Friday, December 26, 2008

The Truth is Out There

As part of my research for a new pulp sci-fi Swords & Wizardry setting entitled Anacreon Zeta, I've been watching lots of UFOlogy videos. Judge for yourself if I've been watching too many of them - I certainly feel like I've lost some Sanity Points.

Richard Hoagland, a former consultant on the space program for NBC, is best known for the Face on Mars and other photographic anomalies. Here he talks about both Mars and the Moon.

Project Camelot Interviews Richard Hoagland
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

John Lear is an ex-test pilot and Air America man who has been doing the UFO circuit for a while. Probably best known for his relationship to the Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar. Lear comes off a lot like that uncle of yours who has some rather off-the-wall ideas (air on the moon) and wants to tell you over Christmas dinner.

Project Camelot Interviews John Lear: Flying into the Sun

Project Camelot John Lear Tells All
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Dan Burisch has a very intersting story to tell. He claims to have been working as a microbiologist for Majestic 12 since the 80s. The story gets a lot more interesting from there - stargates and time travelling humans from the far future.

Project Camelot Dan Burisch Interview

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This lecture concerns Dr. Burisch's more recent independent research in microbiology which also has some very anomalous results - revivication and mutation of dead cells!

Dan Burisch Cal-State Lecture
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Secret Space 1 & 2 are two documentaries from the UFOlogist Chris Everard. A decent overview of the more recent (90s onward) trends in the field.

Secret Space 1
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

Secret Space 2

Dan Ackroyd has been a long time believer in the UFO phenomenon, and has experienced and seen some things himself. This video features Dan and the ufologist David Sereda discussing several NASA space shuttle videos that purport to show UFOs in action.

Dan Ackroyd Unplugged on UFOs

This documentary covers much of the same material, with interviews with several other leading UFOlogists.

Black Box UFO Secrets Revealed

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

These two documentaries feature Dan Ackroyd and David Sereda. Several pieces of NASA footage are dissected and examined with surprisingly convincing results.

Evidence: The Case for NASA UFOs Part 1

Evidence: The Case for NASA UFOs Part 2

This is an unaired documentary about Roswell that features interviews with many of the people involved from the incident in the 40s onwards.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

In Search of Ancient Astronauts with Rod Serling was the beginning of the In Search Of series. Originally released in the early 70s, this documentary covers the Eric von Daaniken hypothesis later popularized in the 90s by Graham Hancock and others.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This video has footage from Russian sources and commentary, including a Russian alien autopsy vid.

Russian UFO Secrets
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Finally, a speech by Phil Schneider detailing his experiences working at Area 51. Shortly after this speech, Schneider was found dead in his hotel room under very suspicious circumstances. Read what you want into that.

Phil Schneider Speech
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Superior Scribbler Award

Shiro, one my sparring partners over at the RPGsite has nominated me to be a Superior Scribbler. Lest my furiously pounding ego get the best of me, let me just say thanks!

Now, on to the rules of the game, as it were:

- Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
- Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
- Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.
- Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List (scroll down). That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
- Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

So, my nominations in no particular order -

The Delver's Dungeon: Author, adventurer, old school headmaster and friend.

Elliot Wilen's RPG theory/design/philosophy journal: Crunchy analysis, with snacks!

The Generator Blog: Random is Good. This much random is better!

Zhodani Base: The jump point into the best Classic Traveller content imaginable

Crit or Cruddy: Middle-aged gamer dad - just might be my twin brother.

Sci Fi City Blocks II

Another spot of editing today, and a new pdf of the Science Fiction City Blocks. I've reformatted the tables, and added a few more along with some artwork. Grab the free pdf, and start building your city of the future today.

Scifi City Blocks.pdf

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Weird Science Mark II

After cleaning up a few proofreading mistakes and adding a page of mad inventions, here's Mark II. I'll let RedPriest explain how it works in practice:


I've done it! I've done it! Well... I've almost done it!!! At last, I've developed the world's... nay.. THE GALAXY's!! first Microsopic Visor Siege Device!!! Muahahahaha!! Again, I say.. muahahahaha!!

Okay. Well,it's only a prototype. And, it needs an enormous amount of power.. say.. oh.. on the order of 2.42 gigawatts of power generated by 7.7 × 10-19 m subsonic wavelengths, and it still breaks down ... a lot. But!!! But, it can be constructed quickly .. well, quickly enough for a microscopic visor anyway.. from ordinary household items!!!

Okay.. okay .. there was this one setback .. nay.. NAY.. it is a FEATURE! During Prototype Test, the visor didn't just knock down the test-target wall.. it ATOMISIZED it!!!! Now.. if I could only recreate that event.

Here's the new link: WEIRD SCIENCE.pdf

Enjoy, and make sure to send me your prototypes wrapped in brown paper, marked Dangerous! Do Not Open, and always with a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope inside.

Weird Science - Random Gadgets & Strange Machines

Kellri's Weird Science is a short pdf compatible with all science-fiction and pulp roleplaying games. Inside you'll find a complete system for creating oddball inventions from death ray projectors to time machines. Also included is a system for handling player or NPC research, with all of the breakthroughs and pitfalls you expect. So, what are you waiting for? Download the article, grab some dice and a pad of paper, and start your career as a mad scientist today!


Monday, December 8, 2008

Gene Weigel's Dungeon

Alright, boys & girls...put on your Viking helmet, roll a fatty, put the Red Bull on ice and prepare to go DEEP! Chain-smoking Ron Jeremy-lookalike madman Gene Weigel has a big six-part dollop of old-school gold up on the Tube. Forget about all those genteel reviews, ass-kissing celebrity gamer vids, live LARPing tomfoolery, and 3tard fanboy frippery...this is the shit you've REALLY been waiting for, even if you didn't think so at first. This is not a documentary, or a simple filmed play session - this is a vision of gamer heaven - you need never grow up or grow old, you just start smoking, drinking, and flipping the bird a whole lot more.'s Against the Giants. And you gotta approach it like you would some avant-garde Japanese movie or maybe a high weirdness Subgenius thing. Geek Zen. These guys have refined their cheetoism down to the point where actually doing something recognizable as roleplaying is no longer necessary to keep that old gestalt engine humming at Warp 8. And atmosphere!'s like a cross between the vault in LOST, the basement in Silence of the Lambs, and the first place you ever got high AND heard Black Sabbath. Oh, and it's got some bizarre music choices - Sex Pistols karaoke into classic country into classical... By the Gawds, this is Hackmaster come to life!

For those about to rock...I salute you. I'd salute Gene too, but he already rocks. Me? You can find me drinking mead in Weigel's Valhalla.

Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part I
Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part II
Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part III
Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part IV
Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part V
Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part VI

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Scifi/Cyberpunk Random Urban Blocks

After a thought-provoking post on the RPGsite and in the glow of my new Christmas tree, I put together a quick set of universal tables for randomly building city blocks. With a little work, they should serve equally well with most science fiction, science fantasy, or cyberpunk RPGs. Populating the blocks is up to you, depending on what your campaign style is. If you want a rough-and-tumble gang-controlled sprawl, take a look at my Wild in the Streets.pdf for some suggestions. Anyways, enjoy and comments are welcome!

Scifi Urban Blocks.pdf

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fantasy Random Terrain Generation

An off-the-cuff terrain generation system. Not tested, but food for thought. Feel free to suggest changes.

1) Start with a 36 x36 hex campaign map with minimal detail. Divide that into 6 x 6 hex areas we'll call subsectors.
2) First rough in any sea coasts, large mountain ranges or other pre-defined features.
3) Roll on the following table to fill in additional general features.

% dice Roads or Water
01-10 No Road or Water
11-15 Major Road
16-20 Underground Cave/Sinkhole
21-60 River/Stream
60-65 Drover's or Hunter's Paths
65-79 Marsh
80-84 Badlands or broken lands
85-95 Road & Stream
96-00 Road & Marsh

1d4 Direction
1 N-S or S-N
2 E-W or W-E
3 NW-SE or SE-NW
4 NE-SW or SW-NE

NOTE: The roads and streams should be linked up with adjacent subsectors, so GM discretion in marking the map is required.

4) Roll for the presence of settlements in the subsector. Place as you prefer.

% dice Typical Settlements
01-15 None
16-45 1 Village
46-65 2 Villages
66-80 1 Town
81-00 1 Village, 1 Town
95-00 1 City

Note: If you prefer, assess a 5-10% chance the settlement is in fact, ruined, uninhabited or serving as a lair.

5) Roll to determine if there are any special sites.

Wilderness - 1d4 rolls per subsector
Civilized - 1d6 rolls per subsector

% dice Special Sites
01-65 None
66-75 Lair
01-25 Subterranean Dungeon/Caverns
26-00 Surface Encampment/Settlement
76-80 Fortification (Tower/Castle)
01-50 Subterranean Dungeon
51-85 Surface Fort/Castle
86-00 Aerial/Undersea Structure
81-85 Shrine or Sacred Site
01-25 Druidic Circle/Leyline/Sacred Grove
26-46 School or Monastery
47-00 Temple or Shrine
85-86 Inn/Tavern/Caravanserai/Oasis
87-93 School or Monastery or Training Grounds
01-25 School
26-46 Monastery
47-00 Training Grounds
94-99 Tomb or Cemetary
00 Extra-Planar Gate or Portal

6) Locate or place the special sites and settlements you have just generated for the section. As each subsector is 6x6, roll 1d6 for both x and y coordinates. Again, you should exercise discretion or forego the random placement altogether.

7) Check for major inhabitants of the subsector. Attach them to generated settlements/lairs at your discretion

1d6 Habitation Status
1-2 Inhabited (roll below)
3-6 Uninhabited

% dice Inhabitants
01-34 Humanoids
35-84 Humans
85-95 Demihumans
95-00 Non-human Monsters (roll again below)

% dice Monsters
01-15 Giants
16-20 Inimical (Gith, Mindflayers, etc.)
21-30 Lycanthropes
31-45 Undead
46-60 Giant animals/insects
61-70 Fey
71-80 Aerial/Elemental
81-90 Aquatic creatures
91-00 Prehistoric/Dinosaurs

8) For additional details of any of the above sites, features or groups refer to the JG Wilderlands tables, CDD 4 or the DMG.

Final Note: Start with some random data and then delve deeper. Ideally, you should use this method to fill in areas around your own more detailed, handcrafted sites or to spur your own creativity. The dice are not a replacement for common sense and the tables are limited where you are not.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

HPL, CAS, and REH on the Tube

H. P. Lovecraft by Bruce Timm

Last night I came across this fine BBC audio documentary about HPL. There's no video, just a slideshow, but the documentary is pretty comprehensive and has interviews with several of the leading HPL scholars like Joshi et. al.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

And here's a student film of HPL's The Thing on the Doorstep

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Here's Robert E. Howard's Texas

Then and Now

And excerpts from a biography of REH

Part 1
Part 2

A reading of a couple of Clark Ashton Smith's poems
Cats in Winter Sunlight
Ashes of Sunset

Finally, a slideshow of Weird Tales covers

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gamma World - Random Settlement Generation

Today I have a series of 10 formatted random tables for the GM to use when fleshing out anything from a small encampment to an Ancient installation. It works together nicely with the Settlement Record Sheet also available for download here. This pdf is part of my DeEvolution Series for 1st & 2nd edition Gamma World, although it is equally useable with Goblinoid Games' Mutant Future. To create a settlement, simply roll as directed on each table from #1-#10. As always, if you're unhappy with the results, just roll again. It's your game. Enjoy!


NOTE: Broken link/Corrupted file fixed (12/3/08) Thanks Ken!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

GW Short Fiction - Hoop Dreams

Cleve crouched in the greyish blue grass, his duralloy-tipped spear clutched in front of him. His eyes, which sprouted on short tentacles from the sockets, constantly darted up and down scanning the field in front of him. The wind was blowing hot and dry down the knoll where he waited, and he hoped this would cover his scent. Broose, his ursine companion, had cautioned him against leaving cover before falling into a deep slumber. Asleep, the bear could use his mental eye to scout the next ridge, while Cleve stood guard. Despite having journeyed to the great ruins of Pitz Burke and back nearly three summers ago, Cleve was still very fearful of any place outside Cambol lands and didn't much care for watching a sleeping bear in the middle of unknown territory.

Although this journey was only a routine patrol of the Cambol borderlands, they had come across the horrible remains of a Cambol trader and his family who had been ambushed by something on the north road a mile back. Their wounds had been easy to see but what could have caused them was still undetermined. Some kind of intense heat had burned fist-sized holes through the flesh and cauterized the wounds at the same time. Little blood was to be seen, which was probably the reason the bodies hadn't been despoiled by predators when Cleve & Broose found them. A few tracks could be seen around the bodies, but neither of the Cambol hunters could identify them or even where the tracks originated from. It looked like the attackers had just suddenly appeared in the traders' midst. The traders pack cart was missing, and it appeared that whatever had taken it, had driven the cart off along the path to the north.

They had followed the rutted mark left by the cartwheels for almost 3 hours. The path crested a grassy ridge before descending down into a field and thence toward another ridge. Seeing another potential spot for an ambush, Broose had decided to stop here and use other means to explore ahead. Before falling asleep, the bear had left Cleve with instructions to poke him with the spear if he hadn't awoken in an hour. The hour was nearly up by Cleve's reckoning when he finally spotted his companion starting to rise. Eventually, and with an irritated snort, Broose stood up from his grassy bed, and motioned to his companion to come close.

Broose told him in a low rumbling whisper what he had seen over the ridge. The path, he said, branched in two directions. One to the northwest was clear and looked to pass through another grassy field. The path to the northeast passed into a small copse of trees before entering a settlement of some kind. Broose's nose glistened with moisture, and Cleve sensed the big bear was more than a little afraid of what he had seen. The settlement, he said, was made of mounds of strange black hoops, some big enough for a man to stand up in. Some of the mounds appeared to be smouldering and the smoke that issued from them was thick and black. Worse still, the mounds were occupied.

The creatures looked a little bit like jackalopes without horns and were as big as a man. He said many of them were wearing armor and all carried a variety of weapons. Terrifyingly, some appeared to be armed with Ancient weapons like the fire sticks they had brought back from Pitz Burke. Broose said he had been unable to see clearly through the smoky air, but he thought they also appeared to be using Ancient talker devices, too. After watching them for a while, he noticed their numbers growing as more and more of them crawled and leaped out of the piles of rubbery black hoops. Although he couldn't be sure, it looked like they were massing for a raid or an expedition of some kind.

After a short discussion, the two hunters decided to leave for home immediately. If the creatures from the hoop mound were coming toward Cambol lands, the chiefs would have to be told. They'd both seen what could happen when the Red Death had raided an unwary Cambol town last spring and these hoop-mound creatures looked far more dangerous.

Friday, November 28, 2008

OSRIC v2 Released

The OSRIC version 2 SRD has been released to the public. This much expanded version features everything a group needs to begin playing and publishing 1st edition adventures. Project Editor-in-Chief Stuart Marshall had the unenviable and unpaid task of keeping this mammoth on track and moving along and deserves most of the credit for such a superior job. Jim Kramer also deserves a lot of praise for his excellent layout and design. I'm extremely proud to have been a part of this project and believe it will stand as both a reflection of the past and a signpost to the future of tabletop gaming. From the art to the writing, this is old school the way it should be, and a professional rpg product in every sense of the word.

From the back cover:

A complete ruleset in one volume. The OSRIC rules include:
413 spells
285 monsters
331 magic items
Official OSRIC character sheet template
Character creation rules for 7 races and 9 classes
Complete rules and tables for adventuring, exploration and combat
Over 100 original, never before published, illustrations
A complete ruleset in one volume

The pdf available for download is free and unabridged. Both hard & softcover versions will be available from Lulu in the near future.

Get it here - OSRIC

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Gamma World Short Fiction - Sleeth Stacks

"So, it is a picture but it is also a number?"

The sleeth teacher nodded for what seemed an eternity. Then in his reedy hiss he replied, 'Yess, thiss iss the essence of it, yess.'

The boy still bore the same puzzled look. He looked around at the old mouldering books spread across the table and opened and closed his mouth, as if to say something, but made no sound. The old sleeth, sensing the boy's apprehension, made the crooked-finger gesture for a question and nodded for the boy to speak.

"Patsuru, I have many questions. If we cannot tell between pictures and numbers, how are we to understand any of the Ancient book learning? Could we be reading words when numbers are the language or numbers where words really belong? How can we be certain we know Master Joosts was correct about the Guin Ness Book? Could the DOS for Dummies possibly have nothing at all to do with Obbs?"

The reptilian professor listened to the boy, blinking his eyes after each question. Then, leaning on his staff, slowly stood up, his lanky frame towering over his student. "So many questionss today, hmm? Skolaren is most interessting to you today? Sso many questions from sso ssmall a sstudent needss time for sstudy. We sshall ssave them for later. Now you sshall help Brother Enok to burn back the zeethh."

Sensing that any protest would be futile, the boy stood up and with a quick leap took flight from the treetop classroom into the canopy, still wondering about the the day's lesson. The Brotherhood always raised interesting questions, but demanded so much work, too. Burning zeethh, gathering ed ep berries, weaving linen, and cleaning the skol. As he glided down to the forest floor he swore to himself that he would see the day when his students would wonder about HIS lessons while they burned back the same patch of zeethh.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

100 Gamma World Events

Just did a clean up of the download links for all of the DeEvolution 1st/2nd edition Gamma World books and references on the sidebar. I've also added links to two older articles not linked here before, a web-enhancement for the Scavenger's Guide full of underwater gear and a comprehensive MS Excel spreadsheet of Equipment & Artifacts. Finally, one completely new article - 100 Local Events for Gamma World. With a little bit of work, all are equally usable with Goblinoid Games' Mutant Future. Enjoy!

Underwater Gear.pdf 250.5 Kb

GmmaGear.xls 834 Kb

GW_Events.pdf 24.5 Kb

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More Gamma World Short Fiction

The Frank Steen Report
An Archivist Parable

The Journeyman must exercise great caution and wisdom when applying the divine technology of our Ancient forebearers to latter-day Thesis. Guard against impure Research and remain steadfast in the face of Development. Let us consider the life of one Frank Steen, a Scientist documented by Marys Eleen in her text, "The New Prototypers" as an example of Reckless Experimentation and Unsound Hypothesis*. Eleen describes Steen thusly:

Having taken refuge in his laboratory, the once amiable Steen took to experiments which even I, his biographer, am reticent to describe. He had indeed rejected the true Intellectual Orthodoxy of Archiving and turned to the Unsupervised Research of Science. Not content with this he sought ought similar minded individuals and indulged in the forbidden acts of Cross Discipline Studies. It is said he was searching for the Scientific Method or the 7 Logical Fallacies, but even I cannot say for certain what Steen was ultimately searching for.

Blinded to the Faulty Conclusion to which he was surely headed, Steen built a Prototype of the most heinous sort, constructed by Jury-Rigging the sacred spare parts entrusted to other Archivists, and illicitly stolen from their laboratories. Yea, this much is clear. That same society of Archivists, the true keepers of the Wisdom of Science, which Steen had so mightily offended was roused by a sense of deep injustice. Not content to suffer one of their own Colleagues, they shook with anger and gathering themselves together as one body they sacked the laboratory of Steen and slew the insane Scientist within. Afterwards, they burned his despicable Lab Book, erased his White Board of Equations, and threw the Prototype into a nearby gorge. Verily, they said that day that "Frank Steen is dead. His Grant is Rescinded Forever. Let none Review His Findings for ever and ever. Amen.

* Much of the first two-thirds of the original text are missing, and much of Eleen's commentary and reporting has been clarified by the Infallible Censorship of later generations of Archivists.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

GW Short Fiction - Born Again Revivalist

I’d heard plenty of things about the Preacher, long before he ever came around these parts. Just stories mostly, bits of talk that flies around the cookpot. I’m from Leerya, and we’re not backwards like them Grufton nutters, so I’ll tell you the truth of it. Leastwise what I can remember.

Summer before last, I went hunting with my da and Unk Kobel up to Berlenwood, where we got that big chessex 10-pointer. Yeah, I reckon everybody has heard that bit of talk by now. Anyways, da took us east into Amest to find the man Jool the Tanner. By the time we got there, all the Amest folk was up town at the city office. We talked to the one Amestman on the watch pole and he said they were all meeting with the Preacher, including Jool the Tanner. He said there’d be no time for tanning, with meetings all week. Unk Kobel and I started pondering maybe we should go see about the Preacher too. Da was in a fire to get that chessex hide tanned, so we turned around to go home and never did see Jool or the Preacher.

I’ve never forgotten what happened later that year at the Winter Fest either. About midtime on Eve Day, the Leeryan horn started blowing. Most of the families were decorating and costuming up for the Feastday, so some came faster than others. Da and I got to the gate with the first bunch while Klin was still climbing down from the watch pole. He’d seen a ghoul outside, but called it dead with his seeing mind. After we got the gate open, 10 Leerya men went out to burn the thing. I didn’t see it up close like, but my Unk Kobel did, and he swore up and down it was Jool the Tanner. Except for the bat-wings and the extra hands.

Later that night, and after a long spot of jawing in private, the mayor and the councilmen told us all that no Leeryans could go up to Amest or the Berlenwood. It was now Bad Berlen to us. We killed a bunch more ghouls that summer and the next, and folks say all of them were Amest-folk. Or used to be Amest-folk. Me? I’m sure as a third eyeball that that Preacher was behind it and I sure am glad we never got up to that meeting in Amest after all.

Campaign Stylee: Regional Data

I'm planning to pose a number of questions on this topic over the next few weeks in order to find out people's preferences in old-school campaign settings. I'm not really looking to discuss the relative merits of different settings, but rather to get a handle on the best features & presentation style from a practical standpoint.

What kinds of National/Regional data and detailed descriptive text is necessary?

Using the minimalist Greyhawk Folio as a starting point, what would you add or present differently? Do you prefer a more exacting Wilderlands-style hex-by-hex approach or a mixture of the two (similar to the AH RQ Heroes of Genertela supplement)

Here's a sample template to show you what I'm thinking of.

Name of Leader & their Title (Class, Lvl, Alignment)
Capital: Name (Population)
Population: Racial Type (XX%, 000,000)
Resources: Type (Amount I~IV)
Features: Name (terrain type)

Description: 50-100 words covering important facts and geographical information and likely encounters.
Settlements: List of named settlements
Adventure Sites: List of named sites or module tie-ins (is that legal?)

Sidebar Graphic: Heraldic crest, flag or symbol
Sidebar Detail: List of 8-10 events (rare/uncommon/common)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mother Tongue: A Cajun Boy's Curse

In this second installment of Mother Tongue, I want to take you down south to Louisiana where folk take football, food, and other words that begin with 'F' a lot more seriously than the rest of us. It's safe to say, Cajun folk are both big fans of their college football team and harbor very untoward feelings with their bitter blood rivals in Alabama. To make a long story short, Coach Nick Saban left LSU and has since ended up coaching for Alabama. How much do LSU fans hate Nick Saban now? Here's how a recent ESPN article, Gimme an F, described it:

"Now, lots of people dislike coaches. Michigan fans loathe Jim Tressel. Buckeyes can't stand Joe Paterno. Nittany Lions detest Bobby Bowden. Those are normal, acceptable levels of hate. But LSU fans hate Saban more than store-bought jambalaya, more than FEMA, more than Yankees who confuse Creole with Cajun. The man loved 'em and left 'em. This is personal. This is cultural. This hatred is…intergalactic. "You could draw the analogy to Star Wars," says Indiana professor Ed Hirt, an expert in fan behavior and why sports turn ordinary grown-ups into psychopaths. "It is going to the dark side."

Get that geeky analogy? Brace yourself, and let's read what Cajun Boy, an LSU fan living in NYC, has to say in this epic masterpiece in the art of the curse.

Oh Nick Saban...Have I told you lately that I hate you? I'm not sure who I hate more, you or that foreskin-butchering Jesus freak Tim Tebow. If someone handed me a gun loaded with one bullet and then presented me with you and Tim Tebow and forced me to decide who to use my one bullet on, I would just turn the gun on myself, for the torment of knowing that I could only choose one and that one of you fucks were still living in the world would be too much for me to live with for the remainer of my days.

Read the whole thing here: An Open Letter to Nick Saban. You'll never think of The Terminator the same again.

And sadly, LSU lost the game.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More FASA Trek

Captain, the archaeology section has completed their survey of the alien starship and has managed to recover partial data from two of the mysterious craft's memory banks. Mr Spock has finished analyzing the data using the Enterprise's computer and believes it logically points to a link with the alternate universe previously encountered on Stardate 2008.07

In other words...I've got two more short netbooks for FASA's Star Trek: the Roleplaying Game. The first is a comprehensive list of the various planets and worlds from across the published setting materials with the appropriate stats for the FASA system. The second is another comprehensive listing of the various people and entities of the FASA Trek universe. Enjoy!

FASA StarTrek Worlds.pdf

FASA Star Trek Whoswho.pdf

Friday, November 14, 2008

From Across the Table - 20 Unsavoury Urban Encounters

Party got a hankering for the low dives and dens on the dark side of town? Don't bother to call for the town watch, they've got bigger fish to fry (with much heavier purses). You're on your own here tonight.

- A berserker is being mocked by street urchins, with possibly tragic consequences
- The PCs see an amazon accost a woman in the street
- A cheap trollop approaches a PC, she wants help because she is being harassed by a rich panderer from a brothel
- The town watch rounds up some prostitutes
- A drunken caravan master accidentally bumps a PC, he accuses the PC of thievery
- PCs see two neanderthals accost a couple in the street
- A aged madame approaches a PC, trying to drum up business for a massage parlor catering to exotic tastes
- The PCs observe a 6th-lvl Magic-User taunting and hounding a scruffy-looking Illusionist in the street.
- A holy man is preaching a new religion and is hauled off by the town watch or regular soldiers for inciting to riot
- A pack of 6 feral cats chasing rats
- A deformed madman falls frothing at the feet of the PCs, he was the subject of a sorceror's experiments
- A Fighter working as muscle for the Monarchists seems to recognize a PC and vaguely warns him of some impending doom
- The PCs see a fight between two finely-attired concubines, from different entourages that have insulted each other
- A drugged and drunken dwarf bumps into a PC and demands an apology
- 3 beggars sham drunkenness to bump into PCs and try to rob them
- A drunken gentleman thinks they recognize a PC as a famous person
- A pregnant woman who was just mugged approaches the PCs and begs for help
- A donkey recognizes a PC as its former master
- A PC sees a drunken foreign mercenary being robbed but not physically mistreated
- A pack of 3 mangy hounds begin barking at the PCs

From Across the Table - Men, part II

This week is the last installment of old-school Human groups. For the desert, I've got a band of desert holymen last seen escaping slavery and a predatory clan of camel riding nomads. On the road, a party of pilgrims who are not what they seem to be. Underground, there's a large band of brave but superstitious cavemen. And at sea, a ship full of booty and a crew of bloodthirsty pirates! Per usual, feel free to use and abuse as you will. It's your game after all.

A band of 60 DERVISHES of the Rephaim tribe
Chief: Toviya ben-Rephaim, a 9th-lvl Fighter (hp 54)
Subcommander: Zefania, a 8th-lvl Fighter (hp 55)
Bodyguards: 12 2nd-lvl Fighters (hp 7,11,12,8,13,5,10,11,11,20,11,15)
Patriarch: Tzaddik Rephaia ben-Rahim, a 10th-lvl Cleric of Marduk (hp 45)
Clerics: 2 5th-lvl Cleric Assistants Zavdi (hp 22), and Keskel (hp 21)
Dervishes: 60
3rd-lvl Fighters: 2 (hp 16,19)
4th-lvl Fighters: 2 (hp 21,17)
5th-lvl Fighters: 1 (hp 21)
6th-lvl Fighters: 1 (hp 34)

Coinage: 1,000sp, 400pp

A band of 115 NOMADS of the Koketei clan
Chief: Jamshid Behrouz-Koketei, a 9th-lvl Fighter (hp 57) Potion of ESP, Longsword +1
Subcommander: Burilgichi, a 7th-lvl Fighter (hp 50)
Bodyguards: 12 2nd-lvl Fighters (hp 11,9,12,17,18,10,12,8,7,12,7,13,)
Clerics: 2 3rd-lvl Clerics, Behrouz (hp 12) & Shahablun (hp 17)
Nomads: 90
3rd-lvl Fighters: 3 (hp 11,17,22)
4th-lvl Fighters: 2 (hp 18,26)
5th-lvl Fighters: 2 (hp 45,32)
6th-lvl Fighters: 2 (hp 30,29)

Coinage: 3,000gp, 100pp
A band of 90 Lawful Evil PILGRIMS on a pilgrimage to a shrine of Ilneval
Patriarch: Artheuniac the Abbot, 8th-lvl Cleric (hp 31)
Assistants: Bomnost, 5th-lvl Cleric (hp 31) & Rhuduin, a 3rd-lvl Cleric (hp 19)
2nd-lvl Clerics: 6 (hp 5,14,11,9,12,12)
4th-lvl Clerics: 3 (hp 17,11,22)
6th-lvl Clerics: 1 (hp 23)
Magic-User: Er, an 8th-lvl Magic-User (hp 14)
Level 1: Read Magic, Dancing Lights, Erase, Detect Magic, Friends, Serpent Missile, Bookworm Bane, Dancing Werelight, Detect Undead, Flash
Level 2: Tones of Forgetfulness, Soothing Vibrations, False Trap, Fools Gold, Acid Arrow, Boiling Bath, Know Alignment, Ray of Enfeeblement, Invisibility to Undead
Level 3: Clairvoyance, Water Breathing, Wind Wall, Ward Against Undead, Clairaudience, Pugnacious Pugilist, Sure Footed Shuffle, Slow, Defense Against Lycanthropes
Level 4: Protection from Gas, Polymorph Self, Ultravision, Shout, Spell Enhancer, Dimension Door, Remove Curse, Fire Trap, Fire Charm

Thieves: Gorglas a 4th-lvl Thief (hp 16) & 4 3rd-lvl Thief comrades (hp 8,13,13,14,)
A band of 55 CAVEMEN from an ELK clan
Chief: Shell-Smashed Lur-Ooo, a 5th-lvl Fighter (hp 28)
Shamans: 3 3rd-lvl Clerics (hp 14,20,17)
Brutes: 5 3rd-lvl Fighters (hp 24,23,20,24,16)
Cavemen Males: 46
Cavemen Females/Young: 46 / 23
A band of 130 PIRATES and their ship The Strumpet
PIRATE CAPTAIN: Phanro the Deadly, an 8th-lvl Fighter (hp 45, sword (1-8))
Lieutenant: Shark Tooth Artus, a 7th-lvl Fighter (hp 38, sword (1-8))
Boarding Party: 6 4th-lvl Fighters (hp 18,25,24,33,14,22, swords & handaxes (1-8/1-4))
Ship's Mates: 3 3rd-lvl Fighters (hp 11,12,15, sword & handaxe (1-8/1-4))
Ship's Officers: 1 5th-lvl Fighter (hp 21, handaxe & dagger (1-4/1-4))
Pirates: 118
Pirate Treasure:
17,000gp, 400pp
A book - The Fraternity of the Woodwives, by Gwenda Sauser the Nabob (Fiction)
A gold & silver helmet, a gold plaque, a platinum & gold scepter, gold & silver pipe, an adamantium token, a platinum collar, a silver rod, 2x platinum & gold charms, a cyclops-skin
A book - The Life of Haemlaf (Biography)
A map drawn on parchment leading to a combined hoard of money & magic secreted in a town 100 miles distant

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mandarin Monday

And now for something completely different. A weekly-series called the Mother Tongue. We'll be examining the distinguished and fine art of the curse. And not a cursed potion of delusion, either. First up: Chinese Cursing Means Never Having To Say Anything But Fuck Your Mother. Let's begin.

If you've ever studied a foreign language, you understand just how hard it is to pick up the real language of the street. You listen to a Berlitz record, maybe take a few classes, but you still end up sounding like Joe the Plumber when you go overseas. You need that little extra oomph! to get you past the stoic textbook talk and into the realm of subtle come-ons and witty one-liners.

If you're going somewhere like China, you need to know how to curse. I learned from my father-in-law, a hardened veteran of the Nanjing Massacre, and a man who could easily massacre all of Nanjing with a few choice words. Now, you might think Asian languages are so melodic, and Asians too caught up in face to even hold a candle to an experienced American or English pottymouth. Let's go to school, shall we?

Shortly after the devastating earthquake in Szechaun, China on May 12th this year, a certain young netizen by the name of Zhang Ya took to Youtube to vent her juvie frustrations. Certainly a suicidally bad move in a country of that size. Take a look.

Now...go grab a Chinese-speaking friend because you're in for a treat. For anyone who's ever hated and despised someone on the internet...this one's for you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Group Therapy

Fed up with all the divisiveness in the recent US election? Hate all the petty factions and bickering groups? Ready to take a footman's flail to both Democrats & Republicans alike? Well grab your DM's notebook, and let's game it out. Here's a contentious bunch of special interest groups. Pick what you need or mix and match elements, there's plenty to start a holy war.

The Artificers of the Primal Run
e: everything started with the one true 'rune of Creation' and they're determined to teach that rune to every man, woman and child. It's almost unpronounceable, with either 69 or 77 syllables and sounds not unlike the troglodyte language.

The Templars of the 34th Spike: Konstantina of Athena suffered horrible tortures at the hands of the minions of Memnhisir, a patriarchal cult of devil-worshipping sadists. Only after being impaled by their 33 bronze spikes did the goddess receive her faithful paladin and on the hammering of the 34th she ascended to the heavens...and coincidentally disintegrated all living creatures nearby in a burst of radiant energy. Her followers are all female paladins of Athena renowned for taking suicidal risks in the fight against evil. They don't much care for men either.

The Weeping Five: These 5 red-robed figures always travel together, keeping their faces hidden under heavy hoods. They are frequently heard making a low sobbing thrum, but otherwise they don't speak or even turn to face a speaker. They rarely stop walking, and it isn't known if or when they rest. It is common knowledge however that snakes, spiders, rats and other pests are drawn to them and follow them for a distance. Oddly they don't have a big horde of pests following them, and it's unknown what happens to them later. Many towns and villages will open their gates to allow the Weeping Five to pass through and hopefully take their pests too. Other settlements are deeply suspicious and see them as demonic or diabolic. These places have often suffered a plague after the Five pass, leading to even more suspicion and doubt.

The Orange Convention: This cabal of spellcasters is a very vocal fellowship dedicated to influencing local politics for the betterment of their cause - the complete eradication of superstitious clerical magics. They are frequently heard ranting about the gods, whom they blame for hijacking the outer planes. In more religious areas, they are frequently heard crying for mercy.

The Symposium of the Realm: This traveling troupe of pundits and court fools makes a seasonal round of the cities' upscale inns. Nobles and foreigners are the usual target of their mimicry skits. The former, at least, are usually grateful for the fame.

The Friends of Compassionate Entropy: This cult of influential and very discreet demon-worshippers acquire most of their victims from their charity soup kitchen and hospital. Sizable donations to higher-ups keep questions to a minimum.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

From Across the Table - Books

From a thread over on Dragonsfoot, here's my list of magical books - not spellbooks per se, but essential & not-so-essential reference works for the adventuring spellcaster. IMO, I'd avoid any kind of hard and fast general rules for the books. Rather, I prefer more of a Swords & Wizardry-type approach. Detail each individually and make a note about it's general rarity, gp cost, benefits & required level to understand and benefit from it. This way you can make each book as detailed and interesting as you like without worrying about throwing the game system out of whack and having to ditch everything. I've included an example at the end to give an idea of whay I'm talking about.

The Flesh Manual of Inimical Copulation (Procedures for making chimerae)
Vivimancy Studies of Horbus Zell (Necromantic processes for golem creation)
The Alexite Thaumaturgion (Thaumaturgic case studies)
The Alchemical Wedding of Artemus Phlox (Alchemical philosophy)
The Tenfold Phylactery (Warding and Protection spell theory & practice)
The Telluric Lectures of Xox (Elemental Earth magic)
The Protean Plates (Elemental Fire magic)
The Epistle of Illusymus the Younger (Charming magics)
The Hierarchical Omnibus of Gesticulated Dweomers (somatic spellcasting procedures)
The Copper Lexicon of the Venerable Archons (verbal spellcasting procedures)
Worley's Ethereal Taxonomy (ethereal creatures and methods of ethereal travel)
Oxfam's Astral Monographs (astral landmarking and navigation)
Nagora's Extemporaneous Phantasmagoria (impromptu illusion magics)
The Umber Hornbook (herbology & plant magics)
The Prophecies of Uong-Sal (fortunetelling methods)
The Indivisible Jade Tablets (1st level magics)
Telemachian Quattros vol.1-9 (common spellcasting case studies by level)
Shoshanna's Guide to Incipient Conjuration (procedures for ritual spellcasting)
The Scarlet Compendium of Conflagratory Evocations by Emerikol the Chaotic (fire magics)
Elder Phlonk's Teleology & Topography of the Hidden Realms (planar geography)
Magister Gharkal's Systemic Conjuration (conjuration magic)
Effulgent Theurgical Inscriptions of Simak the Inscrutable (procedures for inscribing scrolls)
The Aquamantic Exegisis of Marinus Rolias (elemental Water magics)
Cutullus Boreali's Atmospheric Dweomercafting (elemental Air magics)
Geoffrey of Kant's Unexpurgated Guide to Ethical Occultism (magical standards & procedures)

Here's 10 few more, this time not so helpful:

The Greatest Glamour by Thedris of Thred (an allegory on botched spellcasting)
Ghoff's Interpretive Supernumerology (a flawed theory of mathematical conjuration)
Ogg's Abyssal Onomastikon (a badly transcribed and dangerous list of demonic names)
The Kyuss Commentaries (untested and thoroughly evil methods of undead manufacture)
The Fervent Tome of Scald the Unflinching (a cursed book that inspires feverish obsession)
Journeys Among the Planes by Scoliosi Magus (a fantastic and entirely fictional planar travelogue)
The Homonculi Monologues (a deceitful series of essays on various diabolical topics)
The Fifth Elemental by Krekkius vos-Savant (a misguided manual on elemental summoning)
Miscibility for the Soul by Ralhd the Resplendent (parables encouraging freeform somatic gestures)
The Xhelddannic Living Bestiary (an engrossing cursed book that devours the reader bit by bit)

Here's an example:

The Protean Plates: These comprise 8 or maybe 9, it's not certain, beaten copper plates bearing etchings in Old Wyrmish. Only 3 sets are known to exist, although there may be more. The subject matter deals with the sources and properties of elemental fire and includes a summary of spells and creatures that derive their existence from that element. Studying the plates requires fluency in Old Wyrmish and (20-INT) weeks of relatively uninterrupted study after which the magic-user must succeed at a standard Chance to Know roll. If successful, the Magic-User gains the ability to cast elemental fire-related spells & control fire elementals as if they were 1 level higher than normal. The DM should decide which spells qualify for the bonus but a good rule of thumb is to include only those spells whose descriptions specifically mention 'elemental plane of fire' or 'elemental fire'. Magic-Users only. @8,500gp/Very Rare

Monday, October 13, 2008

From Across the Table - Men part I

Here's some more old school AD&D plug and play stuff - this time a selection of randomly generated human groups, straight from the Monster Manual

A band of 140 BANDITS (highwaymen)
Currently they are laying in wait
BANDIT Chief: Gonsalvo, a 10th-lvl Fighter (hp 49)
Lieutenant: Tollanuir, a 7th-lvl Fighter (hp 24)
Bodyguards: 6 2nd-lvl Fighters (hp 9,13,10,14,11,9)
Clerics: Aldahararon, a 6th-lvl Cleric of Abbathor (hp 25) and a 3-lvl Assistant, Borochoth (hp 14)
Wizard: Edlicknitz, an 8th-lvl Magic User (hp 29)
3rd-lvl Fighters: 7(hp 13,17,19,9,20,16,22)
4th-lvl Fighters: 5(hp 20,29,18,16,18)
5th-lvl Fighters: 4(hp 27,28,38,34)
6th-lvl Fighters: 3(hp 46,28,34)
Potion of Clairvoyance,
Rod of Absorption (36 charges)
Human-sized Chain Mail +1
Edlicknitz' Spellbook:
Level 1 -Alarm, Animate Rope, Chill Touch, Grease, Hypnotism, Identify, Read Magic, Magic Missile, Protection from Good, Charm Person, Push, Ventriloquism
Level 2 -Darkness, Levitate, Ray of Enfeeblement, Web
Level 3 -Hold Person, Lightning Bolt
Level 4 -Polymorph Other, Fire Shield
A band of 59 RAT BERSERKERS with a fleet of 4 Longships. They are hauling their booty back home.
Chief: Skalla-Gjuki Bjarnisson the Deep-Minded, a 10th-lvl Fighter (hp 49, Axe + Spear (1-8/1-6))
Subchiefs: 2 6th-lvl Fighter Subchiefs, Yngvar (hp 36) Axe + Spear (1-8/1-6) & Eyvind (hp 29) Sword (1-8)
Clerics: Geitir, a 7th-lvl Cleric of Loki & 1 4th-lvl Assistant (hp 10)
Special Followers: Audun,a Wererat (hp 19)
1st-lvl Fighters: 6 (hp 10,4,2,4,8,7)
2nd-lvl Fighters: 3 (hp 6,13,11)
3rd-lvl Fighters: 2 (hp 16,7)
4th-lvl Fighters: 1 (hp 31)
5th-lvl Fighters: 1 (hp 31)
A band of 170 BUCCANEERS on shore leave
BUCCANEER CAPTAIN: Stuttering Seberddru, an 8th-lvl Fighter (hp 50, axe (1-8))
Lieutenant: Blind Shadrach, a 7th-lvl Fighter (hp 40, axe (1-8))
Boarding Party: 3 4th-lvl Fighters (hp 25,19,13, swords & handaxes (1-8/1-4))
Ship's Doctor(s): Portsider Einar, a 2nd-lvl Cleric of Ares (hp 7)
Ship's Mates: 3 3rd-lvl Fighters (hp 9,8,10, light crossbow (1-4))
Ship's Officers: 2 5th-lvl Fighters (hp 36,28, sword (1-8))
Currently they are traveling/marching.
Merchants: 10 0-lvl Normal Men (hp 3 each)
Drovers: 10 0-lvl Normal Men (hp 3 each)
Pack Animals: 60 mules
Mercenary Captain: Gromel, a 7-lvl Fighter (hp 39)
Mercenary Lieutenant: Damballah, a 6-lvl Fighter (hp 30)
Mercenary Guards: 12 2nd-lvl Fighters (hp 11,5,9,11,12,10,10,4,11,12,8,8)
Mercenary Troops: 80 1st-lvl Fighters (hp 6 each)
Paychest: 2,000gp 200pp and 11 gems (100gp each)
Trade Goods: total 30000gp including trunks of iron ingots worth 350gp each
& bags of raw wool worth 12gp each
A band of 64 TRIBESMEN from a SPIDER clan
They place elaborately carved totem poles and are zombie masters.
Chief: Witchdoctor/Chief Motuha-Mataeula, 8th-lvl Magic-User (hp 29)
Shamans: 2 6th-lvl Clerics (hp 21,17) & 6 4th-lvl Clerics (hp 18,12,21,16,18,18)
Braves: 6 3rd-lvl Fighters (hp 14,6,14,14,21,29)
Servants: 5 Juju Zombies (HD 3+12 26,24,22,25,24)

Witchdoctor/Chief Motuha-Mataeula's Spellbook
Level 1 -Read Magic, Chime of Release, Charm Person, Affect Normal Fires, Ventriloquism
Level 2 -Ghoul Touch, Skull Watch, Darkness 15' Radius, Stinking Cloud
Level 3 -Blink, Flame Arrow
Level 4 -Fear, Polymorph Other

Friday, September 26, 2008

From Across the Table - Minor Gods & Demigods

Here's another 20 carefully selected random results because you just cannot have too many gods in D&D.

* Rolgonk (Chaotic Good) Minor Deity of Bears, patron of a small regional cult
Demeanor: Sleepy - Friendly - Peaceful
* Chizzil (Chaotic Neutral) Minor Goblin God of Fishing, patron of a small regional cult
Demeanor: Tranquil - Wise - Grumpy
* Mutdaa the Oathbreaker (Neutral Evil) Minor Dwarven God of Dishonesty, patron to a small local cult
Demeanor: Doubtful - Spiteful - Conniving
* Ibnut the Psychotic (Chaotic Evil) Demi-god of Insanity, patron of a very small local cult
Demeanor: Uncompromising - Melancholy - Devious
* Búrlakh (Chaotic Neutral) Minor Ogre God of Mercenaries, patron of a small regional cult
Demeanor: Brooding - Domineering - Serious
* Kinenna Silverhand (Lawful Good) Elf Demi-goddess of Beauty, patron of a large regional cult
Demeanor: Mirthful - Friendly - Creative
* Oravan (Lawful) Demi-god of Justice, a forgotten/dead deity
Demeanor: Sarcastic - Lonely - Rude
* Deep Ones of Byalbnar (Evil) Minor Deities of The Underworld, forgotten/dead deities
Demeanor: Grim - Inimical - Tricky
* Zalbnar's Child (Lawful Good) Demi-god of Druids, patron of a small regional cult
Demeanor: Wise - Friendly - Helpful
* Albìn (Chaotic Neutral) Minor God of Felines, patron to a small local cult
Demeanor: Crafty - Amoral - Carefree
* Gonzago (Neutral Evil) Minor Deity of Giants, patron of a small regional cult
Demeanor: Unmerciful - Brusque - Domineering
* Mahteq (Neutral) Minor Goddess of Plants, patron of a large local cult
Demeanor: Peaceful - Intelligent - Melancholy
* Flying One of Nyltha-Ulhu (Chaotic Neutral) Minor God of Swamps, an Elemental Power
Demeanor: Morbid - Careless - Hungry
* Valyup (Lawful Evil) Demi-goddess of Air, renegade deity
Demeanor: Cool - Brusque - Sarcastic
* Gumyr (Evil) Dwarf Demi-god of Ugliness, renegade deity
Demeanor: Neglectful - Mocking - Disgusting
* Zomril (Lawful) Demi-goddess of Trade, patron of a worldwide cult
Demeanor: Involved - Crafty - Intelligent
* Strabo (Lawful) Minor God of Art, patron of a very small cult
Demeanor: Verbose - Passionate - Creative
* Eyer (Neutral Evil) Minor Bugbear God of the Moon, patron of a small regional cult
Demeanor: Unsympathetic - Morbid - Vicious
* Dipdem (Neutral) Minor Gnome God of The Ethereal, patron to a small local cult
Demeanor: Bored - Tranquil - Lonely
* Formless Ooze of Azar-Lyeh (Neutral Evil) Minor God of Fungi, patron to a small local cult
Demeanor: Gluttonous - Destructive - Disgusting

Feel free to use and abuse as you will.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From Across the Table - Potions

Here's the first in a (hopefully) ongoing themed series of posts offering interesting results from my private reserve of random tables. Here's 20 potions to get started. Feel free to snag them for ideas or even add some more.

* The potion of Agility is kept in a clay jug. It is a viscous, vibrant livid pink in color and tastes a bit like Paint.
* The potion of Delusion is kept in an alabaster phial. It is bubbling, dull mauve in color and tastes like a blend of trout & toffee.
* The potion of Bug Repellent is kept in a leather wineskin. It is oily, dusty sanguine in color and tastes a bit like syrup.
* The potion of Flying is kept in a stone narrow-mouthed Jar. It is lipid, glossy charcoal in color and tastes like flowers with a hint of yoghurt.
* The potion of Swimming is kept in a terra-cotta phial. It is very thin and watery, deep dingy gray in color and tastes at first like walnuts and then like coconut.
* The potion of Speech is kept in a clay horn. It is oily, ivory in color and tastes like a revolting melange of sour cream, Lucozade & sulphur.
* The potion of Elasticity is kept in a glass carafe. It is viscous, revolting leaf-green in color and tastes pleasantly like rum.
* The potion of Heroism is kept in a clay tube. It is very thin and watery, vivid robin’s egg blue in color and tastes like a revolting melange of urine & vinegar.
* The potion of Strength is kept in a glass horn. It is frothy, vivid bistre in color and tastes suspiciously like cinnamon.
* The potion of Invisibility is kept in an alabaster horn. It is limpid, bright robin’s egg blue in color and tastes like a revolting melange of hot sauce, flowers & marzipan.
* The potion of Healing is kept in a glass jar. It is frothy, dark chestnut in color and tastes a bit like mead.
* The potion of Undead Control (Ghouls) is kept in a glass pitcher. It is very thin and watery, revolting argent in color and tastes like a revolting melange of stout, prune & pina colada.
* The potion of Gaseous Form is kept in a clay decanter. It is viscous, vivid primrose in color and tastes like potato with a hint of whiskey.
* The potion of Plant Control is kept in a glass canteen. It is nearly transparent, tinted kelly green in color and tastes at first like noodles and then like lime.
* The potion of Polymorph Self is kept in a clay phial. It is translucent, pure soot in color and tastes exactly like horseradish.
* The potion of Animal Control (Amphibians and Reptiles) is kept in a terra-cotta jug. It is swirling, watery hunter green in color and tastes like varnish with a hint of urine.
* The potion of Poison Antidote is kept in a crystal beaker. It is bubbling, clear purpure in color and tastes like peppermint with a hint of corn.
* The potion of Ethereality is kept in a wood flask. It is thin, clear bat gray in color and tastes like a revolting melange of eucalyptus leaves, egg yolk & peppermint.
* The potion of Freedom is kept in a glass tube. It is stagnant, blotched flaxen color and tastes like water.
* The potion of Fire Resistance is kept in a glass vial. It is crystalline, muted soot in color and tastes a bit like pepper.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fantasy Gaming with the Stars

Here's the can choose 5 people to join you in a one-month reality show. You'll be trapped in a house, constantly surveilled, and expected to play 12-hours-a-day 1st edition AD&D. One of you will be the DM (your choice). One fighter, one thief, one magic user and 2 whatevers. So, ladies and & gentlemen...let's see your rosters!!!

1. Stephen Colbert
2. Vin Diesel
3. Mike Myers
4. Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock
5. Matt Groening
6. Dame Judy Dench
7. Jenny McCarthy
8. Kato Kaelin
9. Edwin McCain
10. Wil Wheaton
11. Daryl Hannah
12. Robin Williams
13. Lexa Doig AKA Rommie and the computer AI from Andromeda
14. Ben Affleck
15. Mat Damon
16. Matthew Lillard
17. Jon Stewart
18. Jim Breuer
19. Brian Warner AKA Marilyn Manson
20. John Carmack
21. Sebastian Bengtsson
22. Joakim Bengtsson
23. Robert P. Olsson
24. Björn-Erik Karlsson
25. Daniel Antonsson
26. Tommy Karlsson
27. Kevin Smith
28. Eddie Izzard
29. Johnny Vaughn
30. Michael Greco
31. Dave Gorman
32. Charles Manson
33. Scott Edgar
34. Jon Favreau
35. Curt Schilling from, I think, the Red Sox or at least use to be.
36. Todd Pratt from, I think, the Braves or at least use to be.
37. Jimmy Wales (One of the founders of Wikipedia)
38. Jacques Villeneuve
39. Rivers Cuomo from Weezer and, it is rumored at least, the rest of the band.
40. Everyone in Marcy's Playground
41. Everyone in Flashlight Brown
42. Gary Gygax
43. Seth Greene
44. Trey Parker
45. Matt Stone
46. Patton Oswalt
47. Stephen King
48. Steve Rune Lundin AKA Steven Erikson
49. Joss Whedon
50. Jack Black
51. Ryan Cabrera
52. Nick Cannon
53. Jon Heder
54. Jesse McCartney
55. David Boreanaz
56. Lauren Graham
57. Hulk Hogan
58. Johnny Vaughn
59. Michael Greco
60. Dave Gorman
61. Lauren Graham
62. Alice Cooper
63. Raymond Feist
64. Kari Byron of Mythbusters
65. Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies)
66. Robert Jordan
67. Ben Kweller
68. RA Salvatore
69. David Duchovny
70. Donald Faison
71. Emilio Estevez
72. Robert Asprin
73. Glenn Danzig
74. Carrot Top
75. Brad Pitt
76. Len Lakofka
77. Steve Marsh
78. Dave Cook
79. Tom Moldvay
80. Dave Arneson
81. Richard Snider
82. Ed Greenwood
83. Tim Kask
84. Frank Mentzer
85. Paul Jaquays
86. Erol Otus
87. Dave Trampier
88. Dave Sutherland
89. Bill Willingham
90. Bob Bledsaw
91. Graeme Morris
92. Jim Bambra
93. Phil Gallagher
94. Dave Hargrave
95. Aaron Allston
96. Jim Ward
97. Rob Kuntz
98. Lawrence Schick
99. Mike Carr
100. DM's Choice

*I snipped most of this list of celebrity gamers from the Dungeon Delver. Thanks DD!*
*List edited to include designers, artists et. al. (8/29/08)
*If you can't decide...just roll a d00 and do it the old-school way.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Kellri's Old School Challenge #1

Feeling board? Game? Then here's a quiz for all you grognard-types. First reader with the correct answers will receive one slightly tattered pdf copy of The Arduin Grimoire IV: The Lost Grimoire. So...put on your thinking caps and name these games.

1) Your breastplate is no defense, you'll need a helmet to avoid the smash
2) You and 2 gargoyles are sitting in a traffic jam on the way to pick up the warlock in the tower.
3) $10,000 check or silver dragon? It's your choice.
4) 10 Early Achaemenid men firing with a factor of 2 causes 13 Late Han Dynasty casualties
5) Your KN may not be enough for the throwdown in the SG-shack. Next time, bring a SCG, hoss.
6) Redemptionists on trikes may beat a hasty retreat when the Imperialist Dreadnought boys show up
7) With a little bit of luck and really long piece of string, you might just clip the wing of the Klingon in your kitchen
8) A foul one and a twelve just injured Cleon Jones
9) Armenian archmagi have keys, will travel!
10) Wanna pillage? Then (bSS + aCom + tPop + aArmy) - (tSS + tFort + dCom + dArmy + LangMod + RelMod) like the rest of us.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Old School Inspirational Reading List

This work-in-progress is an expansion of the reading lists given in the 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide and Moldvay Basic D&D. The idea is to provide short author bios and blurbs for the pertinent books or short stories as well as noting any obvious influences they may have had on D&D. Inside are included some guidelines for submitting your own recommendations or additions - many of the listings are still missing blurbs. Note that this is meant as an inspirational resource and not an exercise in comparative literature - in other words, reviews are not really what I'm looking for.

Here's the link:
OS_Reading List_2008.pdf 468.8 Kb

Monday, July 28, 2008

CDD#4 Final Version 3

The Old School Encounters Reference is the fourth in the Classic Dungeon Designer's series for 1st edition AD&D and compatible with OSRIC. The Encounters Reference is a comprehensive book of tables and pre-generated assortments for use by the GM in designing and running an old school fantasy game. This 3rd and final edition has been thoroughly revised and expanded with even more content, better layout and indexes in both print and pdf versions. It is my hope this will set a new standard in free high-quality gaming supplementals. Here's the table of contents, which should give you an idea of the breadth of material included:

CDD#4 Old School Encounters Reference
Version 3 Revised


Chapter I: Men
-NPC Assortments by Class (Clerics, Druids, Fighters, Paladins, Rangers, Magic-Users, Illusionists,Thieves, Assassins, Multi-Classed NPCs, Bards, Monks, Sages, 1st and O-level NPCs)
-NPC Details
-NPC Experience & Progression
-NPC Boons & Hinderances
-NPC Motivations
-Dealing with NPCs
-Standard Human Types (Bandits & Brigands, Berserkers, Border Patrols, Buccaneers & Pirates, Cavemen,Caravans, Dervishes & Nomads, Tribesmen, Guards & Watchmen,Pilgrims)
-NPC Adventuring Parties
-Spellbook Assortments (1st-18th+ Levels)

Chapter II: Demi-humans & Humanoids
-Humanoid Ability Scores
-Tribal Spellcasters
-Humanoid Groups (Bugbears, Centaurs, Gnolls, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Kobolds, Lizardmen, Locathah, Ogres, Orcs, Sahuagin, Troglodytes, Trolls, Xvarts)
-Demi-human Groups (Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Halflings, Mermen, Tritons)

Chapter III: The Underworld
-Dungeon & Cavern Mapping Symbols
-Wandering Monster Encounters (Dungeon Levels I~IX)
-Doors & Locks
-Gaols & Prisons
-Graves & Tombs
-Tricks & Traps
-Animated Statues
-Quests & Geases

Chapter IV: The Wilderness
-Terrain by Hex
-Random Encounters
-Random Encounters by Terrain Type (Arctic, Sub-Arctic, Temperate, Tropical)
-Dealing with Dragons
-Encounters at Sea (Freshwater, Saltwater)
-Extra-Planar Encounters
-On the Road
-Living Off the Land
-Druidic Places

Chapter V: Settlements & Civilizations
-Inns & Taverns
-Markets & Bazaars
-Schools & Training Halls
-Shops & Structures
-Shrines & Temples
-Underworld Guilds

Chapter VI: Treasures
-Treasure Assortments by Level (Dungeon Levels I~IX)
-Treasure Assortments by Type(Types A~Y)
-Miscellaneous Treasures
-Quick & Weird Magic Items

Chapter VII: The Campaign
-Adventure Design
-Friends & Foes
-Exotic Times & Places
-Deities & Demigods
-Arcane Magic

Chapter VIII: Forms & Appendices
-Appendix A Dice Conventions & Ranges
-Appendix B Bibliography & Sources
-Record Forms


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FASA Trek Timeline

FASA's Star Trek: The Roleplaying Game hasn't seen print for oh..around 20 years or more. So, continuing my trend in providing only the most obscure and esoteric of gaming goodies, I present the FASA Trek Timeline!

From the introduction:

This is a timeline strictly limited to FASA’s interpretation of the Star Trek universe as presented in various publications for their Star Trek: The Roleplaying Game. The primary sources used by FASA in developing their timeline included the original Star Trek TV series, the animated Star Trek series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and to a very limited extent, Star Trek: The Next Generation . No attempt has been made to reconcile it with other additions to the Star Trek universe, such as Star Trek V: Final Frontier or Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country or any of the other novels, movies or television series’.

FASA_Trek Timeline_v1.pdf 488.4 Kb

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Edition WFRP: Cathay Ole!

Here's a formatted final version of my Cathay netbook from 1998. It's essentially a stab at late-medieval China for the Old World - something still not covered by Games Workshop, AFAIK. As I was also doing some heavy academic writing at the time, the style is a little dense at times. I found the original files on an old CD. I've never seen 2e and have no plans to expand it properly, or work on it again. Make of it what you will... gotta love those elemental ginseng spirits!

WFRP1e_Cathay.pdf 3 Mb

Friday, June 6, 2008

DeEvolution Revolving

With the release of Goblinoid Games' excellent Mutant Future retro post-apocalyptic rpg , I've had a slew of requests for the DeEvolution! netbooks. The links to the Scavenger's Field Guide have been updated to my Orbitfiles server. Check back periodically for additional DeEvolution! articles and documents. Two new goodies this time - a Cryptic Alliance form for detailing new groups for your campaign and a comprehensive MS Excel list of Gamma World equipment and artifacts in 1st/2nd edition format. Enjoy, and until next time, don't let the Archivists catch you nappin'

CrypticAllianceForm.pdf 15.6kb 4pp

GmmaGear.xls 834kb

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tony Joe White - 'Even Trolls Love Rock & Roll'

Get ready to slap both your cheeks - gaming AND grooving with this video. Stoned-age blues rapping right out of the swamp. I think it might be the Malpheggi Swamp. In any case, the lesson is pretty clear - ALWAYS be ready to play. Like Tony Joe says - The troll said 'Play!', and that's all we did. Indeed.

Tony Joe White - Even Trolls Love Rock & Roll

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Gamma World: Mutant Manual II updated

Here's an update. Added an index and cool cover by Zdzislaw Beksinski. Cleaned up a bunch of typos and other errata. Updated link below.

Mutant Manual II.pdf

Sunday, May 25, 2008

CDD #4 Version 2 Ready

After hacking away at it over the weekend I've got CDD#4 all finished. After cleaning up and filling out the text it's now 141pp with around 15% new text and new & reworked cool random tables. I'm very satisfied with the way it looks and I hope all of the 'Old'School' crowd likes what they see too.

Here's the new link for version 2. Links updated on the sidebar as well. Enjoy!

CDD#4 - Encounters Reference.pdf 1.6mb

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CDD#4 v2.0 Revisions

Some of the upcoming changes -

- Table of Contents/Index
- List of Abbreviations used
- Chapter introductions and explanations for the more obtuse tables
- Completely reworked NPC Experience & Progression chart
- Reworked NPC Details (as per Algolei's suggestions)
- New Boons & Hinderances table
- Expanded and complete Human/Humanoid/Demihuman Groups tables
- Reworked missing/incorrect ACs
- New Chapter division (Village & Town)
- New tables for Shops other Establishments
- New form - NPC Card
- ++ a host of minor omissions/errors

Look for the updated version sometime later this week.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dungeon Gestalt or Hands Off My Fetish!

D&D is primal fetishism. It makes relics out of old character sheets and totems out of a stack of hardback rulebooks. The dungeon crawl itself is a ritual with no obligation to make sense beyond the circle of participants. In that sense, it's a lot like a cave painting of some ancient hunt. It's a convergence of random events in a controlled setting that forms the basis of a heroic tale in the minds of the participants. Powerful and primitive social magic that can't be reliably explained but only experienced. And IMO, a much more 'real' experience than the forced plot you see in most 'storyteller' games. (see the whole thread here).

I would go on to argue that the dungeoncrawl is D&D in its most pure form. It's not simply a repetitive, childish hack and slash (although it can be). When done right - with both intelligent, experienced DM and players, the dungeoncrawl can be every bit as cryptically meaningful as a Thomas Pynchon novel. Wilderness adventures carry with them a whole set of expectations about reality which a dungeon does not. The dividing line between the adventure site (the dungeon) and the non-adventure sites is clearly drawn - even a child understands that going through that big skull gate into the underworld means serious business.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Further on up the road

CDD #4 is finished, and has been getting plenty of good feedback and even a couple of suggestions for #5. Here's what I'm thinking about for my next rpg project -

- CDD: More Encounters. More tables and DM notebook stuff. There's still room for expansion - MM2 humanoid tribes, human guilds, typical shops & merchandise, and more weird campaign tables to name a few.

- CDD: Wilderness and/or City Geomorphs. Simple b/w tiles similar to those in CDD#3 Dungeon Geomorphs.

- Gamma World. I still love GW and am still a 1/2 edition 'purist' on that front. I've even considered writing a 'clone of my own'. Still, I think I'll wait and see what Mutant Futuer looks like. I'm hankering to do a Book of *Mutant* Lairs.

- An OSRIC campaign setting inspired in part by the original Greyhawk folio and the original JG Wilderlands.

Monday, May 12, 2008


For those just arriving - check the sidebar for the latest links my AD&D and Gamma World netbooks. The links here may be updated occasionally as new updates appear. I have several other netbooks for WFRP 1e & Star Trek: The RPG (FASA) which may be added in the future if anyone is interested.

Note: Some files, most notably the CDD series, may need to be renamed as a .pdf file before opening.