Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A great review of USR Sword & Sorcery

Sophia Brandt gave an accurate review of my POD genre hack of Scott Malthouse's nifty little rules lite game USR. Fast Paced Action With USR Sword & Sorcery hits the good, the bad, and the ugly of my game as it currently is. If you like Sword & Sorcery games this review will help you decide whether my rules hack is worth your next cup of coffee to try out your fantastic pulp adventures on!

I am currently working on Horrors Material & Magic Malignant since like last year to fill in the gaps Sophia and other reviewers have noted, and, well too bad I have a day job cause this writing stuff takes time.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Anthropomorphic USR now released into the Wild

Since I'm dithering on completing my POD USR Sword & Sorcery supplement Horrors Material and Magic Malignant I made a push to finish another USR project which has been sitting on the shelf for a while. 

Anthropomorphic USR is now available and posted for sale on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG. A 24 page PDF it contains character creation tables, simple rules for making far out equipment and vehicle combat, plus it includes an introductory adventure. 

A perfect rules lite tool kit to leverage your old comic book collection or all those old Palladium books you have collecting dust on the shelf. Like all of my USR products they work best with source material you want to use without a crunchy rules system attached. Streamline play and get into the action fast with Anthropomorphic USR.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

BRP versus Savage Worlds Combat, a look at Minions

Someone  by the online handle of "pansophy" created a short pdf file offering rules for managing minions in your Basic Roleplaying Game. I downloaded and saved this file, looks like June of 2012, for future use.

While putting these rules in action depends on the genre being played, what I truly enjoyed about the article was the comparison of BRP combat mechanics to Savage Worlds. I was taking a look at as many different game systems in 2012 because I was just getting back into gaming. I was dead set on making sure my campaigns were going to have the "right" system for the game. By right I mean I didn't want the rules to get in the way of having a great time at the table and restricting unfettered imagination during campaign creation/prep.

I post the link above for anyone similarly on the fence and doing system research into the difference between BRP and Savage World combat mechanics.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hobbs & Friends talk USR Sword & Sorcery Podcast

+Jason Hobbs released his first episode of Hobbs & Friends with an opening discussion on my World of Xoth campaign I run with my USR Sword & Sorcery rules.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Tales from the Classic Portal Yawning Wide

Tales from the Yawning Portal, is the new book announced recently by WotC promising "seven of the most compelling dungeons from the 40+ year history of Dungeons & Dragons. Some are classics that have hosted an untold number of adventurers, while others are some of the most popular adventures ever printed. For use with the fifth edition Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide, this book provides fans with adventures, magic items and deadly monsters, all of which have been updated to the fifth edition rules."

I can't but help wonder how the Classic Modules Today project launched last February with WotC's permission on the DM's Guild web site contributed to the release of this book? Probably just good timing. At 38 completed conversion guides (and growing) of classic 1e modules released to date at DM's Guild I've definitely seen first hand the thirst for original adventures for those playing with 5e rules. Individual ametuer authors just going for it are a much more nimble crowd and the amount of conversion guides we've been able to release in the last year is proof of that. It will be interesting to see how the cheap conversion guides continue to compete with high dollar, professionally published hardbacks, but more importantly I see gamers are getting more choice. You want to go cheap you can get a PDF of the original module plus a conversion guide instantly. Heck, now you are starting to be able to get POD copies of the original adventures at a modest price. Or if you are really stoked about these adventures you can get a super polished book with original art. 

Combined this treasure trove of adventure content with all the original stuff being released daily by the DIY OSR community (Broodmother, MotBM, Yoon-Suin, DCO to name a few...) 5e D&D looks to become one of the most popular editions of the world's greatest role-playing game ever. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

5e Initial Thoughts

When I ran a 5e session on International Game Day I didn't have any of the 5e books myself. I just ran it cold with some cheat sheets I generated from the free rules pdf. One of the young players had the PH and the MM. I also had my 5e conversion guide for B2 so I was able to run the Keep on the Borderlands for a few hours without any issues. But I also didn't come away from the experience with a feel for 5e. Did I like it? Is this a version of D&D I could enthusiastically play and run? 

For Christmas my girlfriend got me a copy of the 5e Player's Handbook so I've had an opportunity to roll up a PC as well as digest the contents. I like it. I like it a lot. If I was to run a regular face-to-face game this is the edition I would run. I think I would do it with just the PH and the MM for books. 

When I first started writing 5e conversion guides for 1e modules I was thrown off and scowled at the quick level progression listed as well as the high XP for monsters defeated. "What the hell, where is the long slog of treasure acquisition and the folder of dead PC's before one hits 2nd level?" I thought. Let the young breed jump on the 5e bandwagon I'll stick with my B/X retro-clones thank you. But the PH won me over. This looks fun to play. I could even resist modifying the rules here and there and live with Death Saves, the mildness of poison, and all day long cantrips which do 1d10 damage. As a DM I can see where I would have more work to do keeping track of all the NPC's abilities, but they are all essential in making them deadly to PC's. Prepping adventures would have an initial learning curve until I distilled what I needed handy at the table. Forgotten Realms will do for a campaign setting. I would make it mine of course, but I find it time saving to have some underpinnings of the game world to work off of. I'd probably also beat hell over the head of PC's and their retainers with the exhaustion rules just to slow the bastards down. Tieflings, Dragonborn I might draw the line there, but go ahead play a gnomish bard I won't mind.

Roll 3d6, in order. I would make my PC's do that. I have some roots which are buried deep...

Monday, December 19, 2016

X1 The Isle of Dread 5e Conversion Guide has been birthed

I completed Classic Modules Today: X1 The Isle of Dread 5e  and it is now live. What a monster. There is a decent sized list of Notable NPC's and New Monsters which make up the meat of this conversion guide. Not too many Magic Items and Spells needed conversions and the traps were relatively straightforward.

I did add notes on my thoughts on why I've changed the modules level recommendations from 1e, change in Challenge Ratings and XP awards, as well as why a 5e Dungeon Master should consider dialing down the cash value of treasure.

Like all the rest of the conversion guides being produced by fans working this project I sincerely believe use of the guide will relieve hours of prep work and let the DM focus on using these classics for tons o' fun at the table!