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Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Celebrations

New Years Celebrations
1. The villagers light a big bonfire and everyone gets really drunk.
2. A large feast is held after slaughtering a bull, with gifts given to friends and family.
3. The eldest person in the village is sacrificed to the gods to ensure the upcoming year is better.
4. A large dance is held, with much drumming and wild costumes.
5. New Years is the one day a year where marriage bonds do not hold. Everyone has a great time.
6. A parade is held, with all of the children born that year brought forth. Gifts are given to the parents.
7. A captured goblin, orc, or other monster is placed in a wooden effigy of the local god, which is then set on fire.
8. Races, wrestling matches, and archery contests are held. The winners receive gifts and gold.
9. Magicians create colored lights that twirl throughout the town. Illusionary dragons and other creatures fight in mock battles in the town square.
10. Priests hold day long sermons reminiscing about the previous years and those who died. The townsfolk all attend and are dressed in black robes. As night falls, bells ring and the townsfolk throw off their robes to reveal brightly colored clothes. A large party then ensues (and includes the clergy).

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Silver standard

I've decided to use a silver standard in the mini6 game I'm working on. It makes more sense to me than the buckets of gold approach found in D&D. It was a pretty easy conversion, as I just took the D&D equipment list and converted it to silver pieces. It's still not very accurate historically, but I think it makes a bit more sense.

There's a pretty cool thread about all of this over at RPG Site. I recommend giving it a lookover if you are interested in this kind of thing.

And regarding my mini6 fantasy game, it's coming along. I still need to come up with a bunch of magic items, but much of the work is now done, other than tweaking stuff.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some Mini Six stuff I've made

I'm working on a standalone fantasy game using Mini Six. It's going to have a  lot of influence from D&D. It uses hit points instead of wounds. Here's a couple things I've come up with, so far:


Cure Disease

TN: 20 + Resistance Roll

Duration: Permanent

Resisted: Disease Severity

The target of the spell is cured of all diseases. Assign the Resistance Roll based upon the severity of the disease. A common cold would be an Easy roll, while the Black Death would be a Difficult roll, and a magical disease might be a Very Difficult roll.


TN: 14 + Resist Roll

Duration: Concentration

Range: 20 feet

Resisted: Charm

When cast, you can understand someone speaking in another language. You can speak limited phrases in their language, as well (I’m hungry. Where is store. Etc.). You can also read basic sentences in other languages (complicated passages are beyond this spell, though). No Resist Roll is required if the target wants to speak with the spell caster (just the standard spell roll is needed).

Tyrannosaurus Rex ***** Scale: +4D

Top of the food chain.

Might: 6D Wit: 0D

Agility: 2D Charm: 1D hp: 50

Attacks: Bite (11D damage vs. human scale)

Tail Bash (8D damage vs. human scale)

Perks: Tough Hide (+5 armor)

Static: Dodge 6, DR 5

Velociraptor *** Scale: +0D

Fast hunter.

Might: 4D Wit: 0D

Agility: 4D Charm: 1D hp: 50

Skills: Tracking 3D

Attacks: Bite (4D damage)

Perks: Tough Hide (+3 armor), Fast (Base move 25’, Runs 50’)

Static: Dodge 12, DR 3

Elemental (Air) **** Scale: 0D

Living air creature.

Might: 4D+1 Wit: 1D

Agility: 4D+2 Charm: 1D hp: 37

Skills: Brawling 5D+1, Dodge 5D+2

Perks: Insubstantial (Can only be harmed by magic weapons or spells).

Whirlwind (Can throw characters ten feet up into the air on a successful Might check vs. the character’s Might. Character takes 1D of damage and must make a Difficult Agility check or drop all items in his hands).

Fly (can fly up to 120 feet per round).

Static: Dodge 17, Block 16, DR 0

Ooze *** Scale: +2D

A living pool of acid.

Might: 0D Wit: 0D

Agility: 1D Charm: 0D hp: 24

Skills: Acid Touch 3D, Stealth 4D

Perks: Ooze (can only be harmed by fire or magic),

Acid touch (attacks do 3D acid damage and ignore armor).

Static: Dodge 3, DR 0

I have a number of other spells and monsters completed, but this should give an idea of what I'm doing. If something doesn't look right compared to similar stuff in the game, let me know. Thanks!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas wrap-up

I went out to my parents place for the holidays. Lots of relatives were in town. We ate a ton of food and watched a lot of football on Saturday (Christmas Eve).

I am SO glad the Steelers played at 1 pm and not 4 pm. Dinner and presents would have sucked if the game had been on then, as most of us would have been trying to watch it.As for presents, I got some clothes and a couple gift cards to Barnes and Noble. Not sure what I'll buy with them, yet.

Yesterday my brother and I watched the Firefly marathon through most of the day, then went back down to my parents for another meal and another round of presents (and different relatives). It was a good time.

We then watched the Doctor Who Christmas special, which was pretty good. Not great, but not bad. It was a bit more cheesy happy Christmas than the typical Who episode, which kind of surprised me. Usually, something horrible happens to the Doctor or his companions on Christmas. We then finished watching the rest of the Firefly marathon.

Overall, my holidays were damn good! I hope everyone else's were as well!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mini Six rpg

I've been making my own fantasy version of the Mini Six rpg the last week or so. I've still got a lot to do, and I'm not sure this will ever see the internet, but it's a lot of fun. I really like what AntiPaladin Games did with their version of the Open D6 license. I really recommend people check it out.

Mini Six is a pared-down version of the old Star Wars D6 game, and I think it's amazingly well done. They got rid of a lot of the extraneous rules, and made the game simpler to learn and play, while still allowing  a lot of options.

For my personal version, I'm working on the following:

1. It's going to be fantasy. I've removed all the guns and starships and aliens. done
2. I'm using hit points instead of wound levels. I do not like the death spiral created with wound systems. done
3. I'm adding in new monsters and spells, mostly stuff I'm converting from D&D. started
4. I'll be adding in new races like the cambion, nephilim, and wildfolk, that are already in my BFRPG Sword & Board supplement. not started yet
5. I'm going to add in the standard D&D gold system. not started yet
6. More magic items. started

I've already gone through and done some stuff, like getting the basic formatting set up and removing references to wounds. Now it's just adding things.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

trailer for "The Hobbit"

I'm excited! Love that the dwarves are singing. Many familiar faces, as well. Wish it would get here before next December!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I like chainmail bikinis!

Why yes, I think they are fantastic! I'm also easily annoyed by people saying they are unrealistic and "break the immersion". Guess what, 99% of the stuff you see in any D&D campaign is completely unrealistic. This includes the fact that your characters are allowed to run around with weapons and in armor while not being nobility. Unless one of the party is a noble of some type, every adventuring party would be jailed, and possibly tortured and executed, just for carrying a sword.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Daedra

The Daedric Princes in The Elder Scrolls series really feel like the Titans of Greek mythology. They are more forces of nature and and not really concerned gods. A few would count as really evil, depraved gods that don't like their own followers, though.

The quests they put you on in the game are generally really nasty. They get in your head and try to get you to kill your companions. They try and force you to sacrifice good priests, especially Boethia, the cannibal. I really like how they are implemented in Skyrim, and they should provide a great base for DMs to model evil gods and priests on.

As I've said before, DMs who need inspiration owe it to themselves to play Skyrim, especially the side quests (the main quest with the dragons is not even the best questline in the game, IMO).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Skyrim Official Game Guide for D&D

Not sure how many of you play Skyrim, or have seen the game guide by Prima. I would recommend it for GMs. It has tons of maps in it for small to medium sized dungeons, along with some towns. The various dungeons also are detailed with monsters and some treasures. Mining and Alchemy and Enchanting are also covered, which would provide ideas for GMs, especially for OSR games that dont' have a lot of detail. There's also a poster map of Skyrim. If you like Norse style gaming, this book would be a great purchase for setting ideas. I really like the book. Also, it's 656 pages and only $27.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Anyone have the new Carcosa yet?

I have the original unexpurgated edition. I was wondering if anyone has the new version being published by LotFP and what they thought of it. I'd really like to know is if it's worth bothering with if you already have the original.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Harry Morgan passed away, too

M-A-S-H star Harry Morgan dies at age 96

Darryl K. Sweet passed away

If you have the old Hobbit and Lord of the Rings paperbacks, the Wheel of Time books, the Shannara books, the Thomas Covenant books, and lots of others, you recognize his work. He was an amazing artist. I've kind of grew up associating his artwork with fantasy fiction. RIP.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Finally got burned by a Skyrim mod

I knew it would happen sooner or later. A mod to have the bard in Solitude sing the YouTube version of "The Dragonborn Comes" screwed up my game. There was a crackling noise when anyone talked. I removed the mod and then I couldn't load any saves that used it. Kinda sucks.

Not really surprising, though, since it was done without the Creation Kit. I was going to put a warning up on the Nexus site about it, but they had already removed the mod, so I guess it nailed a bunch of people.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bethesda and Skyrim Public Relations

This is Bethesda's PR guy:  

Seriously! Patch 1.2 is a complete screw-up, yet the only thing they've said is they're looking into it. And that's only after hundreds of complaints.

If you play Skyrim, DON'T DOWNLOAD PATCH 1.2! It's broken!

Dragons fly backwards and refuse to land. Magic/fire/frost/poison resists all are now set at 0%, even though they say they are whatever they should be. Etc. It looks like Bethesda really dropped the ball on regression testing. Very disappointing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Skyrim mod wishlist

Just things I'd love to see added into the game:

Houses in every city. I really like both Dawnstar and Winterhold. Can't buy a house in either, though.

More storage types for inside houses. Containers designed for ingots, ingredients, etc.

Better combat controls, something like how WoW keeps you aimed at your enemy, so he doesn't just disappear off the screen by sidestepping.

Mounted combat. Including first person camera while mounted.

More mounts: sabertooth cat, large wolf, etc.

Have Saves stored separately for each character. When I'm logged into my fighter, I don't even want to see my mage's Saves. I definitely don't want to accidentally overwrite it.

Werewolves getting buffed with Detect Life and Instant Transformation and maybe more damage.

No Random Dragons - (has been fixed, though a more thorough one using the CK would be great).

"Clean up Riften" questline, turning it from a Blackbriar thieves outlet into a semi-decent place to live. Would likely feature Mjoll.

Unarmed combat brought back. I love being a kung fu monk.

Have all the unnecessary scrolling in the UI removed.

Versions of Iron/Steel/Imperial armor that are on par with Daedric, because I think they look better.

A questline to join the Light of Stendarr.

A revamp of the later game where Imperial or Stormcloak victory actually affects the world, especially in how NPC's react to me. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Skyrim character

 This is my character, Martine. She is a Redguard mage in the Skyrim game. She's modeled on being a voodoo priestess.

She uses the Topless Forsworn Armor mod (skimpy instead of topless variant - there are 2 mods in it). I'm enchanting the armor for magicka, magicka regen, and destruction buffs. She's a heck of a lot of fun.
(click on pic for much bigger image)

Friday, November 11, 2011


I shall be playing Skyrim for the next few days. :) Hope you all have fun out there!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Type IV D&D"

I've seen phrase "Type IV D&D" being used on various old school boards and blogs. It's extremely annoying. What's the maturity level of the people who use this? 12? Heck, I don't know if I'd insult 12 year olds like that. Why don't you guys grow up and just call it 4e or fourth edition?

Otherwise, the people who matter, i.e. WotC, won't take you seriously no matter what good ideas you might have. Lord knows, I dismiss you out of hand.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lulu sale

Lulu is having a 20% off sale through 11/11/11. Just enter the code VETERANS305 at checkout.

I recommend BFRPG, OpenQuest, and Fight On! magazine. I'm sure there's lots of other great games there, as well.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remember Remember

It's Guy Fawkes Day! Now imagine your PCs trying to overthrow a corrupt government, especially if they are only low level and have the odds stacked against them.

Friday, November 4, 2011

When I play D&D games

My favorite classes:

Fighter = It's fun being the tank. When I play, I usually go sword and shield and plate.

Thief = The funnest class, imo. My only beef is that in older editions, their skills are so low they are damn near useless at low levels.

Mage = I prefer to cast buffs, use wizard eye to scout ahead, and summon monsters instead of just casting fireballs. I honestly think mages are much more useful if they focus on non-evocation spells.

Paladin = Holy warriors are just really cool. They have a mystique the other classes lack.

My favorite races:

Human = They're awesome in both BFRPG and S&W.

Elf = I have liked elves ever since I was a kid and read Tolkien.

Tiefling = The idea of part demon characters is just cool.

Shifter = The best idea ever published by WotC. I love having an animalistic race as an option.

Aasimar = I love the idea of a part angel character, as well. Too much time in bible study when I was a kid, I guess.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


For those who care, today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month! I've got over 900 words done today. I'm writing an urban fantasy story with redcaps murdering people and the hero investigating and having to confront them.

My nano page is HERE.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween - Tim Bradstreet style



Just 3 new picks Tim did for the Vampire 20th edition book. He's still the iconic vampire artist for me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Winter and the effects of travel

The view of the road leading to my place, taken yesterday. It's too damn early for this!

One thing I don't think is addressed well in gaming is the effects of snow on travelers. Not having snow plows, many roads would become hard to find, if not impassable. If the group does not have snow shoes or skis, they will have a heck of a time getting anywhere. And they'd be tired as heck after going only a mile or two. They'd hardly be in any condition to fight.

If attacked, I'd think someone who has been forcing his way through snow should have a penalty to both his to hit rolls and his armor class, to reflect the fact that he'd likely be too exhausted to do much to defend himself. Something like a flat -1 to AC and a -1 per hour traveled penalty to hit.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stone Circles

I love stone circles, as found in the British Isles and the Atlantic seaboard of Europe. I generally use them as centers of worship for elves and druids. I have also used them as magical gates to the faerie realms. So here's a table for people to use.

Stone Circle Encounters
1. A small group of elven archers maintains the circle. They have a permanent camp set up in a nearby copse of trees. They generally won't disturb people who are there for worship or just to rest while hiking, but will attack any evil races who attempt to approach the stones.
2. A magical gateway opens as the group approaches. On the other side they can see a great forest. No one is around.
3. A druid maintains the circle. He has a small hut nearby. The locals often deliver fruits and vegetables, in return for his blessings.
4. A group of goblins is defacing the circle. They are attempting to push over the stones.
5. Pixies and brownies live around the circle. They will play pranks on any who approach, and may steal a small item.
6. A necromancer has perverted the circle, using it to raise undead. He places corpses within the stones and casts his spells. All undead raised here have maximum hit points and gain +1 to their saving throws.
7. The circle is old and abandoned. Weeds and brush grow throughout the area. Some stones are on their sides. Perhaps with care, it may return to its former power.
8. A cleric has built a small manor near the circle. He considers the place to be a haven of sin. Some pixies have lived here for ages, and torment the cleric daily.
9. A druid lives in the circle, under the open sky. He has only a bedroll. The local fae respect him, but the human baron who controls the land fears his power. The druid is unhappy with the baron, who has started logging the forest.
10. The stones have glowing blue runes marked upon them. During thunderstorms, the entire hilltop shines and can be seen for miles around.
11. The stone circle marks the resting place of a great elven lord, who fell in battle against an evil god. Elven sentries will attack any non-elf who approaches.
12. The stones are pitch black and radiate evil. Monsters are attracted to the area and are encountered very frequently.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


One of the most surreal, creepy scenes ever made.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What if dungeoneering was illegal?

Throughout history, grave-robbing has been illegal. Yet many adventures feature the party going into some crypt to search for treasure. Why wouldn't this be illegal?

It would be interesting if an adventuring party went back to town, loaded with loot, and were then confronted by the local constabulary. They might be arrested, heavily fined, or just have all their possessions confiscated.In very religious countries, it's likely that they would be executed.

Just something I thought might be an interesting twist for a campaign.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lament for Boromir

Another Tolkien song from Colin Rudd. I think he does a fantastic job with these.

Song of Durin

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

S&W WhiteBox - Animate Dead (revised)

I don't see a good reason to prevent low level mages from casting Animate Dead. They will just not be very good at it. So I've made a new version of the spell, which improves as the caster levels.

Animate Dead
Spell Level: Cleric, Magic-user, 1st Level
Range: Referee’s Discretion
Duration: Permanent

This spell animates undead from dead bodies. The caster must have corpses available to use this spell. He can use animal corpses if necessary, though small animals are limited to being skeletons or zombies. Mummies must be made from a humanoid creature.

The undead remain until destroyed, and will follow the caster’s commands. Wights and mummies can make a saving throw to escape the caster’s control when they are first created. If they succeed, they can either attack the caster or flee to terrorize the countryside. Only truly mercenary or evil spellcasters will use this spell.

One HD of undead are animated per level of the caster.

Casters are limited in what types of undead they can raise:
1st level: skeletons
2nd level: zombies
3rd level: ghouls
5th level: wights
8th level: mummies

Sunday, October 9, 2011

(Rant) Rethinking the games I support

Lately, I've been buying products for games that are published by basically one-man companies. Part of this is that I think some of these games are just plain better than those published by WotC. However, I'm getting frustrated.

It seems many games come out with the base rules. Following this, there's lots of chatter from the writer and his supporters. There will likely be a few pdf's released. Maybe, and I mean maybe, there will be a print supplement.

It is driving me crazy! I like to buy supplements for games I like. Especially a setting book, monster books, and even an adventure or two. And getting other people to play a game can be difficult, as many players see that the game has no supplements, they consider it to be "dead", even if it is still in print.

While I realize many publishers are just guys doing this in their spare time, I also see companies like Hero Games (which is only two or three people) pumping out books every month. And those books are well done and worth having for that system.

While some games have tons of pdf support (BFRPG and BASH! are good examples), there just isn't any print support. It feels like lots of promises are made early, and then everything just becomes vaporware. I really, really hope when D&D 5e is released, that it is a great game. I'd love to have good quality supplements available on a regular basis.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cool supers site

This is just a link to a supers site where the artist has been redesigning the looks of various supers for fun: I really like some of his ideas. I think it would be great if DC would do a mini-series using his concepts for characters, just as a one-off.

A picture of his version of the Justice League with Green Lantern, Superman, Powergirl, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, and the Flash. (click for bigger version)

Monday, October 3, 2011

D&D 5e in the works

I'm sure most of you have heard by now, but Monte Cook was recently hired to work at WotC again in R&D. Margaret Weis confirmed that he is working on 5e over the weekend HERE. She's Queen of Darkness on that forum, and her post says: "I've talked to friends of Monte's who are friends of mine and they all say, Yes, he's working on 5e!  Margaret"

I'm not surprised at all. From everything I've heard, 4e has been a disappointment for WotC. Many players either never switched to it, or tried it and didn't like it. I know I gave it a whirl. While I think 4e had some cool ideas (healing surges, fighters having innate abilities), I think it was way too big of a departure from all prior editions.

Now the interesting story will be if 5e adds stuff back in from 3e, or if it goes even further off the trail into new territory. I suspect they will backtrack a bit in order to recapture old fans, but who knows? Maybe that ship has sailed, and D&D will become an IP for movies and video games, and the tabletop rpg gets abandoned after another year or two.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

False Guardian

The False Guardian appears to be a wooden manikin with a pull cord on it's chest. When the cord is pulled, an illusion covers the manikin so that it appears like a soldier of the race that activated it. So, if a dwarf pulls the cord, it looks like an armored dwarf. If a goblin pulls the cord, it looks like an armored goblin.

The illusion will appear as if it is standing still, but blinking or maybe twitching a shoulder. Enough that it looks real. It won't move, though.

If the Guardian is attacked, whether by weapon or spell, it will immediately let out loud clanging noises and start flashing brightly. Anyone standing near it must save vs. spells or be stunned for 1d4 rounds.

Any creatures within sight or hearing distance will immediately be alerted to the attack. Wandering monsters may be attracted to it, along with the whoever posted the guardian in the first place.

False guardians are mainly used by military forces to cover areas of minor importance. They don't have to waste a soldier's time, and any stealthy attackers will assume the sentry is real and will probably attempt to eliminate it, with disastrous consequences. Smart commanders also place it in areas that are more exposed to special operations attacks, so that a guard isn't endangered.

Friday, September 30, 2011

DC Reboot - Supergirl

Supergirl #1

The story begins with an asteroid shower very similar to Superman's. Some undefined organization (I'm guessing SHIELD) tracks it. Supergirl pops out of an asteroid in Siberia. She isn't sure what's going on and at first thinks she is dreaming. Then she gets attacked by guys in power armor.

It's a pretty action-packed issue, but with little characterizations that are fairly revealing, showing Supergirl's thoughts as she is trying to figure out what is going on.

The art was very good. I thought Supergirl's outfit was pretty good. The armor suits looked cool.

I liked the issue. It is mostly from Supergirl's point of view, and she is confused, and so was I. I'm sure things will be cleared up next issue, but it would have been nice for there to be some kind of ID for the power armor military guys.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

DC Reboot - Justice League Dark

Justice League Dark #1

This series forms a Justice League variant that deals with the occult. The members apparently will include John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, and Shade. Madame Xanadu is in this issue, though I don't know if she will be a member of the League or not. Same with some girl named June Moone, though I suspect she is just a fulcrum point.

Enchantress has apparently gone insane is the "villain". The regular Justice League attempts to deal with her but get smacked down. So various magical superheros are magically pulled together to form their own team.

The artwork was very good. The first issue is really just setting stuff up. Some things happen, but mostly, the reader is left guessing. It's obvious that the team's formation will cover several issues.

I liked this comic. It wasn't amazing, but it was pretty good. I think issue #2 will have to be read before I can really decide if this series will be great. I will buy it to make sure. I will definitely be picking up the graphic novel, and I might subscribe to the regular issues.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DC Comic Reboot - Catwoman

Catwoman #1

The comic starts in an action scene. Selina then meets her fence, who I assume will be a recurring NPC in this series. She then goes undercover at a Russian mob party, looking for information on items to steal. We get to see a little bit of her backstory, as she meets someone she knew when she was younger.

Then Selina and Batman meet. I won't post spoilers, but I think many long-term Batman fans will either be really excited or kind of annoyed. I fall in the annoyed camp.

This comic was ok. That's about all I can say for it. It had some good parts, but I think the Batman scene was just fan service that doesn't feel right.

I was a pretty big fan of the Catwoman series by Brubaker and Cooke back in 2002. So I had high hopes for this series. If that series was released today, I'd be excited about it. Too bad it wasn't.

The art was pretty good. Not amazing, but no badly drawn scenes, either. I might buy the graphic novel, but that's pretty iffy. I think most people would be safe avoiding this comic.

DC Comic Reboot - Aquaman

Aquaman #1

Aquaman is in Boston at the start of this series. Apparently, he grew up there. He's also become bulletproof. I'm not sure if this is brand-new, or something that came about in the last few years.

It's an interesting story, taking square aim at many of Aquaman's critics. The robbers laugh at him, the cops make jokes about him, and a blogger tells him he's second-rate. And yet, he wants to remain on land and defend humanity. I'd say he's a stand-up guy.

I also love the bit where he goes to a seafood restaurant and orders fish and chips, and the whole place just stares at him and tells him he can't do that.

And Cthulhuesque deep ones are the apparent new bad guy that he will have to deal with soon.

The artwork was really good. Really, some of the best I've seen in the #1's.

The story was excellent, and was written by Geoff Johns. I will definitely be buying the graphic novel. I'm strongly considering subscribing, as well.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

DC Comic Reboot - Men of War

Men of War #1

Or, more realistically, Sergeant Rock #1. There are two stories in this, the main story about Sgt. Rock, and an unrelated mini-story in the back. This is the same format the old Sgt. Rock comics always had, so I think it's kind of cool.

The main story is about Corporal Rock joining some kind of insertion unit and parachuting behind enemy lines to recover a captured Senator. It is set in the modern day Middle East. The original Sgt. Rock is mentioned as this one's grandfather. The group is on their mission when a superhero blasts through the area. The superhero causes lots of deaths, and appears completely out of any kind of military control. The soldiers don't know what he is, and are even wondering whose side he is on. In the end, Rock makes Sergeant.

The art was really good, and the story was interesting. It really makes you think about what happens when a superhero decides to jump into an active warzone on his own without talking things over with the military first.

The mini-story is the first of a 3-parter on a Navy SEAL team in the Middle East. The group is on a black op when they get attacked by a sniper. The story and characterization were ok. I was a different writer than the Sgt. Rock story. There was a lot more explanation than felt natural, for SEALs who supposedly know each other and know combat. I know it's aimed at explaining things to civvies, but it didn't feel right. It was also a different artist, who was ok, not great.

Overall, I liked the issue. I will probably buy the graphic novel when it is released.

DC Comic Reboot - Detective Comics

Detective Comics #1

Batman vs. The Joker. Could this series have started any other way? Heck no! It was a decent story. Most of the pages were fight scenes. Batman is not a super martial artist in this, which I like. He's still tough in a fight, but the Joker comes quite close to defeating him.

The cops and the Mayor are after Batman, considering him a rogue vigilante. Chief Gordon is still his friend, and the bat signal is used.

The art was a mix. I liked everything except the new Batman design. It looks like Bruce Wayne has invested heavily in steroids. Not a good look, at all.

Overall, a good issue. I will buy the graphic novel when it gets published. It's not worth a subscription, to me.

DC Comic Reboot - Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing #1

Another excellent comic. The story is creepy, with birds and bats falling dead out of the sky, and an old dinosaur skeleton coming to life and creating zombies. The main character is working as a construction worker, after leaving his biology lab. He had been Swamp Thing, but doesn't remember much of his time as the monster. He meets Superman, since Superman is trying to figure out what is going on. There is no big battle, but this issue sets up the upcoming issues very well.

I really liked the art, except that the artist gave Superman a fat face. It just doesn't look right. Other than that, it's fantastic throughout.

I give this series a thumbs-up, as well. I will definitely buy the graphic novel when it is published.

DC Comic Reboot - Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad #1

This issue is basically how the team gets started. It's a bunch of supervillains being used to take out targets for someone in the government. Each of the team members had a bomb implanted in their skull to guarantee their cooperation.

I liked it a lot. The initial team includes: Harley Quinn, Deadshot, El Diablo, King Shark, Savant, Black Spider, and Voltaic.

It's very dark. Harley comes across as much more psychotically evil than the goofy evil she's usually portrayed as. Batman makes a minor appearance with Deadshot. King Shark is just nasty, chomping someone and yelling "Meat! Meat! Meat!". El Diablo feels like a fire-using thug who still has a code of honor.

Each of these characters gets a mini-story saying how they got captured. Not all of the Squad got mini-stories this issue, I suspect they will get theirs next issue.

The art was very good. Harley got a new costume, which I don't like as much as her old one, but it's still good.

I really liked this comic. I may actually subscribe and buy each issue. If you like the darker Batman or Punisher stories, you'll likely love this.

DC Comic Reboot - Action Comics

I'm going to be sorta hijacking my own blog to post about the various DC #1 issues that I'm reading. I'm tired of posting here and LJ for stuff that's kind of related.

I'm only going to buy a few of the #1's, and then wait for graphic novel compilations. Comics are too damn expensive! Seriously, $3 or $4 an issue, all of which are less than 30 pages?! Just wanted to post my impressions of the ones I've read.

Action Comics #1

Superman! He can leap tall buildings and can be hurt if he gets hit hard enough. This seems a flashback to the early 30's version, and I like it. He fights a crime boss, and has Lex Luthor attempting to capture him. The police are also trying to arrest him. Apparently, he is once again the worlds first superhero, so the law really doesn't know how to handle him.

I liked the story. It had some nice action, and introduced many of the main characters (Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane also appear). The comic really needed an extra 5 or 10 pages to develop things, though. The story just jumps forward instead of smoothly progressing. I suspect this will be a fault of the entire line, as there really just aren't enough pages available for good storytelling.

The art was decent, not great. I wish they had used a better artist on this line, as well. I liked Superman's and Jimmy's look, but Lois and Lex both looked a bit off. Just my opinion, though.

In all, I recommend this issue to anyone who likes Superman. I hope the writing quality remain high, and they can figure out how to deal with so few pages per issue a little better.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Templar for S&W: WhiteBox

This is a sorta-paladin for WhiteBox.

Templars are armored priests. Most Templars have a patron deity or serve a particular religion. Feel free to make up the details, if your Referee doesn’t use a particular mythology for the campaign you’re playing in. Regardless of the details, you are a champion of your faith and moral alignment. You might be a sinister witch-hunter, an exorcist of demons, or a shining knight of the faith. Because most of a Templar’s abilities are oriented toward healing and protecting, Templars tend to play a support role during combat, backing up the front line, but able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the party’s Fighters if need be—at least for a while. As a Templar grows in power and reputation, he might establish a stronghold for his faith: a fortified monastery, a soaring cathedral in the wilderness, or whatever strikes him as the best way to protect and serve his flock of acolytes and peasant followers.

Hit Dice: 1d6/level.
Armor/Shield Permitted: Any.
Weapons Permitted: Any melee weapons. No missile weapons, other than oil.

Templar Class Abilities

Cure Disease: Beginning at seventh level, once per day Templars can cure disease on one individual.

Healing Hands: Templars can cure themselves or an ally up to three times per day. Each use of this ability heals 1d6 + level hit points. For example, a fourth level Templar would heal 1d6+4 hp each time he uses this ability.

Holy Aura: Templars have an aura of holiness that affects undead, demons, and other supernatural evil creatures. These creatures suffer a -1 penalty to hit and to save while within 10 feet of the Templar.

Immune to Disease: Beginning at third level, Templars are immune to all diseases.

Immune to Poison: Beginning at fifth level, Templars are immune to all poisons.

Smite Evil: When fighting undead, demons, or other supernatural evil creatures, Templars deal an extra 1d6 damage per successful attack. This damage affects monsters immune to normal weapon damage.

Religious Stronghold (9th level): At ninth level, a Templar character may establish a stronghold and attract a body of loyal (or perhaps even fanatic) men-at-arms who will swear fealty to him.

Templar Advancement



Hit Dice

Saving Throw