Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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 cafe-press site, you will see more of his artwork that he did, that you can throw on a shirt or mug. How cool is that, having a mug with the B4 artwork on it or a mouse pad with some classic Star Frontiers ships blasting at each other, at the office!

Go to his homepage and click on the shirts, mugs and more link and then pick out your artwork for cafe-press!

Either way, its a win, win here. Check it out!



Monday, August 29, 2011

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 one's own death (can do this once)

  • Heal half hitpoint total (can do this once)

This is what I've toyed around with in the past, and I've gotten some good results from players, as they seem to enjoy the little rewards, and have fun spending them at just the right time.



Friday, August 26, 2011

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 written to get the kids into it. From there you can change the rules, by adding a d20 for combat. Order more lego parts and craft out a mini dungeon crawl, and use it as visual for the kids as you start describing the scene for them.

For instance, when they roll to move, instead of just doing the one, two , three space count and move the mini. You as the GM, can say, "You slowly creep down the dungeon hallway, as you can smell what you can only think is a wet dog a head of you."

For combat, use classic or Advanced rules, but act out the fighting so they are interested.

The goal Heroica is to be the first out of the scene, but you can change it, everyone must survive to win!

What do you think? Does Lego hold a gateway for us?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

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 chamber?
DM: Other corridor? There's no other
corridor. There's only one way into or out of the room as far as you can
Player 1: The long corridor with the spiders. It runs right
through this room.
DM: No it doesn't, that's clear on the other
side of the dungeon.
Player 1: Not according to this
(shows whole map)
DM: This is all wrong. You've got this all
Player 3: Man, you are the WORST

Player 1: No, I'm the ONLY mapper. I don't
see anybody else ever volunteering to do it.
Player 4: So he's
the worst AND the best. Where did we go wrong?
Way back here at this intersection. This whole part of the dungeon is supposed
to come off of the north passageway, not the east

Player 1: I thought we went east there. I said
we should go east.

DM: I thought B. said north
(pointing to Player 2)

Player 4: (To Player 2) Did you
say north or east here? I thought we were going south, toward the
Player 2: What here? (Points to map) I don't remember,
that was like an hour ago.  
Player 1: No we said away
from the noise, you were refilling the chips.

Player 3:  CRAP! 

4: I'm going to catch a smoke while we figure this out, that

DM: Sure. Everybody take 5. I'll redraw it the
way it's supposed to go.

Player 3: (To Player 1) Dude,
you suck.

Player 4:  Piss off. You do it.

Screw it entirely. Don't sit there and quote how far and how long, just allow the players to imagine the dungeon in their minds. If a player starts mapping, tell them to stop, and put it away. Players mapping takes away from the flow of the game. I personally HATE I am trying to describe the scene and set it up to get.

"How far was that door?"

"Was it a wooden door?"

"The room you said was about 100ft, was that a perfect square a circle?"

WHO CARES. Just play. Just go with the fun, I as the DM will tell you were you are, what is happening. If minor details need to be given, I will draw it out.

Also, you might be saying, "Well how will we find our way out?" 

That is simple, I simply allow the players to be able to backtrack their movements with a few wisdom check rolls. Depending on the pace of the game, if its been a really slow paced game, I'd move things along by just allowing them to recall. But if they are blowing through the dungeon and easily getting around, then its time for dice rolls.

Simple as that. If a player wants to map, sure they can map, as long as they don't ask questions.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

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 I  made 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 Gem contains 4 charges (20 total), and the gems will fade in
color once the charges are used, to a dull grey. Upon a successful hit, the
player rolls a d6 and the DM compares on the chart.

1 - 1 enemy takes half damage

2 - 1 enemy takes full damage

3 - 2 enemies take half damage

4 - 2 enemies take full damage

5 - 3 enemies take full damage

6 - All enemies take half damage

Then the player rolls 2d6 for the damage of the
"laser" blast. The DM can describe the blast however they feel they need to. Have fun with it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

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.

Friday, August 12, 2011

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 with dim lighting.
Once the player sits down and gives say a copper for their luck, you can
roleplay out some clues to your adventure. Its up to the player to write down
these things or ignore them.

Method 2: The old hermit in the woods deal

Here is another chance for a DM to shine. Give your hook for
the adventure, but make sure you leave it so that the player characters have to
seek out the old hermit that no one has seen in a long time for some help with
a map of the dungeon they plan on going to. He knows the secrets (or is he a

Have your players seek him out, and convince him to help the
group, and give up the information. A group that threatens the old hermit will
get nothing, because he has nothing to live for as he says. Killing him will
gain nothing, because only he knows the secrets and must draw them out for the

So there is two tips for a DM, What ideas do you have to share with us?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cleric Spells, How do they get them?

There was an interesting quesiton brought up in the osrgaming.org 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 the words.


Plain and simple, the cleric prays for the "will" to change things and in return their god grants them a small amount of power to change the world or the things around them in the world.

So with that said, I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

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 or that.

Always be ready.

Keep it original, and keep it old School!

Links to help:

-The Evil GM

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