Sunday, February 17, 2019

G+ Warrior

G+ Warrior as character sheet. Because we should send this guy out like a champ.

Thoughts:

Fighter, because that's what I drew. And G+ has been a fighter over the years.

Level 8 because G+ started 8 years ago. It's approaching name level, but will be cut short by about 3 months, thus the XP just shy of reaching level 9.

Stats were a bit random, but I figured if this is a PC that made it they would have some pretty decent ones. G+ has been awesome but not perfect, so it's strong, smart, and definitely tough. But not always wise or agile. What is really excels in, I think, is personality. Because we made it that way.

I rolled the hit points. Because that's what you do. As you can see, poor bastard is almost down and there are no healing potions in the inventory.

+1 sword and +1 shield of course.

Drink stain, natch.

Lots and lots of other ideas could have gone into this but it was just a fun thing I wanted to do. So here it be.

Share as you wish.

"I got 2 hp left and half a can of diet soda... Let's DO THIS."

Saturday, February 16, 2019

G+ Going Down Fighting!

Well, it's going down rather quickly and there's not much fight, but at least people are still posting to the end!

Bring it on, I can do this all day!

Krita vs. PS

She approached the elder ibberlings cautiously...
A bit of doodling in Krita. I enjoy drawing with Krita quite a bit more than Photoshop, however there are certain shortcuts and features in my old PS7 that I miss dreadfully.

Krita doesn't have good macros (yet). One of the macros I wrote for PS7 simply expands a selection, fills it with the foreground color, then deselects it. This is a time saver when doing big black fills and prevents those annoying ghostly white lines showing the edges of your fill area (the expansion of the selection takes care of this).

There's really one giant, huge benefit to drawing in Krita over PS7. I can draw at any scale and the lines are nice and smooth. In PS7 I have to zoom in very close to get the lines smooth. If I draw from a distance, the lines are jagged and wobbly like I have a problem controlling my hand. But that isn't the case with Krita. And I really like that.

Friday, February 15, 2019

IT'S A GAME?

I have a lot of random RPG thoughts, most of which are forgotten within minutes and never uttered. Maybe I should make a stronger effort to jot them down. Trouble is most of them are lame.

I was thinking today about the idea that all monsters and all magic in fantasy games should be unique. It's a fine thought. But there is a pretty good counterargument, with regard to playing D&D in particular.

D&D is a game. Specifically, it's a game of exploration, risk, and the accumulation of wealth and power. Reading the rules to the 1981 Basic/Expert game, you are given a clear and concise set of rules for playing the game exactly in that way. And nothing more. It is a game.

One element of playing this game, for a lot of players I think, is that they can learn the game's "playing pieces" and navigate its rules to be better at D&D. When a game is framed squarely as a game, this makes perfect sense. If I have encountered a basilisk before, in another adventure with a different character, then my player knowledge about the creature's gaze attack is a piece of the game I know and understand... why should I not move my new playing piece (PC) in such a way as to avoid the known gaze threat? I'm playing the damn game, right? And this, for me, might be boatloads of helling fun. I'm winning!

Of course this is just one play style and it is extremely focused on the "game" part of "role-playing game". I'm not advocating it as a default style of play or a preferred one. When I play I tend to try to be "in character" in the sense that I move my playing piece in a way that my playing piece would move rather than how I, from a godlike vantage point, would suggest that the PC moves.

I'm quite confident all of this has already been fully explored on a number of blogs and websites. I know it was a hot topic back in the early 2000s at The Forge. I just wasn't paying that much attention. I'm usually 10 years behind the curve, to be honest.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Mongar's World


Here's a random thing from 2017 I found on the hard drive. I believe it was meant to be a 200 word RPG entry. "Superirorium" is pretty damn lame, JV.

Mongar’s World

It is 1955. You are on a secret mission to space to find a better source of energy before the Communo-Nazis. Your ship is caught in a weird portal and crash lands on a verdant world of dinosaurs and robots. The planet is ran by a madman called Mongar who collects alien bodies for his wretched experiments.

The planet has a Soviet base, violent talking apes, flying snakes, and sub-zero nightly temperature. Mongar has captured rockets and flying saucers that might still work.

Mongar’s power comes from Superiorium, a liquid energy source from the heart of the planet. It is yellow, acidic, and burns hotter than jet fuel for 1000 hours per ounce.

There is a 2-in-6 chance Mongar will fall in love with a random PC.

Roll 1d6 for each to determine your Smarts and Fitness. Swap them if you want. Roll 1d12 + ability score vs. a target of 9 or 13 (hard tasks) to perform actions. An injury requires a survival roll (9). Further injuries are 13 (hard). You heal 1 injury per day.

Can you survive Mongar’s attacks, avoid the apes and snakes, and escape the planet with the Superiorium?

B/X Character Sheet


Here's a new B/X D&D style character sheet. This will end up on the back cover of Black Pudding #6, most likely. For this one I was going for a cleaner look with only what I think are the bare essentials.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

G+ Running Out of Hit Points


My G+ feed has been dwindling for a while thanks to Google's announcement that the platform would be shut down very soon. Now shit got real because if you'll notice there's no longer a G+ button below my blog posts. Also, can no longer leave comments on my blog via G+ and all previous comments left in that fashion are going to magically disappear in a puff of vaporous nothing. I did run the takeout download to get all my G+ stuff so it's sitting in a zipped archive on my hard drive. I'm not really sure what to do with it, to be honest.

And yeah, this all makes me sad. I know it makes a lot of people sad. G+, for me, has been a hub of creative fun for a good run of years. I also realize that some people didn't love G+ for various reasons, including the fact that the OSR, which was very strong on G+, includes a lot of politically right wing individuals. For some people on the left, a right wing person is a threat to their actual physical safety and having one hosted on a platform sends an unwelcome message to them. It's complicated. Not everyone agrees about it. It's a thing.

I have started using this blog more since the announcement and I plan to continue doing that. I'm also on Instagram and Facebook. I do have a Twitter, but I barely touch it. I also have a MeWe and I'm trying to use it more, but I just haven't gotten the habit of it down and so far it doesn't feel quite as cozy as G+. Maybe in time it will. I don't know.

The bottom line is that G+ is going away very soon and there's nothing to do about it. So no sense whining and wishing, I'm just going to move on and try to find a new groove. After all, Google isn't shutting ME down. Right? Right?!


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Void Panther

I used these on the PCs in the first session of Lost Land of Zkoth. They faced 6 panthers in a foliage-dense area in daylight. One of the PCs had a magic eye that allowed him to see the creatures, so there was no surprise roll. They also had a lot of retainers and a couple of beefy NPCs, so I probably should have chucked a lot more panthers at them.

Still, one PC was voided from his left hand all the way to the neck, barely avoiding the torso and head. He yet lives, so don't get out the tissues.

I think these summoned beasts are utilized by the primary enemies of the campaign... a race of strange people from a world far away. They haven't made an appearance yet. I figure more void panthers are on the horizon.

Void Panther


Armor Class: 4
No. Enc: 2d6
Hit Dice: 2+1
Save: F2
Move: 150' (50')
Morale: 11
Attacks: 3 (2 claws/1bite)
Hoard Class: Nil
Damage: 1d4/1d4/1d6 + special
Alignment: Chaotic

Negative space, black as the cosmos, takes panther shape in these sinister summoned predators. No light plays off their form, no glittering eyes or shining teeth - only blackness. They form a pack and hunt their quarry with pack coordination, preferring open landscapes where they can surround or divide the enemy. Moving with great speed and silence, they surprise on 1-3 in 6 in daylight or 1-5 in 6 at night or in darkness. They are able to hide in shadows or darkness with perfect skill, becoming visible only when attacking.

Non-magical weapons hitting a void panther will vanish after dealing damage. A Light spell cast directly upon a panther will destroy it. If the spell is cast in the area, the creatures will suffer 1d6 points of damage, but they will not suffer damage from simply entering a lighted area.

If the creature's attack is successful, the target must save vs. Spells or else the body part that was struck takes on the blackness of the void and cannot be used. Each combat round thereafter, the PC must save vs. Spells or the void spreads to the next adjacent body part. If the chest or head are voided, the PC must save vs. Death or instantly die. Passing any of these saving throws negates the panther's magic and returns the affected body parts to normal. A voided body part is like a ghost and cannot physically interact with the world.

To determine which body part is hit, roll on the table.

2d12 ROLL
BODY PART AFFECTED
SPECIAL EFFECT
2
Torso
Incorporeal, save or die
3-4
Right hand
Incorporeal
5-6
Left hand
Incorporeal
7-9
Right arm (including hand)
Incorporeal
10-12
Left arm (including hand)
Incorporeal
13-14
Right foot
Incorporeal, move slowed
15-16
Left foot
Incorporeal, move slowed
17-19
Right leg (including foot)
Incorporeal, cannot walk
20-22
Left leg (including foot)
Incorporeal, cannot walk
23
Neck
Incorporeal
24
Head
Incorporeal, save or die



Being a Wizard

I often say it's "the process" that really matters in any art. Drawing, writing, comics, RPG design, music, whatever. The end result is just a token or snapshot of what you went through on a journey. To put it in motivational poster cant: it's the journey, not the destination.

But to say "the process" is what matters isn't exactly right either. The process is whatever steps you take in order to put one foot in front of the other to DO art. And that is very important, no doubt. But it's not exactly what I mean when I talk about DOING art.

It's the doing that matters most. My good friend Jayne and I have this mantra we've screamed at one another for decades: FINISH IT. And it's a motivating mantra. But of course while the goal might be to finish something, that's not the real goal. The real goal is to be doing something. Because, at least for me, an artist who isn't doing is going to feel dead inside.

The process, on the other hand, is whatever craft you devise to keep the doing alive. So process does include brushes and paints and pen tablets and software and how you use those tools. But also, what rituals do you perform to get into the creative zone? Coffee in a particular cup? Sitting a certain way, listening to certain types of things? Clearing the room of distractions? These are all part of your process, which should lead to doing art.

I have struggled my whole life with getting to the doing part. I can think and prep and worry all day long and never actually do anything. I cannot express accurately how much time I've spent thinking about doing instead of actually doing. In fact, easily the overwhelming majority of all the thousands of hours I've spent in my 48 years in "creative mode" have been hours spent thinking about, preparing for, and worrying about the thing I want to do instead of actually doing the thing.

I get sick to death thinking about doing. I long to be doing. I long to be elbows deep in working on a thing, to see the thing taking shape before my eyes. I feel powerful in that space. I feel like my existence really matters. I feel like I'm part of the whole god damn universe and not just a nameless speck that will be forgotten. I feel like a wizard.