Friday, 20 November 2015

Prepping first session with new S&W group

New group. Some of them have played 10+ years ago, some of them only computer roleplaying games. Tomorrow I'll start to run Swords & Wizardry Core for them. Tonight, was prepping night. What a delightful way to spend Friday evening.

The game will start when players will kill these guys. They are in militia (they'll start telling the reason
why) and they have tracked these orcs down. These are the orcs they need to sell to quit their service.

Some handy tables for a Game Master's screen. Cannot remember where I downloaded these.
I added AC conversion Ascending/Descending. Empty surface will host XP table I think...

This is what players will see. Needs pictures!

Books I'll use the first session. S&W Core rules is obvious, RC has lots of handy material.
Where Is Margesh Blackblood is damn awesome adventure! After they have learned how to fight with orc
encounter, they'll go thru Margesh adventure.

This is my Gamemaster map created from S&W setting map.
Players have printed a map from S&W Core book, where
I added hexes to match mine. They can make their own notes.

First town they will run around doing stuff. Can't remember where I downloaded the map. There is Game Master's
notes I wrote for the map. Players have scarce information of the village what came with the map. So their
characters already know the place somehow.

In the village there is a small temple of Balor, god of death. That's player handout map. From the picture above
you can see there is a secret door. Also there's a simple random table for donations.
Presence is from James Mishler Games' Ghosts sourcebook. In the village there is a burned down (farm) house,
and that presence ghosts spooks there!
You can get Where Is Margesh Blackblood? from RPGNow. It is very good, and worth every pay-what-you-want dollar. I can highly recommend it!

I haven't read Ghosts - The Incorporeal Undead yet, but from there I found exactly what I wanted for a ghastly encounter! I've enjoyed James Mishler Games' products this far, so I bet this is good too. Go check it out yourself!

Last time I ran a game was in Otamocon last summer. The report linked is in Finnish, so you might want to use Google Translate to understand it. I'll write a report of it in this blog too, when I got time.

Wish me luck!

S&W Characters' track sheet for GMs

Preparing for a game tomorrow, I created a characters' track sheet for GMs. It's a simple table, where you can write down most essential information of your players' characters, like HP, Save, Attributes, Class, Level, and so on.

It's not fancy looking but I hope it is functional (for me atleast).

Swords & Wizardry GM's track sheet for player characters. And/or for henchmen for players.

You can open it directly in Google Drive's Sheets HERE, or you can download the pdf.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Mapvember: Treasure map

First I crumbled the paper, then I drew the map using Artline 70.

Google Plus hashtag for all the cool mapvember maps people post:

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

[Review] How To Game Master Like A Fucking Boss

Image from Geeknative.
"As you've probably noticed, I'm not abbreviating the title as you would expect. And I won't for the vast majority of our journey together. That's because it's a high office that deserves the utmost respect. In fact, I want you to temporarily wipe "GM" from your vocabulary. From now on, you're going to refer to the generic running and refereeing of roleplaying games as Game Master, Game Mastering, and Game Mastery. Don't minimize your vocation with a two-letter abbreviation.
Why? Because what we do requires a strong belief in ourself."
Before I even start the review, I strongly advice you to buy the printed book version. The pdf is nice, sure, but this would be so much better as a book. Why? Personal notes. +Venger Satanis tells you how to be the best, or how to pursue to be the best Game Master (!!) in the world (or as good as you can be), so you should make this book your own. Read it, read it again. Learn from it. Adapt it. Get new ideas. Grow as a Game Master. I received this pdf for free, because I asked for it - even before the Kickstarter was done! I will buy the book for sure. PDF is nice, too, because you can print handy stuff easily... to that, later.

When I started reading this book (pdf) I was a little sceptical. The title is arrogant, but provocative. I thought, that this is a book where Venger will tell how much he is better than everyone else and how he will tell you what to do to be a better Game Master. Part of that is true.

The book is written damn well. It sucked me in. Venger writes, like this was a journal. He is telling what he does. And why. As this started as personal notes for self he thought to share, the writing style makes sense. But it is well written. It's like Venger is actually telling you his tricks of Game Mastery.

There are  several dozen short chapters of different topics. These chapters are short, easy to read, and easy to digest. The topics revolve around Swords, Science, and Sorcery genre, but the main instructions are easy to adapt into any genre or gaming experience. Every chapter is indexed, so they are easy to find.

What is awesome, that there are examples and inspiration everywhere. As you continue to read, from examples you can literally get awesome campaign and adventure ideas on the go. Venger has this own dark fantasy world (links to his other products in the end, worth to check out) what lives through the text. Literally you could use this book to create a setting, after you filter all the example and idea bits.

But when you've read this once to get a grip of it and the second time to actually make notes, is it used and easily forgotten? Well, it depends how often you come back to a book. And how much you want to use Venger's tactics. I think you could check out some chapters every now and then, especially when your game is going to a direction discussed in this, but there is also more.

The rest of the book is full of random tables (this is where pdf is handy - to print them). Naturally, these random tools reflect Venger's fantasy world. There are things like random monster creator, cults, simple Call Of Cthulhu type sanity check, new take on reaction table, tables for player characters, and more. In the end there is a fantasy language, you can use. And some empty maps, too!

The layout is good, and this pdf was a pleasure to read on my mobile phone's 5,2" screen. I used ezPDF Reader which awesomely fitted text to columns, so scrolling was easy. No flaws on the pdf at all! In not the best, font was pleasant to read. The annoying background logo is on every page what I didn't like in the Liberation Of The Demon Slayer either, but that's a matter of taste. Illustration is great and follows the feel of other Kort'thalis publications. If you like cults, tentacle monsters, slaves, and bosoms, you'll like this!

Thank you Venger for this great book. As a Game Master, I appreciate this. And I will buy the print-on-demand version to highlight best parts of the text. And I will print the tables for use.

Ten points, and a laughing skull.

Buy How To Game Master Like A Fucking Boss, available in print and pdf: RPGNow.

Also check out other products from Kort'thalis Publishing. They are awesome.

OSR Hit locations for Ascending AC


  • Natural d20 die result, when successfully hit with to-hit bonus, also determines the hit location.
  • Natural 1 die result is always a fumble (determined by DM or other optional rules).
  • Natural 20 is a critical hit with other optional rules.
  • Results 2 and 12 let the target hit to choose the hit location.

HP DISTRIBUTION (optional rule):

  • Every damage from a successful hit is reduced from character's hp value.
  • The damage is also reduced from a hit location.
  • Hit locations have individual hp based on character's hp value (normal rounding rules, minimum 1).
  • When a hit locations hp is reduced to zero, that body part is incapacitated. Healing takes one week per negative hp.
  • A save versus death must be made every time a body part with negative hp suffers damage. A save is made in a penalty of negative hit points of that body part. If the save is unsuccessful, that body part is lost. If head, chest, or abdomen is lost - you die.

Bermund, 3rd level Fighting Man has 13 hit points. His hit location hp would be:
Head: 3, Arms 7, Chest 9, Abdomen: 7, Legs: 4.

Orc swings his axe at Bermund with roll result 17, hitting him at chest. The damage is 4 points, so Bermund's total HP is reduced to 9 and chest's HP to 5. Next blow hits his right arm with die result 19 dealing 5 damage. His total hp is reduced to 4 and right arm's hp to 2. Third hit strikes the right arm again, dealing 3 damage. Total hp is at 1 now, and right arm at -1. Bermund rolls d20-1 to save, and fails. His right arm is chopped off.

Bermund's right arm doesn't heal, as he doesn't have got it any more. It takes one week though, to bring the stump from -1 back to 0. After one week, his stump of a right arm is healed.
His chest is healed in five day's rest and he is back to maximum 13 hp after 12 days of rest.

+Joshua Fox at Google Plus suggested these hit locations saying:
I'm not an expert, but I recon the fighter works hardest to protect their head, followed by their body. Their arms are constantly exposed to danger by attempting to strike their opponents or ward off blows, and the legs are just a bit harder to protect given you're focusing on the head and body.
So I'd say something like

  • 20: crit, attacker's choice
  • 9, 12, 19: sword arm
  • 8, 11, 18: offhand arm
  • 2, 7, 17: leg on same side as sword
  • 6, 16: other leg
  • 5, 15: abdomen
  • 4,14: chest
  • 13: head
  • 1: fumble, and defender's choice 


Disclaimer: I haven't playtested this. So I have no idea if it works or not! I suggest you only let player characters use this as counting hit location hp for all orcs and skeletons is a lot of work. Just describe how they suffer!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Classic Traveller character creation. Character sheet scan included!

Back in 2010 Classic Traveller was free at DriveThruRPG, so naturally I snatched it. I've heard it's a good game, so why not. Unfortunately I never read it, or played it. I've read some topics lately about the character creation and decided to give it a try! I will create this character as I read the character creation the first time ever, so there might be mistakes.

I have played Finnish translation of 2300 AD but some of the rules were confusing thanks to bad translation and editing. Still, loved that game!

All characters start untrained, inexperienced and 18 years old and from that point are generated with random die rolls. Sounds fun! Characteristics are 2d6, quite similar to D&D.
There also is an optional Universal Personality Profile (UPP) what basically shows the stats with numbers and alphabets (if I understand it right). For numbers are used for double digit numbers (10, 11, 12...) so UPP doesn't get confused. It could look like this 777B77. You need to memorize the stat order to read this, but I think it's quite easy.
Then the naming what is up to you, and social title what is determined by social standing.

Also, you'll need two books, book 1 and 2, to create the character. Character generation checklist (very handy) and all necessary charts are found in book 2.

There are six of them: Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence, Education and Social standing. Other attributes are age, rank, money, skills and possessions.

I'll start roling my Characteristics, the results are: Strength: 8, Dexterity: 7, Endurance: 10, Intelligence: 4, Education: 7, Social Standing: 4

Or, as in UPP format: 87A474 (side note: stats in UPP format look very scifi)

Skills And Expertise
There are six services, and as I am not very intelligent and my social standing is low, I choose to be in the army. Just a number without a name.
First, I need to try to enlist for the army. I need to roll 5 or higher and could get bonuses from dexterity and endurance. My bonus total is +3 so I only need to roll 2 or better using 2d6. I'm in!

Now I must roll for survival... wait a second, can't find it. Ah, too easy. So, army's survival is 5+ and Education gives bonus for me. I roll 4 +2 so I survive first term of service (four years). If I didn't make this roll, my character would have died in service. Brutal.

Then commission roll. +1 from Endurance, trying to get 5+. Success! Now as I got commissioned, I try promotion. 6+, Education helps, result is 11. Igot promoted and am rank 1 now! That's Lieutenant!

Skills time! First I check my free automatic skills. Rifle-1 (skill_name-skill_level) from navy and SMG-1 from being promoted to Lieutenant in first four years. In the character sheet there are three places to write skills into. Primary Skill, Secondary Skill, and Additional skills. Didn't find an explanation, so I'll put my first automatic skills to primary and secondary and the rest in additional.

I (think I) get two skills from initial service, one from commission and one from promotion. That's four skills. There are four table to roll random skills I've learned during a term, but the fourth table needs 8+ education to access. Luckily, my education is A-10, so I'll roll once every table to get the following four skills:
+1 Endurance (that's not skill, but an improvement. Well, suits me.)
Blade Combat-1
Blade Combat-1 (that's probably Blade Combat-2 now)

No aging effects, that's after fourth or later term of service. I do roll reenlist and if successful, return to survival and to next term. My survival rate is good, so I try to reenlist again. Even if I didn't want to reenlist, I still should roll 2d6. With a result of 12, I must reenlist, because they need my services. 5+ with bonuses, I basically can stay in army as long as I want to! Survival successful. Commission check, that's a new skill for me. Promotion successful, second skill for me. I am a captain now and my new skills are Gambling-1 and Gun Combat-1.

One year more, I am 30 years old, promoted to Major, my Dexterity is one better and I know Computers-1, and decide to leave the service. I get to roll five times (ranks, terms) and get +1 to Cash rolls from my Gambling skill.. There are two tables; Benefits and Cash. I can choose which table to roll, but only can roll Cash table for three times maximum. I had to ask Google Plus Classic Traveller community how to read the table, and the solution was really simple.

Two for cash, three for Benefits. From benefits I get +2 to Intelligence and a gun (I choose SMG). For cash I rolled two fives (+1) so I am damn rich! I get 40,000 credits! Wow!

My name is Remy Morre and I am ready to adventure and explore spaces! My character record would look like this in real Classic Traveller form:

Army Captain Remy Morre / 88A674
3 Terms / Cr 40,000
Skills: Rifle-1, SMG-1, Blade_cbt-2, Tactics-1, Gun_Cbt-1, Gambling-1, Computer-1

This was fun. I think you'll get Classic Traveller characters created really quick when you've done it a couple of times. I like random character creation with different paths and careers like in this one. Character creation with mini-game is so much fun.
Sure, your character might die in the process, but there is an optional rule to cover that so you don't roll dead characters. It's very good, actually.

I liked this a lot! Also the rules system sounds simple enough so I could actually enjoy playing this game.

If you don't want to roll dice, you can download a character generator like this from RabSoft site. Googe gives several options to choose from, but this looked coolest to me. Haven't tried it though...
There is also this web based by +Paul Gorman found HERE.

You can download scanned character sheet from HERE (pdf).

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Mapvember: Caves Of Zwibh, The Confused Worm-God

Download here:

Inkwell Ideas Dungeonmorph Dice, Spellunker Set

I won a competition by Inkwell Ideas and received a set of Dungeonmorph Spellunker dice set.

This is a review slash product presentation.

First of all, I love both maps and dice. Combine them, and you have a winner!

The dice are big, what makes them feel good in your hand, before you roll them. They roll nicely, and sound great. When you handle them, they are like a stress toy. You just want to fumble them.

In one set, there are five of the dice. Each face of each die is a different map. The trick is, all maps have exits in same spots, so you can combine them how you like and it always works.

You can generate random dungeons by rolling these dice and arrange them together. And what's best, any set of dungeonmorph dice work together. So you can combine different sets to create unique and huge dungeons!

Each die has a number from 1-6 on each side too, so basically they could work as d6s too!

Awesome, right?

But nothing is perfect, ever. Here are things that catch my attention:
If I wanted to know what dice are from which sets, I'd need to keep them separated from each other, unless I memorize the dice sets. Also, I think the individual dice should have an extra mark, or color or something, so you could easily write down the layout of dungeons. like 5A (5 as number of side and A as the die) on top, 3B below it etc.

Minor, minor things, but could be great addition.

I do recommend these for both dice and map lovers. A great product!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Mapvember: Temple Of Pillars

5th day, my second map. My first map yesterday was a temple, I've done an OSR dungeon adventure module called Temple Of Greed, so I decided to continue with the temple theme here.


Inside the temple there are 64 pillars. Carved on each pillar is a spell. To copy the spell in Mage's spell book takes ten times longer, than copying from a scroll or another spell book.

The statues are guardians, who protect the pillars. No one can harm a pillar, or spell-enforced golems will attack.

There is a room, where pillarkeeper resides. He keeps the pillars clean and dusts the corners of the halls. He is also 13th level Mage.

From the gape into the guts of the Realm darklings and imps have carved their way into the temple. They have a magical secret door separating them from gaining all the spells for their dark masters. They are waiting for the right moment to raid the temple and steal the pillars.

At any time, there are 3d10 Mages studying and copying spells into their spell books. But it is not cheap, you must pay a fee of 10,000 GP to enter the Temple Of Pillars. As the price is so high, adding spell research costs, many live years inside the temple, camping in corners and hallways.

Original drawing on leftover paper.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Temple Of Idols, map and micro-dungeon information for mapvember

+Miska Fredman (Ironspine) decided, that this month is a mapvember. You draw map a day for other's amusement. Sounds neat? Well it is!

Unfortunately I've been busy, so this is my first map for mapvember.

Wanna see all the cool maps? Check out Google+ hashtag #mapvember

Inside these ancient caverns adventurers can find five idols of ancient gods. These idols alone don't do anything special, but when combined in a central room, they summon the ancient gods. The gods are:
  • Myurrughah: God of snakes and secrets
  • Himethos: God of salmons and hail
  • Dut'rutho: God of hair loss and poverty
  • Ling Mao: God of arts of war and roses
  • Turroskoz: God of dark places and sunny days
  • Star: A statue
  • Whirl: A teleport to next whirl (and back)
  • S: Secret door
  • Dot: Pillars
Random Encounter Table (1d6):
  1. Giant rats, that flee but attack if cornered
  2. Bright red centipedes, size of a finger, extremely and deadly poisonous
  3. A golem with amnesia
  4. Ghosts of a previous adventurers' party
  5. Invisible rabid bats
  6. Intelligent fingernails
Random Traps:
Each room, door, corridor, has a 20% chance of a trap set. Use your favorite rules or twisted imagination for random traps.

You know how much you want to give treasures for your players. One statue might be worth 500 to 5,000 GP. But when combined, they are alive, and worth nothing. All other treasures, potions, magic items and scrolls are discretionary.

The original drawing:
5.6" x 4.1"

Swamp huts geomorph

Deep in the swamp is a village of gentle giants. They are great herbalists and frog shepherds. Their huge feet with webbed toes are perfect to navigate in the bog.
For +Inkwell Ideas competition: