Monday, April 6, 2020

Completed Outdoor Survival Map (For Real This Time)

5 versions I've released
1. Clean (No Grid, no political borders, no battle sites just the terrain, cities, water basin, and the deer locations I decided should be villages and hamlets)
2. Clean with Grid.
2a. Clean with Thick Grid (I think this will be the standard from here on out, thank you Hispalensis on Reddit for the suggestion)
3. My Completed Version. It has everything. Borders, battle sites, grid. This is what will be used for my campaign.
3a. Completed with Thick Grid
4. Clean without cities, keeps, etc... This is so you can place whatever you want, wherever you want (Thank you to Carl Heyl from for the suggestion, also, totally checkout the Save or Die podcast for an excellent Classic D&D podcast)
5. #4 with Grid

My work is finally complete. I did end up changing some of the deer locations on the map to villages and hamlets where it didn't make much sense to be a battle sight. I made the middle desert elevated. That way it makes a bit more sense why no one has gotten deep into it. I'm also intended for it to run in my campaign using Wayne Rossi's Implied OD&D Setting as seen here

So for me, I've decided the middle desert will be a barsoomian land. With all the creatures from the Underworld & Wilderness Adventures book. The 4 kingdoms are fighting to take control of this, and hopefully capture some of its technology and maybe people? for themselves. The City in the middle, I suppose will be something the Barsoomians have built. The swamp in the south west will have some of the prehistoric monsters also listed in U&WA, hence why neither the south or west kingdom have actually captured the swamps. The wizard towers in the middle and swamp will hopefully help explain why these creatures are here. Maybe they're actually from mars, or maybe they're some weird summoned creature from past/future or aether.

I decided on 4 kingdoms based on how cities were laid out on the map. there are 5 in the middle, making a + formation, then 4 on the outskirts (1 on each edge). My intention is to run this using the OD&D lbbs (no supplements) and to experiment with using combat from chainmail. My hope is that the players will eventually get into domain play, and help a kingdom, or create their own? and seek out the area themselves.

Any changes I may make in the future, will likely be naming the kingdoms, rivers, towns, etc... But that will be for my own campaign use. If someone wants it (and I have actually done it) I'll share it, but I figure people will want to make it their own.

Once again, if you like the map, want it in a bigger or smaller size (or even the original), would like some feature turned on or off (assuming it isn't something that is going to take me hours to do it), I'll happily do it and share it. 

The images posted here are much smaller than the originals. It seems to mess with my blog when I share it in the original size. Thanks for taking a look!






6 (just preparing room for the future in case there are more requests)

Friday, April 3, 2020

Completed Modernized Outdoor Survival Map

So I finally completed the map. I'm sure I'll have to go through again with a finer tooth comb and fix things here or there, but this looks about as good as I could hope for so far. I honestly thought this project would take quite a bit more time than it ended up taking. I decided to go with an idea of 4 kingdoms matching the 4 cities on the outside edges, and 4 of the 5 cities in the middle of the map, all vying for control over the city in the middle, and the desert in the middle. I'm using Wayne Rossi's implied OD&D setting using the outdoor survival map for my own setting ideas. so the desert in the middle will be filled with barsoomian creatures, that maybe the 3 wizards towers on the entrances have something to do with? Maybe these creatures have something to do with the city in the middle? The swamp that no one has in the southwest will also fit the prehistoric age. Neither of the kingdoms surrounding it have done much to try to take it over. I rolled using the OD&D book 3 Underworld and Wilderness Adventures table for the ponds on the map. This gave us some castles/keeps, wizards towers, and monasteries. The deer on the map I had to put more work into. I divided the kingdoms with the borders, trying to use the natural features, especially rivers and mountains to determine where the borders were. Once I had the borders, I tried to have the deer near the borders be areas currently being contested. Others ended up being watchtowers, or old ruins, either of the current kingdom, or some ancient civilizations. Anyway, I saved the map with and without the political borders for those that would prefer it that way. I am more than happy to save the map with other features removed for those that would like that. Just ask and if it isn't completely unreasonable for me to make the change, I'll do it. I'm obviously not going to spend hours and hours doing something, but most changes I can think of wouldn't really be too much work.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Updated Outdoor Survival Map

So I have been considering running and OD&D LBB & Chainmail game recently. My thought was to experiment with the chainmail combat systems, alongside the alternative combat system, while using Outdoor Survival map and Wayne Rossi's document on the implied setting of D&D. With this in mind I've been working on modernizing the Outdoor Survival map using Campaign Cartographer. I've been releasing updates on the odd74 boards here:

Eventually my image files became too large for imgur to host, so I thought I'd pull out the old blog in hopes it could host them. Right now, I'd estimate I'm halfway done, but I'm sure some things will come up and surprise me and I'll only really be like 10%. So here is my current progress:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May the 4th be with you

So, in honor of May the 4th, and this recent awesome post on I got to thinking about WEG Star Wars d6.

This system might be the perfect system to introduce to new roleplayers. A few reasons for this:
1: It is one of the simplest game systems there is. You have a few stats and skills, everything is just a few d6. You don't have to learn weird polyhedrals, just how many dice you throw!
2: It is a setting nearly everyone knows. While Tolkien fantasy is up there as well, I'm sure most people have a better familiarity with Star Wars. Plus, what if they don't understand your fantasy goblins? you can just easily make up whatever description of weird alien and it'll come across.
3: It is (or can be) fast paced and cinematic once you get it down. You want to slide across the hood of your land speeder while taking a shot at the storm trooper across the way? no problem. 2 actions, make each at -1 dice and boom your done.
4: Templates let you get into the game super quick. No need to walk through character creation except putting some dice down for skills. What skills do you think your character will use? the templates already have the common ones marked for that archetype.

Even for GMs, it is easy to come up with a creature on the fly. You don't need all the stats, put extra dice into whatever you think is relevant, describe it and go. There are things about 1e I love, and there are different things about the fan-made 2e REUP (revised, expanded, and updated, found here: that I love. 1e is so simple there isn't even initiative. Whoever rolls highest on their first action or opposed action goes first. As a GM you don't even need to tell your player your roll. Say you rolled your opposed blaster shot first, but it missed, you could say it missed and was first and it won't affect anything. Just keep the narrative going and have actions happen where they make sense. REUP on the other hand, has the same core mechanics, but has so many extra ships, aliens, droids, etc... You can find nearly anything you want in REUP. I also really enjoy the Wild Die. At times it can slow down the game, but it is nice that it can really help you gain success with something you have a low stat in.

Another great thing, you don't need to use it just for Star Wars. It is easily converted to a generic Science Fantasy (heck you can get the free d6 space if you wanted), or even to normal fantasy. The cinematic rules can work well in any setting, just strip the Star Wars skin.

In honor of today, I had lulu make a set of the 1e rules in 4 saddle stitch booklets for my next face-to-face group. I can just hand the players a few copies of the players section that cost <$5 to have lulu make. I also ordered a new copy of REUP as well (with a different cover than my current copy). Honestly I'm jonesing to run some Star Wars d6. We were playing a campaign online, but my GM quit for some reason.

If you haven't given WEG Star Wars a shot, you really should! It is one of the best systems I've ever played. Sometimes it gets to be an insane amount of dice, but REUP has a nice chart to simplify any roll over 5d.

Here is my current WEG collection (yes that REUP is full color!):

You can find my group playing it in the following youtube playlist: Star Wars REUP one-shot and mini campaign.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Basic FantasyCampaign, Session 10, Nearly a TPK

So our 10th session was essentially a TPK if not for some DM Fiat.

Our thief was out this session, but the rest of the guys were eager to continue on, so we pressed forward! The group wanted to go back and check on Ergo and help him clear the cave. Their hope was to get the travelling priests help (aka the evil priest in b2). They went by, and the priest said he wasn't interested in going to Ergo's cave, but said he would meet them near the Caves of Chaos later after a lot of persistence from the PCs.

So the party went to check on Ergo, only to check the first den where they immediately met him. They found some scattered bones and rotting meats, but didn't find him, didn't look around anymore, and left thinking they'd check back again soon. On they went to the caves of chaos.

The PCs were pleasantly surprised that the travelling priest Chromula was there with his 2 acolytes. After greeting each other, they agreed to enter one of the caves (the goblin cave). They formed their marching order with the priest and his 2 acolytes in the back, lit up a torch and pressed on. After some careful searching, they ran across a band of Goblins on patrol in the caves. Suddenly the call "BREEYARK!" was made and the goblins got into position to attack the party. Soon another band came and attacked from the rear. The party was pinned in and desperately trying to fight the Goblins on their end while the Priest and the acolytes tried to sell the fight between them and the other Goblins. It wasn't long however before Chromula cast a Hold Person on one of the PCs and him and the acolytes broke through the Goblins and left. The PCs, brilliantly fighting, managed to over come the hoard of Goblins. They decided they should leave the caves, learning the true nature of Chromula and his silent lackeys.

On their way out they found Chromula laughing hysterically as his 2 acolytes raised their weapons. He warned the party to surrender or face his wrath. This is what you get for investigating the caves. The PCs swiftly took to action and charged the acolytes. Chromula decided he'd cast a silence 15' radius over the PCs and acolytes as he stepped back to prepare some more spells. Suddenly Sylwen and Eldor had succumbed to a hold person. Markas and Dongan shoved them aside and made quick work of the Acolytes. Try as they may, they could not overcome Chromula himself though. He continued to ask for their surrender as he slowly wore them down. Finally Dongan fell to his might and he started shouting to Markas, give up now and I'll spare you! Markas couldn't accept surrender being unsure of what would happen to his friends and fought until finally he had fallen to Chromula as well.

At this point, it was looking like a TPK, except that Plimble Mae had missed out and was in time. I came up with an idea though. Markas and Dongan were lost, but the Goblins kidnapped Eldor and Sylwen. They stole all of their gear and kept them for a month, trying to question and torture them. Eventually the kicked them out of the cave with nothing but some rags.

They finally made it back to the keep, unsure of what to do. They were out of money, so they both had to ask Corporal Oliver for some work. He offered to let them patrol with the guards, in return he'd give them a place to stay, feed them with the guards, and them them some short swords.

I've been busy with work, so we've been on hiatus, so we're all waiting to see what happens now. I'm just glad I was able to keep it from being a true TPK, but keep some hard consequences. My players know that I'm not holding back, but they also know I'm not out to kill them. They had a feeling the Chromula would do this, but didn't expect it to be as bad, or that their dice would fail them so.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

D&D 5e Session 2 & Continuing thoughts

What can I say about D&D 5e? My group loves it, and I have to admit I'm quite fond of it too. I haven't purposefully houseruled anything yet, but I'm sure some exist from our mutual lack of understanding of all the rules. I am absolutely positive that I will be running a 5e campaign after we're done with this adventure. This session had some hard moments, but still nothing quite as deadly as what I'm used to in the OSR. We'll see what happens!

We're still running the Lost Mines of Phandelver.

This session saw my players make it out to the Cragmaw Caves to try and find more information on Gundren Rockseeker. They went back to where the ambush took place last time. The dead horses were still on the roads. The party split up trying to search through where they thought the goblins were hiding before and after some time found a trail. The character who found the trail quickly called the others. They decided that everyone but one would walk on the side of the road while one walked on the road. Luckily they managed to discover the 2 traps hidden on the way and disabled them.

Eventually they found a cave mouth with a stream coming out of it. Upon approaching the cave mouth, they were set upon by arrows through the brier patch. Quickly the Wizard turned and aimed his burning hands at the bushes as the others let loose some arrows in that direction. Soon afterward they watched the brier patch burn and they checked to find some dead goblins laying in them. The party decided to take a short rest and wait to see if anyone approached.

Eventually the group decided they would head in to see what else was there. They soon found the 2 dogs tied up, and killed them from range with the dogs trying to break their chains but failing. The group checked out the cavern, but then continued their way up. It wasn't very long before they caught a goblin running across a bridge. The group took their chance to fire some shots, but failed. Soon afterwards they were caught off guard by the sudden rush of water. Most of the party managed to dive into an alcove and keep their grip, while the cleric was washed back out of the cave. Dazed and confused he slowly crept back to the others. From here the group saw they climb up this passage and went on to do so. Once up they saw a chamber with Goblins. The Wizard cast sleep and 3 of them managed to fall asleep while the other 2 engaged. Shortly after killing 1 of the 2 left, the leader of this group of goblins appeared with Sildar in his possession with a knife at his throat. He managed to convince the party that if they took out the leader Klarg, that he would give them the human, and information about Gundren. The party requested that one of the goblins go with them, so he picked Slurry (totally not stolen from the WotC videos) and he helped them get through the rest of the caves.

With Slurry's help they easily dispatched the goblins near the pools, and Klarg and his minions and wolf. The fight with Klarg was pretty rough and they nearly lost some characters, but Slurry managed to help them defeat them, and got some revenge. Yeemik was so thrilled he gave the players their information, and even promoted Slurry to his 2nd in command. The players over-exaggerated to Yeemik about Slurry's exploits, so that when they left with Sildar in hand, he came out and hugged the halfling and waved them off. The group made their way back to Phandalin so everyone could rest up.

Overall, we are really enjoying 5e. My players like the action. I like that it still seems tough, but because they can heal more often, and easier, we get more action going. So far it has been so action packed, my players have pushed to keep the game going past our 2 hour sessions (both in the 2nd and 3rd session, haven't had our 4th yet). I prefer playing longer, but find online games that ADD starts to kick in past 2 hours. We've been having a ball, and I know the players really had a good time with the goblins at cragmaw cave.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Basic Fantasy Wilderlands Campaign, Session 9

It's been awhile since I posted. My group has been on hiatus due to some scheduling conflicts. Mainly I was out of town for the last 2 possible sessions, and my players were the week before that. Luckily my blogs are 2 sessions behind, so it'll give me some time to catch up.

This session was far more calm than our last. The group started by meeting a new Elve, Sylwen who had been watching the group. Soon afterwards they decided to head out and check out the Orc castle where Sam had fallen. Once there they discovered 3 Ogres eating what may have been some Orc carcasses. Luckily for the group, they had some great strategy, caught them by surprise, and were quick to dispatch the Ogres.

After looting what was left from the Ogres and Orcs, they decided they would proceed to the caves east of the Keep. They have only heard a little bit about this cave, so proceeded with caution. The paladin Markas took the lead, using his detect evil and lantern to guide the party through the cave. They detected one figure farther down the cave and found the cave split. They took the split for a few minutes before being worried that something might come behind them. Once turned around, they ran into yet another Ogre named 'Ergo' (totally not just Ogre backwards). They managed to befriend Ergo who asked for their help in defeating some monsters in his home. He told them about some stirges and the party agreed to help. After travelling through the cave, they found a hive of 12 stirges flying about. Immediately Ergo rushed in with the others and a tough battle started. The stirges started attaching themselves and sucking blood immediately. Luckily Ergo was a good meatshield and the party survived the fight along with Ergo. They explained to him that they would be back to help him defeat some more monsters in the cave later, but that they would need to return to town to rest up for awhile. Ergo gave them a big wave goodbye as the party crawled back towards town.