Lazy Sod Press | 2017 news

 

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Daemon Boar by devashard @ DeviantArt

Last year I accepted a new post at work, increasing my mental workload a lot, leading to a total crash on the game creative side. No adventure writing and no figure painting. Basically, my diminished game time and energy had to be used on my own table games.

However, I have missed the writing and publishing side of the hobby, so this week I decided to get back into the game again.

First out will be a dark classic style short dungeon romp called “Tomb of the War-Pig” for OSR style gaming. Also, today I commissioned the art for the project from fellow Swedish artist Mr. Jim Magnusson of Aenglum fame!

Next, I will take up work on a larger adventure project called “Fiery the Angel Fell” that has been sitting on my hard drive for a while now. Maps and 95% of the art are ready as is about 50% of the text. So it’s really just to finish the text and do the layout thing. The art is awesome: cover by ArcticSpring and interior art by Mr. Jim Magnusson and Mr. David Lewis Johnson.

Both are set in my homebrew world “Terra Innominata” (or “The Wörld” as I call it myself, heh) but easily transplanted to your world of choice.

I have also decided to support Blood & Treasure 2e from now on, so that will be the “main” release. I will probably make a Swords & Wizardry Complete version as well as the audience seems bigger in that department and have also been toying with the idea of trying out a D&D 5e edition as well.

And see you guys in the Tomb!

 

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GM tip | 5e D&D notes using OneNote

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The Digital DM’s awesome 5e D&D notebook!

The Digital DM has made a very cool OneNote version of the free D&D rules. Even cooler, he has made the notebook public so that you can import it into your own OneNote for offline use and of course you can rearrange things and add your own stuff – new monsters, new spells, the geography of Greyhawk, the religions of ancient Sapain – whatever you like! In this new version of the notebook he has also added 5e style background graphics and a 5e style layout. Very pretty and professional.

If you are a 5e GM and like OneNote, this is a very useful tool and I suggest that you check out The Digital DMs blog right away.

As a note, I had problems with the DropBox download link, but the DOCS link worked like a charm after logging in with my Microsoft credentials.

Thanks a lot for your efforts, Digital DM 🙂

Mini-review: New crit/fail decks for 5e

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The new 5e card decks from Nord Games

Earlier this week I finally received my new Game Master’s Toolbox card decks from Nord Games. They were Kickstarted a while back and I got in on the whole shebang: Critical Hit Deck for Players, Critical Hit Deck for GM’s, Critical Fail Deck and the Luck Deck.

Unfortunately, as I’m in the middle of a Call of Cthulhu/BRP binge, there will be some time before I get to test these cards in-game, but I will try to give a first impression of them here. 

The KS was run in a most professional way and I must also commend Nord Games for not swamping backers in bazillions of updates or ads for other Kickstarters.

The decks themselves are pretty, with OK art and they are printed on quality cardstock, with rounded corners and they come in sturdy boxes that I hope will hold out at the gaming table and in the GM bag.

Now, over to the decks…

Critical Hit Deck for Players

This is a 52-card deck with critical effects for when the players roll a natural 20 on an attack roll. The effects are divided in four severity levels: Setback, Dangerous, Life-Threatening and Deadly. Yes – you can behead an enemy just like that. To lessen the impact of these cards the authors recommend that you only use Setback cards at level 1-4, introducing Dangeous cards at level 5 etc. Or, you can use all cards from level 1. This is a good idea, making the use of the cards flexible for different groups. Each card has four entries, depending on what type of weapon was used in the attack: Slashing, Piercing, Bludgeoning or Magic. The type of attack is marked on the cards with a little symbol, portraying an old wax seal. Sadly, the symbols are tiny and it is very hard to see the difference even for a set of fresh eyes. For this middle-aged dude, it takes both excellent lighting and reading glasses to manage reading the symbols… Fortunately, the order is the same on the cards (from top down: Slashing, Piercing, Bludgeoning & Magic), so it shouldn’t be a big problem at the gaming table. The effects are often a damage multiplier and/or a save to be rolled or the monster will suffer some crippling effect.

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Hard to read wax symbols

 Critical Hit Deck for Game Masters

This is a 52-card deck that is the same as above, only for GMs. However, the effects are a bit different. Often a saving throw or the PC will suffer some crippling effect. Also, often damage multipliers, disadvantage on X and so on. On an initial reading I get the impression that PCs get more saves to negate the card effects than the monsters, but I’m not sure.

Critical Fail Deck

As above, a 52-card deck with fail effects for when players or GM:s roll a natural 1 on an attack roll. These cards also have a severity level (from easiest to hardest: Awkward, Embarrassing, Shameful and Disgraceful) and as with the critical hit decks the authors recommend that they are introduced gradually as the PCs level up. Or not. And just like the  crit decks, the Fails are grouped into four categories according to attack type: Melee, Ranged, Natural or Magic. And just like the crit decks, the symbols are tiny and very hard to read, but luckily arranged in the same order on the cards. The effects are varied and looks to be fun to roleplay out.

Luck Deck

This deck introduces a new mechanic to 5e – Good or Bad Luck. 52 cards as we have come to expect, half is Good Luck and half is Bad Luck. These cards are used when a player rolls a natural 1 or 20 on any d20 roll. If they roll 20 they take a Good Luck card (blue) and may keep it and use at any point in the game. If they roll a 1 they take a Bad Luck card (red) and lay it out in front of them, for the GM to use against the PC at any point in the game. A PC can only have one card of each type at any time. The cards may force the player/GM to re-roll a die roll, to automatically deal maximum damage, to get a bonus/penalty additional die on saves etc. Quite cool and definitely not overpowered. The authors also suggest that a Good Luck card may be handed out instead of an Inspiration point.

Summary

All in all, I like these cards and I think they will add some extra drama and opportunities for role-playing for our 5e games. The only negative is the hard to read “type” symbols, but fortunately they are in the same order so it should work out even for our group of middle-aged veterans.

The cards are basically the 5e version of Paizo’s Critical Hit/Fail Decks for Pathfinder, which we have used extensively in our Pathfinder games (with the other GM in our group). I do own the PF cards, having planned to use them for my OSR games but eventually I decided against since they contain a great deal of PF-only rules that are hard to apply to say, Blood & Treasure.

However, I do think that these 5e cards would work with OSR style games with minimal fuss, since they are more universal in scope and they do not rely so much on very specific rules.

Well done, Nord Games!

Link to the cards on Nord Games homepage

Planning games: Greyhawk Dawn

Greyhawk Dawn kopia

“Logo” for my new 5e Greyhawk game

Soon it is time to take a break from “Season 1” of our Lost Lands game and move to Curse of Strahd.

As I was thinking of how to introduce the players to Ravenloft this time I decided to have them drawn into the mists, old school style. And then I need a world to draw them from.

As I have mentioned before, Forgotten Realms isn’t really my cup of tea. One thing I dislike is the extent of canon for FR. Another is the generic high fantasy feel of the FR books as well as the assumption of a vast quantity of magic items on the market as well as all those high level NPCs that are running around.

Also, I wanted to move this game to a new setting that I can use for future 5e games and I wanted to play in one of the TSR classics: Mystara, Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk.

So I have been digging out my old TSR world-boxes and read some as well as studying the maps. For me, Forgotten Realms fell away at once (I have the 2e box set as well as the 3e book). Then, Mystara was discarded as well (I have the 2e box set) despite my old love for the Known World setting, which I disliked more and more as I read the official Mystara books.

Which left me with Greyhawk. I have the 1983 box and a bunch of 2e stuff as well as the 3e Living Greyhawk book. And the Paizo maps on top of that.

Funny thing is, that back in the day, we never used the Greyhawk setting in any of the groups I played with. It was all home brew back then.

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Das ist ein groovy combo, yes?

I think that it will be fun to try out 5e D&D in this classic setting. This is also where all the old classic modules are located. Maybe we’ll try out one of the converted classics after our foray into the Mists…

After playing through Curse of Strahd, I might also go for a pure Ravenloft game based on the Domains of Dread tome in combination with the 3e Ravenloft books from Arthaus.


Anyway, when deciding to use Greyhawk as my material plane world, I decided to check if there’s any online resources usable for 5e Greyhawk, and it turns out that there are some: 

World of Greyhawk for 5e (very good base site for 5e GH)

Canonfire 5e Greyhawk forums

From the Sorcerer’s Scroll blog

Greyhawk Grognard blog

Anna B Meyer Greyhawk Maps

Paizo Greyhawk map(s)

Classic Modules Today (about converting classic modules to 5e)

 

 

5th edition SRD published

D&D DMG full cover art

A few days ago Wizards of the Coast released the SRD and OGL for 5th edition D&D. Then it only took a day for an online SRD to appear (links below).

D&D 5e SRD & OGL (PDF)

D&D 5e SRD (online version)

Along with the release of the license, Wizards also launched a new D&D online purchase/upload site in collaboration with OBS. There, all editions of D&D are collected and it is also the place to self-publish your stuff. Check it out below:

Dungeon Masters Guild


 

I must say that I quite like most parts of core 5th edition even if some things still rub me the wrong way. I guess the trick is to view it as a wholly new game and not compare it with it’s older versions all the time.

What I like considerably less is the new mega adventures. That, and the Forgotten Realms setting.  When I read them I feel…nothing. However, the new SRD gives hope for seeing new awesome 3rd party adventures. And I know 5e is fun from my online games as a player. So I probably just have to convince the old grognard GM in me to run a game. I’m thinking in Ravenloft of maybe in Kobold Press’ Midgard setting.