Mini-Review - Matt Finch's 0e Monsters of Jordoba

Matt Finch begins 0e Monsters of Jordoba with a page long mission statement, one that ends with this statement:

So I’m going back to those grassroots for a while. Jordoba isn’t a polished, finished project being handed down by a publisher as a complete product. Instead, it’s the material spun out from the ongoing process of building a campaign world organically, through actual gaming. The world is developing simultaneously in the 5th edition rule system and in the original 1974-1978 version of the game (Swords & Wizardry). They’re not incompatible except in the eyes of dedicated edition warriors. 
Right On, Matt!

What is it?

0e Monsters of Jordoba is an eight-page supplement for the developing world/setting/cinematic universe (kind of).  It, as the name implies, focuses on the various monsters and monstrous entities that populate the Jordoba setting (or at least those that have been encountered so far).  Each monster takes up between 1 to 2 pages of the total 8, with a photograph of a mini being used to represent the creature.  I find the mini shoot to be fun as it really brings home the mission statement put forth by Finch in the opening segment.

Altogether there are 5 monsters presented, in the standard Swords & Wizardry long format, with some details on history, abilities, how the creature fits into the world, etc.   All in all, for a doller it is very much worth the price.  From a quick look at the OGL in the back, all the monsters are included which is great as I have always found Matt’s creations to be a hell of a lot of fun.

0e Monsters of Jordoba (aff) is available as a PDF from Drivethrurpg for $1.00.

Deviant Tuesdays - The Art of Alexander Nanitchkov

Moving Deviant Fridays over to Tuesday for reasons that will become apparent later.
This we were are looking at Alexander Nanitchkov who is probably the most widely known of the artist I featured.  He has worked for Paizo, WOTC, and PXXL.

Nanitchkov's work has a bit of surreal to it, even when it comes to his commissions from larger groups like Paizo, the work carries the quality of something potentially seen in a dream or under the influence of something.
Now I want Beatle mounts in the next PotLK expansion

I think the Pathfinder got lost

Like many, I cut my RPG teeth on 3e (and later 3.5).  When the first Pathfinder was released I was all over it, I had the beta book, the bestiary previews and scooped up the first adventure path like it was water in a desert.  For me (and others) Pathfinder was the ONLY WAY to continue gaming the "right way" after 4e changed the format so much.

I fell quickly away from Pathfinder, only taking part in a few games near its beginning that were a weird mishmash of 3, 3.5, and Pathfinder's "streamlining".  I found the OSR and aside from some publication development and lore never really looked at Pathfinder again.  That was until a few months ago when the playtest for the second edition was announced (PDF available for free on August 2nd, and physical pre-orders available through May 1st).  I became excited again, I enjoyed the art and lore of Pathfinder.  I liked how the world gave a reason for all the adventurers (The Pathfinder Society) instead of just allowing a bunch of murder-hobos on the loose.  With this in mind, I decided to keep an eye out, following Paizo's blog and pre-ordering the physical copy of the playtest.

Now, though I am a little worried.  Given what I know about printing, proofing, and all that other stuff from my own releases I am left to assume that given the August 2nd date Pathfinder 2.0 is almost in its first run ready state.  This has me concerned in large part due to a post on Halflings of all things. 

Here is the concerning section:

We've mentioned ability boosts and flaws a few times now, so let's go into more detail about how those work! At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10. In later parts of character creation, you'll get more ability boosts, which we'll cover in later blogs! (And if you want to roll your ability scores randomly, we have an option for that in the playtest so you can see how that might work, though we prefer for characters used in the playtest to be generated in the standard way.)

Now there are months before release but the one thing that worries me is that they seemingly have removed dice or points from character creation.  With everyone starting at base 10 ability scores and adding or subtracting points from those scores based on level and ancestry.  To me, this gets very far from a d20 descendent game, placing it much more in line with a story based system or one of the ill-fated "forge" games that I hear whispered in dark corners of gaming pubs.

My hope is that this is an option and the player can still build using dice or point-buy, however, from what the next paragraph says I doubt it.

At 1st level and as they level up, halflings can pick up halfling ancestry feats that take advantage of their size, their gumption, and their fabled luck. Distracting Shadows lets them sneak around by using larger creatures as cover. They might also pick up Plucky to overcome fear and other detriments to their emotions. They can take Titan Slinger to get a bonus to damage when using their slings against Large or larger creatures. This bonus increases on critical hits, even before being doubled! Additionally, the sling is now a more formidable weapon than in Pathfinder First Edition—we've both increased its damage and done away with the difference in damage die size between Small and Medium creatures. A halfling with a sling can be pretty dangerous!

While I could be wrong this description rings closer in my mind to skill tree map popular in later day MMO games and suggests more of a mechanical building of a character than an organic one that can at least be somewhat found in older d20 based systems.

In the end though I suppose it is a waiting game.

NTRPG Con, Review on Tenkers, and Patreon updated

A message from you humble sage

Good morning dear readers!  I have been away a long time ... yes, a very long time.  Oh, I have tried to come back before, made a few changes here and there, spoke of a few little things, said pretty words, that kind of rubbish talk and half-hearted false starts.  I could say that I am old - but that would be a lie, wouldn't it? - could say that the magic and lore of the OSR and the gaming world have slowly fizzled away, leaving me unable to conjure even a minor light spell!  That too would be a lie.
I will make no excuses!  No, there is no time for that, no time at all.  Instead, I sit here, pouring over tomes of arcane script known as Java and C++ and hear the muse's call again, and the spark of magic in the air ... so, let us say that I was merely napping.  Yes, merely napping which is something we are all prone to do and later deny.
Well now, that I have had a good nap and a nice spot of Valhalla Blend let us move to the announcements, eh?

North Texas Roleplaying Convention Schedule

This year I will be attending the NTRPGcon for my second time.  This time I have chosen not to convey myself to that lauded convention daily but instead to stay and enjoy the company of my fellow gamers and designers.  I am, unfortunately missing Thursday and will be arriving Friday afternoon.  I hope that I am given the chance and honor of meeting some old internet friends and make some new ones as well.
Name    Time Location
The Long Crawl - X-crawl                          Friday Afternoon at 13:00       Chinaberry at Table 2
Dwarven Epics - Delverr's Keep Playtest   Friday Evening at 20:00         Sunnyside at Table 1
Dwarven Forge Party                                  Saturday Early Morning       Boardroom 1314 at Table 1
Awards / Raffle / Auction                           Saturday Afternoon at 16:00   Irving Lecture Hall 
Adventures in Middle Earth Game B          Saturday Evening at 19:00      Magnolia at Table 1
Millennium GIrl                                             Sunday Morning at 10:00        Sunnyside at Table 3

My gaming this year is rather eccentric as I have decided that I want to try many new things instead of staying within my comfort zone.

Pyramid of the Lost King Reviewed at Tenker's Tavern

Doug Kilmer provided a rather glowing review of Genius Loci Games' own massive adventure Pyramid of the Lost King over at Tenker's Tavern.  Doug deep dives in the adventure a bit and comes away with some great insight.
To say I danced a rather provocative jig after reading the review is a bit of an understatement.

Guest Review - Pyramid of the Lost King by Genius Loci Games (S&W Sandbox/Adventure)

Patreon Lives

Now then before the coffee wears thin and my bones need the warmth of fire and flame, I must also remind everyone that I do have a Patreon.  It isn't a very big one but it is there and has always served this humble, coffee-addicted sage very well.  After a year to the day of the last update I have blown off the cobwebs, and with a little elbow grease, and youtube tutorials - to teach me InDesign. I still prefer PagePlus! -  I have produced a new short adventure that can be placed anywhere but was designed with lore to the Saragubi Desert and the Lands of Usarm in mind.  Now, this adventure called The Howling Dolman is only available to my patrons until the 20th of May and then it will be released to RPGnow as a POD title on cardstock.

Now, that isn't my only Patreon news,  I have added a new tier for pledging one that I hope will be successful because I would find it rather fun to fulfill that reward ... here, now take a gander:

$5 or more per Short Form Adventures ∙ 0 of 5 patrons
You receive all of the above (the $1.00 through $5.00 pledges) and an invitation to a monthly game VIA Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds (I have Ultimate Edition so no need to buy, just have the trial software) exploring one or more of the adventures published in the prior month.

The Patreon is over there, take a look:

[White Star] Race - Husk

  White Star Core edition – Military Campaign This race assumes a campaign structure that is primarily human-centric and takes cues from my ...