Thursday, April 19, 2018

Take a U Turn

Here's a table when you need to take a campaign U turn.

1.  A beloved NPC turns up dead the next morning.
2.  A God falls from the sky, dead.  It rains ichor.
3.  A strange magical portal appears on the side of a building or animal
4.  A note from a loved one is under a PCs pillow, a relative has died.
5.  Dragons no longer have the ability to breath fire.
6.  The local town is taken over by mysterious travelers, on the outskirts is a large metallic craft.
7.  A large vein of gold has been found, rendering the gold piece completely insignificant.
8.  A famine has taken over, people are hungry, begging in the streets.
9.  A tax collector has been strung up at the gates of the city.
10.  Large holes in the ground have started appearing, someone claims they are really deep.
11.  The night has come, the sun doesn't rise the next day or the day after.
12.  Alcohol no longer has any effect on anyone.
13.  Wishes come true, even the insignificant ones.  But only for 2 days.
14.  A herd of mechanical cows come stampeding across the local fields.
15.  People are waking up from the dead, they are not undead and not zombies, they resemble themselves the day they died.
16.  Locally grown mushrooms if ingested allow a person to time travel back one day.
17.  A ingenious alchemist invented gun powder by accident and burnt half the town down.
18.  A the local militia have mysteriously fell ill.  A barbarian tribe has encircled the town.
19.  It has not stopped raining for days. 
20.  All forms of birds have been found dead.  Sometimes falling from the sky.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Gavanov Barony

While working on "the return of the blue baron" we started writing a bit of the back story.  The original was never actually set anywhere.  When Jeff ran it he placed the Baron's castle in the city of Blueholme.  In reality these adventures can be popped into whatever world you have created for yourself. 

As it stands right now we have basically finished writing and are now on to what I like to call "Edit City", afterwards it's layout city. 

I think I will make this adventure 8x11 for the sake that most people will print it if they run it. 

I am also going to start gathering together some nice clip art and images from various sources.  I like to have a pool of graphics to pick from one I start working. 

Anyways, yesterday while recording some vocals with a nice Russian lady, I doodled this map and then did some editing on it at lunch.  All of the towns are in German, I used google translate with some basic names. 

grenzenstadt: border city
blaue stadt: blue city 
flusse rand: rivers edge
altes holz: old wood
Schneeglockhe: Snow cap

The barony is part of a large kingdom ruled by a Queen, in my mind the Blue Baron's territory is sort of Germanic/Bavarian (hence the silly translating). 

There isn't really an intention to have this within the module, as I say I just did a little map doodle for fun. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Just watching Heroes Of Jordoba

If you haven't checked out Matt's channel yet, I suggest you do if you like watching D&D on youtube.  For me it's wonderful to have something like this on in the background while I'm working.  As well, I really like Matt's idea for the dungeon being a city that was basically destroyed (by a Volcano?).  It's an underground city, I'm totally borrowing this idea.

In some of Matt's other videos he plays OD&D, but in this series they are playing Fifth Edition.  But honestly listening to them, it feels and sounds like Old School to me.  Except for the occasional mechanic question.  In this video the sync crapped up, but it's totally fine as I'm a theatre of the mind guy.  You should check out the crazy mini camera action that Matt does though!

Apparently they all rolled up characters using the 3d6 method, which is great.  Matt is winging it like a good old school DM.  You can tell that he's ran games for a long time, as he just rolls with the punches.

This to me is what a group should be like, this is what my old school group was like.  Laughs, not jumping from room to room to quickly, carnage, a few terrible jokes that will probably become a "thing", and everyone having a good time.

BTW I'm amazed at Zak's rolling! The guy was rolling 20's all night.  (Well I think he had one one).

Monday, April 16, 2018

My Wife doesn't like side initiative

Saturday afternoon we were driving back from the country and started talking about D&D.  The road was nice and clear, sun was shining down, so we were both getting sleepy.  I started the conversation with "I like side initiative,  because it's easier for me DMing".  I then on to explain exactly how it worked.  I also talked briefly about the last Fifth Ed battle I had, and the weird rotating initiative that happened.  I should start off by saying normally what I/We do with D&D is roll initiative once, and then that's the order for the entire battle.  The monsters all go once, not individually.  The last battle I was so confused because there was different initiative's for most of the monsters, so when I thought it was my turn, we still hadn't actually finished a round. 

Side note: I can't believe they got rid of turns. 

Anyways, Apparently (as per Wife) she really likes the separate rolls for everyone, it's "part of the fun".  So despite how much I'd prefer to just have one side go, and then the other I think I'll have to stick with individual initiative.  Another thing I'm going to have to stick with is, the full scale +5 to -5 attribute modifiers, as another player really enjoys the swinginess of it.

My solution for initiative is the following:  Everyone rolls a d10 instead of a 20.  Part of the reason is the countdown, with a pile of people who had A.D.D. "Alright who is 16??? no one???"  "wait! i'm 16".  You see how that's wildly problematic. 

So I think what I'll do is d10 plus dex bonus.  In case of a tie, whoever has the highest dex goes first.  In the case of a tie with monsters, I'll roll their dex score and see where it falls. 

I'm not sure if that will speed things up or not? But I'm going to give it a go the next time we play some elf games.

Sometimes I can be swayed, which is a good thing.  You have to listen when you run games.

Alright that's it for me!

Sometime this week I got a review I'll be doing, as well I'll probably do a friday catch up of the April TTRPG maker thing.

Have a good week!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

First half of #aprilttrpgmaker

Not that anyone really cares, but here's the first half of the April TTRPGmaker for me.  First off, I'm not really a RPG maker, I create adventures for the most part.  Although I've released a few half baked rules hacks.

1.  Who are you?
Shane Ward, sometimes I go by the nickname "Gilligan" or "Shaner".  But don't call me that.

2.  Where ya at?
The great white north kids! Specifically the city of Winnipeg, which is currently in a "white out" situation.  ie the Jets are in the playoffs.  The city is nuts.

3.  How did you start creating ttrpgs? 
I honestly fell into it I think.  I started this blog in 2013 (holy shit!).  Shortly after that I wrote "caverns of ugard" and it sort of spiraled from there.  I normally put out one to two adventures a year and they are almost all PWYW.

4.  Describe your work? 
In my adventure writing I try for a "swords & sorcery" feel, but I think it comes off more as low magic vanilla fantasy.

5.  Favorite game you've worked on? 
I'm guessing this is based on a set of rules I've written, which I really haven't.  I really like writing for Blueholme as a game.  Favourite thing I came up with is probably "Invitation from the blue baron" collaborative dungeon project.

6.  Favourite game mechanic? 
I'm a big fan of old school reaction and morale checks, I really should have used them more when I was a kid.  Makes the game a little less hack and slash sometimes.

7.  Your workspace? 
While I attempt to write at home on the couch with my laptop, nine times out of ten I get all my writing done at lunch at work.  Pretty much everything I do starts in google docs and then eventually get's ported to word or publisher.

8.  Describe your routine? 
I get an idea, usually when I'm feeling a bit manic and creative.  Write as much as possible on that, then totally forget about it when the next ADD moment crops up, and rinse and repeat.  Eventually things come out, but I don't really schedule myself at all, it just sort of happens in time. I currently have about 5 projects on the go in various states of completion (one of which I haven't even started, but I think about on a regular basis).

9.  Describe your process? 
As above.  ADD kicks in, usually on my walk to work (that's where I get all my ideas from).  I get a coffee and sit down and write the ideas while they are fresh (when I should be working.... like now).

10.  Favourite game to relax with? 
I can run b/x or blueholme all day.  Relaxing wise it's totally mexican train.  Put on an album, grab a beer and play for 4 hours.

11.  What's yer brand?
3 Toadstools publishing, which is a stupid name.  It's basically a tavern name in a hobbit village somewhere.  That was the name that I came up with for the blog, and then later used for the publishing end of things.  (cuz cross branding I guess?).  I think my stuff is sort of in the "old school" aesthetic as far as looking like a revamped TSR product and a bit of DIY RPG thrown in for good measure.  Reading other designers stuff gives me good ideas to incorporate.  So I'm learning.

12.  How do you get your work out there? 
Mostly google plus, posting in some communities.  Just talking with people.  I don't push as hard as I could.  At some point if I get something super exciting maybe I'll pour the coals on.  I do have a facebook page for the publishing company as well.  Once in a blue moon I'll email my customers thru

Find my stuff here. 

Grab my latest adventure "Dusty Door" here. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Four years ago

Four years ago I released my first adventure "The Caverns Of Ugard", which started my publishing journey.  I've learned a LOT since then.  I think with every adventure I get a teeny bit better.  So far, the only adventure that may have been a step back was "Mad God's Jest", at least writing wise.  I did have a lot of fun with that one though. 

Ugard is this terrible minotaur, that I sort of modelled after Jabba The Hutt.

Here's the publisher blurb. 

The name Ugard is notorious with pain and fear!  Thru-out the surrounding lands Ugard and his minions threaten, bully and extort money and lives.  The vile Minotaur is holed up in some caves on the outskirts of town.  This OSR compatible one page dungeon can easily be placed into any campaign for a night of fun!  

You can download it here:  It's pay what you want, like all of my titles. 

Interesting note, when I wrote gardag, I was originally going to use DRAGU as the name, but totally cocked it up.  You know, so that the modules would have something in common.  Whoops! 

Eventually I intend to put all my modules together and put out a book form, with a bunch of extra adventures.  While working on that, I re drew the map for ugard (to replace the computer one).  Here it is! 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Revisions, revisions.

I really don't like being that guy. The one that puts out revisions of products. However I'm going to work on revision four of "Dusty door ". I received some fantastic art for it, and I wanted to rejigger the fonts one more time.

At some point I would love to redo all my adventures and other releases.

I keep stopping myself though, as I would rather write more stuff!

Anyways that's what I'm up to this weekend. After work probably, I've got a recording session tonight.

Hope you have a good gaming weekend!