In 48 hours I will be making my annual trip back home to stock up on Mad Overlord supplies (death rays, dangerously experimental chemicals, shoes) but I will also be attending Gary Con once again!

While attending, it is prudent to remind everyone of the difference between old school gaming and dumba$$ gaming (yeah, I said it.) In factt, I wont even tell you, like any good Mad Overlord, I get others to do the heavy lifting while I concoct my evil plans.

The folks at, “wmusswtwbf” https://wmusswtwbf.wordpress.com/ put together something  that says it perfectly… so I am just going to share it here….

 

First – YOU MUST BE SELF MOTIVATING.  In October of 1972, Rob Kuntz introduced me to what would become OD&D by saying “Gary’s got this neat new game called Greyhawk.  You’re a bunch of guys exploring an old abandoned wizard’s castle full of monsters and treasure and stuff.”

That’s it.  No quests to rescue the princess, no magical doohickey to throw into the Zazu Pitts of Fordor, no mysterious strangers meeting you in an inn.  We were in a game to explore, and we did.  We explored a lot of the dungeon.  Then we wondered “What’s over on the other side of those hills,” and we started doing outdoor adventures.

Our characters were entirely self-directing.  Yours will need to be as well.

Second – YOU ARE A TEAM.  The game is not all about how wonderful your character is.  You are part of a team and fulfill your role in that team.  These roles, in this world and in these rules, are derived from the traditional composition of medieval armies; heavy troops hold the line, light troops flank, and missile troops fire from a safe vantage because if they get meleed they’re dead.  The magic users have heavy firepower and can easily dispose of a threat much faster than the fighters can; but if the fighters don’t protect the magic users, the magic users are going to be useless.  Similarly, the magic users represent too valuable a resource to allow to go to waste for the fighters.

It’s not all about you, singular; it’s about you, plural.

Third – GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!  This game is run in a very simulation-heavy way.  For instance, if the players get into an argument and start shouting, it means that the player characters are standing deep in some monster-filled dungeon screaming at the top of their lungs, drawing wandering monsters by the dozen.  Have a leader.  FOLLOW that leader.  If you’re the leader, LEAD.  Make decisions.  When the players discuss things, do so quietly in short, high content sentences.  The game is a game of exploration to find treasure; to explore, you have to MOVE.

We have only a few hours to play; make the most of it.

Fourth – COMBAT IS DANGEROUS.  You’ll have to fight, but like any army, make the conditions as favorable as you can.  If your attitude to combat is “We’re the player characters!  CHARGE!” you’d better bring plenty of paper, because you’ll be rolling up a lot of new characters.  In real life, flanking wins battles, it’s not just a “nice little sweetie.”  OD&D doesn’t have explicit flanking rules, so I made my own.  I’m not going to go into great detail, but I am going to say that, just like real life, flanking wins battles.  And flanking does not have to be the modern lame-ass “two figures opposite each other” bullshit.  If you hit an enemy in the flank, it’s flanked.  And hitting them in the back is far more powerful than flanking.

Of course, the same applies to you.  Do be careful, won’t you?

Likewise, close order is your friend.  Three humans fill up a ten foot corridor.  Fewer than that, and the monsters can get past you to the soft, chewy, unarmored magic users behind you.  Also, spears can strike from the second rank.  Isn’t that lovely?

Fifth – THIS IS MY WORLD.  I am the absolute unquestioned demiurge of this imaginary world.  It works exactly and precisely the way I say it does, and nobody else has any say in this at all.  This is important because my vision of my world forms the basis for all rulings I make.  And there will be far, far more rulings than rules in this game.  I can be reasoned with on the basis of logic, historical precedent, or common sense, but “appeal to the rules” will get you nowhere.

Sixth – DESCRIPTION, NOT DICE ROLLS.  You don’t roll “observation” to look around, you tell me what you’re doing and how.  This subject is covered very well in Matt Finch’s “Quick Primer for Old School Gaming.”  You should definitely read this, and you can find it for free at https://froggodgames.com/frogs/product/a-quick-primer-for-old-school-gaming-pdf/

Read it.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

There is not much I can add to that article besides:

Stay Mad.

Be Good.

And so I wake in the morning and I step outside, And I take a deep breath and I get real high, and I scream from the top of my lungs – where’s my cheese? Oh wait, I mean, WHAT’S GOING ON?!

Another quick update on whats going on… the pictures of GaryCon X are coming… as well, as the D&D adventure based on Castle of Blackwood Moors.

I am going though the book, bit by bit to cut out a lot of the “You see this” and, “you see that,” and “Why are my shoes on the wrong feet?” To cut it down for a D&D style audience. It’s taking a bit… the book *IS* over 500 pages after all. But I am hoping to have this off to the editor by mid-April.  After that, off to the next project!

One thing at a time Ax, I know, I know.

SO! In case you were wondering JUST how bad my handwriting is…  here are some pictures of the rewriting!

Until next time,

Stay Mad,
Be Good.

Sometimes you kick, Sometimes you get kicked, Sometimes you kick, Sometimes you get Kickstarted.

Happy Mondays!

Hope everyone had wondiferous weekend.
Gary Con is this weekend. Make sure you come and see me in the Evergreen room 1 on Thursday and the Evergreen room 3 on Friday and Saturday at 8am each day. Yeah I am an early bird, that is when I do my best stuff.

I will post pictures of the event here so if you cannot make the event, stop back here and you can gaze upon the oodles of people having fun. Or maybe they will be lynching me… so who knows..

Anyway, as I continue to write the second book… its getting to the point where I need to plan out the promotional video for the Kickstarter campaign. For those of you who have not seen the original kickstarter video (shame on you! I wont be your friend for at least 5 seconds……………………………………………………………………………………….Okay. I am your friend again. Wasn’t that painful?) you can check out the video here:

Still a better love story than Twilight. *ahem* Sorry. Anyway, the video was a lot of fun to make and I would really like to do something else fun and zany like that for the second book. On a side note: Sheesh was I a pork rind in that video. I think I lost about 30 lbs since that was made.

I’d like to try and get some of the old school people from TSR to help me out, but I do not want to wear out my welcome with anyone. I am a well mannered Mad Overlord.

But that is it for today, another short post while I make some pre-generated characters for the upcoming con.

Roll some dice in honor of Gary, he really gave us the power to unlock worlds of imagination.

If you do not have any dice, just ask me. I have plenty.
Later kids!

EDIT: Since I was in SF for almost a month looking for work, I missed the launch of Reid San Filippo’s Kickstarter… goes along with today’s theme thank goodness. Funny how things work out sometimes.

BROKEN MOON

Wait? Who is this David Konkol guy that will be writing some things for this project? I don’t know him myself, but I heard he was built upside down -i.e. his feet smell and his nose runs.

If you would like to back the project, head on over to:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/276689953/the-umerican-survival-guide

Looks like a great project! Go Reid go!

 

Prepping for Gary Con… And the math behind switching an adventure from solo to group play.

Goooooooood Morning!

With Gary Con just a week away, I have been putting the last touches on the table top adventure version of “The Castle of Blackwood Moors”. Expanding the combats so they will work for a group of adventurers instead of just one. More treasure. Reworking traps, yadda yadda.  I am just redoing the outer bailey at this time since in the four hour blocks of time I am given at GaryCon, I do not think anyone will get into the Inner Bailey… but who knows what players will do.

One example of this, are the vines that grow on the outer walls. In the solo adventure, they only did one Hit Point per round of combat  (two, if you rip them out of your skin) since it is up to that one player to carry enough healing and the skills they had to choose from were limited. With a group however, there are now a diverse set of characters each with their own skillset. A typical group has a a few talented people for combat, some for healing, some for sneakiness and so on. In addition, if you reach zero hit points in the solo version, no one is there to bandage you up, so it is game over. In the group version, some one can assist you if you go unconscious and because of the wide variety of skills available to a group as I mentioned, the survivability level edges a bit higher.Because of this, the vines now do 1 to 3 hit points of damage, that does not seem like a lot, but it changes the dynamic quite a bit. If a healthy character starts off with 9 hit points in the solo version, they know instinctively they can climb 8 rounds before they use their last hit point and go unconscious. That same character will be a little more nervous knowing they could be at that last hit point in just 3 rounds in group play, and therefore be a bit more careful.

One of the great things about randomness in RPGs is it constantly provides that element of suspense.

I did not think of it until right now… but I should have made a graphic for this. Ah well, I am sure I will discuss this more in the future (since this kind of thing is fascinating to me) and I will try to make it a bit more presentable.

Getting ready for my flight back to the Wisconsin (where I heard they had a huge snow storm and I missed it *sad face*). Until next time folks, have a great day and try to do something nice for at least one person you know, I am sure they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.