Sunday, June 4, 2023

Solo expeditions III

Continuing adventures of my little band in the solo West Marches campaign. I have improved my MidJourney skills over the course of the week, and I have really enjoyed adding thematic tones to the game through the AI generated images. 

After lucky rolls and avoiding a trap that would have likely killed one member, the band stumbles in a very cool room. “Treasure room” was the randomly generated purpose of this room, and so I threw that text into MJ with excellent results. This was quite a departure from what I was picturing in my head with a trashed and devastated room that was just a shadow of its former self. One thing that caught my attention in all of the randomly generated images was small, humanoid forms amid the squalor.

NOTE: One thing I wanted to quickly comment on: One thing I thoroughly enjoy about running games for others is while I may have an idea or overall idea of the game, the players’ creativity and actions will frequently create a very different picture from what I was expecting. Solo uses random tables and has always given me a similar feeling of excitement of discovering the unknown. Using MidJourney produces an almost identical benefit, inn dime ways even better. This room is a perfect example. In my mind I pictured a 20 x 20 rectangular stone room with a couple shelves or tables with random mundane items that the band could collect as treasurer. Instead MJ provided me with a far more dramatic room that was multiple levels and introduced a completely different idea. It also provided me with the opportunity to add an interesting NPC for role-playing!
This page actually took me two days to get through. I struggled coming up with not only who or what Terez was, but his personality, goals, and even why he was there. I also realized that my low level  PCs could walk away from here with massive amounts of treasure, I did not want to do that, and so it took me a while to come up with reasonable treasure and reasons why they could not walk out of here billionaires. You also might notice that I decided to start voicing my characters speech. Though I did not spell it out previously, I have been thinking about their speech and personalities in my mind, but I decided to start documenting their thoughts and speech in hopes that it would make it a more engaging read.
And this is where the dice decided they hate me. At first I expected the monk would be a simple zombie or perhaps mummy. Things did not turn out that way, and utilizing the tables in Perilous Wilds created something completely different. And again my expectations were utterly destroyed. When I rolled that it was an aquatic squid my initial idea was a rather small creature. MidJourney thought otherwise and gave me this instead.

Needless to say, we quickly decided we were running. 

And for once the dice played along and allowed our little band to escape….

Until next time!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Solo expeditions, part II

 Again we delve into the solo west marches campaign ran on LegendKeeper! Again, I used Goodnotes on my iPad to track the adventure, Shadowdark as the ruleset, and Mythic GME as my oracle. I am using Midjourney to generate artwork on the fly for this. You can click any of the images to enlarge and attempt to read my chickenscratch writing. 

Our intrepid little band of adventurers have decided to head to the rumored Shelin Hill, to the newly discovered entrance to .... something. The band sets out from Lakefield.

The entrance (MJ generated)
As they approach the entrance, something moves...
Excuse me while I gush at that fucking amazing piece of art.
Holy shit Batman, that is kickass!

....and on with the adventure!
The battle continues...
I LOVE being able to reach into the Shadowdark PDF and snip the spells right into my notes. Since I am new to this exact system (yeah, it is OSR, but slightly different here and there), having the spells right there allows me to double check effects, ranges, etc. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

I also took a moment to draw up a map (in my usual style and means) so that I had a clear idea of what it looked like. At this point I was not sure what we were going to find in the room. Recalling my notes from earlier, I had written "minor danger" in this room, so I quickly thought up a trap that made sense given that a troll lived here and likely came right through this area before we cooked it.

I also wanted to mess with MJ some more and see what it could dream up. Five minutes later, I was not disappointed. Frack me, I am loving MJ to create images to make the game more immersive.

End of "Session 2"

Midjourney artwork


Yep, I got bit by the MJ bug too, and holy shit, this is amazing. Yes, there are still weird anomalies and strangeness, but look at these samples I was able to make on my very first day of messing around with it.

If you look closely, you can see MJ trying really hard to evoke Frazetta with the signature in the bottom. So neat!

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Solo explorations with Shadowdark and Mythic GME

 A bunch of cool people over on the Reddit Solo RPG community started up a co-op West Marches style world on LegendKeeper and I have started a new solo game using Shadowdark set in this world. You can see the original post here.

I have been using my iPad and the GoodNotes app to solo for about a month now, playing three different games and I think I have finally narrowed down a good process. I am not sure how I want to present this to folks (YouTube seems to be the cool kid way to do things these days, so perhaps I will eventually will put together a video in the future). For now, I shall provide screencaps of the pages on GoodNotes. First up are my character cards. I created cards for Shadowdark (see the previous post), these will contain enough details to play without being overwhelming and covering lots of unneeded details. The image was created using MidJourney (the guys running the world have MJ accounts are creating images for us on the fly....soooooooo freaking cool).

Next, I created a page with some screenshots captured from the LegendKeeper (LK hereafter) page. For those familiar with Mythic, the 1/5 thing is my note for tracking the scene - 1 in this case -  and the Chaos Factor - starting at 5 for now -. My PCs are starting out in LakeField, that's the blue shield-looking thing in the lower portion of the hex map. 

The way I am using GoodNotes has 'narration' in black ink and mechanics or oracle processes in red. Die rolls are the red circles. While probably not too useful for you, it helps me keep track of things easily. Names and important things are highlighted with yellow to help stand out from the wall of text.

My party split up as they entered town and some interesting things developed. We discovered why Torga the half-orc opted to NOT enter Lakefield, this could have some interesting implications down the line, thanks Mythic! That is one thing I am really enjoying about solo with oracles (versus scripted soloing like Choose Your Own Path books), the story takes interesting and completely unexpected turns. Before she was a boring half-orc, now she has an interesting backstory!

We also found some rumors about the wilderness that surrounds Lakefield, including one very interesting hilltop that we discovered includes a dolmen begging to be explored! Once I knew there was something interesting at this location on the map, I switched to Shadowdark's random tables to generate the details on the dolmen.

This was played out over the last three days here and there, usually after work for 15-20 minutes. I have been very busy and more focused on work and figuring out how I want to run this solo (structure, how to keep things organized, ruleset, etc). So now that I have this figured out, I think it will go a little quicker.

*** And yes, my handwriting sucks, most of this was done laying in bed instead of at a desk ***

Friday, May 26, 2023

Shadowdark Character Cards


I made these little character cards for a solo Shadowdark game I plan on starting this weekend (click to open the PDF). You can print out this PDF, or like I am doing, import into Goodnotes and write directly on it with your Apple Pencil. The second page is optional, I like having lines across the flipside for random notes that come up in game.

Alt link:

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

White Box mini character sheets!


My pal Chaoclypse posted a video yesterday that has gotten a good amount of traction and people are asking about the WB mini character cards I made a while back. You can watch the video here:

As no one really expressed much interest in these mini cards, I guess I never posted these to my little blog, so I am fixing that right now. Click the image to download the PDF below
(this prints on a 4x6 card)

(prints two sided on a 4x6 card)

(NPC card, more room for notes, prints on 4x6 card)

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Shadowdark: fullsize!!!

I decided I wanted Shadowdark in physical format and got a little impatient (since my divorce I apparently have lost all forms of patience), I uploaded to the Office Depot site and had them print the PDF. I really wanted the book with the spiral binding as it allows for laying flat and taking up less desktop territory. As I plan to eventually start another solo series using Shadowdark, these traits will be important to me. 

I was a little upset I could not order the book in digest size, but oh man when I got the book I am very pleased to announce the digest format printed in full 8.5x11 glory is AMAZING. LOVE IT!

Some normal sized d6s for comparison.

Added the dice for size comparison again.
No reading glasses for this old man!

Saturday, April 29, 2023

April finished


Completed the month of April, ended up pretty happy with how it turned out. What do you think? I will be converting this to a PDF, then removing the background (the month layout) so it will be a proper RPG map eventually.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Daily map


I have continued working on my daily mapping idea. I am hoping when I am done I will export this to a PDF and make available for all.

Hope you are all well, happy gaming!

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Playing around

 I have been playing around with my iPad to create a month long daily mapping journal using Goodnotes. Check it out!

I figure if I can keep at this, I will end up with a fairly cool ‘mega’-dungeon. 

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

2023 Map III


Still here. Still mapping.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Monday, January 23, 2023

Not dead...first map in over six months


clickie to embiggie

Well, life has been insane for me for the last two years. Failed marriage, heart attack, near death experience with 17 broken bones (I actually did die and had to be resuscitated), all the children moved out to their adult lives, divorce final, and the first girlfriend in three decades....

Things kind of fell apart for me the last couple of weeks and I needed something to quiet my mind and distract me for a bit last night when I could not sleep. Plus, I purchased an iPad last summer and hardly used, luckily on Thursday - on a whim -  I ordered an Apple Pencil, and tadda! Here you go.