Sunday, January 3, 2021

The One Shot Idea

I'm not good at creating one shots, however my reading activities have sparked an idea and an urge to do so. Not exactly a one shot, but series of them where the characters names remain the same but the skills and perhaps players change. 

At the beginning of 2020, I started rereading The Damiano Trilogy by R. A. MacAvoy. It's a historical fantasy about witch who finds adventure galavanting around Europe in search of his heart. Its pretty standard fare for early eighties fantasy, swinging from super light to moderately dark concepts. Clearly, the 90's antihero was not yet in fully realized, but these contemplative stories had the kernel of the idea gestating a decade before. 

At about the same time, I purchased Aquelarre Breviarium. I got the Spanish Language edition, so it's been a slow slog for me. But from the character descriptions, it seems like this rule set captures the ideas of the Damiano series very well. 

Aquelarre takes history and morphs it into a playable system. Characters don't have classes, they have professions. There are no races, there are cultures. 

Damiano, the titular character could be a couple of different professions, however the Trilogy breaks the character into different phases or evolutions throughout the series. This is fairly neat for a character in a game because each aspect is divorced from the others except for the name. 

Damiano could be un Mago or un juglar (minstrel),
each distinct from Saara the witch and Gaspare the dancer. 

The lengthy list of professions are well suited for dealing with not only the main character but also the associated secondary characters. I could see doing a series of one shots where the characters from the books display one profession per session. The names stay the same, but the professions change. Therefore, if the players change for each one shot session, no one cares. 

If you like you can pick up Aquelarre in English via DriveThruRPG.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

#31daychallenge, Part 2

Get those dice warmed up. It's time for the #31daychalllenge. Roll a character a day. 

Yesterday, I declined the challenge myself, but offered 20 sets of die rolls to create your own character. I want to spend my time reading a blog a day in January. 

Today, I'm reading blogs. Games in Libraries is up to the challenge, as is Spodding

Now for the plug. I wrote a book called "Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners" specifically designed to roll up NPCs and to give Player Characters professional skills. It's meant for B/X and AD&D e1. It's available at DriveThruRPG for PWYW. I also have a handy dandy character sheet for AD&D e1 and Unearthed Arcana. It's a scan of a sheet I created in the 80's in PDF format. Suitable for printing. 

And with that, I am off to read some blogs. 

New Links for Products by

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

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. 

The Tek - December 2020

Ah, this is it: The Stats for December 2020. Now that I have enough data, I may post a whole year summary. I need more coffee. 

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

Downloads and sales were flat, but I can live with 14 total downloads per month. It's probably time to re-do, update and add to my DriveThruRPG offerings. 

Webstats were down a bit, almost 10%. But not horrible. 

Google Analytics Pageviews - 1,241
Google Analytics Sessions - 749
Pageviews per Session - 1.65

I've learned a bit in the middle of this pandemic. 

I have a whole year of data on my Rakuten Advertising ads. Many clicks, zero income. I am going to say goodbye to Rakuten. It is not aligned with my audience. There is a slight chance that I will keep one segment of Rakuten, The Lego Store. I may have zero people who will make a purchase, but I love the creativity of Lego and I will probably continue to link to the store. It's a content choice over marketing or advertising. It's nonsensical from a business standpoint, but I very much enjoy their photography and products. 

If you are looking for an advertiser that isn't aligned to games, then Rakuten is worth a look. It didn't work for me, but it does look like a useful tool. 

The clear winning Advertiser is DriveThruRPG. They brought in many times what I made in all other advertisers combined. Roughly, 7 times all other sources. It isn't a ton of money, but it is sufficient for me to pay for my site, to make some discretionary purchases and expand my offerings.  

My Amazon links are a conundrum. Virtually all funds from Amazon came in the last quarter of 2020, probably owing a loin's share to a single reader of this site. There does seem to be a correspondence between high quality posts with clicks and funds from Amazon. I do not receive a click by click rundown of commissions made, but I can see an incredible amount of clicks preceding those commissions.