Free GM Resource: Revisiting Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game (You Should Re-Visit...)

Free GM Resource: Revisiting Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game (You Should Re-Visit...)
I know, I know.....recycling old Free GM Resources two weeks in a row....kind of not cool. 

Thing is this is not my intention....I mean I didn't intend to do recycle...I was actually thinking of skipping this week or at least putting off until later in the week. I'm going back to work next week for my old employer and then switching over to a new employer next month and both of these companies have me doing a bunch of on-boarding to do, tons of read & signs.

Then I'm also trying to finish up some open personal projects before my way-too-much-free-time goes away.....

......anyway I was taking a break and I saw what looked like a PC Sheet booklet in this one YouTube ad (for a completely different gaming "thing"), so I wanted to see if I could find it online. I'd like to make a generic OSR PC Character Booklet and while it's for my own use I figured if there is something out there already, maybe "close enough" would save me a lot of effort.

So I start searching for one thing and after a series of link hopping I land on the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game Downloads page. What I'm after is definitely not on this page, but holy cow....there's some awesome stuff here. Now I had shared this download page as a resource back in ....2016! A lot has been added in the last 5 1/2 years, and even if you remember back that far, there's more than enough to warrant a second look.

Of course newer updates to the game and more adventures are going to be the main draw, but what I really geeked out over were the ancillary downloads. New classes, spells, rules, and of course character sheets galore. Yeah, those are pretty cool, my interest was a bit deeper, towards the ass-end of the download list. You know, those odds and ends that often get overlooked. Things like the Adventure Sheet and Adventure Log.

Yeah I geek out over the stuff most groups would probably never use.....

I didn't want to link to the individual items that I'm mentioning 'cause that's not cool and besides, you need to check out the whole page of downloads.


Free GM Resource Recycle and Contribution Opportunity....

Free GM Resource Recycle and Contribution Opportunity....

This week's Free GM Resource is most definitely a recycle AND very much not a "freebie", kind of a messed up Twofer.

I know I've shared the One Page Dungeon before, but this isn't a one-off, but a yearly contest, so coming back periodically is not a bad idea......

What is also not a bad idea is to spend some of your resources (namely time and ideas), I know kind of the opposite of the normal purpose of these posts, to contribute to this year's One Page Dungeon Contest.

The rules are pretty simple, but in short you get one shot and it has to be one page. You've got the rest of this month.


Limited Time Freebie: Shadowrun Videogame Trilogy at GOG


Limited Time Freebie: Shadowrun Videogame Trilogy at GOG
I know it isn't Monday, but I wanted to give my 12 13 readers more than 7 hours notice to grab this goodie over at GOG.com.

Do you remember Shadowrun? Yes, that Shadowrun. Now I've never played the RPG, but having come off of finishing Cyberpunk 2077 on my Xbox, so I'm all for more futuristic Cyberpunk/D&D mashup video game......oh and it's three games, well sign my happy ass up!

Seriously though, if you even think you might like to play a trio of Shadowrun games, head over to GOG now/today/ASAP and click on the green "Go to giveaway" bar 


My New Favorite Source for Picture Frames: Frame Destination


My New Favorite Source for Picture Frames: Frame Destination
OK guys, this week's GM Resource is probably going to rub my older/regular/12 13 readers the wrong way because I'm going to promote something that is so not cheap: picture framing.

Now if you're like me at all, and I'll argue in this one instance you're closer than you're farther away.....you like RPG Art. Maybe you managed to plop down $5K for an original Jeff Easley (saw this at this year's NTRPG) or you lucked out at a $100 Artist Proof Jeff Easley (I think it was $100), OR, and much more my speed, you bought got a cool original Jason Braun painting for $50. Heck, I got some cool stuff for $10 & $20 too.

Now I'm not going to talk about the value or art one way or another except to say it's only worth what you value it at, unless you sell it, which then it's only worth whatever price you get for it.

The thing is collecting RPG art doesn't have to be expensive, but properly framing said art for display? That is almost always an expensive endeavor. Take that poster to your local frame shop and it'll be cheap if you come out $100 poorer. That's for one piece. Odds are if it's a poster-sized print that'll be closer to two Benjamins.....

......I'm not even exaggerating here. Properly matting and framing art gets expensive quick.

Over the last nine months or so I've been finally matting and framing the various prints I've collected over the last couple of decades. No, I am not rich.

I've saved a ton of cash by purchasing a matt cutter, buying glass & plexiglass from the home store to cut myself. Matt board by itself is relatively cheap. Glass & plexiglass is also relatively cheap (though if you have a really valuable piece you might want specialty glass)......but frames? Not so much.

Now I've tried to make my own wooden frames a couple of times and I have yet to be happy with the results. After a few attempts I've just decided that I'd rather have black metal frames.......which obviously I cannot make.

Fortunately for me I found a cheap place that did cut-to-order frame pieces, called chops, for a great price. Unfortunately they recently closed business after 49 years....UGH.

Home Framed By Me, relatively cheap
After my last convention I didn't want to just toss my new artwork onto the pile of needing-to-be-frame prints, so I had to search for a new frame vendor. I found exactly what I was looking for in Frame Destination. Now they weren't as inexpensive as my previous vendor (but with the recent inflation I doubt if they were still in business they'd be cheaper), but they still had great prices, quick shipping, and I am actually happier product-wise, with the chops from Frame Destination. I was able to get an 8x10, a couple 11x14, a 11x17, and a 16x20 frame (in parts), with accompanying hanging hardware for $105 with shipping! I'm not certain I could find cheap plastic frames at the local hobby store for this price.

Now I didn't get glass, matt, or even backing boards since I had all of that already, but it would have been super easy to pick that up as well. Nothing special there....BUT if I needed specialty glass, it would have been an easy click away. 

Lastly, and this is a HUGE deal for me and likely not for you, these guys are in the Dallas area. Now I have some rather larger posters I still need to have framed. Large enough that getting the glass custom cut would be a PITA. Large enough that shipping would require an over-sized charge....but Frame Destination offers local pickup!

Now I realize that this resource isn't free, and far from cheap, but it is Frugal.


Frugal GM Resource: Dollar Store Finds

Frugal GM Resource: Dollar Store Finds
I'm not 100% on this notion, but I think that after nine years or so I've painted myself into a corner with the whole idea of trying to share a Free GM Resource on Mondays. Clearly I haven't been at it for the entire time with breaks and skips, but still.....

The problem, as I see it, is twofold, but I'm only going to focus on the first problem.

Foremost by focusing on "Free" I'm missing out on sharing not only resources that have a cost, but also resources that focus on other areas of concern (time, weight, and ideas/inspiration). Kind of the original idea for this blog!

This is something I can fix easily enough by sharing more resources that are not free, but if I find some good freebies I will still share them!

This morning I was killing time at the "Dollar Store" waiting for my cell phone office to open up and I found some great stuff to help with my game. I picked up three items which I'm sharing today. The reason for the post is really one thing, but since I bought three things for my game I'm going to share all three, and save the "big" money & idea resource for last.

Three dollar store finds

The first find was some real low-hanging fruit: a set of RPG dice. This isn't anything new.....you did know that Dollar Tree carries dice, right? Now as I'm a bit of a dice snob, I'm not really going to use these for my regular dice, but if someone comes to a game sans dice? Here you go. I used to keep an ugly pink set for players to borrow when they forgot their dice, which worked fine until they rolled well and the player preferred them over their regular dice. No more expensive dice to loan out now!

 The second find was something I've been on the lookout for a while as a supply item for terrain building: a smooth disposable aluminum baking pan. There are times when you need some metal for a build, but aluminum foil is just too thin. These pans are much more rigid, but easily cut & sliced. My main problem is that overwhelmingly most pans of this weight are highly patterned. It is hard to find a nice piece of straight, clean thicker metal that you can work easily, but this fits the bill perfectly. One pan also goes a long way, material wise.

The last item, and something I wish I had at my last con, is a simple 4x6 (or 6x4 as they labeled it) plexiglass picture holder. These things run at least three times as much (if you buy in a 10 pack!) at the office supply store and are easily overlooked there to begin with. Now, at a buck this is a cheaper/frugal resource.....but what do you use this for? Well, these work well as a player or a GM. Now in your home game everyone generally knows each other, but at a convention game? With a larger 4x6 notecard and a good black marker you have a relatively unobtrusive name placard. The player (or GM) can write the PC's name on the card and no more "What's your name again?" or calling players by name instead of PC name, which can be an in-game drawback. Also, if the GM needs it, you could put the PC's AC on the card as well.

Now these particular picture holders are angled back a bit, which I like a bit more at the table, but if you find/use the more vertical ones, you can add another card facing the player where they can record info if they want, assuming they have a wet-erase marker than can write on plastic. I've used this as a player to keep track of expendable items, HP tally....and when I was playing HackMaster, largest hit (was worth extra HP to have the "biggest hit" of the game and IIRC taking the biggest critical hit as well).


My "Haul" From North Texas RPG Con 2021


North Texas RPG Con 2021
I know I usually post a Free GM Resource on Mondays, but I just got back from what might be my only convention of 2021 so instead I'm doing a bit of a "loot list" of what I managed to acquire at the convention.....and I'm definitely burying the lead.

I did get to host a Whiskey Tasting at the convention, which was live-streamed over at Tenkar's Tavern, and I have a specifically vague accounting of my Friday night DCC game where I "won" through a lucky failure.

I had a great time at the convention and I could easily make a bunch of posts about each game and everything that went on, but I'll keep it simple and share my "stuff" instead of my "experiences".......I already did the one PC story and that's usually more than most want to read or listen to.

Now as far as my takings, er haul, at the con......

NTRPG 2018 Items
First off I picked up a couple of items I missed because I didn't get to go to NTRPG 2018 because I had just moved to Oklahoma from Idaho and had to save every nickle because I'd been told on what was to be day 1 of my new job that I wasn't hired.

That's almost a story unto itself, but not for this blog. 

Basically an adventure and what seems like a reprint of a Judge's Guild treasure map book.

NTRPG Con 2021 Adventure

Speaking of adventures, I picked up this year's convention adventure, along with the special-printing version (the one in green). The corner or every single copy of the limited-edition printing was dinged/bent, so that wasn't something I did. It was almost funny seeing some collectors spend way too much time going through every copy looking for an un-dinged one for their collection. It would be funny if they weren't holding up the line/register, but I need the practice in patience, so I did my best not to let it bother me.

Con Game Printed for Players
Again, since I'm still on adventures, I was surprised when the GM for one of my games had printed copies of the adventure we played for each and every player. This was pretty cool.

New Creature Compendium

My buddy Richard over at New Big Dragon Games Unlimited wasn't going to be able to attend the convention for reasons. I volunteered to spend some free time at his booth and help out as I could. To my surprise he had the first three volumes of his forthcoming four volume book/box set of new monsters printed up as a NTRPG 2021 special "thing" and he gifted me a copy. At $15 a set I was more than happy to pay for it and was actually getting out my cash when I found out it was free! 

Stuff I Largely Didn't Need
I bought these three Dungeoneer/Judges' Guild magazines, and this GM Screen because I'm an idiot...kind of. I wanted The Dungeoneer 1-6 Compendium as a reading copy and the other two magazines were because I had failed to record that I already owned them back home. The Chivalry & Sorcery GM Screen was picked up to round out my purchase to the nearest $5. The thin books on the bottom were some freebies I got when purchasing the other stuff.....and one of them is also a dupe.

Phylactery Zines
I didn't do a lot of Zines this convention because, well because I've gotten a bot overloaded on Zines in general. I am glad I picked up these two volumes of Phylactery because I found it to be a great Zine, one I can see myself actually using vs. reading once and storing away.....

5th Printing AD&D GM Record Book
Almost forgot to include this beautiful 5th printing of the AD&D DM Adventure Log. I liked (and used) the HackMaster version of this product, but I've never seen the original in the wild, so when I did I had to get one.

Jason Braun Art
I spent what initially seemed like a good chunk of change on this smaller painting from Jason Braun. I got a couple of cheap prints from him a couple years ago at my 1st NTRPG and it felt like he was just starting out and even though the prints were a bit "meh", I loved the art itself and getting an original painting........now I'm thinking I got it for a steal. He was a guest at the whiskey tasting so I don't feel as bad for getting this at a good price.

Ed Bickford Art
Jason shared some table space with Ed Bickford, who technically has a website but really should be linked to Facebook for now. Now I'm a fan of cool B&W art....Braun's stuff I got earlier was B&W.....so I knew when I got the painting I was going to pick up a couple of Ed's original sketches. Most were a bit sci-fi for my tastes, but I loved this grown-up Sea Monkey bit and the other bandit attack. I'm seriously considering making basically a large Sea Monkey tank-looking frame for the one picture......I think it'd be cool.

Isle of Dreadmoor Map
The last bit of art I got was not intentional, at least not on my part. The GM for one of my other games gave everyone this cool poster for the game. It's only Letter sized, but the picture doesn't do it justice. When I saw this I thought maybe I had signed up for a Far Away Land game, but nope, just a slightly modified BX game like I had expected. The cool thing was that this print was actually the map for the game! Cool idea, great game, and a worthwhile souvenir. 

Tom Tullis T-Shirt
I managed to acquire one item at the Midnight auction this year, a rather large "bootleg" T-Shirt featuring Tom Tullis on the front. I like Tom and champion Fat Dragon Games when I have the chance. I also like poking fun at him on Facebook and now I can do so as well at a convention!

D&D Electronic Game

At the regular auction I paid WAY too much for a complete but untested copy of this D&D Electronic Game. Now I did not know how much they go for on eBay, but I don't do eBay and this was a fundraiser for the convention, so overpaying for something is usually the point.....but not as badly as it is at the midnight auction. It was not uncommon for folks to tack on up to $25 to round up their winning bid to an even amount......well something ending in $50 or $00 anyway. I'm not displeased with this purchase, so win-win.

D&D White Box, 7th Printing
Every year just before the main auction they hold a raffle, and the big raffle item everybody wanted was this 7th Printing of the Dungeons & Dragons White Box.

Yep, I was the lucky SOB who got to take it home.

The books inside are in great shape and the box has one tear in the corner, but is otherwise excellent for as old as it is. I NEVER thought I'd get a White Box...period, so I consider myself doubly lucky. I cannot wait to display it with my 2nd Printing of the Dungeon! board game.

I did get a new RPG gifted to me that I forgot to take a picture of, but I might do a review on it instead because one of the guys from my gaming group just gushed on the game and even though it doesn't seem like my kind of thing, my interest is definitely piqued.


Free GM Resource: Welcome to the Feast of Legends RPG


Free GM Resource: Welcome to the Feast of Legends RPG
This week's Free GM Resource is definitely tongue-in-cheek, but it is a "full" free RPG from the most unlikely source: a fast-food company!

Feast of Legends is an...interesting RPG from Wendy's. Now I've only given it a once-over and my initial thoughts were that it's a bad joke and not very playable. It seemed to me that the game seemed a bit overly generous with player buffs based on food......

.....oh and pretty much everything is based on food. The gag probably gets old quickly, but it is what it is. In-game buffs based on what you're eating at the game table? Might be a bit much, but I really do think you could have some fun with it.

I'd tell my group we're playing a one-off and then arrange for the group to make a Wendy's run for a meal while creating characters. Make it a thing and go nuts.....enjoy it for what it is.

The PDF download comes with it's own combo GM's Guide and Adventure/Campaign, which isn't really obvious at 1st glance because the PDF isn't bookmarked and the initial table of contents only covers the 1st 25 pages or so. 

It's pretty much a full game, a lot more for a one-off than I would have expected. The website has a die roller and separate character sheets with pre-gens. It feels a bit 3.5/Pathfinderish, but the there are some interesting differences, like different stats that use d4's for generation and standard d4's for hit points as you level. That might be part of the offset for those buffs I mentioned earlier, but like with most any game (much less a one-off) YMMV.


Free GM Resource: Tiny Buildings from Crooked Staff Terrain


Free GM Resource: Tiny Buildings from Crooked Staff Terrain
A lot of times when I toss out a Free GM Resource it's just something I've found that I thought my 12 13 regular readers might like. A fair bit of time it is something I think I'd like as well. Rarely, is it something I'm really excited about....

...and today is one of those times.

For a long while now I've been kicking around the idea of making miniature (compared to the scale of common gaming minis!) buildings/terrain. I really like the idea behind Hexton Hills and bought into their Kickstarter, but that is really small scale good for countryside. I wanted something bigger that I could see actually using at the game table, something I could customize and use at the game table in conjunction with a battle map....it doesn't have to be something workable for miniature battles, but maybe a sweet-spot between straight up maps and larger in-scale (to character figures) dioramas.

I want that!

Thing is, the best I could come up with, based on my skill levels, were basically meeple-ish buildings. Just chunks of wood plopped down to represent stuff. Nothing cool or fancy.

When I saw this video from Crooked Staff Terrain on Youtube....

This is exactly what I was envisioning, but something like 10,000% better. Ideas are pretty damned worthless unless you can execute, so you can imagine how great it was for me to see Crooked Staff show me what I wanted, not what I could manage by myself.....well now I can manage by myself. I've already downloaded their template and had the print shop run off some nice laser prints on cardstock.

I need to do some figuring out still, but what I want to do is mount these onto hexagons to make small villages that I could use at the game table. I'm thinking that what I want to do is look up some old village maps and recreate these onto the hexes such that I could mix and match to make different villages. I don't know if I'll mount them to foam core or (and this is more likely) hardboard. Of course cutting accurate hexes could be an issue......could be.

You'll want to go get the free/PWYW PDF over at DriveThruRPG at this link.