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Showing posts from 2013

Closing the Year and Another One to Open

I started this blog on a wild whim in May. I had no idea what I was doing how to proceed past the few posts that I had already created and that were - in all honesty - mostly game content with little to nothing else.  Since I started Genius Loci I have released over 43 monsters to this blog, 10 spells, 3 free adventures, 5 races and 7 or 8 classes! This on top of about 200 other posts ranging from reviews, rants, ideas about how to run games, and kickstarter barking.

When this started up I figured by the end of the year I would have maybe 10,000 its to the blog, Instead I am ranging some where in the 40,000s with my most popular post ( Five things to remember in a post-apocalyptic setting) having over 1,546 views. Again wow!

I have all the people who read this blog to thank for the success (or apparent success in my mind) I have been a part of. 124 followers, 11 blog centric followers. People +1ing me, commenting on what I do, and seemingly enjoying and using what I am creating! Once …

Quick Note - Back to Work!

I am back to work on Innfjord! After a much needed break from the the huge adventure I've finally returned to it and am ready to finish! I have art resources on the way in terms of both commision (thank you +Oxide JCHart and +Theo Evans ) and stock art and am working on getting some more of both.

Here is a small sampling of the Temple of Balance Crypt area that will be part of the adventure (if the Referee and Players choice it to be). I will be posting my designer map of it tomorrow so you can all see the process of design. My wife would worry that this would cause no one to buy it because it is here for free, however, if anyone here can read my hand-writing you deserve it for free :)

One thing that may be noticed while looking over the sample is that I've begun to pull Innfjord more and more into the Eira setting and away from the Generic drop and play of the five-minute adventures. I don't know if this is a good idea yet, but with the Cartographer's Guide to the Cr…

Quick Note - Error with Cartographer's Guide

I got an e-mail today from someone who ordered the Cartographer's Guide before the update. So anyone who picked up the original release (or later) are you getting the update file with the Z-listings, new cover and interior artwork?

all of these things show on the preview, however, there seems to be a hiccup in Drvethru's system that is still defaulting to the original file.

Please let me know if anyone else is having this issue, thank you!

Quick Note - Cartographer's Guide to the Creatures of Eira @ 26!

As of 1930 EST my Creature guide is sitting at 26th in the top 100 over at RPGnow! Quite awesome!

Cartographer's Guide to the Creatures of Eira, Final Edition is Live!

The final edition of the Creature Guide is now available over at Drivethrurpg for $1.50 until January 2nd, after which it will be going up to its full price of $4.00. The creature guide features 45 (including several never seen before on the Genius Loci blog) monsters inspired pulp stories of the 1930s and the mythology and folklore of the British Isles. This final edition features six pieces of interior art of original commission pieces and stock art as well as a new cover that invokes the "tome" look of the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons.
All monsters presented in the Creature Guide are written in the stat block style of Swords & Wizardry and Crypts and Things and are fully compatible with most if not all early edition OSR.
Take a look, pick up a copy and spread the word! 
Cartographer's Guide to the Creatures of Eira

Quick Note - Creature Guide, Eira and more

Yesterday I released the Creature Guide, a collection of monsters and creatures from this blog an a number of adventures (both published and unpublished). All said the book contains 43 monsters and comes in at 27 pages.

So far the Guide is not doing to well and I am trying to figure out ways of improving sales and getting the book out there. One of those is a new cover. While I love the simplicity of the current cover (and +Theo Evans art), I must admit that the simple white and black nature of the cover may be turning people away from it. The potential new cover is still being figured out but below is my idea so far. I need to get in contact with some people to see about a small image for the cover but so far the center is blank

I have also removed the "Preview Edition" from the title as that may have also impacted anyone taking a look at the book.

Eira has gone through a number of changes recently, the biggest being that I have decided to take my own advice and make th…

Cartographer's Guide to the Creatures of Eira is now live!

The preview edition of my creature guide is now live over at Drivethrurpg. As I've discussed previously, this preview version has all 43 creatures from my blog and adventures.
This version of the Creature Guide is a preview edtion due to the lack of artwork or advanced layout styles and as I've mentioned before I am using the funds gained from the preview edition to fund the hiring of artists for the full and final version.
So please, pick it up and spread the word!
Link:  Cartographer's guide to the Creatures of Eira Preview Edition

Quick Note - Air ships, floating islands and WONDER!

Quick Note – Islands in the Sky
One of the most classic (in my opinion) tenets of fantasy is the sky island, or temple or generally just a giant floating SOMETHING that shouldn't be floating at all. Throughout games, movies, tv shows and so on there have been various means and ways in which character have made it to these places, but the most famous tend to be teleportation and airships.
Airships are in my opinion one of the best methods as they allow for so much more than just a one stop mechanic, like teleportation does. However, airships (outside of Eberron and some Science Fantasy settings) have pretty much gone the way of the dodo and are considered to be hooky little things that take away from the modern opinion of grimdark and dungeon punk. Personally I like airships, they add a sense of swashbuckling, high adventure to a game and if they are a rare thing make the characters think of themselves as somehow special or unique in their world. However, let's go back to th…

Quick Note - Blizzard Combat (no not that Blizzard!)

There's a storm coming, a possible blizzard and some are even whispering of a nor'easter. Honestly, the mountains protect us from most bad things, however, with all the talk and all the fear going on at work (I work for a courier business this is the busy time of year) it got me thinking, how can weather and blizzards especially effect a game … or more specifically how can it affect encounters.
Here is the scene: The party is breaking hard for the north, something of importance lay in the depths of an ancient ice cavern thought scared by the local tribe of Yeti-Men. Unfortunately, the Eldritch Queen has her glowing green eyes on the same damn thing.
While it has been snowing the whole time the wind and speed and cold come to a head around the second round once this happens three things occur.
Weather Effects – Blizzard:
1. Visibility drops seventy-five percent. What does this mean? It means the players can only see a quarter of their move rate in front of them, it also me…

Quick Note - Dyvers' and a General Update

First a most awesome annoucement: I have made it onto +Charles AkinsGreat Blog roll. This, for me is a great honor and Ipretty much squeeled for joy when I found out. To make it even more awesome is the great write up that Mr. Akins did for Genius Loci:

Genius Loci  This highly productive blog will re-energize you and remind you why playing Dungeons and Dragons is so worth the effort. The author has a quick mind and will make you a fan of their style of play. Always worth reading, and not read nearly enough. Updates: Daily. So pretty much totaly awesome. If you haven't checked out the Great Blog Roll I suggest you do, I have found a good ten blogs I've not hear dof or read that I am now thoroughly enjoying.

In other news! I am watching Venger's The Island kickstarter with an almost obsessive habit as I both want it too suceed for I think Venger is rather awesome and because I gauge whether or not I can accomplish the same at some later date. As others have said before, Ven…

Quick Note - I got nothing

Nothing so much as being done tonight thanks to the real world. But I hope some enjoyment can be had over my most recent D20 Future post from the PBP game I'm in over at

A little backgorund on the game. A comet was going to hit Earth, the governments of the world united created "The Last Hope" a cyroship that would be autopiloted throughout the universe looking for a new home for the human race while a couple hundred thousand people slept in cyrosleep.

Something happened a couple hundred years later a few of the people in cyrosleep were awakened by an AI that was not part of the ship's original programing and now we're here ...

Lily chuckled at Tom’s question and shrugged. “Way too much Sci Fi intake as a kid. I would rather John Carter over Aliens any day …” she looked down at her leg and more soberly added. “ … and with recent events I’d rather be paranoid than not, sir … Tom ... Sir Tom?” She mentally face-palmed as she backed away…

Quick Note - Brian Fitzpatrick's Urban Dressings is Live

+Brian Fitzpatrick just released his Game Master resource kit "Urban Dressing: Sages" over on the Onebookshelf sites for $1.99. It is a table generator  for populating and making a sages' market or shop in any urban setting different and unique while giving the Game Master's brain a bit of a break in plan all the lurid details. There is also a few sample sages at the end of the title if the GM has even less time!

From Drivethru:

A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM's Resource by Brian Fitzpatrick
Tired of your towns and cities being boring, bland places in which your PCs show little or no interest? Want to bring your towns and cities alive with cool, interesting minor features of note? Then Urban Dressing is for you!
Each installment in the line focuses on a different common urban fixture such as shops, stalls, thieves and so on and gives the harried GM the tools to bring such features to life with interesting and noteworthy features.
This installment of U…

The Crawling Madness - Generic Creature for Any Setting

Work is extremely insane this time of year for me. From what I understand it wasn't that bad before the internet but now with everyone ordering online working in a shipping service can be a bit crazy. Haven't had much time of late for much, but I hope this one find everyone well ...

Crawling Madness Type: Outsider  Hit Dice: 6 Armor Class: 3 [16] Attacks: Bash (4d6) Saving Throw: 11 Special: Non-magic weapons do half damage. See Below Move: 6 Alignment: Chaos Challenge Level/XP: 11/1,700 The Crawling Madness is a semi-sentient creature of the Outside, which resembles a mass of mangled cancerous bodiesfused into the shell of a giant slug which itself appears to be a raw, oozing tumor full of tufts of hair, gnashing teeth and glistening blisters and boils. The “shell” of the Crawling Madness moves and writhes, eyes bulge and fade back into the massive of melded bodies and oddly, every so often, the forms of coupling can be seen from the figures of the “shell”. The sight of the Crawling Madne…

Quic Note - Here,,

+Mark Van Vlack has a very interesting post over at his Dustpan Games blog today about game development and moving a game from a P.I.G (Possibly Interesting Game) to an I.G (Interesting Game). At the end of the piece he poses a question, one that I hope I can suitably answer.

What about a game grabs your attention enough to give it a second or even third look? What is it for you that will turn a P.I.G into a purchase?

The first and most important thing for me when choosing a game is to be able to flip[ through it and review what is on pages. This is one of the main reasons I like One Bookshelf's “PayWhat You Want” feature and believe more developers should utilize it. As our hobby moves more and more away from the traditional brick and mortar game stores and from physical books in general the normal ways of discovering a game system go away as well. Typically with pdf and epub the reader is unable to flip through the digital pages and skim to see if he enjoys what is on the page an…

Quick Notes - Its Alive! ALIVE!

Designing monsters and creatures is, by now, old hat for me. It is by far my favorite thing to do outside of adventure design when it comes to game design. There is just something purely unique about taking something that does not exist anywhere but your head and giving it physical form and property.

Right now I've taken a break from “Lights Over Innsfjord” for the simple fact that I was starting to get burnt out from it. I plan to continue the writing part after Christmas but for now have allowed myself to just do map design for the eventual hiring of someone to do actual good maps. In the meantime however I’ve been putting in work on another (much shorter) adventure for Matt Jackson’s “Edge of Space”. I’ve talked of “Helena’s Gauntlet” a few times over the past few weeks but this will be the first time that more than a simple fictional blurb has appeared.

After the initial battle with the a great roaring sound can be heard in the distance and echoes off the canyon-like walls o…

Quick Note - Monster Slayers WotC's old attempt at a Kids Game

A few years ago (2010 I believe) Wizards of the Coast released a download on their site for teachers, librarians and parents interested in using games (and in particular roleplaying games) as a teaching aid. They touted the math skills, the social interaction and problem solving skills and a whole slew of things that sounded wonderful towards inventative ways to teach kids. What we got was Monster Slayers, a quick skeleton of a game with an attached adventure all building off of the Monster Slayer kids book that Wizard's produced the year before (but rarely found in the wild).

The best way to describe Monster Slayers is to say +Justin Halliday did it better. It is a parsed down 4e game with widgets for health that can be marked off, special abilties and cute pictures. What's missing is a sense of wonder and adventure (which Halliday's Hero Kids has in spades). Still it was an interesting direction that WotC tried to go into and honestly I wish it would have been a success …

Kickstarter Barking - The Island of Purple-Haunted Putrescence

+Venger Satanis's who is the creator of Liberation of the Demon Slayer (see part one of my review here) has just started a kickstarter campaign for another massive adventure. Unlike the dungeon crawl of LotDS, The Island will will be a wilderness adventure. That's right, take Venger's flavor for the Lovecraftian and Weird Fantasy and place it in an open world!

The kickstarter has a pretty average buy in rate with  $10 getting donors a .pdf, $20 getting them a soft cover and so on and so forth up to $150 which gets the donor a chance to help create a a piece of the adventure. That could be anything from an NPC on up (but I would suppose within reason and copyright).

The Island of the Purple-Haunted Putrescence runs for the next 29 days, so it has a rather short funding cycle, but goal is at a reasonable $3,500. Venger has also kept the stretch goals at a pretty reasonable level with page and story increases rather than the oft-doomed physical rewards.

Take a look and if you l…

Quick Note - DM's Craft started a monthly building competition.

I don't know how many of you watch the DM's Craft on youtube so let me give you all a quick run down. Basically a series of DIY videos for roleplaying set-pieces. Things like tiles, miniatures, props and so on.

Honestly, I don't have the time or the room to do some of the things that get taught in these videos but they are very interesting to watch. I always find people actually making their stuff to be extremely fascinating. There is just something about knowing people are using their own skill and abilities (or even just trying) to create something from nearly nothing. Always amazing.

As for the competition it will be held monthly, a topic will be given over at the DM's Craft forums (link here), which you would have to join. People create, post about and the best wins (and wins something). In the process the DIY crew learns a bit from one another and the skills of each crafter grow.

Quite excellent.

Now, paging +matt jackson because I know he enjoys the crating of t…

Quick Note - The Future of the Creature Guide

Looking at the WIP creature catalogue today I realized that without an introduction, table of contents, cover, pictures or any frills I have nearly 30 pages of creatures now for the Cartographers' Guild's Guide to the Creatures of Eira. Unfortunately, I in no shape, way or form can afford to get the art or for cover or interior of the book nor can I get a layout artist or editor.

I am faced with three choices at this point:

1. Abandon the idea of publishing a collected list of the creatures I've so far created.
2. Take to indiegogo or kickstarter and become another Nystul.
3. Release a pay-what-you-want no frills version of the guide. Just monsters in a bookmarked pdf for the express reason of gaining funds to buy art and layout for the a true release of the book.

Personally I'm leaning toward the third option but I figured I would ask the community at large their opinion on the matter.

So how do you think a no frills pwyw would work as a funding source for a true rel…

Arkan Sonney - Creatures of Eira Preview

In Manx folklore, the Arkan Sonney is a fae-being that has the appearance of a white wild pig or boar with glowing red eyes. It is said that catching an Arkan Sonney alive will bring good luck to the person that caught it.
In Eira the Arkan Sonney is a creature of the Night Lands that escaped into the mortal realms during the war between the Au-Sidhe and the Un-Sidhe. With no natural predators, and a natural ability to mate with mortal pigs and boars, the Arkan Sonney soon spread across the entirety of Eira.
The Arken Sonney is tempered much like the Wild Boar but much more intelligent and cunning and with some powers native of the fae realms. It is said (although never seen) that some of the older Arken Sonney can speak in both the fae and mortal tongues.
Arkan Sonney King Eld, known as the “Hunter of the North” to his people looked with dismay as the tracks of the boar he had spent most of the day tracking vanished into the frozen bogs. Holding up his hand in a lose fist to signal to …

Quick Note - Suffer my bad writing skills!

Jorge and his dwarven companion sat in silence, looking out into the darkness of the forest, behind them the camp fire burned bright and merry and the wizard, Torbis snored gently into his bed roll. The journey from the forgotten mines had been tough and full of lose. Someone had let loss the news that they, the Company of the Fallen Star, had conquered that eldritch place and taken its treasures. First came the bandits, easy fodder for the Company’s blades and spells. Than came the knights and war-wizards of every warlord and should-of-been-king in the Nine .Those hadn’t been so easy to be dispatched and the running game of cat and mouse had cost the Company much including Eli. Helm (for no one knew his real name) was the hardest hit by the loss of the Halfling rogue, the large dwarf had considered her a blood sister, and a kid sister to boot. He looked back at the fire, removing his glasses so he wouldn’t be blinded, and stared at the empty patch of ground where her bedroll should hav…

Barking - Bad Myrmidon

As Erik Tenker over at Tenker's Tavern already reported, the OSR adventure Bad Myrmidon was released yesterday through drive-thru rpg and its affiliated sites as well as Lulu. The adventure is pay-what-you-want but any proceeds gained from it help Mandy Morbid in her continued battle against Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Honestly, I had no idea what Enlers-Danlos Syndrome was before seeing this adventure but according to Mayo Clinic it is

a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissues — primarily your skin, joints and blood vessel walls. Connective tissue is a complex mixture of proteins and other substances that provides strength and elasticity to the underlying structures in your body.  People who have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome usually have overly flexible joints and stretchy, fragile skin. This can become a problem if you have a wound that requires stitches, because the skin often isn't strong enough to hold them.The adventure is made by a pretty kick-ass crew in…

Quick Note – Video Blogs, Monsters and Mansions … Oh, my

Last week I talked of branching out and starting to do something besides the normal blog on a weekly or monthly basis. So far the thoughts of everyone seem to be in the realm of a video blog addition to the normal blog. This was the top of my list as well so I have been rather happy with the result that others seem to like it as well. Now then the question is what to do with it. My first thought for this is to use a video blog entry to highlight play-testing of Eira material, “kid” thoughts on the modules of the old school. Why kid in quotes, because I’m 32 and didn’t start playing Dungeons and Dragons until the third edition which means that I am a kid in my own mind to the OSR community.I think it would also be nice to use the video blog to feature other things that I have yet to think of … if anything. If I do a video entry though I would like it to be semi good looking, I’m already wondering what I would need to do to make it look as if I’m not just sitting in front of my computer …

Quick Note - Art samples for innsfjord

+Oxide JCHart of omegapointilliststudios is working on some of the art for my upcoming Lights over Innsfjord adventure. Check out what he's done so far and if you want to see more or get some for yourself see his storefront over at RPGnow/drivethrurpg.

Quick Note - The Gifts of the Frog Gods!

Got my Frog god gift box in today. I picked up the $30.00 box for mainly financial reasons but I am impressed by what I got.

The List:

Swords & Wizardry Monster Deck
Rappan Athuk kickstarter pin
Necromancer Games sticker
K2 - The Diamond Fortress
G5 - Chaos Rising
G7 - Morrick Mansion
The Tome of Horrors III
The Lost City of Barakus

A lot of old Necromancer Games stuff for 3rd edition. I had my fingers crossed for more S&W type stuff but still great haul for $30.00!

If any of you haven't looked at Erik Tenkar's post about this than I suggest you either do that or head right over to the Frog's site for the deal!

Also I bet I'm the reason for the big red text message at the top of the page. My apologizes +Bill Webb and the rest of the Frogs!

Quick Note - Survey Says?!

Quick survey question (okay two questions really) for everyone out there.  As I look toward the of the blog I wonder what else I can do, I've seen some people have weekly/monthly podcasts and livestreamed google hangouts that are than shared VIA youtube. I have seen some people do podcasts aobut gaming, reviews, live play, etc. This all in mind, I ask the following of you all:

1. Do you think it would be a good idea for me to do a 5-10 minute video something once a week or month.

2. If yes, what would you like that video something to be about?

Sorry for the rather lame post tonight, but it is something that has plagued my mind in th elast few weeks. Also, I broke my wrist today at work ... typing one handed is rather time consuming.

Quick Note - Game Geeks #218 The Age of Shadow

Game Geeks is one of my long time and favorite gaming related review series. The series has slowed down in recent years and is more monthly than weekly, but still Kurt Wiegel (the host) is excellent at what he does and is very informative. I highly recommend watching.

Age of Shadow can be purchased for $2.99 at Drivethrurpg: Link

Quick Note - Five things to remember in a post-apocalyptic setting.

There are many things to remember when your combing the wastelands of a future suburbia. Mind the zombies, don't anger the mutants and remember to have a melee option. However, there are actually quite a few “real” things people would need to worry about should they want to/or have a game master who likes a little realism in their world gone to hell game.
1. Don't burn the sofa. If you need to make a fire (especially for food) don't ever use worked wood. Most woods that have been used in home construction, furniture and Cabinet making and so on have been chemically treated to last longer, stained or some combination of the two. When burned this wood releases the chemicals and can cause any number of problems. Including insanity.
2. Get a bike. Gas and electric power are going to be hard to get a hold of after a little bit of time and sooner or later it will run out all together. Breeding, caring for and feeding a horse can be difficult and you cannot run them into the …

Quick Note - A Quick Update on nearly everything

With the "peak" time of year now here for my profession I have a nasty feeling that my ability to post a lot on the blog will be greatly reduced. Just the lose of my mornings in the last two weeks has negatively affected my ability to blog and to read the materials I would like to review (heck, I'm now back to my four re-reading of Liberation of the Demon Slayer). However, I am still trying to plug away at everything I am working on for Genius Loci Games, various fan-zines (speaking of, does anyone know when +Erik Tenkar's 'zine is being released?) and this blog. As such, her is a very short update on everything I am working on at the moment.

Helena's Gauntlet

My second entry into the Edge of Space setting is moving along swiftly with alpha map designing done and mostly hand written write-ups on the different streets and areas that are left standing for the players to explore. Despite my descriptionin the short fiction piece, Helena is a very "small"…