Freebie Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook

Freebie Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook
This isn't so much a "Free GM Resource" but a straight-up freebie from Stephen Chenault of Troll Lord Games (TLG). He posted a rather long, but good, post on Facebook today about the state of TLG and their ability to continue forward with their Kickstarters and printing.

1st off, Kudos for making the decision to source locally when possible. I think a lot of people will be looking to do so when this Coronovirus Crisis ends......but I think most will just go back to doing whatever is cheapest.

2nd, now is the perfect time to start your family on RPGs. Add a little time-consuming fun to the family table.

3rd, We ALL have our preferred game systems and for me Castles & Crusades is not one of them. Why? Honestly I've never tried it. Now I can......my point though is that while YOU might have a preferred system, they all have their strengths and weaknesses and if you want to introduce your family to RPGs, you might need to try something different.

Basically, pick up a free copy of the Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook. Try it for yourself and try it for your family! You know the drill.....click on the post's lead-in graphic or use this link.

FGM Note: The free Players Handbook is technically all you actually need to run a game of Castles & Crusades. There are more books you can get, but to start you can get by with this one tome. It doesn't have monsters, but in a pinch you can use pretty much any D&D/AD&D monster block and remember they get a +1 to their attack role for every hit dice they have (which is detailed in the Players Handbook). I know it isn't free, but digital copies of many C&C Adventures are $7....


Humble Bundle D&D Terrain Supporting Direct Relief

Humble Bundle D&D Terrain Supporting Direct Relief
I just found out about a good opportunity to get some good 3d and cardstock terrain pieces at a good price.

Humble is doing a bundle supporting the Direct Relief charity and you can get a LOT of great pieces for not a whole lot of money.

This bundle is being backed by 3dprintcraft, Hobgoblin 3d, Frog God Games, and Fat Dragon Games, so you know you'll be getting some quality stuff*.  I already have a ton of this product already, but the stuff I don't have is a great deal....

For example:
Hobgoblin 3d Market Set

This market stall bundle retails for $14.99 on the Hobgoblin 3d site, and is on sale for $6 right now. If I pledge/donate $8 to the Humble Bundle I'll get it along with 14 other products! Even though/if I have half of the other products I'm so far ahead with the other half it isn't even funny.

I highly suggest jumping on this if you do any 3d printing, although there are some good paper models included as well!

Frugal GM Tip: Make sure you look at where your money is going since you'll get the option to choose how much goes where. I noticed that the bulk of the default recipient of your $$$ was going to a publisher that doesn't have  product that is part of the bundle!
Double-check where the $ is going
I have been told that FGG did help coordinate the bundle, but still....

*Apologies if I missed anyone....


Free GM Resource: 3d Print Files for Printing Maps & Terrain

Free GM Resource: 3d Print Files for Printing Maps & Terrain
One thing I have really wanted to do since realizing what a 3d printer could do was to be able to print out some of my maps for table-top use. Now I don't need a large or gaming scale printout, although that would be as cool as it would be resource intensive, but a mini version of the map more akin to tiles......that would be cool.

Evidently there will be a Kickstarter next month doing almost EXACTLY what I've been thinking about, but in a more useful hex-crawl standard tiles sort of way....which I'll share when it goes live.

Anyway...this article from the Prusa Printer's blog details how you can download and convert the necessary digital information so you could take and print out a section of real-world terrain on your 3d printer. Most everything mentioned being used is free, but even the stuff with a cost seems to have some trial periods should you need to take advantage of that.

The article can be accessed in the normal fashion: clicking on the graphic above or by using this link. I'm looking forward to having some of my maps (I often alter real-world locations) printed up.


Quick Thoughts about the Secrets of Blackmoor: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons

Quick Thoughts about the Secrets of Blackmoor: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons
Earlier this month I got my DVD copy of Secrets of Blackmoor: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons. I watched the documentary, but not all of the bonus footage I got on the second DVD as a backer perk. I thought maybe I'd do a review, but for the kind of reviews I do......yeah, that's a hard pass for me, but I thought a couple quick thoughts on the DVD would be doable.

First off, I'm a bit of a history fan and I've been gathering up several books and videos on the subject of D&D. I backed this project quickly because I thought it'd be a good fit for my library, a fun view, and maybe fill in some gaps in my knowledge.

On a couple levels, this project did fit those parameters....but maybe it was a bit short on the "fun view". It wasn't bad, a bit dry, but really.........this was NOT the "true history of Dungeons & Dragons". The connection to D&D almost felt tacked on. The Secrets of Blackmoor was a good introduction to some early Role-Playing Games and the community that Dave Arneson came from, but it was really a documentary about Blackmoor.

I mean, Blackmoor is in the freaking title.......but so is Dungeons & Dragons.

I'm hoping when I get around to reading some of my other books, and watch the video from my other Kickstarter The Dreams in Gary's Basement: A Documentary on Gary Gygax....after that a second viewing might be in order and then maybe it'll click for me.


Free GM Resource: Tabletop Witchcraft YouTube Channel

Free GM Resource: Tabletop Witchcraft YouTube Channel
I clearly haven't been very busy with the blog (and gaming in general) as of late, and I won't insult anyone's intelligence with excuses, rationale, or reasoning.

I have actually started back up with some d30 stuff and a number of other projects, all of which will find their way here........and I would like to thank a few people who have reached out to me lately to say they miss what I've been doing.....

One of the things I have been doing lately is watching a LOT of YouTube.  One of my (new to me) channels is Tabletop Witchcraft. I know what you're thinking, "Oh yeah, another foam terrain crafter on YouTube....how quaint."

1st of all, screw you and your condensation.....actually I kid because odds are if you're reading this you're cool with the hobby and probably watch a few crafters already. You've probably thought to yourself, "I could do this!" when seeing these crafting videos, and in this case that'd be a spot-on observation.

As of the time of this post Tabletop Witchcraft has less than 30 videos, and several multi-part videos. One thing that I love about Tabletop Witchcraft, and what really sets this channel apart, is the fact that a lot of the builds have building diagrams, basically blueprints, available on DriveThruRPG. The most expensive is $5, but most are free or PWYW. You can pick up the "blueprints" as stencils to cut out the building parts and then use the videos as a how-to guide. I think that is pretty cool.

This is the video I'm watching (well, it's on in the background....) as I type up this post:

I've been thinking about making river terrain and while I want longer pieces, I really like the process and how these came out.

PS. I have a couple more YouTube Channels I'll be featuring in the future, but I'm planning on spacing them out no more than one a month.


Free GM Resource: RPG Dice Roller v2.3

Free GM Resource: RPG Dice Roller v2.3
It's been a month since I've posted last...for reasons, but I'm prepared to come back to regular Free GM Resource postings and I'd like to start doing some maps, tables, and reviews, but for now....

Here we have a cool, offline computer (Windows) die roller from one "Zsolt Nagy"....a pseudonym if I've ever seen one. The RPG Dice Roller is a pretty straight-forward roller. It has the basic die types a click away, along with a "custom" die. You can roll multiple dice and apply modifiers as well.

The only problem I've had with this program is if I just hammer the "roll" button like a test monkey on crack  it will lock up for a moment without giving me the interim rolls. Seriously though, you have to be a bit of an idiot to make this happen and even then it doesn't crash the program.

I like the idea of having a stand-alone die roller program so I can make secret rolls on the sly if needed.


Remembering Steve "Stevil" Johannson

Remembering Steve "Stevil" Johannson
Samuel Luke Fildes -The Empty Chair
As my 12 13 regular readers know, HackMaster is my RPG game of choice. I used to volunteer for the publisher, Kenzer & Company, in several different positions and I considered everyone at KenzerCo friends, even though we've been a bit estranged over the last few years (for reasons equally important and stupid, but neither here nor there.)

Years ago a tradition was started at KenzerCo and honored over the years as a part of the Knights of the Dinner Table and at "Official" Tournament games of HackMaster where an empty chair was designated to represent a gamer who has passed away. I even bought a special folding chair just for this purpose back when I was organizing a lot of tournaments. I cannot find my copy of the accompanying poem, which has been printed and re-printed time & time again in KoDT (the link on the KenzerCo page is 404'd).

This last weekend we lost Steve Johannson, part of the D-Team at KenzerCo. I don't know the details and I suspect I don't want to know, but I regret my part in letting that relationship sour.....regardless of the reason. We worked on an adventure together, one that I had hoped would be the first of many, but it was not meant to be.

I got to play HackMaster with Stevil.....I always thought the character of Stevil Van Hostile was based off of Steve's epic rants (The one about how "mint" adventure modules were an affront to common decency will always stick with me) and I often referred to him as Stevil, but not so much to his face, but it was my endearing nickname, not meant to be mean.

The thing is, pretty much like everyone at KenzerCo (and I'm sure most everyone at every game company) Steve was a regular guy, a good guy. As long as you didn't let him drink too much, or imbibe too much myself, it was fun just to hang out with him. As far as gaming goes...I remember him rolling up a 1st level Mage with a pole-arm so when his spell points ran out he could spend the rest of the night on the spell "Cast Spear". He ran some of us through a side trek outside of the Village of Hommlet and awarded us some treasure of used underwear just so the nekkid barbarian could have some clothes.....There was also that one time he decided he didn't want to roll up a "real" character and instead made a torchbearer. Really hammed up the part at the table. There was that party we crashed the one year where they had real shitty bologna & white-bread "sammiches" that he couldn't seem to get enough of...
Steve & BA at GaryCon 2013
Stevil chewing out BA

I'm sure if I think about it I could come up with a few more funny Stevil tales, but all they do is remind me how much he'll be missed. My heart goes out to his family, both biological and at KenzerCo. I cannot imagine the grief they must be in now and how his absence will affect them on so many levels. I can join the legion of KenzerCo fans who will want to post "The Empty Chair", but to have to actually live with that empty chair.......

Please keep a good thought for Steve's family, I'm sure they could use it.


New d30 Table is Up/Out: FGM045a Random Business (Building) Generator.

New d30 Table is Up/Out: FGM045a Random Business (Building) Generator.
The last couple of weeks I've been overseas on a business trip and while I was gone I had some down time where I was stuck in my hotel due to a fricken typhoon......and it's name was LingLing!

I can't make this stuff up!

What I was able to make up though was the beginning of a series of planned d30 tables for making a business for a fantasy RPG community: FGM045a Random Business (Building) Generator.

Usually I go big to small and figure out how many businesses/shops/whatever are in a given locale and work from there.

FGM045a Random Business (Building) Generator.
What I didn't have, and took a far more math than I ever expected, was something for taking an unknown business......as in, "The party has walked up to the nearest storefront.", and figured out what it is or could be.  Figuring up the percentages and making everything work with two d30 rolls was the ugly fun part.

I'm happy with the way the tables worked out, but I'm cognizant that this is of limited use to most, which is why I have at least one follow-on d30 table-set planned to help round things out.

If you're one of my regular 13 readers, please feel free to pick one up (just put $0 in the Pay What You Want box).