Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Test cover for Future Releases

With the new year comes a new format! Pre-existing adventures will keep their old covers, however, all new adventures will be in a similar vain to this test cover.

Thoughts?


Happy New Year everyone! See you next year!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Quick Note - King of Cards!

Well ... maybe not. A side project I'm working on.


With any luck they'll be approved by the time I get back from vacation and I'll be able to order them for the "client" before deadline.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Quick Note - Patron Supported Adventures will resume!

A really quick note as I go out to a Christmas party with the wife: Starting tomorrow I will once again be picking up the pen and creating five-minute adventures and the One-Page Romps this blog was (for a little while at least) known for.

I won't get much hammered out this month, but expect at least two winter themed adventures ... I got permission to go to my writing hole tomorrow night (also known as Books-a-Million) so expect one by Friday!

On another note, I will be at Spring MEPAcon in Scranton, PA and there will be at least 1 Eldritch Shadows playtest ... you've been warned.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Eldritch Appendix N

Some other blogger are posting their own personal Appendix N's either for their home campaigns or for their releases. So I figured that I would jump onto the wagon and hitch a ride! Eldritch Shadows (formerly Basic Modern) is very fairly formed from my childhood in the 80s and 90s and as such is heavily influenced by television Shows that existed at the time.

1. Beyond Reality

I watched this between the ages of 10 and 11 on USA network and from it gained one of my first crushes in Nichole DeBoer (Otherwise known as Ezri Dax of DS9). The show's mix of investigations and weird paranormal stuff that wasn't as overly dark or science-y as X-Files really matched with my likes and has kept with me since. This is one show that I wish hulu or netflix would actually pick up so I could watch it.

2. Poltergeist: The Legacy

For a year in the mid-90s my family had Showtime. This show and SG-1 were the main draws for me and I would typically race to watch every new episode I could. I was really drawn again to the "hidden" supernatural world and the team aspects of the show. Luckily for those of us in the States the show is available on Hulu.

3. Simon R. Green's Ghost Finders Series

A relatively recent addition, the Ghost Finder's series has the witty dailogue and brisk pace I've come to appreciate about Green's style. The series about a group of trendy, witty Paranormal Investigators who gripe about everything under the sun was one of the main pushes to finally get me to start thinking of modern paranormal roleplaying games.

4. Kolchak: The Night Stalker


When I was really little we lived in a farmhouse that was converted into an apartment in the middle of nowhere (honestly the place should have been condemned). As such cable was impossible and the days of satellite receivers NOT being the size of mini-vans was still years away. We got 2 channels on the antenna receiver and one of them player 2 episodes of Kolchak every day during the summer (right after Bewitched). I've heard stories of British children hiding behind sofas during Doctor Who ... well this was my Doctor Who. In 2005 they remade it with slick and sexy people ... it was horrible.

5.Dark Matter Novels

I've spoken before of how much I love TSR/WOTC's Dark Matter setting but truth be told I never played it. Until the d20 Modern version of the setting I never owned it and until e-bay I never saw the Alternity version of the setting. What I did have were the three novels released by WOTC in the early 2000s. I've read this books about 10 times each and with each reading am reminded how cool this would have been to play in! A setting where all the conspiracies are real, aliens, ghosts, Altanis, ancient relic machines ... makes me wish that the final 2 novels would have seen a paperback release instead of a digitial only released (stupidly back when people needed to be glued to a computer to read it*).

Out of the three books the first "In Hollow Houses" was the best with "In Whispers Call" being an amazing second.

*Seriously if anyone has the digital only books and would like to slip them to me ...

Quick Note - The Next Big Project - Eldritch Shadows

In the next three days Genius Loci Games will launch its very first kickstarter for a Swords & Wizardry Compatible adventure/sandbox/mini-setting. The resulting product should ship by June/July of next year (2015) ... depending on the success of that project I have a second lined up and now that I've received the permissions I needed for the cover art I can announce it.

Being written on the side right now and planned for a kickstarter in July/August of 2015 is my BasicModern supplement/setting for Swords & Wizardry. Basic Modern has been re-titled to Eldritch Shadows. Material for this supplement has previously been released and can all be found here in one fashion or another.

Fingers crossed folks! Fingers crossed!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Quick Review - Wanted by Assassin Games

Wanted
Wanted is a 23 page collection of extremely short "Adventures" for 5e and goes for $1.99. The description from the drivethrurpg listing states:

Written for the most recent edition of the most popular fantasy role playing game! This supplement is a collection of 10 very short adventures meant to be dropped into an existing low-level campaign. Each short adventure should provide enough material for a single session of play.
- The Raven: the rich are being targeted by a nimble thief, and a bounty has been placed upon their head. The true identity of the culprit is a shocking surprise.
- Mrs. O'Leary's Basement: clear some rats out of a basement. How noble a quest for heroic adventurers.
- A Vermin Problem: a plague boils up from the sewers, and the city guard is paying for each rat slain. Of course, they're paying more for an end to the problem.
- Dweller in the Dark: the local crypts have become a haunt by a ghoulish creature.
- The Unfinished Tower: flying menaces have decided to move into a tower before construction is finished.
- Grapes of Wrath: rare vintages were stolen, and someone is paying to have his wine recovered.
- Farmer's Lament: livestock are being slain, crops are being trampled, and something is leaving large holes in the fields at night.
- Death from Above: the streets are no longer safe after sundown, and a vicious killer is targeting people caught outdoors.
- Lingering Regrets: a man is haunted by his crime.
- A Knight's Blade: a stolen sword during a tourney threatens a knight's standing.
Additionally this supplement provides optional rules involving chase scenes, and hazards that may befall characters that venture into the sewers.

The "adventures" are really nothing more than a series of low-level encounter areas that are quite easy to pepper around the game world and are pretty easy to insert into nearly any homebrew or published setting. The collection is nicely presented, with graphic design elements that aren't hard on the eyes but also has nearly no artwork. Most of the "adventures" range from 1 to 1.5 pages and are very tidily done. The pdf also includes some new rules for chase scenes and sewer hazards which are decently done and quite fun. The only issue being that the referred to tables seem to be missing from my copy (however, this is easily fixed on the fly). Fun as the rules may be with the release of the Dungeon Master's Guide they're rather pointless.

As for the "adventures" themselves they're rather fun, if not overly short, and offer a nice diversion from a long campaign.  They do, however, require a lot of work on the part of the DM as they're as bare bones as possible offering a few location hints, tactics for the enemy and a quick overview of the situation. Still, out of the collection "The Knight's Blade" is my favorite as it can easily be expanded and turned into an entire session on its own due to the need for investigation and detective work on the part of the PCs.

Finally there are a few handouts/props for the players to lead them to the "adventures" that have a great sense of production value and really lend to immersion into the world.

Scale: 3.5 out of 5. I would recommend picking it up if for no other reason then to pick it apart for interesting side-quests or downtime killers for a long standing crew.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Queue

Recently through means of gifts, grab bags, and pure luck I've added greatly to my RPG collection. In the past week I've received through contests and gifts from followers and friends the following PDFs:

Numenera
The Strange
13th Age
Dungeon World
Cartoon Action Hour Season 3

I've also been lucky enough for friends and family to gift me the following in glorious murdered tree format:

Pacesetter  -  Cryptworld which was written by the man whose cows keep killing my Library group (I speak of you +Tim Snider !)
Shadowrun Fifth Edition
Dragon Warriors
Dark Dungeons
Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide

A lot of reading is on my table. I've begun to skim each of the books and so far out of the PDF collection I'm digging 13th Age and CAH3 the most. Dungeon World feels like it is trying too hard to me and Numenera is just ... huge ... I want to give it its proper due but I feel this massive tome would have been better served by a physical copy.

I'm really loving the simplicity of CAH3 and I'm dying to get my hands into its guts and create some awesome for it. My daughter has been clamoring for a new game since her S&W game ended a month ago and she isn't really feeling Hero Kids anymore so this might be a good call. I'm thinking of developing something along the line of Galaxy High but with middle school kids or one of the least known 80s cartoons that I loved; Kidd Video.

For me, I'm enjoying the writing of 13th Age more than anything else. I've yet to gain an option yet on the mechanics or game style it promotes, but the writing is fun and loose and I like the concept of the Icons. On the print side, I've been reading Dragon Warriors on the recommendation of a few other blogs ... I don't know what to think of it. It seems like it would be fun, but like my 30 minutes of trying to figure out action resolution in Cryptworld it is costly.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Quick Note - I summon a Fairy ... Like Tinkerbell!

Much to Codename: The Wife's chargin my three-year-old daughter has expressed an interest in gaming after watching/sitting in on a few of my older daughter's Swords & Wizardry game (if you want some details on this game listen to the latest Save or Die's e-mail section). Being that she is only three (a rather smart three-year-old but none-the-less, three) I figured I would play a game of +Justin Halliday's Hero Kids with her.

I didn't use a specific adventure or even give her a character, I just gave her the dice and gave myself some and told her she was in a large castle that was dark and spooky. Much of the twenty minutes of game was exploration and puzzle solving. However, near the end she looked under a bed and was attacked by a giant evil cat (with only one, yucky yellow eye). My daughter bolted, running from the cat at top speed. Unfortunately she ran into a dead end, and was trapped by the cat.

"What do you, Roe?"

"I ... I make a fairy appear!"

"Ummm ..."

"A Fairy ... like Tinkerbell!"

I was a little stunned, I figured she'd attack it or cast a normalish spell since she likes fantasy stuff ... nope, she summons a fairy. I didn't want to break flow so I just rolled with it.

"Okay, Roe." Hand her the dice. "Roll!"

She an I both roll, her magic (I decided) was 2 dice and the Cat's defense was 1 dice. My daughter won  with a 6 and 5 over my 2. She summoned the fairy.

"Okay, Roe ... now you have to tell the fairy what you want it to do and roll again."

She rolls first ... because hey my kids and following directions ... ha!

I roll too and get another 2.

"Okay fairy!" My daughter says and points into the open air. "Make kitty nice!"

The fairy shoots forward, sprinkling the cat with magic as it circles around it. The cat only has on life block so the "attack" works and the large evil cat transforms into a cute little kitten. The fairy returned to my daughter and vanished. The game ended with her picking up the kitten and petting it.

I was a fun little game and Hero Kids works especially well with such stream of thought gaming ... my daughter left the table telling me she wants to make a dragon appear next time ... oh boy.

So now my daughter is watching/playing with her MLP: FiM toys and I'm sitting at my desk trying to figure out some bloody rules for a summoner hero for Hero Kids!

Post Script - I'm thinking of using the Pet Cards Justin has already released and allowing the player to pick six pets. If the player's magic outshines the defender's defense the summon is successful and the pet comes into play.

A Summoner can only have one pet at a time and can make no attacks while the pet is in play.
Attack: Summon Pet
Special Actions:  Quick Call - Call your pet to you. It heads in a straight line to your side, making 1 dice attacks to all enemies between the two of you.
Bonus Actions: Best Friends - Gain 1 extra dice to defense when adjacent to summoned pet.
Inventory and Skills: Lore (animals), Food, Food, Gold