Sunday, May 29, 2016

Blog News

The death of my brother in law hit me way harder than I would have thought. We were not close. But my wife is devastated and I did know him for 30 years. Be a few days till I come back to this.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Blog Carnival.

I'd really , really like some requests for the Blog Party, gonna keep em coming, brother in law dead wife devistated

DM Rant Eight


Bat Cave: Level One Sphinx are

Ok justnow this level is completed, in dungeon time. A shpinx lives above dungeon, he is so smart That you cannot really talk to him.He is surrounded by greedy and evil and dangours Anubaji priests.

The area is rife w Anubaji attcks. it is very old scool and the players are now playing first L S&W more or less

Stereo rpopic rooms and hazards w an egytian theme, also painting of PCs are everywhere

Blog PartY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brother in law died very suddenly, very tuff
might be posting a zilliian posts today only

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Bat Cave(megadungeon) Part 1: Overview and history


approx 30,000 years ago dungeon starts out as major cavern system that has been occupied by goblins.

27,000 years ago Caverns worked into Major goblin metropolis, the capital of huge empire.

25,000 years ago The 1000 year cycle of Apocalypse's of The Stolen World begins

23,000 years ago Kuthrii Empire takes over cavern and uses as lifeboat against the Apocalypses

20,000 years ago Kuthrii Empire is brought down by infighting, goblins make resurgence but never come anywhere near their height.

12,000 years ago Halani Empire expands lowest section of "lifeboat" but never lasts past the 1000 year cycle

6,000 years ago goblins only survive in dungeon and are shadow of former selves.

4,000 years ago Minor Evil god Sinister takes on his "Joker" persona to hide his true pathetic apearance, he is master of illusion, takes over Bat Cave(as he calls it) adding slowly to the OSR type dungeon (although he is only approx L11 in power, he is the most powerful diety by far of the very low level Stolen World

3000 years ago Bat Dragon calls Bat Cave, imediatly goes to sleep, The job of thadventurers is to wake him up

100 years ago Bat Cave is done and goes into stasis,

This week real time, Dreaming Bat Dragon, Brings adventures to him in dungeon part 1 Sphnix, The 5th Level Pathfinder players will be given new char sheets and awaken w 8 HP as max in party

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

DM Rant Ten: The PCs Are HEROES!

Even at first L , the PCs are special, even if you are running a gritty city game the PCs are something head and shoulders above the rabble. Fame should be just around the corner for them. They are the Apex Preditors, treat them as such!

New OSR monster 3

Hooded desert Cobra
AC 14 1+1 HD

Spit poison for d3 damage and temp st damage at +3 to hit

33% of the time they will spend the round aiming and the following round damage is +1 and to hit is total  +6

New OSR Monster two

Anubaji(name and idea is based on old Grenadier figure from the Creature Catalog(?))

Black furred cousins to the gnoll in Egyptian kilts with mace and shield
AC 13 2HD

In combat these cowardly creatures will hide behind their shields skillfully 50% of the time. If behind shield there is a 50/50 chance you will hit shield(which takes 10 points to destroy) or hit them. They are minus 1 to attack on rounds they do attack. 1 in 6 of them is a cleric that will have 3 HD and 2x cause light wounds and one CLW and dagger (they will use spells first)

they will attempt to run when 50% of them are dead

Monday, May 23, 2016

New Monster: Stone Throwing Devils

Ok can't give you detailed stats on these, more like guidelines.

They look like typical devils 1-2' tall ,dead black in color, they would be very stealthy except for their incessant chattering.

They are a swarm and due to their great speed will surround and swirl around the party getting three attacks against each party member per round for minor damage each attack (poss totaling significant damage total over round). there is a 80% chance per attack that they will work major mischief on 25% of the party instead of damage(switching weapons, pulling down pants , stealing shields etc.) AC should be about chain(even thou they are super fast, they are unarmored and densely packed) Use group HP and make it sugnifigant. at about 60% damage they will all make prank attacks and then run away.

(yes they are based on the MTG card)

The Logic of The Megadungeon in 2016

As a DM, you don;t have to justify:going up levels, +1 swords, Orcs, dragons, sleep or cure light wounds, why on earth do you need to justify the megadungeon?

With each new universe you create, the presence of a megadungeon, often with some sort of "Mad Wizard Logic", is a true part of the legacy of D&D. For each new universe the existence of a SINGLE megadungeon is part of the NATURAL evolution of a magical setting.

(A note on the term megadungeon: I dislike it since the first one or two dungeons of history were mega, I wish a term  for smaller dungeons such as "lair" was used more commonly)

The Min Max Player

I don't have a prob with these guys. The way I look at it, is if he can break the rules, the rules are bad not the player.

Admittedly my exposure to these is limited but I've also seen a trend that goes along with min maxing. In my experience they are also good to excellent RPers. They might actually be the total package

In the very limited amount I play, I'm sort of this. We Min Maxers tend toward spellcasters, and I havn't played a fighter in prob 10 years.

The one time it was a prob was when I was DMing 4th and the Min Maxer made all the char's, Now that was a NIGHTMARE. Level appropriate foes died in 1/2 a round. YIKES. That is when I stopped being such a "seat of the pants DM". But I learned a lot and went up a few L as DM. An unfortunate circumstance that really really stretched me as a DM. I'm truely glad for the lessons learned

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sundered Worlds Sessions 1 and 2

Decided on posting game as it unfolds. As this is mostly for me, not planning on going into a great deal of detail

Session One
The Players (5th L Pathfinder)
Stone Elemental Focused Wiz Spec
Cleric of Hope(mixed healing/combat)

Multi dimensional epic war eons old war
Good guys The Confederacy, 50 or so main planes mostly good but more than a few Nuetral and a very few evil
Bad Guys 3 facrions Cthuluy barbarians, vampires and the leaders Spellweavers (6 armed chuluy spell casters)
The Game
Players are sent to horrible wintery plane that they are told is crucial to war, deep behind friendly lines, They are on bodyguard duty to 20th L planeswalker Mage. The are in an abbey that has very very powerful prayer abilities. A ritual is being conducted by planeswalker to contact an unnamed greater god, During their stay they find out about a mysterious artifact that the monks have owned for so long they know nothing about it. The ritual is attacked by huge contingant of One spellweaver , the cthuluy barbarians and Rakshasa archers, Planeswalker is instantly killed by 3 arrows of slaying, party has running fight out of ritual rooom and goes and gets artifact. It is a Chinese type dancing dragon suit.

Session TWO
The players
Stone elemental and cleric from first game plus
Ranger( repeating crossbow spec)
Dwarf barbarian

party travels 20 miles in horrible supernatural winter to get to civilization, Party battles snow sharks and a sort of winter anti- pheonix, session ends at friendly city with party's recorses exhausted.

NOTE: I am using a lot of material from ( a fantastic system free DM  site, sorry can't figure out how to do links)

A Risky Move (Notes on Sundered Worlds Session 3)

Ok I haven't talked at all about my latest campaign. I'm a little reluctant to discuss my plans in an open area. I'm no doubt being FAR to paranoid that any of my players will find this blog.

So brief overview only. Players are part of an eons long multi dimensional war. They are 5th L pathfider and are sort of low level Special Forces. I've got roughly a 4-8 real year plan for this.Opening stage will be the dimension hopping war. Middle and end stage will be mixed, they will be stranded on one critical plane of the war and the end will be epic run through mega dungeon. Most of my prep time will be spent on planning dungeon, which was going to cause a huge problem for me. I'm often sidetracked by "new and shiney" ideas. If I am running begining of game and planning end , I will be totally drawn to end phase and skip my careful first 6 ish year plan. So I came up with a solution.

Since the mega dungeon as end game is a last min. tack on to whole idea, I decided to use my weakness as a strength.

Part of the dungeon , the players will be playing OSR D&D with dif character sheets, same characters just translated to dif rules , first L. The dungeon is based on  a Dreaming Dragon so the players will from time to time be located to end of game in dreams with real risks and consequences.

Next session (session 3) will be a foray into the dream future. To those of you following this blog, this smacks of the epic failure of my supers campaign. I am taking a BIG risk here, especially so early in the game.As I have often used the Dreamlands of Lovecraft , I'm on slightly safer ground,. Also I'm allowing them to decide how long they want to stay in the dream, if they want it will only be for a single session.

Wish Me Luck!

Advanced Topic One: RPing in Combat

I assume most of my audience plays D&D (some version) and Pathfinder. We have picked an incredibly BAD system for RPing in Combat. The combat system we have picked is basically very abstract and does not suit itself for this. I think we are all missing the boat on this. I'm sure some of you handle this idea well, I do not. I almost approach combat as a war game. I never encourage this by RPing the monsters(it would be a great way to lead by example). It's something I am going to try and get started. As a player I recently attended Princecon 41. I was playing a mage and did a very col thing that ended me uo with 2nd place out of 80 or so gamers. Before the con I made a "spellbook" of the actual verbal components of my spells. I found a Marvel Comics Dr Strange site that listed hundreds of the spells he cast. I adapted a bunch for the most common spells I thought I would cast. Why can I do this as a player and not as a DM?

This is def something I need to think about and add to my games.

Prob the way to go about this is rewarding the RPing w in game bonuses, I've got a lot of thinking to do on this.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

New OLD School Creature (mythos, OSR)

( I working on a mega dungeon, parts of which  will be very old school, parts of it will be modern.I've also been neglecting my OSR duties<I might not be a member but I have a very warm feeling for it>)

Angler Fishoid (abomination/Mythos)
3-5 HD
AC 12( about leather) Eye Stalks AC 20 (5HP each)
immune to charms sleep and mind effecting spells
The Fishoid has 3 eye stalks each of which appear from distance as men carrying torches.It also has metal "trophies" attached to it's body to make a metallic clanking sound. Each of these eye stalks does 1d3,d4 or d6 (based on HD) energy zaps at appropriate to hit. Entering melee with the creature requires a saving throw(should be low after adjustment player should need about a 10 to save) or you stand there fascinated by the light of the stalks. This save must be made every round and the effect only lasts for that round. To Spell or missile attack you need make a save that is about a needed 14 on the d20(From a distance the effect is stronger due to being effected by more of it's eye's.

(EDIT WOW this post is<relitivly speaking> Wildly unpopular with my core audience! abotr a 40% drop in immediate hits over previous post, which was on the very high side)

Evolution of a Killer DM 1B: A Players Perspective

Bob and I have reconnected on Facebook after years of not seeing each other. He was a Very prominent player from the beginnings of the Mysantia game from it's beginning in Oct of 81. We talk on the phone a couple of times a month and a couple of times a year we get together to play. He called me yesterday and brought up a couple of things from the old days. I put forth my lack of understanding of why peeps were so compelled to play in Mysantia.

"Kids these days are always talking about their magic items, I remember being HAPPY with a ball of rice"

"We struggled and struggled and when we accomplished somethings, a good magic item or going up a level, I really felt like I accomplished something!

Gives me some perspective .

DM Rant Ten: Railroading Vrs Sandbox

Ok , I just don't understand the love for sandboxing. I never really read that much about it cause' I think the whole idea is silly. I know I might be old and set in my ways but for the last 5 years or so I've really grown as a DM. I've searched many topics on my art and really saw how I had stagnated, but SB no thanx!

For one thing, I really don'r see how you can justify player death in one.  I run super detailed rich complex worlds and the idea of letting the PCs romp to their hearts content just doesn't appeal to me. Sounds like a great way to end up dead.

Railroading is a bad term, no doubt concocted by said sandboxers. With railroading you can set clear goals and run epic universe saving stories that I have come to love so much. Selected areas can be run sandboxy, for short periods of time. I can easily see a sandboxy start to a game set in a limited geographical area , alowing the players to learn about where they will be adventuring before their epic journey begins

I will wear my conductors hat proudly for the rest of my DMing career, leading the PCs on epic endevours.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Safety Valve On my Too Indulgent, Overly Self Absorbed Blogger in Me!

Ok This post is going to be where I try and put all my stray thoughts and over indulgences. When I feel like a 4th post or making an inane comment , instead of putting them out where they can be seen and annoy peeps, I'm going to edit them into this one.



Blog: Traffic is way down, as I see it from the traffic I've got about 8 ish you in USA and my German contingent  is like 2-3 ,

Whoever sent peeps from Dragonfoot Forums: thanx! I think you are the chris guy from the UK

Def lost a few peeps yesterday, but overnight is up to 10 total(excluding the 230 overnight that I REALLY wish someone would tell me about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

LOVE THIS SAFETY VALVE!!! I think it's totally going to let me indulge and build audience!!!!!!!!!!

Really expected a +1 on this idea by now? Have I attracted peeps that LIKE my post after post??????
at this rate I'll never know(OOH just LOVING my place of overindulgence!!!)

Since this is my place of overindulgence: I am going to go off topic here sometimes

Predicting Trump in landslide! Def in popular vote MAYBE in electoral( less likely is Hilary in electoral not popular win), 65% helped along by FBI leak(s) on email scandle(I'm SUPER SUPER political, ex Republican , still conservative, but would register libertarian if they didn't all wear tin foil hats)

10 overnight hits and 35 after my morning blogging, not bad for 2 months old, thou I'm a little surprised hits went down after nearly 300 hit yesterday. Oh well, I guess I'm an acquired taste!

Cool getting hits in afternoon, up to about 140 for day 20ish hits per post nice! only sad part is other than the German contingent international is ZERO for day

Finished yesterday w/138 hits Zero overnight. German contingant is strong still, Zero from other countries :(
Stray hit from France today 34 total immediate hits, OSR post def not as popular so far.

13 immediate hits on todays Killer DM post very high for so quik! Nice!


Pet Peeve's Two

I'm only semi involved in character creation, usually the extent of my intervention is selecting "volunteers" to play the Cleric and the Wizard. The cleric is necessary because I love a combat heavy session (I've mentioned previously: It is my best trait as DM). I find Wiz characters near indispensable for the kind of game I run (for some reason I can't fathom, I'm not thief friendly, got nothing against them).But the area I can be most intrusive in is: Character Names!

The players pick in this is very important to me. Silly names are right out! Usually overly complex, long or hard to pronounce will drive me into a frenzy.

I've really softened on this over the years, My new player a couple of days ago broke just about all my rules except silly. I did what I did now and gave him a short nickname and enforced it. He is Brew now( it was part of his incomprehensible name). Only thing I go active on these days is silly.

Really not sure why this is so important to me. It's not like I've had a ton of problems with this over the years.

I guess everybody has their quirks and this is a big one of mine.

Anatomy of a Failed Campaign

So after running Mysantia for so long ,I needed a break from fantasy . I started an epic supers game using Villains and Vigilantes. Everything you could have done wrong I did.

The game was supposed to be about dimensional shifting aliens who had super super tech. For years the players were never given any solid clues about their foe. I dragged the game on and on, degenerating into a series of fight after fight. Attendance was bad and nobody cared about the plot. I never did anything with the hero's that didn;t involve combat.

Worst of all I made all the characters myself, without any player input. As th aliens shifted the dimentions around , the players often changed characters.

How could I not have seen how bad this all was?

To this day my game still suffers because of this atrocity.

I suppose the lesson I learned was being an imperial DM is only good oif  the players buy into the premise.

I look back in wonder at what I had done.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Stray Thought One


New Spell: Pushed Fortune

(Ok the spells are prob the LEAST popular of my posts so I will only do them every couple of days)

L1 Time and Divination
instant interrupt
Add or subtract one to any d20 roll after die is rolled
60 foot range
No save but spell resistance works

Edit this spell may not alter a critical hit or miss

NOTE:I'm going to do some tweaking on spells ignore comments if you don't want to see tweak

A Very Cool Idea For Modern games

( I got some real good writing done on my project and I got so many BONUS hits yesterday, I'm rewarding myself with some blogging!)

I was a total FAILURE as a supers DM(I will go into more detail about that in the future) but I came up with a very cool game idea that I had NEVER heard of anyone doing.

The backdrop was this: The group was telegraphed by the bad guys(Hydra) that they were going to burn down the Wayne Charity Hospital in the worst part of town and kill everyone in it.(A huge gang war was going on) The Gotham police had been terrorized into not showing up. The media was invited. A few brave cops showed up and some of the security staff and dr's were also there to help. In the middle of the fight
the players IRL cell phones started to go off. I had arranged with several people to make in character phone calls from 7pm to 8 PM and played them for laughs. A drunk girl friend called and wanted to go dancing., a telemarketer or three called, One characters dad called and complained that he was not coming to dinner with his parents enuf and the char was spending too much money on his super gadgets. Cousin Shaniqua called and needed a date to a wedding. It was a RIOT! Can't recommend this idea enuf!!!!!

Did Somebody post a review somewhere?

The night before I got 5 hits , last night I got over 200? Where did everyone come from? Did I get a review or something I don't know about? I googled my blog but nothing came up. ??????????

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Going to take Thursday off?

I've really gotten addicted to this blog, it's taking up too much of my time. I've got some neglected project I need to work on (that's for you axle, if your out there) I need to curb my OCD on this. I really need to stop obsessively checking on blogs progress. So prob going to be AFK on this for a day or two. Thanx to my budding audience and Stay Tuned! I'm enjoying this WAY TO MUCH to stop!

BTW if anybodies got any requests I'll deff get to it!

(Fourth post! BAD blogger!)

The Cheating DM: Player Death

Ok so we've established my cheating ways. How do I justify player death? The short answer is mostly I can't. I haven't killed a PC in the longest time. There actually have been complaints. Came very close this week thou, critical hit on Stone Mage put him 1 hp from death. It's something I've grown so soft on. I almost always reserve PC death to poor playing and very special boss encounters (That I have completely stated out) The 21 yr old me would be MYSTIFIED by the games I run today. I am planning on bringing back the "soirit a littel thou. We'll all see if I pull the trigger on this.

Evolution of a Killer DM 1 :The Brutal Begining

In October of 1981 I started the Mysantia game that would ultimately run for 31 yrs as a weekly game.
I was a Killer DM, death was frequent. Starting all chars at First and making them roll hp, several were forced to play w/ 1 HP. WE were playing at a community collage and we played 6-8 times a week.
The players were fanatical. The city of Mysantia was heavily influenced by the Thieves World books.Not many TPKs(none that I can think of) but many sessions would end in 2-4 deaths.Treasure was near non existant, they often adventured for food. Looking back I am amazed that the players put up with the cut throat street level adventures I ran. I caused several peeps to fail out of college because we played around my class schedule, not anybody else's.  It's one of the things that proves to me I am a compelling DM else they never would have put up with it.

Shortest lived PC in Mysantia

Ok so my younger nephew rolled up a character late, we were just about to start a big fight w/ multiple dragons. I told him to put himself anywhere on the map. He placed himself directly behind the barbarian who was attacking the biggest dragon.Dragon wins initiative to start fight, breathes and kills the new first level fighter. PC lived exactly 1/2 of one round. Looking back on the incident, I barely remember it, so I don't know if I was being an ass or not. Probably. That was back in my "killer DM " days. More on that later

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Two man 1st L party going into my dungeon, Fighter and MU I believe. Almost immediately they are met by 4 hp, short sword armed skeleton. Very, Very, Very long fight ends in TPK. We quit for the night. Also the shortest session I ever ran about 30 min.

The Cheating DM: Dice rolls

Ok we've already established I play fast and loose with my monsters, so what about the dice?

I view the dice as a guideline, not set in stone. I don't even often give my monsters a set to hit number. It's almost like I do "high/low", but not completely. I take into account AC, a bit.I've had a very few canny players realize this and always go with Con instead of Dex. They tried to share the wisdom but luckily for me, they were unable to impart this wisdom. I extend this to the players to some degree. Last night I played and the cleric was rolling terrible on his channels. He rolled particularly low on his last one(6 on three D6). So with my eternal motto of "What does it cost me?" I let him reroll(he got an 8 the second time). I will often do this with a player who has been consistently rolling low damage, again "what does it cost me?" The players will even say "What does it cost you?" in supplication, usually I'll give in.

Monster saving throws are tricky with this, I am very inclined for monsters to "fail" rolls that involve damage.
Saves that lead to minor penalties to hit and damage are also likely to fail.

Don't let the dice get between you and a good game.

That's all for today got a lousy nights sleep and there is housework to do!

My All Time Fav Run

ok it was 1995? I was at a con and my 15 ish nephew and I went to visit an old froend of mine who was about to start a run. He was running"Cthulhu by Candlelight" and the game was for 4 players. When I got to the room , the con had overbooked him by SIXTY players! One thing lead to another and I told the frazzled con representative, that I would run, if he gave me prize support. He quickly agreed and asked how many players, in a sudden decision I said "TWENTY!"

On the way with my 20 players and my nephew agreeing to co DM we plotted a game about an aircraft over the mid atlantic with a horrible artifact in the cargo bay. We came up with 20 roes and off we went

The game was amazing , the players were grateful I was willing to tun and got so into it that as I slowly killed them off , every single player who dies laid on the ground playing dead( it turned into a larp). It was amazing RPing on the part of 21 strangers. 21 you say?. A guy had come off the street (a non gamer) and weaseled his way in. The winner was our stewardess who had an unshakable lack of fear as an ability. Also of note were the white south african and black american mercenaries who were unshakable buddies. ( The black American was played by our interloper)

At 21 players it is by far the largest group I had ever run. It was one of those times when it all just came together

Monday, May 16, 2016

My Most Controversial TPK

The year was 1987 and the Mysantia game was in it's 6th year. The players were 5th Level(very high L for me around this time). The players were full of themselves because they were at the "lofty" level and loaded with magic items. I decided to knock them down a peg with a super organized, low level major threat: The Bloodbath Orcs.

The orcs all had 8 hp and were lead by a death knight , who was the equivalent of one of the 8 or so pcs. The orcs had crossbow orcs each  with 2 females to reload. The warrior types slit the throats of unconscious PCs.

The PCs saw they were "only" fighting orcs, and underestimated them from the beginning, that is until the first throat got slit, then they panicked and proceeded to let the orcs decimate them .

The PC Mage was prob most responsible for the TPK, he was sloppy but most of all he had 2 scrolls., each of which was capable of ending the encounter in the parties favor but he refused to use them and his fireball was horribly used.

To this day the players remember this and say it was deliberate on my part, I admit it was a tough encounter. Ijust smile and remember the truth.
(Damn, Ive used my 3 posts for the day!)

The Cheating DM: Monster Hp and Awarding Kills

Ok in all but the most complex of battles , I almost never give HP to monsters. I just sort of wing it. I've got three basic categories, "Orcs, Ogres, Boss"

"Orcs" are your basic cannon fodder. 1-2 hits are a kill unless the players roll really bad, don't pay much attention to how much they do for the most part.

"Ogres" are your Gnoll Chieftain's, your bugbears your minor boss etc. These usually I let die after 35-50 Hp mostly 3-6 hits or so. I am fairly careful to regulate kills on these types.

"Bosses" have a huge range till they die, usually I'll wait till the party has used about 75-90% of their resources before it drops. Sometimes if the players have a great plan I'll let it die like a chump.

Now there is one rule I use with this, if I am winging the encounter (like usual) I don't kill pcs. Never. PC death I reserve for Major encounters that are carefully planned out and can with bad play lead to a TPK. This should be reserved for the rarest occasion, when the stakes are very high.

This being said my #1 ability I possess are my compelling combats, it's s much easier to do when the fight ends pretty much exactly when I want it to I am the KING of railroading DMs but remember I was able to sustain a 31 year long campaign this way. This way is prob for very advanced DMs but it is quite liberating.

Carefully award kills and spread the wealth!

Some Thoughts on Familiers

I have a huge collection of minis. One of my sub collections is familiers. I have around 60. the Warhammer game used to have about 20 , which was the start of the collection in 1986.

So I've got all these cool little guys: what to do with them? I put a demi-plane of familiers in my game.
Even non-Wiz going there can get a familier. Surprisingly it was never a popular destination, but this is where my campaigns beasties come from.

I give them to lichs, dragons, whatever and often make them very tuff for a warm up fight for a boss fight.

Using the Pathfinder rules these days the lore of the bonded item is too great and pcs never take them

In my homebrew rules , I made them pretty powerful, but also allowed bonded item instead, again the pcs never take them. My rules even allow them to "respawn" after death like 4 times a day. Nope bonded item rules supreme(for those of you that dont know: the bonded item allows the wiz to once a day cast any spell they know spontaneously)

Some ideas on familier types (as most things on this blog, geared for low level play.

Wiz type casts spells at 1/2 L of owner

fighter tyoe 1/2 casters HP and fights as fighter caster L

messenger/ scout type Flies and is highly intelligent capable of independannt thought speech and can be any distance from caster

thief type 1/2 wiz L

cleric type can use CLW once a day

Another use I have for the minis is as "true goblyns". Goblyns more akin to western myth, fey type.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ok Sounds like great advice........

After this post I will limit myself to  about 3 posts a day! I never thought : what a pain it would be constantly getting alerts that I had posted again! Sorry about that! Promise!

100th Post! State of the Blog

Ok as my 100th post, I still am wondering who is out there? Am I getting single hits from hundreds of peeps. Are the same ten peeps my audience. I have no idea. I thought the EN world ad would lead to more traffic but I have gotten EXACTLY 10 hits on each of today's posts, more or less where I've been for the last week or so. Three things surprise me.
1) Really thought I would get some HATE comments from the over powered Low level spells
2) The DM Rants seem to be the most popular posts
3) The whole Germany is number 2 thing
I really am enjoying myself with this and hope somebody out there is too. Would a comment kill you?

A look at Memorization and a new spell type.

As a huge fan of the spell memorization type of magic I did a lot of thinking on it. One of my first concepts was the idea of "pits"

The idea is that spell slots are divided into compartments that are filled when you memorize spells,
a cantrip takes up 1 pit , a first L spell takes up 4 a second L spell takes up 6 a third L spell takes up 8 and so on by two. This also explains what can be substituted for what.This a first L spell can be turned into 4 cantrips and a third L spell can be turned into 2 first.

This also led me to create 1/2 L spells or as I like to call them petty spells, they fill in two pits, but they are not on the spells allowed list. In the lore of my world they are not popular and there are not that many of them. The only one that caught on with my players is Shout, it allows you to yell super loud for L rounds.

Another aspect of spell memorization that is mostly of use in RPing situations is I attached emotions to the spell schools that you must place your mind into in order to memorize spells of that school. All mage carry around a book that is filled with very short stories that enable you to create the emotional state to memorize.
For example , you would read a story about your birthday party when you were young, it would lead you to wonder what was in the brightly covered box in front of you. This would evoke the curiosity necessary to memorize a divination spell. I know, I know its both kinda cool and mostly useless.

A fresh look at an old item: Ioun Stones(and a mini review)

A quik history lesson first. Ioun Stone come from Jack Vance's Dying Earth series. The series is mostly about super high L mages and their adventures. The stones are never defined but mages had them in the hundreds, I always assumed they were a power source. (This is also where the D&D memorization of spells come from). Some of it is a little hard to read but I can't recommend the stories enuf. There is a tribute book by various authors called Songs of the Dying Earth that is also quite good. Anyway, back to gaming.

When I re read the Vance stuff about 10 yrs ago, I thought: Wouldn't it be cool to have the players fight liches with like 20-59 stones (the idea of Them circling the mage tickles me.) The only way to do this is to make a bunch of low powered stones so the treasure doesn't get out of hand when they kill the beasty.Thus was born the frequently given out , very minor , Ioun stone. some examples
+1 to any roll once a day(by far the most common one I gave out, some of them can be cumulative ,some can only be used alone)
+1 to one spells DC once a day(-1 to saves OSR)
One use individual cantrips
More specific +1s, to hit ,damage ,saves
recharge 1st L spell slot once a day
extra spell slots
+1 ac or saves for one encounter
Just love the idea of peeps walking around in cities with a few of these floating around their heads

Weird Blog Traffic Two

For some reason, I'm a hit in Germany, I've got more hits from Germany than all the rest of the other countries combined(excluding US) I like to think I'm entertaining ex-pat US soldiers (not that I don't want my NATO brothers reading). Not anything like I expected when I started this.

New Spell: Exhilaration

L2  Transmutation
This spell allows the subject to go over max hp w/ healing spells. for L rounds. If the subject is 5 or more Hp over max, they get +1 hit,damage AC and move for as long as these excess hp last(up to L rounds total)
REMEMBER these spells are designed for low level play, this should NOT be used in games that go over 7th L

DM Rant Nine: Time for School!!!!

Most DMs think they are great at what they do. They lovingly craft their worlds and try to be entertaining.But one thing every dm needs to do is never stop learning their craft. The internet is full of dm advice from very creative peeps. Never stop looking for new ways to do even the most mundane of dming tasks. Reach as a dm. Try new types of monsters and color ideas. Don't become so full of yourself that you think you know it all, you don't. Make your players stretch too. And it's never too late to keep adding to your bag of tricks.

New Monster Giant Swamp Sloth

As big as a hippo, as fast as a pegasus , as ferocious as a wolverine , these apex predators are a highly dangerous combatant. There weak spot is their very low AC. They have nearly been hunted to extinction as the prime ribs of these can be labeled +2 meat, very very tasty. The meat is highly prized and can fetch a tidy sum from upper class eateries.

New Creature: Boshtok

These semi flightless, chicken sized bats are all the rage in cock fighting rings. They will angrily attack each other (the males) and the fans of the fight. Their bite is mildly poisonous and results in a poison ivy like rash.A nice business can be made of trapping them in the wild for the fight circuit. They can't be raised in captivity.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Weird blog traffic!

I just got 18 hits from Poland! Making it the number 3 country for hits.More than UK and Canada(Germany is #2 with a LOT of hits) Very interesting. Are you guys a gaming group? I'm very surprised!

New Spell: Surge of Fortune

L3 Divination, Time
cast as immediate interrupt, this spell forces a re roll of any D20 within 60 feet, results of roll are substituted for first roll, you may not cast this spell in the same round as another time spell is operating for you. heavy use of this spell will lead to increasingly random bad luck on the part of the caster. No save but spell resistance must be checked

New Spell: Saved Fortune

L1 Divination
Casting time one Min.
subject rolls 1 die twice, taking best roll(normally a d20) That roll can be used in the next six hours substituting it for any roll of same dice type, if you are using it to make a save for example , you must choose to use saved number BEFORE you roll that save
This is both arcane and clerical

New Irem: Guardian Teddy Bear

This 3 foot tall pleasant looking Teddy is highly magical. It talks and has a overly cheerful is capable of combat (around the combat stats of a goblin) At lunch time it will make tea and a large amount of small tasty pastries. At bed time it will tell bedtime stories and stand watch faithfully during the night.
4/ a day it can cure scratches and ouchies (d4+1). It's main drawback is that it is addictive. It's owner will eventually always tuck it under their arm and carry it every where as it tells stories and entertains it's owner.
Sort of a very pleasant straw golem.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Flora: Magic Sugar Apples

These small neon red apples are randomly found growing on nearly any type of tree in bunches of 2d3, they are a byproduct of fey activity. Eating one is a full round action. after, you may take an extra action for the next 2d4 rounds(this includes casting multiple spells in a round. If ANY other form of haste type spells or eating a second apple while the effects are still up: character gets 3 actions a round for d4 rounds then must save vrs death or die(DC 17 fort) if save is made ,you fall down helpless for d4 hours(perm -1 con). If planted will very quikly grow an ordinary apple tree in any clime. Apples stay good for two months.

Flora: Magic WildFlowers

Found in wild magic places and areas where chaos is , these red and blue flowers carry a taint of the chaos they were born in.

When fresh plucked and held in your off hand(no shield)If they are put down or dropped they lose all their magic, they live for about a week then their magic fades. At any time during that week they can be planted and will sprout a new plant or two in about a month. it has random effects(roll on following table before every encounter<Ok I'm pretty lazy and only roll once a day>)

1) -1 to ac
2) -1 to hit
3) no effect
4) +1 to movement
5) +1 to hit
6) +1 to AC and to hit
7) +1 to hit and damage
8) +1 to hit,AC and Move, +2 to damage

DM Rant Eight a note about my all time FAV player

In my very heavy DMing since 1977, one player stands out in my mind: Bill
Bill played with me from 1984 till about 2001 and he never learned the rules. He never knew what dice to roll. He always forgot his adds and minus' in combat(did I mention, in RL he was an accountant!). Luckily, he mostly played fighters and I didn't have the nightmare of him running a spellcaster. Why was he my fav of all time? Roleplaying.

He never let the rules interfer w his RPing, He was consistantly in character and RPed his ass off. We played a year long solo game of Star Trek from security cadet to Klingon admiral (He was Star Fleet in classic trek era, GURPS before there were rules) He played an albino female fighter at the end and as the dice always hated him , he had very low HP. Real life drew him away from gaming (he became a real life hero, volunteer fireman) I always hope the winds of chaos will bring him back some day.

New Spell Magnetic Ray

Stone Elemental and evocation
make a ranged touch(or attack at +4 if you are using OSR stuff) on subject, subject gets -2 to hit and saves as the iron in their blood is slightly magnetized for L+2 rounds. If subject is wearing metal armor , they also suffer -1 to AC.

New Spell: Magnetic Defelection

Stone Elemental and conjuration
Cast as an immediate action creating a magnetic wave that gives your opponent -3 to their to hit roll, -5 if it is a steel or iron weapon.
Somatic only
You cannot cast this if you have a steel or iron object in your casting hand.

DM Rant Seven: My Pet PEEVES at The Table!!!!!!!

Both are dice related.

I can't stand it when players shake and shake their dice in their hand!
(If they are describing what they are doing in an RP way, that's FINE, but to shake and shake saying"C'mon Daddy needs a 20!" I just want to strangle them)

Really, how hard is this? You are doing something a 4 year old can do right!
It got so bad at one point, I made a house rule that dice off the table= lowest poss roll!
DON"T ROLL THE DICE TOWARD YOURSELF!!!!! This is ASKING to throw them off the table!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

New Specific Summons: Call Minor Djinn Laborers

casting time 10 min.
duration 1 hour
Summons 1 Djinn laborer per your ECL, laborer has 14 St and are equipped w appropriate tools to the task at hand, will flee from combat automatically
Material component, 1 25 GP gem or 50 gp in coins per laborer summoned, consumed

New Specific Summons: Summon Cherub

Conjuration, good descriptor
Summons angelic baby w/ a bow(damage D4), slow flyer St 7
has one random cleric spell and one random mage spell(L1)
You must be working directly in a good deities' will to memorize this spell
Material /Focus: Holy symbol of patron god and used baby diaper(diaper is consumed)
Full round action to cast
(IF you are REALLY on the good side of god/patron , spells will be less random and more useful)

New Cantrip: Time Hiccup

Time and transmutation
This cantrip is consumed in casting
as a free action , you may take an extra 5" step

Flora: Mage Weed

Found at the site of large amounts of spell use ,long ago. This weed is about 2' tall with uneven limbs and ugly blue flowers. When chewed or smoked it provides +2 ECL on next mage spell cast. It is highly addictive, on the order of caffeine. Long term use leads to temporary and ultimately permanent wisdom loss.
It is illegal in most of civilized lands.

Flora: Sighing Grass

This average looking knee high grass makes a gentle sigh when blown by wind or stepped on. It is the remnants of a lost civilization. While somewhat disturbing it is harmless. In very large quantities, boiled down, it is a very useful component in sonic, thunder and speak w/ dead spells and potion.

Cool Encounter #4 AH AH E E TOOKY TOOKY

Ok dead of night in heavily foliage area. Your party is dead tired from a long day of travel in the wilderness. Suddenly the stillness is broken by a horrendous parrot cry: AH AH E E TOOKY TOOKY.
The party scrambles into the dark night as the elusive Tooky bird screams and screams. after an exhaustive night fight, the bird is blown up. Mated pair. Can anybody get any sleep!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tell me what to post?!?!

That is all

This blog is POISON!!!!

LOL, I am spending WAY too much time on this! Working on new and old spells and obsessively looking at my ever so slightly growing audience. I'm gonna try and cut back my daily posts or call it quitting time WAY earlier in the day. Still be nice if some of you sons of ....... commented once or twice. I think there is like D8 +7 of you out there so far, kinda hard to tell. In short, I'm having WAY too much fun!

New Spell: Cantrip Volley

standard action
 For L +2 rounds you may cast any cantrip that is a standard action as a free action, only one cantrip per round may be cast this way (cantrips like Detect Magic will be of only very minor use)

New Cantrip: Soften

this cantrip is consumed when cast
This cantrip is cast with another spell making it a full round action, damage done is converted to subdual damage. save/DC is -1/+1

New Spell Time Gait

L2 Time and Transmutation
cast as a free action, allows the caster an extra move action that must be an actual move (not a concentration or other action) May not be combined w/ Fly, spider climb etc. casting two time spells in same round is always a BAD idea.....

DM Rant Six A comment on Rule #1 and DM NPCs

I find it hard to believe that anyone reading this doesn't know this but: The DM is always right or more correctly: The DM has power over the rules. There is a 1B to this. The DM MUST be consistent in this and tread lightly.

It is important when using this rule to have a consistent pattern to it. If you are going for a more realistic approach to gaming  (something I disagree with), you should enforce this across the board. If fact you are better off with coherent house rules than constant DM fiat. If you are going to take a loose approach to the rules, make sure the players get this benefit too.

A note on monsters and NPCs.: You never need to justify powers and abilities of these UNLESS you are operating a DM NPC (which must be used with care anyway). I advise only experienced DMs go the DM NPC route, and you are always better off letting the PCs have limited control over their NPC companions to a greater degree to avoid DM bias. If you want a DM NPC you should prob find a game and play in it instead. I have used DM NPCs in the past and will no doubt use them again but keep their power in line w/ the PCs(maybe a L or 2 lower)

Individual monster types can always break the rules, but again be consistent. It should be reserved for boss monsters and not Orcs. Making a Liche have triple the number of HP is fine, be challenging not killer.

New Spell: Time Step

L2 Time and divination
Once you memorize this spells it needs not be cast, it is just "on" for as long as you choose to keep it in memory. You can always take an extra 5' step, this can be done at any time during your action for the round and is only not possible if you are not standing on your feet. It may be used if you are stunned, slowed etc.
If you take this step in a round when you cast another time spell you run the risk of nasty time creepies bothering you..........(dm discretion)

Repeat Post: A note on New Spells you find here

Just a notice for new viewers, the mage spells here are for 7th L casters and below. The spells are NOT balanced for higher L casters(My new focus is balancing them for 4-5 L)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New Creature: Dragon Mouthed Duck

Other than the fact that it is TERRIFYING to see in flight(looks exactly like a dragon in flight), it is a normal duck

New Item:Everful Peanut

Another idea I am stealing from an unremembered source, just always thought this was cool.
looks like a peanut, refills instantly after breaking open,provides 1/2 day ration

New Spells: Fireball Reskinned

Who doesn't love fireball let's look some at some variants (all are exact specs as FB unless otherwise noted)

Rain of Spiders-poison, fort save
Violent Hallucination-psychic, will save
Stone Eruption-stones rise from ground, ignores spell resistance
Thunderball-thunder,sonic, fort save creatures with keen or bad hearing will have save modified by -2 or +2 respectively

(remember all my spells are for casters topping out at about 7th so these would all prob be 4th L spells in higher L game, VH would prob be 5th)

New spell

Summon indestructible goblin

L2 Conjuration

The rare goblin is born that is COMPLETELY indestructible, when encountered must be grappled and tied up.specific summons like this must only be used as stated. Otherwise it is a totally normal goblin.

Cool Encounter #3

On a plane where the PCs are transmuted to 60' tall(naked, Hut roofes make OK shields), They encounter a Xaos elemental (Looks like a black tornado with bodies, gravestones and debris sucked up into it, very low AC, moderate HP) It can only be hurt by hitting it three times in a row with the third attack from same source (right fist, tree trunk), third try does damage

Cool Encounter #2

in a mountain ravine, a precarious rope bridge is the only escape from a horde of skeletons. The long bridge begins to fall apart as more skeletons attack from the far side. the rope breaks and a vertical fight ensues.

Cool Encounter #1

Ok small house with lots of furniture, spinning in the air in a tornado as you fight ninja were rats. The furniture slams into every one and sends vision ruining splinters everywhere even as the ninjas spread pepper to hamper vision further. All are thrown around room constantly
Hint- use group HP for ninjas or very easily distinguished minis

Fantastic Terrain (Ok it's one more thing 4th got right BUT THAT"S IT!)

Fantastic Terrain is where you add an element to your fights out of the ordinary (Cool fight locations is another post) examples (more can be found in 4th ed DMGs<they really should have devoted more space to this>)

area is filled with lily pads or mushrooms that you can bounce on

individual squares on the map intensify and make easier crits or crit misses.

tiny volcanoes

Steam vents

I had some very lazy and powerful spellweavers(an under love monster) have a bunch of very short range teleports and "moving sidewalks" on top of their ritual pyramid

patches of demonic spirits that hinder non-evil and aid evil

casting circles that aid arcane casting

unholy ground that hinders cleric(or the reverse)

Luddite Post #2 Did I just enable comments?

Ok I just found a box that seemed to indicate I had comments disabled. Ah well.....I think I fixed it.Either that or DUNH DUNH DUNH...... I'm not getting much repeat biz. Page views seem up. Wish I wasn't such a STRANGER to tech.

The GREAT idea hidden in the HORROR that was DnD 4th

Ok, I gave 4th ed a good try. I ran the group up to 27th level. I hated almost every min of it. I have no idea why I stayed with it for so long. But it had one truly great idea that OSR can steal: At will attacks.

The idea is that you give everyone several dif basic attacks that they can switch between, fighter are the ones most in need of this. Some examples from my OSR/3.5/4th mash up:

Every time you miss w/ a melee attack you get +1 to hit (max +3)
every time you hit you get +1 to damage( max +3)
+2 to hit but you do ONLY basic weapon damage
Every time you hit you get 2 temp HP
1/2 damage but opponent is -2 to hit

you can only do one of them at a time and it should scale w/ L, Fighters should get about 4 and everyone ese should get 2(they should be appropriate to char cass) You do only basic attacks on charge and AoO

A different kind of action encounter

Ok I really wish I could give credit to the guy that came up with this idea. It was on EN World. I lost my account and "bookmarks" on the site when my email got hacked. I know the thread wasn't very popular and only the OP and I were really interested in the idea.

The idea is that you have action based encounters that are defeated by skill checks NOT hack and spell. I've used these with a great deal of success but they are very hard to come up with. some examples.

A library where the books come alive like a swarm and attack. The players use spellcraft to sever the connection to their mystical energies and athletics to wear the books out.

Magnetic boulders where they are defeated in a similar way

a huge number of sage/cultists that are defeated by religion and the above(I set this in a giant cave complex where the religion checks resulted in suicide)

How much you make your skill checks by = the "hp" damage to the encounter

OSR can do this by substituting ability checks

A pair of great DM resources on the Smithsonian channel

First is the mystical UK ep of "Skyview" it takes you on an aerial tour of a LOT of great ideas for a fantasy setting, since the sites they show you are described with their mythology, not historical fact. Can't recommend this enuf.

Second is their Merlin special. It explores the historical record of the Merlin myth. Great Stuff

What little TV I watch

I watch exactly TWO TV shows. I let my wife(who I adore) watch whatever she wants while I put on my sleep apnea mask and tickle her back. Even when I "watch" my shows, I am still only listening.

My fav is Big Bang Theory. I've seen every ep many,many times. It's hysterical and heart warming, true escape from the cares of my life.

A close second is Ancient Aliens, I see it as good sci fi, with a hint of some cool historical anomalies. Some eps make me laugh out loud. The hosts are kooky and cool. My DVR is over run by eps I save and savour. I strongly suggest you watch it with a chuckle.
(BTW My take on the Ancient Alien Hypothesis is that the weird historical crap they point out on the show are left over from a couple of very old, possibly very highly advanced ,civilizations we have no historical record of.)

Monday, May 9, 2016

New Spell type: Superior Spells

Superior spells are existing ones that you add a minor bonus to. Most often I have done this with clerical spells. For example I have given out Superior Bless in 2 versions, one that gives +1 to damage too and another that gives plus one to all saves. Superior Clerical spells that you have memorized can never be used as spontaneously cast cures. A Mage example is Superior Magic Weapon, it stacks w/ any other enhancement(first L version only). Give these out as "treasure" only, never let PCs learn them from other NPCs for money(unless that's HOW you want to give it out). Superior spells always have a casting time of one full round and cannot be further modified.

DM Rant Five:Rule Number 3

Nobody watches, everybody at the table plays, no exceptions! I broke this rule EXACTLY one time since 1977 and sure enuf it was a problem. I let a guy sit in to see what the game was like, he started a loud side conversation and I went off on him. I lost a player and reminded myself how important it was. I even made the 60 year old mother of a 17 year old girl play when she wanted to check us out. She did pretty good for a civilian. Be firm with this one!

A quik Overview of my Fantasy Worlds-Mysantia

Thought I'd do a quik overview of the three main "universes" this blog will involve

Mysantia-this is the game where I ran the 31 year long game till I got sick of it(Interestly the players didn't want it to end and my son is running his version of it) Several populated moons surrounded Mundania where a horrible necromantic cloud had destroyed 90% of the world , leaving an area about the size and shape of India uneffected. very low level play(3 and under 85% of the time) played in 2-4 year real life cycles. It was the end of time and the Lovecraftian gods were constantly near waking up. The game name comes from the city of Mysantia were most of the first 15 years or so real time were set. Located on the swamp moon of Dire and serviced by gates and portals to everywhere, this canalled city was in the middle of a lake and ruled by an evil hedonistic queen.

The game started in 1981 at a community college where I caused 4 or 5 people to fail out because we played all the time and I was the only one that went to class.

Labels are done(that is all)

nothing else

New feature Labels (or I am such a Luddite)

Just figured out how to put the labels in to sort the posts, updated about 1/2 of the posts, will fix this next day or so. I'm lucky I can figure anything with tech!

A note on comments

Ok well I haven't gotten any comments yet (sort of). I got my first comment on google about the blog but not placed on the blog( he didn't like the say yes thing) I have two general statements about hypothetical comments.

1 I will approve any comment that  I do not find offencive(almost entirely about swearing) Disagreeing with my post WILL be allowed to be posted!

2 My answer to almost every negative comment would be this (and I'm going to post it this once and never again): I ran a weekly campaign for 31 REAL LIFE YEARS set in the same world and history, with some original players at the end, I think I know what I'm talking about.

World Building Two : Petty Gods

I had always had this concept but when the guy over at Grognardia started a book about them I decided to do a setting with only very minor gods.

My setting caps at 7th for PCs but the gods are between 5th and 11th. an assumption of the very low level nature of the world leads to a few changes to how the gods operate

First each god only supports a very limited number of clerics or paladins, and PCs are in fact mostly fueling their power w/ faith and personal prowess. The one 11 th level god has about 20 above average of these types, she is by far the exception. Normally each petty god is limited to one cleric or paladin. This leads to near unlimited access to the gods

That being said each god is very limited in scope.Many are geographically fixed.(ie the god of a single great waterfall). So while your access is near limitless, the petty gods ability to help is limited. The petty gods host only a spark of divinity, more like what would be a angel in most settings
some ideas for petty gods

god of a truly epic, but ancient battle, senile from age
god of minor mischief, formerly a minor demon
god of swords made in only one region
god of a single mountain

Word Building One: Limited Monsters

One of the games I a have been running a little and working on a lot started me thinking on what I hate about shows like Grimm and X Files: The monster of the week. A world with hundreds(maybe thousands) of monsters does not make a lot of sense. True we have to deal with a weekly or so game, and we have a lot of encounters to fill up, but a limited monster game could be cool too.

When I started to world build I limited myself to 10 types of PC killers, but most of which have ten or more racial or regional variants. One of the main ones in the setting is werewolf there are tons of movie types to draw from. Another is variants in Wight to include some that are Liche like. The Apex predator in my word is the chimera, I have tons of heads, bodies and magical types( this has replaced the dragon in the myths).

Make sure that you fill all the niches that you will need when you start, you also might want to leave room for a cool future idea.

DM Rant Four: Say Yes or What does it cost you?

My rule number 2 is : Learn to say Yes!
When it really doesn't matter, always say yes to players, especially when it encourages good RPing.
They want to jump on top of T-Rex?, give them an easy roll to make and give them no game modifier
Say yes when heroics are involved
Treat your players like heros, in my game the PCs are always the top of the food chain , even when they are first.
Let them gain fame(it doesn't need to come with any other compensation)
A player has a monster he always liked fighting? Bring it on!
after all : What Does It Cost You?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Life the Universe and Everything

Been ruff IRL so no updates, but this is not a blog where I Freudianly stare into my life. Just taking a break. THIS BLOG LIVES!!!!!!