8/04/2014

New Frugal GM Product: Who's Watching the Weir?

New Frugal GM Product: Who's Watching the Weir?
I've been coming up with some ideas for inexpensive products that I think will go over well, and some I just want to do. Between my current working from home, the normal blog updates, and (very important) my home game, these new items are a bit slow in coming out.

A couple weeks ago I created what I call a "Tweak & Toss" encounter set based on a nebulous challenges from Matt Jackson. If there is one thing I've come to enjoy from this site is that it has allowed me to connect with some great folks in the RPG community.

One of the other things I've been trying to do is improve my map-making skills, so it occurred to me that I could combine efforts and create more Tweak & Toss encounter sets using maps I've made (as opposed to using Matt's maps). I did reach out to Matt for some advice and his "minor" suggestions for alterations kicked things up a notch or two, at least in my opinion.

My second attempt is called Who's Watching the Weir and can be found at DriveThruRPG and it's sister sites. It is up as Pay What You Want and hopefully will be the 2nd in a line of Tweak & Toss Encounter sets. It'll all depend on the reception these things get....

The whole idea is a rather generic idea of related encounters set on a given map that the GM can quickly make minor adjustments to before inserting into the game. It comes as a two-page PDF that is intended to be folded in half, zine-style, and tucked away until needed. Don't have something prepped when the players turn left when you were sure they would turn right? No problem.....spend a minute reviewing the basic setup and roll with it. You have a map to work with and a basic setup that is roughly:

  • Who (NPCs setup)
  • What (is going on)
  • Where (rough location)
  • When (rough time)
  • Why (reasoning for the encounter)
  • How much (possible haul for the encounter set) 
New Frugal GM Product: Who's Watching the Weir?
You also get a numbered list of encounters with some possibly useful tidbits of information. What you don't get is explicit flavor text and monster stat blocks. I feel both get in the way and limit the usefulness of the encounter set. Don't think Orcs are tough enough? Easily substitute Hobgoblins.

The first Tweak & Toss, Trouble at Karst Cavern, was specifically written with HackMaster in mind and even went so far as to have Hacklopedia of Beast page numbers listed. Who's Watching the Weir is system-less so it'll work with any OSR game (including HackMaster) and the level listed is only a rough suggestion as it is so easy to Tweak things and Toss it into your game.