Dust Pan Game Resource Pages

Featured Post

The island: (adventure seed)

From the prow of your ship you see the island come into view. At first it is nothing but a glint on the horizon, then a shining sphere.. a ...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Another quick Map sketch (Decrepit Temple of Sharack Falls)

Within the caves of Sharak Falls  there is an ancient temple. A temple where worshipers of the gorge once sacrificed locals, casting them through the purifying water of the  falls into the enveloping darkness below.
The  statues are now fallen, the cult a memory, a story used to scare children into doing their chores. The  temple is  known as a dark and evil place.


A quick map I doodled while watching TV with my wife last night.
if anyone has use for it have at it, just let me know how it turns out.



So what's in the temple? That's up to you, here are some starting points...


 Roll D12 or whatever.
  1. It's become a roper breeding ground. The interior is crawling with  roper spawn and spawning   ropers. The are all very aggressive as you have interrupted them  in the midst of getting busy how ever ropers do the do.

  2. The  cult never left, their bodies remain strewn around the upper level of the temple . Skeletons piled in the corners liek cord woo, skulls crushed bones bent unnaturally. the summoning circle in room two  burnt from the  floor on the northern border. What happened here. A loud scrapping noises can be heard from below.

  3. The  pool in room 1 leaks in from the falls that crash near the upper level entrances. The  pool undulates and  swirls in an abnormal way, tentacles of  water nearly invisible reach out to grasp any one who passes by. The  old rituals have failed. The greater water elemental that lives far below the falls has extended it's influence even here. 

  4. The ghosts of a hundreds of  ritual sacrifices have taken this place as their own. they live in the waters of the falls and they will no longer abide the  living.


  5. A clutch of  Ankhegs have taken up residence in the old temple. Hungry Ankhegs.
    Ankheg

  6. The  ancient order  forged a bargain with a water elemental, giving them the  ability to  breath under water. The  took to the  pool far below the  falls,  building a society of their own in the deep darkness and cold below.  Once every five years a party of these pale near blind mermen journey to the surface and abduct children form the  surrounding country side to bolster their numbers.

  7. Three of the old  priests are still alive. Each incredibly powerful and more than a bit insane,they endlessly debate the nature of water while a company of undead servants provide for them. The servants naked, pale, and  nearly  rotting apart are other  acolytes of the temple long dead. They mindlessly serve the three remaining endlessly trudging down the  cliffs into the darkness to find food and hunt pale blind fish that  circle the pools below. Each of the remaining priests  alone would be a powerful foe, if they could ever agree on anything they could unleash great misery on the lands above. 
    The first priest Sarin believes that all the  world can be fit in to geometric patterns and has dedicated his life to the  art of geomancy as it pertains to the elements.

    The second Priest Brunthor believes in  hardening of the  spirit through meditation and perfecting the  physical self. He meditates for days at a time in area six , naked under the rushing water fall. He is a diamond Monk, he has seen into himself and looks to only  find perfection.  If he captures a party member he will chain them under the water fall to purify them. They will only survive 1 hour per point of constitution bonus (or  equivalent in your game.)

    The third Monk Galet  worships the demon of the pool below, he knows there is power deep in the under-dark and he taps it for his own use. He is a powerful summoner and demonologist who  is always  looking to experiment on raw souls.


  8. Stone trolls invaded the temple several years ago and slayed all of the monks. Now the trolls lie in wait hibernating, appearing like grotesque statuary within the temple.


  9. The  temple is still occupied by a devout if not a bit standoffish brotherhood of monks who worship a water goddess as embodied by the waterfall. They will offer the party  gold for  fresh fruits and any rations they might have. the monks will also provide healing and some directions deeper into the caves below. The monks don't stray to far into the depths but a few of the younger members of the order might be swayed by the chance for some adventure,

  10. The temple is abandoned. On the railing  in area six there is a thick rope that hangs down into the darkness. On a rock wall nearby the word "Flee" has been written in  charcoal.

  11. RATS! like hundreds or thousands of them swarming everywhere! Normal ones, giant ones, dire ones, a wear-rat lord oversees it all.

  12. The  temple is empty and  quiet, a large not quite human skeleton lies within the circle in room 2. Everything else is cleared out. The ritual circle is made of  lines crafted carefully out of  silver dust, a gem lies within the  rib cage of the  massive skeleton all but obscured form view. What could have gone on here?


    He hates you.
Hope you enjoyed reading, 
hope someone gets so use out of a quick map sketch, even if its just to take the idea and run with it.

Please leave questions and comments next to the shredded monks hood bellow.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

It's not you Dungeon World, It's me.


Before You start this post you might want to read this about converting my venerable D&D game to Dungeon World. You might not want to cause you know the blogs not that great. If you do great, it's all related.


So I started that process. Converting  my D&D game to dungeon world.

I hate it. I'm sorry.
Well lets be honest, I'm not sorry, and hate is a strong word.


Let me explain.

I like Dungeon World very much. I like the  way games are set up, I like the way it runs,  and what I particularly like is that characters right out of the box are bad ass.


What I don't like is this:

In my mind the transition of characters from humble beginnings to transcendent heroes, is the game. When the last true druid presented the Master a low level druid with a totem walnut and told the Master he was to pledge himself to the earth as it's protector. It was a harbinger of the future, a direction to move towards, a burden of responsibility that the character was in no way ready for. The player is still boggling a bit over the humble walnut. 
Willhelm's story can be built into a front in Dungeon world.


  • Discover the takers of Willhelm's hand
    • Danger : Ancient thieves guild (ambitions organisation) (take by subterfuge)
      • a Wheldon brings a message
      • death of a friend
      • discovery of Careth
      • guild hall
      • a distant shore

What happens next is the Impending Doom.


Here is the  problem, there isn't one. If Willhelm never finds out who took his hand and  how it can be reattached the only player or Character it will ever effect is Willhelm. Dungeon world looses out on one of it's strongest attributes, it's elegance.



More on that ... (hang with me here)

So a person could say, then why use fronts, and  grim portents and all that just play your game and use the dungeon world moves and die mechanic.

In-fact one of the players has said exactly that already. I appreciate / respect his point of view, he's correct I could do that.but there is a reason why fifty  pages out of a 394 page book is dedicated to how the dice work and the  basic moves. It's not the games strength. 




Before I continue I am no expert with the system I'v read the book and run the game three times, I am not a devote. So if I make some miss quote about  Dungeon World below, sorry.  I know there are some pretty devoted fans out there, save it. The  devil is not in the details this time, it's in the concept.

In my opinion the system is't more or less crunchy than anything else. The 2d6 mechanic is nice having a 50% (after modifiers) chance to succeed or succeed with complications on any action is fine by me, our game phase was very similar. 
Being able to  Deal damage as a Gm's move pretty much any time a player rolls below a 10  is  nice, but repetitive. I find my self starting  to stretch the  narrative a bit to fit in other consequences such as using the "put them on the spot", or "offer an opportunity" move when a character gets 7 to 9 on a hack and slash move. 
It's all nice but it's more fiddly than D&D's roll to hit, roll damage if you hit. Not really worth the fiddling if that's all I'm going to use.




Where dungeon world shines is from page 157 to page 218. The GM and setting up the world sections.
It is genius. It's the most elegant way I have ever see a game's writers put forward how to sit down with payers an create a game scenario and in turn a world that will engage and hold them from now through the life of the characters. To not use that part misses the point of the game. The players create a very personal game world that is there's to explore, it all dovetails nicely  might I say again elegantly with the gm's moves, the Gm's fronts, the dungeon moves and the character moves. The system works best when you start from the beginning and then move forward with a story. 



Unfortunately I have already put in that work. In a campaign world that has been around a long time, and has some history. Dungeon world doesn't do history very well. If some one gets to spout lore they get to tell me where the lore came from. That works great in a fresh new Dungeon world setting, In fact it could be a hook for a whole new front, or  adventure, Like I said, elegant genius.  
In my game you need to go find that lore. I already  have an idea where it is. 


Is that Gm ego? Sure it is I guess because some details are truly meaningless, and holding onto where a certain sword is buried or why  they never find magic items, is an act of GM's ego.
But that's also mystery, that's tension, that's the unknown. I don't care what my players say at the table. If  Willhelm's player was to say "Forget my hand  were going  NORTH!" I would say OK, because I know what's north. If the Master were to say, "I toss that f*ing Walnut into the ocean." I know the ramifications. 
I don't think that's ego I think that's GMing, 

Found randomly on  Google from Missmarek's Flikr

If I use try to take Dungeon World and graft it into an established campaign mid story I end up robbing the system of it's elegance. It's not Dungeon world anymore. The game becomes fiddly D&D with the same old setting, and a neutered GM.

So that's that, perhaps I just can't get my head around it.

I would love to run a dungeon world campaign. I'm volunteering to. I'll roll20 it on Mondays. The one condition is that the game is from the bottom up. Fresh characters and a fresh setting. I have no qualms about doing that, I think very highly of the game and it's system.



On the other side of that coin I can't just graft Dungeon world over an existing campaign mine or any other. I think it fails the system and by extension the players.


Thank you for reading.
Please level questions comments or lit  sticks of cartoon dynamite in the  crate of  10 foot poles below.





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Running and Gunning on my table top.

Lately I have been thinking allot about table top miniatures games, such as my "Block game" (the game that consumes all.)

So I got to thinking  about  writing a table top game based on the  run-> gun-> loot ->repeat paradigm that exists in many of my favorite video games. (Borderlands and Diablo 3 being the most well known current examples.)

I know there are others working on similar (read, better) things that are emulating the shoot and loot genre of video-games.

Here are some links.

Check out The Preview of "Shoot N Loot" being written by game designer John Harper. This game is a great example of  genre emulation within the exact genre I'm talking about. (In particular I think his Agro system for combat hits a home run. A decidedly elegant and deeply strategic mechanic.)

Related This is a great idea form a man of many great ideas,  Dyson Logos
I love this idea from Dyson it's got a high cool factor, and is what started me thinking about working on a project myself. I quickly rejected personally doing loot in this fashion because I know I would never be able to implement it. As in I woudl not have the wear-with-all to draw the tiles needed for the gun parts. I would start and never finish. Also having  something printed from say Gamecrafter or a similar service is not currently on my radar.

Also a game which was mentioned in Dyson's related thread is "Nefertiti Overdrive" by Fraser Ronald. This game promises "High Octane Action in Ancient Egypt" so I'm already totally sold. The  quick start guide is here. Admittedly I have not downloaded it yet, but I will tonight. Visually it looks great and even if it does not exactly fit into what I'm writing about, I'm still happy to boost the signal.


What makes run and gun for me?

  • Speed is a big thing.
    Combat should not drag unless the monster is something special like an area boss. Looking at Borderlands, unless a character is over-matched it rarely takes more than  3 to 5 hits to kill normal creatures, many times one critical is all you need. This is a good thing it keeps the game moving, Keeps the players moving and  keeps the loot flowing.
  • Characters are a sum of who they are plus what they carry.
    Often times in these kinds of games the character's attributes are so bolstered by equipment as to become secondary. 
  • Skills
    Like what people carry in these kind of games characters are much more defined by what they can do than by who they are, skills provide the basis for what a character can do.
  • Loot
    I think this  goes with out saying but loot must be varied, falling into several types and extensive. There has to be lots of things to find, different things, good things, bad things, rare things. It's a reward cycle and  nothing  stinks more than finding the same old pistol again and again. Loot needs to have variety. (This is where I think the recent game "Destiny" falls down a bit, it feels like a kill an loot game, but it needs to drop loot more frequently and have more loot boxes.)


How am I going to approach capturing these traits on the table top?

  • Speed:
    First I have to pretty much  toss all my preconceived notions left over from "The Block Game." The detailed initiative system in blocks especially has to go.
    Primarily I need a slimmed down system, that will handle firing guns, allot. As well as taking down lots of monsters.
    Combat will involve rolling  D6's each representing a pull of the trigger. Each die that exceeds a targets dodge attribute is a hit. A simple base system that can be  played with mechanically via upgrades and skills.
    Monsters will be defined as a sketch Name, Level, Health, Movement, Dodge, Attack, Damage and any special abilities they might have.
    Like So:
    Skag, Level 1, Health 5, Movement 6, Dodge 3, Attack 3 Damage 2, Special: move and attack.
    Monsters will also generaly have low health and be made more difficult via their special abilities and  or armor.
    Initiative will be handled on an as needed basis, if no one is attacking a monster the monster goes last.
    Key thought: Only make a roll when it matters..
  • Characters are the sum of Who they are and what they carry.
    Character attributes will be simple, immutable and pretty low. Characters effectiveness will improve through what they find and the bonuses those things grant, exclusively. This is not exactly genre emulation, but I'm writing a skirmish type table top game, keeping things simple will help the game run smoothly. Exploding or limitless attribute curves don't always promote simplicity.
  • Skills.
    I plan on writing five classes or roles with  10 unique skills each to start with. Players can pick (or random? Hmmm) three skills at the beginning of the game to run with. Simplicity. Lets players mix and match and doesn't ask players to commit to a long campaign of trying to unlock things, which  may work in the  video games but would never happen at my table.
  • Loot.
    As I wrote above, I like Dyver's idea of using hexes to mix and match gun parts very much. Unfortunately I know I would never execute it. I hope someone does.
    I am going to have to go with loot charts, allot of them. I don't necessarily look forward to writing them and I know I need to put more thought into exactly how I'm going to implement them. I do know I need to make the charts very rich as in they hold allot of usable info in each column. Otherwise I woudl have to  do  a ton of separate charts that would take a long time to reference during the game.

    When a loot Box is opened each character will roll to see what they found. Why? I'm making it this way for a few reasons. Finding things is fun, I don't want the players shooting each other over loot, It gives all the players the same chance to get better during the game, and finally as with skills I don't want to tie the player a grind to find stuff. ("Ok I got the last box you open this one." should be replaced with  "What did you get?") This will slow the game down. I don't see a way around that slow down yet.
He thought only the  bard can Lute.
Those are the ideas I'm kicking around.
Once I get it sketched out I will  play it with our group a few times to find the  glaring chunks of suck and hopefuly cut those chunks off.

As usual if I think it's fun I will put together a PDF and give it away for free just like I did AAIE 
(AAIE? Never heard of it? use the search button on the blog)



Thank you for reading 
Please place any thoughts, questions, or comments in the hollow Bullynong corpse below.
-Mark.






Sunday, September 21, 2014

A quick dungeon Idea "Haver's Harrowing Cube"


What is this?
A story of evil ..yes.. and..
Another adventure seed with an ugly map this time.
As usual I'm not going to stat out anything for any system, that's up to you depending on what you play. Particularly when it comes to "the evil entity" below, I lave that basically undefined so that any one using this document can fill in that blank in a way that suits their game.


Haver's Cube:

Deep under the town of  Worndelve there lies a most astounding construction.

It is said the  mines were started by dwarves many years before man arrived to roost at the feet of the Squat mountains. These rolling soft peaks being just tall enough to hold snow for a few moons longer than the valley below are known to be a range ancient beyond knowing.

When the  engineer known as Haver arrived at Worndelve he was a young man with big ideas. He looked at the old dwarf mines which  were long thought to be exhausted as an opportunity. So he put together a party of surveyors, entered the old mines and began planing. Haver was never seen again.


 Entering the mines is a journey by it's self, An explorer would have to be willing to  travel the old dwarven roads and  brave whatever has taken up residence in the  mines since the  dwarves left ages ago. Still some have attempted to  find the remains of Haver's party.

Stories have come to the valley to Worndelve of a strange construction  perched precariously at the  edge of a deep precipice. It is said at this location deep in the mines a waterfall flows like a shimmering ribbon into the  depths. In its endless flow it spills over a huge dark cube of  stone. The stone is mounted on a massive axles which hold two water wheels designed to slowly turn the cube. One side at a time,  every hour.

Each side of the cube is 100 foot crossed, and made of a polished black stone. Near the center of each face that does not hold an axle a small  hatch can be seen, for gaining access to the interior of the cube.
The sides that have axles are crossed by precarious looking wooden stairwells that teeter and shift as the cube turns.

What the hell is it?
After entering the mines and traveling the ancient dwarven corridors for a year, Haver and his Party were at their end. His group had been slowly whittled down by the creatures of the caves, starvation, and  the  hazards of exploring. The remaining four party members were worn, slowly starving, and going insane.

It was in this state that Haver and his men stumbled into the vast cavern that holds the waterfall.
Not only did this vast chasm contain an underground river with enough pale blind fish to keep Haver and his remaining men alive. It also contained an ancient and dark sepulcher from the  time of the  dwarves that the local under dark goblins had come to worship as the home of a god.

To stay alive and maintain even a slight glimmer of hope for escape, Haver agreed to help design a more suiting tribute to teh  dark  god of the sepulcher for the  goblins , if they woudl help construct it.
And so The cube was born, a design so  insane that it woudl take years to complete, buying  Haver and his men time to plan an escape.
The cube was built, the sepulcher's contents moved.
Haver never escaped.
But one of his men did,  returning to the surface as an old man to tell the tale, a tale no one believed.

The Map:
This map is no beauty queen, admittedly embarrassing. It would have looked better except I can't find my damn tech pens. I "put them away" somewhere in the house and now I can't find them. (shrugf) I drew the whole thing with 2 sharpies one fine one fat. I'll do better next time. I think it gets the point crossed.

This is a smaller version for Google.
If you want the  full sized version go here.
The full sides version allows you to clip it out and fold it into a neat 2 inch cube. that the gm could actually turn to be to show the players whats going on.


ugly ass cube map.
What's in the cube now?
After the completion of the cube the Goblins moved their gods tomb and a jar containing its remains into the  amphitheater section on the current top side of the cube.

As it turns out the  tomb was an ancient dwarven ward tomb dedicated to containing the  evil of an ancient foe. The evils no longer has a name on this plane, but it has reclaimed a body, the body of Haver. Once the cube was completed and the tomb destroyed the evil was free to openly command the goblins. When it did it had them claim the  body of  Haver as it's new vessel. Haver is now a litch husk containing a dark force of unknown origin or power.

The cube and it s water wheels the domain of the litch, using it's energy to fuel dark magical experiments. It's only a mater of time before it decides to start spreading it's influence.

Random Encounters and such:

  1. Goblin priests (group of  1-6): These goblins worship the  darkness and  because of this they have gouged out their own eyes.

  2. Tether goblins (group of 1-6): The surfaces in most areas of the  cube have metal hooks every  5 feet or so , these goblins carry length of chains that they  hook to these spikes as them move along cleaning and securing items. when the cube turns they end up swinging by the  chains which they do with a high degree of skill. In combat they will attempt to  entangle opponents in was that will hang, hinder or hurt them when the cube turns.

  3. Silver Ball (unique). This reflective silver ball is an invention of the Haver-Litch. About the size of a basket ball it rolls along the  floors as the  cube turns.If any one peers into it's reflective surface they will see an endless depth of ghostly blinking twitching  eyes (sanity check if you dig that kind of roll). This is the watchful orb of the litch. If you see it it sees you. If attacked it will discharged medium strength lightning bolts (1 per turn) at random targets and attempt to roll away. If you roll it twice roll again.

  4. worker Goblins (1 to 8) These are normal goblins who  keep up repairs on the place.

  5. Feeder. (four times) This horribly mutated creature was once an ogre. Chained to the  wall its whole chest is now a huger gibbering mouth  that the goblins feed refuse and occasionally each other. If it manages to grapple someone it can deliver a deadly bite with this chest maw. There are four of these unfortunate creatures one on each occupied side of the cube.

  6. Bats (swarm) Normal  swarm of bats mostly harmless but very distracting, usually (1- 4 on D6) disturbing a swarm will draw guard goblins within 1d4 rounds. (see next entry)

  7. Guard Goblins (1 to 8) These are  the blessed shock goblins children of the  dark, they can not speak as when they are chosen their tongues are removed. These goblins wear heavy armor carry spears and are equipped with  boots that allow them to  hook into the mettle spikes that are worked into most surfaces of the interior. These troops  may make a save (or equivalent) when the cube turns if successful the goblin can stay stuck to the  wall or ceiling and  keep fighting. These goblins have twice the normal hit points of  goblins.

  8. Dark cube (1 to 4) These Gelatinous cubes are smaller than normal  only  5x5 feet, pitch black, and rubbery. On a successful attack the cube injects the target with spores that will, (Unless a cure disease spell is cast over the victim) turn slowly the victim into a dark cube within 2d4 weeks. Otherwise they attack and act exactly like normal Gelatinous Cubes.

  9. Ghoulish Guardian: (three times) These are very powerful human undead, which are the animated corpses of  Havers three remaining traveling companions. Treat the each as unique corporal undead, using what ever stats you deem acceptable. (this encounter is only  possible 3 times)

  10. Pudding. (1) There is a black pudding on the wall, it lives here and it hates you.

  11. Assistant Goblins (1d4) should be treated as low level spell casters. These goblins  assist the  dark one directly with magical experiments, because of this their ears have been sown the waxed shut so that the voice of their master will not drive them mad. The fight for one round then retreat to find help. (see entry 7)

  12. Harvester Gobins (1D6) Normal goblins carrying  sickles and  bags of mushrooms they go around the interior and exterior of the cube  harvesting eatable mushrooms and fungus.


Random Sights, treasures, and Baubles:

  1. This wall is covered with strange runes and symbols each carved into the dark stone. A wizard can  examine the symbols and recognize the wall as a plaque of dark blessings. If the  runes are read any non good aligned creature in the room will be blessed (as per your game) any good aligned creature will suffer a penalty (as per your game) the effects last one day.

  2. Dome fountain: This fountain is contained by a glass dome, opening the doom provides a source of cool fresh water, or a wet mess depending on which direction the cube is facing.

  3. Maps: Havern's men mapped a great deal of the old dwarven mines before unfortunately finding the  waterfall and it's dark secret. These maps are priceless records of their underworld travels.

  4. Dwarven weapons. The goblins hunt the mines for old dwarven weapons and  have a accumulated several mundane examples of high quality dwarven axes and a short swords. There is a 5% chance that there will be a magical weapon in any given stash that the Goblins have not noticed yet.

  5. Remains; This is a gold banned ivory vase of  dusty remains there are six of these spread around the  cube, they contain the original remains of the dark entity that has taken over the cube.

  6. A Small leather bag of  coins is tied to a spike on the  wall.

  7. This fungus looks eatable!  (use Narcosa PDF page 97 "drug effects" or whatever you like)

  8. This  room has several gems (1d6) worked into the ceiling, each of moderate value.

  9. This room  has several five foot long length of chains attached to harness hanging on the  wall. These are the harness the  goblins use to  move around the cube as it's facing changes.

  10. A room full of  round cages suspended from the ceiling by two foot chains, this is where the goblins sleep.

  11. This room contains several (1-4) bolted to the floor. The chests have a chance to be trapped    (as per GM) They are padded on the inside and  each contains 1-4 potions and several types of  spell component.

  12. A narrow (gobin sized) shaft leads deep into the heart of the cube to the  massive shaft that runs through its center. Goblins come here to  pour oil over the shaft o lubricate it and maintain it. The vast Axle is fastened to the cube with gigantic dark iron  rivets, which the goblins lovingly maintain.


The evil:
Finally we come to the  big bad the  evil force that  forced the creation of this mad cube the claimed the spent body of Haver for it's own.
The  Creature no longer looks altogether human, The husk of Haver is read bear twisted and contorted into only a vague crippled representation of a man. The evil within it used the body only as a way to interact and continue experimenting with magical forces in the center of his amphitheater.

What is this evil?
I'm leaving that up to you  when you run this adventure.

This guy.. kinda...

This is what I was thinking:
The  evil entity can take on  different shapes forms and  powers depending on which  face of the  cube is facing up. I woudl stat him out  four times making each one worse than the  last using the  AD&D second edition litch as a template.

Thank you for reading ,
I hope some one gets some use out of this idea.
I might redraw the map when I find  my pens.
Please leave questions and comments in the  slowly rotating cube below.
-Mark



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2D20 Random Potions for Fun and likely no profit.

3d Art Potion By Ary Laszlo (Ray traced?)


You are GM-ing a game, you want throw in an unidentified potion? Fantastic.
Why not use a random  color and appearance mixed with random effects and side effects?
Here you go a chart of random potions originally written form my AAIE game.

Potions:

Roll description, color,effect, side effect
Once a description / color is matched with an effect they are paired for the rest of the game session. Two effects may share the same description.

I would just roll 8d20 pair them off and add each pair to determine what row to look at in each column.
It's a lot of dice but not so bad if done ahead of time.
POTIONS
Roll Description Color Effect 1 Side Effects
2 Bubbly Amber Growth to twice normal size lasts 1 day. Effects damage output health ect. Does not effect equipment or clothing. Nausea D10 rounds
3 Oily Orange Shrink to half normal size for 1 day. Effects damage output health ect. Does not effect equipment or clothing. Nothing
4 Fizzy Green Hallucinogenic! The world begins to color and warp around you. Roll 1d6 if the roll is a 6 you have a vision of truth if the roll is a 1 you have a nightmare vision. Either way you must rest a day to loose the lingering effects. The sent of violets hovers about you. 1 day
5 Frothing Red Blessing as per the rules of your game system.

This could be a boon from a god  that is not of the character who drank it's faith. In such a case the GM should  determine how the fickle gods will squabble of the characters mortal soul.


The sent of death hovers about you.
6 Spitting Pink Strength, the drinkers strength doubles and wisdom is cut in half. This lasts 1 hour.


You breath out small bubbles for D6 hours
7 Slimy Violet Hawk eye for one day you have the vision of a hawk, which means you can see twice as far but your peripheral vision is cut in half. (easier to sneak attack.) Insects are attracted to you for 1 day
8 Thick Blue Silence. You exudes a three foot field of silence.
You can move silently with 0 chance of failure, however casting spells and speaking are impossible. Lasts 1d4 hours
Your left arm is paralyzed for 1d4 days
9 Swirling Indigo Trollish regeneration: Unless the damage was caused by fire or acid, the character begins to heal wounds at an amazing rate. The character also takes on a slightly “trollish appearance” (Nose lengthens, hunched walking, legs bow, arms and hands lengthen, the skin takes on a greenish pallor.) Lasts 1 day. You don't cast a shadow for 1d4 days
10 Unctuous White Healing:
the character is healed of all minor wounds.
(Use your systems rules for healing.)
The magically healed cuts leave scars the color of the potion.
You don't cast a reflection for 1d4 days
11 Lumpy Golden Vapor form.
You are now a mist you can not physically effect anything but you can move at half normal speed, under doors and through tight spaces. Non magic weapons can not effect you while in vapor form. This lasts 1 hour. If the character is in a space to small to reconstitute at the end of the hour , the character dies a horrid death as they merge with what ever they are inside of at the cellular level.
If this will mess up your game treat this as a poison of your choice.
Awful Halitosis 1 day
12 Clear Fuchsia True shot: You gain a powerful bonus to the accuracy of any ranged weapon you are using. You take an equal penalty to any melee weapon you might wield. This lasts 1 hour. Deafness for one day
13 Full of sticks and twigs Ruby Stone skin: Your skin becomes hard as stone and will absorb the next 1d6 physical attacks against you. However your movement is cut in half. Insomnia for 1d4 days.
14 Brackish Azure Mastery: this potion will give you a basic level of skill in one of the following skills for one day:
1. Animal handling, 2. Appraisal 3. Armour Smiting 4. Weapon smithing 5,Climbing 6, Forgery.
Small plants die where you step 1 day
15 Dilute Jade Fire breathing:
Drink this potion and you may make up to three powerful cone shaped fire breath attacks during the next day.
However whenever you take damage roll 1d6 on a roll of 1 you will accidentally breath fire effecting any one and anything in-front of you.
Your skin turns the color of the potion for 1 day
16 Turbulent Rainbow Stunning blow:
After drinking this potion your next successful attack will stun your target as per the rules of your game. This effect lasts 1 hour, but is only good for one stun.
An extra eye appears randomly n your face it lasts 1 day.
17 wavy Emerald green Just plain stunning:
This potion make the drinker twice as physicality attractive. The effect lasts 1 day. It does not stop them from being jerk.


Narcolepsy roll 1d12 every round on a 1 you nods off loosing the turn lasts 1 day.
18 Has a dead mouse floating in it. Sickly Yellow Flight:
You can FLY ! The potion lasts 1d4 turns then abruptly ends.
If flight will mess up your game treat this as a poison of your choice.


A tooth falls out
19 Viscus Grey Jumping: The drinker can jump twice as far and fall twice as far without damage. Elephant ears for 1 day.
20 Smoky Olive D100 gold pieces appear in the character pockets. I hope they weren't expecting water breathing.


Dirt trickles out of your pant legs at a rate of about a pound an hour for 1 day.
21 Milky Magenta Water breathing. This character can breath under water for 1d4 hours roll d6 on roll of 2-6 the character is amphibious on a roll of 1 they may breath ONLY under water for the duration of the effect. You have a visible golden glow for 1 day
22 Frozen Bronze Pass through stone.
The character may walk directly through solid stone at will for 1d4 turns. If the character is still inside the solid stone when the effect wears off, well that's how fossils are made.
If this will mess up your game treat this as a poison of your choice.
A small raining thunder cloud trials you for one day, Raining only on you. Each turn there is a 5% chance you will be hit by a tiny lighting bolt for d6 DMg
23 Chunky Burnt Umber Shell:
The character grows a hard exoskeleton that improves unarmored protection to that of chain mail. The character also grows a set of sensitive antenna the effect of which is up to the GM. This lasts 1 day.
A trail of smoke and the smell of sulfur travels with you. 1 day.
24 Placid Cherry Acid Touch.
Your hands begin to leak a strong acid. The acid will burn flesh eat leather in 2 turns and cloth will be destroyed in 1 turn. This will be a great help in battle, and annoying everywhere else. Lasts 1 day.
All of your Cloth clothing (including leather) begins to rot. It is gone in a day
25 Pulpy Rose Unmovable object:
For the rest of the day you can't be knocked back or knocked down, Even if you die you will remain standing, making for an extra creepy corpse.
Any statue you touch weeps blood 1 day.
26 Soapy Puce Turn Undead.
This potion allows the drinker to turn undead as per your games rules once. Lasts 1 day.
Roll 1d6 on a 6 this is a control undead potion.
Animals are afraid of you for 1 day.
27 Succulent Lime Detect evil:
This Potion makes any evil character in the casters vision look like minor demons.
Lasts 1 day.
Any food you touch for one day spoils.
28 Sappy Florescent Green Antidote.
This potion makes the drinker violently extrude any poison they may have ingested or had stabbed into them. How the poison is violently extruded is up to the GM.


Birds are attracted to you for one day. They like to land on you in groups, it's annoying.
29 Syrupy Florescent Blue Speak with animals:
For the rest of the day you can talk to the animals!
Now if you could get them to shut up, that would be an even better trick.


Your face is obscured by darkness and your voice is much lower than normal for one day.
30 Molten Beige Astral travel:
For one night you can project your spirit into the astral plane, when the night ends your spirit is sucked back into your body.
If this will mess up your game treat this as a poison of your choice.
Sleep walking for 1d4 days.
31 Steamy Lilac Speed:
this potion doubles your attacks per round and movement rate for 1 hour. When it's over you are super hungry.
You can not see elves for 1 day, they are visually invisible to you.
32 Dazzling Plum Resist: This potion offers resistance to one of the following. 1.heat 2.cold 3.electric 4.physical damage 5. psionics / telepathy 6.magical effects


Use your games rules for general resistance.
Lasts 1 hour
Every time you talk there is a 1 in 4 chance you wills stutter badly. 1 day. Effects casting.
33 Reflective Sky Blue Telepathy: You can read the mind of one target for 1 hour. Use your games rules for resisting such things.
If this will mess up your game treat this as a poison of your choice.


Lips swell to a very large and unnatural size. 1 day
34 Foaming Lavender Telekinesis. The character may lift and manipulate weight equal to their intelligence times 10 from a distance equal to their intelligence in meters. WITH their MIND! Lasts 1 hour. Total body numbness 1 Day
35 Congealed Silver Berserk Rage:
This potion drives the drinker into a berserk killing frenzy (use rules for bezerking from what ever game you like)
Extreme thirst for 1 day.
36 Stable Black Spider climb:
The person who drinks this potion sprouts four extra small appendages two on each side for their body , that allow them to climb sheer surfaces and even hang upside down. They are great if you don't mind sticky baby arms hanging off your ribs. Lasts 1 hour
A fresh breeze follows you every where for 1 day.
37 Sparking Peach Radiance.
The character gives off a very bright 30 foot radius light in the color of the potion. (if the potion was black treat as darkness. If the potion was clear treat as invisibility.)
Lasts 1d4 hours.
Small fires die when you get close to them for 1 day (lanterns, torches, anything smaller then a fire place.)
38 Boiling Copper Poly-morph potion:
The character turns into a 1:Cat 2:Rat 3:Bear 4:Bat 5:Dog 6:Snake 7:Another person 8:Crow 9:Rhino 10:Ape
For 1d4 hours.


Distant ghostly music follows you for 1 day
39 Roiling Clear Potion of Vitality:
this potion eliminates any feeling of hunger, thirst or fatigue from any one who drinks it. It also makes the drinker euphoric and prone to saying silly things. Lasts 1 day.
Grow a set of pretty but non functioning fairy wings.
40 Vaporous Dirt Brown Potion of Rest:
Drinking this potion is equal to sleeping 8 hours.
Wizards can memorize spells, ect. 1 in 10 drinkers of this potion suffer form waking dreams for 1 full day after they drink. (how this affects a character is up to the GM.)
Your weight drops to ½ normal for one day. Creating a cadaver like appearance. Effecting strength and clothing

This one was done in Blender  Damn that's nice work


Also, you can use this from Chaotic Shiny It Does the same thing with the click of a button.

Thank you for reading
Hope you enjoy.

Leave questions and comments in the empty potion cask below.
Drink responsibly

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Deluxe Car Wars and Old school gaming.


This one:
Steve Jackson Games, 1990 version.
I have been considering  liquidating some of my humble but I feel quality game collection. I don't have allot of stuff but what I have I feel is good usable items. As an after effect of  planning on an ebay sight and all that  ebay requires I have been spending some tie in my attic looking through my old books.
A while ago I ran into my old car wars set.
I loved car wars when I was in Jr. High and early high school. My friend Mike and I used to design cars and play out scenarios for hours at a shot. It was great fun.
Not for the first time I inquired with the group that I game with  to see if they woudl liek to try the venerable old game, and this time we finally set up a four player game.
Today we took to the streets of Midville, first on 2 map sections then on 1 map section (to speed things up)
I printed out  five cars from here
All class five (Around $5000) all pretty evenly matched. We would duel and when someone died they would just  pull a new car and enter the game anew.

Some high lights:
  • Neal tore a crossed a park at 55 MPH, failed a driving roll and skidded into a building, Jay then finished him off.
  • Russ blasted my car from long range twice with an anti tank gun  turning me into scrap in 3 second (game time.)
  • Jay pulled off a bootlegger reverse to thwart a tailing Neal and his new race car. Pretty awesome.
  • Rockets are hard as hell to hit with I missed Russ about 5 times before finally putting one through his passenger side door and turning  his driver into mush.
  • Jays car caught fire under withering incendiary Machine gun fire, harming the driver and generally sucking.
  • Neal Rammed Jay's car in the back bumper going 70 MPH. The rules were perfect telling me how to figure damage and  how to push  Jays car out of the way.
  • Neal eventually gunned Jay down with his machine gun.
  • I was convinced I was going to kill Neal, then I rolled badly, spun my car out,  and regained control. This happened Just in time to avoid a wall and then face off with  Jay who had just reappeared on the board 
  • Jay  got his hands on the car with the anti- tank gun and  ripped my car a new one.
  • A head on collision between Neal and  Russ ended the game.
  • And a few more funny spots that I can't quite remember.
In the  end though the final scores escape me the overall winner was Russ with at least three kills.
Russ this is for you  (For Now)


So can you go home again? Can a boxed set that's 20 something years old still dish-out some joy?
Yes.
Car Wars  in the form found in the deluxe boxed set is by no means an modern game. It is thoroughly simulationinst, the game is long playing, crunchy, and slow.  The rules and presentation feel 20 pluss years old, every day of it.
On the other hand:
It's also eloquent in how it represents time and movement. By the time this version hit the market it had been play tested to death. The game is surprisingly very strategic, and balanced.  Lastly the game hands you nothing. A player can fail based on their own miss judgement of speed and handling vs range and fire power. Very much like Blood Bowl another dated crunchy rules set, you can play this game and  get better at it with practice.
There is a reason why car wars was a huge tournament phenomenon at one point, it just works.

Will we ever play a Car Wars campaign or design our own characters or custom cars? Probably not.

Every once in a while however, it is nice to just slow down. Spend a whole day playing out fifteen seconds of  four cars trying to blow each other up. Laugh at each other failures and miscalculations, simply enjoy gaming. There is a feeling around the table that this kind of game produces that a more stream lined system  might never produce. It's hard to pin down but it's there. That time between  my phase and my next phase , I get to engage with  the other players, I was watching their  moves as closely as mine, and engaging with the the whole way. There is alot of space in a game like this , space to talk , bull shit and trash talk with out interrupting, it's part of the game.

I enjoyed the game very much. I  appreciate the guys willingness to give it a spin

Some Old school Games newly placed on my "I want to play these at the table again some day"

Star Frontiers Sci-Fiction  R.P.G. (I have access)
Star Fleet Battles. (ship to ship Star Trek slug fests) (Neal you must have a copy?)
Battletech  (the classic game or Armored Combat) (in my attic)
Battle system  Advanced dungeons and dragons mass fantasy combat (in my attic)

Thank you for reading
Please leave any questions or comments in the  burned out mini van below.
-Mark











Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Caves! We love Caves!" or 2d20, natural cave hazards.

This post was inspired by this post from the "Disoriented Ranger" blog.
Go read that post it's interesting

So your  players are working their way through some caverns and you feel they are not yet at one with the inherent danger of life below ground. It's time to throw a random natural hazard their way.

Natural hazards are defined by being non-fantastic. A field of giant sentient mushrooms that puff out rainbow colored rot spores are cool. They are not a natural hazard.

The entries on this chart are things that could be in any hallway of any cave and don't necessarily require their own map entries.

I will include notes about equipment that may be needed to  traverse the obstacle, however I will not include details like die checks, saves, or, damage values as they are system dependent. I will try to word these details in ways that are system agnostic. I will place equipment that might be used up or needed and  possible threats in (brackets) at the end of the entries.

Lastly, I did some reading and research for this list, but I am not a spelunker and I do not pretend to be expert on the subject.This list is build for fantasy games, not as a scholarly work. Please no "Sink holes don't work like that!" replies, because dragons don't work like that either.
What I did learn is this:

  • Simply tripping over things is a big time hazard in caves, more so as you become more and more tired.
  • Rock falls are also a major hazard particularly at cave entrances and any time a person is  repelling. I would say any Character caught by a rock fall should take significant damage. If the rock fall is major treat it like an area of effect spell, and save for half damage.
  • The  cold and damp of caves can lead to hypotermia. How serious this is depends on how your game handles things like hypothermia. regardless if a person gets wet in a cave, things should get serious quickly. 
  • I will not be dealing with getting lost on this chart, but that's obviously a big deal.
  • I will not be dealing all that much with light on this chart but  it's also a very big deal.
  • There is generally very little to eat in caves.
  • Things like clothing , ropes, lanterns, food, water, poles, spikes, clips, hooks, and all of those items that a cave explorer might use are finite. Caves have a tendency to rip, break, consume, strand, loose, and, cut those items at a pretty high rate. Caving in a fantasy came could become as much about resource management as it is about fighting baddies.
  • The features inside a cave should not be thought of as dangerous. Rather it is a universal feature of all caves that caves are dangerous. Danger should be all over when the players are delving in natural caves.
  • Water is not just water.  It ruins torches period. Armored characters will have a hard time swimming if they have to. Worst of all however, It's cold it will get a characters clothing wet and lead to hypothermia if they don't dry out or change. Water is bad in caves avoid it.
From a GM's point of view fair warning should be given that some of these random items might  slightly alter the lay out of your cave. Some entries add  verticality others add some features like boulders or stalagmites. I tried not to make any of them all that earth shaking or map changing.

When your players are  running down that dark underground passage like a bunch Usain Bolt's ..
Roll 2d20

  1. ROLL 2D20
  2. This area is waste deep in mud. Fighting is nearly impossible movement is greatly slowed. The party is  open to attack form  enemies staying out of the mud. Passage over or around woudl be wiser than going through. (Rope) (Clothing) (Hypothermia) (Vulnerability)

  3. The  floor of this  area is only a thin mineral shelf. Knocking with a pole will detect the hollow areas and warn the party. Careful travel is possible, but undue activity, fighting, or reckless moment will result in the shelf collapsing sending every party member tumbling into to a dry grotto below. They characters will take medium damage from the  hard fall and have to climb back out.
    (Falling) (rope) (time)

  4. Great bunches of roots make it hard to pas through this area, they also denote being close to the surface, care should be taken to avoid a cave in. (poles)

  5. This section of cave contains several huge boulders that have collapsed in from above, they are wet and muddy, squeezing between them will be difficult. Characters in any armor heavier than leather will have to remove their armor to continue through these pinch points. Footing is also  precarious. (poles) (ropes) (resource management "armor")

  6. A five foot wide and  thirty foot deep wash runs right down the middle of this corridor. It was created by run off water surging down this passage some time in the distant past. The narrow ledges along the sides are precarious and  fragile.

  7. Lichens coat the damp floor and walls of this cave section making footing difficult especially if fighting. The pale damp plants also hide other tripping hazards. 

  8. Lichens coat the damp floor and walls of this cave section making footing difficult especially if fighting. The pale damp plants also hide a steep wash out that acts as a slide if any character happens over it.
    The slide is thirty feet but not overly rough causing at worst minor bruising, getting back out however will take ropes and effort.
    . (ropes)(climbing gear)(Involuntary relocation)

  9. a swift fall of water flows from the ceiling to floor on the left side of this passage. The water drains out of the floor as fast as in flows in , where the floor meets the wall there is a pinch hole that an unarmored person could negotiate. Any one attempting to do so in armor however will get stuck and drowned as per the rules of your choose system if not rescued. (ropes)(poles)(drowning)(hypothermia)

  10. Stalagmites and stalactites merge in this corridor making passage difficult for large characters with allot of pointy objects sticking off of their back packs.
  11. looks safe enough lets go ...

  12. The surface of this corridor is very jagged and uneven. Not only does this make footing difficult it makes falling down harmful. Any fall should be treated as an attack, causing lacerations to the hands knees and body.

  13. The air is dank and stale here, there is no breeze. The room is at the top of a natural chimney light gasses collect here. Within a few minutes the oxygen in this room will being to be used up. lanterns will dim, breathing will become labored after that follow your games rules for slowly dying until the characters can move along out of the chimney or retreat from the room. (suffocation)

  14. This section of the cave is unsteady and shifting, formed by a recent collapse or perhaps being undercut by flowing water the party must pick it's way careful to avoid triggering any further cave ins.

  15. This  section of cave drops away in uneven ledges formed over eons of erosion. Traversing this area will require a bit of repelling on ropes and perhaps ladders. The party will have to take it slow or risk falling short distances onto jagged plateaus. (Ropes) (ladders) (climbing equipment)

  16. The area vault upwards into the darkness, innumerable cubbyholes and small openings have been carved into the walls by eroding limestone.
    The area is generaly clear but confusing. All of the small openings make for hundreds of ready ambush sights or hiding spots for  local creatures. (disorientating.)

  17. The floor of the cave transitions to loose and sandy, some where in this area is a narrow sink hole. If a character moves over that sink hole they will begin a slide of sand that may pull other characters down with them. This feature formed when loose sediments washed into this area over time. The water flows out  through the narrow sink hole leaving the silt deposited by the slower moving water behind. The nice thing is this acts as a giant sluice box, the characters might find rare minerals scattered about in the fine silt. The bad thing is that will keep them digging around until some one hits the sink hole. (Drowning in sand) (poles) (ropes)(Involuntary relocation)

  18. A narrow fissure in the passage produces a stiff breeze that could blow out torches. (Resource management Torches)

  19. The passage narrows to a pinch point several yards where the party must wallow on their stomachs through silty mud in a very narrow passage. Torches will not work except for the  first person through. The party must go single file. Armor heavier than leather will not fit. (resource management Armor / torches) (vulnerability)

  20. The ceiling in this area is very fragile, visibly so. Any passage at all may cause a cave in. The area can be barred down but it will take time and make noise that any nearby nasty will hear. (Cave in threat) (poles) (time) (May attract enemies)

  21. This room is shaped like a narrow cone and is elevated above the central corridor. There is a small hole or crack at the top of the cone.
    This natural vent was formed through the action of a long extinct geyser. Now it collects gasses at it's peek which slowly  filter out through the old vent.
    If a character decides to explore the   cone he or she will get a nasty surprise from the collection of methane that builds up at the top over time.
    The small explosion would be enough to do a bit of damage and knock the character back down distance back to the floor.
    (resource torch)(resource Ropes)(resource Eyebrows)(Cave in danger after explosion)(explosion damage)(alerts monsters)

  22. The corridor here is winding and turns in on it's self at several levels. The party will have to be careful not to get turned around.
    (disorientation)(vulnerability to ambush)

  23. This corridor falls away steeply into the darkness. It will be necessary for the party to create a tryolean traverse bridge the length of the corridor to cross it. This means one Party member will have to scale crossed using only spikes first. This is no small task and should be difficult and serious.
    (falling) (resource ropes) (time)

  24. This room is filled waste deep in sauna warm water, small selenite crystals line the floor of the pool. This is a double whammy the room is  warm and humid meaning character will become exhausted quickly and may suffer heat stroke , particular those in armor. After they clear this room their wet cloths will cool rapidly leaving them open to hypothermia. (hypothermia) (clothing) (exhaustion)

  25. A small stream runs through this hall Bisecting it. The stream is shallow but to wide to jump. Recent rains mean the  water is swift and could take a careless character off his or her feet. (falling) (hypothermia) (lost torches and other equipment)

  26. This tube like corridor has strange gutter like  features running along it's edge, the gutters are filled with stagnant water and create a barrier to characters hoping to reach any adjoining passages. (falling) (stank water)

  27. This  shaft is built up of several narrow ledges intersecting each other, only one character at a time may pass, and the climbing is difficult.
    (ropes) (ladders) (falling) (vulnerability)

  28. A large hollow blob shaped ball of ancient congealed lava nearly blocks the passage way. Small characters can fit around the Laval ball but others will have a difficult time. The lava ball is attached to the caverns ceiling and can be dislodged but it will take time and make considerable noise. (time) (Alerts enemies)

  29. This area features a pool of bright blue water resting in a shallow grotto. A plume of stone erupts form the nearest wall and  spreads out like a large mushroom to the waters edge.
    Any character that explores or walks on the plume of calcified runoff runs a risk of collapsing the canopy formation into the water.
    HERE
    (Falling) (hypothermia)

  30. A Deep chasm bisects this passage way a collapsed Stalactite bridges the gap. The  stalactite is damp and covered with lichens making footing difficult. Travelers would be wise to rope off.
    (falling) (time) (rope) 

  31. The passage falls away and a waterfall tumbles down from somewhere above. Characters will need to take their time and be sure not to loose their footing. A fall would be survivable but the climb out  will be laborious.
    (falling) (water) (time) (rope)

  32. The  floor here is covered by scree and old cave ins. Any fighting in their area will impose penalties on characters that are not accustomed to underground environments.
    (Dangerous footing)

  33. This area is inhabited  by thousands of harmless bats. Their guano is knee deep in several places, making passage through this  are very difficult and unpleasant.  Passage through this area casts up clouds of dried bat guano could cause illness or disease in  unwary characters.
    (disease) (slow travel) (Resource Clothing)

  34. This section contains a pool of water which looks like a blue hole plunging into unknown depths. Crossing it should be easy, exploring it would be extremely dangerous.
    (temptation) (clothing) (hypothermia)

  35. This area is a winding section of narrow braided corridors with many  sharp blind corners. Only one character may traverse the area at a time. (Vulnerability)

  36. This clear looking  corridor has a high concentration of Lodestone with in the walls. If the characters are lucky enough to have a compass liek devise it spins wildly while near this area.

  37. A flood sometime in the past deposited a  large tangle of debris in this corridor. Old tree limbs, stones, animal skeletons, and  anything else that could have washed down is in this pile of junk. It will have to be cleared before the party can continue.

  38. There is a narrow vertical opening in the floor of this corridor, it's depth is unknown and it's rimmed with  loose stone. If any one tries to repel into the shaft utmost care needs to be taken to avoid rock fall. The walls of the shaft are solid and take well to spikes and pinions. (ropes) (time) (falling) (Rock Fall)

  39. The trickling rivulets of water on the caves walls have become torrents, this section of the cave is slowly filling with water. The characters may have notices water marks on the walls before this point or they may not have, regardless they need to get to higher ground until the rain above passes. (drowning) (Hypothermia)

  40. The ceiling rock here is fragmented and loose, undue vibrations or even loud noise might cause a rock fall. This is detectable with a pole and regular tapping, if any one is doing it. (collapse)

  41. This area must be scaled, its a tall almost sheer wall or chimney where a waterfall once flowed. This will take time and effort. The first character to scale the wall will have to place spikes for the others to follow. It is very tall and sheer, falling should mean almost certain death.
    (falling) (Spikes) (rope) (time) (exhaustion)


Helpful links I looked over:
Mit intro to caving
Very Basic into vertical caving 
Caves.org is about caves
Tryolean Traverse:
caving accidents Reports:
Check this out  virtual cave tours, gameable maps, weaponized calcite. 

hope you enjoyed the post.
Thanks for reading
Leave questions and comments in the dark gaping maw of the  sundered earth below.
Mark.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Here is a cool kickstarter to back, (not mine)

Check out this RPG. Kick-starter.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/monkeyfunstudios/spirit-of-77-a-funky-1970s-tabletop-role-playing-g

It's a game about action set in the blown out over  the top world of 70's action films.
Run off the  "Apocolypse world" frame work.

I'm  probably going to back it at the PDF level, because it's similar to something I was kicking around. The game I was working on only lives on Google docs right now and is in it's very infancy so the kickstarter saves me the work / fun of writing a game.
(If any one is interested here is the Google docs link to my W.I.P. open for comments. I think I'm going to stop working on the game now that I see someone else is doing it bigger, better, faster, and stronger.Still feed back is fun, instructive, and all that jazz.)

This brought a thought to my head.
I have watched Fate, Savage Worlds, and  now Apocalypse World become the hackers choice for  game ideas. I am not negatively judging authors who make the creative decision to use or licence a working frame work to build their game around. There are some huge advantages to working with an established system.
  • First off a writer will know the game is going to function in a certain way. An Apocalypse world game is going to work like an Apocalypse World game it's proven. If that's the kind of play experience the author is looking to create then by all means lessen the guess work.
  • Name recognition. There are some folk who will buy a game simply because it is  Fate compatible or based off Apocalypse world. A perfect example I backed this kickstarter for two reasons, one it's Nathan Polleta. I know he has chops (I have "Annalise" and think it's great.) He will make a great game. Secondly he used the Apocalypse World engine so I know the foundation is something I am comfortable with. Again one unknown is out of the equation.
  • Lastly using an established system takes the overhead of designing a system out of the process so a designer can focus on what ever it is that they love about what they are doing. As an example Mike Evans is creating his "Hubris Campaign setting" Which I will contend would be full of awesome in any system, but is being realized as awesome in the Dungeon Crawl Classics system. I will not speak for Mr. Evans, but if I were designing something as large and ambitious as Hubris, I would not want the overhead of designing a system on top of it. Making it work with something as rock solid as Dungeon Crawl Classics gives Mike the room to pile in as much awesome stuff as he can think of, which seems to be allot, seriously, click the link, go read it, this shit will still be here when you get done.
You're back? Cool ..

So why write games then?  Why not build on the frames of other games or keep adding wicked-good stuff to what we have? (A point made deftly by Zak S. awhile back in this post.) I can't reality add anything to Zak's point, he already made it.

I will now speak for myself, there is allot of intellectual curiosity involved when writing a game. Can I make the parts fit, can I make something that when everyone sits around and plays the game, the game will act how I  hoped it would? 

Frankly for me I think this is mostly ego (I hope more definition 1 but I know 3 is in there as well.) The creative process feels good. It's enjoyable.
I can loose an afternoon just as quickly  writing the  fiddly bits of a role playing game as I can  working on a drawing, it stimulates the same part of my brain. When a game works and is enjoyed by others it's the  same sense of accomplishment as when I draw or paint something I think is decent.

It's me saying I made this and it's pretty dope and we can have fun with it for free. 
It's really not necessary to do it, that's where ego definition three comes around rearing it's tooth maw.

If I want to look a bit at Freudian ego I would say, "Yes I create things as a reaction to my external  environment, my constant back ground brain buzz of creativity gives my Id just enough pleasure to keep me from  kicking my phone down the hallway, and running out of my job in a state of manic fury."

How does this tie back to a Kick Starter that's for a game that's allot like one I had been kicking around?
It's a bit ego crushing to be honest, but not in a "you guys to stole my cheerios!" kind of way, because they did not and I don't for a second think they did. It's more of a "Hey  they're doing that thing I was doing and now there is no reason for me to do it any more because that thing has all the bells and whistles I will never have the time to ring or blow." My pleasure principle has been usurped.
For the group I game with it's an even better choice than a whole new game seeing as it's based on Apocalypse world any one of my friends can pick it up and run it if they want. No muss no fuss, no putting up with my long winded ego driven bull shit.
I'm glad they got funded in one day, it tells me the setting is a good idea.

So is it worth working on new games when there is so much on the side of using the frames of games already out there? With a history of games to pluck from ranging from BX D&D to Apocalypse World Why bother reinventing the  wheels?
when I give it a hard look, it really is a tough question.