A New Year and a Round Number

One BookShelf isn’t showing it right now, but I have 50 titles that contain my work.

The problem has to do with the most recent product featuring my stock art, the RPG Pundit’s Lion & Dragon

Despite not currently having an artist’s listing due to OBS `accidentally ` deleting the listing for this entry and then reinstating it incompletely, you can see that the book has quite a bit of my art.

There is some other lovely stock art as well, some by Jack Badashi, and several nice pieces by Henry Justice Ford. Production quality is as good as found in Dark Albion and Chaos Cults.

The system itself is very OSR, although the magic system is supposed to conform to magical traditions of the fourteenth century. There is a serious nod to DCC in the startup at 0 level with extra characters.

I was approached last year to do some work on this project, but either my rates were too high or my politics too far to the left for the Pundit’s taste, and he settled on buying a few stock bundles instead.

My family set me up with some excellent gaming and drawing things for Yule, from a light board and steel ruler, and a microphone for Discord, to a stack of gaming books for 5E, GURPS and SWCL. I love my Family!

I am looking to run a tabletop game at a minicon this month, using SWCL and Beneath the Fallen Tower. I have to get writing it…

And I have some commissions for John Stater’s monster book 2 for Blood & Treasure.

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The Manor 9, Nod 33, and AES, Brass Revolution

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Tim Short was one of my first patrons, and is the author of The Manor, a great little gaming zine that has, among other things, launched something that became Dungeon Grappling

This issue has not only a cover that Tim commissioned from me, but three other illustrations from my stock art, two of which were prompted by Tim.

He wrote this issue to be compatable with Erik Tenkar’s Swords & Wizardry Continual Light  and includes some custom rules for clerics, a great wilderness encounter table, and a tavern to be found in a dungeon.  I really like the characterizations he has done there, and am making a go of it myself.

Argento Pitts is a Squire with the 125 pt Veteran lens, from DF15, along with the knight/inkeeper lens from DF10., and a variation on the Foul Limb power up, from DF11, except it is considered a construct and not undead, has ST+4 and DR 20 vs non-magical weapons, and is an unnatural feature. He is stubborn, skinny, suspicious, and curious (the last two are quirk level.)

Gunnhild is a guard with bad temper, and a 10 point OPH, gives dirty looks. Kind of reminds me of Masugatan, a crass brute in my game.

Valac is a goblin Wizard, with the 125pt learned lens, has self defense pacifism, curious, wierdness magnet, and an obsession to  learn more. He has DR 20 to nonmagical weapons, but is vulnerable to meteoric iron ones.

His door is a construct with ST 20, 100 hp, DR 10, plus DR 20 to non magical weapons, effectively has Magelock at 25 skill, and can strike for thrust/ crush with a skill of 12, and has regular regeneration.

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John Stater, my most consistent, prolific, and generous patron, just released Nod33 which contains a commissioned quintet of African Deities.

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He also recently released Screenshot_20171211-100157

Esoterica Exhumed, after the Unearthed Arcana, contains new classes and spells for Blood&Treasure, or any OSR type game, and includes two more of my illustrations,  for the spell Control Hair, and the Saboteur class.

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You can get it here.

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Another fine use of my stock art was made in the steampunk game,

AES, Brass Revolution. I haven’t given it a really thoughrough read through, but they seem to have used work from at least four different stock packs of mine., and I think the first use of my Space Opera Art in a publication.

I am always a sucker for airships.

 

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As always, my stock art can be bought here

And my Tshirts and other products at Teepublic

And prints and more at Society6

Despite billing issues at Patreon, you can always support me there, at a flat monthly rate for cheaper than buying my bundles.

Blueholme work nearly done

I have just one more picture to do, something about missile combat. I have been looking at come of the other work by my cohorts, and I must say I am excited for this project to be done.

Erik Tenkar recently sent me an advance copy of Swords &Wizardry Continual Light, and I joined the Swords & Wizardry Light Legion, so as to better work on Beneath the Fallen Tower. (I had also acquiered Monstrosities, Tome of Horrors Complete  and Tome of Horrors 4 for conversions). Oddly enough, the adventure hook I put in that would lead to an encounter with a fire Slorn scaled better with James Spahn’s abreviated stats for a SWCL dragon than with the Fire Lizard I had planned on porting from Tome of Horrors  Complete. Naturally this encounter was one of those our starter characters would have been gravely outmatched by, but no one ever said the world had to be balanced.

Likewise, the necromantically inclined apprentice wizard in the adventure scales perfectly as one of Spahn’s alternate classes.

My work has been published in two otber gaming suplements. Nod 32 ,by John Stater, has a bunch of my Mesopotamian art, along with some Circus folk for Grit & Vigor.

One of my Dungeon Scenes showed up in Christopher Clark’s systemless adventure, Bastion, the Border Village of Namar. It has good use of clip art throughout, and a decent cross section of plots, some of which revolve around a demon cult that uses succubi to lure in members, much like the Saturnal cult withintbe sewers of Northport. The one thing that felt off to me was the way every female character had some kind of attractiveness rating,and none of the male characters had more than the most cursory of physical descriptions.

You can pick that up here.

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Some progress and a sneak peak

here is a quick sneak peak of my conversion project. So far, it is an essay about game systems, some basic characters, a few tentative monster entries and a bunch of legal disclaimers… about 27 pages, and you can get it here  for FREE. Hopefully, in the weeks to come I will get the adventure itself written out.  In the meantime, I have some more commissions for Blood & Treasure v2 to work on.

Getting a little farther along …

Moving along with this project… statted out two more classes… only three to go before I   get down to the nitty-gritty  of the adventure itself.  My little writing project has take quite a bit of inspiration  from the tower of Zenopus  from the Holmes book,and a little from one of the  illustrations  in my stock art.

 

Update: finished off the two race as class distillations from Sean Punch’s  Pyramid article, facing the harsh reality that 75 points  gets you less and less once you start with mandatory pricey advantages. The adventurer class is underway, and seems to fare better in build than either elf or dwarf, despite having Jack of All Trades and Luck as mandatory  items. Perhaps my recent Appendix N reading has helped with that.

A Low level adventure in the works

I haven’t  been able to post properly of late, as my house, game books, and computer has been packed up while my landlord takes care of something , and will remain so for a few weeks. This has not kept me from maddly scribbling away in a few small notebooks.

I have been asked by a number  of my S&W friends how GURPS  DF plays when compared  to an OSR product, and I think I  may have found a way to let them try. I am currently  statting up an introductory  game using both 1st level S&W characters and rules together with 75 point GURPS  characters and GURPS  Lite.

Why 75 points? I think that point level runs closest to 1st level, and besides, the 62pt 0 level characters fromPeter Dell’Orto’s  DF15: Henchmen  are lacking things like power investiture and magery, but they do form the basis for the characters, along with Sean Punch’s  article Races as Professions in Pyramid 3/50.

Hopefully, I   can get this written up as a downloadable pdf in a week or two.

Borderland Provinces: a Review

About a month ago, I entered a contest for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day by writing a blog entry, and recently I received a free PDF copy of Frog God Games Borderland Provinces. Currently, I am about seventy pages into its two hundred and fifty two pages, but there is enough good stuff already that I have to share.

This was a great win, and one that became more poignant to me when I found out that the Art Director and Layout Artist for the project was Chuck Wright.  He has recently been going through a lot, and the link connects to his gofundme pages, set up by his work family at FRog God Games. They are selling a product to help support him. I was minimally involved, as were a great many, through Erik Tenkar, whjo heavily promoted the charity, encouraging many publishers to contribute incentives to donate to Chuck’s cause.As soon as I get contact info from Erik, I will be sending out someveral of my Stock Art PDF’s.

borderland Provinces is one of the most detailed Gazetteers I have ever run into, and I had both of the boxed sets of Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms.  The layout and use of font sizes flows smoothly and the charts are well placed and readable. While being highly detailed, it is not overly restricting, and has tons of customizable territory.

The two features that are most appealing to me are the use of Tech Levels and the format of the Stat blocks for the territories and Cities.  Those of you who follow my blog know that I primarily play GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, and while I love S&W, my interest is largely larcenous.  Rarely do I find a feature that translates so neatly into GURPS.  Tech Levels have been with GURPS for a very long time. They both indicate the availability of specific types of gear, and also describe a little of the world of the setting.  The tech levels in Borderland provinces are a little bit finer that the general TL3 to early TL4 that is the default for Gurps Dungeon Fantasy, and I think it helps.

The Stat blocks for Cities seem to be a good fit for GURPS City Stats, which I do not own, but have seen previews of.  These stat blocks, which while expanded into specifics in the body of text, give quick insight into the degree of lawlessness, civic corruption, population demographics and monthly purchasing power of the area. The last is significant, as it indicates how much of the dungeon spoils can be sold in the area without having to travel.

The flavor text is useful, and had me thinking a little of Sprague De Camp, who I am reading concurrently.  There are cities where you cannot engage in commerce without a hat of the right sort, and hamlets where they only trade in chickens because any other barter is sinful. The heraldry has literal significance also; don’t attack the town with the dragon on its flag if you know what’s good for you.

For conversions, I make a lot of use of Peter Dell’Orto‘s DF 15:Henchmen in populating my gameworld, using the five tiers of fighter type: Men at arms grade 62 point guard,  3rd to 5th level equivalent 125 point Squire or brute, 5th to 7th level equivalent 187point Veteran Guard,  7th to 8th level equivalent PC grade 250 point knight,  and Name level equivalent 375 point veteran knight.

There are one or two other areas that need addressing in this way, such as 1st-3 level fighter types, who I build by adding the following 30point template to Guards:

Battle Hardened [30pts]

combat reflexes [15] 8 points to primary weapon skill, 4 points to secondary weapon skill or shield, 2 points to background skills( probably tactics) and 1 point toward guard perks like teamwork, shieldwall training and sacrificial block.

The listed leaders (Overlords, high Sheriffs, Barons) would also tend to have 50-125 points worth of IQ+1 [20], Born War leader [5/+1], Status [5/+1], Rank [5/+1] Wealth [10-30], Allies [in groups of 10+ at 62 point or greater level] and skills in Diplomacy, heraldry, Politics, Leadership and Strategy.

One thing that Borderland Provinces does is slip in non combatant classes indicative of personal power, like HD in Aristocrat or commoner. These are a fairly easy conversion.

Most of the 4-6 HD aristocrats would be built on the Agent Template, with Politics, Heraldry and Diplomacy as the primary skills, and Merchant, law and leadership as  secondary, adding in Riding and falconry into background skills.

Overall this a worthwhile sandbox to own, whether you are looking for a broader world to embed Rappan Athuk into (it’s on the map) or even B2.

 

 

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.