11 April 2021

Table: Rings of Adjacent Power (Expanding Unknown Table)

These are the fabled Rings of Adjacent Power, so-named because of their similiarity in name to other enchanted rings of legend. This is the third table of the Expanding Unknown Table. Be impressed!

Rings of Adjacent Power

Roll 1d10

1. Ring of Dinner Summoning: Can manifest a meal for the wearer and any number of guests once per day to the exact specifications of whoever orders it. The wording of the order will be taken literally.
2. Ring of Divisibility: Will, upon command, instantly divide any countable thing into however many equal amounts the wearer desires.
3. Ring of Feather Filling: Can cause a container of any volume to be filled with feathers. Can produce up to six featherbeds worth of feathers per day.
4. Ring of Fee Action: Enables the wearer to exact a fee from any action, once per day, which must be paid before the action can be completed. The fee is always 3d6 coins of the lowest denomination.
5. Ring of Fife Resistance: Provides unlimited protection against wind instruments.
6. Ring of Multiple Fishes: Will, upon command, instantly multiply any fish seen or touched once per day into as many fish as the wearer desires.
7. Ring of Smell Storing: Can store any scent smelled by the wearer and, if so desired, release it on command.
8. Ring of Spell Churning: Transforms any spell directed at its wearer into butter.
9. Ring of Swilling: Enables the wearer to guzzle any amount of liquid with no harmful effects.
10. Ring of Water Waltzing: Enables the wearer and one dance partner to dance across the surface of any body of liquid. Ability lasts only as long as both partners are dancing.

10 April 2021

Table: Wandering Spinsters (Expanding Unknown Table)

Lo! There are wandering spinsters one might encounter in one's travels if one's GM happens to roll on this, the second table of the Expanding Unknown Table.

Wandering Spinsters

Roll 1d6

1. Anita Plum. Detests plums. Will fly into a rage if offered one. Otherwise saintly.
2. Hazel the Blade Sharpener. Itinerant tradeswoman and sword priestess.
3. Sybil the Far Seer. Champion archer. Unable to see anything closer than 20 yards (18 m) away.
4. Maggie the Interstellar Sorceress. Usually available to meddle.
5. Triona Trews. Known for her comically large trousers and feats of strength.
6. Marigoldilocks. Reputedly able to discern any lie, disguise, trap, or surprise. Has ruined many birthday parties.

04 April 2021

Table: Magical Wearables (Expanding Unknown Table)

Behold the magical wearables to be found, perchance, in the closets of dragons who cannot wear them or the wardrobes of wizards who will not wear them because they are never invited to social events. This is the first table of the Expanding Unknown Table. Beware!

Magical Wearables

Roll 1d20

1. Amulet of the Plains: Will transport the wearer and any companions in close proximity to the grassland of the wearer's choice — or a random grassland until it is mastered.
2. Boots of Elevation: The soles and heels of these boots will increase or decrease to a maximum height of 30 feet (10 m) at the will of the wearer.
3. Boots of Elven Kindness: Will always predispose elves to regard the wearer as someone worthy of handouts.
4. Boots of Escalation: Enable the wearer to ascend or descend any ramp, stairway, or ladder by means of floating through the air.
5. Boots of Prancing: Permit the wearer only one means of locomotion (prancing), but anyone who observes the wearer moving thusly will also be similarly restricted for the duration.
6. Boots of Straddling and Swinging: Enable the wearer to straddle two separate surfaces with no chance of falling, and to swing from any rope, vine, chandelier, or any similar suspended and swingable thing without fear of failure.
7. Brooch of Yielding: Protects the wearer from being accidentally struck by anyone or anything.
8. Cloak of Elven Kindness: Will always convince elves to look the other way so as to spare the wearer shame.
9. Cloak of Predilection: Encourages the wearer to indulge in every unwise urge; lowers the wearer's wisdom to the minimum; and makes the wearer more prone to physical attack.
10. Gauntlets of Gesturing: Give the wearer the ability to use (and understand) any gesture from any culture and be perfectly understood when so gesturing.
11. Gauntlets of Ochre Power: Give the wearer the power to change the color of anything they touch to ochre.
12. Girdle of Ant Strength: Gives the wearer the strength of an ant. (Useful if wearer is the size of an ant or smaller.)
13. Girdle of Giant Ant Strength: Gives the ant who wears it the strength of a giant.
14. Helm of Fully Understanding Verbal, Nonverbal, and Written Communication of a Magical or Nonmagical Nature: Also functions as a normal helmet.
15. Medallion of Migraine Projection: Enables the wearer to share the pain of a migraine headache with anyone the wearer can see.
16. Necklace of Implausible Adaptability: Grants the wearer the ability to exist in any environment completely unharmed.
17. Phylactery of Tall Beers: Enables the wearer to refill any beverage magically until closing time or sunrise, whichever comes first.
18. Robe of Blending In: Enables the wearer to be mistaken for a member of whatever group the wearer mingles with or lingers around.
19. Scarab of Sanity: Restores sanity and even common sense when displayed.
20. Scarab of Upsetting Family: Will instantly cause melodramatic familial distress when displayed.

31 March 2021

Expanding Unknown Table Is Imminent

Last April, I celebrated the month (starting on the 30th of March for some reason) by posting daily installments of the Table of Many Tables. Each result instructed the reader to roll on another table, and one link went live each day until the table was fully functional. This year, I am planning something similar, but instead of posting the master table first, I will be posting it last. Who knows how long it will be? It could be anything from a d4 table to a d30 table. It could even be a table with an odd number of results. (I have all the odd-numbered dice from d3 to d19 after all.) I hope to start posting the results of this expanding unknown table on the 1st of April, but I shall also be attending an important wedding on that day, so we shall see. I'm not forcing myself to adhere to a regular schedule this time, but I hope to have a very productive April.

When this project has been completed, I will post the link to the master table here.

Let the month... BEGIN!

28 March 2021

Cargoes & Castaways Back in Progress

After far too long a period of uncertainty, I have made a decision about Cargoes & Castaways. As I mentioned previously, it was initially written for Swords & Wizardry White Box, and I had considered adapting it for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG (and some other systems), but the more I thought about how I envisioned the game being played the more I became convinced that the only way to do justice to the original concept was to create a dedicated system for it. I think it will make the game more fun to play and design. I'll decline to offer a prediction as to when it will be finished (because predictions are inevitably doomed to be disproven), but I am now more optimistic that it will be finished.

07 February 2021

Cargoes & Castaways & Persistent Indecision

My biggest struggle with finishing Cargoes & Castaways, the game I originally designed with Swords & Wizardry White Box in mind, is that I no longer know what system would be the best fit for it. Do I keep its connection with Swords & Wizardry? Do I rewrite it for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG? Do I adapt it to D6? Do I design a new system for it? And most importantly, would anyone care? Does it hold interest for anyone but myself? I just don't know.

30 January 2021

Nothing to See Here

It is already a month since I wrote about my modest New Year's resolution, and have I made any progress? Not in the least. I have neither played, nor run, nor written about role-playing games all month. Thought about them? Yes. Accomplished anything? Not really. The closest I've come to doing anything remotely gaming-related was to buy a portable stand for my green screen (for online gaming purposes). I've thought about gaming, and I will game, but today I'm just trying to fulfill that permanent goal of posting at least one article per blog per month. Does this count?

31 December 2020

Resolve This

I am keeping my resolutions within reason for 2021. To keep it as simple as possible and give myself the chance to surprise myself with better than expected results, I am resolving to resume one or more DCC RPG campaigns that I have run in the past and play some more DCC RPG as a player. Anything beyond that (and my goal of posting to each of my Web logs at least monthly) is above and beyond as far as I am concerned.

Game on.

30 November 2020

DCC RPG Thought of the Day 2020-11-30

As much as I enjoy playing and judging Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, I wish it had just a little more in common with B/X D&D. Specifically, I wish the spell descriptions were shorter and simpler. Spells in D&D (and, to a lesser extent, AD&D) are a pleasure to write. They're even more fun to cast. Deciding what to do when casting a spell ought to be a simple matter of choosing a spell, aiming for a level of potency, deciding whether to spellburn, and rolling for the effect. The problem is wading through dense paragraphs of possible effects, which can slow down play if the player hasn't already memorized every possible result of every spell in his or her repertoire. If the spell tables could be simplified, or possibly even unified to a degree, it could both speed play and encourage more spell creation. It's an idea I keep thinking about, and someday I just might design a few B/X-inspired spells and playtest them.

25 October 2020

A Very Happy Unmodule to You!

Nowadays, it is not uncommon to hear someone refer to "sandbox," "hex crawl," or "point crawl" to refer to methods of player agency in determining where, when, and how a party adventures, but this jargon was unknown in my gaming circles in the 1980s. We didn't have terms or a precise methodology for the choices player characters were offered, but sometimes we were forced to create terms just to save the time it took to explain it. That is why I coined the term unmodule. It was inspired by that scene from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass wherein the Mad Hatter explains to Alice the concept of the unbirthday. If an unbirthday occurs on all the days of the year that is not your birthday, an unmodule is played whenever the players gather to play without a module. (For those who are unaware, a "module" is what TSR called their published adventures, and what many gamers called their own written adventures.) Typically, if my players finished a module that did not lead immediately into another (and especially if I needed more time to read or write the next one), I would declare the next session an unmodule and the player characters could pursue their own goals, which sometimes meant getting themselves into trouble. They could shop for equipment, meet with friends or professional contacts, plot acts of revenge, make a pilgrimage, consult an expert, get something repaired or specially made, go carousing, pick some pockets, enter competitions, pursue training, embark on a hunting expedition, do some herb gathering, or even go on a side quest. Nearly anything was a possibility, and I was obligated to wing it to the best of my ability. Unmodules were fun, and it ensured that player characters had a part in steering their own destiny.

unmodule
Any role-playing activity occurring outside the bounds of a module and primarily driven by the player characters' whims.