Story-Noir

For a recent one-shot, I was co-GM and we wanted to provide a 1920s setting.  The idea was always going to be gangsters against cops in America during the prohibition on selling alcohol.  There was a twist, however.  What if a new gang was active in town, one that had grander plans…

This was the challenge we set ourselves.  So I came up with a system inspired by other one-shots I had watched, including Dungeon World, Impulse Drive and the one page roleplays created by Grant Howitt.

The idea behind the system was to keep the structure simple.  I structured it around two types of dice.  A d12 for carrying out an action, and an additional d6 if the player has a Skill they can apply to that action.  Each player has a Life Force score, representing the number of hits or attacks a character can take.  Then there are five Core Stats that are added to any action, depending on how mentally strong, knowledgeable, charming, agile or physically strong the character is.

The players made their characters beforehand and quickly learned their way around the system, asking to apply skills and rolling their actions in turn.  This enabled them to carry out their teams objectives whilst investigating the new gang.  The final twist took them by surprise however.  They tied a cult leader to the fiancé of a nouveau riche gentleman and made their way to his mansion.  The chemical effects of the spiked drinks and the tragic history of the building brought into being the summoning of an otherworldly monster who tore at all in his path.  They managed to send the alien beast back to the furthest planes from which it came from, but not before it could drag one of the gangsters with it. 

The system proved successful, being both easy to use and working with the theme; that of 1920s America.  As for a sequel, it’s difficult to follow that plotline and I think we’ll pick a different story and a different theme for next time.

If interested, Story-Noir is available to use on a ‘Pay What You Want’ amount.  If you do play, please let me know what you think.

Camp Fire Tales

It’s been a busy month, but I’m very happy to announce my latest rollplaying publication for 5th Edition!

Camp Fire Tales provides 20 different scenarios for adventures that begin once the party settle down in the wilderness and set up camp.  Whether in desert, arctic tundra, forest or field, these stories can be placed into any campaign setting.  Each scenario is designed for low-level (1-4), mid-level (5-9) and high-level (10+) with many providing unique twists!

I conceived the idea because of running my Agora Core campaign.  Making sure their characters’ days aren’t too regular can be quite difficult, so I wanted a bag of tricks I could use to spice things up.  If their day had been dull, then an unexpected challenge could start a new adventure for them, such as a bandit attack or strange dreams with consequences in the material world, whilst a stressful day of fighting could be rewarded in some way, such as the distant sounds and smells of an army patrol cooking potatoes, or an enchanter who will provides the players with an invigorating rest in exchange for a bit of food.

Because there are 20 scenarios to choose from, the GM (or the players) can roll a die for a random result or the GM can select the one he/she want to try out.  They are re-usable, providing challenges, story-lines and rewards.

The content includes:

  • Over 30 combat encounters (with Challenge Ratings and Experience Points (XP))
  • 27 custom made creatures
  • 11 option tables
  • 14 unique magical items, plus 2 magical item creation points.
  • The magical gifts of The Enchanter.

Camp Fire Tales is available from the DMs Guild for $3.99.

If you do buy it, please let me know what you think!

The Magic of Nature

Inspired by the natural world, this book contains the discoveries made by Glitzz; a ‘gnomadic’ druid on his many journeys and wonderings.  His documented findings are a highly-useful guide for every scholar of nature, especially those who routinely interact with nature such as druids and rangers.Included in this tome are 50 magical botanicals.  These are potent enough, but if mixed correctly with other ingredients, their magical properties can create up to 35 different potions or floral amulets.

It is available and can be downloaded from DrivethruRPG.

Customizable Drinks Table

Many campaigns and one-shots use taverns for their setting, which makes sense as it is often a place for common folk – be they humans or otherwise – to gather and share news over nourishing refreshments. But how do you make your next tavern feel authentic and not another cookie-cutter bar with the same tables, patrons and the mead for sale?

One fun way to keep your players interested is to create varied and mysterious drinks. These can not only provide a local flavor but could also affect the players as well as the weight of the purse.

I designed the following drinks tables for anyone to enjoy so please feel free to use or alter for your own games. The names of the drinks are split into 3 parts with the effects and price from each section described next to it. Like the names, the effects are prices are accumulated together from all 3 sections.

Customizable Drinks Menu.pdf