Category Archives: Adventures in Gaming

Sometimes we get together and play an RPG.

Barbaric! Resources

Let’s face it. Barbaric! from Stellagamma Publishing is becoming a favorite of my folks including myself. But being a new game, there aren’t many resources for it, yet, and most stuff is written for the d20 based games. Never fear. I did a little thinking and digging and here you go.

On the blog side, Eric over at Swords & Stitchery and Mark over at Cross Planes have done fine job of brewing up some monsters for Barbaric! and Cepheus Atom. There may be more out there but these two just happen to be in my Internet sphere. Yes, I have to get off my butt and do some posts. Trust me. I’m working on it.

The most obvious resource is to pick up Sword of Cepheus. It’s basically the daddy of Barbaric! Sword of Cepheus uses the full blown Cepheus Engine rules so it’s more complex in many fashions. The monster stat blocks are more involved but can be easily converted. There’s a more detailed equipment list plus a bunch of new or expanded random tables to make a Barbaric! game more interesting. All that is ready with little or no conversion. Just recently released is Scandinavian Legends with more monsters and spells! I haven’t had too much of a chance to go over this one yet nor have I had a chance to even look at Of Realms Unbound. And how can we forget Quantum Sorcery if you want an even lighter game than Barbaric!

Now on to a few books that I think every GM should have any way. There’s Tome of Adventure Design. Sure it says Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry on the cover but the majority of the tables are system neutral. Now, this is a pretty hefty book and it’s not really designed to used at the table but for GM prep and inspiration. Along those same lines is The Dungeon Alphabet. I’ll admit that this I had totally forgotten about. This is another great mostly system neutral resource.

I’m also cheap and there’s a couple of free PDF’s from Northwind Adventures for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Namely, the Drunken Debauchery random table and the Adventure Generator. These too are system neutral. Oh there’s more stuff on their resources page.

I know there’s more out there but I just wanted to pick out my “top” picks for stuff that I would turn to.

One World, Many Possibilities

So how may campaign worlds do you use? OK, sure for a specific game, setting, or genre you use something specific but as a go-to setting how many do you use?

Let me explain this a little better. My standard fantasy setting is the world of Zoong. So if I’m just getting the group together that’s the place I go to. And it doesn’t matter which system I use. I’ve ran adventures in this setting with 5E, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Swords & Wizardry, and Labyrinth Lord. And it’s been with mostly the same group of players.

They’ve always had fun. They are already used to the gods, the lay of the land, and some NPC’s. We’ve had the unwritten “rule” that players shouldn’t use player knowledge. Plus there’s no indication which chronological order these campaigns have. Not all of the campaigns have taken place in the same geographic region. Heck, these might be alternate universes. Plus I’ve made changes here and there based on what the players have done and any really interesting things that have happened like Cthulhu hating demi-humans.

It also makes things easier for me as a GM. I don’t have t reinvent the wheel each time. I’ve already got a base to start. And plenty of old notes that haven’t been used yet. I like keeping my notes generic and inspirational rather than detailed. First, I want to have easy ways of importing cool published adventures. Second, you never know when a random NPC catches the players’ attention and becomes important. And third, some times there are world changing events thanks to the PC’s or even a really crazy die roll. Keeping the options open.

New Year, New Game

Like most COVID practically wiped out any chance to game. This year I’ve got to get something happening. I doubt in person gaming will happen and I’m still looking at various online platforms and haven’t decided on any of those yet. But first I want to talk about the ideas bouncing around inside my head on what to run.

White Box: Because everybody loves fantasy and White Box is rules light and easy. But then I might throw in stuff from my own Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery.

Call of Cthulhu: Yeah, I know that sounds kind of odd but I have been really wanting to run CofC again. I’ve got a couple of ideas for this. On the game mechanics side, I’m more partial to the old editions of CofC and the current edition of Delta Green. So I’d probably do a crazy house ruled hybrid. I’m just that kind of guy. For setting/campaign, I’ve got two ideas.

But then if I want to keep with the White Box theme, I could go with Eldritch Tales.

Old West/Down Darker Trails: I’ve been listening to Ain’t Slayed Nobody and have been enjoying it. It seems like a perfectly natural fit and just outside the standard. And there’s some pretty good inspiration out there like Bone Tomahawk.

Oh wait there’s more. Like The Burrowers.

And Dead Birds. Yes, I know there are many more like Ravenous but these jumped right out at me.

Of course, since I mentioned Delta Green that also means that a more modern game is on my mind too. And if you know me one little bit then here’s a double feature crossover bit of inspiration.

Now, I also stumbled onto Highway of Blood for 7E CofC for adding even more grind house creepy to it.

Who knows? Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part. But we shall see.

Happy New Year! 2020 in Review and Plans for 2021

I don’t have to tell you that 2020 sucked but for this post I want to stick to a few more positive things.

Let’s talk about the money side first and get it over with. I admit that I’m not in this for the money. But actually made a little this year. After web hosting and other minor expenses, I made enough for pizza. I know not much and nothing to brag about but at least it’s positive. Digging down into the numbers a little bit more, my three main sources for income were (in order) DriveThruRPG sales, Lulu Sales, and Patreon/Buy Me a Coffee. Amazon was hardly anything and, for me any way, hardly seemed worth the effort.

The blog did really well this year. Better than I had hoped for. Blog traffic increased 37% over 2019. I hadn’t expect that. Oddly enough, it seems that more traffic is coming from MeWe rather than Facebook.

The Youtube Channel and Anchor Podcast. Oh this part is a little depressing. I admit I hadn’t posted a video in months. I had plans but everything in the world seemed to go to hell and I just didn’t bother. Then Google changed the terms of service. Basically, if I wasn’t monetizing the videos with their ads then they would, just not giving me a cut. Sigh. We see enough ads online. I don’t want that extra annoyance on folks. And on the podcasting side, the audience size just isn’t really big enough to warrant the time put into it. This doesn’t mean that I’d done with these. I’m just planning on taking a slightly different approach. I can post and host videos and podcast audio right here on the blog plus I can post some of these things directly on MeWe and Locals. It might be worth the effort just to see what happens. I haven’t solidified a plan yet but it’s mulling around in my brain and just might work.

Patreon/Buy Me A Coffee/Tip Jars. All was going well on Patreon until they decided they needed to start charging sales tax. Sure fine it works great for material goods but they got really vague about things like early access and PDF’s. I personally felt that the way they were going about it wasn’t in the best interest of Patrons. I’m still going to use Patreon as a sort of continuing “tip jar” and I’ll post some exclusive content, free stuff, and special deals or something. I’m also considering adding a PayPal Tip Jar on the blog. I know it sounds like I’m begging but I’d rather do that than have a bunch of ads. As I’ve said before, I ain’t out to make a bunch of money. But I do want to at least break even.

Locals/Discord/Social Media. So Locals is a little bit like Patreon but more focused on building a community. So I could put my Locals behind a pay wall but haven’t done that. I’m not sure if I will. That will depend on how many folks head over there and how far it goes. I do plan on putting some exclusive content up there too. Like some of the other things in this post it’s a plan in the making. As far as Discord goes. Well, I belong to a bunch of servers but I don’t spend much time over there. I really should and don’t have any one to blame on that but myself. So in 2021, it’s time to have some fun on Discord. I doubt I’ll do my own server but may hang out regularly on a few. Social media is really becoming a cesspool. Twitter is where brain cells go to die. The last couple of times I stopped by there it was a total and complete dumpster fire. Facebook is getting just down right annoying. I really like MeWe but sometimes it seems like there isn’t a lot going on . Like a lot of things, I don’t have a solid plan. Part of me wants to ignore Facebook for a month just to see what happens. Another part of me is thinking about posting more gaming stuff to direct Facebook feed. On MeWe, I plan to be more out going. Comment more and interact with folks more.

Projects and Gaming. Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery is my main project. I’m working on it now and it’s going well. I’m already putting some notes down for two supplements for it. So I’d say that’s going to be my main project for 2021. And gaming. Hell, I really need to get some more gaming done in 2021 but about that in another post.

Thanks for sticking around till the end of this and thanks to all who have supported me one way or the other over the crap fest that was 2020. Let’s get some stuff done in 2021 and make it great year.

Thinking About White Box

Somebody says that you can’t wear white after Labor Day. Whatever. Nobody says you can’t play White Box after Labor Day. So yes. It’s been a long weekend and for some strange reason my mind has wandered into White Box territory. Sure I touched on it a bit on my Swords & Wizardry Retrospective post but I want to rant a little more about it.

I think there’s a couple of things driving my mental wanderlust. First of all the retro-clones out there this (IMHO) has the easiest and most flexible rules which means fast play and fast character generation. A lot of times I look at games as a blank canvas that let’s me tweak to whatever happens to strike my fancy at the time. When the rules are efficient, the possibilities are nearly endless.
Part of the ease of the game is that it doesn’t use a lot of dice. Only d20’s and d6’s. How simple is that? Of course, there’s nothing that says the DM can’t use others if the situation applies.
Another thing that makes it a fun alternative, the light rules means that it’s a breeze to run and if you’re experienced with old-school games then it’s even easier. And if you’re breaking in a new player. Well, they don’t have to fumble around with a pile of strange dice and the rules for their character are pretty straight forward. A long time ago, I had this crazy idea for a campaign. Just start with a city or village for an adventuring base and just make up the rest as we went along like we did in the days of yore.
I may be preaching to the choir here but hopefully this post might snag a few new fans or at least draw a little bit of interest in the White Box style games.
You can find more over on Seattle Hills Game’s site, pick a hard copy of Swords & Wizardry White Box on Lulu, or if you just want to dip your toes a bit into it then grab up Swords & Wizardry Light which is available for free on DrivethruRPG and Frog God Games.