The OSE Characters, GURPSified

As is my perennial obsession, I converted the OSE characters mentioned here into GURPS DF , using both this conversion of mine for low level characters, and Peter Dell’Orto’s DF 15: Henchmen.

Lance:

100 points for a level 2 fighter

ST13/17 [50] DX 11 [20] IQ 10 [0] HT 12 [20]

HP 13 per 10 will 10 fp 12

T/s 1d+2/3d-1 Basic Lift 34lbs

BS 7.0 [5] Basic Move 6.0 Dodge 10

Parry: 10 Block: 10  DR 6 plate and chain

Damage with light club (1d+3 crush/3d crush)

               With polearm 1d+6 imp/3d+4 cut, becomes unready

[15] combat reflexes +1 to active defenses and recovery from stunning

[-] Striking ST+4 (accounted for)

[-4] unattractive 

[-5] sense of duty:Adventuring companions

[-10]code of honor:soldier’s 

[-5] overconfidence 

[-5] hamfisted 1

[-5] callousness 

[-5] stubborn

[-1]obnoxiously loud drunk

Q: grunts loudly when lifting things, prefers head shots, always wants an armor upgrade,

     Spiderweb tattoo, greedy

Leveling up (25)would be high pain tolerance [10], hp +2 [4] primary weapons +8 pts, 3 more points to other weapons)

Skills:

Brawling [2] 12

Wrestling [1] 10

Knife [2] 12

broadsword [8] 13

Shield [2] 12

Polearm [4] 12

Axe/mace [4] 12

Armory, melee weapons [1] 9

Sling[2] 10

Carousing [1] 10*

Forced entry [1] 11

Intimidation  [1] 11*

Abbyee

125 pt initiate

ST 10 [0]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 11 [10].

Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.;

 HP: 10 [0]; Will 13 [0]; Per 13 [0]; FP 11 [0]; 

Basic Speed 5.00 [-10]; Basic Move 5 [0].

Dodge 8 Block 9 Damage Resistance: 3 light mail

Damage with light mace  (1d+2)

Advantages:

[20] Power Investiture 2

[24] Turning undead

[5] resistant to Evil supernatural powers +3

[1] Good with spiders

Disadvantages:

[-10] Honesty

[-5] Sense of duty, adventuring companions

[-10] Sense of duty co-religionists

[-15] greed

Quirks:tbd

Skills:

Theology [2] 12

Religious Ritual [2] 13

Esoteric Healing [2] 12

Hidden Lore: Undead [2] 13

Axe/Mace [8] 13

Shield [2] 12

First Aid [1] 13

Interrogation [1] 12

Detect lies [1] 11

Diagnosis [1] 11

Exorcism [12 12

Scrounging [1] 12

Search [1] 12

Stealth [1] 10

Climbing [1] 10

Spells:

Purify food [1] 13

Protection from evil [2] 14

Minor healing [2] 14

Aria Silverwind

125 points

ST: 10 ​[10] DX: 12​ [20] IQ: 12​ [40] HT: 10​ [0]

Thrust/Swing Damage: 1d-2/1d Basic Lift: 24 lbs.

HP: 10 [0] Will: 11 [0] Per: 12 [5] FP: 10 [0]

Basic Speed: 5.50 [0] Basic Move: 6 [0] Dodge: 9 [0] Block 9 Parry 9

Advantages:

[20] Wood Elf (ST-1, DX+1, Basic Move+1, Attractive appearance, Forest Guardian 2 (+2 to Bow, Camouflage, FastDraw (Arrow), Stealth, Survival Woodlands) Magery 0, Sense of Duty to Nature, elven gear is 10% cheaper)

[10] magery 1

[5] Magic Bolt (does 1d-3, ignores armor)

[5] Night Vision 5

Disadvantages:

[-5] Sense of duty: Adventuring Companions

[-5] Overconfident

[-10] Honesty

[-10] impulsive

Quirks:

 Curious,Wary, Truthful

Skills

Bow at DX+3 [4]15^,

Camouflage (E) IQ+2 [1]13^,

Fast Draw (Arrow) (E) DX+2 [1]14^,

Stealth at DX+1 [1]13^ 

Survival (woodlands) (A) Per+1 [1]12^

Shield [1] 12

Shortsword [4] 13

Tracking [1] 12

Meditation [2] 10

Search [2] 12

spells:

Foolishness [1] 11, Daze [1] 11, Sleep [1] 11, Mass Sleep [1] 11

Drucila

ST: 9​ [-10]; DX: 11 ​ [20]; IQ: 12​ [40]; HT: 10​ [0].

Thrust/Swing: 1d-2/1d-1; Basic Lift 16 lbs.

HP 9 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Per 10 [10]; FP 13 [9]

Basic Speed 5.25 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0] Dodge 8 Parry 9

Damage with dagger is 1d-3 impale

Advantages:

[35] Magery 3

Disadvantages:

[-5] sense of duty: Adventuring companions

[-15]Weirdness magnet

[-10] Low Pain Threshold

Quirks:

Skills:

Thaumatology [4] 14

Occultism [4] 13

Hazardous materials, Magical [4] 13

Hidden Lore: Magic Items [1] 11

                      Undead [1] 11

                      Magical Writing [1] 11

Natural Philosophy [1] 10

Meditation [1] 10

Knife [4] 13

Throw Knife [1] 11

First Aid [1] 12

Throwing [1] 9

Spells:

Sense Evil [1] 11

Protection from Evil [4] 14

Lend Energy [1] 11

Recover Energy [8] 15

Actual play with old friends using OSE

Players:

OSE Play recap with the old group we used google meet, and haven’t seen eachother in over 15 years!

Stanley, playing Abbyee Southpaw, a Lawful cleric 3 of the spider goddess from Petty Gods, and Lance, a fighter 2

James, playing Aria Silverwind, an elf 2 with sleep and magic missile

            And Drucila , a human magic user1 with protection from evil.

We started the main party with 4200xp and retainers at 2100. Characters were rolled with 4d6, dropping lowest, and arranging stats by preference, max hp for first level. Only one character, Lance, bought up a stat by reducing another.

Starting money was the base rolls only.

Two days from town and during a rainstorm, they came upon a brigands lair while the brigands were hunting, and sought shelter within.

After a quick survey of the area to rule out hostiles, they set a fire in the fireplace and began to search, enough to realize that the ruined tower with its collapsed roof and leaky upper story had been very recently inhabited.

One such sign was a bit of graffiti that matched a heraldric shield device of a group that had beenpart of an army that had laid siege to their town a few months before.

 Checking through the arrow slits on the damp upper level, they determined that the glow of the fireplace could be seen from the entrance due to the front doors and most of the furnishings having been used as firewood.

They also saw several lanterns approaching…

The elf was also able to spot a secret trapdoor due to rain water draining around its edges.

Lance, brute that he is, was able to rip it clean from its hinges, which left it obvious where they went, as if the barricade of the empty doorway and roaring fire weren’t enough of an indication that they had been playing goldilocks, which factored in their decision not to parley with the larged armed party approaching. 

Down they went, Aria scouting ahead and finding a door below that led to two more doors.

A quick check of the left showed a row of cells,and to the right a staircase further down.

They decided to head deeper in, and kicked in the next door into… a crypt. They all froze, and decided immediately not to mess with any of the 4 plain sarcophagi or the two with carved effigies, and prepared defensive spells to deal with the brigands they could hear approaching. 

Lance’s primary weapon was a polearm, due to poor starting cash rolls, and he carried a sword and club as backup… with 18 ST it was quite effective. 

Dulcinea cast pro vs evil on herself, and Abbyee cast it on Lance.

First order of business when the door was yanked open by ten spearmen in leather and shield was to cast sleep. 13 HD affected, and only three saved. Lance charged out and brained one, followed by Abbyee with her mace, and Aria with her bow and a natural 20. They quickly stripped and bound the captives, and prepared to politely interrogate them. This was facilitated by Lance bashing another who tried to pull a knife on them.

After a fistful of super low reaction rolls, I got a 12 and the beans, such as they were, were spilled, after a Samuel L. Jackson monologue from the others.

They moved their encampment upstairs after gagging the prisoners and deciding wisely not to sleep in the crypt (Abbyee has an 18 wisdom).

While they got a fistful of copper from each, along with weapons and armor, a better search in the morning revealed 200gp and 160gp worth of furs from a trader the brigands had robbed, along with a freshly killed deer. They paused to properly bury the dead to avoid creating some species of revenant, and frogmarched them in to town with their gear slung behind them.

I used 25% as the base rate of sale on used cheap goods, so they made an additional 133gp and received xp for defeating the foes as well.

A great deal of listening, great open doors rolls, and a lack of interest in stretching themselves too thin. Real ease of use of THAC0; Stan was my first DM back in 1982.

Lets see how this tower restocks itself next week!

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The Beast of Veroigne

Veroigne is a barony to the south of Northport that has a propensity for megafauna. From the stirges preyed upon by a blessed dire dragonfly, to the dire hares hunted by dire wolves, all are large, most are feared, but none as much as the Beast.

Known for burrowing, burning, and devouring, the Beast strikes terror in the peasantry of Veroigne.

In truth, it is a Dire, Terrible, Fire Slorn of tremendous proportions, and immense lifespan.

rough stats:

Terrible, dire fire slorn, has DR 7, ST 40 there is only 2 DR on its eyes. Essentially a firebreathing, 8 legged bulette.
St 40 DX 12 iq 3 HT 12
Hp 40 per 12 will 10 fp 12
Mv 6 tunnel 4, dodge 9, SM+4 (about 30 feet long)
DR7 externally, DR2 eyes and inside its mouth
Bite 15, dam 4d+1 plus 2d follow up,
Breathe 3d of fire for 1 fp
Hard to kill+2, slow regeneration, res to met hazards, injury tolerance 2 to fire (1/4 damage after dr) Lifebane (scorches the earth when it steps
Unkillable 1: (takes 200 days of torpor to recover to 1 hp after being slain, and then another two days to get to full, but usually Sleeps all winter)

Tales of the beast being slain numerous times have led to rumors that there are many, but in truth there is only one…

My party, consisting of Aethul, a spellcasting ranger, Kirpich, and Earth Priest, accompanied by a Walking Wall Earth Elemental, Balir Ironhide, a dwarven warrior, and the NPC’s Dionisius Dispatha, a faun Swashbuckler abandoned early on by his player, Marlena DuBois, a seasoned apprentice, and Snoffi Rosslovich, a seasoned guard who has been in service to Kirpich for some time.

Hired by the usurping Baron Pequenaud to rid the land of the Beast, our party was quickly distracted by a ruined tower, which turned out to be full of vampires, which they apparently thought one of was the Beast, despite signs of a ravaged countryside with big flaming footprints…

Eventually they got the idea, and pursued it to a burning copse of trees where it was napping. The cleric loaded everyone with resist fire, and Marlena successfully cast sleep on the creature, allowing it to be webbed with spidersilk and rope, and then stabbed in both eyes, with an arrow and a saber.

Blinded, it lashed out, blasting with its ineffective fiery breath. Its epic armor was resistant to all but the most forceful of their attacks, and they kept aiming at vitals despite not being able to penetrate its armor, but the size of its scales did allow for attacking chinks in armor and deliberately stabbing between the larger scales. This was done effectively by those with stabby weapons, but the two axe wielders were forced to simply chop and hope. Trying to emulate a Lawrence Wyatt Evans character , Marlena first cast Extinguish fire (this had worked well on a Skull Spirit previously) and later followed up with Ignite Fire, causing some internal damage. Aethul, who had previously ensnared it with spider silk (since burned off) created water inside of it, which caused it some distress. The faun stabbed the roof of its mouth, and got his arm bitten off for his troubles. Balir ended up crippling two of its legs, and as it tried to dig its way out, Kirpich blew the last of his fatigue casting earth to stone, and encased its head in several tons of rock. Burning its own fatigue, it pulled the stony plug out of the ground, and soon collapsed due to suffocation.

Characters will find a way.

A$$holes will try to find a way into any avenue they think they can find, and it is our duty to repel them whenever possible.

This blog stands with the Elf Game Blog in that respect; I like Old School Gaming, but I do not accept that vile racist shits should be allowed to dominate our hobby.

Who knows what the future holds?

In Northport, practically nobody.  Several years ago (or just over 2 weeks game time) a band of evil cultists murdered everyone with any type of oracular or divinatory ability in order to cloak their planned summonings and actions.

Among the casualties were the Oracle of Eos, a nymph upon whom one not cast one’s eyes or you would be unable to ask a question, slain by cultists who had put their eyes out just to perform this act of infernal devotion, and the one Sahudese who had a copy of the Classic of Changes. Dozens of divination devices were captured and destroyed, a whole expedition was mounted to reclaim one of them, that involved the slaying of a summoned demon and subsequent sale of its gear.

So who does this leave?

Ludlow has recently acquired a functional pack of tarot cards, and has learned cartomancy, but it has led to Christine Bjorn, a mountain elf fire wizard with a golem (bought with points for cash, not as an ally) heading south to learn Pyromancy from the members of a dragon cult. Christine was one of the earlier PC’s in my game, and had a number of oddball disadvantages, including coitophobia and Evil Twin. The Evil Twin turned out to be a Barn named Marie who left a scattering of blue haired half elves known asd the Sons of Marie, who were looking for their mother… Recently one of the two survivors of her massacre of trolls by her, an archer, took out Marie… looks like Christine will need to change Evil Twin to Enemy!

Meanwhile, available now on drivethru are these two collections of stock art:

Goblinoids can be got for $4.99

and Evil Things for half that amount.

 

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It came from the 90’s

Recently, my DF game intersected with a theme from a  GURPS Horror game I ran for a few years. We had played a lot of 1920’s, using CoC sourcebooks but GURPS rules, and we also played a contemporary game.  The characters included an albino taxi driver and roadie who became a were python, an FBI agent, an illegal Irish building contractor, a dilettante millionaire, a used car salesman, and an agent of the Shop,  (the Office of Scientific Investigation, from Firestarter).  They dealt with things like a giant silverfish in the NYC subway tunnels, punk werewolves on angel dust, vampires (the millionaire eventually became one, and carried on along with a ghoul from the 1920’s game when we played a Horror/Cyberpunk game later on), but the major plot, drawn from an assortment of Settings books, like GURPS Cabal, came from ‘Investigative Journalist’ Maury Terry’s book about a conspiracy of drug dealers posing as serial killers and the intersect between the hallucinogen and snuff industries in the 1970’s, called The Ultimate Evil.

Our mixed bag of heroes started hunting someone they called The Visine Thief, and eventually called Lidless, who they thought was a serial killer.  He was killing a lot of people, and robbing Duane Reade’s of cases of artificial tears. A low level villian with a fridged girlfriend (Yes, a horrible trope. Thirty years ago, I was a horribly unaware person) who he had had to watch killed with his eyelids sliced off, he was hunting members of his former organization.  Terry had gathered the threads of his grand conspiracy from random clippings and interviews with Son of Sam, who he was convinced was a murderer, even a multiple murderer, but also a member of a psuedo satanic cult of drug dealers who coerced the members into murders which they filmed, and held power over by threats to kill their families. The proposed modus operandi of this group was to kill drug dealers who were holding out, and then off a bunch of people that looked like them so that the well funded narcotics squad wasn’t assigned the case, but that the understaffed and minimally experienced serial killer division was handed the work.  Multiple killers using the same gun further confounded things.

This conspiracy theory was tangled up with the suggestion that the Tate killings were related to the LSD trade, and that later traffic in ecstasy was handled by the same batch of goons, who lured members into their covens with drugs, then revealed the “truth” of a triumvirate of Yahweh, Lucifer, and Satan, which was itself a front for the drug and snuff film business.  Just wacky enough to support a kitchen sink of supernatural enemies entangled in a web of vice and death. It made for a good game.

How does any of this drift into Dungeon Fantasy? I have been making the primary enemies in the city/upper works of the megadungeon cultists of the elder gods masquerading as a demonic pleasure cult, and also a fertility cult tangled up with succubi.  Their attempts at parleying had them quoting talking points about autonomy and free will from the Satanic Church.

The posse of demon hunters accompanied by Kalima the four armed Celestial demon slayer and Benny Morales, a Dungeon Saint of Hermes, started combing through the brazen alley, an area where religious articles are made for devotion, but often by non-believers. There they encountered Aloysius the Undamned, an infernal friar of the One Holy Triunist Church, who has been Forgiven. While the Slayer wanted him dead, and caused a smoking wound with the tip of her Demon Slaying Spear, the others put him to the question and realized that he was actually good.  They also got a whiff of the above cult, when he described some heretics who indulged heavily in sacramental intoxicants.

Why do I have so many demon cults creeping about? It might be that I need non-undead opponents who can be freely dispatched, since so many of the commonly monstrous races are player character options, and are mostly just living their lives and not planning human massacres.

In this I have been ahead of WoTC’s disclaimer about the content of some of the seventies-eighties era games, with gender based ability score caps, and inclusion of proposals for clearing land and intimidating humanoids that were taken straight out of King Leopold’s playbook, and quoting Chivington’s “nits make lice” justification for genocide. The founding fathers of our games, while appreciate their combined creation of our hobby, were nowhere near as nice a bunch of guys as they thought themselves to be, and if you have fun playing through B2, it is something you need to keep in mind, just as you need to be aware of the content of Lovecraft’s personal letters and the name of his cat if you going to read his fiction.  Racism is an insidious thing, and is interlaced throughout the tropes of our cultural history. This doesn’t mean you need to burn books, but it does mean that you need to be a conscious consumer, or you will risk integrating some of that quiet content into your worldview. Know that it is there, and you have more choices.

Hellwalkers- Archaierai for DF

Recently, while exploring the Autumn gate from tge gates of the four seasons found in the temple of Janus, a group of holy warriors and a celestial cleric, along with a reluctant Bouda warrior, fought an import from the Fiend folio, an Archaierai, or as I renamed them,  Hellwalkers

Here are the stats I gave them:

SM +4, only legs attackable without missiles
St 30 dx 12 iq 11 ht 13
Hp 30 per 12 will 12 fp 16
Bs 6 mv 9 dodge 12 (-4)
DR on legs: 6 DR on body :2

Leg HP 15
Tongue HP 12

Hard to kill 2
Fragile, unnatural

I jury tolerance,  no neck
Injury resistant to non silver/magical weapons
Unkillable (tongue must be cut out to kill it)

Body vulnerable to crushing, +1D
Immune to met hazzards, resistant to fire/electricity
Bloodlust, bully, sadism, bad temper
Imperturbable, unfazeable, lifebane

Demon:truly evil, affected by banish and pentagram
Vulnerable to holy+1d
Claw 15 damage 3d impaling
Bite 15 damage: 3d cutting plus swallow on 6 or less
Sonic shriek 1fp, 15, does cone 10yds×4yds 3d sonic damage
When 3 legs are cut down, it belches out toxic smoke:
This is actually a toxifier demon!!!
Cutting its tongue usually has to be done in this cloud!
They are known to have 16+1 gemstones in their gizzards;
Their feathers can be used to enchant fans that cause air jet damage to diffuse beings like toxifiers

 

 

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Groty i Giganci and a farewell to the Ymid

I recently discovered another gaming product that used a great deal of my artwork, the Polish language Groty i Giganci written by Simon Piecha, and based on Swords & Wizardry Whitebox.

There is also a supplement available from the same source, also loaded with my artwork, called Osteria. I wish I could read them , the books are beautifully done.

Meanwhile, after several years of play by post gaming in my DFRPG game Northport over on rpol.net, the juniors group have finally said farewell to the Ymid. The Ymid was a creation of GarrisonJames, over at the blog Hereticwerks. After very loosely assisting in the destruction of a demonic shop, (the Ymid, being an elder thing, is both curious and indifferent to their cause, but did help convert one of the PC’s into a Cultist of the Elder Gods, armed with gate spells that helped them shut down the shop).

They had just helped the Ymid rebuild his floating skiff, which had been crushed by a dhole exiting the gate from the Vale of Pnath… The skiff was powered by a lead acid battery that stimulated four pig hearts to circulate a gallon of flying porions through a series of bladders and arteries built into the frame of the skiff, and the outer ring had millions of cockroach wings under it to provide both a creepy hum, and some ability for steering.

They had paid for the flying potions by selling a Yr-go to an alchemist (the monocular fungal creation had grown from an eye snatched from one of the Vejovian cultists the group’s priest had following them around, leaving Pierre the One Eyed victim to strange visions and dreams), along with a chunk of bile covered gold the Yhad given them from a dead gods gallbladder it used as a purse.

I even had them rescue the Ymid from a giant spiderweb, just like in Clatterdelve, and at the same time, one of the PC’s got a giant spider familiar.

Starica Babicka and more Warlockery

hag ss

My crew of feybloods who are busy fighting a group of armband wearing racial supremacists (because I am far from apolitical) recently had made a side trip into a swamp to meet a hag. They did so because of a critical failure on Faerie Lore, but got a little information about the workings of the Winter Court.

Surprise, the Summer Court is deeply into the lives of mortals (Most Feybloods exist for a reason) but the Winter Court is only disinterested in them. Mortals scarcely matter to most of those fey. However, a faction that is offended by the “Dilution of pure fey bloodlines” is involved in glamouring small minded humans to act antagonistically against those different from themselves.  If it were true in our world, a circle of iron could put an end to racism, but here we are, in a world where we cannot blame otherworldly creatures for our own expressions of hatred.

Here is the local ruler of the swamps east of Northport, Starica (Strega) Babicka, assorted Folk tales of Baba Yaga, and a bit of Dolmenwood, as filtered through GURPS: Fairie, Lloyd Alexander and Charle De Lint.

 

Starica Babicka

Hag fairie, strong 

ST:16 [60] DX: 13 [60] IQ: 14 [80] HT:13 [30]

HP: 16 [0] Per: 14/16 [0] Will [14] FP:13*25

Bs: 7.5 MV: 7 Dodge:11 Oar Parry:12

DR: 2 SM +1 (0)

Oar (16) 2d+4 cutting or crushing.

Claw (15) 1d+2 crushing

Bite (15) 1d-1 cutting;can unhinge jaw and swallow SM-2 or smaller on a critical success.

 

Advantages:

Winter court rank 2 [10] Differential smell [15]

Acute sense of smell+2 [4],  Enhanced magic resistance +4 [20]

Magery 4 [45] Energy reserve +12 [36] Terror(switcheable) [33]

Injury Tolerance (except to meteoric iron, magical weapons and fire) [30]

Hard to kill +2 [4] Hard to Subdue +2 [4] DR 2 [6]

 

Disadvantages:

Code of honor, fae [-10] cannot harm innocents [-10] Jealous [-10]

Stubborn [-5] Odious Personal Habit: eats sentients (only bad children) [-15]

Vulnerable to meteoric iron (1d) [-10]

 Quirks:

easily offended, suspicious, Likes riddles,Avoids full sunlight,

fond of frogs as food (they test their bravery by seeing how long they can stay in reach of her), 

SKILLS:

Staff 16 [12]

Polearm 16 [12]

Brawling 15 [4]

Wrestling 15 [8]

Area knowledge, swamp 15 [4]

Current events, faerie court 14 [1]

Savoir faire, faerie court 14* [1]

Hidden Lore, Faeries 17 [12]

Naturalist 18 [20]

Survival, wetlands -15 [2]

Natural Philosophy 18 [20]

Thaumatology 18 [8]

Alchemy 16 [16]

Herb lore 16 [12]]

Occultism 16 [8]

Dungeon butcher 16 [8]

Fishing 14 [1]

Boating 15 [8]

Cooking 16 [8]

 

Spells:

All at 16:  Alarm, nightingale, mystic mist, the entire plant college; much of the Animal college (communication spells),seek, shape, create +3 more in all four elements, most food and illusion spells, 

All at 20:  Curse, perfect illusion, illusion disguise, dispell magic, missile shield, magelock, create object, mystic mark, recover energy, Sense life, sense foes, resist fire.

 

She travels in a leather corracle that she can sling over her shoulder(it changes size from a yard to three yards wide, is waterproof,  fireproof, has DR 10 and self repairs),

and uses a carved oar (dragonbone staff/poleaxe) With which she has 16 skill and gives her 10 fp as a power item.

 

Now the cluster of 125 point characters would have been no match for her if she had been angry, but they placated her with honeycomb found with a Survival roll and a meat pie purchased in the market, even with the handful of hazelnuts that granted beast speech…

warlockery

Meanwhile, Ruby Fire Games has put out  a bunch of supplements for Warlock! that are all full of my artwork, and have some wicked good ideas on handling corruption from spellcasting (all magic in Warlock comes from pacts with demons) and has rules for elves, dwarves, and halflings and cool things like a Hand of Glory.

You can get a look at the main book for warlock here.

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Warlock!

Screenshot_20200517-185757_Drive

Fire Ruby Designs just released this beauty on Drivethrurpg.  You can get it as a pdf for about $6, and as a hardback for $25.

This game has the most comprehensive  collection of my stock art so far -54 separate images of mine, making for a very comprehensive look to the product, and a great portfolio piece for me.

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Gaming in a time of plague

I work in a major New York hospital, and things are pretty horrible for a lot of people. My family was very lucky with our brush with this thing, generally very light cases, although my wife and eldest had worse versions of it than I did. I used my time in quarantine to finish writing up a game, and my return to work has humbled me in the face of the monumental task that nurses have caring for these critically ill patients. I am grateful for my health, for even breathing.

The game I wrote is an Odysseys and Overlords version of an adventureI have mentioned previously, set in my home campaign, in the city of Northport.

I have been working on this setting for about 18 years in different versions of GURPS, and because I am not Douglas Cole, and do not have a license for GURPS material, I am releasing it in a system with an OGL. One of the primary conceits, as mentioned previously came from one of my favorite Dragon Magazines, number 138. This had to do with a campaign set in a post plague world, which for me gave a twist on the borderlands idea; it is not the colonial border of human lands and an inhabited land to be conquered, but the edge of the remnant of a semi-collapsed civilization, adjacent to places depopulated by fatal sickness, and chock full of under maintained ruins, still full of treasure, where the remaining inhabitants are beset by banditry and an unchecked level of monstrous incursions.

When I wrote a lot of Northport, I designed a dungeon under a city that was full of mass graves of plague victims that had become undead due to improper burial, I had not conceived of the reality of the same thing (minus the undead) happening now, to patients I knew and had worked with. The concept hits me a lot harder, and fills me with sadness.

The idea of a rat borne plague has featured in the other gaming products I have written; in both Beneath the Fallen Tower, and in Northport, it spread because available adventurers were doing mercenary work in local wars, and no one was left to chase the rats out of an innkeeper’s cellar.

Meanwhile, as the need to engage social distancing to save our lives prohibits actual tabletop play, my preferred method of gaming, play by post, works as well as it ever has, although there is a hell of a lot less downtime at work to post.

It fells awkward having the pretend issues of my game suddenly become relevant in real life; gaming is supposed to be an escape.

Be safe out there people.

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