Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Archaological News

(Edward Whitson waits while yet another tortured wraith rises from a dig site in Syria.)

For those considering a career in archaeology, this article might give you pause to think. "Turning to the subject of his latest incident at a dig site in Peru, Whitson maintains he was not at fault for summoning the forces of evil."

A couple of other bits of archaeological material: The discovery of the race of skeleton-people, and one that appears to be real: bunny archaeologists.

Here, incidentally, are the stats for Whitson's Ocelot, the creatures discovered by Dr. Whitson in Peru:
Whitson's Ocelot: HD 2; AC 6[13]; Atk 1 bite (1d6) or breathe; Move 18; Save 16; AL N; CL/XP 3/60; Special: breathe lightning bolt (60ft) for 1d6 damage, save to avoid.

Friday, February 7, 2014

OSR Superstar Contest

Tenkar's Tavern has announced a pretty cool contest -- old school creativity. Different rounds involve creating a monster, creating an adventure to go with it, and other things galore. It will create a LOT of good ideas, partly because the prizes are phenomenal. First prize is an actual $250 in cash plus one of the new OD&D sets.

Frog God Games is going to kick in some coupons, because right at the moment there aren't many runner-up prizes. I think these competitions get a lot more attention if people know that they don't necessarily have to win first place to be recognized and to win a prize. I can't get too aggressive with this, since Bill Webb is on his way to Hawaii right now, but I know that I can offer:
1 20% discount coupon
5 that are 10% off, and
10 that are 5% off

I might be able to increase the amounts of those discounts, or the total number of coupons, but first I have to get into contact with Bill.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Rock of Stability

Okay, here's a magic item that I think isn't too powerful. It's very useful in the context of the adventure I'm writing, so I want to give away a couple of them. Is there some use of this item that would make it super-powerful -- in other words, am I missing something obvious?

Here's the item:

A rock of stability, unsurprisingly, appears to be a normal rock. The rock’s possessor cannot be affected by turbulence, although a steady force of air or water, such as a gust of wind, will still exert one half of its normal effect in that direction. Taking river rapids as an example: the character will be moved down the river at half the normal speed and with half the normal force that the river’s flow exerts. However, the character will not be thrown from side to side in the rapids at all. If the river rapids are moving at a rate of 7mph, the character will be forced along at a rate of only 3.5mph, and will thus likely be able to avoid rocks much more easily than a character subjected to the full 7mph force of the river. Only the movement of gases and liquids is affected by the rock; a moving wall of stone or a falling anvil would push or strike the character as per normal.

(This isn't intended as a test of your ingenuity as a player, although feel free to show it off if you want.  It's really about whether there's a fairly obvious use of it that I haven't noticed).

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

My favorite "wizards" are the two patrons of Fafyrd and the Grey Mouser, the ineffably cool Sheelba of the Eyeless Face and Ningauble of the Seven Eyes. That's sort of where I'm going with Jupiter Kwan in the Cyclopean Deeps, although so far he's more about what he does than what he is.

Cyclopean Deeps is almost certainly going to represent a financial loss for Frog God Games, and has cost me a disastrous amount of time that should really have been spent on the Swords & Wizardry game -- promotion of the game, publication of smaller stuff, keeping in better contact with people on the net, and this blog. In light of that ...

it had better be a masterpiece.

Working diligently on that. In the meantime, remember: dealing with archmages always has a cost, even if it isn't immediately apparent.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bipolar Disorder and the Reptile God

I just realized that the graph of page views here (which basically maps when I'm posting) is a pretty good map of my bipolar disorder cycles. I have been planning on getting back into the habit of posting on the blog, but I didn't really expect to start quite this soon. I have been working on a little sheet of possible blog topics so that I wouldn't suddenly run into "blank page syndrome" and utterly lose the ability to write.

However, with Erik Tenkar posting an account of Swords & Wizardry in the module N1 (Cult of the Reptile God), I wanted to at least offer a link to that post. It isn't really about Swords & Wizardry except as a vehicle for Old School gaming. I read the post mainly as being about what's Old School (always an interesting topic, IMO)  -- and also about the module.

Cult of the Reptile God is one of my favorite modules of all time. It has been a while since I read it, so I don't have anything analytical or brilliant to say about it, other that that it has all the components spot on.

1) A good villain who is the catalyst for events that are "clues" to locations and backstories.
2) The solution is not plotted out for the players. It's a sandbox.
3) A good home base

From discussions long ago on message boards, I thought I was the only big fan of that module. It appears that I was totally mistaken about that - there's a virtual fan club out there!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


On my last blog post, I pulled in a piece of art from Google images, and used it for the image of a bundle. Turns out that even though it wasn't shown wherever I got it from, the picture comes from an old-school hireling generator, Greg Gillespie's "Meatshields!"

Meatshields! has been out for quite a while: this isn't the announcement of something new. But the program deserves to get pushed back into the public eye, because it's a really cool resource. It's doubly neat because I had the pleasure of actually meeting Greg at North Texas RPGCon. He is one of the people who absolutely give to the hobby with all their hearts. Greg did Barrowmaze at no profit to himself. The Meatshields generator is an awesome piece of work, filling a missing piece for the DM, free, and with artwork good enough that out of the whole internet I happened to pick out one of the illustrations.

So please go and take a look not only at Meatshields!, but if you want to see a master painter and terrain-maker, Greg happens to be one. Look at his blog, Discourse & Dragons.

Greg is one of the builders. In my family, that's one of the biggest compliments we give. Some people build.

Dak Ultimak needs to get mentioned in this regard as well. There are some people who make things, really cool things like Reverend Dak's 'zine, which is called Hack! (Exclamation points are a theme in this post, clearly). The last copy of Hack is excellent, starting with a Jason Sholtis cover and rolling right into gunfire. It's a whole bunch of pages about getting firearms into a game of old-school D&D, whether that's OD&D, Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC, LL, or Basic. It's loaded (ahem) with fun.

Again, one of the people who builds, rather than tearing down.

Let us all lift a glass to both of these excellent individuals, in thanks for their generosity of spirit and nobility of character!

Friday, November 8, 2013

New 10% Discount in the Bundle

Frog God Games has kicked more into the Bundle of Holding. A 10% discount on anything bought through the Frog God Games website -- including physical books (although the 10% discount doesn't apply to the shipping, just the books you buy).

Depending on what you buy, that could almost pay for the cost of the bundle right there.

We also added a pdf copy of Cyclopean Deeps #1. That is clearly a gateway-drug kind of thing, so, yeah. It's intended to suck you into buying the rest of the series as it comes out. I am currently working on #6 out of 12.