Friday 31 December 2010

2010 ...where did it go?

Well there goes another year ...not a particularly great one for me, but at least I've squeezed in a reasonable amount of gaming (so it's not been all that bad).

Anyway, I'm still plodding away at the AoS campaign guide (which is taking more time than I would have hoped) - but at least it's starting to take shape now, rather than just being a jumble of ideas and rough notes. I've also managed to complete a few simple illustrations for it over the past few days, like that of the elvish lamp below.

So I should have that finished early in the year ...though I have to admit that I am considering whether I should set something up on RPG Now (or similar) and perhaps start to charge a small amount for things like this (perhaps just $1 or $2), and see how it goes. However, even if I do try something like that, the main rulebook will always be freely available.

I'm also gearing up for Map-a-Monday (not a particularly clever play on words - but heh), which will be starting this Monday with the first dungeon map of the year. These maps will be fairly simple by design (just a few rooms and passages), but they be drawn in such a way that several can be pieced together to make larger dungeon layouts should folks need to do so.

Anyway, I seem to have rambled on a bit there, and the new year is fast approaching, so I'll finish up by wishing everyone out there a happy new year!

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Weekly Dungeons?

Some time ago I had the crazy idea of drawing one dungeon map every day for an entire month, and posting them on the internet as I went along (the actual post can be found HERE on the EN World message boards).

Well I've been thinking that with the new year soon to be upon us, it might be a good time to start something similar on the Blog - except that I'd attempt to post one basic dungeon map every week (perhaps every Monday), and see how I go.

Sunday 26 December 2010

The Crooked Staff

I created this just for a bit of fun really (yeah ...I know ...I'm a little weird like that).

Though it did get me to thinking whether anyone has ever used item cards (or similar) in their RPG's?

Thursday 23 December 2010

1:72 scale miniatures ...a viable alternative?

I've been getting into painting/collecting 1:72 miniatures recently - especially since a few manufacturers are now producing fantasy figures at this scale.

If you haven't seen them yet, take a look at Caesar Miniatures for example, as they currently do a very nice range of figures including orcs, goblins, elves, dwarves, undead, and 'adventurers' - though their elves do have large anime style ears that need trimming down/off in my opinion, and the cartoony nature of their orc and goblin miniatures may not be for everyone (note that a closer look at what's in each box can be found at the Plastic Soldier Review website).

Well, as I say, I've been painting a few of these figures recently (with the aim of using them in a future AoS campaign) and they have proved to be really nice figures to paint:

A Caesar adventurer, dwarf, and elf (based on a UK penny)

Unlike lots of regular sized (28-32mm) figures they are not overburdened with too many odds and ends (so that's less fiddly things to mess around with for a start), and they don't (for the most part) suffer from some of the wacky armour and oversized weapon designs that some larger figures do.

But you don't have to limit yourself to these 'fantasy' figures as there are tons of historic medieval/dark-age miniatures out there at the same scale which work just as well.

A 1/72 scale Zvezda viking pictured next to a Caesar dwarf and elf

And, if like me, you're not a fan of the 'warhammery' look of the Caesar orcs then there is an alternative in the form of Orion/Dark Alliance orcs (additional pics of some of the orcs can be found on the Plastic General blog).

A Caesar skeleton and wraith/spirit pictured next to a Dark Alliance orc

I've also found that in some instances, figures from other scales can be perfectly suitable too ...for example pictured below is a 15mm minotaur (from Magister Militum), an old GamesWorkshop skink, and a 'Zahranian Verman' from Black Tree Design.

Another problem I sometimes face with 'regular' sized miniatures is that I often find the prospect of painting larger monsters a little daunting (I don't know why - I just don't like painting them very much). But at this scale a 28/32mm orc model is the perfect size for a troll shown below:

An Italeri barbarian next to a Ral Partha 'Gargantua' orc (based on a 2p)

But obviously, not all monsters are humanoid, and since I'm looking to (eventually) cover all the monsters in the AoS book I've also found the following miniatures that are suitable for wolves/direwolves and giant spiders.

A 15mm wolf (minus its rider), and a 10mm giant warwolf (both from Pendraken Miniatures)

An old GamesWorkshop plastic spider, and a smaller spider from Black Tree Design's 'swarm'

So to sum things up I think that gaming in 1:72 scale is perfectly doable - so long as you're willing to work with a limited monster palette (or are prepared to search through a lot of miniatures websites). It's probably also worth pointing out that most of the plastic 1:72 box sets contain around 30 miniatures for less money than what you would pay for a single metal figure in a high-street wargames store.

Halflings in the AoS

Since the Age of Shadow RPG was sort of intended to run games within a world with a Silmarillion-type feel, the only races available to players are elves, humans, and dwarves. However, there are doubtless a few people out there who are fans of the little-folk (you know who you are :D ) that might feel a little bit left out.

Now, the 'official' (if you can call it that) version of the AoS will still not make any reference to halflings and the like, but just for a bit of fun here's the character generation rules for the furry-footed, pot-bellied, little fellows, should anyone choose to include them:

STR 2d6
CON 2d6+6
DEX 2d6+6
SIZ 1d6+3
INT 2d6+6
POW 3d6
CHA 3d6

Movement Rate: 10m

Special Abilities: Halflings, being the stout little fellows that they are, may also use their fate points to upgrade the result of any Resistance test (instead of re-rolling it). For example, a failed Dodge roll could be upgraded to a success, or a success could be upgraded to a critical.

Background Points: 3

Fate Points: 2

Starting Age: 32-56 (4d6+28)

Special Size Rules: Halflings may only use light and medium melee weapons (though medium weapons are considered two-handed for them), and cannot use longbows. In certain instances the GM may also make some skill tests easier or harder for halflings due to their stature (for example, imposing a -25% penalty on an Athletics test to break down a man-sized door, or maybe a +25% bonus to a Deception test for attempting to creep along quietly).

Wednesday 22 December 2010

First Post!

I know I'm probably a little late to the party, but I thought I would start a blog to run alongside the CSP & AoS websites. At the moment I'm not sure how often I'll be posting here, or indeed exactly what I'll be posting, but hopefully there'll be a few things of interest for those folks who have been following the website(s) for a while.

Anyway, as anyone who checks the CSP website can plainly see, there hasn't been much in the way of additional content this year (the last update was back in July), but this year has seen the launch of The Age Of Shadow (free) RPG and associated website - so hopefully I can be excused.

And while I'm on the subject of the AoS…

…the game was updated yesterday (to include a few minor changes and corrections), and from what I've been reading from the few forums/blogs/etc. that have spoken about it, it seems that folks think it's OK (which is a huge relief).

I also hope to (eventually) have a short campaign guide to go along with it, though that's probably something that'll surface sometime next year, but in the meantime here's a look at the WIP cover:

The book/supplement itself will probably contain the information that already appears on the website, along with a basic gazetteer, things/items/materials that are specific to the setting, probably a bunch of generic NPC stats (an elf captain, an orc berserker, etc.), and maybe an adventure location or two.