Friday, June 29, 2018

Have You Reinvented the Wheel Lately?

Today on his blog, Zak S. highlighted an equipment list layout by Shawn Cheng for Zak's Demon City project as if it was something new and revolutionary.

I would like to point out I did a similar thing back in 2015. Twice. Only I altered public domain comic book images and made them die drop tables.

I'd mention this to Zak by leaving a comment on his post or G+, but he & I have blocked each other for reasons having to do with me being me and Zak being Zak in an online argument. I refused to  apologize for insulting Zak and refused to entertain Zak's argument tactics, thus landing me on Zak's "bad person" list. I mention this in the interest of full disclosure.

That said, Shawn Cheng's layout is pretty damn awesome, and Zak's Demon City project will definitely be on my "buy" list when it is eventually published.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Downloads hosted in my Dropbox account are temporarily unavailable because Steve Jackson Games is run by a bunch of douches who would rather file a DMCA Complaint than email me and request I remove one fucking file that was a fan re-design of one of their out of print games.

Update: Access to downloads has been restored after I deleted every last damn SJG-related thing from my Dropbox account, and a few more possibly-infringing PDFs just to be on the safe side.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Google+ Comments Turned Off

Oh dear God in Heaven was there a bunch of Google+ spam in the comments that had accumulated while I wasn't looking. Rather than try to wade through them all and delete them one by one, I'm just turning off that feature. This deletes a lot of comment threads, but that's a price I am willing to pay for peace of mind.

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.