Monday, May 27, 2013

The Things You See in the Wilds

It's a nervous party that huddles beneath the sheltering trees. Stories of big lizard men from Mordikarr, signs of passing creatures in the ruined village, and now the kill-site of some large flying predator make for uneasy travel. They're also nervous about food supplies, not for the people, but for the mules. They've used a fair amount of the grain they packed, and they're pretty far west. After some debate the party agrees to travel west two to three more days, and then head back, possibly following the old road west to see if it brings them back to civilized lands by a shorter route. Let's see how it goes...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kindle - Blink of the Light

I've finally managed to get something written that I like enough to publish. My first short story, Blink of the Light, is now available on Kindle! It's about Anne, a college student stressed by finals, a fight with her boyfriend, and a stalker-streetlight. One of my readers described it as "suburban Lovecraft," which is about what I was hoping for. Mission accomplished, I guess.

To get some eyes on it, I'm running a promotion for the remainder of the holiday weekend, so you can check it out for free May 26-27. Need a bedtime story? I hope you'll take a look!

Also available in other Amazon stores.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Labyrinth Lord - The Beastmaster

I'm sure this has been done before, but my quick web search didn't turn anything up so I decided to just roll my own. Recently one of the characters in my Wilds game met an untimely end. The player had the opportunity to take over one of the NPCs associated with the party, but wasn't really interested, so after a chat about what he wanted out of his next character, this is what we came up with.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wilds - Beyond the Swamp

After hearing more from the stranger, Mordikarr, about what lies nearby, the party decides to follow the abandoned trail that leads south, hoping to find the old stone road they'd been following west. Everyone is on guard owing to the wild man's description of the lizard people that live in the swamps south of the stone road.  Onward, into the Wilds!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Wilds - Guided Tour

It was a busy night. As the party slept, a stranger, a man dressed in a thick cloak and crude armor, surprised the possibly-drunk-Rawon on watch. After cautious conversation about the relative merits of whiskey versus mead, and an introduction to the stranger's beast-companion Suren, others heard the voices and approached in haphazard fashion. The newcomer, Mordikarr, claimed to be the last of 'his people', who had been killed by the Gola-ka, the beastmen the party had fought. He lived in the wilderness, accompanied by Suren (who proved to be a fisher, and Ava, a large spotted owl).

After Rawon headed off an attack by Raúguey, who seemed to think Mordikarr was a mind-controlling wizard, the stranger agreed to lead the party to water, and show them a strange tower that was nearby. In the better light of the camp, the party noticed the cloak he wore was actually stitched together beastman hides, and the sword he had slung over his shoulder was one of the big crooked bladed swords they carried.

A bit nervous but in need of water for the beasts, the party agrees to travel with Mordikarr. Here's how it goes...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Observations on Play by Email Games - Part II

In the first part of this two-part series, I wrote about the setup and prep I use for running play by email (PBM) games. This article will focus on the action, the actual running of the game. If you've followed the advice in the previous post, you have players ready, a game concept set, character info at hand, a mailing list running, an organized space to write in, and a schedule to follow. Now what?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Observations on Play by Email Games - Part I

If you read this blog, you've probably figured out by now that I run a lot of play by email (PBM) games. The biggest reason for this is that my old gaming group is now about a 10 hour drive away, which means my face-to-face gaming with my favorite gamers is rather limited. At the time of this post, I've run at least a half-dozen long-term PBM games, years of gaming, hundreds of turns. A few weeks back I saw a post on asking for guidance on running a PBM game, so I thought I'd put together a collection of notes based on my own experiences. Hopefully it'll prove useful to anyone trying to run a PBM game. This post is focused on setting up for a PBM game, the next post will focus on running things.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Daruna - Tomb Robbery

I run my Daruna game about twice a year, with each session being a two-day marathon. Briefly, the game is a Swords and Sandals campaign with lots of death and mayhem. We're using my homebrew class free rules, which are loosely based on 3.X D&D/ Pathfinder, but, obviously, no classes.

Between the last session and this one, the party had spent a nice chunk of money on buying and rebuilding an old villa just outside Shalish, their base of operations. After hosting a major party for their patrons, associates, and families, they were out and about in the marketplace and ran into Sadine Salar (the extraordinary), a merchant who had treated them quite well in the very first session. Sadine had fallen on hard times, having been boarded by 'pirates' in the war zone up north. The party invites him back to the villa to see if they can help get him back on his feet, and eventually Sadine reveals his last treasure, a map leading to a Lost Kingdoms tomb. He suggests a joint venture to visit the tomb and 'recover' whatever wealth is there. The party, being good little murderhobos, agrees. On then to the game...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Wilds - The Aftermath

I missed posting a turn or two of my Wilds game, because the last couple weeks have been filled with family obligations and a long road trip to run my biannual Daruna game. More on that another time. After Urúvion's death, the party fell into a bit of disarray. Some wanted to pursue the beastmen and seek revenge; others wanted to continue exploring westward, looking for Blackpool Maze; and a few wanted to turn back. After long discussion and a full day's rest at the abandoned quarry site, the party finally decided to continue west, with the proviso that if they failed to find anything in two days, they'd bend their path to the north and try to find out more about the beastmen. Here's the result (and a revised map of the group's explorations)...

Monday, May 13, 2013

DriveThruRPG OSR Promotion

DriveThruRPG is offering a nice 15% off coupon on a bunch of OSR stuff May 15-19 only. Here's a link to the OSR products on sale, and here's the coupon code: OSRF711F2

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Wilds - Ahh! Death!

Ouch, that'll leave a mark. With the fight over except for the cleanup, the party moves to reorganize and find a place they can hole up and recover, hoping their new-found enemies don't return or track them. Unfortunately this plan is interrupted... by death!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tome of Names - Volume Three Now Available

Tome of Names - Volume Three is now available on DriveThruRPG!

This is the third and final volume of the series. Each Tome of Names volume contains over 370 unique names arranged as three language collections, each with its own flavor and sound. Each language collection is subdivided into given names and surnames arranged in a dice-friendly tables to allow easy random name selection. There's a PDF sample available on DriveThruRPG that includes a bunch of example names, so you can see if they're useful to your campaign.

I hope you'll check it out, or take a look at the entire catalog. Thanks, as always, for reading!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Wilds - Into the Storm

Missed a turn last week, and there was a bit of chaos as a result. After the first fight with the beastmen the party was pretty beat up. With a second group approaching fast, and a swirling mass of black storm clouds forming over the big old elm tree to the north, they're desperate to find a way out of the predicament. After trying to sneak southwest to gain a positional advantage, the party realizes they've been spotted. They decide to try and use the oddly compact and stationary storm to cover their retreat...