Morale Check

RPG Miscellany

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Back to RPGs

It has been awhile since I’ve posted, it has also been awhile since I’ve played an RPG. That changed tonight as I began running a 5e D&D game. I know, not exactly OSR, but not much I can do about that, it’s what the players like. My preference will always be Basic D&D and it’s ilk.

I’m easing my way back in, starting with published adventures, specifically the updated 5e version of The Sunless Citadel in the Tales from the Yawning Portal, modified to fit into the world of Mystara, set around the village of Stallanford in Karameikos.

Tales from the Yawning Portal also contains a 5e version of the Forge of Fury adventure, the original follow up to The Sunless Citadel. I could also follow up with B11 Kings Festival which just happens to also be set around the village of Stallandford. We’ll see how the first adventure goes.



Name: Österhüssen “the steadfast” or “the loyal”

Alignment: Good

Portfolio: Friendship, loyalty, steadfastness, resoluteness

Symbol: A figure with weapon drawn back to a stone wall

Favored Weapon: Mace

Typical worshippers: Adventurers, those who rely on others for survival, or those facing great challenges or overwhelming odds from which they refuse to back down.

Slow posting lately

I have a bunch of posts sitting in my head waiting to get out but I haven’t had time, to many projects on the go 🙂

RPG related items that I am working on are an update to Labyrinth Lord to switch it to an ascending AC, attack bonus, system a la the d20 system. I am going full out and updating all related pages in the Labyrinth Lord PDF itself so I can print them out and have the updates fit seamlessly. I’d like to post this stuff when its done but I need to look into whether or not that is possible.

Along with the above I am working on a “new” character sheet using this sheet (free as of the time I posted this) as a base. Again, once it’s done I’d like to post it but I’ll have to get in contact with its creator first.

I also have a couple maps I have drawn that I need to scan and post.

And lastly, not RPG related, I am working on building a radio control car that communicates via bluetooth so I can drive it with my phone.

Oh and I am preparing for my next game session which is two weeks away yet so I have some time for that!

Group 1 characters

These are the characters in my Group 1 campaign. Next session a replacement for Sneex will get created, I am hoping for a Halfling.

Sneex and Brann belong to one player, Madge and Lea another. As you can see Madge and Lea’s owner had some hot d6’s that night.

Name: Sneex (Dead)
Class: Thief, Alignment: Lawful
Strength: 12, Intelligence: 11, Wisdom: 6, Dexterity: 15, Constitution: 7, Charisma: 14
AC: 7, HP: 3

Name: Brann Bronzebeard
Class: Dwarf, Alignment: Lawful
Strength: 11, Intelligence: 11, Wisdom: 5, Dexterity: 9, Constitution: 10, Charisma: 13
AC: 7, HP: 8

Name: Madge
Class: Fighter, Alignment: Neutral
Strength: 15, Intelligence: 13, Wisdom: 14, Dexterity: 10, Constitution: 14, Charisma: 7
AC: 6, HP: 9

Name: Lea
Class: Elf, Alignment: Neutral
Strength: 16, Intelligence: 15, Wisdom: 13, Dexterity: 11, Constitution: 11, Charisma: 8
AC: 7, HP: 6

New campaign rules selection woes

I have a few new campaigns on the horizon; one for my girlfriend and a friend of hers who haven’t really played any type of table top RPG before (Group 1) , and the other for my gaming group that has played together off and on since high school (Group 2). I would like to choose a set of rules that I can use to make both groups happy but that is turning out to be more difficult than I had anticipated.

Group 1 is the easier of the two to please. They have no preconceived notions, no bad habits (although no good habits either), but really, as long as the game is simple enough for them to pick up over the course of a few hours things will run just fine and they will both be perfectly happy.

Group 2 is where my problem lies. We started gaming together playing 2e AD&D, from there we moved to 3rd, 3.5, and eventually 4th. We moved through the editions as they were released, always thinking that the new edition would just be a much (un)needed improvement over whatever edition we were currently playing. It wasn’t until we began playing 4th edition that my groups preferences split and trouble began. Of the six of us two now prefer 3.5, 2 have no preference, one prefers 4th, and one (me) prefers to revert back to an older, more “basic”, edition. Over the years and editions we have all developed some bad role playing habits; habits that I now want to break.

To break these habits I think going back to basics, games that use race as class and more GM rulings and interpretation than actual rules, is the way to go however I have to keep in mind that people won’t play if they aren’t having fun. I would like to believe that everyone would enjoy themselves using rules such as Labyrinth Lord, but, because of Labyrinth Lords use of race as class I am not 100% sure that is the case and I would rather not have change rules in the middle of a campaign.

One alternative that I have only recently become aware of is Swords & Wizardry, specifically the Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook. This is a 0e reinterpretation that does a lot of things that I like. It has separate races and classes to make my 3.5 and 4th preference players happy. Races are limited in class choices (for example dwarves can only be fighters or fighter-thieves) and the non-core classes have ability requirements, a big plus for me (one of the habits I think we need to break is that of creating characters instead of generating characters). I don’t find the Swords & Wizardry books layout as pleasing as Labyrinth Lords, and I think my newbies would find Labyrinth Lords writing more accessible.

Thankfully Labyrinth Lord and Swords & Wizardry are 99% compatible so my indecision on a game system hasn’t hampered my ability to prepare for the upcoming games. My Group 1 game starts this Saturday so my time to make up my mind is getting shorter.

Am I over thinking this? Does the system choice really matter to my players as much as (I think) it matters to me? Is my desire to return to the ultra simplicity of race as class to much of a knee jerk reaction to the over complication of 3.5 and 4th or is Swords & Wizardry a happy compromise?

What to do what to do, any thoughts are appreciated.

Making Magic Items Special

To a lot of players merely finding a magical item is sufficient reward but to me as a GM I find it much more rewarding, for myself, and my players, to create a special description and history for each item found. In general I find it takes about 5 minutes to come up with 3 to 5 sentences to liven up the description of any items that I hand out.

I typically allow sages and bards to identify the histories of items. The cost and amount of time it takes to discover the history I generally wing, but low powered items take about 100gp and a weeks time, with more powerful items scaling up from there. However the items use and power must be determined from the history given and in game experimentation.

Not only do the players enjoy learning about the history of the items but it gives me as the GM a boat load of potential adventure hooks for the future!