Saturday, June 29, 2013

[Fixing an Omission] K is for Karnin

A to Z 2013 is long over but I just figured something out - my "K" post was blank.  I do not know if it got eaten by the Blogger Gremlins or if I just screwed it up in my haste to get everything ready.  I got kind of lucky because I still have a copy in Word.  Without further delay, here is the monster entry version for the Karnin, a canine race from the world of Toldara.
K is for Karnin
Karnin are another option for a PC race from the Toldara campaign.  The Karnin have much in common with the Anshus but the similarities have not resulted in harmony but rivalry and competition between the two cultures; much like the Dwarf & Elf wars that are in the histories of several campaigns I have played in.  It seemed to be a common event in the 80s.  I am not 100% sure that the Karnin are going to be a playable race in the B/X campaign so I am providing them as a monster entry in B/X format.
Armor Class:       6                                                         No. Appearing:    1-6 (5-40)
Hit Dice:               1+1                                                    Save As:                 Fighter 1
Move:                   120’ (40’)                                          Morale:                 9          
Attacks:                2 claws/ 1 bite/ 1 weapon            Treasure Type:     U
Damage:              1-4/1-4/by weapon                         Alignment:            Lawful
Karnin are canine humanoids standing almost seven feet tall.  They can be found most everywhere and have a deep respect for the natural order of things and believe it is their duty to be resourceful instead of wasteful.  Karnin are open to visitors in their realms and can make powerful allies.  For every 18 karnin encountered there will be one leader (level 3-8: 1d6+2) and who may have magical items.  To check for possible magical items, multiply the leader’s level by 5.  The result is the percentage chance for that leader to own a magical item from any one particular subtable.  Roll separately for each subtable, and check all the magic subtables.  Karnin feel a general animosity towards Anshus and will be on alert in their presence.  Individual members of these two races may become friends but these two cultures will most likely never experience more than short, sporadic moments of peace between them.    
Still not quite "perfect" but it is getting there...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Old Toldara Map

I was setting up my old desktop PC for my children to use during summer break and I ran across some old documents.  One of them was the old map for my Toldara campaign. The map below is for just one of the continents. Alex has a different map for another continent; I will let him post his up on his own blog at some point.  My map is below.

This is just a rough idea and it is far from final.  I am not too crazy about my world map skills but I thought I would post it up and see if anyone had any thoughts on how to pretty it up or any other suggestions or feedback. 
Map link: Old Toldara

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Post Worth Sharing

I just found Venger's Old School Gaming Blog yesterday and I browsed through many of the posts to see what I had missed since it began back in March.  I enjoyed the reading but Venger really brings the awesome in the following post:
Go check it out!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Card Based RPG Systems

Note: I am making one quick addendum to the once a week post comment I made.  I have tried waiting and I just do not think that is going to work.  I think it will be once a week minimum plus whenever the mood strikes.  I really enjoy the act of blogging and I do not think I want to impose a strict once a week only mandate.  
Shortly after it was released, I received the Dragonlance: Fifth Age Dramatic Adventure Game as a gift.  I was really interested in the idea of a role-playing game that used cards instead of dice during game play.  I thought the cards were pretty slick and I enjoyed messing around with them.  I really enjoy the bits of information on the history and timeline of Krynn included in the game.  I did pick up 2 or 3 of the boxed supplements for the game but that was about it.  I only played it once while I was stationed in Korea and it just did not click with that particular group of people.  I kept the game for several years but I eventually unloaded it in one of my game purges over the years.  I never did pick up the related Marvel Super Heroes game but I hear that it was pretty neat.
Everway was another game that ditched the dice to use cards for game play and it was published a year earlier than the Dragonlance game.  I never did buy this game or even get a chance to look through the contents of the box; the only thing I saw was some of the card images.  I remember being intrigued by the ads and the look of some of the cards included in the game.  I only saw Everway a few times at the game stores I go to and never did get around to buying the game.  I have noticed that some of the online used game retailers have it available.  I may have to purchase this game to check it out some time for no other reason than to satisfy my curiosity. 
I am far from an expert on card-based role-playing games.  I know there has got to be more games - whether professional or amateur press - using cards instead of dice during game play than the two I mentioned above.  I have heard that Deadlands and Castle Falkenstein both use cards but I have not played either one.  Does anybody reading this know?  Do you have any thoughts on the games?  I guess I am just a little surprised that there are not more card-based role-playing games out there.  It seems like you could do some neat stuff with the cards - even a traditional deck - like pairs, trump, off suit penalties, and the list could go on.  I have been thinking along these lines lately and I may have to post up some ideas at some point...  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Some Old Fiction

I know I just posted about committing to every Saturday but I am going to go ahead and post this since it is more of a fun post than anything else.  I found this old bit of fiction on a USB stick I ran across while setting up my old desktop PC for my children.  The original idea was to do a shared story with another writer about some teen kids looking for Bigfoot over their summer break.  The plan was for each chapter to be written by one person and the next chapter would be written as a response; each one of us would write every other chapter.  I started with the chapter below but my partner never sent the next chapter so it never went any further.  I wrote this in one sitting and I have not been back through to edit, clarify, or revise yet.  Maybe I will or maybe I will not.  I feel somewhat odd about even trying to finish it by myself because that was not the original concept of how the writing would work.  Just for fun, I thought I would post it up here.
A Bigfoot Story
1. The Walk Home

            “I can’t believe Mrs. Roberts gave us homework the first weekend of school!” exclaimed Eddie to no one in particular as his twin sister Maria walked next to him. The pair was on their home from school with the whole weekend in front of them. Eddie was disappointed because Mrs. Roberts had just completely upset his plans.

            The routine had been the same for years.  When summer was at an end, the school year started on a Thursday but school did not really start until Monday.  The first two days were just for getting a locker assigned, books, and any changes that students desired in their class schedules. Students were not given homework the first weekend. Thursday and Friday were merely practice then the students were supposed to get a break and come back on Monday for real. At least, that is the way Eddie thought of it and what he had expected. Mrs. Roberts had dared to challenge the established precedent with a paper due on Monday.

            “You are aware that homework and school go together, aren’t you?” teased Maria. She had always been the better student of the two. Although the two were twins, they were very different. Unlike Maria, Eddie was not near the top of the class. He was not a bad student but other activities – football, video games, and movies – were also important for him. One thing they did share was a tendency to give each other a hard time.

            Eddie rolled his eyes as he quickly responded, “I know that, apple-polisher! I just wanted to finish watching those new horror DVDs this weekend and then hit the books on Monday.” Eddie playfully kicked at the rocks in his walking path as they continued their journey home. Normally, he would pick up rocks along the way and toss them into the woods along the side of the road. The cast he now wore on his throwing arm prevented him from following his normal routine. Eddie was fond of routine and did not like being forced out of his.

            Maria looked at her brother as they walked and said, “Eddie, it’s just a simple oral report on what we did this summer. No problem.” She paused for a few moments to gather her thoughts before continuing. “Plus, Mrs. Roberts is going in alphabetical order so we won’t have to give our reports until later in the week since our last name is Walker.” Eddie nodded slowly as he thought over the facts his sister had just pointed out. She was silent in her confidence that her argument would lighten his mood a little bit.

            The pair continued walking in silence for a few moments. Maria fiddled with her cell phone. She was texting with her friends to pass the time. They had a twenty minute walk in front of them and she liked to keep busy during that time. Of course, they could have ridden the bus but that would have taken longer. Plus, in three weeks they would both have a driver’s license and would not have to worry about the walk or riding the bus either.

            As Maria and Eddie walked he remained silent. His attention had wandered to the woods on the side of the road. Eddie was thinking of the oral report due next week and the events of this past summer. It was just like any summer from the previous years which meant going to the mall, hanging out with friends, playing video games, and all sorts of leisure activities. Then things changed after a few weeks into their break from school.  Eddie remembered being excited about the invitation for him and Maria to spend three weeks in Arkansas with the cousins they only managed to see rarely at special family gatherings.

As Eddie continued on his walk home with his sister, he realized that the woods were making him uncomfortable. He had passed them many days previously on their walk home together and not felt so. Eddie used to enjoy spending time in the woods with his friends during the weekend or summer time. The trip to Arkansas had changed all of that. His thoughts drifted back to the assignment due next week. He was conflicted about what details to include and what to leave out. Of course, he would include the usual summer details of video games, going to the mall, watching movies, and having an all-around good time with his friends. He was going to include the trip to Arkansas to visit family but that’s where things got complicated. Did they want to admit to spending over a week in the woods in search of the rumored Bigfoot creature? His arm was in a cast so wouldn’t the other students wonder how it happened? What was Maria going to put in her report? As much as he dreaded it, he knew the only thing to do was talk to her about the assignment.

Eddie gathered his thoughts as the two walked and finally asked, “Sis, how much of the Arkansas trip should we put in our reports?” The silence continued for a few seconds.

“What exactly do you mean, Eddie?” responded Maria. She knew he was talking about the part of the trip that involved searching for Bigfoot in the woods. That was supposed to be “their secret”. She was starting to get irritated about the question because she knew he wanted to break their silence.

“Well, I was thinking…” Eddie trailed off as he gathered his thoughts, “People are going to ask about this broken arm and” – he was cut off quickly before he could continue.

“You want us to look like obsessive fans that have watched the Blair Witch Project one too many times and decided to copy it, Edward!” Maria exclaimed as they continued walking. Eddie could tell from the look on her face and the tone in her voice that she was really not happy with him. The fact that she had used his actual name was even further proof of her irritation.

“No, that’s not it at all. Obviously, I have to mention how I broke my arm during summer vacation. I’m just wondering how we’re going to explain it; that’s all.” Eddie explained in defense of his question and waited for an answer.

“How about we stick to the story we agreed to and say you broke it by falling?” asked Maria. She wasn’t in the popular clique – neither one of them were – but she didn’t want to be labeled as “the bigfoot freak” or “the bigfoot freak’s sister” either.

Eddie thought over her question and their decision to keep silent about the reason they had gone into the woods as their walk home continued.  He could see their house up ahead in the distance.  He still wondered if it would be so bad to just mention hearing about the Bigfoot rumored to be in the woods near the home of their cousins. Finally, he asked, “Hey, do you think it would be so bad to just mention the legend? You know, spice up our reports and make them stand out from the usual stuff about Six Flags, camp, family road trips, or any of the regular stuff? We don’t have to say we found Bigfoot or anything like that – we just went looking for him…” Eddie let the idea hang in the air as the walking distance left to their home became that much shorter.

“We haven’t even told mom and dad yet, Eddie…” she paused to think before continuing, “How do you think they’re going to react?” She hoped that might make him reconsider his desire to include the Bigfoot encounter in their reports.

The two of them were almost to their driveway as Eddie was still thinking it over in his mind. He couldn’t help but want to share their wild summer adventure with others. He acknowledged that they had decided to keep it secret but he also felt a desire to get it off his chest. He also realized that both of them had to include it in the assignment or continue to keep it a secret. They stopped at the mailbox to see if the contents had already been picked up. As they were examining the mail, Eddie remarked, “I see your point but I also know that we don’t have to decide right this second what we’re going to include in the report.”

Maria looked at her brother thoughtfully before she replied. “Eddie, that’s the smartest thing you’ve said on the walk home. Let’s work on the reports this weekend and we’ll decide by Sunday morning if we’re going to include the Bigfoot – deal?”

Eddie glanced at his sister, smiled, and simply replied, “Deal.” Deep down he could feel this was going to be a much harder decision than he originally thought.


 There is part one.  I gave it a quick speed read and I can already see some things I would  If I get some free time to some ideas I may expand this at some point.  I enjoy doing some fiction writing but it is not easy for me.  I can write term papers and other such material pretty quickly but fiction pretty much has to be dragged out of my head kicking and screaming the whole way.  Who knows if this will ever get completed?





Saturday, June 15, 2013

Time For Commitment

I started this blog with no other reason than to post primarily on gaming; of course, I make occasional side treks into other topics along the way.  I have been posting as the mood hits up until this point but I think it is time to come up with a set schedule.  I believe I will commit to post once a week for the foreseeable future; Saturdays will most likely be the day.  This will allow me to focus on just one post at a time and improve the quality of the posts.  That does not mean that I will not post more from time to time when the mood fits. 

I know I need to post on the following for the sake of completion:
  • Finish the read through of the Adventures in Fantasy rules.
  • More information on my Toldara B/X campaign.
  • Fleshing out some of my ideas from my old gaming notebook collection. 

Those are just the topics that I am sure about using.  Just out of curiosity, what do my readers think?  Here is your chance to voice your opinion if you have a strong opinion on anything - what would you like to read more of, what would you like to see less of, what fits, what is out of place, or are you perfectly fine with reading whatever happens to catch your attention?

Monday, June 3, 2013

[Music Monday] Rhapsody - The Magic of the Wizard's Dream

For the second installment of Music Monday, I give you a selection from Rhapsody of Fire with Christopher Lee doing additional vocals!