Monday, January 30, 2017

A busy day downtown

I decided to try my hand at another town map, this time focusing on just a small portion, and applying some of the latest coloring and shadowing techniques I have been using lately. Below is the result.  If you dig my maps, please consider becoming a patron of map making efforts. Patrons get full-sized mega versions of all the maps with occasional extras.

Full color w/shadowing

Black & white w/shadowing

And the old style blue

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Isla Bonita

I loved the previous map I drew so much, I made a sister island for it. If you dig my maps, please consider becoming a patron of map making efforts. Patrons get full-sized mega versions of all the maps with occasional extras.

I also made a few variations, I really dig the newsprint style filters.

And of course, the OSR style black & white.

And who can forget the true-OSR blue?

Friday, January 27, 2017

so1um 0.5: solo RPG playtest, WWII

Another play report on the latest version of so1um, up to version 0.5 now, incorporating some rules suggested by +Carsten Rossner. This time we are tackling some WW2 paratrooper stuff, follow SGT Hammer and his three men :-) as they look to rescue a French informant with some intel on Nazi positions.

#so1um ver 0.5 rules:

Our group of heroes, LT Butterbar's squad of paratroopers:

Read the play test:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

so1um 0.2: solo RPG playtest, part 2

Continuing the evolution of the so1um solo RPG system, click here for the updated ruleset, so1um 0.2. For part 1 of this playtest, visit

I had created a character at the beginning of the session:
Body: 3          HP: 2
Mind: 2          Goal: Find St. Rory's relic
Will: 1            Cliches: Baradoos Knght of Grey Peak, Never met a trap I cannot disarm

(8) Secando squeezes through the secret door and slides down a set of stairs, leading deeper into the tomb. I ask Is there anything at the bottom of the stairs? Yes + Unique(hurtful). Secando lands at the bottom of the stairs and finds himself perched precariously atop a tall column, a steep cliff on all sides. Climbing down will be Tricky (5). Using Body, I roll 6,5,4 and manage to climb down.

(9) At the bottom I again ask if Secando discovers anything, Is there anything at the bottom? Yes + Monster (neutral)! Robs grubs litter the entire floor, they are everywhere! Luckily, avoiding them will be Easy (3) and using Body I am able to do with a roll of 6,5,2.

(10) Entering the next chamber, I ask Is the shrine in the next room? Yes, but + Monster (neutral). An earth golem blocks my way. Earth Golem B2 M1 W1 HP☐ Crushing Attack. Secando, worried he may not be able to combat this massive fellow, opts to attempt to bluff his way past, claiming to be a monk of St. Rory. Using Mind I roll 4 and 2 against the Golem's Mind roll of just a 2! The golem, not the smartest fellow, believes Secando's lie and allows him to pass!

(11) Secando enters the next chamber, the sanctuary of St Rory, Are there any guards? No, but + Unique(hurtful)  (I'm a little tired at this point....) Lasers block Secando's way! Shooting across the room, much like a Resident Evil scene, it will be Average (4) difficulty to get past them. I roll  2,2,1, (curses!) and I am struck for 1 point of damage. Secadno rethinks his strategy and studies the lasers and is determined to get past them, rolling  6,2,1 and manages to slip past them safely!

(12) Is the relic here? Yes!

Secadno lives and finds the relic!

Notes: I think this played much more smooth than the previous iteration of the rules. I was purposeful in my attempt to bluff the golem, I wanted to see how other uses besides 'physical' checks worked. Overall, I am pretty pleased with the system and I think it works. Is is true that it takes a certainly level of creativity to play this alone as the system merely gives you a push, you have to create the real answers to the questions it guides you through.

The more I think about it, I will likely change the stats to Body, Mind, and Soul. Simply because I like this better than Will, plus simply by using the word Soul it conjures up loads of neat little spiritual angles the game could take.

Towards the end I needed to wrap it up and somewhat shortened the game so I could end it, using the "Is the relic here?" to toss it up to fate to end or continue. True, I could easily have done this at any time during the game and abruptly end (possibly win) the game but in a freeform solo game I think that is just something you have to live with. If you are a cheating powergamer, you will cheat yourself in a solo game as well. /shrugs

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

so1um 0.2: solo RPG playtest, part 1

Continuing the evolution of the so1um solo RPG system, click here for the updated ruleset, so1um 0.2.

And now, on to my playtest with these rules (please note that some rules changed or were tweaked during this playtest so it is possible that some steps in the adventure do not marry up exactly with the final rules posted above). Questions I asked the system are in italics and green, while the answers or die rolls are provided in Bold, hopefully this helps make the process moreclear.

I created a new character:
Body: 3          HP: 2
Mind: 2          Goal: Find St. Rory's relic
Will: 1            Cliches: Baradoos Knght of Grey Peak, Never met a trap I cannot disarm

(1) Secando enters the canyon where St Rory's Tomb is said to be located. Does he find anything interesting? No. Secando continues farther into the canyon.

(2) Deeper into the canyon, I ask again. Does he find anything interesting? No, but. + Obstacle In this case, a land slide has made passage treacherous, with a difficulty of Basic. I roll to overcome, using Body + Knight cliche and get 5,3,2,2, enough to overcome the Basic (later changed to Simple) difficulty. Secando scrambles over the landslide debris and manages to locate the trail he was following.

(3) Continuing his search, I ask Does he find the entrance to the tomb? Yes, And. +  A unique feature or situation, Hurtful. A door is sealed with a Hard difficulty to break it down. I use Body + Knight cliche to attempt to bash it down, getting 6,3,2,2 and manage to crash through the door.

(4) I ask Is there a guardian? No, But +  A unique feature or situation, Helpful.  Just inside the tomb I find the skeletal remains of a previous visitor, complete with a large skeleton key on a necklace around it's neck. Perhaps this will come in handy later.

(5) Continuing to the chamber, I ask Is this chamber occupied? Yes + NPC (not friendly). A Ghost swings down from the ceiling and attacks, defending her home! (I decided to make this NPC more of a monster on the fly as it made more sense than an NPC just standing around behind the sealed door waiting for a visitor.) I quickly throw together some stats for a ghost, using the random method provided for generating characters.

I get Ghost B2 M1 W2 HP☐ Cold touch. Secando swings his ax, using Body + Knight cliche and gets  6,5,4,2 while the Ghost attacks and gets 5,1. Secando wins this round, dealing 1HP with of damage to the Ghost. For the second round of combat, I roll terrible with  2,1,1,1  and amazingly the Ghost rolls 1,1, Secando deals the death blow to the Ghost!

(7) Secando searches the room, Does he find anything while searching the room? Yes, And + Obstacle, Secando discovers a secret door! Is the secret door trapped? Yes, with a difficulty of Tricky - 5. Trying to figure out the trap, Secando rolls his Mind + Trap cliche and rolls 5,1,1 and manages to disarm the trap!

We will continue Secando's adventure tomorrow!

Monday, January 16, 2017

so1um: solo RPG playtest

I have mulling a solo RPG method for a while now, it's been rumbling back there for about a year, and last night I finally had a spark of inspiration that resulted in a mostly finished product. You can download for yourself here.

Playtesting the madness
Before bed I decided to try out character generation, this took just a minute, so I decided to give it a playtest. I wrote it out in my journal as I went just to record how it went.

The Character:
Body: 2        Hit Points: 2
Smarts: 2      Cliché: Brave Warrior
Will: 4            Goal: Plunder the tomb!

The Adventure
George starts at the entrance to a tomb, as he enters I ask "Does he encounter as he enters?" and rolled a 5 "Yes" and then a 6 "Monster" followed by a 2 "Neutral". I think a moment -  a goblin I decide. George decides that the goblin might help him for a few gold, so he tries to convince him to help. I rolled a Smarts contest (perhaps should have used Will, but oh well, it was 11:58 at this point) and roll a 1 and a 6, giving him a "Yes, and" result. Not only does the goblin agree to help, but he walks into the tomb and shows George...I roll a 2 "Trap". The goblin shows him the trap, George provides him the gold and a thank you, then they part ways. Studying the trap, George attempts to figure out a way to avoid it. I roll randomly to determine how complex a trap it is and roll a 3 "Easy". I use his Smarts and his "Brave Warrior" cliché, rolling 1, 4, and 6, easily avoiding the trap!

Having passed the trap I roll again to see if George finds anything interesting, getting a "Yes" and a "Unique feature, helpful". Thinking a moment I decide an underground river lies below. I add some stairs leading down to a lazily flowing river. Then because it was "helpful" I add a small boat that is moored to the small beach at the bottom of the stairs. George hops into the boat and starts to row downstream, hoping for more adventure.

I ask "Do I find anything before I find a place to disembark?" and get a "No, but" result. Rolling on the next table I get encounter a "Monster" and randomly determine how hard an encounter this will be, getting a 6 "Hard"! Drat!

A large Cave Sturgeon (ya, I misspelled it) leaps out of the water, snapping at George who tries to defend himself. I roll Body + cliché and get 3, 3, and 5, not enough to overcome the creature and it slips back into the dark water after lashing him hard in the chest. I subtract one HP and George catches his breath, hoping not to see the creature again. Suddenly it leaps out of the water and strikes at him again. I take a deep breath and roll the dice....2, 2, and 3! George takes another hit and is pulled beneath the dark water.

TPK. Oops.

After this combat, I reworked the system a little (it will be in the next release) so combat is a direct contest instead of a simple 'how difficult is this encounter" roll that resulted in my TPK. In the next version, monsters are built just like characters and results of combat are a head to head battle.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Mad Wizard's Island

A small island for your party to explore.

And a b&w version.