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Monday, November 30, 2009

Solo Playtest 6 (Timeshadows)

From 5C (Timeshadows)

Assess henchmen
Round One: Use the same stats for the caravan guards as your henchmen (Con 20, 3+10, 3 armor)

Melee in front of the wagon:
- Garweot gets 16
- Front guard gets 21
-> Garweot takes 5 damage, 3 taken by armor, so damaged for 2 points (Con 18)

Melee behind the wagon:
- Kragn gets 17
- Rear guard gets 26
-> Kragn takes 9, reduced by 3, for 6 damage (Con 14)

(bad rolls for your henchies! sorry!)


In the moments you take to see how the combat fares, the merchant bends and breaks the medallion in half. As you turn your attention back to him, you see him disappear!

Do you...
A) Attack the last position you saw the merchant in
B) Investigate where the merchant disappeared from
C) Join the melee before the wagon
D) Join the melee behind the wagon
E) Ignore everything else, begin to loot the wagon.
X) Something else

Solo Playtest 6 (Palmer)

From 5B(Palmer)

I waste him with my crossbow!
What's the gp value on that medallion?

The distance between the two of you is small, and he's a sitting duck - you get +3 to the marksmanship roll (L1 SR on DX (rolled 9, +3, in short, a hit!))

The merchant falls over feathered, his face relaxing to serene repose.
As you quickly grab the medallion and feel it's considerable weight, you estimate a two to three hundred gold piece value.

The tough life of the Temp Gamer! If you pass your next TPS evaluation, it'd be great to have you continue -

Do you...
A) Leap into the combat in front of the wagon
B) Leap into the combat behind the wagon
C) Assess how your henchmen fare
D) Ignore them and begin to pillage the wagon
E) Examine the medallion closer
X) Something else

Friday, November 27, 2009

Impromptu solo playtest: 5

From 4X (Timeshadows):

"Circle around trying to see what the merchant is up to, wary of a ranged weapon, such as a crossbow, prodd, or gun.
If I can see him I observe before riding on him. Perhaps his daughter is hidden away in a secret compartment of the wagon?"

As you round the wagon, you see the merchant crouched on the ground, holding a silvery medallion with both of his hands - you see much fear in his eyes, which only increases when he looks up and sees you.

Do you...
A) Demand his surrender
B) Launch an attack at him
C) Take a moment to assess how your henchmen fare
X) Something else

Thursday, November 26, 2009

St. Andre podcast

Allow the dulcet tones of Ken St. Andre to work their charms while you wallow in the haze of post-feast (a friend of mine coined a term a while back, that may be applicable here (among other circumstances... ugh... love it!), that being the term "Engorgeous")

Anyway - the podcast is (sadly) brief and over the telephone, but good nonetheless. One point touched on is that Ken had little interest in miniatures gaming - beyond general interest in gaming. Every once in a while I remember this detail, and each time it seems to contribute to a slowly building something way in the mid-back of my mind...

Ken is such a nice guy. Take a minute (maybe 10...) to listen!

BREAKING NEWS: Engorgeous is defined at! I'd argue for some other interpretations - I'll take that up with them I guess...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Solo Playtest 4

from 3A (Timeshadows)

"Garweot and Kragn, I think the caravan leader is too concerned and alert for the lot of us to approach without encountering organised resistance from the mercenary guards; they've got a lot riding on this.
"Hide as well out of sight as possible until the first third of the train has passed, then attack, dividing them in two. I will shore up the rear and drive them to you, slaying any who resist.
"We may even ransom the merchant if we take him alive. Who knows, perhaps there are princesses disguised as riders, or even hidden in those large woven baskets atop the Karakaras' backs.
"What say you?"

The brigands' eyes light with greed, and seem emboldened and eager, and with this new focus, evince signs of cunning verve.

Roll d6 and divide by two to determine how many other guards the merchant has hired. (rolled a 4, so there's 2 guards and the merchant present)

L1 SR on LK (passed)
You and your new lackeys leap out of hiding - taking them completely by surprise! The merchant is the first to recognize the situation, and with what little time available to him, jumps to the ground on the other side of the wagon.

Do you...
A) Pursue the merchant
B) Join your lackeys in combat against the other guards
X) Something else

There's been a lot of weird things going on with Tunnels and Trolls recently which has kept me pretty captivated and on the edge of the seat. An end (?) result of recent events seems to imply the following scenario, which I, among others, find particularly mind-bending...

That a clone of a game could be made and allowed to titled the same as the original. Huh?

Weird. How could this be?

I have a feeling that a "weird bomb" just exploded nearby, and after a weird and emotional period of anger and recrimination among elder trolls, we are those fortunate enough to be alive on Day One... like Childhood's End or something - maybe Saberhagen's Empire of the East, caught in the Ardneh Wave - or that psi-emanation from Traveller:New Era just passed through...

Anyway, I anticipate a real flood of fan support for this wonderful game, along with greater PDF resources from Flying Buffalo - and as I watch the continuing unfolding of this weirdness, I can't help but think that a great deal of good will come of this. I readily admit that I feel somewhat inadequate to project or try to predict all the different ways this could develop, I do not see how it could be detrimental to this great game.

While the Trollgod sits mighty dominion in his Hall, we tunnelers have been busy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Impromptu solo playtest: 3

from 2X (Timeshadows)

X: I hope to enlist them to help me seize the caravan goods and personnel, and establish a more meaningful operation from the keep. I will, of course, fight dirty with any of them who do not recognise my authority in this matter. :)

Round 1:

L1 SR(rolled 11) on CH(10) succeeds first round! Garweot and Kragn the brigands are now a part of your party. Each is CON:20 Combat:3+10 Armor:3 hits taken

Springing on them totally unaware, they offer no resistance, and you suspect them prone to surrender... but once they understand your plan, seem eager. And well rested.

Do you...
A) Have a plan in mind? (I suspect you might ;))
B) Secure your horse out of sight and wait in the brigand's cleft to ambush the wagon?

Delvers of the Unknown

Oh man. Another minimal variant which strikes REAL close to home for me, a condensed T&T. As it's two pages long, it may not be for the absolute purist... an unfortunate loss...

Friday, November 20, 2009

neat link for modern apocalyptic prophecy intersection

Though we live in a post-ironic era, I do enjoy the occasional moment of obtuse synchronicity. With the amount of brain energy I've spend thinking about high-level play, this post was too good... sorry, just the title...

Impromptu solo playtest: 2

from 1B (Christian)

The merchant is a tough nut to crack. Make a L1 SR on CHR. (I rolled for you and rolled poorly (a 4 on 2d6) - sorry...) So, you make some faltering attempts at conversation, but he insists you remain silent and watch the hilltops - "Just keep your eyes open..."

Do you
A) Keep your eyes to the hilltops
B) Insist the merchant explain himself or the situation better
C) Strike up a (quiet) conversation with another of the guards
D) Scout ahead
E) Keep a cursory watch and try to get an eye into the merchant's cargo
X) Something else

from 1D (Timeshadows)

Reaching the top of the next rise of the road, you survey the area. The hills here 'ruled' from Toor's Hall are regarded lawless, the current lord of the castle given to excesses of drink. Make a L1 SR on IQ. (I rolled for you and got 8, so you succeed). Goblins? No - but you have the advantage what appears to be two likely brigands dozing in a cleft of rock, safe from casual observation.

Do you
A) Return to gather other guards
B) Dismount and attack them
X) Something else

neat link for listgeek intersection

Dungeons & Kobalds show with the list

neat link for codegeek intersection

Troll and Flame takes early lead with practices of "Agile" software development and DM minimalism.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Impromptu solo playtest: 1

You hired on at the Mercenaries Guild a duty to guard a merchant's wagon en route to the Hall of Toor, an old castle mouldering in barren rocky hills. The journey is brief – the whole time the merchant is nervous and wary.

Do you
A) act the professional
B) engage the merchant in conversation
C) surreptitiously examine the merchant's goods

(or do something else since this is ostensibly playtesting?)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Continuing discomfort with new shoes...

The weirdness of Outlaw Press keeps baffling me every time I think about it, and I never
do unless it is imposed on me to do so.

Monday, November 16, 2009

November - month of the real world

I've really not been in game form of late.

I decided that November would be the month that I quit smoking. Sometimes I can get on a really productive OCD jag compiling a table, or spitting out rough ideas into lists to flesh out later... but sustained effort right now? Doesn't look like it's happening much... not while my brain & body adjust to this new state (i.e. not constantly over-saturated with nicotine).

But, one good thing has been dungeon drawing. It definitely fills time. I got one of those big pads of graph paper (RHODIA brand) and taken to drawing a variety of dungeon levels and playing with ideas to connect them (teleporting rooms & such - been really enjoying 'random access' models of dungeon layout). If I ever get a scanner I'll post some examples up, or better yet, put the disparate pieces together at some point into a cohesive unit...

Wait - that takes sustained effort doesn't it? Might be a while... butin the meantime, I am breathing better!

A friend of mine made an observation about quitting smoking that I thought was very insightful. When she quit, she said that she became more honest - the practice of smoking regularly is predicated on an ability to deny the damage one is doing to one's self... something else to look forward to.

Sorry - this has little to do with RPGs. Oh well - there's only 67,000,000 other RPG blogs out there or something...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Open Letter to the Lincoln Middle School D&D Club

Dear LMS D&D Club -
My family will be migrating into the Lincoln Middle School feeder zone in the near future, and I would like to get my characters into the game before I arrive if I may - so here they are (get ready!):

ZALIFOS: pointy hat wizard
KETHREKHIR: mighty fighter with motorized mechanical horse
QUABB: hobbit and quasit hybrid (quasbit) thief

Assuming the Club DM's run these characters like they should be, they should be well apportioned with wealth and magic items by the time I get there - thanks in advance, they're cool!

When I do get there, ZALIFOS will cast a spell he learned that will teleport the characters to my campaign setting - WORLD OF KLUSTOR - and I'll keep the DM position until graduation.

Can't wait!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Get 'em while they're hot

because they're new, not illegal. These are, of course, PDFs of the Flying buffalo solo modules for Tunnels and Trolls. After a sudden surge in psychic emanations focused on Arizona, Mr. Loomis is making a lot of classic T&T material available - he must be rewarded!

I don't like to try to tell people to go buy things - so, sorry. But I'm just really happy to see some really awesome solo modules be made available.

Friday, November 6, 2009

10 rumors about abandoned villages

It is said that...
1. the village was struck by the Ghoul Plague 3 generations ago
2. the wells and springs there ran dry under a druid's curse
3. hordes of gnolls and orcs pass close there in the summer and autumn
4. a green dragon settled nearby and caused a swamp to overgrow the place
5. brigands enslaved the villagers they did not slay and rule there now
6. a Pixie shee can be found there when they want it to be
7. the villagers were slain by their guard dogs, who have taken their places
8. the villagers fell under the sway of a dark priest, who led them on an exodus
9. the village was razed by starving mercenaries twenty years ago
10. the village was claimed by a Giant Chieftan and the inhabitants fled

web tourism: abandoned settlements

How tall a tower? and courses of stone

...or what about giving a newly created party of PCs a home, having them design the floor plan, plant it in a village near the town, facing a common green ("OK,I buy a goat"!) - a basement hideout on the street of knives, a small tower mouldering in the wilds inherited... sort of an instant, beginning investment in the campaign locale.

Villagers trying to convince wandering PC's to go eradicate an outboiling of goblins is one thing - when those goblins are threatening the PC's stuff (Not the goat! Spare the goat!), it could be something different... maybe...

How about a home loan? By DMG, 500 gp to build a two-story stone building, 120' of outside walls... take about 12 weeks (handwaved for starting PCs) and they automatically have a 'home base' built largely to their specs. Weird. Who's got the deed to the land? Who issued it?

Could be an interesting way to build a continuity toward endgame. Some people would knee-jerk hate to have a house imposed upon their characters though, I'd bet... just not the kind of thing they feel like thinking about (eh, leave that to the mapper...)

The problem I'm having with the stronghold-style endgame is coming from (I think) looking at it in a vacuum. High level characters would ostensibly develop after a long course of low and mid levels, in the course of which, the laws of the land (and some notion of the NPCs who are the effectors and beneficiaries of those laws) would have been created/established. So then, through organic play, a fighter attracting followers would have to...

1. Stalk far into unclaimed wilderness and stake a claim, or
2. Be granted land from a ruler, judge, etc, or possession over a stronghold already built.
3. Claim possession of a pre-existing castle and be prepared to defend it
4. or any number of other scenarios, depending on the particulars of the campaign

Hmmm. Unfortunately, I think that my lack of experience running/DM'ing high level characters is kickin' in. My first game of Tunnels and Trolls lasted a long time (playing with 2-4 of my buddies for 3-4 years), and I can remember 3 of the characters, all of which essentially just retired (one building a flying skyship-thingee and seeing the world, another disappearing into the shanty slums of Wydgess to rule the thieves, and another who searched the world for an isolated forest to build an elaborate arborial mansion (a la Burrough's Tarzan) - oh yeah, he had a diamond fist. Wonder where he got that... ;)

So out of that set, I got two floorplans (flyingship, treeborne mansion), and then we pretty much stopped playing. So this is when I was 12 or 13 or somesuch. How would it go now?

>>> this reminds me that there's a really awesome solo adventure written for T&T by one of the fellows (jongjungbu) at the Trollbridge that models barony play - it's a very well put together PDF product, and a unique solo adventure. Link to PDF

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

journal of 13th level MU

Now lets assume that my goblin raids have been successful, suffering only minor losses. Vented some of the surliness out of them - I have to assume that they themselves pillaged the pillage, so - not much wealthier as a unfortunate side-effect of humanoid soldiers led by their own kind.
Next time, send a devil serjeant - something they fear...

Have decided that my tower no longer befits my station. Lellik, my henchman, scouted by griffon's back a suitable site, and I surveyed it myself through conveyance - isolated, natural defences, the wall can encompass a spring there... it looks good. Lellik has contracted with dwarf craftsmen of far-off Hendhall. 100 weeks, they say - 2 years...

Enough time to fill this tower with horrors enough to become legend!