Saturday, June 10, 2017

Markets of the Ethonggobees

The Ethonnggobee Matriarchy is keeping an isolationist policy and is wary of those involved in external struggles.  Prices are based on the worst standing between locals and the colonial forces. Goods originating from a market you do not have access two are double the price.  If a market is destroyed, its goods will persist for ?d6 weeks.

Combat Equipment

5 silver
Large, piercing, pole weapon.
From: Devil's Mountain

Throwing Blade

10 Silver
Small, slashing, exotic, throwing, versatile
From: Devil's Mountain

Silver Tumi

100 silver
availability: ?d4
Small, slashing, exotic
From: The Citadel of the Empress and Devil's Mountain


5 silver
Medium, missile, piercing, armour piercing
From: The Citadel of the Empress

Guard helm

15 silver
From: The Citadel of the Empress

Elite Mask
120 silver
?d4 weeks
Turns a guard helm into a full helm with Ornamental tag.
From: The Citadel of the Empress

Leather Plated Shield

3 silver
Medium Shield.
From: The Outer Village

Royal Mail

150 silver
?d4 weeks
Mail armour.
From: The Citadel of the Empress

Long Bow

30 silver (arrows for 1 silver each)
Large, Piercing, Missile weapon.
From: The Outer Village

War Blade

8 silver
Medium, slashing, exotic
From: The Citadel of the Empress

Cotton Armour

3 silver
Partial Bulky Light Armour
From: The Outer Village


Basket of Peanuts

30 copper
4 dots for 12 days
From: The Outer Village

Pemmican Brick

10 silver
1 dots for 4 days
From: The Outer Village

Coffee Pouch

5 copper
1 dots for 10 days (no food value)
From: The Citadel of the Empress

Monday, May 22, 2017

Veins of the Earth

So Patrick Stuart (who wrote Deep Carbon Observatory) and Scrap Princess (Who did art for the Gem Prison of Zardax) have joined forces once again and produced a LotFP book.

Its a good book, its the big black book that will be a major LotFP flagship for awhile.  As big fans of both of them, it took some effort not to promote their work immediately and join the din (Its a good book from a company with high production values so go for it though),  but I wanted to wait 6 weeks or so for the initial rush to die down and target a different group than those who love Scrap and Patrick's unique styles of art and writing (they collaborate frequently),  to reach out to those who don't run games in their style.

You should really read their work BECAUSE it goes against the grain of your game.

A little background of my own involvement with those two.

I used to game with Scrap pretty frequently in the early days of ConstantCon,  we were both mainly in Reynaldo Madrinan's game.  This was great because Reynaldo didn't run a setting like any Scrap or I would create,  it added a real sense of wonder towards figuring it out and interacting with it.  He's also coming out with an RPG  called Break!! soon, I should also encourage you to look into that. In one post-game conversation Scrap and I mused about how opposite our aesthetics were.  A magic sword she placed in a game might be living crystal that is obviously magic.  I would put a wicker bassinet that had obviously magical effects.  A different style.  This means that I rarely end up writing something which her art would suit (and why I like the Gem Prison so much, it was a good excuse for me to collaborate with Scrap).

Later I was reading Patrick's blog and loved his description of the Cave Giant. His blog was not full of things I would naturally add to my own games. He hadn't put out any adventures, and I thought that was a shame, because I knew he would write an adventure that would never naturally fit into my campaigns and that is a great thing.  So I put my meager money where my mouth was and commissioned him and scrap to write an adventure and put art to it, my main request being that it include the cave giant he had written up.  Note this wasn't me paying him to write one for me, it was still going to be their adventure, I just wanted to see him write one and scrap add art to it.  I also helped get Alex to provide some basic layout for it as my wallet allowed, but I was otherwise hands off.  I didn't want Patrick to write an adventure that I would want, I wanted him to write an adventure the way he wanted knowing it wouldn't fit in my campaigns.

Then I forced it into a game I ran.

It didn't fit, I had to spend like 3 hours trying to find internally consistent ways to link his work into my own world, creating new content out of thin air to make the the two great tastes of BBQ Pulled Pork and Caramel Sundae go together. It is a great mental exercise to get the creative juices flowing. That in and of itself is valuable,  but that isn't the end goal. I could use a random generator to get the same effect as that if a little less detailed.

Where it really pays off is with the players.  If you GM with people for awhile they get to expect your natural inclinations for how adventures are structured.  How likely are statues to come alive, how likely are those skeletons on the walls to be undead, how are traps and puzzles likely to work.  When you can smoothly bridge into another GM's adventure that follows a radically different style it helps add back in a sense of wonder.  This is unfamiliar territory, this is something the players don't expect and it ratchets up tension and stress.

This works especially well for transition areas.  If you GM mostly land based games find some other writer with very different styles and use their methods of ocean travel.  When a party of landlubbers foray into an ocean adventure it will put that unease of "you are not from here" into the players hearts. It will seem unfamiliar on an instinctual level.

This is what makes Veins of the Earth so useful.  It makes the players aware that they are going somewhere alien, unfamiliar, and uncomfortable when they go deep, deep, under the earth. Keep using TSR rules and ideas when they are on or near the surface,  but if they ever venture deep below the surface, make sure they know that standard rules don't apply.

Get Veins of the Earth here

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Slums of New Tortuga - The land of Xan Than Du

Ships Available:

Cost: 2000 silver.
Availability:  Constant
Seaworthiness: 2
Capacity: 500 dots

Cost: 15000 silver.
Availability:  ?d4 weeks
Seaworthiness: 4
Capacity: 2000 dots

Cost: 50000 silver.
Availability:  1
Seaworthiness: 6
Capacity: 20000 dots

Combat Equipment

10 silver  
medium, slashing, defensive

Ducksfoot Pistol

40 silver
Small, devastating, armour piercing, complicated, loud, burst

50 silver  
medium, armour piercing, complicated, loud, burst


10 silver.  Used as a power level 3 "blast" spell when thrown and lit. Goes off in ?d2 rounds.

Swivel Gun

750 silver.


2500 silver.  ?d4 weeks.

Sword of "Genies"

Limit 1.  1500 silver. Rumoured to be haunted.

Matchlocks and Pistols may also be purchased for the same prices as in Guam-Yaiv (though using Pirate Standing)


Barrel o' Grog

4 dots. 4 silver. 12 days worth.

Bottle of Rum

10 silver. 1 dot.  Can be used by any character while at sea (regardless of origin).

Fresh fish

2 copper a day, 1 dot.

Box of Hard Tack

1 silver for 3 days. 1 dot.


Sassy Parrot

100 silver

"Trained" Monkey

50 silver


20 silver.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The road diverged... Two expeditions in Xan Than Du

The two rival expeditions took two sharply different turns.

The online group agreed to escort a group of French and English catholic settlers across Kuvo territory to set up a new town.  The two leaders of the settlers were Victor (who was French) and Michael (who was from London).  They had the usual difficulties leading a trail of covered wagons, a crocodile ambush when their scouts went across a river,  swarms of bugs, that sort of thing.  They did encounter a Kuvo charioteer scouting but just tried to avoid it.

Things began to go south.  Shortly after they encountered a light war party of Kuvo youths who began to threaten their passage with what locals consider a wardance.

Using a combination of warning shots and theatrics they managed to scare off the war party.. who carefully continued to follow them just out of gunfire range.

Then truly terrible luck befell them, which was amazing luck for me as a GM to figure out what the hell would occur.  One of the reasons I love seed tables is I have no idea how they will turn out.

The party encountered Haille the Storm Queen, a Kuvo Demi-Goddess.

A pun related problem is that Michael from London and Victor the French were Michael Landon and Victor French in a combination Little House on the Prairie/Highway to Heaven reference that is the exact type of stupid I like.   Michael was (unbeknownst to the party) an angel roaming the lands of Xan Than Du.  So he grabbed a hand plow from the back of one wagon and transformed it into a flaming sword.   Cue mass combat between The Storm Queen and her bodyguards (being backed by the previously encountered war party who reinforced them)  and the Party and an Angel swinging a flaming sword.

The end result was the storm queen was killed by a PC bullet,  and with various daring do the party was (barring a few crippling injuries) able to escape with the settlers.  Poor Michael was disabled protecting a PC and had been dragged off by the Kuvo victors,  being taken to the "House of the Conquered Gods" deep in Kuvo territory.

The other party went the opposite route and got involved in local politics.  They ended up picking a side between two feuding monasteries who wage a constant battle of philosophy and morality with a yearly martial arts duel. The party warrior diligently trained to assist in this tournament and then during the beginning of the tournament reminded them that he was a former British soldier and simply began shooting all of the opposing martial artists while the party thief was clandestinely robbing their own friendly monastery to plunder it of treasure.  All in the name of the Queen of course.

The road diverged, but it ended back up in the same place.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Roots of Bitterness, a new adventure for NGR or OSR roleplaying games

So I am part of a boardgame kickstarter (Pioneers of Mars) , and its going to fund but I want to get more backers as they are a bit fewer than I would like...

To that end I going to do a very limited release of a small adventure titled "The Roots of Bitterness".  Its 20 pages of OSR/NGR goodness (as most of my releases) with art by Chris Huth.

 Please put $5 in the bucket

I will not be releasing this PDF through Drive-Thru RPG.  The only way you will get a copy beyond future piracy is to back the kickstarter and send me an email.

There is a five canuck dollar backer level(~$3.75 US), so I hope to see those backer numbers rise.
(and yes, if you already backed you get a copy, just send me an email)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Expedition to Xan Than Du: Bartering with the Kuvo Empire

Continuing with the expedition to Xan Than Du, the online group set out into the unknown to explore a pass through the northern mountains.  They wandered through the badlands, meandering through gulleys and avoiding  tumbleweeds. At one point they were attacked when some form of "reptilian ape" with hypnotic eyes attempted to drag off one of their expedition at night, but a solid round from a brown bess (and some repeated bayoneting) allowed them to overcome it.  They wandered south into the savanna encountered hardships,  contracting a  terrible fever from flies and nearly being trampled by a herd of stampeding water buffalo.

Bedgraggled they stumbled upon a village/war camp of the Expansionist Kuvo Empire.   Their Interpreter managed to score access to the village through a combination of grovelling, warning of curses, and bribery with trade guns.  They now have access to the following market (prices are assumed to represent trading powder and trade guns between games, in game they only accept firearms and hard liquor):

Kuvo Stockpiles   

Combat Gear

Hide Shield

1 silver.  Large, Light Shield.


2 copper. Medium, Blunt.

Simple Sling

5 copper.  Small, Blunt, Simple, Missile weapon.

Lion Claw Noble's Sword

100 silver, Medium, slashing, vicious, versatile. ?d12 weeks.

Lion Pelt Noble's Armour

250 silver.  Partial Ceremonial Light Armour and Matching Leather Cap. ?d12 weeks.



50 silver. ?d4 weeks


Sack of Popped Popcorn

6 dots. 3 copper for 10 days.


Trained War Quagga

80 silver.  Will not allow being ridden.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Pioneers of Mars Kickstarter is now live

Thank you for your support!

For the last two years and change I have been working on a boardgame and found a company to help produce it.   All the art is completed and I have a working prototype in arms reach as I type this.  But to get bulk pricing it has been put on Kickstarter to try and gain the help of backers.

I've mentioned Pioneers of Mars before so I won't bore you with repetition,   but if you are a fan of any of my work I would really appreciate your support in bringing this boardgame to life.

Thank you,

Click HERE