Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wastelands Map Handout on Leather

Here is another map I've drawn .. this one done with an ultra fine point sharpie on a piece of leather.

Like many folks, I've always been a fan of cool handouts for RPGs. Items that are evocative of the setting and/or genre of the game. In this case, I thought it would be a nice tactile handout for the game. A bit more interesting for the players than giving them a piece of paper.

The PCs in my Wastelands of Kreth campaign do not possess a map of the Wastelands. They will soon. At least a photo anyway...

Unfortunately, in terms of using the leather map handout, our current campaign is played via Hangouts. So the players will have to wait a while until we all get together to actually get the tactile experience! lol :-)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Map: Golden Eye of the Kobold King

This is my first attempt at an "inked" map. It is from an adventure I ran many years ago called the Golden Eye of the Kobold King. I dug out my old pencil sketch map and decided to give a go with pens. I must admit, I cheated a bit, and sketched the cavern and chamber outlines in pencil first. The thought of putting a pen to a blank page was too terrifying!

I'll be posting more maps in the future as I work to try and develop a more unique style. I'm thinking some maps will be "colorized" (likely using pencils) and others black and white, but I'll work that out as I go. Hope you enjoy!

The Golden Eye is a cursed magic item possessed by the Greebok the Kobold King. The PC who slays Greebok must make a save vs Spells or become enamored by it. So much so that the PC removes it from Greebok's head, then plucks out one of his own eyes and replaces it with the magic Golden Eye. Any beneficial effects are left to the referee's discretion. :-)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Special Talents for White Star

I have been reading through James Spahn's excellent space opera RPG White Star this week and the notion of special talents struck me. Characters in the space opera genre (and many other genres, really) often seem to have special abilities, talents or unique things about them that set them apart.

I have used these types of "special talents" before in B/X games, so I looked up some old files and re-tooled them with a hydrospanner for use with White Star.

Presenting below, a quick list of special talents for PCs...

SPECIAL TALENTS
Special talents are unique traits possessed by PCs or notable NPCs. Special talents may be inherent or genetic traits, mystical powers, mutations from being exposed to weird radiation, benefits or knowledge gained from a background or upbringing, or simply well-practiced skills—whatever explanation works for the referee. Numerous special talents are presented below, some provide minor statistical benefits and others are general or knowledge-based traits.



GENERATING SPECIAL TALENTS

PCs gain one special talent roll at 1st level.



SPECIAL TALENTS TABLE

Roll d8   Special Talent
1             Dirty Fighter
2             Gizmo Sense
3             Linguist
4             Lucky
5             Mentalist
6             Quick Healer
7             Servant
8             Starbrat



Dirty Fighter: You know how to piss off your foes. Each combat round you may designate one opponent that you have already damaged. If that opponent attacks anyone other than you, he suffers a -1 penalty to his attack roll.

Gizmo Sense: You have a 10% chance per level (max 90% at 9th level) to identify the general purpose and function of any “magical,” ancient, pan-dimensional, or otherwise bizarre technological device. You can try this once per day.

Linguist: You possess a natural gift with languages. Regardless of your Intelligence score, you know two additional languages.

Lucky: You have the favor of the cosmos, are fated to do great deeds, or are just plain lucky. Once per day you can invoke your luck and roll two dice for any single die roll and take the better of the two results. You can decide before or after you’ve made the first die roll.

Mentalist: You are a mentalist. You possess a mysterious gift, as hard to command as a dream, which enables you to sense echoes of the past. Once per day, you can invoke a vision tied to the immediate area in which you are standing. A vision augments your rational senses, providing you with information about events and people at that location during the past. The vision lasts for one minute or until you leave the immediate area.

Quick Healer: You heal quickly from injury. You naturally heal 1d4 plus your Constitution modifier in hit points for a complete day of rest.

Servant: You have a butler, handmaiden, apprentice, servant android or some other assistant appropriate to your class and social standing. You may call upon your servant to perform any tasks or duties he is trained for. Your servant is not an adventurer (i.e. doesn’t possess a class) and will not fight for you, but he does know some useful skills appropriate to his training. You are required to provide and pay for your servant. At the referee’s discretion, your servant is not replaceable. If he is killed, you cannot call upon another servant until you perform a particular task or make an appropriate payment.

Starbrat: You grew up in starports and aboard starships. You know your way around them (including the service corridors and crawlspaces) and won’t get lost, no matter their size. You also know where to find interesting or black market items and people who don’t usually want to be found.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

DM Session Log Sheet for 5e D&D

Today's post offers up a DM's session log sheet with a master monster matrix tailored for 5e D&D games.

Basically, this 2-page sheet helps me handle 3 critical things during a game session:

1) It allows me to see important player character stats at a glance and track damage/conditions/etc.
2) I can jot down notes on encounters the PCs have, treasures they find, and track their accumulated expees.
3) It gives me a place to write out monster stats so I don't have to flip through a book unless absolutely necessary.

Enjoy, I hope you find it useful!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Wow my DM's Seat sure has Changed!

It's got screens now. WTF?!?

Yes, the Wastelands Campaign has gone online. My players and I all live in different places now, so we've had to switch up how we meet to play.

My DM's Seat
I ran my first online session in the Wastelands campaign using Google Hangouts tonight. Weird. Not used to this kind of "tabletop" gaming yet. I was pretty well prepped as far as notes and setting up my desk for use goes (I think!) but without a virtual tabletop or combat maps, I felt kinda lost at some points. I'll get used to it, I'm sure, as will my players.

We just haven't had "theater of the mind" combats in a very long time, and it showed. I think next time I'll at least have some chamber or combat maps drawn and ready to post for reference, if the players or I need them.

Overall it went pretty smoothly though, and we're looking forward to the next session during the week.

If you good readers have any tips or recommendations for running games over Google Hangouts, I'd love to read them. Cheers!