Thursday, December 16, 2021

....on Thieves

I have never been in the party of 'there is something wrong with the thieves class' but upon reading James West's recent blog post I began to think about it.

After an initial distaste for his idea of rolling a d100 for each Thief Ability initial score, I actually came around and really liked this idea. This would create wildly different and dynamic thieves from the outset, making each one unique. I would include Hear Noise, deviating from the d6 roll (which is weird anyway since the rest are d% rolls). 

Now how to handle progression? Lookin at BECMI and BX, the thief goes up by an average of 26 points per level gain. (Side note, weird how we have that damn to hit plateau in the rules but here thieves get better every level....what gives Gary?) Anyway...

So what if we take their Dexterity score, add to their Intelligence score, and that is how many points the character gains per level to increase their Thief Ability scores. If we use an average of 11 for each score, we are just slightly below the points gained in the original system. As we likely are starting off better initial scores, we are most likely ahead of the terrible initial scores in the original game.

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Nine month itch? Or...


Maybe just glad to be alive? I don't know.

I was out in the garage, cleaning it up and getting ready to hopefully start working out again (still waiting on a few of the 13 ribs I broke to finish the healing process), and out of the corner of my eye I see a familiar color of red on a box.

"What is that?!?!" old memories having an inkling of remembrance. Did I mention I have PTSD for memory loss? Yeah, clinically diagnosed and compensated for after a rollover in Iraq. Thank you, Veteran's Administration.

I quickly climb up ONE STEP on a STEPSTOOL and not a ladder (holy fuck no, not another ladder, they have been outlawed at my house for all time). Sure enough, my old mind did recognize that color, it is what I thought it was! I do not recall purchasing this, but I am sure I did. a First printing, 1983 version of the game that started it all (for me). I got this set for my birthday from my friend Chet and we played it constantly. 

Now, finding this, I suddenly find myself with a massive urge to run some games using the game that brought me into the hobby....

Sunday, November 28, 2021


Made this last night while I could not sleep (drugs make life a bit of a rollercoaster). It is based off a map I found on a Google search years ago and I had saved on my tablet. Not super happy with it but hey, for an hour or so in the early morning hours when you are unable to sleep? I'll take it.

Black & white version:

Monday, November 1, 2021

Dispatches from the hospital

As some of you may have heard, I took a nasty fall off a ladder at about 20 ft. By some sort of miracle or by grace of God, I am making a speedy recovery and I appear to have no lasting mental or physical disabilities. Someone was truly looking out for me that day. I had my kids bring my tablet so that I could ensure that I would still be able to draw maps. Above this text is the result. I seem to be okay I will just take some time to make a full recovery.

Thank you for all the well wishes, for those who put me on their prayer list, and for those who reached out personally. I truly appreciate the outpouring of support and well wishes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021



Stay off ladders. Just sayin’.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Mausoleum of Matias

A quick map for your October dungeon-delving. Named after Tim's new character, because I will most likely kill him at some point...

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Into the Wylds (White Box Solo), II

Tristan bent down, untying his pack, his feet sore from the long trek on the trail. Kip sat on a fallen tree nearby, munching on nuts and berries of his trail rations, easing his grumbling stomach. His back hurt from carrying his heavy pack and he arched, stretching his back and reaching upwards to the boughs of the trees. Above him, the branches stirred. 

"Tris!" He shouted as the large form fell on Tristan...

After their tough battle against the wererat and his pals. I decided Tris & Kip needed to rest a little and recoup from the strenuous and deadly battle. As per the rules, Kip's maximum travel rate through along a forested trail is nine miles, less than Tristan's 12. Using the six mile hex this means we can cover 1.5 hexes per day. After a short break to rest and eat, the pair decide to move along the trail. 

Not wanting to use a complicated system for random encounters, I threw together a quick method for determining what might be encountered if I roll that they encounter something. I have decided I would rather us oracles than set encounter tables all the time. I prefer the simple method of a d6, just has that old school feel to me, so I decide to stick with the d6.

Roll a d6
1-2   Monster
3-4   Animal
5      Humanoid*
6      Human* (1-3 common, 4-5 merchants, 6 bandits)

In this case I am using 'humanoid' to refer to goblins, orcs, ogres, etc...things not human or demi-human, not necessarily evil per se, but certainly not the usual friendly types you'd invite to over to dinner. 

Using my method of random encounter checks and stumble upon checks I discover that the pair did not stumble upon anything but they did encounter something! Using my table above, I determine that it is a monster! Drat! I was hoping they might catch a break. Well, let's figure out what they have encountered.

A centaur! Hmmm, this is interesting. Let's use my die-based oracle:

Did the centaur ambush them? No, and.... he has spotted them, but they have not spotted him yet. He is watching them from afar.
Here I was at a loss, so I grabbed the Table Fable book and determine randomly that the centaur is...scared??  Hmmm, back to the oracle.
Is someone or something after him? Yes, and...
Is it being hunted? Yes, and...
Is the hunter a person? A tie and the white die is a 3. Quite ambiguous, and even the white die is middle of the road. My first thought was if this was a yes, it would be a person, if a no then that meant some sort of monster, but here the oracle provides little. What is neither a man nor a monster? Then it hit me....a spirit! Interesting. I randomly come up with the name of Myndaril for our new NPC, Myndaril the hunted centaur.

Our boys were spotted but so far they thought they were alone, suddenly Myndaril shouts "Begone!" This alerts the boys, who spot the centaur off in the forest who suddenly appears to be arguing with some unseen person. "Begone, I say!"

Is he mad (crazy)? No
Is he angry? Yes
Angered at the unseen person, Myndaril charges forward, apparently attempting to flee from this spirit, and inadvertently plows in Tristan, both tumble to the ground. Trist stands and tries to calm the situation, getting a positive reaction (applying his Charisma bonus). Myndaril stands, shaken but generally friendly. 

Trying to figure out why a spirit is haunting him, I turn to the oracle again. Is he cursed? Yes
Aha! So he is haunted because someone placed a curse upon him.

The pair eye each other, Tris attempting to calm the bedraggled centaur. 
Does he calm Myndaril (I add Tris's Charisma mod)? No, and...
Bad, bad all around. Tristan constant gibbering angers Myndaril and he takes a halfhearted swing at Tris causing him to duck, which gives the centaur the opportunity to dash past the cleric and off into the trees. As he rides off, the pair hears him shouting angrily "No! Begone I say, it was not my fault!"

Does anything else happen along the trail until nightfall? No.

The boys continue and pick a spot to camp, they begin setting up camp....

Does anything happen during the night? Yes, and...
Does it happen during the first shirt (6pm to midnight)? Yes.
At what hour? I roll a d6 and add it to 6pm, coming up with a 2 brings us to 8pm.
But what happens? Do they encounter a monster? Yes, but..
Are they surprised? Yes, but...

As they are setting up camp, but before they get out of their armor. Kip spots movement in the trees above (oddly this was completely random but fit into the narrative perfectly), alerting his friend moments before the gecko drops on him, effectively negating the surprise. However, they lose initiative and Tris takes a massive blow, dropping him to just 2hp. Kip manages a solid hit, doing 5hp of damage. For a few rounds, the sides trade swings but no one hits, then suddenly Kip is struck, dropping him to just 2 hit points as well. It was looking grim and then, initiative is tied!

The beast rolls and hits Kip...for just 1hp. Now Tris has 2hp and Kip has just 1hp. They turn to resolve their attacks....

Tris hits, doing 5hp damage. Kip hits as well, his hand ax delivering the killing blow with 6hp!

It was a desperate and dangerous battle, one they barely survived. Kip's last strike sliced into the creature's gut and as the two heroes lay resting, unable to stand, they look over and see a surprising thing...

Inside the creature's gut are three gems! 

I roll on the treasure tables, 150gp, 50gp, and.....1,200gp value! Whoa....

Here is what our hexmap looks like so far:

I switched things up between the centaur encounter and the gecko. I was digging through my dice bag and found my d30. I have had it for years but not really used it and that jarred my memory. I remembered I had the d30 Companion and I quickly switched from the Table Fables books to it. Nothing wrong with the TF books, I just prefer the d30 Companion book and it gave me the opportunity to use the d30 I had laying around.

photo from unsplash:

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Hexploration Tool


chimericalrealm asked for me to share, so here you go! Download for free (or tip a wee bit) over on

Monday, October 11, 2021

Into the Wylds (White Box Solo)


The priest kneeled before the woodland altar, uttering a few soft words. The halfling eyed his companion, wondering what god he was praying to. Suddenly a large brown creature leapt from the thick forest, jaws flaring at the priest!

So my real life has reared it's ugly head again and I am stuck with no gaming gaming. I decided to once again delve into solo gaming. I grabbed my trusty copy of White Box, printed out some character sheets, grabbed some dice, my copies of Table Fables, a notepad, some hex and graph paper...

I quickly rolled up to gents, and human cleric and a halfling fighter, ready to explore. Thanks to Bill who gave me their names: Tristan & Kip:

After kitting them out, I decided I wanted to jump right in, skip over the boring town stuff. I added that as the area was suffering through some lycanthropy in the area, Tris & Kip had their weapons dipped in silver, since they could not afford real silver and had no magical weapons. The boys are heading to a small logging camp up north where they heard that some ruins and burial mounds had spooked the burly lumberjacks. 

So I got my handy Hexploration Tool and determined they left the village of Plounders on Monday. I quickly determined the weather: [2] on a d6, shitty. Cold, and rainy. Perfect day to head out on an adventure!

Hex01: Where we started was the small wooded village of Plounders. I randomly determined which way the road went [1-2 NW, 3-4 N, 5-6 NE] and drew a winding road.
Hex02: What was it like? Hexploration Tool to the rescue. Using the quick terrain determination in the legend, it was more woods, which makes total sense given the logging camp. [rolled a 2]

Stealing a que from Tale of the Manticore, I decided to not only roll the 'Random Encounter' but also a 'Stumbled Upon' table, however I was changing them to both be d6 (he uses a d20 for the SU table and frankly I want Fun! Danger! Exploration! and 1 in 20 is just too little for me). 

Random Encounter roll: [1]....something or someone has found our boys
Stumbled upon roll: [1] as well! They have found something.

Wondering what we might have found, I grabbed the Table Fable II book and looked up Wilderness landmarks. I rolled and they discovered an Altar to the Wind God. I thought a moment and decided to change this to an Altar to HIS God. Tristan was overjoyed to have found this holy shrine to his god and exclaimed he must pray and make an offering. Dropping 5 gold pieces into the stone coffer chained to the altar (displaying the many attempts people have made to steal it), he dropped to his knees and began praying in earnest. Kip looked about and almost missed some movement in the bushes moments before a large rat leapt at Tristan's throat. (Surprised? 5, nope.) Kip manages to get off a shout before the rat reaches Tristan and the rat's attack misses.

Out of the woodline steps another rat, and something far worse....a wererat, frothing at the mouth. This trip was beginning to look like a bad idea.

Round 1: The wererat wins initiative and both rats attack Kip but the wererat focuses on the pesky cleric, but his swings go wide. The rats lunge at Kip, scoring a solid hit for 2 damage! Tristan returns with a wild attack that goes no where. Kip fairs better, killing one rat with a single blow!

Round 2: The rats win initiative again! The wererat manages to nick Tristan for 1 damage. One rat hits Kip and drops him by 1 damage. Tristan manages a great hit and whacks the wererat for 2 damage, lucky to have silvered his weapon, otherwise there would be no damage. Kip swings wide. 

Tristan is at 5 of 6hp while Kip has just 5 of 7.

Round 3: Both sides roll 2s, so they will go simultaneously.  I roll the baddies first, The wereat misses Tristan but the rat hits Kip again, dropping him another 2 points, down to just 3! Tristan smashes his morning star into the wererat's head and does 5 damage, killing it instantly1 Kip raises his short sword over his head and smashed down on the remaining rat, scoring a natural 20! It's brains make a splattering squishy sound.

It was a tough fight, but our boys survived and they take a moment to rest and bind their wounds. After they have caught their breath, they check and as luck would have it, the wererat had a satchel of coins!

Tristan regains full health and Kip ends with 6 of 7 hit points.

This was just a quick session to see how it felt and how using these tools worked for me. I think it went smooth and easy. I am very familiar with the White Box rules so that probably makes this quite easy and took some of the pressure off of me.

Two things I would like to point out:
1) Holy shitballs this wererat was LOADED. The rules on page 115 say roll a d6 to determine how much, based on XP, in gold value the creature was carrying. This rat? THREE times the XP, or 480 (140+10+10)!!! What the literal hell? I guess I just do not remember that crazy amount of treasure. I dropped that down to 80gp to split between them. I don't want them to reach 4th level from just one trip to the camp. ;-)

2) And this is the big one. If some friends were to call and say "Let's play in 30." I would reply, "Ok". For some reason we all start talking about playing solo and we suddenly need 50 tables, a dozen oracles, tarot cards, dozens of dice..... What gives? Why could most of run a few sessions with our bros on the fly, but the moment we say "solo" our sphincter tightens, our muscles freeze up, and we fire up Google to search for "How to play D&D solo"??? Why? I am not exactly sure. It may be that this is different, or perhaps we struggle to think we are creative enough to go it alone. I am not sure.

Playing solo this time, I kind of approached it like I would any other game with people. I did not do anything different than I would have if players had been at the table with me. I used my handy dandy little oracle I made that is ultra simple, the Table Fables II book, and I used a table I made on the fly for weather. Other than that I used only what was in the White Box FMAG rulebook.

I am really starting to think that people are over thinking this whole solo thing instead of just rolling with it and aiming to have fun instead of some high school science project with charts, tables, formulas, dozens of pages of random tables for every instance.

Any who, I am planning on continuing the adventure and finding out what happens to Tris & Kip!

Sunday, October 10, 2021


Messing around yesterday on the computer with Affinity Publisher while watching "Cosmic Sin" (by all that is holy, do not watch this piece of crap). Threw this together as a possible cover for a reworking of an old adventure I made for Edge of Space almost six years ago. 

Space Marine HQ tells me to inform you that the incident has been resolved and everything is fine.

Saturday, October 9, 2021



Oh boy, what can this portend???

Friday, October 8, 2021

Arneson Gaming

I guess FKR is suddenly cool because some dude named Ben started talking about it, now the little kiddos are fawning all over it. Welcome, we have been here for quite a while.

I made this (oddly) on September 11, 2019 and I honestly cannot recall if I shared it or not. I have uploaded it to itch so you can have it stored in your 'library'. This was my attempt to create something a modern player might accept that is still close to what Dave played. 

So yeah, this probably isn't even close.

Check it out here:

Go watch Secrets of Blackmoor, might learn a thing or two.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Don't Die!


Creating...still. Maybe I will make more for this. Pocket games? Print and play? Who knows, almost bedtime for me here. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

...on creating

I had a thought this evening, brought on most likely by a discussion I was having with some friends over text message and I thought I would like to discuss much as a blog post can be considered "discussing it".

side note: have more and more of your friends left social media and gone to simple texting? I am finding more and more of my friends are doing this.

My friend was lamenting that he had been creating something and mailing it (yeah, that old fashioned thing involving putting sticky stamp on it) and almost no one was giving him feedback. He took the time to not only create something, but also print it, snail mail a physical object to people, and few could take the time to merely say "Thanks." I mulled over this most of the ten hour day today at work and as I took the dogs out for their evening walk, it hit me, "Fuck, I am that guy too."

As a creator that sort of affirmation is like air. I am guessing if you are a creator, I am preaching to the choir here, but for that do not, let me see if I can explain. Even if you charge for your work, or perhaps especially if you do not, the feedback is often worth more to creators. Simply knowing that you breathed something into existence and someone, even if only a few, found it worth or simply said a "Thank you" can mean success to creators. For non-creators I think this can be hard to understand.

I wonder if today's world where so very much is available at our fingertips has caused us to truly no longer appreciate the work others do. Perhaps we are too busy? Perhaps we are all assholes? I don't know but I can tell you that a regular post on my blog gets well over 200 to 300 hits on average after they are posted, then over the next typically end up around 600-700 unique hits. Guess how many comments I get? Typically around 2-3.

Now, back to where I said I was one of those assholes too. People post to their blogs, on social media, insta, twit,, and a host of other means, I read these, look at these, and rarely comment. Yes, I am exactly who I am describing as well. 

So, what am I going to do about it? I am going to take the remainder of October, and anything I download (damn I am addicted to, blog post I read, pdf I buy, any letter I receive in the mail, I am going to say "thank you", post a comment, or holy shit! write a letter back. 

side note: Damn it, getting something GOOD in the mail is such a rarity these days. I will stand in front of my mailbox, open a letter, and read it right there. That a person took the time to write something on that ancient artifact called paper, put a stamp on it, and dozens if not hundreds of people worked to bring it to me, is just mind blowing.

I challenge you to do the same.* If nothing else, just be human and converse, say "Hello", "Thank you", and all that other good stuff we used to do back before our politics began to split us asunder. 

* And I don't just me on my blog, stop by the ones you regularly read, make a comment or two. #BeHuman

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Gonna gloat for a moment, bear with me....

I talked about this before, but there is reason to do so again. Y'all know, you've their reviews. Highly respected, dead on, blunt, yadda yadda. TFP just gave The Sepulchre of Seven a glowing review and he mentioned the maps. Yep, go read it:

The review for the adventure is awesome, through and through "It’s a real dungeon. And those are few and far between," but as a mapper, I want to focus on one paragraph. ;-)

Kudos to HexaGnome for putting together an amazing adventure and Dyson for supplying the other half of the inspiration for this. I am honored to have one of my silly little maps included in this fantastic adventure. Go, download this and run it! Go! Now!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

White Box Adventures!


I made a thing. Currently with proofreaders and copyright lawyers to ensure that nothing, and I repeat NOTHING, has been borrowed from an existing product. All will be original content created by me for use by cool ass gamers. This will be a tri-fold pamphlet style one page adventure. While I designed it for myself others to use for solo adventuring, I think it could very easily be used for group play as well. It even has a method for finding other suckers to join you on this adventure.

Once this has been signed off by the proofmonkeys, I will likely post this to

In other news, I got a new job, I start tomorrow, likely going to be a massive amount of work and stress, but it pays well and is less than 10 minutes from my house, far better than driving an hour to Nashvegas for the same pay. Maybe I will do this for a couple of years, pay off the house, then really retire and just make gaming products. Huzzah!


I ended up nearly dying last year and this whole thing got derailed at the last minute, until Narmer reminded me about it. Uploaded to just now so you can store in your library there!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Thank you... whatever pinko commie complained about my drawing of the golem for my game, The Fallen Golem. I received this complaint today:

For the record, sure, sure, I did use the Iron Giant - as well as other robot images - as a guide but I drew my robot freehand on my Samsung S7 tablet. I find this interesting because I have long regarded as a more friendly and open place than other outlets such as DriveThruRPG.

Regardless, to appease the masters, I have updated the banner. I am sure they will not like my revision, but hey, fuck 'the man'.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Dungeon Cards, and maybe some solo gaming?


I have a little time on my hands at the moment in between filing out job applications and what not, and I stumbled upon Axebane's Deck of Many Dungeons and thought it was an amazing product. Of course I did order a deck, but it will not be here until the end of September! F*ck you world! Then it got me thinking (always a bad thing) and I started drawing out maps. 

As I am somewhat in a bit of a funk, and because none of my friends who can play will join me for White Box, I thought perhaps I might do a little solo RPGing using these once I get a handful of cards that could be drawn randomly. So far I have four pages (36?) cards. Unfortunately my printer here at home sucks and will not print on anything more solid than standard printer paper, so I will have to do some crafting (maybe modge podge the little bastards?) or perhaps visit a Kinkos.

Still have some work to do on the dungeon cards, mostly drawing two more pages. I really like how Axebane's cards have random tables built into the cards. For solo gaming, I think this would be fantastic. It also gives me the idea that you could create 'modules' from a set of unique cards that changes up the random tables based on the environment the module takes place on. Anyway, time to get back to looking for jobs.....why does the HR department suck everywhere!?!?

Monday, August 23, 2021

The Temple of Sorrowed Ladies

Well, news flash, I am laid off. Yippie ki yay! I have a shit ton of other things going on in my life at the moment and I am in a very, very dark pace. Not that this matters to you, but the good news is I am leaning on my old therapy of map drawing. Today I tried to kill myself in the early morning heat and worked out like David Goggins, taking a break in between sets to draw a fucking map.

Here you go. Enjoy.

Greyed out version:

The now infamous Fuck Your Printer version:

Going Old School version:

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Map Depository

I have updated the maps stored in the Map Depository here I occasionally post maps that I drop here on the blog. You can find a massive list of maps, from my earliest days to some of my most recent maps.

Click the image to visit the page, or use the link on the right column to visit the page o' maps.

The Great Hall redux

My buddy Vance (from over at Leicesters Ramble) is using a map of mine in his is latest adventure, it is an older map (but still checks out) and I figured "Hey, it is a slow Sunday, let's draw a map!" So, I took the map and redrew it in my latest style (I have sooo many). Enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Shiteton and environs

Drew this last year, but do not believe I have shared it as it had some information for the players. As that campaign has ended, I can now share. This is probably one of my favorite "regional" type maps I've drawn.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The Sepulchre of Seven

Hexagnome took a map of mine, plus one of Dyson's, and created a fantastic adventure. It is also FREE. Seriously, check it out, really well put together and laid out beautifully.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

B/X Actual Play podcast....that's actually good!

The other day over on FB (yes, I occasionally haunt there, and no I will not friend you) a fellow mentioned this podcast called Tale of the Manticore as a good actual play podcast. I gave it a listen

I can honestly say this is probably the BEST AP podcast I have listened to. The author weaves a story around the solo RPG he is running/playing in such a fashion that the overall effect is quite engaging. He splits this up with sidebar discussions on the character backgrounds (including the badguys), rules he is using or choosing not to use, and house rules and his reasons for using them. He also, so far, sticks to Matt's Best Podcast Guidelines #2: Stick to around 30 mins or so, otherwise you are simply bloviating.

As I said, this is a solo game but he manages to use voices and actors for some of the other parts and this along with his skills at storytelling come together to make a podcast not only interesting but a great listen.

Give it a listen, you might enjoy it (click the link or image above to head over to the TotM website).

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

White Box, where hath ye gone?

Random thought before bed:

It makes me quite sad that people seem to no longer be creating for WB like they once were a few years ago.  :-(

Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Fallen Golem (OSE) released!

Well, I decided to release this upon the world. I have decided to toss it up on because all the cool kids hang out over there. Swing by for screenshots of the PDF and let me know what you think! link:

And for those still over at DriveThru:

Friday, July 16, 2021

The Fallen Golem preview

Coming soon, currently in the review, proof reading phase. I will probably throw this up on as I have been itching to get something on that site for a while now. Hopefully, there are few errors/typos and I can get this wrapped up quickly. Sixteen pages of OSE player-slaying fun!

Friday, July 9, 2021

No man is an island, a dungeon tomb

I have an idea for this one, may write it up as a short, zine-style adventure. I hear they are all the rage these days.

 Another map. Enjoy.

The Fuck Your Printer* version.

The Sans Numbers version.

* Thanks for the cool name Vance!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms map

Further work on the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, still need to do some clean up and draw in the kingdom borders, but getting pretty close! This is about 1/3 the actual size (reduced for the blog), click on it and it will grow even larger for you). btw, those are not 'coins', those are seals, the one being the seal of the only king of England to have the honorific 'The Great". ;-)

Friday, June 25, 2021

Been a bit...

Working on a map for a friend, not done but I thought it might be fun to show some progression as I work on it.