Category Archives: Adventures in Gaming

Sometimes we get together and play an RPG.

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.

No Gaming But Lots of Ideas

Circumstances put me into place where there’s absolutely no gaming. Sure lot’s of folks are in the same or similar situation. But I’ve been totally idle on the gaming front. It’s a good time to sit back and plan about future campaigns. Our little group at least had a little time before every thing went crazy to do a little discussion. So I figured what the heck, why not share some of those crazy ideas on the old blog.
Cyberpunk Just for something different. Way back in the day, I ran the hell out of Shadowrun. I still have all my books. I ran a bunch of Cyberpunk 2020 too and have them as well. However, both of them have the same problem for my purposes. The hacking rules aren’t that great and it pretty much turns into one character going off on their own adventure while everyone else sits around and waits. The other problem is that there are so many options when it comes to gear especially weapons and cyberwear, that even character generation would take a couple of sessions. On the off chance of doing a straight up Shadowrun campaign, well, the magic system is cool but it’s probably going to be a pain for a modern newbie to learn. Once again. we’d be using old books so a player’s ability to their own copies would be limited. But hey if they really want to then I’m game.
We also talked a bit about Carbon 2185. This little gem is a 5E take on cyberpunk. It’s a pretty expensive PDF and the reviews have been good. But deep down I just don’t have a great feeling about getting that gritty cyberpunk feel with 5E. I’ve also got the old editions of Interface 0 for Savage Worlds. But once again, it just doesn’t hit the right vibe for me.

That leaves with the new gem that I found, Zaibatsu.I did a review of it a short while ago. In a nutshell, character create is pretty quick. Game mechanics are easy to learn. And the hacking game mechanics are pretty cool and quick. So that’s what I’m leaning towards but then I’ll see what the players say whenever we get back together.

Cthulhu I’ve had the urge to run a Cthulhu game for a while now. The “simple” one would be around Delta Green. But instead of all sorts of Federal Agents, I’m leaning towards something that’s more of a cross between Twin Peaks and True Detective (Season 1). But I’ve got other ideas.

Cowboys: I’ve thought about an Old West horror game for a while then I discovered Down Darker Trails and started listening to Ain’t Slayed Nobody. So Cthulhu is a natural choice. Of course there’s Realms of Cthulhu for Savage Worlds and it wouldn’t be that hard to add in the Old West elements to the game.

Pirates: Because everything is better with pirates. This idea has bounced around inside my head for years using Savage Worlds. There’s Tales of Solomon Kane, Pirates of the Spanish Main, and Realms of Cthulhu. I’ve got all those and it’d be easy to kit bash them together. But then I could also use Blood Tide from Chaosium.
For both Cowboys and Pirates, I’ve the idea to make the campaigns so that mortal vs mortal combat is slightl cinematic and not as deadly as the core CofC rules. But when the monsters come out they better run. So that’s why I’m leaning towards the Savage Worlds versions. There’s a few nobs and dials that I can tweak to make it like that. Of course, the CofC system is pretty simple and I do love doing house rules so maybe I might do some tweaking there.

There’s other ideas bouncing around inside my head but these are the major ones. And of course, we shall see
And remember folks. Sometimes the monsters kill you and take your stuff but still have fun.

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The Blighted Coast

Just because the current situation has put my game on hold, it doesn’t mean my imagination has been sitting idle. So when Frog God Games had a huge sale, I just had to take advantage of it and grabbed up a copy of Razor Coast. I’ve been running The Blight and I’ve always had an interest in Razor Coast and I thought why mix them together a bit and The Blighted Coast does sound kind of cool.

I’ve already written a lot about The Blight and it’s Gothic horror and weird fantasy influences. I didn’t touch on the nautical themes in the book. Parts of the Levee campaign adventures take place on the Unsea and the Between. There’s a large dock/merchant district in Castorhage. So yeah there’s some nautical stuff there. Now, Razor Coast is Pirates/Polynesian/Caribbean influenced setting. So it sounds like they may not have that much in common.
From a rules standpoint, Razor Coast has much more robust rules for swashbuckling (especially gear), black powder weapons, and ships than The Blight. While ships play only small role (depending on how you are playing it). Black powder is mentioned as option and I think it fits well. Moving the Blight setting technology more along the Age of Sail rather than Medieval. Which is a cool thing. I like switching between various campaign settings with various levels of technology and still being able to use the same rules. It’s easier on me as the GM and the players. The Blight setting book also has some bits about Castorhage’s attempts to become a world power (and even a power in the Between). Once again, this prime for adding in pirates.
Finally, if you’ve been hanging around the blog or the podcast, I’ve mentioned that I’ve had an itch to run a Pirates Vs Cthulhu type campaign. I’ve thought about using the original Chaosium system or hacking Delta Green but then maybe this might work too. And it would be fun.
And of course. Everything is better with pirates.