Showing posts from 2011

AD&D Poke-Creature

Since people can't seem to understand this...."how can a pokemon be used as creatures for your custom world?"

I went a head and picked a random creature card, and designed one based on the picture and what it says. I came up with a new monster. Of course you can change the picture to make it look a little more interesting, but I just used the card and put it down. This notion of Pokemon for creatures is not my idea, Chrispy originally came up with this idea. So he get's full credit for it. I just rolled with it.

SIZE: Small
MOVE: 30ft
ATTACKS: 1 (tackle/rollout)
DAMAGE: 1d4/1d6

Tepig are normally found, in groups of 6 or more, roaming around very dense forest areas looking for grass and flowers to eat. Tepig do not show any sign of hierarchy in their group as they …

D&D 3E is... Old School?

I was sitting around readings some posts today while I was snowed in today, here in PA. When a buddy of mine from a group I played in long ago, sends me an email. Asking me, since I am so involved with the OSR, podcasting and running a forums, " Isn't 3E (not 3.5E) considered old school now? It has to be, its almost 12 years old?"
My first response was no. Its not. But as I was typing back my response, I thought of some great questions to ask myself and others out there. First and for most... Why can't it be? It's past the 10 year mark, its out of print and shunned by its creators and most of the D&D fans out there.
If you are starting to scream here, just wait. Because listen to this. 12 years ago, 3E came out in 2000, which made AD&D 2E only 11 years old. At that point 2E was considered "Old School". Which everyone embraced as acceptable at the time.
Now the once big bad "Beast of 3E" is nothing more then a discarded puppy outside, is…

The Avengers Movie - First look

Happened to hear the other day on Howard Stern that the preview of the movie was out, and it could be found on So I went and looked it up, and watched it a few times. The trailer is interesting, it shows all the characters they promised with all the same actors.. well Edward Norton is not playing the incredible hulk. Anyhow the trailer shows the team, gives a minor purpose how they formed the team to protect the world. The trailer shows some great clips, but doesn't really show why or what they are protecting the earth from. Granted I haven't read any spoilers or advanced news, because I wanted to watch the movie with out people's judgement or bitching.. such as I've already seen how people are bitching Nick Fury is not white. Who gives a crap, so what? its Ultimate Nick Fury, and Samuel L Jackson is a hell of an actor with loads of talent.

This kind of crap is what ruins movies, because we get these stupid ass geek morons, screaming its not exactly like t…

Why do we love to play AD&D 1E [OSRIC]?

Today, a friend of mine asked me, why do you like playing AD&D so much? Everytime we want to play a game, you said 1E [OSRIC]?
I've included OSRIC, because I like playing it as well.

My answer is, that AD&D brings me back to a time of gaming, where it was fun. Where I remember my biggest worry in the world was, "Can I stay up late tonight?".
OK, well that is great, so it brings back memories for me, but that isn't it. The game is simple, and gives players and dungeon masters the room to think, branch out, and imagine. Its a game where, just because its not written in the book, doesn't mean you can't do it.
On the latest recording of RFI Podcast (it is still being edited), we talked about Non Weapon Prof's and Skills. A listener wrote in saying how he liked it and it helped guide players to what their character's background is, and what they can do.
This caused me to go on a small rant, because why does a player need it outline for him, what he can …

Finally Home... Floodings...Evacs...

Not sure if too many of you know, but I live in the state of PA. In fact, I live right in the area of PA that the floods happened. The greatest flooding since 1972, called Hurricane Agnes. This time Tropical Storm Lee took out the area. The rivers rose as the rain came down, on us, flooding the bridges out, along with homes and various businesses.
I tell you, its a scary feeling when you wake up and watch TV from a hotel room, because your area is flooded, just to see if your house is still there and not floating down the river. Thankfully, my house was intact with no damage. BUT just a few houses down, a woman's house was destroyed by water, she was sitting outside her house, pulling out all her things on the front lawn. Things like TVs, lamps and laptops covered in a white muddy substance of the rivers remains. I helped her as much as I could today.
I have to thank the National Guard for coming into the flood zone and setting up blockades to help prevent the water from destroying…

Designing a game..

I have to say, I've been undertaking the task of trying to do a retro style spy game. What I have completed of the game is not what I thought it would be. I set out to write a spy game, like James Bond rpg or like Top Secret rpg. After writing it out, and getting 100 pages in, I figured before I add anymore detail, let's have some people read it. After the readings and advice, I chopped out most of what could have lead to "too much reference to James Bond", I hacked it down to 50 pages. I Stripped out all the references to almost anything, except a general reference to the word spy or secret agent.
What I did notice is that while the game is not focused 100% on being a spy game, it is what I like to call a nice little barebones system that can be used to play ANY type of game.
So I put this theory into effect.
The system, is basically a D100 or percentile system, with an "edge factor" multiplier, in which the GM uses to increase or decrease the number. The ha…

A map.. one of mine?

So its like 0130 hrs when I am typing this up. Why? because I've been up all night trying to learn InDesign so I can layout my game I am designing. InDesign is a pain in the butt. But while going through my notes and stuff, I found this little tidbit. Not sure what I would have used it for... So I decided to put it up here, see if anyone else can use it?

PDF's at the gaming table... Annoying or Useful?

First off let me start by saying PDF's at the game table is very very useful. I know, I know, damn kids and their new technology! But hear me out first on this, why its so great.

1. You can easily search for things in a pdf, because most readers have a find function, and it will bring you to the exact thing you are looking for.

2. You can carry all the books in your collection with you, inside one device.

3. Moving around is easy, You device, your dice, paper & pencil.. (or would you rather a large backpack full of books that is about 50 lbs?)

Its that simple, you click the device on, open the PDF, search for what you want, read it, click off the device.

I know you are saying that its battery powered or your netbook has to be plugged in and it takes up space.. Nope.

It takes up just as much space as having a pile of old books sitting at the table or on the floor infront of you.

The battery will last. Most netbooks can have a powerlife of 10 to 12 hours of STRAIGHT use, the …

D&D Editions and my Thoughts

Someone said to me the other day, what do you think about XX edition of D&D, or what do you think about playing this... Well, I decided to post up how I feel, based on the Core books..

#1: 1e. It was fun, still is fun, has just enough rules to give you rules, but still gives you room to let you control the game as you see fit.

#2: B/X. I had a lot of fun with this game, I still enjoy playing it. I like to go back to this when I want a simple fast flowing game. Rules aren't important and if something comes up, roll a d6.

#3: BECMI. Really falls into the B/X, the only other thing I enjoyed out of this, was the immortals, it was a different pace, and a new world. Loads of fun.

#4: 3e/3.5e. I admit, when 3E came out, I was lured into it, and had fun. It seemed like I could make up characters at first level that could do things I could never do before. But after a year of playing, it lost its sparkle, and it left me saying..."No". Then WoTC dropped the 3.5E. Nope. didn&…

Jim Holloway Art... on a t-shirt!

So I stumbled across this today when looking for some artwork for my game. A Jim Holloway Art on a t-shirt. To be precise, the artwork from B4: The Lost City! The site is done by the artist himself, so if you wanted to know if your shirt was legal. The answer is yes! OK some new gamers might not know who Jim is, so quickly, I did a google search for people out there, and a wiki link came up.

Jim Holloway has continued to produce interior illustrations for many Dungeons & Dragons books and Dragon magazine since 1981, as well as cover art for The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror and Dungeonland (1983), and Mad Monkey vs. the Dragon Claw (1988), the Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set (1989), Ronin Challenge (1990). He has also produced artwork for many other games including Chill (Pacesetter Ltd), Paranoia (West End Games), Tales from the Floating Vagabond (Avalon Hill), Sovereign Stone (Sovereign Press), and others.

So what's better is if you search through the caf…

Bonus Points and you!

Bonus Points are a reward given by the GM to Players for in-game and out-of-game achievements.

Bonus Points are rewarded at the discretion of the GM, and should be given out very rarely.

Normally a GM would give these points out to players that go above and beyond the call. Such as excellent roleplaying, figuring out a tough riddle or doing something that so un usual, you have to just give it.

So you are saying, "Ok. So how many can I get? and what can I do with them?"

Easy, you can get upto a max of 3 points at anyone time, the points expire after the next gaming session.

After each session is over, everyone secretly votes for the best player of the night (can't vote for your self).

The GM will reward the other 2 points as he sees fit.

There is only a total of 3 points given out in one session.

What can a player use them for?

A natural 20 hit (can do this once per game)

Reroll any dice/die roll once, but have to keep the new results. (can do this 3 times)

Get out of o…

How to get the kids into RPGs

A simple answer has been found, and Lego is your answer. Yes, Lego! Lego has come up with this really cool mini rpg game called Heroica. Its a simple lego build board, with various challenges on the board, such as monsters, rocks, and gold.

The game has one 6 sided die, that shows combat, movement and other results.

As you can see, there a couple of dots to show movement and a sword/skull for combat.

The game is played in turns, as each person moves, and if their path is blocked by a monster, they roll the die to see if defeat it or lose health points. The cool thing about this whole process, is you can find gold along the way or for defeating a monster. With this gold you can buy various things, such as weapons. Each character has a special ability if the special face is rolled on the die.

So you are saying," Great, so my kid will learn to love mini games, not AD&D or classic". But you are wrong, you can use this and tweak it a bit. First play the game a few times as…

The first rule of effective "Lovecraftian" horror

If you, yourself, think its weird, then you are ready.

....think about it....

I know I will.....

Making the Players Map the Dungeon is a Waste of Time..

So check this out, this is normally what happens in a game session, between players and a DM. Doesn't happen all the time, but it happens to DM's that often like to creature their own magic, instead of following a module.

DM: The passageway continues another 60' south. Following it, you come to a
T-junction, the perpendicular corridor running east-west.

1: Was that 60' from where we're standing, or 60' from the
door?DM: Which door?
Player 1: The door
on the east wall.
DM: You mean west wall? There was a door to
the north and one to the west.
Player 1: That one
(indicates door on map with eraser tip)
DM: Yeah. 60' from that
Player 1: OK. I got it. Which way,
Player 2: Let's go west and see if this
DM: No objections? The party goes west, travelling
another 40' before approaching a large, square 40' chamber. (Blah, blah, blah
room description)
Player 1: Wait, does the other corridor
intersect this…

Happy Birthday H.P. Lovecraft!

Happy Birthday, with out this man, we would not have the great stories and myths we have today. Like him or not, this man knew how to write.

Adding a little Sci-Fi into AD&D!

Well last night, I was sitting around, thinking of ways to
design a cool game for my group. A thought came across my mind, after running
my mini-adventure at gencon. A little bit of Sci-fi added to the game could be
awesome, as Imade up an item on the fly
for the game to make it a bit more interesting.

It was called the "Power Gauntlet" and what it did
was shoot a "laser" streak that would randomly hit an enemy of the
wearer of the gauntlet.

The Gauntlet had 5 gem like stones on it, which would slowly
fade in color as the player used it. The player did not notice it really, nor
did I spend much time explaining it. He was happen with the fact it randomly
just destroyed the orcs.

Power Gauntlet

Alien Artifact

5 Gems Power (20 uses - Alien recharge only)

To Hit: Roll standard missile attack + 3

Damage: Varies

Special: See Description

Appears to be a large humanoid gauntlet with gems on it.
Once the user places it on, it can not be taken off until it runs out of
charges. Each …

Designing a DM Screen

So I've finally found a source to print out some quality GM screens. I have a friend working on a kick ass art for the panels, while I am designing the inside. Once I get it in, I will take some pictures and see who wants to buy one.

How to get your players into some RolEplaying, instead of RolLplaying.

Many have wondered in forums and even asked me, How can I
get my players more involved in some roleplaying, instead of just having that
generic dungeon crawl with Bob the fighter.

Method 1: Gold!

Players love gold. Plain and simple. Its the reason most
players use for their characters to be questing. So why not when your players
come into town, have a carnival being held. Throw in a few carnie games where
the players still can roll some dice. Hold a simple non lethal damage boxing
match with an animal. Throw in a gypsy fortune teller. Perfect chance to
roleplay. If the players don't bite on the fortune teller, make it look
interesting. Have people coming out of the tent cheering and celebrating as if
they won something. Do it over and over as players look around. Sooner or
later, the curiosity bug will hit them. When it does, its your chance to shine
as a roleplaying DM. Have a wacky lady, in front of a table with a deck of
cards, a crystal ball, strange incense all around the room …

Cleric Spells, How do they get them?

There was an interesting quesiton brought up in the forums about Cleric spells. The question asked was

Do they (Clerics) automatically know all spells for the level they are, but only can cast what the memorize? Or are they like magic users and have to copy from scrolls or the like?

Interesting question. Now, we all know from playing any edition of D&D that Magic Users, study a book, or research a spell. Then they memorize the spell for the day to use it, and once they do, it is cleared of their mind and the process starts over again.

But what about Clerics?

They pray for their spells is the answer everyone gives.

But how do they actually know what spell is what? How do they know what to say and when to say it?

I have always thought that a Cleric, would pray for that spell, and it would just "pop" into their mind.

That was good enough reason for me, up until I saw the post. Then it had me thinking, how does it really get there, and how does a Cleric know …

Gencon -- Running games in small amount of time.

So people have asked, "What's the best thing to run at a convention, that will fit into a 2 to 4 hour time slot, and not run over the time slot or leave the players with no end."

Simple Answer. One Page Dungeons. There is various contests on the web, called one page dungeon design contests, and hundreds of people send in dungeons crawls. Some with good stories, some with no stories. The best thing about these, is its on ONE page and you as the DM can just pick them up, print them out, read it in 10 minutes, and then start jotting down notes on the back.

Now you are saying, "well, how do you know it will work?" I used this method in many cons so far, including Gencon.

As a DM, you have to control the flow of the adventure. IF you see your players racing through the adventure, throw in some roleplay encounters, or some random rolled combat.

OK so you don't like on the fly. Then on the back of your sheet, add some notes for things you can use incase of this…

Quest for the Book of Sorrows ended…for now?

So as it stands, the last episode or session for the Quest for the Book of Sorrows actual play campaign has been recorded. It's been a fun run, but all good things have to end at some point. Personally, I'd like to continue this game, with these characters. I know quite a few people will be sad to see the group fade away, but I think a break is needed. I do know that not all the players want to continue with the characters at the moment.
I don't want to give away much about the actual recording as I sit down to edit so it can be placed up on the site. I do want to say that they do not call me the "the evil DM/GM" for nothing. Listen in and see what happens as Trask gets what he deserves and Regnor sounds a bit different, but just as equally funny. Time plays a factor, and do things really happen or just in the mind of one?
Listen in and find out.

A screen is needed!

This is topic that often leads to me getting annoyed, but hey it needs to be covered.

Should a DM have a screen in front of them to hide their notes and rolls?

I favor yes.

But let's first cover the reasoning behind the people who don't use a screen, and I notice people do this more in later editions that earlier editions.

The main reason I've heard or read was that "they like to keep their players informed and the rolls honest."


They believe it keeps the game fair and balanced. Where the die rolls is what happens.

This method will sometimes get your well planned game in trouble, or even ruin the fun for players, because you will kill them.

The old school method (and my method) and this was even stated in the books for DM's to use a screen to roll behind, so you can fudge numbers when need be. Because seriously as a DM, wouldn't you want to roll that D20 and get a 20, with your last player standing with 5 hit points and say, "fumble! DAMN!" or have…

Obsessive-Compulsive Dice DisOrder (OCDD)

Here is a topic that comes close to everyone's heart while gaming, their dice and how they are treated. Now I've been gaming a many of years and never once did I ever feel the need to follow such steps or be this protective of my dice. Yes, there are people who are very protective of their dice and to the point of throwing out a dice set if someone else touches or uses the dice.

There is a known (sickness?) called Obsessive-Compulsive Dice DisOrder (OCDD), that almost 90% of gamers have. This disorder can go as far as people lining up their dice in a certain order before the game, during the game, after the game to make sure the dice roll well. I have seen people accidently misplace or lose a die, get very upset to the point of shaking and in tears trying to find this die they lost.

Myself, I have my bag of dice, which I have my favorite set of it, its my black and dark gold set. I normally pick out that set of all the dice and place it to the side of the rest of the dice to use…

The Suspense of Passing notes!

OK, well I am back, decided to focus on my new IT job to get into the swing of things and then come back posting like a madman!

Anyhow....Passing notes..

This is a great tool a DM can use during their game, this not only can be used to keep a group focused, it can be used to add a level of suspense to the game, possibly some mystery.

Why does this work?

Well think of this, you are playing a in game, there is a little lull in the game, and suddenly you see your DM, hand a small note to a player, in which the player reads with a small smile and then response with a quick nod yes or no.

Your first thought?

"What was that? Why did he get a note and not I? What was written on that note? Should I worry?"

Those questions will be the ones going through the heads of your players, and will more than likely get your game moving or back on track.

Most of the time you can write almost nothing that makes sense, or something silly. Most players will get it.

Typical things I or any DM can write on…

How does Wonder Woman look?

So here is our first look at how Wonder Woman will look in the new TV series.... once it was a movie, but now its a TV series...Oh well. I wanted to see a movie, but I will take a show... will it be like the short lived Bionic Woman? Let's hope not.

Warner Bros. Television has provided us with the first image of Adrianne Palicki starring as the title character in the new NBC pilot "Wonder Woman," from executive producer David E. Kelley ("Boston Legal," "Ally McBeal," NBC's "Harry’s Law"). The pilot was written by Kelley, who also serves as executive producer with Bill D'Elia ("Boston Legal," "The Practice," NBC's "Harry’s Law"). Jeffrey Reiner ("The Event") is directing. Based upon DC Comics characters, "Wonder Woman" is from David E. Kelley Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

DM Tips: Distractions and Breaktimes

Distractions and breaks during the game can be a pain, especially those that break up the flow of the game to the point you lose the mood.

So what is a DM to do?

Well there are a few simple things a DM can do to keep the peace, and the game moving along. As the DM, decide how many hours your adventure will be, from there you can decide what to do. So for example let's say you decide you wanted to run a game this Saturday, from 1pm to 8pm, which is 7 hours. Now you're thinking "wow that's seven hours!" It is, but you have to think, will you be playing the whole seven hours? More than likely you will not and be breaking in there for lunch/dinner and I am sure a few bathroom/smoke breaks.

So here is what I like to do when running a game for say that 7 hour time period.

When the group arrives, ask them what time everyone would like to break for dinner and how long they would like to go for. Some players will either go for a normal dinner time hour and more than likely…

Tips for the New GM (or DM).. How to start...

One question that keeps coming up to me is, how did you get started as a DM/GM? Also what tips can you give me to be a better one in the old school games? How do you handle changing things if a player goes this way and you planned that way?

Well, first I would like to say, I am by far the leading expert in being a DM. What can tell you is that I have over 20 years experience under my belt as a DM or GM.

OK, so you have a group you are playing in, and your DM is starting to feel DM burn out, which happens to most people after a while. You decide you want to step up to give that person a break. First things first, ask yourself this one important question, "CAN YOU MAKE A DECISION UNDER PRESSURE AND QUICKLY?" and "DO YOU THE RULES WELL ENOUGH?"

These in *my* eyes is the key factor for being a good DM. If you can pull these off, your games will draw the players in and keep the flow of the fantasy going. Its OK to look up something in the book if need be, but only if its …

Finally back in town...

Its amazing how a week off of work, and a last minute decision takes you to Vegas. I had a great trip, gambled a bit and wondered, is Vegas this busy all the time? Apparently no, I happened to pick Spring break week, and on top of that, it was St Pat's day the same week, and to top all this, it was the biggest week of March Madness... Well I got through it, and got to see some wonderful shows, such as the Criss Angel Show. Then meet up with DM Chrispy, who was kind enough to bring me to a local comic book store where there was tons of old D&D book.. While there was no D&D book worth buying, I did pick up the Black Book of In Nomine or the Satanic/Demonic In Nomine, for a steal, as its worth almost close to $100 something. In case you have no idea what In Nomine is..

In Nomine is a modern roleplaying game in which the players take the part of celestial beings – angels and demons – as they struggle for control of humanity and themselves. The celestials, powerful though they m…

Flash Back Friday, OD&D Ad!

Check this out, an old add to buy the basic set from TSR for levels 1 to 3...Ah...look at the price... I dont think you can purchase any D&D books for that cheap anymore. Look an enjoy, just don't print it and send it in, I'd imagine you will get nothing... but who knows :)

Support the OSR: Hot Fantasy Chick Day


Road... Head? WHAT?

What the hell.. stumbled across this picture, and could not stop laughing, especially the fact that it was actually on the road, and not a joke. It was used for a promo in Texas for when the movie came out... I think I'd more then likely have to pull over if I saw this, because I would not stop laughing... thoughts?

The Conan Movie teaser is out... wow... really?

Well as it looks the new Conan movie will come out this summer, and here is one of the first teasers out there for it. All I can say is, either this will be so awesome that it blows your mind or really bad. I am leaning towards really bad, what do you think?

OSR Magazine OUBLIETTE.. awesome!

Already on issue #5, I just stumbled upon this little gem called Oubliette magazine, and its offered for free as a pdf download. Now the publisher says about his magazine the following:

 "A magazine for old school fantasy roleplayers. Written for Labyrinth Lord, but also ideal for use with any Basic/Expert/Advanced original or clone, with little or no adjustment required. A compilation edition of the first four issues of Oubliette is also available on Lulu and offers a 35% saving against the total cost of the individual issues. The preview pages give the full contents of the magazine along with a couple of sample pages. In PDF form every issue of Oubliette comes with a bundle of supplemental materials. Print customers can get hold of these by E-mailing with your LULU order number and I will send you a voucher for a free PDF download of all the supplemental material for the issues purchased.."It has a great bunch of advice and articles about old s…

Support the OSR: Hot Elf Chick Day!


Big Eyes Small Mouth.

Here is another game that I stumbled into like 10 years ago, and it was a fun little system. It was produced by the now defunct Guardians of Order, and is owned by White-Wolf now. Anyhow, great little system that uses 2d6 for everything. Simple stats and simple skills. "Big Eyes, Small Mouth" (typically abbreviated BESM) is a highly flexible roleplaying game system, although created with anime in mind--it's title playing off the stereotypical character design of anime and manga--it can be used for almost any type of roleplaying game setting or genre. The stats in BESM, which represent your characters innate abilities, are as follows:

BODY- Body represents everything physical about a character. Health, strength, endurance, dexterity, and speed--anything related to physical activity--are all covered by the Body Stat.

MIND- Mind represents everything mental about a character. Mind represents the ability to learn, make judgements, solve puzzles, and be aware of dangers in the…

TMNT! Its Turtle time!

A little show, about these cartoon turtles who mutated into human like sized ninja fighting machines debuted on CBS, it was called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It started as a 5 part mini-series in 1987, then exploded into a regular Saturday morning cartoon, and finally was on 5 days a week with new episodes. The cartoon went for 10 seasons, lasting until around 1996 causing a crazy in the USA, with shirts, lunch boxes, more comic books, and then finally a bunch of live action movies.

Now comes to the RPG, which was out BEFORE the "turtle crazy". The TMNT rpg, was written and sold in 1985 by Palladium Books, while the comic books were being produced here in the USA.

I remember this game fondly as a boy, picking it up at the local gaming store, and thinking, "wow, this looks cool". Spending hours of fun in the summer of '86, at my friends house everyday, playing the hell out of this game.

It was so cool, I remember saying, "you could play D&D, but as anim…


Normally on Saturdays, decide to put up a funny picture or some type of chick picture, but not this week. I was on and saw the trailer to the "new Thundercats" cartoon. Yeah, you heard me, the new one. The cartoon I grew up with as a young teen and loved, has come back. WHY? Because everything comes back, because no one can figure out a single good original idea on their own. Its one thing to mess with movies and do remakes, I can deal with that, because its interesting..sometimes.. BUT CARTOONS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE. Give me a break, leave it alone and create something better... Why not creature something based off the Thundercats... like someone new found the Sword of Omens...Nah, that wont sell.

Why don't I like it? Because its an attempt at studio executives to recreate what they loved as kids for profit, because the kids of today are spoiled beyond belief. If its not new and flashy, or on an iPhone or what not, the kids wont like it. I just love how t…

GMs -- Having troubles with roleplay ideas?

I bought this book at Betacon last summer and never looked at it more then once, I actually bought it because, it was in the auction, and the money went to charity for helping kids with cancer. So I tossed it onto my pile of books to read if I was sick. WELL, that time has come, I've been sick so I pulled out this book, made by Last Unicorn Games (LUG for short), called Star Trek The Next Generation (TNG) Narrator's Toolkit. By the way, in case you are wondering, LUG is no longer around, as Wizards bought them out. (BOO!).


LUG has produced two "Narrator's Toolkit" so far, one for the Star Trek: Then Next Generation setting and, more recently, the one for the Original Series setting (TOS). I can't speak about the TOS book, but I can speak about the TNG one. Narrator's Toolkit is full of useful tips for writing adventures and running a game. The book is written well, organized well and in some parts it will make you smirk (especially if you are a Tr…

Being Sick, is good?

So this past week I have been sick, with the flu. Yeah, sucks doesn't it? Well what can one do besides cough, sneeze, and blow one's nose? Work on your DIY projects. So far I've managed to make a travel sized B/X set of books, above is my Marsh/Cook Expert Rules, bound and smaller! Why? I don't know, I needed a book I could bring around that wouldn't fall apart and wanted something smaller to fit in my bag with out taking up a lot of room. Blam. This works out great! Both books are small and take up less room, and wont sperate on me like the originals. Perfect book for travel and toss around at the table. So after some research on the web, and speaking to Rob at, I began working on my mini DM screen. So keep tuned in to see the progress of that, its coming out well so far. I've already designed the inside with the charts and various things I wanted on it, now I need to figure out what graphics I wanted on the outside.


Name of Names

How important is a name for a character? VERY. I think the name of the character, sometimes makes the character. Does a character named "Bob" or "Steve" really sound like a great warrior or a powerful wizard? OF COURSE NOT. So let's take the time to gather up some ideas for names, shall we? Well first things first, you can always go online and google, "character name generator". First glance gives us Fantasy Name Generator, which will give you a few options... go through it and have fun! Now, let's say you are over a friends house, and they don't have internet (GASP!) access or they don't allow it at the table. You can think of various names and take bits and pieces of things. For instance, let's say you are playing an Elf, and you are like, what do I call him? Easy, Elven characters generally have a name that 3 letter with a ' and then the rest of the name. So pick a random letter such as T and start putting together words... Tel.…

Chicks with Tattoos day!


combat is too hard? lol

Some newer players looking back onto AD&D 1e or B/X D&D, are unsure how the combat system works. Maybe because they are used to the way the AC system works in 3E and 4E. Their system is ascending for better while old school is descending for better AC. The question I often get is "how do I know if I hit?" Well in 1E, players were not really allowed the information of the "to hit" numbers, thus why it was printed in the DM Guide. Players were only to, roll add or minus whatever number, and tell the DM. The DM who had the AC and the to hit chart would compare. B/X gave the players a little two hit chart they could see when building their characters, so players had an idea that what roll would hit what AC . I've never played in an old school game where the DM gives AC out at all. Generally by the "hit or miss" theory, a player figures out what it takes to score damage on the monster at hand. This is how it should be.. but I think 3E introduced an …

Playing in the Sandbox...

So let's talk sandbox games.. What is a sandbox game? Well, basically its a game that a DM/GM designs for players to travel around in and do whatever they want. Problem is, most DMs do not know how to handle this type of environment. Why? because its to "on the fly" for them. I know DMs who have been running games for 30 years who can't handle this. Can I handle this? Yes I can. My proof? Listen to the Book of Sorrows campaign podcast I host. 95% of that is on the fly DM'ing.. I gave the players the hook, they followed, and they got a general direction and I made up things as it happened. The only things I designed before game was various homemade creatures, such as the Pumpkin people or the ZapFox (once the game is over, I will post the stats). So what tips can I give for DMs who want to DM this style?

1) never railroad your players
2) give a hook for the players to follow and keep them following it.
3) be ready to name an NPC ( a list of names help)
4) be ready to …