Category Archives: My Gaming Projects

Forgotten Tales of Sword & sorcery: Wanderers

Last time it was the Warriors and combat. This time, I talk about Wanderers and skills.
The Wanderer replaces the Thief class in many aspects. It’s the so-called Skill Monkey class. As I look at so many Sword and Sorcery characters, they often have a wide range of abilities and skills. There’s not such an implied niche for what a character can do. So many of those things that were considered things that just the Thief did, are things that any character can try. Anybody can back stab with bonuses, anybody can check for traps or try to open locks.
The system for this is pretty simple. You’ve probably noticed that each of the pre-gens has a check next to each Attribute (x in d6). The GM picks the appropriate Ability for the task and the player rolls for success. Pretty easy. You may have also noticed that the Checks don’t seem consistent. That’s because a character’s Checks improve based on their level and class.
But some characters are better at certain things than other characters. That’s where the Specializations come in. Specializations, as you can see on the examples, aren’t specific skills but much broader categories of knowledge and abilities. You might think of them as careers or professions.
Specializations work very simply. When a character attempts a task and fails their initial roll, if they have an appropriate Specialization then they can re-roll the Check but with a 2 in d6 chance for success. This gives them an edge over other characters but still keeps the probabilities on a more heroic rather than super heroic scale. It’s simple and flexible.
So how are Wanderers the Skill Monkeys? First, each character gains one Specialization plus more based on their Intelligence score. Wanderers gain an additional Specialization at 1st level and are the only class that gains more Specializations as they advance in level. Forgotten Tales doesn’t take an approach where characters achieve “mythic” or “epic” skill levels. Instead, a character can have a broad range of abilities which when used imaginatively create that heroic feel.

NPC Portraits created with ePic Character Generator.

Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery: Archetypes & Vices

I know it’s a short week for most folks and that they’ve got a lot happening this week. So we’re doing only a little preview this week.

If you’ve been keeping up with the previews and looking at the example characters then might have notice a couple of “odd” things; Archetypes & Vices.

Archetypes: This is another way that characters are customized. We’ve to name them as adjectives that are added onto a class like Savage Warrior or Lucky Sorcerer. Each one of the Archetypes is codified in the rules and kept as simple as possible. For example, Savage means the character gains an additional HP each level. Lucky means the character gains a +1 bonus to all Saving Throws. The Archetypes are completely independent of the character’s class. So you could have a Savage Sorcerer or even Lucky Warrior or a Learned Warrior and so on. Another way to look at it is that Archetypes are a little bit like Feats in later editions but there some major differences. There is no long chain to get better and better bonuses and the player chooses one Archetype for their character at 1st Level and that’s it.

Vices: Sword & Sorcery tales and heroes tend to morally gray. The villains and monsters are just down right evil or alien. Because of this, we decided to completely drop Alignments but still felt we needed something to fill that void. There is no set list of Vices and the “Vices” don’t even have to actual vices. It can be an adjective or even a short phrase. A character’s Vice is what gets them into trouble or what urges them to make those decisions that may not always be in their best interests. There isn’t any codified game mechanic around Vices but a GM could award some bonus XP for good play. The Vices are intended as a quick and easy guideline for the player about how the character might act in certain situations. The GM could remind a player or suggest but still the final decision is still the player’s.

Thanks for stopping by and more previews are coming up.

First Preview: Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery

My thoughts on doing these previews is to show some pre-generated characters at various levels and then highlight any relevant changes. So first up are a pair of Warriors; Cain the Slayer and Anya the Red. Yes, they may seem familiar. There are three classes for Forgotten Tales of Sword and Sorcery; The Warrior which is basically the Fighter, The Wanderer which is like a Thief/Rogue/Skill Monkey, and the Sorcerer which is the magic using class.

There’s a couple of things I want to highlight with this preview. First is Weapons & Armor. Like in the original White Box, all weapons do 1d6. We took that one step further and all Armor provides a -2[+2] bonus to AC. Not only does that keep the overall tone of the original edition, it also makes damage and Armor Class more a function of the character rather than the equipment. There aren’t magic shops and +1 weapons and armor readily available. Magic items are very rare and will often have unfortunate side effects. And since this all about Sword & Sorcery based around comics and B movies. Nobody wears practical armor.

Which leads us to Combat Bonus. This replaces the standard Attack Bonus. It’s used as an Attack Bonus and a bonus to AC. It also provides a bonus to Damage for Warriors.

NPC Portraits created with ePic Character Generator.

Forgotten Tales OF Sword & Sorcery

I’ve been saying that I’ve been working on a big project (well, big for me anyway) and I’m at a point where I think I announce it publicly. So here you go.

The current working title is Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery. It’s built around the White Box set of rules and leans towards a Savage Sword of Conan style campaign with a little bit of Lovecraftian influence. I’m not trying emulate the literary works of Robert E Howard nor am I making it a game about cosmic horror. And it’s not a grim dark art haus type game.

The bigest influences in my youth were  things like the Savage Tales of Conan, Frank Frazzetta and other genre artists, and all those B Sword & Sorcery movies from the 70’s, 80’s  and 90’s.  The goal is to make a game filled with a lot pulp style action .

I’ve made some major  tweaks to the Combat and Magic systems and few other things here and there without losing the feel of the original rules. And if you like later old school rules, I’m adding some notes to help folks convert it.

Right now, it’s  just over 90 pages and there’s a few more sections that I still need to finish writing but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. More previews, design notes and other goodies are coming soon.

If you want to see those updates early, I’ll be posting the previews and design notes on Patreon and Locals first.

Alternatives: and Locals

Alternatives and choices are good.  So I’ve stumbled across a couple of platforms that I’m looking at.

First, let me talk about  I’ve heard of it before and didn’t pay it much mind.  Then Necrotic Gnome put the preliminary PDF’s of their latest Kickstarter up ther and lots of folks started looking more closely at it. is more focused on video games rather than table top games but you can still upload and sell PDF’s there. So yes. It’s basically a store front. On the plus side, they don’t take as big of a chunk as DrivethruRPG. I went the non-exclusive route so their take 35%.  But then DrivethruRPG does have the name recognition and that’s where most folks will go when they’re looking for RPG stuff.  So you get that virtual foot traffic there.  On, you’re kind of on your own to drive the traffic to your stuff.  So that kind of balances out.  So I think it’d be good for new products or may be sales or just a back-up type store front.  I haven’t uploaded anything yet. I’m deciding what to put up there.  But it does appear to be a viable alternative.

Now on to  This more like a Patreon alternative but there’s some differences.  First, Patreon seems to be more focused on delivering some sort of product while Locals leans more towards building a community.  Sure you can still give folks stuff for subscribing.  The one with Locals is that a community generally won’t go a subscription model until it hits about 100 members because unlike Patreon you can follow a creator without actually paying them any money.  You will still be limited to certain posts, content, and so on like Patreon. They also use Stripe rather than PayPal. For me, that’s a bit annoying since I need to create another account to move around money.

I don’t have a plan to shut down my Patreon.  I still plan posting the occasional PDF and beta rules and early announcements and that sort of thing.  But I went a head started an community over there on Locals.  My plan for this is another place where us old grognards can sit back and yak.  It may grow from there.  Who knows?

I ain’t trying to get rich off this stuff. As I’ve said before, I just want to make enough to cover the web hosting, buy more games, and the occasional pizza and beer.

So come on over and join up the They Might Be Gazebos Locals community.  We’ll see what happens.