Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sturmgeshutz and Sorcery

At long last, decades in the making...









Whew! The Germans still had powerful weapons with the machineguns mounted on the halftracks and probably could have wreaked more havoc yet, but the magician was still stalking around south of the river and he had the potential to damage the vehicles (though he was hiding, now being the ONLY target left for the halftracks south of the river). There was more that happened, but either I didn't have photos or it ended up not being relevant to the story.

  • There were two trolls south of the river, and the SS managed to blow one to kingdom come with a panzerfaust, but I failed to capture the moment. 
  • The squad on the bridge riddled the archer with bullets reducing him from his starting d10 skill to d4, making him virtually useless.
  • The Evil High Priest successfully cast Summon Insects late in the game (after failing the casting rolls earlier) and followed up with Curse which made it difficult for the AC crew to shake the effects for several rounds.
  • There were two mummies that got shot to pieces by machineguns.
  • The Germans had a medic with them on the bridge that allowed rank and file soldiers to use the Wound Save chart, but all three victims of arrows failed and were killed anyway!
So how did all of this work with Donnybrook? Actually great. I'll offer some ideas in a follow up next week, though I'm considering the commercial aspects of publishing supplements so I'm not sure how detailed I should get. Let me just say if you are an experienced gamer, working out mods for Donnybrook is not all that difficult. The vehicle rules are the hardest part and I'm not sure they are right yet, though they worked very well for my solo game.

In any case, it has been a near lifelong dream to play this out on the table and I had a blast! I'm looking forward to a second round with some of my friends.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sturmgeshutz and Sorcery

Coming next week...


Finally had a chance to play this game and I used Donnybrook with mods for fantasy AND submachineguns! No idea what this is? Check out these posts... or just stay tuned for the mayhem!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

5E Monster Manual

I managed to get an advanced copy of the new Monster Manual on eBay...


They were given as swag with the VIP packages at GenCon 2014 and either the seller isn't a fan or decided to make some cash to cover his trip to the con and plans on getting another copy on general release. In an event, this version has been signed by the development team...


Greg Bisland, Kate Irwin, Peter Lee, Mike Mearls, Rodney Thompson, and Steve Townshead. What I really wanted was early access to the book, but the sigs are a bonus. In all of the years collecting D&D stuff, I've never bothered to acquire anything signed.


There are other sites with reviews and I'm not going to bother beyond saying it is a beautiful book. As with the Player's Handbook, the art directors have managed to maintain a consistent look throughout despite the many different styles presented. The water color backgrounds and inclusion of many pencil sketches add a nice touch. The few entries I've had the chance to read seem well done and I am looking forward to actually reading the book cover to cover.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Basic D&D


The day is finally here...

Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons

These are free and contain rules for creating characters with four races (Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, and Human) and four classes (Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard) with the progression to level 20 (albeit with limited choices). The PDF also includes most of the rules needed to play, equipment, and spells. So far there are no monsters, but many of these will become available over the next few months as the basic rules are expanded.

Bravo, WotC... This was a great move and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

"If it's in there, it's in the Basic Set"

An excerpt from an interview with Mike Mearls...

Jonathan Bolding: Because of the staggered release schedule there have been some concerns over both home and organized play, and whether or not people will have enough material to start playing their weekly campaign right off in the new edition and carry them all the way through release. What would you say to people concerned about that?

Mike Mearls: I would say that's definitely where Basic D&D comes in. When the Starter Set launches it's going to cover character creation. Once the Player's Handbook launches we'll update it. [Basic D&D] is going to be a updated a few times when it first launches. With basic D&D you'll have the core monsters, magic items, all the rules for creating adventures, for Dungeon Master guidelines, for balancing encounters, for treasure, treasure tables, encounter tables. This is literally the process I used to outline it: I took the old basic set from 1981 and just the rules in there, the magic items, if it's in there it's in the basic set - except a few things that people don't see as iconic anymore. For monsters, we just went through and said "What are the typical fantasy monsters like Orc, or Ogre?" with a few adjustments for power level in there so there's a nice curve. In theory, with basic D&D, you could run an entire campaign. The core rulebooks could be expansions to that. The core rulebooks are like Advanced D&D.

The bold text is mine and what I wanted to emphasize. By the time the DMG rolls out, we will essentially have a free 80's style D&D rule set. There won't be all of the options that you get with the core books, but you will have enough content to run entire campaigns. Adding the core books will make the transition to AD&D and it will be far easier than it was to convert back in the day.

I really think they've hit this out of the park.

Red the entire interview on The Escapist...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Basic Dungeons & Dragons

From Mearls latest column on the WotC website...

Basic D&D is a PDF that covers the core of the game. It’s the equivalent of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia, though it doesn’t have quite the same scope (for example, it won’t go into detail on a setting). It runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options.

But the best part? Basic D&D is a free PDF. Anyone can download it from our website. We want to put D&D in as many hands as possible, and a free, digital file is the best way to do that.

If Basic D&D is the equivalent of the classic Rules Cyclopedia, then the three core rulebooks are analogous to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Want more character options? Pick up a Player’s Handbook. Looking for more critters for your campaign? The Monster Manual has you covered. Want to sculpt a unique campaign? Pick up the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Still, Basic D&D is the true heart of the game and could easily provide a lifetime of gaming.

At the launch of the D&D Starter Set, Basic D&D will include the material needed to create characters and advance to 20th level. In August, with the release of the Player’s Handbook, Basic D&D will expand to include the essential monsters, magic items, and DM rules needed to run the game, along with the rules for wilderness, dungeon, and urban adventuring. (The Starter Set already covers the aspects of these rules that you need to run the included campaign.)

As we introduce new storylines like Tyranny of Dragons, we’ll also make available free PDFs that provide all the rules and stats missing from Basic D&D needed to run the adventures tied into the story. The adventures released as part of Tyranny of Dragons are playable without requiring any of the core rulebooks or the Starter Set. With just the Basic Dungeons & Dragonsrules, you can play D&D for years.
Basic D&D makes it easier than ever for new players and DMs to jump into tabletop RPG play. We’re involved in the greatest gaming hobby ever invented. It’s time to bring that hobby to everyone who wants to take part.

Epic win. A fully playable D&D set as a free download. Beginners can get their hands on the core rules for nothing and enjoy a full fledged campaign experience.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Heraldry of Quindia

I always loved the heraldry from the old Greyhawk folio and Harn books. I've had rough designs for Quindia for a long time but I just recently managed to sit down and work up professional versions...


The arms with mantles are the major nations of Quindia. The three small shields at the top are for city states. The remaining shields are famous knightly orders from various nations. The Order Infernus (dedicated to the Elemental Lord Kakatal), Checkered Shield, and Order of the Wall are all from Bronet, the Knights Griffon and Knights Panther from Goland, the Slayers Brotherhood are based in Modria, the Order of Malice (dedicated to Dartilla) and Shattered Lance are from Beelzia, and Doomfall from Sazir.

Of course there are many more coats of arms, but these represent the ones that most citizens of Quindia would recognize. This was a fun project and if I get the chance I'll work up some of the major noble houses from across the realm.