Saturday, March 30, 2013

[Actual Play] Dinner and a Show

This evening, just before bedtime, a precocious 8-year-old elf warrior and her grumpy old minder, a paladin, were sent to Stormgate to find the source of a sinister stirring in the forces of Chaos somewhere beneath the city, as detected by the magic-sensitive diviners of the distant Elf Council. The two heroes were tele-dropped by the Council into a foggy side street under a dark sky, just a few feet from the front door of the Tides Inn (pets welcome, haunted room no extra charge). After offering a small fortune in out-of-circulation imperial coins to the Bonnie Raitt-ish innkeeper for a room and a dinner, the oddly-matched elves sat down in the dining room to a meal of roast chicken (yum!) and eel pie (ewwwww!) The young elf's pet fox begged for a chicken bone, and so she playfully hurled the bone up into the gallery on the second floor, where it plopped into the mug of another inn patron. Before the repercussions could be dramatized, the elf's mom appeared as a hologram and ordered her into the bath. The end.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

[Free Map] Abyssal Tower

Complete with a couple of nasty traps to guard the front door and your own private ornithopter on the roof.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Me, the OSR, Kickstarter, Dwimmermount, and Me

I'm feeling rather at loose ends now that the saga of Dwimmermount seems to be coming to a close. Whatever merit the actual product has will be overshadowed by the drama that ensues when a prominent RPG designer/blogpope goes dark for months and keeps mum while his fans wait for him to make good on a massive Kickstarter project. I feel sympathy for the guy and I'm mystified because he's been a consummate pro in my limited dealings with him. I actually owe him my professional so-called career in RPGs. If he hadn't put a good word in for me at Atlas Games in 2003, then Northern Crown might never have happened. I gotta laugh at the way he's been demonized on the blogs as some kind of Ponzi scheme mastermind. Whatever happened, I'm guessing it was unforeseen, although how he dealt with the resulting mess didn't help his rep. Glad to see that a resolution of sorts is in the cards and I hope he gets back on his horse soon.

If he ever returns to his blog, he's going to find a changed landscape out here. As a driver of big-scale published works, the OSR is done now. Its output has evolved from ballsy is-this-even-legal appropriations of 1st Edition to easy pastiches of the least valuable artifacts of the early days, like rambling megadungeons and superficial re-skinnings of 1e that try to approximate other genres like sf. I think we'll see more OSR blogs go quiet in the coming months. It won't mean that people are turning away from playing older editions of D&D (or clones of same), but that it's not novel or remarkable enough any more to elicit much excitement or debate. Nothing's more toxic to a revolutionary movement than winning.

If I've learned anything from watching the Dwimmermount saga unfold, it's that if I will never do a Kickstarter unless it's truly the only way to get my work into a form that lots of other people can enjoy for a reasonable price. I don't need my game obsession reduced to a dreary obligation -- it's why everything on this blog is free.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Deeps of Chaos Map Pack is Here FREE

Yes, three more maps that link to the "Welcome to the Plunderdome" map pack. I'm releasing them before I release the notes that go with them, because I know lots of you just want the maps already. I'll post the adventure itself once it's in respectable form.
Click here to start the download.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Deeps of Chaos Maps DONE

Three new maps ready to be scanned for the Deeps of Chaos expansion to the Welcome to the Plunderdome free adventure.
Some sinister Chaos shrines.

Monday, March 11, 2013

[Workbench] The Deeps of Chaos Map

Gotta find out what's down there. This is the optional extended adventure for "Welcome to the Plunderdome". White cardstock paper from Staples + Prang HB drawing pencil.
Better bring some rope.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Free Adventure Module and Map Set Here

As promised, Welcome to the Plunderdome is now available as two free PDFs from this site. This is a huge module that will keep you busy for several evenings of play. Or you can say, forget the awesome adventure module, I just want the hand-drawn cutaway maps.

Download the map pack here. Six gorgeous maps.
Download the adventure module here. Dozens of encounter areas, monsters, npcs.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

[Teaser] Tides Inn Cutaway View

The 6th map to be included (so far) in Welcome to the Plunderdome free PDF.