Monday, November 30, 2020

Ten Islands of Rone

Here are ten islands of Rone. I named them and gave them each a small description for the game. Eventually, if luck holds, I'll produce a nice little RPG book out of this and expand on each, with some cool maps and such.


Small island with cavern system and a tower. Lair of Murkwand the wizard, if legend holds. Waters home to lonely sea serpent Issidor - said to be a lover of Murkwand unjustly transformed into a beast.


Two hillocks rise from the waters, a great stone arch joining them. Arch is filled with chambers once dedicated to the arts but of late inhabited by strange interdimensional travelers confused about where they arey.


Once a vast, picturesque isle. Now a ruin of moss and decay. Who knows what dangers lurk in the chambers and corridors long forgotten by mortal eyes?


High and stoic, the Watch is home to the Watcher - a singular figure of great power and deep wisdom. Those who come here seek knowledge but few are prepared to pay the price.


A gnarly old isle lately occupied by knobby, gray bandits.


The Old Egg lies still. The people of Keepsake ensure it remains that way.


Remnants of a once-mighty palace sacred to the Queen herself. Now half-submerged and completely lost to foulness and monstrosities.


The giant turtles surround it. A mad witch yet roams its tower.


What is that droning sound that wafts across the mist-winds? What shadow passes before that high doorway?


Six old towers, half-drowned. Bridges and lights and civilization. The smell of baked bread and wine? But will they welcome a traveler or toss them into the watery dungeons?

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Conan 2d20

I own several of the Modiphius Conan 2d20 game books. I'm not even sure which ones... like 8 of them though. I have never read them, nor played them. I picked them up because the covers looked sweet and I figured with that much content they're bound to be useful. Also I'm a big Conan fan.

But I don't know. Them's some big ass books. My RPG aesthetic is simpler. I like games that I can hold in one hand. Of course I won't write these off until I know more about them. I did watch a few video reviews and based on what I'm seeing I would say that I might enjoy playing but would not enjoy running this game.

One thing I noticed was they had a Doom pool - which is a resource the GM can use to make things harder for the PCs. I have used similar rules before. I remember drafting a game called Black Wing back in the early 2000s and that game had Doom that served a similar purpose, if I recall. Also my draft of Sand in the Bone features a very similar mechanic. So it's nice to see I'm not alone in thinking this is a cool idea.

Will I ever learn this game and run it or play it? Almost zero chance. But I like that it exists. It looks pretty.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Uncovering Treasures

For your edification, here are some things I found when digging through my storage boxes a couple weeks ago. These things have been on ice for two decades in most cases. Some of them I probably picked up randomly in the intervening years.

The Dungeoneers, 1986. I don't remember buying this. I have never looked inside its pages. Not even when I ran across it Sunday. Too much to do, no time for play. Will revisit.

I have plenty of copies of Ape Entertainment's Omnibous... because I had a story in it and I picked up extra copies. I really need to do something with these.

I had a Zarp comic published in the 90s. Twisted Gate was the publisher. 

Before Pickle Rick...

From my friend Steve Coffin.

I have a bunch of these art portfolios!

BX Wizard

In this post I presented a Wizard class for BX that I'm using in a current campaign. I tweaked it a little and added my own art in this updated version. It is compatible with BX but definitely has more bells and whistles. Still... it's all on one page, with art and an XP table. So it's not too crunchy. I like it. I think this would make the beginning spellcaster more interesting to play. And yes, this class does in fact replace Magic-Users and Clerics in my current BX game.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Lesser Gods Session Zero

Art © Glen Michael Angus, R.I.P.

We had session zero of Lesser Gods of Rone Monday night. We spent most of it making characters, discussing the setting, and sort of figuring things out. We got into the adventure for about half an hour - long enough that all the PCs are now in the same boat. Literally. Except the Lake Thing swimming near it.

We do have a Wizard in the party, so here's that character class. It's essentially the BX Magic-User with a few tweaks. Unless we run into any serious issues, this class will replace the MU in all my D&D games.

What's different about the Wizard vs. the BX Magic-User?

-Penalty to reaction rolls. Because wizards are weird and nobody should trust them.

-Fewer weapon restrictions. Because it's silly to limit them to a dagger. Just silly.

-You can wear armor, but it makes casting hard. Because it's more interesting that way. Most PCs will avoid it because of the difficulty. But hey... maybe you want to put some on because you're out of spell slots and you need to make it through this risky pass.

-MU and Cleric spells. This is just because I am not using Clerics in this campaign. Cult leaders can be Wizards. Or a special class. I never liked the basic Cleric anyway. (I'm also disallowing the memorization of the same spell more than once. So even if you do have a Cure Light Wounds spell you only have one of them.)

-Potion brewing. With an adequate lab, of course.

-Magical research emphasized (X51 needs love). And no need to wait until level 9 to create magic items.

-You begin play with a cool item. Because it's more fun that way. Show up on day one with a hat that sings.

-Disregard for spell level slots. This is just a house rule that I prefer. You just add up all spell slots and that's how many spells per day you can cast. You can't cast any spell level higher than your class level. Done.

This class was an amalgam of how I tend to treat MUs anyway + some inspiration from Stuart Robertson's BX Witch - one of the most elegant BX classes I found in the OSR circles. I was gonna have Wizard and Witch but decided there's really no need for both when a Wizard class with enough wiggle room can serve nearly all  your wizarding needs.

If you dislike this kind of thing because it makes the fighter less interesting to play, you could just give the fighter some love. I love the barebones BX game as much as anyone, but all of us house rule it. Nobody runs it truly RAW.

So... The party includes a Wizard (Jayne X Praxis), Lake Thing, Medusa (modified Black Pudding version, Dyson Logos), Nightkind (a piece of the night that woke up), and a Mariner (Andy Solberg). I'll post up all the classes eventually.

The Wizard is searching for their lost dad and the Nightkind is accompanying them, perhaps to understand a weird dream power they seem to be manifesting. They got a ride from the Mariner and picked up the Medusa as her island sank into the drink (related to the campaign? hmmmm...). The Lake Thing approaches because someone has been poaching gators from his swamp island and maybe it's this weird bunch in the rowboat.

The session ended with the PCs approaching the island of Knobbybones where a huge harpoon ballista was pointed at their rowboat by some unknown entities.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Lesser Gods of Rone Campaign

I am going to run a new campaign for the Monday night Doomslakers group. It is set in a world called Rone, which is a lake world I dreamed up maybe 15 years ago. I pitched it to the group like this:

Jack Kirby and Mike Ploog fall into an EC Comics fantasy world controlled by the better side of Vaughn Bodé's imagination. A mist-covered lake riddled with tall, mossy islands and weird creatures. Old gods beneath the dark waters. Strange races of weirdos. Long lost temples. Robots. Armies of ants. Waterlogged dungeons where slumbering computers reboot as you tread the dead hallways. It is a platform game slick with algae.

It's a BX D&D based campaign with 9 custom classes, including the one pictured here. Should be a hoot! Might even be a published thingie for Old School Essentials to be squeezed out of it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

DC Comics Minis

When I was a kid we used to do the flea market and auction circuit and my stepdad would get all kinds of odd items. At some point he got a few boxes of Leaf Comicbook Candy and I captured some of them. I still have 6 of the 8 different secret origins books. I'm not a DC fan but these are super cool minis.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Artist: Arthur Suydam

I guess I first spotted Suydam in Heavy Metal. But I can't be sure. It might have been one of his Aliens paintings from the 90s. I was a huge fan of both the movies but had zero interest in the comics so I ignored them.

When I saw Suydam's expressive, Frazetta-esque work I was stunned and fell in love. But like I tend to do with most of my artist crushes, I didn't dive too deep. I don't think I have ever read a comic by Arthur Suydam. I hope to rectify that by picking up the Cholly and Flytrap collection soon.

Speaking of... I did a little reading and found a couple of posts about these comics. This one was really interesting. Seems that Suydam's original run had a gay couple but in later reprints he inserted language to say the boy in the couple was actually a girl... so not gay? I'm not sure what's up with that. This article doesn't have any details about the whys, just the whats. Is Suydam a homophobe? That would be odd since he is the one who did the originals and only changed them much later. Maybe there was some other reason. I dunno.

Also... it seems Suydam later turned to doing basically Photoshop filtered art and ripping people off? And he is apparently an immense asshole to fans. Damn, dude. Check out the stunning portfolio work I'm picturing below. And then this bullshit right here? Never meet your heroes, they say. (Don't worry, I'm a blameless saint)

Anyhow... while digging through my storage building I found a collection of art portfolios that I had all but forgotten. One of them was Mysterious World by Suydam. It's a portfolio of 7 lovely black and white prints and it's gorgeous.

I also have this nice collection of Suydam art.

Friday, November 13, 2020


This is probably the oldest piece of art I have. I can tell by the way I signed it that this was the 80s. I remember drawing this in my swivel chair in my room with my drawing board in my lap. I was SUPER pumped about it. This was the best thing I had ever done up to that point. I was probably 16.

The character in front is Crolton, one of the demigods of my old D&D campaign. The character was created by a friend in junior high. After he stopped playing I just kept the PCs and developed the world on my own.

I can't remember who his girlfriend is. She had a name... but damn it's been ages.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Smell of Tavern Wenches

The smell of old comics!

I haven't read this entire issue of Conan. In fact, I'm a Savage Sword man so I pretty much turned my nose up at the color Conan comics. Those were for kids! They were rated PG.

It's funny though. Here Conan is in a bar being hit on by a hottie that "works here". They do everything they can to skirt around the fact that she's a prostitute and that they are going to get it on. Instead, they go somewhere to "talk". lol

Whose idea was it to make Conan fit into a line of books sold to kids anyway? I mean... I'm not complaining. Some nice covers came out of it. And probably some cool stories too. I wouldn't know. I was busy reading Savage Sword of Conan where there was boobs and shit.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

State of the Union: RPGs

That post title makes it seem like this is going to be a whopper. But honestly I'm just gonna tell you what I'm up to and what I'm thinking about in RPGs.

It's been a mixed bag for a while. My interests have wandered. I'm like the dude in the boyfriend meme. By my side is RPGs, but my neck is craning and I'm totes checking out the curves on comics. Of course there's no reason my two great loves can't be slammed together.

I have noodled several new RPG concepts. Of course I've been working on GOZR for months, off and on. That will eventually come to light but it's such a visual experiment and the details change as I develop the game I just don't feel comfortable sharing too much right now. I think I have about 18 pages "completed". They are hand-lettered and loaded with art and I think it will be at least a very interesting RPG artifact for the discerning collector. And, hopefully, a fun game to play!

Mask Ragers is another idea that's been on my mind. You might have seen me posting a bunch of masked cartoon characters on Insta or FB or wherever fine posts are posted. Not sure what this project will end up being. I conceived it as a quick and dirty RPG that could be done in 24 pages. We'll see.

Suddenly and without warning I think I have my third Troika! book in the works. I did not plan it, I did not even realize it was happening. But Bombemoth - a swamp setting - has been conceived and I already have about 13 of 36 backgrounds written up for the thing. It is definitely part of the Supercalla Cozmos lineage, so it will fit in snuggly with Supercalla and Cozmic Metal Heads.

Clicketh here to hear my thoughts on Troika!.

Blood Red

I'm posting pinup art pretty much every day over at the Blood Red blog. I have a massive collection of stuff to post (old and new) and so far it's been a post a day. Not much commentary, just the pics. Generally.

It's a "mature" blog (because nekkid drawings). So if you're cool with that, then pop over and check it out. If enough people show some interest I will do some books and/or some prints.

In fact, those of you who like the blog's content please let me know either by posting comments or maybe by hitting me up on Instagram or wherever you find me online. I'm not really hard to find. I'm just another goofy bastard doing what I love.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Artist: Tom Sutton

Tom Sutton kicked some ass. He was the first artist on Warren's Vampirella series, as well as doing a slew of other comics. I love his lush drawing style.

This page is so amazing. So much energy with the inking and the papers flying around and the kinetic lines. And check out that sexy title lettering!

This is from Ghostly Haunts #38. I love how much this looks like a Sandman comic! When I first read Sandman I really had no history with horror comics. I didn't know about EC and all that stuff. So I didn't pick up on the heavy heavy influence that horror comics had on Gaiman's storytelling.
But check this out. It even features some white-on-black word balloon text.