Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Random encounter thing

Just something I just thought about: a format to make random encounter tables. Whenever you trigger one, roll 2d6, high number (x) decides encounter. low number (y) may trigger a special effect.

(These are placeholder monsters to show how this works, 1 being very strange encounters and 6 a very common encounter)

1 - The wild hunt, commanded by the most legendary king in your setting.
2 - The morrigan (on y=1 she'll be dancing naked, with a bottle of whiskey in her hand)
3 -bandit leader (on y=1 he'll reveal family ties with one of the PCs )
4 -kobolds (tough and stealthy; y=number of them)
5 -bandits (stealthy; y=number of them)
6 -skeletons(tough, y=number of them)

OUTPUT % highest of 2d6

1 2.78

2 8.33

3 13.89

4 19.44

5 25.00

6 30.56

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Great Silence and another half baked game.

I'm seriously trying to come up with some rules-lite sword and sorcery game to introduce my cousin into the hobby this saturday, but something inside me is gravitating constantly towards the mystical wild west themes. I think that's why this quick system is strangely "open".

To create your character, roll 2d6 and compare the result with this table. You get +1 on the corresponding traits.

  1. Toughness (brawling, enduring physical harm, strenght feats)
  2. Dexterity (shooting, reflexes, anything regarding precision)
  3. Eerieness (force of will, raw charm, casting spells)
  4. Wisdom (general knowledge, insight and intuition)
  5. choose yourself
  6. choose yourself

You start at level 1. Pick your starting knack: it can be Combat training, a Skill or a Spell. You can choose to do it randomly.


When you take a level as a fighter, you get +2 HP to your total whenever you roll for it, and a +1 bonus to damage when using a favored kind of weapon. You can pick the same weapon multiple times as you level up for extra bonus.

3- 4: SKILLS

Whenever you do something that falls under your skill domain, you can re-roll the lowest die and keep the highest result.

  1. Survival. You know how to hunt and track in the wilderness, how to identify herbs and dangers and how to be stealthy out there.You can make fire by spinning little sticks.
  2. Thievery. You know how to pass unaverted either on a dark alley or in a crowded tavern; how to pick locks and pockets, and where to find contacts among your guild.
  3. Medicine. You know how to sew wounds or diagnose illnesses; and also how to cook some poultices and poisons.
  4. Acrobatics. You're as agile as a cat. You know how to walk through a rope or climb trees as easy as breathing. You can use this skill on combat if you perform a risky trick when fighting.
  5. Awareness. At least one of your senses is extremely trained. You notice more details than the others when you analyze things and people, and is very hard to catch you by surprise.
  6. Resilience. Use this skill when you resist damage, exhaustion or any kind of will challenge.


The default range for casting spells is anything you can touch or anyone at a conversation distance.

  1. Charm. You can subtly manipulate the emotions of the target and implant suggestions that don't go against it's fundamental nature.
  2. Shapeshift. Choose a second form you can adopt. It can be animal, like a raven or a bear, or something weirder, like mist or fire. In this form, you gain all it's natural abilities (like flying for birds). Natural weapons do d6 damage.You might learn additional shapes during the game.
  3. Divination. You know a way to scry the future, present and the past. Choose one (tarot cards, casting runes, watching the wind blow away a handful of dust...)
  4. Conjuration. You can invoke forces related to your [theme] and command them a single mission, after which they'll banish. If used to attack, they do d6 damage and fight until they're out of HP (1 hp by default). For each 1d6 HP you burn at the conjuration, you can give the summoned entity +1 armor, +1d6 HP or +1 damage. Describe the creature according to this characteristics.
  5. Mystic Ward. You can place a ward over something or someone, designed to fend off a specific type of danger you name each time: unwanted attention, trespassers, bullets... etc. If used in combat, it gives +1 armor to a single combatant.
  6. Resurgence. This spell is able to heal 1d6 HP to an ally and cure most ailments. As a side effect, it purifies and enhances the true nature of things.


Whenever you learn your first spell, you must also pick a theme for your magic. This theme represents the inspiration where you get your magic from, and will affect its general feeling and the way it manifests when casting it.
The theme can also hint which kinds of dangers, complications and costs may your magic carry when you roll low.

  1. Blue astral fire
  2. The wilderness beyond the road
  3. Bad weather
  4. The frozen tundra
  5. The night
  6. The Draconica Grimoires
(I'm taking suggestions for themes, I feel that I could get some better ones)

Roll once in each table for equipment:


  1. A sling or a brass knuckle (d6 damage, easy to conceal)
  2. A knife or a small pistol (d6 damage, easy to conceal)
  3. An axe or a javelin (d6+1 damage)
  4. A six-gun (d6+1damage, fast draw) or a bow (d6+1 damage, silent)
  5. A longbow (d6+2 damage, silent, long range) or a shotgun (d6+2 damage)
  6. A rifle (d6+2 damage, long range) or twin six-guns (d6+2 damage, fast draw)

You get 3 uses of corresponding ammo with all ranged weapons.
They do not represent individual shots, but abstract quantities of them: on bad rolls GM might tell you to mark off 1 ammo. When you get to zero you're out of ammunition.


  1. A bottle of firewine (drink to take a short rest anytime, 2 uses) or a winter cloak (you always get a full rest when in cold climates)
  2. A first aid kit (2 uses), an oil lantern or a shovel (d6 damage)
  3. An old pot of coffee (if you cook with it when making camp, everybody gets a full rest) or 3 ammo for any weapon.
  4. A vial of poison (one use) or a mule (8hp, d6 hooves, stubborn)
  5. Antitoxins (2 uses) or a set of lockpicks.
  6. A horse (8 HP, d6 hooves, fast) or a book on a specific subject (+1 in related rolls)

  1. A marked french deck or an old scar (+1 to all rolls against whoever caused it to you)
  2. A friendly dog (6HP, good nose) or raven (4HP, flies and speaks nonsense). Both seem to understand you reasonably.
  3. Your grandfather's diaries (re-roll a Wisdom roll once a day) or a rattlesnake amulet (re-roll an Eeriness roll once a day)
  4. A blues harp (can be used to play spells at hearing range) or a compass (you decide what does it point to!)
  5. An mundane object you have (you can buy one right now if you want) is now magical. Roll to see which spell it has on it and which theme can be sensed on it (your GM has the last word on it's effects).
  6. The weapon you have is your elder's legacy: once a day you can re-roll any roll involving it.

You also start with 1d6 dollars and some spare change (which is not much). Very cheap things are affordable with just your change (do not keep track of it!)

$1 is the prize of a meal or a room for the night, horse foraging included.
$5 is the prize of a knife, a handful of ammo (1 unit), a bundle of rope or a bottle of whiskey.
$10 is the prize of an axe, common medicines or complex tools.
$30 is the prize of a handgun, a mule or an elegant suit.
$60 is the prize of a rifle, a horse or a prison bail.
$100 is the reward for a common bandit; $500 for a bandit leader, $1000 for a local hero.

The frontier is a place of scarcity and you can't always get what you want at shops. If you ask for something outside the norm when visiting a merchant, roll 1d6: on a 5 or 6 they have it for sale; on lower numbers they have a low quality version of the thing, costs more than it should, comes with strings attached or they don't have nothing at all.


RESOLUTION (is the common World of Dungeons/Pbta one, I just like it!)

Whenever you do anything risky, roll 2d6 and add the appropiate trait.
On a 12+ you succeed beyond expectation or gain an extra advantage. In combat, you can also deal double damage or choose a second target.
On a 10+ you succeed without much effort. In combat, deal damage.
On a 7-9, you also suffer a cost or complication.
On a 6 or less the threat comes true; GM will describe how. If you survive, you get 1 XP

Some examples of costs, complications and threats:
-suffer an adequate debility
-GM introduces a new danger
-expose yourself or others to danger
-face a difficult choice
-lose some equipment
-you suffer damage (1d6 for common hazards, 2d6 if the threat was overtly dangerous)
-a pending threat comes true

You start the game with 2d6 Hit Points.

Whenever you rest, you can re-roll your HP: roll 1d6 if you camp in harsh conditions or 2d6 if you find a confortable place, like an inn. If your result is lower than your current HP, discard it.

Should damage take your HP to 0 or below, you can still roll to endure

(When you must endure, roll +STR if it's physical or +EERIE if its mystical harm. On a 10+, you can ignore your wounds, at least for now. On a 7-9, you suffer a debility or other complication. On a miss, you're as fucked as the situation demands)


Whenever you roll a miss, you get 1 XP. Every 10 XP you go up a level.
On even levels you get a +1 on a random trait.
On odd levels you can pick a new knack.

PD: If you like westerns, you should really see The Great Silence. I didn't knew about it until yesterday and it's awesome. True grit, on the other hand, was not bad, but nothing of the other tuesday.

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Pernicious Albion Coloring Book

As an aspiring tattoo artist, I draw lots of things everyday; starting with the lines, then shadows and colors. So when I received in the mail A Most Thoroughly Pernicious Pamphlet, (by Mateo Diaz, go here to know more about it, his Pernicious Albion setting is awesome) and I saw it's art, I couldn't take the idea of painting it out of my head.

Monday, 9 November 2015

cowboy bebop style

I was thinking again on cowboy bebop and how it's premise could be extrapolated to tabletop campaigns. Here is what I've got by now:

The setting is a weird west kind. No space component. Modern anachronisms such as radios, early electricity or early telephones are allowed. Magic is allowed too in low doses (sympathy, soothsaying, alchemy, mysterious relics, certain rituals).

The wilds are inhabited by elusive fey people, that take the role of magical native americans. The Big cities to the east are corrupted in the high spheres and ruled by gangs at the street levels. In the middle ground, there is a vast space called "the frontier"; where the action takes place.

All players start as bounty hunters. Maybe they're associates, maybe they've just met each other in a tavern.This kind of world supports bounty-hunterism in a semi-legal way as a part of the law system; and there are search and seizure orders set in the local taverns and emitted on a special radio station that all bounty hunters can listen to in the middle of the plains (If they bought a receptor at character creation!)

The cost of life is a constant: equipment gets used and many abilities rely on the characters resting properly at inns to refresh. My gaming group also loves money management in our games, but I don't take advantage of this as I feel that I should: I want to make them to have choices between buying a new horse or spending some whiskey at the tavern, and make that choices have relevance on the outcomes.

All players (and this is where I feel that cowboy bebop has the most influence on this) must roll on this table before the game starts. They may do it secretely between them and the GM, to find their real inner drive behind their badass bounty hunter mask. Eventually, the pursuits they follow will lead to clues to resolve their unfinished pasts (GM, do your homework!). It's up to them to reveal this secrets to the other party members.

1 To escape from...
2 To get revenge on...
3 To quest in behalf of...
4 To atone for your deeds against...
5 To ask something from...
6 To find a relic (roll one!) concerning...

1 ...your old job partners (tell us which kind of job it was!)
2 old friend or lover
3 ...a fae / something at the astral plane (roll!)
4 outlaw (roll!)
5 ...the law (what did you do?)

6 ...the Raven King

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

1d40 famous goblins.

Roll in this table for a goblin name. 
Personality: They will always act like they've taken a whole lot of the drug of the same name, or otherwise like they would really benefit from it (whatever it feels more Goblin!)

1. Acetaminophen
2. Adderall
3. Alprazolam
4. Amitriptyline
5. Amlodipine
6. Amoxicillin
7. Ativan
8. Atorvastatin
9. Azithromycin
10. Ciprofloxacin
11. Citalopram
12. Clindamycin
13. Clonazepam
14. Codeine
15. Cyclobenzaprine
16. Cymbalta
17. Doxycycline
18. Gabapentin
19. Hydrochlorothiazide
20. Ibuprofen
21. Lexapro
22. Lisinopril
23. Loratadine
24. Lorazepam
25. Losartan
26. Lyrica
27. Meloxicam
28. Metformin
29. Metoprolol
30. Naproxen
31. Omeprazole
32. Oxycodone
33. Pantoprazole
34. Prednisone
35. Tramadol
36. Trazodone
37. Viagra
38. Wellbutrin
39. Xanax
40. Zoloft

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Gaming the Kingkiller's Chronicles (some mild spoilers)

I got a job with a very fucked up schedule (cook at a restaurant, morning and evening) so reading is the only hobby I can afford right now. I've re-readed the whole two Kingkiller Chronicles books (no release date for the third one yet!) and the more I readed, the more I realized how much gameable this setting was.

The world itself is not something too alien: All-human fantasy world with kingdoms and that, the most advanced weapons being ballistas; though the science levels at the University (the most civilized city on the land) reach XIX - XX century levels on the fields of medicine, chemistry, physics, philosophy, etc.

As a surprising twist in an otherwise sober setting, there is a parallel Fae World in which stray wanderers can step on moonless nights. This fae world (which is, in Kvothe's words, as different of ours like an empty room feels different from a room where someone else is sleeping) is summed in a strange stasis where there are day zones, dusk zones and night zones, and hints of stranger things.

The nice things come mainly from the magic system; which is, in fact, a compendium of many different arts, each one with their own set of rules (some of them are better fleshed out than others, but their rules are very clear and make perfect sense through the books). As far as I can remember, the list goes:

1. Sympathy: This is the main "magic" used by Kvothe and his pals through the books, and is constantly regarded by him as being "not magical" at all, but a complex way of manipulating energy. Sympathy consists in using one's power of belief (called Alar in the books) to "link" two similar things together, in a way that whatever you do to one thing happens to the other (you have also to speak a verbal gibberish for it to work, never explained why, but it sounds like magic to me). All kinds of energy can be transferred this way: heat, movement, illumination, even magnetical propierties. Expert arcanists can even transform movement into heat and viceversa. This magic obeys three basic rules:

The Doctrine of Correspondence: Similarity enhances sympathy. Linking similar things like two coins works better than linking a coin and a piece of chalk: the efficiency of the link is increased.
The Principle of Consanguinity: A piece of a thing can represent the whole of a thing: take a leaf of the tree and burn it, and you can burst the whole tree in flames. Thats why you should never let an arcanist get a drop of your blood.
The Law of Conservation: Energy cannot be destroyed nor created: If you link two coins and lift one of them, the other will float accordingly in the air, but the coin you have in your hand will weight like both of them because you're actually lifting both.On weaker links (like coins and chalk) the link is weak like a pipe with leakages, so the coin will weight ten times more. The extra energy consumed dissipates both in the air, the objects and the arcanist's body, so making bad links can have very dangerous consequences.

Taking this to game terms, what I love about sympathy is that the rules are simple enough to anyone to understand, but the effects rely on the player's wits: You want to burn that sentinel alive? well, you might take a fiber of wool and link it to his clothes, then set it alight on a candle... but that would not be very harmful. Maybe you'll need a bonfire. Maybe it would be safer to get some of his blood first and throw it to the fire. You want to light your cigarette and you're out of lighters? just take some heat from your body and concentrate it on the cigarrette tip, though this can leave you with a severe case of hypotermia (happens several times on the books).

The thing is: you can do almost everything providing you have a good idea, a good link and a reliable source of energy, or you're desperate enough to try desperate means. This is the kind of things I enjoy to do as a player, and puts all the thinking work into the hands of the magician (just like in the real life man!)

2. Sygaldry

Sygaldry is Sympathy made solid: Instead of the Alar, it uses a set of 197 runes that, through word chains, apply sympathic powers to objects. Examples are the ubiquitous sympathic lamps that transform the heat of the wielder's hand into light (until the metal is too hot and ceases working until refreshed) or Kvothe's arrowcatcher (a modified beartrap that sets off and repels an arrow flying on a 6 meter radius). Worn out runes have strange effects (like the cooler on the Anker's tavern). You can also make yourself a personal gram, an device to repel all sympathy done against you as long as you press it against your skin.

3. Alchemy:

Not fully explained, but we are constantly reminded that alchemy is TOTALLY NOT like chemistry, but they are instead two different things. Alchemical compounds are totally radical and their effects are strangely harrypotteresque (like turning piss to candy, or dissolving one's bones without hurting the skin and the clothes)

4. Naming

Regarded by the characters as "true magic from the myths", this discipline is about finding the true name of something (the wind, the fire, the stone, a person) and compelling it to do your bidding. In fact, the names are everchanging, so the thing is not knowing the name but achieving the ability to find it when you're in need of it. This seems easier to do on "edge" moments, when you're between life and death or something like that. Is very exceptional for an arcanist to know a single name, let alone more than one, and to do so one must feel a natural affinity for that thing; to be able to appreciate every possible aspect of it's nature. Elodin, the master namer, states that one can not explain it all much better than one can explain the colors to the blind, or music for the deaf.

5. Knacks

Some people are born with them. Like that man at the beggining who always rolls seven in every dice, even if he stumbles with a table with dice on them, they mark always seven. Or the odd ability for a woman to always grow giant fruits on her yard. You just roll for them at character creation, yo!

6. Grammarie and Glammourie

These seem to be both fae arts (and this means that they're considered arts more than magic), though is hinted by Bast that humans can do them too, most of the time unwillingly.
Glammourie is the art of making things seem. Like when a fae makes his hooves look like a nice pair of boots (book 1). Subtle changes are easier than drastic ones. Is easier to make an orange look like a lemon than like a car, for example. As Bast (a fae) explains, "when one plays a role must be careful not to believe it too much, or will become the role. If one tells an ugly woman that she's pretty, and convinces her not only with words, but with your acts, she'll become pretty and everyone will see it"

Grammarie is the art of making things be. Like when a fae weaves a shadow into a cloak form, and gives you a cloak made of pure shadow (book 2). As in Glammourie, certain traits must be assumed from the raw material for the final product to be made: a Cloak must conceal you, so you make if from shadows (because they conceal you). You have a knife that is very dear for you because sentimental reasons; well, grammarie makes that knife actually better for everyone because it was better for you (+1 to hit!). That's what happens when you make a gift to someone in good will, with a good intention: you charge it with a little grammarie. If a fae gives you a crown of flowers filled with grammarie, they will stay fresh and alive longer than if you find them on the road, because they put their heart in it.

So this is all as far as I remember. I'm thinking on taking this magic system (and the fae dimension thing: I have a strange love for the idea taking the wrong road at the turn and getting inside another world) and shoehorning it into a new, blank world. Or maybe mix it with my Twin Peaks-western idea. But that will be on next post.

Until then, I'd like to recommend this saga to any fantasy lovers, go read it RIGHT NOW, because there is a TV series in the making, and you should enjoy the reading before it's contaminated with hollywood actor's faces and tons of merchandising for hipsters! The book is about a guy who is good at everything, but strangely you get to love him. Seriously, is amazing.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

HP bad romance part II

In the last post I sketched an HP-less version. Now, I'll try to come up with a system using Hit Points but in which the PCs are not HP tanks and can charge into battle knowing that they can take a determinated amount of shots before considering getting behind cover.

Assume World of Dungeons resolution system (2d6+ attribute ranging from -1 to 3. 6- is a fail, 7-9 a success at a cost, 10-11 is a success, 12+ is a critical hit where damage is doubled)

All PCs get 1d6 HP+half their level (round up) bringing the natural HP range of the PCs from 2 to 11. This die is re-rolled everytime they rest.
Whenever they have a confortable rest at a safe place or prepare a magical kettle pot of coffee (see previous entry), they can automatically set the result to 6.

Fists, slings and such do 1d6 non lethal damage (if an enemy is left at 0 hp is considered knocked out)
Proper weapons such as revolvers, bows and knives do 2d6 damage
Big weapons such as rifles or dynamite do 3d6 damage

Shooting behind cover grants you +1 armor

Once your HP are 0 or less, you can always make a CON roll to see if you're still breathing. If you pass it, you are left at 1 HP instead. On a 7-9, you are unconscious or something.

At creation, players can pick traits to make them deadlier:
Trollskin: +1 armor.
Berserkr: you can engage on a trance that gives you +2 armor, but you risk acting driven by this rage
Warrior: when using your favored kind of weapon (fists/blunt/guns/daggers/magical) you add half your level to the damage
Tough: you get 1d6+your level instead of half your level
Survivor: You can always roll to resists all kinds of poison or sicknesses
Hobo: no matter where you rest, it always counts as a confortable rest to you
Lots of other non-combat skills also available.

Monsters get HP and damage based on their assumed toughness:
Common person: 1d6 hp
Mook: 2d6 hp
Tough bastard: 3d6 hp,
Legendary shooter: +1d6 damage.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Hit points bad romance

I'm sketching a thing this days; a game set on a permanent Twin Peakesque mystery; which will also draw a lot of themes and technology from the Western genre. I'll probably use the AW approach, I just like it too much to try anything new (2d6+mods, 6- is trouble, 7-9 a partial success and 10+ is a hit). But, on the combat matters, I've been drawn to an old dilemma I get whenever I make anything: HP or not HP?

On one side, I love the simplicity of Health Points: There is a fight: you roll high, you roll damage; you roll too bad, you're the damaged. They're fair and clear and admit no discussion: everyone knows the stakes.
Also, being that I love taking characters camping in dark woods, is very easy to reward good roleplaying by using HP and World of Dungeons rules: You didn't bother to buy a tent, or trying to make a refuge from the storm? no re-rolling HP for you.You want to risk making a fire, just to warm a kettle pot? Ok, roll to see if you attract unwanted attention. But you all get +1d6 HP because of the magical taste of coffee so far from home.

Also, the most important thing about rolling for HP damage is that, when you roll your weapon's damage, you can actually feel the joy of swinging a sword at something hoping to do as much harm as you can. You don't feel that when rolling to hit: that's like a bureaucracy step. But rolling for damage is when magic happens; and thats one of the things that I liked when I read Into the Odd (check it out if you haven't. In that game, you're assumed to hit always, and you roll directly for damage. Where is the trick? well, maybe is that monsters do that too)

On the other side, on a more down-to-earth setting, the whole HP concept loses meaning. On a common wild west setting, there are two main combat forms: by the gun and by raw fists. The first one will almost always end with one man dead in the blink of an eye. Translated to numbers, if a gun does 1d6+1 damage, it takes all the thrill of the showdown if a PC walks into the duel with 8 HP. Yes, it has sense on the sword and sorcery genre, where you can explain that as exhaustion and fighting mojo and the heroes can stand fighting after taking arrows to the chest. Also, there are lots of big monsters and it makes sense for them to be able to take lots of hits before they fall dead. But here, on my setting, you'll fight mainly people, maybe an occassional trollkin. And spirits, there are many of them too, but you can't really shoot them anyways. You won't go hunting things and take their XP.

Maybe I'll go with something like this:

When you shoot or kick someone, roll +DEX or +STR, and substract your enemy's armor (if there is any). On a 12+, that thing is defeated, killed or knocked out, you say how.
On a 10+ your GM will either give you the kill or be a dick and just give you an advantage over the guy.
On a 7-9 do it just like on a 10+, but there is a compromise or cost that makes sense about the situation (too much ammo, suffer an attack too, exposing to other dangers, etc).
On a 6 or less, you suffer an attack // the monster makes a move.

When you must stand up despite damage, poison and other shit, roll +STR.
On a 10+, you feel fine, at least for now. On a 7-9 you stand on the fight but suffer a debility (-1 to a stat) or must face a disadvantage. On a 6 or less, your enemy's attack has full effect on you (you're dead or out of combat if shot, Knocked out or ridiculized if beaten, maybe a debility if you're rolling against exhaustion or mild poison).
Here it is the main downside of not using HP: the GM is meant to decide the lethality of an attack instead of the rules. For most cases we can consider that guns, drinking acid and dynamite are lethal. The songs of the swamp nixes, drinking whiskey or getting beaten are not lethal, but will get you out of scene if you can't pass that save. Common sense is presumed, but there are those kind of players that will argue about anything.
PD: note that even on a 10+, all wounds or effects are still there, even if they aren't hindering you at the moment they may reappear and make you roll again when making big efforts or not setting a campfire properly.

Whenever you rest you get nothing, but if you don't do it you might roll for standing up despite damage even if you're not wounded (and get a debility).
Whenever you have a specially confortable rest at a safe place, or make a fire under the storm just to boil a coffee pot brought from your home far away, you can scratch away a debility.

Mechanically, enemies would be a name, a weapon, a drawing and a list of moves. Very tough enemies may have a numeric armor that is substracted from the roll. That armor has also a descriptive tag that justifies how and when that armor works.

Example (no drawing, I'm at the library right now):

Sheriff Payne, revolver, +2 armor (keen reflexes)
-give a last warning
-put a price on your head
-do what duty demands

Chun-li, kicks, +2 armor (when streetfighting)
-get very angry
-jump a lot
-tell you a chinese proverb strangely relevant to the situation.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Something awesome happened to me today

I'm living in a new city since last thursday, and I happened to go to the local library, just because I'm that kind of guy who likes to go reading in public places and to get some Internet when I stumbled with the Encyclopedia of Early Earth, by Isabel Greenberg. I've just read it whole in a single shot, and it totally changed my day.
The book is about so many things that I cannot properly describe it in a hurry, but I'm just gonna say that is the most inspiring thing I've seen in ages; and that is totally rpg campaign fuel. The plot is an absurdly well written mash up of micro-stories. The book it's like a hundred pages long or so and the whole thing is filled to the brim with that mythical, mystical feeling that you don't see very often and that I'd like to capture someday in a setting; maybe in Wanderlust II.

Is just me or is that art awesome? Hell, go to your local library and pick it up right now!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Taking monster requests for World of Pilgrims!

So ask in the comments for any monster you'd like to see drawn in MSpaint and stated with numbers and moves, and you'll probably have it. I accept everything, from extra-planar beings to road bandits; I even accept non-threatening things as long as they can provide some sort of challenge. And don't hold back: the harder it's for me to draw, the more I like them once they're done. Some examples here:

3 HP, +1 armor (when flying), prehensile paws, hoarder
Damage: 1d6+1 (crossbow)
Instinct: to protect their nest
-Steal something shiny
-Call the others

12 HP, +1 armor (bone), big, stealthy, undead
Damage: d6+2 (bite)
Instinct: To feed a neverending hunger
-Bewild people with his howl
-corrupt all nature on the area
-Transmit his curse

SHY KOBOLD, as asked by Andrea Parducci
2 HP, +1 armor (furniture), stealthy, extremely skillful
Damage: d6 (furniture)
Instinct: to haunt mines and homes
-Lay a trap 
-Do something unnoticed
-Repay a deed

15 HP, +2 armor (shield), can assume raven form.
Damage: 2d6+1 (Spear)
Instinct: to bring war
-Help a warrior
-Cast magic of nature and healing
-Bring something from the land of the dead

SNAKE WITCH, to Sarah Sheraga
6 HP, +2 armor (scales and trident), big
Damage: d6+2 (magic, constriction, trident)
Instinct: to reign
-Lay a hex over someone or something
-Send her vassals to fight
-Command you to kneel

how does she looks better, with or without wings?

Skulltopus, to David Perry
1HP, +2 armor (skull), small, lives in colonies
1d6-2 damage (paralyzing touch)
Instinct: to hatch on skulls
-get hold of their prey at all costs
-infest anywhere where there are corpses

BOOKWYRM, for James Etheridge.
21 HP, +3 armor, Giant, winged
Damage: 2d6 (bite, tail, fire)
Instinct: to hoard books
-Create an aura of silence over an area
-Ask someone to read aloud (because turning the pages is really hard for dragons)
-Bash everything around

And this tavern is an illustration for the introduction of the book. Play this on the background for extra effect:

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Eight monsters

River Troll
14 HP, +1 armor (thick hide), big
Damage: d6+4 (wooden branch)
Instinct: To tax a bridge.
-fix an absurdly high or suspiciously low price
-smell something you'd like to keep hidden
-punish the tricksters 
Magic Bum
4 HP
Damage: d6-2 (street boxing)
Instinct: To serve the voices in his head
-make a prophecy
-have the weirdest luck
-offer advice at a price 

Dark elf tinker
5 HP +1 armor (umbrella), darkvision
Damage: d6 (umbrella)
Instinct: to forge dangerous things
-offer an oddity
-give in to greed
-grow a new obsession

20 HP, +3 armor; giant, winged, breathes fire
2d6 damage (tail); 2d6 ignores armor (fire)
Instinct: To rule
-Burn everything before him
-Demand tribute
-Act with disdain

8 HP; +1 armor, stealthy, big
Damage: d6+2 (paralyzing poison)
Instinct: to catch prey
-reveal that you've already stepped into her sticky threads
-attack the helpless

20 HP, +2 armor; giant, three headed
2d6+2 damage (giant axe)
Instinct: To become the alpha
-Hurl something
-Exchange information among the heads

8 HP, ethereal, floating, can see and speak through his ghostfire drones.
1d6 damage (life-draining touch)
Instinct: to hate the living
-send ghostfires around
-cover the world in cold and darkness
-show the madness beyond existence
4 HP, amphibious, hoarder, glamour.
Damage: d6 (rusty banjo)
Instinct: To over-dramatize
-play a song to mesmerize people
-grow a disproportionate love or hatred
-ask the lake's inhabitants for help

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Seven monsters; with stats for World of Dungeons

12 HP, big
Damage: 1d6+4 (longbow)
Instinct: To rage
-Blow an alarm
-Charge recklessly
-Make an oath

3 HP, undead
Damage d6 (Shattering Scream)
Instinct: To hold grudges
-Bring a bewildering message from beyond
-Lay a very specific curse or blessing
-Blend into the mist

14 HP, +2 armor, big
Damage d6+4 (halberd)
Instinct: to oppose
-challenge to a fight
-reveal a shocking identity
-reveal his signature trick  

1 HP, flying
damage: 2d6 (petrifying stare, breath and touch)
Instinct: to guard a place
-jump towards you
-crow in alarm
-fly off  
24 HP, +4 armor (stoneskin), MASSIVE, slow
3d6 damage (slam)
Instinct: To change the landscape drastically
-destroy everything on his way
-become suddently interested in something
-go back to sleep on the weirdest place
7 HP, small, sneaky, floating
Damage: 1d6 (bite)
Instinct: To feed on blood
-follow you at a distance
-to scream in alarm
-retreat where it's dark
14 HP, +2 armor (chainmail and shield) undead, hoarder
d6+3 damage (greatsword)
Instinct: to hate the living
-use his mighty strenght
-negate the last wound (unless caused by a weakness, your call)
-grow bigger (+1 armor)

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Six Monsters

Wild Mustang
10 HP, big
Damage: d6+2 (hooves)
Instinct: To incite fools to catch him
-run free despise all obstacles
-lead a single hunter to a dangerous or fey place
Treefolk Assassin
8 HP, +1 armor (barkskin), stealthy; acrobat, half-plant
Damage: 2d6+1 (short bow)
Instincts: To guard their sacred grove.
-Scare away offenders
-Aim for a sure shot
-Blend into the forest
Treefolk Monk
9 HP, +2 armor (barkskin), half-plant, walks slow
Damage: d6+2 (wooden arms)
Instincts: To find a place for spreading roots and rest in tree form.
-Teach a key to enlightment
-Ask nearby nature for help
-Maintain the meditation

10 HP +1 armor (unsettling aura), glamour, can switch raven and human forms.
Damage: 2d6 (fire and sparks)
Instinct: To bring chaos and rule over it
-work forgotten magic
-give you something you really need and feign friendship
-reveal that it was his plan all along

3 HP
d6 damage (beak and claws)
Instinct: to run in frenzy
-give an advantage to it's rider
-go mad when cornered
-bark and run

 Timber wolf
7 HP, darkvision, stealthy
Damage: d6 (teeth)
Instinct: to prey on the lost
-howl to call the pack (1d6 members, counting the first wolf)
-drag you to the ground

Friday, 14 August 2015

and even more; now with color palettes

I've discovered this days that people doing pixel art uses to make fixed palettes. Picking 10-20 colors and drawing using only these; and thats how they achieve to create personal atmospheres and ambients in their drawings.

I thought in making one for the book myself: I think that a homogeneization of the color on the whole art will make it have a more consistent look. These are some tests that I actually liked

Randall flagg; the walking dude, from Stephen King's The Stand

 A newer, more "serious" version for the huldra

A barman; which reminds me of someone but I can't grasp who right now.

The fourth (and I think it's the final) portrait of Captain Ferard

And the color fixed Laura Bow; cuter than ever

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Some more drawings

Three more classes for Jackie's Dungeons:

The Journeyman (I leaned towards the alchemist here)

The Beast (And I brought a real huldra for this, approach under your own risk)
 and The Investigator, which is no other than Laura Bow; the sexy detective from The Dagger of Amon-Ra

Once I'm finished with the classes, I want to do a big illustration for the Equipment section, of a shop where you could see everything described on it pictured right there, on the shelves.

I don't know yet how I'm making this whole thing, I don't know shit about layouts or page formats. Which are, in your opinion, nicely illustrated and formatted rpgs that I could get inspiration from?

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Drawing Tests

As I hinted on the previous entry, I want to make a bestiary. Pridefully stated for World of Dungeons only (I'm falling more and more in love with that system every day). In fact, I've already started writing it: I'm beginning with some trolls and fair folk, some weird encounters for cities, and who knows where will it end. 

But I want to do something more: I want to draw it. My idea came to me as a burst of what Spaniards call "Envidia Sana"; (which would roughly translate by Well-meaning envy, which is nice and totally a good feeling) when I saw Sam Bosma's Inventory v.1. I mean, just look at a random page from it, is cool as fuck: 

I've never drawn anything serious in my life; I used to make the posters for my band's gigs on MS paint; and all the art for my games I've posted here is also made with it. But this time, I want to make something professional. I plan on selling it if all goes well, or at least, make a crowfunding in order to cover the publication costs and making a heap of books for the friends and any other internet nerds.

I've started toying with Paint Tool Sai, and feels like other planet. But I'm proud to say that in just one afternoon I've achieved something that I considered to be reserved for adept wizards: To make images with blank (transparent) backgrounds. Please have this kobold gangster as a proof.