Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Counter Culture: Pre-Release Weekend

Well, it's one of THOSE times a year again. There is a new Magic: the Gathering set, War of the Spark and it is the Pre-Release this weekend. All weekend. I'm talking midnight events and then back at it saturday and back at it sunday.

I'm amazed how popular the Midnight events are. People get SO damn excited. They seem to think its some great honor to be in a retail environment until 6am. I don't really share it, but then I've been working retail for 20 years now. I am glad they enjoy it so much, but by about 4am I'm not always as fast with answers as I should be.

One of the cool equations that has recently been added to the event was Wizards of the Coast allowing our preorder customers to pick up their boxes of booster that weekend. That's been a great addition and the type of innovation I like to see.

I won't lie that by the end of the weekend I'm pretty wiped out. It won't help that Free Comic Book Day is the following weekend, but at least we will be busy and money will have been made.

Monday, April 22, 2019

7 Years Gone

April 10th marked my 7th Anniversary running this blog. I'd like to say that I saw that happening, but I'd be lying.

I'm not sure what the future holds but I have some things to work out. In truth, the last two years have been T-O-U-G-H. A bright spot, as we head into May, my son will be graduating high school and going to a local University to study Engineering in the fall. Time flies.

The last months have been tough as I was dealing with both some grief from my Dad passing last year, adjusting to the new status quo in the house with my Mom moving in, and some issue with anxiety that might have been made worse by the wrong medicine. I should know more about that later this week.

I just haven't had the creative spark to keep up a daily or every other day schedule. I'm hoping to push through it, but the blog has had to take a back seat to my mental health.

I'm not sure if its G+'s passing, but my interest in RPGs have ebbed some. I even feel it in the games I'm playing and running. I'm not sure if some of the problems I'm facing will go away as I move away from this medicine or if this is just a new phase for me.

I have lots of uncertainty and I'm just trying to take care of myself and my family.

I wish I had more answers. I hope I find them soon. My goal is to post a least once each week for the time being. I hope I find my muse again. It's been a tremendous journey and I appreciate those who have taken it with me.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Labyrinth Lord: Wicked Witch

Wicked Witch for Labyrinth Lord
AL C MV 30' (flying on broom 60') , AC 4, HD 3, #AT 1 (broom), 
THAC0 18, DG 1d6, SV 3 wizard, ML 10,  XP 65

Mistress of vile deeds and evil doings.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Counter Culture: Dice

There are many categories to my store, but one of our best-selling, for literally decades, has been dice. We stock all different kinds of sets from many different companies. Literally, if a dice company has terms for wholesale, I set up an account. I will admit that through all of the manufacturers, Chessex seems to be the old standby.

Our most popular types fo dice are sets of polyhedral dice for games like Dungeons and Dragons. I literally go through dozens of sets each week. Sets of 6 siders sell dramatically less, but still sell well. 

What I've found most unusual about the category is that even when RPG sales are flagging, my dice sales stay consistent. 

People love dice. And who can blame them? Can you really ever have enough dice? According to my customers, the answer is a resounding no.

Monday, April 8, 2019

LabyrinthQuest: Classes & Ability Scores

I'm working on developing a game mechanic into an OSR product.

The mechanic is my take on percentile systems.

Essentially, the DM sets the difficulty of the task, let's say its 50%.  The Player's Ability Scores or Class then modify the difficulty. Let's say that I'm swing my sword at an orc, so I can either use my Strength (+10%) or Fighter Class (+20%). Fighter is the higher of the two and I use it and my modified chance to hit the orc is 70% on a d100 roll.

I plan on 4 Classes: Fighter (your skill weapons and tactics), Thief (the usual skills), Wizard (which translates into your Mana Points to power spells), and Cleric (which translates into your Faith Points spells).

At character creation you spread 20 points between the 4 Classes.

I also plan on the typical 6 Ability Scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma).

At character creation you spread 10 between the 6 Abilities.

When a task comes up you look at the appropriate Ability or the Class. You choose the Highest of the 2.


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Blackest of Deaths: Dogman


Humanoids that can walk as a quadruped or biped and hunt wooded areas. 

HP: 14
Evade: 13
Armor Point: 2 (Natural)
Bonus: +2 to Attack
Attack: Bite (1d6+1)
Special: Has Advantage on DEX checks to hide and use stealth.

Friday, April 5, 2019

#April TTRPGMaker Week 1

1. Introduce Myself? I'm Mark Craddock, I work at Comic Book World in KY. I work with my whole family. I've run this blog for 6 years and I make RPG supplements for digital distribution. I've been playing since 1990 and DMing since 1991.

2. Describe Your Work. I like cross-genre stuff and science-fantasy. I've done work for the OSR, 5th Edition, Cypher System, and Shadow of the Demon Lord.

3. Key to Making Process? Keep at it. Write. Design. Just keep moving and try to do it every day.

4. Favorite Type of Game Scenario? Anything fantasy. Its my jam. Dark fantasy, heroic fantasy, low fantasy, whatever.

5. Character or Worldbuilding? Worldbuilding. I'm a DM at heart. I like breathing life into the world and populating it with interesting people for the characters to interact with.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Artifacts of the Ancients: 3 Cyphers for D&D 5th Edition

The Arcana of the Ancients Kickstarter rolls on. We currently have the main book, a bestiary, a deluxe version of the main book, and the next goal is the 9th World of Numenera for 5E.

I'm still pretty excited about running Numenera with 5E and in the vein here are 3 Cyphers converted to 5E (1 shot devices from prior worlds that are so advanced they might as well be magic):

The user regains hit points equal to 1d6 x their level.

Fireproofing SprayA nonliving object sprayed by this cypher is immune to fire damage for 24 hours.

The user makes an attack roll against a single target within line of sight with this intelligent missile which deals 3d6 force damage. If the attack roll misses, roll a d6, the missile continues to attack for that many rounds on your Initiative count or until it hits.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Blackest of Deaths: The Core Mechanic

Eric Bloat of Bloat Games is a pretty swell guy. He gave me access to an ashcan copy of Blackest of Deaths, his new Dire Old School Fantasy RPG, that will be Kickstarted on April 9th.

One of the most unique things about BoD is that it uses a D20 and a D6 for task resolution. Its a roll high mechanic where you want to meet or exceed your target number, so you add any modifiers to the D20 roll. However, you also look at the D6. Ignore a roll of 2-5. On a 1 you have a hindrance added to the outcome. On a 6 you have a benefit added to the outcome.

So let's say that Clancy the Swift is attempting to scale a sheer wall in the dead of night with a storm raging. His D20 roll was only a 3 and he fails his attempt at the climb, but his D6 roll was a 6, so the sentries on the wall haven't noticed him.

I really dig that the mechanic leaves room for the DM to interpret extra results and like how quick it is to both learn and use.

I can't wait for this game.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Waterdeep: Catching Up

I haven't posted about my Waterdeep/Undermountain game in a bit. 

The characters just hit 9th level at the end of last session (I use Milestones).

Once they left Undermountain they've been focused on personal goals and accomplishments.

The Cleric became a Templar of her Faith, in lieu of becoming Bishop. Due to an infernal deal she made her burn scars healed and her Charisma improved. Her Church took that as some great enlightenment and after a very well done improvisational speech in character, she had the clout to choose to be a Templar, the same rank as Bishop, but without all the paper work.

Our Wizard is also a Paladin of Bane. In my Waterdeep, lycanthropic slavers known as the Red Door have nearly beaten the Zhentarim. A Zhent agent has convinced the Wizard to bring the Church of Bane into the fight with the Red Door. Things are going to get bloody fast, I think.

Our Bard could literally drive the plotlines of a whole campaign by herself. She has currently hired out the Zhent agent to steal a violin from a Duchess so she can get the Bard's College off of her back. She also has a Patron/Romantic Interest who is missing her. Additionally, she has made a deal with Drow to get a baby chimera when it hatches and has an automaton they rescued making armor for it. Oh, and she has been one of two survivors (the other being the Cleric) who had called a truce with the leader of the Red Door. 

Our Fighter set up an agreement with Drow to send them 5 of his captives (from his nearby Lands) each month to open up lines of communication. His sister isn't very happy about it.

Our Monk is a just your average Pandaran trying to avenge his gnome buddy. He's pretty sure they'd leave him to die if given the chance.

Our Ranger is a quiet dude who gets things done. They've recently met a sect called the Aeon Priesthood who seem to dabble in time travel. He seems curious about them.

We'll be down some players next session. I'd imagine the gang war plot line will be primary, but we'll see.

Since they've hit 9th level, I'm beginning to lay the ground work for the climax of the campaign. We'll see how it goes.

Thundarr the Movie

As a life-long comics fan and a retailer with a quarter century of experience, I was today years old when I discovered that Buzz Dixon and ...