Sunday, September 24, 2017

So...She-Ra's been to Blackmoor...?

I guess this has been discussed to some small degree within online RPG circles, but I was unaware of it and think it's worth noting again.  Apparently Blackmoor is a location on She-Ra's world of Etheria.  Just listen to Bow in this clip...



It even plays an important role in this episode ('The Red Knight').

Now, I know the name "Blackmoor" has a sort of general fantasy feel, such that it could have been arrived at independently by the writers on Princess of Power, but the science fantasy pieces of Dave Arneson's classic setting really do make it a perfect bit of D&D lore to be "honored" in such a way.

I think that's pretty darn cool.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Big ups to my buddy JR!

I really should have posted about this earlier, but I suppose I'm better late than never on it!  My friend and sometime collaborator JR Mounts...writer, artist, and musician extraordinaire, and as I believe I've mentioned on here before, one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet...has been nominated for a Dragon Award for his semiautobiocomic Stuck in My Head.  This is the second year that these will be given out at Dragon Con, the absolute giant of the local convention scene, and I think it is absolutely awesome to see such a labor of love by an indie artist like JR alongside names like Clive Barker, Jim Butcher, and Phil and Kaja Foglio!


If you're so inclined, I don't think it's even too late to register and vote in this and all the other categories...!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Batman vs. Puppies

Not a straight-up fight, cuz we know who would win that one.  (Sorry, pups.)  BUT...a little over a week ago, I got a message from Rika over at DiscoverGeek.com pointing out that my readers and I might enjoy the map they put together on tendencies within states to Google up the Caped Crusader or...well, puppies.

Now, I know I am but a pawn in the Game of Clicks that is internet commerce, but if someone is willing to both (A) do some research on two of the main reasons life is worth living, and (B) point it out to me in such a way that implies I have a significant readership (I'm talking numbers here, people...I appreciate EVERYONE who's willing to take a moment to look at my random thoughts on here!)...well, then I sure as heck am gonna plug it on Monstrous Matters...!

So if you're so inclined...go check it out over at DiscoverGeek...and I'm definitely interested if anyone has an interpretation they'd like to share!


via DiscoverGeek

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Geeky SKAturday: Some covers I can appreciate

Attention span willing, I'd like to continue this little series I started way back when hitting on the crossover between two of the main obsessions of my life: geekdom and ska!  In the first edition, I talked about Flash actor and vocalist extraordinaire Alex Desert.  Today, I'm just gonna dump some cool geeky ska covers.

As a commenter says for one of these videos:  "If a song exists, there's a Ska cover of it.  Absolutely no exceptions."  Naturally, a lot of these covers make the geek in all of us smile.  I think the first one I remember from my own ska odyssey was this number from the band Melting Pot, whose influences are probably so diverse that calling them a ska band doesn't really do them justice...


While released five years earlier, I wouldn't hear this next one until a while after that awesome take on the Tetris theme, when I was finally introduced to the Scofflaws, a pretty important NYC band.  This cover might be my favorite of the era, and this band is certainly up there on the list of those I regret never having seen live.  I'm not sure this song totally qualifies as ska (the drums give it more of a polka feel!), but the the band was part of the scene's core at the time, so it really has to be included:


I also have to include one of the first, and many would say the greatest, ska bands ever, the Skatalites, who performed their fair share of influential covers.  Here they are on the James Bond theme, interesting not only for the killer musicianship, but for how its very existence is intertwined with the popularity of the Bond image in 60s Jamaican rude boy culture.


Of course, the Skatalites' most famous movie theme cover, while not quite as geeky but definitely quite awesome, is almost certainly this one:


And while I'm on the Guns of Navarone, I'll include what might be my favorite version, by the Specials.  It's the fantastic trombone work by Rico Rodriguez, with the cry of "Mr. Rico, no!" that makes me love this one...


Man...I'm realizing that if I keep working on this post in such a stream-of-consciousness style, it's gonna go on forever.  And it really could...a little trip around YouTube reveals that there are tons of ska covers I've never even heard that would probably fit this little blog feature.  So maybe I'll have to return to it at some point.  I'll just leave with this fun number by the band Sylvester Skallone...


Ah, one final note and a fun fact:  I was unfortunately unable to find the ska version of the Gremlins theme that I used to get to hear from the Del Rays, an awesome group that hailed from my home state of Georgia.  I'll have to keep looking for that one, and if anyone has it or knows where to find it, please let me know!  The fun fact:  Del Rays saxophonist Steven Cummings went on to become a darn good comic artist and do especially well for himself with the Image series Wayward...!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Magic-Users in Light City

One thing I can do...and am doing (some, at least)...in the absence of productivity on new Light City content is to assess what's already there.  I like the idea of the new, superheroic classes' matching up reasonably well power-wise with the basic Swords & Wizardry Light classes...and with that, the thought that the original four classes could fit into a Light City game without much issue.  So...how well-grounded is the idea of playing with supers using SWL rules without access to a unified document that brings the ideas together?

If you shake off the idea of a medieval fantasy world and set your sights more on four-color urban fantasy...say something in the style of Justice League Dark...I think the SWL rules would actually work pretty nicely.  Besides the fact that there are a ton of superheroes and related characters that would be just fine as Fighters and Thieves...I haven't really kept up with the show, but from the bits I've seen, it looks like just about every DC character that shows up on Arrow would work here...you could do a lot worse than a Magic-User or some sort of Cleric variant to play heroes like John Constantine or Zatanna.  I mean, Vancian magic can be problematic for "accurate" portrayals...but comic book magic is often pretty hand-wavey, anyway.

In this vein, a public domain character that I've taken a liking to is John Force, Magic Agent.  Combining early-60s Cold War spy thrills with supernatural themes, Force protected the land of the free as an agent for the American Security Group.  You can check his bio out here on the Public Domain Super Heroes wiki, and read his public domain adventures right here.

If you're wondering...yes, he did come before Nick Fury...!

Obviously, they don't call him the Magic Agent for nothing.  John Force has a magical coin with four columns on it corresponding to four different (although arguably not all that different) supernatural abilities...


When it came time to work his magic, he'd touch the appropriate column and cast his spell:


Honestly, this is pretty perfect for a D&D-style magic system, in my opinion.  While it doesn't correspond perfectly, the compartmentalization of magical abilities matches up nicely.  It may even be possible to pick out a spell for each column...

Now, there are a couple of combat-related issues that could come up in using SWL classes in a modern supers context.  The first is that, as you know if you've ever read...oh, just about any comic book ever...pretty much every hero can throw a solid punch.  The Magic Agent is no different:


While the Brawler is certainly designed to be the class that excels at such fisticuffs, I don't see any reason why Light City in general couldn't use some form of the Swords & Wizardry Complete rules on unarmed combat...say, perhaps, that any character with class levels (as I'm thinking of a majority of people as 0-level humans...) can deal a point of damage with a punch.  (And let the appropriate class[es] modify that damage...?)

And then there's the matter of firearms.  John Force is a secret agent.  Of course he uses 'em...


When it comes to weapon proficiencies, I appreciate the old school simplicity of characters that either can or can't use a certain weapon...and this works well in a world built around the game.  I have no issue with wizards who don't wield swords because...well, because they just don't, okay...?!

Arguably just as simple, though...and probably more practical in many games...is a simple house rule that anyone can try using any weapon (within reason with regard to complexity) but take a penalty if they aren't proficient with it.  And I may not be guessing at an ideal sweet spot here, but -5 to hit seems reasonable to me at the moment, so that's what I'm going to try.  We'll see how it goes...

Oh!  And one final thing on the Magic Agent here...he might be more suitable at a higher level, but until Swords & Wizardry Continual Light rolls out to take the four basic classes up to 7th, I'll probably avoid any assumptions about what we're going to see at higher levels (or expanded versions of these lower levels).  So, he's strictly SWL for now...!

John Force, Magic Agent

Level 3 Magic-User
First appearance:  Magic Agent #1 (1962)

STR 10     DEX 15     CON 13     INT 14     WIS 12     CHA 8
2 HD (9 HP)     Saving Throw 12
AC 8[11]

Attack:  Dagger, +0 to hit, 1d6-1 ldamage; Unarmed Strike, +0 to hit, 1 damage; Pistol, -4 to hit, 1d6 damage.
Spells Known:  Level 1 - Charm Person, Detect Magic, Sleep; Level 2 - Invisibility

Friday, July 28, 2017

Want to build a city with me?

I guess I cursed myself when I wrote that my free time hasn't been especially limited lately, because pretty much since I pushed the button on that post, it's been exactly that.  I've been aiming (heh) to finish The Marksman class for Light City for weeks at this point, which is kind of ridiculous when the point of the class-by-class approach to Light City is to facilitate progress on the project even when time and focus is limited.

But y'know what probably doesn't make for a quality blog post by me? Blogging about not blogging! So, here's the point of this little communication, the thing I actually have been able to accomplish lately...!

I present the Light City Multiverse logo with the hope that others will want to take part in this little experiment in playing with superheroes within the Swords & Wizardry Light framework.  You see, I have some pretty specific ideas in my head of the way I expect the rules regarding Light City to shake out (kind of the reason I see it even being a worthwhile pursuit when there are already a million and one other supers games out there), as well as a certain view of the "ideal" superhero gaming world.

There's no point in pushing all of that too hard though, unless I'm putting it all together as some huge rule and setting book, and one of the things I like the most about this hobby of ours is seeing ideas from different individuals bounce off of each other to make something even better.  And really, what background is better for letting disparate ideas intermingle than a superhero multiverse?  I thought for a while that it might be a bit pretentious to release a "compatibility logo," but hey, what have I got to lose?  Hopefully others will want to play in the sandbox!

Here's the first version of the logo that I've been somewhat pleased with.  It's followed by the license (using that word pretty loosely) and the logo with inverted colors.  Please come join me in Light City if you like!



1.  The Light City Multiverse logo may be used freely on any work that contributes to our ability to pretend like we’re superheroes using the Swords & Wizardry Light ruleset.  You can also use it on other stuff, but this is probably where it makes the most sense.
2.  Use of this logo does not indicate that you relinquish ownership of any of your own physical or intellectual property.  Similarly, making this logo available for use does not indicate that I relinquish ownership of any of my own physical or intellectual property.
3.  While not a requirement, if you do use the logo (or make anything of interest to Light City), I’d love to be notified at jlinneman at gmail dot com.
4.  Light City is a big, multiversal sandbox with room for a lot of people to play.  I reserve the right to ask you not to use this logo anymore if you’re not playing nice.
5.  As you’ve probably guessed, I’m not a lawyer, so I’ll just make a final general statement that I reserve the right to change this license and the logo itself.  If for some reason that has legal ramifications, we’ll figure it out at the time.




EDIT:  Oh!  I should give a shout out to the source of the skyline art in the logo.  I snagged it from Pixabay, right here.  Thanks to user Clker-Free-Vector-Images (probably not their real name) for posting it there...!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Building the infrastructure of Light City...

While my free time isn't especially limited these days, I am finding that I rarely have a significant stretch of uninterrupted time to complete the little projects I have bouncing around in my head.  So while the next Light City installment is taking way too long (The Marksman is coming soon...!), I am taking little steps in working toward some of my hobby goals.

I recently made a stop at Home Depot to pick up an important item...


I'm pretty stoked that I can now continue my (years-long) quest to put some of the random HeroClix I've accumulated over time to good use...!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Monstrous Monday: Three more Vrakkig beasts...

Some more critters drawn by my pal JR Mounts for summoning, Duel Masters-style, by the Card-caster class.  (You can see more of his creations in my Monstrous Monday posts from the last three weeks...!)  HD is in the upper left, AC (ascending from 10) in the lower right...




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A belated Happy Fourth! Now, let's talk Supersoldiers...

I was supposed to finish this post yesterday, but a combination of work and celebration got in the way.  Ah, well...Happy (belated, now) Fourth to all of you who appreciate the freedom you've been gifted in your respective homes!

Naturally, at a time when Light City is always rattling around in my cerebrum, America's Independence Day makes me think of this guy...


...and this guy...


...and of course this guy...


So...let's also talk about Supersoldiers, shall we?  As I move through through the superhero archetypes (as I see them applying to RPG classes, anyway) for Light City, I 've known that something in the vein of Captain America needed to be included.  As with Batman, exactly what that is depends on the perspective you take in thinking about Cap.  You can focus on the patriotism, of course, making him an inspirational symbol.  When I included a red, white, and blue hero in my Dogwood City project last year, for example, I gave him a little ally-buffing ability.

You could also zero in on the way Cap handles a shield, which may make him a member of the Marksman class (the next one I hope to release for Light City).

For some reason, though, I'm drawn a bit more to Cap's basic power set...just that he's a badass fighter at the peak of (or just beyond) the normal human physical max.  I think part of it is that I think of DC's closest Cap comparison to be the guy who has somehow become one of the company's showcase villains over the past several years...


A Deathstroke/Captain America class should be easy enough, right?  I'd say so.  So easy, in fact, that it's pretty much already there in Swords & Wizardry Light...they're really just high-level, high-stat Fighters!  So how do I make this jibe with my goal of making Light City classes roughly comparable in power level to the basic SWL options...?

I've been thinking a lot about Light City power level after some thoughts from commenter X-Plus Kaiju Collectors Crew on my last LC post, and I actually really like where all of this has led me.  It seems reasonable to me to trade off the multiple attacks vs. 1 HD enemies that Fighters get (which I honestly find a little awkward because the player basically needs to somehow be aware that an enemy only has 1 HD...) to give a Supersoldier a stat boost.  Maybe even +1d6 to all the physical attributes...and probably INT too.

The beauty of putting an adjustment like this into SWL is that I could see it making a basic character feel pretty super...but the actual stat benefits are small enough that it really wouldn't break anything!

I should probably stat up a few characters at some point, along with exploring what a "basic" Fighter would actually look like in the Light City Universe...

Monday, July 3, 2017

Monstrous Monday: More beasts to summon...!

Even more of the beasties created by my pal JR Mounts for summoning, Duel Masters-style, by the Card-caster class.  (You can see more of his creations in my Monstrous Monday posts from last week and the week before...!)



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Playing in Light City: Halo and Firestar

So as I noted along with the Ray's writeup, I planned on doing a Sidekick next.  But then Ross over at Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues posted this gem today (seriously, click the link and check it out!), so I figured it couldn't hurt to have one more post with a pair of hot Elementals (SWIDT?).

You can check out Halo and Firestar at their respective companies' wikis...

(Quick note: One thing I'm realizing is a potential downfall of the Elemental class is that "unchecked" flying doesn't come around until 6th level.  I think this is cool for building a character over time, but I don't necessarily like that any established character I stat up as an Elemental must be at least 6th level or have at least a small issue flying now and then.  Might be something to address at some point...)

Halo

Level 6 Elemental
First appearance:  Brave and the Bold #200 (1983)
Real name:  Gabrielle Doe

STR 11     DEX 11     CON 15     INT 12     WIS 8     CHA 15
4+1 HD (19 HP)     Saving Throw 10     Flight (48 ft.)
AC 7[12] (light aura)

Attack:  Heat Beam (Red Halo), +3 to hit, 1d6 light damage, range 60 ft.
Elemental Powers (6x/day):  Hold (Green Halo), Light I (Yellow Halo), Orange Missile (Orange Halo, a la Magic Missile).


Firestar

Level 6 Elemental
First appearance:  Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (TV series) Episode #1 (1981)
Real name:  Angelica Jones

STR 13     DEX 16     CON 12     INT 11     WIS 16     CHA 13
4+1 HD (15 HP)     Saving Throw 10     Flight (48 ft.)
AC 6[12] (fire aura, ineffective vs. water)

Attack:  Fire Blast, +4 to hit, 1d6 light damage, range 60 ft.
Elemental Powers (6x/day):  Knock/Lock, Light I, Microwave Missile (a la Magic Missile).

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Hmm.  I realized while writing these up that the Ray should maybe get Invisibility rather than his Photon Missile (a la Magic Missile) power...

Now, I really do think I'll stat up a Sidekick...

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Playing in Light City: The Ray

So, I'm really having a blast playing around with the rules for Light City.  I probably think about it a lot more than I should think about a not-even-half-formed supers setting and ruleset that's about the billionth such setting and ruleset to be developed.

But man, is it fun to daydream about it!

One of the things I've been trying to do with each class (which I'm sure is actually pretty obvious) is to look around at existing characters (and being a bit of a DC fanboy, especially those in that universe) and try to make sure that reasonable approximations could be statted up with the tools given.  For the Amazon, there was really one key character I had in mind, of course (although I did want some variety to be possible).  But for the Brawler and the Elemental, I had a number of characters in mind.

I found it kind of interesting when I looked around the current DC universe and noticed that, other than all of the Lanterns that are currently getting a spotlight of one sort or another, there really aren't many "pure" Elemental types being showcased.  Captain Atom may be working his way back into the limelight of the DCU, but he isn't there yet.  Firestorm is a pretty big deal on TV, but...well, is he anywhere to be seen in DC Rebirth?

Over in the Justice League of America, though, a couple of Elementals are making their presence known.  There's Killer Frost (building on her TV presence, I presume), and then there's this guy...the Ray!  I've long thought he seemed like a cool character but, until the JLA appearance, had never really given him a good look.  One of the things that I do like about him is that he clearly carries on a decidedly Golden Age tradition but doesn't seem out of place as a wholly modern character!

You can check out the various versions of the Ray that have been created over the years over here at the DC wiki.

Here's the modern version statted up for Light City...

From the DC wiki...

The Ray

Level 6 Elemental
First appearance:  Ray #1 (1992)
Real name:  Raymond Terrill (secret)

STR 13     DEX 10     CON 12     INT 15     WIS 13     CHA 15
4+1 HD (15 HP)     Saving Throw 10     Flight (48 ft.)
AC 7[12] (light aura)

Attack:  Light Ray, +3 to hit, 1d6 light damage, range 60 ft.
Elemental Powers (6x/day):  Construct, Light I, Photon Missile (a la Magic Missile).

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Next up, I think it's time I tackle a Sidekick...!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Light City #3 is now available!

Two posts in one day?  There must be something special going on to get me blogging this much, eh?

Well, yes there is!  (Something special to me, anyway...)  Light City #3 featuring the Amazon class is now up for free download on OneBookShelf.  It's the fifth class overall designed for superheroic roleplaying using the outstanding Swords & Wizardry Light ruleset; you can check it out by clicking here.

Not only that, but +Justin Isaac has beaten me to the punch in blogging about it, and he's already statted up a character (DC's Grace) over at Halls of the Nephilim.  You should check that out here...!


Monstrous Monday: More critters for the Card-caster

Here are a few more of the beasts dreamed up by my buddy JR Mounts for summoning by the Card-caster class.  (Be sure to check out the ones I posted last week, too...you just might dig 'em...!)




Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Card-caster class (for OSR games)

On Monday, I posted a few of the beasts that JR Mounts drew for me to use as summoned creatures for a class that performs magic from a deck of cards.  The Card-caster class is part of my contribution to the Tenkar's Landing crowdsourced hexcrawl project...a part of the contribution that is probably so superfluous to the point of the project that it will never be used by anyone, but a part of it nonetheless.

As I actually did put some effort into making the class balanced and suitable for dueling (once a sufficient number of cards are created), though, I wanted to also share it here.  Any and all feedback is welcomed, of course...I love the idea of turning this into its own little minigame within a campaign, and I'm sure there are a lot of possibilities I failed to consider!


New class:  Card-caster

Card-casters are students of the art of card battling, known in the local Hobgoblin tongue as vrakkig.  They are capable of harnessing magic using a deck of specially crafted playing cards.  While many scholars mock these arcane warriors as incapable of “true” magic, they have been known to hold their own against those who wield the powers of many other traditions.

Hit Dice and saves: as Cleric.
Advancement, combat, weapons and armor: as Magic-user.

Card-casters maintain a collection of playing cards that enable them to cast spells and summon creatures from beyond the realm.  This collection may include any cards found, bought, or traded for by the character.  Each morning, they will prepare a deck from among the cards in their collection and shuffle this deck well.

Card-casters must have a number of cards in their deck equal to three times their Card-caster level.  By choice or necessity, any number of these cards may be copies of the card “Next!”  It is a Level 1 Spell that simply reads “Draw a card,” and is known among Card-casters and collectors as a super-ultra-basic-common…that is, there are tons of them around, and no one would really mind if a Card-caster just made their own copies anyway.  Other than “Next!”, all cards in a Card-caster’s deck must have unique names.  All but ONE (at maximum) card must have a Card Level equal to or less than the Card-caster’s level.

At the point in the day in which a Card-caster wishes to initiate card battling, they immediately draw an opening hand equal to ½ their Card-caster level, rounded down (minimum of 1 card).  At the beginning of each subsequent round, they draw one card from the top of the deck and are then able to take their action or actions for the round.  Attempting to cast a card takes one round of action.  A Card-caster may, in place of attempting to cast a card, discard as many cards as desired and draw that many.

Those casting a card (including other adventurers who come into possession of magical cards) have a casting power = 10 + their Card-caster level.  Cards have a Level equal to Hit Dice of the monster or the number indicated in the upper left corner of a spell card.  When a card is cast, roll 1d20 and add the card’s Level.  If the result is higher than the caster’s casting power, the card fizzles.  Once a casting attempt is carried out, whether or not it is successful, the card is sent to the “discard pile,” an interdimensional pocket that keeps cards in near-mint condition until they are accessed again the next morning.  (All cards discarded for any other reason also go here.)  The one exception to this is when a monster is returned to its realm of origin, in which case the monster’s card returns to the hand of its summoner.

When the deck is depleted, the character cannot cast any more cards unless something happens to put discarded cards back into the deck.  Summoned monsters return to their realm, and all spell effects end, 1 hour after last card is drawn from the deck.

As a general rule, summoned monsters deal 1d6 damage and have d6 Hit Dice.  Damage on all cards is listed in terms of d6.  (These can be changed to d8’s for games of a basic or advanced nature.)


Cards used by Card-casters may have a back that looks something like this, although characters are known to be able to change the appearance of their cardbacks by all sorts of magical means.  (Icon on cardback made by Lorc.  Available on http://game-icons.net.)



(Oh, and here are a couple of the non-monster cards featuring JR's art...I'll keep sharing them over the course of the next couple of weeks...!)



Friday, June 23, 2017

Now in Light City: The Sidekick!

+Justin Isaac (of the blog Halls of the Nephilim and associated publishing endeavors) has done it again for Light City!  Picking up my slack (and using a motif perfect for Pride Month!), he's released a new superheroic class for Swords & Wizardry Light, The Sidekick featuring Rainbow Boy...


The Sidekick is a great support class that I think would also work well in a standard fantasy campaign.  You can get it free from RPGNow!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monstrous Monday: Monsters summoned by JR Mounts

I haven't done much in the way of Monstrous Monday posts in a while, but I realized lately that I'm sitting on a stack of beasts that people might enjoy seeing on here.  I took part in the Tenkar's Landing crowdsourced hexcrawl project (which looks to be nearing a milestone of completion, actually!), and one of the hexes I got to play with included a cloister dedicated to the martial art of card battling (or vrakkig, as it's known in the native hobgoblin tongue).  I thought it'd be fun to actually work out a Card-caster class and come up with some cards they might use in their battles (and which PCs might stumble upon in their travels).  As I often do, I hit up my pal JR Mounts to see if he'd want to do some artwork for me to use on the cards.

As usual, JR completely outdid himself in coming to my aid, and so I want to show some of the cards off here.  Rules-wise, they're all pretty simple...they have to fit onto a playing card, after all...and the layout is similarly uncomplicated.  HD is shown in the upper left, AC (ascending from 10) in the lower right.

I'd like to feature a few beasts each week; I'll give the details of the Card-caster class soon...!




Be sure to check out JR's site to see more of his work, by the way.  These are pretty much doodles, and he does some really awesome stuff that more people ought to see!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Playing in Light City: Adam West's Batman

I kind of feel like this is a bit self-serving as a "tribute" to Adam West...but since Light City currently occupies as much of my idle brainspace as anything else, I guess it seems appropriate to stat his Batman up here.  It's even more fitting, I think, due to the fact that (obviously) I keep thinking about how a Batman-style character would fit into the Light City archetypes.  Considering that he's good at...well, pretty much everything, do you focus on the martial prowess?  The Bat-gadgets?  The detective skills?  The psychological presence?

Basically, I kept wondering if it would be anywhere near appropriate to put Batman in the Brawler class, and the idea I kept coming back to that made me think that could work was the 60s TV show...


That show really demonstrated that Batman's crimefighting best often meant letting his fists do the talking, and when it wasn't his fists, he was usually improvising with his surroundings.

Now, the Bat-gadgets and other Bat-goods are also clearly a trademark of the old show...but I don't think I'm doing too much of a disservice to Mr. West's Batman to make him a good old Brawler.  Pow! Bam! Biff! indeed...!

Batman

Image snagged from an article very much worth reading over at ComicsAlliance.
Level 7 Brawler
First appearance:  Batman (TV series) Episode 1 (1966)
STR 16     DEX 13     CON 12     INT 18     WIS 18     CHA 16
7 HD (25 HP)     Saving Throw 8
AC 8[11] (Bat-suit)
Attacks:  3x Unarmed Strikes, +8 to hit, 1d6+1 damage; Batarang, range 60 ft., +7 to hit, 1d6+1 damage; Special Improvisation 1x/day.

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While I ultimately couldn't forsake the Batarang as Batman's signature item, I will admit that I almost went in a slightly different direction.  Perhaps it would have been fitting in remembering the Batman that Mr. West gave us...

By the artist known as CornFedCannibal.  Click here for the story of this amazing image...!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Playing in Light City: Princess Celery

Considering that Light City currently occupies a prominent position in my gamer brain, I think it's time I start statting up some of the characters I've been going over in my head.  First up is a darling little heroine built using +Justin Isaac's excellent Super-Pet class...

Princess Celery


Level 7 Super-Pet
First appearance:  The Yellow Planet Chronicles (limited series) #1
STR 8     DEX 16     CON 12     INT 7     WIS 8     CHA 18
5 HD (18 HP)     Saving Throw 8
AC 8[11]
Attack:  Bite, +4 to hit, 1d6 damage

Super-Pet Tricks:
Speech (yep, she has a whispery voice not unlike the bell in this classic video)
Super Speed: Run x2 (96 ft)
Swim + Super Speed: Swim (48 ft)
Too Cute (Charm 1x/day)
Hero Support x2 (Cure Wounds I 2x/day)

As a puppy, Celery was rocketed from her birthplace on the Yellow Planet to Earth to serve as a defender of Terran human- and caninekind.  Little is known of her early days on the planet, but she eventually found herself at an animal shelter in Georgia and was given the name Lydia.  Soon after being adopted by her unsuspecting foster parents, Celery's heritage as Yellow Planet royalty was revealed to her, and she began to tap into the powers granted by her alien physiology.

Celery works a job as a pet-assisted therapy dog, so she gets to spend a lot of time walking around and having people tell her how awesome she is.  This also helps her keep her paw on the pulse of her adopted hometown of Dogwood City and know where she is needed the most.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ghost Hackers is now on DriveThru

So, some of you may remember that last year, around the time of the release of the new Ghostbusters film, I put together a little game of ghost hunting using The Black Hack, called it Ghosthackers, and made the file available here.

Well, the cover, as you probably know if you've seen it, stood to be a bit problematic if I ever wanted to more "officially" release the game.  So, I did what anybody in my situation would do:  I asked a talented friend to do something for me for free!  With new art for a front and back cover and a little bit of internal tweaking (oh, and a space in the title), the game is now available for download (free!) on OneBookShelf.

You can click here to find it on DriveThruRPG!


Traditionally, I've hit up my buddy JR Mounts for this kind of thing (see, for example, In Bleakest Midwinter...), but I figured I should spread around my abuse of friendships, so I contacted my friend Timothy Paul, an Indianapolis artist that I was lucky enough to meet when I went to GenCon a couple of years ago.  I think his stuff his just awesome (you should check out his Facebook page sometime to get an idea of his style)...some of his surreal work looks like it should be on the cover of Dungeon Crawl Classics modules, in my opinion.

At any rate, I'm very grateful for his help and am making a mental note to make sure I abuse his friendship make use of his talents in Light City before he's snapped up to do too many other art projects...!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Super-Pet comes to Light City!

While I'm "working" on getting more traditional archetypes figured out for Light City+Justin Isaac of Halls of the Nephilim has been thinking outside the box on what should be included in Swords & Wizardry Light-based supers.  His first Light City One Shot has just hit OneBookShelf, and it's awesome!  You should go check out The Super-Pet!

Apparently Justin's thinking of changing up the cover.  I dunno...I like it!

Given my love for both comic book heroics and my own super pets, this is actually a class that I knew was going to have to happen at some point, and Justin's done a great job with presenting a broadly useful (and fun!) character option (that can even handle robot assistants!).

Look for a character or two to be statted up here later in the week...!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Playing in Light City: Heroic Happenings at the Halls

So while I've been focusing the tiny bit of creative energy I've had lately into the Light City releases, I thankfully have a couple of blogging brethren who have stepped up to spread the word on the project, for which I am very grateful!

Tim over at HeroPress has been kind enough to spotlight both of Light City's first two "issues," a significantly helpful boost to the four-color signal.

And Justin of Halls of the Nephilim has not only given Light City blogging and social media shout-outs, he's constructed a couple of his own characters using the rules, demonstrating that they do, indeed, work!  You should check out Spectrum and El Hijo de Lobo Plata sometime!  (I especially like the seven-level progression he shows for Spectrum...working through the emotional powers of the Green Lantern mythos...!)

Thanks y'all!  (You officially make up the Light City Chamber of Commerce!)


(Any second now, I also expect to see another awesome Light City addition from Justin hit the web for public consumption.  Can't wait...!)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Light City #2 is now up on RPGNow!

Took me long enough!  The second entry in this experiment in superheroics for Swords & Wizardry Light is now available.

Click here to check it out!  (What do you have to lose?  It's free!)

For some reason, it grates on me to have the exact same image two posts in a row.  Guess I need to post more...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Should be coming along any day now...

I'm having a ton of fun playing around with Light City.  My geek-out time is extremely limited right now, so it's great to have something to focus me.

And since that means I'm decidedly NOT focusing on any worthwhile blogging at the moment, I figured I'd go ahead and post the cover of what I hope to have available very soon...


Hopefully the length of time it's taking me to assemble something as simple as a Swords & Wizardry Light character class will pay off in quality...but I guess we'll see...!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Some Nephilim for your Halls

Odds are that if you check in on my blog, you're already aware of this, but I wanted to point out that Justin Isaac of Halls of the Nephilim has just put out a great little supplement for Swords & Wizardry focusing on...well, the Nephilim...


It's four pages of material (plus cover and OGL) well worth the $0.99 price tag.  You get the Nephil as a racial class, four different types of Nephilim as monsters, and some magic items...along with a very interesting racial background that, honestly, could probably be accepted by some theologians who seriously ponder the origins of these giants.  This is clearly a lovingly crafted work, which I guess is what you'd expect from a dude who calls his blog Halls of the Nephilim...!

You can find it on RPGNow right here...and should find use for it in a traditional fantasy game as well as in adventures inspired by the Nephilim.

Heck, maybe you could even (as suggested by Tim Brannan) take some inpiration from Ken Ham himself and have a little campaign based on the world as some believe it was...


Looks like fun to me...!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Light City - Superheroics for Swords & Wizardry Light

Here's a new little experiment I'm hoping to run with...working with supers in the Swords & Wizardry Light framework, one tiny publication at a time...


The first "issue" of Light City is the Brawler class, for street-level heroes that do the hard work with their fists (like our friend the Flame, above!).

It's free over at RPGNow.  Click here to check it out; I'd love to know what you think of it!

Thanks to my blogging bro Justin for his revision advice here.  Hopefully something else will roll out in the Light City series before too long...!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dungeonstack A to Z: Zombie Mob

And finally, we come to Zed.  Really, what else could I include here?  I'm building a dungeon, after all...


I'm not completely sold that this should be a Monster card as opposed to an Event that just has you put some Zombies into play; this one may switch soon.

And with that...wow...we complete the alphabet and the challenge!  A very big "thank you" to anyone and everyone who has stopped by this month.  I hope you've gotten at least some mild entertainment...and if you've happened to enjoy it, please stay tuned, as I think I'll be following up on this project quite a bit in the coming weeks...!

(Oh!  And please let me take this chance to point out one blog that I failed to highlight with a "tribute card" this month, but that I'll hopefully target as I expand the game a bit more.  Celia over at WordWacker had a very simple but cool theme for the month...a geeky haiku riddle for each letter.  WordWacker is another blog that I discovered through the A to Z this year, and I've enjoyed stopping by to check out the riddles.

Also, I'm actually scheduling this post ahead of time...quite out of character, I know...and I'm kind of hoping Celia will go with Zombie for Z so this can almost-sort-of-coincidentally-but-not-really count as a shout-out in card form...!)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Dungeonstack A to Z: Young Minotaur

I think I'm going to finish up the A to Z challenge with a couple of final monsters that can be used as simple, basic villains for the Dungeonstack.  Like this fellow...


I like having this guy (multiples, almost undoubtedly) as a throwback to the "basic" monster I used in one of my earlier experiments with card-based dungeoneering:


And so, tomorrow we close out the alphabet.  See you then!