Friday, August 1, 2014

What a hike!

I'm back!

Did you miss me?

Presuming that I manage to avoid or overcome any random encounters, I either got home last night, or will be home later today. Either way, my feet hurt.

I'll be checking out all the entries to my Free RPG Day Module Random Table Contest, and the winners will be rolled for and announced tomorrow! 

If you haven't entered yet, there's still time! You've got till midnight to send me your random table! The clocks ticking...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad #1

The Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad is a DCC zine by Wayne Snyder of Goblin Mini Mart, Edgar Johnson of Edgar's Gaming Blog, and Adam Muskiewicz of Dispatches from Kickassistan.

That alone should be enough to send you out to get it right now. Seriously, it's that good, and the PDF is PWYW, so there's really no excuse! It really is worth a buck or two for the PDF, though, so consider chipping in some beer money for them.

If that isn't enough for you, this is a zine that goes to 11. Specifically it goes to d11. Don't have a d11? That's ok, they tell you how it works.

Issue 1 also provides a great introduction to the First City (Ur-Hadad) by way of a DCC 0-level funnel/city crawl. If you appreciate Vornheim, you'll appreciate the roll all the dice method of neighborhood generation in this issue. You'll also appreciate the very appropriate 666 rule that goes with it.

To round things off, there's a nice little 1 page dungeon insert, The Cave of the Maggot Witch that you can save to drop in when needed, even into the funnel if you're feeling mean. There is nothing in this issue that you can't drop into any fantasy urban environment, and all of it can be used at the table, little to no prep. It's that easy, and that good.

So grab your (dice) sack, get ready to drop your dice, and pick up issue 1 before issue 2 hits. You will not be sorry.

Seriously, it really does go to eleven!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Archmage's Octavo #2 Keroth's Bridge

Well, here it is... issue #2, and my entry for Tenkar's So You Want to be an OSR Superstar contest. Honestly, I didn't expect to make it to the final round, but I'm glad I did, and I think you will be too when you check it out.

This issue  contains a Swords and Wizardry Adventure with some hints of DCC, several new monsters, magic items, and 28+ keyed locations and a couple of random encounter charts, and a never before seen map collaboration between Matt Jackson and me!

I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, July 28, 2014

New Monster: Leeper Rat

“Leaping rodents of unusual size? I don’t think they exist.”

“What are you talking about? of course they exist.”

“Well I’ve never seen one.”

“Farmer Elsie Goodwin raises flying pigs.”

“They only glide, and only if they’ve got a big enough drop or the wind is blowing off the moors, which it almost never does.”

“Bil-bob harvests silk from those creepy arachno-goats of his.”

“What’s your point?”

“My point is that the world is a weird place. Last week there was the chaos cult trying to raise up some demon from hell. The month before Grandma Kells dug herself out of her own grave and went back to her house, and took up her knitting. My point is that leaping giant rats isn’t a stretch.”

“Well, ok, but leaping ROUS that also have a horrible wasting disease?”

Rat, Leeper: Init +4; Atk bite +2 melee (1d4+1 plus disease) leaping bite +4 melee (1d6+1 plus disease); AC 14; HD 2d6+2; MV 20' or Leap 40'; Act 1d20; SP disease (DC 10 Fort save or suffer 1 point of Con and Strength damage every day until healed), Leaping Attack (must be at least 10' away); SV Fort +6, Ref +4, Wil -1; AL N

While not the largest of the giant rat species, these 2’ tall rats are quite compact but with massive hind legs that they use to launch themselves at their targets. This impressive means of locomotion looks more like a bunny’s hop than a kangaroo’s gate. More terrifying than their aerial assault is the foul rotting disease their bite carries. They are usually found in packs numbering no more than a dozen individuals.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Gone Hiking, Contest Extended!

Since I’m heading off into the woods stupidly early Monday morning (on the road by 5am so I can be on the trail at sunrise) I'm not going to be around to pick a winner for my contest.

Remember the contest? Win one of the Free RPG Day modules in this picture!

All you have to do is e-mail me a random table. That's it. Then I'll pick the winners by putting each entry on a table, and rolling for the winners! Easy!

I was originally closing the contest Sunday at midnight, and then rolling for the winner on Monday, but since I'm not going to be around on Monday to roll, you get an extension! The contest is now open for entries until Friday at midnight!

So write up your random tables, and send them in!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Backpacking the Maryland Challenge

I’m heading off into the woods on Monday to tackle a 41 mile section of the Appalachian Trail from Pen Mar PA to Harpers Ferry WV… and then 41 miles back in a really ambitious 4 days. The total mileage is going to be something closer to 90 miles by the time I’m done. I expect that I’m going to have more to say about hex crawls, weather, and encumbrance after I get back!

I do have a couple of posts queued up, but don’t expect any replies to comments or e-mail for a few days.

What I’m bringing for 4 days/3 nights:

Hooded rain jacket
2 quick dry synthetic t-shirts
2 pair of shorts
6 pair wool socks
Hiking shoes
Baseball cap
Regular glasses
Plastic poncho

3 liter waterskin
1 liter UV water bottle
light sleeping bag
camp stove+steno
Cookpot, Cup, Spork
LED flashlight
Cell Phone
Solar Cell Charger
First Aid kit
Emergency Kit (Whistle, Rope, Compass, Mirror, Matches, Duct Tape)
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Walking sticks
Bug Spray
Trash Bag

8 power bars
6 packets of oatmeal
6 fun size candybars 
1 bag homemade trail mix
4 instant coffee packets
3 dinner packets

Total Weight: About 30lbs, of which about 1/3 is water.

In preparation for the trip I've reviewed a number of backpacking websites, read numerous accounts of the Maryland Challenge and the 4 state Challenge, as well as journals of various hikers who have attempted the Maryland section of the AT.

For the most part I was pretty buoyed by what I read, and feeling psyched about the whole thing. The instances where people dropped out of the Challenges were mostly due to injury, often really bad blisters. Since I’m not planning on trying to do all 40+ miles in 24 hours, I’m not too worried about that.

What I am worried about is being slow. There was one journal ( where it took the one guy 2 days to do 22 miles. In the second paragraph, there’s this line:

“Even if we finished the day at a brisk 2 mph pace (and that didn’t seem likely), we were facing at least a mile in the dark.”

A brisk 2mph?!?! Then again, it looks like he was carrying WAY more than is even close to necessary for an overnight hike.

Yesterday my sleeping bag and solar charger arrived, so I packed my pack to see how it looks/feels. I’ll be taking it out for a spin this weekend so I can get an idea of what my trip will feel like, and see what adjustments I’ll need to make to my packing.

I can already tell you that 30lbs is a lot of extra weight... off balance weight too. Having it all right behind you radically changes your center of balance. I'll be adjusting what I'm carrying, and how I carry it over the weekend. And even what I've got is around a third of what a soldier carries in the field! Yikes.