Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tome of Tomes - 1st month of Patreon Completed!

Happy to say that I delivered 14 new tomes to my Patreons this month as promised and am already working on the next 14. Below is another in the series thanks to their kind generosity...

Outer Alchemy (incomplete)
Author: Li Sheng
Race: Human
Dimensions: 6x8x1.5
Weight: 1 lbs.
Materials: Stitch bound, xuan paper
Rarity: Very rare
Fields of Study: Physical universe
Special Knowledge Categories: Chemistry
Value: 1,250 gp

Composed of 7 stitch bound, xuan paper booklets joined by a silk ribbon, this collection of Outer Alchemy is incomplete. The introduction indicates this collection is the first 7 of 108 volumes. Almost impossible to find outside of the far eastern lands, these first 7 volumes cover alchemical manipulations of mercury, sulfur, lead, arsenic, cinnabar, realgar, and silver. That is if one can translate them, of course.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Call for 1 on 1 Adventure Manuscripts!

Expeditious Retreat Press is looking for authors for three 1 on 1 Adventures for the Pathfinder rpg.
Project Length: 10k-14k words, with target of 12k words.
Pay Rate: $0.01 cent/edited word. Pay on acceptance via PayPal or USD check.
Additional details: I'm looking for three new adventures in our line of 1 on 1 Adventures. We've put out 16, I've one in manuscript form right now, and I'm looking for #'s 18, 19, and 20. 1 on 1 Adventures are for one player and one GM. Any expressing serious interest will be provided examples of published adventures for guidelines in terms of format and style.

1 on 1 Adventures require a different creative hand than standard adventures. For example, any magic that paralyzes is effectively a death sentence when there is only one player (barring the intent to capture, of course.) Prospective authors should take this difference into consideration.

I prefer site-based adventures over plot-based adventures (but any type of good adventure is desired), and am particularly looking for adventures for the more martial classes.

Respond by: I would prefer responses occur prior to May 1, 2015 to with title "Call for 1 on 1 Adventure Manuscripts!" If you're interested, please contact me.
Joseph Browning
Expeditious Retreat Press

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Magical Medieval Society: On Place Names now available!

It's been almost 7 years since I put out any Magical Medieval Society stuff, but that's changed as of this morning. The PDF,  A Magical Medieval Society: On Place Names has entered the world and I'm glad to see it out there. If you want some help with naming the places on your maps, you will probably want to check this one out. It's a little bit more than $5.
Bring the rich history of place names into your game! A Magical Medieval Society: On Place Names provides tips and tricks for GM interested in creating good place names for their campaign. Included is a 500+ word list providing detailed information regarding the historical naming of places in the UK. This powerful resource can be used as a guide for newly created words in a campaign language, or as drop-and-roll resource providing limitless combinations right out of the gate.

Make the names on your maps make sense! Pick up A Magical Medieval Society: On Place Names!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tome of Tomes

Another in the Patreon-supported series. Thanks again!

Scholastic Alchemy
Author: Darla Springsilver
Race: Gnome
Dimensions: 8x10x4
Weight: 6 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Very rare
Fields of Study: Physical universe
Special Knowledge Categories: Chemistry
Value: 75 gp

A broad and meandering, yet incisive, view on the methods of transmitting alchemical truth, Springsilver’s work is a highly contentious one. Destroying the master/apprentice relationship, she strives to bring alchemy into the scholastic tradition, openly discussing alchemical truths that many believe should be concealed. Executed for her efforts, few copies exist of this, her final work.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tome of Tomes

Continuing the Patreon-supported series...

Salt, Sulfur, Mercury
Author: Urdux Simoprater
Race: Human
Dimensions: 8x10x1.5
Weight: 3 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment, brass clasps,
Rarity: Common
Fields of Study: Physical universe
Special Knowledge Categories: Chemistry
Value: 10 gp

Salt, Sulfur, Mercury is a very old text, perhaps several millennia old. It is believed to be one of the first alchemical texts and will almost surely be found in any scholarly alchemical library. Unfortunately, the information contained within is uniformly useless, either from centuries of mistranslations or from excisions in the text regarding important steps in alchemical processes. It is kept today more as a historical piece than as a source of knowledge.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tome of Tomes

 Here's the second volume from my newly-Patreon'd Tome of Tome series. Again, thanks to all my Patreons for allowing me to dedicate the time towards this series.

Esoteric Alchemy
Author: Zozimos Panopt
Race: Human
Dimensions: 16x16x3
Weight: 15 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Very rare
Fields of Study: Humankind, physical universe, supernatural & unusual
Special Knowledge Categories: Biology, chemistry, metaphysics
Value: 650 gp

In this large, detailed work, Panopt delves deeply into the spiritual nature of the alchemical search: the search to transmute the human soul from its base metal into gold. A highly metaphorical work, yet one also squarely rooted in exoteric application, Esoteric Alchemy is a masterful discourse on the subject. Rarely found even in alchemical libraries, it draws a strong price from interested parties.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tome of Tomes

As some of you know, I've recently started a Patreon campaign to help keep me working on the Tome of Tomes series. I've just handed over the first seven on the 15th to my supporters, and would like to mention that I'm only a single Patreon away (only $1 per set of tomes) from hitting my 3rd milestone of releasing 8 tomes twice monthly. So thanks to my kind Patreons, I'd like to share the first tome of the seven released to the Patreons on the 15th just passed.

I'm glad to be working on these again. Thanks all!

Korpora’s Spagyrics
Author: Korpora Silverhand
Race: Dwarf
Dimensions: 8x8x1
Weight: 2lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Uncommon
Fields of Study: Demi-humankind, physical universe, flora
Special Knowledge Categories: Biology, chemistry, fungi
Value: 45 gp

A foundational work regarding dwarven medicinal mushroom fermentation and mushroom tinctures, Korpora’s Spagyrics is commonly found in the libraries of dwarven healers, but rarely found elsewhere. Spagyrics quickly and clearly covers all the calcinations used with the more common underground mushrooms, but the work is brief and leaves a lot to be desired for the experienced dwarven alchemist, herbalist, or healer.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Magical Society Guide to Place Names - Update

Been a while since I last updated on the new Magical Society PDF designed to help GMs name places, but I'm now up to 500 entries. I'm in the "W" section and soon will be finished with the dictionary. I've then to jump to an older text on the subject where I'm sure I'll add a few more, but I believe that I'm mostly done now. I may hit 550 entries, but I think that would probably be the end of it.

I do admit that I chuckle whenever I think that I will have actually read an entire dictionary when I'm done with this. I have a wild and crazy life!

Monday, March 9, 2015

GM's Day Sale Ending Tomorrow

Just an update to let everyone know that the sale we're having on the hardcopy versions of our Advanced Adventures at our website will be ending tomorrow. Grab 'em if you want 'em!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

GM's Day Sale is On!

Alrighty folks, prices are about 1/2 off normal on XRP goodies at OBS for the next 3 days. Enjoy!

Also, hardcopies of our Advanced Adventures are on sale at our website as well, per request.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

GM's day sale at XRP delayed until after GM's day

I woke up this morning planning to start a 3 day-long GM's day sale on our PDFs over at OBS, but as I looked through my social media at everyone reflecting about Gary, I just couldn't bring myself to do any business promotion today. This means I'll start our 50% off sale tomorrow (5th-7th) and it'll run for 3 days.

Today I'm just going to be another gamer, glad to have had the chances I did to speak with Mr. Gygax. Tomorrow I'll put on my business-owner hat.

And to preemptively make sure I'm not misunderstood - I'm completely fine with others using the day to celebrate GMing commercially, as GM's day was, after all, created long before Gary passed. I'll probably do the same next year as I've done many years before.

But this year, I don't really know why, I just didn't feel like doing it.

Thanks for decades of fun!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Patreon Campaign successful on the first day!

I'm very happy to say that the Tome of Tomes Patreon Campaign I started yesterday is successful and we've even passed our first milestone goal! I'm pleased about the support and because of it, I get to spend time today coming up with new books for fantasy libraries. Excellent!

I've decided that since I'm going to be releasing 6 tomes every two weeks (perhaps 7 if I get a few more patrons), I'm going to group them into small themes reflecting the interests of a particular subject. For example, the first group of 6 is going to be books you could find in a Alchemist's library. Titles so far include: Korpora’s Spagyrics, Esoteric Alchemy, Salt Sulfur Mercury, Scholastic Alchemy, Outer Alchemy, Rasâyana. The last two are the most rare, being from far-away eastern lands...

I'm really glad to be working on these again. Thanks guys!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I've started a Tome of Tomes Patreon project!

So I've started a Patreon campaign for my Tome of Tomes series! I've decided to do this because, as you all know, I support myself doing this rpg-writing gig and that means I try to focus my efforts (and time) on things that I think will turn out to be the most profitable. Sometimes I'm wrong about that choice, but most of the time I can guess pretty well. I've been doing this a while after all.

That means that sometimes the things I enjoy most I can't spend much time on. One of those things is the Tome of Tome series. I *really* love writing up those little books, but the time involved can be surprisingly non-cost-effective. Writing them helps me get in touch with the wonder I had as a 12 year-old, diving into dungeons and finding secret, esoteric libraries.

So here's where you guys could come in. If I could only get 5 people to support my efforts, I'd feel ok about spending the time needed to create them. I've decided that I'm going to give it a good 6 month shot regardless how many Patreons support my efforts, but after that I'll bow to reality and accept that I need to put my efforts elsewhere. Also, all the tomes will posted here on the blog of course.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Worlds Apart now a PWYW pdf at OBS

Worlds Apart, my take on a fantasy version of Mongoose's version of Traveller, is now a Pay What You Want product at OBS.

This is my first test to see how PWYW does with a older (2.5 years) product that has a few supplements. I'm hoping it gets the game into more people's hands, I'll get tipped a bit for the core rules, and people will pick up the supplements to enhance the experience. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Meet Avit - The 1st character in the 2nd Edition of Sorcery & Super Science!

Just finished creating the first character for the ICONS powered 2nd Edition of Sorcery & Super Science!, so I thought I'd share. This is unedited, but I'm too excited to wait to show you all what's going on with character creation.
Character Creation Example
I’m going to be a player in a Sorcery & Super Science! game so I need to roll up a character. I get my pair of hand-carved antler dice, a piece of paper, my trusty Palomino Blackwing 602 pencil (yeah, I’m a pencil aficionado) and away we go!

Phase 1: Origin
I roll 2d6 on the Origin table and get an 8. I’m a Master Mutant! This means that all my mutations are increased by +1 level after I roll for them, after I roll my mutations I get to choose two bonus Mutations at Average (4) level or add two Extras, I get to increase one of my Attributes by +1 (to a maximum of 8), and all my Marginal Successes when using my mutations are treated as Moderate Successes. Sweet! I’m going to be the “Best of the best, Sir!” when it comes to muties below the shattered moon.

Phase 2: Attributes
Next, I roll six times on the Attribute Table and I get the following levels for my new character’s attributes:

Exceptional (6)
Exceptional (6)
Good (5)
Good (5)
Average (4)
Poor (3)

I rolled pretty well and it looks like I’ve got a combat-oriented character ‘a brewing. As a Master Mutant, I get to up one of my attributes by +1 level, but I’m going to wait until I have an fully-fleshed view of my new character so I can put that bonus where it would best benefit the concept.

Phase 3: Mutations
The bread and butter for a Master Mutant, I hope I roll high on this one. But I don’t. I roll a 5 and get 3 Mutations. Time to switch to a different pair of dice: the antler ones have obviously lost the mojo they had when rolling for Attributes. With my new pair of Baltic amber dice in hand, I roll on the Mutation Type tables, then the individual sub-tables, and then on the Attribute Table to determine the level of each of my three mutations. Factoring in my +1 level to all my mutations because I’m a Master Mutant, this results in:

Fast Attack
Exceptional (6)
Remarkable (7)
Good (5)

Not a bad trio! Coupled with my high physical attributes, Blast and Fast Attack confirm that I should focus on a combat-oriented character, and Precognition will give be a tactical advantage to help me know when to avoid combat. It’s nice to always have a ranged attack: a big bonus. As a Master Mutant, I can choose two more Mutations or Extras for the one’s I’ve already got. First I’m going to think a bit about my character and then get back to that.

Given what I’ve generated, I think I’m going to go with a mutated animal concept. The first thing that popped into my head was an armadillo (those buggers can claw pretty quickly) so I’m running with that. With the mutated armadillo concept in my head, I choose Average (4) Damage Resistance (armadillos have leathery armor shells), and Average (4) Burrowing. These two allow me to fight better and run away better.

Since I have Blast, I need to decide what kind. I think my character has a long armored tail with a bulbous end, sort of like an ankylosaurus, except it’s composed of many small rock-like projectiles that I can launch with a quick flick. This results in my full mutation list looking like this:

Fast Attack
Exceptional (6)
Remarkable (7)
Blast (Bashing)
Good (5)
Resistance (Damage)
Average (4)
Average (4)

Now that I know my mutations, I assign my +1 level Attribute bonus to my Coordination, upping that to Remarkable (7). I’m remarkably agile and quick. Which again, if you’ve ever encountered an armadillo, they are surprisingly so.

Phase 4: Skills
A quick roll on the Number of Skills table generates 4 skills (my amber dice are doing their job), and I’ve already spoken with the GM about random or chosen skills: we’re going with random. Four quick d66 rolls later and I’m Skilled in:

Advanced Technology
Sleight of Hand
Primitive Hand-to-Hand Weapons

My wee armadillo character obviously had an unusual background. Perhaps he grew up in an isolated vault-type environment, but had to leave for some reason?

Phase 5: Description
I’ve basically worked up a description of my character already, but I need to put some polish on it. The character is a mutated armadillo with a bulbous tail, raised in a self-contained, underground, experimental genetics lab. The A.I. that ran the lab eventually ran out of power and the entire lab shut down. All of the creatures within would have perished were it not for the burrowing ability of the character, who was able to slowly work his way through a thick duraplast hatch.

Given this background, I’m going to name him AVIT, short for Armadillo, Strain V, Line I, Modification T. He’ll go by Avit. Avit learned about Advanced Technology and Computers from the A.I. learning pods, and picked up Sleight of Hand and Primitive Hand-to-Hand Weapons once loose upon the surface.

Phase 6: Qualities, Determination, and Stamina
Now that Avit is almost finished, it’s time to look towards his background and character for three Qualities. First, I think “A Rock and a Hard Place” would be a good quality: he’s been there before and will probably be again. Secondly, “The Best Offense is a Good Defense” should play well with his leathery armor and penchant for burrowing away from danger: he’s just as much a runner as a fighter. Finally, “Return to Eden” shows that he wants to find another place like his sunken vault, where life is safe and good.

Avit has 1 Determination (6 -6 mutations -1 Attribute above 6), and he has 8 Stamina (5 Strength + 3 Willpower).

All in all, Avit is a character that fights well, but also one not adverse to running away and hiding. He’s short on the Willpower component, but if he falls into with the right group of muties, he will definitely be an asset and a good friend.

Phase 7: Languages & Equipment
With a Good (5) Intellect and subject to the A.I. learning pods, I decide that Avit knows English, Spanish, and French and is literate in all three. The GM may decide that is too much of an advantage and make me “sacrifice” a language. Such a ruling would be fine by me.

Avit left the vault with many Tech items, but he’s managed to go through all of them (and had the remainder stolen), so he only has the normal choices when it comes to starting Equipment. I’ve got 200 bv. to equip him, but the GM has already told me to wait until we all meet for the first time to determine our equipment. She wants to let all of us have equipment that’s suitable to the terrain we’re in, so I’m guessing that we’re going to be someplace climatically harsh. Perhaps the Southwestern deserts, the Southeastern swamps, or the cold Northeastern lands.

Phase 8. Game Master Approval
When we finally meet, the GM nixes my three languages with three literacies and makes me “sacrifice” one language to keep English and Spanish with literacy in both, which is what I expected. She also tells us that, yep, we’re the Southwestern desert alright as we’re all meeting up in The Lucky Duchy, so time to look over that equipment list with an eye towards the hot environment…

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