Thursday, April 28, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep5


Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.
Start here: Episode One

Octobri 20th
Weather still sucks. I am rolling terrible on the weather.

Toltin wakes up from a restless night of sleep, haunted by the visions of beautiful maidens swallowing his companions whole, one of which was a close friend. Hungry, Toltin heads to the hall and grabs a plate of eggs, slab of ham, and mead. He strikes up conversation with a few men and learns that previously a soldier was lost at the river to the very same beast! An idea pops into his head...

Gaining an audience with Loilor, who has now had to time ponder over this new development, Toltin tells the captain how he wants revenge and asks if he can spare any men to avenge his brother's death. The captain ponders a moment, a grim look crosses his face, and he informs Toltin that he cannot. However, he can offer a reward of 100gp to every man who would help Toltin with his task. He bids the man farewell, saying he will be successful!

Remembering he saw a few other travelers in the hall, he heads there, hoping that some are adventurers looking for fame and glory! 

I randomly determined there were three adventuring sorts in the hall, looking for an adventure. Using the random generator at I quickly put together three adventurers. 

<--- WB ability score bonus/penalty
One note here. At this point I opted to begin using the Ability Score bonuses out of B/X rather than BW. The main reason is that I do a lot of things by ability checks. I use a method devised by Tim from Gothridge Manor.  Using the ability score bonus/penalty from B/X allows a wider variance in the characters' abilities when attempting things not defined directly by the rules.

<---- B/X ability score bonus/penalty & Ability Check Method
In many situations I will ask for an ability check and assign a difficulty target, usually a 10 (easy),  14 (moderate), 18 (hard), etc. I typically will use 12, 14, or 16 for most checks, based on common sense and the situation. Still, these are just general guides. The Gothridge Manor ACM goes like this:
o DM determines a target based on the situation
o Player rolls d20, aiming to roll equal to or higher
o Player adds the character's level + any bonus/penalty from an appropriate ability

Toltin recruits a dwarven warrior named Basil the Stoutbellied, an elven woman named Findara Greensong who carries a bow, and a holy woman named Sister Grindella. Basil is shoving lambchops into his wide belly, Findara stabs a chicken breast a little too roughly, and Sister Grindella claims that she will certainly be of use in the task at hand because she "will not be so easily swayed into the creatures maw like a simple man." After discussions, they agree to finish their meal, then head out of the fort and towards the river, hoping to reach it before nightfall.

As I have already checked for weather I skip this, but as we are entering the wilderness and crossing a hex, I need to do an Encounter Check, and sure enough, I roll a 1.

Barely an hour outside of the fort, the band is suddenly engulfed in an atrocious smell, rotting flesh, urine, and poo...picture this heap in a hot Alabama summer and you have a good idea. Basil is familiar with this and informs the group they have been discovered by a pack of Skunk Apes! He grins wildly as he informs his friends that the pelt of a Skunk Ape is not only rare, but very valuable! Findara tests the wind to determine from whence the smell cometh. She silently points to a nearby ridge overlooking their position. Two hulking shapes can be seen among the foliage, the apes are upon them!

The band immediately reach for missile weapons, Fin launches an arrow and Tol lets a rock fly from his sling, both hitting and causing damage. Enraged, the beast charge forward spreading their smell. The entire band save Basil fail their save and become nauseous, gaining a -4 penalty to all actions.

Another round passes but the party fail to strike except (again) for Basil who manages a single point of damage on the beasts. Luckily the beasts are also terrible in melee and miss their attacks. The next round Toltin strikes and slays one ape with his sling. Now without a companion, the other ape rethinks the plan and turns, bolting into the forest. Missiles are launched at his disappearing rear but fail to connect.

Basil, despite the disgusting smell, is eager to cash in on this pelt and convinces the elf to aid him. Findara uses her skill at cleaning the kill and manages to score the genitals, an unscathed skull, and pelt while the rest of the party keeps watch. Basil is besides himself with the idea of how much this is worth back in the fort. He assumes Brother Iben will be eager to purchase these from the group for studying.

I used the cleaning a kill rules in the Into the Wyrd & Wild book to determine these rules. I have never had players clean a kill but I thought idea was fantastic. After all, how else would magic-users create all those cool potions and magic items without awesome monster parts! I originally wrote that they recovered 100lbs of meat, but then thought it better to leave that. Who would eat that garbage infested flesh? Barf!

After cleaning the kill, the band continues onward towards the river along the barely-there trail. They continue another three hours until night begins to fall. Searching for a good campsite off the trail, they discover a twenty foot tall statue nestled among the trees and bushes. Part of the statue has fallen and the thing is clearly very old. Near the statues base, Basil and Toltin uncover the entrance to an old cavern hidden among the bushes with markings clearly making this a tomb of some sort. Basil is eager to explore but the rest of the group convince him to wait for another day, that the siren is their task.

They set up camp nearby - but not too nearby - the statue. The night passes uneventfully except for Findara waking them at 5am to an odd owl that landed on the statue's shoulder and stared at them. Unnerved, they begrudgingly got up, packed up, and began their trek to the river and the blasted damn siren.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep4

The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.
Start here: 
Episode One

Well, last episode was a bit of a shocker...

Octobri 19th
Weather still sucks.

Toltin wakes up, still in shock, alone in the woods, hidden in a holler of a tree. He studies the forest a moment and gets his bearings before he makes his break. Then he continues straight to the fort, not stopping once to rest.

I roll for encounters, but again luck is with little Toltin and he makes it back unmolested.

Loilor grants him and audience immediately and Tol breaks the sad news to the captain, who oddly takes it quite well. The little man asks Loilor if he would but grant him some men, he would lead them back and take revenge on the beast for the death of his brother. 

"Half.....half-brother," replies the captain, deep in thought. "I will think upon this."

Toltin then returns to the fort lodgings and beds down, exhausted from his ordeal. He does not sleep well knowing the creature sleeps tonight with his two friends in its belly. He wakes in the morning, determined to avenge his friends, even if the captain will not help him.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep3

The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.
Start here: Episode OneStart here: 
Episode One

Octobri 18th
Weather is terrible. A cold rain falls with temps in the mid-40°s.

The band walks to a chilly and wet (read miserable) morning, luckily they were inside the fort lodging and are now well rested. Aldred is overjoyed to learn they have been granted an audience with his brother Cpt Loilor. They are even more pleased to learn they are invited to not only meet him, but to break their fast with him.

They join the captain and the meal goes well, bellies are full. The conversation is mostly about the brother's past, family questions, etc. Garmon is bored out of his mind and ready to go out exploring around the fort. He finds himself repeatedly interrupting with questions about nearby ruins that need exploring, what types of beasts haunt the surrounding woods, etc. Toltin is saddened the toothless bastard dwarf fails to join the meal. Aldred hands over the message to Loilor and we learn the contents:

Guess we need to figure that out, eh?  Using the Perilous Wilds book, I discover the message from the Bishop of Elswyth speaks of the discovery of a cave that was once a temple to a forgotten human god of time. He asks the captain to send men to explore the cave and return any important discoveries to the church in Elswyth. I suddenly realize a perfect confluence of events has come to pass. This fort is short men, as determined earlier. I failed to mention it in the last post, but I had already determined the reason behind Cpt Loilor's worrisome attitude was because his fort is undermanned. Using the table to to the left, again made on the spot, I rolled a d6 and determined that the fort should have 48 men but only has 33 (rolled a d6 and d10 getting a 3 and a 3).

Captain Loilor is short of men, and frankly a little "meh" about sending men to do this bishop's bidding. Garmon, notices the indecisiveness in Loilor and blurts out that he and his friends could handle this for the captain. Loilor eyes Aldred, thinking this might be just what Aldred needs to prove his worth and help set him on an honorable - and less drunk - path. Loilor agrees to pay each man 40gp to check out the temple, allowing them to keep anything they can bring back, so long as it is not determined to be of value to the church (as determined by Brother Iben).

The band decides to head out immediately following breakfast, Garmon's impatience proving too much for the others to battle despite the rain and cold. Checking with the fates quickly we have discovered something! Nearing evening they discover a river blocks our band's path and they are determined to cross before daylight ends. Unfortunately no easy way of crossing is found and Garmon, ever impatient, decides the best way to cross to chop a tree down and scamper across. The noise caused by this forces an encounter check and as luck would have it, I roll a 1. I use the PW's tables to determine the encounter is some sort of elemental fey creature. I grab my ItWaW and remember some sort of water fey beast.... A Weald Siren named Si-liren slides out of the water towards Garmon, smelling of honey and wine, he is immediately captured in her beauty, unable to help himself.  I mean really, can you blame him? Look at those!

Toltin and Aldred make their  saves but Garmon falls under her spell and begins dreamily wading through the water to her. The water sparkles across her naked body and the poor lout is hooked.  Aldred and Toltin know something is up and begin shouting to their friend, but to no avail as the man simply ignores them and steps into the water. She hums a sweet tune to him, drawing him to her. He struggles across the river, his gear coming loose and disappearing in the rushing waters. 

Aldred, terrified, yet oddly aroused,  runs to aid his companion, knowing this beauty cannot simply be a wonderous beauty chilling in the woods. Toltin uses the downed tree to scamper across the river, readies his sling, and takes a shot but misses. Aldred rushes ahead of the wobbling Garmen and attempts to wake him, standing between the dazed man and the naked beauty. 

Behind him, a rip appears down the chest of the beauty , and a gaping maw suddenly opens wide and  moves towards Aldred. 

In a moment, Aldred is gone.

Toltin is aghast but manages to clear his mind enough to attempt again to wake Garmon. I give Garmon another attempt as a save here but he fails. Standing there shocked, Tol can do nothing but watch as the creature splits down the middle and swallows Garmon whole. Holy fuck....

Toltin now stands alone before this beautiful horror.

Luckily he has the fortitude to force himself to act. 

He turns and runs for his life. 

He does not know how long he runs but he eventually finds himself alone in the woods, out of breath, and a little in shock. He finds a hollow tree, buries inside, covers himself with detritus, and falls fast asleep.  Luck is again on Tol's side as we find he has no encounters for the remainder of the day and the next evening.

Honestly, I was not expecting it to go sideways so damn fast, but hey, this is old school. The whole encounter with the siren caught me a little off guard, damn those things are nasty and she did somewhat surprise the group and have them at a disadvantage. I thought I would share the doomed character cards.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep2

 The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.

Start here: Episode One

Octobri 17th
Weather is mild but sunny and clear,  45°.

Brother Aldred rises early, ever the devote servant. He scrounges amongst the foliage and gets lucky! Among the weeds and bushes he spots a rare plant, aware of the local market's value, he collects a few, hoping to be able to exchange these for some extra gold at the Fort. He collects 10-15gp worth of Coriander, a plant often used to treat fever and illness. I threw together a quick table on the spot to determine the value of the Coriander. I rolled a 4, noting this was in "10s" value, then rolled a d10, getting just a "1", meaning this would be between 10-20, but likely closer to 10s, in town. 

After this, the remainder of the group begrudgingly wake, Aldred noting that Garmon likes his drink late in the evening. Aldred, a noted drunkard, has been taking steps to prove himself a better man and last night stood his ground, resisting the bottle. After a cold breakfast of trail rations, the group mounts the trail again. They keep a wary eye on the thickening forest around them. Rolling a d8 for encounters, noting that this sub-hex had just a 1 in 8 chance, I get a 7. I also rolled for the group to comes across a discovery, though as they are pushing to reach their destination and not searching, they have only a 1 in 6, rolling a 6. They come across nothing.

Pushing through the morning and only stopping for a light lunch and rest, the group manages to reach the fort just as nightfall comes. The fort's hex is a little more away from the civilization of Elswyth, and thus the encounter chance drops to a 1 in 6, here I rolled a 3. The group continues to travel unimpeded by an encounter. Rolling for a discovery, I get a 2, again they discover nothing. Some might claim the journey was less than exciting, but the little band of adventurers are happy to make it to the comfort of the fort without incident. The guards welcome them inside its walls with only a minor questioning. Aldred inquires about seeing his brother.

I opted to repurpose one of my maps from last year, made after a visit to Kentucky's Fort Boonesborough State Park (very cool place to visit if you are a history buff). More importantly, we have some things to determine at this juncture. 

Aldred's brother, randomly determined to be named Captain Loilor, has the follow details determined- he is an anxious man, worried about those in his care at the fort, he also has a bit of an air of a snob about him, and has a tendency to be a little rude. He also wears a medium length goatee on his face and has large hands (random tables can be weird some times).

I assumed that the fort would have a healer so I thought it prudent to determine who this person was. Also, I thought this might become important with Aldred's discovery of Coriander nearby. I asked the oracle some questions which provided some interesting answers:

Is he a man of the cloth? Ambiguous (weird answer, that later worked out...)
Is this person a poor example of piety? Yes (interesting)
Is this person here as a punishment? No

Quick notes on this person: Brother Iben: wears a headband and robe, head is shaved but he is selflish and coveting. Does he know Aldred? No. Does he know Toltin? Yes. Is he the person Toltin is looking to get revenge upon? No.

At this point I decided to find out who exactly Toltin wants revenge against. I came up with a list of people who might be here in the fort and I thought it might be interesting to keep the person to one of the staff or employees of the fort, thinking the conflict of Toltin harming this person might put Aldred in a tight spot with his brother (conflict spurs interesting outcomes). Randomly I determined that the Quartermaster was the Toltin's target, a dwarf named Ramli (missing teeth and a selfish SOB) swindled Tol in a game. Toltin knows this jerk cheated at a game.

The band is a little unhappy, and Aldred a tad ashamed, when his brother denies them an audience in the evening. Unhappy, they wander over to the dining hall. Toltin looks for his target but does not see him and Aldred is likewise disappointed when he discover the fort healer, Brother Iben, has already turned in for the evening.

The group settles down in the lodging building (open to travelers for free here in the fort so long as there is room and the patrons are in good standing), and turn in for the night.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep1

The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.

Octobri 16th
Weather is low today, about 45°, cold and overcast.

Brother Aldred, a middle-aged, pale-skinned, cautious man and servant of the one God is being sent on a task by the Bishop of Elswyth to Fort Rot Tooth. He was chosen for this task because he is the brother of the current commander of the fort, Captain Loilor. Aldred is a member of the clergy in Elswyth but not currently in good standing due to having been caught spreading falsehoods.

Accompanying him on this task is his good friend, Toltin Barebelly, a halfling, or hobbin as his people prefer to be called. Toltin is a roguish young man with mismatched eyes and a vengeful spirit, but he is loyal to the end and he refuses to let his friend traverse the dangerous roads to the fort alone. Toltin knows many people at the fort but is unaware that Toltin’s anger burns hot for one particular person at the Fort, and he is eager for revenge.

The bishop has recruited another traveler to accompany the pair, a warrior named Garmon. The man with a pockmarked face is a servant of the church, but one working through demons of his own past deeds caused by his impulsive and impatient personality.

I rolled all three characters according to the rules in WB:FMAG and then used the tables in Freebooters on the Frontier to determine random virtues and vices. I also used my oracle to determine the relationships between the three characters, the bishop and the brother at the fort.

The trio gear up and set out on the somewhat commonly used trail to the fort, roughly a two day walk away from Elswyth. Setting off mid-morning, they are hoping to make it about halfway and set up camp in a mostly safe location. The forest is notorious for being dangerous and few would recommend stepping from the path.

I am using the Forest as a Dungeon section in the Into the Wyrd and Wild book to determine locations of  various places within the hex, the size of each of those locations, the paths between them. I also determined that the farther away from Elswyth one traveled the more likely the chance for a random encounter. You can see this reflected in the image below by the number in the right upper corner of each sub-hex (a 1 in 6 chance, a 1 in 4 chance, etc). The entire area is heavily forested but I threw together a quick table on the spot to determine the underlying terrain beneath the blanketing forest, you can see this in the top left of some hexes below as "flat", "hills', or "rocky". An observant person might notice the fort actually began as a keep, which I later changed to a fort so I could reuse one of my own maps.

As evening approaches the group has come across a small clearing surrounded by a ring of gnarly looking trees, full of wrinkles and folds, nary a leaf droops from their twisted and black limbs. Toltin notices one odd looking tree, covered in wrinkled bark. Suddenly a fold opens, exposing a large eyeball staring back at him and the group.

These encounters were randomly generated using the tables in The Perilous Wilds. The tables are wonderfully varied and somewhat vague enough that they inspire creativity instead of simply giving you the answer. In my opinion, these tables are highly effective and creating unique and unexpected encounters covering a wide range of possibilities. Each roll provides a certain level of detail with additional rolls providing even more detail and depth. I use them until something piques my interest and/or creativity springs forth and the ideas begin to flow.

Unsettled by this, they continue a short way and then find another area - a ring of standing stones. Investigating,  Toltin and Garmon are overcome with a calming feeling while within the stone ring. A more cautious man, Aldred is not comfortable and worried about personal exposure to the unnatural and heathen powers of the forest.

The group settles in for the night, Toltin forages for berries and using his sling actually scores two squirrels that Garmon is able to cook up a decent meal without using one of their rations. A nearby stream allows them to refresh their wineskins and head into their bedrolls with full bellies. A watch is set up and the fire doused so as to not attract attention.

I used the Wyrd and Wild rules for supply usage and quickly hacked up a way to use these with the existing WB:FMAG rules to cover the food and water (I plan on tracking rations, water, and torches because I want survival to be important but also the possibility of failure to always be there). I split the night into segments of three hours (6-9, 9-12, 12-3, 3-6), rolling for each a d6. Luckily for our group, they never rolled a one and made it through the entire night rested and without bother.

For those so inclined, I have included shots of my notebook I used to run this. The above took about two hours as I was fumbling a little at the beginning on how to get started, which tools to use and determining the details of the hex, why the group was together, and exactly how to get started. Once I had all these pieces ironed out, the actual playing did not take muc more than 30-45 minutes. The truth is, it really is quite hard to get going.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

White Box Adventure, issue 1!

I was working on this right before my near-death experience last fall (ie, involved a mimic masquerading as a ladder). I was just reminded of it and thought I should get around to releasing it! Thanks to Narmer for reminding me.

It can be found at

Saturday, April 16, 2022

White Box NPC cards

I have been playing a solo White Box game for a few days now and I am developing NPCs in the locations the PCs frequent and I wanted a similar system to the character sheets I posted recently so I tweaked the design I had into an NPC card. Might still make some changes but I wanted to share.

I am using a handful of random tables, a few books, and some Tarot cards for much of the game's direction. Thinking I might compile/combine these into a single document for ease of use but also so that others might be inspire to try their hands at solo RPGing.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

April Map 02


click to embiggen

Monday, April 11, 2022

White Box index character sheet!


You have no idea how long I have been looking for a 'good looking' but useful index card character sheet for White Box FMAG, as in one you could actually print on a 4x6 card. There are some floating around but many are either too verbose with stuff or they are just plain ugly to look at. I have been thinking about how to make one and today I had a couple of hours of messing around to get something I actually liked. Thanks to Alex and Steve for suggesting improvements to the design. I am going to keep playing with it and will drop a PDF once I am fully happy with the design and it has been vetted in play.

I am planning on starting up some more solo gaming and I wanted an easy to read, not-fugly, card to use for my characters. I am thinking I may make something like this for NPCs in the game as well.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

April map 01

click to embiggen

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Fixing OSE To Hit Bonus progression

If you have spent more than an hour talking to me about OSE, you undoubtedly know that I hate the plateau effect

To explain, here is the typical Fighter progression in OSE. Notice how our combat based character gets exactly zero better and actually hitting things for 7,999 experience points? At this point he gets better to the magnitude of 2 points. Then, they need to score another 55,999 xp to get better. This always drove me crazy. Your character plods through the dungeons for days or weeks, never really getting better and the SUDDENLY he jumps up by TWO points. I cannot think of one thing that goes through three (or four, or five) iterations and then goes up by two points. Shouldn't there be growth by one point somewhere along the way??? Just fails to pass the common sense test for me. 

Now, about this time some well-meaning asshat grognard is going to come along and explain how hit points increasing is a measure of their ability to get better in combat, or some other halfbrained idea.  And YES, I know the historical reasons as to why it goes up by two or three points every three or four levels. I get it. Whatever. This is my blog, so hop off. 

This method is dumb. Always has been dumb. Period. Full stop (for you old people like Brandon).

My friend Steve came up with the mathy behind this better idea. I opened up Affinity Publisher and fixed the original OSE page below. Thanks Steve!

Now, your favorite fighter can not suck at second level and actually show he has learned some fighting stuff when he killed those 100 goblins! Look at that!

I also did the cleric, original:


Thief, original:

I will continue to work on these and post more classes soon.