Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Operation Rogue Lion is Finished!

Pleased to say I've done the last bit of writing on the mission-side of Operation Rogue Lion. I still need to do some maps and city write-ups, but the mission itself is completed. Now, on to the first round of editing!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Three More Rooms and the Wrap Up to go...

I've only got three more rooms and the mission wrap up to go before I can put Operation Rogue Lion into the next phase of publication. It's looking like it'll be something close to 30-35k words long, longer than expected, but this is probably a good thing for an introductory mission.

Who knows how long The Bucharest Libretto with turn out to be...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Good News from Out of the Blue

This post is un-game-related so you can skip it if you want.

My wife (Suzi) has been studying to become a Nurse Practitioner for about the past 4 years and she's about 4 months from graduating. Day before yesterday she got a call about a potential job interview yesterday at our old Ohio small town of Coshocton. So we drove out there and she had the interview and they want to see her again in the next few weeks (this time with the head of clinic, and with a tour of the clinic, and with discussion regarding contracts). So it looks like she's going to get a job offer to this old hiring manager (ie. you don't waste your time doing a tour with a potential hire unless you plan to make an offer). I could be wrong, but I would be surprised if that was so.

The clinic is a federally qualified health center, meaning it can qualify for enhanced reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other benefits. FQHCs must serve an underserved area or population, offer a sliding fee scale, provide comprehensive services, have an ongoing quality assurance program, and have a governing board of directors. This is what she really wants to do and we'd really like for it to come together.

So wish us luck, and sorry for not getting much done on Operation Rogue Lion yesterday!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Only one more Location left in Operation Rogue Lion

I'm happy to say that I'm down to the final location in Operation Rogue Lion. If all goes according to plan, I probably have less than 4k more words to go before doing all the clean-up work needed to start laying the bugger out. Glad to be nearing the end and I'm hoping that the mission lives up to expectations.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Magic Hoard - Trueblade

Another magic item. Dunno when they'll stop popping into my head, but until then I'll share...

Trueblade: Trueblades come into existence in the hands of sole-survivors: the blade turned magical through the forge of battle. Trueblades are +1 blades (any edged weapon can be a trueblade) that guarantee a single hit once per combat.  The bearer needs only to declare the ability to successfully hit.  Experience Point Value: 800 G. P. Value: 4,000.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Operation Rogue Lion Update

Right now I've got about 2.5 locations to do before the mission is basically done. After those locations, the rest is dealing with bits and bobs (statting up new weapons/equipment, detailing the city maps with hotels and restaurants, providing a bit more information regarding background, tec.) that should come pretty quickly.

Once that's done, I'll run into layout and get the rough plan going enough to commission art based upon where the text needs support or where the layout's being a bitch and needs some correction.

All in all, not too bad. I may not be done by the end of the month like I hoped, but I'm pretty certain if not, I'll be done by the end of the 1st week in Feb.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Magic Hoard - Two-handed Staff

And another from the hoard... 

Two-handed Staff: This staff +1 has an iron fist at each end. Upon command, the top fist flies out, allowing the wielder to attack creatures up to 60 feet away. Upon a second command, the top fist flies out and attaches itself to a non-living object not worn or carried by a living creature. A third command opens the bottom fist, creating a foot-hold, and then levitates the staff to join with the first fist attached to a non-living object. In this manner, the wielder of a two-headed staff can easily step onto the second fist and enjoy transportation to the first. The staff can carry up to 400 lbs. Experience Point Value: 1,500 G. P. Value: 9,000.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Magic Hoard - Cloak of the Land

Another magical item...

Cloak of the Land: When thrown upon the ground, this brown cloak’s folds make a roughly-accurate topographical map (20 miles square centered on the owner) of the nearby area. The cloak even changes colors to indicate water, trees, etc. A cloak of the land does not work underground. Experience Point Value: 2,500 G. P. Value: 15,000.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Operation Rogue Lion Cover Preview

Here's the first preview of the Operation Rogue Lion cover. I'm going with the same minimalist approach I did with the Classified core rules cover. I think the figure in front of the Botswana flag is stark and visually to-the-point. Unlike the core book, there will be a bit of text on the back explaining the gist of the mission. I haven't got to that part yet, however.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Completely New Type of Magic Item? You tell me!

So here are two examples of what I think maybe a completely new magical item type for the OSR. Of course, there's more than a decent chance that I'm wrong (I'm far from uber-literate regarding all OSR rpgs) and I'd love to know if something like this has been done before.

Behold the first (?) Transmutational Magic Items, magic items that alter a character's magic during the casting!

Apprentice Wand: Traditionally given by a master to his former student on the last day of his apprenticeship, the apprentice wand is typically straight yew tipped with brass. When a charge is used, it transforms any 1st-level spell into a read magic spell. It can be recharged by casting read magic spells upon it. Experience Point Value: 250 G. P. Value: 500.

Staff of the Thistle: Formed from the root of a bramble bush, the staff of the thistle has the following transmutational magic functions when a charge is used:

1. Grasping Thistle: Upon the casting of any 2nd-level druidic spell, the staff transmutes the spell into an entangle, but all entangling plants also grow spikes, inflicting 1-2 hit points of damage per round spent in the area of effect, regardless if a creature is entangled.

2. Spiny Grass: Upon the casting of entangle, the staff transmutes the spell into spiny grass in an area of effect that is double the entangle.  The area is considered covered with caltrops for the duration of the spell. For each yard traveled in the area, a creature is attacked by a 1+1HD creature and any hit has a 25% chance to slow movement by 25% for the next 4 days. If a creature is hit a number of times equal to its feet (two for bipeds, four for horses, etc.) the creature’s movement is reduced by 90% for the next 8 days.

A staff of the thistle can be recharged by casting plant growth upon it. Experience Point Value: 750 G. P. Value: 5,000.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Un-Seriousness

I've been a bit amiss in posting Sunday Un-Seriousnesses for the past few months. Silly as it may seem, I think being silly is very important. I'm a rather serious guy and it does me good to occasionally focus on the silly/stupid/funny parts of life. So here's the first of the year - I finally added the right labels to the pic we took at the Seattle Aquarium in 2012. This little fella hung out at the corner of the window for the full half hour that we sat in the underwater area. Really was a suspicious fish...

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Completely New Type of Magic Item?

So last night when I was going to sleep, I think I came up with an entirely new class of magic item for rpging. I'll have to work a few concepts up and see if anyone knows of something similar in the history of rpging. I wouldn't be surprised if someone's thought of it before, but I honestly don't know of any examples. This could be very cool...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Population Densities

I'm the kind of gaming nerd that likes to think about population densities, land utilization, trade routes, etc. I found the below map on the net. Were you to do a fantasy version of the below map, I'd suspect many people would expect/demand a reason for such a disparate distribution. Makes you think about how there doesn't need to be fantastical reasons for some rather fantastical-seeming realities.

The Magic Hoard - Ring of Attunement

Been working on a rather uncooperative Operation Rogue Lion map (and have two more to go), but the magic item ideas just keep coming, so here's another treasure from the hoard....

Ring of Attunement: This ring provides the magic-user or illusionist with a +1 on saves vs. a particular type of magic (Alteration, Necromantic, etc.) and causes targets of such spells cast by the owner to save at -1 against the same type of magic. Additionally, it allows the owner to freely cast a 1st or 2nd level spell of the same type once per day. Experience Point Value: 2,000 G. P. Value: 10,000.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Magic Hoard - Shieldbreaker

There doesn't seem to be a lot of magical pole arms, so here's a rather powerful one...

Shieldbreaker: This +4 halberd destroys any shield it hits. If a creature bearing a shield is damaged by Shieldbreaker during a combat round, its shield must succeed on a crushing blow or be rendered useless. Wooden shields are splintered, but metal shields can be repair by a skilled smith. A character with a shield may choose to deliberately not use it when fighting Shieldbreaker, but the character loses the benefit of the shield to his AC and also suffers an additional -1 penalty to AC because of the unnatural behavior. However, this completely protects the shield from Shieldbreaker. Experience Point Value: 3,000 G. P. Value: 15,000.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Operation Rogue Lion Map Preview

Here's a nation-state level map I've been working on for Operation Rogue Lion. It's sparse compared with a map that you can find online, but I think that it works well from a gaming standpoint because it highlights areas that a GM might find difficult to locate on a more-complete map (How many people could quickly find Maun, Botswana on a detailed map?). I figure that if the GM wants more detail, the 'net is just a click away, but the map provides enough information so the GM doesn't have to check online, and if nothing else, provides a jumping-off point for creating additional detail.

(ps. if you don't' know about the Okovango Delta, go check it out. Simply amazing, IMO.)

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Nobody does it better… than Classified." First Review of Classified!

The first review of Classified is out and I'm pleased to find it positive. I put a lot of effort into updating and streamlining the game and it's nice to see customers picking up on that effort.

The review can be found at Modus Operandi.

The long hibernation of the James Bond 007 RPG is about to end. Classified has resuscitated a great action hero system and updated it for contemporary missions. I am looking forward to seeing this game supported again and maybe expanded as well. The book already provides enough material to conduct a straight-up para-military campaign in the vein of The A Team or the The Expendables. It would be great to see Classified as the core rules for weird investigation similar to Delta Green or X-Files or adapted to an action-horror setting akin to Apocalypse Prevention Inc or Night’s Black Agents.

There are certainly plenty of options for modern action role-playing, but for me, dare I say… Nobody does it better… than Classified.

Grab your Glock and a silencer. Your country needs you.

The Magic Hoard - First of a Series

For some reason, magic items have been popping into my head on a daily basis for about the past week. So this of course means I should turn these into blog posts. I figure everyone enjoys a new magic item so might as well share. Here's the first of the series I'm going to call The Magic Hoard.

Ring of Cat’s Life: This ring is made of 9 powdered housecat teeth mixed with gold. It has 9 charges. A charge can be used to turn a failed save into a successful save. Once depleted, the ring no longer works for the owner. However, it can be passed to another owner, up to a maximum of 9 total owners. Experience Point Value: 3,000 G. P. Value: 25,000.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Operation Rogue Lion Update

Only wrote 300 words today on Operation Rogue Lion, which is quite a bit less than I think I need to. That said, I came to a point where I need to make two, perhaps even three, maps so I don't really feel that bad about my low production today. I'll try to tackle all the maps tomorrow and hopefully get writing again on Tuesday.

Now, off to edit the as-yet-unannounced bad-ass OSR project I've got going and then to bunker down here in Ohio. Things are going to get ugly weather-wise. We're raining until midnight then freezing and snowing with temperatures dropping all day tomorrow to a low of -8. Gonna be ugly out there.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gaborone Botswana Classified Map

Since taking a pledge to get Operation Rogue Lion into first-draft manuscript by the end of this month, I've written 1,500+ words, finished one map, and updated another. So far so good.

One cool thing happened along the way... Some of Operation Rogue Lion takes place in Gaborone, Botswana. When I thought up the mission I was just thinking of interesting places that people don't normally get to game in and Botswana was on that list. After working out the gist of the mission flow and getting everything down, I went to map the cities the mission contains and found out that the net didn't have *any* street names for Gaborone Botswana. None. Nada. Zip.

Luckily, in the 6 months between initial writing and finally reaching Gaborone in the real writing day before yesterday, the 'net has caught up and there are now named streets in Gaborone.

So here's the Gaborone Botswana map from Operation Rogue Lion. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 3, 2014

In Which I Bitch.....

Wake up this morning to do the business end of the business. I'd rather write, edit, "cartograph", and even art direct more than I like doing mechanical business stuff. I hate doing this crap, but it's vitally necessary. 1:20 later, I'm now done and now I can get back to the more fun and creative aspects of this job.

I created and sent out 3 solicitations - 1 on 1 Adventures #16: The Lost City of Bransik (March 2014), Classified Core Rules (May 2014), and Advanced Adventures #31: The Lost Lair of Drecallis (March 2014).

So there's some dates for ya....

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Map Preview - Operation Rogue Lion

Thought I'd show another map preview from Operation Rogue Lion. This one is of a condo taking up an entire floor near the top of a residential tower. I think I've developed a good style for the maps. I think they're sufficiently modern without being as cluttered as would a more-detailed, more-realistic map.

Hope you enjoy!

Ringing in 2014 the Right Way

New year, lots to do (Classified, Operation Rogue Lion, The Bucharest Libretto, Magical Medieval Society: India, Sorcery & Super Science 2nd Edition, etc... etc...) so time to hit the ground writing....

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