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Sunday, October 11th, 2009
7:53 pm - Premade 4E character incorrect?

I can't figure out the "will" stat on the 4E pre-made character I'm using, can someone help me?

I'm using this premade human wizard character from WotC


Level 1 works like this:

Base: 10
Wis/Cha: +1
Class: +2 (Wizard)
Feat: 0 (that I can tell)
Misc: +1 (Human's get +1)

That's 14, but it clearly says 15 on the sheet. All the other stats add up right. I'll probably level next time we play, so I want to make sure I know how to figure out the stats.

<Theres 1 dragon slain - Slay a dragon>

Sunday, June 7th, 2009
10:59 am - White Plume Mountain



As I mentioned before, the players in my D&D campaign are currently going through White Plume Mountain. There were no rules for the frictionless room, so I made some. Now I am sharing my efforts with you.


Rules for the Frictionless Room


1 – Stepping into the room places the character in motion in a random direction.


2 - Standing characters must make a dexterity check or fall prone every round.


3 – Characters in motion continue to move in a straight line at the rate of 60’ per round until they fall into a pit, strike a wall or are stopped by an ally.


4 – Striking a wall inflicts 1 point of damage per ten feet traveled. Characters may make either a strength or dexterity check to minimize the damage to one half. Characters who roll under half of their ability score negate the damage altogether.


5 – Because the room is frictionless, the damage caused by hitting the walls continues to rise and does not “reset” after a character bounces off of a wall.


6- Characters striking a wall rebound in a random direction. Roll a 1d8.


            1 - North

            2 - North East

            3 - East

            4 - South East

            5 – South

            6 – South West

            7 – West

            8 – North West


If the direction rolled would send them immediately back into a wall they just struck, the character may attempt to cling precariously against the wall. To accomplish this feat, the character must successful roll under half of their dexterity or their strength.


7 – Characters clinging precariously to a wall may attempt to shove off in a deliberate direction with a successful dexterity check. If the check is failed, consult the chart to determine the direction traveled.


8 – Characters who fall into a pit take 1d6 falling damage + 1d6 spike damage + 1 point of damage per ten feet traveled across the floor.


9 – Standing characters in motion may attempt to leap over the pits. This requires either a successful dexterity or strength check. Failure means falling into the pit. An additional dexterity check is required when the character lands. Failure means falling prone.

<Slay a dragon>

Thursday, May 21st, 2009
8:44 am - White Plume Mountain

Hello All,

I am preparing to run White Plume Mountain for our gaming group. For those who don't know, White Plume Mountain is a classic AD&D module written by Lawrence Shick. This is the adventure with the three weapons of immense power; Black Razor, Wave and Whelm.

I don't want to seem like an old fart, but they really packed a whole lot more into a module back when I was a wee lad. This adventure is only sixteen pages long.
It has an inverted Ziggurat with monsters at every level.
It has a frictionless room with a spike filled pit that characters eventually fall into after bouncing off of a few walls.

It has the rotating and oiled cylinder that characters have to attempt to dash through. Of course, the oil in the cylinder is ignited, burning the dashing characters.

It has a vast cavern that the players have to cross by swinging across a series of small wooden discs that are suspended from the ceiling by chains. Failure means falling into the huge pool of boiling mud. If that weren't bad enough, the boiling mud shoots up geysers from time to time.

There is a battle with a giant crab that takes place inside of a balloon that is inside a vast underground lake of boiling water.  Of course, it is possible to puncture this balloon.

There is a long hallway that is lined with magical metal plates. These plates heat up all the metal items that the party is carrying, forcing them to remove their armor and drag it along behind them for a bit. Some players may learn the hard way not to use rope because it will just catch on fire and quickly burn through.
There is this river that floats in midair. The players have to take kayaks to get to the ambush waiting for them in the next room. 

There is a battle with a vampire in a room that is obfuscated by a darkness spell.

Did I mention that this module is only sixteen pages long?

Regards and Best Wishes,

Donald Eric Kesler

<Theres 2 dragons slain - Slay a dragon>

Thursday, April 30th, 2009
3:19 pm - For those wandering about the Savage Coast




The stats for these weapons are based off of the work Frank Mentzer did for IM1 The Immortal Storm. Enjoy!

Flintlock Pistol

Encumbrance: 30 coins

Primary: All


To Hit Bonus



Special Effects










2x Damage (19-20)





3x Damage (19-20)





4x Damage (19-20)





4x Damage (17-20)

Flintlock Rifle

Encumbrance: 80 coins

Primary: All


To Hit Bonus



Special Effects










2x Damage (19-20)





3x Damage (19-20)





4x Damage (19-20)





4x Damage (17-20)

The Flintlock Rifle is a two handed missile weapon.

On a hit roll of 16 or greater, the victim may be stunned. The victim is allowed a saving throw vs. Death Ray to avoid this effect. The stunned victim rolls a saving throw vs. Death Ray each subsequent round. The stun effect continues until one is successful.

On a hit roll of 20, the victim may be instantly reduced to zero hit points. The victim is allowed a saving throw vs. Death Ray to avoid this effect. If the saving throw is successful the victim still takes normal damage and is automatically stunned for 1d10+5 rounds.

A flintlock pistol may be used as a blackjack for identical damage and special effects. If the gun is loaded at the time, a successful hit has a 50% chance of causing the weapon to discharge.

A flintlock rifle may be used as a staff for identical damage and special effects. If the gun is loaded at the time, a successful hit has a 50% chance of causing the weapon to discharge. Likewise, there is a 50% chance that the weapon will discharge if it is used successfully to deflect a melee attack.

It takes three rounds to reload a flintlock pistol or rifle.


<Slay a dragon>

Monday, April 27th, 2009
11:35 am - Minotaur Character Class


Minotaur Character Class


Prime Requisite: Strength


Experience Bonus: 5% for Strength 13-15. 10% for Strength 16-18.


Hit Dice: D8


Maximum Level: 36


Armor: Any, Shields Allowed. The Minotaur described in the Rules Cyclopedia has a natural Armor Class of 6. Following the precedent set in GAZ #10, this AC is an average that includes fighting skill, armor and agility. It should not be used. Instead, all Minotaurs start with a base AC of 9.


Weapons: Any


Special Abilities: At Whelp level both Direction Sense and Tracking general skills are acquired with a +2 bonus. At normal monster level, the Minotaur also gains the Blind Fighting general skill. These three skills are in addition to the four skills acquired by normal monster level.


General Skills- Other general skills may be acquired in addition to the bonus general skills possessed by all Minotaurs. By the time the player character reaches normal monster level, the Minotaur will have four general skills. One may be selected at Whelp; one at Youngster; one at Teenager and the final one at Tribesman. For every four levels, the Minotaur gets an additional general skill.


Weapon Mastery – Based off of the chart on page 75 of the Rules Cyclopedia, a Minotaur starts with two weapon mastery choices. He gains another choice at third, sixth and ninth level.


As explained on page 81 of the Rules Cyclopedia, the level of mastery attainable is determined by the intelligence of the Minotaur. An intelligence of 12-15 will allow a Minotaur to become skilled, a16 intelligence will allow a Minotaur to become an expert. Normally, a Minotaur lacks sufficient intelligence to attain greater levels of weapon mastery.


THAC0 - Minotaurs fight as monsters of whatever HD they may have reached.



Blind Fighting – This dexterity based general skill is available anywhere. This skill grants the ability to engage in melee combat with an opponent that is invisible. The possessor of this skill must be able to hear his or her adversary in order to use this skill. Success negates the penalty for fighting an invisible target. A check needs to be made for every round of combat that this skill is used.


Direction Sense – This wisdom based skill is trained to pilots of flying vessels and mounts. Direction sense is the ability to know which way is up in totally unfamiliar settings or in poor visibility. This skill differs from navigation in that navigation requires external clues, whereas Direction Sense is pure gut feeling and intuition. Which way is up and down, north and south, east and west, can be detected on a successful skill check. (PC #2)  


Minotaur Racial Ability Score Modifiers
AbilityMaximumRacial Modifier
STR20+ 2
INT16- 2
WIS16- 2
CON20+ 2

Minotaur Eperience Table  
TitleLevelExperience PointsHit Dice  
(Normal Monster) Tribesman006  
Conqueror91980000+2 hp  


<Theres 5 dragons slain - Slay a dragon>

Sunday, April 26th, 2009
12:30 pm - Organized OD&D Naval Combat




Naval Combat


                The following rules are not new rules. They are simply old rules that have been organized in a more logical manner. I found it necessary to do this for my campaign after the player characters acquired a particularly potent war ship. The rules presented here originally appeared in the Rules Cyclopedia, Gazetteer 4: The Kingdom of Irendi and The Champions of Mystara.


Evasion at Sea


                Ships meeting at sea may wish to evade one another. To determine one ship’s chance of eluding another ship, consult the Ship Evasion Table.


Ship Evasion Table


Evading Ship’s Speed                Chance of

(per round)                                  Evasion


Faster than pursuer                        80%

 0’-30’ slower                               50%

31’-60’ slower                               40%

61’-90’ slower                               35%

91’-120’ slower                             25%

121’ + slower                                10%


                If evasion is successful, the pursuer loses sight of its prey and cannot find it again or attack it that day. A ship can evade its pursuer by sailing into a baffling archipelago, heading into a concealing fog, hiding itself in a cove and ducking out once the pursuers are past, and so forth.


If the evasion is not successful, the pursuer starts at a distance of 300 yards on a clear day. (At the DM’s discretion, if the weather is impairing vision, the pursuer may start closer.) The pursuing ship closes in.


If the pursuer’s speed is 0’-30’ per round greater than the evader (or actually slower), the rate of closing is 10 yards per round. If the difference is greater than 30’ per round, the pursuer closes at its normal movement rate.


A slower vessel can close on a faster vessel by virtue of superior sailing. If the evading sip missed its roll for evasion on the Ship Evasion Table yet it is faster than the pursuing ship, this means that the pursuer is sailing much more effectively than the evader.


If the DM is using the optional general skills rules, he or she can roll the two captains’ Piloting skills in competition with one another. If the evading ship’s captain rolls his skill better, he evades pursuit; if the pursuer rolls his skill better, he is able to close at the rates described above (RC 100).




Galleys, armored fireships, and long-ships move any number of hexes up to their full speed. They rely on a combination of oar, and sails and/ or magical technology.


Sail ships move from half their movement rate (rounded up) to full speed because they rely on the winds. A sail ship cannot stop, unless it collides with another ship (GAZ4 30).




Maneuvering Factor*


Maneuvering factor measures how maneuverable a [sailing ship, sea monster,] skyship or flying creature is. It determines the number of times each round a vessel can perform a maneuver, a change up to 60 degrees in horizontal or vertical direction.


To determine the vessel’s Maneuvering Factor, compare her length in feet from bow to stern, or along her longest axis (excluding any accoutrements such as masts to the Maneuvering Factors chart. If the vessel is aerodynamic, use the middle column; use the right hand column for non-aerodynamic craft.


Maneuvering Factors chart


Ship’s Length       Aerodynamic      Not Aerodynamic

To 2’                      5                            3

To 10’                    3                            1

To 50’                    1                            1/2

To 250’                  1/2                         1/3

To 1250’                1/3                         1/5                   

1251+                     1/5                        1/10


Magical Motive Power: Ships moved by magic are treated as one category better on the chart.


Flying [& Swimming] Monsters: Vessels using flying [and swimming] monsters as their Motive Power must take the monsters’ Maneuvering Factor into account as well as the ship’s.


To find the monster’s Maneuvering Factor, find its length (or height if it’s taller than long) on the chart. A pegasus [or dolphin], for instance, would fall on the “To 10” line.


Most monsters are aerodynamic. A monster may belong to the non-aerodynamic line if it floats rather than flies [or swims] or if it has a maximum flying [or swimming] speed of 30’ or less per round. [Regarding aerial Maneuvering Factor,] [m]onsters related to the plane of Air (djinni, for example) or that are nimble in flight (dragons, etc.) rate one category better on the chart. [Likewise, when dealing with aquatic encounters, monsters related to the plane of water (undines, for example) or that are nimble swimmers (sea dragons, etc.) rate one category better on the chart.]


The Maneuvering Factor of a vessel drawn by flying [or swimming] monsters is the worst of the following; the vessels normal Maneuvering Factor (based on size alone), one category lower than the monsters’ Maneuvering Factor (if the vessel is aerodynamic), or two categories lower than the monsters’ Maneuvering Factor (if the vessel is not aerodynamic). Use the worst monster Maneuvering Factor if more than one monster is involved (CoM 11)




A maneuver is a change in direction by 30 or 60 degrees. On hex paper, 30 degrees changes a skyship’s [or sailing ship] direction from the center of one hex face to an adjacent vertex or vice versa; 60 degrees changes a skyship’s [or sailing ship] direction from the center of one hex face to the center of an adjacent hex face, or from one hex vertex to an adjacent vertex. Changes in altitude, both climing and diving, are also maneuvers, see below.


Continuing an old maneuver is not the same as starting a new maneuver. Beginning a climb counts as a maneuver – continuing the climb in the next round does not. Leveling off to horizontal flight does count as a new maneuver.


The first maneuver performed in any round is “free” – if the pilot is conscious and the vessel or monster is responsive, the maneuver automatically succeeds. The following require a skill check against Piloting or another skill:


·         This is the second or subsequent maneuver by that vessel or monster in the same round. (This only pertains to monsters or vessels with more than one maneuver per round.)


·         The pilot, who controls the vessel’s maneuvers, lost one tenth of his hit point total (or the vessel lost one tenth of her hull points) in the last round.


·         The pilot has taken one half of his total hit points or the vessel has lost of half of her total hit points.


·         Any flying or flightless creature providing Motive Power have taken half their total hit points, or half or more of the creatures were damaged last round.


·         Any circumstance the DM thinks would make maneuvering difficult – heavy rains or winds, poor visibility, etc. – should also require a check (CoM 23).



Naval Combat



                Naval combat between water vessels usually starts with missile fire and magic. When the boats are close enough, the enemy craft is grappled and boarded, and hand-to-hand combat takes place between the two crews. A ship with a ram can do special damage to other ships and large monsters.


                Unless noted otherwise, giant sea creatures and magic attacks inflict 1 point of hull damage for every 5 points of normal damage (RC 115).



Missile Combat


The armor class of the ship is the number used to determine chances of success for ram and catapult attacks against a ship (RC 71).


Crews of ships can fire upon one another whenever they come within missile range. Ships armed with catapults will tend to be more effective than those without. Hand missile weapons such as bows and crossbows can damage and kill crewmen, but do no effective damage against the ship itself. A catapult, on the other hand, does its full damage to either ship or living target (RC 115).


Magical Attacks


                Most magical attacks do only 1 point of hull damage for every 5 points of normal damage. The attack may have other effects, however.


Fireball and Other Magical Flame Attacks: Wooden- and cloth-framed vessels are susceptible fire unless they have been protected against it. When a fireball or similar magical attack hits, roll d% and compare the result to the total number of hit points damage the attack did (before dividing by five). If the d% roll is greater than the number of hit points of damage, the vessel’s frame does not catch fire. If the roll fails, the hull catches fire, taking 1d4 hull points until the fire is put out.


Other Magical Attacks: DMs may need to use some imagination (mixed with common sense) to determine the effects of other magical attacks on flying [and sailing] vessel[s]. For instance, a clerical barrier spell cast suddenly in a wooden skyship’s [or sailing ship’s] path can be devastating. The spell’s whirling hammers can destroy the results of a woodform spell; a barrier spell will do 5 hull points of damage for every 5 normal points of damage.


The druidic turn wood spell could force a wooden-hulled skyship [or sailing ship] from her course, perhaps pushing her into the ground (at 10 yards per round, not enough to do much damage) and pinning her there for a while (CoM 26).




Wooden structures can be damaged by fire, but take only 1 point per 6-sided die of damage or per 5 points of maximum possible damage, rounded up.


Furthermore, wooden items attacked by fire can be set afire, causing further damage. The chance of being set afire is 5% per point of damage caused by each fire attack. Anything set afire will take 1 point of damage the first round, 3 more points by the end of the first turn, 6 points the second turn and 12 points for each turn thereafter, until destroyed.


Any creature caught within a burning structure will take damage equal to 1d6 per point of structural damage at the same rate. Any flammable structures next to the structure that has been set afire may also catch fire with a chance of +10% for each turn the first structure burns.


If water or loose earth and workers are available, the workers may attempt to extinguish the fire. Each turn a fire is fought, the player should roll 1d6 per 10 workers. This is the number of points of structural fire damage extinguished that turn. If the number is greater than the fire damage for that turn, the fire is extinguished. Only ten people may fight a fire for each thirty feet of structural damage. Each fire fighter suffers 1 point of damage per point of structural damage caused for that turn. If the fire was caused by special catapult shot or a dragon, fire fighters can extinguish only half the normal number of points.


Stone will not burn, but wooden parts of stone constructions will burn (roofs, floors, doors, etc.) fire damage is the same as for wooden structures, but only 10% of the total hit points of a stone building may be burned (RC 116).


Close-Quarters Combat


When ships come close to another, they normally try to ram or board one another.




To ram a target, the ship must bring its bow into contact with the enemy ship – in other words, it must close until it touches the enemy ship. Ships can also ram large sea-monsters. Small targets are impossible to hit with a ship. They can easily outmaneuver a ramming vessel.


The ram attack takes place in the missile phase of the combat round in which the ships touch. The ramming ship’s pilot rolls to hit as if he were a 1st level fight attacking the target ship’s armor class. The DM can modify this for weather conditions, maneuverability, and other factors. The ram, if it hits, does damage to the ship’s hull points (or if it hits a large sea creature, to the creature’s hit points).


Each successful ram attack does damage according to the size of the ramming vessel as shown on the Ram Attacks Table.


Ram Attacks Table


Ramming Vessel       Opponent      Damage

Small   Galley             Ship               1d4+1x10 (50-80)

                                    Creature        3d8 (3-24)


Large/War Galley       Ship              1d6+5x10 (60-110)

                                    Creature        6d6 (6-36)


On the same round the attacker has rammed the defender; it may decide to grapple during the hand-to-hand phase of the combat round. If its crew does successfully grapple, they can begin to board on the next combat round’s movement phase.


Grappling and Boarding


Ships’ crews attempt to grapple at a distance of 50’ or less. If both ships’ crews want to grapple, grappling is automatically successful. Both crews throw out their grappling lines, both sets of lines connect, and the ships are drawn together. If only one ship’s crew wants to grapple, roll 1d6 every round; a result of 1-2 indicates success while a 3-6 means that the other crew successfully cuts and casts the grappling lines free.


After the ships are grappled, the boarding battle is fought just like any other large hand-to-hand combat. Characters boarding an enemy vessel have a penalty of +2 on armor class and -2 on all attack rolls during the combat round they board; the difficulty of climbing over two sets of ship’s rails and finding footing on an enemy deck puts them at risk. The battle continues until the crew of one ship surrenders or dies.


Damage to Ships


A ship’s ability to remain afloat after taking water or damage is measured by a number called hull points. Hull points for a ship are very similar to hit points for a character; when a ship reaches zero or fewer hull points, it will sink in 1d10 rounds (RC 71).


Each 10% of hull damage reduces the ship’s speed by 10%, until the ship is repaired in port. Each 10% loss of rowers reduces a ship’s rowed speed by 10% also. When the ship has suffered 75% of its hull points in damage, the ship is dead in the water; it cannot move until at least makeshift repairs are made. When the ship has taken all its hull points in damage, it sinks, and repairs are no longer possible (RC 115).


If a ship is reduced to zero or fewer hull points, it can no longer move under its own power or attack with ship-mounted weapons. The DM can decide whether any onboard catapults are then destroyed ( he can choose to roll 1d6, with a 1-4 indicating that the weapon is wrecked); the crew may use personal weapons normally (RC 71).




A ship’s crew may repair up to half the damage the ship has taken. Five or more crewmen must be assigned to repair duty for repairs to be effective. A repair crew can repair one point of hull damage per full turn of work. These repairs are makeshift and will fall apart in 6d6 days; for permanent repairs, and to get the remaining hull points repaired, the crew must get the ship to a port.


Repairs and attempts to put out fires take place after the ship sustains its damage for the turn. Repair and fire crews cannot fight or do anything else while performing these tasks (RC 115).


Permanently repairing damage requires 1/3 day in dock and 150 gold pieces per hull point of damage being repaired. A carpenter needs to be on hand to supervise repairs. If the ship has sustained a loss of more than 50% of its hull points, a shipbuilder or an engineer will also need to also be employed in order to affect repairs (GAZ4 35).



*I apologize if the section on Maneuvering Factor is confusing. I will admit it could be more elegant, but I wanted to keep as much of the original language intact as possible. The CoM was a set of rules designed to work with flying vessels. I have adapted these rules to work with aquatic vessels.



Gazetteer #. Series of books describing the countries of the KW (OD&D).


Rules Cyclopedia. Compilation of the old rules, with Mystara extension (OD&D).


Champions of Mystara. Campaign extension describing the area between the KW and the SC, and skyships (OD&D).

<Theres 3 dragons slain - Slay a dragon>

Thursday, January 15th, 2009
2:58 pm - Wil Wheaton: Keeping The Borderlands Alive


Uber geek Wil Wheaton writes:

Last week, I spent an entire day playing Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition with some of my friends. Big whoop, you say. So did I. Ah, but I played in Seattle. With Gabe and Tycho from Penny-Arcade. And Scott Kurtz from PVP. And, to really twist the +3 dagger in your back, our DM was Chris Perkins from Wizards of the Coast, who made an adventure specifically for us to play. For the crushed peanuts and maraschino cherry topping on this sundae of HAWESOME, I got to play a class from the unreleased Player's Handbook 2. We recorded the entire session for a podcast, which will be released early next year.

For a full account of his D&D Fourth Edition adventures click HERE.

<Slay a dragon>

Saturday, November 29th, 2008
9:20 am - Diary Entry #245 - August of 1988

Sadly, a very real event, to the best of my recollection. Me, Eric, Roger, and Carl, after another night getting kicked out of Denny's for ordering coffee, smoking, and being obnoxious. We're back at Roger's apartment, getting ready to run a caffeinated marathon until morning.

Eric and Roger are seasoned players. They're also closer friends of mine, and we've known each other since high school. Their characters have survived a number of campaigns. Somehow, the NPCs I've taken with them have not. It is an affirmation for me that I should stick with being a Dungeon Master, as I've done (at this point in our story) for seven years. Strangely enough, each one of those NPCs had water-related deaths; a drowning, a sea-monster battle, a spell, and a pit trap. I affirm I should learn how to swim, in case this is a sign.

Carl has never played.
Carl smoked at least half of my pack at Denny's an hour ago.
Carl is currently thumbing through the Monster Manual to choose a character to play.
Carl is a douche.

Carl (pointing to Brass Dragon): Can I be this?
Me: No.
Carl (pointing to Succubus): Can I be this? But, you know, like a guy version?
Me: No. See, you're going to be an adventuring group - you'll be working together as a travelling.......team.
(I don't use the word party, because I know Carl will think I'm talking about beer and loud music)

Skip ahead: Carl chooses to be a magic-user.
Remember that.

Me: Okay, so you're all set here. All you need now is a name.
Carl: Merlin.
Me: Merlin?
Carl: Yeah, Merlin. He was a wizard.
Me: Yeah, I know, but...
(Carl looks at me with a blank expression)
Me: But there's already a Merlin in town somewhere.
(Eric and Roger are transfixed, having stopped browsing equipment lists)
Carl: Okay. Um...
Me: If you want, you can just think on a name for few minutes while...
Carl: Conan.
Me: Conan?
Carl: Conan.
Me: Conan The Magic-User?
Carl: Well, is there a Conan in town?
Me: Well, see...
(I look to the guys for support)
Me: If you play a guy named Conan, all we'll be able to think about is Arnold, you know?
(Carl looks around the room. Like those characters you see in movies who need to come up with a name and pull something together from reading a label or the title of a book. He stops short and confidently looks at me.)
Carl: Marlboro.

And that, Your Honor, is when we all decided the Magic User had to die.

<Theres 1 dragon slain - Slay a dragon>

Thursday, November 27th, 2008
8:54 am - Crayons And Dice

Anyone old enough to remember dice crayons?

When I bought my first set (the red box before the red box), it came with a set of engraved orange dice and a black stick of wax. You rubbed it all over the dice, wiped off the residue with a paper towel or whatever you had around you in math class, and voila! - you had dice you could read by candlelight. Man, I loved those dice. Wish I'd kept them.

Of course, there are lots prettier dice now. I've used one set for the last twenty years or so. Occasionally, I pick up new ones, but I usually wind up giving them away to new players. Still wish I'd held onto all that old stuff, though.

Just feeling especially nostalgic.

<Theres 2 dragons slain - Slay a dragon>

8:21 am - Hi. Everyone get sucked into a vortex?

Wow. Looks like participation is sort of light here lately, but I figured I'd join anyway, and see what happens.

Introduction time, I guess. I've played the game since 1981, buying my first set from the neighborhood pharmacy for a whopping total of eight bucks. And I've been almost exclusively a Dungeon Master ever since. I think I've participated in only two games as a player. I still think OD&D and 1st Edition are the best rules sets, and I won't go into my reasons again, since I just wrote a blog about it.

Anyway, I just wanted to say Hi to like minds. Have a great week.

-Old School DM

<Theres 6 dragons slain - Slay a dragon>

Monday, September 22nd, 2008
2:01 pm - Finding the rulebooks

Hello all.

I've tried everything I can think of to get the OD&D rulebooks. I have the Basic and Expert sets, but the other three can not be easily bought off of ebay, and if they are there, they're very expensive. I'm sure I saw PDF's for download on the Wizards of the Coast web site but I can't find them now.

I'd prefer to do it legally but frankly, this long after printing finished, getting an illegal scan isn't going to hurt anyone and may be my only option. But before I go that far, can anyone find a more legit source?

<Theres 3 dragons slain - Slay a dragon>

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
4:31 pm - Anyone interested in playing OD&D on this journal?

Here is how it works. I post an encounter and everyone responds. I will post the new modified encounter every week or so. I will do all the rolling.

Character creation: 60 points to arrange as you like. Post your character sats to this post if you are interested.

We will use the Holmes companion rules listed below.

The Holmes Companion OD&D
Read more...Collapse )

<Slay a dragon>

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008


To anyone and everyone who was at Dreamation 2008, my car, a blue Saturn SL1 was broken into and robbed. If you saw anything please let me know. I am hoping to be able to recover the laptop, pretty much above all other things missing.
This occurred in Iselin, NJ at the Woodbridge Hilton.
Here's a list of what was taken:

My Gateway laptop with power cable
Portable Hard Drive
6x8 Intuos2 WACOM tablet with pen
microsoft optical mouse
512mb SD card
Black Attache
spare Motorola battery
19" LCD Envision Monitor

Garmin C330 GPS system w/ mounts & powersupply
DOOM Boardgame and expansion

Brown Travel Bag
Clothing (several pairs of jeans, t-shirts) Cybergen T-shirt, I-Con T-shirt
My signed copies of Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk v.3, spare copy of Cyberpunk V.3, Edgerunners Inc.
D&D Players Handbook v3.5, DM's guide, Monster Manual 1

Mandy's Red Travel Bag
Hair Products
Phone charger

I'm offering a 2000$ reward for the return of all goods stolen, especially the computer and external hard drive with data.

<Slay a dragon>

Friday, March 2nd, 2007
11:05 am - A bit of a pot boiler

Having put the whole WoD conversion on the back boiler for a while, I'm working instead at developing a setting instead. One of the core concepts is the classical elements as conceived by Aristotle: fire, air, earth, water, and aether. This isn't a concept new to D&D of course, but I'm planning on using it a little bit differently, and making it a bit more integral to the setting.

(note that this chart actually has them sideways and inverted, Air is associated with the north, Fire with the east, and so-on).

What I'm thinking about right now is dragons. The universe itself is very young, only about a thousand years old, and comprised entirely of one landmass about the size of Europe. So there's the original six dragons, one of each colour, who are basically demigods. Their offspring are mostly quite young, regular dragons. I'm considering linking the dragons to the four qualities of the elements rather than the elements themselves. Red with heat, white with cold, black with wet and blue with dry. The gold dragon would be very Asian and so born of the aether/heavens. This just leaves poor old green with no home. I'm considering making green the very first offspring of the dragons, and the first to be tied entirely to the material world, but I'm not sure. And yes I'm aware that blue is kind of shoehorned in there, but they like the desert so that's good enough for me.

Another issue is the elemental spheres. The concept is that there are five spheres, one for each element. For unknown reasons, the sphere of aether started to pull the others into it, which gave form to all of them. When they started to overlap in the centre, the material world was born. The process is far from complete, and it's possible to walk into any of the elemental planes (though you'd die horribly before you actually reached the plane itself).

But I've realised that not only would the five spheres overlap in the centre, they all overlap eachother in varying combinations all around it, looking like a big lotus blossom. The problem comes in trying to figure out exactly what they all look like in three dimensions. It's beyond my ability to draw it two-dimensionally, it just ends up a mess of lines. I've had some success drawing all the little bits individually.

One interesting thing is that the sphere of aether is made up of two wedges, one above, and one below. You know, heaven and hell. I'm not big on duality, it's not a very realistic portrayal of the world, but I think a system like D&D is better for it. You have to have evil for all the orks and demons to be.

More as I develop it (I have very little spare time so its a slow development). I welcome any comments, advice, and constructive criticism.

<Theres 2 dragons slain - Slay a dragon>

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007
1:25 pm

First of all, hi everyone.

I love the original D&D system. But it has limitations. These limitations were not addressed with AD&D, in fact they were made worse. And the whole game became ever more complex and inflexible.

The main limitations of the game are the use of levels and the character classes. They're just too limiting. Though of course they add an interesting touch to the game that makes it fun, they do limit the role playing opportunities a bit. Good monsters quickly become ineffectual as the characters advance in level, the characters quickly become superhuman compared to NPCs, and too bad if you want to have a jack of all trades character or somebody who doesn't quite fit the mold.

A little while ago I started converting the game to the World of Darkness system. The system is one of the best I've used, it is easy to understand and very quick to use. It also lends itself well to any setting. What I was hoping for was to capture the fun and adventure of the original D&D setting, with the freedom of the WoD system. What I'd found was that the two almost seem made for each other. I barely had to think about how do fit things in, and no shoehorning was required. Then I lost all the files on my computer.

But here's the gist. I did away with character classes and instead made it very expensive to make a magic user character. If you want your character to be able to cast any but the most basic spells, you'd have to make him too weak to swing a big sword and too unskilled to hit anything with it anyway. Spells are fuelled by a mana pool that must be purchased to increase in size. Each spell uses so much mana, which can only be replenished through meditation and studying your grimoire. To actually cast spells you'd have to purchase the magic user ablity, which would be the same as Disciplines/whatever. The more points you have in it, the higher level of spell you can cast. Then you'd have to pay experience points to buy each actual spell the character learns. Clerics would work in a similar way. You can see how, with all these expensive things to buy, a magic user isn't likely to build up his strength or buy melee skills. Self-limitation, in a way.

Likewise, there would be "disciplines" useful for fighters, such as Feats of Strength, Feats of Speed, and Feats of Accuracy, which would improve the character's chances in a fight. And there would be similar provisions for a thief.

Demihumans would be limited as to which of these "disciplines" they can buy. But humans would have free access to any of them. The trick is, again, to be really good at anything, you'd have to focus on one set of skills. Or maybe two.

The morality table makes a good substitute for alignment, though of course you'd have to rearrange it slightly to cope with the realities of a fantasy setting, what with all the killing and stuff that goes on. Much harsher penalties would apply to demihumans as their morality drops, to reflect the limitation of alignment in the original system.

What you could also do is open up playable creatures to pretty much anything (though the DM would probably want to nix anything not roughly human sized and shaped).

So what do you think? Sacrilege? Pointless meddling? Or hybrid vigour that might just make for a great game?

<Theres 8 dragons slain - Slay a dragon>

Friday, January 12th, 2007
3:51 am - Need Help With My Book:

Need some help with the book I'm writing.

I need people who are experienced at building 3D terrain to help write a section about it.

If anyone is interested, please contact me.
It is not a paying gig, but you will be given a credit in the book.
Feel free to pass this along on any communities, journals, or otherwise that may be interested.


<Theres 2 dragons slain - Slay a dragon>

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006
7:36 am - New Community I created:

Hey all!

I created a new community for gamemasters to round table ideas, discuss problems and converse about various topics. COme check it out at: http://community.livejournal.com/gm_2_gm/ I really hope you enjoy it!

<Slay a dragon>

Thursday, December 29th, 2005
11:10 am - D&D Lot for sale:

Hey guys, I'm selling off a HUGE ASS LOT of D&D books. The lot includes:

* Hardcovers
o Arms and Equipment Guide
o Book of Vile Darkness
o Complete Arcane
o Complete Divine
o Complete Warrior
o Draconomicon
o Fiend Folio
o Frostburn
o Libris Mortis
o Races of Destiny
o Savage Species
o Legends and Lairs: Traps and Trechery
o Unearthed Arcana
* Softcovers
o Book of Challenges
o Defenders of the Faith
o Magic of Faerun (Forgotten Realms supplement)
o Masters of the Wild
o Song and Silence
o Tome and Blood
* Miscellaneous
o D&D GM Screen 3.5 Edition
o Modern d20 Screen
o Dragonlance GM Screen Companion
* Magazines
o Dragon Magazine issues 315, 320, 322, 323, and 324
o Dungeon Magazine issues 107 and 116

To bid on it, follow this link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8743185795&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&rd=1

<Slay a dragon>

Friday, November 18th, 2005
6:55 pm - I Do Healing Different

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<Slay a dragon>

Monday, August 29th, 2005
11:37 pm
kitznegari Wizards of the Coast will sponsor after-school D&D programs in public libaries!

from article: The Afternoon Adventure with DUNGEONS & DRAGONS program will include everything librarians need to start regular gaming programs in their library with the original pen-and-paper roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D for short). Players assume the persona of fantasy characters and pursue magical adventures, confronting and solving problems using strategic thinking and teamwork. For three decades, D&D has appealed to an ever-increasing population of fans for its use of imagination and storytelling over competition. This free program will include a Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game (a $24.99 value), instructions for starting a D&D group in the library, a guide to using D&D as an introduction to library use, recommended reading lists, and other practical resources.

more here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/library

i am very excited about this :) i even saw on wilwheaton.net that he wants to get involved and to do a one-shot with a group.

<Slay a dragon>

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