Thursday, December 12, 2019

Silver Best Seller is USR Sword & Sorcery it is!

I don't know how long it has held this position but USR SWORD & SORCERY is a Silver Best Seller on DriveThruRPG. Not bad for an obscure ameture publication. I think I even saw a few months back a pirated copy available online. So it is that big time as well :)

Anyways, really proud of this little game with big ambitions. Deluxe is moving along at the heart-breaker hobbiest pace. The AA03 module is still waiting on an acceptable proof to release the hard and soft cover editions with color covers. A whole back-log of shit really. Fear & Loathing in Fat City needs to get off the outline board and yellow-lined sheets of paper and squished into my laptop. That's another thing, the longer you work on a project the more certain you get your laptop is going to crash.

The total numbers include free copies, many of them mine. I believe how that works. Just volumes of copies downloaded. The actual paid for downloads of USRSS numbers is 188, just shy of 200. Total downloads is over eleven-hundred, so free copies boost your rankings kind of unfairly. Either way, this slim publication will be yanked as soon as Deluxe comes out, so who knows how long you have for an "original" edition?

Oh yeah, my other early on project, Classic Modules Today, at DMs Guild continues to be as stand-out success for the Vanishing Tower. CMT B2 Keep on the Borderlands has gone PLATiNUM thank you very much. This goes to show you the value of a sellable brand. My stuff combined barely hits five hundred units moved while the licensed products, the Classic Modules Today, are in the thousands for downloads. Most of the other conversion guides have hit Silver or at least Copper as well. Once again, Vanishing Tower's most successful venture so far.

Santapocalypse has moved a whopping 4 units in legit sales, but hey, you do it for love of the game! Cio for now from the old VTP.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

My Rom'Myr Campaign

is my online game and I have been enjoying the taping and recording of these sessions. But with the crash of G+ and YouTube I cannot seem to get a reliable audio (or video) recording of these sessions. These recording issues have forced my hand once again to write in review of the games held in Rom’Myr Dying Earth Campaign. This current blog post is a quick summation of Sunday’s game...

The party is of 5, not all from the same world. Traveling the Averoigne wilderness they encounter the mule-thing Farthingnay. This enchanted beast of fairei compels the PCs to collect 8 threads from the Pale Knight’s cloak.

The party finds and penetrates the Pale Knight’s ruined palace. It is a crumbling pile haunted by dark obscenities. Feasting on the dead appears the main form of sustenance for the palace’s denziens. In the lower level dining room the party crosses blades and hammers with the Order of the Maggot, a martial order of ghouls. They claimed to be the personal guard and escort of his grace the Lord Bishop of the Pale. It appears the Pale Knight is holding audience!

An artifact of ancient evil was uncovered, a black cauldron. Toth, with his mighty hammer Jyfryth, sunder the cauldron in twain. The two thieves of Valla’Tair lead the way into darkness. It is not long before the palace responds to the party’s intrusion. Red and Silver Dragon soldiers, terror gnomes of in-between, clash with the PCs in a large chamber deep in the dungeon. Knives and axes snicker-snap in orange torchlight. The fight is sharp and swift. 8 of these creatures lay dead on the floor, for no race of man were these terror gnomes, while the party suffered wounds to the paladin Toth and Lumin of the Hidden Hand. The terror gnomes wielded short side swords in battle and capable of wicked wounds. It took much faith and bandages to restore their health. Vari’dell and Cree, the thieves of Valla’Tair, are only covered in gore from the soldier they slew. La Batard was equally unscathed.

The palace had more to throw at the brave party, the palace walls itself! Mere doors turned into mystic portals, dividing the party and leavining others truly lost. Cree, a monster-hunter by trade, is left stranded in an unknown cavern, vast and dank. He must move swift and silent, he must brave the terrors of the living dead and eventually return to the radius of the party’s torch. Erstwhile, the two warriors of faith, Lumin and Toth, scout and thief, all of them slay the petty-lych Skeelos, and restore Aladona to life.

How will the temporary alliance with the lady called Aladona and the PCs last? What awaits them in the throne room? Only the next game session can reveal!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Tables from Cyberpunk 2020 (for your Traveller game)

These tables are system agnostic enough to rip from the rulebook and plug into that dirty shit-hole you call a downport;

Useful tables from cyberpunk 2020 (for your Traveller game);
p.33 lifepaths,
p.30 fast and dirty expendables,
p.43 fumble table,
p.58 occupation table,
p.61 weapons list (damage and ammo stats work easily enough)
p.68-69 gear descriptions/gear list,
p.76 cyberware list,
p.83 chips & prices,
p.142 programs list,
p. 167 programming 101 (more for the setting info then a table),
p. 179 uniform civilian justice code,
p. 220 night city encounters.

The DM’s Guide is System Neutral

Or at least can be used with any game you may be running, regardless of genre. There are many useful random tables and information any Game Master usually feels are essential at the table while running. For myself, I am constantly turning to the Non-Player Characters section on page 100. Regardless of genre I am running I can always turn to this section and quickly get an NPCs personality whipped up on the spot. This makes for legitimate apprehension in the PCs. If they know the Game Master is rolling up personalities randomly they can’t get all mad at you when the last three armor smiths turned out to be sociopathic cheerful aesthetics! There are twenty tables alone on these two pages, no NPC ever has to be like the other. I don’t even use all of them. I roll randomly four or five times to get the tables I am going to roll on and then roll for results. This mix and match of character traits assures me and my players will have unique NPCs to engage with whenever this level of detail is warranted.

Here is a list of other tables which are useful at the table, no matter the genre!

p. 25, Value and Reputed Properties of Gems and Jewelry

p.12, Character Age, Aging, Disease and Death

p. 215, Appendix F: Gambling

p. 82, Effects of Alchol and Drugs

p. 53, Waterborne Adventures, excellent resource for manual and wind-driven craft!

p. 29, Description of Occupations and Professions

p. 32, Sage Fields of Study and Special Knowledge Categories

p. 36, Loyalty of Henchmen & Hirelings, Obedience and Morale

Really, you should get your own copy of this 1st edition book and mark it up for all the tables you find useful. If you are running any type of fantasy game the book becomes even doubly useful with the more fantasy specific sections and tables in the book. It is dubbed a “Special Reference Work” on the title page. I would go so far as to call it an “Essential Reference Work” for the serious Game Master as well as the fantasy codex it is.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Back Ad Copy for Deluxe and classic USR Sword & Sorcery and Horrors Material & Magic Malignant

The primitive media operation which is Vanishing Tower Press has been busy making product ads for all the mad DIY zine and POD products Vanishing Tower Press products can currently be found.

Here is what I am using right now.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Santapocalypse - Holiday Themed Wargame

Is NOW released in PDF form from Peryton Publishing for the holidays. Not an overtly complicated miniature/P&P wargame, it is heavy on theme!  A commissioned piece (yes I take paying work blind, unquestioned and with enthusiasm), the publisher seems to be really pleased with the game because they really delivered on adding commissioned art for the game cover.

The rules are a minimalist distillation of my years reading and not playing hex-and-chit wargames, and my developing rpg mass combat system for Deluxe USR Sword & Sorcery.

The only components of the game will be the rules and counter sheets. If you are familiar with miniature war-gaming you will know what to do. Even so, I think you will see where I am going with a role-playing mass combat mechanic; random tables to generate unique encounters, while underneath is a simple, scale-able, playable set of rules which facilitates getting the battle completed, with interesting results, and leaves traditional role-playing unhindered.

The order of battle is, under the leadership of Santa; reindeer, toy soldiers, and toy cannon. The elves do not have leaders, but their force pool is as such; elves, elven archers, and some candy cane pickets which may or may not come into play.

No pretense of a balanced engagement being modeled here! The counter sheets don't represent a limit on force-pools, print as many as you like? The combat resolution mechanic is a contested dice roll with results being rolled on a Christmas Carnage Table. Right? Who doesn't want to roll on that?!

I designed the game basically around one result off of the Christmass Carnage Tabel; Mound of Bodies!. If this result is rolled..., well, you will have to play it to find out.


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Daniel Hernadez Delivers!

Another artist finished their commissioned work for Deluxe USR Sword & Sorcery, Daniel Hernandez. He completed six black and white line drawings of the signature mascot for Deluxe USR Sword & Sorcery; Dor Stryker! A reaver of blood red rivers and blood red passion, she embodies the wild freedom of the Sword & Sorcery genre I have built into the game. 

Dor Stryker earning a night's pay

I should probably keep these under wraps, make folks pay for a view in my book, but I am so excited by the whole experience; searching, contacting, negotiating, and waiting for finished product, f#@%ing exiting I tell you.

Daniel Hernadez is an artist in San Diego, easy to get a hold of, and charges appropriately. You can trust him with your project. You heard it here from the tower.

Here is my current list of reliable artists for hire:

Michael Gibbons, Aos, Metal Earth; if you are a fan of black and white illustrations and want them fast then Aos is your guy.

Jeremy Hart; monster stock art and commission work. He does solid, detailed line drawings.

and Daniel;

All DIY'ers can get some great art in your games with this bunch. It also will also prompt you to start drawing your own illustrations. You'll want to see your own stuff in your books for sure, and damn, your art budget will thank you.