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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hoo... I mean...What! I Learned From Last Night's Play-test.

So last night I ran my 0-level funnel tentatively titled Red Flame Resurrection for a group of 4 each of whom had 6 PCs each.


Using +Jon Marr Purple Sorcerer 0-Level Party Generator I randomly made 24 PCs where the 1's on hp were re-rolled (however some of the stats for Stamina were so low that some hit points were still at 1). Out of those 24 PCs only 4 survived!  It was brutal and everyone had a blast!


So this is the second play-test of this adventure which is in its second draft.  Tomorrow I begin writing draft three.

Here is what I learned:

  • Agility Challenges involving 24 PCs is pretty silly and slows the game way down.  It's better to randomly determine 1 PC from each player or maybe only the PCs with the lowest Luck score from each player and then have them roll Agility Checks.
  • Random Tables of items in rooms are fun (even more so when they kill off players!)
  • Making every death meaningful adds to the fun and keeps the players in a good mood even if they are being slaughtered.
  • DC 10 Strength Checks for scaling walls with a rope can be just as brutal as raving mad cultists.
  • Speaking of Cultists if you have a mini boss fight planned you better make sure he has more hp than a long sword can deal damage.
  • Make sure your major baddie has a ton of hp to make the battle feasible.  (Amount of PCs x 10 = hp?)  That equation might seem crazy, but it works!
Overall my players (who are also my friends) had a lot of fun and said this version was better than the last.  However it is finally time to step out of my comfort zone and run this adventure with strangers.  In the next few weeks I plan on running some games online and will of course keep you all updated.  I've never ran a game online so I'm not really sure what's the best way to go about it.  I've never used Roll20 or whatever.  If you have any advice please leave me a comment.

I'll leave you with one final piece (of artwork!)



 This is a piece I commission from the extremely talented +Stefan Poag.  It will be in the back of all my modules displaying the best deaths from all the play-tests of said adventure and it's metal as hell!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Apparently I'm Bad at Writing 1 Page Adventures...

Because my 1 Page Adventure for +Mythoard is too long!  Fear not however for I been offered to extend this adventure even further into an exclusive adventure module for Mythoard!  This one is currently entitled the Temple of the Jyybrrlywush and will be quite a crazy ride!

In the meantime I will be working a new 1 Page Adventure for Mythoard.  Maybe this time it will actually be one page...

"But what about your other adventure Red Something or Another?"


I hear your cries my fellows and I tell you this: I still need to play-test it, but have been working my butt off lately on a little TV show called Outcast.  Long hours to be sure, but I will keep on writing and improving the adventure until I can get some more play-tests in.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Appendix N Commentary: Age of Conan

So I just finished Age of Conan: Anok, Heretic of Stygia, Volume I.  This is the first of three books in this particular series that I purchased at a thrift book store.


I was wary when I first picked up this book, because well it's not Robert E. Howard and it's not about Conan, it's about some dude named Anok.

Anok turns out to be a pretty okay protagonist and the story is decent.  It has everything you'd probably want in a story set in Hyboria:  Sword fights, sorcery, beasts, evil Set following cultists, and even some sex.

Is it great?  Eh...  Was I entertained?  Yes, though at times I felt I had to force myself to get through a chapter, but that may have just been me wanting Conan to pop up (which he is referenced a couple of times as the King of Aquilonia).  However, I think the real thing was I longing for is the feel I get from reading a Robert E. Howard story.  The raw power behind his words are what make Hyboria exist.  The same goes with Tolkien's works or Moorcock.  It's hard to emulate others and this author does a decent job for the most part, but it never truly felt the same.

What really sicks out to me is the magic.  We have a character welding powers beyond his comprehension in descriptive ways that just doesn't truly invoke that feeling of Howard's stories and it happens too often in my opinion.  Not Harry Potter too often, but more than I would have liked.

Okay, I'm finished ragging on this book.  I actually did enjoy it and plan to read the next two as the ending of this first one was a "Holy Shit!" kinda ending.  I'll give it to the author that he really did a good job at getting you to like the main characters.  Something I didn't think was going to happen when I first started reading it.

Overall Grade: B+



Appendix N Item:

What follows is an item that stuck out to me from the novel and I describe it here using the same words as the author for you to use in your next RPG.

Ring of Jani

An silver ring, ornately carved, as though circled by ancient vines and decorated by a strange two-faced creature that appears as though it is giving a mocking smile.  The ring brings Luck, but the wearer is also cursed, because, "Jani can see all around, he travels only in circles.  He can never leave the desert..."

In DCCRPG game terms the ring will regenerate the wearer's used Luck 1d3 each day, but the wearer can never leave within a 100 mile radius of where they found the ring.  Even if they do, they will wake the next day having been teleported somewhere within the 100 mile radius.  The ring cannot be taken off until three "good deeds" have been done.  What are these deeds?  Ask Jani.


Mythoard Gig!

Hey everyone!  Got some exciting news.  I'll be writing a short one page dungeon for the next issue of +Jarrod Shaw 's +Mythoard.  Since I'm a fan of +Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game I'll be writing my adventure with its rule set in mind.

I'm not going to spoil anything of course, but I'm just excited to get more writing under my belt.  (And here I thought my first thing published would be my zero-level funnel; which of course I'm still working on.)

Speaking of which, I should be play-testing it this weekend (if all goes well) and then maybe plan one or two more play-tests.  I've been talking to some of our favorite artists in the OSR and getting quotes from them.

Yes, things are moving right along for ol' Sir Hootacus of the Red Barn and me.