Friday, August 27, 2010

Inspiration to Get Me Moving...

So, I've been procrastinating a lot of RPG stuff - well, to be fair, life is really busy, but I seem to keep up on reading the, yeah, procrastinating. Anyway, I've got a bunch of projects in the hopper (I'm so unbelievably ADD that it's a wonder I get anything done). One of the projects that I've been mulling over, but it's been too overwhelming to work on, is my Jacob's Well region. At one point I thought I'd like to detail every building, every NPC...but that's insane (2000 NPCs anybody?). But I've been uncertain how to go about it all.

Then today (my day off), I'm reading the blogs and Dave and/or Jamie over at Fabled Lands had this: awesome town of Brymstone and Tim over at Gothridge Manor had this: six steps for staring a campaign.

Brymstone is a bit larger than Jacob's Well. There's 57 sketched out areas that the PCs are likely to visit. I'd probably put some detailed NPCs at each location, but otherwise, I think there's just enough detail at each of the locations to be evocative enough to run the city and vamp on the details.

Tim's campaign design steps will give me a checklist to work through the region as I place locations of interest and assemble random encounter charts and the like.

This is just the kind of serendipitous conjoining of ideas that really sparks my imagination. Thanks guys for posting.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kerfuffle on Art...

Heh kerfuffle - great word for the whole S& that's going on. James M at Grognardia has some good things to say (for what it's worth, I think JimR over at LotFP also gets it mostly right).

One thing that James M indicated in his post & in the comments section is that the new cover isn't very appropriate as the new cover for S&W (paraphrase). I really like the new cover. I think that it's evocative of adventure, the weird underground city, village, it is. It's very cool. And so I like it.


I didn't think about the idea of establishing the look for the line.

The image, while pleasing to me, just isn't memorable enough to say "This is what Swords & Wizardry is all about." It'd be better for an expansion, maybe an adventure (I'd buy the adventure that explores THAT place) or even a S&W type Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (, more useful than the original perhaps?)

Anyway, establish the look with the rulebook cover art.

Here's what Otus did for D&D

And even Elmore (edited, thanks Tsojcanth...)


and AD&D again

Even dragonlance had a look established by the very first product in the line

So, even though I like the new's NOT a good choice for S&W - for the rule book that will establish the look of the line.

Oh well, I'm glad I don't have to make those decisions...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Servants of Plague

N Wright over at Lawful Indifferent has released a brief Labyrinth Lord adventure called Servants of Plague. You can download it for free (I LOVE me some free stuff) - there's a link at the bottom of this post or, maybe better (if he tracks traffic or whatever), from the Lawful Indifferent blog itself.

Servant of Plague is a pretty good intro adventure - nothing too surprising in the setup or the setting - but a nice twist on the monsters faced. No surprise that disease plays a role in the adventure here, and the PCs might find themselves on the wrong side of a save in these confrontations. One of the diseases appears to be likely fatal unless cured pretty quickly - but that's no condemnation. It's more survivable than save or die poison, I guess.

The best part of the adventure, for me, is the notes at the end. The DM's Tips section provides some pretty standard advice (this is intended to be an introductory adventure - presumably for both the DM or the players) - but good reminders nonetheless - monster tactics, reminders of the openness of the fortress, that combats don't happen in a vacuum, etc. This is followed by "Continuing On" which gives suggestions for expanding the adventure at the fortress, reinforcing the fortress, what might have happened in the village while the PCs were gone. Every suggestion inspired possibilities for me.

This is a good brief module with some nice twists on the standard low level monsters usable virtually out of the box ( the printer?) with any "old school" D&D ruleset or retroclone.

Go get it here: Servants of Plague.