Showing posts with label blogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogs. Show all posts

Friday, January 1, 2021

31 Day Character Challenge

A few days or weeks ago, I saw Tim Brannan's post on a 31 day challenge. The goal is to post 31 characters in the month of January. See his first right here.* I thought that was awesome, I love rolling characters. 

But... I do this all the time. Click the Pregenerated tab to see over 100 characters. It would be better for me to not play along, go read other people's blogs and instead do something else for myself this year. I don't know what that is yet, but I've decided to post links to others doing this challenge as I come across them. 

I have to be honest, it took me 30 seconds to find Tim's post not counting the 30 minutes of reading his other recent posts. Follow those links above and subscribe. 

I can't leave you high and dry on New Year's Day. I do have a small contribution to this 31 day endeavor. Here is a list of 20 4d6 rolls with the lowest roll dropped. 

 Here they are typed out in order:

A) 15, 12, 12, 9, 16, 10
B) 10, 14, 14, 9, 12, 11
C) 13, 16, 17, 13, 13, 12
D) 11, 14, 15, 12, 12, 13
E) 9, 13, 12, 15, 12, 14
F) 14, 10, 10, 11, 10, 11
G) 14, 13, 10, 14, 16, 12
H) 13, 15, 14, 13. 14, 14
I) 14, 17, 16, 6, 9, 11 
J) 11, 13, 11, 12, 15, 14
K) 10, 15, 11, 13, 14, 14
L) 11, 8, 12, 13, 9, 17
M) 10, 16, 3, 11, 15, 18
N) 13, 14, 17, 14, 11, 15
O) 12, 17, 15, 14, 12, 12
P) 17, 10, 14, 13, 13, 15
Q) 10, 7, 13, 17, 12, 15
R) 12, 14, 10, 9, 17, 16
S) 13, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16
T) 14, 12, 16, 14, 15, 15

I hand rolled these numbers on my lunch breaks last week when I thought I would be participating. What I find interesting is, I don't ever recall rolling a 3 as a stat. I'd like to say I must cheat a lot when rolling dice, but in this exercise, I didn't roll a single 4 or 5 and the one 3 I rolled was actually four 1 in a roll. By the same standard, I only rolled one 18, 7 and 8. That is weird, but thems the dice for you. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Alesmiter - Blog with an Eye on History

I just found the Alesmiter blog and added it to the list. So far, my favorite post is about Wolf Island Castle in England. Rod Thompson has an excellent photo series on this historical site and a series of inspirational posts in addition to gaming information.

Rod also posts on C&S other great games, both new(ish) and old. I love the old school vibe of his site and the images he uses.

I can't wait to read it all. And the way things are going, I will probably have the time.

I... We Still Hate Read Magic

I hate read magic as spell. Its... well, let me tell you, it's everything Dragons Gonna Drag said it was. Justin says everything I thought about this useless spell and more. With poetry, actual poetry. He doesn't just hate this spell, he has all kinds of tips, tricks and mechanics to get rid of it in a comprehensive fashion.

Someone once told me, "Criticism without an action item is... assholish." Justin Stewart names the issue and gives the reader many, many good ideas on alleviating the problem. It isn't just criticism, is valid criticism with a viable solution. Love it!

Why not add him to your reading list? Go check him out. 

By the way, feel free to add your blog or your favorite blog to my reading list by mentioning it in the comments. I can't wait to add it to my blog roll.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dragons Gonna Drag Added to the Reading List

Over on the right column, I added another blog: Dragons Gonna Drag. I feel like that should have an exclamation point. In Justin Stewart's latest post, he talks about "Official House Rules". I love house rules, while he is talking about B/X and I play a fusion of B/X and AD&D, I dig a lot of what he says. 

One of my long time annoyances is the spell "Read Magic". What the heck, didn't the wizard go to school for something? Why make this a spell? Mr. Stewart nails it will his house rule on this. Personally, I just ignored the whole spell but this method is better. 

I have a feeling I am going to have some free time on my hands, so it's time to update that reading list. Join me!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Exciting 2020 Blogs - THAC0 and Red Dice Diaries

I was going to make this post about a lot of blogs, but I only have time for the one I am really excited for: Red Dice Diaries. John is working on a campaign for Colonial Time Period B/X game.

Over on THAC0's facebook page, someone was just asking about guns in D&D, which sort of fits John's idea. However, my question is, how does magic slide into a Colonial Setting?

Go check out the Red Dice Diaries here. And friend THAC0 on Facebook here at this link. THAC0 also has an associate blog page which is a wonderful read if you like anything about D&D.

If I were to suggest a resource or two for John's campaign, I would pick the book "Everyday Life In Early America". I've always meant to do a review of this book as it paints a highly detailed picture of common things the colonist would have done or encountered in a day. I totally use this for my D&D campaigns to get the brain juices flowing.

Red Dice Diaries also has a link to an excellent resource called "30 Days of Worldbuilding: An Author's Step-by-Step Guide to Building Fictional Worlds" by A Trevena. He will be using this book to build his campaign, so now is a great time to either follow his blog or add the podcast to your podcatching software.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

What did I miss? The Blogosphere.

This is a second post in my series about podcasts. This is very much an unreview, because if it was a review it would be redundant. Jeremy's Thought Eater blog and associated Frothcast is a weekly roundup of everything important happening out there in the world of OSR.

Thought Eater is the blog, Frothcast is the podcast. 
See? See redundant. This is the one podcast you need to keep up to date on everything out there. It is super handy and informative, every Frothcast has an associated blog post with links to everything mentioned in the show. Released on Wednesdays, it's an hour or so of OSR goodness. Jeremy also has a Five Minute Friday episode to cap off the week. 

It's awesome, go subscribe. now.   

Friday, December 13, 2019

What did I miss? Handling NPCs

I love podcasts. Everything from history to Disney and everything in between. I haven't listed to commercial radio in years. Being that there are easily 2 dozen podcasts in my queue right now, I am way behind.

This series covers podcast episodes I missed when they came out. Being These Old Games, you know I'm not going review new stuff.

They Might Be Gazebos! Banner. One of my favorite images from the OSR,
because I think I used to have these dice myself.
Anyway, the podcast and episodes that have caught my ear this week is They Might Be Gazebos' Playing Wrong: NPCs. I love this 'cast and this episode stand out as useful advice on the care and use of NPCs. My campaign has a great variety of NPCs, which you can download from the Pregenerated Character tab above.

Back in the day, I'd have 7 to 12 players sitting at my table, so the idea of loads and loads of characters is fun to me. When I know I'm introducing a character I usually have a sheet for them. PDFs make them easy. When I don't have sheet, I probably have another sheet that is applicable to a random person I make up on the fly or to sub in for a character the players find interesting.

It isn't so much the numbers on the sheet that make a difference, it's the immersion. If the players believe that I have stats on everyone, then everyone is real. It's pure showmanship, plain and simple.

Not every named person is terribly important, but sometimes, as Chuck says in his podcast is that sometimes the dice and players get to choose who is important. While Playing It Wrong espouses having simple character stats, I go the other direction. To an extent. I am actually using a modified character sheet from BSOLO to keep myself sane. They look pretty and 3 characters per sheet is handy.

Go ahead and bookmark my Pregenerated characters for you campaign and don't forget to give Playing It Wrong a try.

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, September 10, 2019

The Dungeons and Dragons TV Show Review on Thac0

Ryan Marsh over on Thac0 has been posting reviews of the old Saturday Morning Cartoon, Dungeons and Dragons.

His first post details the main characters, the NPCs and then covers the ins and outs of the episode. I love reliving these cartoons. Having someone else's take on them is even better. Go check these out before Ryan runs through so many episodes, you'll have to binge read. :)

My out and out favorite character is Eric the Cavalier. According to Wikipedia, he was put in the show at the request of parent's groups, to support the idea that the group is always right and the whiner is always wrong. Yeeeesss. But...

Eric annoying yet another friend, Diana this time. 
Eric is 15 year old boy in the 80's. If you weren't to top dog in your group, you were either the distruptor or the yes man. Oddly, exactly zero of the characters are yes men, not even the girls in the series. Which was wonderfully refreshing. The character dynamics were great. They weren't your typical cookie cutter characters.

Presto can't perform unless provoked and he is never mocked by the gang (Teased, yes. Mocked, no). Billy is just a force of nature that the others try to hold in check as he flies off the handle at every opportunity. Sheila and Diana have their own, consistent and important points of views, which very often are not remotely the same. Sheila is the big sister and is protective. Diana is the mistress of personal safety, despite being very caviler when it comes to risking herself. Hank is not some dumb jock pushing people around. Five of the six are positive types of people.

What makes me favor Eric from the get go is he was so abrupt. Six steps past rude, perhaps even dangerous, when he can manage it. Someplace, way down inside, he knows that he is out of place and overwhelmed.

Clearly, if you know what you are doing, Hank has the best tool: A magic bow with not so delineated powers. It's a magic machine for the plot.


Eric, has a shield that can encase his friends within a bubble of protection. He has to get in front. He has to be in the line of fire for it to be useful. And he is afraid of most unknowns. But he does what he has to to protect his friends.

That isn't so special, that's just like being a regular human being. Eric could be anyone, anyone could be Eric. That's why I like him so much.

Its been a while since this show has been on the air. Did you forget about? Hop on over to Thac0 and follow Ryan Marsh's reviews. Relive a bit of the magic of Saturday Mornings again.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

New Add to the Blogroll - THAC0

Ryan and Jarad are fellow bloggers both on Facebook and They write for THAC0 RPG about D&D. I'd tell you all about their recent posts with new character classes, but I went all the way back to the beginning, to the time Ryan wrote: I think I might have broken my AD&D party.

Since the demise of Google+, I have been enjoying the universe of blogs. THAC0 RPG is no exception. Other recent adds are Ten Foot Polemic and 3 Toadstools. I'm on, but Blogspot seems pretty hot.

I have to do something about my blogroll to make it stand out, but while you are there, check out Old School RPG Planet. It's the best blogroll for RPGs around.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Unreview - The Gardens of Ynn

When I found this title, I fell in love with the concept of a procedurally produced adventure. I meant to write a review of The Gardens, but I never could capture the core idea. What struck me most was the author's (Emmy Allen) desire to break out of her writer's block. Wow. That was an amazing idea and the end result is spectacular.

Anyway, I have collected up 3 reviews of The Gardens of Ynn and added a bit of commentary on each review.

The Gauntlet Blog, called the book "evocative" and praises the use of all five senses in the area descriptions. (Edit - You can also read part 2 here.) The Gauntlet takes the point of view of White Hack players, which is a step removed from typical D&D. This perspective enhances the review as it leaves the typical D&D archetypes out. While I don't play White Hack, Fraser Simons' review of The Gardens makes me wonder if I should.  

Bryce over at Ten Foot Pole, stress the Gothic Horror aspect while digging right into the mechanics of how to use this setting. Bryce is right that this is a setting book as opposed to an adventure, which something that the reader could overlook, something that Emmy Allen took a moment to confirm in Ten Foot Pole's comment section.

d4caltrops calls The Garden "elegant". d4 praises the binary aspect of "go deeper/go back" to control where the adventurers go in The Garden. Even better, he suggests easy ways to use this book as a means of transport for your characters. Talk about taking a great idea and making it better.

I was surprised to see that no one commented on the artwork of this piece, which I totally enjoyed. Its Gothic simplicity is wonderful. I love this style of art.

You can pick up The Gardens at DriveThruRPG for just a couple of bucks. You can also go and add the three blogs above for free. Why not do both?

Saturday, June 15, 2019

What To Do With My Summer...

No vacation is in the stars, this summer break. So it's time to read.

I picked up a copy of Forge of God by Greg Bear. I love his characters, they are rather plain and unexceptional, even when he tells the reader they are exceptional. It's the big ideas that drive his books.

Over the summer, I plan on populating that weblog of choice websites to read. I have a ton of books to get through over the summer, but reading blogs really helps me connect with the "here and now", even if it is someone else's "here and now". I love seeing other perspectives on life and writing.

First up is Michael K. Ferrante's I'm You From The Future! Mr. Ferrante's is a budding hard science fiction writer, he is always full of great ideas and new perspectives. The first selection of his that I have read is "Introducing Smitty". It is one part character study and another part establishing shot. The main upshot of the piece is Mr. Ferrante's study of the concept of a church-like entity to distribute live extending processes to all, in an equitable fashion.

If this doesn't scream "here and now", what does?

Let me know what's on your summer reading list in the comments below or follow me on MeWe.