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Skeletons - they live within us all

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  There are many common low-level mooks; goblins, kobolds, orcs, rats, etc. But there is one that I think stands the test of time far better than those and that is the humble skeleton. Why? Because they are a part of the collective consciousness. Every culture on earth has seen a skeleton and has tales and images of death. Not every culture has a kobold. Since time immemorial, the skeleton is a sign of human mortality. But in our elf-games, the skeleton is, as I've said, a low-level mook. Is this fair? Perhaps. But there is an urge within to give them more than that, probably because of what is my third-favourite special-effects sequence of all time, the skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts by Ray Harryhausen. (The first two spots are reserved for the Kali statue fight in Harryhausen's Golden Voyage of Sinbad, and the opening of the Ark in the first Indiana Jones). The Jason and the Argonauts skeleton fight is my go-to image of skeletons. They're dangerous. They're ki

OSR Westerns

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  I have had very few opportunities to successfully play in a western-style RPG. A few Aces & Eights games that fizzled and that's about it. It seems to be one of those situations where it quickly becomes apparent that if I want to have a western cowboy game, I'll need to be the one to run it. But what about system? Aces & Eights is a beefy system full of advanced mechanics that make it a pain in my rear to sell to many players that aren't already intimately familiar with RPGs. Boot Hill is more of a combat simulator than a role-playing game. Deadlands is way to heavy on steampunk and horror. WoD Wild West is WoD; nothing much else needs to be said. GURPS probably has something but if I think Aces and Eights will scare people off, GURPS is probably worse. So what should I do? Well, figure out some simple house rules to tack on to an OSR compatible system of course! Why OSR? Because it's fast, simple, lethal, and has a focus on exploration as well as combat. All

Secret Doors

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 I recently came across someone asking how players discover secret doors. I took that to mean how do you telegraph to players that a secret door is present without giving it away and still relying on the player's ingenuity to find it. Just as telling the players that a room is suspiciously clean is code for a gelatinous cube being present, there should be clues that suggest  the presence of a secret door. Let us take a deeper look into this. First, we must ask: where are secret doors typically found? This gives us a list of objects or features that you can put in a room (whether or not a secret door is present) that will give players something to interact with. -Behind tapestries -Inside false-backed wardrobes/closets -Behind bookshleves -Inside fireplaces -Behind paintings Then, we ask: what triggers their opening? The presence of these objects allow the players to actually say "I go and manipulate X." For things like torch sconces, if the 4th one activates a door, and

Solo Dungeoneering Part 2

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  The Journey of the Chupacabros Part 1: Temple of the Snake The party is aware that the Temple of the Snake lies 18 miles south-east and a farther 30 miles east of that. Travelling by foot, they can make about 18 miles a day. I do not make jungle/mountains/etc increase travel time, but rather have an increased chance of wandering monsters and getting lost. I should also note that I can't find the original version of the map of the Temple of the Snake so I'm using a tiny version that was found on my phone. I apologize for this shameful display of quality control. - Management Day the First Weather is good but the party still gets lost, goes back the way they came and then realize their mistake, only making it 12 miles south-east in total. They rest along the banks of the Eastern Dannosh River, and manage to catch some catfish for dinner. In the evening, a Pit Viper made its way into their camp, killing Erp with its poison and Kara via blood loss before Arnora crushed it wi

Solo Dungeoneering

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I have enough dungeons that I probably won't ever get to them all when I look at all the scheduling issues life seems to create. So at the suggestion of a stranger on the internet, I'm going to start running through them solo. I don't have any solo RPG rules, nor do I feel like reading any, so I shall make my own. As I play, I shall post reports of myself here for your reading pleasure. Rules  -I will be using my own set of house rules for B/X -I will control 4 PCs -Stats will be 3d6, straight down the line in order of Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma -PCs will be given a name and a 1 sentence description including brief details regarding their appearance and personality -There is an 80% chance that a PC will be male, only because I prefer to play males on account of being one, but females still deserve a chance to plunder dungeons -The PCs will be initially limited to Cleric, Fighting-Man, Magic-User, and Thief -If, through play, any ra

My new D&D setting

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 Let me introduce you to two things: the first, is my new d&d setting, the second is a wonderful boardgame that people should go and play. They happen to be the same thing which makes this rather easy. Enter: Iron Dragon the fantasy train-track building and fantasy good delivering game. In which you choose your foreman from a list including humans, halflings, dwarves, elves, catmen, trolls, and orcs, and connect 8 magical cities while delivering dragons from Nordkassel to Janoshal and magical scrolls from Ozu-zark to Orc-Oktzero.

Overworld and Underworld Maps

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I'm sorry that I never update this. Life is busy. I do have some maps though. I got a fancy hex grid notebook and that's what you'll be getting today. Two overworld maps, and three underworld maps.

My new Kung Fu RPG

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I'd like to say the reason I don't update this site is because I've been too busy working on my brand new Kung Fu Roleplaying Game. In reality, it's because I'm lazy, but building a system doesn't help. At any rate, the game is free because I don't believe in charging for art and a link is available at the bottom of the page.

Randomizing your Dungeon: The Lazy Man's Way

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 My latest project has been making a dungeon that ends in the idol from the AD&D PHB. Of course, this can't be a simple 20 room dungeon, it has to be one hell of a mega-complex. Of course, no-one has time to stock hundreds of rooms at a time, so I decided to build an excel spreadsheet that does it for me. The star of this show is excel's random function: =INDEX(Tables.A#:A#; RANDBETWEEN(1;100)) Let's break it down. First I have multiple pages, one for the main page, one for a bunch of tables of magic item tables, and one for wandering monsters. the =index(tables references what page I'm going to be pulling random details from. A#:A# is the column/row designation of the individual table, for example, tables.a2:a37 references room contents (monster, empty, trap, etc), whereas wander.b2:b21 references a wandering monster table for the 2nd level of a dungeon.  Randbetween gives us the actual randomization; while referencing the particular column, it generates a number,

The Isle of Dread

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  Ah the classic X1. Do I really need to say anything about it that hasn't been said? No probably not. I'm about to start running this with my group, so if you, the reader, happen to be one of them, please stop reading this, and here are the changes I plan on making. Have any suggestions? Feel free to comment, I won't say no to your ideas/criticisms.