Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Trollish Delver on short hiatus while I move house {Trollish Delver}

I thought it best to tell you, gentle readers, that I'm moving into a new apartment at the weekend and as such my internet is going to go kaput. This means I won't be posting updates until we get a new internet supplier, which will be probably in 2 weeks. So no fear, I haven't died or fallen out with the blog (that would never happen) and I'll see you in a couple of weeks if not before. 

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Sneak peek at Derring-Do! and DemonLord {USR}

In my spare time I've been working on the two projects that I'm looking to released this year: Derring-Do! and DemonLord.

Both games use the USR system as their base, but add a little to make them unique. For instance, Derring-Do!, which is about pulp heroes, includes powers along with specialisms, adding a new dynamic to the game. Powers are like specialisms, but come in primary and secondary flavours. Like specialisms, powers give the character a bonus, but they also come with a bunch of information for role-playing too. Below is the character template for Phantom Detective. Character templates are for those players who want to get stuck in straight away rather than rolling up a brand new character.

DemonLord is the series of solo gamebooks that I'm writing using the USR system and you can see the prototype barbarian below. Again, this is a template  - USR promotes complete creativity when it comes to character creation, so there's nothing stopping you from creating a Druid Thief or a Ninja Nobleman.

Mega-solo Tower of Terror is released {T&T}

There probably hasn't been this many products released since Tunnels & Trolls' heyday, but it seems 2012 has a set off a creative spark in the game and ignited a whole load of new titles; the latest being Tower of Terror.
This is the latest offering from David Ullery, who readers may know as a prominent T&T artist, illustrating many of Ken St. Andre's more recent adventures. Ullery also writes, and it's from his pen that new mega-solo, Tower of Terror, comes. 

The description from DrivethruRPG is as follows:
Tower of Terror takes place in an old wizard's tower that has been sealed off, and is now currently used by the worshipers of Ophion, the serpent god (aka Set). Expect many slithering snake-like opponents as well as a bunch of regular type of enemies to overcome. Much treasure is to be had as well as attribute enhancements.
There are two ways to play: you may go through 16 short individual adventures, or for longer more advanced play you can go on the "Trip of Terror" involving the 16 original as well as two others for a total of 18 adventures.  Some lower level spells are allowed, but this is mainly for warrior/fighter types. While most of this is for second level characters or higher, there are a few easier adventures in Tower of Terror. Also more than one may go through at a time, but you will need to multiply the opponents by the number of adventurers (naturally).
The adventure is 98 pages long and contains over 50 illustrations spanning almost every page. I'm interested to see how this plays out, with the two "modes" of playing. It sounds somewhat like the setup for Deathtrap Equaliser, with its mini adventures, but whether this is a teleport solo remains to be seen.

USR available on RPGNow {USR}

Just a quick heads up that earlier in the week the folks of DrivethruRPG and RPGNow accepted my submission, so USR is now available to download for free.

Have fun!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Trollish Delver featured on Wizards of the Coast {Blogging}

Well, I did not expect to wake up to see traffic flowing from the Wizards of the Coast website, but it seems that they have seen fit to include my little blog in one of their latest D&D columns.

Tracy Hurley (aka, @sarahdarkmagic) has written a new article on the official D&D site about the use of props in games, such as 3D terrain and sounds. It's a great little article and well worth a read.

Nestled in with the likes of Obsidian Portal, Geek's Dream Girl and ENWorld under the heading 'D&D Next' is little old me - forwarding readers to my recent updates on the new edition: What we learnt from the first D&D Next seminar and New info on classes in D&D Next.

Needless to say, I'm pretty chuffed and flattered - so thanks Tracy! She's also included a list of great blog posts from around the RPG blogosphere, so check them out. I really hope Wizards keep up this whole community thing because it's exactly what needs to be injected into D&D from the top level.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

How I'm reading more comics for a fraction of the cost {Comics}

For the last couple of days I've been thinking about my comic book hobby. I thought about how much I enjoy it, but also how much I've been spending on it per month. Ken St Andre had a point when he told me that he doesn't know how I afford to keep reading all these weeklies, because I can't really. So I've spent a lot of time thinking and have come up with a solution that will save me loads of money but will actually allow me to read more comics. How? Read on.

For starters, I realised that, aside from a few close friends, I don't talk about comics with many people. I also realised that I have a subscription to Marvel digital comics that rarely gets used. I felt an idea brewing. If I could hold out until the current comics become available on my subscription, then I'll be reading my normal collection for a billionth of the cost. It will also allow me to read comics I dropped and even ones I always meant to pick up but never got round to. I can do this.

So I slashed my Marvel intake. I now only collect Captain America and Cap & Bucky on a monthly basis through Comixology, which makes it cheaper than getting the physical copy. So yeah; Marvel is now £3.69 ($6) a month but with my subscription I'll be reading literally hundreds of comics I missed out on in the last 6 months, like Spider Island and Avengers Academy.

In addition to the 2 Marvel weeklies, I'll be getting Ghostbusters, Batman, Lord of the Jungle and The Spider. This now brings my monthly comic spend to £8.90 ($14) for my on-going weeklies. I'm not counting Infestation 2 right now, since it's a limited series, but even that would only bump it by $10 a month. Now, rather than having 70% Marvel and 30% other, I have a varied selection of comics from different publishers: Marvel, DC, IDW, Dynamite and Moonstone. While I'll still be enjoying all my Marvel goodness, I'll be reading a wider variety of comics.

Next, I will take advantage of Comixology offers. For example, today I bought the entire first volume of The Sixth Gun (#1-6) for £3.12 ($4.95). If I see a great offer one week, I'll get it. Again, this allows me to read more comics for less. I will also get the free weekly comics available on the site, which there are usually 3 or 4.

Finally, I'll buy trades digitally and in store. I don't want to rely solely on digital comics because bricks and mortar stores need to be supported, so every month I will designate myself one trade from either. For instance, I know I can get Rocketeer Adventures for $8 online or I can get a half-price Punisher trade in my local store. Trades usually collect around 6 issues, so an extra 6 comics for around £1 each is worth every penny.

So today I put this into practise. I'd usually pay up to £13 ($20) a week on average for 4/5 comics, but today I spent £5.64 ($8.94).

On 7 comics.

The system works!

Add USR to Google Plus

In an effort to encourage some kind of community around USR, I've set up a page on Google +. There I'll be sharing new thoughts about the system, updating followers on the latest news and just shooting the breeze. It would be fantastic if you could join.