Friday, September 28, 2012

*this post contains 100% shameless self-promotion

I was one of the winners of Trey's Weird Adventures contest!

Awesome. I did not expect this. I struggled to come up with something, and was inspired at the last minute with a gonzo idea.

I knew there would be a lot of creative adventure seeds submitted (I read all your blogs!), and from the brief descriptions of a few entries Trey offers, it sounds like the judges had a tough time coming to a decision. I was surprised my entry was selected as a winner because it is just so far out there. I mean, giant pygmy pigeon golems made of bird poop? That has "winner" written all over it, right? Right?!? Yeah.

I'm looking forward to the eventual publication of the Weird Adventures Companion, whenever that might be!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Turn Any Web Page Into an .epub or .mobi File!

So, remember when I stumbled across the little button that will turn any web page into a PDF?

Today I've got another neat little trick for you along the same lines.

Here's a web service with a browser button that will turn any web page into an epub file suitable for reading with iBooks or on the Nook OR a mobi file for reading on your Kindle. Be sure to read the directions (mostly in the green boxes on that web page) to learn how to install it on your bookmark bar or directly on your blog.

I'm not going to add this to the blog right now, however, as I don't want to add anymore cruft. Instead, I keep this in my bookmark bar and use it to turn articles and posts into files for later off-line reading--for example, the short stories posted on Still, I thought it was worth sharing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Another 1981 Flashback!

Back in January, I posted two files by WEBMikey that were assembled from images posted on his Flickr account.

Lads & Ladies, today I have another treat from WEBMikey's photostream! Today, I give you a file compiled from another of his photosets:

The Golden Scepter of the Trollfens & Other Miscellaneous Juvenilia

Written when the author was in 7th grade, this is full of DIY goodness, including some great sketches and NPC lists. Most of the module is here, along with several pages of unrelated hand-drawn maps, new monsters, and some great monster sketches. Be sure to check out that centaur!

This PDF is image-only, and weighs in at around 30MB. I took the original file scans posted by WEBMikey, pulled them into a PDF, and then compressed the PDF to 150dpi. This should be good enough to read on screen.


And if you do enjoy stuff like this from back in the day when our hobby was enjoying its largest growth spurt, be sure to check out the THE HABITITION OF THE STONE GIANT Kickstarter, sponsored by the fine folks at PlaGMaDA--The Play Generated Map & Document Archive.

Goodbye, Old Friend & Resource

Looks like Huge Ruined Pile has been hijacked by a blog spammer (and really, you shouldn't click that link). Sigh. Another good blog with lots of resources has disappeared into the electronic ether.

The good news? Scott had moved his blog to awhile back. Still, the old posts will be missed.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I Got Your Swingin' Bachelor Pad Right Here

So you're playing Top Secret or Marvel Super Heroes or Mystery Men! or Villans and Vigilantes or ICONS and you need a bad-ass bachelor pad for your suave master spy, playboy secret identity, or lecherous evil villian. I got you covered:

This is a scan from a 1961 or 1962 issue of Playboy. I don't know which issue; I just stumbled across this link. Dig that cross-section! And the text describes the pad enough that it's almost playable right off the page. Add some treasures, hidden weapons, a secret passage or two and you are good to go.

Here's a site that provides a virtual fly-through of the house!

Friday, September 21, 2012

An Old School Kickstarter We Should All Support



The fine folks at PlaGMaDA--The Play Generated Map & Document Archive--are running this campaign to raise funds of a book collecting homebrewed adventures from back in the day.

Although I host both PDF and CBZ versions of Habitition of the Stone Giant on the downloads page, I am not affiliated with this Kickstarter in any way. I heartily encourage you to sign up and back this awesome project!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scooby, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

This morning, Dave over at The OSR Library posted a fantastic write up of a Scooby-Doo adventure for Savage Worlds. This baby has it all--a spooky mansion, Old Man Smithers, zombies, and pre-gens of the Scooby Gang and write-up for the Mystery Machine. And he even has a playlog of his first run through. Go check it out!

I liked it so much I threw the adventure minus the playlog into a Google Doc. You can view it and download it here. If Dave asks me to yank it, I will.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Three Videos You Must Watch

1. Knights of Cydonia, by Muse:

2. Roland, I Feel You, by Get Well Soon:

3. Italian Spiderman, by Alrugo Entertainment:

*props to S.P. at How to Succeed in RPGs or Die Trying for links to the first two.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My entry in Trey's Weird Adventures contest

Trey over at From the Sorcerer's Skull is running an adventure seed contest that ends today. Here is my entry:

Flesh-eating Golems of the Pigeon King
The roofs are alive with the sound of screaming!

The Set-up:
In a shabby part of the city, the PCs are startled to see a small child carried off into the sky by a flock of birds. The child's hysterical parent begs for help. As the PCs investigate, they find that a deranged association of pigeon fanciers have built a series of interconnected pigeon lofts, perches, and flypens on the rooftops of an entire block in order to house a bizarre creation: Pygmy Pouter Golem Pigeons. Crafted from dung and magic, the flock feeds on the flesh of children during unspeakable worship ceremonies. Vera Cruz, the city's Building Inspektor, has been trying to take down the Underground Association of Pigeon Enthusiasts for the past six months. She has a Code Enforcer on the inside under deep cover. If the PCs cross Cruz or blow her agent's cover, they will find themselves in her cross-hairs, too.

claustrophobic disease-ridden trapped rooms; cultists with a pigeon obsession; flesh-eating giant pygmy pigeons; mutant pigeon mites, child sacrifice; rabid city officials, psionic pigeon priests, an encounter with the God Pigeon in the Dovecote of Doom.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Things I'm Working on When I Have Time to Work on Them

  • You know what's still unfinished? THIS. Please add your cool shit to this community project. I'll be adding some later today this weekend. Let's see if we can get this done over the weekend.

  • The Book of Lairs III and IV. Yes, these are the top priority. 2 years overdue. Man. . .

  • The OSR BLOGOSPHERE MONSTER PROJECT. The file is complete. I just need to edit it, organize stuff, etc. I haven't forgotten it.

  • A compendium of all the cool shit I've posted on the blog--tables, magic items, etc. In progress. . .

  • THE ZINE. I've got all the content, I just need to put it all together. Let's just call this one delayed a bit. I was hoping to have it ready as a sort of a "back to school special" but it looks like it'll be a Halloween special at this point.

  • I had this weird dream about a swamp-themed adventure/encounter/module/sandbox. It had something to do with an evil wizard in his tower enslaving frog people who worship a giant stork, a ruined crypt, a shipwreck in the marsh's edge, and a crashed spaceship containing reptilians in suspended animation. Like I said, weird.

    I started to write it up. Then I realized it had already been done--by the OSR blogosphere. So instead of writing it all myself, I pulled together a bunch of different pieces from all over the blogs I read. And once I pull everything together in a single file for download, I'll have to whip out Hexographer to create a hex map, too.

  • I'm cleaning out my hard drive of all non-essential RPG stuff I've downloaded. I am trying to curb my hoarding tendencies and one way to do that is to declare a sort of "rpg bankruptcy". I've always had an obsessive streak when it comes to my interests, saving stuff "just in case" I'll ever need it. But I won't need it. I've got more homebrewed, houseruled versions of RPGs than I will ever have time to play. So I'm trying to trim my 30GB+ hoard of RPG treasures to those that I think I might really, truly use. Do I need 5GBs of maps that I've saved from blogs? No. Do I need all the takes on alternative classes that I've saved as HTML or text files? No. Do I need sixteen different Fantasy Heartbreakers? No. So, I'm trying to tame my obsessiveness. And if you think my digital rpg habit is bad, you should see my digital album and ebook collections. And my collection of computer parts. And my stacks of magazines that I will never read. And articles I've clipped to scan but have never gotten around to actually scanning. Oy! So, yes, I am clearing things out all over.

  • I managed to acquire one of these via ebay, sans the little crayon holder thingy. I am making lots of damnation vans for Encounter Critical. Scans to come.

  • The Day Job. I teach writing, so I read and grade and write commentaries on papers nearly every day (and yes, I know that my blog doesn't live up to the standards I expect of student papers--that is intentional, folks). And I have conference presentation to finish. And travel arrangements to make. And committee meetings to chair. . .oh. . ..there is never enough time!

  • And did I mention I have a family life, too? My kids are getting to the age where we are shuttling kids in many different directions for sports and music lessons and church activities. And then there is homework time.

  • Why oh why do I bite off more than I can chew?

    Friday, September 7, 2012

    A Little Something For YOU.

    The Great Khan is having a One-Page Dungeon Contest. The theme is "vikings". Here is my entry:

    click to embiggen

    You can grab a PDF of this thing here.

    Saturday, September 1, 2012

    Zandor, Tara, Dorno!

    Oh, Sniderman's Thundarr supplement for Mutant Future is cool & all (as are his con modules), but I also like the original mutated future cartoon heroes: The Herculoids!

    So does Tim Hartin of Paratime Design. And you can find his write-ups of most major and minor characters and creatures on his website by clicking right here.

    You're welcome!