All posts by Chuck

I've been a gamer, a geek and nerd for about 30 years. Any questions?

The Great Wall Experiment Part 1

Next up on Crafting List is to mess around with some ideas on wall sections. I really don’t expect or need to make a bunch of these but I am using them to do a few experiments on a couple techniques. So this is Part 1 and my delve into messing with some XPS foam.

The prep is pretty standard for doing any foam terrain. Yes, these make look a little shorter than most. That’s on purpose. My old “walls’ were 3/4 inch tall rather than 1 inch. This made them tall enough to “feel” like walls but not too tall to block line of sight to most miniatures.

My first obstacle is that the foam is so light. Many folks use nuts, washers, coins or even screws to counterbalance. But I’ve got shorter walls and wanted as much mass as possible at the bottom of the wall. So I grabbed some brad nails.

The idea is that I want to distribute as much mass as possible at the bottom of the wall to prevent them from tipping over. A simple horizontal slit on the underside and I pushed in two nails on the bottom of each wall section. When I did this I put the head of each nail opposite the other one.

Of course just to be sure, I wanted to add some small bases. For this, I opted for the good old Popsicle sticks or craft sticks cut to size. You could hot glue this. Personally, I hate hot glue guns but this is based on my own inability to use them with getting a tangle strands and making a mess. So I lifted an idea from Professor Dungeon Master from the Dungeon Craft Youtube channel. DAP Kwik Seal. It’s cheap. Water clean up. Paintable. And dries like a glue. It’s what I used for my Dungeon Stackers so it seems to work.

Then the simple part. Just slap on some paint. I know that this isn’t the best paint job. It was more about coming up with a proof of concept.

My final thoughts. It works well. The craft stick bases might be a bit of overkill but these little walls are pretty stable.

White Box Wednesday: Outside the Dungeon

This week I want to rant a little about the versatility of the underlying White Box rules. You’ve got those cool rules but you’re just in the mood for something else. No use having the players relearn an entirely new system just maybe a few genre specific ones. That leads me to these fine products.

Let’s start with White Star. IMHO, this probably the most popular of the White Box derivatives. It’s good old space opera and, yes, there’s a healthy dose of Star Wars influence. And if that doesn’t quite fit your fancy, there’s a very generous compatibility license so there are tons of supplements for it.

One of the more popular genres is eldritch horror. How can’t resist going insane while fighting elder gods? That gives us Eldritch Tales. While this too has generous compatibility license, I personally haven’t seen as many supplements.

Next up, a special shout out to one publisher, Night Owl Workshop. I mentioned them previously for their Beasties Books. But wait there’s more. They got a slew of stand alone White Box based games. You want Sword & Planet, Starship Troopers, Pulp Adventure, or Pirates. You’ve got it.

The neat thing is that since all of these games are basically compatible, a crafty GM can pull in all sorts of stuff from one and plant in another. Let that sink into your imagination for a bit.

And finally, I’m going to throw in some shameless self promotion. I even managed to put together a few supplements for White Star. And I did two stand alone games. Gary Vs The Monsters if you’re into the whole Evil Dead type vibe. And Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery. This one goes out to all those who grew up on comic books and cheesy sword & sorcery flicks on VHS rather than literary works.

So yeah. I’ve a bit of love for the White Box style games. And shh. I’ve got something else up my sleeve too. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by the old blog.

More Thoughts on ICRPG

Well, since the Master Edition of ICRPG hit a good price, I figured I’d grab that up and do some more deep thoughts on it.

The Master Edition contains the Core Rules plus the main supplements like Magic as well as a couple more settings like Ghost Mountain. As I said, I ranted about ICRPG before. It’s a good game and a good toolkit depending on how you want to use it. Heck, I’ve already incorporated a few things into my home game like the timer die. Recently, I’ve going through the forums and picking up bits of wisdom about the system. This also led me to an awesome fan Youtube channel.

I’m still iffy about a few mechanics but after doing all that digging, reading, and listening; I’ve got a better handle the design philosophy and how better to mold the game into my liking. And maybe that’s one of the reasons that I’m still chasing after it. I like when a creator says, go ahead and hack this. Heck, don’t even use all of it if you don’t want to. I’m even tempted to convert my current campaign to be ICRPG-centric. Plus I’ve got a couple of ideas bouncing around in the back of my head. I don’t know where that is going to take me.

Patreon VS Locals, Odysee Vs Youtube etc

What do do? I have had some craziness in life recently and I really started thinking. I know you’re expecting gaming content here. Well, this is about delivering more content and keeping the good old blog afloat.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My goal is not create a second income. Sure it would be nice but I want to be realistic. I’m very niche in what I post and what I like. I’d just like to set the reasonable goal of covering the costs of web hosting and occasionally buying some RPG product that I might not otherwise for a review. Nothing super spectacular there. So what to do?

I already have Patreon and Locals pages. There are pro’s and cons for each. Patreon is more popular and many folks are more comfortable with it. Locals does have a few more features available like native live streaming. It’s my personal feeling that Locals is much better than Patreon when it comes to building a community. Patreon feels much like building a virtual storefront or subscription service.

Of course, going a long with this thought process is video. Yes, I started a Youtube channel a long time ago and the pandemic blew things a part and I haven’t uploaded anything in a couple of years. But a lot of things have changed. It does take a bit of extra effort to do a decent video and I was just thinking is Youtube really worth my time as a primary video hosting solution? There’s a huge sound to noise ratio on Youtube. There’s just so many folks on there. It’s good but let’s face it, half of your task as a Youtube creator is working the algorithm and the other half is trying to keep up with what Google decides is the community standards of the day. I have plans of going of the deep end but heck if I want I should have some choice in the matter. Plus Youtube has made it even more difficult to reach that golden point of being noticed and maybe making a few cents off your work.

I’ve looked around at various alternatives and there really aren’t that many. I’m leaning towards Odysee. Sure there are a bunch of crack pots on there. But so are there on Youtube. And I suppose I could just use Youtube as back up for the Odysee videos and see what happens. As mentioned earlier, yes there are more people who use Youtube but there are so many and with Google’s algorithm the chance of someone finding it are about the same.

I did do a little experiment last year. I stopped sharing blog posts to Facebook. Yes, the blog does have a Facebook page that still gets auto posts. But I was also cross posting to a few fo the more popular Facebook group. I stopped doing that and just started posting on MeWe. Guess what? It didn’t affect the blog’s traffic. I had fewer pissy comments. And what’s even more interesting, blog traffic has actually gone up this year.

So with all those thoughts, what’s your opinion? What’s your experience? Or any other thoughts?

Building Your White Box Library

It’s White Box Wednesday and since I just started doing this, I’m starting with basics so to speak.

White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game is pretty much the go to for a rules set. However, it owes much of lineage to Swords & Wizardry White Box. And speaking of Swords & Wizardry, a good place to start building your library to milk ideas and inspiration is to grab up Swords & Wizardry Light and/or Swords & Wizardry Continual Light.

Both are very fine games but White Box FMAG does add the Thief and a few little bits. While both rules set are very compact, DM’s and players may find that a few of the “standard” D&D type things are missing like certain classes or monsters. But there’s slew of great things to grab up to start your library.

First, there’s the White Box Omnibus. This is the biggest bang for your buck. More classes, races, monsters, magic items, rules variants plus a couple of adventures. It’s got a bit of everything so overall, it’s got the most usability.

Every DM loves monsters and it’s good to throw a variety at the party. So here’s some more monster books to add to your collection. First up, Swords & Wizardry 0e Reloaded Monster Book. While this one isn’t specifically designed for White Box, it does have easy conversion notes for the monsters. I didn’t physically count them all but according to the back blurb there’s about 460+ monsters in there.

Next up there’s Beasties and Beasties 2 by Night Owl Workshop. While these two are primarily monster books, they don’t stop there. There’s plenty of other bits for the DM to use like tricks & traps, random tables, and NPC’s.

And finally, grab up Delving Deeper. This is a stand alone game and is great on its own. But if you’re running WBFMAG then adding this your your library is only adding inspiration and options. So it’s still a good and useful thing.

I know there’s more supplements and adventures out there. Don’t worry. There will be more rants in the coming weeks.