Friday, January 7, 2022

Late Christmas Present

 I received a late Christmas present yesterday.  A friend gave me The Folio Society edition of The Hobbit.  It's a beautiful book, wonderfully illustrated with a nice slipcase.  

It was such a pleasant surprise!  The same friend got me The Folio Society edition of S.P.Q.R by Mary Beard last year.  I think these are the two nicest books in my collection.

In game related news, I also received the RPG Romance of the Perilous Land.  I haven't had the opportunity to read the book all the way through yet but it seems like an interesting game.  An Arthurian game in an England-like setting.

(None of these photographs are mine.  I've borrowed them from various places across the internet.)

Friday, December 10, 2021


It have always thought that I began roleplaying in 1979 when I persuaded my mom to buy me the Holmes Basic D&D set.  Well, this turns out to be false.  It was 1980.  You see, my Basic set came with The Keep on the Borderlands and apparently it didn't replace In Search of the Unknown in the box until 1980.  Sooooo, I've been wrong all of these years.  In the larger scheme of things it's not really a big deal but it's always a bit jarring to have a long held belief corrected.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Perilous Shores

I'm always on the lookout for a good online map generator.  I loved now sadly defunct Wizardawn and it's map creators.  I particularly liked the area generator that would produce a regional map with terrain, points of interest and, if you wanted, populated dungeons.  Now that it is gone I have been looking for a replacement.  I have found one that is pretty cool though it doesn't have quite as many features as the Wizardawn generated maps.  Despite that I like it a lot.

It is called Perilous Shores and it is free to use on  It will create a random map with named towns, natural features and adventure sites. Once the map is generated you can modify the way it looks, add hexes to it, change tones, change the name of the towns and features and other miscellaneous things.

Here is a map as generated and then as modified by me.  You'll notice that there are some differences.  Changing some of the defaults will change the map.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Damn Lulu

 A while back Lulu updated their website.  It was a debacle.  I, and I believe others, had their libraries destroyed up.  I lost many of the PDFs I had acquired.  There is no record of the titles.  And I can't remember them. Now many of these were free but it is still frustrating.  Today I realized that some of the things I lost were the Labyrinth Lord version of Dave Bezio's Phoenix Barony setting.  This is extremely frustrating.  I do have the White Box version of Phoenix Barony itself but the LL version and it's supplements are no longer available.

Damn Lulu.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Cliff Clavin, Rebel Officer

 The original Star Wars trilogy has been on TV a several times lately.  And since it is my
trilogy I've watched it when I can.  The last couple of times I've seen The Empire Strikes Back I've noticed that one of the officers in the hanger scene on Hoth where Leia is worried about Luke and Han looked familiar.  He looked like Cliff Clavin from the TV show Cheers.  So I checked it in IMDB and what the hell do you know, John Ratzenberger was in The Empire Strikes Back!  He played Rebel Force Major Derlin.  Maybe many of you know this but it's news to me.  It both blew my mind and made me laugh at the same time.  Now John Ratzenberger is a fine actor and an excellent voice actor but he will forever be Cliff Clavin to me.  Not that he's completely type cast in my mind but that's the character I will always associate him with because of how much and how long I watched Cheers.  I watched it from when I was a freshman in high school until after I got out of graduate school.

Now, delving a little deeper into his roles he has some pretty impressive SF cred.  He was in both Outland and Superman II.  Beyond that he was in A Bridge Too Far, Gandhi and Reds.  Even though they were small roles, I'm still impressed.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Character Creation Challenge - Day 16 Far Away Land

Far Away Land is a simple little fantasy game that leans hard into gonzo.  If you've ever seen the cartoon Adventure Time then you'll get the vibe.  It's a d6 dice pool game but after rolling you only keep the highest die rolled.  If you roll multiple sixes then the first six counts as a six and the others add one to the result.

The first step in character creation is to create a concept.  I want a barbarian type character.

Next, stats.  There are three stats in FAL:  Brute, Dexterity and Wits.  You have six points to distribute among them and they can't start higher than 3 or lower than 1.


Hit Points:  BRT + 10 = 13

Armor Class:  Armor soaks damage.  I'm going to start my barbarian out with Leather Armor so his AC is 2.

Actions:  FAL has an action economy during combat.  A player spends Action points to do things like
move (which costs 2 ACT) or melee attack (3 ACT).   ACT:  DEX + 3 = 5.

Luck:  A character always starts with 2.

Boons:  Boons are skills that characters have.  They add bonus dice to appropriate activities.  The rules say that a character can start with up to five.  I'll choose three.  Alert, Athletics and Melee.

 Flaws:  A character also has flaws.  You roll a d3 to determine the number.  I rolled a 2.  I'll choose Naive and Reckless.

Spells:  None.

Gear:  Leather Armor, Battle Axe, Dagger, 8 GP.


Rolf Teethgrinder

BRT: 3  DEX: 2  WIT: 1
ACT: 5  Luck: 2  LVL: 1  XP: 0
AC: 2

Boons: Alert 1,  Athletics 1,  Melee 1
Flaws: Naive, Reckless
Spells: None
Gear:  Leather Armor (2), Battle Axe (1d6+1), Dagger (1d6), 8 GP.


Friday, January 15, 2021

Character Creation Challenge - Day 15 Spooktacular

Spooktacular, dubbed "A Cheerfully Spooky Role‐Playing Game" by the publisher is an
homage, yes a clone, of a very famous game based on a very famous movie featuring ghosts.  That famous game was also the first d6 dice pool game.  WEG's Star Wars used the system established by it.

There are several steps to creating a character in Spooktacular, many involving tables.  Now the rules say you can choose from the tables or roll.  I'm going to roll unless the results turn out to be contradictory.  

First Archetype.  There normal archetypes and weird archetypes.  I'll stick with normal.

Archetype: Inventory - I'm the only one who can create gadgets for hunting ghosts.  I can spend 3 Awesome Points to jury-rig a para-technology gadget.

Quirks: Dad Jokes, Goggle.  So I have a penchant for telling dad jokes and I always wear goggles.  Which makes sense for an inventor.

Stats: There are four stats that you divide 12 point between.  They can range from 1-5.  These are the number of dice you roll when attempting an action in each category.
Action 2
Brains 5
Contacts 2
Cool 3

Talents: You have one talent under each Stat.  When you use that talent you roll 3 extra dice.
Action - Run
Brains - Deduction
Contacts - Get Out of Jury Duty
Cool - Hard Sell

Motivation: Proving Myself - Gain Awesome Points whenever people recognize your

There's even a name table:  Eduardo Holtzmann


Name:           Eduardo Holztann
Archetype:    Inventor
Quirks:          Dad Jokes, Goggles
Motivation:    Proving Myself

Action 2 - Run
Brains 5 - Deduction
Contacts 2 - Get Out of Jury Duty
Cool 3 - Hard Sell

Awesome Points: 20

Etheric Ray Thrower
Ghost Puncher