Return of the Blue Baron

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I recently contributed a puzzle room to a collaborative Dungeon project, grab it here for free!

Also keep in mind that I have demonic stock art for sale here

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I recently git a chance to play some tabletop GURPS, in an Infinite Workds game, where I played a Technomancer.

Here is my character:

Milton was an employee of Necrotech, and had served as a handler for Z company during the war in Viet Nam. In 1987 he was involved in an experimental dimensional gate project that ended up opening a rift, a catastrophe  that eventually led to him being recruited by ITWAS.

 

Milton Collins

Attributes: 140 Adv: 135 Dis: -100 q:-5 Skills: 35 Spells: 45 Total: 250

ST: 11 [10] DX: 12 [40] IQ:14 [80] HT:11 [10]

HP: 11 [0] Per: 14*[0] Will: 14 [0] FP: 11 [0]

T/S: 1d-1/1d+1 BL:24 lbs

BS: 6.75 MV: 6 Dodge:10 brawl parry: 10 knife parry:10

Advantages: [135]

[50] Gadgeteer

[5] Gizmo

[25] Magery 2

[5] Resistant to Metabolic Hazards

[15] Unfazeable

[15] Combat Reflexes

[15] ISWAT law enforcement Powers

[1] good with undead

[1] Cultural Familiarity: Vietnamese

[3] Vietn3 spoken: Accented /written:broken

 

Disadvantages: [-100]

[-20] Constant Hazardous Duty to ISWAT

[-15] Weirdness Magnet

[-5] Sense of Duty, Companions

[-10] Lifebane (exposure to excess necromantic radiation)

[-10] Nearsightedness,  mitigated by glasses

[-10] Clueless

[-5] Flashbacks

[-5] Light Sleeper

[-10] Addict, Marijuana

 

Quirks:[-5]

Really into Vietnamese food, noisy eater, creepily comfortable around dead things, claustriphillic, bites his nails

 

SKILLS: [35]

Soldier IQ/E [1] 14

Parachuting DX/A [1] 11

Survival, Jungle Per/A [1] 13*

First Aid TL7+1 IQ/E [1] 14

Guns TL7+1 DX/E [2] 13

Brawling DX/E [1] 12

Knife DX/E [1] 12

Throw knife DX/E [1] 12

Beam Weapons TL7+1 [1] 12

Innate Attack (lightning) DX/E [1] 12

Hazmat NBC TL7+1 IQ/A [1] 13

Computer Programming TL 7+1 IQ/H [1] 12

Research TL 7+1 IQ/A [2] 14

Speed Reading IQ/A [1] 13

Mathematics IQ/H [1] 12

Physics IQ/H [1] 12

Weird Science! IQ/VH [4] 13

Occultism IQ/A [1] 13

Thaumatology IQ/VH [1] 13’

Thanatology IQ/H [1] 12

Engineering, Electronics TL7+1 [4] 14

Electronics op, Sensors TL7+1 [1] 13

                       Necrotech TL 7+1 [2] 14

                        Parachronic TL 8 [1] 13

 

Spells [45]

Knowledge:   Detect Magic [1] 14

                     Seek Magic [1] 14

                     Identify Spell [1] 14

                     Analyze Magic [1] 14

Light & Dark: Light [1] 14

                     Continual Light [1] 14

                     Magelight [1] 14

Movement:    Apportation [1] 14

                     Locksmith [1] 14

P&W :            Missile Shield [2] 15

                     Magelock [1] 14

Healing:         Lend Energy [1] 14

                      Recover Energy [2] 15

                      Lend Vitality [1] 14

M&B               Find Weakness [1] 14

Fire                 Ignite Fire [1] 14

Water              Seek Water [1] 14

Earth               Seek Earth [1] 14

Air                   Purify Air [1] 14

                       Create Air [1] 14

                       Odor [1] 14

                        No-Smell [1] 14

                         Stench [1] 14

                         Lightning [1] 14

                         Resist Lightning [2] 15

E&C                  Sense Life [1] 14

                         Sense Foes [2] 15

Necromantic      Death Vision [1] 14

                          Sense Spirit [1] 14

                           Summon Spirit [1] 14

                           Zombie [1] 14

                           Control Zombie [1] 14

                           Skull Spirit [2] 15

Technology          Seek Machine [1] 14

                            Reveal Function [1] 14

                            Glitch [1] 14

                             Malfunction [1] 14

                             Machine Summoning [1] 14

                              Machine Speech [2] 15

Gate                       Beacon [1] 14

                              Seek Gate [1] 14

                              Scry Gate [1] 14

                              Control Gate [1] 14

Equipment

Electronics toolkit $200

Military fatigue jacket,

Cargo pants, tie dye shirt

Combat boots $80

Dufflebag $40

Re-cased Mac with roll-up keyboard, box of magelocked floppies,$1200

Human skull                    

Assorted electronic components

Hazmat suit $200

Additional equipment acquired in game were a 10pt manastone, a bong made iut of Trinitite that boosted the mana kevel, and a lead jar containing 5 .38 rounds of SPDN. We had a great time, and I want to play again, but am not sure when I can.

 

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Demons stockart coming soon! and other things of import

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Now that my commissions are out of the way, My latest stock art package should be arriving on OBS! We all need villains, so here are 8 demons from the Monster Manual, plus a demon featured in Three Toadstools Blueholme adventure, The Dusty Door, and a Not so Petty Demon from my game, and a DoomChild.

Update: now available! Grab it here

As always, my patrons already received these, and you can too by signing up for my Patreon.

Speaking of commissions,  the latest issue of Echoes from Fomalhaut is now available, and features my artwork on the cover!

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Now, there are a couple of kickstarters I have backed that I should mention:

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Douglas Cole (of Dungeon Grappling, Dragon Heresy, and GURPS Martial Arts:Technical Grappling fame) has a kickstarter for the very first third party product for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG  This item, The Hall of Judgement, is an adaptation of his other product, The Lost hall of Tyr, originally produced for Swords& Wizardry, D&D 5E and Dragon Heresy.

If you are a fan of DF, definitely chase this down, it can only lead to more DF product.

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Dark Naga productions is on their fifth kickstarter in the Haunting of Hastur series that started with The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil, and has carried through several other adventures, all currently available through OBS. If you have been following the series, which has a unique take on subterranean elves dwelling in the underdark, you should go for Carcosa.

 

Recent Commissions

I have been tied up lately with a number of art commissions.

These are for the next issue of Gabor Lux’ Echoes from Fomalhaut  and Diogo Noguera’s Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, which just finished successful crowdfunding. I have also been working on a few peices of Egyptian themed art for Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor , and a little something for John Stater, that appeared in the latest issue of Nod

Naturally my gaming rate of posting has suffered, and I lost an entire group of players. They were an exceedingly efficient group of killers, and included a halfling Alchemist, another halfling assassin, an air infused elven Swashbuckler armed with long knives, a dwarven crossbowman built on the musketeer template, a leprechaun demonologist, and his polearm weilding soldier of hell, Khozapukt.

They were quite good, but could not tolerate my hideously slow posting, or the brevity of some comments that they had waited days for. It might have been easier for me to keep up if I hadn’t been running ten separate games, or had downtime at work.

Let’s see, the Juniors rescued the curiously friendly elder thing they had encounterd previously, from giant spiders, as original depicted in James Garrison’s free module Clatterdelve (currently under revision), and Clarence Montague, originally a 62pt lantern bearer hireling from DF15, became a 125pt PC spellcaster (light based magic and ignite fire) and adopted a smol spoder (giant spider as per DF5, buying pet status first, and working toward familiar status a few points at a time).

Another group, hunting bandits for bounty, have scattered some beggars.

A travelling demonology shop has opened up variously as needed, and is staffed by a demologist with some illusion skill and a few demonic allies of PC’s- if you are summonable and aren’t constantly present, you must be someplace else…

Another group, previously tasked with resolving the problem of a band of ogres that had moved into the formerly troll occupied winecellars, have been tasked by the Hadereum with escorting a demon hunting celestial being. She is a descendant of an avatar of Kali, and while her opinions on undead and demons (kill them all and send them back to the underworld) conform to those of the plutocracy, the rest of her religious views do not, and the party is escorting her on her demon hunt so as to keep her from proselytizing.

The crew at the abbey has been heaving wights into the sunlight, and they finally have started using a sack of silver plates to pulverize the undead.

The lich killing treasure hunters in Shevnia are almost home, but ran into patrols of Bouda hunting one of their enemies, the were lion Monorith, a holdover from my first Northport game from 2002, and a group of orcs now in the military. The bouda were only interested in the werelion, the group still has to conceal the several pounds of silver they have with them.

The wuxia crew has been joined by a ronin, and are preparing for a final assault by their Omo’s enemy, having robbed his casino and slain dragonmen, Ashigaru, and a Dodomeki, as previosly discussed.

Broderick has returned to play, and his team of fortune hunters are somewhere on the second level of the undercity.

The Hadereum sponsored team has uncovered cult murders and has discovered slorn breeding pens under temple hill.

Original Edition RPG Appreciation Day Sale

Beneath the Fallen Tower Tower is on sale for $0.99! Check it out here

This is an introductory adventure written for Swords & Wizardry Continual Light and generally compatible with older editions of the rpg that started it all.

A merchant’s son decided to save time by taking a long abandoned route through the forrest, and is missing. Somewhere along that overgrown road are the ruins of a long vanquished necromancer’s tower. Adventure awaits!

Get this now GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

Only $10 at warehouse 23 get it here

This comes very close to the way I run Northport.

What you get: 49 pages of how to run a slightly abstracted city that is built within bowshot of a collection of dungeons. There is significant interplay between guilds and a number of powerful (325-500pt) delvers who run the show, with agood feel for how they and your characters interact. No dungeons are presented, but plenty are suggested. It is a nifty and unique setting and a great way to base a campaign.

Demonskin and upcoming products

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I have been drawing a lot of demons for an upcoming bundle.

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In addition to Orcus, seen above on Tenkar’s Tavern, which can be got on OBS in my Art of Nod 2 bundle, There are a Doombrat, a Not-so Petty Demon,  a Demon from Shane Ward’s Dusty Door adventure for BlueHolme Journeymanne, and a Type I-VI demons (minus the V, haven’t drawn her yet), plus an incubus. I want to bulk up a few more, but I am working on some commissions for Gabor Lux for two of his projects (Echoes from Fomalhaut 2 and the Barbarian King Module) and for Diogo Nogueira for Solar Blades and Cosmic Spells.

When I get done with those commissions, I will fluff out the demon bundle.

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In case I didn’t mention it, you can order a print copy of  Echoes of Fomalhaut directly from Gabor Lux. In addition to my art, it has art by Stefan Poag and comes with a map on on high quality paper, and a couple of good adventure tidbits.

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I recently also got my hands on a stash of Dimensions For Children demons, some of which might make it into the bundle as well. Long ago I had a set of the Dungeons of Castlelon and have been spending exorbitant amounts to get some of the toys from the set. I only need a fistful of those demons, so I might be willing to let go of some.

Recent developments in Northport.

I have currently two demonologists in play, each with allies. One has a petty demon familiar, a hell hound and a mentor; the other has a warrior of hell, who I equipped with a dueling bill rather than a sword and shield. The new group of players , which includes the hellfire armed leprechaun demonologist with the warrior demon, a halfling Alchemist, a dual wielding crossbow dwarf built off of the musketeer template, a halfling assassin, and an air infused mountain elf duelist, slaughtered a petty demon bearing a message before it had a chance to speak. It was determined that the remains would decompose rapidly, but if salted with two pounds of salt, and flayed with a successful dungeon butchery roll, the body would yield 2d sheets of vellum that would count as Fine quality if used to inscribe demonologist spells as a scroll, or with Demon Lore, effectively lending a +1 to the effective skill of the spell or Hidden lore. They of course intend to sell the vellum, but I thought it a suitably grisly ingredient, much in keeping with the suggestion in Monster Hunters that Hell makes information on demon summoning readily available. I think that distribution of this material is one of the “downtime” activities of summonable demonic allies, and even one of the reasons you can play a summoner  without being damned in the process, because your part in the grand scheme of Hell is to leave your spellbook and notes after you die for someone truly horrible to find.

Seven of the Best Things

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I have to start with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain.

My first brush with an epic fantasy series, This was initially read to me, and I finished the series myself at a young age. Enchanters, Oracular Pigs,  the first undead I had heard of that were not Universal Monsters like Dracula or the Mummy, this series had the Cauldron Born and a Lich. Seriously, someone takes ego damage from a sword in this series, and the Ranger has an Animal Companion.  Awesome character arc, from assistant pig keeper to the High King. I later got hold of the rare children’s books that provide backstory to the tales, The Foundling, Coll and his White Pig, and The Truthful Harp, definitely the tale of how hard it is to become an old school bard. Also worth recommending from Alexander are The First Two Lives of Lukas Kasha, The Wizard in the Tree, and The Westmark Series.

The War Eagles of Arawn, King of Anwyn in The Chronicles of Prydain are also where I drew my moniker Gwythaint from.

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A book we had knocking around the house, which a recent conversation with Zeb Cook informed me was actually inspirational to the Monster Manual, is Barbara Ninde Byfield’s The Glass Harmonica, A Lexicon of the Fantastical. Since republished as Book of the Weird, it can be got used from Amazon with some difficulty, as all kinds of gamers are trying to snatch this baby up.  It is an Encyclopedia of weird and witty entries of all kinds of things medieval and really fits with the style of gaming I like. I loved the art and the complexity of the entries.

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The 1978 Dawn of the Dead, with everyone trying to survive zombies in a shopping mall got me on the Zombie train early. I had always loved horror, but I saw this one with my Dad, and it resonated as gaming inspiration immediately. I could not get enough of this genre, much to the disgust of my wife. I even tried to incorporate some of it into B2, keep on the Borderlands, and have been statting out every building I worked in in a variety of systems for Zpoc survivability.

 

My Dad’s Pulp Collection

Most of Appendix N was on that set of shelves, from Fritz Leiber to Michael Moorcock, Lin Carter, Sprague De Camp, Robert E Howard, A. Merrit, and H.P Lovecraft. When my folks split, I swallowed these things whole, embarking on a multi-library quest to read through the list in the back of the DMG. The Goblin Tower, The Unbeheaded King, The Clocks of Iraz, The Tritonian Ring, all of it awesome stuff. And then there was this.

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Elidor, the Owl Service,  and the Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Gardner.

The Owl Service was more Welsh Mythology, Like the Chronicles of Prydain, and Elidor was pretty Narnia-esque. Brisingamen on the other hand, gave me the willies. I have very mild claustrophobia, but this like few other things (The Descent and As Above, So Below) gave me heart palpitations.Such a visceral read for a piece of YA Fantasy. A really great depiction of both Dwarves and Goblins in this thing.

 

The Magenta Box

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Originally intended as a gift for my Fantasy loving older sister, I claimed the Moldvay Basic set with the Erol Otus cover as my own, along with the Trampier covered PHB that we got at the same time as my own. That shit made ideas explode in my head, and I just loved all of the art. I wanted to be Tramp! I love the Willingham dragonstrike, and the Erol Otus giant snake. What really flipped me out though, was

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The Fiend Folio.

Man, I love me some Russ.. My whole drawing style is cribbed from him. I won a costume contest back in college dressed as a Githyanki, and I am going out on a limb here, and saying that that dude on the cover is wearing a helmet, the line pattern that Russ uses for hair is hella tight compared to that thing. I loved the weirdness, the warty, age spotted creep factor of Nicholson’s art in that book, and when I made the mistake fifteen years ago of giving my stuff away, the Fiend Folio was one of the first that I bought.to back to rebuild my collection. Absolutely one of those times when the PDF does not cut it..

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 15 – Henchmen.

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Peter Dell’orto wrote a blog that got me back into gaming, called Dungeon Fantastic. Since then I have gone whole hog into this game system, which is now a standalone game . I played a lot of 3e GURPS in the eighties and early nineties, mostly playing horror games using the Chaosium Call of Cthulhu sourcebooks and the GURPS ruleset, but this is something different, Old school feel with what I think of a better mechanics. The henchmen book is full of templates for building lower power characters, and Peter wrote that too. Regular DF runs at 250 points, roughly equivalent to characters who are 6-th to 8th level in AD&D, and the lower point templates bring back the feel of the kind of games I was always starting with my friends. We rarely made it past 5th level, and only once did I make it to 8th. A while back I put out a supplement for it.

 

Honorable Mentions:

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Steven Brust’s The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars

This book, by the same author who brought us the D&D inspired Vlad Taltos series, is a frame story about a group of artists in a shared studio, wrapped around a Hungarian folk tale told by one of them about a fantastic quest,. The fairy tale is interesting, the description of the process of painting was really striking to me, having read the book while studying fine art, and the chapter headings are all titles of paintings that establish a third layer of story.  There is a lot of other good work by Brust, including Brokedown Palace, and To Reign in Hell, The Phoenix Guard, to say nothing of Agyar, one of the best stories in its genre that manages not to tell you what genre that is until three quarters of the way through the book.

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Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Cycle, featuring Kvothe the…bard?

Not only is it superior to both Harry Potter and The Magicians for describing life in a magical university, and mind you I love both Rowling and Grossman, but it is the most epic telling of the building of a multiclassed character. Kvothe is introduced as an innkeeper, and was a travelling performer, a professional musician, skilled alchemical artificer, magician, swordsman, and he knows the secret name of the wind. None of these accomplishments came to him easily, and his attitude keeps him from getting things his way.  There are elements of Patricia McKillip’s Riddlemaster series here, but unlike the protagonist of that series, Rothfuss’s character drives his own fate instead of having it written in the stars.