Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Little Fears - Hand me downs

This is a collection of hand me downs I made for Little Fears some years ago.  This is before Nightmare Edition.... long before actually.  So the writing may be a bit rough around the edges as I'm just copy pasting from an old file.  Hope somebody gets a bit of use out of these.

The Old Remote

This is an old remote for a no longer used television or other electrical appliance. With the power of a child’s belief behind it this old button box becomes a very useful tool. When used it can operate nearly any electrical device that is within site. Garage doors, televisions, alarms, cars, etc. So when you absolutely need to wake up everyone in the neighborhood you simply aim it out the window at the nearest car and set off the alarm. Maybe open the garage door a bit so you can slide under it in order to get away from a nasty beastie that is right on your tail. Even set off the television to act as a distraction or to hide the noise of your own movement. The possibilities are endless.

Toy Phones

Nice plastic phones with a bit of rope that connects to the base. Four little wheels on the bottom so it can be drug around and a rotary dial that doesn’t do a return spin. These things can be a godsend when it comes to calling in some help or warning others.
First you need to identify you phone by giving it a number. This is done by taking a crayon of your favorite color and writing it on the bottom. Now when anybody else with a Toy Phone that also has a number dials up yours they connect to each other. It’s time to give Jerry across the street a ring and let him know that there is something on his roof looking in his window.

Grandpa’s Coffee Cup

Grandpa was the greatest person you have ever known. He was always there for you when you needed him. He always had a few quarters in his pocket ‘tucked away for a special day’ when the ice cream truck came along. Every morning he would get up and drink a few cups of coffee and then you and he would be off. That morning cup would always get him going. Now that he’s gone that cup is still setting there on the shelf waiting to be used.
If it got grandpa going then it should get you going also, or at least reinvigorate you when things have gotten a little rough. Drinking out of the cup restores a level of health and can be used once in the morning, afternoon and evening. Also if drank from when you are first waking up it clears your head and gives you a boost of energy (+1 to all your die rolls).

Dad’s Pocket Knife

You remember back before your Dad went away. He used to spend every moment he could with you. He always carried one thing with him everywhere he went. His pocketknife. It always seemed to come in handy every time you turned around. Cutting fishing line, carving your name in a tree and other such things. When he was no longer there you found his knife tucked in a drawer in your Mom’s room, it never leaves you wherever you go anymore.
This allows you to cut through anything you need to. It’ll slice a door open, tear the skin of that thing that sticks it’s arms out from under your bed and even cut that metal barb wire that raises up out of the backyard from time to time.

Witch's Mirror

An old metal handled mirror. The handle and back is of ornate design containing all sorts of symbols such as pentagrams, stars, moons and such. Well over a foot long and never seems to get dirty. The mirror surface is circle shaped.
Anything a child sees in the mirror is shown in its true form. Thus illusions and other deceptions are useless. Any human possessed by a King shows up with that Kings features mixed with their own.

Rumors abound among those who have seen this item, or ones similar, that it is also linked to the mirrors possessed by the King of Pride but the truth is unknown.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tabletop RPG Kickstarters - Things to do part three.

Okay todays bit of Kickstarter advice may seem like a bit of common sense to most.  But for some reason there are several cases of people running projects who cannot seem to fathom this simple idea.  It doesn't require a lot of effort even.

Give updates about your project ON KICKSTARTER! 

I don't know why some people think we want to keep track of what they are doing on the project by going to their Facebook page.  Or having to subscribe to a Twitter feed.  Or join a community.  Or whatever social network/forum/outdated social network they want to suddenly use.  Kickstarter has a place for you to give all your backers updates BUILT INTO THE DAMN PAGE. Every one of your backers have a login for Kickstarter or otherwise they couldn't have backed you in the first place.  Not everyone has an account at whatever social network you seem to think is so important.

Give us the updates where you pitched your product, right there on the project page. 

Now of course this is all based on the idea that you give us updates in the first place.  We all know there are some project managers who can't even grasp that.  So, I guess, first you should give us updates and then second put those updates on the 'updates' section of the project page.  That is why it's there you know.

Okay this one was a bit more of a rant than I'm used to.  Must have had a flashback to giving bad gamers advice on how to play in a group properly or something.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The passing of a gamer.

A local gamer has passed away.  From diagnosis of throat cancer to the time of his passing was three weeks. While I only met him a few times he always seemed like a nice guy.  Quiet and reserved most of the time he was brilliant at the gaming table according to those who played with him on a regular basis.  He will be missed greatly by those who knew him and those who didn't will have missed out.

This has also sent his family into some financial distress as one can imagine.  They have set up a fund to help pay for funeral costs if anyone would like to help. 

Chris Jennings may you rest in peace and may your family and friends find the strength to carry on.

The Go Fund Me page to help pay for funeral costs.

The Empty Chair - Eulogy for a gamer.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Liber Elixirium now available via POD

Liber Elixirium: The Essential Guide to Potions and Oils is not available for POD over at Drivethru and RPGNow.  So if the leather, gold gilded version with the silk bookmark isn't in your budget you have an alternative for a cheaper one. 

Find it at RPGNow here.
Find it at Drivethrurpg here.

Below are some shots of the POD version of the book that Vince uploaded in an update on the Kickstarter page earlier  Looks pretty good, not as good as the leather version I'm holding, but still pretty nice.


Also don't forget they are running a Kickstarter right now for the City of the Lich module. 

You can find that Kickstarter here.

That's all the blogging for this week.  See you next Monday.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kult Retroclone

Retrocloning when the setting nor the system are open for use.  I've seen several fans of Kult ask about somebody writing up a retroclone of the game over the years.  Well ever since people started the DnD clones oh so many years ago.  My answer as to why not is because with most of those are based of a system that can be pulled from the OGL for D20.  Nearly the entire 'guts' of the old system are there you just have to strip away everything added and work your way around what is missing.  Then most of them are just variations of that system and NOT of the old settings that DnD was known for.  It's all generic fantasy settings for the most part.

The system in Kult isn't under the OGL in any way shape or form.  Besides the system is not what made the game popular and loved among its fans.  It was always the setting, that particular bend of dark horror, with a twisted take on cosmology and how it alters the very reality around us.  That is what people were after, the rules were just a means to an ends.

Now Kult, lock stock and barrel, is owned by a company called Paradox.  This company produces nothing, it exists and earns income by licensing out intellectual properties that it owns.  Maybe you've heard of a few things that belong to them like: Mutant Chronicles, Mutant Year Zero, Chronopia and oh yes lets not forget they own a good chunk of Conan (enough to lawyer up against anybody who uses the name without permission).  They are dedicated to keeping these properties their own and don't like it when people infringe upon them.  Short story, they will take you to court over it really quick.  So a 'fan edition' of the game would probably end up with somebody getting sued.

The only way around this would be coming up with a new setting from the ground up.  One that has a same cosmological control over the world and the same end result on the reality around those hapless characters who live in it.  That would be the key challenge, capturing that same lightening in a bottle from a different storm.  After this is done a system could be bolted into it, preferably one with a decent way of handling sanity/mental balance as that was the only memorable part of the original.  Arguments could be made all day long for systems but that's neither here nor there.  That setting would have to be the core nugget of interest.

So this is why there is no Kult retroclone.  So please stop asking.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Six Pack - More modern magic items.

Time for another six pack.  Here are six modern day magic items, stats are given for use with the WaRP system.  Enjoy.

'Free Money' Card

What appears to be a blank credit card made of a gray plastic with just the magnetic strip showing on its surface. Most wouldn't think anything of it this but a curious one will try it out. When put into an ATM and any four numbers entered as PIN code it will cause two hundred dollars to be dispersed. Now this only works once per day, any extra attempts come up with an error reading the card. Another benefit the user is usually unaware of is all surveillance of the transaction is blurred out. Rendering any attempt to ID them from security camera footage an impossibility.

The Stop Watch

What appears to be a simple non-digital wrist watch with a leather strap. There is an extra button on each side that are unusual and seem to serve no purpose. However when one presses both in at the same time while staring at the watch it will cause time to freeze in the area around them. This will last as long as the wearer is looking at the watch face, one look away and it breaks. So they have to use peripheral vision to move around. The more complicated the movement the harder it is to not break eye contact. Only works once per month. Trying to use this at any other time simply cause no effect what so ever.

Reading Lamp

A rather old and decorative table lamp. Made of a dark heavy wood with inlaid carvings of what appear to be educated wise men reading books. Even the cord is decades old and most would think it unsafe. When somebody turns on the lamp and lays a book in the light it visually translates the text into the primary language of the reader. There seems to be no limit on how long you can keep it on nor how many time it can be used.

See Through Mirror

A small hand held mirror, about the size of those that come in compact make up kits. Kept in a felt lined leather pouch and the back of the mirror seems to be covered in the same felt material. If placed against a wall and the person holding it concentrates it allows them to see through the wall as if they were looking through a hole. There seems to be no limit on how long you can look through the mirror and can even slide it about on the wall moving the 'hole'.

These two pistols are known for being the reason why some people have survived incredible odds. Hurt, bleeding and facing the end they are suddenly able to wield these firearms better than ever before. They've been in the hands of everybody from staunch lawmen to criminals on the edge of society believing it's kill or be killed.

'Last Man Standing' pistol – Walther P .38

For every ten points of HP that are lost while the user had this pistol on them they gain a bonus die whenever firing.

'Bloody Defender' pistol – Colt M1911 .45

Activated when the users own blood is smeared onto the gun. After that they gain a bonus die on all actions for as long as the blood is wet and the gun is in their possession.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dig where you stand.

Over on G+ a Swedish larper by the name of Elin Dalstal of recently mentioned something in one of her posts that I really liked.

This is where the digging comes in. ”Dig where you stand!” is Swedish proverb. It means sort of ;”Start with your own community's knowledge and skills”, ”“Start with what you have skills for, with what you know!”, ”Take charge of the problem yourself” or ”Work with the local community”.

This struck me as something the RPG community could learn from.  Especially when it comes to local real life communities and not just the ones that have developed online.  Not to mention showing support for those who are already doing this.  Hell it's something that I need to do more often as well.

With the advent of the internet and it crawling into everything we do I've noticed the collapse of old fashioned local gaming communities.  While in no way am I saying doing things online is bad, I don't see going that direction as your only outlet a healthy way of doing things. The close knit feelings that used to develop among gamers seems to be fading out more and more.  Something that I feel needs to be fixed.

Even I'll admit to slowly pulling away from the locals and being more at the keyboard in the last few years.  Now I've managed to keep some ties nice and strong as well as helping promote the local game scene as best I can.  Pushing local game publishers online, attempting to bring a local game con back to the area, things like that.  But its not nearly as much as I used to do, and I miss that.

There needs to be an effort, a movement, to get gamers back out in the local communities.  After all that is where many of us started and its where we can still bring several more back into the fold.  Forming local communities, keeping in touch with each other and building a strong local base.  Revive small local cons again, use the online tools at our fingertips to create contact points for locals, promote each other and what they are good at.  Rebuild a strong base community from the ground up once again.

So what can you do to 'Dig where you stand' in your local community? 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Eoris Essence saved from the shredder

Back in 2010 a RPG called Eoris Essence was released.  It was two very nice looking hard cover books in a slip case.  The art was pretty damned high quality and the overall appearance of the books was jaw dropping.  A lot of work had gone into producing this game and you could see it dripping off of each page.

For some reason I had never heard of it until recently.  Apparently it got some talk when released but just didn't catch on.  From what I've heard there was a price tag of somewhere around a hundred bucks attached to it (no proof just what others have told me) and that would definitely keep a game from selling in the RPG market.

So on rpgnet the people who own the game made the following post:

"We are very sorry to inform that on February the 15th 2015 the remaining books of Eoris Essence will be destroyed. We simply do not have the resources to keep the books in storage anymore and have no alternate choice.

This is the last week to get a copy.

We love and appreciate those who followed us during these harsh years and apologise to those who could have gotten a book but will not be able to.


Daniel Torres "

The thread on rpgnet can be found here.

Of course I went and took a look at what they were talking about since this was the first I had ever heard of the game.  Just judging from what they have up on their site I was impressed.  Then I clicked over to Amazon and checked out the price and they had reduced it to 30 dollars.  So I picked up a copy.

Find the Eoris website here.

Find Eoris Essence on Amazon here.

Having received my copy I will say that this is a hefty pair of books.  Solid production with quality above and beyond just about anything else on the market.  A bit of fast reading gives me the impression that the base mechanics are a bit similar to early Storyteller from White Wolf except using D20's.  While the setting is really detailed and would probably take a good while to be absorbed.  That's my quick impression.

Evidently enough people went and bought books that the folks behind the game could rent the warehouse space from Amazon for another semester.  So I'm guessing they still have quite a few books on hand to sell.  So please go give a look to what they have up on their site and see if' it's something you would like to add to your collection.  If anything just the visual appearance of the book alone is something nice to have around.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Kickstarter: City of the Lich

Second Thought Games has their third Kickstart project up and live now.  It's about at the half way point time wise and is about 75% funded.  So lets hit up on some of the details that have been revealed.

Find the City of the Lich Kickstarter page here.

First off I asked about the map.  After looking at the provided link to the person who they have hired to create it and their samples I was impressed.  So I enquired if they were going to be doing a full poster sized map as was done with Ryubix Manor.  The answer was no, but they were going to do something better.

" City of the Lich will be printed in the style of the OSR modules of yore: The cover will not be attached to the manuscript, allowing the GM uninterrupted access to the City Map printed on the inside left cover. The inside right cover includes the Location Key, names of all Clans, Clan Elders, and Random City Encounter Tables. Stand it up and use it as a impromptu GM Screen! The map inside the cover will be in full color, while a b/w Player's Copy is included in the manuscript (without location key, of course) to be laid on the table. "

Ah sweet some old school goodness in the style.  Afterwards somebody asked if the image will be provided to backers so they could have it printed out poster sized if hey wanted.  Their answer, again, was one that we wanted to hear as backers.

"Sure! We'll provide a link to an .eps image of the City Map to all digital/physical backers at fulfillment. My wife (the technical half of STG) tells me an .eps image can be blown up without losing definition."

Second they have been providing images of some of the work being done by their artists. This has been shown in the updates section.  Allowing you to get a good idea with the over all 'look' the book is going for. 

Hopefully for a project with a low funded amount, that is already fully written and is from some folks who have a track record for getting their electronic rewards out on time and the physical rewards only slightly behind, they can get a full funding on this.  With only one stretch goal to reach as well, they should do well.

You can find their previous books available in pdf at the usual places.

Ryubix Manor at DrivethruRPG.
Ryubix Manor at RPGNow.

Liber Elixirium at DrivethruRPG.
Liber Elixirium at RPGNow.

You can also find them in print at the Second Thought website.

Ryubix Manor in print.
Liber Elixirium in print.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tabletop RPG Kickstarters - Things to do part two

For the second piece of advice for those wanting to start up their own RPG Kickstart project is a bit of what you want to do and what you DON'T want to do.  Let's talk about something that can make a project soar at the backing stage and then sink unbelievably at the delivery stage.  It's time to talk about stretch goals.

Everybody seems to like stretch goals.  It adds more in for the backer and it can create a much better product in the end.  But if you unfamiliar with the costs and expenses of doing some of these it can utterly ruin your budget.  There have been plenty of folks with stretch goals that include game screens, extra books, all sorts of swag and what not.  All these cost extra money, most will budget that out and figure up the numbers they need.  What many forget is that if you can't get all of these physical rewards done at the same time you may end up delaying and delaying shipping anything out until they arrive.  I mean if you try to send them out as you get them then you are doubling or even tripling your shipping costs PER BACKER. 

This can be especially bad if one of your stretch goals is another physical book being promised.  The weight can increase shipping costs.  Also if you didn't follow things to do part one with your stretch goal as well then your backers are going to have to wait for you to write it as well.  Not a good thing. 

Another thing many of us Kickstarter fans have seen is the swag stretch goals backfiring.  Again, could delay shipping, or the quoted costs you get could change over night.  Most companies that produce these aren't bound by their quoted estimate.  They can change things up if they feel the cost to produce a mold is more costly than they thought.  Those pins may have been a quote for a size you didn't want or even worse the quote could be for if you order over a certain amount.  An amount you may not even get close to needing.

What are some good goals for an RPG book?  Upgrading the actual material quality of the book.  Better binding, going hardback or even leather bound, better paper, things like this can make your product look and feel better when it hits the backers hands. 

Also if you insist on extra material, companion guides or what not then make them a non-physical reward.  A pdf that will be sent out when its completed and ready to go.  So you can ship the book when you get them in without having to worry about extra shipping costs.  Be sure to tell your backers a rough estimate of when they'll get them... give yourself plenty of time if you insist on breaking the 'write it first' rule. 

Now most of this advice is for small start up companies and the people publishing books out of their homes.  The bigger companies already know most of the costs in printing, shipping, etc from years of experience.  They also know how fast they can get extra material written using freelancers and have a game plan for using extra swag to sell or as a promotion at conventions... so they can order the big amounts. 

Part three coming ... eventually... sometime... someday.... (see why I don't do my own Kickstarter project).

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cyberpunk 2020 Valentines Sale

You have to love it when game companies run sales.  Right now over at Drivethrurpg R. Talsorian is having a Valentines sale on what are considered a few of the essential books for Cyberpunk 2020.

Included in this sale is the core rulebook of course, then the two combined Chromebooks and finally Blackhands Street Weapons.  For those who don't know they combined Chromebooks one and two into one volume and three and four into another volume.  So go get them while they are cheap.

Find them at Drivethrurpg here.
Find them at RPGNow here.

Now while they aren't on sale I would also recommend Night City (at six bucks it's a deal) and Listen Up You Primitive Screwheads (for only seven bucks).  Night City just being a great resource guide and just brimming with NPCs, locations and adventure hooks galore.  While Listen Up is a damn good GM's guide by just about any standard. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Essential Guide to Potions and Oils.

Second Thought games recently complete their second Kickstarter and delivered the pdf and print copies to their backers.  Liber Elixirium: The Essential Guide to Potions and Oils is now available to the general public (they like their backers to have it first). They have really gone out of their way to make this book as good as they could. 

The book is a made to resemble a text book for student potion makers.  Covering the necessary tools needed to do the work, information about the ingredients and plenty of potions and their recipes on how to brew them up.  There are no game system mechanics present as it's meant to be system neutral.

Here is the original Kickstarter for the book.

They did a lot right on their Kickstarter.  The book was written before they started, offered a nice preview, constant contact with backers and listened to their feedback, some of which changed the appearance of the book.  Also they went with sensible stretch goals in the form of upgrades to the printing quality of the book.  Then delivered the pdf on time and the print book was only a couple weeks late.  Which might as well be considered early when it comes to RPG projects.

It's available in pdf at the usual places.  Also the special edition leather bound version is available at their site.

Find it on Drivethrurpg here.
Find it on RPGNow here.
Find the print copy here.

They have also released some alternate potion affects and list showing the potions OGL equivalent on their site for free downloads.  Along with doing a video on how to 'age' your book to make it look worn and used.

Find the downloads here.
Watch the video on Youtube here.

Not to be setting on their haunches and enjoying the success of a Kickstarter they are working on more future releases.  The first is an adventure called "City of the Lich" which can be used as a follow up to their previous release "Ryubix Manor" or dropped into any existing campaign and is already up on Kickstarter.  Along with a companion book to go beside Liber Elixirium called: Liber Venificii: The Essential Guide to Poisons and Venoms. 

Find the City of Lich Kickstarter here.

Looking forward to seeing both of these products in the future.