Empty d100

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Shrouded ornate mirror on one wall shows the PCs as hideous, all expect one who is stunning

November 2019, right around when I started this blog, there began a community sourced effort on the Audio Dungeon Discord server at creating d100 tables on a variety of topics: dungeon doors, wizard’s pockets, the frozen north, etc. Here’s one such effort on magic weapons.

I contributed a bit towards this work and was inspired by the creativity & imagination my fellow hobbyists showed for the task. Although, all these creative voices can create a bit of dissidence and it can become difficult to find a common theme even when collaborating on a common topic. That’s not bad, just noisy.

So I went it alone – I wanted a d100 table to deal with old school dungeon crawling “empty rooms”. When playing a traditional D&D game with players mapping based on GM descriptions I got tired describing a room’s dimensions & exits, only to then say “…and it’s empty”.

Empty? EMPTY! What are you talking about, EmPtY? There’s got to be something here a spec of dirt, some ratty old bones, something… So I set about creating a d100 table to deal explicitly with this topic of empty rooms. You can find that work here.

Rasping Sand

A low tide – Carmel, California. The visuals I associate with the Rasp of Sand setting.

In 2019 Dave Cox kickstarted a “Rogue Like” tabletop RPG setting with a heavy sea scape theme. A reverse dungeon crawl where the heroes, in this case familia heirs that are attempting to return an artifact to the lowest level of the dungeon. I feel in love with the setting in my first play as a PC and quickly wanted to share this with the rest of my group.

Challenge for this setting is that just about everything is procedurally generated: rooms, encounters, situations, character traits, equipment, and more. While I love the concept of procedurally generated stuff, it is challenging to use real-time on the tabletop. So I built myself a tool that allows all of this to be generated with the push of a button, which you can find here for your own use. I’ve also created a family & heir character sheet which might be helpful to understand how these two elements go together.

This does not include the artifact grade treasures, loot tables, monster appendix, or spell pearl details. To really play this setting you’ll need the book itself and you’ll be supporting the Indie RPG scene.

Our group has had good fun with A Rasp of Sand, after the 3rd generation they are making their final descent to level 5. Maybe a few of my regular players will chime in here about their experience with this setting.

My only critique is that A Rasp of Sand was designed for play with Knave, which I find to be a bit too light for my tastes in a fantasy rpg. It may be I just don’t understand the finer points of the 7 page rules. I expect that Rasp of Sand could be played with just about any rule set by relying on the heir stat generation and capacity to gain levels while in the dungeon (i.e. +1 to 3 different stats per level).

This Is How We Play

My return to RPGs in 2012 started w/ Dungeon Crawl Classics, struck out into the OSR frontier, explored three little brown books, revisited “blue box”, and have generally been rambling around the DIY indie scene. All this I’ve done as both a DM & a PC. There have been successes and failures on both sides of the screen.

I recently joined an Old School Essential (OSE) campaign run by Jason Hobbs. Part of the introduction to the campaign was a review of Jason’s house rules, those variants & rulings Jason uses in his game. This reminded of a similar compilation of my own.

I’ve re-organized my own house rules, which I consider a living document. Sharing those here as an example of the concepts that I find interesting or helpful in a game like Dungeons & Dragons.

Too Dark

Dorset County Museum children’s art project – Prisma Filter, The Scream

It was 2000 and something and Too Fat Lardies had broken onto the miniature wargaming scene. They brought with them a simpler approach to the rule mechanics, focusing on degrading morale and leadership qualities, along with a passion for the history before the game.

One of the first sets our group settled on was Dux Britanniarum, a dark ages rule set with an abstracted campaign system. Perfect for our group! But like many things we quickly become distracted by the next shinny thing on the horizon, rinse and repeat.

I’ve been waiting to go back to Dux Britanniarum, perhaps someday I will. Fortunately in those heady days of collecting and painting a new scale I also prepared a quick reference sheet, available here.

Too Fat Lardies’ rulebooks tend to read a bit like historical essays. They meander a bit from subject to subject, key points buried in abstracted sections. Far different from the technical manual approach that I associate with the US tradition.

This quick reference should be helpful when finally returning to Dux Britanniarum.

Adventure!

Unknown landscape & forgotten Prisma filter

Last year I was inspired by some one page adventure work going on in one of the OSR fragments. There was much talk about ‘zines, booklets, and pamphlets. One of the best ideas from Cody M. was a single sheet pamphlet folded into thirds, that kind of thing you might find at a county park.

I had been pondering a ‘zine and settled on this 1 page pamphlet format as a focused delivery. My friends Peter & Nils coined this pamphlet an “adventure trail-head”. Perfect! Gather you paper, pencils, and dice – set a course for adventure.

Print run for DunDraCon 2019 – end of an era…

The concept here is to provide a jumping off point for the GM of any table top role-playing game. The setting itself is cribbed from some AD&D 1e adventures notes I compiled in the early 90s – distilled down to a few key ideas, with some loaded questions for the GM or PCs to drive the fiction forward.

One final bit of graphic design shenanigans is a game board for some tavern gambling. A game within a game!

You can download a copy of this pamphlet here.