What he needs is an opportunity to unleash the manumission sects in the Empire, without setting up a palace coup.

Well, one good thing has happened. The master of the Villa was no friend to the Emperor. The man had hundreds of slaves on several farms around the port towns. Now that he and his whole family is dead, the Emperor has ordered the council to set up several more manors or villas in the area, operated by freedmen. This had been tried before, but each one failed because they couldn't compete with free labor. He has also ordered all the Master's slaves freed, for their service in the defense of the Empire. Thanks to the raiders and the PC's conflict, the Emperor now has a freedman foothold just south of the Capital.

The Emperor himself has taken personal interest in the battle for the Villa, the accused murderers Stephano and Trinculo and perhaps a Triumph for himself if they are convicted. Oddly, the Emperor is fair and good, so Stephano and Trinculo could be found innocent, which would make them a valuable set of prisoners as they are still thieves and brigands. Exactly which is better is a matter of point of view. If the party can continue to kill raiders and slavers, make promises they can't keep and complete the mission, the Emperor should come up smelling like roses.

Next, post: The Slowing of the Party.

The destinations, Tabletop, the Compass Rose Inn and Victory. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Burning Keep

I want to recess windows and doors on my Keep model, but I am 20+ years out of practice. I've already cut myself with a razor and don't want to bust out an iron to melt the Styrofoam.

So, I'll use a chemical to melt the doors and windows into the surface.

Markers are great for marking Styrofoam. In the picture to the left, I have marked out the various levels in black and the stairs in red. I used dry erase markers after testing them to make sure they wouldn't damage the material. I also outlined the windows and doors before starting with my Sharpie.

One caveat here. Not all markers are the same. In the last image series called Rough Cuts, I used a fine line red Sharpie to mark my cut outs. It didn't melt anything. A fine line marker maybe too small, formulated differently or the age of the marker cause it not to melt the Styrofoam. I picked an old marker for this task because this chemical does a number on the nib of the marker.

I cannot suggest alcohol based markers for this. I did try it and it didn't work. First, you'll ruin a perfectly good marker if it does work, and to my knowledge, alcohol doesn't damage Styrofoam. It is often used as a thinner in airbrushes, and airbrushes work fine on Styrofoam models. It's the ink doing the burning, not the smelly carrier.

In the image to the right, you can see how the marker chewed up the surface. I was expecting spray paint like melting, but all it did was coat each cell-like structure of the foam and caused them to pop off. Messy, but exactly what I wanted.

The marker is easily controlled and my lines are sort of straight. My purpose in making an indented windows and doors is to protect and mark those areas from the plaster I will skim over the surface. Later today, I will make a series of light cardboard masks for these spaces, with pull tabs so I can remove any mistakes I make with the plaster.

These windows and doors will have wooden or plastic features and I will need to be able to partially recess them in these spaces. 

The marker was able to melt in about 1/8 of an inch or (3 mm), which should be good enough for my wooden structures.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Keep - Rough Cuts

I decided to work on my Keep tonight. Of course, I will do floor plan maps, but tonight, I want to work on the model itself. I'm starting with the crenelation. You'll probably notice that this is bad form, I am making a model with no paper plans, then making a floor plan from an unscaled model. Hmmm... It could work.

To create the crenelations, I "measured" out the walls. I came up with 2 different numbers. 3 inches and 3 1/4 inches. Not bad considering the source of my Styrofoam was upcycled packing material. It wasn't going to be square no matter what I did.

I divided the wall section into five parts, a classic looking crenelation. 3 parts will be empty, 2 parts filled and then the 4 corners of unmeasured sizes. That works out to be about 9 1/16ths for the 3 inch sections and 10 1/16ths for the 3 1/4 walls. Small enough not to matter.

I put an x on the parts that would be cut away. One of the issues with this method is, I have no scale in mind. My brain defaults to 1 inch equals 6 feet, so a cut out of 10 1/16ths is going to be 3.75 feet. So this is 25 mm. This is pretty good, as most of my figures are 28mm. Oh... My brain is so broken.

Anyway, forget scale. I want this to look nice rather than be a particular size.
Although the Keep will not have a scale,
the cat is as close to 1:1 scale as it could get it.
Your cat may vary. 

Let's get cutting. I'm using scraper handled razor. I want to push down on the line. It turns out this cutter was bad for what I was doing and I switched it up with a boxing razor.

The straight down cut allows me to work in two angled cuts. Again, I am not working for a "scale", so I didn't measure how deep I went. I'm guessing that it's also about 3.75 feet in scale.

Let me give you two tips when cutting. First, unless you have a cutting table, work on a finished surface like a table. Wipe it down with a wet rag and do not it dry. The water will make the base of the Keep stick and all of the bits of Styrofoam will also stay in place.. This makes clean up easy. Dry, unfinished wood will also stick to Styrofoam, so that is an option, too.

These look like teeth. The blade is semi flexible, so I can force it into the soft Styrofoam, and end up with a straight cut and a flat surface on the bottom.

As you can see from the pictures, I have some basal wood pushed into the Styrofoam as a floor. I need to plan my details before the next step, which is going to force me to pick a scale. Judging by the size, this Keep will be nothing like a real world Keep. It is all out of proportion.

But I am happy with my results as of now. More tomorrow, I think.

Elven Fire, 4th Level Magic User Spell

Elven Fire

Level: 4                                                                                                    Components: V, S, M
Range: 10"+1 per level                                                                            Casting time: 3 segment
Duration: Instant                                                                                      Saving Throw: Special
Area of Effect: One creature per level over 4

Elven Fire, like Greek fire is named for the culture that created it. The Elven Fire Spell will create one small bomb like projectile per level of the caster. These projectiles have a curious property that causes them to move away from objects and in to any open space. The magic user can force them into contact with a target by making a to hit roll at a -2. Each projectile does 1d6 points of damage, unless the target saves verse spells. A saving throw will reduce the damage by half. A target is entitled to a save for every projectile that hits them. Monks cannot deflect these projectiles but can dodge them. 

It is impossible for a miss to strike another object as they are keyed to a particular set of targets. Any misses will fizzle out as the go by the intended target. The magic user must declare targets at the moment of casting. They may redirect these missiles between the selected targets, but not add more targets as the combat round progresses. For example if a 5th level magic user targeted 2 ogres, if the projectiles downed the 1st ogre they could redirect all remaining missiles to the second ogre, but could not target a goblin that stepped out of hiding, mid-round.  

Initially, the caster will only be able to attack one target with an overwhelming barrage of 4 projectiles. At level each subsequent level, they can attack one more target. A 9th level magic user could attack up to 5 targets with 9 projectiles total, however they are not required to do so. The maximum range for a 9th level caster would be 19". 

Rather than burst like a fireball spell, Elven Fire will envelope the target. Although the projectile appears to as a flaming object, it is a magical force that will not ignite flammable items. While they appear as burning projectiles, they are not a good light source; they are only as bright as a torch. Each one will fizzle out in a single segment, whether they strike or not. 

Elven Fire will function underwater with no modification. Elven Fire does not do fire damage, so regenerating creatures will continue to do so after being damaged. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Character Sheet for AD&D and Unearthed Arcana Update

It's done, it's done! I have updated my Character Sheet for AD&D and Unearthed Arcana. This second character sheet is an all new, digital creation using Claris on a 1999 G4 Sawtooth Mac.

This file is in addition to the scan of my AD&D sheet from the 80's. Being an all digital file instead of a scan, the sheet is much sharper when printed. If I keep creating new versions, I may have to rename this offering to something more descriptive.

It is available on DriveThruRPG as a PWYW title. If you have already downloaded, you should have an email with a link to your library. If you are not subscribed to email via DriveThru, merely log in and click the Library tab to get the new file.

These free updates will probably be part of a series, so you can expect more from your initial purchase. If you already tried it, let me know what you think either with a comment or a review. I'd love to hear from you. 

If you are new to the this product, click the link above to order it. Remember, it's PWYW, so give it a try in your campaign before dropping some GP in the tip jar.

Don't forget to try out my other products:

Swashbuckler Character Class.
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners.
The Compass Rose Inn Minisetting.
Kobold's Folly.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Housekeeping and Distraction Post

Astronomy Cast
My first experience with podcasts was way back in 2006, with the Astronomy Cast podcast. Hosted by Dr. Pamela Gay and Fraser Cain, it was and still is a fascinating journey into not only Astronomy but the power of the web.

With that first episode on Pluto, I was hooked on podcasts.

I skipped around here and there looking for new material and have been through dozens of podcasts.

Lately, I have picked up on the OSR type podcasts and feel that my handle on the hobby is much better for it. You can mouse over each picture for the podcast name (including Astronomy Cast above) and click it as a link to the associated blog for each Podcast. I'm not going in any order, except the last podcast.

Elthos RRP
The first 'cast is by Vb Wyrde and he talks about game systems and creation. It's kind of heady stuff as he really digs into the hows and whys of various system's mechanics. This is a companion piece to his websites.

Playing It Wrong PodcastNext up is the Playing Wrong Podcast, with the lovable wizard pig. I like to think of it as the Cow-Dog of the OSR. This week's entry is about social media vs. content, which is kind of a big deal these days. On a tangential but parallel line of though, Dyson Logos has been talking about his experience on Facebook, which is not the most optimal platform to work from. You can also check out the link above labeled "The Tek" to see all kinds of statics about my website and downloads. 

Red Dice Diaries PodcastThe Red Dice Diaries is an excellent podcast which should have decidedly British slant, but actually is rather cosmopolitan in nature. I love John's ideas and point of view, plus he brings in a collection of guests to talk about their experiences at the tabletop. The episodes I found most enlightening were ones on a game that I always wanted to pick up, called Burning Wheel.

Super Adventure Friends Co. PodcastA rather new podcast is SAFCOcast. It covers Gurps and Traveller and a whole lot more. I like this one as it is hosted by a group rather than an individual. I don't get a lot time to play and I find this podcast satisfies my Science Fiction itch. I just wish I had more time to play some of those other games.

Maybe, some day.

Thought Eater PodcastWho has the time to read every blog under the sun? Oddly, the Thought Eater does. Take a listen to Jeremy's weekly Wednesday round up of the blog-o-verse. Jeremy is comprehensive, you can have two weeks of content to read over from just one listen.

Also, on Friday's he a short, 5ish minute show where he lets fly with his latest thoughts on the OSR.

Do Jeremy, me, and you a favor. If you run a podcast or blog, put your name on it. Or at least a good handle. It helps us find you.

The last OSR Podcast has a special place in my heart. It's called Blogs on Tape. It is intended to as readings of the Best of Blogs.

Blogs on Tape

What I see is accessibility. I've toyed with the idea of a podcast myself, but what I really want is a presentation so that people with poor vision can access blogs in the easiest, most natural format, the human voice. No place does Blogs on Tape mention this as a priority, but it is what they are doing. I love it.

If you want some insight as to why I would want this for my site, take a look at this semi-autobiographical short story I wrote. Most of it is fiction, but much of it is true.

If you want your blog or podcast featured here, feel free to shoot me a note at phil(dot)viverito(@)gmail(period)com or add a comment below. I'd love to add your content. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the wonderful Old School RPG Planet which reblogs your content. It is an excellent idea.

I apologize for the mess in the right column, I'm trying to add a graphical podcast list over there and ran out of energy. There is only so much coffee I can drink, and I need to stop casting from hit points.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Cleaning up and decorating

I'm cleaning up after making a mess with styrofoam this morning and getting some artwork ready for my new game room. Little touches right now. 

This is a book by Nate Treme and you can get it from his website. I am not sure if there are any physical copies left, but you can print your own. It's great, check out my review, here.

Right now, I just caught a newsflash that The Midderlands Expansion by Monkey Blood is free today. I was going to take a pass on it, but the article mentions that it contains a new map. Ah... more artwork for my game room. Check it out, but hurry!

Getting to it

Recently, I posted images of my dad's work in the form of the Shell Keep and the Crusader Castle. I've seen this done dozens of times. I don't have these skills myself, because I don't practice these skills. Maybe it's time to change that.

I pulled together some scraps of stuff I had lying around and got started. I want a castle, but maybe I should start smaller with some houses.

The larger structure will be a keep. Perhaps in a motte and bailey design. Or maybe it will simply be free standing. Not sure where I'm going with this, but the effort is fun.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Still Working...

I still have some minor problems to fix with my updated Character Sheets. I'm finding how they print as opposed to how they look in the Mac is a problem. I should have something worked out soon.

Anyway, once they are done, I will post them up to my product on DriveThruRPG. If all goes well, I might rename this to "Character Sheet Pack" as I would like to do a series. If you have already downloaded, thank you. You're going to get this one as an update to the one you already have.

If you have any suggestions, please put them in the comments below.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Little Something New For Throwback Thursday - pt. 1

For #TBT, I'd like to share the top 10 searches on my website since July when I started using Google Analytics.
  1. Pregenerated Characters - Love it. 
  2. GSIV - This is one of my favorite games, Gemstone IV. 
  3. Peninsula of Plenty - My campaign sessions. 
  4. Experimental - Not sure why. This is my experimental writing. I should probably rename it to be clearer.  
  5. The Tek - I share my stats so other bloggers have something, anything to themselves compare to. 
  6. Nace - A city in my campaign. 
  7. mostfavored - These are my favorite products, which I suggest with no compensation. 
  8. AD&D - 'nuf said. 
  9. Appendix N+ - Books that have a role in my worldbuilding and game play. 
  10. Zero to Hero - My first book. 

A Little Something New For Throwback Thursday - pt. 2

For #TBT, I like to share my top five posts since I switched to Google Analytics in July, 2019.

Never ever do I ever - Horses, Drownings, and First Aid
Miniature Treasures - The Moldy Unicorn
A walk down memory lane... thru a Motte and Bailey Castle
Practical Tactical - Which Edition of D&D is Best?
Macaulay - Great Books, Lousy Pictures

Now, what do I wish was on that list?

At five, I'd like to see the A walk down memory lane... thru a Motte and Bailey Castle. My dad has built many iterations of this castle and it is my favorite.
Number 4, Update for Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners! I have to plug my own stuff, right?
Number 3 is my review of Module Review - BSOLO Ghost of Lion Castle.
Number two is another review post called Book Review - A Brief Study of TSR Book Design. This is great, free book by Kevin Crawford. If you want to do retro-games that look like old TSR products, you need this book.
Unconventional, but I would put Miniature Treasures - The Moldy Unicorn at number one.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Not Too Much to Report - Additions to the blog roll.

Progress on the new versions of my Player Character Sheet for Unearthed Arcana have slowed to a crawl. I had hoped to have it up on Veteran's Day, but that didn't happen. I'm still plinking along at it, so real soon, now.

I continue to add people to my blog roll. I just started reading WELCOME TO THE HOME OF SOME GUY ON THE INTERNET by Robert Aronson. Again, MeWe doesn't disappoint when it comes to highlighting great talent, however I keep the blog roll going because I fear a G+ like collapse. All it takes is a good link on MeWe to your blog, a request in the comments below (with link) or a friend request on MeWe to get that link added here. It's easy.

Robert's blog might be the longest title on my blog roll. One of my favorite points about his blog was the source of the URL, which is kind of like my character Reg. On another point, it is also another good opportunity to mention Red Dice Diaries like I did in my post about Reg.

Three more plugs and I am done with this post. First, to prevent a second G+ like collapse, go follow these two aforementioned mentioned blogs. I gotta be honest, I hit the Red Dice Diaries blog to access the podcast more often than I read it. I love hearing John Alan Large's ideas and those of his guests and callers.

Next, go over to Campaign Wiki and register your blog. If you have a blog, go ahead and do what John Alan Large did and add some info about you. Starting with a name or handle, so people can find you, hear from you and praise you.

And for the final plug, you can pick up all of my products at DriveThruRPG. Each one is PWYW so feel free to give it a try before dropping some change in the tip jar.

Swashbuckler Character Class. A non-standard D&D character class. 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners. Rules to standardize your non-adventuring NPCs. 
Character Sheet for Use with Unearthed Arcana. A scan of a 80/90's character sheet. 
The Compass Rose Inn Minisetting. A ruleset agnostic mini-setting. 
Kobold's Folly A ruleset agnostic mini-setting.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Disney+, PayPal and Error Code 83

I am super excited for Disney+. I ordered it today and was pleasantly surprised that they accepted PayPal. As an added bonus, because I opted to PayPal it simply imported all of my consumer information from that platform. I ordered the total package, Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+. 

Right now, my daughter is watching the new live action Lady and the Tramp, which looks awesome! She's on the PS4 while I am down on the computer in the basement watching clips from ESPN+. 

Now for the pseudo-downer. If a video clip is something used for the website, I can watch it on my laptop. But if it is inside the Disney+ continuum, I get an error message. On Disney+, the error is Error 83. 

Hulu gives a little more wordy error that my browser isn't compatible. I haven't nailed down an error on ESPN+ because so much of the content is feeding public websites. It's hard to find something behind the wall, so to speak.

Ok, at this point, I bet you think I am pissed. I'm not. It's all right there in the name: "These Old Games". I run old hardware to support this site. My Chromebook, which I love is 7 years old as of this month.

With this particular package, I can have 10 devices and four simultaneous streams. It's $13 for 30 years of the Simpsons, ageless Golden Girls, 40+ years of Star Wars plus all of the Disney goodness I can stand. I have 4 other Chromebooks which should work and a pair of PS4's, 5 phones and maybe a tablet. I'm not going to cry because my main work machine doesn't work.

Heck, I am lucky not to have that distraction.

Once the kids are in bed, I'm watching one of my favorites.

Monday, November 11, 2019


SimEarth is one of those classic sandbox games, something with a charm that is ageless. I finally found my box and installed it on an old G4 Sawtooth Mac. It turns out that I am very rusty at all of this, so it will be a while before I do a review and some gameplay videos.

Here is a 90 second clip of the software in action.

I was concerned about this old Mac's specs, so I updated it a bit. I have max memory and four hard drives. Unfortunately, I can't seem to run OS 7 on this and don't believe OS 8 will run either. Time will tell.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

uMoria on a Mac OS 9

uMoria or Mac Moria 5.5c is one of those classic games that is strangely addictive. You pick a race, a class and you are off to the Dungeon. This classic game was created in 1983 by Robert A. Koeneke and has gone on to be ported to most OSes. I happen to like the old classic mac app best. 

A typical Mac Moira Character
At the bottom of this screen are two options, change name and file character description. The file is merely this page suitable for printing. While the 6 Statistics are close to D&D, they are slightly out of spec if you wanted to use this as a character generator. Also, some of the classes don't work at all like D&D classes. For example, a Druid can cast both clerical and magic user spells, rather than their own spell circle as in the PHB.

In the video below, I take a few seconds to generate a character and play for a bit. There is no sound.

For first time players, you need to purchase items like weapons before proceeding into the Dungeon. Also, the little [p] characters moving around are town drunks who can hit you or thieves who can steal from you. They are relatively easy to avoid.

In this second video, I linger on screens longer. I apologize for the blurriness for the first few seconds. It was something in the file conversion.

Here is a screen shot of a typical first level (50 feet) dungeon.

You can colorize your screen, but black and white is fine for me.

You can find more information about uMoira and downloads over at Beej's website on the game.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Image Resources for Future Reviews

I'm going through my shelves and getting read to review some older products. This is the first post of images needed to get that done. I have some classic books right along side some classic games. Most of the games are Mac OS 9 stuff.

In looking at some of the D&D stuff, I might not do reviews, I'm thinking about sharing how they have been worked into my campaigns. I mean, what more can be said about Deities & Demigods which hasn't been said to death?