Wednesday, August 31, 2011

(Nina's Writing Prompt 3) Jake's Choice.

Nina Pelletier said:

Today we are going to work on our writing skills. Everyone should already know about the 5 senses, I think we learned about them in kindergarten, but for writers, there are more senses to consider. Thanks to a wonderful writing course I took, I learned of some of these extra senses that need to be considered, one of them being the Sense of Space.
You want to bring your reader into your scene and feel what your characters are feeling, are they stuffed in a coffin? In the middle of field? Being bumped around the streets of New York during rush hour? How much SPACE does your character have, if any?

Bring us with you, or with one of your characters, into a scene that focuses on the sense of space. 250 words or less please. NOT IN THE FIRST PERSON TODAY PLEASE.

If you are new to the prompt and share, feel free to click here for rules, tips and tricks.

Jake's Choice:

Jake was floating somewhere far above The Nexus. He both lost in thought and yet meditating quietly. He was contemplating whether he should allow his federation to continue experiments that might allow them too literately transcend their mortal existence.

With the vast space of The Nexus below him, he could imagine all of his people all The Drifters running about the planets, researching, teaching, playing and fighting. The activity going to and from the material plane had been stopped so there were no ships near the Nexus’s borders. Jake was alone out there contemplating the existence of nearly a trillion Drifter soldiers and citizens.

“What is transcendence?” Jake Wondered too himself. “I have heard that some do not come back from it and others have no memories of what it was like.”

Images of Ian’s son Nobody came into his head. Nobody was like a nephew to Jake and had somehow through the use of meditation and link too Nirvana managed to transcend on more than one occasion. His entire mortal existence vanishing to a realm that Jake just couldn’t seem to understand.

“I know my men, all of them will gladly go through with the experiment and push the entire Nexus into the unknown. Is that how it’s meant to be done though? Is it right to use technology to go into the realm of mystery. ”

Jake wasn’t afraid, wasn’t even worried. He normally made decisions in the blink of an eye, but this time he had no desire either way. He began to imagine the stars and planets before him were all of existence, stretching on further than anyone had ever gone.

“I know life will go on without me, without us. Do I want it too though? Do I want to move on and have no more contact with all the beings and energies of this existence? ”

There was no answer too Jake’s thoughts. There was only him and everything he had ever known.

ADD (Campaign log 1)

Last night I dm’ed/played some more Adventures Dark and Deep. Unfortunately everyone that usually joins us and all the people we invited were unable to make it. So it was just me and Laisa, but we still had fun.

In the previous session Einar had negotiated with one of the patrons of the Flying Mage tavern. He agreed to take us to see Caldwell and we would all get an equal share of pay and loot. We had all decided to accept the task of clearing out the Stirge nest and exploring below Castle Caldwell. Einar had negotiated our pay as well but the commoner from the tavern split with his share of the pay and Einar left to track him down.

This left Eloum and Thayd to complete the task so they decided to use their money too hire at least one other person to come with. The found a poor tavern “The Mason” and traded some candles for beer and information on who might like to be hired. They hired a man named Philip and offered him 33 silver for one month’s wages. (we are using a customized silver not gold standard).

We agreed too meet up with Phillip in two days at The Mason. So, Eloum and Thayd quickly went too the bank before dusk each deposited some coins they had gotten from Caldwell and also deposited Philips pay in his name. After that they Slept at “The Brown Bell Inn” and spent the next day purchasing Armor, Darts, a Lantern and other supplies.

They Slept at The Brown Bell again and then in morning met up with Phillip and they all left for Castle Caldwell. Upon opening the main doors we immediately discovered a group of three young Stirge. Even though the Stirge were surprised two still got the initiative and rushed at Thayd. One attached its self and the other missed. Philip moved up to assist Thayd while Eloum threw darts at the remaining Stirge.

The third Stirge rushed over to Eloum, who was still in the doorway. Eloum was quickly brought too negative Hit Points but one of his traits (for being a mystic if I remember right) allowed him to remain conscious. Thayd move too help Eloum and Philip now dropped unconscious.

Once Eloum was free they both killed the final Stirge and bandaged Philippe and then Eloum. We decided to retreat to town and this ended the game session.

Even though it was just the two of us playing we manage too keep a decent amount of dialog and role-playing. The session might have continued but we spent some time adapting to the new combat system. It was new in ways. I have seen it before but wife had not. We had fun and all lived even Philip and got a little experience.

System: Adventures Dark and Deep by Joseph Bloch
Module: B1-B9 In search of adventure
Laisa = (Thayd) High Elf, Mage/Mountebank
Me = (Eloum) High Elf, Mystic/Fighter/Savant
Brandon = (Frey) Gray Elf, Mage
Justin = (Einar)Wild Elf, Fighter/Thief

Next ADD Campaign Log

Legends and Labyrinths Early Bird Landmark

Legends and Labyrinths has reached $2139 of their $3000 and if they hit their goal by mid night tonight , anyone who funded ($30 and up) will receive PDF copies of Mini-Adventure 1: Complex of Zombies and Mini-Adventure 2: The Black Mist as a free bonus when the project is funded.

So everyone head over to 8-bit funding so we can hit this landmark.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Diamond (Don't Judge Me)

Drake leaned up against a tree, he heard this nearly a dozen times now but he made sure too keep eye contact with Diamond. If he didn't listen she would know and be furious. They were standing in a natural path they had found through the dense trees surround the un-measurably colossal Tree-of-Life. The natural scents of the forest and the sounds of creatures and birds was thick in the air.

"They still treat us like a threat," Diamond continued. "Like we are villains, just because we don't do as were told and I know its mostly because they fear our power. There has too be some way we can force them too just leave us alone, I don't want an alliance, I don't want anything to do with them."

"Too be fair," Drake interrupted. " Several of our people like Sibra and even yourself have acted directly against them. Too them you were villains. And as for being afraid of our power, seriously diamond we have 2-3 people here that could rival all of the Demigods single handed-ly."

I don't care!" Diamond shouted "They are so full of them selves thinking that we can't be trusted on our word but they can. They trust the Drifters, They trust del..."

Drake interrupted again "Jake and del have both helped the demigods repeatedly."

"I said I don't care! I don't like being judged. Its as simple as that if they keep on trying to put us in our place as what they define as the good guys then I am going to snap." Diamond had gotten within and inch of Drakes face and was clearly angry, like usual.

"Wait," Drake said with a smirk coming on his face. "Snap huh, so your saying right now your holding it in?"

Diamond turned away.

"So you are trying to be good aren't you Diamond?" Drake asked.

"Shut up!" Diamond yelled whipping back too him. "I said I don't like being judged that includes by you Drake!" Now she looked furious and she even began too slightly glow as she was yelling her skin turned turning into a white light and her blue dress appearing to light up. But she loved Drake and so she calmed down if only a little. She roughly turned away and stormed off. Drake admiring her as she went couldn't help but wonder if Diamond truly was dangerous. "Nah, she's just Hot." He told himself.

Monday, August 29, 2011


One of the reasons I like old-school dnd sometimes even going as far back as basic was the tiers of play. Going from practically a commoner with a sword to a successful adventure with hirelings and maybe a caravan too one day clearing the country side and becoming a lord.

But over time dnd has become more and more about having a high fantasy hero who fights enemies and less about man who grows and changes and develops both himself and the world. You also go from one day having many characters exploring one world too having one characters who just kind of follows the story line.

Justin posted a great article (The Subtle Shifts in Play) that covers some of what I mean over at the Alexandrian.

One thing that article brings too my mind is that the placement of spells in a game needs too have alot of thought. For example does anyone in 3.5 use torches at all. With light being a 0 lvl spell and the amount of spells a 1st level character gets and only 2gp for a sunrod which doesn't need a flint and steel and last for 6 hours and weighs very little.

I really think each edition of dnd simulates an entirely different game and experience. I can't help but wish I had a crew of open minded grognards too help me design a game of our own.

Nina's Writing Prompt (2).

Nina Pelletier said ~

"Prompt-and-Share: It is Monday so it’s time to start the week off write, err I mean right. Get your muses ready for a nice long look into yourselves or your characters. I’ll go a little easier on you folks tomorrow, but for today we are looking for pieces that range between 300 and 600 words. That’s right, room to get detailed! Here’s the prompt, dig deep my friends.
You or your character has been betrayed. Write out a scene of the betrayal from the Point-Of-View of the betrayer."

Its not that I don't Love louis, or at least I did. It feel like it left me though. I told him it was as if I were possessed and then it just left. I wish he would still be my friend I miss how we use too laugh together and he use too let me stand on his shoes while we danced. I wouldn't mind spending more time with him or just hanging out but why couldn't he understand I loved him in a different way then I loved shawn.

By the end louis was hard to deal with though. He became pushy and was just trampling other peoples opinions. I was young anyway so what was he expecting. I still don't know who I am, I'm still growing and he knew there was so much I wanted to do with my life. I really don't know why he expected so much from me.

I know I hurt him but I never meant too, I didn't want too. Now we never talk even though we are both on facebook. I hope he finds happiness and becomes more tolerant of others. I know Laisa and his kids love him. I'm living my own life now though and that's just how people are. Good luck, louis say hi to everyone for me.

~Written (by louis) as though it were written by Erika

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Legends and Labyrinths: First Impressions (post 2)

This is continuing my first impressions post for Legends and Labyrinths. The first post can be found here.

I actually just messed up and lost the second half of the post but I am going to try and reconstruct it or hit the main points.

I noticed that 1st level characters start with one contact. I thought this might slow things down but I quickly wrote my father was a gem cutter and moved on.

When buying armor I liked that the donning time (such as for putting on plate mail) was listed on the same table as gold piece cost and AC. When buying weapons It was nice too see that the splash weapons was on the same page as regular weapons. However I could not buy a throwing axe and the club didn't have range listed so as a cleric I felt kinda forced into buying daggers for a one handed throwing weapon. Also none of the weapons were free, that might be a good thing.

The equipment section had advice on what too buy that might be invaluable for new players

Adventuring Gear is broken into smaller sections and each section is placed too where their descriptions are on the same page as their prices.

I finished the character at exactly 2:45, so it took me 45 mins and could have taken 35 since now I know where too look for the class skills and HD. I imagine I could shave off 10 or more mins making a human fighter.

When making a character in many other rpg's it takes me 2+ hours. I think that when I am ready to play 3rd edition again I will be using L&L as my system of choice. In many ways this book is a DMG and PHB in one. I also like the system for making monster, traps and npc's. I originally was worried about the stunt system but that is actually looking great now that I see how it works.

If you know what Legends and Labyrinths is trying to do then I think it does just that very well. It has not lost any of the flavor of 3.5 and yet it looks like it can be easier and quicker too use.

Now I just hope they get enough funding too release the free supplements too those of us that have funded it.

Legends and Labyrinths: First Impressions

I finally got the Legends and Labyrinths Black Book Beta, Justin sent too me since I helped fund the project. I decided I would try to make a character as I went through the pdf. (that's what I usually do with any new rpg game.)

So here is my first impressions as I made a character in Legends and Labyrinths.

A large factor for me right now is how much time I spend on charactor creation. So I started at exactly 2pm mountain time and timed myself. Too make it fair I would not choose a human or a fighter type.

I ended up making a dwarven cleric and thought this was a good test for making the character. Stats and race were quick and simple since it was exactly like 3.5 and using the 4d6 drop the lowest method. Then I was surprised to find encounter building and earning xp before the classes chapter. I'm not sure about some of the layout because of oddities like this.

Moving on and skipping most of this I liked that the classes chapter had a description of ability types such as spell-like or supernatural. Making the cleric, I didn't see it explain specificly that you get spell casting at level 1,  but that should be pretty obvious. I just wondered how long I would have been confused by that if I were totally new.  

Then somehow I missed the spot that said my HD and class skills. It was off to the side and small almost as if it were inside of the Sidebars that are used very often I like the sidebar referance system but it made me miss this so I wasted 10 mins jumping around the skills and charactor making sections and back too cleric before I found it.

Then the class skills listed didn't mention what stat they were based on. This wasn't a problem luckily since I knew from playing 3.5 and it was easy too check in the skill chapter. I still think I would have liked it mentioned in the class.

I liked that I did not need too choose skills and that there were less class skills, this sped things up and of course was still compatible with the normal skill system from the PHB.

There were many chapters in between classes and equipment or spells, So I spent awhile hitting page down before I got to pick my spells and buy equipment.

Their are less spell options but they are all familiar and I'm sure I could pull out my 3.5 supplements and choose other spells, but for new players or quick characters this was nice. In little time I had my spells and Domains. I'm not sure if the book explained bonus spells but I skipped that because I knew I got one based on my wisdom.

Too stop this post from running on to long I broke it into two posts. The second one is here.

More on Theodric's Making NPCs with cards.

In a previous post I talked about a method of NPC creation I found over at Mythopoeic Rambling using cards. One thing I meant too mention or clarify on was that Theodrics method is simple enough that you could memorize it and use it at the gamin table with no need for the pdf. Which I'm starting to think sounds better and better since I wouldn't need my computer or even a rule book too quickly find out who a random npc is.

Here is how I imagine me using it and might try tomorrow or Tuesday. We are sitting around gaming and the pc's walk into an Inn in a mixed population town so I have no idea who this inn keeper should be. I have a deck of cards sitting by me and I draw the top one and get a Diamond, that tells me its a dwarf and since I decided to write one or more dwarven names on all the diamonds in this deck I quickly have an option for the inn keepers name.

Now given that he is an inn keeper he is probably just a commoner but if in game it turns out he is secretly something else then I draw another card and lets say I get another Diamond, this tells me he is a thief and the number on the card lets me know that that plus three is his primary attribute (dex) so his dex will land somewhere between 5 and 16 and if I got anything less then nine I would probably just say its a nine so the dwarven thief will either have around average or above average dex.

I would for now assume the rest of his stats where 10's because I find that a quick way to handle things but if I need the rest of the stats I would follow the rest of Theodrics method and be done in seconds. And if I had no ideas at all for the personality then I probably would draw a card for another stat or so until I knew basically who this npc is. A low int and high dex might mean he is street smart and yet illiterate for example.

I'm not sure If I like the 5-16 thing but that's mostly because in the edition I'm playing in you can qualify for a class with less then 9 but in 3.5 I'd just go with the 5 if I drew it.Maybe I would just go with +5 for the main attribute then it would 7-18 but I don't think I would do that all the time either.

Edit: It just occurred to me that using the ace as a 14 you could have a stat as high as 17 in the prime score. I double checked the pdf and found that for rolling the other stats you get from 3-16

Update: I finally got around too looking at Theodrics Gallery of Random Rouges. Which is a pdf of npc's made using his card system. I saw some superior one's and some sub-par ones so I'd have to say it seams balanced in that regard and also It reminded me that you could adjust the attributes for race making it possible to get an 18

Saturday, August 27, 2011

M Theory sounds like the Manual of Planes

If you watch this video and think of the planes of existence in DnD or even some of the beliefs held by many pagans, you might find that they coincide amazingly well.

For example it talks about an infinite number of universes floating in the 11th dimension. Sounds alot like the Ethereal (or is astral?) too me. They even speak of gravity coming from other universes or a universe of nothing but lightning. Reminds me of the elemental planes.

Of course an infinite number of realities isn't a new concept and maybe not discussed much in dnd as it seams too mostly focus on specific planes but still aren't all of the planes of existence said too being floating in the ethereal just like on this video.

Might fun too fly na spell jamer through this 11th dimension rather then just space.

Also as a pagan I have always believed that each person exists here and in other realms at the same time. Essentially when I speak too me spirte guide I am speaking through the spirit realm which very well could be going through this 11th dimension. At night I sometimes travel through the membranes too other realities. I do sometimes get astral travel and ethereal a little confused in my head but that's mostly just a vocabulary confusion for me.

Anyway wether watching this video for gaming ideas, spirituality or entirely scientific its still an interesting video that explains the basics of M-theory and how it came about.


Storymash Descibes its self as "A creative writing community for authors, amateur writers, readers and anyone interested incollaborative fiction and collaborative creative writing."

I love it as it seams too be a great way too get some inspiration for writing. Basically here is how it works. You can post any writing that you are the author of and not breaking any copyrights by posting. You still maintain the ownership of your writing so your not giving up any right.

People will read and vote on your writing. (You start with 2.9 stars instead of being able to just jump too 5 or 0) Then they can comment or even branch off of your story-line and write a chapter of their own. You can of course continue writing your version of the story.

You can also read anyone else's writing and if you feel inspired or don't like how the story is going you can add a chapter too their story and write it yourself and even keep going from there. Each story can have unlimited amounts of branches.

Like I said before you also maintain ownership of your writing so you can still post it on your blog or wherever.

Also (although I like the site without it) you can make money on your writing because story-mash will pay you some of the money they make from ads, based on the popularity of your story. Don't let this bother you though if you just like writing for fun I love the site even without making money. Too be honest I haven't made that much yet anyway so who cares :)

So check out storymash or some of my writing and hopefully I will get too read some of yours on there soon.

Friday, August 26, 2011

NPC Creation using playing cards.

Over at Mythopoeic Rambling Theodric has posted a pdf that gives some quick rules too make random npc's and their stats using a normal deck of playing cards. I haven't tested it myself yet but I definitely see some potential there. Mostly I think I would use it in game when I don't want too be sitting at a computer but want too quickly get an idea for an npc.

Must first too concerns for his method are that it doesn't mention personality or quirks and I'm not sure how the random stats will turn out. But like I said I haven't tested it yet.

I think I will be likely not use the whole method but maybe just use it too genorate the race and/or class and the prime ability score. I could see use'g a card deck for many other ideas though maybe random alignment. Social class or contacts. Maybe even random weapons.

I guess in my mind though you could make a deck represent almost everything random in a campaign that you want. Even evernts or dungeon rooms. But maybe instead of making cards for specific things I could make tables to draw on rather then roll on.

Games and what they are simulating

I think that one of the major factors of the various editions of D&D and what they mean too me are largely effected by what they seam too simulate. I would say that the older the edition the closer it was too simulating playing soldiers in some way. You played a man-at-arms who raided a dungeon.

Lots of flavor was put towards things like taxes and wasting money so that you would need to raid someone too get more money. Which also gave you xp or power. Then each edition after that it went from this low fantasy feel closer and closer too a high fantasy feel.

By 3.5 there seams too be indications that high level people are rather abundant and whole economies could be based off of wishes. This seams too be in contrast too some of its world simulation tools I have used when playing 3.5 Such as rolling up cities and being able too make money in town using profession and crafting.

4th edition of course went into a totally different direction.

All of these are called RPG's but too me each one hasn't entirely emphasized Role playing at all. The rules reflect mostly combat but then say you can role-play. I also feel that skill systems like in 3.5, rune quest and even rifts can take away from roleplaying as you have a mechanical way too deal with the character.

I can't wait too play The Secret Fire and see if it really makes me feel like its a role playing game and not a simulation of battle or fantasy magic.

((Note: I have used all editions and successfully role played, but I have also played all editions on a completely hack and slash level))

Personal Post: The double standard of Jealousy

Being someone that is in an open relationship I am often asked, "How can you deal with the jealousy?" This question really surprises, of course loving someone that is also seeing someone else will spark some jealousy, but why is jealousy held in such high regard.

It would be like me asking someone how can you deal with being married since couples fight shouldn't you just avoid the anger. Or how can handle watching celebrities on TV without feeling envious. My point is that any other emotion is faced head on now days, your not going too avoid going to a funeral of someone you love because it makes you sad.

I'm not sure if my examples are good enough too make the point, but basically any emotion like anger, sadness, greed, anticipation even fear are looked at as something that a healthy person handles. Yet many people say too me they could never be polyamorus because they would rather avoid the jealousy issues.

I truly don't understand that. I could be wrong but I believe I noticed a certain double standard here.

Lets say Liz and Paul are dating. Paul accidently makes Liz mad but says it wasn't his intention, Liz would be expected too talk about it rationally and not throw blame at Paul.

 Now lets say Paul tells Liz that his female friend at work is very attractive. Now Liz is allowed if not expected too feel jealous and blame Paul, maybe yell at him and demand he stop spending time around her. Rational conversation is almost stopped all together. You might say in this example that you would say he could be friends with her, but come on if he wanted to date her you'd probably be insanely confused and jealous and blame him for it saying he should not have done it.

Done what is what I'm wondering, he shouldn't have been honest? Shouldn't have been open minded?

Basically if your partner makes you mad just for being himself then that is at least part of the time understandable and not something too blame him for. But if he makes you jealous then he must stop doing it because you don't want too face that emotion.

A few notes: By you, I mean an average person not you specifically. Also the example relationships are not examples of mine, we have faced jealousy head on and used honesty as our weapon against it. For me jealousy is just like anger when it pops up I make sure too cool down and not freak out.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A look at Stirges

Since in my current Adventures Dark and Deep (ADD) campaign the characters are going to be encountering some Stirges left over from a nest that wasn't destroyed in a previous campaign I thought it would be a good idea too do some research on Stirges. I could have just checked the ADD Bestiary too see if it covered Stirges but I thought I had a better idea.

I decided too look at all the info I could find from D&D books up to 3rd edition and compile the information. Then draw some conclusions on what a Stirge actually is by comparing all of their descriptions and information.

Too make the article more readable I moved all of the stat blocks down to the bottom of the post.

Looking at all the data together I gather:

Stirges were originally compared too ant eaters in OD&D being described as bird-like with dangling proboscises. Several things I noted, there is no mention of flying it says they "moves out of the area to digest" also it does not mention dealing damage when it attaches and interestingly it uses the plural of proboscis (proboscises) Wow too me it sounds like an ant eater with vestigial wings and two sucking proboscises running at you too attach itself.

 They also have a high chance too hit but only go after "Warm" blooded creatures. (Useful too know if your playing a lizard man or golem hehe.) You could encounter up to 30 of them and they were likely too be in their lair.

By basic D&D the Stirge has flying and is described as bird like with a long nose, but then is described too be  thrusting its beak into its victim, which now deals 1-3 damage. But they now only drain 1-3 dmg worth of blood each round. They maintain their higher chance too hit but also gain a bonus too hit on their first attack. By then you could encounter up to 10 out of their lair or 36 in their lair. They were said too live in caverns, ruins or woods.

In 1st edtion they are now described as having a single dangling probosces that is also snaky. They are now hitting for 1-3 when attaching and the full 1-4 of blood drain still detaching by 12 points of damage from blood drain. Seams like they are more lethal by now too me. They are also now described as feathery and rust colored with yellow eyes and a pink tip on its grey proboscis. (The coloring does sound more mosquito like now and the previous mention of a beak and birds is sound more and more mosquito like but a snaky, dangling proboscis.

Now in the dragon magizine article I didn't read the whole story but I noticed it did describe them as mosquito like but the desert variety is described in the story as having six legs and no wings. Although the picture has six legs and wings. Also I noticed that when they were full of blood they were described as clumsy and slow fliers that would exploded when hit. I also think it mentioned chirping. The jungel Stirge is described as up to 5' and not an accomplished flier.

ADD stuck very closely too what a Stirge has been in the past, giving them the 1d3 damaging beak and 1d4 blood drain, describing them as 2' high birds with all the right colors and high chance too hit. Also you can encounter from 3-30 of them

When I look at all of this I draw the following conclusions.
  • The Stirge is a warm blooded animal that has evolved in nearly any place that is dark. Ruins, caverns, underground, desert burrows, woods and jungles.
  • Most of them are not natural fliers and are more likely related too a land animal then a bird.
  • Most species do not have beak like but rather softer mouths that maybe bite.
  • They seam too be as small as cats and maybe as big as men.
  • They only drink from warm blooded creatures and usually attack in swarms
  • The typical nest has about 15 of them and they don't stray very far.
  • Some species have feathery hair others are leathery (3e) some have evolved too have extra feet or wings.
  • They sound highly adaptable too me yet usually maintain a red color with yellow feet and a gray mouthy thing with a pink tip.
  • I would guess they are related too mammals possibly distantly related bats,
  • I personally would guess that they could easily spread disease and even lice or ticks
  • They seam too need one or more man sized creatures too be full
  • I would guess that unlike mosquito they only lay eggs (if they don't give birth) only once or twice a year at most and not just right after feeding. 
  • The smarter ones probably should learn too let go and fly away before they are too full or just killed as this just seams suicidal.
This has given me a few ideas for interesting scenarios. 
  • A Stirge population that has gone out of control reaching over 300 and covering a country side or flying in like locusts.
  •  A disease (or undead disease) being spread by Stirges (or undead Stirges). 
  • Smart Stirges that have learned to kill ruthlessly without always draining blood but by stabbing biting and out smarting victims.
  • Some that have learned too evolve or adapt amazingly fast too any threat or environment.
  • A deserted town where many buildings have been turned into Stirge nests.
  • Stirges living in and among giant creatures like huge rats maybe even forming a symbiotic relationship.
  • And of course, Attack of the double mouthed blood sucking ant eaters.

Originally appearing in the Greyhawk supplement for OD&D;

STIRGES: Large, bird-like monsters with long, dangling proboscuses, the Stirges
might call to mind evil-looking, feathered ant eaters. Stirges are attracted to warmblooded
creatures, and when a hit is scored by one it indicates it has attached itself to its
prey in order to suck its blood. Thereafter it will drain the blood at the rate of 1-4
points/melee round until the prey is a bloodless corpse, the Stirge growing bloated in the
process and moving out of the area to digest its repast. Note: Stirges are considered as
attackings as 4th level fighters for purposes of determination of attachment although
they have but 1 hit die.

Number Appearing:3-30 AC 7, Move 18", HD 1, Lair 55%

Rules Cyclopedia:

Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 1* (S)
Move: 30'(10')
Flying: 180' (60')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d3
No. Appearing: 1d10(3dl2)
Save As: F2
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: L
Intelligence: 1
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 13
Monster Type: Monster (Common).
A stirge is a birdlike creature with a long nose.
It attacks by thrusting its beak into the victim's
body, and feeds on blood. A successful hit (for
1d3 points of damage) means that it has attached
itself to the victim, sucking for 1d3 points
of damage per round until the victim is dead.
A flying stirge gains a bonus of + 2 on its first
attack roll against any one opponent due to its
speedy diving attack.
Terrain: Cavern, Ruins, Woods.

AD&D Monster Manual

Stirge, Frequency uncommon, AC 8, HD 1 + 1,  in lair 60%, dmg 1-3, Special attack Drain Blood, Magic Resistance standard, Int Animal, Neutral, Small, 
Stirges are found only in very dark, tangled forests or in subterranean lairs. They lay in wait for warm-blooded creatures, swoop down, and when long sharp proboscis is attached, the blood of the victim is drawn through to be eaten. Stirges attack as if they were creatures with 4 hit dice. The snaky proboscis of a Stirge inflicts 1-3 damage when it hits. then 1-4 each round after striking until it has drained 12 hit points of blood. Bloated and full the Stirge will fly off. The only way to detach a stirge before then is too kill it.

The feathers of a Stirge are rusty red to red-brown. its eyes and feet are yelloish. The dangling proboscis is of a strange pink at its tip fading to grey at the base.

2nd Edition Monster Manual:
I couldn't get my hands on this one right now

Dragon magazine #239
A great article about Stirges is in this magazine including a story and stats for a burrowing desert Stirge and a tougher jungle Stirge.

3rd edition changed them into four winged bat-like mosquitoes that drain constitution instead of hit points. So I don't think I am going to be using any ifo from 3rd.

ADD Bestiary
Number 3d10
Morale -1
Hit Dice 1d10
Armor Class 8
Move 30’/min., 180’/min. (flying - good)
Magic Resistance Standard
No. of Attacks 1
Damage 1d3
Defenses None
Attacks Blood drain, use attack column G
Size S (2’)
Intelligence 1
Alignment Neutral
Treasure Type II
Treasure Value 2d4+1x1,000
Magical Treasure 1d3 items (15%)
X.P. Value 36 + 2/h.p.
General: Stirges inhabit forlorn woodlands and underground. They attack
warm-blooded creatures in great swarms, seeking to drain their blood for
Combat: Stirges attack with their syringe-like beaks, rolling “to hit” on attack
column G rather than D, as they ordinarily would. A successful hit indicates
that the stirges has pierced the skin of the victim, and it will attach itself and
begin automatically drinking blood at the rate of 1d4 h.p. per round. Once
each stirges has drunk 12 h.p. worth of blood, it will detach itself and leave.
They cannot be removed from a victim without killing the stirge first.
Appearance: The stirge is a bird some 2’ high with red to dark red feathers.
The beak is gray at the base and pink at the tip. The feet, with which it clings
to victims, are yellow.

I originally didn't talk much about 3rd edition stirges but this because by then they are described as have four leathery wings and six legs and of course seams a lot like a large mosquito. Also, in 3rd edition they drain constitution instead of hp.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Legends and Labyrinths is now Availble

Now that on 8-bit funding Legends and Labyrinths by Justin Alexander, has reached more then half their goal of $3,000 the beta pdf is finally available. Too get legends and labyrinths go over to 8-bit funding and choose how much you want too fund the project and once you have funded it, or if you have already, then click on project updates and follow the instructions too get the pdf.

Also if they hit their goal of by the end of the month anyone who funded $30 or more will get two free adventures.

If you don't know what Legends and Labyrinths is you can read all about it on their project page.

Nina's Writing Prompt

Nina Pelletier: Said

"Good Morning Google+ers! Today's writing prompt was inspired by +Ayoub Khote 's "getting to know you" post. Check out his page to see what I'm talking about. So today's prompt is going to be personal, I mean REALLY personal. We are going to get to know you a little (or a lot) by this one, and I have a feeling only the brave and courageous will join in (that wasn't me calling you chicken to make you do it)
Prompt and Share: In 300 words or less, write a letter to your 10 year old self.
For tips and tricks and rules on the Prompt-and-Share, visit "

Dear Me:
This is very important for you too know, I want you too read this and memorize it daily.

  1. Most important off all never give up on love and tell dad about your medical concerns always.
  2. Learn too speak respectfully, ask people how too.
  3. Ignore the rude kids and teachers and just focus on your grades and being respectful
  4. Your dad has it tough right now, you will understand why when your older
  5. Respect your brothers but don't feel bad because of what they say, loosen up.
  6. Everyone else is struggling as well, respect them.

From: Louis Clark

P.S. Since your the type who does like hearing about the future I will tell you this. Your not going to be an astronaut or famous what you are going to be is a dad. Also remember having talent and being world renown have nothing to do with each other.

ADD Campaign Log 0

System: Adventures Dark and Deep
Module: B1-B9 In search of adventure

Laisa = (Thayd) High Elf, Mage/Mountebank
Me = (Eloum) High Elf, Mystic/Fighter/Savant
Brandon = (Frey) Gray Elf, Mage
Justin = (Einar)Wild Elf, Fighter/Thief

Einar was sent too recover "sky" a stolen elven axe (from a previous campaign). He tracked the three human bandits too threshold were he found two of them dead and encountered Frey a traveling gray elf who happened too find Einar as he was searching around the human bodies with the two dogs he owns (a guard and hunting dog.)

They went into town leaving the Einar's horse at the stables and heading to city hall too check in their weapons. Einar asked about the axe and discovered (a previous character) Elf known as Maximus had already recovered the axe and had left too take it back too its rightful owners.

This left Einar free too explore this area or return home he encountered Eloum and Thayad as they were leaving the City Hall. They were originally sent down too cooperate with the logging work being done in threshold too maximize protection of the forest.

The elf were sent too relive from duty however refused too go, so they decided to join up with Einar too explore this area. We checked the billboard near the city hall and then moved on too a tavern and inn called The Flying Mage were the players heard commoners arguing about work being done for Caldwell.

In a previous adventure the main floor of castle Caldwell had been cleared but now the Stirges were becoming over populated as their nest had not been destroyed and the door leading too a way below the castle has been unsealed.

This is were we stopped for now as most of our time was spent on character creation but it leaves us in a good spot too being play next time.

Next ADD Campaign Log

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jake The Drifter, Post 2

I knew that after the fight we were going to be traveling again to another town or village. I was glad we got some bread before we left. We quickly crossed farmland but making sure not too look like we were running. Then entered the the wild. It kept getting thicker as we went east. Jake took us off the road, but I was confidante he knew the way. Shortly after that I could no longer see the sun, but I was surprised that before we had slept we already had come into a small village.

Now that we were clear of the tree line, I could see it was just barely dusk. Then I was scared as Jake took my hand and led me right too a building, an inn. I couldn't believe it when he opened the door and took me right inside.

The lady of the house walked into the room. She smiled when she saw us. I think she was a nice person. She said "Children, I would but help you if only I had food too spare." She walked over and ruffled Jake's hair. I thought she was petting him like goat but he didn't move away, and I hid behind him.

"I will see what I can do maybe an extra blanket so you will stay warm, but you cannot stay here its bad for business." The lady was walking into another room but Jake stopped her.

"No need, I want too offer a trade." Jake reached into his pocket and brought something out. "I found this copper ring on the road and thought it might be worth a meal."

The lady came back over and I went back too hiding. She took the ring and looked at it then said. "This isn't copper. This is made of gold!" She grabbed Jake's shoulders which startled me. Jake released my hand. "Now tell me boy, did you steal this if so I can't accept it."

Jake replied while looking right into her eyes. "I would never steal anything.... least it be too help my sister." They both stood silent for a moment. "Very well." She replied while letting go. "You can stay the night, we need the buisness but you will tell me all the details of how you got this."

I don't remember much of the night. The lady made food and Jake told me too eat my fill and then some. I must have fallen asleep at the table after stuffing myself. Later, I woke up in a bed. I heard loud banging and as I sat up I saw Jake jumping to his feet from the floor.

He was still near the bed when the door flew open. A tall skinny man with hair cut like a bowl ran into the room, he looked all around and right at us then went to the window opened it a jumped out. I was not use too sleeping indoors so I wasn't sure if that was strange or not.

Shortly after there was some yelling and a man dressed like an explorer entered the room. I could hardly tell what he looked like as his clothing covered most of him but I knew the type. Someone who was not poor but traveled from town to town and throughout the wild by choice.

He yelled at us "Where did that scoundrel go?" Jake pointed to the window, and then the man jumped out it after the last guy!

I pulled the blanket over my head and wondered if sleeping inside was worth it. The lady of the house entered the room and said frantically, "they broke my vase and trampled my carpet. I'm not even sure if they stole anything or not."

I looked out of the covers as Jake walked to the window. "Then I shall stop them for you, Missy stay here." Once he was gone and out the window I decided if ever I lived in a house or barn it would be built with no windows.

I stayed in bed but was given a cup of cocoa tea and sugars. I later was told what happened too Jake. When he landed from the two story jump he saw the two men fighting in a field not far away. He tried too carefully approach them but by the time he got to them their knives had been drawn and both men were at a stand off.

Jake said to them "You have trespassed through the bed and breakfast and now fight on another mans land. Why not settle this at dawn after settling your debt for the broken vase." They heard horses in the distance and then silence as they each stared at each other.

"Because he is a thief and a murderer!" Shouted the explorer.

"How was I too know you kept rodents as friends," asked the taller man.

"it wasn't a rodent,it was my pet squirrel and you shouldn't have taken it!"

"I didn't the thing followed me and I didn't know feeding him would kill him."

Jake was about to walk away finding the whole thing foolish, when a single horse came out of the darkness of the field and nearly trampled them all. The explore screamed and dove for the ground while Jake attempted to calm the horse down. Then the taller man grabbed the horse and had it calmed quickly.

The explorer was standing up when they noticed a small mob of people approaching. "There they are, horse thieves!" Another escaped horse fled past the group and they realized it could look like they had stolen them.

Jake jumped onto the horses back somehow being cut off by the taller man and ending up behind him. They both rode off away from the mob and heard the explorer yelling, "No, No, I'm not a horse thief I was chasing the thieves yeah that's it."

Jake told the man too turn the horse around. They went back and saved the explores life before he was beaten with torches and stones. The horse couldn't carry three people for long but they got away and Jake was planning too head back into the village to get me.

But by taking the easiest way into the denser part of the forest they took the same route as the real horse thieves did. The three of them plowed right into their camp. The thieves must have thought it was people from the town coming too arrest them. They quickly drew weapons.

One jumped from a sleeping roll and drawing a sword was crushed by Jake who had jumped off the horse. Another thief had broken bones from being trampled but drew a knife and threw it, hitting the horse.

The nearby horses began loudly fighting at their ropes. Shouts and chaos broke out. The taller man stopped the horse as two people dragged him from it. The fifth and final thief came at the explorer from behind as he dismounted.

Jake took the first man's sword from him and was forced to kill him before the man stabbed him with his knife. He made it over just in time too save the explore, who had a sword of his own and was only then drawing it.

The thief who threw a knife into the horse was drawing another Jake knew he was there and ran too him just in time to stop him before he could get another one thrown. By this time the fight was over. Five men dead and blood on my brothers hand.

The three simply stood staring at each other. The taller man spoke first "I am poor and here there are five more horses, food and equipment. Go back to the village if you want but they will likely kill you anyway. They don't forgive anyone they think took horses." He looked at the explorer and yelled, "But if you wish too stop me then I shall kill you all the same."

"My poor squirrel is gone and now this town will kill me so I'd rather come along if its all the same. My name is Brandon." The explorer introduced himself and even offered a hand.

The tall man took his hand as Jake spoke, "My name is Jake, I am a drifter so now is as good a time as any too move on."

"Very well Jake the drifter and Brandon, my name is Ian. I am a treasure hunter by trade but for now I say we wrangle up these horses and bodies and make some distance at night." The tall man shook their hands and was heading to the tied up horses.

"I have to go back for my sister. Let me take a horse and I will catch up with you." Jake asked uneasily.

Ian looked at him closely and said. "I can't be certain your not going to report us and I am not cold hearted, so we all will return for your sister."

That is when I saw my brother next. The three of them riding through the village with five horses and a mob of farmers gathering to chase them again. Jake rode right up too the window and yelled for me too jump. I was scared but I trust him and he did catch me.

Jake The Drifter, Post 1

Like every time before I could see the face of a man, my father. Then I felt sad as the face faded away. Each time I had the dream I felt an so angry at everything even my brother Jake, who takes care of me.

I woke up under a pile of wood. Jake said they were from some old wagons that were broken apart. It was dusty and dark, he wasn't there so I knew to stay put, he always tells me too. Stay somewhere dark and don't move while he's gone. I wiggled around and could almost sit up. My clothes caught and ripped a little, but I didn't care. They were already rags.

I tried too look through and out too the street. I didn't see anyone so I felt safer. Then I heard his voice "missy, come out." I quietly wiggled and slipped out from under the wood.

"These planks probably belong to a wainwright." Jake said "So lets move on before more of the town awakens."

We quietly slipped by the houses and out onto a road, looking around too see if anyone was coming. There were people in the distance but they looked busy. Jake led me too the side of the road and we quietly went deeper into town. I was wishing he would find us some more food this morning but I didn't like bothering him about it.

He was wearing rags like mine but he stood almost as tall as a man at least my height and half again. Too me he always seamed so much more. His messy brown hair was kept short unlike other orphans and he seamed confident and strong, and always busy

I had seen other orphans and beggars kicked or beaten and even arrested but never us, Jake kept us away from everyone especially when someone was angry.

After we walked down the road a little way I asked "Why do you still call me missy?"

"I told you, I just don't want anyone finding out your name." Jake replied. Jake wasn't even his real name but sometimes he would tell people what his real name was, Jackrin.

As we walked more and more people were on the road, most of them buying seeds for the second planting of wheat, in case the ones planted in fall didn't grow enough. The town like all others smelled worse the further in we went. Jake led me into an alley before the side of the road got crowded. We were walking behind shops and got lucky.

A baker opened his back door saw us and nearly went back in with the bucket he was holding. He changed his mind though and tossed sweetbread on the ground. Jake acted as if we were walking past and even said "Good Day" as if he didn't care what the baker was doing. But as soon as the door was closed, he jumped at the food.

He picked it all up even the moldy pieces and we ran for the darkest turn we could find and hid between too buildings. It must have been a cooper on one side, it was noisy with all the hammering and Jake was cramped, but he wedged himself in and then began tearing the bad parts off the sweetbread and ate what was left. He gave me all the best pieces too.

Jake decided too take a look out onto the street. He always told me too avoid anyone who thought they were better then us and so he stayed away from most wealthy travelers. He took a step out from between buildings, while I was peeking out.

He accidently stepped right into a crowd of people as a Carriage went by. I saw a small glimmer as something fell to the ground. I didn't know what it was and was scared for Jake, surrounded by so many people.

Jake put his foot over what had fallen at the same time a scary old man dove for it. "You have lived your life and I am young, will you let me have this?" Jake asked as the man dug at his foot.

"Nooo, its mine I saw it, I want it." The man begged and growled at Jake. The carriage stopped about one house away and a man dressed in silk, I think a merchant, looked out. Jake moved his foot and the old man grabbed the ring holding it in the air shouting, "its mine I have it."

The merchant walked over, he looked angry and said, "I dropped it by mistake, claiming it is yours and not offering its return means you are a thief." The scary old man suddently looked sad. He stuttered but didn't say anything.

Then Jake shouted, "I picked it up first and told this man he could have it, that makes me the thief not him." The merchant looked over, he grabbed the old man by his shirt, took the ring and tossed him to the side.

As the merchant walked up to my brother, Jake said confidently. "Did you not hear the new law, every thief who losses his hand is a worker made useless, so what shall you do? Dirty your clothing to drag me too the stocks? You have your ring sir."

The merchant replied, "Then I shall beat you here!" he grabbed Jake and punched him while keeping him at arms length. I was scared but I remembered what Jake told me, "If I am ever caught and  fight back, then run. If I don't fight then stay where you are and only move too hide."

I kept very quite and slowly moved backward and stayed between the buildings. I could hear only the pounding of the cooper again and I blamed that noise for Jake's mistake, going out right into a crowd.

I stayed there for hours making sure too crouch down and hide yet keep my eyes open, I didn't cry, but I was worried. Jake finally came back he had gone through the alleys to get too me again and that is how we went back out of town as far as we could, and taking the quite roads the rest of the way.

Plans for this Blog

This was originally suppose to be a dnd blog, but It looks like I am going to be posting alot more short stories then dnd articles, so here are my plans.

I hope too post at least 3 or more stories a week

Each story might not be finished however

Some posts might pick back up where a previous post left off

I still might occasionally post about dnd or other projects

If anyone wants too make requests such as for me too continue a certain story I will try too

I don't want too stress out too much about finishing stories

Since I think the secret to writing is "too write" that is my main goal too just consistently post new writing.

I welcome all feedback and criticism. I would love comments and requests on the blog.

And if you click on the ads then that will make me some money and help support my writing and my family.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nomad Alliance

The pain shot up through my leg suddenly and quickly. I could tolerate it with ease but only for so long. Eventually the damn cramp in my leg was going to give away my position. Of course I was set to be the last one out in this ambush so I was unsure if I could wait until the best moment to show myself.

Then finally some luck. I heard a blowing sound nearly indistinguishable from the breeze. It was one of the Desert Warriors signaling that he could see the enemy approaching. Only a few seconds later I could hear the sound of distant thunder. The Draken army flying in towards the watering hole below the mountain slope we were hiding on.

As the Drakens approached all they could see was a small band of five nomads appearing to have stopped here to allow their Freman too drink. This was the battle that made me desperately want a Freman of my own. Large towering beasts nearly two men tall with six legs and two arms each at least a man thick with an intelligence to match.

I couldn't see the nomads from my position but shortly later the vanguard of the enemy arrived and Dragoons began jumping from their Drakeling mounts in the air too land and secure the place. I could see the flash of their plate armor and lances as they came down.

Everything was going well for us. The moment the Dragoons began touching down more then four dozen large boulders below me were revealed for what they were. Cloth tents painted and hoisted on poles too match the mountain side. Each one flung to the side as an army of the most fearsome barbarians drove their Freman at the grounded troops. Another eight dozen nomads following them on foot.

Its a marvel that no matter how many generations of nomads live and fight on the wastelands they always have a reputation as ignorant and fool hardy. Without a thought and despite the surprise of seeing so many mounted Freman come out of no where, the Drakens saw their chance too use their flying beasts to swoop down on the fight and gain the advantage.

It was beautiful, hearing the shouts of the Desert warriors as they came out of hiding and the twang of their bow stings raining arrows from our great height up and even down at the Dragons and Drakelings that got too close.

The cramp in my leg was getting worse but by then I no longer cared, indeed I was glad we came too help the nomads if for nothing else then to watch the damned Drakens fall for this new trick. Surely the nomads had learned alot from our tactics.

The fight was fully underway now, the dragons and their wizard riders and generals came in last driving right at the mountain. Many warriors ran the charge down the slope while still firing arrows at the enemy. With so many beasts and magic in the air there was almost no threat of arrows raining down on our people.

Then I saw him, a Dark Terran simply known as Id. A traitor in my eyes and a fearsome foe. Like all Dark Terrans he had an affinity for agile combat using clawed gloves and acrobatics. His white skin and hair nearly a blur as he dropped to the ground and dispatched nomads and desert warriors alike as if they were mere children.

This could not stand and I vowed to myself that I would take him down, as I rose from my spot and shouting loud enough that he might hear me and know where I was. "In the name of princess Tiara and all the desert kingdom you die today Id!"

He knew all my tricks and I knew his. His ability to shift into an ethereal form was unique and most likely meant he was a mutant of some kind. I had my axes though fully 10 feet long each when drawn from the pocket dimension mounted on my back. Each one enchanted to be able to even strike a ghost or any creature from the ethereal or any other plane.

I was charging down the hill and yet had only taken ten steps at most when I was surprised too see him suddenly in front of me. I swung quickly but he was gone and reappearing behind me before my axe swept past where he was. I felt a strong kick on my back and nearly lost my balance. It would have been a rough fall through all that rocks, dust and bodies piling up.

I knew that by the time I turned around he would be gone from that spot again. So I swung both my axes back wards in a large arc and assuming he would dodge those I let go and cleverly brought my hands together in the form of a large clap. Sure enough he re appeared in front of me nearly doing a full flip while at the same time striking with both his claws.

Before he could land the blow I had a hold of him and crushed him like a bear hugging a tree. I knew that his ability to switch to the ethereal required him too speak a command word, which was strange for a mutation, so I gladly crushed all of the air from his lungs.

I was contemplating killing him then and there when I noticed the smile on his face. Damn dark Terrans thinking life is just a game or sport. He must have known I would be there and thought of dodging my axes but me getting a hold of him. I'm not sure how, but I knew what he had done when the world had begun too blur before my eyes the sounds of battle growing faint. That strange moisture on his skin wasn't sweat it must have been a drug or potion, some kind of sedative.

The last thing I remember before losing conciseness was his laughter and the words "Your coming with me Azeim, Champion of Kurahast."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weapon Familiarity

Dravean from over on the Adventures Dark and Deep Forum has an idea of slowly removing a penalty for not being proficient with a weapon so long as that weapon is actually used in combat for a length of time.

Which inspired this idea from me:

1. Each weapon the character has access to or is proficient with he has a base of -1 to use when he first switches to that weapon type.

2. Any character can use a weapon he is not familiar with at a penalty of around -3

3. After some time of using the weapon in combat the penalty is reduced by one and possibly allowed to go up to +1

4. Once a character reaches +0 with a weapon he is not familiar with he is now considered familiar with it.

5. If switching from one weapon to a new weapon he is familiar with but has not used in sometime then the penalty may fall back down as low as -1

I don't think I would actually wait until an adventure is done too adjust the penalty or bonus but maybe base it off of getting like 5 successful hits or maybe surviving 2-3 fights using the weapon. Maybe even base it off xp.

I believe this system would give players a feeling of personally earning specialty in weapon while still allowing and even encouraging some players to switch up their weapons. Since they can gain new familiarity or maybe even switch weapons daily to try and keep a higher level of familiarity. And at the same time making it too where finding a slightly better magic weapon isn't reason enough to just drop your old one.

The God With the Blue Glasses.

Written by Zerax Del Ephrion 214 P.S. (2nd Time Cycle)

I have discovered a paradox above and beyond the known gods, yes even the old ones. It is likely that I will be forwarding this too Loretta and possibly to the Drifter Federation as well. However if this copy has been found in my library then for the sake of knowledge feel welcome to look over my notes and continue my research. As such this document has not been cursed or in any way altered too hinder any who reads it other then too take the original from my library. Although making a copy will also not be hindered.

As many are aware the existence of Gaia the creator of the universe and the tree of life has been proven. However I believe their is an existence of another being. Possibly the same one that Ian described encountering in his youth. The man he described as the god with the blue glasses.

This man or god seams too believe our existence is within a game or story. Thus it can't be helped but to question his sanity. Although, despite this belief he seams too hold all of us in high esteem and I have found no evidence of him taking actions against us "Characters" as he calls us.

This being goes by the name of Louis he seams too have a strange ability too mold certain aspects of will itself. There is a curiosity here in that when many changes occur within the universe there are also many changes taking place within Louis as well. It is unclear if it is the internal energies of our existence that alter his emotional and mental state or perhaps the growth and change of his character has ramifications throughout our lives.

I have discovered that he spends much of his time discussing our lives, from major events and catastrophes down to the clothes that we wear. As well as watching and discussing people in other dimensions and times.

Now as to the Paradox I mentioned before. I am unclear as to weather or not we existed before he began speaking of us or if indeed he is our creator. However I have found evidence that we were unable to discover the existence of the tree of life and the great mother Gaia until he spoke of us doing so. So within our universe you could say he created her. Yet he believes that Gaia created him, in his life.

AS if he is merely a story or creation made by her who then in the time allotted too him has created our universe and created her within it. These stories and thoughts floating through his mind and forming without control on his part as he floats through the ocean of life that he is in.

The ideas behind this magic or science simply boggle even my mind. Where does life and existence begin and where does it end? Did we exist before or after this man or god? A question as simple and yet complex as asking do these words exist before my quill writes them or after.

For me it isn't entirely un-similar to the naming of a child. A man and woman many times will first imagine having a child and even discuss its name as if he or she already exists, so does a child not exist long before conception? Does an imagined child or one never born not exist?

Perhaps we are born of Louis' universe and perhaps his is born of ours. Or are we all just floating through the mind of some even greater being that we are both yet too touch and yet always within.

Making Candles

My first attempt at getting into candle making did not go well. First I forgot to plug the holes in the mold and wax went everywhere. Then I didn't melt enough wax was somehow out of essential oils and when I tried to use a little wax remover the bottle poped open and went everywhere.

Right now I finally got the mold filled and most of the wicks seam fine so I'm just waiting to finish up, while wishing my hands didn't smell like wax remover.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Blog

For various reasons I didn't want to go with word press. So, I have moved my blog to and simply re-posted my recent posts. I'm hoping to never need to move my blog again though. Not that it was hard or anything but I would hate too have too if I had tons of posts to move.

Edit: Now that I have moved to I'm loving its actualy funner and quicker for me. Google is such a useful company.

20+ Players

The most people I have ever DM'ed at once was around five or six. But I have heard and read about campaigns (even ran by people like gary gygax) in which there were multiple parties of chracters adding up to twenty or more players sometimes not even fully aware of each others actions so they could enter a dungeon after another group had already gone through.

This sounds very intriguing to me but I haven't had any playing experience remotely like that. I doubt I could find and manage 20 players in my area or find a group like that but maybe there are ways to simulate such a campaign. Here are the ideas I have had to try and simulate it or make a campaign world more alive.
  1. I could run a group of characters into a dungeon myself, like a solo adventure and leave behind their actions for players to discover.
  2. I could use official tsr adventures and look for campaign logs online and incorporate some of what they did into the adventure.
  3. I could make some tables too randomly allow encountering or rolling up the effects of previous adventuring groups.
Obviously this won't be the same as actually running multiple groups but it could be interesting. Does anyone have any more ideas?

Simple but not Basic

I have ran a game for awhile now that my players loved to play and it was great to DM but what I think is surprising in some ways is that I did by basically cutting everything.

The game used the basic six stats from dnd str, int, wis, dex, con, cha.

but in some ways that was it. I didnt let the players choose classes or races they were all just human people, their equipment was chosen based off of what matched their stats and they were kept rather poor. Such as someone with high int might be dressed as a scholar and maybe have a scroll and/or some writing material. Someone with high str might make sure too keep a good pair of boots and maybe own a weapon.

Anyone could use weapons without penalty and anyone with a good int could cast from scrolls. (at the time I didn't have them vanish either) Despite being poor it wasn't hard for the characters to quip themselves with quickly made clubs and sharpened sticks as spears.

I told all the players they could pay for further training and maybe gain some kind of proficiency (or even 3rd edition dtyled feat) but that the amount of training they could have would be limited by level.

And that was basically it each player could quickly roll new characters if one died and those with a good wis score might receive divine help. The players were ran through some old TSR adventures and they had a great time.

There was no need for skills (which I think hinder role play) or even to hit charts or saving throws. It wasn't hard to balance the adventures either and once PC's got some feats it equaled everything out pretty well when compared to the to hit bonus and such that they weren't getting.

I still think my favorite part was how quick and easy it was to roll up a new character but It still felt to everyone like they were playing dnd. And if a character died then we didn't even need to pause while a new one was rolled up.

Testing my new character generation.

I finally tested my new Idea for making characters for Adventures Dark and Deep (by Joseph from the grayhawk grognard.)  using something I came up with talked about here. After two testes we decided my idea was broken as both characters did not qualify for the races that were rolled without being adjusted somehow and both were close to un-playable.

The player making the characters did have fun with the system however so maybe someday I will try to find a way to make it work. Maybe I can use it for a 3rd edition d&D game someday.

Funding Legends and Labyrinths

I just wanted to encourage even more people to help fund Legends and Labyrinths over at 8-bit funding.

"Basically, we’re looking to raise enough capital to pay top-of-the-line artists to provide top-of-the-line illustrations." ~ Justin Alexander

So anyone reading this check out their project page here on 8-bit funding.

Rolling Stats

I am a huge fan of the standard 3d6 leave them where they land method. In the past I tried a few other methodes but too me it really comes down to earning your rewards. Some people say players should start with higher stats because they are heroes. For me however, RPG's are not about being given everything you want but about earning it.

Rolling the stats randomly leaves everyone and even npc's on equal footing and allows the DM to simulate a world. I have also found that when players play simple characters with average stats that can die, then they learn to play strategically and too really value the rewards they earn and the characters that live.

Here is a great article over at Classic RPG Realms that goes further into explain the many reason's why 3d6 and leave them where they fall is a great method of rolling stats.

Character Creation Idea

Yesterday I talked about Adventures Dark and Deep from the Greyhawk Grognard. Today I'm mostly going to talk about a new way I might try to make characters that I am going to play test using ADD.

After showing Thaylie the books and layout she was almost as excited about them as I am (although I think she is a little more excited about "The Secret of Fire". Which does sound pretty cool especially for the price. I might write about that game but maybe after I play it. Although I was amazed by its testimonials from people including Monte Cook and Gail Gygax.)

So Far with ADD I have gone through most of the Player's Manual and making a character was fun and I actually am new to some of these classes so I am finding them kinda interesting. I don't exactly know what it means that some are sub-classes but I think its basicly just that they are related but harder to get into such as a paladin compared to a cavalier.

Also it was great being able to discuss my opinions and such on the play-testing forums. I think I managed to help out a little and also got what I wanted sorted out, lol.

So anyway here is my idea I might try out on my players for making some characters: (This idea basically has nothing to do with ADD except that I'm going to try it for an ADD game.)

1. Each player is going to choose how old their soul is without knowing what that is going to effect but it will determine their base race. Their options are:
  • Ancient (Elf)
  • Very Old (Gnome)
  • Old (Dwarf)
  • Mature (Half-Elf)
  • Young (Halfling)
  • Very Young (Human)
  • New (Half-Orc)
These are based off of the maximum age of each race.

Once I know what their base race is I am going to pose them each two questions which will determine their starting alignment and then I will give them the sub race that best matches. I will most likely ask the questions in a much more dramatic and less predictable way.

The basis of the questions are:
  1. You see a light do you move towards it (lawful, look around(neutral) or run back(chaotic).
  2. You realize you are being born into the world, do you choose a family that will give you comfort (good), discipline(neutral) or do you not care (evil)
So once I have their base race and alignment I am going to use this list I made to determine their actual race.
  • Gray Dwarf = Evil or Lawful Evil
  • Hill Dwarf = Neutral or Good
  • Mountain Dwarf = Lawful
  • Human = Any
  • Drow = Chaotic Evil
  • High-Elf = Lawful
  • Wild Elf = Chaotic
  • Wood Elf = Good
  • Gray Elf = Neutral
  • Half Elf = Any
  • Deep Gnome = Good
  • Gnome = Neutral
  • Hairfoot Halfling = Chaotic
  • Stout Halfling = Lawful
  • Tallfellow = Good
  • Half Orc = Chaotic
2.  To figure out their stats I am going to start with all 1d6 randomly and then based on my campaign settings solar system ask them what was visible in the sky when they were born. I am then going to roll another set of 1d6's and assign the highest ones to the corresponding stats of what they choose. They will able to choose any configuration of the following being in the sky at the time of birth.
  • Yellow Sun (STR)
  • Blue Moon (Int)
  • Green Moon (Wis)
  • White Moon (Dex)
  • Red Sun (Con)
  • A special event like an eclipse (Cha)
3. Then I am either going to DM them through their childhood or ask more questions to simulate what they might have done in their youth. I intend to bend it too match their race and such. Depending on what they choose or do during their childhood I will assign the final group of 1d6's.

It will basically work like this I will role 6d6 and then put them in a situation. if they choose to respond in a way that corresponds to strength then the highest d6 will go to str but no other situations will have a strength way out. eventualy each d6 will be assigned.

First I'm starting with birth order
  •  Middle Child (Str)
  • Youngest (Int)
  • Second Born (Wis)
  • Orphan (Dex)
  • Only Child (Con)
  • First Born (Cha)
As they are growing up their family as a whole runs into troubles do you
  • Do as your asked too (Str)
  • Help when you are able too (Int)
  • Watch how other families are getting by (wis)
  • Ask your family questions about their problems (Dex)
  • Run Away (Con)
  • Try to fix all the problems (Cha)
Your favorite class while being educated
  • Dropped out to Get a Job (Str)
  • All of Them (Int)
  • Alchemy or Herbalism (Wis)
  • Never Went to school (Dex)
  • Weapons or Fighting Training (Con)
  • The Easy Classes (Cha)
How did you handle Bullies
  • Join Them (Str)
  • Fight Them (Int)
  • Ignore Them (Wis)
  • Trick Them (Dex)
  • Tell on Them (Con)
  • Bully Them (Cha)
What do you want too be
  • Mercenary (Str)
  • Scholar (Int)
  • Sage (Wis)
  • Rich (Dex)
  • Knight (Con)
  • Good Person (Cha)
The Final d6 gets assigned to whatevers left.

So by this point they should have stats similar too 3d6 randomly and they were assigned based on hopefully fun choices and also know their race. I wil then let them choose their class by offering opportunities to go get training in them.They also should have a good idea of who they are and what they have been through, especially if I do Role Play all of this.

And then to top it all of I will probably have these questions come up once the campaign is actualy under way. I did not come up with these next questions but I forget where they came from.
  • Who are you?
  • What do you want?
  • Why are you here?
  • Where are you going?
  • What do you want?
  • What have you left behind?
Looking back at all this I wonder if it will appear to be a complete mess to someone reading it, but I am going to see how it goes, what kind of stats and characters come out of it and what the players think.
Justin Alexander over at TheAlexandrian has recently announced that his creation Legends And Labyrinths has been set up as an 8-bit funding project.

Although I haven't Personaly seen anything in this book I am excited about its release for two reasons.

1. it claims to "take 3rd Edition and strip it down to its most basic components. It removes everything non-essential, leaving behind a simple, fast-and-loose, easy-to-use system."

2.The Author has written numerous articles on his blog that has helped me as a DM and keep my interest in 3rd edition. In fact if it weren't for his D&D: Calibrating Your Expectations article, I might have quit playing 3rd edition all together.

I am hoping to be paying for 2 of the 50 dollar perks.

Update: I ended up only funding one $50 perk.

Adventures Dark and Deep

Adventures Dark and Deep (ADD) is based off of 1st edition AD&D but under the premise of what would 2nd edition have been like if Gary Gygax had made it. I believe it was made by Joseph of the Greyhawk Grognard, and there is a great review of it at Classic RPG Realms.

It is currently in a play-testing phase and free to download.  (It is no longer in play testing and can now be purchased from BRW Games.)

I highly recommend reading the review because it does a great job of explaining what the game is and even taught me a little more about it. But what I'm going to talk about is what the game is too me.

I played alot of AD&D when I was younger but by the age of 12 3rd edition was out and since that was the edition I played for the next 13 years I am not exactly a veteran too old school gaming. I recently tried to get back into the earlier editions.

First I tried playing 1st edition since I still own the core books for that edition. It was fun for awhile but gave me head aches and my wife didn't like the edition at all, mostly I think it was because of things like font, organization and that touch of riddle Gary seams to be able to write into almost any paragraph.

When then tried the retro clones which simply felt too bland for me, and then even began playing basic D&D. Eventually switching too a version of my own that stripped alot of various aspects of charactor generation too speed things up and make them less confusing but I did it in a way as too not lose flavor at least from the players perspective.

This essentially left me playing AD&D adventures with a completely house ruled game.

Then I saw ADD, which as far as I can tell collects everything from 1e and lays it out in a format that is clean and useful but without taking anything away from the game. For example it includes many classes such as the Cavalier, Mystic and Jester I believe 17 in all.

The races chapter includes many popular subraces and the bestiary is divided into sections like Wilderness/Dungeon, Prehistoric and Extra-planar.

I can't quite explain it but it appears ADD is exactly the game I have been looking for I just hopre Joseph continues to support it for years too come.

Tomorrow I will talk about some of my experiences play-testing it and how I am going to have my new players role up their characters in what will hopefully be a very interesting way.

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