Free GM Resource(s): Kobold Fight Club & Improved Initiative

Free GM Resource(s): Kobold Fight Club & Improved Initiative
This week's Free GM Resource is Kobold Fight Club. Kobold Fight Club is a web-based encounter builder that feeds into/from Improved Initiative. These tools are clearly for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, so they might be of limited use to my 12 readers, but you could say that about any of these Free GM Resources.


Frugal GM Review: The Witches of Hagswallow

Frugal GM Review: The Witches of Hagswallow
This week I picked up a copy of The Witches of Hagswallow from Sleeping Griffons Productions. this OSR adventure for 3-6 PCs of 2nd-4th level comes in at 45 pages (45.2 MB) for $2.99 over at DriveThruRPG.

Right off the bat this PDF is unsecured and while technically bookmarked, the four bookmarks don't take you beyond page 5. Outside of the cover and a few markings on the pre-gens pages, this PDF is a black & white affair, which makes me think that 45 MB is just way too big and was not optimized at all. I'm fairly certain that while the pages appear black & white, they are full color instead.

My initial, quick flip-through brought to my attention a couple of things. 1st was that the writer doesn't like to re-use monsters and prefers to place full monster stat blocks in the adventure body instead of a dedicated bestiary section*. There are actually some monsters re-used, just not heavily like I've seen in far too many adventures. Some folks prefer a bestiary and others loath them. My preference is a bestiary, but to also include a smaller in-line stat blocks where the monsters appear in the adventure itself. I think these are more a matter of preference and what I focus on is usability when running the adventure. I also noted that this adventure has plenty of small bits of accent art that isn't required, but used to fill-in at the end of sections to help with pagination.

The adventure was a relatively easy read and I appreciated the editing that clearly took place as the information for each section felt well-suited for the task at hand. I do wish that there were some marked flavor-text boxes because some of the entries felt like they were starting out with flavor text (or close enough) but there were often bits of detail you wouldn't want to share outright. As a GM I think you'll want to go through and highlight flavor text-worthy bits and denote some of the room's special details. Nothing really out of the ordinary there though....

Two things really stuck out for me from my read-through. The 1st was that I liked the presence of a story-within-a-story that the players might not ever even hit upon, but the GM could use as a broader arc. There was also a fundamental change to a monster that I just didn't agree with. I won't dive into that detail because it is an easy-enough crossed out line on my working copy.

Frugal GM 4 Star Review: The Witches of Hagswallow
Overall I liked The Witches of Hagswallow and It somehow felt "right' to me. Easy enough to ramp up the difficulty or pull it back some and I saw some nice touches that I think lend themselves to some good role-play. The inclusion of full-page pregens was a nice touch (and a good selection to boot). This adventure seemed like a good one to have in your "back pocket" to run as a one-off if needed, or to slip in to your own campaign/game world. Some of the behind the scenes big-picture stuff is enough for a GM to play off of on their own, or you could wait for some follow-on adventures to come out. Either way I think you get a good run for your $3.

*When I started to actually read the adventure I realized I had somehow flipped past the bestiary and right onto the maps.


Free GM Resource: Dream Weaved Worlds Website

Free GM Resource: Dream Weaved Worlds Website
Lately the Frugal GM has been burning the candle at both ends and this site has been suffering a bit because of that......which should be remedied soon.

This week's Free GM Resource which is normally posted on Monday morning is instead posted Monday evening and I hope the extra bit of wait is worth it.

Dream Weaved Worlds is a site that "focuses on content and resources for both Role Playing Games and War Gaming. You will find tons of RPG maps; gaming tiles; random generators; wargaming terrain showcases; scenery building tutorials and much more."

There are some goodies to be found by poking about, like some maps and a few random generators. The site is a bit rough around the edges, but quite functional. Their Facebook page hasn't been updated in over a month, but there are some good YouTube tutorials to be found there (I haven't checked to see if they are cross-linked on the DWW website.)


Free GM Resource: Lester Smith's D6 x D6

Free GM Resource: Lester Smith's D6 x D6
It's always a fun week when I can post a "new" RPG as the week's Free GM Resource. D6xD6 is a role-playing game from Lester Smith....yes, that Lester Smith.

From the D6xD6 website: "The D6xD6 RPG is a quick-and-easy system for running role-playing games. This Web site consists of a draft of the core rules, five example settings, and an introduction to twenty-one other settings published in the expanded book, as well as news, comments, and a few other support materials."

Looks like there is enough to get your feet wet and, assuming you like what you play, then you can go on and pick up the "real deal" from one of three online vendors. Sounds like a good deal to me.


Free GM Resource: Dismaster's Den of Unfinished Thoughts Die Drop Table

Free GM Resource: Dismaster's Den of Unfinished Thoughts Die Drop Table
This week's Free GM Resource is a rather interesting die drop table for equipping new PCs. This table is the work of Dismaster FraNe and comes from his blog Dismaster's Den of Unfinished Thoughts.

At first glance this seems like an overly complicated die drop table, but there is a rather useful guide in the form of a second page with some instructions. After a quick read-through I wouldn't say it was complicated, just that it has a few added features that really pack in a bit of extra utility.

This is the post with the table, but you might want to poke around the blog a bit....


Frugal GM Review: Tukram's Tomb

Frugal GM Review: Tukram's Tomb
I grabbed this OSR Adventure, Tukram's Tomb, specifically because the product page noted it was a beta version and the author needed some feedback. Seemed like a win-win to me, so here goes.

First off I should explain to Mr. Davide Pignedoli that I usually look at the physical characteristics of a product, do a very quick read-through for 1st impressions, and then another pass through the material more as a follow-up to things I noted before. Even in what I consider a "perfect" (as if that is possible) product I try to find something to give constructive feedback on. It might be a stretch, but I try.

Since I'm not actually running this adventure for my group I won't be looking at the content for appropriateness, but instead focus on other areas.

Tukram's Tomb is a two-file download containing the adventure and a separate adventure map. The adventure is 5.5" x 8.5"and comes in at 1.83 MB for 22 pages. The map...well the map is a bit of an odd duck as it is a 96 dpi JPG that is 9.292" x 13.333".


Free GM Resource: A Lineart Map Tutorial

Free GM Resource: A Lineart Map Tutorial
This week's Free GM Resource is a map tutorial, or more specifically A Lineart Map Tutorial from Stratomunchkin on Deviant Art.

Like most resources, this might not be for everyone, but for those with lower levels of artistic ability (like myself), this tutorial might be a great starting point for adding a personal touch to your campaign's maps.

The tutorial itself is a downloadable PDF, so you can print it out and follow along offline the next time you are working on a map.


Free GM Resource: Dungeonographer from Inkwell Ideas

Free GM Resource: Dungeonographer from Inkwell Ideas
Every once in a while I discover a Free GM Resource that I would just swear I've covered before, like Dungeonographer. Of course, when I look into it, nope...never shared it. I don't know how these things fall through the cracks, but I'll chalk it up to life in general.

Dungeonographer is another map generator from Inkwell Ideas. Their Hexographer has been listed in this blog's Top 10 pretty much for the last four & a half years.

Dungeonographer comes with a free version and a paid ($32) version that are actually the same product, so if you try out Dungeonographer and like it, all you need to do is purchase an activation code and you're good.

Take Dungeonographer out for a spin and see if you like it.....not like it'll cost you to try!