Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wrapping things up!

So, after much pounding away on other projects, especially my Hakkenslash project and beginning work on the outline for a new Swords & Wizardry adventure, I've concluded that these projects have left me with little focus on this blog. I've managed to not keep up with the simple D&D 40th anniversay blog hop, and even bombed on keeping up with my Mini-Game Mondays posts.

Therefore, I'm letting this blog go. Until the domain expires, it will instead direct ye weary travelers to my BrewLab Gaming Concepts site,  From there, I'll still try to include a few things, including the occasional homebrew spell, magic item or monster, and an occasional simple little mini-adventure.

So, from here I bid you all adieu and hopefully I'll see you soon elsewhere!

Keep gaming!

SD Houston

Friday, January 31, 2014

D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop Day 2

I was introduced to D&D by the aforementioned group of 4 players. The DM's name was Larry, the others were Greg, Joseph and (if I recall correctly) Nick. They were a great group, though the game ended with the school year  couple of months later - and yes, Larry still had a tendency to be a dick during that time. I think he merely tolerated me, but still remained a fair DM toward me.

I do remember at that time that the other players were a Dwarf fighter who's name was hardly pronounceable and I don't recall well, a human cleric named Vance, and a dimwitted human mage by the name of Garibalde (or maybe it was Garvalde, it's hard to recall exactly after 20 years). I remember that they were around level 2 when I started, having recently restarted the game with new characters after a TPK.  According to their stories, it was quite the ghastly and gory affair.

That being said, AD&D 2e with this group of metalheads (No they weren't your stereotypical D&D players), introduced me to a hobby that I've never since given up and I'll be a part of til they put my corpse in a skeleton-riddled tomb to be feasted on by ghouls.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop

Okay, so this blog may just stick around for a bit longer with new inspiration to keep it going! I'm joining in on the D&D Blog Hop and so should you!

Day One:
It all started many years ago in junior high, eighth-grade study hall.. I was really sort of a loser/loner back then (this is not meant to satire the D&D misconception in any way. Sadly, it's just the truth).  I used to sit in study hall reading fantasy novels. At the time I was reading J.R.R. Tolkien - I forget which book. I think it was The Return of the King.

Anyway, I had noticed for the last few days prior that a few of the kids were sitting around one of the larger tables playing some kind of game, rolling odd-looking dice and laughing, speaking in odd voices occasionally, etc. I didn't really pay much mind at first, but finally my curiosity go the best of me.

I walked up to the table and asked what the game was that they were so immensely wrapped up in. The DM was a bit of a dick at first, but finally explained that it was Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition.  Now, at that time, naturally I wouldn't have known Advanced or 2nd edition from a hobbit's laundry list, but they looked like they were having fun, and the strange dice and odd hand-drawn maps on  grid paper intrigued me...almost captivated me. Mind you, I'd heard of D&D before, but knew nothing more about it other than the name and something about it being a roleplaying game, whatever that meant.

Anyhow, a couple of the guys must have seen the awe in my face (I'm sure seeing the Tolkien book played a helping role in this decision) and asked if I wanted to play. There were three players and the DM at the time. It took a couple of minutes but they persuaded him to let me join the game.

Within about 15 minutes, they helped me roll up my very first D&D character, a wizard which I named Gregory, with a maxed Intelligence (18) - talk about beginner's luck - and the rest of the scores ranging from 5 to 9. They gave me a brief explanation of the rules as they helped me get my character together, figure out starting spells and get my gear, equipment and abilities situated.

I still had mostly no clue what was going on, but they were patient with me and helped explain as we went along.  Of course, not much explaining went on at first, as my character died - quite pitifully - in a hail of arrows during my first encounter. Luckily they were kind enough to let me re-use my character (re-naming it, of course, to give the effect of an entirely new party member. However, at this point, study hall was over for the day, to be continued the next day.

And that, my dear friends, is the epic story of the beginning of a life-long career as an RPG gamer.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Moving the Blog, Sort Of

Due to getting myself to involved in too many things at one time - a bad habit of mine at times - I've made the decision to consolidate a few things to free up some time for me as well as aid in my motivations to get things done that I've been wanting to do.

Therefore, I've decided to begin again with my blogging, but on a bit different scale, using my website at This way, I can better use my time adding content to the website, as well as not have to fret over content for two different blogs. Simplicity is the name of the game here, kind of like my new rpg system project!

Anyway, hope to see you guys there! I'll be forwarding this domain to there in the next few days. In the meantime, i'll be making an attempt to transfer some of my content from here to a page there, so you can still see some of my ideas, from here, over there!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hakkenslash Revamp

I've recently begun undertaking the task of putting together more material for my Hakkenslash RPG playtest pdf, creating more monsters, adding more spell levels and character levels, etc.

For the next extended rendition of the playtest material, I'm also revamping the layout a bit, cleaning it up and editing some of the current content to make it more easily readable than the current version.  I'm taking into consideration some ideas I've gotten from a couple of players that have been quite fervently running the system, some of which will likely appear in a follow-up supplement.

In the meantime, I'm in the process of getting a couple of new playtest groups together, both online and off.  Hopefully these groups will last long enough that I can get more of a feel of the rules in action so that I can better evaluate my work and fix, add and take away things as needed.  My previous short playtests so far have been quite successful and have been enjoyed by both myself and the players, but I've yet had a chance to get as in-depth as I'd like.

So for now, I know the rules work, but I can't say on my own beyond the first couple of levels just how well they work.  So I'll keep plugging away until everything comes together and works itself out! Hopefully by the start of summer I'll have something tangible and complete!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Beginnings, New Restarts

With the New Year comes new resolves, new ideas and new beginnings. My own resolution is to buckle down and get more work done in regards to both this blog and my current game system project, Hakkenslash.
After a bit of hiatus - yet again - I feel that it's time to really time to start getting back to doing what I love most, which is everything to do with gaming.  For the last three months, I've not had much time to work on the things I've wanted to get done, but am now back in the mindset, with the extra time, to start getting these things done.  

This includeds getting a couple more games going at the table, as my last group has slowly fallen into oblivion.  A new game of Swords & Wizardry, and a new playtest group for my own Hakkenslash system. 

I've still much left to do on my project, but it's at the heart of this year's goals to get finished up and ready for release, 

From here, I hope all your own New Year's resolutions come to fruition and that all your gaming ventures are full of excitement and loot!

Til the next post, keep your HP up and kill some beasties!

Monday, September 16, 2013

MGM Week 4 - The Brush Hag

Here is this week's Mini-Game Mondays adventure!
I had created a map for this one, but scratched it at the last minute as I was not entirely happy with the results. I'll have the new map posted up sometime this week.
This adventure is simple (not to be confused with easy) and easily modifiable. The system rules used are Matt Finch's Swords & Wizardry(TM) Complete Rules, and are easily modified to most OSR systems. 

The Brush Hag's Jewel

The Brush is a canyon desert populated with deep ravines, gnarled leafless trees and sharp shrub brush. Here and there are gas spouts that are known to ignite in the hot sun, often shooting forth burning flames up to thirty feet high. Every 3 turns of travel, there is a 1-in-6 chance of a PC being caught in a flaming gas spout.

It's a no-man's land in which even the nomadic tribes refuse to travel to the heart of. It's in this region that the brush hag resides. This old, twisted and withered figure is as ancient as mankind itself, and bitter to the core. She also possesses a diamond that is said to have the power to let the wielder control a dragon.

Reaching the hag means crossing deep gorges, dodging fire spouts, and fending off the wild animals that roam the region. These include giant lizards and scorpions. If a character dies before reaching the hag, a pair of giant vultures will appear within 1d6 rounds to consume the bodies, providing the PCs with another issue.

Brush Hag
HD: 4+2 AC: 6[13] Attacks: Claws +1 (1d6) Saving Throw: 13 Special: Cure light wounds, charm person x2, hold person Move: 6 Alignment: Chaos Challenge Level/XP: 7/600

The brush hag will not make physical attacks unless forced to if closed in on. She will instead resort to avoiding direct combat, using charm person and hold spells. She can heal herself using Cure Light Wounds once if necessary. The hag takes half damage from piercing weapons, but takes one extra hit point from blunt weapons. If she does make a successful claw attack, her claws have a light poison that paralyzes her victim upon a failed saving throw. Upon a successful save, however, the victim still becomes nauseous and loses an action (move or attack) each round for the rest of the day.

In an effort to avoid combat, the hag will attempt to offer the diamond in trade for one of the PCs, requiring that they bind him before sending him over with one unbound and unarmed PC to secure the trade. That PC will then become dinner....

Giant Lizard
HD: 3 AC: 5[14] Attacks: Bite +1 (1d6+1), or claws (1d6) Saving Throw: 14 Special: Tongue wrap Move: 9 Alignment: Neutral Challenge Level/XP: 4/120

Upon a successful bite attack, the lizard wraps it's long tongue around the victim, holding it in place while it makes another automatic bite attack each round until the character is freed or the victim is dead, at which point the lizard will eat the victim.

Giant Scorpion
HD: 3 AC: 4[15] Attacks: Claws +2 (1d6), or sting (1d6+2) Saving Throw: 14 hold victim, poison Move: 9 Alignment: Neutral Challenge Level/XP: 5/240

Upon a successful sting attack, the character must make a saving throw vs poison. If the save fails, the victim, unless a remove poison spell is used, will die in 1d3+1 days. However, the character will not notice any effects from the poison until 1d2 days after being stung.

The Diamond of Dragon Control
It has been so long since any man has had possession of the diamond that current legend has forgotten why it was abandoned in the first place. The magic infused in the diamond was not powerful enough to suit its purpose. After gaining control of a dragon, the power would falter in 1d4 days, leaving the dragon's master at the mercy of the dragon, which is angered at having been enslaved. Of the three previous possessors, none have lived beyond that point of ownership.

The diamond, which had been tossed into a tar pit nearby, was found by the hag shortly afterward.. Knowing it's value to those who would still seek to use it, she retrieved it and keeps it in her possession – the perfect lure for those ill-fated victims. The hag is carnivorous, and builds up her shelter from the bones of men and animals that she consumes.