Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On the 6th Day of Christmas...

...you Crawl!

Win copies of my fanzine for DCC RPG! Visit Tenkar's Tavern and enter to win. Yes, 8 issues shipped anywhere a mailman goes. More copies to those that can read a PDF.

It's my honor to participate and donate a bunch of zines to Tenkar's 12 Days of Old School RPG Goodness! Do it!

12 Days of OSR Christmas

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I want to publish your book or zine.

Have an idea that you want to get published? It doesn't even have to be for RPGs. It doesn't even have to be a "zine". I've gotten pretty good at this the past few couple years and I want to step it up a bunch. The manic pace that I've been working on Crawl! and Hack! the past 2 weeks is kind of addictive. I like working, as long as it's working for something I want to do. People that know me personally know how hard I work, when I work. I'm also very detailed orientated, so it's got to be good.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hack! Firearms is available purchase, now.

Hack! Firearms! is a supplement compatible with the Swords & Wizardry rules. It features simple firearms rules, an adventure tool-kit for introducing firearms to your campaign and whole bunch more!

Available in Print+PDF and PDF.
  • Basic and optional rules for Firearms.
  • Different eras of firearms and their stats.
  • An adventure tool-kit for adding guns to your campaign.
  • A bunch of bonus items.
Written and Designed by Reverend Dak
Additional material by Mike Evans, Austin Schaefer, Christian Sturke.
Cover Art by Jason Sholtis
Interior Art by Mario Torres Jr.

Available November 4, Pre-order now:

Print: http://www.straycouches.com/documents/hack
Print+PDF: Buy now
PDF: Pay What You Want

Paypal:

Pick a destination:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My RPG Person Profile

I'm currently running (at home): DCC RPG

Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (at home) include: D&D (Swords & Wizardry)

I would especially like to play/run: CoC, LotFP, Fate Accel., 3:16, Machinations of the Space Princess, Over The Edge, Numenera, Mutant Future, Paranoia

...but would also try: Star Wars (the new one)

I live in: Los Angeles

2 or 3 well-known RPG products other people made that I like: LotFP, B/X D&D, Mutant Future 

2 or 3 novels I like: Dying Earth, Black Company, Hunger Games (don't judge.)

2 or 3 movies I like: Star Wars: A New Hope, Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, Big Trouble In Little China

Best place to find me on-line: Google+

I will read almost anything on tabletop RPGs if it's: Old-school / Retro

I really do not want to hear about: Wargames, tactics, collectable card games and miniatures

I think dead orc babies are (....well, ok, it's complicated because....) context, we eating them? Doing the killing? Or just seeing them already dead?

Game I'm in are like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmfe5_6SV8U (no one knows what's going on half the time.)

Free RPG Content I made for DCC RPG are here: http://crawlfanzine.blogspot.com/search/label/Free

Free RPG Content I made for Swords & Wizardry are here: http://reverend-dak.blogspot.com/search/label/Free

Free RPG Content I made for Vornheim are here: http://reverend-dak.blogspot.com/2011/06/untitled.html

You can buy RPG stuff I made about DCC RPG here: http://www.crawlfanzine.com

If you know anything about Maritime Adventures it'd help me with a project I'm working on.

I talk about RPGs on Google+ under the name Dak Ultimak

I talk about RPGs on forums.goodman-games.com under the name ReverendDak

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hack! A Swords & Wizardry zine

I just plugged a teaser for my upcoming Crawl! issue, no.8: http://crawlfanzine.blogspot.com/2013/10/almost-there.html

What most people don't know, or they do now, is that Crawl! no. 8 is just the DCC RPG version of this:


Which started off as this: http://reverend-dak.blogspot.com/2013/04/swords-wizardry-and-firearms.html. But it's been expanded a lot, I mean A LOT. I'm excited for this because it'll be OGL. The art is awesome. And I'll be making PRINT editions of it, though in very limited quantities. It'll also be available in boring PDF in the regular outlets, yawn... (heh.)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

It's the Dungeons & Dragons Ride!


This might be a bit ambitious, but I'll be hosting a D&D themed bicycle ride in Los Angeles. Yes, it will be a massive game of D&D. Rules will be simplified, and it should be fun. It's a nighttime ride, there will be dice, monsters and possibly a dragon...

Yep, I'm doing this.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Racist Post

First off, FUCK YOU. You can try, but you can't tell me what is racist and what is not. I know racism. I know when something is about racism and when it's not. I know when it's racist, but I also understand context and intent. I know mean and nasty. I know jokes and irony. But don't pretend you understand. You don't. No more than I understand what it's like to be a woman in a man's world. So let me make this clear :

The Zimmerman trial is all about racism. It reeks of it, it stinks of it. If you can't smell it, it's because either you're ignorant (which is fine) or you're racist (not okay). That trial was so racist that the judge didn't even allow racism to be part of the evidence against Zimmerman. Evidence that Zimmerman was racist was not allowed in court. Because it was not relevant? What the fuck is that all about? Of course it's relevant. There is nothing worse than a white person telling a person of color that something isn't racist. Much less what's relevant or what matters. The dismissive language from the apologists is disgusting. Get over it? Move on? "Worst things in the world?" Are you fucking kidding me? No, there actually isn't anything worst than the privileged oppressive behavior towards the disadvantaged.

Manslaughter, at least. But nothing? That's seriously about as bad as it gets.

So, no. Fuck you. It's a big fucking deal. And I'm fucking pissed, and scared. We're all fucked.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Internet Security, part 1: The Onion Router (Tor)


Teach yourself Tor today. It's easy. The first step towards internet anonymity, privacy and security is using TOR.

  1. Understand Tor:
    https://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en Tor, or The Onion Router, is a combination of programs that connect you to the Tor network, and masks you behind several different servers all over the world. It includes the program to connect you to the Tor network and includes a modified version of Firefox designed to work with the network. All in one simple downloadable package that can be installed on practically every platform or OS, including Android.
  2. Understand its weaknesses: It's not perfect, but Tor along with other tools can be about as perfect as you can get. Tor alone will secure and anonymize the communication between you and the server you are connecting to. All anyone can tell is that you're connected to something, and something is connected to a particular server. No one can tell who, or what, is being communicated. That's pretty good. But, the moment you type in a username or a password, that information is logged on the server, and can possibly be recorded on your end. That's where the vulnerabilities lie. Not in Tor itself, but at the end points (or nodes.) All details aside, if no one is snooping on your computer, and you don't enter any identifying information on the resource you're connecting too, no one can know who did what or when. All your ISP sees, is you're connected to the internet. All the server sees is whatever data is being exchanged between them and whoever is connecting to them. 
  3. Understand your rights:  https://www.eff.org/wp/know-your-rights Access to information is a basic right, no matter who you are. This access is guaranteed through Tor through anonymity, because if the information is out there, it can't be block by any arbitrary or authority. ISPs are being pressured by governments, lobbys and other authorities to stop you from accessing information or data they deem to be dangerous, offensive or illegal. Regardless of whether any of that is true, doesn't give them the right to block that information. Because, honestly, an informed decision is dependent on access to all the information that exists.  
  4. Install Tor: https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en Tor is easier than ever to install and use. Literally: download, install, click, you're on. 
  5. Change your habits: Don't use your regular accounts. Create new, anonymous accounts on whatever internet resources you access, and use and ONLY use those accounts when on Tor. The moment you log in without using Tor, you have compromised that account. 

That's about it for now. Visit https://prism-break.org/ for other internet tools, such as email, chat and VOIP. Some use Tor as a basis, some don't need it. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

BIRTHDAY WEEKEND DETAILS

FRIDAY, no real plans. Come hang out during day, but some of us are going to Jubilee late afternoon for some indie-hipster-rock. Tickets are expensive, attendance not mandatory. But we should be out of there by 9PM, if people are down, out and about, or at a bar or some other thing. Let me know, post it! http://jubileemusicfest.com/

SATURDAYAll day. "Mandatory", if you know me, you know what that means

NOON-ish? I need someone to take me (drive me) to STUFFED SANDWICH so I can get my birthday glass. For lunch, so I'm thinking Noon? One or two beers. Then from there get bike and head to HUBBUB for BEEER SHARE, like 1-ish til 5-ish? 

5PM-ish, SHAKEY'S Ye Old Pizza Parlor in GLENDALE for pitchers, pizza, mojos with sides of mojos. Do we have to make reservations? I want Reverend Dak on the marquee. Can someone do this for me?

7PM-ish, SPOKE(N)ART, for BEER AND ART. We'll catch up, I'll just call Josef. Easy Peasy. http://flyingpigeonla.myshopify.com/pages/rides/#spokenart

SUNDAY, Actual Birthday.

Breakfast with family. This will be early, I want to be done early and get my ass to Natural History Museum LA. Devo will be playing outdoors, DJs indoors, some science seminars. I don't wanna miss Devo, so I plan to be there pretty much the whole day. http://www.nhm.org/site/about-our-museums/nhm-100/events/birthday-bash

Monday, May 20, 2013

Quick post Amsterdam post!

Ok, I've been out of town for the past week. I went on a little vacation with my girlfriend to Amsterdam, the city of... I don't know, beer? Who knew it had such a burgeoning Craft Beer scene. I'm not talking about traditional, 400+ year old classic beers, like pretty much all of Europe, but American Style Craft/Micro brews in various styles. It's awesome. If you want to check out all the beer I drank over the past week, go no further than Untappd: https://untappd.com/user/reverenddak

That's it for now. I have a ton of things I need to do to catch up. Such as a bunch of orders and errands. I hope to share a bunch of pics and other stuff soon.


Monday, April 22, 2013

And The Winners Are...

...for copies of the Firearms supplement when finished (chosen at random, using +Jon Marr 's DCC Crawler's Companion.)

  • MWSchmeer
  • Matt Finch
  • Nathan Irving
  • Reese Laundry
  • JasperAK
And copies of Knockspell, courtesy of +Matt Finch and Frog God Games:

  • Rorschachhamster
  • Austin Schaefer
Please contact me via private message on G+ or email me at rev.dak
at the domain of straycouches dot com.

Coincidently Rorchschhamster and Austin Shaefer submitted items, and I want to include them! So you two, please contact me directly ASAP!




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

FIGHT THEM ALL!!! More S&W Appreciation Day Goodness


Bonus post for Swords and Wizardry Appreciation Day!

While looking at my PDF copy of Monstrosities, by Frog God Games for Swords & Wizardry, I came up with the [probably obvious] idea of a campaign based on encountering all the monsters in Monstrosities in order of Challenge Level (give or take a level or two.) It wouldn't take much, just a little planning and considering that every monster includes an encounter, lair or scenario, your players probably wouldn't know any better. It's probably best to have some sort of home base, a hex map of some sort (possibly complete with encounters and localities, I might use Blackmarsh or The Majestic Wilderlands by +Rob Conley).

Here's how I'd probably do it: (mind you this is all just in my head, and I haven't tried it yet.)

Print/Copy the Monsters by Challenge Level lists (starting on page 534) and roll a big die, probably a d20 or d30 (maybe even a d100) and count off until you get to a random monster indicated by the die. The big die is to add some randomness to the encounter level. A d30 would get you a monster from Level A, B or 1 if doing this the very first time. Read the encounter. If it works, plan to us it immediately. I'd probably complement this with a hex crawl. When they enter a new hex, 1 in 6 would indicate an encounter. Either the built-in one (if using a pre-made hex crawl map) or the monster you rolled (if it makes sense). You probably want to log it somewhere, and cross off the monster from the list. Especially if you want to get to all the monsters in your lifetime. Incorporating a developed hex crawl would give the campaign a bit more continuity. I'd cross off any monsters encountered in the the hex crawl from the Monster list, again to increase the likelihood of getting through all the monsters. If you get a monster that doesn't fit, the environment or setting. Pencil it in for later. Or the "next one" when the area is right. It's still technically random. Keep doing this, crossing off monsters. Starting the count from the first available monster on through. The CL spread should get wider too. There will be a lot of fiat, making encounters fit, but that's part of the fun. You can roll the next 3 or 4 monsters in advanced, and try to tie the encounters together. Some random dungeon generators would come in handy to expand or detail a lair.
---

Don't forget all the other S&W Appreciation Day goodness!:

Also don't miss your chance to win/earn a copy of a printed zine based on my original S&W Appreciation Day post OR a copy of Knockspell!

S&W Appreciation Days are posting...

I did my automatically, so mine went up midnight PDT. It's 1:30 AM, now, here in Los Angeles. I just got back from my Bicycle Cabal ride. Fun, drunk and cheap burritos...

Had to check on things before going to bed, and I ended up getting sucked into the early bird posts of S&W Appreciation Day. OMG, really amazing stuff so far. And it's only getting started. Not everyone scheduled their posts to go up on the 17th exactly, heck, I'm three hours later than a ton of you. Still, wow. GOOD STUFF. The next (new) issue of Knockspell is going to rule. I hope mine makes the cut, I want it in there... for sure.

So, had to also share that I took advantage of the 25% off S&W sale. I got me this:

Monstrosities

Basically it's the official Monster Manual for Swords & Wizardry. I felt stupid when it got announced. I owned Monster Book (the original version of this) so I thought it'd be the same. Boy was I wrong. It's huge. Comes will little encounters (or adventures) or lairs. Awesome cover... Rad, just rad. Well, I ordered it... so yeah!

Happy Swords & Wizardry day.

http://www.talesofthefroggod.com/monstrosities.html

Don't forget to comment or submit something for my appreciation post. Win an analog, dead tree, old-school RPG zine!

Swords, Wizardry and Firearms!

Today is S&W Appreciation Day and following these announcements is my submission...

(Other participants can be found here [link]! But please come back!)
---

Announcement One

As promised, I'm giving away 5 print copies of a zine that will be based on the stuff below, but a bit more expanded! All you have to do is reply with your comments, hate, rage or, what I'd prefer, your idea to add to the supplement. Maybe a specific item that fits the theme, maybe even magic complements? Whatever! Winners will be picked by random. Good ideas might earn you a copy if I use it (totally separate to the 5 prizes)! I also have TWO (2) PDF copies of Knockspell (1 or 2) to give away to one random commentator and one chosen submission, chosen by me (cause it's technically "my" copy.) Does that sound fair? You got until Monday (April 22nd)! The zine will take a bit to make, but remember we're talking about a hand-made physical zine. If you like this post, you'll like the zine. I promise, I'm pretty good at this.

Announcement Two

As part of Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day enjoy a 25% discount on Swords &   Wizardry Products (books, swag, etc.) from Frog God Games and downloadable PDFs from the Shop at d20pfsrd!

Today, April 17th, 2013, Only!
www.talesofthefroggod.com
Use the coupon code SWApprDay at: Frog God Games

shop.d20pfsrd.com
and SWAD252013 at the Shop at d20pfsrd.com 
---

Without further ado...

Swords,Wizardry...


...and Firearms!
Firearm rules for Swords & Wizardry by Reverend Dak
Pistols, rifles and other guns, while not for everyone, they have been essential to some fantasy stories from Solomon Kane to the comic book series Skullkickers. The Weird Western and some Post-apocalyptic stories, such as Dark Tower, also feature elements of Sixguns and Sorcery. Then you have two Korean action movies, The Good The Bad The Weird (thanks +Alex Mayo)  and The Warrior's Way that also mixed elements of pulpy westerns with fantasy elements. So there is obviously an appeal, but there is also a negative stigma when it comes to guns. Are they right for a fantasy campaign? It’s really up to the gaming group to decide. If the group decides to add some form of firearms to the game, they have to decide how realistic or powerful they should be. Guns can easily change the nature of the game into a gun show, instead of the traditional display of swords and spells. One way to keep that from happening is to make these weapons more trouble than they are worth. Bullets can be unstable but plentiful, or they can be dangerous but extremely rare. If guns are a regular feature of the game, maybe a little bit of both. Regardless, elements of Fantasy mixed with the Weird Wild West can make for an interesting world of adventure.

Powerful Or Mundane?


If they’re powerful, they should be extremely rare. They should be treated like artifacts, and there should be dangerous rivals or factions trying to take them away from the adventurers. Imagine if the bad guys had the guns instead. With the tables turned, guns can make or break the game by annihilating a party. But if they are a staple of the campaign, it’s probably best to make them pretty mundane and not much different than any other missile weapon. But if that is the case, why have them at all? Consider limiting the weapons to only black powder, or non-automatic revolvers and bolt-action or lever-action long guns. If the group decides to make firearms powerful, apply any number of optional rules found below.

Basic Firearm Rules


It’s important to remember that combat in Swords & Wizardry is abstract. Each attack roll represents a series of attacks, maneuvers, dodges and parries. So though a character may have been hit by an attack, it doesn’t always represent a bullet breaking skin. Normally, when hit by a high velocity slug, it would almost always cause devastating damage. But instead, they should be described as near-misses and flesh wounds until down to that last hit die of hit points.

Initiative and Order of Battle As Normal


Surprise and Initiative works like normal. Firearms follow the same attack rules as missile fire, they are fired during the Movement and Missiles Phase.

Hits Do 1 Die of Damage

Each firearm has its own damage die; typically d8 for handguns and d10 or more for longarms. For a standard attack, a hit does 1 die of damage. Damage is treated just like any other missile or melee attack, and can be healed as normal.

Aiming Gives a +2 Bonus To Hit and Does 2 Dice of Damage

The shooter may take a round to aim to increase the attack roll by 2 and hits will increase the damage by an additional die. But the shooter is vulnerable to normal attacks (including surprise attacks and critical hits, see below) while aiming.

Taking Cover, When Available, Is a Move and Gives a Bonus to AC

Taking cover is key to surviving a gun fight. Especially if guns are especially dangerous. The group should decide whether to make gun battles realistic and gritty, like a World War 2 movie, or to make them cinematic and showy, like The Matrix. In realistic gun battles, half the time the combatants are ducked and covered. While in more gun-fu style movies, gunplay is out in the open. If guns are mundane and common, the abstract nature of S&W combat is sufficient enough to assume cover. But if the more dangerous optional rules are used, cover is essential. For simplicity, if a target is actively hiding behind hard cover, no attacks can be made. If the target is firing back from behind some hard cover, the cover provides an additional 4 points (-4 [+4]) to AC. Firing from a firing port, murder hole or arrow slit can provide up to 8 (-8[+8]) points of AC, at the referee’s discretion.

Duels Are Deadly

High-noon on the dusty road, in the middle of town; it’s the typical setting of a one on one battle between two rival gunmen. It’s usually resolved with a single shot from the fastest gun. If two gunman agree to a duel, hit points are practically off the table and the winner is determined by who hits whom first.

Initiative is determined between the two duelists, using a d20, the roll is modified by the character’s level (and any other circumstantial modifiers, see below). The highest roll shoots first, and an attack roll is made as normal. If the attack hits, the damage is the number of damage dice equal to the PC’s level or a creature’s Challenge Level. For example, a typical handgun does d8 damage, so a 5th-level fighter that hits during a duel does 5d8 damage to his target. This represents an automatic critical hit and the inability to dodge (maneuver, parry, etc.). Let’s face it, duels are deadly against experienced adventurers. If the target survives, he can attempt to shoot back applying the same damage rules. If both duelists survive, combat rounds continue as normal combat. At that point damage is normal (typically one die), initiative is handled normally, and others may join the combat if they wish.

clicken to embiggen

Ammunition
For simplicity, rounds cost are dependant on how much damage they do. For black powder weapons, the costs include the necessary black powder.

Damage Cost* Weight

d6 or d8 5 sp 0.1 lb
d10 or d12 1 gp 0.1 lb

*Costs are for 10 rounds where firearms are mundane. In campaigns where firearms are rare, costs are for a single round.  

Magazines and quick-loaders cost 1gp for each if firearms are mundane or 1gp per round they carry in campaigns where firearms are rare.

Optional Rules

The following are rules to make guns more dangerous and gritty. The more powerful firearms are in the game, the rarer they should become. Firearms should remain unique and difficult to obtain. The following rules may supplement, replace or be replaced by existing house rules, such as Critical Hits and Fumbles.

Surprise Attacks May Be Critical

Firearm attacks during a surprise round, or the target is otherwise unaware of  the attack, will increase the chance of a critical hit by 2. That is, if the attack roll is a natural 18+ and the attack hits, the attack should be considered a critical hit (see below). All other surprise rules still apply. This rule does not apply to automatic fire.

Critical Hits and Fumbles Can Be Deadly

On a natural 20, an attack with a firearm should be considered a critical hit. A critical hit does damage equal to the attacker’s level or challenge level in damage dice. For example, a succubus with a pistol can do 9d8 damage on a critical hit!
A natural 1 may represent a misfire. The weapon may be permanently damaged (1% chance) and a 1 in 10 chance firer may be also be injured by a misfire or explosion, 2 dice damage (die type depending on ammunition used), save for half.

Firearms Are Complicated

Firearms will have a Rate of Fire (RoF) rating, reload time and weapon speed. These are not so important if guns are mundane, treat them as any other missile weapon. But as a way to make firearms inconvenient, especially if they’re extremely powerful, these factors may help keep them in check.
  • Rate of Fire: A firearm with multiple RoFs may only fire once during the surprise round, but the chance of a critical hit should increase as per the Surprise Attack rule above. Automatic weapons are indicated by an (A).
  • Reload: Reloading a firearm manually can take up to a minute. If quick loaders or magazines are available, reloading takes one round. Black powder weapons can take up to 3 rounds to reload.
  • Weapon Speed: Weapon Speed is only a factor for individual initiative rolls, such as duels (see above). This value is added to the initiative roll or, if using Alternate Combat Sequence Method No. 3 the value is negative.

Automatic Weapons do 3 Dice of Damage

Weapons with a RoF that indicates an (A), instead of separate attacks, automatic weapons can affect multiple targets in a 10-foot square area. An automatic fire attack uses 10 rounds of ammunition. The attacker makes a single attack roll that’s compared to the AC of each target in the area. A hit causes 3 dice worth of damage, save for half. A critical hit (natural 20) does 6 dice of damage, save for half.

---

...and Firearms! is compatible with the rules of Swords & Wizardry.

blah blah...It's all open content/OGL...

15. Copyright Notice
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, John D. Rateliff, Thomas Reid, James Wyatt, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Swords & Wizardry Core Rules, Copyright 2008, Matthew J. Finch
Swords & Wizardry Complete Rules, Copyright 2010, Matthew J. Finch
...and Firearms!, Copyright 2013, Reverend Dak.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Teaser for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day!

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day

---
You will want this...

...but you can't have it until tomorrow.

For now visit the S&W SRD...
www.d20swsrd.com

...and Frog God Games, the home of Swords & Wizardry!
www.talesofthefroggod.com


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Prizes!

I finished writing my thing for S&W Appreciation Day, it's now in editing. I need to commission some artwork and it'll be all ready. I also plan to publish it as a little zine, and make it available in the future. It'll also be OGL, so you can borrow it for your own use and I plan to add it to the S&W SRD.

What is it? I don't wanna say. It's going to be a supplement for S&W. I will say that some people are gonna hate it. My editor isn't a fan, he said so. But I like it. It's something I've been contemplating for a while, and I was waiting on a few developers to come up with something interesting. But no one did, and so I decide to do it myself... necessity _is_ the mommy of invention.

Prizes!? Oh, right. Yes. I will be giving away a PDF of Knockspell and I plan to give away copies of my S&W supplement as a PRINTED ZINE! How does 5 copies of it sound? I also plan to make the PDF available on d20SRD's shop and RPGnow in both S&W and a DCC RPG version will likely appear in a future issue of Crawl! The zine/supplement versions will be expanded versions, all OGL friendly.

I'm really excited for this. Really happy for +Erik Tenkar , +Matt Finch and +Bill Webb for the success of Swords & Wizardry.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Swords and Wizardry!

April 17th is going to be Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day

What is Swords & Wizardry (S&W)? It's part of the first wave of the Old-School Renaissance (OSR)--the return to the roots of our favorite hobby/game, Dungeons & Dragons. It's based on the Original Edition of D&D (OD&D), aka the Little Brown Books, or the Little Brown Box (LBB) or later on, "The White Box." This edition predated the Red "Basic" Box (Basic D&D or B/X Edition) and even the  hard-cover advanced edition (AD&D). The "Blue" Basic Edition was based on this edition, which was originally designed to be an introduction AD&D before they decided to create two lines. So in a way, S&W is compilation of the original game, plus its supplements, combined, cleaned up and presented in as a complete role-playing game.

This blog will be part of it. Most folks know me as the publisher of Crawl! fanzine for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. But before I got involved with DCC RPG, Swords & Wizardry was my intro to the OSR. I was one of many that beared with 3rd Edition and threw in the towel when 4th Edition was released. (I gave it a fair shot, I did. Once essentials was released, I was already fed up with the game...) By that time the OSR was in full effect. I read various OSR products, but the game that really got my attention was S&W. Its simplicity and its completeness. I was sold, and ran it for my D&D fix while trying out other games (D&D and non-D&D style games). Obviously DCC RPG won me over in the end, but I have never gave up on S&W. In fact I still use it as my go-to reference for spells and monsters, and other things that DCC RPG doesn't cover, or I don't feel like making up myself. I supported the S&W kickstarter, and I really love the new printing.

Why S&W, and not others like OSRIC or LL? tl;dr, Ascending AC. Probably the single innovation of the later editions that I really-really like. Everything else is pretty much identical. In fact I use OSRIC, LL and Basic Fantasy (and other OSR games) compatible products in my DCC RPG on the fly (very little to no brain-work is needed to convert.)

So what am I doing for S&W Appreciation Day? It's a secret. S&W is a perfect game to hack, or use as your core rules. I've been considering something for DCC RPG for a long time, and developing it for S&W first seems like a no-brainer for me. Since it'll be a while before I can afford a proper/new computer for my publishing and graphic design. My little netbook is perfectly suited for writing. And using this lost time for a little development/writing seems like a nifty idea.

Heard I won a copy of Knockspell? You heard right! I already have the first few issues of Knockspell, so I don't need a copy. But for those of you that don't, your chance will be next week to win a copy! So check in next week for the rules!

See you next week!

p.s. Visit the Swords & Wizardry SRD! Rules reference for S&W is free. And, yes, I plan to submit my "hack" to it. http://www.d20swsrd.com/

Thursday, March 7, 2013

XP for GP, yes, but how in DCC RPG?


Before I dug deep into DCC RPG, I was experimenting with Swords & Wizardry. The basic rule for treasure was 1d3+1 times XP of the monster = GP. In pretty much all old-editions of D&D, GP = XP. I subscribe to this. +Erik Tenkar got thinking about it: http://www.tenkarstavern.com/2013/03/a-look-at-bill-webbs-xp-method-from.html I got my copies of the S&W kickstarter rewards and read my mis-covered copy of MCMLXXV too, and it too got me thinking about how to reward XP for treasure. At least spending it (which is what some DMs like to do.) Yes, I know, there isn't much treasure in DCC RPG... that's what they say, but in reality there is plenty. But that's besides the point. There are some loose rules on pg 360 on rewarding XP, including spending gold on carousing, training, worshiping and research. And I know that some folks are pretty good at winging these rewards. I'm not, I'm more systematic with things. I have problems awarding Luck for the same reasons, I need a more systematic way of doing it. Systems help me remember, and it also keeps things fair. Some players are better than others in reminding me, "did we get XP for that?" It comes down to this:

How do you reward XP for non-combat? And if you don't use the standard (RAW) XP, pretend that you do, and how do you do it. Also remember I like things systematic.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tabletop Role-Playing Games are Dead! LONG LIVE ROLE-PLAYING GAMES!

The nay-sayers would like to tell you the industry is dead. Well, I guess it kind of is. The 2000s were kind of a boom for the RPG scene with the release of D&D 3e and the d20 rules being OPEN SOURCE and supported by the OGL. Wow, it did an amazing thing for the hobby. D&D became a force, the RPG hobby quickly gained popularity under it. The Players Handbook was on the NYT best-sellers again, pretty amazing for a game of wizards and warriors in dark dungeons.

About 3 or 4 years ago that bubble burst like a balloon. But guess what, that balloon was filled with confetti, and what did people do with that confetti? They picked it all up and recycled it like old newpapers. The ironic thing is that it brought the industry back to its roots. The DIY mentality that created D&D in the first place. The OSR was born. The (arguably) mass appeal of "Story Games" seems to be thriving. While the big guys like White Wolf, Mongoose and Wizards (well, really the just D&D brand) pretty much whithered, while some companies switched to more traditional tabletop games like Board Games (Fantasy Flight, anyone?) It's kind of sad, but face it, the RPG industry as an industry was just not sustainable, at least not as it was before video games. That's right. Tabletop RPGs have kind of gone the way of CDs, DVDs and Vinyl Records. If it's not digital, the kids won't touch it. Accept it, those kids are the future, and they like to sit in front of their glowing rectangles. But here's the irony. Vinyl records are making a comeback. Yeah, they're not selling millions like songs on iTunes, but there is a scene and a market for Vinyl records. I know of 5 or 6 record shops in my area alone. Yes, I live in LA. But that's just it, these little shops are awesome, and will survive because no one is trying to make millions, but tons (enough) folks are throwing down on those plastic disks and spinning them. Some of them as jobs, i.e. DJs at the local clubs. RPGs are pretty much the same way, the indie stuff is doing well, relatively. A small press by an ex-pat that now lives in Finland is somehow cranking out these amazing RPG products with some of the highest quality art, writing and STYLE in this "so-called" dead market. How? Because he's doing it in a sustainable manner. Small, niche, without the expectations to make millions, but just enough. Indie publishers are doing pretty well with their little games that started as "free" games, and turned them into interesting games that are making hundreds of thousands. Yeah, not the millions that WotC/Hasbro and those other big guys are used to. But they're making quality products and a reasonable price for a niche market in a fringe hobby. Sustainability is key for a business to survive.

Honestly, it's time for the industry to get out of thier old models of "if it ain't making millions (of dollars) it ain't successful." The worst thing that happened to the RPG gaming market was when D&D, the former sure-thing, became owned by a company that needed to make millions for its brand to be "worth-while". When D&D sold more than all other brands put together, everything seemed fine. But when D&D became an also ran to one of its derivitive (i.e knock-offs) everyone started this crazy talk about the industry dying. I guess it did for WotC. While Paizo has never done better! It's really basic economics. Less people aren't playing D&D, I think more poeple are. But more people have returned to their original books that don't "expire" or get "out-dated" like computers and automobiles, D&D has the ability to thrive and survive like great books of literature to. (As movies?! haha, that's another topic. The Hobbit analogy follows...)

I'm a small publisher, and publish for a small game, that is a derivative of D&D, from a small publisher. It's a hobby that was never intended to make anyone rich. It did for some folks, for a while, but that was arguably its downfall. But how is it a downfall when I still play it? Like every week. 

A few weeks ago the movie The Hobbit was released. Yeah, it's all modern and high-tech. It's Good in my opinion. But what did it do for the brand? Did it get people to buy a copy of a book published in 1937? That's right, it did. Funny thing is, it made me want to play D&D. See, RPGs aren't dead! The companies trying to make millions off of them just are.

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.