Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rage Against the DM

It is amazing what the Google machines can turn up at random.  In a series of random clicks I found some neat images of old year book pictures of D&D clubs from the early 80's. I happened to click on one yearbook image from Libertyville, Illinois and started reading the names...

Man one of those kids looks wicked familiar...

 Holy crap could it really be?

One of the best, most innovative and influential guitarists of all time is a "Dungeons and Dragons person?"

So first need to prove the Tom and Libertyville, IL connection:

Born in Harlem, New York, and raised in Libertyville, Illinois, Morello became interested in music and politics while in high school. He attended Harvard University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies. After his previous band Lock Up disbanded, Morello met Zack de la Rocha and the two founded Rage Against the Machine together. The group went on to become one of the most popular and influential rock acts of the 1990s.

He is best known for his unique and creative guitar playing style, which incorporates feedback noise, unconventional picking and tapping as well as heavy use of guitar effects. Morello is also noted for his leftist political views and activism; his creation of his side project The Nightwatchman offered an outlet for his views while playing apolitical music with Audioslave. He was ranked number 40 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

Then I did a quick google-fu snap kick and found this interview related to his comic book ORCHID:

One of the things that I thought was missing from my favorite fantasy epics like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Dune, or The Stand was a sense of class consciousness. It's always about "Get the King back on the throne" or "Get the Princess back." In the back of my mind, it occurred to me that the Orc slaves of Mordor had more in common with the vassals of Minas Tirith than they'd like to admit. That element is front and center — at Harvard, I also studied folk literature, African-American literature, and literature of the oppressed, so there's that informing the story.

What kind of mutants can we anticipate in Orchid?
I loved coming up with these creatures, things like "the jaguar-wildebeest with parakeet talons." And then illustrator Scott Hepburn draws that thing! It's pretty fantastic, it taps into my old Dungeons and Dragons history.

Wait, you played D&D?
Yeah, I was the Dungeon Master. I'd spend hours coming up with these campaigns and then applied that OCD to my guitar playing. Now I'm sort of tapping back into that.

What sort of campaigns did you run?
My campaigns had a class consciousness to them. The king was always the bad guy! The heroes were either the rebels on the outskirts who ousted the king or I killed their ass!

 That's a natural 20 connection true believer, Rage Against the DM!

Friday, August 15, 2014

25% off sale

Lulu is running a 25% off sale on print books until 8/18!  So here is your chance to save some coin and check out some Heroes & Other Worlds goodness!

Use promo code: TWODAY14

Cannot guarantee it works in all countries or regions, but it is worth a try!

Q: What is Heroes & Other Worlds? 

A: Heroes & Other Worlds is a game of adventure inspired by Metagaming's classic Melee/Wizard/TFT system combined with inspiration from the Moldvay edited basic game. The rules are easy to learn and use standard six sided dice. The system is simple, sensible and flexible in the spirit of classic role playing games from the early 80's. Become a Hero, Other Worlds await!

Checkout a great review and play report here.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

LARP-ing goes mainstream?

Coming July 31st to ABC is a new show called The Quest

The Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings has joined forces with the creators and producers of The Amazing Race to conjure a land of magic and malevolence, where mythical creatures lurk in the woods. For 12 lucky souls, a fantastic world will come alive in a unique competition series where players will engage in epic challenges.

Is this the jump the shark moment for popular nerd culture? 

Is it going to be tongue in cheek like Knights of Bassassdom? Probably not but that movie died a horrible death in the theaters anyway.

My fear is it will appear more like Darkon with a bigger budget

Sunday, March 30, 2014

One, two, three...

Image Source
The print copy of PERIL, w/o illustrations, comes out to almost 250 pages.  Sure its a 6x9 book , but its a bit of chunky tome.

So I am looking at breaking it into 3 parts:

1) Core rules and fighting classes (Mercenary, Rogue, Dwarf, Halfling) 80p

2) Magic Classes and Spells (Spiritualists, Sorcerers, Necromancers, and Elves) 120p

3) Treasures and Terrors (Monster and treasure lists) 50p

The work continues

Monday, March 17, 2014

Peril Cover

So this is the current cover idea for peril, art is by my wife.

As necromancers are a class as part of my home game, the are now added into Peril too.

So the Class list stands at:

In our game we usually just refer to the 3 spell classes as Light Mage, Grey Mage and Dark Mage..and I may convert them here before releasing.

Anyway its a hodge podge of OGL material as I said before just remixed and assembled to fit the grand old game the way we play it.

The PDF will be free-but also free of any art. The book will be arty!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Peril Update

Compiling peril is closer to being done now, but I thought I'd talk a but about spell casting in Peril as it is not the Vancian standard.

To cast a spell, the caster rolls a d20+ the caster's level. This sum is compared to the Spell's Difficulty (11+spell level). To successfully cast the spell, the caster's total must be equal to or higher than the Spell Difficulty total. If the caster's sum is under this number, the spell fails.

A spell successfully cast, can be cast again.  Failure means the spell is forgotten and must be relearned before it can be cast again.

Casting a first level spell has a Spell difficulty of 12 (11+1st level spell), casting a second level spell has a Spell Difficulty of 13 and so on.

Currently its about 220 pages, but its a 6x9 digest sized book, single column pages.  The artless PDF will be availble as a free download, the rules with art will be availble via

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


So I am compiling all my various favorite OSR stuff into one rulesbook.

Inspired by White box, Moldvay and Raggi, I am cutting and pasting OGL stuff into one rules book.

Classes: Mercenary, Sorcerer, Spiritualist, Rogue, and race a class Dwarf, Elf and Halfling. Is it anything new unique or cutting edge? Nope probably not, but its the Grand old game house rules we use when not playing Heroes & Other Worlds.

Probably have it ready in a month or so!