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:

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.

A Trader’s Stop is everyone that does not agree with me. -George the third. (Part Three)

(7) The General Store

This is one of the largest buildings in Trader’s Stop.  Along with buildings #2, 3, 7, 10, 11 and 15 are the only buildings with a second story. The second story is a bit smaller than the first. The building is made of wooden planks with no paint or coating on the outside.There is some stone steps leading up to the door. On either side of the door are two windows. A worn wooden sign hangs above the door with only one word written in peeling black paint, “STORE”.

The interior is lit entirely by the light from the windows, making it gloomy even on sunny days. The counter is immediately to the left and behind the counter are stairs to the upper level and the lower. Racks and shelves of odds and ends line the area.

Eula Ash: [HGT: 5ft, 5in; WGT: 140 lbs] He is a middle aged female human that is  average  in appearance. She has black hair that is mostly tucked up under a small grey bonnet. She also wears dark-brown boots, a dark-red belt, red long pants,  and a white doublet. Eula inherited the store from her husband who was injured in a raid from beastials almost two weeks ago. If any of the players look like a healer, she will ask them to come upstairs and  beg them for help. She has a interest in first aid.  POSSESSIONS: She has a pouch of healing herbs worth 25 sp, a kerchief, and a pouch with 2cp and 7 tp).

Groswen Ash: [HGT: 5ft, 7in; WGT: 160 lbs] He is a middle aged male human that is  average  in appearance. He has black hair with a heavy widows peak. While bedridden he is barefoot, and wears a grey nightshirt. Groswen has been bedridden for about two weeks  after he was taking a wagon of goods from Trader’s Stop to Carrolsberg to sell and trade for things the store needs. A patrol chased off the creatures before he was slain, and brought him back here where he has lain almost ever since. After he returned, he has been too weak to get out of bed,  suffers from muscle spasms (usually minor but maybe once a week they are so violent that they can even be heard downstairs in the store), and heavy sweating.

He feels guilty that his wife has to take care of everything while he does not seem to get any better and has recently been contemplating suicide but is unable to get out of bed to go through with his desire. He has a interest in horse.  POSSESSIONS: Currently, none..

They also have a dog, Benty  who stays upstairs with Groswen.

The store does not carry much in the way of adventurers gear, since they do not get a lot of people asking for such items in this part of the world. The closest other stores can be found at Stoker’s Pond or in Carrolsburg, and she will point this out if any patrons complain she does not carry this item or that.

Item              Cost    In Stock   
Bag, leather small 7tp 8
Bag, leather large 15tp 6
Leather gloves 8cp 4
Saddle 10sp  2
Tinder Box 1sp 3
Tongs 4cp 4
Pliers 1sp 2
Jug, Clay 15cp 2
Kettle, iron 8sp 2
Item              Cost    In Stock   
Clay cup 4tp 10
Wooden bowl 3tp 4
Clay bowl 4tp 5
Chalk (per stick) 1tp  10
Metal file 2sp 2
Iron pot 5cp 3
Straw hat 7cp 2
Candle, tallow 4tp 19
Shovel 7cp 2

Upstairs are the living quarters. There is a door at the bottom of the stairs that has a padlock on it (decently made: -10% to any attempt to pick it) and is used for storage.

(8) House

This building is made of wattle and daub and the roof is made of straw.While of simple origins, the place has an air of cleanness to it and there is even a small row of flowers growing along the base of the house. There is a small porch on the front of the house, so small in fact that two people could not pass by each other in the cramped area. The door is on the far left and there is a window facing out onto the porch.

Filsom Amadi : [HGT: 5ft, 8n; WGT: 200 lbs] He is a middle aged male human that is ragged in appearance. He is from Landas to the south, so he has the typical ebony skin of those who dwell there.  His hair that remains is almost entirely white but is almost completely bald on top and usually clean shaven. He is dressed in dark brown  boots, yellowish-green short pants,  and a light-green shirt At most times he can be seen with a pipe hanging out of his mouth. He has a interest in whittling, especially carving pipes.  POSSESSIONS: He has a pouch of tobacco worth 25 sp, a tinderbox with 8 uses left, and a pouch with 23 tp).

Adja Amadi : [HGT: 5ft, 10n; WGT: 160 lbs] She is a middle aged female human that is neat and trimmed in appearance. She is from Landas to the south, so she has the typical ebony skin of those who dwell there.  Her graying hair is up in a bunon the top of her head and has thin wire rimmed spectacles. She is dressed in light brown shoes, a red dress,  and a dark-gray shirt She is interested in gardening. POSSESSIONS: A rawhide necklace strap with a pewter locket hanging from it. her ‘lucky’ arrowhead she pried out of one of the scarecrows, and a pouch with 2cp and  3tp).

The Amadi’s moved here from Landas almost twenty years ago (originally they bought a house that was located where building #12 is now. As their fortunes grew they built this house, yet still own the barn at #10) They bought land here and stayed here ever since providing barley, wheat and tobacco for a large portion of the area.

They have one son: Tuoi, who recently moved to Drymark (but his path carried him eslewhere). Filson often fishes with Grogair has him stop over for dinner. Both Filson and Adja decided to sell some land to the Everills, and help them with tips on how to grow apple trees. Adja thinks Sorcha is a wonderful young woman, but can sense that Manny is a bit of a flight risk.

Okay, two more houses down. over halfway done.

The post post about Trader’s Post’s Post. Wait. Is that right? a.k.a (Trader’s Post Part Two)

(5) House

This building is made of wattle and daub and the roof is made of straw. The front porch is half collapsed, so much that if you tried to enter the building you would have to duck to keep from hitting your head.   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.

Grogair McEarchern: [HGT: 5ft, 10in; WGT: 190 lbs] He is a male human that is in his late middle age that is ragged in appearance. His hair that remains is almost entirely white and pulled back into a ponytail behind his head and has a stubbly few days of growth of facial hair of the same color. Dressed in grey boots, brown breeches, dark brown tunic and on rainy or overcast days he will be seen with a wide brimmed hat. A wicked looking long curved knife hangs from his belt at all times.

Grogair is one of the oldest living residents of the town. and still refers to the place as Bem’s Landing. Despite this he is quite happy about the changes that have happened to small village over the years. It used to be a lot more dangerous, as he can tell you the story of his wife (Ann Marie) and their daughter (Liss) all of them were out fishing in the river one day, when something over turned their boat. Something massive bit into him, (he still have the bite scar on his stomach and back) and he lashed out with the dagger he used for filleting his catch. It saved his life but his wife and daughter never were seen again (he almost never goes anywhere with out a knife now and even sleeps with it under his pillow). It happened just a short distance off shore, and now that there are regular patrols and guards stationed here, “That kind o’ thing just wouldn’t happen in this day and age).   Grogair is a quiet person who is just content to fish the river. He is extremely good at what he does and makes a fair amount of money at it. With his wife and child gone however, he doesnt really spend a lot on himself. So occasionally, he will buy sweets from passing vendors and hand them out randomly to children he sees travelling through the village. Since his whole life is fishing, even in his spare time he can be found whittling new fishing lures at the Green Mug.  POSSESSIONS: Two fishing lures he made himself (2 tp ea),  Three pocket knives of various sharpness (4 cp for all of them), a small leather pouch with 11 tp).

(6) House

This is one of the newer looking buildings. Made  of wattle and daub but the roof is a rough wooden shingle. There is also a small vestibule leading into the building. There is a small window to its right with a flower box underneath it.

This home was recently built by a young couple who moved from Stokers Pond to get away from the strangeness of the town (Even their parents were acting peculiar and they decided to slip away into the night). They saved what they could and bought a small piece of land from Filson (see building #8) and started a small apple orchard. They are happy and generally keep to themselves even though they know the residents of Stoker’s Pond are not out hunting for them (which they aren’t, even their parents have forgotten about them) they still sometimes think they should have fled further away.

Manny Everill: [HGT: 5ft, 8in; WGT: 180 lbs] He is a young male human with dark hair and clean shaven yet dirty in appearance. He has a dark blue shirt, brown breeches, brown shoes and belt. He is generally upbeat yet there is some doubt in his mind whether he and his wife Sorcha made the right decision about not moving further away as well as if the apple orchard will be profitable. Since the trees are only half grown, there is still doubt what the outcome will be. He is quite interested in joining the militia but he knows his new bride would never allow it. POSSESSIONS: A trowel, two dirty handkerchiefs used to wipe sweat from his brow, a cloth pouch hangs from his belt which contains 4 tp.

Sorcha Everill: [HGT: 5ft, 87n; WGT: 150 lbs] She is a young female human with reddish blonde hair who is not quite clean yet not quite what you would call dirty in appearance either. She is dressed a dark brown tunic, a gray dress and sandals. She is an upbeat person like her husband yet she knows there is something on her mind. Quite happy that they escaped from Stoker’s Pond and started a new life, she has no idea what could be bothering him. Once the first crop of apples comes in, she has a few recopies for apple cider and brandy handed down through her family that Sorcha is certain will fetch them a decent sum. “We just have to get through this rough patch.” She often says. She in interested in all things brewing related and already has long term goals to open a brewery in ton some day. POSSESSIONS: A handful of flower seeds,  A wooden mug, a cloth pouch hangs from his belt which contains 2 tp.

Two more buildings down! This weekend I will continue the listing for this place… Including the general store.. which will be a huge entry itself.

Happy Frigga’s day.

Plus, I lied. There was no actual post in today’s post.  But fishmonger and orchard do not rhyme as well. Sorry kids.


A post about Trader’s Post. (Part One)

As I write the sequel to “The Castle of Blackwood Moors,” I am going to post some of my old D&D notes for some of the places. No spoilers though. Also, please ignore the bad grammar, I wrote this kind of hastily and some of it copy-pasted from old notes, but I did not have time to go back and check it. Apologies. Apologies accepted? Aw, why thank you. You are so nice. So let us continue shall we?

I do not like the gold standard in most RPGs. Gold should be something that has value, not lying about everywhere. So I use silver as a standard. To convert regular D&D prices to these… just shift it down one. Gold becomes silver. Silver becomes copper. Copper becomes tin.  For example: something that costs 7 gold in vanilla D&D, is 7 silver here and something that is 11 tin pieces here, converts to 11 copper pieces in vanilla D&D. Got it? Okay, let us continue shall we?

Ignore the wondrous drawing quality.

Trader’s Post was originally named Bem’s Landing, but as more and more traders moved through the area it has become known by its new name. Only a few locals still call it by its original name. Its original name was due to the fact it was near to town of Hendl’s Landing on the other side of the River of Ancient’s Shadow, and Bem’s Keep, to the south. Both of which will be detailed in future posts.

Many people travel through the town for it is only places to cross the river, but few settle down here. Because of this, Trader’s Post has only a few buildings. During the point the book was written, the river represents the edge of the kingdom of Bartol. A place both wealthy and corrupt that supplies a majority of ore and metal goods to the majority of Middenlund. While looking at a map of the entire region (this can be found on the cover of the book or in a previous post), the borders of Bartol used to extend all the way to the Three Towns area (Greenfield, Argax and Riverbend).

I should probably save all this from my post on the city of Bartol shouldn’t I? Okay, back to Trader’s Post.

Another note: I am not going to give full descriptions of the places. Since hopefully that will leave everyone some things to discover when the next book comes out. That is one of the things that drove me crazy about the Forgotten Realms. The source books detailed everything leaving nothing to be discovered or for DMs to give a creative twist to. Eventually more details will appear here.

Uh, didn’t I say lets get back to Trader’s post…. so yeah, we should do that.

Trader’s Post Key
(1) Warehouse
Next to the docks, the warehouse is used for the storage of goods for merchants who have to wait for the next ferry across the river, which runs an hour after sunrise, midday and an hour before sunset (more or less, they do not have clocks so they just judge by the position of the sun in the sky). Two bells will ring before the ferry sets off. One ten minutes before they leave accompanied by a shout of “LOAD UP” to let merchants know they can begin loading. There is one more bell ring about a minute before the ferry leaves, accompanied by a yell of “LAST CALL”.

Oops. Back to the warehouse description.

The building itself is made from dark brown-red bricks, the same color of the clay that dots the riverbanks. There are two windows on each wall, and while open, are covered in very sturdy iron bars. The eastern side of the building have two iron doors which are usually padlocked shut at night. The only one who has a key to these doors is Rutledge the Captain of the guard who can be found at Building #11

(2) The Bumbling Horse
From the outside it looks dull, unwelcoming and unfriendly. Large stones and well-crafted wooden beams make up most of the building’s outer structure. There is a small porch in front of the stout oak door, over which is a sign of a horse’s profile, but it is hung upside down. The windows are dark but still you can make out the shadow of something passing in front of them occasionally.

The Bumbling Horse is owned by Raul who inherited it from his father and mother before they moved to Bartol and retired. He enjoys the life of an innkeeper and realizes how lucky he is since he is located in an excellent place for business. He does occasionally wish the The Green Mug (building #3) was out of business so he could have even more customers. He will never do anything about this however since deep down, he knows that his inn is not large enough to hold all of the passengers that come through town. Not to mention the fact that Gran, the woman who runs it, is so nice, he could never imagine doing anything to hurt her.

Due to his parents now living in Bartol, he does have connections to the Entertainer’s Guild there is a 85% chance there will be a bard or some form of entertainment happening at the inn any given evening.

Raul [HGT: 5ft, 3in; WGT: 160 lbs] is 27 years old, blonde, brown hair and brown eyes. He is usually dressed in a bright yellow formal shirt, long brown pants, and boots. More often than not he is also seen smoking a well crafted ivory pipe. He is interested in legends and loves stories of all kinds and pays special attention to any travels that can tell a good tale. If the story is REALLY good, or if they have a few, he might even lower the price on a room for them.

Item              Cost    In Stock   
Ale (pint) 5tp 19
Brandy (pint) 1cp 10
Bread 6tp 12
Cheese 9tp  6
Assorted fruit (one piece) 3tp 5
Small meal 5cp
large meal 8cp
Wine (pint) 5cp 8
Wine, Bottle 2sp 5

Price for a room for the evening is 4cp for the common room, 7cp for a single room.
The pieces are the same as across the street. Every few days, Raul has someone go over and check Gran’s prices and see if they have changed. If so, he adjusts his immediately.

(3) The Green Mug
From the outside this establishment looks pleasant.Small stones and hard wood pillars make up most of the building’s outer structure.
The windows are covered in wooden shutters which will be opened on nice days. There is a decent sized porch in front of the wooden door, which is large enough to accommodate six people if they want to sit outside and smoke or drink (no food is served outside). Above the door is a sign of a green mug.

The Green Mug is run by an old woman who everyone just calls “Gran”. She is very grandmotherly in appearance. About 4 foot 10in height and almost 150 lbs, white hair tucked up in a bun. She has thin rimmed spectacles and always has a smile on her face.

Gran knows EVERYTHING that goes on at the Green Mug and anyone misbehaving (thieving, bar fighting) will get a ‘stern talking to’ which they much save vs spell at a -4 or stop their shenanigans. Some how she will even know if a robbery occurs upstairs and if no one else is around. Anyone who attempts to draw a weapon around Gran must make a Saving Throw vs Spell at a -10. Otherwise they will find they just cannot draw their weapon.

Most people here are locals and is pretty full, even though there is only a 45% chance a bard or some other form of entertainment will be here any given evening.

Item              Cost    In Stock   
Ale (pint) 5tp 14
Brandy (pint) 3cp 9
Bread 6tp 11
Cheese 6cp 5
Assorted fruit (one piece) 3tp 18
Small meal 4cp
Large meal 7cp
Wine (pint) 5cp 12
Wine, Bottle 2sp 1

Price for a room for the evening is 4cp for the common room, 7cp for a single room.

(4) House
This building is made of wattle and daub. 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 straw. The entire building leans a bit to the south, worn with age.

This is the home of the Wilkens who are one of the only families to farm south of Trader’s Post. The main reason is because the lands south are fairly dangerous once you wander off the roads, which the guards from Bem’s Keep patrol. Out in the woods however, there are bandits wolves and worse.

Blake Wilken: [HGT: 5ft, 6in; WGT: 170 lbs] He is a middle aged male human that is ragged in appearance. Dressed in grey boots, brown breeches, dark red tunic (but the color is faded) and a brown leather coif. He has short, blonde hair.  Blake is a trusting soul and humble. He has a bit of training with a sword, since the town guard often train right behind his house. Blake tries to make certain that his wife and two children train as often as they can as well. He has a great interest in nature.  POSSESSIONS: shelled nuts (3 ea),  assorted twigs, small cloth bag with 10cp.

Una WIlken: [HGT: 5ft, 5in; WGT: 120 lbs] Una is a middle aged female human with curly, red hair. She is dressed in a long shift, blue in color but the color is very faded. She also wears brown cloth shoes and a grey ribbon to tie back her hair. She is generally a prankster, but also rude. Most than once she has been asked to leave places around town because of her jokes and disposition. Una is very interested in crafting things.  POSSESSIONS: flower, the start of a doll whittled out of wood, whittling knife, concealed pouch with 10tp and 2cp.

Esme WIlken: [HGT: 4ft, 7in; WGT: 94 lbs] Esma is a young female human in her teens with long, blonde hair. She is dressed in a long brown shift and cloth shoes.  Esme really enjoys training with the guards but is not that good at it and has a long scar along her left arm where she was accidentally cut in practice. She maintains her fiery temper from her mother, but if real danger ever appeared she is actually very timid.  POSSESSIONS: handful of seeds (2 corn, 7 pumpkin, 3 peas and 12 wheat seeds), and a long knife.

Jak Wilken: [HGT: 3ft, 10in; WGT: 50 lbs] Jak is a human lad around 6 to 9 years of age with blonde hair that is constantly tangled and dirty.  He is dressed in simple leather sandals ragged gray breeches and a gray woolen tunic. Jak is more interested in farming than in training with weapons, but his father constantly makes him train as much as he can.  POSSESSIONS: whittling knife, a lump of brownish red clay from the river half molded into a some kind of four legged animal.

Wow this is getting pretty long.
I guess I will be breaking this up into a few parts. Not sure if everyone wants to read a post that is hugely hugemungous.

Until tomorrow! Same Mad Overlord time! Same Mad Overlord channel!

Dungeons and Coffee. Review.

A very cool gent named Tracey Puckett has a review site called Dungeons and Coffee, which he just reviewed my book. Sounds like he enjoyed it quite a bit, but do not take my word for it. Follow this link and check it out for yourselves.

And he is correct. More stuff *IS* coming. A sequel as well as a book (or two) so you can base your adventures in the world the book takes place in.

Hope you enjoy it!


Also, watch this space, I have more scans of my old D&D world coming… which I will talk about more and more.  And more. And more. Roger Moore?

Never mind.

I forgot a step. The 80’s.

Yesterday I posted a bit of a history of the world I use for my D&D world that has been around since ’83-’84. But I forgot a step (you will find I will forget a lot of stuff as this blog continues), the world took a huge change in the late 1980s, early 1990s. I apologize for the quality of the pictures, I had to take them with my phone, I don’t have access to a scanner here in China for some reason.


You will notice a few things, first it is blurry as all get out. Apologies, I am HORRID at taking pictures of things. Second, the size, you can see the tip of my foot in the bottom of the picture. Considering I wear size 14 shoes in the USA (size 50 in China, a size they do not even make here, I have to get my shoes custom made), I did not crop the shoe off so you can gauge the size of the map. It is about 3-4 feet from top to bottom, so it is a pretty huge piece of paper. Lastly, you will notice that the other maps were longer from left to right and this is longer top to bottom, so what happened?

What happened with this (short lived, despite how much work my young self put into it) version of the map was that I got a bunch of this huge hex paper for free and I wanted to use it. In my young mind, free was more important than consistency, so why not! I was about 16-17 years of age when I made this. But you will see a lot more of the world get fleshed out and even some things that disappear in the later version you have seen yesterday.

Here we see parts of the map a bit closer, and think goodness, a bit more clear as well.

You can see a few things that have changed, for some reason, I put the Abysmal Swamp west, south west of the Apuno lands, and Middenlund is not even on here at all anymore, I just leave that area blank. I did add the Jupair-Gimesh Hills, mostly because I needed to add locations due to the fact this map was so much more taller than wider now. It was going to be a land run by beastials as a buffer between the Middenlund and the Apuno Lands. Honestly, I am happy this area disappeared, however I do like the name. Maybe, it will make a return some day, some way.

You can also see the original land that started this all, the barbarian lands of Guardias (shown in a blog post here about a week ago), is also not marked. You can see the city of Norcross, and even the tiny town of Blackwater – even the city of Kobur Nogan and the Rust River, but no title. I did include the Shard plains to the west though. I even included red dotted lines for political borders. No Guardias though. Sorry barbarians.


Here are some close up shots of the same map. You will see a few things here. First, in the north west, The city of Mikonec and the area of Ehee-cheeo, close by Yakpu-Qui and Uhili-Qui. This was a huge, huge mistake. Mikonec was the captial of the Miquatica (a race of Aztecs influenced people) surrounded by the lands of the Tian Tang (a race of people based on China. The new map for these lands will appear here some day). Eventually, the Miquatica got moved to the south lands now called the Ash Peninsula, but yeah… in my 16 year old mind, this was a good idea for some reason.

Here is where the human race of ‘Proth’ came from as well. But where the city was once called Proth and run by humans of the same name, the city is now just known as “The City at the Edge of the World” and is run by elves (Elves are hedonistic, arrogant jerks in this world and yes, these are the same elves that fought a war against the dwarves of Kobur Illid I mentioned a few posts ago).

In the center of the Great Inner Sea are two islands of note (The small island from yesterday becomes a few larger islands *face palm*) the Ram’s Head Isle: which is kind of like Switzerland, no weapons allowed by visitors and basically there for anyone from the Murk Lands to come and trade. The other isle is Voro’s Isle. Voro is the land’s ‘Gandalf’, or ‘Elminster’, accept he does not meddle in anyone’s business (That is ‘The Benefactor’s job. More on them later). He has had very little impact in any of the game’s I have ran over the years. Some of my player’s are unsure if he (or she) is still alive. Even the name changes depends who you ask. Voro, Vorom, Voromyr, are all names used to describe this enigmatic figure. Personally, I like that a lot better than someone like Elminster, who everyone in the Forgotten Realms knows everything about. Heck, some of my players even spread rumors about Voro in order to achieve things in the game, which is always clever.

The last thing I am going to talk about today is the Mer-Succhur Marsh. Named so for the plague of the Succhur. What is this plague you ask? Well, I will tell you. There are various bloated flies that are a bit more bloated than normal flies, and have a red mark on them somewhere (varies from fly to fly). If some one is bitten by one of these flies and is not treated they become a carrier. Eventually (1d4 days adjusted for CON), the character gets weak. At the end of the gestation period, the carriers head swells up like a pustule and bursts, revealing a mass of rope-like tentacles that are evenly spaced around the area where the neck used to be. The neck is now the mouth of the Succhur and the rope-like tentacles now attempt to entangle a near by victim and drag them into the maw (which now stretches to engulf any victim.

For some reason, my players only ventured there once and after meeting a Succhur, they never returned.

I could have added a LOT more detail here, but life calls. Would you like to know more? let me know. Is my grammar terrible? Let me know. Is there anything you would like to see me go over with more detail? Let me know.

Keep smiling everyone. Don’t get bitten by weird looking flies.

Central Murk Lands

As more and more people discover my book, “Castle of Blackwood Moors,” folks ask me for more details since they would like to run adventures there.  So here you go! Today’s post is for you.

CoBM takes place on the eastern central portion of the Middenlunds, a bunch of not-so friendly city states along the western edge of the continent east of the Great Inner Sea.
Make sense? Really? I am totally confused, so in order to un-confuse me, lets post some maps of the area I call the Central Murk Lands.


Okay. This is from the map I posted earlier  (“What Else, What Else?”) of my old (1982-1983) world map. Damn I am old. Anyway, the point is here is where the kingdom arose. Something important to note is New Dundale, and the Kobur ____ was not part of the original map. It was written in later when some players of mine tried to form their own kingdom on the western edge of the island. Kobur ____ was a dwarven kingdom based on an outcropping of rock that jutted from the sea. The name was left blank since when I wrote it I did not think of a name for it yet and when I did, I never went back to write it in since I am kind of a scatterbrain at times.

Okay, fast forward many years….


This was created in one of the early versions of Flash (I made many maps like this, which you will see in later posts) in the late 90’s.  While this was created for a D&D campaign, to can see the beginnings of the map which was used for ‘Castle of Blackwood Moors’.

You can see I like things realistic. I hate straight rivers.You can get a sense of scale from the (unfinished) scale in the upper left corner. It is in miles, not kilometers, sorry metric folks. That said, I still was tinkering around with things like cutting the Abysmal Swamp (the land just north west of The Bandit Kingdom of Graennor) off with water, and some times it is not, shows I still try to tinker around with stuff.

Lets move on…. shall we?


Asking my friends where they would like to start a game, I proposed a campaign anywhere in Middenlands but the players wanted to explore the isle, so that  is what I fleshed out. Kobur (yeah I know I spelled it wrong, I mentioned I am quite absent minded) Krogan finally gets a name on this map. I also make a HUGE mistake that drives me crazy. I have ONE river leading into the lake in the north east corner of the island, but TWO rivers leading it, which is not impossible, but very unlikely. If this map is ever redone, I will fix that. Now that I think about it, the rivers are a bit too straight here also. Bad me.

So while the dwarves reside in Kobur Krogan, there are elven lands on the east, north east. Now then, I need to mention that elves and dwarves in my world are similar yet still different. I will cover that in a future blog post since I don’t want to get that side tracked.
So, back to the island. This island also has a bandit kingdom in the western, south western part of the map ( I have a lot of bandit kingdoms since I envision that in a world with monsters and sorcery,  bandits and raiders would be organized, since small unorganized groups of bandits would be promptly devoured). Okay, AGAIN, lets go back to the island. You will notice that the northern, central and south eastern portions of the island are relatively unknown. This is where the majority of the beastmen live, I tend to use beastmen instead of orcs, ogres and the like. I will talk about that when I talk about elves and dwarves. Finally, there is a kingdom along the southern shores of the island, but it is a kingdom in only the roughest of words. Mostly, people from Middenlund reside here just to take advantage of the fishing waters and timber from the island. They get raided from beastmen, elves and other monsters often so the life expectancy is not great, but if you can survive, there is money to be made there.

Okay, the end of today’s ramblings.


Okay, here is the (poorly pieced together) players map of New Dunndale. At almost the exact center of the map you can see a little square alongside a river, near the ocean. This is where the players decided to build their fledgling kingdom and it was here that “Castle of Blackwood Moors” really took root. Even though the book takes place to the south, my players brought up a lot of things not covered in a lot of RPG rules (that I have found). So how much wood does a timber mill produce in a day (realistically)? How many logs does it take to build a log cabin (again, realistically)? How many people does it take to minimally keep a timber mill working? How many logs does one person cut in a day? How many people does it take to keep a fledgling kingdom operational? You get the idea. But I am a sucker for details and the whole (It’s magic!) excuse drives me crazy.  But that is one of the reasons I started the “Dungeons to Dominions” series.

Finally, you can see the 1 inch = 6 miles scale on these maps, which should give you an idea how big the original map is. In future posts you will see many, many more maps of the world, I have three binders CHOCK FULL of maps as well as many books detailing the contents of those maps.

But until those days come, I think that is enough for today.
I have since created rules for how many logs one person can cut per day, but if you know of actual official rules from here or there, please free to drop me a line. I always like to learn as much as I can about this and that.

Hope everyone is having a great day.

The pictures finally showed!

The pictures finally arrived! Jeepy Creepys that is some SLOW internet….

Okay, here is the first of a few posts of an event I went to called Khankon ( in Shanghai. It is a table top RPG convention mostly for Chinese folks (Table Top RPGs are gaining ground here but more on that later) with a smattering of board games and card games thrown in. First off, the place was VERY COOL. I was an old jazz club from the 60’s and 70’s. Very few bands still played there but the restaurant on the upper floors was still operational (I did not eat there so I cannot tell you how the food was), but the downstairs where the games were held still had original woodwork and everything.


As you can see, it got REALLY packed down there, and a lot of fun games went on both of the two days. One odd thing was the only a few Chinese players and western players would jump ‘borders’ as it were. Most of the English speaking people stuck together and most of the Chinese natives stuck in their own little groups. I was really curious to ask the Chinese gamers what they liked and disliked, but my Chinese is not that good so I didn’t. I also noticed that most of the western players were playing 5th Edition D&D and no one was playing Pathfinder… whereas most of the Chinese RPGers were playing Pathfinder mostly with two groups playing 5th ed and two groups playing Chinese created RPGs (characters will be posted soon).



Okay, here is the portion of the blog where I plug my book. Showing the book to many people at Khankon was a lot of fun. I am kind of an introvert so it was a big deal to approach people and ask them to take a look at something I wrote, but gamers are usually a pretty cool bunch of people (except in that first picture, that is the founder of Khankon being a smartass with my book *CURSE YOU DAN!**).

Luckily, everyone really liked it and I even got a few sales out of the deal. The coolest thing though was the direct feedback. When you write a book you do it mostly in a vacuum and hope people will like it, so when they say things like, “This is fun.” “Where can I get one of these?” and “I suppose I won’t beat you up with a sock full of quarters and ditch your body in an alley.” It makes a lot of it worthwhile (well, maybe not that last one, luckily no one actually said that to me though).



Finally, here is some left over random shots. The Game of Thrones boardgame which is a LOT of fun even though I got smoked like a cheap cigar. The Chinese character sheets I promised as well as the picture of the guy who ran the 5th ed game I was in. Lastly, this little girl that kept following me around and asking me what I was doing, and let me know how bad my dice rolling was in a game of Descent I was playing.

Thanks kid.



What else, what else?

As I mentioned yesterday, another thing I am doing is working on a computer game. I wont give out many details since it is only about a month or two in development. But I included some screenshots on getting farming up and running. I cannot take credit for the coding that is the ever awesome Matt, but I do the design work and world building.  Also, ignore the art… we are using free stuff from Unity until we can find a decent 3d artist.

Here we see the overgrown field, with a ruined house to your left. WOW! That field is overgrown! Look at how high that grass is. Next, while attempting to cut the grass down, I have to stop to put down and attacking mutant.  The mutant is dead and I can finally plant some corn. After waiting a day or two, I come back to see my corn has already begun to grow. Finally, after a few more days, my corn is fully grown and ready for the harvest.


Another, ANOTHER thing I want to talk about is the world I use for my gamebooks and my first novel, is based on my old D&D world. So I hope to flesh it out more and more

Even though it is the same world I have used since 1978, this map was drawn in about 1984. The premise of the world hasn’t changed (as my players can attest to), but as I grew older and obtained more knowledge, details of the world have changed. I wont go into detail now, since I can save that for a future topic.

Here is even an EARLIER map. This is the earliest map I could find.


This is damn painful to look at now, but see how the ‘Sea of Glass’ has moved from the top of this map to further west in the world map? I also heavily stole things as a lad. See Firetop Mountain (from Warlock of Firetop Mountain) and Lion Castle (From Ghost of Lion Castle)…  Yeah. I know I added those to the map a lot later since I bought those two things and wanted to add them somewhere so I just plopped them down at the top since my players haven’t reached those areas yet. I WAS 13!!! Cut me some slack! Jimeny Jeepers. Uh… let us continue… shall we? *hangs head in shame*

Oh, I should also mention, the second map’s location in the world map is toward the top just right of center. You can see the Sunken Lands just north of The Great Midland Kingdom.

This was pretty impressive for a 13 old kid I think. The idea behind the second map is that it is mostly a land of barbarians (hence all the open space). Off the eastern edge of the map was a great dwarven kingdom, Kobur Illud if i recall – I don’t have the notes in front of me, and they were losing a war with the elves. Who lived even further east in ‘The City at the Edge of the World’. Yeah, some of my elves were city dwellers, there is a reason for that. For now you will just have to wonder. DUN DUN DAAAAAAAAH! *Ahem* let us continue shall we?

The elves were winning the war, and were planning on making the dwarves extinct for all their mining and destroying of the environment. The dwarves would have been toast, if it was not for a group called ‘The Benefactors’. They used great magics to raise part of the floor of the Great Inner Sea so the dwarves could escape across it, fleeing the island of Hespae. Kind of like a reverse Moses. Except there was a group of them. The sea floor did not sink back right away, it began to sink a week after the escape, but slowly. The map takes place about ten years after the dwarves escaped, and you can see the land is a huge mire, but one can still transverse it.  Why did’t the elves follow? I actually do not remember anymore. Maybe they were microwaving a burrito and they forgot about it or something. They DID send halflings (who were elven allies) into the barbarian lands to spy on them. Forming the village of Brandy wine, but more on that later.

After they raised the lands for the dwarven escape, The Benefactors disappeared as quickly as they showed up. Whether they went back to their cities in the Broken Lands far to the west, or to somewhere else, no one knows. Actually I know, I am just not going to tell you since I am a jerk. HAW!
Anywhos, the remaining dwarves founded Kobur Nogan, I think the map here says Khazul Dum, which my players pointed out was stolen from Tolkien’s Khazad Dum (which is was. I WAS 13!!!!!), so I changed it. Kobur is the dwarven name for Dwarven made, and Nogan was the dwarven name for North, sad that I can still remember this stuff after so long.
ANYWAY, as I was saying, shortly after founding their city and they began mining, the river turned darker, since they used the river in their mining operations (one of the reasons the elves attend them, darn polluting dwarves), the river which was once named ‘The River of the Divine’ adopted a new name of ‘Rust River’ or ‘River of Rust’. The town on the southern edge was changed from ‘Sweet Water’ to ‘Black Water’ because of the color of the river as well.

There was only one real settlement in the area that some of the more ‘civilized’ barbarians used. Since they needed somewhere all the clans could go to trade goods with other civilizations, and some times set up raiding parties, but again, that is another post for another day. This was the city of Norcross, I actually have a map for that place as well. But again, another day folks, I don’t want to make this post a zillion lines long for those of you who have ADD or a two year old who just ate five bowls of Cap’N Crunch cereal (you and the Cap’n, make it happen!), so I will try to keep this short.


Eventually the halflings of Brandywine disappeared and to this day no one knows where they went (actually they do, but no one will admit they know. Again, another story for another time). The Shard Plains moved further west and off of this map altogether. They are named so, because of the strange, jagged, shards of rock jutting up into the sky. Some of them almost 60 ft high. Where they came from, no one knows. But no one really sticks around to find out since huge tribes of Beastials (wolf-men, cat-men, etc.) patrol the area, capturing and devouring all they come across.

Finally, the barbarians worship the all-Father, but they still pray to the spirits of the trees and animals as well. Once a year all the tribes head to the Forest of Whispering Wind, where they have a Wyrd, talk with other tribes about news, the latest movies they have seen, or whatever else is on their minds.

Did I miss anything? Is there anything I did not cover and you would like to find out more? Is there some of my grammar that is so terrible you would like to point it out? Please do!
As always, thank you for visiting my little hole in the wall and I hope your day goes well.


What’s up Tiger Lily?

What else is this blog about?

I plan on talking about a lot of the things I enjoy.

-Harassing others
– Dungeons and Dragons (OD&D, AD&D 1st ed, D&D 5th ed)
-Harassing others
-Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and Rifftrax)
-Harassing others
-MAD magazine
-Harassing others
– Monty Python
-Harassing others
– Muppet show (Those are the four ‘M’s of great humor by the way)
-Harassing others
-Assorted other junk that no one really cares about.

Speaking of which, in case you care, and cannot find anything better to read on the internet (really?) I am really bad about talking about myself but I suppose I have too.

Hmm. What else? I am left handed. INFJ Personality.
Currently I live in China, where I am a game designer. Grew up in Wisconsin a few miles from Lake Geneva, where Dungeons and Dragons was born. Where as most people enjoy going to the beaches, or somewhere warm, I would rather go somewhere cold and with it piles of snow.

What else? Oh! I have currently written a gamebook. You know, like those classics such as the ‘Lone Wolf’ series and  “Warlock of Firetop Mountain” You can find it on amazon here

There is a sequel in the works as well. Also, a kind of a ‘guide book’ in the works that describes some of the towns and villages etc.



In this ‘primer’ most of the towns, forests etc. will be fleshed out a bit more. By the way, that is the cover of my first book.

Also, I am working on my first novel… on top of that I am working on a computer game.

Is that enough about me? I think it is for today.