Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010!

I wish all of you out there a happy New Year full of health, job, love and, of course, many dices (no botches!), a lot of adventures and plenty of fun playing your favorite(s) RPG(s)!

I hope to post more the next year, to resume two of my hobbies: drawing and hand painted miniatures, and upload pictures of them. I'd also like to attend a convention, but that's a little more complicated living down here.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Thanks to Chgowiz for setting up this wave with an AD&D 1e/OSRIC game. I lurked it with interest for some days and was lucky that a spot opened. Now I'm part of this experience of playing an RPG on Google Wave. The campaign is called "The Dark Ages" and you can find more information about it here. Here's the character I've created for this campaign:

Orbilar (his name is a homage to RJK's Lord Robilar) is a young human fighter from the highlands north of the port city of Skalfier. At the age of 15 he joined the retinue of a minor lord and learned the use of weapon and shield, mounted combat and close-combat formations. Now, 4 years later, with the Darkness advancing on the world of men, and the forces of his lord disbanded, he seeks in Skalfier an escape from an ominous future.

Str 14, Dex 9, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 12

Friday, December 25, 2009

Feliz Navidad...

Just a little post to wish a Merry Chistmas to all of you my fellow gamers!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

D&D in Google Wave

I've been following for some time several Waves about playing D&D and other RPGs as well. There are some of them that even includes mapping and dice rolling gadgets. I find many of them very interesting and an alternative way to play when is not possible to gather around a table, and PBEM doesn't suits you. I'm looking forward to join a game on the Wave soon and also trying to get our Oriental Adventures campaign into it since some of the players couldn't always meet. Let's see how it develops. Oh, and if anyone is interested I've got spare invites for Google Wave!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Two months without posting... shame on me!

The truth is that I've been DMing a lot trying to finish before the end of the year the module Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk (3.5e), but I won't be able to do it. I've also been working on the Spanish version of Labyrinth Lord Rev. Ed. but the advance has been sluggish at best. It's a titanic task for one person only, so any help is welcome. No wonder the recently released Italian version was done by seven people.

I was expecting to begin the new year with a new campaign under a new system. It'll most certainly be Labyrinth Lord but I have some doubts about the spell system. What happens in the actual system is that the party spends almost all their most powerful spells in one encounter, so after that the group calls it a day. I'm afraid the same will happen with any other system based on Vancian magic. Any thoughts?

Those are my plans for the future, but first I'll gather my players and ask them what kind of game they want to play. I know some of them may want to try 4e (be my guest, go find another DM) while others may give a rules-light system a try. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spanish version of Labyrinth Lord

Long time no post. The news are that with the go ahead given by Dan Proctor I've started the huge project of translating the Labyrinth Lord Core Rules into Spanish. Although I've always used D&D books and modules in English, I thought it would be a good idea to make LL available to Spanish speaking fans. I know there's a lot of work ahead (almost 90k words!) but the cause is worth the effort.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labyrinth Lord Revised Edition

I've got from RPGNow my PDF version of the latest edition of Labyrinth Lord by Goblinoid Games. This new effort by Dan Proctor has more artwork, which I fancy a lot, and corrects some minor details from the previous version. I hope to have it printed and binded soon. I also find really handy Lord Kilgore's idea of printing booklets with pages 1-60 for the players.

If we continue to play every weekend, I hope to end our current campaign (3.5e) before the end of the year. And I say "hope" because we spent last session (9 PM to 3 AM with 1 hour break for dinner) in just one combat. Man, this is so wrong. I guess we're not playing a roleplaying game anymore but a tactical wargame. In combat every decision taken by the players is the result of a maximizing algorithm, and that's what makes the pacing so slow. I have nothing against wargames (hey, RPGs evolved from them and their creators were wargamers first) but it's not what I want to play. At least for now.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Greyhawk Construction Company

In past campaigns we used to carry a log of each session, usually designating one of the players to take notes during the game and then write a summary. The task fell on a different player each session. In that way, if any of the players missed a session, everyone had the chance to read what had happened before the next one. At first everything was all right, with the players handing their summary on time so I can upload it to the website. But then, when people begun to fell behind schedule and to pile up unfinished summaries, I took the task. With time I also stopped writing them. Yes, I guess we are all lazy. That's why there are no session logs of our current campaign (3.5e) in this blog.

But what's the title of this entry has to do with this? Well, I want to post something from yesterday session. The party, composed by a two fighters, a cleric, a fighter/sorcerer, a beguiler and a rogue, is lost in the dungeons under the Tower of Magic, found a natural tunnel that led to the Tower of War. Following that tunnel, and after a series of rooms, stairs, secret doors, long winding corridors and even a drawbridge, they came to a room with an inscription hewn in dwarven runes on the wall opposite to the entrance:


On either side of the inscription two arcades provide exit from the room. Behind the wall a series of pegs hold several orange metal helmets. Each helmet has attached a small lantern with a flickering flame that radiates magic. Above the pegs another inscription also hewn in dwarven runes reads:


I've been wanting to introduce the Greyhawk Construction Co. in the game for a while now and yesterday, without previous preparation, I did it just inspired by the maps I was using. This was just a little preview for the characters and keep them wondering what G.C.C. stands for since none of them are from the Free City. There'll certainly be more of it in the future.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Well this blog got its first follower! It's like when you find the first comment on one of your posts and say "Hey, someone out there actually reads this!?". Thanks to Aslan, a fellow gamer from the End of the Earth and the World of Aeran, whereever those places are. ;-)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

S&W goes Silver

Catching up with all the blogging of the weekend, it was great to read the Ennies 2009 results and find that Mythmere Games won the Silver award for the Best Free Product category. Congratulations! I'm proud that my vote contributed to that. This award has to be seen as a milestone for the Swords & Wizardry project and a boost to the whole OSR movement that creates and supports free-form RPGs.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

On game rules and fun

Today I was reading the MicroLite74 rules set booklet, considering it as a possible candidate to use once I finish DMing my current 3.5e campaign, when I came across a sentence on the Designer’s Notes section that caught my eye:

"So don’t search your character sheet or the rules for the perfect solution [...]"

It was like having a deja-vu. When you look over the DM screen and see your players going back and forth their character sheets (or rulebooks) trying to find the answer for any given situation, you should know that something is wrong. It's then time to stop and ask:

People, is this really the game we want to play? Are we having fun?

In the end that's what games are all about: having fun. I've come to believe that in a game (at least in RPGs) the quantity of rules is inversely proportional to the quality of the fun you get playing that game. This has no scientific basis but an emotional one, and by no mean intends to be a static statement, so maybe someone could prove me wrong.

Later in the booklet, on the same section, there's a summary in reference to A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming by Matthew J. Finch, and under the item "Player Skill, not Character Skill " you can read the following:

"Players don’t need to be rules lawyers."

And I would humbly add, neither do DMs. Amen.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Goodbye 3.5e

I never played D&D or B/X. I started playing AD&D 1e, then switched to AD&D 2e, then to 3e, then to 3.5e, always thinking that the new rules set was better than the prevoius one without giving it much thought, but no more. I now DM three 3.5e campaigns all set in the World of Greyhawk; one ongoing (Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk) and two other "on hold" (a long term one that we left in the middle of Maure Castle from Dungeon magazines - heathens! - and a homebrew one).

With time I've realized that allowing the use of books like the "Complete" or the PHB2 was a mistake. I should have known better that with the three core books was more than enough. What was done in the eagerness of adding flavor to the game, in the end became a cumbersome corset for me. I don't need more rules, spells, feats or classes to do what I intended to.

So then it's decided, once we've finished EttRoG I plan to go back to the roots, back to 1e, or B/X, or some of the OSR rules set like Swords&Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord.

Friday, July 31, 2009

One Page Dungeon Contest 2009 Codex & Compendium

Keeping their promise Chgowiz and ChattyDM (two of the contest judges) released in PDF the One Page Dungeon Codex 2009 (the "Hobbyist" version as they call it) and the One Page Dungeon Compendium. The Codex is a compilation of the winning entries, runner ups and honorable mentions and the Compendium contains all of the contest entries. Mine is here!

As a bonus the Codex has a great cover made by Mark Allen. He's the winner of "The Erol Otus Art Challenge" in the Color category (May 2009). Next month they'll be publishing a "Professional" version with aditional content and art for the three winners.

Well done guys!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another Vote for Old-School

Remember the polls close at midnight, August 1st. Vote here!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Medieval battle records go online

The detailed service records of 250,000 medieval soldiers from 1369 to 1453- including archers who served with Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt - have gone online.

See the whole study here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New look!

I decided it was time to give the blog a new look, so I changed the template and modified its HTML code in order to add a background. The chosen background is the image on the left. I used GIMP to have it resized and then applied an "old photo" filter. All but two of the miniatures were hand-painted by my wife (BTW she plays D&D too!) and me. The other two (Caramon at the front and the barbarian at the center) were painted by a friend and fellow gamer.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ennies 2009

Just added this cool banner I found in Chgowiz's blog to support the truly free RPGs nominated in the Ennies 2009 as best free product. What are "truly free products"? They're products which are not intended to be quick-starters for, or stripped-down versions of, commercial produced ones. Every vote counts! Don't forget to cast yours!

Friday, July 03, 2009

One Page Dungeon: Shrine of the Rodent God

This blog has been up for some time and its sole intention was to have a place to keep my RPG characters. I always wanted to post something else about my hobby but I guess I didn't have anything worth to say until the 1PDC. Being a player and DM for some time, I must say I enjoyed very much the whole process of creating and submitting an entry (Shrine of the Rodent God). Though it didn't get even an honorable mention, someone found it likeable and took the time to made some comments about it.

Follow this link to found more about them: Alex Schroeder: 2009-07-02 More of my 1PDC Favorites:

"Shrine of the Rodent God by Gabriel Perez: The first room starts with an “in your face” trap. I like that. The magic mouth gives you instructions and everybody immediately suspects that something is going to happen – but nobody knows what. I also like it that you can get to the other side of the trap and loot it.

The best part about this dungeon are the various lycanthropes that the players might ally themselves with. There’s a wererat, a werebat, and a werecat “of the Feline Order” – hell yeah! – trying to fight them. I like the setup!"

Thanks Alex!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sagard D'Abernon

This character was created for an Ars Magica 5th Ed. campaign set in the medieval England of the year 1220. (DM: Pipe)

Sagard, born in 1197, is a young magus of House Jerbiton that has recently passed the certamen. He comes from a noble family originary of Normandy. He and other young sodales are to establish a new covenant in the dangerous frontier between England and Wales, now in conflict after the death of William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke, in 1219 and the raise of Prince Llywelyn of Wales.

Sagard's sodales:
  • Iagno Vasilievich of House Tremere (Alex W.)
  • Pence Lambert of House Flambeau (Eduardo B.)
  • Arilestar Depulsoris Swan of House Tytalus (Fernanda)
Int +3, Per +1, Str -1, Sta +2, Pre +1, Com +1, Dex 0, Qik 0
Creo 1, Intellego 2, Muto 6, Perdo 6, Rego 6, Imaginem 10, Mentem 5

Wakenabe Matsuo

This character was created for a 3.5e Oriental Adventures campaign we usually play on Fridays every now and then (DM: Ejbs).

Matsuo is a ninja/yakuza of the clan Wakenabe from the city of Okami on a mission to replace a scroll in the castle of the daymio of Mura-Sabishi. This mission was successful. The new one is to infiltrate the enemy army and obtain their battle plans. So far so good...

The other members of the ninja party are:
  • Katsuhiro, a human ninja/bu-shi (Javier R.)
  • Myuri, a human ninja/wu-jen (German H.)
  • Sasaki, a human ninja/wu-jen (retired) (Martin F.)
  • Takeshi, a human ninja/shaman (Daniel R.)
  • Matsuo, a human ninja/yakuza (Gabriel P.)
Str 14, Int 17, Wis 16, Dex 17, Con 16, Cha 16