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Preview: The Outlook is Grim

The Outlook is Grim

The Outlook is Grim

Updated: 2014-10-02T23:40:33.936-05:00


Mythrus Tower Maps - NTRPGCON 2011


Mythmere gave me permission to share this little artifact from the Mythrus Tower sessions last year, enjoy.

You can download the file to access the sticky note comments.

If you have notes you'd like to add to the map for events or locations you remember from last years game, contact me and we can try to get those added.

Hey, I'm Still Here


Stuff is coming, just slower than I expected.

Roobiks Redux


Take a look at what Norm over at Troll and Flame has done with my roobiks geomorphing dungeon idea. I love it! Great work, Norm.

New Generator - Magical Weapons


I've got yet another "All the Dice" generator for Swords and Wizardry in the newest issue of Knockspell (#Four). This one generates magical weapons and I think it's pretty nifty. Run and go get yourself a copy.

Roobiks Geomorphing Dungeon


I was looking at my Sudoku Rubix Cube and realized I could use it as a template for interlocking geomorphs. The orientation of each tile relating to a geomorph numbered 1 through 9. I'm going to have to experiment with this idea. Obviously 9 tiles is not enough so perhaps theres 6 sets of 9 since it is a cube. (9-a through 9-f). By manipulating the cube an endless city or dungeon could be generated.

Edit* I was fixing the link above when I came across THIS! Oh hell yes!


The mind boggles.

Uh-oh. Boggle Dungeon? Scrabble Dungeon? I better stop while I'm ahead.

Homemade Miniatures


I created this pair of tentacles out of sculpy. woohoo!

More adventuring in Cromlech Tor


Yesterday saw an 8 hour game in Philotomy's Megadungeon. Actually, we spent a great deal of the session above ground. The updated campaign thread is here

This was the first time we've gotten together since before sometime in late spring and it was one of the best yet. We learned a great deal more about PJ's dungeon, and mapped out some new territory. Everybody was making good rolls and the new guy fit in well also. Hopefully we can meet up again soon. PJ was full of surprises this time with lots of interesting encounters. Even letting us draw our own map of an ideal ambush site at one point since we spent time scouting one out. I managed to drop a huge albino ape with a little help from our fighter. A pretty good feat for my puny 4hp Cleric considering it took 21 pts to drop the ape (14 from me on two lucky hits). Mythmere escaped one situation by the skin of his teeth as well, I really thought he was about to bite the farm when nearly the entire party fled some kind of undead thing that he managed to take out single handedly.

Fresh Paint


Been grabbing a few mini's here and there for a while now. Here's some Reaper skeletons and barrow rats along with a couple older mini's, "Fat Cleric" and and old school Gandalfy Wizard, I think they are Grenadier). These are the first mini's I've painted since I was about 13 years old, it was a lot of fun and I've done a few more since these but I don't have pics yet. These got an ink wash after this.

Game Report: HackMaster Basic: Basement of Zenopus



So, last night I ran HackHamster's hacked old-school module "Basement of Zenopus" for some freinds. I had drawn up an oversize map to use for Salthaven. A bit of obligatory roleplay around the tavern got our party into the clues they needed to get into frame of mind for the dungeon crawl that was to come.

The group was composed of Dwar and Human Fighters, an Elf Mage, and a Halfling Thief.

Upon investigating the entrance chamber and it's exits they quickly deduced the nature of the illusionary rubble that blocked one of the passageways. Feeling that it must be hiding something, they continued beyond the mirage.

The sleeping goblin in the next room was a bit more trouble. The Dwarf almost bought the farm when the goblin awoke and fired of the booby trap. It escaped into the next area and the party gave chase. A good melee resulted with the goblins therein being slaughtered handily by the party.

After looting the area thoroughly they headed to the next area. Again, not heeding my clues of a spiked door with cobwebs and cold air blowing from underneath it, they pressed on.
The gigantic spiders trap lured them right in... "what's in the bucket?". Only one party member got bitten, the poison was quite lethal.

We ended the game here, agreeing to meet again and continue the adventure.

Main impressions of the system as a DM. The countdown initiative isn't too hard to keep track of, i found myself utilizing a grid and checking off boxes as each second went by. I could see where this would be a good job for a dry erase board, perhaps. Weapon speed took a few go-rounds for the group to get a handle on but they were soon into the groove, "Hacking!", "Jabbing!", "Firing!". Everyone enjoyed the penetration dice and the gritty realistic feel of the combat and felt that it seemed to make more sense than abstract rounds and hitpoints. We're going to keep trying it a couple more sessions but we did discuss possibly switching to swords and wizardy to cut down on math. The good thing is, I could still continue the campaign without really changing anything. :)

Big Gaming Weekend


I'm quite excited to report that I have three games in three days this weekend. Kicking off a new campaign tonight, it will either be S&W:Core + Skathro's Companion or HackMaster Basic. Either is fine with me, I'm letting the players pick, my notes will work either way since we are starting with Basement of Zenopus.

Tomorrow is Philotomy Jurament's game, he runs OD&D and knows the system inside and out. This will be our fifth or sixth session in his MegaDungeon and we have a new player at the table as well.

Sunday is the third session of a HackMaster Basic game that I have joined over at Midnight Comics in Katy. That game has been a hoot so far. We are still learning HM:B but it feels like D&D to me, even with its funky opposed roll system and countdown initiative.

All in all it looks to be a fun weekend of gaming. Hope I don't drive the wife crazy!

The Old Story Teller


A chartless "All the Dice"

For a few coppers, and old timer will spin you a yarn.
Use d6A if your d20 is Even. Use d6B if it is Odd.

d4 Listen to my tale...
A forgotten secret ...
A dark mystery ...
An ancient prophecy ...
A family legend ...

d6 (A) about ...
A Hero's death ...
A Hero's true love ...
A Hero's great feat ...
A Hero's greatest battle ...
A Hero's legendary weapon ...
A Hero's final resting place ...

d6 (B) about ...
Treasure in a monster's hoard ..
Treasure bestowed by the gods ...
Treasure lost at sea ...
Treasure across the ocean ...
Treasure hidden by time ...
Treasure guarded by great danger ...

d8 Where it occured...
Deep in a forest
On a battlefield
In a Castle
In a dungeon
In a tower
Buried in ruins
Atop a mountain
Inside a cave

d10 Our hero/the treausure's owner ...
was poisoned by a rival...
was slain in battle by an enemy ...
was double crossed by a friend ...
was framed by a family member ...
was murdered by a rival ...
vanished without a trace ...
was devoured by a monster ...
was trapped forever ...
was struck by a curse ...
was blackmailed by a confidant ...

d12 The results of which were ...
A riot in the capital lasting d20 days
a clan war lasting d20 weeks
a manhunt lasting d20 days
a prolonged war lasting d20 years
a family feud lasting d20 generations
a string of murders d20 deaths
a witch hunt resulting in d20 deaths
a quarantine lasting d20 months
the wrath of the gods destroying d20 people
military intervention lasting d20 weeks
a plague of monsters lasting d20 days
appearance of d20 unusual creatures



A drawing of a plastic toy dragon I have made by Schliech. You can find them at Michael's. I added the whiskers...

Dungeon Survivor





(image) Got the paints out and whipped up this old-school favorite.

Lineage Generator


A new generator has been released in the wild. This one is for Ruins & Ronin, Mike D's S&W: White Box spin-off of asian flavored old school gaming. Of course it will work for just about any fantasy game as well. Find it here




An after dinner scribble.

Drawing Again


Lately I've been trying to start drawing again, it's been awhile. I doodle alot but it has been a few years since I made any "finished" art. Swords & Wizardry in particular has inspired me to go back and revisit a lot of the old RPG art that I enjoyed in my youth. I've also been scouring the web for new inspiration at sites like trollboy's . I feel like I'm starting to get my chops back a bit. Here's a few recent sketches that I thought were getting me pointed in the right direction.(image) (image)


Potion Miscibility


I've added a page for Potion Miscibility to my potion generator. If anyone would like to critique it, let me know. I'm not sure it's too harsh or not. The majority of the effects are negative or open to interpretation.

Treasure Map Generator redux


I've been tinkering with my treasure map generator a bit and I plan on scanning a few things and showing how I think it can be used. I was a little disappointed that it did not receive much attention in comparison to the generators that were its predecessors and I beleive that this is due to the fact that it is not as obvious in its usefulness as the generators I created before it. Hopefully I can rekindle some interest in it and that will lead to some people sharing their own creations made with it.

If you have been using, I'd love to hear from you and see what it led you to create.

Back to the Grindstone


After a brief hiaitus centered around the birth and welcoming of my second daughter to the world, I have once again begun work on things related to gaming.  The illystrious Mythmere has handed me the keys to the Megadungeon Slam and I expect to attempt to revitalize that effort in the coming weeks. In addition I have started to flesh out maritime desitination for my homebrew campaign which will doubtless be geared for integration into any fantasy S&W campaign since that's what I run (and you should too). I must say I'm quite anxious to get back into the swing of things now that my normal schedule is being resumed. I do expect a generous amount of work to be waiting for me at my day job but it should not take too long to get caught up with that and find myself some free time for gaming. 



I'm pleased to announce that a few things I wrote made it into Knockspell #2.
I was also pleasantly surprised to see that my "All the dice" method has attracted a few adopters.
If you haven't procured a copy yet, now is the time to do so! Not for my meager contributions but for the other wonderful contributions withing. I'm particularly smitten with the second installment of "Isles on an Emerald Sea". 

Swords and Wizardry ... and Wizardry


Chgowiz's Ultima project has got me thinking about one of my old favorites; Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. 

As a kid I spent many hours completely enraptured by this game. My Uncle gave my family an Apple 2+ one year and it eventually found itself in my sole possession. There were a few games to be had among the disks it came with among them was Wizardry and its strange little booklet.

I had no idea of the implications of its digest format and box. The spell lists and the magic words that cast them bore no resemblance to any game I had played before. The artwork was humorous, in stark contrast to the brutality of the game it adorned. 

I wish I knew how many thousands of characters I sent to their doom in that dungeon. For years I was toiled on the first two levels before ever finding the elevator. I knew nothing of "Identify Item 9" and other such easter eggs.

Toiling in those dungeons became a science. Eventually I had memorized all the spells, just as my characters had. Rescue expeditions had extracted numerous slain heroes from the depths. I struggled to map the depths of the place yet never succeeded in any great degree. 

How could a game so sparse in options be so captivating? 
There was an inn, for recruiting and equipping your party. A trading post for the buying and selling of goods and a temple for curing and raising the dead. Those locations were inside the castle and at the edge of town was the maze. There was no overland adventuring. You were either in town or in the dungeon. You were either dead or your were alive. 

Identifying items was tantamount to success as was having a thief - you could forget about opening a chest without one in your party.  

Friendly factions were also in the dungeon. Surprise could tip the scales in a single round. 

Flavor text was rare. Few places in the dungeon held a description of any kind. 

There was no plot other than to reach the bottom and kill the badguy.

Werdna, you son of a bitch.

I never got him. Not once.

Not yet.

Beer Barbarian



I was highly amused when I saw this over at critical ankle bites. 
Truly hilarious! Very detailed work as well. I'm not sure it would hold up in a fight, though.

Treasure Map Generator


The Treasure Map generator is finally available. Roll all the dice and find out the location where the treasure is buried. This one is sure to spark to the imagination and lead on to new adventures.

Music and Modules


Here's the lyrics to the song "Jambi" by Tool. I think I'm going to have to use it as inspiration to write an adventure. I may even take some cues from the real story of Jambi, which was an Indonesian kingdom colonized by the Dutch in the 1700's.  Here from a kings mountain view Here from the wild dream come true Feast like a sultan, I do On treasures and flesh never few But I would wish it all, away If I thought I'd lose you just one day The devil and his had me down In love with the dark side I'd found Dabblin' all the way down Up to my neck, soon to drown.  But you changed that all for me Lifted me up, turned me round So I, I would wish this all away Prayed like a martyr dusk to dawn Begged like a hooker all night long Tempted the devil with my song And got what I wanted all along But I I would If I could I would Wish it away Wish it away Wish it all away Wanna wish it all away  No prize that could hold sway Or justify my giving away my center So if I could I'd wish it all away If I thought tomorrow would take you away. You, my piece of mind, my all, my center, just trying to hold on one more day. Damn my eyes!  Damn my eyes! If they should compromise the fulcrum: (If) wants and needs divide me Then I might as well be gone... Shine on forever Shine on benevolent sun Shine down upon the broken Shine until the two become one Shine on forever Shine on benevolent sun Shine down upon the severed Shine until the two become one Divided, I'll wither away Shine down upon the many. Light our way, benevolent sun. Breathe in union  So, as one, survive Another day and season Silence, legion. Save your poison. Silence, legion. Stay out of my way.  [...]