Monday, December 4, 2023

Christmas cards this year

Just ordered these and I thought I would share, I am retired Army so I find this hilarious, may not be to everyone's liking but oh well, it is my card! 

Thank you to Steve for the inspirational comment "He's missing a laser pistol. 🔫 😉". Thanks! 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Chevalier Larmen's Grotto


and b&w version

sans background

Saturday, November 18, 2023

A Lair

A fancy version. 

Sans background.
And because Tim is afraid of upsetting the inkjet gods, a black and white version.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

The Temple of Kalonius - ver 2!

 Cri Ke (over on FB) made a suggestion about forcing the players through the trap (room 7) and the flooded room (room 10) so I modified the map a little to encourage players to enjoy the various obstacles in the dungeon that their friendly DM has placed in their way to the BigAssTreasure. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Temple of Kalonius

Its been a bit, I have been busy and frankly, not really feeling RPGs much lately. Perhaps this will change. Made a simple map.

For those needing a GM ready map (eg, Vance or Shane), here you go. 

Also, for Tim, who is always afraid he will anger the gods of printer ink, sans background.

Friday, September 8, 2023

A Girl Called Samson - book review


I am going to deviate slightly from my usual gaming topic today. I have a 'mini book club' with a friend and she likes to read books I typically would not. We selected this book recently, a fictionalized version of a true story. A young woman caught up in the American Revolution who disguised herself as a young man to fight the British. I had read many Rev War books but few managed to bring the war to life, oddly from the viewpoint of a women, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
While this version of history is slightly romanticized (especially the ending), but I very much enjoyed this read, enough that I went digging into the actual history and the circumstances around Deborah Samson's stint as a young man in the war. 

History is amazing and our lives are enriched by learning about what has happened before us:
Pick up the book up here:

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Sector Nine on itch


Gosh, way way back in 2017 I made this zine. This was the year I retired from the Army and in August I took a new job, essentially the COO for a medical device startup. - serious money (like twice my Army salary) but also 10x the stress, global travel, managing the US operations for the company). Life suddenly became hectic and this project like so many others fell to the wayside. In digging around and looking at Star Wars options I came across this and though I should probably drop it on so others could see it. I really had a great time writing this one and putting it together with art, planets, maps, and NPCs. I even managed to run a few sessions in this setting before the world caught up with me.

I simply love the space pulpy feel of dashing heroes saving damsels (and worlds!) from vile evildoer scientists bent on world domination. 

You can check it out here.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

White Box.....Star Wars???

Ok, I admit I am a Star Wars fan, always liked it far better than Star Trek's bizarre utopian dream that always seemed far less possible than space knights with laser swords. Call me silly. Anywhos, I have been running around the last few weeks reading this RPG, that one with the sexy cover, one over there, these two here....trying to something simple I could use for my solo gaming, but also something robust and loose enough that it could encompass the world of Star Wars. 

And just to be clear here, Star Wars to me is in reference to the original three films, plus Rogue One and to a degree, Solo. The rest of that nonsense does not exist. In my SW world, Leia was perfect and beautiful, loved Han with all her heart, Han was a scoundrel with a heart and would die for his friends, Luke was an incorruptible brave warrior who knew that he could not just sit around while the Empire tormented all the people.

So I have been in a quandary the last few weeks what to do. No system I looked at: Black Star, WEG d6, ICRPG, Fate Accelerated, Tiny Frontiers, etc etc etc seemed to fit my needs. So, I gave up.

Then today while out on my deck listening to the rain I suddenly had a thought. Why not just use White Box? James Spahn made White Star, which has many bits that are SW with the serial numbers rubbed off, even then I do not think I even need that much. This got me to thinking why I like White Box for my solo games, what draws me to WB? It is a simple, straightforward chassis to run games. I also feel it is easily malleable into whatever genre you might want. What is Han Solo, but a rogue with a particular set of skills. Luke, a cleric maybe? In any case, for me the first thing is visualization. So what to do? 

So I made White Box Star Wars character minicards! 

I am going to let these sit a while, do some test prints and any needed adjustments, then I am hoping I can get a solo WBSW game going!

Friday, August 18, 2023

White Box FMAG Character Cards

I have posted these before but I wanted to make sure these were not lost among my blog twenty years from now so I posted my character cards over on Itch to make sure they are and will always be available. These will print on either a 4x6 card or letter sized printer paper...sorry UK folks with your weird paper sizes!  ;-)

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Willowford map available!

I have finished the Willowford map and uploaded to for download, the file is available in jpg and pdf, is free (or toss me a buck if you insist). I hope you like it, and yes, my little band of dogooders will be venturing here soon!

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Willowford redux


I have been working on a rework/update of the Willowford map that was used in Jamee Spahn's White Box Omnibus book that included the Willow Valley Gazetteer. I thought I would post an in-the-works image so you could see where I was at. I ended up rotating the map slightly so that I could add a little bit more of the forest tree is south east and add a small lake. You can see the original map behind the original as a template so I can make sure I get all of the locations correct.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Real Dungeons..

This blows my mind. I have been spelunking with just a flashlight, scraping on my belly, climbing over cliffs, tromping through pools of cave water, but this, this gives you an idea of the horror our adventurers would experience.

Some photos from the video:

Imagine doing this with only torches and things hunting you for dinner. 



Saturday, August 5, 2023

White Box Monster Cards!


Played around a little today to make more White Box Monster Cards. I had them in season 1 and people comments how they liked them. I like the visual connection (e.g. something tangible maybe?) on the table in front of me. 

These have all original artwork made in Mid-Journey. I am really enjoying MJ in practice, just wish I could somehow teach it that hobbits/halflings wear no shoes and have large feet. Come on!

Friday, August 4, 2023

Mydwandr - character sheet


My pal James and his wife Robyn (what a lucky fella to have a wife into the hobby!) released a new RPG called Mydwandr (drivethru link) the other day and I wanted to give it a try. I wanted a pure black & white character sheet so I could print out a bunch, so I threw a couple together. Click the image to download the PDF for home printing.

White Box Heroes: Wilona

 The newest band member! Wilona the cleric!

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Burrowmoor: in the works!

I have been hard at work, creating a PDF zine for the village of Burrowmoor from the Willow Valley Gazetter. This includes a new map, locations and personality write ups. I am fleshing it out to a point but leaving lots of room for DMs to add their own touch. This will not be a full 'setting' book but something you could drop in any campaign and make it your own. As I will be using this in my solo game, odds are I will add to it as we play along. I am already hoping the PCs investigate that #6 up at the top of the map!

And yes, because it will come up, the art is all created in Mid-Journey. I am sure this will cause some folks to twitch and shit, but as this will be a FREE release I am not taking any work away from hard working artists. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023

White Box Heroes: Sammin


The infamous 'Brave Halfling' from our first season of adventure, he has proven himself in the face of danger against TWO trolls and survived. Now he has a taste of adventure, he wants more!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Burrowmoor: things are afoot


(a nod to Tim and his frequent ‘working in the coffee shop’ photos)

Things have begun. Thanks to Steve for some inspiration last night that helped spur the creative process. I drew up a map after Erik called me out in his video, its a map of Burrownmoor, the small halfling village where my YT solo play takes place (click here to view my channel). I decided I am going to flesh it out a little, that way anyone using the Willow Valley Gazetter in James Spahn’s White Box Omnibus will have an additional map they can use for their games. I am also toying with updating the Willowford map as the original map was drawn prior to 2012. I may even contact James to see if he could drop the new maps into the existing files on Drivethru, might be cool.

All of this, dear reader, is me getting my gears spun up again to start up my solo game. There seems to be a handful of people interested in seeing me pick it up again. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

White Box Heroes: Joseph

Here is Joseph, our band's bard. He has brushed with death a few times already but that youthful spirit has kept him alive! Below is his current character card.

Monday, July 24, 2023

White Box Heroes: Halironda


I have been playing around with Midjourney lately and decided to try to minic some Easley and Elmore style artwork for my YT solo game. Here is our mage, Halrondia. I like that she clearly has a fantasy medieval style to her, but casts off the typical 'sexy female centerfold' feeling. Belwo is her current character card.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Willow Valley: redux!

So last year I did a series of solo ttrpg play on YouTube that were moderately successful. Last week Erik Tenkar did a video about solo play and he called me out for being 'the solo guy' in a group and not posting anything in ages (it has been ten months actually). This got me really thinking.

I have had a rough two-three years for those who know me. Drastic life changes, personally and professionally and this last year especially I have been frankly floundering. My pals don't really know this but have probably started easily six to ten solo games with various systems, oracles, and tools. All have survived no longer than a handful of sessions before they petered out. This last year I have bought so many gamebooks, tried so many systems and tools. Nothing just felt right to me.

Back to Erik's message, and it really got me thinking. I LOVED that game that I posted on YouTube. I did somethings on there that appeared to really help others understand and get into solo gaming (I think this is because I live by the mantra KISS and I applied it to how I played solo). So I spent this weekend rewatching those videos, noting what worked, what did not, what I liked and what I did not, and I have decided I want to go back to Willowford. I began putting all my old notes, books, and resources together and I realized somehow I had managed to lose not only the printed map of Willow Valley, but also the file I used to create it. So, I spent a good portion today redrawing the entire thing, but that's ok because I am posting it here for others to use. I have made a few changes, mainly adding two more rivers and a small lake on the right side of the map.  This is a recreation of the map from the White Box Omnibus by Mr James Spahn. Nothing wrong with the provided map, I just prefer this one.  ;-)

Now that I have all my tools, I am hoping to start recording soon. No promises, but I am hoping to start up 'Season Two' of Doom Comes to Willowford!

Sunday, July 9, 2023

White Box FMAG compatible logo

TheGreenTap over on Reddit asked if there had ever been a "Compatible with WB:FMAG" logo. I did not recall one and so I went to work because, well, I love White Box. After a little back and forth I finally settled on the design below. As with the OSR logo, this is released Free Forever into the Public Domain with no attribution requirements or possibility of being revoked in the future. Long live gaming. 

PSD (can't promise this works as I do not use Adobe apps):

Saturday, July 8, 2023

OSR Compatible Logo

I just realized (yeah I know, five years) I never released a version of the OSR logo with a 'compatible' phrase on there. So, I fixed it. This will be added to the main logo page too but I know most will not see this until I do a new post. So here you go! Same as before, released to the public domain forever.

For those curious, the Affinity and PSD files are on the main logo page (link in the upper right side of the blog near the logo. Long live gaming!

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Solo expeditions, part IV

Wisely deciding to leave the tomb and the monstrosity they discovered, the band retreats to the outside of the tomb, catch their breath and take stock of the treasures they have uncovered. Then they trek back to Lakefield to celebrate and sell their wares.
Back in the small town, Ish visits the temple and make a donation/sacrifice to the building of a new chapel for Saint T, while Hobbs and Bree hit a lucky streak and sell everything for a windfall of profit!
Hobbs & Bree head to the Blade & Tankard, hoping to get some info on the mining operation they had heard about before leaving town. Instead, a new NPC notices they are flush with gold and approaches them with an idea. Over the course of the next six days, they come to an agreement with Rei, and then strike a deal with a local inn owner that is looking to retire! Suddenly, we find ourselves to be co-owners of The Stabbing Dragon inn!

Now, I don't know about you but this is something I had never come across in gaming, the players opting to purchase a complete inn! So I went searching the web for ideas, keeping an eye on something simple but logical. I came across these after a little searching and decided to use them.
Rob will enjoy this part....nitty gritty mathy part.
I figured out the cost to build an inn, roughly 700gp using the readily available forest to pull lumber from. Then I figured out a rough idea of how many rooms with would have (10), how many would be utilized on a daily basis (3 on average), what the resulting annual total that would result in. 1,095gp. Having been involved professionally in the purchase of a company, I decided to use a little of that knowledge here. To determine the selling price of a business, my CEO used a process of adding existing capital (ie the value of the stock in the warehouse, in this case I used the 700gp cost to build the place) and the average sales total for the year, he used 1.5 times.  (I have no idea if this is 'correct' but that is what he used).

Here, I used 1.5 and 2.5 annual sales to get a rough range for the sales the place generated over time, 1642 and 2740. Adding these to the cost to build, I get 2,342 and 3,440 as a range of asking price from the existing proprietor. With that, I went to work.

I determined that Rei had 1,000gp to put forward, along with another 200gp in start up and operating funds. My band could put together 1,600gp towards the purchase along with matching the 200gp in operations funding. Using Mythic to simulate haggling for the price, I ended up with the final sale price being 2,600, just at the top end of our capital. Leaving us 400gp in operational funding.

For the image, I found an image I liked on Google, then used it as a 'seed' for Midjourney to create an image to use for the inn. I think the image ended up being larger than I had planned or calculated, but maybe the seller was motivated. :-)

The band now has a base of operations, they are keeping two rooms to use for themselves and will get some revenue from the operation of ol' Stabbo.

Side note: I realized I had used the wrong hex number for the location of the Shelin Hill, that has been fixed now.