JP On Gaming

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

[Rant] Pathfinder 2: Will it suck?

So I have been talking to people about Pathfinder 2.0 quite a lot. Not so much to understand the mechanics, but to see what people think about it.

Overall, I am not overly confident

Let me preface this with the following:

- I have yet to crack open the book ActionMan won as a participation prize at Post-Apocalipticon. I did my best to stay away from all the rules changes until I get to see something final.
- I dismissed anyone's comments going along the lines of "I will never play PF 2e, I'm a PF 1e for life!"
- I dismissed anyone's comments going along the lines of "Paizo is just after my money".

I am not a good target for play-testing. As a small-time publisher, what little free time I have is spent working on my own products. So running a play-test game for someone else's material

The 4th Edition play-test really burned me with their changing of rules that really got me intrigued and that I wanted to see more of. Ever since that time, I've followed such things from a distance rather than involve myself in the nerd raging over things I can't control.

Now

Following the logistics of it all... I believe Paizo has sent their books to their Chinese printers and that they are in the process of being printed as I write this. To get everything in by Gencon, you can't wait for the month of May. That does not worry me too much. Why? Because Paizo has shown itself to be quite willing to amend and correct their books in subsequent printings. That's a good thing.

The illusion that the rules are not already set is something that irks me. That the rules people are testing today match the currently-printing version is an illusion. So Paizo will keep "tweaking" until the very end will keep players intrigued and engaged.

After all, Paizo understands that the purchasing of a book is not the end of it. To stay in business, people must play the game for it to be successful. But more than that, the more people play, the more they will ask for. And Paizo are masters at providing the druggies with their monthly fixes of Adventures, Player Guides, and other source books.

Wizards followed suit, publishing less material, but increasing its quality and focusing on people playing.

As a 3pp, I would love to embrace it, but more and more, Pathfinder = Golarion = Pathfinder Society, with all these elements and words being interchangeable in the gaming community. That is difficult to break as many Pathfinder players do not grasp the idea that the game can be set in non-Golarion. That irked me greatly and was one of the reasons I completely abandoned playing and writing for Pathfinder last year.

I make no qualms that I dislike Golarion as a bland mishmash of rehash of other things. The best elements are hidden among a lot of flavorless stuff. Most nations can be described in a single sentence. I do not think I will ever run any Golarion-based adventure again. (Not that I ever did, outside PFS)

I can also announce that FOE will be working on a new series of products that will be released for PF2. Not too many details yet, but it is coming.

So in my discussions, I can see there are two clans of people: Some will love, some will hate.

Who will love this: Current Pathfinder players who really love the game. The millions and millions of Venture-Everyone will keep playing and running the same adventures (since there are no more Venture-Players, only a massive hierarchy of agents). Even if many complained "I'm staying 1e forever", most are moving or moved to PF2 (Hi Chad!)

Who will not care: Those who abandoned or never embraced Pathfinder or who do not care of the setting. This is the majority of people. PF2 may get them to give it a look as it comes out, but I do not think it will retain a large number of these.

My final comments: This is a product that will have a great production value, look awesome. But like Starfinder before it, will please their current fans, with a small amount of return folk.

Is that bad? No. That is really BRILLIANT. They have hordes of rabidly dedicated fans who are waiting to throw money at them. Why leverage them for a few more years? I'd do it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Maliad Nymph: A new race for 5e

Continuing my series of Greece-inspired races for 5th Edition. This one will be the final entry in the Nymph series...

Nymph: Maliad

The maliad were born from the blood of Gaia when Cronus castrated Uranos. Originally associated with the ash tree, the term now encompasses all forest nymphs. Maliads are curious about the world of men, have a basic understanding of it and are the most likely to interact with mortals.

Maliad love to be chased, like a doe in the forest. As such, they love to tease those they love by running away. They are the most likely to run away from their home to see the world.

Maliad Features

Your nymph character has several traits in common with all other nymphs.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma and Dexterity scores each increase by 1.

Age. You grew very quickly from a young age and matured around age ten. From there, you will change very little the rest of your lives. You can live up to ten centuries.

Size. Nymph are the same size as human females. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Female. All nymphs are female.

Hard to hold. You have advantage on any saving throw to escape being grappled.

Language. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.

Beauty. You may cast sanctuary on yourself, using Charisma as your spellcasting ability. You regain use of this ability when you complete a long rest.

Forestwalk. Plant formations do not slow you down, unless they are magically affected.

Monday, November 12, 2018

[Ravenloft] Dreams of Dust Feedback

This past week, I received feedback from my playtesters. You may remember my public call in this call from October 2. I must say the three groups who ventured into the adventure provided me with some very useful feedback. Without spoilers, I will try and summarize some of the best elements that came back.

- Play time is around 12-hours: This makes it a little longer than I expected, but that is also a good thing, putting the adventure right in that sweet spot where you get to play up to 15h depending on your party. Good.
- Needs a better introduction: The introduction was short and simple on purpose. However, this did not go over well and everyone mentioned that the party spent time trying to discover what to do.
- The story works: Both GMs and players reported that the adventure was well-organized with a very sandbox-y story. Almost all GMs mentioned that the multi-point way to resolve the plot really stood out. I was very glad to hear this one because I spent a lot of time trying to break the railroad A-> B-> C solution I initially came up with.
- The difficulty is about right: I got a lot of variance on this one, some encounters were described by one GM as "going from overly easy to near-tpk". The variety of encounters played into that, as there are many different types of encounters. The frequency of the random encounters will be scale back a little.
- The variety is about right: The creatures in the adventure add to the situation at hand. As such, I cannot put in all the monsters I would like to put in there in order to remain consistent. The adventure mixes straight combats, skill/guile encounters, and even a few social encounters.
- Needs to add more art: I had some in there and cut it out from during first-pass edit. These will be back.

So how did it end? One party got TPK'd (due to bad tactics and dice roll), one are nearly done, and the other one blasted through. So this all confirms the feedback.

The parties were HIGHLY varied in composition, and the challenges affected them differently. What some thought was difficult, others breezed through. That for me, is a big win.

Big Thanks to David, Joe, and Jon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

New Races: Naiad Nymph for 5e

Continuing my series of Greece-inspired races for 5th Edition.

Nymph: Naiad

Naiads are nymphs of springs, ponds, and those waterways too small to be ruled over by a greater divinity. Naiads prefer freshwater to salt water dwellings and the confines of such waterways to the vast expanse of the sea.

Naiads are reclusive, shy and quiet. They observe and obsess over those they love from the safety of the waters. They do not always understand that other creatures do not share their affinity to water and have lured many lovers to a watery doom.

Naiad Features

Your nymph character has several traits in common with all other nymphs.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma and Dexterity scores each increase by 1.

Age. You grew very quickly from a young age and matured around age ten. From there, you will change very little the rest of your lives. You can live up to ten centuries.

Size. Nymph are the same size as human females. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Female. All nymphs are female.

Language. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.

Beauty. You may cast sanctuary on yourself, using Charisma as your spellcasting ability. You regain use of this ability when you complete a long rest.

Hard to hold. You have advantage on any saving throw to escape being grappled.

Hold Breath. You can hold your breath for up to 15 minutes.

Natural Swimmer. You have a swim speed equal to your land speed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

New Races: Lampad Nymph for 5e

Continuing my series of Greece-inspired races for 5th Edition.

Nymph: Lampad

Lampads are the dour nymphs of the underworld. Perhaps the most worldly of the nymphs, they serve as entourages to the goddesses of the Underworld. They take their name from the lamp they carry through the world of the dead to light their way. Lampads are very pale with long dark hair. They are the least self-centered or vain of the nymphs, looking like the shades they preside over. As such, they are the least sociable of the nymphs, preferring the presence of non-lampads to that of their sisters.

Lampad Features

Your nymph character has several traits in common with all other nymphs.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma and Dexterity scores each increase by 1.

Age. You grew very quickly from a young age and matured around age ten. From there, you will change very little the rest of your lives. You can live up to ten centuries.

Size. Nymph are the same size as human females. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Female. All nymphs are female.

Language. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.

Beauty. You may cast sanctuary on yourself, using Charisma as your spellcasting ability. You regain use of this ability when you complete a long rest.

Darkvision. Accustomed to the bleak darkness of the Underworld, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dime list. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Light. You may cast the cantrip light at will.

Used this race in your game? Comments? Let us know!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

New Series: Races of the Greeks for 5th Edition

I have been in something of an ancient world thing for the past year or so, with working on Akhamet and spending time on a Greek-thing (whose name I keep changing all the time). During this time, I filled my Dropbox with like a million small files about potential races, monsters, and adventure ideas. I am at a point where I need to create a folder just for this.

After going through a series of iterations, I decided to focus on three types of nymphs, all of which would be playable by PCs. Since the Monster Manual already includes a dryad entry, I wanted to create something new.

Part of this series, I will present the statistics for new races I plan on adding to my finalized Greek book. I already have a few races out there: Amazon, Medusan, Olympian, and Titanborn.

The races in these blog posts will be allowed choices in both the Legacies Organized Play Campaign, but also any game I run. I may gather these into a Gostor book in the meantime, and create a Herolab plugin to create these as characters.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Imaginareum 2018 After Action Report

I have been involved with Imaginareum almost from the start now, with a stop as we moved south to Nashville. Still it always held a place in my heart as a place where I realized I needed to focus on my craft. Not just as a writer, but also as a publisher, and an editor.

Friday

ActionMan and I reached Louisville around 3pm local time. This was great because it allowed us to check in to the hotel, look around and figure out where things were. Now since this was at the Ramada Inn just off I-64, near where my house was. It's fairly conducive to holding such a con. Things are close by and it is hard to get lost.

At 4:15, I ran my Adventure workshop wherein we designed an adventure as a group. Now... What we came up with, was... Unique. There were many elements that came up I never expected. I will provide more details about this workshop and all its craziness in a follow-up post.

We decided to call our adventure "Between a Roc and a Hard Place".

After that, we had an hour before the planned start of the game. The original plan was to head to Sechuan Garden with JD, a place he showed me that I really enjoy going to, and something of an unofficial date where we talk about Rhym. This time, as we were making our way to the car, we saw that a food truck was there, Sweet-n-Savory Lou. They were making wraps using crepes. I was sold. ActionMan, and JD got the goat cheese one, I got the Hot Brown (for those who don't know what a Hot Brown Sandwich is, it is a Louisville classic, an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and tomatoes and covered in bechamel sauce).

Okay, total sidebar. The food was delicious. It was great, and both ActionMan and I hate about half our food now, and ate the rest later in the evening. One thing I must say for food trucks, while I've yet to eat at a place that wasn't delicious, a few places left me with the impression that I was paying for just tiny amounts of food. Leaving me hungry for more... Well not this time. Here we had great quality, great quantity, and something that was unique. That was a positive experience but more about the food truck later.

The original plan had me running the adventure we designed. Unfortunately, we did not have enough players. I was ready to do it, but in the end, we agreed to adjourn and get together Saturday night. I was already planning to GM an adventure, so running this other one instead of the one I prepared, did not bother me too much.

So I attended a panel on Mastering Mystery. The panel was given by three Memphis-based ladies and a gentleman. The guy had little of interest to say on the topic. He'd written only a single mystery book and before he stopped talking for the first time, I knew the major reveal of his book. Everything he said just made me want to ask him to leave. I began to look at my phone when he talked. I did not want him to talk. A mystery is not a mystery when you know everything, and within the chances to speak, he went and spoiled more and more. One thing is for sure, I will not buy his mystery book. Heck! I already know everything about it, so why waste my time.

Truth by told, I'm sure the ladies just wanted to walk out and tell him off. And I would have not blamed them. They had much more experience in the field of mystery but he kept blabbing about his one story. GUH. I must remind myself NOT to be like "THAT GUY".

The panel ended leaving me somewhat unhappy and unfulfilled. I had a taste of what I wanted to learn, but only learned of the guy's story of a man who disguises himself and fakes his death... The story seems fine and very good, but I will not read it. The good thing is, I may reach out to their group and for inspiration or support in my own work. So a partial win.

Next we went to bed, with ActionMan being asleep before I managed to open the TV.

Saturday

We woke up around 8AM. One thing I am always amazed about Louisville is the time the sun comes up (REALLY Late). I'm always amazed. ActionMan and I headed to Golden Corral, a place we used to go a lot when we lived in Colorado, but a lot less as we do not enjoy it as much here. Good fun. I gave him my phone and he texted and annoyed his sisters. Later, they would say it was easy to know when I was on the phone and when he was on it: the large number of emojis.

After that, I took two boxes of old books and turned them in at Half-Price books. It We sold everything, cleared some space, and bought a few things. One of those that surprised me was that they had multiple copies of brand new Pathfinder flip maps. I looked through their stash and found one with fire and lave that was pretty cool. There was another one with the rapids and falls, but I could not see much use for it.

After that, we headed back to the con. The place seemed pretty full and I was excited. Since my next panel was over two hours away, I took ActionMan to the kids area, where they would to art and play a kid-friendly game. He was excited to be with other kids, and I got some time to attend some of the panels I do not think he would be interested in. Double win! I will provide details of ActionMan's day later.

I attended a panel on Character development insight. That room was PACKED. I was really excited to see so many people as it augured well for the rest of the con. Whereas things looked quiet on Friday night, this seemed like a good change. The panel was interesting and the panelists gave interesting, different, and complementary views on the topic. I left with a few ideas, so a good panel.

Next, my panel was on Freelance Writing. There I spoke of my experience in writing for others and how I got into the business. I also met a couple of people with great insight. However, the masses who attended the previous panel did not follow. The cavernous hall we had felt empty, but the attendees asked and received great answers from the panel. I left the panel feeling very excited. Now I need to find more time to do even more work! I... think that's a win...?

I had some time so I checked in on ActionMan who was busy playing a game so I headed to the movie room to watch some of the special premieres they had.

The first movie I watch most of (it was a 10min short) called The Time Traveller. It was a movie made in the UK that mixed element of the classic HG Wells' The Time Machine with nods to Lovecraft and Doctor Who. It was made using action miniatures with some stop-motion. It was cheesy, but it worked. I laughed a lot.

I stayed for the next film, this one called Baby Frankenstein. It was a comedy on some horror tropes. Basically this guy finds a midget Frankenstein monster in the attic of his new home. The film has a real 80s vibe to it and the characters pretty entertaining, especially the mother's new boyfriend who was a complete jerk. I could not stay and watch the end, but the setup and build up was funny.

My next panel was on Layout and Design. From the low attendance, this must not have been something people wanted to hear about. However, the panelists had a lot of insight and I learned a few things from this. They will be useful when I publish fiction work. It was interesting that my position as publisher of RPGs provided a good counterpoint.

Then a panel about gaming which really got me excited, Discussing D&D. I have mixed feelings about this one. It seems that our moderator kept pointing us towards other RPGs. Of all the panels, the conversation was interesting but I did not get much out of it. Perhaps one of the biggest thing was that I got to meet Michael Williams, who worked at TSR "back in the days" and who wrote a number of Dragonlance novels. I wanted to hear more from him. Still *I* may have gotten less, but the attendees seemed pretty happy and excited for the topics we covered.

On Friday, our trek to the Sechuan Garden ended at the food truck in the parking lot. But the food would not be denied. We packed ourselves in JD's car and went north of I-64 and had ourselves a feast. ActionMan really enjoyed the food as he ate very well. So did all three of us.

After dinner, things go serious. It was time to play D&D run the adventure we designed the night before. JD and his player joined us and we got the adventure off the ground. (hehehe) I was not able to fit in ALL the elements we discussed simply because it would have taken many more hours. The biggest and most important elements appeared played a part in the adventure, and fun was had by all.

Great group!

Sunday

Sunday morning, I had planned to meet with some friends in Louisville, namely Derek-R and Chad-N, but Chad could not make it. My old "work husband" and I caught up with how things were going back at the old job, how things were at the new one, gaming, writing, conventions, ActionMan, etc. It is a treasured moment, because we typically meet during a convention, whether I am GMing or running between slots or he is making sure thing are actually running.

The one bad thing about it? Well I had to run off to give a panel. So the discussion was cut short, but it was entirely worth it!

I participated in a panel Building brand of you. This was a very unique panel with a very wide range of experience, which is something I value a lot about this convention. This was my final participation in the con and I was not sad that it was over. I was pooped, and ActionMan could barely stand.

We drove home where we both slept the weekend away.

Thanks Louisville.

Again.

The good, the bad

Let's go over the better elements of the con...

I said it before, but having the food truck on-site, was a move of GENIUS! These guys did so much business they RAN OUT OF FOOD. I really, really applaud whoever made that decision. That Sweet-n-Savory Lou was good and offered value only makes this happening more awesome.

The panels I attended, both as a participant and as a attendee, were filled with fun panelists that added much to the conversation, and left me feeling like I learned something. Oh yeah, except that one guy on Friday... But let's see... On about 30 panelists, 1 I did not like? That's a pretty good ratio. I put that as a positive.

Another genius move they did: their panel slots. Every panel was slated in 1h blocks, with a 15 min pause between. So the panels started at: 9, 10:15, 11:30, 12:45, 2, 3:15, 4:30, and 5:45... They had events throughout the day and other things during the evening. The breakdown made me feel like I could stop and talk to people, like I was never in a rush, until I collapsed at the end of the day with a smile on my face.

I have great writer friends and acquaintances. Some old, some new. A few names (and I forget many more): JD Conrad, Paul-H, Bethany, and Allison,

I say and will say to the day I die that I love Kentucky and its people. They embraced this wonky Canadian coming down from the Rockies with open arms. Some bluegrass will always grow on my heart. I mean, do I need to mention Derek-R, Dave-M, who I met over the weekend. Great guys. I am truly blessed.

Is there a better takeaway from a writers' convention than to leave wanting to write more??? Even someone who hates his fiction - such as myself - wants to give it a serious go, and that is a mix of all of the above positive things I drew from Imaginareum.

Which leads me to have to mention a few negative points.

Perhaps the biggest negative was the Attendance. Many of the panels were very thin in participants, on the plus side, those who attended did get to talk to the panels and get many of their questions answered.

Because of the attendance, the gaming room looked sad. It was a vast empty space. Eric-B and most of the GMs (such as JD, Corpse, and myself) spent time looking at each other waiting for something to do. I know this is not a gaming con. The problem is that I don't know what to do about the gaming room.

Imaginareum has a number of "Other events", such as opening ceremonies, award ceremonies, a banquet, a dance party, and closing ceremonies. All things I personally have little to no use for. These events do pull attendants away from the other events. And when attendance is low...

In the end

I really had to give more thoughts to this one. When I left, the low attendance made me lean towards "no". But writing this, and that is one of the advantages of writing this down, I must say that despite things not going fully according to plan, I have to say that I really enjoyed my weekend.

I left with a renewed sense of interest in my craft. Not just writing, but editing and self-promotion. Once again, I came away from the con with a bunch of new facebook writer friends.

I attended the first Imaginareum "way back when" and to see it ebb and flow is quite interesting. This is not a games convention like many others, this is a writers' event. For people interested in writing and everything related to writing, this is a great place to mingle and network. This may not have been ActionMan's favorite but he left speaking highly of the kid's events they did.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

[Ravenloft] Call for playtesters

For the past few months, I have been working behind the scene at a re-work of the Gencon 2016 adventure: Dreams of Dust. This redo involved changing the adventure from Pathfinder RPG to 5th edition. My idea is to release it through the DM's Guild. Which puts me in a quandary... I need more people to go over the adventure and see if it reaches the level of quality I want for FOE products. Yes, improving the quality is one of the (many) sub-goals I set for myself and for FOE in 2018.

Which leads me to the following request: I am reaching out to established D&D DMs and groups who would be willing to playtest the adventure.
- It is a 5th-level adventure.
- It should play in 6-12 hours (so a long day OR 2-3 evening of play).
- Use any character you wish, from any setting you wish, even mix-and-match (of course, FOE characters are encouraged).

This is what you commit to doing:
- Commit to playing through the adventure within the next month
- Provide feedback from game play (full details to be provided)
- Keeping the details about the adventure a secret (for full enjoyment)
- You will play with a group of 4-6 players

What you get for participating:
- Play-tester credits
- A copy of the final adventure
- Additional FOE perks (TBA, I have good ideas but I do not want to over-promise)
- Adulation of millions

This is a tale of a one-sided love affair. Obsessive love, love that covers everything, that sticks to you forever, that forgets everything else. This 6-12 hours adventure set in Ravenloft is best played with a group of 4-6 characters of level 4-6 (optimized for level 5s).

Do not hesitate to contact Playtest@FoeLegacies.com

Thursday, September 27, 2018

FOE going back to Imaginareum

Next weekend, October 5-7 2018, I am going back to the Imaginareum, a writer-centric convention in Louisville KY. I have made no qualms about my love affair with Kentucky. Unexpected I can say, but the people there have always been great to me.

This year, I am a guest and as such will be participating in a number of panels and workshops.

Of note, JD Conrad, the awesome mind behind Rhym will be there too! Always a pleasure to sit with him to play or listen to his insight.

You can see the full schedule of panels and workshops on the Imaginareum Site.

Friday

Social Aspects of Gaming – Gaming often involves social interaction and this panel will discuss these elements, from the kinds of relationships formed to the styles of interaction. Fri 3pm in room Derby. Panelist include: (Mod- JD Conrad) Ben Serviss, Bradley Walker, Michele Lee, Scott Sandridge

Adventure Writing from Idea to Table – Presented by JP Chapleau - In 2 hours, veteran GM JP Chapleau has to run an adventure to a group of anxious and excited players. He has done nothing to prepared but play Pet Rescue and talk about his latest other product. With your help those poor players will have a great adventure to play. This workshop will take you through ideation through execution, with an eye towards publishing the finalized product. You will be involved in the design of the story and encounters. The moderator, JP Chapleau, wrote over one hundred adventure for many companies like Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Chaosium, and First Ones Entertainment. He has been a GM for close to thirty years. (Length 2 hrs) (Fri 4:15pm in Heartland)

GMing Surprise Adventure! - (JP) I will GM the adventure from the previous workshop. Correct! The "unprepared part" is true, I will be running the adventure we made at the workshop. It is a crazy idea, but a very interesting challenge.

Saturday

Freelance Writing – Ways to Getting gigs that pay. Freelance writing helps pay the bills for many creative writers. This panel will give insights on finding writing jobs that pay. Sat 12:45pm in Farmington. Panelist inlude: (Mod-Alan Goldstein) Jen Selinsky, R.J.Sullivan, James O.Barnes, JP Chapleau, John Colyer

Layout and Design Insights – Good layout and design skills are essential for producing professional quality print books, ebooks, and covers. This panel will provide an overview of layout and design, as it pertains to all three areas. Sat 2pm in room Derby. Panelist inlcude: (Mod-Matthew Jackson) Josh Hampton, JP Chapleau, Donna Dull

Discussing D&D – A fun panel exploring the world of D&D, including its history, changes, and the state of it today! Sat 3:15pm in room Cumberland. Panelist include: (Mod- Brian Hatcher) Joe Slucher, Michael Williams, Bradley Walker, JP Chapleau, Michele Lee, Scott Sandridge.

GMing - (JP) I am still waffling over whether I should run an Akhamet, Rhym, or ancient Greece, I still have not decided... But there will be some D&D going on.

Sunday

World Building for Fun & Profit – Presented by JD Conrad – A workshop outlining a method to help creators produce a coherent world for fiction or game settings. Principally concentrating on fantasy, but with some information on SF/Horror/Urban Fantasy as well. Handouts and Question and answer period are included. (Length 60 mins) (Sun 9am in Iroquois)

Building the Brand of You – For many creatives such as authors, they are their brand. This panel will discuss the art of branding yourself, and building that brand! Sun 10:15am in room Cumberland. Panelist inlcude: (Mod- Brian Hatcher) April Brown, R.J. Sullivan, Janie Franz, JP Chapleau.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Another one bites the dust!

Well another one in the books!

Today marked the finale of a Akhamet-base short dungeon-crawl campaign I called "Pyramid of the Barbarian king" wherein a group of adventurers traveled into the desert into a strange pyramid. They were:

- Princess Akat, Retid-Khemite paladin (Jojo)

- Catman, Ptahn arcane trickster (ActionMan)

- Kuthet, Sethru bard (Matt)

- Neferkari, Ubasti cleric of Bast (Ariel)

- Ratara, Horite ranger (Erica)

- Terata, Anubian swashbuckler (who joined us for the finale, Sarah)

Given the rather unclear task of exploring the pyramid looking for anything that might help Pharaoh in his current predicament. The pyramid turned out to a strange place filled with people who do not eat or drink, worshiping barbarian gods. And discovering the history of this area of Akhamet, a part of history that is found in neither the monuments or the texts that survive from that era.

The history of Akhamet mention that barbarians took over the area, but it makes little sense that the people who were there simply vanished, or that the barbarians who established themselves here simply disappeared with their families. The adventure presented a few of these questions. It was interesting to do...

So until next time folks!

JP

Sunday, September 16, 2018

I use my kids as punching bags

"What do you mean we can run away?"

"This is gonna be nasty because you wrote the adventure."

Today did not go as planned...

The original plan was to play with the kids, mine and Matt's. However, a school paper prevented that. I had another player, Sarah, who was scheduled to come, but decided against it later.

So I decided simply to play with just the kids. play something slightly different. Run something linked to a new storyline I am interested in getting off the ground and test a few unique ideas I have. Of course, I would never tell them exactly what I am testing out on them.

This plot line involves the Tehenu barbarians of the Great Western Desert, and the city of Waset. I have a few special things in store that needs playtesting... and well why not play-test it?

As a fun things... the kids drew maps of what they explored today... each of them added some interesting elements they each found interesting and important to note. The first one is by ActionMan and the second by Kitty.



I won't give the details, but the kids emerged victorious and a new storyline is started. It got rather close a few times... namely rolling a '1' on a death saving throw, or being swamped by zombies of peasants.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Rhym - County of Pemrose Released

For many months now, I have been toying with this setting idea of two strong factions somewhat deadlocked with a third in the wings. While the third faction does not have the legitimacy or the power of the other two, it was stable enough to serve as the kingmaker, as the one that would determine the fate of the nation... I was thinking of writing this for Tyrants of Saggakar but the ideas did not gel together: I had to set up too many elements to make it believable. It just was not what I wanted.

At the same time, I was toying with a few random ideas for Rhym. I was working on an adventure that would follow "Come to the Hills" (an adventure that got completely changed into something different so you know). I was toying with ideas for encounters and situations, a lot of "what would the PCs do if..." sorta questioning.

Inspiration struck suddenly and without warning as it is wont to do. I think it was 5PM when I was at work and should've been working, or just about to head on home when all the pieces fell together. The original idea and the situations fell into place like dominoes. After months of this not going anywhere, I suddenly had everything I wanted.

This is one of the things I love about Rhym: it is SO versatile. You can quite simply adapt any idea you have to it. It is the "Greyhawk" or our settings and for that reason perhaps the most approachable for new players, much moreso than Saggakar.

The random semi-formed ideas that would become the County of Pemrose fell into place. I finished the book then let it sit for a few weeks as I finished and published Akhamet and focused on Gencon. For the month after Gencon, I coasted. I must admit. The big push done, I needed time to myself to do other things: run games, paint and just enjoy myself.

So here is the official blurb for the book.

On the verge of civil unrest, the County of Pemrose is stuck between the power of the five noble houses, a growing bourgeoisie, and an order of knights made of goblins. The County is beset by threats, some overt like the Black Knights, some simmering like rebellion in the commoners' hearts, or the potential of a takeover by militarized goblins.

This book details the rich and detailed history of the County, its social structure with its five great houses, details about the threats facing the County, plot hooks, and stat blocks

The County is part of the Kingdom of Therland on the Rhym Campaign Setting but can easily be included into your own campaign setting. This book is compatible with 5th Edition.

You can find the book on DriveThru RPG or RPGNow.

Monday, September 3, 2018

[Miniatures] People of Akhamet

The following miniatures serve as the basis for the casting crew for the many Akhamet games I have been running from the beginning of summer all the way until now. If you look closely, you can see members of every race in the book.

I grouped them here by theme: civilians, court, priests, warriors, and the ever-popular mummies.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Maps! Maps! Maps!

I have been working on these maps for an upcoming adventure. All those were hand-drawn by me. Not the best there is, but the kids were able to identify what each of them was, so I got the representation right!

I'm sure you can guess the type of adventure this is...

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Writing updates and FOE announcements

So I have not been posting here much, and that always gnaws at me. There is so much to write and so little time! A lot of logs in the fire right now.

I have two products that are really close to being completed: the first is the "part 1" of an Akhamet Adventure path, which will feature a LOT of material, very much old-school and some shorter elements combined. There is so much material that comes for the Akhamet Campaign Setting setting that focusing my energy is nearly impossible! I love it, and from the sales, so are you guys! The "one" adventure path may morph into a series of different threads and storylines. I have been running quite a lot of Akhamet at home and really having a blast with it. For this old, jaded gamer, it allows me to provide a lot of this flavor of the setting I really like while making the story. Players quickly can get into the story and the background bring up images of what they are seeing or expect to see.

As of right now, I have three main threads I want to explore: one follows the plot of "The Lost Pyramid of Neferheket", the other follows the story from "Dying of the Day", which was the Gencon special, and a third one deals with Per-Khatet and the Horesuteb. All three of these threads are extremely exciting to me, and I wish to explore more of them.

JD and I have been working on a second version of the Rhym Campaign setting, this time with updated art from Irene AND correcting a number of small typos. This was possible by you. I will be updating the PDF on DrivethruRPG and I will be releasing new material for the setting later this month.

Btw, if you own a hard copy of any of our products and do not own the PDF, email me and I will get you your copy!

So if I am not as present as I would like here, it is because I am not thinking of you guys or of topics to post, I just have to prioritize my time.