Sunday, March 11, 2018

Things People Have Said About Stuff I Created

I was updating my C.V. and decided to gather these reviews/comments on some of my creations in one place. I've pasted them here (unedited with the original title and grammar errors) with links to the sources underneath each one:

Commentary On Matthew Schmeer's Magic Ring Die Drop Table pdf A Free OSR Resource

Matthew Schmeer of Rendered Press has been making Dice Drop tables based on old vintage comic book adds and these have been two things, 1. free  & 2. Very,very, useful for post modern OSR games. These tables include his Wasteland Emporium & Wonderama Die Drop Table &the Miracles of the Gnome Workshop Die Drop Table.
But his latest efforts are one of my favorites of his, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for weird adds in comic book pages. Those classics that were the comic book equivalent of the gum ball machines in the middle of comic books. The ones that had to break up the action in order to pay for the adds, surely there couldn't be a dice drop room random monster encounter table based on these old classic adds? What's In the Room? Die Drop Table does this in spades and then some. But his latest one is a scream and its based on those old vintage rings from the 40's and 50's. These rings are perfect for a pulpy game of D&D such as what would be found inTrey's Weird Adventures's Citysetting. But Mathew's latest one on these magic rings? this is classic stuff, and its free.
He's done some touch up and some new lay out stuff and spiffed it up a bit and well its pure vintage pulptastic magic!
This thing is like the Old Johnson Smith catalog on acid with rings with some really cool properties.
I can some magical sweat shop in the middle of the worst urban fantasy setting imaginable turning these little beauties out and some 6th or 7th level black wizard with two hands full of these magic bastards using em Mandarin style. Personally I can see these bad boys being used in the wast lands of some post apocalyptic game as a cool diversion or minor loot table. The rings are very interesting and the side effects make these rings non campaign derailing. There's lots of potential with this and I think these are well worth your time and effort to download this material! And best of all its free.


One thing I’ve been considering as a future solution, however, is flowchart dungeons. I’m inspired partially by Random Wizard’s interactive node maps of some of the old modules and also Matthew Schmeer’s incredibly bizarre One Page Dungeon, The Wizard in the Woods is Up to Something (Maybe), which has almost twice the real-estate of Maze of Nuromen on a single page thanks to its keyed flow-chart. Even Zork, with its massive underworld, is just a big flowchart. Thinking about how we conceptualize space, locations and the distance between them, the flowchart makes more sense than a rigidly scaled map, and is much easier to convey to your players. It’s easier to say “You’re in a large underground room held up by 4 pillars, there are 6 exits; north, northeast, east, southeast, south, and west” than “…there are doors north and south, and a door on the opposite end of the room from which you came in. Also there are two doors on the east wall at the northeast and southeast corners of the room”, which would be the Room 2 in the Maze of Nuromen.


The Wizard in the Woods Is Up to Something (Maybe)
Zero adventure hooks, or ways to get the PCs involved. (The title is literally the only clue to what's going on.) Painfully stupid jokes. (The wizard in the the wood's name is... drumroll... Dawizard Indawoods.) And painfully stupid and adolescent jokes. (Not just one but two references to male ejaculation, in a single page document.) Several potential factions, but we're told literally nothing about their wants and needs, or how they might react. Most of the magic items are completely unexplained. (Scroll of Faster Suicide Kill? Is that the name of a band?) Insanely precise valuations (the statue is worth exactly 5,227 gp), but zero stats of any kind, except one: The wizard is apparently 18th level. (Which seems completely excessive, since a single owlbear is the big threat in one of the other branches. But at least we know nothing about the wizard, so he might not be hostile, right?) The organizational chart "map" is a complete failure (a flowchart would provide more information), and the dungeon is massively overcrowded, with no empty space or neutral grounds.
Utter garbage. Nothing worth salvaging.


Lazzer Bears!?! For Teh Win – Matthew W. Schmeer
A silly adventure tat has more whimsy and imagination than 99% of the crap produced for RPG’s. A lonely moronic junion ent? Win! Rutting honey badgers? Win! Bloated ropers? Win! Giant hand of Orcus that smacks adventurers? Win! LAZZER BEARS?AMERICA! FUCK YEAH! Here’s a quote from the adventure: “He won’t stop screaming hysterically the whole way back. Even if the PC’s knock him out. And they’ll want to knock him out.” What the hell else do you need to know to run this NPC? Terse and evocative descriptions for fun rooms that dance around the line between silly and whimsical. Could use better/any treasure. Maybe the head of a lazzer bear?


Thursday, February 22, 2018

And there's this bridge over in Brooklyn that's for sale, too . . .

I'm sorry, Precis Intermedia and author Steve Robertson, but 60 pages is NOT "Ultra Rules-Lite" no matter how hard you wish it to be true.

60 pages? Really? Really?

THIS is ultra rules-lite:

One. Friggin'. Page.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Greg Gorgonmilk and I were online friends and collaborators for over five years.

Due to the current controversy over some of Greg's social media posts, Greg's personal politics have been debated, accusations have been thrown, threats have been made, mis-characterizations have occurred, and clarifications have been made by all parties as to which political turf they are willing to stand on to defend their views. In the middle of all this, Greg removed his presence from Blogger and deleted his G+ account.

Before he purged his accounts, I emailed him privately and explained to him that while I disagree with his politics, he has every right to voice those politics. But there is a limit to my tolerance, and Greg hit that limit.

I withdrew my participation in further Dolmenwood/Wormskin projects and any future issues of the long-delayed Underworld Lore zine.

This was a hard decision. There are varied reasons why I felt I had to withdraw from working with Greg for the foreseeable future. I am not going to go into those with the general public. Greg knows and understands and that is enough for me.

I am saddened to see our working partnership of several years end. I think Greg is a wildly creative guy with great gaming ideas. His passion and his love of gaming inspired me to get involved in this whole crazy hobby again. But friendships can hit seemingly intractable walls at some point and that is where we are at the moment.

And that is all I am going to say about that.