New Fantasy RPG Campaign Worlds?

D&D needs a new name, a fresh face, and lots of room to explore in the setting of its next incarnation. Right now the Fortnite Island is probably more recognizable than Forgotten Realms. Homebrew is great, but Wizards of the Coast can’t really build an entire lifestyle brand based on homebrew, can they?

Giving some thought to worldbuilding again.

The other day I was looking over my bookshelves at many of the old, mostly D&D, campaign settings I used to run or at least borrow heavily from.

Birthright
Dark Sun
Planescape
Greyhawk
Forgotten Realms
Kara Tur
Al Qadim
Ravenloft

Sovereign Stone
Dragonmech
Dragon Star
Kingdoms of Kalamar
Etherscope
World of Warcraft
Everquest
Earthdawn
Steampunk D20
Iron Kingdoms
Legend of the 5 Rings
Legend of the Burning Sands
Midnight
7th Sea.

I think that was most of it. Each one of those campaign settings has at least one cool feature that makes it unique and entertaining. Some of them have been brought back for a run under 5E, still others continue to thrive on their own unique systems. What sticks out to me is that every name on the list was a pretty sweet release when it first came about. Plus I never met a campaign setting I didn’t like or at least give a chance.

What about new titles during the 5E years?

I might be alone in this, but Wizards of the Coast hasn’t dropped a new campaign setting that has stood out since… 3.5E? Maybe? Generic fantasy settings and homebrew are great and all. Sure, there have been some pretty spiffy third party 5E supplements. But has there really been a brand new 5E setting that went much further than a big Kickstarter? Has there been one that everyone said, “I have to play this?”

Grim Hollow was talked about quite a bit when it first came out. Even Critical Role’s Exandria setting hasn’t made a huge splash the same way Planescape did. Yes, CR is popular, but what about Exandria? Even as overplayed as Forgotten Realms was, there was still some wiggle room to find adventures and people talked about it.

As a side note, I might not love Golarion as the setting for Pathfinder, but King Maker looks pretty sweet. If I ever have money again, I so want to invest in the new King Maker and run it. Paizo is at least trying to build something cool. It’s the closest D20 has come to Birthright in a very long time.

If WotC is complaining about “under monetization” then why do they keep rehashing the same old material?

Yes, we’ve heard the spiel out of WotC about how they want to monetize the player base. We know Dungeon Masters supposedly spend all the big bucks on books and supplements. (We kinda have-to because not only are we running things, but because sometimes shifty players like to quote out of poppy new rulebooks…) We also know from history that DMs tend to be the ones to buy campaign settings.

WotC has an inkling of a good idea right under their noses and I’d bet they haven’t thought much about it. Eberron was a 3.5, 4E and 5E setting. But for 5E, they released a player’s guide outside of the main Eberron setting book. They did the same maneuver for Ravnica, too if I remember correctly. Basically the player’s guide was a somewhat toned-down version of the larger campaign guide to give players enough information to make characters and play in a lush world without having to read all of the DMs lore, stats, and NPC info. It’s a good idea for players to have, save work for DMs and costs about half what the setting book cost. Win-Win, in my opinion.

Eberron breathed new life into that old 3E D&D brand. People went bonkers over the submission contest leading up to WotC discovering Keith Baker. Truthfully, I think Keith was onto something. They keep bringing it back. It’s a solid setting even if it’s not exactly traditional Western medieval fantasy. But maybe that’s exactly what is needed.

When do we get a new “official” setting?

Heck, when is somebody going to drop a new “official” fantasy setting for D&D? I know what I’d like to see in a fantasy setting, but there’s a lot going on and I’m still not sure it would ever catch on. Yay homebrew, but it would be nice if several thousand people had the book (or boxed set) in hand and were discussing it. When are we going to go online and see full message boards talking about campaigns and official lore drops from this new setting? When is something going to catch on that even makes D&D Adventurer’s League have to branch off?

This radical-ish new approach to D&D becoming a lifestyle brand is lacking seasoning. There’s no real flavor beyond “Nerds roll dice.” This new movie comes out. Where’s it set? In Dungeons & Dragons.

Okay, where’s it set within Dungeons & Dragons? In, uh… D&D world? D&D Cinematic Universe? Does anyone remember the original D&D movies “cinematic universe?” Please dispose of your own barf bag when finished, if it’s even that remarkable.

The car commercial featuring the kids from the 1980’s cartoon had more clout than the D&D movies. Pretty sad. I’ll take Venger and Tiamat over Damodar and that uh, mage guy Jeremy Irons any day, though. At least the cartoon had a storyline.

They really, desperately need a new setting for D&D.

I’m sure Ed Greenwood would love it if Forgotten Realms becomes the star campaign of yet another edition of the game with One D&D. Personally, I think FR has been flogged to death. I’m sick of Elminster and that Drow named Fritzz or whatever. (LOL.) It’s been done to death. Everyone has to much stake in the old properties of FR, Greyhawk, and Dragonlance to work as a flagship campaign setting.

One D&D’s writing team had better be thinking long and hard about a brand spanking new campaign setting beyond “generic fantasy.” A lot of games do generic fantasy as a setting with their shiny, cool, sleek, well-tested rules systems. Go ahead and name a few. I’ll wait.

I say new D&D not-edition, then new fantasy world setting that highlights the iconic trademarked D&D monsters. If WotC wants stuff to put on a t-shirt, video game, TV show, movies, and D&D the toilet paper, then come up with a never-before-seen campaign world. And it needs to have room to explore. There is no point in adventuring in the same stale campaign world that has been limping along in every edition since the 1980s.

Right now the Fortnite Island would work better than Forgotten Realms. I mean, “forgotten” is right in the title and who wants their game to be forgotten? At least most gamers recognize Fortnite and maybe know a little about it. Unreal Engine is the new digital landscape of D&D, btw.

I have more ideas, but I’m keeping them for my homebrew and maybe published campaign setting. Thanks for stopping in. I appreciate you!

Gold Pieces vs the Common Living Wage in Fantasy Role Playing Games.

Retainers would be easy to come by at that point. But our old friend Jimmy the torch bearer is suddenly going to up his torch bearing game and his prices. He’s probably going to ask for a raise to 3GP per day instead of 3 CP. Then there’s health and dental benefits, especially for his dying grandmother. Probably even talk of the torch bearers and dungeon loot porters forming a union of some kind.

Adventurers walk around with hundreds, even thousand of Gold Pieces (GP), yet most commoners make their wages in terms of Copper (CP) and Silver (SP.)

Quick explanation of coinage from a Basic fantasy OSR type game. Pretty common system.

One single gold piece would be considered a fortune to most peasants who normally earn their wages in terms of copper and silver. However, certain professions would be considered very lucrative in a medieval fantasy society. Quite honestly, I think either the standards should change or the amount of loot adventurers run around with needs to be seriously nerfed. Honestly, it could go either way.

What jobs pay well if I were a commoner?

Presuming the adventurers are still bringing cart loads of gold, magic items, and art objects into a tiny village, who would profit the most? Let’s start with the innkeeper. Most farmers, cobblers, and carpenters come in, buy an ale for maybe 3cp. Most adventurers come in and order “top shelf” ale and the finest accommodations and throw gold around like it’s nothing. They also tend to blow the place up occasionally or get into the occasional donnybrook.

The other townsfolk that always seem to do well for themselves around adventurers are blacksmiths, especially those well versed in weapons or armor. Animals also need shod and barded on occasion. Anyone with an anvil and a forge seem to be in high demand everywhere, but adventurers usually want a rush job and pay extra well.

Let’s not forget the shopkeepers. If a town is (un)fortunate enough to have a general store, they may find themselves at the mercy or good will of an adventuring party. Rations, new water/wineskins, torches, oil, bags, rope and more might be available at a bargain. Unscrupulous shopkeepers usually find themselves on the business end of the group’s weapons. Generous, kind, and understanding villagers might develop a working relationship with the group.

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Never overlook the power (or price) of experts.

(Insert evil-ish GM laugh here.) Suppose the group comes into town with a member of the group that is missing a couple of fingers and may have accidentally been poisoned (by his own weapon.) Said group, not having a Cleric or anyone knowledgeable in dealing with such things is going to need an apothecary before the dumb Thief expires messily. While their friend is being tended, the rest of the group is free to go off an hammer down some ale, but they might want to be careful how much they spend. Apothecary services can run tens or even hundreds of gold depending on the severity of the illness/injury. Otherwise our apothecary could just tell the barbarian to go out to the town cemetery and dig a grave.

A lot of what NPCs charge will be determined by the Judge/GM/DM. It could be based off of what their professional guild recommends or by what the NPC in question would think is reasonable. Non-magical aid would require far less of a toll than magical aid. Reattaching limbs, removing curses, and raising the dead would be far beyond the capabilities of villagers and townsfolk in most fantasy RPG settings. Those capable would likely charge a hefty pile of gold.

Let’s look at Medieval England circa 1300 as an example.

I’m using The History of England as my example.

English wages circa 1300.

Let’s pretend £1 = 1GP and 1 schilling = 1SP. Pence are obviously 1CP. Yes, I know D&D and most other fantasy RPGs use 10CP=1SP, but we’ll make an exception here.

Unskilled labor would be people such as barmaids, stable boys, and many common villagers. I’m guessing slightly more skilled laborers are represented under the second category of Laborer?

I imagine an apothecary or other guild specialist had their prices determined by their professional guild. I’d put them somewhere in the range of £4-5 per year. That’s a guess. Guilds and independent artisans probably chose to charge more or less depending on circumstances.

I estimate blacksmiths and other cottage artisans were mostly paid by selling goods, which is why they are not listed above. I’m certain a fair amount of barter also occurred prior to 1600 AD in the real world much as it would likely happen in most fantasy RPGs. How much are cows, chickens, trades, favors and other items worth? Can you really put a price on friendship and goodwill?

Putting it in some perspective.

In Dungeon Crawl Classics, adventurers are about 1% of the population. (1 out of every 100 people.) That 1% brings back hundreds if not thousands of gold potentially to small towns and villages where the average living wage is no more than, say 5 GP per year.

Wouldn’t ALL of the townsfolk flock to incoming adventurers begging to provide goods, chickens, services, etc? Would less scrupulous villagers suddenly start price gouging?

“Wot? No we’re having a special today. That loaf of bread is going to cost 1 GP.”
or
“Want to buy me lantern? That’ll be 10 gold and, uh, how about that horse you rode in on?”

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It could potentially get out of control fast. Suddenly a room at the inn comes to a total of 100 GP per night. Or the innkeeper says, “I guess our adventurers could go out of town and sleep in some farmer’s barn or probably on the cold, hard ground again. The inn has nice, soft beds and warm chambermaids to attend to their every wanton desire. ”

Who’s gonna turn that room down? It’s only a couple hundred gold out of thousands, right? Sure hope the town’s banking establishment and exchequer isn’t corrupt. “What bag of gold? Oh, this little thing? That’s a coin purse, not thousands of gold crowns. Surely you jest.”

Of course, corrupt practices could result in adventuring parties burning the entire town to the ground if they’re serious murder hobos.

I recently talked to a player who literally destabilized the economy of an entire town, possibly the whole province.

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He gave 10GP to every villager he encountered. Yet another player threatened to teach “Magic Missile Class.” and turn as many who showed up into Level 1 Wizards. What would those actions do to a town where silver and copper are the standard medium of exchange? It’s mind boggling.

It’s not dissimilar to a government sending out $1,000 checks to every tax paying citizen in the country. It does some truly crazy things to inflation in the modern world. Imagine the kind of havoc it could wreak in the fantasy medieval world.

Retainers would be easy to come by at that point. But our old friend Jimmy the torch bearer is suddenly going to up his torch bearing game and his prices. He’s probably going to ask for a raise to 3GP per day instead of 3 CP. Then there’s health and dental benefits, especially for his dying grandmother. Probably even talk of the torch bearers and dungeon loot porters forming a union of some kind.

Ultimately, it’s in the hands of the Judge/GM/DM.

Big money, spending GP.

What I’m trying to get at is there seems to always be a massive fiscal disparity between the rules as written for what typical villagers/townsfolk make vs the ludicrous amounts of gold the average adventuring party hauls out of a dungeon. When there’s a massive gap between the haves and the have-nots in the real world, it leads to socio political upheaval. In a fantasy game, it just makes a big mess for the NPCs and probably a headache for most GMs.

I know a lot of DMs tend to rewrite the chart for goods and services. In some cases the scaling almost looks like our more modern economy. 1 GP = $1. That way when the group floods a town with gold they’re barely making a dent in the economy. Is it possible to devalue the GP in a fantasy economy? If someone was paying attention, they could teach the school kids a real lesson in economics.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope all of this ends up being of some use. We might take this discussion up again later. I appreciate you being here.

How My October Went.

Don’t be “That Old Guy.” I keep running into these old fartz/codgers/grognards on the internet. They don’t have anything new to say, but they’re damn certain that nothing new can be good. Change is too scary. Shallow, narrow-minded bigotry is a “better” way to go for them.

Personal share today.

It’s gonna be a long month. Truthfully, I’m ready to be done with this reality. I’m tired. Which, yeah, sounds funny coming from a guy that spends a lot of time at home.

#Promptober and #Monstober were both awesome. I had fun and the ideas flowed like a river. I have 20+ prompts to catch up on. It happens. Sometimes it’s rough being creative instantly on demand. Other times it’s a matter of fleshing everything out.

This is the month when I decided the grognards of the #OSR (Old School Renaissance) can pretty much kiss my ass. I’d love to stay positive on this topic had certain individuals not revealed their true nature. I’m still going to use a lot of Old School style games, but I could give a rip less about anyone’s opinion or acceptance.

When I do finally get something in print? Buy it. Don’t buy it. I don’t care if you’re a big-time figurehead in the nebulous, scattered, esteemed OSR.

I’m just gonna leave some random opinions here.

Gatekeeping in the roleplaying game community: Some of y’all need to knock it off. Chasing people away from a hobby is a surefire way to destroy it. If you want to spend all of your time in your specific group with the same old geezers week after week? Go ahead. Keep to ya damn selves and don’t interact with the rest of the #ttrpgcommunity (*This is aimed at gatekeepers not #ttrpg family.)

What isn’t cool is when a bunch of old fartz who’ve been around the TTRPG industry for 30-40 years go out of their way to make sure their voice is the only one being heard. Their opinion is the only one getting out there, and it’s the same half-baked bullshit opinion they’ve had the whole time.

Don’t be “That Old Guy.” I keep running into these old fartz/codgers/grognards on the internet. They don’t have anything new to say, but they’re damn certain that nothing new can be good. Change is too scary. Shallow, narrow-minded bigotry is a “better” way to go for them.

Edgelords can likewise kiss my ass. I’ve pretty much had my fill of Internet trolls on Twitter and elsewhere. If you can’t offer constructive criticism and actually dialogue with me? Hit the road. Keep to your own freaky, trolli self and I’ll do the same in your regards. (*Trolls, not family.)

The bulk of humanity can be litigious and stupid. This is why I stay the hell clear of a lot of it. When I write, I constantly double check myself and what I say to my audience. Is this gonna get me in trouble? Risk factors assessed, move forward. I won’t put down anything online I can’t retract, alter, delete, or edit later.

Everything is perpetually moving forward. That’s the Universe. Energy is motion. Everything is energy. Focus that energy toward what you want to create, not what you wish to destroy. I would love for more people to think of this.

I know some people are having a tough time.
Link to the 988 website is here.

I’ve lost or may have lost some friends on the Internet in October. I can only pray some of them are still with us, somewhere, detoxing from social media. I’ve had my own issues, but I’ve held it together with the assistance of therapy, family, pets, and Source. Help is out there. Mental health matters.

November is going to get hectic.

It’s National Novel Writer’s Month. People will be churning out novellas and full-on novels. I plan to work out my own fantasy world. I’m working to create something that’s not entirely Tolkien, but we’ll probably still see a few elves and dwarves.

Will it be a novel? I don’t know yet. I’m going to push myself to see where it goes. I’ve decided it’s going to be rules-agnostic to begin with. (*I’m a gamer at heart.) I’m going to explore places through the eyes of a handful of characters and see where the road takes us. NaNoWriMo is chaotic that way.

We reached a milestone in October. I’m pretty proud of myself and I’ll take my victories wherever I can get them these days. I couldn’t do it without you, my dear friends and family. THANK YOU!!!

I’ve also got this site to think about. I’m not asking anyone for money. My domain renews this month. Luckily it’s not terribly pricey.

That’s about all I’ve got for now. Onward and upward from here.Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you.




Promptober Day 24: Moon.

Closer inspection of the fourth planet in the system does not reveal any significant threat. However, careful examination of the third planet’s geosynchronous moon reveals cloaked bases, monitoring equipment, docking bays and the fact the the entire moon is a hollow sphere designed to watch over the Earth-like planet’s development.

“On the outside, it looked like an ordinary moon, but then we became suspicious.” Capt. Molly Daniels. USS Peregrine.

Today’s prompt is actually inspired by some real life theories about Earth’s moon. However, kindly bear in mind there is little more than a modicum of scientific backing for any of it. Our real moon “rang like a bell for over an hour” on seismic sensors when struck with a lander. To be clear- This IS a work of FICTION.

(Systemless) space game plot idea: The group comes upon a moon in geosynchronous orbit around an Earth-like planet. Sensor data indicates the moon is a normal, lifeless, meteorite-blasted rock. However, the moon is emitting electromagnetic signals coming from somewhere nearby. There are also ships coming and going from the system that seem to just disappear.

The planet’s government(s) are concerned about a potential invasion that they originally believed might be staged from the fourth planet in the system. They are a relatively new space-faring society and would be ill-equipped to fend off any kind of serious threat from outside of their own star system without help from the Federation (Or whatever larger organization the group represents.)

Closer inspection of the fourth planet in the system does not reveal any significant threat. However, careful examination of the third planet’s geosynchronous moon reveals cloaked bases, monitoring equipment, docking bays and the fact the the entire moon is a hollow sphere designed to watch over the Earth-like planet’s development.

Where things go from there is ultimately up to the GM. Is the civilization inside the moon benevolent? Perhaps sent to watch over the fledgling planet’s growth? Or is it a monitoring station to assist in a full scale invasion? Could it be a waypoint for refueling ships for a larger space navy elsewhere? Maybe it’s a galactic meeting place for races in all of the neighboring systems. The possibilities are immense.

Happy gaming! Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you.

Promptober Day 8: Deep Forest

The setting is a jovian-size planet with about 60% covered in water, otherwise Earth-like. Nature is a vibrant force in the world and unused or forgotten vestiges of civilization are rapidly reclaimed. Fauna and flora are abundant as are dragons and other monsters. Life is everywhere.

Just a quick pitch for a world setting on this one.

The setting is a jovian-size planet with about 60% covered in water, otherwise Earth-like. Nature is a vibrant force in the world and unused or forgotten vestiges of civilization are rapidly reclaimed. Fauna and flora are abundant as are dragons and other monsters. Life is everywhere.

Thanks for stopping by. That’s the kind of D&D, Dungeon Crawl Classics, or Old School Essentials campaign I want to start. More details to come eventually.

A (New?) Space Game.

Anything tremendously new in mind? Well, not necessarily. I mean, there are scores of games that do space sci-fi action. There are more space RPG titles than easily fit on a typed page. Everything from old school 1950’s rockets and rayguns all the way up to super-futuristic psionics and world ships is represented somewhere in TTRPG form. Do I have a completely new take?

Here we go again. Again…

I love space games. My all time, number one favorite without a doubt is still West End Games’ Star Wars. The D6 system is still one of the best of all time. But, time and trademarks being what they are, I’m not comfortable doing another Star Wars game although I do miss chopping up battle droids with a lightsaber.

I’ve noticed most space game franchises have a pretty specific universe mapped out. Babylon 5, Aliens, Galactica, Star Trek, Starship Troopers, and Star Wars are all super specific. The same is true of RPGs set in space. Look at Star Frontiers for example. There are almost as many named planets and lore for it to have its own movie franchise.

Reinventing the space wheel, so to speak.

I have a kind of interesting take on a setting that really hasn’t been done yet. It’s based loosely on modern Ufology with a little bit of anime thrown in. I don’t know exactly how unique my whole crazy plan is, but I’m going to take a stab in the dark at it. I’ve always been enamored with deep space mecha such as Robotech/Macross and the Clan storyline from Battletech (which is a riff on Robotech.)

Anything tremendously new in mind? Well, not necessarily. I mean, there are scores of games that do space sci-fi action. There are more space RPG titles than easily fit on a typed page. Everything from old school 1950’s rockets and rayguns all the way up to super-futuristic psionics and world ships is represented somewhere in TTRPG form. Do I have a completely new take?

Bits of other game concepts loosely joined.

My desire to create a brand new space RPG came from love and disgruntlement with multiple systems. Some games are too crunchy. Ever build a starship for the PCs in Traveler? May as well build it in my backyard. It would be easier. Anything Palladium? Miles of d00% skills and endless MDC vs SDC debates.

Some games don’t go far enough. I love Star Frontiers for its simplicity, but the skill system doesn’t quite get the job done. It’s good for beer-n-pretzels blowing off steam in the OSR, though. The skill system in Star Frontiers leaves a lot to be desired, however. The revision of the game in Zebulon’s Guide to the Frontier just didn’t quite go far enough for me. That, and I prefer the Marvel d00% CS system for that RPG.

ICRPG is great, but same lack of skill system. I love FUDGE/FATE, but if I’m going to design my skills from scratch anyway? Yes, FATE has a solid Space sourcebook. It’s cool, but then I have to mash in all the mecha components, too.

I’d go the Anime route with BESM or something similar, but it’s more mecha and less a space game at that point. I dunno. I could go on ruling out systems and settings for days. I want a game that takes the BEST components from all of these other RPGs and settings and combines them for something truly amazing.

That actually gives me another idea for Arpeggio of Blue Steel meets Space Battleship Yamato, but we’ll come back to that later.

So, here’s going to be the start of my as yet untitled space game.

By the time I’m done, it will cover all the things one might expect in an action/space opera game with mecha. Seems a tall order. My kids may have to finish it twenty years from now, but I’m going to give it a solid attempt.

I’m going to build it on the site here as I go as a sort of portfolio project and then compile/format it into a full pdf for better distribution, possibly Print On Demand. I’m going to try to keep the price as low as reasonably possible for the finished product.

More to come as I post the design blog. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you!

See you among the stars!

Game World Creation Journal Revised

And I have a TON of ideas. Heck, I’ve got ideas for getting more ideas. Creativity fountain for days. I have that in spades, hexagons, even. Heh heh… makin up my own card suits. See?

I won’t lie. I start a lot of projects. I don’t necessarily finish them. I get sidetracked rather easily. Okay, more like derailed. No promises on this one, but it’s a set of ideas that’s been brewing for ages now.

And I have a TON of ideas. Heck, I’ve got ideas for getting more ideas. Creativity fountain for days. I have that in spades, hexagons, even. Heh heh… makin up my own card suits. See?

My latest venture, among others, is creating my own Dungeon Crawl Classics Campaign world. I have some challenges to overcome. I also have a ton of cool stuff I want to do, probably more than I can fit into one book or even one world. I get really excited because they’re all things I’ve wanted to do for years and years.

I have all these cool plans for kingdoms. Challenge: Mapping. I’m building it as open sandbox for now. I’m having my own little group of characters explore random hexes as we go. The cities, settlements, and kingdoms will be there when they’re discovered.

I have all these neat ideas for various race/culture combos. Challenge: Fitting everything on a map and still having characters discover them. Races have been controversial as of late. Do we even call them races any more? This is mostly an OSR issue. Maybe it’s time to borrow a page from Pathfinder 2e and D&D 5E?

I want to add a bunch of game mechanics including new classes, spells, deities. Challenge: Players are going to freak out. Possibly in a good way, but still. Am I literally trying to reinvent the wheel here? Maybe. It’s like Advanced Dungeon Crawl Classics or something.

Classes are one of my favorite things to tinker with. Challenge: How will players and Judges react to certain traditional classes and items being tossed out? I want to bring some old school D&D rules in. How’s that going to go over? Moreover what’s already been done before. DCC has a long and rich history.

I think world design and campaign design should break certain rules and go outside the guidelines. Creativity isn’t about stressing over who’s getting offended today. Maybe coming up with new ways of NOT stressing the audience out, sure.

So my plan here is to simply start the damn thing and see it all the way through. It may take me 20 years and be published after my death, but hey- we’ll get there. More to come as I develop it. Prepare to be freaked out, possibly.

Originally, I was going to do this with D&D 5E, but… where’s that edition going to be one year from now? I think I’m backing off of 5E until the dust settles a bit. Let’s be honest, that particular market is getting oversaturated anyway.

Thanks for stopping by. There’s a lot more coming. I appreciate you!

Hex Crawl Advances

Mapping by hand really brings back that Old School feeling.

I took the liberty of rolling up the next ring.

After this, I’m only rolling for the hexes as the party enters them. Should be entertaining. I’ve already rolled one hex from the Paraelemental Plane of Mud, two jungle hexes, and and a random desert hex. Mapping by hand really brings back that Old School feeling.

The Hex Map Round 2
  • (Home) The quiet town of Dunbury Glen and its immediate surroundings before they were flung across time and space.
  • C3 Mountains. Dungeon here.
  • D4 Forest
  • D6 Wasteland. Elementals present.
  • C7 Plains/Grasslands. No roads.
  • B6 Fresh water.
  • B4 Plains/Grasslands.
  • C1 Grassy hills
  • D2 Forest
  • E3 Mud from the Paraelemental Plane of Mud. Elemental Chaos!
  • E5 Eerily cold, some trees, some grass
  • E7 Forest
  • D8 Jungle
  • C9 Grassy Hills
  • B9 Jungle
  • A7 Fresh water.
  • A5 Desert/Sand
  • A3 Jungle
  • B2 Grassy Hills.

So far, the group has explored enough to discover the 6 hexes directly around Dunbury Glen. They have not, however, run into sentient beings or any signs of civilization yet. They made a note of the dungeon in the mountains north of town, but decided to come back later. They are currently working their way Northeast through the forest at D4.

Thank you for stopping by. More fun tomorrow. I appreciate you!

1d12 Reasons Ships Drop Out of Hyperspace

Drive breakdown! Somebody missed something during the last maintenance cycle. The part that broke requires replacement.

Sometimes the Jump Drive shuts down mid-run.

Roll 1d12 to find out what went wrong with the long jump.

  1. Uncharted, unexplored planet! Group may wish to reconnoiter.
  2. Hyperspace particle waveform cloud. Ship must travel through regular space to get through the phenomenon.
  3. Life forms detected! A large life form or cloud of life forms that live in space.
  4. Another spacecraft in distress. Just close enough to cast a hyperspace shadow.
  5. Wreckage from a battle. May be pretty old.
  6. Pirates with a hyperspace shadow generator. Prepare to be boarded!
  7. Drive breakdown! Somebody missed something during the last maintenance cycle. The part that broke requires replacement.
  8. Binary star gravitational well.
  9. Astrogation malfunction! The drive is fine, but the computer controlling it has malfunctioned. Reprogramming requires skill and time.
  10. Hyper-intelligent cosmic energy being.
  11. Rogue comet or planetoid. Unmapped, unsurveyed chunk of ice, a moon or planet flying through space.
  12. Black Hole! Still time to maneuver out of it.

For use with any space RPG. Have fun with it. Thank you for stopping by.

DCC RPG: Hexcrawling Around.

Your characters are everyday villagers, or maybe even young, budding adventurers in a run of the mill medieval fantasy village of Dunbury Glen. Dark forces have been at work, unseen in the background for years in the quiet farming/fishing village.

Welcome to my thought exercise/solo roleplay hexcrawl to start defining my new campaign world.

Hand drawn. Colored pencils. Starter map. (Already has a coffee stain.)

A Little Background: Your characters are everyday villagers, or maybe even young, budding adventurers in a run of the mill medieval fantasy village of Dunbury Glen. Dark forces have been at work, unseen in the background for years in the quiet farming/fishing village.

Black stone obelisks appeared in the fields and on the river bank. No one knew where they came from or when. It was if some great dark hand planted them during the night while everyone slept.

Then one day, it all changed. In the early dawn hours just before everyone would normally rise to do the daily chores, the entire village and much of the surrounding area was ripped from the very ground and flung across space and dimensions, possibly even time itself.

The PCs at first find themselves waking up to this strange new world. Everything is askew from the village’s abrupt landing in the new environment. Livestock and pets are behaving strangely. Crops somehow look different. We are definitely not in the proverbial kingdom of Kansas any more.

Things are just getting started. There are many questions to answer and ground to explore. We’re just beginning to uncover the mysteries.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

First Step: Dealing with the DCC Character Funnel. The characters’ lives have just been turned upside down when some unseen force wrenched the world that they possibly grew up in out of the ground and planted it millions of miles away. This makes it easy for the characters to have come from almost any walk of life waking up in this new reality.

The first and most obvious mystery will be the swirling dark portal at the center of the town square. It contains a dungeon suitable for 0 Level characters that will unlock part of the mystery regarding what happened to the village. Upon surviving, the characters will receive their 10 XP and First Character Levels.

At the Judge’s discretion, would-be adventurers can face trials and tribulations elsewhere, possibly just running around the village checking on friends and family in the wake of the disaster. All kinds of secrets lie within Dunbury Glen itself, including the “who” and “why” of what happened to the village. Eventually the group may wish to explore the mysteries surrounding the obelisks and assist the village in recovery.

However, the emergency town meeting held by the local baron and the village elders will take precedence over much of the day’s proceedings. The second way to proceed with the Character Funnel will be in the form of volunteers to explore the immediate surroundings outside the village. At first no one will be allowed to travel more than one day (A single hex) in any given direction. A hex will be worth 10 XP regardless of the encounters within, assuming the characters survive.

Please note there are only so many pack animals and mounts available to start. Certainly most horse owners will NOT want to part with their animals. If nothing else, the various animals are still panicky from being moved abruptly by unseen magical forces. The characters will all be on foot to begin their journey.

The third potential character funnel will come in the form of NPCs the characters know asking for help and support in the early days living in the new environment. The village could randomly come under attack from any number of threats, causing the 0 Level characters to come to its aid. The group should be rewarded accordingly in conjunction with their efforts.

Time to break out the 12-Siders.

Step 2: Random Tables and a Map.

To be continued…

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you. Lots more to come.

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