Browsing articles from "November, 2011"

LL Hoard Generator with a Basic/Expert twist

Nov 30, 2011
Mark
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Ever stumble when using a Dungeons & Dragons resource while running Labyrinth Lord™? Treasure Type vs. Hoard Class can be hard to determine on the fly Unless you have Lands of Ara’s handy Hoard Conversion Table. Then the process is pretty simple.

Rather than invent yet another treasure generation system, I applied the table to the Hoard Generator. Now you can plug in the A-V Treasure Types and produce treasure compatible with the Labyrinth Lord™ Hoard Class.

QED. Another task checked off the TODO list.


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City Name Generator Tweak

Nov 29, 2011
Mark
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Thanks to Greg for taking the time to drop a request, I’ve added the ‘Any Country’ option to the City Name Generator. The new option does exactly what you expect: selects from all available countries in the city name database. His request was:

Can you add an all country option for City Names? Thanks.

I appreciate him pointing out an option I should have included from the start. Continuous improvement is my goal. Feedback and requests help immensely. What should be obvious isn’t always visible when you are head down in the code.


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Are you sure you want to do that?

Nov 29, 2011
Mark

Dread words, for certain. The game master is giving you an out because the outcome is grisly. The brain starts to spin. Are there details I overlooked? Did I miss an important action?

Its something I’ve heard a lot when I choose actions that are not the best action strategically or for long time survival. Frankly, I see those actions as character personality. When it fits, things go to shit. Unless it goes against pure instinct for fight or flight, actions are open.

Most people do not make intelligent choices in the heat of battle or when they are exposed to extreme situations. The heritage and history of the character should bleed through. It’s not like characters kick back, think about the situation for a few minutes and plot how to deal the most damage while minimizing risk.

Characters are people, under duress, with little time to think. They choose in the blink of the eye and react. Not every character can be a battle hardened warrior. Even under extreme circumstances, actions don’t make rational sense. How many medals are given out for sane decisions in the heat of battle?


Zombie Fallout (A Mini-Review)

Nov 28, 2011
Mark

The Zombie Fallout series by Mark Tufo spans four novels with a fifth addition.

  1. Zombie Fallout
  2. A Plague Upon Your Family
  3. The End
  4. The End Has Come and Gone
  5. Dr. Hugh Mann

Of the five, I have read the first four. If you are looking for dark, sinister drama, the books are unlikely to match. The author has provided samples on the series blog. You may want to dip your toe in the water with Amazon’s previews or read a sample.

However if you enjoy oddball fiction involving zombies, you are likely to enjoy the Zombie Fallout series. The main character is Michael Talbot. He’s a guy most men can relate too. Mike’s skilled at shoving his foot in his mouth at inopportune times and stuck in an impossible situation trying to protect his family. The works are in the form of a series of journal entries written by Talbot as he and his family progress from the start of the infection and continue as they continue trying to survive.

Plenty of gore, tales of survivor and loads of sarcastic humor adorn the pages of all the novels. As the story progresses, the challenges faced by the Talbot family continue to grow. At times, the suspension of disbelief dropped away as I read. Still, I wanted more so I kept reading.

With each work, a new variant of zombies appear. (If you enjoy only classic, slow zombies, prepare yourself.) The infection starts with the slow, brainless zombie types. Speeders show up in Plague. They are brainless but fast. Hints of marginal cognition are dropped early in the series but not expanded until The End and The End has come. Intermixed with all the books is a controlling force, Eliza. She’s something an evil incarnate higher form of undead.

Tufo spins a good yarn. The books flow quickly and easily. Relating to the Talbot family is easy. Some of the choices they make are hard to accept but mostly believable. I still am chuckling about some of the flavors of Pop-Tarts mentioned. Not to mention the various labels applied to the undead.

Many reviews I’ve read complained about the lack of an ending. More so, they griped that The End was not in fact the end of the series. Rightfully so. The book was an end. It was not the ending of the saga. Tufo doesn’t have clean, wrap it all up endings. I’m not going to gripe since I was ready for the next chapter after each book. Still, the endings do seem to leave it obviously open to the next work.

I do not think that was the original intent. The only clean cut ending for humans as humanity is wiped out is death. If people survive, the future is grim, uncertain, and going to have tales to be told. Finding a warm, secure location to live out the rest of their lives would fall flat. By necessity, the endings are unknown. He chose to continue the tale. No one forced anyone to continue to read.

For $13, you can get all the books in electronic format. Hard to go wrong.


60+ Modules and Settings for Labyrinth Lord

Nov 25, 2011
Mark
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Thanks to the power posting of Colin of Radioactive Ape Designs my Labyrinth Lord Resource List topped over 60 settings and modules. Such a list can never be complete. Many thanks Colin for the input on the listing. Thanks to all the authors, publishers, editors and artists for putting out such a volume of work.

Modules and Settings

A Promise of Vengeance Fulfilled from R.Lawrence Blake
An evil warlord, facing betrayal from his own family, swore revenge with his dying breath. Ten years later, his vengeance has come to pass with the murder of one and the promise of more death to follow. Has the warlord raised from a decade of unrest to fulfill his bloodthirsty oath? Can the characters stop him before more fall prey to his vengeance? A Promise of Vengeance Fulfilled is a dangerous dungeon crawl for character levels 5-7. For use with the Labyrinth Lord rules or other BASIC/EXPERT rpg systems.
Anomalous Subsurface Environment from Henchman Abuse
Put those dark elves back in their box and get your gonzo on! Riches, glory, and super-science await the bold and the clever in the deep places under the ground. This module describes the dinosaur- and wizard-infested future of the Earth, the city of Denethix, and the first level of the megadungeon that beckons from below.
Assault of the Mushroom-Men from Labyrinthine Lore
A cavernous encounter with creatures that just keep coming!
Atarin’s Delve from Small Niche Games
Atarin’s Delve is a short, site-based Labyrinth LordTM adventure designed for 4-6 characters of 1st-3rd level (about 8-10 levels total). The adventure takes place in a cave system that was once sacred to a humanoid race known as the cathla, but has now been taken over by a cult of the water goddess Makil from the Chronicles of Amherth setting. The adventure includes a mixture of problem solving, roleplaying, and dungeon exploration.
Blackmarsh from Bat in the Attic
In the days when man knew only the working of stone and fought for their existence against the orc and the goblin, the sky turned to ash and down fell the fiery mountain onto the land. The world tore open and the grey waters rushed in. Those who survived the impact were lost as boiling clouds rushed out in all directions leaving a wasteland in its wake.
Blood Moon Rising from Small Niche Games
Garanton is a village like any other, except for five days out of the year when it hosts the Feast of St. Garan. During this time, fighters from abroad come to join in the revelry, mingle with other adventurers, and win fame and fortune fighting in the daily games. But all is not well in Garanton this year. Cruel orcs prowl the forest, dark wizards cast webs of treachery and deceit, and bat-winged demons fill the moonlit sky. Does your party have what it takes to ward off this evil before it consumes the entire town? Designed for 3-6 characters of 1st through 3rd level, the adventure is set in and around the village of Garanton and involves a mixture of wilderness, dungeon, and urban encounters.

Burial Mound of Esur the Red from Dyson Logos
Character Level: 2
In order to defeat a great evil that haunts the land, or to fend off invading armies, or a similar task of heroes, the characters have to find the Ring of Esur the Red.
Challenge of the Frog Idol from Dyson Logos
Character Level: 3-6
An adventure aimed towards clever Labyrinth Lord characters of levels 3-6. The encounters may be a bit rough (didn’t get much playtest time in on this, being that it was a throw-together for a challenge), and the treasures are fairly skimpy.
Come Hell or High Water from Knightvision Games
“What evil machinations lie hidden in the flooded depths of ancient Kharnos Dzin? Whispers in the dark summon the uninitiated…as evil brews beneath the surface of a dead city. Great rewards lie in store, but will adventurers find more then they had bargained for?” Come Hell or High Water is a Labyrinth Lord and AEC compatible adventure designed for 1st and 2nd level characters. Set in the upcoming Ebonyr campaign setting, it can also fit into any generic RPG world. The adventure combines urban, underwater and classic dungeon crawl material.
Curse of the Crosskey from Knightvision Games
The Western Star, sailing on a clear sea, is suddenly caught in a mysterious storm appearing out of the blue. Skies darken as fierce wind and driving rain lash at the ship, sending it crashing upon the shore of Crosskey Island. Those fortunate souls that survive must find rescue before their supply of food and water run out. Some of the passengers seem to have plans of their own. Will the “Curse of Crosskey” finally be revealed?

Continue reading »


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Labyrinth Lord Resource Page Update

Nov 24, 2011
Mark
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Prompted today by a forum post, I undertook a significant expansion for modules and settings on the Labyrinth Lord Resource List. The list can never be complete but it is better than it was yesterday. Feel free to point me to publishers/resources/materials I have overlooked.


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Labelled Grid Maps

Nov 23, 2011
Mark
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When you are sitting at a table, it is quick and easy to get clarification on a map. You can just point to a specific point or indicate a region. The GM repeats the process. Maps are more difficult in a play-by-post situation. Everyone is reliant on a textual description to place objects unless the GM has the time to update and post a new map as action occurs. Graphical updates can be time consuming. Enter the labelled grid map.

The current PBP game I am in started with this map:

Nothing wrong with it but as the action flowed along, I began to lose track of where people, creatures, and pertinent objects were in the scene. Asking for clarification helps but doesn’t eliminate all the uncertainty. To aid in the process, you need a common method of describing positions. Something more specific than 9 directions or sides.

Enter mapping based on a grid system with labels.

I had no scale for reference from the original map. Scale isn’t required but is useful. I just fit a reasonably sized grid over the top of the original map and labelled both axes. Now I can specify exactly which grid cell my character is in by stating the X,Y labels in addition to the description. The GM, in turn, can position objects in a similar manner. Both of us have a much clearer understanding of where things are positioned. The labels mitigate confusion from text based descriptions.

The example grid was generated using the Pattern/Grid plugin for Gimp. Then I just added text labels along the axis of the map. Next time, I might figure out how to align the labels.


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