Two updates in two days! Plus, Finally Pics from Gary Con…

I have a loooong back list of things I need to post. More stuff from Hendl’s Landing, Maps of the City at the End of the World….   I am a bad Mad Overlord… BUT, I finally am posting my pics from Gary Con!

That and another update on the Castle of Blackwoor Moor D&D Adventure.

So what are all these pictures? Pictures of some of the groups I ran. They were all wonderful people, but some of them had a mild disagreement…. In a future post, I should talk about what happens when players do not see eye to eye at a gaming convention and how I handled it.

Hanging out at Frank’s place. No matter what you think of people like Frank, but for me… He and Jim Ward remind me of my dad. Very down to earth and no nonsense kind of guys. Not very politically correct either.  I hope I remain friends with them for years to come. Oh, and he has a copy of my book on his bookshelf as you can see in the next picture.
The pretzel sticks and Root Beer in Wisconsin is TOP NOTCH… if any one tells you different, they were lying to you.
My Character in Jim Ward’s game. I was killed by a giant scorpion. But I had a fun time, but my introvertness was kicking in and I just got tired being around people so much. In hind sight, I was glad I died. Ha!

Enjoy.  I hope to update more soon… I am talking to a few people to do the editing for the D&D module. Once I learn more, promise to let all of you folks know.

Plus, plus… more youtube videos are coming.. but I need to find someone who can perform a duet with me… and some one who wants to help me burn things.  Don’t ask, it will make sense once they are complete.

Stay Mad.

Be Good.

 

Its About Time! *angry face*

Blackwood Moor

The plan was to have this done back in April and have the sequel to Castle of Blackwood Moors done by now… but China.

 

What do I mean? Well, the CCP in all their wisdom, decided that only 100 games will be available to the Chinese public PER YEAR! With well over 200 Chinese game companies, if you do the math…  you can come up with the conclusion that most game companies here came up with…

STARK RAVING PANIC!!!!

Luckily, I work for a company that makes mobile games for non-Chinese markets so we wont be affected much (I hope). But the majority of the companies here are now trying to make games for a western market… aka. they will fail horribly.

Why do I say this?

Well, pull of a tree stump little bippy and I will tell you.

China has the most draconian internet in the world (North Korea doesn’t allow their people to have internet, otherwise they would take the prize for this).  Logically, this means that Chinese people really do not have an accurate view on what outsiders are like.  How could they? The government filters everything they see and hear about anything non-Chinese.

Now imagine these people were trying to create a game that others would play passionately… or write a story that captivated the hearts of others?

Simply put, they can’t.

People might get mad at me for saying that, but in the 7+ years i have been here now, I have seen well over 100 games try to make it outside of China and SEA (south east asia) and I have seen ALL of them fail. When they do, its always the same song and dance, “They just don’t understand Chinese culture.”

This is the most ignorant reply ever. The United States is made up of ALL cultures. But its easier to blame others than to say something which would be more accurate, such as, “I guess we really did not understand what they wanted.”

But that is the underlying thought of how the Chinese game design mind works though.

One of these days, I should really write a book about my game design experiences here. I am sure some will find it interesting, while others will want to tar and feather me.

Oh. I forgot what I was talking about. Because of the above situation, things have not been stable here at all. But excuses aside, I just sent the first draft off to a proof reader (I am trying to get a few). If you want to be a play tester, please drop me a line at madoverlordmail@gmail.com and I will try to hook you up.

Be Good.

Stay Mad.

The Beginnings of the Wanderings in The City.

Hey hey Fun Team.

As I mentioned yesterday in the first episode of Mad Overlord tv (you did watch it didn’t you? If not, go watch it. I sound like a goof since I never really did anything like it before… but it will get better), I mentioned I would start a D&D campaign based on my old game world.

Right now there are only two players (we are running the game over skype). The characters rolled up were Roofie O. the Middenlund Bounty Hunter. Str 15, Int 13, Wis 9, Dex 10, Con 9, Cha 7. And Zanax the Proth Witch Hunter. Str 11, Int 8, Wis 13, Dex 12, Con 17,  Cha 9.

Humans and dwarves are second class citzens in the City. The elves rule the city (this was mentioned in a few of the older posts back in October 2016. in the posts I made about how the game world changed over time.) The elves keep most of those who are not elven into the slums in the eastern quarters of the city. They started in Freilunder’s Gasthaus. The time was 10am and most of those establishing such a place were the dregs of society. In the dirtiest part of the city, in one of the worst inns.PLAYER MAP 2

Rumors flew about bandits who preyed on the locals. But that is where we had to stop.
More to come!

From the last days of 2017… The City stirs.

Two posts in two days! Hoody Hoo!

Hey fantastic fun folks,

As this year draws to a close, it is a perfect time to discuss my future plans for the page (now that I can post here again).
2017 was not good to me. I am writing the main story for a Chinese game company and they keep changing the goal post location.

Them: “Write what ever you want!”
Me: “Oh boy!”

Them: “I just saw Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League (I am so sorry), and I think our story should follow that.”
Me: “You do realize I am about twenty chapters into the book and 2/3rds of the way with finishing the main story line.”

Them: “Yeah but everyone has to change things sometimes.”
Me: “This is true.” (Anyone who has ever worked in the game industry knows this.).

Fast forward to next week (doodlee doodlee doodlee DOO).

Them: “The story line is falling behind schedule. Everyone needs to work on Saturday and Sunday” (In China there is no OT).

The entire writing team: “Whooda whada WHATA? You just changed the whole story and Had to rewrite TWENTY CHAPTERS?!”

I do not mean to sound like a Dr. Wah, but there is such a thing called realistic expectations. Basically, I stayed awake for three days straigh tto rewrite everything (because I am awesome). But that is the way most of the year went. Sure its a nature of the beast… but sadly, this left little time for me to work on my side projects like the D&D version of Castle of Blackwood Moors, the Gamebook Sequel and The novel I have been working on.

This left a lot of half done projects out there. *Sad Face*

The good news? I will have a lot of projects crossing the finish line in 2018!

This will not only include the three above projects. But two sourcebooks! One for the Blackwood Moor area, and one for the ‘City at the Edge of the World’ which islocation of the novel (Like I said, some of this stuff is LITERALLY done, I just need to find some artists, layout artists etc and they are ready to go. Hear that? I hear Kickstarter calling!)

I am planning on running a D&D campaign taking place in the City as well.

So I cannot show the full map of the City at this time. You guys (and you know who you are) no spoilers here! muhahaha!

City_Edge_World_players

 

I am also planning on documenting more stuff on Youtube or vid.me or whatever. To give a look see into my creative process.

So all you Mad Minions! Hang onto your socks! 2018 is going to be a busy year.

P.S. I have not forgotten about Hendl’s Landing! HAW!

Wow.

I have been getting a LOT of great feedback from my the table top game (and book) Castle of Blackwood Moors.  Included are a few screen shots of some of the great feedback people have sent (part of Jon’s post I put in the last update).

This is cooler than I ever hoped, that people would like something that I have created. I just hope I do not become an arrogant jerk-face. I leave it up to you folks to harass me often so I do not too ‘big for my britches’. Sheesh, I sound like my mom when I say that.

I do like the fact Jon did give me some criticism by stating the one encounter was not set up well for group play.

Let me unpack that.

In the gamebook, there is an area where if you do not bring a certain object, it is an auto death scenario. Happens all the time in gamebooks. BUT the group he was in did EXCEPTIONALLY well and got the furthest of the three groups I ran in the four hour allotted time.  Honestly, I did not think anyone would get as far as they did… but as the old saying goes, never underestimate your players. I had the Outer Bailey all plotted out for group play, but did not do any of the Inner Bailey since I did not think anyone would get there. Needless to say, when the second group got there… well, I had to run the adventure right out of the book, including the deadly encounter.

Not making excuses or anything, just letting you know what happened. I like it when people cut things apart, makes me a better writer/designer.

Anyway, so without giving any spoilers, that is what happened.

Thanks again Jon and Mike for your review and running out and buying copies of my book!
Please continue to give me feedback, compliments, criticisms, venomous hatred; I can take it.

And I haven’t said it in a while, but thank YOU for stopping by. I hope this blog is entertaining and puts a smile on your face with all the crazy stuff I do here.

Fall out. Fall out with all the leaders and gangs. Fall out. Fall out with all the leaders and gangs.

The first post POST Gary Con 9!

So much has happened the past few days I totally nerded out (as you will see) and I got to run some adventures based on my book Castle of Blackwood Moors. It was a big hit and everyone really enjoyed it. This is a quote from one of the actual people who played in the game on the second day:

“As for how you ran your game, I’d be happy to play at your table again!  While I had good experiences at all my Garycon events, I wouldn’t go back to everyone’s table.”

This means a lot. A lot of times if you design something, you do not really get a lot of feedback. So it means SO MUCH to hear people actually say they like what you did and how you did it. (Thanks Jon! I would like to add I did not kidnap any of his loved ones or threaten to hide his tv remote or anything like that to get him to say nice things).

We will get back to the game in a little bit. Now to switch gears as we come to the first batch of pictures. If you know me, and I know I do, you will know I LOVE the Post Apocolyptical genre. The Mad Max series is my favorite movie series (even Fury Road even though Max is in it for only about 15 minutes, and Beyond Thunderdome ), Brave New World is my favorite book (and the great tv movie with Lenord Nemoy as Mustapha Mond. Canticle for Leibowitz. Love it, love it, love it.

Needless to say, the Fallout series is one of my most favorite video game series ever (I wish it would go a bit darker, but that is another topic for another day). So when I saw these three people in costume at GaryCon I just HAD to get a picture with them, and they happily obliged which is only the start of the awesomeness. After the picture was taken they asked me if I ever played Fallout and even they were amazed at what a nerd I am. So the one woman had a G.E.C.K. on her belt, she opened it up and gave me a small pouch. When I dumped it out in my hand… it was full of Nuka Cola Caps!!!  She said they were mine for being a fan and I was stunned. Remember a few posts ago when I said table top gamers are really a lot nicer and friendlier than some other kinds of gamers? These three really backed up this ideal in my mind. I never got their names, but if they ever read this blog, you three really made my day that day.

Okay. On to the next thing! In the last post, I mentioned Frankenparty! it was a great time and I met friends old and new.This year Frank had a kind of scavenger hunt, where you looked around his house to find clues and those who got all the items won a set of original dice from the original Mentzer Dungeons and Dragons box set!!! I tried my best but I got one wrong. One of the questions was about a type of rock, and I guessed Rose Quartz but it was really amethyst.  Needless to say I was pretty mad at myself (I get down on my self pretty hard when I do not know things like that), but I still had a great time as you will attest to the pictures below.

Not only that, look at the first picture! That is the original drawing Larry Elmore made for the Basic D&D box set! As you can see, they cut some of it out and changed it a little into the picture beneath it.

Also, if you look close at that picture of the books. You can see The Castle of Blackwood Moors on Frank’s shelf! How great is that! For a newb writer like me, its pretty great. I also gave a copy to Jim Ward this year since I took a lot his writing advice over the years, and both Frank and Jim were huge influences on me, and they are both wonderful people. Very no-nonsense , direct people who also both have a lot of experience dealing with social misfits like myself, so I always enjoy speaking with them.

Finally, in the picture of me sitting at that desk… This desk is now at Frank’s house (and I had pictures of this last year if you ever seen them), but this was Gary Gygax’s original desk. The one he sat and created Dungeons and Dragons at. Very cool. The only uncool thing is look at how fat I have got since I have been living in the USA. Bad me.

Okay! the next, NEXT thing. Here is me running my first game at Gary Con. The people were great and everyone said they had a great time, thank goodness. There is even a picture of one page of the notes the gent who sat at the far left took (His handwriting is so much nicer than mine!). There was a second page, but the picture I took turned out really poorly. I think I must have sold thirty books over those few days.It is always great to see what players do when you run a table top RPG and it made me feel alive in ways I cannot even begin to describe. Running table top RPG’s is really my calling in life I guess since nothing makes me happier. The only down side to running games like this is once all the other people came in at 10 (if you recall I started at 8), the game rooms were packed SO tight everyone had to scream at the top of their lungs to be heard and I was going hoarse by the end of the game. Mr. Luke Gygax sir, if you read this, please, please, please spread the rooms out a bit more next year… or if you can request a smaller room or something. If I could get a smaller quieter, room, I would run 3 or 4 games a day for each of the 4 days.

Welp, that is GaryCon 9, 2017 Fun friends. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. In a few days, I will get back to the regularly scheduled thoughts on game design, rpgs, and blow the dust off of Hendl’s Landing finally.

Do not forget to keep perusing your passion. I know everyone says that. It has almost become kind of a cliche, but if you can touch your dreams, what truly makes you happy in life… I promise it makes the bad days so much more worthwhile.

EDIT: I should start a contest, who ever is the first person to guess which song is used in the title, wins… something. Not sure yet.

It’s a Frankenparty. Who could ask for more. Everybody’s comin’, leave your body at the door. Leave your body and soul at the door .

Another ANOTHER short post as I am getting ready to leave to Frankenparty!  What is Frankenparty you ask? Well true believers, Frankenparty is a house party held by none other than Frank Mentzer, the gent who created the Red Box Dungeons and Dragons set…  No not the 4th edition one… that was just a terrible attempt to cash in on the coolness that is the original Red Box. I digress. Where was i? Oh yeah! It is a party at Frank’s house. His ever awesome wife feeds us, we play games, we talk about Dungeons and Dragons, we play a ton of board games (Frank I am coming for you! You kicked my butt last year at that balancing game so this year I will have my revenge!!! MUHAHAHAHAHAHA! Just kidding you will probably kick my ass again), and generally have a great time.

One of the things I really like about table top gaming and the gamers that play it… is we are a very pleasant bunch. Think about the nature of some games…. so in games like League of legends, call of Duty etc.sure you have your team mates, but it is an us against them attitude while playing against faceless opponents. Now take board games, where there is an essence to win, but the people are sitting around face to face with you, and unless you have problems, I am willing to bet you are all laughing and joking even as someone places a road across your land in Settlers of Catan (I hate that guy. Just kidding He owes me five bucks so he is my best friend in the world). On top of that, look at Role Playing games. Everyone strives toward a common goal, sure its usually to beat down everything you come across and strip them bare so you can sell all of it, but it is still a ‘together’ activity. This is why I prefer solo video games (when I am anti-social), and role playing games to all others. I like that dynamic of ‘all of us use our strengths for a common goal’ style of game play.

The point of my ramble is this: Everyone I have met at 8 years of Garycon have been truly remarkable. Sure there are a few people that wont shut up about their favorite edition, or they will tell you about cool stuff their Half elf, half demon, half llama, half halfling, half half eaten sandwich, half vampire, half bike rack, half half and half did in a campaign six years ago but that’s okay. We are nerds, and social skills are never our strong suit. But we are some of the most passionate people you will ever meet (and I mean that. The word passionate gets tossed about a lot these days by mainstream folks and unless you are practically autistic like I am, you know these people have NO IDEA what they are talking about).

I am still rambling. I guess my point is that table top gamers are really the nicest people I know and I am thankful Frank invites me into his home every year ( I sure as heck would not invite me into my home, I am kind of weird).

Last but not least, lets take a look at the pre-generated characters I made for the Castle of Blackwood Moors adventure I will be running. Even though I am using a modified basic D&D character sheet, the mechanics and abilities are all of my own design. For example, if you look at the Helm and Shields, they have a +______HP next to each of them. This shows that unlike most versions of D&D Helms and Shields do not raise your Armor Class, they give you additional hit points. The first amounts of damage you take till be from these items, and when they are depleted, they will break, ruined forever.  I wanted to set up a mechanic were equipment is valued, and non permanent. In by the book D&D, a shield lasts forever and players do not give it an ounce of thought until they find a magical one. Now my players judge how many hp their shield has left, should they replace it? In a world where there is little magical healing, they need to constantly think about this for survival. A simple change, but it greatly altered the way my players think.

Oops. I am rambling again, this time about game mechanics. I will shut my pie hole and on with the character sheets!!!

Needless to say, please do not steal my game mechanics, or I will tie you to a chair and make you watch the Star Wars Holiday special 5 times in a row.

Hope you like the character ideas, and I hope even more that you will head down to Lake Geneva this week and roll some dice with some great people!

If you don’t think you know any great people, I encourage you to keep looking. They are out there, I promise.

You say Hendl’s, I say Landing. Hendl’s. Landing. Hendl’s. Landing. (Part Three)

(3) Maglos, Mirianna, Ulan and Qurt
Maglos: [HGT: 5ft, 4in; WGT: 155 lbs] He is a young male human that is dirty in appearance. He has brown hair cut almost to his scalp and clean shaven.He wears waterproofed boots that reach his knees, dark green short pants, and a light grey doublet. Maglos is hard-hearted but generally has good intentions and works for the ferry. He unloads and loads goods in the morning and evening, helps pull the ferry across the river and does maintenance for the ferry and the docks on either side of the river.His interest is in collecting knives. POSSESSIONS: a small whittling knife with an ivory handle (worth 10sp) a few raw carrots,  a hammer on a piece of twine hangs from his belt, a pouch with 3tp.

Mirianna: [HGT: 5ft, 3in; WGT: 109 lbs] She is a young male human that is fairly neat in appearance. She has braided blonde hair and wears dark-red fur boots that are almost falling apart, forest-green bonnet, and a red dress. The shoes wear a gift from her parents who live in Carrolsburg for her wedding. She loves them so much that she wears them constantly, even though they are now so worn that her feet are beginning to hurt when she wears them. Mirianna is kind soul but has a short temper, especially when it comes to her two sons. She also tends a small garden out back where she grows carrots and cabbage. Her interest is she likes to collect little sculptures, mostly of animals. POSSESSIONS: a few raw carrots,  a toy soldier and a pouch with 3tp.

Ulan: [HGT: 4ft, 2in; WGT: 55 lbs] He is a 10 year old male human that is dirty in appearance. He has sandy- brown hair that is cut short. He wears brown sandals, brown short pants, and a red tunic. On his left knee a large scabbed over cut can be seen. Ulan is cheerful boy and likes to get into everything. Always wandering the village and asking the grown ups about this and that. The cut on his leg was from trying to climb the fence on Fletcher’s farm (#9) and caught his foot and fell. He is interested in being a soldier and has quite the collection. POSSESSIONS: a few raw carrots,  a rolled up ball of string and a pouch with nothing in it.

Qurt: [HGT: 4ft,  WGT: 48 lbs] He is a 7 year old male human that is dirty in appearance. He has sandy- brown hair that is cut short. He wears brown sandals, brown short pants, and a blue tunic. Where Ulan is an adventurous lad, Qurt is quieter. He usually just follows around other children in the village (or interesting looking passers-by like the players), watches them and doesn’t say a heck of a lot. POSSESSIONS: a few raw carrots..

(4) The Stout Flagon
Barthem Harb [HGT: 5ft, 11in; WGT: 178 lbs] He is a young to middle aged male human that is neat in appearance. He has dark hair but almost completely bald on top. He wears brown shoes, blue breeches, a green shirt, and a gray apron (his apron is the only think about him that will ever have dirt or smudges on it). Barthem is generally unlikable. Since he has the only tavern and inn around, and knows everyone has to stop here before they cross the river. Because he knows that he has a captive clientele, the service is relatively slow here and the food, overpriced. He is decent to his waitstaff but he also knows there are not many places in this area to find work so he pays them fairly low. His interest is in money, not only making it, but he has collected quite a few old coins of Middenlund. POSSESSIONS: a clean leather mug hangs from his belt (he wont even use the mugs at his own establishment, so he carries his own), a few pieces of paper (blank) folded up, and a stick of writing charcoal wrapped in cloth (in case he needs to write down something the tavern is running out of, or make notes about a patron he does nto like so he remembers to charge them extra), also hanging from his belt is a pouch with 2cp and 18tp.


Item   Cost    In Stock   
Ale (pint) 6tp 22
Brandy (pint) 3cp 12
Bread 8tp 6
Cheese 3cp 3
Assorted fruit (one piece) 4tp 9
Small meal 7cp
large meal 9cp
Wine (pint) 6cp 10
Wine, Bottle 4sp 3

To stay the night in the common room is 3cp/ to stay the night in a single room (there are only 3 single rooms available a 45% chance for each to be taken) is 5cp.

The bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain, the bear bear went over the mountaaaaain, and what do you think he saw? He saw Hendl’s Landing Part Two.

Happy Saturdays once again fun gang. Today we are going to be continuing our stroll through Hendl’s Landing.

Last time we talked a bit about the history of the place,  so let us just jump right in shall we?

(1) Warehouse.
This large building is made out of a light grey stone. It has oaken double door on the front, facing north. On every wall but the one with the doors, there are two windows with iron bars. Next to the northwestern corner of the building, is a metal rack with a large brass bell, both are heavily worn from the elements.

This building is used to store any carts, wagons, and merchants valuables before they cross the river. The bell is used to communicate with Trader’s Stop when a ferry is starting off and when it arrived.
The ferry only comes twice a day. It leaves at 9 am from Trader’ Stop, takes about 25-30 minutes to cross the river. Then at approximately at 9:30 (depending on the weather, the river flooding etc), it makes the trip back across the river. The whole cycle happens again at 6pm.

Quite a few travelers complain about the fact the ferry only crosses twice a day. The truth is, it used to make the trip every hour or so, but those on the barge charged for the service. When the queen of Bartol heard that people were charging to cross HER river, she gave orders that it must cease at once lest the guilty parties lose their heads. o now they cross the river for free, but twice a day, and the taverns, inn and stores charge highly inflated prices so people will spend there money while they wait. A percentage of those profits from both sides of the river, go to the dock workers. The ferry is always docked, whether at day or at night, on the eastern side of the river which has a stronger guard presence, in case potential passengers get rough, or try to steal the ferry.

(2) Fel and Neena
Fel : [HGT: 5ft, 7in; WGT: 165 lbs] He is a middle aged male human that is fairly dishoveled in appearance. He has brown hair with a few gray streaks, has a few days beard growth, and has a heavy widows peak but his hair is almost always sticking out this way and that. He wears think ankle high sandals, heavily faded red short pants, ,a yellow short tunic and leather wrist bracers. Fel is partially blind but still manages to be one of the best fisherman along the Ancient’s Shadow. He gets ‘feelings’ from time to time such as: when is the best time to go fishing and where, not to mention his predicting the weather for the next 48 hours is spot on every time. He can be rude at times but is generally honorable. He is interested in shiny stones he finds on the riverside. POSSESSIONS: His wedding ring, (9sp) hard bread, fishing pole he sometimes uses as a walking stick, long knife and a small wooden box with 16 tp..

Neena : [HGT: 5ft, 3in; WGT: 135 lbs] He is a middle aged female human that is average in appearance. Her black hair is speckled with gray and tied in a ponytail at most times. She wears brown shoes with a long yellow dress and apron. She tends a garden behind their house where she grows all sorts of herbs, which she then sells to others in the village. Most of them pertain to cooking, since there are quite a few talented chefs in the Landing (See Kyly #9), but there are also a few medicinal plants as well. None of which she will sell to strangers, only other towns folk. She worries a lot about her husband these days. Fel’s eyesight is not getting any better, yet he still wanders the riverbank to the north and south for miles to catch fish. She is interested in growing things and like to collect insects which she studies for a day in a glass jar, but then lets them go. POSSESSIONS: A brass locket with a drawing of her husband when he was a younger man. Her wedding ring, (15sp) freshly picked roots (either mandrake,  honeysuckle, garlic of ginseng (DM’s choice), a trowel, in a small purse she keeps hidden under her apron she has 7tp.

 

Crossing the river, Hendl’s Landing. (Part One)

mappa-8

One the western bank of the River of Ancient’s Shadow (named so because it is said that when the sun rises the shadow of the Ancients (the mountain range to the east) reaches as far as this river. It is not true of course, but hey who the heck can trust those dwarves that used to own these lands? Not me. You shouldn’t either) lies the village of Hendl’s Landing. More of a collection of buildings than a village, Hendl’s Landing has even a smaller population than Trader’s Stop.  Consisting of only a tavern, a cobbler, and farms (most notably a large sheep farm).

hendls_landing_new

Hendl’s Landing was built upon the remains of an old stronghold. Over the years,  the new residents took the block from the ruins and used them to lay the foundations of the current buildings. That sets up the palette for this village. Tomorrow we will start meeting everyone.

Until then, be good and I hope you are healthy and happy.

The title of Book Two, Unknown Realm and whats for lunch?

Book Two is coming along nicely, slow but steady wins the day ol’ bean. It might take a bit longer to write since Book One takes place inside an old ruined castle, but you know that already because you have bought a copy haven’t you?  HAVEN’T YOU?!!?

That’s okay, even if you haven’t you are still a cool person.

Anyway, as I was saying….  Book One takes place inside an old ruined castle and it had a lot of choices, but it was still relatively linear. Find the key. Find the password. Find the hidden treasure room filled with so much gold and wealth you retire and become a shoe salesman… well maybe not that last one, especially if you are a woman.

Book Two will be a lot more open. you can cross ‘The River of Ancient’s Shadow’ at various times. Depending when you do, certain buildings (and towns) might still be around, or they might not. This not only gives you incentive to replay the book to try different paths, there are tidbits about the world itself you will only discover if you go down this way or that. Meaning you will most certainly miss all the world backstory if you only play through the book once. Is this knowledge important to the overall story? Not really, it is just information that will make you say, “Aaaaaaaah! I see why Uncle Joe doesn’t have any pants on!” or, “Just what is the political situation of the Middenlund?”

Things like that.

Okay. Picture time. The first one shows the first printing of the first part (there will be three) of the book where you are travelling from Carrolsburg to the castle. This might make you say, “You are travelling to the castle again?:

Yup. this time for entirely different reasons. No spoilers. Read the book.

The next three are from a Kickstarter I backed called Unknown Realm. It is a game just like the games I grew up on and that got me interested in computer games. Bard’s Tale, Eye of the Beholder, Pool of Radiance, and of course the Ultima series. If you are looking for a fun, interesting RPG that does not require a top of the line computer and is based more on thought than reflexes, I encourage you to give this a look see.

Back it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stirringdragongames/unknown-realm-an-8bit-rpg-for-pc-and-commodore-64/description

For lunch? I could go for pizza to be honest.

Happy Mondays all.

Who runs Bartertown?! Or, at least Trader’s Stop. (Part Four)

(9) House, Abandoned

This building is made of wattle and daub and the roof is made of straw. It seems relatively well-kept but the edges of decay are starting to set in. The front porch has a fairly fresh coat of green paint. A window lies on either side of the door.

This was the residence of Dylis Rhydderch, who recently died of old age.  Her husband died a few years earlier. She was good friends with everyone in town. As a worshiper of Ioa, her (and her husband) are buried in the Carrolsberg cemetery.

The towns people would be willing to sell the house if the right person came along. If interested, the players would have to convince Raul (from #2), Gran (from #3), Grogair (from #5), Eula/Groswen Ash (from #7), Filson/Adjo Amadi (from #8),  Nik Kendrik (from #11), Domnall Corcoran (from #12), and Mik (from #13) that they would be a good addition to the village. Once they are all convinced, a fee of 5,000 silver would have to be paid to Domnall (the makeshift town mayor). It will take four days for Domnall to get the proper paperwork drawn up  in Carrolsberg and return to Trader’s Post. He will then knock on the door every day at 8am before he starts his day to see if the new owner is home to get the papers signed.

The owner will have to pay 5cp and spend two days a month to keep up the current level of livability of the house. Any less, the house will begin to decay at one level per month (more on building upkeep rules will appear shortly on this site).

(10) Amadi’s Barn

This large wooden building is the only barn in town. It is painted red but the paint is begun to peel away here and there. The large double doors are usually open during the day (who would want to steal hay?) and shut at night. In all the years the Amadis have lived here, the barn was only broken into once, and even then nothing was stolen.

Besides containing hay (whether almost full to almost empty, depending on the time of year), the barn also contains a shovel, rake, awl, hammer and a sledgehammer, chisel, saddle rack, wheelbarrow, two buckets, woodsman’s axe, wedge, and a pile of firewood along the back wall (how much is there also depends on the time of year).

(11) Stone house/Barracks

This is the only stone building in Trader’s Post. It is a two story house with wooden shingled roof. A round tower has been added to the south east corner to help watch for bandit attacks. The door is made of a sturdy oak. Behind the building, to the south an makeshift training field can be seen. There are usually 1d4+1 recruits training there.

Nik Kendrik: [HGT: 5ft, 9in; WGT: 195 lbs] He is a male human in his mid-20’s that is confident in appearance. His hair is sandy brown and usually shaved almost to the scalp. He does keep a light mustache and a soul patch although neatly trimmed. He is dressed in a chain mail shirt, leather boots, leg greaves, and brown breeches. A sword hangs from his belt and a shield with the symbol of Bartol hangs on his back. Nik has recently moved up in rank and was stationed here to oversee this small, yet very important village (No matter where you are in history’s timeline. Trader’s Post is the trading port closest to the Middenlund/Apuno land border, close to Carrolsburg and the wild frontier and monster ridden Blackwood to the west. And, in the decline of the Bartol Empire, it marks off its western border (The River of the Ancient’s Shadow)). He finds the country folk (he was raised in Bartol) a bit slow and stand offish, but has made friends with Filson Amadi over a common like – pipes. Nik owns quite a collection which he started in his teens and when he saw Filson standing on his porch smoking one evening, he stopped and spoke with the man for hours. Nik has a interest in pipes and tobacco..  POSSESSIONS: Half bent billard pipe. He has a half used pouch of tobacco worth 8 sp, a tinderbox with 3 uses left, and a pouch with 9 tp).

(12) Carpenters

This building is a sturdy looking building made almost entirely of wood. The front porch is sturdy and the whole house gives you an impression more of a fort than a place for someone to live. The door is on the left side with two windows on the front of the house.

Domnall Corcoran: [HGT: 5ft, 7in; WGT: 200 lbs] He is a male human that is about as wide as he is tall. His barrel chest and long red horseshoe mustache gives him almost a dwarf-like appearance. His hair is pulled back into a ponytail and almost always has sawdust covering it. He is usually dressed in dark-brown boots, a black belt with a bronze buckle, dark-green long pants, and a tan shirt (although in warm weather he usually goes without a shirt at all).  He loves to whittle and in his spare time he is usually carving something, whether a fish hook, chess piece or toy.  POSSESSIONS: whittling knife,   a three foot piece of string with various marks on it, a piece of writing charcoal, and a small leather pouch with 7 tp).

Domnall moved to the area from The Old Birch Timberlands almost five years ago after an elven raid slew almost everyone from his logging community there. He is gruff but loyal to a fault and quickly won over residents of the small community. It was soon discovered he has a good head on his shoulders as well, so he was propped up to kind of a makeshift ‘town mayor’. A position he does not really like to have but understands he is the best person for the job since his business dealings in the north. He respects everyone who lives here, even the new comers like the Everills and Oan the trapper. He is quite curious about Gran; who she is and what she wants in a small place like Trader’s Port, but knows that she is one of the nicest people he has ever met. He is just more curious about her than anything malicious.

If given the money for the house at #9, he will use that money to repair the ferry and he wants to get a few more things the town needs (He would really like a small three foot high wall to be built and attract a few more businesses such as a barber or a herbalist now that his friend Groswen is in such bad shape).  Domnall also makes sure in between carpentry and building repair work, that at least once a week he visits everyone in town to see how they are doing and how happy they are living here. He respects Grogair and the Amadis to no end and like Raul for bringing in bards from Carrolsberg.

(12a) Carpenters shed

This plain yet sturdy looking building is Domnall’s storage shed. He is constantly looking for deals on wood and timber because he is one of the more talented woodworkers in the area. The shed is usually padlocked with an average lock (no bonuses or minuses to the pick lock roll), but inside are just three saws of various sizes and sharpness, a large pile of timber and planks of wood. a workbench that hold whatever project he is working on (currently he is building a dresser for the Everills).

(13) Mik’s House/Blacksmithy

This building is made of wooden planks and the roof is made of slate. There is no front porch, just a set of large double doors. On each of the walls not facing the road, shuttered windows can be seen.

This is the blacksmith for Trader’s Post. Yet, it is almost never open (except to shoe horses). The owner, Mik won the smithy and the stables in a gambling pit in Bartol. Mik really enjoys animals so he packed up and moved here. He has the reputation of being one of the best horse shoers around and no matter how ornery your beast is, Mik can shoe them. But, he also has the reputation of being one of the worst all around blacksmiths. Some of his customers have said he couldn’t make a straight nail with two rulers and a level. Which is quite true, he has to buy his horse shoe nails from the general store. Because of this, he has a short temper with most people (Gran, Domnall and Filson being the exceptions).  A few people from outlying villages even call him, “Mik the prick.”

Mik: [HGT: 5ft, 9in; WGT: 190 lbs] He is a mature male human that is ragged in appearance. He has long, blonde hair and has a few days beard growth.  He is dressed in: brown sandals, a brown belt, tan long pants, light-brown cap, and a brown tunic. He has a interest in Animal Husbandry (not just horses).  POSSESSIONS: Two carrots, five sugar cubes, a small knife, and a pouch with 11 tp).

The majority of the interior of the building is the forge. There is a small anvil here, a stone fire pit in the center of the room complete with bellows. The ball wall is a workbench and a wall rack lined with tools, most of them still relatively new looking. There is a door along the back wall as well on the right side.

(14) Log Cabin

This building is a sturdy but crude log cabin.. It also has a stone chimney. The building is relatively new and just standing nearby it smells of pine sap. The door is made of crude wood planks but bound in iron so still relatively sturdy.

About two months ago a giantess of a woman showed up on Domnall’s doorstep and asked if she could build a house here. She pledged her skills of a tracker and tracker to the village, no questions asked. When Domnall agreed, she said she would build her home on her own and didn’t need any help from any one. She cut trees from the forest to the north and drug them all the way back to the town and built the town herself. She has little of value and is rarely home.

Oan Gerhild: [HGT: 6ft, ; WGT: 175 lbs] She is a female human who is broad shouldered. She looks relatively young but she is so dirty and unkempt that her exact age is unapparent and her tangled hair is blonde.  She is wearing animal fur boots, armor and cloak. She has a short sword and dagger hanging from her belt. Slung across her back is a short bow and a quiver of arrows. If she knows there is fighting to do, hanging over her fireplace is a war hammer and shield. Oan keeps to herself and does not speak to anyone but Domnall and Gran. She is Frei and was captured after her raiding ship was destroyed and her crew killed she was brought to Bartol to be turned into a pleasure slave. After a month of various tortures and unspeakable acts, she slain her captors and fled. She decided to settle here for a bit, to try and make enough money to buy passage home. She explained this to Domnall and Gran guessed.. She now spends all of her waking ours adventuring, trapping and hunting, to make as much coin as she can. Being Frei, she really has no interests besides the task she is working on.   POSSESSIONS: a hatchet, an extra bow string, a few strips of beef jerky.

All the money she has saved is safely stored with Gran. After four months of the first time meeting her, she will have enough money and will leave, never to return here.

(15) Stable

The stables for Trader’s Post have seen better days, yet still look relatively sturdy. It is the largest structure in town and looks like it has enough room inside for a small company of horses or quite a few wagons. The double doors are usually kept locked at night.

Mik (from #12) maintains the stables and can usually be found here from sunrise to well after sundown feeding and taking care of the horses, not to mention helping travellers get ready to make the ferry.

There are stalls for twelve horses here and a separate room at the back where wagons are kept. This room has a large double door with a quality (-10% to lock picking attempts) lock put on it at night.

(16) House
This building is a crude but functional, looking log cabin. There is a single window on the center of each wall except for the wall facing the road, which has a single wooden door instead. The roof is made of wooden shingles. A large stone chimney is at the back of the house.  Behind the home can be seen a small paddock.

This is the home of Hrodgar Odilo, the wood cutter for the village. He lives alone here. He used to own a horse but it was stolen in a bandit raid about a year ago. The paddock now remains empty and falling apart.

Hrodgar Odilo: [HGT: 5ft, 9in; WGT: 180 lbs] He is a relatively young male human that is ragged in appearance. He has long, brown hair and has a full shaggy beard. Hrodgar is dressed in dark-brown boots, light-gray pants, green cloak, and a forest-green doublet. He always has is woodcutter’s axe with him and even brings it to the tavern when he goes drinking. His interests lie in nature and in beer, spending almost all of the money he earns from nature on beer. It is said while Domnall looks like a dwarf, Hrodgar drinks like one.  With all the alcohol he consumes, even old Grogair cannot recall a time when Hrodgar has been drunk. POSSESSIONS: woodsman’s axe, a whetstone, a leather pouch filled mostly with raisins and nuts, but somewhere in the pouch is 3tp..

This completes Trader’s Stop.

Next I will move across the river to Hendl’s Landing.

Hope your day is treating you well.