Posts Tagged ‘Old School Gaming

25
May
22

The Adventurer’s Wanted Bulletin Board….

I mentioned this in the last post, here is the actual bulletin board I gave to my players. They had just arrived at Trollshire, in the Sledgemoor Swamp, after their shenanigans upon arrival they settled into Uncle Salty’s Tavern and Inn. That is when I presented the players with this bulletin board of Adventurer’s wanted notices. I made each notice up in Photoshop, with various parchment papers, fonts and images. Printed them out, and posted them with thumb tacks on a piece of black foam board. The one they picked for their next adventure (IE: Game Session) is not the one they decided to go with during the “Next game session” But I was able to wing it anyways. I liked and the the players loved this bulletin board, not only did it give them options of what to do in a brand new city, but it also gave some flavor of what the entire area is like.

The Adventurers’s Bulletin Board found in Uncle Salty’s Tavern and Inn.

Disclaimer: I did use images from The Swamp Gremlins of Malifaux on some of these notices, along with some of the text from their website. Hopefully I won’t get sued, but it is just for personal use, not for sale, not for anything else. Just using it in my campaign. Is this crossing the line? Anybody know if it is?

The thing I like best about this board and all the notices on it, is that it gives the players all the options of what they want to do. They choose what they want to do and then in the next game session, we do it. Most of the notices are quick and easy to prep for the next week’s game. Some are more involved, but as a game master I can plan them out relatively quickly and have it ready to go in a week. Hope you all enjoy the concept.

20
May
22

My Campaign HEX Maps with Experimental Color….

Ok, I am not proud of these two maps. I drew them a few months ago for my campaign. I needed them to run it, I wasn’t sure which way the party would head so I drew two of them. (They ended up going to the Old Fishing Village on the Tucketville Map, in search of Bob the Halfling. He is the son of Alfredo Fogwind, a member of the Raven’s Loft Gentleman’s Club in Sledgemoor. It was a test to see if they were qualified enough to go on the Slith Expedition that the Gentleman’s club is funding, they did in fact rescue Bob, and were hired for the expedition.) See the Expedition Notice below.

So as far as the hex maps go, I did them in my normal black and white line drawings, down and dirty and quick. I needed them for the game. I am not very happy with them because, there is not much detail, not enough interesting locales, the Guargant Swamp Trees are way, way, way out of scale…(One Tree Per Hex would be about the correct scale for them, as 1 Hex=1.4 Miles.) After I finish drawing them, I felt like experimenting with color, so I pulled out my big box of Crayola Colored Pencils and had fun coloring them. I am a perfectionist, so I will be re-doing these maps in the future. Normally I would not post something that is not good enough (in my opinion). I just said WTF, they are not perfect, but they are kind of pretty so I decided to post them as is. I am trying to shrug off that damned perfectionism. Perfectionism just slows you down, does no one any good, and leads to weeks, months, or (In my case) years between blog posts…..LOL….!!!! So here goes, enjoy!

The Raven’s Loft Gentleman’s Club Expedition Notice. Went on the “Adventurer’s Wanted Bulletin Board” But that is for another Post…..and it’s pretty cool…!!!
The Sledgemoor Tucketville Hex Map, with the the Guargant Swamp Trees that are way, way, way, way, way too big.
The Sledgemoor Ruins of Slith Map.

SIDE NOTE: In the previous campaign session, the party had just arrived in Trollshire. After all the various hijinks that ensued, they found the “Adventurer’s Wanted Bulletin Board” at Uncle Salty’s Tavern and Inn. As a DM I had them pick the next session’s adventure from said bulletin board, which the did. Then, when this session started, they totally ignored it and chose the “Expedition Notice” instead. I was totally unprepared for that one, but I had a printed copy of my “Moldvay Random Dungeon Experiment” which I had printed out days before. I had printed that copy thinking I might expand on it to post here, and I had it in with all my prepared adventure notes. It was my lifesaver that session!!!! (That’s why they had to rescue Bob, the halfling, it was all I had with me to use.)

The joys of running a sandbox campaign…..!!!!

15
May
22

Red Cap and The Haunted Tower: A peek into my own DM Notebook…!!!

Many, many years ago I bought a copy of Brian Froud’s book “Faeries”. One particular image stood out for me, along with his short backstory and that was Red Cap. I totally loved the concept of a hard core goblin regularly soaking his hat in human blood.

REDCAP is one of the most evil of the old border goblins. He lives in old ruined towers and castles, particularly those with a history of wickedness. He re-dies his red cap in human blood. Image from Brian Froud’s book “Faeries”

This image and the concept stewed inside my brain for years. In my current campaign I finally created Redcap, his minions Bladze, Stinger, and Chopper. Gave him two Dire Wolves, Chomper and Ripper. He became a reoccurring villain in the campaign. He harassed the characters several times over the course of several sessions. They totally hated him, they tracked him down to his lair in the haunted tower, where over the course of another two sessions they managed to finally kill him and his minions. I am sharing some images of the miniatures I used, along with my actual notes and maps of the first three levels of his lair as written in my DM notebook, warts and all.

Redcap and his minions, Bladze, Stinger, and Chopper. Miniatures are from Reaper Miniatures, hand painted by me, many years ago.
Chomper and Ripper, Redcap’s pet Dire Wolves. Reaper Miniatures painted last year by me.
A handful of Redcap’s Goblin Hordes (I have a lot of these that I used)! Games Workshop miniatures, painted like 20 years ago by me.
The Haunted Tower – Redcap’s Lair: Actual pages of my DM notebook for this adventure. I use a mash-up of old Holmes Bluebook rules with Advanced D&D rulebooks. (That and I make up a lot of shit as I go, so don’t get weird or butt hurt on me and my stats/rules)
Next Pages
Level 2
Next Pages
Level 3 and rules on the “Pit”
Next pages
Last page (I Think) for Level 3

Level 4 is the Big Happy Spikey Fun Ball maze, Level 5 is the caverns where Redcap makes his final stand against the party. I may post those up here on the blog at a later time, or maybe I should just type all this up and publish it as a PDF on RPG Drivethru sometime? What do you kids think? Would anyone in their right mind, actually pay for an adventure module like this? Comment and let me know what you think.

The doorway to the “Big Happy Spikey Fun Ball” Maze.
“Big Happy Spikey Fun Ball” Miniature from Privateer Press, painted by me.
27
Apr
22

Deepfall and Local Area – Large Campaign Hex

In our current campaign, we have one player who just got deployed overseas. As a group we discussed it, and we will start another adventuring party in the same campaign world with the remaining players. (Depending on schedules we will also try to get our deployed member into the game with a video call or something.) I had the remaining group pick an area on the first campaign map they got, the Merewood/Blackthorne Forest map. They chose the city of Deepfall to start the new adventuring group in. So I began working on the Deepfall area for the next few sessions of our game.

Image of the DM Hex Map

This actually coincided with some YouTube videos I recently watched about Old School D&D and that originally the way Gary Gygax envisioned a D&D campaign of 4 to 50 players, in separate adventuring parties all playing in the same campaign world. In our game we had already started doing this. Some of the original group of players decided they wanted to create some new characters for the journey to Sledgemoor Swamp, two of the players kept their original characters, while the other two created new ones. The original characters stayed in the fortress that they had cleared out with their henchman and hirelings. Currently depending on who can play on game night we can either play sessions in Sledgemoor/Trollshire or at the home fortress near Blackthorne.

Here are the links to those YouTube videos, I highly recommend both of these channels, I have been watching and am subscribed to both of them. Dungeon Craft w/ Professor Dungeon Master has a lot of really great ideas about how to run better D&D games. Questing Beast does a lot of the same, running games, reviews on RPG’s etc. Again if you have never watched these guys, check them out. They are amazing and their content alone is worth the price of admission. (Which is free…)

Dungeon Craft Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWKWg3aQN-A

Questing Beast Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slBsxmHs070

So here is the original Merewood / Blackthorne campaign map. The players chose to start in Deepfall, a small city in the upper right corner of the map.
Here is an image of the large hex and it’s location on the campaign map expanded out.

Here is an image of the Dungeon Master’s copy of Deepfall & Local Area large hex map.

Here is the Dungeon Master large Hex Map of Deepfall and the local area. The large hex is 24 miles across from corner to opposite corner, which makes each small hex roughly 1.4 miles.

Here is the Player Map of Deepfall & Local Area: Both the DM and the Player Maps are on the maps page with links to the PDF’s.

25
Apr
22

Ugly John and his Dwarven Retinue of Outcasts.

This is Ugly John and his Dwarven retinue. Ugly John has been an NPC in my older D&D campaigns, and is in my current campaign.

Ugly John’s story began about 40 years ago during the Goblin wars to the north. Dwarves were fighting a goblin horde incursion. The final massive battle between the war weary dwarves and the goblin army in the foothills of the Thunder Ridge mountains raged for days. During the battle, a small village of ogres was caught between the opposing armies and was decimated in short order. Bjorn Thunderfist was the commander of a regiment of dwarves that came upon the decimated village. They saw a small ogre child with an arrow embedded in one eye, he was in a desperate fight for his life against a dozen goblin warriors. His only weapon was a large jawbone that he was swinging wildly at the taunting, jeering goblins. Bjorn and his men made quick work of the goblins, then looked upon the frightened ogre child still swinging the jawbone in defense against them as well. Bjorn was tired of the war, tired of the slaughter, and in the moment his heart swelled with pity and pride of this small ogre child’s bravery and determination against the goblin rabble. Bjorn could not bring himself to kill the child as he was ordered to do, and his regiment stood behind him on that decision.

That decision led to a quick field court marshal for disobeying orders, Bjorn and his entire regiment became outcasts. The band of outcasts left with the ogre child, and settled in a secluded valley in Blackthorne Forest, North East of the city of Blackthorne about a days travel away. They built a stronghold and a brewery. They trained the Ogre child in their ways of honor, and how to fight like a dwarf. Bjorn fashioned a massive wooden club with the original jawbone the ogre child was fighting with, they added a few more jawbones to the club over the course of their adventures together. They dubbed him Ugly John and the name stuck, he named his fighting club “Jawbone”. He grew to be a rather large and strong ogre, and had a very high intelligence that Bjorn and his dwarves recognized and cultivated. Over time they developed a recipe for Thunder Ale, a potent and amazingly good ale. They began to sell the Thunder Ale, and it became very popular. Eventually they opened up and inn and tavern in Blackthorne City and named it Ugly John’s. The tavern and their Thunder Ale were a huge success and they all became quite wealthy over time.

Then on a cold winter day, Bjorn became mysteriously ill, and died. His will left Ugly John in charge of the both the Ugly John’s and the stronghold. The dwarven outcasts respected Bjorn’s final wishes and have embraced Ugly John as their leader. Let the adventures begin.

Side Note: During the beginning of my current campaign (Which has now been running for 3 years). The night that the player’s party encountered Ugly John in his tavern for the first time, they ended up getting into a drinking contest with Ugly John, drinking the famed Thunder Ale. We rolled all the dice out in the open, and Ugly John had bonuses as he had a tolerance built up to Thunder Ale over the years. As the rounds continued one by one the player characters passed out. It came down to one player’s character, Thoradin the dwarf and Ugly John. They kept drinking round after round of Thunder Ale (Like I said we were rolling the dice in the open) the tension and excitement grew at the table. Then it happened, both Thoradin and Ugly John failed their dice rolls at the same time and both passed out simultaneously. It was an amazing moment in the campaign and it still gets talked about to this day. Needless to say Ugly John and the party are now fast friends, but they still don’t know about the stronghold or the fact that Ugly John and his dwarves actually brew Thunder Ale. (They do suspect it though)

Side Note 2: When I play Ugly John, I use a Shrek like / Scottish accent when speaking….took some time to get ok at it, but it is a lot of fun.

Below are pictures of Ugly John and his dwarven outcasts, including a few work in progress pictures and descriptions of where a lot of these very old school miniatures came from.

Ugly John (The Ogre) and his Dwarven Retinue. The front two rows of Dwarves, are some newer GW Dwarves, I got fairly cheap on Ebay. The Back two rows of dwarves are from the old Games Workshop Fantasy Regiments Box from the mid 80’s. I actually bought that box back then, it had 60 miniatures for like $20 or $30 back then. The two Slayers and the leaders are metal Dwarves from GW. Ugly John is a converted Reapers Bones miniature, I gave him “Jawbone” the club he wields, and an eye patch. He is an NPC in my current D&D campaign, he owns Ugly John’s Tavern, and the players love him.
This old Boxed Set
Back of the old box set, the Orcs are still some of my favorite orcs of all time. (Yes, I have a huge Orc army with pictures too)
WIP when I was painting them.
All Done, except the Banner, still need to finish that up
Ugly John and his Slayers (WIP Picture)
07
Nov
14

….”Friday’s Mystery Meat”….Village Geomorphs w/ Rivers….

~ Attention. Here’s an update on tonight’s dinner. It was veal. I repeat, veal. The winner of tonight’s mystery meat contest is Jeffrey Corbin who guessed “some kind of beef.”~

Well, I somehow broke one of the pins to my USB connection on my printer/scanner…Damn!!! Even though it is a wireless device as well, I can not get the wireless part to work right now. In the past when it lost the wireless connection I would have to reload the drivers and the software using the USB cable to get the wireless functionality back. It was always such a hassle, I just quit using the wireless capability. Last night I spent a couple of hours working on it, I could see it on my laptop, but without the USB connection I could not get the driver to install properly for some dumb-ass reason. So I gave up for now, I will probably just have to buy a new one soon. Hell if I could just open the case (which I see no way of doing with out seriously breaking it apart) I could just solder a new USB connector onto the circuit board…problem solved. The good news is I can adjust some settings on a scanner at work so I can scan my stuff in until I get a new one, the bad news is I just spent $60 on new printer cartridges for the damned thing. Such is life, and if that is the worst thing that happened to me this week…then life is still pretty damned good.

I told you all this, because I wanted to post something else for this week’s “Friday Mystery Meat” but I could not scan it. So instead, I have this set of village geomorphs with a river, I really like how these turned out…and I have another set of these done as well. I created these for the new Village and City sets of Dungeonmorph Dice that Joe Wetzel started on Kickstarter, but we’re not sure we will be making a set of dice with rivers this time around. The first two drawings are just concept drawings for river geomorphs, I did them just to get my head wrapped around the best way to make rivers flow on geomorphs. Besides that I had a lot of fun drawing these, if anyone wants the PDF’s for these let me know and I will link them up. I am not sure if they would be of any use for gaming but I do love how the second one looks for some odd reason…it was just fun for me.

First drawing of River Geomorphs Concepts: This one I do not like so much.

 Village-River-Morphs-Concept-1

Second Concept Drawing of River Geomorph concepts: This one I like so much more, its much more organic, and for what it’s worth….I really enjoyed drawing this….!!!!

Village-River-Morphs-Concept-2

 And finally here are the Village with Rivers Geomorphs, click on the image for a full page PDF. As always, Enjoy!

Village-River-Geomorphs




Village Morph Dice

Dyson’s Delves

Heros and Other Worlds

Zak S. Vornheim

About this blog

    This blog came into being after I discovered the OSR blog scene. I was inspired by Dyson Logos and his blog, specifically his geomorph project. Check out his awesome work: "Dyson's Dodecahedron" The style and the simple elegance of his 10 x 10 squares put me on a mapping roll. I have blatently (...and respectfully) emulated his style and now have pages upon pages of geomorphs. Along with more location specific maps in that same style.

   My intent for this blog is for it to be more than just maps and geomorphs. However, for now, I'm just enjoying this burst of creativity inspired by Dyson and the entire OSR community.

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