Thursday, November 22, 2018

An OSR logo

I was bored after stuffing myself with turkey, so I opened up Inkscape and came up with an logo that I really liked. I am far more inclined towards one-color logos as this allows for the logo to be placed on far more surfaces: hats, shirts, product covers, etc.

Black and white version.

Old school blue version.

This logo is released Free Forever into the Public Domain with no attribution requirements or possiblity of being revoked in the future. Long live gaming. 

Vintage Gaming

The OSR has taken a good deal of flack lately because of the various groups vying for 'control' or domination of the group per sa. So, I am a little tired of it, tired of the "you are not part of the group" or "he thinks he is a gatekeeper" or "the OSR is just a bunch of old, white grumpy dudes" so I came up with my own term and decided to do a logo for it.

Yep, it looks a little rough around the edges, on purpose. We are old, we play older games, and we do not care what you think about it.

Additional versions:

This logo is released under a CC license, feel free to use it in your works so long as you abide by the license:

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Blackwater Bay update

I have been working here and there on a new, fully vector, map of my little setting. I thought I would share an update. This is just a screenshot on where I am right now. The Barrow Mounds I posted previously are located near Prolge in the Hyllic Forest.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Barrowmounds anyone?

I have been reading the excellent Barrowmaze and the initial section really has got me thinking. My own game has been floundering due to player inability to make the scheduled game and I have paused the full campaign and switched over to running shorter, 1on1 adventures. So far I have ran two, with another planned for this week. With the game happening only relying on me and one other (possibly two) being available, these tend to happen more regularly. Plus, this gives the players the option of trying out a new character without the deep connection the ones in the campaign tend to be.

As such, I have started drawing out shorter, quick, one session maps inspired by the idea found in the pages of Barrowmaze. I created a template in Inkscape so I can easily slap in the map (and ensure that 5' actually matches 5') and spit out a PDF for printing. I have tested out each one and so far, I totally dig it. I think it would be useful in planning a quick game.

Here is the first one, you can get the PNG or PDF here.
For second one, I made the mistake of drawing it far too linear, so while the squares DO actually match up with the grid, it pretty much makes the grid useless in describing the rooms (duh, rookie map maker mistake!) You can get the PNG and PDF here.
Over the weekend I received a Samsung Galazy S3 tablet, for the explicit use of drawing maps and reading books (my two year old Kindle is ok, but has speed and battery life issues). So about seven minutes after I signed into the new toy, I started drawing a map. The result is below, I like drawing digitally (almost as much as on paper....nostalgia) because it allows for error correction, line thickness control and the best part? I do not have to use my sucky ass scanner. I think it produces a more consistent and solid look across the entire piece. You can find the PNG and PDF here.

Feel free to visit my Patreon, download and print out those PDFs for your game. Give them a spin, tell me how you like them, what I could do better/different, and if you found them useful. If you like them, consider adding your name to my supporters. Their support allowed me to purchase the tools that allow me to continue to make maps for everyone.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Well, I have been conned into trying out podcasting, so here you go, a quick little podcast (I like mine under 30 minutes, this clocks in at just over 10) where I discuss a few things and my sort of  plan for the podcast. I do not know what will become of this but it was not hard to do and I always have something to say, so...

Take a listen, and if you feel so inclined, comment here or on Anchor.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Task resolution, or, ability checks, in White Box

I have been mulling over how to do Ability Checks in White Box.

I have used Ability Checks for things forever. Like, forever. I do not remember a time when I did not use them. Welcome to the game there, 5e.

I tried the Saving-Throw-for-everything method. Hated it.

I went for the straight roll-under-your-score method and a player complained about rolling high to attack and low to succeed on ability checks. Too complex for him...though he loves 5e. Go figure.

So my next basic idea is simple:
If the task is something that an average person in this situation could do, then no check is required. However, if this is not the case, roll 2d6, add any Ability Modifiers from Table 7 and check below:
  • If the task is where success is questionable, roll 8+ to succeed
  • If the task is unlikely, get a 10+ to succeed
  • If the task is something really zany, get a 12+ on the roll to succeed
That's it. In a nutshell:
Average: no roll
Iffy: 8+
Unlikely: 10+
Crazy: 12+

Not tried this in-game yet but I feel like it will work. Using the d6 hearkens back to the origins of the game. This gives me a warm and fuzzy. Also, allows me to use the modifiers from Table 7 in the book as is, with no changes, and the modifiers still have a noticeable effect on the checks (on a d20, a +1 is negligible).  

Anyho, that is my latest idea. What do you think?
edit: I wrote this last night, then woke up this morning to +James V West dropping his fantastic zine Black Pudding #4 which totally, possibly, changed my mind. What a jerk.

Go buy it anyway, PWYW, chuck him a buck or two. He's still a jerk.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

White Box Encumbrance

I have never used encumbrance much in my games but for an upcoming magic system to work, it becomes important, so I am working out encumbrance for my game. Therefore I need a system that will apply some discipline and organization, yet I want the rules to fit within the scope and ease of White Box FMAG:
1) It has to be simple with very little bookkeeping
2) Players have to occasionally make tough, interesting decisions on what they carry
3) The PC’s strength should impact their encumbrance

You have a number of inventory slots equal to your Strength score, if you have a Strength of 12, you have 12 slots to fill with stuff. Slots are a measurement of weight, size, and volume - use common sense here, we are not building the Space Shuttle. A number of your inventory slots equal to half of your Dexterity score are Fast Inventory. These are items that you can reach instantly--hanging from your belt, in a scabbard, etc. Everything else is in your backpack, and takes 1d6 rounds to dig out, or 2d6 rounds if you want to avoid scattering shit all over the floor.

If half your available slots are occupied, you are half encumbered and move a little slower than normal (instead of 12 movement rate you go to 9, etc). If all your slots are occupied you are encumbered and move at ½ your normal rate. Using additional slots result in your character staggering around as if he was carrying a couch or refrigerator. Also, you can barely defend yourself.

General rules (again, use some common sense here):

  • Armor takes up a number of slots equal to the effect on AC score*: plate raises AC by 6, thus is takes up six slots, leather raise by 2 means it occupies 2 slots. Most shields take one unless they are those giant
  • If you can pick it up easily with one hand and use it, the item takes up one slot. A long sword, a lantern, a shield, and an ax are all good examples.
  • If you need two hands to effectively use it, it takes up 2 slots. Pole arms, 10’ poles, two handed swords, and battle axes.
  • If you can pick up a bunch of the items with one hand, these are Bundles and count five items to one. Most spell components, sling stones, torches, vials of oil fall into this category.
  • Arrows are collected into Sheaves of 20 to a quiver which takes one slot.
  • Coins. 200 gold or silver coins can be carried in a bag or pouch.

* I use ascending Armor Class rules. I am old, this is easier for my tired brain.

Most of this is derived from this post on Goblin Punch:

Monday, January 1, 2018


Since I am running a regular, weekly game now I like to have all manner of visual aids to help set the mood and such. There is a fellow on Google Plus that does some amazing photobashing work by the name of Jonny Gray (seriously, go check him out). So today, with little to do, I decided to take a stab at it.

My little group of players recently hired a couple of dudes from the local militia to help them on their current adventure. Toombs and Balix are part of the Greenguard, the local militia in Prolge (the small frontier village spotlighted previously on the blog). I really like how Toombs came together to fit his personality, he is a ballsy and arrogant type of guy who thinks he can tackle any problem. Balix is more of a young elf, eager to learn, ready to experience the world but with a hint of that elf better-than-thou stature.

Toombs (yep, totally stole the name and the face)
Balix, and elven bowman (still don't quite like his head but as this is a level zero extra, I deemed I had already spent too much time on him):

I wanted the uniform to look realistic and usable, but recognizable to the casual viewer. The original image is the torso, the hand holding the sword, and the legs. The other parts are stolen from other images and slightly changed to come together to a different image.

This was fun to try my hand at and I think they came out fairly good. I may do more of these in the future.