Thursday, May 31, 2018

This Old Dragon: Issue #99

Setting the controls on the Delorean for July 1995.  Summer of between my Sophomore and Junior years in high school.  I played AD&D every weekday that I wasn't working and on the weekends when I could.  One big screen is Back to the Future, a franchise that will one day head to the magical futuristic year of 2015.  Our cars still don't fly.  Duran Duran get's the first #1 song for Bond Film on the US charts. So let's get into our Delorean's, set the flux capacitor to July 1985 and dance into the fire of Issue #99 of This Old Dragon!

Issue #99 is an often forgotten issue in my mind.  On one side we have issue #90, the Tenth Anniversary issue and on the other #100.  Poor old 99 kinda gets forgotten.  The cover from Clyde Duensing III is fine, but nothing special.

Letters has some questions about the Gorgon from the last Ecology Of article.

Kim Mohan's editorial talks about how Unearthed Arcana will "change the way the AD&D game is played."  Not sure it did that, but it certainly began what would later become the edition wars.

The Forum covers some of these questions, in particular, the new Demi-human level limits.

Stephen Inniss is back this time with The Neutral Point of View. Or how to play those lawful, chaotic, and true neutral characters, monsters and NPCs.  It's a good read and some of the philosophy would later appear in D&D 3.

Tables and Table of Troops by James Yates is actually a little more than just tables.  It does, however, talk a lot about how armies move. I am pretty sure my then DM used these ideas for our world-wide war.  The advantage to this article is it can still be used with every version of the D&D game.

Win $10,000 for playing an RPG?  Can't be true! But that is what Pacesetter says in this ad.



Nigel D. Findley, a name I associate a lot with later 80s D&D, is up with The Ecology of the Will-o-Wisp. I covers what I always felt was ill-defined at best, the relationship between boggarts and Wisps.  I think I prefer the undead version of the Wisp found in D&D 5.

Ah now, this article I do remember.  Kevin Anderson and Kristine Thompson team up to give us That's Life in the Big City.  We came back to this article a lot when we (my then gaming group) were working on our "Urban Survival Guide".  There is not a lot here, but there is a good overview of what a fortified city is like.

Some ads.
Flipping back I see I am missing pages 30 to 39.
Looking at my CD-Rom I see it was History of a game that failed:An essay on mistakes  and how not to make them by David F. Godwin. I wonder why the original owner cut this one out?

The World Gamer's Guide.  Coming Attractions from TSR.  This includes a new RPG, PROTON FIRE by Bruce Nesmith.  Can't wait to play that one!! (more later)

The centerpiece here is the Treasure Trove II but mine is gone.  No surprise there I guess.
It's too bad really.  The article on Swords was good if I recall right.

Merle and Jackie Rasmussen are back with Authentic Agencies, Part III. This time they cover the Communist Bloc including the KGB and SSD, and the Middle East.  It's like a trip down memory lane.

Another ad from our good friend Ramal LaMarr.



After the fiction bit we come to the Ares section.

Let's see.  Alex Curylo gives us some tanks for Star Frontiers in Tanks a Lot!
It's actually kind of a great article and I remember cutting it out and putting it in my KnightHawks boxed set.

Psybots and Battle Mechs gives us a look at the new PROTON FIRE game.  Look closely, because to my knowledge this is all we will ever see of that game.   I have no idea why it never saw the light of day.

Marvel-Phile has some Russian super-heroes.
A Gamma-World article that has been cut out.

Lots of Cons in the Convention Calendar.

Gamer's Guide has the small ads.

Wormy weighs in at 2 pages. Snarf at 3.

All in all not a real memorable issue, minus the magic items and the article on the cities.
Want to know what was going on over the pond at this time?  Check out my review for White Dwarf #67.

Take us home Ramal!



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wayward Sisters for Amazing Adventures

Ah. I have never met a windmill I couldn't joust with.

Anyway it's AMAYzine May AND it is Wayward Wednesday.  So today you can watch your favorite Supernatural episode featuring the Wayward girls on Netflix.


Amazing Adventures is a really awesome game with a lot of character development and customization built right in.  Today I want to just work from the core rulebook and figure out how to add some different quirks to some characters with similar backgrounds.

Jody and Donna are both sheriffs working in the northern part of the Midwest.
Anne/Alex and Clare are both survivors that have turned to less-legal pursuits for hunting monsters.   AA gives me the means to get a little more finesse out of these characters.


Links lead to their pages on the Supernatural Wiki.

Jody Mills
Class: Gumshoe (Police officer)
Level: 7
Lawful Good

hp: 46
AC: 12
BtH: +7

Attributes
STR: 12 (0)
*DEX: 14 (+1)
CON: 15 (+1)
INT: 15 (+1)
WIS: 16 (+2)
CHA: 15 (+1)

Class Abilities
Climb, Cat & Mouse, Hide, Move Silently, Take em Down, Precision Shot, Face in the Crowd
Adversary (Monsters)

Traits
Abrasive, Honest

Background: Law enforcement
Knowledge: Law

Donna Hanscum

Class: Gumshoe (Police officer)
Level: 7
Lawful Good

hp: 46
AC: 12
BtH: +7

Attributes
STR: 13 (+1)
*DEX: 12 (0)
CON: 12 (0)
INT: 14 (+1)
WIS: 17 (+2)
CHA: 16 (+2)

Class Abilities
Climb, Cat & Mouse, Hide, Move Silently, Take em Down, Precision Shot, Face in the Crowd
Adversary (Monsters, mostly Vampires)

Traits
Cautious, Easy going, Honest

Background: Law enforcement
Knowledge: Law

The differences between Jody an Donna are subtle in terms of stats, but they are role-played very differently.  Jody has a longer history of hunters and hunting, but Donna has made up for lost time.

Jody can be a bit abrasive with others and with her family, but that is only becuase she worries about them. Her first family were all killed.

Donnan can act all sunshine and Minnesota good cheer, but never doubt that she has already figured out the monster and knows a couple of different ways to kill it "doncha know".


Alex/Anne Jones
Class: Socialite/Hooligan (Multi-class)
Level: 1 / 3 (3)
Neutral Good

hp: 24
AC: 10
BtH: +1

Attributes
STR: 12 (0)
*DEX: 12 (0)
CON: 15 (+1)
INT: 15 (+1)
WIS: 16 (+2)
*CHA: 15 (+1)

Class Abilities
(s) Charm, Connected (Vampire clans), Exalt (Vampire clans) (no clan)
(h) Back Attack,  Case Target, Climb, Hide, Lingo (Vampire slang), Listen, Move Silently, Open Locks, Pick Pockets, Traps, Medicine (from Nurse's training)

Traits
Passionate, Focused

Background: Mean streets
Knowledge: Vampires

Anne has two classes to cover the time when she was living bait for a clan of vampires (Socialite) and when she was later hunting and acting out (Hooligan) or as Jody put it, she was not a cheerleader but the one smoking pot under the bleachers.

Clare Novak
Class: Hooligan
Level: 4
Chaotic Good

hp: 20
AC: 11
BtH: +1

Attributes
STR: 12 (0)
*DEX: 12 (0)
CON: 15 (+1)
INT: 15 (+1)
WIS: 16 (+2)
CHA: 15 (+1)

Class Abilities
Back Attack,  Case Target, Climb, Hide, Lingo (Hunter slang), Listen, Move Silently, Open Locks, Pick Pockets, Traps, Sneak Attack

Traits
Passionate, Reckless

Background: Mean Streets
Knowledge: Angels and demons

Anne and Clare would normally by the rules appear to be Hooligans.  Anne/Alex starts out as a "Socialite" since that is the closest thing in the rules to "pretty vampire bait". Though she did do all of the things a socialite did for her vampire clan.   After she was freed she became every bit the rebellous teen Hooligan that Clare is.   Using the rules to swap out powers I took out her "Traps" ability and replaced it with "Medicine" to cover her training as a Nurse.  I am thinking that for now she is an LPN, not an RN, so maybe as she gets better I might have to rule of taking out some of her other hooligan abilities that no longer fit.
I also removed her Exalt since she is not running with a vampire clan/nest anymore.

Patience Turner
Class: Mentalist
Level: 1
Lawful Good

hp: 6
AC: 10
BtH: +0

Attributes
STR: 12 (0)
DEX: 14 (+1)
CON: 12 (0)
INT: 18 (+3)
*WIS: 16 (+2)
CHA: 17 (+2)

Class Abilities
Meditation, Psionic Power, Psychic Senses

Traits
Focused

Psionic Powers
Basic: Clairvoyance w/ Pre-cognitive

Background: Student
Knowledge: School topics

Patience is the easiest one.  She is, by any definition I can think of, a 1st level character.  She has some skills (she is top student and athlete) but she only has one trick right now and that is her visions.  So she is a perfect level 1 Mentalist with very, very minimal customization.

Ok. Now, these are builds I can enjoy and get behind.  These would be some kick-ass characters to play.  Everything from Patience discovering what her own powers mean and what she can do, to Clare's unresolved anger issues and the new mother/daughter relationship to Jody (who is basically Clare in few more years).  Even Anne trying to put the horror of her life behind her to do something normal.

It would make for a great game and a great TV show.

Don't forget that Petition!
https://www.change.org/p/the-cw-save-wayward-sisters



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Willow and Tara: Amazing Adventures, 2018 update

In many ways I still associate Tuesdays with Buffy.

Hard to believe, but five an half years ago I posted Amazing Adventures stats for Willow and Tara.  The idea then, and now, was to experiment with different types of Arcanists.  Willow is a very typical Intelligence-based spell caster while Tara was always a more Wisdom-based one. I have also done a Charisma-based Aracanist, in the form of Rachel Morgan.

As you can imagine I am trying to replicate my C&C Witch in a modern format.

The Amazing Adventures of Willow & Tara, 2018

Recently I have been using Amazing Adventures as a modern game as opposed to a pulp game.  So instead of thinking about Tommy Guns and the like I am more interested in smart phones, computers and GPS.    The shift has been an interesting one.  Thankfully Amazing Adventures is based on a core of d20 so finding extra material is very easy.

So what have my witches been up to?

Given what I have been doing with the characters for the last few years I would have to say they have been largely retired.  So taking the reunion staged by Entertainment Weekly, I would say something pulled them out of retirement.  Maybe a horrible orange monster threatening to take over the world. Or something.  Of course I do want to figure out an adventure to pull all my favorite supernatural shows together in one mega-episode crossover.

Willow Danielle Rosenberg-Maclay
Arcanist (INT) 12
Human Female, Lawful Good

Age: 37, Ht: 5'3", Hair: Red, Eyes: Green

hp: 45
MEP: 114
AC: 12 (locket of protection)/ 15 (when in physical contact with Tara)
Move: 30'

STR: 9 (0)
DEX: 11 (0)
*CON: 11 (0)
*INT: 18 (+3)
WIS: 16 (+2)
CHA: 17 (+2)

Languages: English, Latin, Hebrew, French* (extra language)
Background: Computers +4 (+2 initial, improved at 5th, 10th level), Science +2
Traits: Spellgifted (offensive), Reckless
Skill: Knowledge (Arcana)

Spells per Level 9/6/6/5/3/2/1
0: Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Open/Close, Prestidigitation
1: Arcane Bolt, Burning Hands, Identify, Read Magic, Shocking Grasp, Sleep
2: Bullet Proof, Darkness, Enhance Attribute, Invisibility Scare, Shatter
3: Blink, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Fly, Lightning Bolt, Magic Circle
4: Confusion, Locate Creature, Scrying,
5: Telekinesis, Telepathic Bond
6: Chain Lightning

Willow's class is Arcanist, but her backgrounds are computers and science. She does have increased knowledge skill in Arcana.  It is also likely that Willow has bought off her Reckless by now.  Compared to my earlier version, I have dropped the unneeded Gadgeteer level.

Tara Ann Rosenberg-Maclay
Arcanist (WIS) 11
Human Female, Lawful Good

Age: 38, Ht: 5'5", Hair: Blonde, Eyes: Blue

hp: 42
MEP: 100
AC: 12 (locket of protection)/ 15 (when in physical contact with Willow)
Move: 30'

STR: 12 (0)
DEX: 9 (0)
CON: 12 (0)
INT: 16 (+2)
WIS: 18 (+3)
CHA: 16 (+2)

Languages: English, Latin, Gaelic, Japanese (bonus free language)
Background: Historian +4 (+2 initial, improved at 5th, 10th level), Artist +2
Traits: Spellgifted (defensive), Polite
Skill: Knowledge (myth and legend)

Spells per Level 9/6/6/5/3/2
0: Blinding Flash, Detect Evil, Detect magic, First Aid, Know Direction, Light, Purify Food & Drink, Message, Prestidigitation
1: Animal Friendship, Command, Cure Light Wounds*, Protection from Evil, Remove Fear, Shield of Faith
2: Aid, Darkness, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Lesser Restoration*, Speak with Animals
3: Cure Serious Wounds, Dispel Magic, Magic Circle against Evil, Remove curse, Spiritual Weapon
4: Dismissal, Restoration*, Wall of Force
5: Dispel Evil, Scrying

*Tara still retains her healing touch divine powers from when she was brought back from the dead.
To fit my general idea of Tara more I would like to up her MEP to the maximum amount. She might not have a lot of different spells, but she has a lot of power.

So for me it has been nearly 10 years since I used these characters in these incarnations.

What have they been doing?  Well in the Dragon and the Phoenix/Season of the Witch timeline they moved to Boston, been married for years. Willow owned a software security firm ("RedWitch") that she later sold making millions. Tara has degrees in art history and counseling. She teaches at a school for young magicians and witches (no not Hogwarts). They have two daughters Brianna 12 and Chole 9.

Reading over this I think what I really need to try is to start these characters over again at 1st level and see what it is like to run them under AA.  It makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Buffy = Demon Hunter
Xander = Hooligan
Willow = Arcanist (Int)
Tara = Arcanist (Wis)
Cordelia = Socialite
Giles = Occultist
Oz = Werewolf
Angel, Spike = Vampire

I could be a lot of fun.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Amazing Adventures for AMAYzing May!

Troll Lord games is continuing their AMAYZing May celebration with all sorts of sales but in particular their Amazing Adventures line.

I figured I would give AA another spin, but this time as a Modern, 21st Century game.

I also wanted a game where I could pull in all my favorite urban supernatural, modern horror characters under one system to see how they would all fare with each other.   I have a lot of things I want to try.

For this last week of AMAYzing May I want to link some of my past reviews and some characters that fit in my supernatural world.


Some characters for this world



And for free


Will have more this week!






Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

AMAYzing May!

I have been very remiss at posting this, but Troll Lord games is having their AMAYZing May celebration with all sorts of sales but in particular their Amazing Adventures line.

All as a build up to their new 5th Edition version of Amazing Adventures, which you can get a preview of now.

5th Edition Amazing Adventures Preview

I have not read it all yet, but what I have looks like fun AND it still retains the best qualities of both 5e and Amazing Adventures.

Could this be my new modern game?

I am going to have to give it a go.

Monday, May 21, 2018

OMG: Level Setting and American Indian Mythos

To start this first post on One Man's God I wanted to set some levels on what I want to look for, in particular, what constitutes the top end of what is a demon vs. what is an evil god.

Now a couple "rules" regardless of what edition I plan to post the stats in I am starting in the lingua franca of 1st Edition AD&D.  That's what the Deities and Demigods is written for and the Monster Manual I am using today.

Level Setting
How powerful are these demons?  Well, let's have a look at our high-end examples.
The first edition Monster Manual gives us four of the biggest big bads we STILL talk about today. Orcus, Demogorgon, Asmodeus, and Tiamat.  Each one of these can be viewed as a god in their own way; two of which Orcus and Tiamat were gods in their respective mythologies. What the MM does not give us are the HD for these creatures.  Orcus has 120 hp, Demogorgon has 200 hp, and Asmodeus has 199. Tiamat has 128 but is also listed as a 16 HD monster.  This is nice since this gives us a nice example of a monster with maximum (8 per HD) hp.  So dividing the others by 8 we get:
Orcus 15 HD, 120 hp
Demogorgon 25 HD, 200 hp
Asmodeus 25 HD, 199 hp
Looking at other editions you can see them climb over the years.  Till we get to today.


Still very powerful in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.

What this means to me is I am looking for monsters in that 15 to 25 HD range if I want to call them Demon Princes or Archdukes of Hell.  Likely none will come up to that level, most will fall short of Prince or Archduke power.

American Indian Mythos
If there is one thing I know it's I am in no way qualified to talk about American Indian mythic traditions.  I mean I did grow up in the mid-west and I spent time going to both the Dickson Mounds and the Illinois State Museums.  So I feel my background is better than most, but still very much lacking.   The American Indian section in the Deities & Demigods in no way represents all the myths and stories of these extremely diverse peoples.  Sure there are some commonalities, but there are just as many differences. Maybe more.   Since I am limiting myself to the entries in the D&DG this one will be really fast.

There really are not many "demons" in the classical sense in American Indian myths.  I mean there are some, but not many and none of them appear in this book.   Even the monsters that do appear here are more monsters than demons and the evil gods (both of them) are more destructive forves of nature than anything else.   So not really my idea of demons to be honest.
Hastsezini is the fire "god"* of the Navajo.  I put god in quotes based on the work of Professor Grant L. Voth, Ph.D.  He claims that Amerindian did not worship gods per se but larger spirits that they honored.   This god/spirit doesn't really give me a demonic vibe.

Next time I will cover the rich and fertile ground of the Babylonian myths.  Might need to spend more than one post there.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Charmed is Back!

Last week we go the "upfronts" for the various TV networks. What did we learn?
Well, Batwoman is coming to the Arrow-verse on the CW so that is a cool thing.
And we got this!



I'll admit I watched it a few times. Plus WOW Valerie Cruz as the mother? Seriously.  That almost makes up for not picking up Wayward Sisters! (ok, no it doesn't).

This has promise.  Hard to judge a show based only about 7% of its content, but I am excited.

It joins Supergirl on Sunday nights.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Busy day. spent the whole day gardening with my wife.  But I sneak out to go to my FLGS.


Grabbed a hobby-store exclusive and regular cover of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.

260 some odd pages.  Filled with monsters, background on the Blood War, new racial variants for all the races.  Tons of monsters. 

It's going to take me a bit to digest it all.  But so far I love it.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

This Old Dragon: Issue #118

It's February of 1987.  I am preparing to graduate high school and get out of my then hated hometown (I have softened up a little since then).   Everyone is listening to "Livin' on a Prayer", I am listening to a lot of Pink Floyd.  Gives you a good idea of why I wanted out of there so bad.  In any case, I did have a world to go to. To bad at this point it was overrun with demons, demonic-ogres, and dragons in an all-out war!  Ah, the good times.  Let's go back and check out Issue #118 of This Old Dragon.

Issue #118 marks the last of the "Chess" series for Dragon by Denis Beauvais.  Maybe one of the more evocative ones too.

Letters ask for coverage of more non-TSR games. The editors maintain that they don't get a lot sent to them.

The main feature of this issue is games within games.  So tournaments, duels and the like. Or as I like to think of it, a walk through the Ren Faire.

First up from Dan Salas is The fighting Circle: Gladiatorial Combat in the AD&D game.  I can't help but think that this is somewhat due to the recent Dragonlance books where Caramon is sent back in time and becomes a gladiator.  The article is actually pretty long and light on the crunch.  In fact there is none till you get almost to the very end. What is provided is fairly edition agnostic.

Hardcore into writing the next draft of my witch class now.  So you know I wanted my own set of Time-Life books.

Leonard Carpenter is up with Surely, You Joust (no and quit calling me Shirley).  This one is more specific to AD&D 1st Ed, but has some good material that can be ported over.  A joust should really be something that is featured in your games at least once. This too is a long one ( are already on page 30).

A Day at the Faire by Eileen Lucas gives all the other characters something to do while the knights, cavaliers, and paladins are off at the joust.  NPC stats are in 1st Ed, but everything else is easy to add to any game.  I do wish this one was longer though.

Not sit idle, Leonard Carpenter is back with On Target: Archery Competitions.  These are more linked to the rules and the Jousting article.

Ok. Up next is one of odder articles I have seen.  Christopher Wood must like a sense of realism in his games since he gives us "ARRRGH!!!" an article on the various races pain thresholds.  As expected Dwarves come out on top here with elves and half-elves the worse of the lot.   While I appreciate the thought here this is not something I'd ever use.  Plus it has "Advanced Rules" and "Optional Rules".  As an old-school gamer I know I supposed to like this stuff, but if I wanted to do this then just give a Constitution roll or something.

C.C. Stoll gives us the centerfold of the issue with Nibar's Keep, The Game of Magical Arena Dueling.  Some interesting ideas sure, but it is a stand-alone mini-game.

There is the fiction section from Lois Tilton.

Some Sage Advice covering the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide.

Ah here is something interesting.  Leonard Carpenter is back again (again) with A Hero's Reward. Or a basic Hero point system for AD&D.  You can almost hear the Grognards flipping over their sand tables in disgust!  ;)  This, of course, has been done before and will be done again.  Personally, I like them.  I wrote a lot about the Drama Point system in Cinematic Unisystem over the years so you know where my preferences lie.  The system suggested here is simple enough but used mostly for dice rolls. No "rewriting a scene" like you can in Cine Unisystem.

Next, we get an article about playing Neanderthals in the D&D (Basic/BECMI) game.  So it is a race as a class and yeah, it works.  The article, Out of the Stone Age by Jack R. Patterson, is not a long one but it's for BECMI so it has to be brief and get its point across quickly.

If you don't like spiders then skip over this one, but The Dragon's Bestiary has a bunch of different types of spiders.

TSR Previews covers the up and coming releases from TSR for March and April of1987.  Let's see we get two new Windwalker novels and the Lazer Tag Official Tournament book and the Chase family board game.  No, I don't really remember these either except for the Lazer Tag book.


Thomas Kane has a bit about war, revolution, and secret agents in Unfriendly Fire for Top Secret.  Or military operations for Top Secret agents.  It's not detailed enough to make TS into a warfare game, but at least enough to get a flavor of what you could do.

Jon D. Martin has the Marvel-phile article in all but name with his profiles of Adam Warlock, Pip some green woman named Gamora and Paragon/Her. 

Role of Computers features a number of games for the Macintosh, the then state of the art in computer hardware.

Games Guide covers the small ads.  All the usual suspects are here.
Convention Calendar is a healthy three pages.

Nice full-color ad for SnarfQuest the Book.  Only $9.95!
Snarf himself is three pages but still black/white.

Wormy weighs in at 4 full-color pages.

Ok, not an issue I have many memories of and there is not a lot here I would use today either.  Seems to be the time I think because I was saying more or less the same thing about White Dwarf #86 from the same month.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

OMG: One Man's God

I came to D&D back in the 70s via my interest in myths about the Gods and Heroes.   I was reading D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths when a friend lent me his copy of the Monster Manual.   The rest, as they say, is history.

One of my favorite books in the entire AD&D line was/is Deities & Demigods.  I have been mentally going back to that treasured volume since I picked up The Great Courses: Great Mythologies of the World.



The scholarship in D&DG is not University or scholarly level, but I give Rob Kuntz and James Ward many kudos, and really it was not supposed to be.  It was supposed to be a game book and in that it succeeds wildly.

But it all got me thinking about that old adage; "One man's God is another man's Devil."
What would it take to grab some of the evil monsters and revisit them as AD&D/OSR style demons, complete with their placement in the Gygax-ian Great Wheel?   One of my bigger misgivings about D&DG, despite how good it was, it did not try to integrate into the larger D&D view of the multiverse and planes.  Today I think that is perfectly fine, but then it bugged me more.

I guess in a way this is my gift to me of 1981 or so.

My plan is to go through the D&DG and take an extended look at the pantheons and the myths behind them and find some good bits (there are lots) and comment on some others and hopefully find some cool demons to fit the larger D&D world.

Ok, so I have a Ph.D., I can do academic rigor. That is not what this is about. This will not be a treatise of comparative religions or a dissertation.  This is blog post, with game material.  My audience is the same as Kuntz and Ward's, the D&D gamer.

The only thing I have not figure out yet is whether to do these as an OSR-friendly S&W/Basic-era format or as D&D 5.  Maybe both or one or the other as it strikes me.

I am not likely to include the non-human deities since they are already more integrated into the larger D&D mythos,  but I may focus on one or two that I want to expand on; Blibdoolpoolp and Vaprak the Destroyer come to mind for different reasons. Possibly Laogzed too.
I am also not going to go in order.  I have this notion of starting in the Fertile Crescent and working my way out, both physically and temporarily.   This is for my own education so I can mentally place various cultures in their proper times in relation to each other.
I also have not figured out what to do with beings that began as gods and later were transformed to devils, for example, Astártē to Astaroth.  I am planning on splitting up Greek and Roman, if for no other reasons to deal with some unique Roman ideas and dabble a little in some Etruscan myths and legends. Or maybe do an extended Greco-Roman-Etruscan post.

Love to hear suggestions and ideas.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Wayward Sisters for the Chill RPG

Yesterday I posted the stats the Wayward Sisters for the Supernatural RPG and I had a blast.   I always have a lot of fun doing these deep dives into characters.  So I figure what the hell.


The next logical choice, of course, is Chill.   Even in 1980 Chill was the monster hunter game.  Today's 3rd Edition Chill is if anything even more suited for a Supernatural-style game.  The changed point of view on magic, The Art, is a good fit to how Supernatural deals with magic.

In truth, I would love to see how something like SAVE would work in the Supernatural universe.  I am a huge of fan of Chill and I have been wanting to do a Supernatural / Chill crossover forever.  This is really is perfect.

Links lead to their pages on the Supernatural Wiki.

Jody Mills

Attributes
AGL 60  Movement 30
STR 50  Prowess 25
STA 55  Close Quarters Combat 28

FOC 50  Research 25
PSY 50  Communication 50
WPR 50  Interview 50

DEX 50  Fieldcraft 25
PCN 60  Investigation 60
REF 55  Ranged Weapons 55

STU 12

Skill Specializations
Stealth E 60
Lore E 55
Leadership E 80
Interrogation E 80
Drive E 55
Crime Scene E 90
Pistols E 85

Edges and Drawbacks
Attractive 1
Courageous 2
Decisive 1
Information Source 2
Natural Leader 1

Drive: To make sure no other families are destroyed by the monsters.


Donna Hanscum

Attributes
AGL 50  Movement 25
STR 50  Prowess 25
STA 50  Close Quarters Combat 50

FOC 60  Research 30
PSY 60  Communication 50
WPR 60  Interview 30

DEX 50  Fieldcraft 25
PCN 60  Investigation 60
REF 55  Ranged Weapons 55

STU 12

Skill Specializations
Stealth B 40
Knife Fighting B 65
Lore E 60
Interrogation E 80
Drive E 55
Crime Scene E 90
Pistols E 85

Edges and Drawbacks
Courageous 2
Hopeful 1
Information Source 2
Peace of Mind 2
Tough as Nails 2

Awkward 3

Drive: To protect the innocent.

Alex/Anne Jones

Attributes
AGL 60  Movement 60
STR 50  Prowess 25
STA 55  Close Quarters Combat 55

FOC 50  Research 25
PSY 60  Communication 50
WPR 55  Interview 28

DEX 55  Fieldcraft 28
PCN 65  Investigation 33
REF 60  Ranged Weapons 30

STU 13

Skill Specializations
Knife B 70
Lore E 55
Persuasion B 75
Drive B 43

Edges and Drawbacks
Attractive 2
Background 2 (Vampires lore and behavior)
Emergency Medic 2
Strong Stomach 1

Burned Out 3

Drive: Prevent anyone else from suffering like I did.

Clare Novak

Attributes
AGL 60  Movement 30
STR 50  Prowess 25
STA 55  Close Quarters Combat 55

FOC 50  Research 25
PSY 70  Communication 70
WPR 60  Interview 30

DEX 60  Fieldcraft 30
PCN 60  Investigation 30
REF 60  Ranged Weapons 60

STU 12

Skill Specializations
Stealth B 45
Knife fighting E 85
Lore E 55
Deception B 85
Drive B 45
Larceny B 45
Crossbow E 90

Edges and Drawbacks
Attractive 1
Courageous 1
Inured 1
Tough as Nails 2

Drive: Destroy all the monsters that have harmed me.

Patience Turner

Attributes
AGL 60  Movement 30
STR 60  Prowess 30
STA 60  Close Quarters Combat 60

FOC 70  Research 35
PSY 70  Communication 70
WPR 70  Interview 35

DEX 60  Fieldcraft 30
PCN 70  Investigation 35
REF 65  Ranged Weapons 33

STU 35

Skill Specializations
Stealth B 45
Thrown Weapon B 45
Melee Weapon E 90
Lore B 50
Empathy E 100
Drive B 45

Edges and Drawbacks
Attractive 2
Hopeful 1

Naïve 2

The Art
Sensing (PCN)
Premonition B 85
Prescient Dream B 85

Drive: Discover what the new world is about, how to use my powers and live through it.

Ok. Now, these are builds I can enjoy and get behind.  These would be some kick-ass characters to play.  Everything from Patience discovering what her own powers mean and what she can do, to Clare's unresolved anger issues and the new mother/daughter relationship to Jody (who is basically Clare in few more years).  Even Anne trying to put the horror of her life behind her to do something normal.

It would make for a great game and a great TV show.

Don't forget that Petition!
https://www.change.org/p/the-cw-save-wayward-sisters

Monday, May 14, 2018

Wayward Sisters for the Supernatural RPG

Well.  A while back I expressed my wants for the upcoming Wayward Sisters Supernatural spin-off.  Well, sadly we learned over the weekend that the show was not picked up (Charmed was! but more on that later).



Personally, I think this is a huge mistake and many entertainment news outlets are reporting the same.  There is even a petition that gaining steam and buzz asking the network to reconsider.  I would consider it a favor if you all could stop by and sign it.
https://www.change.org/p/the-cw-save-wayward-sisters

But I am not asking this and expecting not to pay.  So here are the Wayward sisters themselves, ready to go for your Supernatural Cortex game, whether they get a show or not.



Links lead to their page on the Supernatual Wiki.

Jody Mills

Concept: Sheriff. Survivor of zombie attacks. Lost her entire family. Has a history with Sam and Dean. Seasoned Hunter

Attributes
Agility:  d8  Alertness: d8  Strength: d6  Intelligence: d6  Vitality:  d6  Willpower: d8

Derived Attributes
Initiative: d8 + d8  Endurance: d6 + d8  Lifepoints: 18  Resistance: d6 + d6

Skills (Specialty in paratheses)
Covert d6 (Open Locks d8, Stealth d8), Discipline d6 (Leadership d8), Drive d6, Guns d6 (Revolver d8), Influence d6, Knowledge d6 (Law d8), Lore d6 (Levithans d8, Zombies d8), Mechanic d4, Medicine d4, Melee Weapons d4, Perception d6 (Investigation d8), Survival d6, Tech d4

Assets & Complications
Allure d2, Carries a Badge d6, Contacts d4, Devoted d6, Natural Leader d4, Tough d8
Anger Issues d2, Duty d8 (Protect her family), Out for Blood d4, (resolved)

Weapons & Gear
Service Revolver, d6, 50', 8
Shotgun, d10, 30', 8

Vest, Ballistic. 2w


Donna Hanscum

Concept: Sheriff.  Survivor of a monster attack.  Softy on the outside, hard as nails on the inside. Seasoned Hunter

Attributes
Agility:  d6  Alertness: d6  Strength: d6  Intelligence: d8  Vitality:  d8  Willpower: d8

Derived Attributes
Initiative: d6 + d6  Endurance: d8 + d8  Lifepoints: 20  Resistance: d8 + d8

Skills (Specialty in paratheses)
Covert d6 (Open Locks d8, Stealth d8), Discipline d6, Drive d6, Guns d6 (Revolver d8, Shotgun d8), Influence d6, Knowledge d6 (Law d8), Lore d6 (Vampires d8), Mechanic d2, Melee Weapons d4, Perception d6 (Investigation d8), Survival d6, Tech d4, Unarmed Combat d4

Assets & Complications
Allure d2, Carries a Badge d6, Contacts d4, Cool Under Fire d4, Devoted d6, Focused Hunter d2 (vampires), Good Natured d6, Tough d8, Unbreakable will d2
Duty d8, Honest to a Fault d4, Idealist d4

Weapons & Gear
Service Revolver, d6, 50', 8
Shotgun, d10, 30', 8

Vest, Ballistic. 2w


Alex/Anne Jones

Concept:  Runaway former vampire bait. Wants to put hunting behind her to focus on her nursing. Survivor. Veteran Hunter.

Attributes
Agility:  d6  Alertness: d8  Strength: d4  Intelligence: d8  Vitality:  d6  Willpower: d6

Derived Attributes
Initiative: d6 + d8  Endurance: d6 + d6  Lifepoints: 14  Resistance: d6 + d6

Skills (Specialty in paratheses)
Covert d6 (Stealth d8), Discipline d4, Drive d4, Guns d4, Knowledge d6, Lore d6 (Vampires d12), Medicine d6 (First Aid d8, General Practice d8), Melee Weapons d6, Perception d6 (Investigation d8), Survival d8, Tech d4, Unarmed Combat d4

Assets & Complications
Allure d4, Contacts d2, Higher Education d4 (LPN, RN), Tough d4
Dark Secret d4 (used by vampires as bait), Paranoid d4 (vampires)

Weapons & Gear
Knife d2

Clare Novak

Concept: Once religious daughter of Jimmy Novak who gave up his life to be Castiel's vessel. Former thief and now out for blood hunter. Veteran Hunter.

Attributes
Agility:  d8  Alertness: d6  Strength: d6  Intelligence: d6  Vitality:  d8  Willpower: d4

Derived Attributes
Initiative: d8 + d6  Endurance: d8 + d4  Lifepoints: 14  Resistance: d8 + d8

Skills (Specialty in paratheses)
Covert d6 (Open locks d10, Stealth d8), Discipline d4, Drive d6, Guns d4, Knowledge d6 (Religion d8), Lore d6 (Angels d10, Demons d8), Melee Weapons d6, Perception d6 (Investigation d8), Ranged Weapons d6 (Crossbow d8), Survival d8, Tech d4, Unarmed Combat d4

Assets & Complications
Allure d4, Contacts d4, Cool Under Fire d2, Devoted d6, Faith d2, Focused Hunter d4 (demons), Intuitive Leaps d4, Tough d4
Anger Issues d4, Out for Blood d8, Overconfident 2d (down from d4), Rebellious d4, Smartass d4, Wrong side of the Law d4

Weapons & Gear
Angel Sword d8
Knife d2


Patience Turner

Concept: Highschool star of academics and sports.  Emerging Precognitive.  Grandmother worked with the Winchesters.  Rookie Hunter

Attributes
Agility:  d8  Alertness: d6  Strength: d6  Intelligence: d10  Vitality:  d6  Willpower: d8

Derived Attributes
Initiative: d8 + d6  Endurance: d6 + d8  Lifepoints: 12  Resistance: d6 + d6

Skills (Specialty in paratheses)
Athletics d6 (Sports d8), Covert d4, Discipline d6, Drive d4, Knowledge d6, Lore d4, Melee Weapons d6 (sword d8), Perception d6 (Empathy d8), Science d6, Tech d4

Assets & Complications
Allure d4, Clairvoyant d4, Low-Profile d2, Natural Athlete d6, Premonitions d6
Combat Paralysis d4, Idealist d2,

Weapons & Gear
Baseball bat d6 B
Handgun d4, 40', 6

I like them!  Now I just need some good rules to get Rowena into the mix.

Don't forget that petition!



Friday, May 11, 2018

Kickstart Your Weekend: Maximum Mayhem #5: Palace of the Dragon's Princess

Maximum Mayhem #5: Palace of the Dragon's Princess

Mark Taormino is at it again and this time he has turned his offerings up.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marktaormino/maximum-mayhem-5-palace-of-the-dragons-princess-bo

His fifth module, Palace of the Dragon's Princess, on the way and it has already seen all it's funding met.

I have talked a lot about Mark's adventures and books.

I expect this one to be just as good. It's an obvious nod to Palace of the Silver Princess.



But the best thing about this?  We are getting a BOX!


I am in for a box, module and dice.

I am so stoked for this.

While overtly for OSRIC/AD&D 1st Ed, I want to play an epic B/X game with all of these.  The Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen goes to level 14 and that is perfect.  Sure they are all deadly as hell, but that is part of the fun, right?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

This Old Dragon: Issue #155

Ok this is an "emergency pick".  My basement got some water in it for the first time ever.  The only thing that was damaged was this issue.  So I am flipping through it now and tossing it when done.  I might end up tossing it before I am done, to be honest; it's in really bad shape.  So let's head back to March of 1990 for Issue #155 of This Old Dragon!

We have a cool cover from Carol Heyer. It features a little faerie in a faerie ring. It is an appropriate cover to our theme this issue.

Some ads for Spelljammer and a couple of TSR board games, The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising. I had forgotten about those last two, to be honest.

Letters are first.   We get a request for the Witch from #114.  The eds remind the reader what issue it was in and no, it should not be used as a PC.  Don't worry, mine was almost done at that time.

Skip Williams is up with Sage Advice.  Mostly covering questions from the new Monstrous Compendiums.  Ah. We get to the Demons and Devils issue in AD&D 2nd Ed. The answer they give is:
The answer, in short, is at present there are no plans to include devils, demons, and similar creatures in the AD&D 2nd Edition game. ... The demons and devils in the old Monster
Manuals were a prime weapon in the campaign of misinformation directed against gaming, so they were dropped from the new edition. It's possible that demons and devils will be revised into a format that preserves their usefulness in adventure design and does not give the game's detractors cheap ammunition, but that format hasn't been found yet.
Another letter points out the error on the Vampire sheet, front and back are the same.

Next is our feature "Realms of the Faerie".

He had the Grugach elves introduced last week (Issue #67) now 7 years and 4 months later we get Wild in the Wood: The Point of View of the Grugach-Wild Elves by Eric Oppen.  The article is actually pretty cool talking about life amongst these almost primitive elves.

Denise Lyn Voskuil is next with four new deities in The Elfin Gods. They are Araleth Letheranil, lesser god of light.  Kirith Sotheril, lesser goddess of magic. Melira Taralen, lesser goddess of fine arts and finally Naris Analor, lesser god of healing, suffering, and death.   All these gods made to the present day.

Up next is the article I remember the best, In the Frost and Snow by David S. Reimer, introduces the Snow Elves.  I had also created a snow elf race back in the day, and there are some similarities here. All of which are due to the similar material we were drawing from.  But my snow elves were smaller than regular elves, his are taller. Also, mine tended to be pale-blue.   Still. A fun race that I like to use every so often.

Other Side favorite Vince Garcia is back, this time with The Folk of the Faerie Kingdom.  I must-read article if you ever plan on doing anything with the Faerie realms.  It is a nice long article and one I wish I could keep!  A little bit of Quest of the Ancients leaks into AD&D here with the inclusion of Rhiannon the Faerie Queen goddess and his "Druids of Rhiannon".  I appreciate Vince's obsessions here.


Gordon R. Menzies has The Ecology of the Satyr.  It's also good stuff. Now I want to play a half-Satyr bard!

Thank You for Your Cooperation is a survey for Top Secret/S.I. game by Jon Pickens.  I don't know enough of Top Secret history to know if this lead to something else.

The Game Wizards tries something new with Anne Brown, TSR previews ala gossip column.  It doesn't really work for me.

Another Other Side favorite Bruce Heard is back with another episode of The Voyage of the Princess Ark.  This time Part 3: To seek out new life and new civilizations.  Love the maps, but the maps have always been kind of a key feature of these articles.

Didn't read the fiction. Plus this issue is really getting on my allergies.

Gamers Guide covers all the small ads. There are a few Play by Mail games and ads here too.

Marvel-Phile has a couple character I know pretty well.  Captain Britain and Roma.  Captain Britain is a character that I always felt would translate well into a modern Ghosts of Albion game.  Roma is a Protector in all but name too.

Ah. Here are the TSR Previews.  Lots of Forgotten Realms stuff.  But this the Age of the Settings.

Jim Bambra reviews a few of the new Star War's games.

The Convention Calendar gives us the best cons of March and April 1990.  I swear there were more back then than now.

John C. Bunnell gives us some reviews of books.
Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser cover what's new for Macs in The Role of Computers. Most Macs were still monochrome at this point. Though I thought for sure there were some color ones.

Dragonmirth has a few artists and comics I am not all that familiar with.

Through the Looking Glass is completely soaked.  Eww.

So what do I have, save a huge mildew colony?  Well in truth a pretty cool issue.  Lots of great information on the fey and stuff I can still use today.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: Shadow of Night

“Witches see the truth plainly—even if their husbands are full of nonsense.” 
- Deborah Harkness, Shadow of Night

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

I read Shadow of Night with a little more enthusiasm than I did for A Discovery of Witches.  Witch Diana Bishop and Vampire Matthew Clairmont were time walking to the court of Elizabeth I and all of Tudor England was open to them.  We were going to see Shakespeare and John Dee and Christopher Marlow.  I could ignore the fact that formerly super-independent Diana was now no better than Bella in Twilight. I mean this part of English history was Deborah Harkness's forte, her area of expertise.

Well...I was not disappointed in the historical bits.  I would have loved more Shakespeare and Dee and much less Marlow to be honest.  Other characters are introduced but never rise above caricature to be honest; Gallowglass, is that your name or your job?   Plus the rules of Time Travel are very weird. Clairmont is in his own body from then, but where is his consciousness?  How can he remember in his own future? Why does Diana have her own body?  To quote Ron Stoppable, "time travel it's a cornucopia of disturbing concepts." 
Of course, they keep looking for Ashmole 782 pages and come no closer to finding it. In truth I can't even recall if they did or not since the ending pissed me off so much.

Here are the spoilers.
Diana and Matthew get back only to discover that the witches that have been pursuing them killed Emily “Em” Mather, Sarah Bishop's (Diana's aunt and foster mothers) partner.  Fucking great. Another dead lesbian.  Killed "off-screen" no less.

Look. This might not be an issue for you, but I made promises to people. So I emailed Harkness's publicist to ask if this is "undone" somehow in the next book, "Book of Life". I was told no.

So do not expect a review for Book of Life here. Like I said, I made promises and stick to them.

You can find Deborah Harkness on the web at http://deborahharkness.com/.

2018 Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Books Read so far: 4
Level: Initiate
Witches in this book: Dozens, more implied.
Are they Good Witches or Bad Witches: Good for the most part, but some evil.
Best RPG to Emulate it: I get a World of Darkness vibe here, especially the old WoD, Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade.
Material for WotWQ: The historical setting is so much fun. Too bad the characters in it are not more exciting.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: A Discovery of Witches

“It begins with absence and desire.
It begins with blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.” 
- Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches

I read Deborah Harkness' "A Discovery of Witches" a bit back.  I kept debating on whether or not to stop reading it many times.

Somethings about the book rubbed me wrong.  While I can appreciate the scholarship that went into this book there were some things that just bugged me.
Diana Bishop, our protagonist, is supposed to be a smart, independent woman.  She is a Ph.D. and overtly a feminist.  So why does she keep falling for the dry as old paint vampire?
The story has an interesting quest, the search for an alchemical text that might have something to do with all creatures (vampires and witches). They run all over the world and do a lot of research.
I stuck through it till the end, since I think there was an interesting mystery in there with some fairly unitesting characters in my mind.
In the end I wanted to like it more than I did, but I did read the next one in the series too.  More that one later.

You can find Deborah Harkness on the web at http://deborahharkness.com/.

2018 Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Books Read so far: 3
Level: Initiate
Witches in this book: Dozens, more implied
Are they Good Witches or Bad Witches: Good for the most part, but some evil.
Best RPG to Emulate it: I get a New World of Darkness vibe here. 
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