Monday, June 24, 2024

DF Session 195, Felltower 131 - Olympus Gate II, Part III

Click here for rest of the delve:

Part I

Part II

Date: June 23rd, 2024
Game Date: May 19th, 2024

Weather: Sunny, warm.

Chop, human cleric (301 points)
Duncan Tesadic, human wizard (300 points)
Hannari Ironhand, dwarf martial artist (316 points)
Persistance Montgomery, human knight (300 points)
Thor Halfskepna, human knight (306 points)
Vladimir Luchnick, dwarf martial artist (266 points)

We picked up where we left off, the PCs having slept the night a distance away from the Swamp of Sorrows.

The PCs hiked their way to the coast and lovely beaches, and could see distant sails. They saw no people, nor any sign that the ships came closer. The whole land seemed well-maintained but empty.

Eventually they reached the cliffs near what was labelled "The Cove." Standing there, near a copse of trees, was a beautiful young man with a golden sword in his belt, and a winged horse. They exchanged names - the horse, Pegasus, and the man, his brother Chrysaor. After Vlad said they sought to gain the island of the Maze of Minos to fight the minotaur, Chrysaor said he and his brother could carry them there, but not back - it was a one-way flight. They agreed.

Pegasus shimmered, and in its place stood seven pegasides. Percy groaned because they were all identical and there wasn't a black one for him.* Chrysaor mounted his brother, and the others each had a single winged horse come to them. They climbed up and on, careful to be respectful of the horses.

They were flown to the island. To the far west was a small workshop and a house - not sized for the giant cyclops they were expecting. To the east, the ruins of a long-dead city and an enourmous, miles-wide palace collapsed and burned, yet on a solid, unbroken foundation. Then, one by one, they were dropped off near the middle of the island. They thanked Chrysaor and Pegasus as they flew off; the duplicates merely faded.

They spent a bit of time decided what they had to trade, and what kind of weapons or armor they needed to ask for. Mo had, they heard, gotten a special flail made for him, but they leaned towards armor for Thor - I think they'd mathed out some possibilities for orichalcum epic plate.

But when they reached the house, it wasn't for a cyclops at a giant volcano forge. It was a house with a well, a veggie garden, a large herb garden, and a few chickens and goats. The workshop was ahead, the door ajar, so they knocked and enteed. It was a tinker's workshop, not a weapon in site, and dozens of half-finished projects all around. This guy sat in the middle of the disorganized - yet clean - workshop, puttering away at some odd mix of metal slats and wooden rods:

He was startled by their appearance on the island.

He introduced himself as Daedalus. He was bemused but friendly enough. He told them he lived alone, since his son died while they tried to leave the island. He explained he'd made wings, and his son Icarus ignored his instructions to fly low and flew high . . . and the wax he'd used as a mounted failed, leaving his son to plummet. But you knew that, right?

He came back to the island, seeing no reason to fly away without his son.

He showed them some of his projects, but nothing was a weapon - nor armor, nor shields - those are weapons, aren't they, he said. They told him they'd come to kill the Minotaur, and he warned them others had tried but hadn't returned . . . and that you can't leave the labyrinth once you enter, until Minos was defeated. "Dead, or defeated?" Can't do one without the other. He refused to explain how to kill Minos, or discuss the way the labyrinth works. Not how it's done, he said. He identified their lyre as the Lyre of Clio, and the teeth as able to summon a dragonstooth warrior like they fought - for a time, at least. He brought up a little here and there that

They showed him the stymphalian bird remnants. He was very interested, carefully selecting undamaged feathers and tossing the rest away. He told them he could make them wings - a set for each - to fly off the island with. But only for those who came back alive from the labyrinth.

They headed west. It took a few hours to reach the rubble of the outskirts, and then an hour to reach the palace ruins, and then an hour to reach the middle of the palace. It was all clearly shaken over and over by earthquakes - many of them, some pretty recent, if stone shifts and fractures were any sign.

Once in the palace, they could see the concrete foundation was fine - raised a few yards about the surrounding ground, but totally intact. The building on top had been much taller but crashed from the quakes.

They explored to the middle, finding mosaics depicting a bull-headed man with a bardiche surrounded by people and animals. Another depicted the same bull-headed man with a crown holding a small ceremonial hatchet and a small shield. Others depicted bull-fighting, bull-dancing, and a wealthy civilization with a lot of bull motifs.

In the central hall they found a staircase down. They spelled up and climbed down . . . and with a grinding noise, the ground shifted beneath them and the stairs behind them were gone. Only a wall remained. They started to mark intersections with glow vial drops in a set pattern, so they could see if they'd been to an intersection even with a wall shift.

They began to explore. As they did, occasionally the ground shifted for 10 seconds or so, and when it stopped . . . they found that sometimes what they could see was changed. Marks were cut off, or sometimes wholly gone. As they moved deeper, a shift occured . . . and the second it stopped, masked by the noise, came Minos, goring Percy from behind with his horns, injuring him severely. He was a wide, tall, bull-headed man with a giant axe and a girdle, plus a helmet covering his groin. No crown.

They turned and attacked. They threw down four of the dragon's teeth, followed in short order by another one, and later by a sixth. Each produced a dragonstooth warrior, armed as they'd been when the PCs fought them - shortsword and shield. Vlad put an arrow into Minos and it did little besides scratch him. He switched to bodkin, but I'm not sure he ever got a clear shot to use it.

Minor ignored the warriors and concentrated on attacking Percy, who Chop healed as soon as he could. In response, Percy let loose Agar's Wand. He then stood and tied to parry a slash from Minos's giant axe, but it blew right past his "light" 8# flail and hammered Percy in the groin. His flail shook but nothing happened . . . but his outer layer of armor shivvered into pieces!

Agar's Wand attacked Minos and hurt him. Thor advanced, wounding Minos, but was then cut off from his target by the dragonstooth warriors aggressively advancing - and there weren't being friendly in allowing the PCs to Evade them, either. They were on the PC's side but not under their control or direction. The dragonstooth warriors proved very, very skilled, but their blades could only inflict very minor cuts. They did block Minos from advancing, but not much else.

Minos let out a terrifying bellow, inflicting a Fright Check at -10; +5 for combat and +2 for Combat Reflexes helped but not enough - IIRC only Chop made it. The others were stunned, Thor stunned and fatigued, and Percy passed out. Chop immediately cast a large Awaken spell and got them all unstunned and Percy back awake.

Minos trashed a dragonstooth warrior as Agar's Wand continued to cut him, sometimes scoring a solid hit, sometimes dodged by Minos. Minos clearly knew they couldn't harm him, and he only smashed them when it was his only option, preferring to try to kill the fleshy PCs.

The fight was a close-quarters brawl. Percy, re-armed and standing, clocked Minos twice on the skull. Neither did more than make him flinch a little from the force of the blow. One hit - I think from Thor with his magical blade - sent Minos berserk. He smashed up a dragonstooth warrior before recovering. He then backed off and forced the PCs to close with him. They did. Hannari boxed him in with a sixth dragonstooth warrior, Thor and Agar's Wand pressed him, and Duncan hit him twice with 6d Lightning spells. The second of those did for him, dropping Minos.

The PCs sprang into action. Thor cut his head off, after Percy told Agar's Wand to do that and Agar's Wand did not. They quickly took off his axe and tried to get off his belt . . . but all of it, body and all, wisped away in black smoke. As it did, they heard a voice in their heads, bull-like, saying, "I will remember you all."

They started to patch people up. And the labyrinth began to shake. They ran.

Long story short, they desperately ran but didn't get out of the maze in time - their glow drops weren't helping, as the labyrinth had shifted so often. Eventually, the whole place collapsed on them. Little remained overhead, however, so they didn't suffer too much damage. Afterward, they realized they could have had their Earth College mage shore up the walls around them as safe spot, but either way, they survived. The foundation, once perfect, was shattered end to end.

They dug themselves out and searched the palace for loot - there was a golden hoard, right?

They found a large stone chest cemented to the floor where one hadn't been before. In it, they found 66,666 cp, 33,333 sp, and 1,111 gp. And 6 necklaces of gold with a snow-white ivory bull’s head image on it.

They loaded up all of the coins, after determining they had just enough bags and pockets and purses and sacks to haul it all, slowly, back to Daedalus.

Once back, Daedalus expressed amazement and pleasure that they'd survived. He let them stay the night while he'd stay up and make their wings. They offered the copper, hoping to trade it for more portable wealth. He didn't have any, and he didn't need the copper for anything. He offered food - he had a cornucopia of infinite food! It spilled out fruits, cheeses, nuts, olives . . . but they all tasted exactly the same - like dirt. "It, uh, has a few issues. Help yourself to the herbs. The dill and the oregano help the most, I find." Only Vlad ate that, on top of his Elven ration. The rest just ate their own and bedded down, while Vlad and D stayed up having mead for a bit before Vlad went to sleep.

The next morning, they were given cloaks, each which could turn into wings on their arms. If they flapped, they could fly at Move 10 . . . adjusted for encumbrance. Maximum medium encumbrance. Oh, and vulnerable to fire. Not to sunlight, but flames . . . yeah, avoid flames. Oh, and water. Don't get them wet. And they tire you out (1 FP per 5 minutes or fraction thereof, of flight.) He brought this stuff up as he remembered, bit by bit.

The PCs thanked Daedalus and set to planning how to get their loot home. Daedalus went into his workshop as they tried out the wings. They worked.

Then went and asked him how far it was to shore. 50 miles. Oh, with a small islet about halfway. So two 25-mile jumps. They did math for a while, and argued. They couldn't make it work - even with no encumbrance, they'd never have the FP to make it. They argued about how to carry the CP. They looked around for materials to make a raft. They eventually decided on Walk on Air to walk home, and just put Vlad out front to detect any potential NMZs.

Before they did, though, Vlad eventually said goodbye to Daedalus and told him thanks, but we'll use magic and walk. "Eh, what's wrong with the wings?" "We'll get tired and can't make such a long flight." "You're not tired, are you? You ate the food."

He said, "Yes, it tastes bad but you won't feel fatigue for a day. How do you think I worked all night making these wings?"

You could hear at least some of the players being silently mad at me, I think.

Eventually the PCs scarfed down the ill-tasting miraculous food, and then flew to the mainland as far as north as they could, and then walked to the underworld cave, hoping it was the way home.

Once there, they headed in and found darkness. Dark Vision didn't help. Eventually, a three-headed snake-maned dog stalked out to warn them off. Vlad plucked the lyre and sang a lullaby. Cerberus got a little fiercer. He tried more, and the dog got a little more riled up. So he stopped.

Next he tried tossing three elven rations, one to each head. They were snapped up. They threw three more and then three more. They were all eaten. They ended up throwing some more, another 6 or so, as they edged around the now-laying-down guardian.

Once past, they found a river. They called for a boatman, who appeared. They asked to go home, paying each a Gold Eagle ($100 gold coin) that Vlad carried with him. Thor was extremely specific about where he wanted to go - the others just said home. They were brought along as the other delvers had been, and dropped off a cave, They saw a shimmering and went through.

The PCs popped back out of the gate in Felltower. They quickly made their way the stairs and surface, only to find their little 4-5 day trip took them from morning of 5/19/24 until the evening of 6/23/24.

* The black pegasus was some other winged horse, on some other adventure. You don't pick your colors.


- I had a lot of fun running Daedalus. He had a short character sheet - maxed IQ, Quick Gadgeteer, Absent-Mindedness, Quirk-level Stubborness, a belief in the Fates. And Code of Honor (Professiona). So he wasn't about to tell people how to escape his labyrinth, because that was part of his agreement when making it. And you weren't going to shift him from "you go and be heroes" as his general answer. That said, he was intended to be helpful, and provides a massive reward. I made sure it was clear he was old, not really focused on one thing at a time, and didn't really sweat the details. And that everything he made was amazing but flawed.

I was expecting Minos to do a bit more damage, but that's how it goes sometimes. He totally lucked out on the HT rolls people made for gear - 5 rolls, 3 failures, against a 12. Otherwise, he could have, almost did, and that's enough for me from him.

- The PCs were all ready for the Minos fight - knock that crown off his head, and that'll be how you either kill him or make him vulnerable to death. Or, in the event, it was just a depiction of him with a crown because that showed he was in charge, and that he didn't have a crown. One in the treasure would have been a nice touch, though, I'll admit that.

- Sometimes, you get the game you want. My players, in general, want to do math, examine the details, and figure out how to maximize their loot. So that's the game I run. If we all played a little more handwavy, video-gamey, you get the wings and fly back and no one asked how many coins they can stuff in their pockets and still fly or what the actual distance is. Once you're min-maxing and going with reality ("I can totally carry two backpacks and hang a sack from rope from my belt while flapping my arms!") you get the min-maxing and reality back. I'm not saying that to be a jerk, just that you get both sides of the coin.

I suppose I could have stepped in further, but the demonstrably forgetful Daedalus had told them his three things and went inside while they argued about FP, distance of flight, the need to make a raft, etc. It took a while before anyone thought to ask him.

Could Walk on Air all the way home worked? Maybe. But it would be a risk, because any failure of the spell could kill someone, and while there were no arial encounters to be fought, it's not clear there weren't sea encounters. In the end, the answer was as simple as asking the guy who made the originals and the new ones how to do it. After all, he had said - quite distinctly - that he and Icarus were flying and only Icarus's error in flying too high doomed him . . . and that he then decided to fly back because there was no point to being elsewhere without his only son. I figured people would ask him how he managed it if the numbers didn't work. Actually, I was expecting them to ask even before they did the numbers. Instead, they got tied up in the numbers and got frustrated and angry over being trapped on an island with loot they couldn't keep and so on.

I suppose I could have just had Daedalus step in earlier, but a) that's not my style, b) he has Absent-Mindedness and needed to be prodded for details and I made that clear, and c) his gifts are always flawed, and you have to find a way around the flaws, because he didn't. It was a forest-for-the-trees situation, where being so close to the details made it hard to see the whole picture.

The copper was likely treasure they couldn't carry with them, but I didn't care. I just liked how the numbers worked out when I did the loot placement and left it at that. You can't always extract every coin from every situation. I don't see that as a flaw.

- So I don't allow Reach 2 weapons to attack through friendly hexes unless it's a two-handed 2+ reach pole weapon. Even then, I actually think it's bogus, at least without Teamwork and being formed up, but I'll leave it as pole weapons need more love. I didn't realize Thor's player hadn't run into it in play before. I've been running it that way since 2011 so it's hard to remember who hasn't run into it.

- MVP was Vlad for remembering that feeding Cerberus was an option. XP was 4 for loot, 1 for exploration, and 1 for defeating Minos. Actual battle MVP might have been Chop because he made his Fright Check roll and then used Awaken to negate most of its effects. That was critical, as well.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Felltower Pre-Summary

In today's session, the PCs:

- met Crysaor and Pegsus

- flew to the island and met the artificer, Daedalus

- fought the minotaur-demon Minos in his labyrinth

- argued a lot over weight and flight-fatigue costs

- and more!

Summary tomorrow.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Random Thoughts & Links for 6/21/2024

End of a busy week . . . here is some gaming stuff that had my attention this week.

- You can do the Metamorphosis Alpha Bundle of Holding again.

- There is a Bundle of Holding for Operation: Unfathomable - that's the Roll 1d12 guy, Jason Sholtis.

- This is clearly the work of above-ground delvers - some thieves despoiled a church and looted their copper for the metal value. Oh, and the sound system.

- Speaking of delvers, the next game of Felltower is Sunday. It'll be the last for a while as I'll be unavailable on Sundays for a bit.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Felltower & Swarms

I noted the other day that I don't exactly run swarms as written. That's very true. Here is what I do with them.

- You must roll "to hit" a swarm. They're treated as SM+0, so no bonus to hit. They (generally) do not defend, so Telegraphic Attack is useful for the +4 to hit.

- Swarms have a HP score for dissolution as an effective threat; however, they also have a HT score - generally HT 10, although HT 11 or 12 is possible. Once they reach 0 HP or below, they must make a HT roll to stay cohesive as a swarm. A failure removes that hex worth of the swarm.

- Swarms in general are mooks, and auto-fail HT rolls at -1xHP. In general doesn't mean always.

- You don't get "free" attacks against a swarm. You use your normal complement of attacks. Again, they usually don't defend, and they automatically hit, and you don't get to defend . . . so TG and All-Out Attack are useful to multiply your effectiveness.

Overall, this makes swarms more effective, but also a little more random when it comes to their ability to sustain damage. This removes some of the mechanistic "and I can auto-kill one swarm per second" that I dislike, but also allows fighters with more attacks to take advantage of them.

You could see this with the very nasty Stymphalian Bird Swarms from beyond the Olympus Gate.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Felltower - Minor Updates

I did some minor work on Felltower today - just reviewing some material for behind another gate.

Also, I updated the GURPS and Foundry modules on the VTT.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Alexander the Great in GURPS and History

I recently read a pair of posts over on ACOUP about Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great.

In GURPS Who's Who 1, Kenneth Hite wrote Alexander III of Macedon, aka Alexander the Great, and gave him Strategy-22. By the stat/skill level approach we used, this is pretty much "greatest in history." The appendix in WW1 says 20-24 is that range, with 24 being the top end of realistic. With that in mind, you can make a case for 22 being a tad conservative.

For comparison, Julius Caeser (who I wrote up) has Strategy-17, and Julius Caeser pretty much beat everyone he faced hollow, even when in disadvantageous conditions. Oliver Cromwell got an 18. No one else exceeds about a 15, including Tokugawa Ieyasu and Cyrus the Great.

I feel like it was justified. His success rate in battles is stunning - he wins his battles and sieges, large and small, usually as a blowout. That's despite numbers and terrain. You could say he wasn't good, his foes were bad, but it's hard to square "his foes just sucked" and Alexander's ability to apply exactly the right solution to the problems in front of him even as the calculus changed on the fly. The Pedant makes a good, readable case for this here, especially in Part I. If there is a best choice avaiable in a changing situation in battle, Alexander chooses it. That's quite persuasive.

Alexander III of Macedon - Part I

Alexander III of Macedon - Part II

That's the usual argument, by the way - so-and-so wasn't good, just better than these others who sucked. How do you know they sucked? They lost to so-and-so. But if you presume that the baseline of competent is around a 11-12, then it takes a similar score or slightly higher + superior mass combat advantages to win. Start to look at the foes that the folks your chosen character has beaten, look at what their armies should roughly look like in GURPS Mass Combat, and compare away.

Doug and I frequently have discussions about this - I'm not a stat maximizer, or a stat normalizer . . . but I tend to think your successes shouldn't all be chalked up to rolling a 3. Whatever you consistently do well should be reflected in a high chance to do it consistently well. For Alexander the Great, that's sure a can be Strategy-20-24. I can live with a 22.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Agar's Wand, Loyal Weapon, and Dancing Sword

Agar's Wand is a unique weapon in DF Felltower. It has both Loyal Weapon and Dancing Sword, and is a Defending Weapon +3, on top of that.

How do these interact?

Since Agar's Wand is an intelligent, willful weapon, interaction between them isn't formulaic. Like the description says, "It sometimes uses its Loyal Sword and Dancing abilities on its own, without the command of its owner." It has a goal, and it's stubborn about its choices.

Dancing Weapon allows the wielder to set Agar's Wand dancing, fighting on its own on the wielder's behalf. I don't let the player run the sword - it's an NPC. The PCs are welcome to tell it whatever they like, but Agar's Wand decides what to do based on Agar's Wand's goals. They don't always match the wielder's.

It does tend to defend for the owner, interposing itself between enemies and the wielder, and/or parrying attacks coming at the wielder if that's possible and it seems like the thing to do. With a base Parry of 16, it's pretty good at this so long as only an attack or two comes through.

It will Dance, and if it critically fails, it will fall per DFRPG Magic Items, p. 7.

Otherwise, Loyal Weapon allows it to return to its wielder when called for (and obeyed - remember, willfull weapon that's an independent actor, not a servant) or after it's done Dancing, or if dropped by accident (or Critical Failure) and the sword doesn't just Dance, instead.

It's a good weapon, and it chooses well based on the circumstances, but it's unwise to bet on a particular outcome. It's going to do its best by its wielder subject to its traits, not necessarily what a min-max look at the situation would suggest. With that in mind, asking me, the GM, what could or might happen isn't really much more than a waste of time . . . Agar's Wand will do what Agar's Wand will do. Remember, it's old and intelligent, with a goal that might not be your goal . . . although to wield it, you did swear an oath to do the same things it wants to accomplish.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Random Links & Thoughts for 6/7/2024

Just two quick notes for today:

- There is a review on Periapt Games of Dungeon Fantasy Monster Seeds.

Thanks for the review - reviews are always welcome!

- Next game is 6/23.

Monday, June 3, 2024

DF Session 194, Felltower 131 - Olympus Gate II, Part II

Date: June 2nd, 2024
Game Date: May 19th, 2024

Weather: Sunny, warm.

Chop, human cleric (301 points)
Duncan Tesadic, human wizard (300 points)
Hannari Ironhand, dwarf martial artist (316 points)
Persistance Montgomery, human knight (300 points)
Thor Halfskepna, human knight (306 points)
Vladimir Luchnick, dwarf martial artist (266 points)

The PCs had just watched the Guardian of the Wand spear down Thor, their chosen champion. They sent in Persistence, next, after first buffing Percy - and thus the Guardian - with Blur -6. Percy also spent 8 saved points to raise his Flail skill to 25 and stripped off his armor to improve his Dodge.

Percy walked up the temple steps, announced his challenge to the guardian, and she came on guard. They moved carefully, he with his reach 2 flail, she with a reach 1 spear. She used Wait to strike him as he came in; he defended and then feinted and attacked to disarm her. It failed due to her excellent Parry despite a large marin of victory for Percy. They fell to normal fighting after that. It was a brief fight - she stabbed Percey several times, wounding him badly. Fighting to stay conscious, he wounded her back. She hit him again and he was rolling to avoid death. But he managed a 3 on his consciousness roll, so I usually rule he didn't need to roll again until hurt again. He managed to strike her again, take her past -1xHP, and at that point she declared him the victor.

The wounds of both were healed immdiately - not Thor, though, languishing defeated.

The Guardian said, "You have earned to right to approach Agar's Wand."

She disappeared and reappeared near the goddess statue in the temple. Percy went to snatch the sword out of the air, but it moved away.

The statue spoke - aloud, from everywhere, but it was clearly the statue - and said, "You must swear to do only good to wield Agar's Wand." Before anyone else could say anything, Percy - who has Compulsive Vowing! - took a knee and so swore. He gained Vow (Do Only Good) [-10] and Agar's Wand.

Agar's Wand is oddly much more suited to a spellcaster than a frontline fighter, so Percy is thinking about getting a caster lens.

They left the temple and rested for an hour or so and then headed to the Swamp of Sorrow. Their scouting showed bronze-and-black-and-white birds swooping and flying, which immediately was interpreted as "circling something." No, just flying. But they did glint and glitter - more glint than glitter - in the sun. Interesting. They could hear snippets of sad, sad singing.

Having been warned of sirens, they plugged their ears with beeswax from a candle Hannari had thoughtfully brought along. That made it impossible to usefully communicate, but they'd planned a bit ahead of time.

Once in the swamp they headed to the center, where they could see something on a pedastal. As they closed in on it and the raised islet it was on, they saw three incredibly beautiful bird creatures - sirens, with the torso and head of a human and the body of a bird. Those bronze birds flew around here and there above them.

Vlad released an arrow at the closest siren, which Dodged, and birds swarmed in from behind. As they rushed forward, they couldn't hear 24 Stymphalian Bird Swarms fly in from behind and attack.

The swarms auto-hit, did 1d+1(5) cutting, and took a bit of killing thanks to being (as a swarm) Diffuse. Thor ran ahead to get to the sirens, as did Hannari - who turned back once birds attacked him, trying to get back to and protect the casters. The PCs quickly found that only folks who attacked the swarms - or the sirens - drew the wratch of the birds. Chop wisely didn't do anything but heal, Vlad jumped into the water and hid underneath for HT seconds (seriously), Duncan stayed invisible, and the others fought.

The birds looped and swooped around, unable to just hover in place, the PCs got sliced up a treat. Chop healed and healed and healed. Thor fought a half dozen swarms, Hannari maybe more, and Percy - after drawing Agar's Wand and letting it dance - attacked anything he could. Hannari used his Potion Ring to activate a Potion of Fire Resistance and dumped Alchemist's Fire on himself . . . which unfortunately didn't seem to disuade (or hurt) the birds. Duncan dispersed a missile spell he'd been carrying, put Resist Lightning on Hannari, and readed Explosive Lightning.

The Explosive Lightning took about 5-6 swarms but made Duncan visible, and birds attacked him, next. He managed to get off Blackout in a couple of tries and hid there, where the birds couldn't see. Convinced the sirens were directing the bird attacks, Hannari lobbed a flash nageteppo over into the sirens, but they all made their HT rolls and it was ineffective.

After a lot of melee and a lot of damage, they managed to eventually whittle most of the swarms down. Vlad came up for air and was badly slashed on the arm, and hid back under again. Thor and Hannari rushed the sirens, as Duncan threw a heavy Stone Missile out and killed one outright. Thor ran up and butchered her - he didn't know she was dead, just saw her go down - and Hannari threw an axe and missed another. They flew away as the birds were being finished off.

They took their prize - an ornate, highly magical lyre. They also beheaded as many bird as they could for their bronze beaks, and gathered all of the metal-edged feathers they could - 36 pounds of metal and 36 pounds of bird bits, as yet inseperable.

They camped for the night on dry land near, but outside, the Swamp of Sorrows. The Plains of Pensiveness, perhaps.

We ended it there for the night.


- I'm pretty sure I have had Persistance down as a barbarian the whole time, but he's always been a knight and I just didn't notice my error. Either that or he's a barbarian with a full set of knightly advantages and stats. I don't actually keep any character records anymore, so I have less idea about the PC stats than you might suppose I would.

- The sirens are from the Odyssey, the stymphalian birds from Hercules's 5th labor. I combined them because seperately they're not as challenging for a party of DFers. And that's ultimately all that matters - a fun experience, not one with fidelity to one particular telling of Greek myth.

- The Stymphalian Bird Swarms are a bit different than swarms as usually done. They have actual HP, not a dispersal HP - so they made HT rolls to stay "concious." When they failed, they'd break up. So when the PCs figured out that 4 hits would kill a swarm, they were kinda right. 4 could; it didn't always do so. I also force to hit rolls against swarms. They can't defend, but you can swing ineffectively. Yes, I'm mean.

- The players were very, very good about being effectively deaf. They had Protected Hearing, but a -3 to hear, and the background noise of the metallic clanking of the birds and the lamenting dirges of the sirens were just fuzzed out white noise. They never did any plotting and planning, or "you move here so I can do XYZ" stuff. They fought individually, but with remarkably good team tactics.

- XP was 4; 1 xp exploration, 1 xp for defeating the Guardiand, 1 xp for defeated the birds, 1 xp loot. MVP was Chop because without his healing no one would have won anything.

- They're already starting to think about how to "transfer" Agar's Wand to, say, their sword-wielding wizard. That's originally the type of character it was meant for, actually, when I wrote it up for my 3e campaign back in the late 90s as we got underway. We'll see how they do it. Percy has the Vow, and that's that, but can he hand over the sword? They're thinking of ways to convince it, but are hampered by the fact that it is intelligent and self-willed but doesn't communicate. We'll see. It might have been easier to just decide that first but here we are. The things folks will do for a 40 point power item Dancing Weapon.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Felltower pre-summary

Full summary tomorrow.


- Persistance fought the Guardian of the Wand, and won!

- They retrieved Agar's Wand (DFT3)

- they fought some birds and sirens

- and made it out of the Swamps of Sorrow.

Details tomorrow.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Knocking off helmets in DF Felltower

Faced with an amazon warrior with a spear and magic helmet, one of my players asked about knocking off helmets.

Short answer . . . you can't. Helmets are designed to stay on, so you can't just tip one off.

You can grapple a foe and get their helmet off . . . but it'll take work. You need to take off straps, unbuckle buckles, and/or untie ties. Effectively, this can be done on a foe that is immobolized.

In other words, to defeat the guardian by taking off her helmet, you'll need to defeat the guardian by gappling and immobilizing her, and then take her helmet off. Not worth much unless the only way to finish the deal is taking off that helmet.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Random Thoughts & Links for 5/31/2024

- Want the Battle of Five Armies in 15mm?

The price keeps dropping. From $7995 in 2/23 to $5995 now.

Where is the floor for that thing? It started at almost $13K.

- This Death Race game makes me want to play Car Wars. Not enough to deal with my loophole-loving friends, though.

- Permanent monster paralysis in D&D?

- I made a ruling for my DF game by email, which I'll post about tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Away from Blog

Very busy . . . don't expect posts this week until the end, if then.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Random Thoughts and Links for 5/24/24

- Grognardia talks Greyhawk Wars. I had it and sold it . . . that should sum up how good I thought it was. So very vanilla and uninteresting. A mediocre wargame executed without anything to really hook me in. And I like Greyhawk a lot and love wargames.

- Not much love for VTT token packs, I see.

- I did some more writing for the Olympus Gate - it's done, but a little color never hurt.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Felltower GURPS Magic Rulings: Shield

I'll keep all of the oddball FAQs that come up about the Shield spell in DF Felltower.

Shield and Attacks on Weapons - Defenses against an attack on the subject's weapon do not benefit from Shield.

Shield and Arcs - Frontal attacks specially only includes the front arc; it does not help againt flank or rear attacks, even if those attacks are part of a runaround attack.

Shield and Meteoric Weapons - DB from Shield doesn't help against meteoric weapons; this is true for both Wizardly and Clerical Shield spells.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Forge Bazaar sale - recommended token or scenery packs?

Anyone have an suggestions?

I'm thinking I'd like to have a token pack for weapons, furniture, and basic dungeon decor without having to take all the pictures and making them into tokens.

A pack of walls and floors I can use to build dungeons might be nice, too.

So if you have any you like, let me know!


Monday, May 20, 2024

More Notes on DF Session 193

Here are some more notes on last session.

- I have a lot of fun with The Oracle. Here he is, stunned that these barbarians can't speak the Tongue of the Gods.

- I enjoy the fact that Hannari refers to the "Annals of Vryce" for information - the summaries. The best part is that Vryce didn't write them, and wouldn't even if you'd paid him to. Vryce was a here-and-now kind of a guy.

- The dragontooth warriors were straight out of Harryhausen special effects. I won't fully reveal their stats, but suffice it to say are glass snipers. Very skilled, reasonably good damage, excellent defenses, not a lot of DR or HP. They aren't - as the PCs found to their dismay - especially vulnerable to crushing attacks. Or cutting. They went down with high damage hits and a few from accumulated damage from lower-damage hits.

I was dismayed that they couldn't score a crit to save their lives. The Guardian made up for that, though!

- The Guadian mini is one I've had for years. In fact, this encounter (although not the map I used) was originally written for my 3rd edition GURPS campaign that ran from roughly 1999-2010 or so. So is Agar's Wand, which, spoiler alert, is in DFT3. If the PCs can retrieve it, they can already know what it does. They didn't in my previous campaign, never having followed up on its location. If they can't, well, it'll sit unused for another campaign! It's got some limits, as it's less of a neutral but driven item like Gram / Balmung /Sigurd's Sword or Shieldslayer, and not the typical nasty weapon like Frenzy, Malice, or Grimslaughter. We'll see what happens.

- I have to check where I wrote our rulings on Shield. I have to write them in their own post. One thing is that it protects you, but doesn't extend to protect your weapon against disarms and breakage.

- Meteoric is anti-magic, not anti-supernatural, and Cosmic is Cosmic. It would have made a difference for the duel if it did!

- The GURPS VTT nicely does Control Points. Sadly, I'm not sure it'll give the numbers I actually use for CP with my stupidly simplified grappling system (and yes, it's more simple than Doug's.)

- The Olympus world isn't a "real" world. It's nonsensical in a lot of ways, with only what needs to be there to facilitate the challenges the world offers. It has its own internal logic, though, and some connections to the rest of the campaign besides just being a place for loot and fun. Mostly, though, it's a multi-delve capable series of one-shot attempts to do the stuff there.

- XP is per session in a gate world, not per delve.

- I suspect the players will likely frantically Google the names I used. They're lifted from Greek myth, of course, and used, generally, as-is. But I don't think they'll help much. Knowing the names of Brontes's brothers will help if they meet them, I suppose. But most of this is a mix of what I liked from the Odyssey, random collections of Greek myths I've read over the years, the Aeneid, bits of Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts, the odd Hercules movies, and minis I happen to own.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

DF Session 193, Felltower 131 - Olympus Gate II, Part I

Date: May 19th, 2024

Weather: Sunny, warm.

Chop, human cleric (301 points)
Duncan Tesadic, human wizard (300 points)
Hannari Ironhand, dwarf martial artist (316 points)
Persistance Montgomery, human barbarian (300 points)
Thor Halfskepna, human knight (306 points)
Vladimir Luchnick, dwarf martial artist (266 points)

We started off in town, with the group gathering rumors before heading into the dungeon. They briefly debated a different destination, as Thor was nowhere to be found, but he came rolling up late and they were able to head to the Olympus Gate.

Their trip to the gate was uneventful, except for the close air of the "apartment level" causing Percy some trouble. They also smelled a sulfurous smell as they neared one intersection, which they chalked up to a nearby gate.

They reached the gate, cancelled their spells - recalling what they'd read of previous trips - and headed in.

Sure enough, all of their spells - light stones, Walk on Air, etc. were cancelled. They found themselves in on a tiled floor, surrounded by columns, with a fountain in the center. Light came from somewhere centered on the fountain, perhaps the unseen but implied ceiling. Next to the fountain was an older man with a short grey beard, holding a wineskin. He spoke to them in a language they didn't understand.

Hanari gestured to him to give them a drink. Instead the old man spoke louder and slower, and only after seeing that didn't work he offered them a drink. They drank - and Vlad (Gluttony (6)) and Thor - (Impulsiveness and Curiousity) both drank enough to become Tipsy. The oracle - as he describe himself, drew them a map on papyrus and told them of the locations of most interest in this land. They quickly broke out into discussion about what to do while oracle waited impatiently. Finally, they calmed down and he told them there were only three ages - the Age of Myth, which had passed, the Age of Heroes, which is now, and the War of the Gods, which will come.

Armed with a list, the PCs decided to take the areas of interest in what seemed like a logical order.

First up, was the "Field of Teeth," where dragontooth warriors waited for them. They were more and less than men, and more and less than they appeared, they were warned. Once the PCs left the Home of the Oracle, it disappeared behind them.

The PCs headed West, hoping to encounter some locals to get more information. After a few hours they found some well-tended grape vines and an olive grove. The footprints around it were from an enourmous single being with sandled feet. They kept heading west and soon found that being - a 12' cyclops tending a flock of giant sheep. They greeted him. He asked their names, most of whom gave theirs, but Vlad decided to be clever and called himself "Noman." The cyclops, Brontes, warned them off of the Mountain of Chronos, where some of his too-tough-for-them brothers live. He laughed at Vlad's question about the warriors of the field of teeth being either long-toothed or dragonborn (which aren't even a thing in my world, because I think they'll powergamey nonsense.) He did provide some more details. He then asked for a gift for welcoming him to his lands and offering information. Duncan pulled out a pack of wolfsbane he scrounged up between sessions, and said this would help keep wolves away from Brontes's sheep. The cyclops declared it a "wise" gift, and sent them on their way.

They reached the Field of Teeth, which proved to be a stone-edged, long, fallow field. They formed up in an excellent order to avoid getting flanked, but then only a few yards ahead a dozen skeletons rose from the dirt as they stood unable to react. The skeletons attacked with shields and falchions.

The skeletons were very, very quick, and extremely skilled with their falchions. They made quick work of Hanari, who was hacked down into unconsciousness in a few seconds. Thor fended off a number, as Vlad ran back and Duncan walked up out of reach. Percy slew one quickly, only to see it fall to dust along with its weapons. They fired blunt arrows and Stone Missile spells, but the skeletons didn't seem especially vulnerable to anything. In the end, though, the PCs defeated all 12 of them, with only minor wounds to anyone except Hanari.

They found 12 dragon's teeth where the skeletons fell, and determined they were powerful supernatural items but not wizardly magic nor clerical magic. They moved off the field to find a place to camp. Night fell quickly as they sought a place to sleep. They found a place near some trees. They were relieved to see stars and a moon above at night.

The next morning, they checked out the nearby shoreline - it was cliffs, with no clear place to beach a ship.

Next they headed to the Temple of Victory, where they were told a wand awaited those who could defeat the champion.

They found a beautiful temple with a female figure - a goddess of some kind, with a sword in one hand and an owl on the other. The temple was decorated with pillars and statues of horses. Guarding it was a stern looking 6' tall black-haired woman wearing a Corinthian-style helm, a white cloak, a spear, and a shield - and nothing else. Behind her was a pool, with a bronze sword floating in midair over it.

She told them they could challenge her for Agar's Wand. Naturally, there were demands of "Who is Agar?" "What kind of challenge?" and so on, which she ignored except to say that Agar was the first wielder of the wand.

They saw she was protected by some kind of shimmering force once she pulled down her helmet. So they went to buff up Thor, their chosen champion. Chop put Shield +6 on him . . . and to their dismay the Guardian of the Wand got Shield +6, too. So they bailed on giving him +2 HT, as well, a fateful choice.

Thor edged forward, and engaged with the Guardian. They exchanged blows - he used Rapid Strike to strike twice per second with his sword; she, three times per second with her spear. In short order she got a critical hit which not only ignored his defenses but also her spear parted his armor like air and wounded him badly. She didn't strike too hard, but her weapon gave her an offensive edge that negated Thor's defensive edge of heavy armor (he's DR 10 or so normally.) They fenced, with Thor unable to land much of anything, and she tagged him another time. He dropped his sword on a critically failed parry, and went for a slam. She dodged aside. He pulled his meteoric long knife, and - since it ignored her Shield spell, and went to work. But still, she landed a third strike. He managed to cut her once badly, despite some kind of resistance from a shimmering field around her that didn't get ignored by Meteoric.

Thor pushed her back, and then she dropped her spear on a critical miss thanks to his critical parry. He stood in her hex and slashed away, hitting her several times but for very little damage, rolling quite poorly. She kept grabbing for her spear, first failing a kick-up, and then crouching down and spending a few seconds trying to make the DX roll for ready in Close Combat. In the end, she got her spear and stood up . . . just as Thor finally passed out from his wounds.

She let them drag the defeated away, and immediately healed up and retook her position.

They looked around for another champion . . . and are trying to decide between Duncan (going in with a maxed-out Stone Missile) or Percy (buffed like crazy with spells that can be ignored with Thor's meteoric long knife.)

That's where we left it.


Not much time tonight, so I'll do notes tomorrow and back link here.

Thor's player was really frustrated with his rolling, but also with the fact that the guardian was able to ready her spear and he couldn't just stomp it back down to the ground and pin it. I'm sympathetic, but he had plenty of chances to do that before she did her Ready. Once a person has executed a Ready, it's over - GURPS doesn't allow for interrupting an action partly through except in a few cases involving Wait. It was a good idea but thought of too late. I do like the visual idea of stomping a spear down as someone tries to ready it, but it was already Ready. So, sympathetic, but there was an automatic success for Thor waiting for several turns and then it was too late as there was a rolled sucess for the guardian.

XP was 4 each. MVP was Duncan for some nice damage inflicted in the skeleton fight and the wolfsbane gift. Percy's player wasn't around, be knowing it was a 2-3 session delve, he asked if we could bring his guy along as he was stuck unable to play. I allowed it.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Random links for 5/17/2024

- I like posts about gladiators.

- Gamma World, baby.

Retrospective: TSR's Gamma World

I really liked 2nd edition when I was a kid, but I started with 1st edition. 2nd edition was a much better toolkit for running the game, but also made the world feel safer, more developed, and tech more like general equipment. 1st edition scared me a bit when I was a kid, and I love it to this day. I'd mine the hell out of 2nd edition if I ran a game there, though. The ruins of Pitz Burke are a great sandbox.

- There is a draft of the newest edition of Labyrinth Lord available.

- We're set to game Sunday, into the Olympus Gate. It's 100% assured to be a multi-session delve.

- Medieval art inspiration for Spelljammer? Apparantly yes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The Brotherhood Complex, organized opposition, and the DMG

The Brotherhood Complex was the site of a full TPK in my Felltower campaign. Literally no one escaped that fight. The PCs ran into organized foes, beat them up a bit, and then lost against a regrouped foe.

Part of this I can credit to Gary Gygax. I was hugely influenced by the DMG as a young gamer. It's one of the two first books I owned - the Fiend Folio and The Dungeonmasters Guide. One section I read over and over was MONSTERS AND ORGANIZATION, DMG p. 104-105.

That outlines a number of scenarios - PCs versus undead in a dungeon crypt, against giant ants in a lair, against humanoids, against a town, against a bandit camp, and against a fortress.

They're all great stuff. Let me quote extensively to show you what I mean:

SITUATION 1 (Sl) is where encounter occurs for the first time, and while the party inflicts casualties upon the monsters, victory is denied; the party then leaves with its wounded, regroups, and returns one full week later to finish the job. SITUATION 2 (S2) is where the party, rested, healed, and ready for action, has now re-encountered the monsters in question. In both situations the response of the monsters concerned will be detailed so you can use the examples in handling actual play.


EXAMPLE VI: The party discovers a fortress and attacks.

s1. Guards will instantly sound a warning to alert the place. Alarms will be sounded from several places within the fortress. Leaders will move to hold the place, or expel invaders, with great vigor. Spell casters will be likely to have specific stations and assigned duties - such as casting fireballs, lighting bolts, flame strikes, cloudkills, dispel magics, and like spells. Defenders are out to KILL, not deal stupidly or gently with, attackers, and they will typically ask no quarter, nor give any. In like fashion, traps within the fortress will be lethal. As action continues, commanders will assess the party's strengths, weaknesses, defense, and attack modes and counter appropriately. If the party is within the fortress, possible entry points and escape routes will be sealed off. When the attackers pull back, it is very likely that they will be counterattacked, or at least harassed. Additionally, members of the force of the stronghold will track the party continually as long as they are within striking distance of the fortress.

S2. The fortress will most likely have replaced all losses and have rein- forcements in addition. An ambush might be laid for the attackers when they approach. A sally force will be ready to fall upon the attackers (preferably when engaged in front so as to strike the flank or rear). Siege machinery, oil, missiles, etc. will be ready and in good supply. Repairs to defenses will be made as thoroughly as time and materials permitted. Weak areas will have been blocked off, isolated, and trapped as well as possible under the circumstances. Leaders will be nearby to take immediate charge. Spell casters might be disguised as guards, or hidden near guard posts, in order to surprise attackers. Any retreat by the attackers will be followed up by a hot pursuit.

How to Defend Your Lair is a good, modern version of the same.

I absolutely run my foes this way, with the bit about S2 from the bandit camp as well - sometimes, they're just gone. But if they're there, they act like the above. They are fighting hard and intelligently. They won't sit in clumps and let you clear them room by room. They won't let you just rest, recoup, and attack again without a response.

The Brotherhood Complex is such a place. The deeper levels of Felltower - with the "Gith," are the same. The orcs, same. They want to fight and win, and you can't gobble them up little by little without risk. It might take a decisive win and immediately followup; what makes that win decisive depends on their center of gravity and their interests.

The PCs can absolutely smash the place . . . but it's not a "beginner" dungeon anymore. It's not a quick side trip. If it will be done it will take something more than a series of tentative delves. It's not that kind of place anymore.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Painting glasses?

I'm thinking of getting back into painting minis. I stopped a while back - maybe a couple years ago, maybe longer - whenever my last WIP post was, in all likelihood. I stopped for a few reasons, but a big one is vision. I wear glasses for vision correction, but painted without them. Now, though, my close-in vision is sufficiently poor that holding a 28mm mini in close is still not enough to see details and is very tiring on my eyes, as well.

I cannot paint with an external magnifying glass. I have a rig for such, but I just can't handle the different levels of magification between my hand, the brush, the glass, and what's magnified in the glass. I tried and failed.

So I'm thinking I need something like this:

Painting like Joubert

Or a pair of magnifying glasses I can wear. I don't know if it's possible for me to paint even with such a setup, but I'm going to try.

Does anyone have a recommendation from experience? I've done some random searching, but actual use experience would be helpful so I'm not just guessing and spending.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Brotherhood Complex: Scouting Results

Vladimir Luchnik, dwarf scout, decided to spend his downtime camped out near the so-called Brotherhood Complex where a previous party had died.

Here is what the results of his Observation roll turned up.

Vlad's scouting reveals:

- the Brotherhood Complex near Arras is in active use.

- it's clearly occupied by a fairly sizeable amount of residents. Based on the food going in and direct observation, maybe 20-30 men and 20-30 gnolls.

- they've brought a big shipment of scrap metal and iron ingots in.

- the area outside the complex isn't guarded and they don't seem to pay attention to perimeter security at all.

- one group of down-on-their luck types went in, guarded by cultists, but seemingly willingly entered. There were about 12 of the new guys and six cultists.

The place seems potentially well guarded and has a clearly active population of intelligent residents.

I am not sure what the PCs will do about this - but if the reaction to "let's camp in a dead end in the dungeon" last time wasn't sufficiently clear, this should reinforce that last point. This is an actively held fortress underground, not a clear-as-you-please level of dungeons.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Random Notes & Thoughts for 5/10/2024

End of the weekdays means random stuff!

- So, this comic was exactly how I was running Handsome. Well, except for spending money on bow-related stuff, he literally looted everything else combat-related after character generation.

The Weekly Roll #150

- I like this line of thought - making traps totally obvious and force you to engage with traps. I may need to do more of this.

Don't Hide Traps

I'm not sure how I'd implement it to makes Traps a still-useful skill, but still.

And I do like hidden traps enough to keep them around.

And it does mean it's pitting my knowledge of engineering vs. my players that include folks who are actually engineers, one architect, a guy with a degree in materials science . . . which is extremely challenging vs. just putting a Link spell with an offensive spell on it. Because honestly I suck at the very things they're good at, and pitting my knowledge vs. theirs in a way sure to consume time and then bitching about turning dungeon exploration into physics and engineering problems . . . well, it seems like a poor choice for me.

Still, I like "the more dangerous it is, the more obvious it needs to be." And I do find the hazards I put in the dungeon - and the "trap here, beware!" encounters - generally create the most fun.

- Why the weird wizard garb?

I like this a lot.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Prepping for Olympus

I haven't posted this week because I've been spending all of my gaming-related time working on the Olympus Gate.

I won't lie; I didn't have this one prepped. I knew what I wanted to do for repeat visits, but I didn't write it all out. I had a few sketch notes and a lot going on in my head.

So this week I spent my time combing through my notes and rapidly filling out the framework in my head with more details.

I can promise it is a Danger Pocket. It will be potentially deadly, with foes I'm not sure the PCs can take or not. But it has loot that will significantly improve the PCs who do survive. And like the previous visit, it's all or nothing, one shot. You can't take nibbles of this gate; if you leave and come back, what you find will be different than before. It's a gate to another world, not a door to a mini-dungeon.

I'm excited for this one.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Call off the search - James Bond game found

On Friday I mentioned not being able to locate a box of my game books.

It turns out I did bring them to a relative's house and store them in a closet. Probably I was just clearing space to help the move, as a few other large items ended up all in that one spot.

Now it's back - MSH, Top Secret, T2K, Star Frontiers, Star Ace, Gangbusters, James Bond 007, and a few other things - like my Car Wars sets and Ogre - were there with it.


Sunday, May 5, 2024

The Fates Say Olympus

The PCs have decided - the current core four players have all decided to go for the Olympus Gate.

I will be prepping that for the VTT and getting ready to go. It should be dangerous, but fun . . .

Saturday, May 4, 2024

I didn't even know I hit 'em - Situational Awarness rule spinoff

Doug posted a very interesting idea over on Gaming Ballistic.

Randomly Aware – Fast Situational Awareness

It occasioned a thought or two.

What if you needed a Per roll - or perhaps a Per-based weapon roll, even better - to know what you did to the target? It would fit. Only experienced or observant fighters would know how well their blow landed.

You could apply the same to allies and enemies, too. You'd need a roll to spot what happened to a foe. "Thor swung at that guy and then the guy fell" might be "Guy critically failed Dodge and was hit but undamaged" or "was knocked flat" or "did Dodge and Drop" or something in between. You don't really know.

This is especially true in ranged combat, where "I totally hit that guy!" and "He did Dodge and Drop and then tried to Play Dead" should often look very much alike.

You could restrict this to allies and enemies. You know what you did. Your enemy does, too. But everyone else? PER roll. Modify it for distraction (like being enagaged yourself, probably a -5) and distance (S&SRT).

It could be clunky in numbers, but I think the general idea - you don't automatically know what you, the player, can see, given the incredible situational awareness you get from a battle map.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Links & Thoughts for 5/3/2024

Just a little today - my workload increased a lot, so not so much gaming writing/reading/prepping this week.

- Gone?

I moved last year. As far as I know, I unpacked everything. But this week I was reminded about James Bond: 007 by Victory Games, and I wanted to put it on my "re-read" pile. I can't find it. Nor do I see any sign of the things I kept on the same shelf with it - Gangbusters, Top Secret, Marvel Super Heroes, Star Frontiers, Space Opera . . . I'm a little concerned. I am absolutely sure the last place was broom clean empty, and I thought I did a truck walkthrough to make sure nothing was left on the mover's truck . . . but there is no sign of this. Maybe I stuck it in storage at someone's house, so I'll check that. I'll be really bummed if I lost that grab bag of stuff. It was in a different spot than my other gaming gear when I had less room for bookshelves, but the things above and below seem to have made the trip to the new place. It was many months ago I only hope I find it, because if it was forgotten on the truck it's gone now.

- Eight page S&W Light.

- Looks like the Olympus Gate might be the destination next Felltower game.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Minis I Don't Need But Want - Evil Geniuses

I stumbled on these on Mark Copplestone's webpage.

I have no need for these guys, but I want to play a game where I need them.

That guy on the left looks like a non-green Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz or a Sontaran's skinny cousin. I can't place him, except as a vaguely Kruschevian type.

Then we have robot Hitler.

And a metal-handed Mao.

Again, I have no need . . . but man, they'd be the best James Bond RPG villians you could hope for if you went for non-canonical bad guys.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Next in Felltower - a Gate, but which one?

The PCs decided on a gate next session, because they are high risk but disproportionally high reward areas. The Felltower experience isn't meant to be had without going into some gates.

There are links to a number of gate sessions in this post from last January for those who want to see how things have gone before. And here are the Known Gates of Felltower, updated as we play.

I broke this up into three categories based on brief discussions with my players today.

Gates with stuff to do

Ape Gate: Previously visited. There is a lot to do here, but the players will need to take a look at that summary and figure out what they want to do. They could just show up and assault the place, which can be messy, but if they want to have ape-led adventure they'll need a plan. And "go there and see if they're give us a quest" isn't a plan, it's a wish.

Olympus Gate: Previously visited for a 2-part delve: Part I and Part II.

One of my players expressed doubt about this as a possible destination because of how much the previous groups accomplished there. I told them, in a pure meta comment, that this one wasn't an empty delve. While there was a lot done, there was more to do. Because of the success of the last group, the ease of getting there, and generally positive interest in a Mythic Greece setting, this one is getting a lot of consideration.

Jester Gate: Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahah. There is a lot to do here. It will be silly and deadly and rewarding if they survive the deadly silliness.

Gates without much to do (right now)

Lost City. There might be stuff to loot in Felltower, or stuff to fight, but the PCs don't know of any. Previous groups sacked the living hell out of this place. It's not a useless trip but it would be a just-made-loot-threshold kind of delve at best unless there is something big they stumble upon. Well, there is one thing . . . but I don't think they have the information to make a delve out of it worthwhile.

Icy Gate. Lots to do here, actually, but the PCs lack to means to do any of it at this point.

Air Gate. Untouched, but the PCs lack the means to do anything here at this point.

Fire Gate. Possibly a lot to do, but nothing known about it yet. No one wants to find out more just yet.

Gates with nothing to do

Forest Gate. This one is definitely finished. That may change in the future, but it's just a waste of time at the moment. Also, the way back isn't directly back to Felltower, instead it's way off near Molotov.

All I ask is a decision by 5/5/2024 so I have time to update my notes, upload foes to the VTT, upload maps to the VTT, and so on. Face to face I could improvise if we played near my minis collection, but online, I need time to do the work to make it flow well.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

DF Session 192, Felltower 130 - Down, down, down the GFS

Date: April 14th, 2024

Weather: Sunny, warm.

Chop, human cleric (301 points)
Hannari Ironhand, dwarf martial artist (301 points)
Thor Halfskepna, human knight (306 points)
Vladimir Luchnick, dwarf martial artist (266 points)
     Darkspire the Inscrutable, human apprentice (125 points)
     Harold, human guard (~80 points)
     Samuel, human guard (~80 points)

We started off in town, gathering rumors and then heading off to the dungeon. Vlad took a note to spend his time between this delve and next investigating the cone-hatted cultists near the Brotherhood Complex.

They made their way to Felltower and in through the front entrance. They wound their way to the altar, and their newest hireling got Puissance +2 on all his weapons for the day.

From there, they went down the GFS to the "apartment level" and began to explore. They systematically shattered a number of those black hemispheres on the ceiling that the bronze spiders keep fixing, and checked a lot of different areas - the colored doors, the werewolf lair, and places nearby - for the ratmen and gnolls. Nothing. A big trip around led them to near Durak's lair, and they heard what they consider to be the sound of him sleeping.

There was debate about rouding up the magic bottles as loot, but that was rejected at the last minute as they approach the "prison" area. There was debate (real world and in-game) about the point of spending Sundays doing un-fun wandering around without actually encountering anything.

So, with a firm push from Hannari, they headed to the second GFS. Thor took some damage trying to open the door with a kick, then more when he did it properly with a hand touch. Getting through the illusionary wall was trickey, but it seemed like saying the Brotherhood's passphrase helped get a second chance to get through, which helped Thor and Samuel - the rest made it through.

On the stairs down, they were attacked by a pair of speeding blades. They broke them down and sent them rattling down to the abyss below, but not before Harold got cut and Vlad was briefly dropped with a crippling leg cut - both speedily healed by Chop, who also put a Curse on one that proved very helpful.

They headed to the third landing, where their notes (from delvers who never made it back, but hey, Summon Spirit) said there was poison gas and a Dispel Magic trap. They got ready and rushed in, planning to run to the left and right out of the danger zone. They didn't make it. They triggered a wave of dangerous effects - a Dispel Magic that took out half of their lightstones, a Deathtouch-like effect on their front three that hammered Samuel, Harold, and Thor, and a greenish mist that inflicted 1d toxic per second despite them holding their breath. They fled, dragging the reeling hirelings behind.

Chop healed everyone on the stairs as fast as possible, draining his power item to do it, and using a Lend Energy charged scroll to replenish himself. They quickly fell to arguing about returning upward to find loot or going down. Over Vlad's strenuous objections, they headed down. There was nothing but abject darkness above and below.

And down.

And down.

And down.

What turned out later to be 6 turns around the stairs they emerged from the darkness.

Queue up the John Williams music.

The walls around the stairs were gone. The stairs, corkscrewing down into the depths, just continued on without any obvious support. Below them, far below them, was a faintly glowing dome. A big one - hundreds of yard across, maybe? - faintly glowing from within with pastel colors. The colors changed as they descended - always soft colors. Sky blue, not dark blue. Indigo or mauve, not deep violet. Soft yellow or orange, not a harsh deep red. They could feel the size of the space around them - it was big. They couldn't see part what was lit by the dome below or their lightstones.

Down, down, down they went.

As they closed in, they saw the GFS didn't end up in the dome, but rather next to it. The dome was clearly over a "city" - they could vaguely make out shapes that had to be building-sized, but no details emerged. Around the city was the inky blackness of water. The stairs ended, 14 more turns down (roughly 1/2 a mile, if the calculations of Hannari's player are correct as they usually are), in a square stone building on an adjoining island, connected to the city's landmass by a causeway or bridge marked on each end by gate-like buildings, and the city itself had a bastion-like setup in from of the dome.

Exhausted from the climb down, the PCs rested at the bottom and took extra time to search. Besides the badly broken bits of two shattered speeding bladeds, they found some sparse but valuable loot. That was a ring (a Potion Ring, from DFT3), a ruby covered with fire-related runes (non-magical - just the overlooked remnants of a broken magic item), and a chunk of metal that Vlad identified as a 1.25 pound lump of Poison Metal (DF8.)

With that, they decided (due to time and my prompting, honestly) to return to the surface rather than risk what defenses the city has. They wanted to identify more about it to get some research done, but they couldn't be sure what awaited them . . . only that no one had been there and returned. So they decided to just do that.


- Annoyingly, the loot for the speeding blades says $10/pound for bits, and sends you to DF8, p. 13 for more. That book explains how to value bits, but not how many pounds worth you get from a speeding blade. Sigh. I want an answer more than a method, and this kind of lacks both.

- So that domed city has been sitting under Felltower since my first side-view draw up of Felltower. It's not necessarily the bottom of Felltower, but it is perhaps the bottom of the top of Felltower.

- I had to wing the treasure at the bottom of the GFS a bit. I had notes in a folder that said:

"Potion Ring (empty)
big chunk of mystery metal (poison metal)
Ruby with magic item markings but non magic 5 carats?
No body bits"

So I had to quickly determine a value for poison metal by looking in multiple books - and its size, which I don't know if I ever wrote down, double check the description of a potion ring (to be consistent with my wording in DFT3), and check the ruby value since I no longer use carat prices just ballpark ranges. I honestly didn't expect anyone to go all the way down there this session for sure. But the rough notes are maybe 11 years old, and the first notes on that level date to 2011.

- Before they went down there, the group was having a grumpy discussion about spending Sundays not doing much of anything. The delve to the third landing didn't pan out - the defenses there are pretty brutal - but Hanari's player successfully bullied the one player who was refusing to go deeper. The other two were fine with going . . . and going paid off greatly.

- XP was 4 xp for loot, 1 xp for touching a new level post-return to Felltower (3rd landing), +1 for new exploration (the domed city), +1 for first touch on a new level (the dome city), and +1 for discovering a special location (the domed city) = 8 xp per person. Hanari's player got MVP for pushing the delve that deep and insisting on searching for loot at the bottom; it was a tough call because Chop's healing was critical, and Thor's Sacrificial Block and Sacrificial Parry stopped a lot of potential casualties.

- The city is a special location, but it's not easier than the levels above it. It could be totally lethal for a group of this point total. But it's there for eventually . . . and I promise it's a good one. I'm glad they found it. It, and the level it is on, is full of discoveries waiting for PCs. But I think not yet.

- There is a MST3K reference in that title. Just watch The Mole Men.

- Next time, a gate. They just haven't decided which one, yet. More tomorrow.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game Companion 3 - Arrived!

My copy of DFRPG Companion 3 arrived today.

It's a meaty book, printed out, at least by DFRPG standards. 174 pages, softcover.

Three of my articles are in there - one each on equipment kits (which I need implemented in GCS somewhere), one on spell components (which my players don't seem to like very much), and one of monsters (which I like very much.)

I'm much more likely to use monsters I have in front of me in print; not necessarily with art, but in print. So expect more of Sean's prefixes and monsters to show up in my game now I can look at them while flipping through a book.

Fun stuff - I like having this in print to peruse.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Random Thoughts & Links for 4/26/2024

A few links for a Friday.

- A look at Kara-Tur. I agree it feels a little uneven. But the maps are gorgeous and looking at them makes me really want to play a game there. I own the "trail map" of it, too, which is pretty awesome unfolded.

- Joseph Bloch has a Kickstarter for the 2nd edition of his Adventurers Dark & Deep system.

- I love the idea of a rule that makes killing down foes requires a roll to overcome natural reluctance. You can see it featured here in a game of Twilight: 2000 run by Wayne.

- Maybe game on Sunday . . . so far only one definite yes and a lot more definite nos. I'll run game for 2 players but solo . . . just not as fun anymore.

- Reflections on Psi-Wars. The experience there with ST matches mine - even in very high tech situations, ST is just useful to have, and at 10/level people still want it and buy it.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

More thoughts on Only Heroes Get to Resist

I've never implemented this rule, but I keep thinking about running a game that would use it:

Only Heroes Get to Resist

I have a few more thoughts on it, nine years on.

- I think it should totally affect allied NPCs, too, with an exception made for any characters 125+ points, who'd get treated as worthy and get a roll.

- In a DF-style split, Fodder don't resist, Worthies may, Bosses do. Worthies with a base resistance below the effective skill of the caster don't get to resist; those with equal or better do get a chance. Don't apply the Rule of 16 until this comparison is made.

- If an effect has a chance for recovery, the same rules apply - Fodder stays down until the effect naturally ends, Worthy and up get to try and evade the effects.

- You still have to make the roll to put the resistable effect on the target.

I don't intend to use this in Felltower, but I do think it would make a good Heroic DF rule.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

DFRPG Companion 3 on the way!

I got a shipping notice for a copy of DFRPG Companion 3!

I'd kind of let this one slide out of my awareness. I'm excited to see it in person . . . it's always nice to get a physical copy of something you contributed to.

It's available here.

Monday, April 22, 2024

DF Felltower: What if all critical hits did max damage?

In Felltower, we use a little rule buried in the back of Basic Set: Characters (p. B326) that makes critical hits just bypass defenses, no table roll, and a "3" is max damage.

One way I thought of speeding combat - thanks to additional lethality - is to make all critical hits maximum damage. Roll a 3-4, or a 5 or a 6 with sufficient skill (or a 7 for some templates) and bang, max damage and bypass defenses.

This would add a lot of lethality to combat when the big boys roll a 3-6. Less so when others do . . . but make wizards really happy when they nail a crit on an Explosive spell thrown at an actual person.*

It wouldn't help fodder much, but at least sometimes they'd manage to hurt someone.

It would make boss monsters really, really scary. You can't get critically hit and luck out with a low damage roll against you. A giant doing 6d+12 or something would just flat out do 48 damage and that's that.

I don't think my players would go for this but part of me wants to try it. I think it would increase the bloodbath of combats and certainly erase a few foes here and there much more quickly.

* I joke. They all take the +4 for targeting the floor that I find totally bogus, but accept as a rule.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Felltower Updates

Updates to Felltower in anticipation of next week's game.


For quite a while, no one had delved into Felltower. Those that did, returned battered and usually no better off. But the last group came back talking about beating up some beetles and taking home a nice payoff. That's the kind of thing that makes volunteers show up.

As usual, volunteers tend to be the kind of guys you wouldn't pay for. Wizards who may or may not actually cast spells, like Ken Shabby. One-armed swordsmen. One-eyed archers. No-morals semi-human thugs. Folks as dangerous to you as they are to the enemy, and/or themselve.

But my players love them, so we'll see a few more of them if this keeps up.


All rumors are true, even the false ones. Like a Nostradamus prediction, they get contorted around until they match what happened, or what happened gets contorted around until it matches the rumor.

Either way, I wrote a bunch of rumors.


Very little. I think I'd benefit from a more systematic, roll-based approach. For now I eyeball it and do some randomizing, but I wonder if I could generate a system based on my stocking system that would tell me what moves into Felltower, and what moves out, and just modify the dungeon based on that each time? Hmm . . .

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Limits on Targeting Hit Locations?

This post is thanks to Faodladh, who made a comment on my last post on this subject.

In GURPS, it's very common to target specific hit locations. For skilled fighters run by skilled players, they often target a very small handful of optimal locations. You get eye shot guy, neck slicer guy, I only shoot the vitals guy. It's not always that realistic - the vitals or eyes or neck are always targetable? You can go for them over and over again. So let's say you want to limit the options.

Option 1: Minimum Effective Skill 10.

Like Deceptive Attack, attacks aimed at a specific location must have a minimum effective skill of 10. Therefore, to target the vitals (-3), you need a minimum effective skill of 13. Skull? 17. Eyes? 19.

Pros: Easy to implement. Limits tricky shots to the skilled.
Cons: You can't try a Hail Mary eye shot to win a fight unless your skill is higher.

Option 2: Only What's Open

I think Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch suggested this or something somewhat like this, back in the day. Roll on the Hit Location Table. Whatever comes up is your best target, at a -0. Or you can choose anything else, but with an extra -2 on it.

Pros: Has a realistic feel to it.
Cons: Probably just imposes an extra roll and/or people buying 2 extra points of skill to eat the penalties.

Option 3: Saw it Coming

Use the rules as written, but give a +1 to defend against any targeted attack after the first one on the same target.

Pros: Can be used with the RAW or the rules above.
Cons: Still allows anyone who wants to hunt for specific areas to do so.

I have some more ideas, but it's late so they'll need to wait for another post.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Multiple Defense penalty not automatically resetting?

I had a stray idea for a rough, gritty rule for cascading defenses.

Instead of resetting the penalty for multiple defenses on your turn, do not reset it unless:

- you spend a full second without using any defenses

or, optionally

- you spend a turn doing Evaluate

This is a simple, but very nasty rule. Being outnumbered and unable to take a breather - to step back and just reset - means your defenses will eventually be whittled down. Good ways to trigger the first is to use Move and clear the battle area, a classic swashbuckler move. Allowing Evaluate means you can stay in the fray, but not launch any offense, and it helps make Evaluate do something.

Why not reset when you do All-Out Defense? I think it just rewards taking a second being even more defense, which someone pressed is going to just do fairly often.

This would be a pain to deal with in a large fray, but it's probably a good way to make multiple foes - even weak ones - nasty in a realistic game with more detailed combat and/or smaller numbers of combatants. It also should have the emergent behavior of making outnumbered fighters either moving very defensively to try to limit their exposure, or very aggressively to take out a foe to cut down the odds. Right now, that's not always worth doing - the first might be useful, but with high defenses you can just ride out the attacks. The second is just standard behavior, but usually folks get a lot more tactical about which foe they choose to try to take out. Suddenly this would make "take out someone, anyone, even briefly so I can reset or even up" very attractive.

I haven't playtested this but it might be fun to try it out sometime.

Monday, April 15, 2024

More notes from Session 191

We played yesterday, Session 191, and I had a few more notes I'd forgotten yesterday.

- the PCs fought a bunch of slicer beetles. I found it easier to just do TOTM, as they call it, winged ranges, and tracking the monsters by hand. I didn't bother to put all 20 of them into the turn tracker, make sure each token was rotated properly, etc. I just did it on note paper. I may do that for true fodder encounters.

I was hopeful one of them would roll a 3 or something and lop off someone's hand or foot, but none of them did so. The PCs rattled off about a dozen criticals during the fight. You know, against fodder-level defenses, where it hardly mattered. You can't control the dice.

- The PCs gave Harold $120, a full 100% bonus on his asking rate, and asked him to be available in 2 weeks. We'll see - they get a nice bonus on their roll to find him again, and it does slightly increase his Loyalty, too.

Darkspire took a share, and we'll see if he's available again. He might be, if only because I have him in the system. Otherwise I've aked for at least one week before the play date for NPC requests because it's time consuming to make and upload the NPCs, ensure they have a token, name, quirks, etc. and all of that. I don't want to do a bunch "just in case" because I don't enjoy the process of making characters in GCS. My players love it, I find it really annoying.

- I find exploration without the "unlimited LOS view" of Dark Vision more fun to GM. It's a much shorter "you see this and that" and not a lot of "so-and-so sees" and "I tell them that" or what have you.

- the PCs found a broken set of orc ladders, and the thinking was Hjalmarr broke them. Could be. I describe PCs as being like wolverines, except that goal one is destroy anything you can to prevent the NPCs from using it, and goal two is get whatever they can use. So, so many doors, portcullises, ladders, entrances, exits, tools, puzzles, and re-useable items in the dungeon have been pillaged for loot (rarely) and destroyed so the (fill in name of group NPCs) can't use it/lock it/block it/come around behind us/come out of the dungeon/sell it/whatever. I once ran an arch villain in a campaign whose attitude was "don't break anything you might need later" so he didn't stomp the PCs just in case he needed them, tried to keep allies (and even useful enemies) alive, etc. That was a fun exercise, highly recommended.

- Oh, and it's tax day in the US, but not in Felltower, because everything looted under Felltower is tax-free. Because paying taxes in game is very, very old school AD&D, and also very, very annoying to deal with. So I made up a way to not do it.

Fun session.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

DF Session 191, Felltower 129 - Troll Treasure & Orc Holes

Date: April 14th, 2024

Weather: Sunny, warm.

Chop, human cleric (308 points)
Hannari Ironhand, dwarf martial artist (297 points)
Thor Halfskepna, human knight (310 points)
Vladimir Luchnick, dwarf martial artist (255 points)
     Darkspire the Inscrutable, human apprentice (125 points)
     Harold, human guard (~80 points)

The PCs gathered in town, gathered rumors, and headed out to Felltower itself. The goal was simple - gain the loot from the trolls slain last time, and then . . . explore around. They managed to hire Harold, a low-rent fighter (asking $60 for the trip), and Darkspire, an Air College wizard, who came for a share. They noted he signed his agreement Marvin Darkspire, Esq. Hannari thinks he might work at Ragnarsson and Sons.

Once in the dungeon, they crossed the pit, but not before Thor fell into the pit and took 22 damage (13 after armor). The perils of low (no) Climbing skill and 20+ HP. They made it across, picked up the trail of the trolls, and then decided it led into too many NMZs and pits. So they went around, checking the room they'd fought spiders in a while back (they'd forgotten that) along the way.

They tried to cut into the mosaic hallway by a disused route, and found it wasn't just a NMZ, but a No Sanctity Zone, either. That wiped out the scout's lightstone. Vlad opened a glow vial and checked the big double doors nearby and found signs of trolls.

They backed off and took the long way around, and into the gigantic room. Darkspire opined the burned wreckage in the room was once books. In any case, they found the troll's trash pile . . . and their loot. They found a 2000 or so silver, 10 gold, a broach, an ornate shield, a helmet, and a tome on constructs.

They took the loot and headed down to level 2 via a trapdoor in that room. In the room below, a curious Thor pressed a button in an alcove, and the floor opened. He snatched the lip of the pit and avoided a fatal fall onto spikes.

Then it was over to the altar. They told the new guys the altar could turn up to 30 sp into gold, so they handed each NPC a bag and had them touch it in turn. Harold got +1 to all of his stats for a day. Darkspire got the transmuting effect (it comes up a lot, actually) and I rolled . . . 3d30 and got 47. So all 30 sp he had turned to gold. Oops. (I'm not sure why they thought it was only 30, but whatever.)

Next, they headed to the orc hole, and in. Some falls (Chop, this time) later, they made it down. Long story short, they explored the caves at the bottom thoroughly, and found nothing except some pits. They made their way the 3+ miles down the tunnel to the exit in the valley north of Felltower. There they found a stockade fence, towers, and patrolling orcs, with a cleared kill zone in front with a bunch of wolf-like dogs laying about.

They saw the place was pretty busy - they called it Orcburg - and backed off.

After they eventually made it back to the dungeon proper, they headed down to the caves where Sterick had been imprisoned. They basically wandered around there for a time, killed 20 slicer beetles, and then headed back home after not finding anything else worth noting.

They did check the spherical room and find a nest of a probably goblin-sized individual, who'd used the broken sarcophagus and twigs and wattle and mud to build a nest. No loot, though.

With that, they headed home, profitable for a change.


- Hey, wow, we played Felltower again.

- XP was 1 exploration (they actually went into part of the orc hole no one had bothered to before), 4 xp loot (~600 sp or so each), 1 xp MVP for Thor to learn Climbing. Also because he was very useful when he wasn't Sir Fallsalot.

- It was a fun session despite what on paper wasn't a lot done. The loot was good, the players were focused, and everything went smoothly besides me getting booted from the VTT 2x for no apparant reason. Whatever. At least we gamed and enjoyed it!

Friday, April 12, 2024

Links for Friday 4/12/24

Links for Friday!

- This is the kind of playset I want to play on.

Gaming - D Day Gold Beach

- Love Holloway illustrations like this one from B5 Horror on the Hill.

- Game on Sunday, finally.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Black Company RPG in development

Thanks to Rob L for sending this one to me:

Black Company RPG in Development

The folks who did Delta Green are doing a Black Company RPG. Interesting. There was a D&D3.5 one done about 20 years back. I'd still play a BC game with GURPS myself. but I'm interested in seeing how it's done in another system. You need to have extremely powerful folks (Dominator, Lady, the Taken, various monsters), heroic above-the-norm types (Bomanz, say, probably Raven, definitely lots of the Rebel generals), and lots and lots of normal folks, many without the baggage of a conscience (most of the characters.) Yet those normal folks occasionally manage to stack things to go toe-to-toe with the extremely powerful folks and come out smiling. In other words, powerful doesn't mean invulnerable yet can still mean capable of leveling a company of enemies.

I'll take a look and I put in for the playtest, although it sounds like you'll need to be a Patreon subscriber to do so. If so, I'm likely out - I pay with my contribution, I don't like to pay to help you - but I'll keep people posted. After all, it's one of my favorite books by my favorite author.

And for those keeping track, I first heard of the book in a sidebar in 1st edition GURPS Special Ops. Thanks Mike Rose!
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