Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hump-day Hildebrandt and a Pre-Announcement

Good evening.  It is with great pleasure that I give you this pre-announcement.  This year, Gamers & Grognards  has volunteered to have the honor, nay, the privledge of hosting Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day.  It's one of my favorite holidays. In fact, it's right up there with David Lynch's birthday.  I would give the full announcement now, but I have a feeling that many persons in my audience are doing awesome stuff at Gary Con right about now. So, I will give you full details on how to participate next week.  Until then enjoy these dwarves, they's badass:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hump Day 40 years of dungeon!

Well... here's something else that replaces HDH. Here I give you David Megarry, creator of the board game Dungeon! talking about it's inception. It turns the big 4-0 this year folks! Now I want to play...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Step A: Write a Goldenrod thing, Step B: , Step 3: Make profit - Also Domain Level hexcrawls

So, work was busy again.  No HDH this past week.  I worked late and went straight into Goldenrod. Well, I'm happy to say that the first installment of the book, currently being written as LGBs (Little Goldenrod Books) has been completed, edited by myself and sent off to +John Reyst of the Swords & Wizardry SRD for a second edit.  I only owe a list of playtesters and a brief preface on my end.  So, hopefully, someday soon you will be seeing posts and links to pick up the PDF in the Swords & Wizardry SRD store!  

In other news the campaign that I run on Friday nights is, after a few years of semi-regular play, moving into Domain level play.  I am very excited for this.  I can't tell you the last time that we had a campaign go in that direction. Plans have already been made for the keep that they intend to build, and they are being given on 50 mile "hex" on the Lost Lands "Gulf of Akados" map.  Part of the catch here, is that it will be a hex in a less populated area.  The party will have to "crawl" it if they want to find out what is in their hex.  I will be using the maps from Judges Guild's Campaign Hexagon System and a combination of 1E DMG, Campaign Hexagon System and +Richard LeBlanc  D30 Companions to flesh it out.  I have also pulled a few high level modules that can literally randomly pop up.  I don't actually know what is in the 50 mile hex.  This entire leg of the campaign will be a surprise for us all.  

Well, that's my brief post for the day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

GM's Day/Gary Gygax Memorial Post

I will not be posting a Hump-day Hildebrandt picture.  This is the day, in 2008 that the community lost E. Gary Gygax Sr. Gary was one of the creators of The Game, that is now many, many games. Without him and his work, the hobby  would be very different today.  Without his work, I would be a very different person today.  Today, I present you with some quotes from the man himself:
There is no winning or losing, but rather the value is in the experience of imagining yourself as a character in whatever genre you're involved in, whether it's a fantasy game, the Wild West, secret agent or whatever else. You get to sort of vicariously experience those things.
Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game.

The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.
The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own.
Even the most outspoken of the critics must admit that long before we had print and film media to "spread the word," mankind was engaged in all forms of cruel and despicable behavior. To attribute war, killing, and violence to film, TV, and role-play games is to fly in the face of thousands of years of recorded history.
Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company you don't even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game.
The essence of a role-playing game is that it is a group, cooperative experience. 
I would like the world to remember me as the guy who really enjoyed playing games and sharing his knowledge and his fun pastimes with everybody else.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Non-Vancian Magic In A Vancian World

I have spent a lot of my free time over the past few months running over combat in my head. Looking at rules from various editions and game systems (some of which I didn't even know existed before beginning this project) to see what would work well as combat options for Swords & Wizardry.  The Goldenrod Conventions Guide To Combat has taken it's toll on me. I've looked over these rule sets and gone over my note from how my group plays, and my house rules for what I did back in the day. I've looked at Chainmail to see what it has that it's descendants SHOULD still have. In short, I've had it with combat to the point I don't even want to run combat in a game at the moment. I'd wine more, but then I might give you more of a taste of the booklet than I'm willing at the moment. It's time for something else. 
It should come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of Vancian magic, so if you were worried that this was going to be a post about replacing Vancian magic, don't be.  My love for Vancian magic runs deep, likely because of my love for Jack Vance's "Dying Earth."  I like my magic users to have fire and forget Vancian style magic.  That said, I feel that there is room for casters that have similar, but different casting styles. and having other options available for all casters. 
Now the first option is simple and I've already worked it out based on work done by folks before me.  This is, of course, my variant take on an old school version of the 3.X Sorcerer.  You may be aware that I created a version for both Castles & Crusades and Swords & Wizardry Complete.  Some variant of the S&W version will definitely make it's way into Goldenrod.  But there are yet more styles of caster that can be added and a plethora of ideas that can be tossed in there. 
What am I doing here?  Well, you see, I want the Goldenrod Conventions to create modular rules (read as "bolt on attachments") that will create an ideal game for both myself and other players.  Some of you know that during the writing of the combat rules I took requests for rules to make this happen.  In the end, that stretched the time that I needed to create the booklet.  Right now, I want to  get ahead of this for the magic supplement.  So, let me know in the comments, what sort of modular magic rules would you like to see presented?  Trust me, if it's something that I'm not interested writing into Goldenrod, or fiddling with in general, I will let you know up front.
Here is some of what I'm looking at right now:
-Rules for Magicians Duels (these will be quite different from the rules for Spell Duels that DCC RPG uses.)  These rules will make it possible for magicians to have duels similar to the duel featured in Big Trouble in Little China between Egg Shen and Lo Pan (using magical avatars) and force duels like the one held between Saruman and Gandalf in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings."
-Hard rules for Golem creation and the creation of other creatures (such as clones and "vat creatures" inspired by "The Dying Earth.")  I also intend to have a "Frankenstein" style creature creation present.
-Rules an roleplaying tips for magic item creation and the forging of magical weapons
-New Non-Vancian magic systems for new casting classes (such as the Alchemist, Sigil Mage and Rune Caster.) 
-Rules for the "Taint of Chaos" and it's effects on casters
-Rules for Ritual Magic (based somewhat on the rules from the 3.5 "Relics & Rituals" book.
-Ley Lines and other Magical hot spots
-New Spells (and the possibility of a spell compendium featuring all of the spells from both official S&W products by FGG and Goldenrod spells.
Let me know if there is anything else that you would like to see presented.  This time we'll get this straight before I start working.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hump-day Hildebrandt and An Update On My Actual Gaming (gasp, shock, awe!)

So, the one thing that I've given myself time for over the past month, outside of writing and testing Goldenrod, is my Friday night game.  That's right, I'm running again.  After a hiatus from regular OSR style play while, Jon ran us through a Numenera campaign while I dealt with prepping for the U-Con OSR Track, starting Goldenrod and taking care of the holidays for my daughter, we have returned to my game.  Long time readers will remember that I've had a long running Castles & Crusades game using Frog God Games "Lost Lands" setting.  Primarily I've run the Stonerheart Valley mod, with the old Bard's Gate book and some Rappan Athuk thrown in for good measure.  We've seen a lot of players come and go.  Coming back to a campaign that is about to celebrate it's third birthday, which has actually been played most Fridays since it's advent (less the past 6 months off) we have gained another new player.  He's younger than most of us.  Slick Rick found him at work and invited him into the fold.  He has very little experience in gaming and what he has is all 3.5. His second session in saw him drawing two cards from the Deck of Many things, the first of which drained 10,000 XP and the second having his character under an Imprisonment spell deep below the surface of the earth.  In the third session he watch two characters die within several minutes of each other due to a magical poison with a save or die effect.  So yeah, his gotten his taste of a lethal old school play style and wants to come back for more, which is awesome.  

Also, I'd like to plug another thing for some guys.  If you're reading this you might already know that there's a new RPG podcast out there.  I'm talking about +Adam Muszkiewicz and +Donn Stroud's Drink Spin Run.  If you're not listening yet, click that link.  You'll dig what you hear.  It has something for everyone (that games.) Check it out, it's good stuff.

Until next time, this is pretty badass:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Playing Catch Up and Shouting Out

Hi, Everybody!

You may have noticed a lack of posts, including the regular Hump-day Hildebrandt update. Work was a killer the past couple of weeks, as the person that essentially serves as my assistant was on vacation in Europe, leaving me with two jobs. That said, in that time I had to make sacrifice to keep on keeping on with Goldenrod.  A couple weeks before all of this, I made a mistake and posted to the internet that this thing was about ready to go, but that I was willing to hear people out and take requests if there were specific combat related rules that they might like to see.  I took them ALL on.  Good thing I'm not running a Kickstarter here.  One requested rule seemed very cool to me, rules for dueling.  So, I set about making a set of dueling rules based upon historical fencing and dueling.  I've run through 6 systems to this point, but finally made a set that works well without being too attached to the standard combat system.  That is the last piece of the puzzle.  I'll be editing that and DONE with this particular booklet.  This slim booklet now clocks in several thousand words greater than any of the things +John Reyst asked me for.  I'm glad he's putting up with me and my obsessive niggling of my own work.  What you can expect out of this is some of my own house rules, some things that are rooted in AD&D, but can be made to work well within the confines of OD&D/Swords & Wizardry, some things that are adapted to a D&D play style from other early RPGs and some things that look like they belong in a late 60s/early 70s table top war game.  All options that are completely modular and can be added to your OSR game without having to worry about any of the rest.  Still, there are some that blend well with others and come with suggestions as to how I use them, use them in my earlier D&D days or will be using them with future games at my own table.   I may get a sample rule from the booklet up here to show you what you'll be getting around the time that John get's it up for purchase on the SRD site.

Now for the shout outs.

In other news, a couple of folks that are tied to the Gamers & Grognards family have gotten around to bloggin.  The first of which is +Reece PC with Tales of Aeril.  This is a combination of Reece putting up random tables and talking about his descent from being a 3.X DM to being an OSR Ref.  I ran Reece through his first session of Swords & Wizardry a while back at U-Con, though I didn't know it at the time.  Apparently I made an impact (though I believe he was moving in this direction at the time anyway.)  Check out his blog.  At the time of this posting he already has 2 random tables up (and they're pretty cool.)  They do reference a couple of 3.X manuals, but for the most part there are equivalents on old school sources.  It's well worth a look.

My old friend and gaming buddy +Joe Zanetti has also started a new blog.  His is not related to gaming, but should be of interest to at least half of my audience.  Let me tell you, no one loves Weird Fiction more than Joe.  Joe has started a new blog reviewing Weird Fiction.  If you have any interest in the subject, start following.  I have spent many nights discussing the philosophy put forth in weird fiction (both the old guard Chambers/Lovecraft and the new writers) with Joe.  He knows his stuff, and has a fair hand when it comes to criticizing literary works.  If you like Weird Fiction and Horror in any capacity, give Musing From the Outer Worlds a shot.

erm... uh... The end?