Sunday, December 13, 2015

AIYH Sneak Peek #5

In Venice Beach California, some strange goings-on at the boardwalk....adventure coming soon from David Moskowitz

Art by Jeff Freels, used with permission

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

AIYH Sneak Peek #4

How about the back cover?

Art by Mike Hartlieb and William E. Bricker

Almost done....

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

AIYH Sneak Peek #3

Apocalypse In Your Hometown will feature works from authors with very different styles of writing and presenting their GM adventures. Some of these are meant for short story lines that can be handled in one or two sessions. Others like Mark Thornton's 'Utu' is 33 pages of very detailed characters, encounters, and a framework of events that can carry on over a long campaign. Included here is a page from Mark's adventure detailing some of the mythological creatures that have returned to reclaim what was once theirs.

Art by Joe Calkins, used with permission

Sunday, November 22, 2015

AIYH Sneak Peek #2

Apocalypse in your Hometown will feature 4 adventures from 4 very talented of which is Scott Malthouse's 'The Catacombs of the Black Coven". While all the adventures in AIYH take place in the modern day, Scott has done something special with this adventure that pits the modern world versus fantasy world. Here is a preview and more information on a release date to come...

Art by Malcolm McClinton, used with permission

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The long awaited AIYH...Sneak Peek #1

More than a few years in the making, AIYH brings together a stellar cast of misfits...

These are the monsters that are featured in the adventures thus far (almost finished with the layouts of two of the four adventures featured) with many more still to get through.

Green Mist Zombie
Green Mist Druid
Flying Pig of Doom
Wight King
Hell Hound

Apocalyptic Locations? Cleveland, Leeds (UK), Los Angeles, Toledo, and Auckland (NZ)...

Friday, October 30, 2015

Tele Con 2K15 - Circus Imperium

The wonderful artwork created by James Shields for the Circus Imperium game...and the t-shirts :)

2 weeks away - if you are not already invited and want to come on over, let me know.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Icons Character Generation, Part 1

I need to create my character 'Groovy Lad' for an upcoming Icons game. So I figured I would first see what I get when going with the original random character generation from the rulebooks I got in the mail this past week. Since I have not really thought to much as to what his powers would be, we shall see if this random creation actually fits or not.

Here goes...

  • Gimmick: Character's powers all come from devices of some kind (+2 to one Mental ability)
  • Prowess: 6
  • Coordination: 6
  • Strength: 4
  • Intellect: 6 (4 +2)
  • Awareness: 5
  • Willpower: 5
Powers (3)
  • Burrowing Teleportation: 6
    • Burrowing did not seem to fit, so I rerolled on the Movement Power
  • Mental Blast: 7
  • Time Control: 6
Specialties (3)
  • TBD
  • TBD
  • TBD
Stamina: 9

Determination: 3

Now considering Groovy Lad having Teleportation, Mental Blast, and Time Control would be pretty cool, I think I would rather have his powers based on actual powers instead of a gimmick. So, I think I will be changing that accordingly, but not too bad going with the 'random' creation. Thinking that the Tme Control could be a magical artifact like a old style timepiece that he wears around his neck, but the other powers are natural/inate based on some form of background/cosmic event/lab experiment gone awry.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Alternate Plans for November

I think it is time to put a fork in what has been our yearly jaunt to Fort Wayne, IN for PentaCon. The convention has been fading for the past few years and the lack of events posting to the registration site is the clincher regarding the decision set down a few hundred for a hotel. The one reason to go would have been to play Circus Imperium, but we have that all taken care of now with our own (albeit not as cool) track that we can play with.

So instead, I am planing a 2 days of gaming for the locals. Invites are being handled via Facebook...

© 2014, Jeshields, used with permission
I have two tables at my house - one for larger games and one that can be used for smaller games (4-6 players).

Saturday, November 14 (Board Games)

Session 1 at 1pm

Table 1: Circus Imperium (up to 10 players).
Table 2: Pick-up games for anyone that happens to be knocked out of the race.

Dinner will be served (more than likely Pizza) at 5pm 

Session 2 at 6pm

Table 1: Space Hulk (up to 6 players)
Table 2: TBD (Maybe Railroad Tycoon or Belfort)

Sunday, November 15 (RPG)

Session 3 at 1pm

Table 1: T&T - Leaning on a Stay Alive! Gaslight scenario.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back to Tunnels & Trolls programming...

Among all the things I am working on, I have been wanting to update Quick Start Guide I created with some additional content: so items I missed, a quick solo adventure to teach the rules the a bit, and then a quick GM adventure.

So while I finish that up for the 'Pay what you want..." guide, here is the first entry of the solo adventure...

*     *     *     *     *

On the Road to Baru-Kesh
Quick Solo Adventure
24a You have been hired by a merchant company to provide protection for a large caravan traveling to the city of Baru-Kesh. This particular length of the road takes you through the northernmost portion of an immense and mostly untamed wilderness. It is common for merchants utilizing this avenue to hire on a few extra warriors in order to deter attacks from the more organized groups of urooks, lizard men, and ogres that have been known to prey on the under prepared.

Willie is the caravan leader, a gristled old man with yellow teeth and skin that looks like well oiled leather. You get the indication that he can still wield with deadly intent the sabre sheathed on his belt if needed. You have already been paid half of your fee for the job up front, so add 20 gold to your character sheet.
© 2015, Jeshields, used with permission
The first half of the 4 day trek has gone as expected and without any incidents. As the caravan approaches the edge of the Great Forest, a sense of trepidation spreads through the group. Willie calls you and the other 9 guards over as the other merchants and laborers begin to prepare for the night. They arrange the wagons in a defensive circle and set-up camp in the middle of the arrangement.

"Alright lads and ladies...we need to prepare for the night. I want half of you to get some food and rest. Those of you will be the second watch of the night. The rest of you, stick around and I will let you know what I want done."

The group begins to break into two groups. Which do you join?

Stick around for the 1st watch?
Head back to camp with the 2nd watch?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Gen Con 2015 - Aliens and Hover Chariots

Gen Con 2015 was fun, having a chance to spend 5 days with the boy in the gaming paradise. The boy had most of each day scheduled and to his credit, did not miss a single event he had signed up for.

We were able to book a train car this year at the Crowne. Being right across the street and connected by sky walk to the newer section of the convention center, it was a perfect location for the boy who is a planner and thus, was nervous about his routes to get to his games. I had map printed out for him and we walked to each room he would need to go to. He had discarded his maps by Thursday night.

The boy had a Stay Alive! rpg with Kopfy in the AM, followed by our first Circus Imperium event. Harper and his friend Diego grabbed the last two tickets and a fun race ensued. One player died on the first turn; another shortly thereafter. Diego was dragged and then trampled to death on the third lap. In the end, a total of 5 players did not finish the race and one player was dragged across the finish line for 3rd place. 

On the way to dropping off the minis and the board at the hotel, we ran into Robin who was on her way to meet Caed to get some dinner. We caught up with them at Champions for some grub before Liam headed off for his night game, Outbreak Undead. I spent the rest of the evening at the auction, as I did during the morning as I was pressed into volunteer coordinator this year with a few absenses. All went relatively well with the auction in general. I only bought a few games: a werewolf card game that was not selling that I grabbed for $5 for our future Circus Imperium prize bag, and in the charity auction, a game that someone else had bought and had not picked up (a pirate game that I cannot remember the name of and I am currently too lazy to go to the basement to check on).

Friday, the boy had a zombie miniatures game in the AM which he reported was not very good. The people running it did not really run it at all; they simply explained the rules and walked away. I will remember to not partake in that group's games anymore. In the afternoon, we played in an awesome Space Hulk game by a group of brothers calling themselves The BoD. The boy played one of the two Tyranid roles (aliens) and I was one of the four space marine squads. The boy played very well and took pleasure in wiping my squad out and denying me even coming close to completing my team goal.

The boy had nothing else to do in the PM and after we wondered out to Steak and Shake only to find it packed tight with customers, we walked back to the auction, grabbed a few leftover sammiches and went back to the hotel for an early night.

Saturday, the boy had two speed painting sessions in the AM. Between the two, we ventured into the Exhibit Hall to get our free dice and then bought the boy some paint brushes and a set of dice. Being too crowded, he wanted nothing more to do with the Dealer Hall and he went to his other painting session while I returned to the auction.

We then ran our 2nd Circus Imperium game. This game was a blast because the entire table knew eachother - 3 couples and then 3 more friends. It was also a game that featured more cab jumping than I have ever seen. One of the husbands bashed his chariot and beasts up running on the walls for most of the first lap, so he jumped into his wife's chariot and they proceeded to fight over it for much of the second lap. She finally defeated him and won here chariot back, but with only one life point left. She ended up taking the lead back and winning the race.

I think overall, there were 2 or 3 deaths in this one including at least one trample death and even more chariots destroyed, beasts killed, and one nice drag. Robin and Batman had walked by; Robin hung out with us for most of the race and took some pictures.

The boy grabbed some leftover taco bell for dinner and then struck out with Kopfy for his late night Crawlspace game at 11pm. I made it back to the hotel room relatively early for a Saturday. We actually ended the charity auction right around midnight and had the final sort completed well before that. I auctioned the final items of the night including 7 or 8 Star Wars banners from past conventions.

Back at the room, I watched some SyFy movies with Robin - a horrible one with Nicholas Cage (Drive Angry?) followed by 'House of Bones' which Robin already had mentioned in her blog, could have been a straight rip off of one of Kopfy's games from a few years back (and he also ran it at this year at Gen Con - Horrible Fate of the Haunted House Hunters). I tried to stay awake until the boy got back, but I drifted off to sleep by about 2am.

Sunday was easy going. The boy did not want to attend his 10am Crawlspace game with Kopfy, but I reminded him he needed to bring the rulebook and decks of cards for Kopfy. So he did end up playing in the game and then promptly returned to the hotel for a nap. I woke him up at 6pm to go to dinner with me. The auction dinner at Buca was overcrowded, so we tried to hook back up with Kopfy and Robin, but they were already on their way to their place of choice. We went to an overpriced steakhouse that I will never go to again. We then returned to the room, watched some Ninja Warrior and Happy Gilmore with Kopfy and Robin. Kopfy ordered in some dessert and we had a well earned relaxing night.

Monday - we packed up and got on the road after dropping off Kopfy and Robin at their car parked at Batman's house. One of my tires picked up a nail on the way to Indy, so after filling it back with air, we made it home OK. I had to fill it again with air on Tuesday and then take it to the dealership to get plugged and fixed.

The Boy at Gen Con in 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gen Con - 2 Days until Circus Imperium

After much hard work by the boy painting all the miniatures, and my drilling and gluing over 90 magnets...the game is ready to be run. Just waiting on some items in the mail that hopefully I can attack tonight (flags for turn order and frenzy markers).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Gen Con - 5 Days

A few days to go - hopefully will have some pictures of the Circus Imperium miniatures this weekend...almost done with those.

Also got the books to give away for the Stay Alive! game Tom is running on Thursday...

Next week at this time, we will be in Indy...


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gen Con 2015 - Peryton Gamers

Gen Con 2015 Events by Peryton Gamers
~ Not going to recreate the wheel - if you are interested in what games we are running and how many tickets may still be available, check out this link. Many of our events are sold out, others have a few tickets remaining. We do run some very small press games, so tickets are still available for games you might want to take a chance on like Peryton Publishing's RED BAT and QALIDAR.

We have 2 Tunnels & Trolls events this year - both are sold out. Kopfy is running a Stay Alive! game on Thursday morning and a T&T Fantasy game on Saturday afternoon. Show up with generics and he may be able to get you in.

This year, the boy and I will be running 2 games of Circus Imperium together with out homemade track and painted miniatures. One is sold out and the other has a few tickets left if you want to check it out for some hover craft chariot racing with a streak of unbridled violence.

We also have other games like Arkham Horror, Cards Against Humanity, and other role playing games. Again - check out the link at the top of the page to see our complete listings.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Converting to Tunnels & Trolls - Part 6 - TOG Monster Conversion

The Kickstarter campaign culminated almost 2.5 years ago promising a new and improved, nay, "Deluxe" edition of Tunnels & Trolls. The wait is over as the PDF version of the rules has been released. It looks very nice and coming in at close to 400 pages, it is jammed with content. The issue will be in the coming weeks as I digest it will be how much influence those that are not Ken St. Andre had on the final version. I am hoping that the many things that make the game so appealing are not changed too drastically, but then again, I will simply play the game the way I want to anyway.

But the reality is that long time supporters/players of T&T are few and far between in numbers compared to D&D. The Kickstarter campaign brought in over 1600 backers. I would wager that most of these have little or no experience with the system. My conversion to the game has been ongoing; I still play both D&D (2E) and T&T regularly. Links to my previous posts for those that are new to the game can be found below. Most of these I had written about 4 years ago...for those of you that are coming from the D&D world, these may be of some use to you.

But, the real purpose of this post is to propose some ways that you as a D&D convert can make the jump to the world of T&T. One thing that I really had some issues with was with monsters and the MR rating used in the system. So I am taking the common Troll from 2E and converting it to my T&T game...a link to the terms below can be found here.

Artwork copyright William McAusland, used with permission
Using the statistics of a standard troll from TOG 2E, I would start with the HD (6+6) which I would maximize for hit points to 54 (8*6 +6). So at MR 54, the Attack Dice for a monster is determined from the MR value (50 - 59 would be 6d6). The combat adds are equal to half the MR value.

MR: 54
Combat Dice: 6d6 + 27

With an AC of 4, it is safe to assume that a Troll does not typically wear armor. Since AC in TOG is also a reflection of reaction time or DEX bonuses to defense, deriving an Armor value for a monster that reflects it hide or natural defense will be a bit arbitrary. I am going to simply decide that a standard troll has a natural hide that can absorb 4 hits per combat turn.

Armor: Troll Hide (4 hits)

Regarding special abilities and 'what makes a troll a troll', a typical one has regeneration, is typically regarded as being quite strong, would normally attack with a Claw/Claw/Bite retinue in TOG, and have 90' Infravision. Also of note, fire and acid is what would stop the troll's regeneration ability. 

Special Abilities: Regeneration (3), Cateyes
Special Damage: 2/Bite (2d6)
Special Defense: Nil
Special Hindrance: Fire and Acid

Finally, I like to set an 'Alpha' rating, or a more powerful version of the creature if needed or desired. The 2E description of a troll states that females are bit larger and more powerful than its male counterparts.

Alpha?: Yes - Female: 72 MR (8d6 + 36)

Is any of this a definitive way to convert TOG monsters to T&T? Probably not, but hopefully it serves as a good example of how it could be done. 

*     *     *     *


MR: 54
Combat Dice: 6d6 + 27
Armor: Troll Hide (4 hits)
Special Abilities: Regeneration (3), Cateyes
Special Damage: 2/Bite (2d6)
Special Defense: Nil
Special Hindrance: Fire and Acid
Appearing: 1-12
Alpha?: Yes - Female: 72 MR (8d6 + 36)

Regeneration (3) - At the end of each combat turn, individuals with Regeneration will heal or recoup lost CON/MR equal to the number specified in parentheses.

Cateyes -  As the 2nd Level Spell, gives the creature the night vision. Does not grant vision in complete darkness. Range of good vision is 40’ and fades out completely by 60’.

2/Bite (2d6) - When 2 sixes are rolled, this triggers an additonal 2d6 damage to add to the combat value for the creature instead of applying as Spite damage.

Fire and Acid - Damage done by fire or acid prevents the creature from using its Regeneration ability. Any other damage can be healed otherwise.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Managing the thoughts in my head

I am well into my 3rd year of self publishing. While I have officially produced 4 items, I have more than a few ideas simmering. My biggest issue is that I have three different genres jostling for my limited time: Modern Rules, Fantasy Rules, and my Gaslight Rules.

After releasing my Quick Start Rules for T&T, there was one review that mentioned having a small solo adventure included would be a nice add. I agree, so I started working on that. I always intended on doing an "On the Road..." solo based on the GM scenario I have run at various conventions over the last few years.

I then had another new player to T&T ask about different types of warriors. I answered with references to some things that others have done, but I then posted something that I started months ago regarding an Archer. I started expanding on this to a bit of a new idea that will make an appearance in the next installment of MM.

And I still put some work towards my full version of the SA! Monstrous Edition rules as the inspiration hits me as well as the solo adventure based on my Campus Chaos games...and that darn Gaslight game I want to do, but I need to get ME done I will be more prolific. For now, I will just keep trying to plug away.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Warrior Sub-Type: Archer

I am sure this has been done in a similar way by someone else; so I will start out by saying I am probably not blazing any trails here. I have not posted any original game content in some time, so here is something. The Lone Delver has done a wonderful job of posting many items regarding house rules and character information. Others like Kopfy have also posted items on combat talents and I am sure many others. So - if this is something that someone else has already duplication was intended.

Standard Warriors get the following bonuses:

Warrior Bonus: Increase combat adds by character level
Armor Bonus: Twice the usual protection from armor and shields worn/used

Illustration © 2014, James E. Shields –

Archers alternatively get the following Bonuses instead:

Warrior Bonus: Increase combat adds by character level (no change)
Archer Bonus: Reduce the Saving Roll level for a missile attack by one level

  • Point Blank/Easy: Level 1/30 Feet or less
  • Challenging: Level 2/Up to 100 Feet
  • Difficult: Level 3/Up to 300 Feet
  • Remarkable: Level 4/Over 300 Feet

Friday, April 10, 2015

Updated Stay Alive! Lite Edition Cover by Jeshields

I have been meaning to update this one for some time to remove the belief that this is a zombie now that I have a larger portfolio of art to choose from, here it is...

Illustration © 2014, James E. Shields –

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Coming Soon - DC00

First of all - thanks to all that have supported DC01. Hopefully the solo is free of any major formatting issues and the adventure flows in a sensible way. As I said before, I cut my teeth with this one, so future ones that I produce should see some benefits of process improvements. Please let me know of any opinions (good or bad) and alert me to any mistakes I may have missed.

It also got me thinking about how small of a group we are - those that actually have played or know how to play Tunnels & Trolls, comparing to the larger whole of the RPG world. How many people see a solo adventure and the tagline "must know the basics of T&T rules to play" and then decide it is not worth their time?

Free T&T rules are already out there. What I am focusing on for DC00 is a more specific Quick Start Guide to playing solo adventures: character creation and basic saving roll and combat mechanics. It should be hitting DriveThruRPG soon. I am just about finished, so here is a preview of the by jeshields.

Illustration © 2014, James E. Shields –

This will be a PDF only release and will more than likely be included in all future solo adventures that I publish for print.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spend a Day in Baru-Kesh

Yup - its finally done.

Print version now available on Amazon.

PDF should be coming soon at DriveThruRPG.

The adventure is designed for Warriors and Rogues. Do try to play with another character will be a fun experience as well.

Half way through working on the layout, I discovered some better ways to handle some of the things I wanted to do with the solo adventure. I did rewrite one entire section to make it flow a bit better without too many chapters where alot of similar information was repeated.

I also see this as a fairly good introduction to T&T where combat, spells (including applying Kremm Resistance), and saving rolls are taught a bit in the beginning then less instruction a bit later.

As always - let me know what you think if you have laid down your hard earned on my writing. I am very eager to hear any feedback, so bring it on.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Playing with Photoshop

Got some new artwork for some future SA! stuff.

I like the idea of the black and white cover with some red ala Sin City.

Illustration © 2015, Mike Hartlieb and Darkshade Publishing

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Darkshade Chronicles: A Day in Baru-Kesh (almost there)

DC01 (as I call it), is in the final stages before release. I have some testing to do on the solo adventure to make sure I have no loose ends and some final editing to make sure there are no spelling errors or missing words.

If anyone is interested in playtesting the solo adventure, please let me know. Send me a trollmail. I will make sure you get a free copy of the final pdf version as a thank you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Character Sketches

The one thing that will always bring a smile to my old-fashioned AD&D face is the Character Sketch box on the 1E character sheet. I worked on these over the weekend in preparation for this weekend (art by Mike Hartlieb and William McAusland and used with permission). Of course, they always look better on the completed sheet...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Snowstorms, Super Bowls, and Samples

Another year with a big snowstorm in Toledo. About 10-14 inches will be down today if all goes according to the predictions. I have been able to put some good time towards completing Darkshade Chronicles: A Day in Baru-Kesh. I added a section for is a sample. Artwork by JEShields...used with permission and copyright 2014.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gen Con 2015: Peryton Gamer Events

We are closing in on the end of the first wave of event submissions for Gen Con. This first wave almost guarantees placement of submitted events at the convention. While most of our events are once again RPGs, I am running a board game this year taking a break from my normal RPG a day...
Here are our events thus far (still waiting on few more GMs to get me events):
Crawlspace x5
Qalidar: Resistance x4
Red Bat: Glow x3
Arkham Horror x2
Cards Against Humanity x2
Circus Imperium x2
Peryton Fantasy x2
Red Bat: Cthulhu x2
Bean x1
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space x1
Icons x1
Red Bat: Spacers x1
Tunnels & Trolls: 7 Plus x1
Tunnels & Trolls: Stay Alive! x1

Here are the number of events being run by each GM:
Kopfy: 9
Perrryton: 4
Beckett: 4
Randy: 3
Jherrrii: 2
Sligo: 2
Caed: 4
Cram: ?

The last few years we have had some cancellations...if we have no last minute changes of plan, we will have more events this year than any previous.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Gen Con 2015

Gen Con 2015 is on the very distant horizon. I have decided this year that I will be taking a break from running RPGs. I will be running a few sessions of mine and boy's new favorite board game: Circus Imperium. We are painting the miniatures (well - he has already painted 5 of the chariots) and I am making a track that we can bring with us for the games. Should be fun and will give him some experience of running an event since he will be helping me.

I am once again organizing the events for our group, Peryton Gamers. Tom (Kopfy) has already submitted 3 events for his Paranormal Thursday. Others out there (Sligo, Cram, Perryton)...get to getting and get me your events before February 8.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Stay Alive! Monstrous Edition - Explosives

My resolution for 2015 is to publish more than one book on the year. I have been working over the holidays on getting "On the Road..." completed and the good news is, I have the GM section just about complete. The rest of the solo stuff is already plotted, so I would just need to get those finished and then out for some playtesting.

My brain seems to like a bit of change, so it was nice to work on the new and expanded version of the Stay Alive rules I mentioned a few months back. I was working on updating all the tables/charts today and added a few weapons that were missing and then grabbed my copy of MSPE to double check a few items.

I am now adding a new section that I left out of the original rules and was handled very well by MSPE - grenades and explosives. I especially like the rules written regarding the 'ground zero' and the blast radius for TNT/Plastique, Grenades, and Mortars. Kopfy's character in a recent SA! game carried around vials of Nitroglycerin so it makes sense to have some basic rules on this stuff.

When I worked on my gun damage numbers for SA!, I tried to keep things very general grouping firearms in basic categories and ranges based on power. For this, I bothered a few friends who are experienced gun owners (a cop and a hunter/firearms instructor) to lay things out. I figured that for those people that actually cared about the differences between this gun and that gun could still do that if they wanted. For most of us, gun knowledge if very foreign and details that are not so much needed.

For explosives, I will lean a bit more on what has already been done. I do like the idea of just being exremely lucky, so I will put some form of twist to it. Sometimes explosives do not do what they are supposed to do, so I am thinking some form of variance based on LK would be kind of cool. The rules regarding thrown explosives and how they scatter will be updated with a bit more detail as well.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Which do you prefer?

Sometimes B&W is pretty cool, but this color version is awesome too!

Illustration © 2014, James E. Shields –
Illustration © 2014, James E. Shields –