Saturday, December 30, 2023
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
A lot more and less than what I need. First, let me do a shout-out to Evlyn Moreau over on Dice.Camp. You can also find her on:
She sent me a collection of jungle-theme images, which will go in POP-001. So I'd better get this thing done.
One item that stands out in this work is that I must devise a pantheon of gods. Typically, I don't do whole pantheons of gods in my campaigns. I let the players tell me about what gods they know.
It's easier that way. The alternative is: "Hey... can you fit your character in this tiny box you can see? Perfect!"
When roughing out a campaign, I will typically have the barest minimum of divine beings. I'll have one God of Light, one of Dark, one in between, and one alternative choice that doesn't fit within these three groups. The last category is for the first NPC cleric or druid the characters encounter and it is a hint that the players can be creative in what they believe.
When I have a city where a large number of different people reside, there is a Temple Row. I keep the gods non-descript unless someone asks me about them. Invariably, the players will come up with a god that won't fit any of my description and I will have to wing it.
I personally love this trick.
As the players search the Temple Row, they will not find a temple to their god but they will have a feeling that they are in the presence of something powerful and familiar. If they continue searching, they will find a place that feels right. An NPC will mention this is "the place of the lost ones" and if the character makes an offering or prayer in this space, they will find a path to their God's temple. For a while, they will be able to interact on a personal level with this space, describing it to me. When they have given me a good idea of what it is like, I let them leave. As they exit, that temple, their temple bends and warps reality until it becomes real. Even if the row, the road, the city, or even the world itself has to get bigger to accommodate it.
Players often find this experience wonderful.
|An AI rendering of a Moon Goddess
Revenants of the Lost Temple must be different than what I am used to doing. I lead with "its a temple". It must follow that I must have gods here. These creatures will be cameo actors to be sure as the module is created for first to third-level characters. I need them to be unique avatars for a whole culture that vanished.
I have selected a couple of ideas for them to embody. A goddess of the sea, a god of the land, a goddess of the Moon, and a god of the Earth. That sounds like a good AI photo prompt.
It's pretty... pretty much not what I wanted. As I flesh these beings out, I will post updates over on my Ko-Fi page. Why don't you follow me there?
Sunday, April 30, 2023
I'm working on a few too many projects. I need to get myself on a posting schedule. The countdown tells me I have 92 more days to finish my first module, POP-001.
To that end, I am working on artwork. Or at least, sharpening my skills.
This is a copy of Frank Frazetta's style, which I hope will assist in creating pictures for POP-001.
In addition to the tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, and peppers I grew last year, I'll be trying out lettuce, beans, radishes, and herbs. I plan to keep the strawberries, beans, and herbs out of the raised beds with a new area plus large planters.
Ideally, at the end of the year, I'd like to bring the herbs inside. I didn't plan for that last year and managed to kill off everything by mid-December. There was some saving grace as a had a ton of dried herbs from the summer.
Funny, I apparently forgot to blog about it and you are seeing the rough plan for the first time today.
Anyway, I am upcycling some junk I have lying around to make this happen, I will probably detail my progress as I go.
I don't plan on being too faithful to Bodiam or even rudimentary scale. I am letting the supplies on hand control the look. For a base, I used a bit of wood used for packing material. The towers stand 6 inches tall and will be spaced out 2.5 to 12 inches. The idea is to have something that would help out as a game space.
As you can see from the image above, I have a bunch of different figures arrayed in front. I have a 1:144 scale T.I.E. Fighter, 1/296 Battlemechs, a 25 mm Space Marine from Aliens, a Lego figure, a couple of 25 mm fantasy figures, random plastic animals, and 20 and 15 mm figures. The block in front is 1.25 inches on a side. Roughly, anyway.
It all seems pretty reasonable.
Monday, January 30, 2023
It's surprising what you can get from a little consumer feedback. I did two polls, one for my friends on MeWe and a duplicate poll in the Sandbox gaming group. I felt these were the two places to find "generic" gamers, not necessarily system-specific gamers. The Hearts System is created with fantasy gaming in mind but should be pretty adaptable to other genres. So, if swords and blasters are your thing, this could work for you.
My poll size was rather small with only 32 respondents. The question I asked was about the number and type of dice. As I originally pictured it, The Hearts System would be a single 1d6 game. However, at this point in the planning, I could totally change that.
The nice thing about the MeWe polling system is it allows for both a choice of responses and comments. That is really helpful.
Here was the question: "For a quick, easy-to-play RPG, I need to roll...
1 six-sided die.
2 six-sided dice.
I need more dice.
You can't roleplay with just one type of die, freak!
Many commenters mentioned that one die is too "swingy". And they are right. The funny part about this is when I hear the word "swingy", I immediately hear this:
You might just get some great ideas for your table over there, too. I have three backing options, but without backers, I am limiting myself to open posting to just followers which is the free option for you.
Saturday, January 28, 2023
|I love posts that start with the Chaos Star
Anyway, I took on this new project to write a campaign setting. And then I busted my shoulder, leaving me to do everything with one hand tied behind my back... literally. Now that I have the immobilizer off, I can start moving and thinking again.
Here is the long and short of my thoughts on the OGL.
I have 6 products on DriveThruRPG:
- Kobold’s Folly Mini Setting
- Compass Rose Inn Mini Setting
- The Hex Pack
- Swashbuckler Character Class for D&D and AD&D
- Zero to Hero: Uncommon Heroes
- Character Sheet for AD&D
- I have the basic idea of a game system.
- Playtesting has started.
- It will be called "Zero to Hero", which I am 99.9% is not a copyrightable name. That's cool, I'll deal with it if I can.
EDIT - No, No, this is no longer correct. I think I will call it "The Hearts System".
- My first book, "Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners" will be worked into this somehow. I don't know how.
- I will press on with my new campaign setting and tool it to work with "Zero to Hero".
- I need to come up with a better naming convention because if I find too many things referencing "Zero to Hero" I will have to change the name.
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
First, I would like to thank Patrick for following me over on Ko-Fi. Following me over there is completely free and you'll pick up some insight into what I am working on.
This evening, I'm working on a map for my upcoming project. I decided to start big and get smaller. This map of the capital is 50 feet per hex. In this view, you probably can't see the hexes.
|Map made using Worldographertm
Obviously, the capital is on the coast and is desperately in need of a name. Worldographer has the ability to generate maps via a seed process and some pretty cool tweaks you can select at the beginning. It will happily layout streets, drop in houses and businesses based on population plus a few other things like foliage.
To make the process more manageable, I cut the population to 1000 so the area is sparse. As I work through the city, I'll add buildings in neighborhoods flavored by the underlying terrain.
In this campaign setting, the city has been at peace for decades. They have gotten a bit sloppy with the trees and buildings close to the walls. I plan to remove a lot of the trees as I work, but there needs to be a balance between clearcut areas, the possibility of sloppy care, and being visually pleasing.
This is a fortified city with the majority of people living outside the walls. Inside, there are garrison houses, towers, and a citadel for defense. I am picturing 40-foot tall walls, and 50-60 foot tall towers. The citadel was built first, before the city. It is ill-suited for its location as the citadel walls are only 30 feet tall. The central tower is 50 feet tall, which is not high enough to see over the walls.
But the citadel has a magical defense.
This is a view of the southern gate. Outside the walls is a lonely structure called the Tower of Eyes. This is the citadel's first line of defense. It appears to be a somewhat larger copy of the citadel's central tower. And "copy" is a perfect description. You see, all around the city are several Towers of Eyes which are magical copies. If one stands at the top of the citadel's tower and squints just right, one will see the view from any of the Towers of Eyes around the city.
While this special vision is an illusion, as are the Towers of Eyes, the defenders can reconnoiter the whole area from a place of safety. While it's impossible to interact physically with the Towers of Eyes or the area it views, it is said that magic users can hurl spells down on to anyplace near the Towers.
Strange magic, eh?
Sunday, January 15, 2023
As you have probably noticed, there have been changes to the front page of These Old Games. Gone are some of the ads and they have been replaced by a Support Me on Ko-Fi.
Rather than looking at my blog as a revenue stream, I would like to fund a project that does not yet rise to the level of a Kickstarter while being slightly more developed than These Old Games can support. This project is called:D&D campaign book, but in light of the OGL 1.1 disaster, it has been pared back to a rule system agnostic Campaign Handbook. A fictional travel log for adventurers. I have posted sample maps here plus some background information. I am currently in the process of moving that data over to my Ko-Fi project page.
The benefits of this are two-fold. I have been running ads on These Old Games for years and that has become problematic. First, ads interfere with the reader's enjoyment of the site. Second, ads cannot fund a project of this scale. Most readers are likely to click an ad for DriveThruRPG while ignoring ads for other websites.
To this end, I will be working to eliminate all Non-DTRPG links. This is a big project in and of itself. I wish I could say "this blog is ad-free," but I am not there. In fact, I think that completely removing all ads including the DTRPG ads might not support the gaming community. I like to push people to great products, which is difficult when DTRPG hosts so many great projects.
So, what is up with Ko-Fi?
I guess this is the portion of the blog where I sadly admit that I'm not quitting my day job to produce content. That is not the intent of this project.
I am using Ko-Fi to get this project off the ground by raising a modest amount of support while being accountable to a community. This is not an exchange of funding for specifically targeted content. It is to keep on track to complete a PDF that will eventually be sold. Ideally, if this project is successful, it could become a Kickstarter for physical books. That is my goal, but it all seems very far away. There is so much content creation between now and then that I have a hard time picturing the end. You are not funding a book, you are funding me to write a book. Or three.
To that end, I have five-ish different "levels" over on Ko-Fi. Following me is the first step and level. There is no cost to following me on Ko-Fi. You will not see every post, but I hope you see enough to decide to hit that support button. The next level is a one-time tip or donation. This is where you throw some change in the tip jar. Like a follower, it really confers no Ko-Fi benefits beyond knowing you chipped in to make this happen.
Next are the paid tiers, at $3, $5, and $10. Starting at the bottom, The Southern Tier (yes, a pun), you will be joining my Community and will receive a shout-out here on These Old Games and get Discord access to my little server. In the next level, The Central Tier, you will receive everything The Southern Tier receives plus some behind-the-scenes content. This behind the scene content will be things that probably won't fit in the book, but may be of interest to you as a DM and gamer. The final tier will include everything listed before plus the ability to Direct Message me on Ko-Fi plus a pre-release PDF of sections and chapters that will ultimately end of the book.
In sharing this post, I would hope that some of you would take a moment to join Ko-Fi and click that free follow me button.
There is no TL:DR version of this. This new idea is wildly outside my comfort zone. I am creating a fantasy campaign predicated on a time-traveling Elf stealing a nuclear weapon and a cool pair of Raybans to overthrow a god, only to settle on being a travel blogger. That is nuts enough. But the reality of this project is, simultaneously committing to start a community, raise funds, delete a bunch of completed blog posts AND write as many as 3 books.
That's crazy. The part that makes me most uncomfortable isn't all of the hard work, it's the request for support. I've gotta tell you while getting this project off the ground, I've been hearing this song non-stop.
And I don't mean in my headphones or on Youtube. I hear it when I'm sleeping, too.