Frosty Star Graves

Filtered work by Jordan Penalva, cover for Gordon Dickson’s “Dorsai” when published by Ace.

I’ve been interested in Stargrave and while I have plenty of painted miniatures I have zero inspiration to create a crew, even less desire to puzzle over 52 powers, stat mods and what not. I want my friends to be empowered to start playing whenever we gather, not be blocked by record keeping before we even start.

Inspired by online RPG character generators (e.g. save vs total party kill) I’ve built a Google Sheet that randomly generates a Stargrave Captain & First Officer quickly. It produces things like…

There is a good deal of error checking here, but there could be a few bugs lurking especially on the 4th & 3rd powers for the Captain & First Officers respectively. I’ll continue to fine tune that section, but the tool works well enough for the stated objective.

Thank you to the Reddit user u/5eret who compiled the power list, that was my data set for this project. Without your work my task would have been much more difficult.

You can find the Stargrave generator here.

I have also done a 1st edition Frostgrave grimoire generator, which you can find here. It is an Excel document but you should be able to use it with Google Sheets or Open Office.

What’s in Your Spellbook

Illustration by Gary Chalk

Wizards, Magic-Users, Sorcerers, and Spell Casters – what clearly makes them unique are the spells cast, enchantments woven, sorceries worked, and mysteries unlocked. Though many magic-users are painfully similar to any other when it comes to the spell book itself. Level 1 is more than likely to contain tried and true favorites: sleep, detect magic, protection from evil perhaps.

Campbell has already written eloquently on the subject and there is perhaps little I can offer when compared to this opus.

No Wizard is happy.

Imagine a doctor, years of study. Chooses to become a proctologist. There’s a reason. Yes: money, job security, comfort. Still, to devote so much time to assholes, looking at asses of mostly older men and women, thinking about what the health of a colon really means, nobody that has the opportunity to become a doctor would choose something like that if it didn’t resonate with them at least a little.

So it is with wizards.

https://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2018/02/on-wizard.html

What I can offer is a tool that will provide access to over 2000 magic-user spells compiled over a 20 year period from a variety of AD&D resources. 254 level 1 spells alone, astonishing. Certain to bring some variation to any spell book.

Find it here, the Wizard Spell Compendium

The story is this…

  • In 1996 TSR produced the AD&D Wizard Spell Compendium, a remarkable summary of AD&D spells published during the period of 1975-1995 and now available digitally on DriveThruRPG.
  • In 2017 the blogger “Delta” published a .csv of key of the entire compendium, providing spell details along with some data analysis. Their work here.
  • My effort was to consolidate “Delta”‘s .csv & convert to a traditional “workbook”, while also adding some lookup funcitons for random spell selection by level.

With this tool magic now appears weird, unexpected, and new. I hope you too will find it so.

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.