February 6, 2014

Bluish Multitudes

bluish_multitudesThese hideous abominations were invented by the archmage Drakdagor as a way to both punish his failure-prone minions and guard his underground storehouses. Once he had transmogrified a minion into a doughy, bluish creature with a blob-like torso that slowly absorbed the minion’s original head, he could add more minions to it and they would meld with the blob. The result was a new creature with multiple limbs and mouths, and a ravenous appetite for intruders. Those minions that failed Drakdagor would often find themselves becoming part of a bluish multitude.

Ultimately, Drakdagor created too many of them and they destroyed him, devouring his flesh and his magic. Those multitudes that ate of their master became magical themselves and have proved to be far longer-lived than the others.

Dungeon World stats:
Amorphous, Construct, Hoarder, Large, Solitary.
Teeth and claws (1d10+2 damage)
Hand, Close, Forceful
15 HP
1 Armour
Special Qualities: Infectious.
Instinct: Protect the underground storehouse.

  • Grab a foe and begin to eat.
  • Push and shove a group of foes apart.
  • React strangely when touched by magic.

Labyrinth Lord stats:
No. Enc.: 1 (1d6+1)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120’ (40’)
Armour Class: Leather & shield
Hit Dice: 2 to 7 (1d6+1)
Attacks: 2 claws and 1 bite
Damage: 1d6 / 1d8
Save: F4
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: IV / S (XVII / F)

Art by Nathan Jones.
Text by Johnstone Metzger.

You can find more monsters, with more text and larger pictures, on PATREON.

January 22, 2014

Heliotropic Sky Devil

skydevil_loConsidered by planetologists to be the pre-eminent apex predator on Maldorine VII, the Heliotropic Sky Devils feed off the various megafauna roaming its planet’s deathlands. But recently, the arrival of the Moon Marauders have thrown their lifestyle into jeopardy.

Sky Devil of Maldorine VII
Huge, Organized, Solitary.
20 HP, 1 Armour
Barbed tail (b[2d10]+3 damage, ignores armour)
Close, Reach, Forceful
Special Qualities: Hyperviolet-reflecting skin pigment, Multispectrum eyes, Wings.
The megafauna of Maldorine VII are partly comprised of metal, usually in the form of a chrome exterior, all the better to reflect the hyperviolet rays unique to the star Maldorine. The Sky Devil is the largest specimen of those creatures that have instead developed special skin pigments, but the lack of metal in its biology has not hindered it in any way. It is still the ruler of this world, able to rend apart steel and iron. Reigning supreme over all other predators, the Heliotropic Sky Devil languidly roams the skies of its deadly homeworld, endlessly searching for prey.
Instinct: To assert dominance.

  • Call out to other Sky Devils.
  • Detect a foe’s weaknesses with multispectrum eyesight.
  • Grab a foe with its tongue.
  • Swallow a foe.

If they prove to be too dangerous: Become confused, fail to understand.
If they submit and cower: Move on to other things.
When a Moon Marauder is detected: Summon other Sky Devils.

Using this monster: You can use this as a regular Dungeon World monster, but you can also use it as a gigantic, nigh-invulnerable beast if you treat is as a spaceship, using the rules in Adventures on Dungeon Planet. In that case, it can only be harmed by spaceships and other such vehicles, but not by humans or their laser pistols.

Art by Nathan Jones.
Text by Johnstone Metzger.

You can find more monsters, with more text and larger pictures, on Patreon.

January 15, 2014

Marauders from the Moon

cone_faced_marauder_loHuge creatures that fly through both air and space, these cone-faced marauders were deposited upon the moon of Maldorine VII by aliens vast aeons ago. They lay in suspended animation until very recently, when they awoke and flew through the space between worlds to bring death and destruction to an infamously deadly planet.

Moon Marauder
Alien, Hoarder, Huge, Solitary.
12 HP, 1 Armour
Hyperplasmic blast (1d10 damage, 2 piercing)
Reach, Near, Corrosive, Messy
Special Qualities: Flying, Ray-Eater, Voidstalker.
The moon marauders now roam the skies above Maldorine VII’s deathlands, soaking up the various ultra-spectrum radiations. They produce waste in the form of a hyperplasmic liquid residue that they spew from the orifice on the front of their face. This residue is incredibly destructive to the planet, polluting the land and killing off the various terrifying megafauna and the flora they feed off of. Huge tracts of land are now smouldering wasteland, and certain forms of indigenous life have begun to turn against the marauders.
Instinct: To absorb ultraspectrum energies.

  • Absorb an energy attack.
  • Grab a foe in gigantic hands.
  • Pollute a landscape.
  • Take to the skies and fly through space.

When they are resistant to hyperplasma: Throw them into the Killer Sea.
When they block the ultraspectrum rays: Smash them!
When they prove to be dangerous: Retreat into space or the caverns of Maldorine VII’s Dark Zone.

Using this monster: You can use this as a regular Dungeon World monster, but you can also use it as a gigantic, nigh-invulnerable beast if you treat is as a spaceship, using the rules in Adventures on Dungeon Planet. In that case, it can only be harmed by spaceships and other such vehicles, but not by humans or their laser pistols.

Art by Nathan Jones.
Text by Johnstone Metzger.

You can find more monsters, with more text and larger pictures, on Patreon.

December 28, 2013

DW3 Ghostwood Haunts

Before the year comes to an end, here is a new book! Ghostwood Haunts is an introductory adventure module for the Dungeon World fantasy role-playing game. This is the sequel to DW1 Lair of the Unknown.

DW3 Ghostwood HauntsWhat’s the adventure about?
In the midst of the Ghostwood, the village of Knifesbridge holds a mere few thousand souls, but trouble enough for all. A gang of bandits preys upon the local road traffic, drug addiction spreads through sleepy village streets, and corruption at the heart of municipal politics stymies all attempts to restore law and order. Worse yet, a dead witch’s ghost seeks vengeance, and a demon waits to walk once more beneath the Ghostwood’s leaves. At the crossroads between these fronts lies and old, abandoned tower, and the secrets buried beneath it will tear this village apart.

What’s it look like?
It’s 138 pages, black and white, 6×9 in print, 5.5×8.5 in pdf.

What do you get with this book?
Inside this adventure module you will find:

  • Two complete fronts with three dangers each.
  • NPCs for each of these six dangers, plus more to populate Knifesbridge.
  • Suggested and optional scenes that further the villains evil scenes.
  • Crime, political corruption, and drug addiction.
  • Ghosts, witches, and a demon.
  • Maps of important locations.
  • Three new compendium classes: the Bounty Hunter, the Drug Addict, and the Infernalist.
  • One new base class: the Magnate.

Why is DW3 the sequel to DW1, Johnstone?
That’s a good question, Johnstone! It’s because DW2 isn’t finished yet. Look for that one in March or something.

Where can you get it?
The pdf is available at DriveThruRPG for US$8. There will be a print option there once the proof arrives at my house and passes the quality test.
But there is a print option at Lulu right now for US$16.

November 29, 2013

Dungeon Planet in the Bundle of Holding!

The current Bundle of Holding features Adventures on Dungeon Planet!

The Bundle of Holding is a limited-time offer that lets you buy a collection of different rpg pdfs for cheap. This Thanksgiving Holiday bundle lets you buy Apocalypse World, Sagas of the Icelanders, and Perfect: Unrevised for just US$6.95. These are all good games and well worth that price! I bought all of them new and paid a lot more and I still don’t regret it.

You can always pay more money than that if you want, and you probably should because 10% of the total profits goes to charity: Doctors Without Borders and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Also, if you pay more you can get a bunch of extra games, like Adventures on Dungeon Planet and Dungeon World. If you read this blog, you probably already have those. But you get more: Durance, Nova Praxis, and Becoming.

Durance is a GM-less sci-fi game about life on a prison planet. I think this is probably my go-to game for GM-less play. Also, the planet creation rules are an excellent source of inspiration for any sci-fi game.

Nova Praxis is a transhumanist sci-fi Fate game. It’s also the best-constructed pdf in rpgs at the moment. Most people just give you the files they make the print version from, these guys made a thing that works super-well on your devices.

Becoming has just been added to the bonus games. It is really new, and has an interesting setup. One player is The Hero, everybody else plays Fates that try to oppose the Hero. Sort of a “one player, many GMs” type setup. It does multiple genres, too.

Right now (Friday morning), you can get all these pdfs for $19. The amount it takes to get the bonus stuff too will slowly increase over time, though, until the deal ends on Wednesday. If you have to wait till payday, though, the good news is you’ll still be getting a hella good deal.

November 4, 2013

New Monthly Monster Preview

Gozmo Zalandros, Wizard-God of DecapitationToday, I release the second and final preview for the Monthly Monster project on Patreon. This monster is Gozmo Zalandros, Wizard-God of Decapitation. He is a specific character, a wizard-turned-god with strange powers. As you can also see, he comes with a full-colour illustration. This is what future full-colour work will look like, if we get enough patrons to make that feasible. Ideally, we would like all the artwork to be full colour.

You can check out the pdfs of Gozmo Zalandros here:
Gozmo Zalandros for Dungeon World.
Gozmo Zalandros for Labyrinth Lord.

 

Check out the Patreon site HERE.

October 31, 2013

Truncheon World: The Truncated Dungeon World

Truncheon WorldI don’t like carrying my copy of Dungeon World around. It’s a 400 page hardcover and I’m the one who has to run it, so I don’t even get to take advantage of the +1 vs. haters it gives me. So I made myself a smaller version, with just the stuff I use, in a slightly different order, and called it Truncheon World, the truncated Dungeon World.

You can get the pdf for free at DriveThruRPG. Or you can pay, if you want.

You can get the 6×9 B&W softcover from Lulu for $12.

At some point in the future, you’ll be able to get a softcover from DriveThruRPG with colour-coded sections so it’s even easier to reference. I haven’t got the proof back yet, though.

This isn’t a truncated version of the rules or anything. Just the text. It won’t let you make characters and there’s no monsters in it. Or examples of stuff, so you probably don’t want to try learning how to play the game from this book. If you want a slim volume that’s easy to reference while running the game, this might be the thing for you. If even this is to large, I’m willing to make a smaller version if somebody else wants to decide which pages to delete.

This is the B&W version.

October 28, 2013

RK3: The Third Verse

The Third VerseThe third installment in the River Knife series of adventure modules for Dungeon World and Labyrinth Lord is done. The Third Verse is a collection of four minidungeons inspired by Tony Dowler’s maps, joined together into one perilous meat grinder of a delve.

Buy the print version from Lulu for US$14. It is 72 pages, saddle-stitched, US Trade-sized, B&W on cream-coloured paper.

Buy the pdf from DriveThruRPG for US$6. It is digest-sized and includes an extra pdf with just the maps.

What is the Third Verse like?

Based on a series of old Red Box Vancouver adventures, this module includes:

  • An abandoned fire temple, complete with old traps and new inhabitants (like exploding ghouls).
  • The tomb of the Red Mummy, and ancient an powerful king, who had malevolent machines built all around his mausoleum.
  • Those machines, churning beneath the surface of the earth, tended by automatons, sending evil spirits against the people who live above, and allowing demons to venture forth into this world at will.
  • And finally, below everything, the shrine of an ancient, forgotten goddess, where the actual third verse, the solution that will cure this land of its ills, is located. But can you make it this far?

The Third Verse is not intended for low-level characters. Experienced dungeoneers only!

See an 11-page preview of The Third Verse here!

The text of this module is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

ALSO: I have a Patreon project for making monster manuals going on right now.

October 28, 2013

New Print Versions

I have added new print options at DriveThruRPG for some of my books. I have not really been happy with the B&W print option Lightning source offers, mainly because they don’t do full bleed and I use bleed on pretty much all of my books except the Metamorphica.

Evil Wizards in a Cave now has a Standard Colour print option, although the book is still in black & white. It just has full bleed. The black inks aren’t quite as rich as either the B&W option or the Lulu version (which is still the best option, in my opinion), but it looks pretty decent, all in all.

I’ve added the Standard Colour option to Adventures on Dungeon Planet, but left the B&W option available, for those of you who are discerning enough to care about the difference. B&W has richer blacks, but Standard Colour has full bleed instead of white space at the edge of the pages. If you don’t care either way, I make more money if you buy the B&W version (though not very much more).

The B&W version of Lair of the Unknown still looks pretty good to me, even with that white space, so I haven’t tried to make a new pdf for a Standard Colour option for that books, although I am currently waiting to see what the Knives in the Dark Standard Colour option looks like, and I may switch that title over if it looks as good as Evil Wizards in a Cave.

The Third Verse will have a Standard Colour print option available sometime next month.

October 21, 2013

New Project: Monthly Monsters

Monthly Monsters!So, I want to make monster manuals, but here’s the thing: I want to make them piece-by-piece, one or two monsters at a time, using Patreon. I’ve teamed up with my friend Nathan Jones, who did the Metamorphica cover. He’s drawing the monsters, I’m writing them up for role-playing games (Dungeon World and Labyrinth Lord specifically).

The page is live and ready to go:
http://www.patreon.com/johnstone

It’s still a bit of a work-in-progress, and I’ll be updating it as we make final decisions on the details.

What are monsters?
Here’s the first monster, free for everyone: the Satyrical Dramatists!

Download the Satyrical Dramatists for Dungeon World.

Download the Satyrical Dramatists for Labyrinth Lord.

These are pdf documents, 5.5″x8.5″ format, with a B&W illustration of the monster and several pages of text, including a description, stat blocks, and some rules for using them as player characters instead of just NPC monsters.

Future monsters will have different details, including possibly maps of their lairs, random tables (for treasure and other things), and maybe even short scenarios.

I’ll upload a second preview before we start this thing in earnest. It’ll be full colour, too!

Why these two rules systems?
The games I play the most right now are various versions of old-school D&D and various Apocalypse World games. When I run a fantasy game, it’s either Dungeon World or Labyrinth Lord. These are the games I like playing, running, and writing monsters for. If you only like one of these games, that’s cool, you can just ignore the other version because we’re not putting the two together in the same document. If you don’t like either of these games, sorry, but this is how it is. Dungeon World and Labyrinth Lord.

What is Patreon?
Patreon is a pledge-based crowdfunding website. Unlike Kickstarter, you sign up to pay money each time a creator makes a thing, so maybe you’re paying a musician one dollar for each new song they release. Creators only get your money after they release content, not before. It’s not a pre-order facsimile. Like Kickstarter, there can be pledge levels where you can get more stuff, and stretch goals based on total monthly funding levels. If a creator takes a month off and doesn’t release anything, you don’t pay them anything. If they release a bunch of things in one month, you can pay them once for each, or you can limit your total pledges each month to a specific amount. You can pledge as little as one dollar, or as much as you like, and you can change or cancel your pledges at any time. Check out their website for more details.

How will this Monthly Monsters thing work?
Okay, so the basic gist of it is this: we are going to release a monster a month, unsurprisingly called the Monthly Monster. If you pledge $2 each month, you get the Monthly Monster emailed to you each month. When we have enough monsters to make a book, we’ll make a book and you’ll get a pdf of it sent to you for free, as long as you’re still subscribed to pledge. That sounds like it would take a long time, though, right?

So there’s bonus monsters every month. If you pledge $2 a month, you just get the one Monthly Monster. But if you pledge $4 every month, you get both the Monthly Monster and all the Bonus Monsters! How many Bonus Monsters are there? That depends on the total funding level, but there’s always at least one. These will all be included in a single package, too, so they won’t count as multiple releases. There won’t be multiple releases each month, either. One pledge amount and one release, no more than once a month.

Stretch Goals
We, Nathan and Johnstone, need this to be a financially viable project for us to undertake. Neither of us can afford to spend months at a time making monsters, hoping a book will sell once it’s finished. How many monsters we can create each month depends on how much money we’re making from them. More money, more monsters! It also affects how much time we can spend on these monsters, and whether or not we can do them in full colour (which takes longer).

Here’s the current breakdown of total pledge amount stretch goals and what we can do at each level:

  • At $200: The Monthly Monster will be full colour, not B&W.
  • At $300: There will be 2 Bonus Monsters (for a total of 3 monsters each month).
  • At $500: At least some, and maybe all, of the Bonus Monsters will be full colour.
  • At $750: There will be 3 Bonus Monsters (for a total of 4 monsters each month).
  • At $1000: Every monster will be full colour after we hit this level of total pledges.
  • At $1500: There will be 4 Bonus Monsters (for a total of 5 monsters each month).

These figures are independent of your individual pledge amount, of course. At the $4 level, you get all the bonus monsters, no matter how many there are. The more people that pledge, the more monsters each person gets for their pledge, and the faster the book gets done. And when the book is done, all pledgers get it for free (everybody else will have to buy it normally), and then we can start making a second one.

Pledge Levels
So, why should you even pledge for this project in the first place? Why not just wait for the book to come out at the end? Good question. It’s probably cheaper if you do that, but this isn’t about getting the best deal on a book. If you just wait, it might never even happen, and you won’t be able to get it for any price. This Patreon project is about making sure it does happens, and helping us build something a piece at a time. Without your support now, I can’t guarantee we’ll keep this project going in the future.

That said, we also have ideas for rewards we can give to people pledging at the $5 level and higher. If you’re interested in this project, I’d like your feedback on what kinds of things you’d like to see from us. Some of our ideas so far:

  • A pledge level where you get to request a monster from us, once per season.
  • A  pledge level where I also mail you a physical copy of the book when it’s done, no extra cost to you.
  • Random draws for original artwork. The higher your pledge level, the greater your chance of winning.

Let me stress that again: I would really, really like to hear your feedback and ideas about this project if it is something that interests you. Not just pledge reward ideas, but your thoughts on stretch goals, using Patreon, monsters, and other aspects. This is really new thing, not just for us, but in general. There’s a few people using Patreon to make role-playing game materials already, and they’re all pretty different. We want this project to be successful, for us, for you, and for other people who want to use this model in the future.

Hey, thanks for taking the time to read this! I hope you’re interested.

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