Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Zero to HEro. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Zero to HEro. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Tek

Why 'o why?

When I was a kid, we lived near a pharmacy called The Tek. The store is long gone, I have no idea why it was called that, but it was great little shop with all kinds of books, medicine and tchotchkes for sale.

Like every normal parent on planet Earth, my parents didn't have enough for every wish and desire. But they did their damned best.

One day, my dad took me to The Tek for something and told me flat out, "I don't have any extra money to get you anything." When he picked up his script or whatever he was buying, he found me looking at a book called: What is Dungeons and Dragons by John Butterfield, Philip Parker and David Honigmann.

As I put it back on the shelf to leave, my dad said, "Oh, a book. I have money for a book. As long as you read it."

Fast forward 20, 30 maybe even 35 years, I remember that lesson. Knowledge is worth more than money. I spend time making sure my kids read, just as my parents did for me. When they couldn't read, I read for them. When they don't have time or money to read, I make sure I close those gaps so they can.

But reading isn't the point of this post. It's about THE TECH. Sometimes, I wonder where I stand in the whole scheme of things. I have no idea. Do I sell a lot of books? Don't know. Do a lot of people read my blog? What is "a lot"? No idea.

To that end, I have decided to post my web stats and copies download from DriveThruRPG stats. Why? Because information is power and perhaps you too are wonder where you are at. This isn't a bid for transparency, I love the fact that someone reads my stuff, simply for the joy of it.

So, here are the year to to date states for my site and books.

July 2019: 
AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 10
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 90
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 43
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 9

Webstats July 2019 - 2294

June 2019: 
AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 48
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 8

Webstats June 2019 - 1380

May 2019: 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 6

Webstats May 2019 - 1965

April 2019: 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 2

Webstats May 2019 - 3011

March 2019: 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 12

Webstats May 2019 - 1838

Febuary 2019: 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 4

Webstats May 2019 - 1423

January 2019: 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 12

Webstats May 2019 - 2792

Keep in mind, these are raw stats from the reports I have available. While the DriveThruRPG stats are rock solid, the webstats are coming from the report that Blogger provides. I am sure there is some crap in there that shouldn't be. I am working to refine these numbers by using Google Analytics going forward.

Books are not sales, they are downloads only. My sales rate for the lifetime of all products is an averaged 6.5% (as of today, 7.8%) of all downloads. This is owing to the fact that I offer PWYW and specifically told people not to pay for the character sheet or the Compass Rose Inn maps in the product description. It hurts sales, but I am 100% certain that the downloader got what they needed.

In the future, I plan to move away from the PWYW model for a lot of titles, but only once I feel confident that the production quality is high enough to support it. You can click the link in the upper left (THE TEK) for the latest update.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Tek - July 2019 edition

As promised, here are the webstats and download stats for DriveThruRPG for the month of July. I have begun collecting data in Google Analytics, and if possible I will start proving that information in September, 2019 for August.

July 2019: 
AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 10
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 90
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 43
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 9

Webstats July 2019 - 2294

June 2019: 
AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 48
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 8

Webstats June 2019 - 1380

May 2019: 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 6

Webstats May 2019 - 1965

April 2019: 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 2

Webstats May 2019 - 3011

March 2019: 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 12

Webstats May 2019 - 1838

Febuary 2019: 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 4

Webstats May 2019 - 1423

January 2019: 
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 12

Webstats May 2019 - 2792

Keep in mind, these are raw stats from the reports I have available. While the DriveThruRPG stats are rock solid, the webstats are coming from the report that Blogger provides. I am sure there is some crap in there that shouldn't be. I am working to refine these numbers by using Google Analytics going forward.

Books are not sales, they are downloads only. My sales rate for the lifetime of all products is an averaged 6.5% (as of today, 7.8%) of all downloads. This is owing to the fact that I offer PWYW and specifically told people not to pay for the character sheet or the Compass Rose Inn maps in the product description. It hurts sales, but I am 100% certain that the downloader got what they needed.

In the future, I plan to move away from the PWYW model for a lot of titles, but only once I feel confident that the production quality is high enough to support it. You can click the link in the upper left (THE TEK) for the latest update.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Legion of Assassins


Earlier this week, I posted 3 assassins, which I intend to use as Romanesque Legionaries. Why not fighters? Well, with a theoretical background as Citizen Soldiers, legionaries should have some atypical skills for a soldier because they are citizens first. Right within the AD&D description are examples of soft skills: disguise, poisoning, spying, plus a couple of others. In order to do these things, the assassin needs to have people skills. They also need to have other non-combat skills which support this.

Ideally, assassins should always have some sort of secondary professional skill. AD&D assumes that the assassin will take out the wizard, the lord or the high level cleric, but those people are surrounded by eyes. The ability to pass one's self off as a cook, a herald, a guard is paramount. It doesn't mean the assassin can actually do those tasks, they merely need to make someone else think that they can.

This is one of the reasons I wrote Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners. The players need a host of reasonable skills to get into the head of their characters so it is beneficial to have NPC's which operate in that mundane capacity. Zero to Hero gives mechanical statistics to these characters, which might not always be necessary, but can be helpful to everyone. The players are acting out the adventures of a fantastic person which is hard enough, the addition of relatively common folk gives them a scaffold to get there. Plus all of the classes in Zero to Hero have relatively few combat abilities which doesn't increase the mechanical risk to players, it levels the playing field so a small handful of heroes can deal with a huge ensemble of characters on a basic level.

Assassins aren't all about assassination. They break into the sausage factory to make extra special sausage.

This was the operational method of the Romans. They could hand anyone their butt on the battlefield, but after that, then what? Soft skills to get the defeated to continue to defeat themselves. Assassins as soldiers make a lot of sense. Someone needs to collect information and do dastardly things. If you think about it, a legionary was probably eyeing up his compatriots and leaders as much as the enemy. Sometimes, they were looking homeward for any news about family or politics which often ingratiated them to the very people they were looking to take advantage of or wipe out. Assassins make a lot of sense as fighting men.

Even if you don't want to introduce the complexity of a class of classes like Zero to Hero, I hope this changes how you consider placement of assassins in your world.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Tek - July 2020

My stats for DriveThruRPG were fine.

July 2020 Downloads via DriveThruRPG:
AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 3
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 3
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 2
Swashbucklers Character Class - 1
The Hex Pack - 5
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 6

I just realized reports run in alphabetical order, so I reorder my list. I also looked at all time downloads, which include free and paid downloads. Those are some really nice numbers, it's been 23 months since Zero to Hero was released.

All time Downloads via DriveThruRPG:
AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 110
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 150
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 139
Swashbucklers Character Class - 100
The Hex Pack - 118
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 273

I would like to do an update for Zero to Hero and Kobold's Folly. I would like to add maps and encounter tables to Zero and a treaties on Kobolds for the Folly. I'd like to do two new sets, one will be a Roman theme set of Domuses (houses) battle mats and the other will be a Hill fort map. These items will include a D&D specific booklet plus a rule set agnostic booklet. Maybe, 25 pages each.  


Well, webstats were disappointing. I didn't post much and it shows. 

Google Analytics Pageviews - 601
Google Analytics Sessions - 484
Pageviews per Session - 1.24

I don't feel to bad, as I already have 340+ page views for the first 5 days of August 2020. I should be back to normal soon. I'm also posting daily again, so that will give me a noticeable kick. 

I did do a major update on my page. I'll be tweaking things all month long. Sorry for the mess. 

I just want to remind everyone, if you have a product, a website or a podcast, let me know in the comments below. I'd be happy to add them to my site. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

#RPGADAY2020 5. Tribute


#Tribute(s)

I have some wonderful artwork from a well known artist in the field.  These creations are pyromancy. The brown areas are created with a torch and the colored areas appear to be watercolors. They are as cool as they are fascinating.

Each was done by the amazing Deven Rue. You can also find her on Facebook in addition to the aforementioned website. She's known for spectacular maps, but I can say I loved her teapots and slippers first. 

As you can see, I added an "s" to "tribute". I have a few more. Next up are the author-artist duo, Michael DiBaggio and Shell "Presto" DiBaggio, the creators of the Ascension Epoch series. I reviewed one of their books a few months ago, here. Shell Presto DiBaggio also has a Youtube channel for her artwork. I love watching these videos. 

Ok, so what is the tribute in these two? Well, believe it or not, I wrote a little OSR book called Zero to Hero which contains 50+ descriptions of medieval professions as character types. After I started following the DiBaggio's on MeWe, it sparked a memory. Historically, scribes fell into two categories, an illuminator and an author. And very often, they were husband and wife teams. It's nice to see traditions don't fade. So I added both types of professionals to my book after following them. 

Zero to Hero: Uncommon Heroes
Zero to Hero
Zero to Hero

My third tribute comes from the Introduction of that same book:

"And my parents, who instilled a love in gaming in me from a very young age." Thank you Mom and Dad! They are also a wife and husband authoring team. My mom is a publisher and my dad is an author

These five people aren't the only that could have the label "tribute", but if I kept going, I'd be here all night. Five people for prompt number 5. Seems right. 

Be sure to check all of these great creators out. 


Monday, May 27, 2019

Character Buffs - Zero to Hero

D&D and AD&D had a system of allowing characters to be buffed by adding some sort of skill to one of the regular classes via professional skills. Noticeably short on details, it encouraged DMs and players to think outside of the box. AD&D had the ranger and monk classes which featured two hit dice at first level while clerics were buffed with not just first level spells, but bonus spells based on Wisdom scores.

With the release of Unearthed Arcane, players received a model for having a character start below 1st level in the form of the cavaliers. Magic users received cantrips which hinted at powers before first level. Weapon mastery made fighting classes much stronger while pushing other classes into the non-combat skills.

Obviously, the cavalier and thief acrobat were nods to the cartoon. Clearly TSR wanted to change and update their product long before 2.0.

At the time, 2.0 wasn't available to me and by the time it was, I was already too invested in AD&D. Basically, I was unwilling to change. I had a large group of players, between 5 to 12 players per session, a few of them running 2 character at the same time.

What made this possible was an embryonic idea to codify low-level, non-combat oriented characters. While much of this was roleplay for my players, a bit of it dove into the skills possessed by these secondary characters.

Fast forward 33 years to 2018. That stack of notes, rules of thumb and memories of the fun were transformed into an actual pamphlet so that others could implement these types of secondary characters into their campaigns. Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners was born.

It started with a list of 50 professions from the middle ages. In January 2019, the list increased by 9 and later reached 61 in October of the same year. The professions are broken into 3 groups: Sedentary, Active and Laboring which determines their hit points. The characters are average people, so they have ability scores generated by average dice, numbers 2-5 weight towards 3 and 4 or collectively as 9 to 12. Combat skills were limited to using the tools of the trade, which are poor cousins of real weapons. Each new "class" has its own abilities, which are flexible and sometimes overlapping. The classes feature their own levels, from 1-5 which have nothing to do with combat or treasure hunting.

These rules were meant to flesh out NPC classes and includes a table of modifiers for hiring them. But I also wanted to make rules for converting a non-player character to one the main classes in D&D and AD&D.

Once a professional becomes a fully fleshed out player character, I needed to include rules for the tools of the trade. Can a mason turned magic user use a hammer? Sure, why not. Within limits. Stats for mauls, hammers, woodworking axes, zaxes and various other implements were created. These improvised or unusual weapons were define in such a way so as to delineate them from traditional weapons of war. In the right hands, they are powerful tools, in the wrong hands they are poor cousins of their martial variants.

Due to the use of average dice for these characters, a path to "rescuing" a hopeless character was created. All of these rules were designed with the existing D&D and AD&D classes in mind. While not entirely balanced, because the regular classes are not balanced, they are not overpowering. The intent was to flesh out bit part NPC and color player characters with a background.

I hope you will take the time to read Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners and incorporate it into your game. I also have a character sheet for use with characters designed with Unearthed Arcana. Both are available at DriveThruRPG at a suggest price of $0.99 or PWYW.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The TEK - March 2020

Sales are dead for 2020. No help for that with problems we all have now. I've rethought my presence on DriveThruRPG and I am now in to raw downloads from DriveThru. Making people happy with fun, free stuff. I still have price listed on my products, but I am encouraging people to pay nothing at all. There are so many other people out there who need help. Please by all means, save your money for them.

March 2020 Downloads via DriveThruRPG:
AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 6
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 2
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 7
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 7
Swashbucklers Character Class - 5

I want to share my all time download stats this month:
AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 93
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 137
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 125
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 248
Swashbucklers Character Class - 91

I am close to reaching a couple of thresholds on each product. I will be doing a happy dance if I can hit 100 downloads for each and every product and 250 for Zero to Hero. I'll let you know when that happens.

Webstats were amazing, even at 1 pm on the last day of the month.


You can see the spike when everything shut down. I am very happy that readers came to visit in times of worry and stress. Thank you for doing that, it was a ray of sunshine on a very bad day.

Google Analytics Pageviews - 2,466
Google Analytics Sessions - 1,696
Pageviews per Session - 1.454

I had been working with a new ad provider, but I picked a horrible time to change things up. All affiliate clicks have zero'ed out except for DriveThruRPG which is up 474%. Crazy times we live in, when games take a backseat to Amazon.

I would like to thank you. the readers, who make this project a fulfilling experience. In order to continue, I need to hear from you. Post those reviews, leave those comments and make suggestions on social media like MeWe.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

New Links for Products by TheseOldGames.com

I've always wanted links to DriveThruRPG to look like links to Amazon. However, most of DriveThruRPG doesn't work like that. If you look to the left of this post, you can see an example of what I wanted, which is an affiliate tool for the Daily Hot New Book. You can get that link by logging in to DriveThru and scrolling to the bottom of the Affiliate Resources Page.

The code looks like this (excuse the image, blogger doesn't like code tags):


It displays the ad like this:

Hottest New Book
City of Nexus | 20x30 Battlemaps [BUNDLE]
City of Nexus | 20x30 Battlemaps [BUNDLE]

By harvesting their code, you can change what is displayed by manipulating the code, like I did for my Swashbuckler Character Class.

Swashbuckler Character Class for D&D and AD&D

Swashbucklers for D&D and AD&D

You can get the product page link via the Social link on DriveThruRPG. 




That will automatically append your Affiliate Id to the link, which is super handy. The image associated with the product can be directly linked to by right clicking the thumbnail and copying the image address. Many times you can plug that image link right into the code.  

Zero to Hero: Uncommon Heroes
Zero to Hero
Zero to Hero

The thumbnail seems to be generated by .css, which will rescale the image to 139 by 196 for the product page. However, if the author uploaded a larger image, you will have to rescale the image and host it yourself. That happened to me with all of my products. I should probably go back and rescale all of the images so DriveThru does less work to display a thumbnail. 

Character Sheet for AD&D
Character Sheet
Character Sheet for AD&D

You can combine the code above with the table html to create side by side links, like I did below.


Kobold’s Folly Mini Setting
Kobold’s Folly
Kobold’s Folly
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
Compass Rose Inn Mini Setting
Compass Rose Inn
Compass Rose Inn


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Seeking Zeros (Product Plug)

I'm looking for a few zeros and not in the way you'd expect.

Today I did a review of my products on DriveThruRPG and realized I am pretty close to some thresholds I'd like to hit. Here is a list of my total downloads for all 5 of my products.

AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 91
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 135
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 122
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 244
Swashbucklers Character Class - 87

What I would like to see is at least 100 for my Character Sheet and Swashbuckler Character Class. I wish I was at 250 for Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners.

Let me recap what each product is:

The Character Sheet is just a character sheet with the 7 stats from AD&D and Unearthed Arcana, 1st edition.

The Swashbuckler Character Class is a gimmick character class, someplace between thief and fighter. The Swashbuckler does little to no damage per round, attempting to set themselves for killing strike on a roll of 20 or better. They are fast and adventurous, but perhaps not the greatest warriors. Very Errol Flynn.

Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners is a framework for creating NPC characters with specific non-combat abilities which balanced for D&D and AD&D 1st Edition. The booklet can also be used to create secondary or professional skills for PCs, which don't push the limits or make them OP.

The Compass Rose Inn Minisetting and Kobold's Folly are two maps sets for a generic campaign setting and are rules agnostic. They come with maps that can be printed as 1 inch=5 feet battlemat. Character backgrounds are provided to make these locations come to life with gossip and intrigue. 

I would like to invite all of you to download these products. Each is Pay What You Want. In this time of crisis, the "Pay" and "Want" should go away. Download them at $0.00. It's cool, that's how this works. Help me reach these goals, even though they are probably silly.

I appreciate every download.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Update for Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners!

Send out the criers and the messengers. Have the herald hoist the flag. Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners has been updated with several new classes, some campaign notes from history, and many rewritten sections for clarity.

Ever wonder what the difference was between a papermaker and a parchminer? How about a leather worker, a lorimer and a tanner? What is ostracon? What is the difference between amate and papyrus? All updated to answer your questions.

I was thinking of holding off on this until November, but had the chance to get things done this week.

Everyone who purchased the old product can download the new product from their Library on DriveThruRPG.

If you haven't looked at Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners, let me tell you what it is and is not. In B/X and AD&D, characters were permitted professional skills to supplement their backgrounds, with nary a word on what those skills would be or how they would work. After decades of play and having my players want to have useful and memorable NPCs or codified professional skills, I wrote a set of rules to outline many common professions in historical times.

This expands in the information from D&D and AD&D, in a way that is very different than "skills" or "feats". Each commoner class member can advance up to 5 levels, from apprentice to master with hard work. Level determines the ease of success when operating as a professional class. Each class has distinct tools and skills, and where crossover exists, I have explained how these characters would work, while leaving the rules open to interpretation so they can fit into any D&D or AD&D campaign. 

There is commentary on economies, hiring, firing and all other aspects of gaining skilled tradesmen. Make no mistake, these are not alternate adventurer classes, they supplement the player characters, not replace them. It is not a sieve or character filter. In fact, this rule set can rescue hopeless characters and save you time at character generation.

It also answers some age old dilemmas about who can do what and why.

Price at PWYW, this rule set can enhance your campaign. Go ahead, give it a try.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Hex Pack Update

Today, I added some more files to my Hex Pack. This update adds color and centers the hexes so that there are 19 complete hexes and 12 partial hexes. There are 9 colors, the 7 of the rainbow plus white and grey. 

If you have already purchased The Hex Pack, the update is waiting for you in your DriveThruRPG library. 

If you haven't purchased it, take a look. It's pay what you want. Or check out my other products. 






Swashbuckler Character
Class for D&D and AD&D


Swashbucklers for D&D and AD&D
Zero to Hero:
Uncommon Heroes

Zero to Hero
Zero to Hero
Character Sheet
for AD&D

Character Sheet
Character Sheet for AD&D



Kobold’s Folly
Mini Setting

Kobold’s Folly
Kobold’s Folly
Compass Rose
Inn Mini Setting

Compass Rose Inn
Compass Rose Inn
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The Tek - August 2020

 My stats for DriveThruRPG were fine. 

 AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana: 4
 Compass Rose Inn Minisetting: 2
 Kobold's Folly: 1
 Swashbuckler Character Class for D&D and AD&D: 5
 These Old Games Presents: The Hex Pack: 5
 Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners: 7

August marked two years since Zero to Hero launched. 

AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana  113
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting: 152
Kobold's Folly: 140
Swashbuckler Character Class for D&D and AD&D: 104
These Old Games Presents: The Hex Pack:123
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners: 279   

Unfortunately, spending was greater than DriveThruRPG income for August. :) I picked up some great books, though. 

In August, I got back up on the horse and brought my webstats back up. 

Google Analytics Pageviews - 1,693
Google Analytics Sessions - 1,034
Pageviews per Session - 1.63

I participated in #RPGADAY2020 which was big help. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Products by These Old Games - The Ad Post

I've finally hit six products DriveThruRPG. Yesterday, I launched The Hex Pack and already have dozens of downloads. I think that's the strongest launch ever. I'm on the front page too, under Newest Free and PWYW heading. It's silly, but feels good.

 

You can find all of my products on DriveThruRPG under PWYW. Check them out.


Swashbuckler Character
Class for D&D and AD&D


Swashbucklers for D&D and AD&D
Zero to Hero:
Uncommon Heroes

Zero to Hero
Zero to Hero
Character Sheet
for AD&D

Character Sheet
Character Sheet for AD&D



Kobold’s Folly
Mini Setting

Kobold’s Folly
Kobold’s Folly
Compass Rose
Inn Mini Setting

Compass Rose Inn
Compass Rose Inn
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - Update - We are live!

Update we are live!

I've been a gamer since the Fall of '77. Rules sets change, but I keep coming back to D&D. It was my first experience as role play and it made huge impression on me.

In the past 4 decades, I have come to a realization that players don't need much NPC help. I still always include a NPC as a guide, or an extra information resource but when I ask my players who the best NPC was, they always point to the character I thought was a background character. The cook who spotted the enemy approaching, the herald who cracks meta humor, the stableboy who worships them. Never the ranger I put there to absorb arrows and tie up combatants.

Well, in light of that revelation, I started making 3x5 cards of every NPC. Except, they really didn't fit as a classic NPC character. No stats, no spells, no combat abilities. When my players demanded that these folks support them in the field, I started making up stats for NPCs, willy-nilly.

Not uber stats, just average guys and gals who came along for the ride. Tiny details for people who gossip about the characters as they make their way. I decided that maybe some of these people were not NPCs at all but fully blown characters in their own right but with decidedly different points of view from the PCs. I decided that these types of characters were commoners. Not lords, not adventures, but just citizens.

One of my favorite characters was a scullion named Delia. She was taken by a first level fighter who frequented the local inn and slowly made a move on him. While everyone else understood that she had eyes for the fighter, he didn't get "it". However, if there was danger, he was the first to ask about her. If he had a need for something, she was always there. So obviously, she was important. After 3 years, the campaign ended in a wedding.

But there was no "scullion" class of character. How to represent her caused me to sketch out some guidelines for all of my commoners so they could fit the character mold.

I would like to share that guide with you. I am launching "Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners" on DriveThruRPG.

The pamphlet is 24 pages, lists over 50 professions, how to evolve a zero level commoner into a full blown PC, how commoners interact with those above them, etc.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.






Monday, February 8, 2021

#TBT - The First Book - Zero to Hero, Uncommon Commoners

Today's post is a #TBT. Back to my first book. I can't believe it's been over two years and 300 downloads later. Perhaps it's time for an update.
I play a fusion of B/X and AD&D. Back in the day, we had no internet, so I had no context as to which books went with which games.

I vaguely recall some sort of conversion rules to bring your Basic and Expert Characters to AD&D and vis-à-vis. I liked that idea, but then when going through the process, I said, "Screw it! There aren't enough differences between AD&D and Basic/Expert to really warrant this much effort. Elves can be Generic or classed. You can generate stats using either set, etc. We are just doing this."

After years and years of play, I know the differences between AD&D and Basic and Expert. The main twist is that AD&D characters have higher stats, higher bonuses, more of everything in AD&D from weapons to magic spells to magical item and monsters. Demi-humans advance faster with clearly defined abilities in B/X but have level limits, even with the lower levels and ability scores. For the homebrew game, the differences aren't so great. Missile fire is the great equalizer in AD&D, you get more per round which is deadly compared to B/X. 

One thing that bothered me about each set of rules was the lack of secondary skills as a fully fleshed out set of statistics. The options were always there to vaguely support NPCs, but when tacking on an professional skill to a Player Character, the DM had to do it all.

I love my NPC characters, usually they act in the supporting role. They don't cast magic, they don't own a sword. They are there to do far more that carry torches and equipment as per the rules, but not sling a sword or spells. Over the years, I developed a set of rules to accommodate these types of characters. I called it Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners. They were the type of characters populating a small town to large city.

My first principal was developed from looking at the to hit and saving throw tables. Most of the time, player characters are challenged by rolls in the low teens at low levels. Well, making buckets is easier than that, so my NPCs have a better than 50-50 chance of making something. Second, failure is not applicable. You aren't much of a bucket maker if you fail 50% of the time. Failure for NPC professionals is missing one or more of their target goals. They make 8 buckets instead of 9, they are a day late, some are wood and some are metal, etc.

Second principle is they suck as combatants, but might have some terrifying skill with a tool. Stoneworker's hammers are just brutal, scribes have razor-like knives, and roofers have their terrible zaxes. These characters have an advantage with tools as weapons, but the tools themselves are poor weapons. Also, lumping someone in the head can damage the tool and the target, limiting the user to use it as a tool again. 

Third, they have horrible hit points, attributes are rolled on average dice and saving throws are poor. They max out at 7 or so hit points, including constitution bonuses. "Luck number 7" was the guiding thought in this choice. It's luck that they have more HP than a first or second level character, but this is a poor meat shield choice for the PCs.

Some people have asked if this is character sieve, it is very much the opposite. In fact, there is a section on how an NPC professional can transition to Player Character, saving a poorly rolled character. This method generates characters fast by allowing the DM to save those who have abysmal stats. The process of generation assumes the professional character started with averaged die rolls and this can be used to "lift" someone who didn't qualify for a true PC at first. 

In Uncommon Commoners, you'll find over 50 character classes for professionals. They can be used to flesh out your towns or add a bit of flare to a PC. They are far from overpowered, but do add zest to any campaign.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Tek - April 2020

There are a couple of months that are really bad for me. Usually they are May and November. This is owing to my finals at school. Typically, finals are pushed in to mid-May and pull back to late November. The administration is dancing the issues of Easter and Christmas, without actually using those names.


April 2020 Downloads via DriveThruRPG:
AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 3
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 1
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 3
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 7
Swashbucklers Character Class - 2

I want to share my all time download stats as of May, because I did this last month.
AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 96
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 138
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 128
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 255
Swashbucklers Character Class - 93

I'm really happy with those numbers. I am less happy with my April webstats as I pretty much stopped publishing content for half a month.



Google Analytics Pageviews - 957
Google Analytics Sessions - 669
Pageviews per Session - 1.43

Additionally, I started publishing a podcast called: "That's Not New". I probably shouldn't have made my first post on April Fool's Day, but that's what happened. I am still searching for my voice and my place, so these are pretty rough episodes. I intend for these to be biweekly podcast with a duration of 7-15 minutes. We shall see how that goes. I could really use some feedback.

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Tek - June 2021

In June, my DriveThruRPG downloads suffered a slump. It's really time to make updates and changes or write another book, which I already knew. 

AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana: 1
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting: 0
Kobold's Folly: 0
Swashbuckler Character Class for D&D and AD&D: 4
These Old Games Presents: The Hex Pack: 1
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners: 0


Webstats were "blah!". I shrank a bit, but had a huge pickup mid-month. 

Google Analytics Pageviews - 1,222
Google Analytics Sessions - 720
Pageviews per Session - 1.69 

My reviews have slacked off, but at this point, I am still ahead of schedule. 

I am probably going to end The Tek series, with a solid 3 years of data. This is July 1, 2019 to current. 


Google Analytics Pageviews - 28,310 (25 reads a day, or 786 a month)
Google Analytics Sessions - 18,227
Pageviews per Session - 1.55 

To round it out, here are downloads numbers for the same period: 

AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana: 97
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting: 167
Kobold's Folly: 154
Swashbuckler Character Class for D&D and AD&D: 120
These Old Games Presents: The Hex Pack: 151
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners: 115


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners Update

Updated an image or two.

I have uploaded a new version of Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners which includes more than 50 character professions. The update addresses some issues with the text, many typos and some minor changes to mechanics.

Now included with the download is a very old school character sheet. The sheet is two sided has 8 blocks for character information. The first four blocks are the familiar entries and the back page contains 4 blank lined blocks for notes.


The attribute block has a handy way of recording unavergaed die rolls in each corners of each stat.

Additionally, the sheet is plain black and white to allow for sketches and coloring right on the page. My suggestion is to attack these white spaces with a highlighter so you can quickly determine which character is which.

If you have already download this item, simply check your email for the update or log into RPG Now or DriveThru RPG and click the library tab to get the update.

Thank you again for downloading my book.






Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Tek - September 2020

 My stats for DriveThruRPG were lack luster. I really should have done something for the second anniversary of Zero to Hero. 

 AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana: 6
 Compass Rose Inn Minisetting: 2
 Kobold's Folly: 1
 Swashbuckler Character Class for D&D and AD&D: 1
 These Old Games Presents: The Hex Pack: 4
 Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners: 2

Unfortunately, spending was greater than DriveThruRPG income for the second month in a row.  This month I grabbed 3 books by Timothy S. Brannan which was totally worth it. 




In August, I got back up on the horse and brought my webstats up. This month, I fell off again. 

Google Analytics Pageviews - 596
Google Analytics Sessions - 532
Pageviews per Session - 1.43

On a personal aside, I am trying to back down my insulin. Balancing my blood sugar against what I eat has a big learning curve. I cut back on food and added a lot of exercise to loose weight and the blood sugar goes haywire. It's not as bad as the last time, but it really slows me down. 


Blood sugar isn't a dump stat. Today, I laughed and cried like a loon at dinner, but recovered enough to make a video and write three posts. My head hurts.  

Ah, well. Enough b----ing. This month is Inktober, so maybe I can pull in more readers with videos. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

What now?

Last week, I launched Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners. Everything looks great! I have been very happy with

So, what's next? The Place We Will Stay. This will be a series of maps, places where commoners will be found. I've been roughing out some maps, exterior and interior art for many medieval and fantasy homes for our heroes to find NPCs, commoners and other background characters.


The Places We Will Stay will be in digital format, pay what you want and be between 25-50 pages. Coming soon in early October, 2018.

Again, thank you to everyone who took the time to download Zero to Hero.