Who trained you? No one.

One of the best lines yet from The Game of Thrones.

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Mutant Crawl Classics – reading my Kickstarter PDF now

I’ve got my Kickstarter copy of Goodman Games Mutant Crawl Classics – a retro throwback to the good old days of Gamma World.

If you’re a fan of the Dungeon Crawl Classics game then you’ll like this iteration of post-apocalyptic gaming.  While they can’t use the term black ray gun, this game has got all of the wacky things you remember about Gamma World (see image below for the Death Field Generation mutation – it may not be called a badder…but it’s a badder).

The game uses a funnel or meat grinder approach.  While this is optional I like the feeling that it evokes – don’t get too attached to any one of your initial characters.  Whichever one makes it through the initial funnel represents the role of the die, how you played the game and that feeling that this world is dangerous.

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Mass Combat for 5e

I was just looking through my PDF’s last night – 2/21/2017  (side note – I have, let’s say, a metric ton of gaming stuff – hundreds of rpg manuals, modules, accessories, etc.  Hundreds of unpainted, still in the blisterpack, miniatures for a wide variety of game with most being out of print or multiple editions old.  I’m starting an inventory and organization project in my basement because, well, because I need to:)) and I ran across Battlesystem 2 from TSR which was focused on large scale combat for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition.  I started to re-read Battlesystem 2 and do some rough conversions in my head for 5e because I’ve got a new group of players, only one whose played any edition of D&D before, and I wanted to kick-off the campaign with a large scale battle.


Each player in the campaign will get one (1) level of Fighter and  the Soldier background in addition to their normal class and background, i.e. they will effectively be starting as multi-class characters because they joined/were conscripted/or were forced to join a mercenary company…but I digress.


This morning I log into the Wizard’s site and in Unearthed Arcana there is an article for 5e for mass combat!   It’s a sign:).

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Listening to Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge

I needed to take a break from my previous book, Reign of Madness: King’s Dark Tidings, Book 2 (it’s an okay book but I am getting a little tired of the Mary Sue main character and some incessant whining from the lead female character) and saw that a couple of books by Larry Correia and John Ringo (John is the author writing in the now shared universe of Monster Hunter International (MHI)) had been released that I either missed or glossed over during the summer of ’16.

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge  is what I’m currently listening to.  It’s got all of the hallmarks of the previous MHI series; guns, guns, more guns, military tactics and surprisingly good prose that makes me chuckle (and makes my wife look at me like I’m crazy:)).

The ‘memoirs’ referred to in the title are the found archives or diaries of former MHI members and delve into past missions (Grunge encompasses the mid to late 80’s) that take place prior to the first novel, Monster Hunter International.  Readers of the previous novels will recognize mentions of events that are referenced by Grunge’s main character, Chad “Iron Hand” Gardnier.  Note that the author has succeeded in leaving teasers not spoilers so it all works out.

From a gaming perspective I always thought that the HERO System was not the most ideal choice to emulate the MHI ‘verse – MHI Employee Handbook and RPG.  While the novels are gun porn to the extreme most gaming systems that have that much focus on the weapon aren’t “fast” enough to emulate the level of action necessary.  Something more akin to Savage Worlds or All Flesh Must Be Eaten would be my recommended systems of choice.

I’ll post some stats later this week for some scenarios.

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Maps of Chatham – continued

On New Year’s Day I posted one of my older maps that was designed for the inside cover of an adventure.


Attached is the PDF and png of the completed inside front cover of the adventure.  I’ll be posting NPC’s that populate the Chatham, a village that you can use for any campaign.  I’ll be posting Pathfinder stats and maybe Savage Worlds, Labyrinth Lord and/or 5e stats as well.


Click on the image to go to a full size version.


Chatham and Surrounds



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Happy New Years – a post a day…or something close to it.

So it’s now 2016.  One of my New Year’s resolutions is to have a post a day…or at least more than six posts (last years total).  At a minimum I’ll be re-posting my old material that’s been absent from the site but I’ll also be working on new material as well.

The first post of the year will be a map I made with my older version of Campaign Cartographer  (CC).  CC is a great application but it does have a learning curve (another resolution is to start to leverage CC more in 2016!).

The background of the map was to use it for an intro adventure that had a Halloween theme.  I think it came out pretty good for what it’s intended use was.

Map of Chatham

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The Summer of Natural Twenty

It’s been a while since anything has happened with Natural Twenty Games.  I blame…life.  The past few years my job has sucked the life out of me.  I made the decision near the end of 2014 to go find a new job after being at an organization for eleven years.  I did find a new job knowing full well that the organization I was going into was about two years into a project that should have been done a year ago.  As I learned the lay of the land the company (a small health insurance company doing business on the marketplace for ACA and some small group insurance) I knew that when the current phase of the project was done sometime near August 2015, I’d have the ability to have a greater impact on the projects direction and success.  As the first few months passed an announcement was made that $64 million dollars were lost in Q4 of 2014.  Then in Q1 of 2015 $80+ million was lost.  Needless to say the corporate entity that owned the health insurance company decided to “exit the marketplace” so six months later I restarted my job search.


As soon as the news became public LinkedIn lit up with invites from recruiters and direct hire companies.  It’s a good time to be an experienced IT person.  Since I have experience as a Business Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Data Analyst, and Process Analyst that specializes in IT Service Management (ITSM) and CRM (covering sales, marketing and service) the opportunities were varied and spanned multiple industries including, health care, insurance, professional services, and financial services.  Note, I’m not saying I wasn’t stressing out.  My wife, without whom I’d be a financial wreck and more than likely be living in my mom’s basement, supported me throughout search.


I’ve now secured a job with a local IT consultancy specializing in MS Dynamics CRM, MS SQL Server, MS SharePoint, and MS SCCM and I am genuinely excited – which has in turn got me going again producing maps and shortly some new adventures as well.

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Nexus Game Fair

After a 12-year hiatus, summer convention gaming returns to the city of Milwaukee with the inaugural show of Nexus Game Fair, which is set for June 19-22, 2014. Nexus Game Fair is a multi-genre game convention focusing on role-playing games, board games, CCG/CMG, and miniature events. Their mission is to run a convention that focuses on optimizing the attendee experience by giving them a full schedule of the best possible events.


Nexus Game Fair is the collaborative effort of a group of gamers from all walks of life. Their growing team of organizers has a myriad of backgrounds, educations, day jobs and gaming experience that came together to address what they perceived as a growing lack of concern about the attendee gaming experience at larger game conventions.


Event Manager, Harold Johnson, is the former director of Gen Con who led that show to grow to over 20,000 attendees during the 1990s. “We’re very excited about our inaugural year,” says Johnson, “and we’re confident in our ability to run a well organized, event focused show. We’ve already committed to 3 years worth of show dates and look forward to extending our stay in Milwaukee indefinitely.”


Nexus Game Fair has already signed a number of industry special guests, including Jolly Blackburn (Knights of the Dinner Table), Mike Carr (Dawn Patrol), Chris Clark (Inner City Games Designs), Bob Coggins (Napoleon’s Battles), Dave “Zeb” Cook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition), Jeff Easley (Staff Artist, TSR, Inc.), Todd Fisher (Revolution & Empire), Matt Forbeck (Deadlands), Tim Kask (Dragon Magazine), Dave Kenzer (Hackmaster), James Lowder (Author, Prince of Lies), Frank Mentzer (Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set), Merle Rasmussen (Top Secret), Jim Ward (Gamma World), Skip Williams (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition) and more.

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When I don’t play or run games I make characters. Is that weird?

Making guys.  It’s what I’ve called it forever.  I sometimes think I have more fun doing that at times than I do actually playing.  For one thing it’s a solo activity that I don’t need to have anyone else participate in.  No schedules to interfere with and I can make one character or ten at my own pace.  The use of character generation software like Hero Lab makes it a breeze – SIDE NOTE:  I’ve become too lazy in my advancing age.  If a system doesn’t have a character generator I’m less likely to play or run that game.

I’m going to start a character download library within the next few days.  It should be fun.

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AD&D 1st Edition Combat

I was browsing my much unused blogger account (I’m not going to link it because it’s emptier than this site believe it or not) and I found an intersting article at the Platonic Solid regarding AD&D 1st Edition combat.


Long story short, there’s a link to a Dragonsfoot article entitled ADDICT or the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Initiative and Combat Table.  Note – it is not a table – it’s a 22 page PDF!  Reading it I’ve now discovered I actually didn’t play AD&D 1st Edition really.  I played a combination of Basic/Expert (Erol Otus covers) mixed with AD&D.  I think this is why I liked Labyrinth Lord when I read it.  LL is so much closer to how I played.


Anyway – for a nostalgic look at how you didn’t play according to the Law of Gygax take a look at the both the Platonic Solid article and the Dragonsfoot download.

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