JP On Gaming

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Nashcon After Action Report Part 1

Yesterday, I attended my first Nashcon after almost attending last year. It was the first convention in years I attended that was exclusively a miniatures event (for me). I was extremely anxious and curious for although I've been to many cons, I believe the last one where I attended only did miniatures event was...

Well I think it may have been the Warmachine tournament where I got my rear end kicked back at Gamers' Haven in Colorado. So. Long. Ago.

So after thinking about this day for a long time, with both myself and ActionMan looking forward to this day. For him, it would be the first minis-olny conventions and I wondered how he would do. At six years old, I worried he might think it would be too long.

The first slot was my own "Conquistadors in Africa". After a little last-minute table-swapping, we finally got our own assigned table. ActionMan's invaluable help allowed me to set up quickly. The terrain consisted of a variety of trees, grasses and a village.

A true combination of old and new pieces: all the grass elements, the pond, the store-bought trees and the sprue-plants date from my days in Ireland. The pilons and the fencing were built in Colorado. The tall clump foliage trees were made in Kentucky. The lean-tos and the large palm trees, I made here in Tennessee. Over fifteen plus years on that table at once... The mat itself, I bought in Ireland and it traveled with me all these years.

Talk about a trip down memory lane!

I'll get back to that game itself in a follow-up post.

I made a single cheat-sheet for all to learn the rules. I simplified "The Sword and the Flame" some - something that's a massive feat. I love TS&TF as a set of rules that are quick, simple and fun. I had one sheet for each player.

ActionMan and I played only one game at the con, for it we played "Corner Kick", which is a soccer/football simulation game. I was dubious of how this would work but he and I took the 2014/15 Manchester United squad and took on the 2015/16 Arsenal squad.

Wow. The game was really super exciting, feeling very much like a soccer match. We received 2 penalty shots (one of which was blocked) and arsenal threatened constantly (damn you Ozil!). ActionMan played David De Gea, our goal keeper who stopped no less than 3 volleys by Olivier Giroud! We managed to win 2-1 with a Robin van Persie goal at the 87th minute (yes, there is a way to represent time). ActionMan rolling the much-needed strike!


The game is indeed a little long (it is soccer), but it is a great simulation...

Shown below was the Wayne Rooney penalty that put us on top 1-0. RvP would miss our second penalty.

More tomorrow...


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Gostor: Wilderness creates vast stretches of land in seconds

This book was written to answer a simple question: “What’s here?”

At the time, I was working on an adventure set in the desert (actually grassy plain) so I did research on the desert and drawing on my own experience in the Arizona and Colorado and my readings, I put everything together.

As a child, I thought the desert was an empty place filled with sand dunes and a few rocks. A family road trip in 2006 changed that perception. The desert became a place of many features, many colors, mostly yellow-brown, I will admit, but many colors.

Then as I started to put down a list of elements for the desert, ideas came to me for other types of terrains. In no time, I had entries for mountains, coast, and plains.

At that point, a very rough draft of this book was done. As the original reason for this book dropped, I left it behind in my work in progress folder, waiting for the time I would need it again.

I began work on a new project, one which required me to work on maps. Then I suddenly remembered this rough draft. With my need in mind, this book came together fairly quickly. This book focuses on realistic terrain and does not include any fantastical or magical terrain by design. Such content may form the core of a future Gostor product…

Click here to check out more about Gostor: Wilderness


Monday, May 23, 2016

[GM Aid] Working on a Wilderness book

Inspiration is a fickle and fun thing. Back in the days when I was writing for NeoExodus, I was thinking about creating a dynamic system to build locations for the campaign. Something where I could define and build up a region, and provide it to the players. So I put down a number of ideas: interesting locations, settlements, and terrain features. There were quite a few things in there.

The idea quickly evolved into a way to create a map on the fly. Those of you who purchased our no-longer available book on the city of Gytha will immediately recognize that the swamp itself was left nebulous, and ready to explore. It was my idea, really.

Imagine an empty hexmap. Why? Because Hexmaps always seem more appropriate for wilderness areas. Why? Because I'm an old guy and back in my days, we drew our wilderness maps on hexmaps. Now stop arguing, and just focus on the story.

Dang kids. Won't listen. Won't do what they're told.

Picture an empty hexmap. Pick a spot in the center of the map. What is there?

I know the map is empty! Hence why I'm asking what your players find there... That's right. You are drawing a blank. Gostor: Wilderness will let you know with a few quick dice roll what is there. Then as they explore the area around and beyond, you can do the same and just expand as they travel.

What I lacked was a format to make it all come together. So the book stayed in my "Work in Progress" folder. And I saw it every time I open this directory (read: multiple times per day).

Then a few days ago, I was reading the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide. and I happened to fall upon the section about wilderness adventuring. I returned to the document with a few ideas on how to sort out the chaotic mess I had.

With a format defined, I reworked, and cleaned up the content to make it into a clean and simple set of entries, much like the rest of the Gostor products. As the product began taking shape, I could immediately see synergies with other Gostor products.
- Gostor: Bandits Because any trip in the wild may lead to conflict!
- Gostor: Ruins Because ruins are a natural site for adventure!
- Gostor: While on the road Because sometimes you just want to provide a quick overview of the trip. Gostor: Wilderness is the "opposite" approach.

So I am now in the final stages of touching up this book and plan on releasing later this week.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Conquistadors in Africa: A Game for The Sword and The Flame

Tomorrow, for the first time since I left Colorado, I will participate in a miniatures event. Nashcon 2016 will be my first time there. I almost attended last year before having to back out due to my car's explosion...

So I am posting a few quick pics of the assembled forces for the big day. I am so excited to play some colonials again.

It will be Actionman's first full non-RPG convention. We will be playing minis all day together. I know he is going to love it. As my game is in the morning, we will decide what to play in the afternoon. There are so many fun games on the program that I can't quite decide what I would do if I was by myself. So I will do like I did at the previous events: I will go with the flow and see what to do.

I will have pictures, including the terrain after tomorrow's game where ActionMan and I will take on the world.

Here is my blurb:

It takes a real man to survive all the dangers one might find in the jungles of Africa. But to succeed in a quest as big as the one currently at stake, it's going to take much more. Opposing factions ready themselves for a final showdown as they all seek to capture the same prize.....the legendary Lost Mines of King Solomon. JP Chapleau, of First Ones Entertainment, brings us this epic adventure using modified "Sword and the Flame" rules and 28mm figures. Up to 6 adventurers can join this quest for fame and fortune and become a hero of legend.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Meet your ArchDespot!

I've been teasing everyone about this for over a month now that it is time to actually provide you with the final part of the epilogue for "ToS1-I-02 Something borrowed, something blew", the year-end special that I ran at Conglomeration. One of the big decision they had to make was the decision of who they would offer the crown to.

Like everything in Saggakar, it was not a unanimous decision, but one that was clear enough.

The following is an exerpt of the narrative available on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG for the great price of "Pay what you want". In the coming days, I will post a series of questions on the campaign, and thoughts I have to change and improve the campaign. The narrative section includes a lot more, including how some of the NPCs

But that can wait, the ArchDespot is about to speak...

ArchDespot Hellebora walked alone on the balcony where a few hours ago, she appeared with her late husband, she smiled calmly as she waved to the crowd in the courtyard below.

This was her one chance to rally the ArchDespotate to her rule, one chance to have the slave willingly accept the yoke she would place upon them. She had, after all, barely escaped the assassination attempt that claimed her husbands’ life. Now she was the one who would be their target, unless she found a way to deflect the attentions of every jealous First Ones.

Lucky for her, she had a plan.

Subjects of the ArchDespotate, I accepted to bear the crown my husband bore bravely, with great poise and wisdom for nearly two decades. Too long you have toiled uselessly, working against each other, advancing plots and fighting over scraps as our ArchDespotate fell apart, with rebels and outlaws refusing to pay their rightful dues, flaunting their so-called independence. That was my husband’s greatest failing, a failing he shared with me in the precious few moments we shared before he drowned in his bath. He wanted us united! He wanted us to not be just strong, but great!

I call upon everyone, First One or slave, to join me into creating a grand army that will bring under our collective heel those rebels who flaunt our authority and laugh at the fighting between with ourselves! she said to an unconvinced crowd, some cheered, a few jeered, many simply kept quiet.

WE can fix this! We can flood our markets with slaves. We can fill our homes with plunder. We can make our neighbors cower in fear at the mere mention of our name. Let us strike down those who oppose us, those who refuse to bow down, and those who choose to recognize others are their rightful master. We are to be feared and ruthless. WE ARE FAREMH!

The crowd listened on as its new ArchDespot continued without pause. I call upon every swordsman, every spell caster to flock to my banner! she continued, her enthusiasm palpable. Together, we will re-forge a new, greater Faremh, one that will stretch from the wall of Mists to the West to the distant shores of Nyen’To in the east to the jagged shored of Zuhur in the north! I will fill your homes with slaves and gold, so much of it that we shall pave the streets with it. The blood of our enemies will turn rivers red for two centuries! Her enthusiasm carried over as the courtyard erupted in cheers. The ArchDespot’s promises filled them with thoughts of glory.

Near the entrance, a single group stood quietly. As one, they turned their back to the cheering crowd harangued by the new ArchDepot, pumping her fist in the air. House Faremhi did not buy in to the dream ArchDespot Hellebora promised. They saw their hold on the throne of the nation that bore their name slip.

Losing was not a virtue of House Faremhi.


Monday, May 16, 2016

It's my birthday and I'll do what I want

With my birthday just passed, I realized a number of things. First, I have a great wife and great kids. They did their best to make my day just awesome!

We went to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, then the hibachi grill, then I opened some great presents, and finally I got to take a nap on my chair. Exactly the kind of things I love doing on Sunday.

Another thing I realized... I have a lot of great friends! I received wishes from people on Facebook, through email and in person. So I decided to give back and as such, everything on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG is now 30% off!

Check out the site here


Sunday, May 15, 2016

How I conquered Germany

I woke up this morning to find a great surprise... Stefan-D, who contacted me a while ago about translating my adventure "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" I wrote for Gaelcon 2000. My first year in Ireland. Wow... sixteen years ago.

I woke up to find a picture for "Die Hohle des lowen" (I'm sure he would laugh like crazy as I try to pronounce this). Yes! Stefan translated the adventure into German for the Cthulhu Ruf magazine! As I said before, he not only translated the adventure, but also moved it to during WWI. Really added something special for my day.

I do not speak German (on the bucket list), but for those of you who do, go and check out their publication It seems filled with adventure and material. I really like their production value.

On a sad note, Issue #10 of Cthulhus Ruf is the final publication. I will think that they finally hit perfection with my adventure and decided not to do any more... Ah I am so full of sanity!

What a great start to this day!


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Gencon plans are coming together

On Sunday, Gencon registrations open up, so it is time to tease you with what you have coming... I have a few adventures currently in the works.

Before I go into the specifics of the adventures, let me tell you about the Pathfinder/5e events. On Thursday and Friday morning, I will be offering Saggakar adventures using 5th edition. These will be taken from TOS2-00 Service and Reward. That adventure features short (2h-ish) sub adventures forming a whole, similar to the format that the Adventure League has for many of its intro scenarios, something I find extremely brilliant, but more of that later.

During the Thursday and Friday afternoons and evenings, I will be running any of the adventures below, depending on whoever comes to play. I only split the slots between Pathfinder and 5e to make sure everyone came for the game they like.

I am also extremely proud to announce that I will not be the only one running Legacies this year! Writer-extraordinaire Randy Price will be joining me on Thursday Evening and Friday afternoon! This means that you will be able to play with the (quite twisted) mind of the man who came up with Onero and the plots therein!

So many good things are coming to Gencon this year, especially since I am only attending Origins as a GM for others this year (more on that later). I will have new shirts made, along with a new banner for the new year, which Irene sent me the final art. And like everything else, it is GR-EAT!

If I come during one of the Pathfinder slots, can we play the Special? Yes.

Can I apply 5e credit to a Pathfinder character? Yes.

Can we play mixed tables? No.

Will there be unique items given during the special at Gencon only? Yes.

Now for some blurbs:

TOS2-00 Service and Reward by JP Chapleau

The ArchDespot declared that she wanted to impose her will on those who spurned the divine yoke of the Faremh. Before she can send troops in foreign soil, she needs to pacify or at least get the cooperation of the Houses. This is an introductory adventure to the world of the Tyrants of Saggakar.

An adventure for APLs 3-5 (characters level 3 through 6)

TOS2-01 Fate of Zealots by Randy Price

An assassin loose in the city of Onero is nothing special. Someone is willing to share information in return for a share of the bounty. But in the city of sins, nothing is ever secret and offers come from all directions.

An adventure for APLs 3-7 (characters level 3 through 8)

TOS2-02 Fogs of Days Past by JP Chapleau

A new ArchDespot now sits on the throne of Faremh. Her rule is far from unanimous, however. She needs people to retrieve the ancient crown to prove her worth.

An adventure for APLs - (characters level 3 through 1)

I decided to have my Sunday morning slot be the special specifically.

TOS2-I01 Dreams of Dust by JP Chapleau

Last year, adventurers recovered an icy slab from Yorix's island. The slab was locked away in the under bowels of the palace. But it did not lay dormant, but has been dreaming, dreams of dust beyond the Mists.

An adventure for APLs 3-8 (characters level 3 through 9)


Monday, May 9, 2016

Update: Everything and a bag of chips

Today was an odd day. Fun. But odd.

More-less out of the blue, I was contacted by two people I greatly like and respect who wanted to discuss some ideas they had about Organize Play. Ideas flew left and right, leaving me more than a little intrigued by some of what may come out of this.

You will understand that I cannot say anything right now since, well everything is still in the brainstorming phase. However, as soon as I can say anything you know I will.

I have been working on a number of new FOE products: I have 2 more Gostor products in the works and like four Legacies adventures at once, only one of them by me. I hope to get you some blurbs within the next few weeks.

I am also working on my writing classes, with a lot to do. Mystery and creative writing. That's two classes!

I still have my Arcanis adventure to complete, but it took a backseat for now as I complete other stuff. I will ramp it up this summer.

I need to finish painting conquistadores for my Nashcon game. And make a playtest run to make sure the game rolls... GAH!

So I now go back to the getting things done.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

[Non-gaming Sunday] Fiction

I told you I was taking writing class. This is the one noteworthy piece of fiction I wrote: a short 200 words description of one of a series of characters. I won't show you the picture I wrote about, just let you imagine the character.

The goal was to physically describe the character: physical and mannerisms over action and history.

Sandra could not wait to meet with her best friend Ann. They would get together around coffee but instead she would order the fancier cortado, espresso with milk. She dressed to impress, while remaining professional: black was both slimming, professional and it would draw the eye to her shoulder-length blonde hair and away from her body. A scarf would provide a feminine touch of color to the outfit. She disliked her body as it wasn’t as slim and sexy as it once looked, so she chose loose and form-hiding tops and wide pants. Gone were the heels of her youth, replaced by more comfortable skidders. Accent jewelry covered the phalanges of her fingers.

For the past few days, she had been looking over shots of period costumes and trying to make sure there were no historical inaccuracies. She had a number of stories to tell Ann about one, a Victorian-era constable. At first, she was sure it was perfect, but an online search had uncovered a number of issues. Telling Ann about them would be the highlight of her day. She liked sharing knowledge she would find about such minute detail.

Ann would listen and take notes, nodding and commending her on her discoveries. She was such a good friend.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Back to School!

For years now, I have been an amateur writer, writing stories and adventures for fun and as a way to get me to think about other things. Plus, I will be honest, I like to write. It is the most precious gift I was given as a young child.

This year, around New Year-ish, I decide that I should perfect my craft and expand my horizons and learn connex skills to adventure writing. I joined a group of creative writers. "Just for fun" and without any specific goal in mind.

The at the beginning of March, they offered a class on mystery writing. It was inexpensive and consisted of a number of one-week assignments. Nothing to worry too much about. Plus I do enjoy a good mystery.

The first adult mystery book I read, was one my sister had. Finding the cover intriguing, I began to read. And read. And read until the final, climax and reveal. Hercules Poirot masterfully solved the murder.

It was the first time I read a true "adult" fiction book and one that would keep me reading Agatha Christie for a long time. I even bought a few anthologies of short stories when I moved to Kentucky and re-read a number of the stories I read as a child. Since that time, I always have had an affinity for mystery, whodunit, and tales of suspense and mystery.

So it is with a lot of excitement that I started this new class. I hope to have more to report soon. For now, all I have is a single scene depicting a crime. It may - or not - become part of the final work. I will anxiously await the next assignment and keep on writing.

Who knows I may soon become a true mystery writer!

Oh the excitement!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gostor: Nobles now available!

Gostor Nobles is a product I've had on my plate for months now. I have been playing with it here and there, tweaking the verbiage, adding or removing feats. Finally, I decided to sit down and get it done. I flipflopped about whether I wanted to produce such a book. In the end, I decided it was worth getting it done and out. The resulting class is one that is very much of a skill monkey, with some social-based abilities to confirm and expand their roles as noble.

I used the 3.5 Arcanis class as a base and both simplified, streamlined and "Pathfinder-ized" it to its current form.

I am very curious about having people play and use the class in their adventures, so I published it under the Gostor imprint. The final class should fill a role and add to your Pathfinder game.

In addition to the noble base class, I added a new prestige class, the ambassador. The ambassador works well with the noble by being the direct representative of their liege to another group or species. I always thought such a role is not very well represented in Pathfinder. Though the design came as I worked on the noble. I kept imagining an archetype of the class, but I kept thinking "I don't really want to give major powers to a 1st level character" so I had to make it into a prestige class. Needless to say the two are tightly linked and a noble has an "easier" path into the class, but anyone could become an ambassador.

So here it is, folks: the Noble class for Pathfinder!

As an added bonus, the entire content of this book is now available for your Legacies characters!