Sunday, June 30, 2013

Death Race 2000 (1975)


So sad to say, with me being 42 and all, that I just watched Death Race 2000 for the first time. That was pretty hilarious; and I can totally see why it's a cult classic. Saw that it was being pulled from the NetFlix list tonight, and it had been on the list for quite a while, so just had to watch it.

It's amazing that Judge Dredd started 2 years after Death Race, and I wonder if there was some influence on 2000AD from it. I was reading on the website that Judge Dredd himself was inspired by two things; Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry and the Poster for Death Race 2000.

Pretty cool.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Used Game Books - Ars Magica

Went to Pair-a-Dice today, looks like a new crop of used books came in, cuz there were a couple of cool titles that I saw, but I picked up a 1989 edition of Ars Magica. This is a game I had always heard about but never picked up. I hadn't realized that it was a Mark Rein-Hagen game (with Jonathan Tweet). As paged through it, I can completely see the MRH influence in the book. From the virtues/flaws to the Body Points, this shows what World of Darkness would become.

I got it for $3.

I plan on saying more about it after I read more. But first, I need to post some review information for Monsters & Magic.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

More Monsters & Magic

So still not finished reading the whole thing, kids just left on 2 weeks vacation, so I think I might have time to finish reading it this week. (At the moment I have a pretty bad migraine, so this is going to be short, then I'm heading to bed.)

From what I've read there are some really cool concepts that can fit into any game.

I especially like the Social Equipment section. While it's designed to work with the M&M social hit points, and social skills, it can easily be adapted to any OGL game.

These social items give a reason beyond a 3rd edition style "+2 to Diplomacy skills". For example, Good lodging at an inn, gives a +1 social bonus AND +1 to healing. The difference between a 'standard fare' and a 'good meal' is one keeps you alive, the other grants +1 to heal checks. This gives characters a reason to stay at the inn and spend that extra cash on food and lodging. Here's another one: A Pitcher of wine, Enough to share with someone you're pumping for information.

Perhaps you want to wine and dine a visiting Elven dignitary, that 5gp per bottle of 250 year old Elven Wine, might be the difference between impressing them or insulting them.

It's a great adaptation to the system. I'll write more as I read more.

Monsters and Magic PDF Currently $9.99 at Drivethru RPG

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monsters & Magic review upcoming (But now for some Unleashed)

I'm currently reading Monsters & Magic by Mindjammer Press. So far it's a very good read, I'll know more about it after I'm done,

This has gotten me thinking again on my own 2d10 system that will have some OSR feel mixed with 3.5+ rules, heavily modified. I've been sitting back thinking about the system, similar to how Frank Lloyd Wright designed Falling Water, he thought about it....for months, but he first time he put pencil to paper was when the client was already on the way.anyway I digress...

Now Sarah is doing a lot of stuff that i'm not doing from what I'm reading. She's using 3d6 as her base dice replacing the d20...similar to what I'm doing with the 2d10, drop the d20 in favor of a curve.Which I've said before, creates an actual mean. the linear d20 averages out over time, not like 2d10 which has a 50% chance of an 11. The d20, 5% chance of an 11.

So why 2d10 over a d100 they both use two 10-sided dice....Yes, that's right, but the D% is a linear reuslt table again, 1% chance for any number...This makes a big difference between 18, 81 and the 8+1=9 / 1+8=9 results of 2d10.

Any roll of doubles in unleashed will unleash a 'special' result. This is where it gets fun, while damage will be tied directly to the result, the doubles trigger a critical result.The doubles is for success and failures, it's a measure of degrees of success, or failure.

Everything will revolve around the results; combat, social, magic, skills, everything.

Anyway off to bed for now, more to come. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

San Diego County Fair

Today we're off to the San Diego County Fair, which the theme this year is...GAMES.
Never that I remember has there been a Game Themed fair. We'll be hanging out at the Pair-A-Dice games table, demoing SJG Games.

Well Epic fail there, I actually forgot to post here we go! Post-fair...

We had a blast, hung out doing some MIB demos; always fun, though with a small area it was enough to run Cthulhu Dice, Zombie Dice and of course Munchkin.

Epic Entrance to the SD County Fair

Sean and Ian learning king of Tokyo

Sean and Ian teaching King of Tokyo

Teaching a Munchkin Newbie! 

Thassa big truck

Saturday, June 22, 2013

AEG at Game Empire

So out of the blue I dropped by Game Empire with the boys and whoa, AEG was there setting up for demos. Met the owner of AEG and Sean; we sat down to play some games. Now the boys had told me about Smash Up, and wow, let me tell you, I love that game as well, it plays very well with just the basic set, 8 different 'factions' as the boys previously posted about in their review from Gam3rCon. The game is not as fast as I thought it would play, but the combinations of powers makes it very intriguing; and gives it great replayability.

After Smash Up we got to play Love Letter. Weird sounding game for boys to like, but the gameplay is really good, and at $10 it's a steal. It is extremely simple, but still deals with tactics. Very fun, but I'll let Sean explain it more.

Lastly Ian played a game coming out soon, Agent Hunter...he'll be writing that one up, and we have pictures...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Earthdawn Appreciation Day Award Ceremony!

HERE WE GO!!! Banners proclaiming your victorious entries.

Awarded Third place and winning 1 PDF from the entire Earthdawn Catalog hosted at Drivethrurpg with the 'Legendary Weapons for DCC RPG':

Awarded SECOND place and winning 2 PDFs from the entire Earthdawn Catalog hosted at Drivethrurpg with the story of Klim the Windling Wind Dancer/Horror Stalker

Awarded FIRST place and winning 4 PDFs from the entire Earthdawn Catalog hosted at Drivethrurpg with the her entry of Elf, Ork and T'skrang portraits:

Congratulations to all of the winners, let me know what email you want the PDFs sent to your Drivethru account  I will contact Steven Black, and either send it to you or have him send it to you.

I'd also like to thank everyone who participated and to Steven Black, Andrew Ragland, and Hank Woon for guest judging. Each judge had their favorites, I used a numeric system to determine the awards, it was close between First, Second and Third places.

I hope to run the event again next year, and to have 2-3 times the number of entries. (I will be marketing it earlier and better next year as well.)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Earthdawn Appreciation Day - Symbology by Matt B.

While it may be late for the contest, Dan and Matt B. wanted to enter this for Earthdawn Appreciation Day,

Symbols for the various Barsaivian Disciplines. Pretty cool idea!

disciplines small.png

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Free RPG Day report!

So Free RPG Day went off pretty well. The boys and I got lots of Swag and I ran the Tower Out of Time for DCC RPG. We only had three players, luckily one of them took the Cleric..

Everyone enjoyed the game, there was talk of buying DCC RPG, and my voice held out for the entire time I ran it.

[pictures to follow tomorrow]

After the Free RPG Day festivities wound down, I ended up demoing Judge Dredd Miniatures. Again much fun was had!

I wish I had been able to take some of the cool info created for Earthdawn and throw together a game in time; but, after being sick for a week, it was all I could do to run the game I had scheduled!

I think next year, I will do 3 challenges.  Circle 1 encounter challenge; Create a Circle 1 PC, and Design an Earthdawn flavored location. These can then be used to run an adventure on Free RPG Day. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

EAD Entry (Late) from Mordom at

And a late entry, but an entry none the less.
To see the original format go to the Original page:

The recently announced Earthdawn Appreciation Day was yesterday and I am a little bit late but nevertheless, here’s my late contribution.

Based on this article at Inkwell ideas I made up an Earthdawn study & research topics table. The table should give Gamemasters a short overview of book titles, the players could see when they have a short look at a bookshelf.

- Creatures
Habitats of the Griffon near the Tylon mountains
Ecology of Cave Crabs
Behavior of the common wolf
Reproduction behavior of Espagras
Treatise on salt water fish's near Urupa

- Cities
Common clothes of Travar
Boarding rules of Urupa haven
Violence rates in Throal / Bethabal
Heraldry of Throal families

- Landscapes
Old trading routes
The Hills around Kratas
A Windsailors thoughts on the Throal mountains
Storm season of the Tylon mountains

- Trading / Financial / Faith
A merchants treatise on trading routes (for campsites, state of some routes in southern Barsaive etc.)
Trading houses of Throal
Analysis of financial benefits in Travar
The superiority of Chorollis

Friday, June 14, 2013

Earthdawn Appreciation Day - Boons & Maladies

This is just the beginning, if you wish to join in adding to this project, send a request to me to join the Google Drive editable document.

Earthdawn BOONS & MALADIES system

This version of the The Earthdawn Boons & Flaws rule refers to the 3rd edition of Earthdawn as published by RedBrick Limited. It should work equally well with any edition with minor adjustments.

The Boons & Maladies system works with the point buy system as laid out on pgs 25-26 of the Player’s Guide. Typically you have 25 points to purchase attributes above the base attribute level. Taking flaws will grant additional points which may be spent on. It can work with rolled attributes as well, this requires maladies be taken then boons or additional attributes purchased with those points.

Note, this system is prone to abuse by munchkinism, I have tried to balance the good and bad so that the maladies grant less points than the equivalent boons. I recommend only allowing 1 of each category, this lets players have some options without heaping on multiple maladies in an area where they aren’t focused (mental maladies for melee characters or physical maladies for magicians.)

Incredible Strength (2 pts)
Feats of strength come naturally to you, you often have inspired moments in which your pure physical power is apparent.
Once per session you may spend a point of karma on any Strength-based check.

Amazing Agility (2 pts)
Other namegivers have always been amazed by your innate agility.
Once per session you may spend a point of karma on any Dexterity-based check.

Unnatural Fortitude (2 pts)
You were once bitten by a Four Step Adder, you miraculously survived.
Once per session you may spend a point of karma on any Toughness-based check.

Preternatural Reflexes (3 pts)
Your reflexes are like those of a cat, you find yourself reacting
If you roll any ones during an intiative check you may reroll them, once.

Sure-Footed (2 pts)
You used to spent your youth pushing the limits of your balance, seeing how fast you could run across fallen logs, slick with water and moss, across streams for the sheer joy of pushing the boundaries.
Gain a +1 bonus to any balance related skill tests.

Eyes of the Eagle
You can pick out minor details, even at great distance.
Gain a +1 bonus to any perception related checks.

Good Nightvision (2 pts - Human, Obsidiman, T’skrang, Windling)
Your nightvision is phenominal, not like an elves vision, but good for your race.
You only suffer half the penalties from low-light conditions, not full darkness.

Strong Tail (3 pts - T’skrang Only)
Your tail is very strong.
You may attach up to a Size 3 weapon to your tail instead of a Size 2 weapon. Unarmed Strikes with your tail add +1 to damage.

Hard as Nails (3 pts)
You’re tougher than others would assume.
add +2 to your Wound Threshold.

Hard to Kill (3 pts)
You’re still alive, you should have died from that fall, but you’re still alive.
add +2 to your Death Rating.

Uncanny Defense (5 pts)
You know how to avoid being hit.
+1 bonus to Physical Defense.

Sprinter (2 pts)
You’re a sprinter, you win nearly every foot race against others of your race.
When you run, you move 1 additional hex or 2 yards.

Survivor (6 pts)
You are a survivor, when death’s door opens, you run the other way.
Anytime you drop unconscious HP level. You roll an immediate recovery test.


Lame (+3 pts)
You suffered a traumatic leg injury as a youth.
-1 movement, and Running only gives you 50% extra distance.

Wingless (+5 pts - Windling only)
Your wings were clipped, you can’t fly.
Lose your ability to fly. Reduce your Physical Defense by 3.

Overweight (+2 pts)
You’re huge, having large amounts of fat, but not muscle to carry it.

Lumbering (+2 pts)
You’re slow for your race,
Reduce your movement rate by 1.

Weak Tail (+2 pts - T’skrang Only)
Your tail is very weak.
You may only attach a Size 1 weapon to your tail; instead of a Size 2 weapon. And any unarmed attacks with your tail are considered to be with a Strength 2 steps lower.

Keen Perception (2 pts)
Not much gets past you.
Once per session you may spend a point of karma on any Perception-based check.

Stubborn as a Goat (2 pts)
Once per session you may spend a point of karma on any Willpower-based check.

Charming (2 pts)
You once talked your way into a position of power you weren’t qualified for.
Once per session you may spend a point of karma on any Charisma-based check.


Buffoon (+3 pts)
You‘re often seen as a fool, putting your foot in your mouth more often than not.
You suffer a -1 on all Charisma based checks.

Astral Blindness (+5 pts - Windling Only)
You are not able to access the Astral Sight that others of your kind can.
You do not have ranks in the Astral Sight talent and you may never gain it from a discipline either.

Rigid (+3 pts - Human only)
You grew up disciplined. You do not have the versatility of others of your race.
You do not have access to the Versatility talent. Give up your hopes of being a Journeyman.

Backgrounds are exactly that, minor bonuses and skills which can be added to your character.

Accomplished Swimmer (2 pts, 1 pt for T’skrang)
You are a strong swimmer. T’skrang know of your swimming ability far and wide.
Gain a +2 bonus on swimming checks.

Blacksmith’s Apprentice (1 pt)
Before becoming an Adept, you were apprenticed to a blacksmith.
Gain 1 rank of Weaponsmithing skill.

Riverboat Crewman (1 pt)
Before becoming an Adept, you were a riverboat crewman.
Gain 1 rank of Airsailing skill.

Airman (1 pt)
You once worked passage on an airship. You learned the basics of airsailing from a mighty captain. Those lessons stayed with you.
Gain 1 rank of Airsailing skill.

Assistant Librarian (1 pt)
You were an assistant in your kaer’s library.
Gain 1 rank of research skill. If you gain the Research Talent later, you are a natural gaining a +1 bonus on research checks.

Amateur Herbalist (1 pt)
You’ve always loved herbalism, you have basic knowledge of plants and  .
Gain 1 rank of research skill. If you gain the Research Talent later, you are a natural gaining a +1 bonus on research checks.

K’Stulaami  (3 pts - T’Skrang Only)
You are K'stulaami.

Granite Skin  (3 pts - Obsidiman Only)
Obsidiman are known for their rock-like hides, you are known amongst your brethren to have the toughest hide.
You have a Physical Armor rating of 4

Crystalline Skin (4 pts - Obsidiman Only )
Unlike most obsidimen, your natural earthen hide is mostly crystal, While not as tough as some physically, your hide is resistant to mystic damage as well.
You have a Physical Armor rating of 2 and a Mystic Armor rating of 2

Elemental Skin (6 pts - Obsidiman Only )
Unlike most obsidimen, your natural earthen hide partially infused with elemental earth. You must be especially careful of Theran Slavers who would rather wear you than sell you.

You gain the Earth Skin talent at Rank 0, and may increase as normal.

Earthdawn Appreciation Day - Anatomy of a Horror

I'm fairly certain that the article Morgan wrote today for his blog isn't an entry, but it is amazing. I hope to soon have the time to go back and read nine months of Morgan's posts!!!

Anatomy of a Horror

EAD Entry from Jesse Butler via apathyblogs - Legendary Weapons for DCC

Edit: Apologies on the way this one looked, I missed the formatting issue when I posted it, correcting now.

Alright, some cross platform action! From Apathy Blogs:

There are a number of features that make Earthdawn an exceptional game. Easily one of the most popular are the Legendary Items. These are the magical items in Earthdawn and what makes them special is the investment in them. It isn't just a +1 sword, +3 vs. reptiles, it is Coldblood and as you learn more about it's history, where it has been, the more powerful it will grow in your hands. Not only that, but ordinary items can become magical if involved in events of significant importance, or the user sacrifices their life for a task. No longer will you have a long parade of magical gear, used only until something with a better bonus comes along.

Luckily for everyone, this mechanic is easily ported into any system. Specifically,Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC) by Goodman Games. The essential elements to a Legendary Item are:

Name: It is a legend, so what is it called?
Description: It is awesome, how does it look?
Back Story: It came from somewhere and is been involved in mighty deeds; how did it come to be and what are the highlights (and lowlights) of its past?
Key Knowledges: These will come from the back story. These are the essential elements that the user needs to learn in order to achieve the next rank.
Deeds: These will come from the back story as well. These are like a Key Knowledge, but instead of learning something, the used must do something relevant to the item's history.
Ranks: These are the cool powers you get as you advance. The good stuff.
Maximum Threads: It's a bit a terminology held over from Earthdawn proper, but it still serves a purpose here. This is the number of people that can have a rank with the item at one time. This number is rarely more than two.
While typically inanimate and uncommunicative (which can only be regarded as agood thing), Legendary Items are still alive in some sense. They have goals in their own way and are able to pull the threads of fate to ensure they are never truly lost and bend things, just a bit, to further their agenda (whatever it may be). This is almost entirely by influencing their user in a subtle fashion. The higher the rank with the Legendary Item, the more pull it has. This all works tremendously well within the DCC magical item frame work.

From the GM's point of view, the Key Knowledges and Deeds represent a way to pace how much power the item has. Most of the Key Knowledge will have to be learned through adventuring to dangerous places and making bargains for this valuable lore. It will be a source of adventure in and of itself. Deeds are prepackaged adventures you are telling the players to do. They will probably do them because there is a prize at the end. While Earthdawn provides a mechanic to learn what you need to learn and/or do next, the same thing doesn't quite exist in DCC. To solve this, I would suggest using the communication between the item and the user - prophetic dreams are always popular. Make them then find a seer to interpret what they have to learn next. The first Key Knowledge is always the name - which makes getting the first rank simple. This is good, because it would be difficult to know where to start otherwise.

Since these Legendary Items work best when tailored to a particular campaign, I'm going to take some very classic magical items and turn them into Legendary Items that could be inserted into any game. To keep it nice and classic, we're going to do a quick development on Flametongue.

Maximum Threads: 2
Chaotic, Int 8, Empathy, wants to slay cold and undead

This long sword was forged in lava flows of Mount Ulthruung by a slightly unhinged wizard named Geof. The steel shimmers in the light, as though it is always giving off heat and has a slight red sheen. It is a slender blade that is inscribed with glyphs that only appear in fire light. When deciphered and spoken aloud, they are the command word of the weapon. Flametongue was crafted as part of Geof's crusade against the frost giants, which ultimately lead to a campaign against the true aggressor, the necromancer known as Nix.

Rank 1
Key Knowledge: The wielder must learn the name of the weapon.
Effect: The weapon becomes a +1 long sword that gives off light as a torch.

Rank 2
Deed: The wielder must view and decipher the glyphs on the blade.
Effect: When the command word is spoken, the weapon alights in flame, causing +1d4 fire damage. If the results is a 4, the wielder takes 1 point of damage from the flare.

Rank 3
Key Knowledge: The wielder must learn the name of the wizard that created Flametongue.
Effect: When the weapon is on fire, it gains +2 versus cold creatures. Additionally, all opponents that are within the light radius of the flame (a torch) and are weak to fire suffer -1 to Will from fear. This explicitly includes opponents that suffer negative effects (such as stopping their regeneration), not just take additional damage. 

Rank 4
Key Knowledge: The wielder must learn the name of the volcano where the weapon was forged.
Deed: The wielder must visit the volcano where the weapon was forged.
Effect: When the weapon is on fire, the wielder may roll +1d6 for damage (instead of +1d4). If the result is a 6, the wielder takes 1 point of damage from the flare.

Rank 5
Key Knowledge: The wielder must learn the name of the frost giant king that was slain to end the crusade against them.
Deed: The wielder must somehow learn this information from a frost giant - the sword prefers force, but is flexible.
Effect: The weapon becomes a +2 long sword, +3 versus cold creatures.

Rank 6
Key Knowledge: The wielder must learn the name of necromancer the weapon was later used against.
Effect: The weapon becomes +4 against undead.

Rank 7
Key Knowledge: The wielder must learn the fate of Geof and Nix.
Effect: When the weapon is on fire, the wielder may roll +1d8 for damage (instead of +1d6). If the result is an 8, the wielder takes 1 point of fire damage from the flare.

This is a quick example of a Legendary Item. The lower ranks are weaker than the later ones, though the tasks and knowledge required is significantly easier to accomplish. If there is interest, leave a comment and other classic magical items could get the same Legendary Item treatment.