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Showing posts from 2017

Favorite Games Ever: D&D Third Edition

The first RPG I ever ran was Dungeons & Dragons, Third Edition. I wasn't nearly as tied into gaming news then as I am now. No one was, though I certainly could have been more informed — if I knew ENWorld (or its predecessor) existed, for example. But I was aware that a new edition of D&D was coming out, probably because I collected GURPS and other game books and was no stranger to a hobby shop.

In the fall of 2000, I picked up the three core rulebooks for Third Edition. The Player's Handbook came with a CD-ROM — remember those? — with a character creation program. The first adventure I ran was a bizarre affair involving an abandoned wizard's tower surrounded by a village of lawn gnomes, with a dungeon beneath inhabited by a cotton candy-pink dragon. Keep in mind, I was a senior in high school at the time. And I've never done drugs.

Anyway, I was hooked. I managed to play in a campaign through graduation, and then when I got to college, I joined the gaming club…

My Sales Numbers for May

For May 2017, I offered PDFs, POD books, and POD cards for sale through OneBookShelf: DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, DriveThruCards, etc. May was fairly average, without any sales or specials to goose revenue. In total, I sold 21 units last month, including a few card decks. My total earnings came to $19.83 (auspicious, but not particularly heartening).

Arthuria: 4 PDF
Fragments, Volume 1, #3: 1 PDF
Interstellar Patrol: 3 PDF
Rituals and Convergences: 1 PDF
Situation Aspect Card Blanks: 1 Card/PDF combo
Situation Aspect Cards: 3 Card/PDF combo, 4 Print-and-Play PDF
Super Power Cards: 1 Card deck, 1 Card/PDF combo
The Model: 2 PDF

What Did I Accomplish in May

This past month, I continued my effort to produce daily content here on One Yard Hex as well as weekly Fragments on As with April, May was a failure. The problems that kept me from performing last month continued.

I missed six daily blog posts on One Yard Hex. Once again, the saving grace for my word count goal came in the form of GURPS character stat blocks.

I produced zero installments of Fragments in May. I tried to come up with a plan to get this rolling again, but I just didn't manage it.

In total, I produced:
13 blog posts here on One Yard Hex, including7 GURPS posts,1 Wild Talents post, and1 Werewolf: The Apocalypse post. I streamed 5 Fallout 4 game sessions on Twitch. They are archived at my YouTube page.

I would like to point you to a couple posts I did this month on other sites. I was a guest writer on Brie Sheldon's blog Thoughty, talking about my experience running Shadowrun Anarchy. And at the Gamerati, I wrote a character for their s…

Grognar, Goblin Barbarian

Another pregenerated character for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, a goblin barbarian.

Grognar, Goblin Barbarian 250 points
ST 17 (Size†, -10%) [63]; DX 13 [60]; IQ 9 [00]; HT 14 [30]. Damage 1d+2/3d-1; BL 58 lbs.; HP 23 (Size†, -10%) [9]; Will 10 [0]; Per 14 [20]; FP 14 [0]. Basic Speed 6.25 [-10]; Basic Move 7† [0]. SM +1; 7’1”, 250 lbs. Social BackgroundTL: 3 [0]. CF: Common (Native) [0]. Languages: Common (Native) [0]. Advantages Discriminatory Smell [15]; Goblin [0]; Hard to Kill 1 [2]; High Pain Threshold [10]; Outdoorsman 4 [40]; Temperature Tolerance 2 [2]. Perks: Weapon Bond (Fine spear) [1] Disadvantages Bad Temper (9) [-15]; Easy to Read [-10]; Gigantism [0]; Sense of Duty (Adventuring companions) [-5]; Social Stigma (Minority Group) [-10]. Quirks: Assures others that he’s quite attractive for a goblin; Complains loudly if he can’t get fresh meat; Thinks ale is poison. [-3] Skills Animal Handling (Snakes) (A) IQ+1 [4]-10; Brawling (E) DX [1]-13; Camouflage (E) IQ+4 [1]-13‡; Carousing (E…

Lel, Wood Elf Scout

A pregenerated elf scout character for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy.

Lel, Wood Elf Scout 250 points ST 13 [40]; DX 14 [60]; IQ 11 [20]; HT 12 [20].
Damage 1d/2d-1; BL 34 lbs.; HP 13 [0]; Will 11 [0]; Per 14 [15]; FP 12 [0].
Basic Speed 7.00 [10]; Basic Move 8 [0].
5’4”; 150 lbs.
Social BackgroundTL: 3 [0].
CF: Common (Native) [0].
Languages: Common (Native) [0].
Advantages Absolute Direction [5]; Acute Vision 1 [2]; Heroic Archer [20]; Outdoorsman 2 [20]; Signature Gear 3 (Bow, shortsword, and shield) [2]; Wood Elf [20].
Perks: Weapon Bond (Bow) [1].
Disadvantages Honesty (12) [-10]; Odious Personal Habit (“Unwashed bushwhacker”) [-5]; Overconfidence (6) [-10]; Sense of Duty (Adventuring companions) [-5]; Vow (Never sleep indoors) [-10]; Vow (Own no more than what can be carried) [-10].
Quirks: Careful. [-1]
Skills Armoury (Missile Weapons) (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Bow (A) DX+4 [16]-18; Camouflage (E) IQ+3 [2]-14†; Cartography (A) IQ+1 [4]-12; Climbing  (A) DX [2]-14; Fast-Draw (Arrow) (E) DX [1]-14; Fa…

Gen Con Events, Part 2: Panels

The Industry Insider events were added to the Gen Con event database over the weekend, so I thought I'd give a run-down of the panels I will be on as a Featured Presenter. I'm nervous about pretty much all of these for one reason or another, but I hope folks come to them and learn something from me and my fellow presenters.

Creating Periodic Content
Thursday at 3:00 PM
Presenters: Jaym Gates, Harrison Pink, Darcy Ross, Paul Stefko

Whether it's a zine, a newsletter, or a monthly Patreon release, getting into the habit of releasing regular, periodic content builds your reputation & keeps your audience coming back for more.

Don't You Dare Give Up, How To Set Reasonable Goals
Friday at 2:00 PM
Presenters: John Adamus, Liz Courts, Lyz Liddell, Paul Stefko

It can be so tempting to give up, to discard your dream. Learn how to set small, incremental goals you can meet, work through adversity & see your project through to success!

How to Teach A Game
Friday at 3:00 PM

Michel Montfort, Dungeon Fantasy Swashbuckler

Michel Montfort 250 points
ST 11 [10]; DX 15 [100]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 13 [30].
Damage 1d-1/1d+1; BL 24 lbs.; HP 11 [0]; Will 10 [0]; Per 10 [0]; FP 13 [0].
Basic Speed 7.00 [0]; Basic Move 7 [0].
5’7”, 145 lbs.
Social BackgroundTL: 3 [0].
CF: Common (Native) [0].
Languages: Common (Native) [0].
Advantages Combat Reflexes [15]; Enhanced Dodge 1 [15]; Extra Attack 1 [25]; Extraordinary Luck [30]; Enhanced Parry 1 (Broadsword) [5]; Rapier Wit [5]; Signature Gear 2 (Breastplate and broadsword) [2]; Weapon Master (Broadsword) [20].
Perks: Weapon Bond (Any starting weapon) [1].
Disadvantages Code of Honor (Gentleman’s) [-10]; Compulsive Carousing (12) [-5]; Gregarious [-10]; Impulsiveness (12) [-10]; Overconfidence (12) [-5]; Sense of Duty (Adventuring companions) [-5]; Vow (Use only weapon of choice) [-5].
Quirks: Annoyingly proud of his mustache; Loves the phrase, “What, ho!” [-2]
Skills Acrobatics (H) DX [4]-15; Brawling (E) DX+1 [2]-16; Broadsword (A) DX+3 [12]-18; Carousing (E) HT [1]-13; Clim…

Gen Con Events, Part 1: Games

The Gen Con event list came out this past weekend, and while my Industry Insider panels are still being finalized, I do have a couple events in the system. I will be running two game sessions this year, one in GURPS and the other in Fate Core.

Event registration opens at noon Eastern on May 28.

Adamantine ChefRPG17108557

System: Fate Core
In Dreed, competitive cooking is serious business. Can your team defeat their rivals & earn the title of Gods of Cooking?

This game is set in S. John Ross's marvelous Uresia setting and is an off-beat, anime-inflected fantasy adventure.


System: GURPS Fourth Edition
Your squad of space marines has crashed on a failed colony world. You must make your way across a landscaped scarred by nuclear war to secure your escape, but an ancient threat stirs beneath your feet.

This game is cinematic military sci-fi inspired by video games like Gears of War and Mass Effect Andromeda.

Take the Game and Run

A few months ago, I talked about one of the regular players in my weekly D&D game at my local game cafe. He had started his own campaign at home and was discovering all of the joys and pitfalls of being a dungeon master that I did nearly 20 years ago.

Recently, events conspired to keep us from meeting at the cafe for about three weeks. During that time, this player organized his own one-shot with the other regular players at another location. The adventure drew on elements that had been introduced in our previous campaign playing through Curse of Strahd, and it sounded like an awesome session I would have loved to have played.

But I was blown away that he had put something like this together. One of my players had actually run a spin-off of my organized play campaign with no prompting from me. And everyone had a great time! I'm not surprised — this is one of my best regular players, and everything he's told me about his home game has shown that he has excellent DM instinct…

Incite Mutation

This is a sample Wild Talents power originally designed for Greg Stolze’s delightfully weird Progenitor setting. It was intended to be the entire power set for a Tier 4 character.

Incite Mutation 10d+8hd+6wd (U U ; 7 per die; 350 pts)
Useful extras and flaws: Endless +3, If/Then (powers granted by Variable Effect must have Locational) -1, If/Then (only for Variable Effect) -1, If/Then (only to grant powers derived from physical mutation) -1, If/Then (not on self) -1, Variable Effect +4. Capacity: Mass.
Useful extras and flaws: Always On -1, Attached to mutation quality -2, If/Then (not on self) -1, Permanent +4. Capacity: Mass.

You can cause a target other than yourself to physically mutate, granting incredible but disfiguring abilities. You must touch the target. On a successful activation, you transfer dice from your Incite Mutation miracle to a power of your choice that could result from a physical mutation. For instance, you could cause wings to sprout from the target's back, gra…

Cowboy Character Template

Back in 2009, my wife ran a Western adventure in GURPS at Gen Con. To help her make her pre-gens, I put together this template for a generic cowboy.

Cowboy 100 points Attributes: ST 10 [0]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 11 [10].
Secondary Characteristics: Dam 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.; HP 10 [0]; Will 10 [0]; Per 11 [5]; FP 11 [0]; Basic Speed 5.50 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0].

Advantages: 35 points chosen from ST +1 or +2 [10/level], DX +1 [20], HT +1 or +2 [10/level], Per +1 to +3 [5/level], Alcohol Tolerance [1], Animal Empathy [5], Animal Friend [5/level], Combat Reflexes [15], Common Sense [10], Daredevil [15], Fit or Very Fit [5 or 15], Higher Purpose (Protect the underdog, Defend your own patch of land, etc.) [5], Legal Enforcement Powers [5], Languages [varies], Outdoorsman [10/level], Night Vision 1-4 [1/level], Rapier Wit [5], Recovery [10], Reputation [Varies], Signature Gear [1/level], Unfazeable [15], or Wealth (Comfortable) [10].

Disadvantages: -20 points chosen from Alcoholism [-15], Bad Te…

New Ability: Martial Exercises

Here's a chi-powered ability for warrior characters in fantasy or over-the-top Martial Arts campaigns.

Martial Exercises 35 points/level Each level lets you choose one martial exercise benefit from the list below. You must spend six minutes per level exercising and make a Will or Meditation roll to choose new benefits. If a benefit is listed in bold, you can choose that option more than once and effects in bold stack.

Arm ST +1 (Two arms) + Strongbow.Acute Vision 3.Acute Hearing 3.Blunt Claws + DR 3 (Partial, Hands; Tough Skin).Breath-Holding 3.Damage Resistance 2 (Tough Skin).Filter Lungs + Penetrating Voice.Flexibility + Compact Frame.FP +2.Hard to Kill 3.Hard to Subdue 3.HP +3.Injury Tolerance (No Blood) + Chi Resistance (Pressure Points).Injury Tolerance (No Vitals) + Natural Pockets.Less Sleep 3.Lifting ST +2.Metabolism Control 3 (Hibernation).Nictitating Membrane 6.Night Vision 6.Pressure Support 1 + Pressure-Tolerant Lungs (Thin atmosphere).Reduced Consumption 3.Resistant to…

Stone Golem Gladiator

An enemy for a fantasy gladiator campaign I was planning to run in the GURPS Banestorm setting.

Stone Golem GladiatorST 15HP 18Speed 6.25
DX 11Will 8Move 6
IQ 8Per 8SM +0
HT 14FP -DR 5
Dodge 10Parry 11U

Great Axe (14): 2d+6 cut. Reach 1,2*. Note: 8 lbs.; check for weapon breakage on Parry.
Punch (12): 1d cr. Reach C. Parry 10.

Traits: Clay Golem (from GURPS Magic, includes some of the traits mentioned here for reference); Combat Reflexes; DR 5; Hidebound; High Pain Threshold; Injury Tolerance (Homogenous, No Blood); Unfazeable; Unnatural.
Skills: Brawling-12; Two-Handed Axe/Mace-14.
Gear: Fine great axe.
Cost: $12,500.
Notes: Hidebound means it should avoid Feints and other combat “tricks”. It is a straightforward brawler. Always programmed to surrender if possible before it reaches -18 and is destroyed.

ExeCorr.ban, a Techno-Bane for Werewolf: The Apocalypse

I ran a short game of Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition a few years ago. This was a bane spirit I used in the opening adventure. It had infested a small corporation, and the PCs were sent by a local sept to investigate the Wyrm taint as a test of their trustworthiness.

ExeCorr.ban Rage 2, Gnosis 5, Willpower 5, Essence 15
Charms: Control Electrical Systems, Corruption, Possession, Short Out
The ExeCorr.ban is a spirit of corruption that takes the form of an intelligent computer virus. When it infects a network, it uses its control over the system to send emails that urge users to abuse privileges, compromise projects, and turn on their associates for their own advantage.

My Sales Numbers for April

For April 2017, I offered PDFs, POD books, and POD cards for sale through OneBookShelf: DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, DriveThruCards, etc. This was actually a fairly strong month. In total, I sold 22 units last month, but that included several card products and Fragments issues, bringing revenue up slightly for the month. My total earnings came to $27.74.

Fragments, Volume 1, #2: 3 PDF Fragments, Volume 1, #3: 1 PDF Interstellar Patrol: 7 PDF Interstellar Patrol Adventure Cards: 1 Card/PDF combo, 1 PDF It's Element-ary!: 1 PDF Rituals and Convergences: 3 PDF Situation Aspect Cards: 1 Card/PDF combo, 3 Print-and-Play PDF The Model: 1 PDF

What Did I Accomplish in April

This past month, I continued my effort to produce daily content here on One Yard Hex as well as weekly Fragments on There's no easy way to put this, so I'll just say it: April was a dismal failure. On nearly every metric, I fell down in April. There are personal and professional reasons for it, but that neither excuses nor absolves.

I missed four daily blog posts on One Yard Hex. I would have missed more, but I managed to dig up some old character builds to fill in for more original content. I managed to average ~280 words per post, but that's only because character stat blocks (and especially GURPS characters) require a lot more words than my goal.

The true failure for me this past month was over on though. I only managed to produce one installment of Fragments in April. Obviously, there won't be a collected PDF as a single 650-word article wouldn't be worth anyone's time or money.

In total, I produced…

Blitz: A Speedster (for Wild Talents)

Blitz (300 points) Archetype (5 pts)Source: Genetic
Permissions: Power Theme
Stats (85 pts) Body 2d+1wd (10 pts)
Coordination 5d (25 pts)
Sense 3d (15 pts)
Mind 2d (10 pts)
Charm 3d (15 pts)
Command 2d (10 pts)
Base Will 5
Willpower 5
Skills (2 pts) Brawling 1d (3d+1wd)
Powers (208 pts)Hyperbody 1wd (4 per die; 16 pts)

Hypercoordination 4d (4 per die; 16 pts)

Super-Speed 10d (U; 4 per die; 40 pts)
Useful (speed) extras and flaws: Duration +2. Capacities: Speed.

Super-Speed Benefits 4hd (A D U; 15 per die; 120 pts)
Attacks (electrical aura) extras and flaws: Attached ("speed" quality) -2, Duration +2, Electrocuting +1, If/Then (Only if attacked with an unarmed attack or metal melee weapon) -1, If/Then (Can only affect the hit location used to attack you) -1, Limited Damage (Shock) -1, No Capacities -1. Capacities: N/A.
Defends extras and flaws: Permanent +4. Capacities: Self.
Useful (extra actions) extras and flaws: Permanent +4, Self Only -2. Capacities: Self.
Useful (noncombat) ext…

The Shadow Man: A Masked Vigilante (for Wild Talents)

The Shadow Man is a masked vigilante from a wealthy family who was destroyed by a secret he does not fully understand. In his search for answers he has honed his skills and collected countless gadgets which he carries on his crusade against crime. He has fallen in love with his paramour/nemesis, the Lady Assassin.

Archetype: Costumed Adventurer (11 pts)Sources: Driven, Technological
Permissions: Peak Performer, One Power (Utility Belt)
Stats (162 pts) Body 3D
Coordination 2D+1WD
Sense 2D+1WD
Mind 2D+1WD
Command 3D
Charm 3D
Base Will 15
Motivations Loyalty to heroes (4)
Loyalty to the Lady Assassin (3)
Passion for justice (5)
Passion to discover his family’s dark secret (3)
Skills Acrobatics 2D, Brawling 4D+1WD, Perception 2D+1WD, Scrutiny 2D+1WD, Stability 5D, Stealth 4D
Powers (165 pts)Utility Belt 3D+2HD+1WD (165 pts)
Attacks (+2), Duration (+2), If/Then (only for small gadgets) (-1), If/Then (Only for Variable Effect) (-1), Variable Effect (+4), Willpower Investment -1
Defends (+2), D…

Miss Universe: A Four-Color Superhero (for Wild Talents)

Miss Universe was a normal college student on a weekend camping trip when she was imbued with cosmic energy by an exploding comet. She can channel the energy that exists between universes, but her powers rely totally on her force of will. When she is totally demoralized, she loses all of her supernatural abilities.

Miss Universe can fly at over 150 miles per hour, ignore most normal gunfire, and lift 320 tons.

Archetype: Cosmic (10 pts)Source: Conduit
Permissions: Super
Intrinsics: No Willpower No Way
Stats (104 pts) Body 3D (8D)
Coordination 3D
Sense 3D
Mind 3D
Command 3D
Charm 4D
Base Will 10
Motivations Loyalty to the innocent (3)
Passion for justice (3)
Passion to protect the Earth (4)
Skills (38 pts) Brawl 4D, Dodge 2D, Leadership 3D, Perception 3D, Stability 5D, Stealth 2D
Powers (248 pts)Extra Tough 2HD (20 pts)

Flight 7D (28 pts)

Incredible Strength! 5D (40 pts)
Hyperstat (Body) (+4), Booster +2, No Upward Limit (+2)

Invulnerability 4HD (160 pts)

Let’s Make a Character: Scavenger (GURPS After the End)

Here's another character I made last year on Let's Make a Character, a post-apocalyptic scavenger for GURPS After the End.

ST 12 [20]; DX 13 [60]; IQ 11 [20]; HT 11 [10]
Damage 1d-1/1d+1; BL 34 lbs.; HP 12 [0]; Will 11 [0]; Per 14 [15]; FP 11 [0]; RP 16 [5].
Basic Speed 6.00 [0]; Basic Move 6 [0].
Advantages Craftiness 1† [5]; Gizmos 1 [5]; Hard to Kill 1 [2]; Lifting ST 1 [3].
† A Talent benefiting Acting, Camouflage, Disguise, Holdout, Shadowing, and Stealth. Reaction bonus: none! 5 points/level.
Disadvantages Bad Temper (12) [-10]; Compulsive Gambling (15) [-2]; Greed (9) [-22]; Light Sleeper [-5]; Overconfidence (15) [-2*]; Sense of Duty (teammates) [-5].
Skills Anthropology (H) IQ-1 [2]-10; Brawling (E) DX+2 [4]-15; Camouflage  (E) IQ+1 [1]-12†; Current Affairs (Regional) (E) IQ+1 [2]-12; Disguise (A) IQ [1]-11†; Filch (A) DX [2]-13; Holdout (A) IQ+1 [4]-13†; Knife (E) DX+1 [2]-14; Merchant (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Observation (A) Per-1 [1]-13; Pickpocket (H) DX+1 [8]-14; Scroungi…

Let's Make a Character: Speedster (Mutants & Masterminds 2e)

Here's another of the completed characters I made last year on Let's Make a Character: a speedster for Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition. (You can find the video at the end of this post.)

Power Level: 10 (150 pp)

Abilities: Str 12 (+1), Dex 14 (+2), Con 12 (+1), Int 10 (+0), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 12 (+1)

Skills: Acrobatics 4, Bluff 6, Climb 4, Diplomacy 6, Investigate 4, Notice 12, Search 8, Sense Motive 4, Stealth 8

Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Elusive Target, Equipment 1 (5 ep), Hide In Plain Sight, Move-By Action, Seize Initiative

Equipment: Armored jumpsuit, commlink, night vision goggles

Powers: Enhanced Dodge 10 (Cost: 10 pp); Enhanced Attack 4 (Cost: 8pp); Enhanced Feat 6 (Attack Focus [melee], Defensive Roll 2; Cost: 6 pp); Immunity 1 (aging; Cost: 1 pp); Super-Senses 5 (Time Sense, Acute Analytical Radius Temporal Awareness; Cost: 5 pp); Super-Speed 8 (2,500 mph; Rapid Attack; Alternate Powers: Drain Ability Scores 5 [Power Feat: Slow Fade—1 minu…

Gilwell the Arcane

Here's a third pregen for GURPS Harkwood, a charlatan "wizard" who actually has a shred of magical ability.

Gilwell the Arcane 150 points
ST 10 [0]; DX 12 [40]; IQ 13 [40]; HT 10 [0].
Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.; HP 10 [0]; Will 13 [0]; Per 13 [0]; FP 10 [0].
Basic Speed 5.5 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8; Parry 10 (Brawling).
Social BackgroundTL: 3 [0].
CF: Christian [0].
Languages: Anglish (Native) [0]; Elvish (Accented/None) [2].
Advantages Acute Hearing 2 [4]; Charisma 1 [5]; Flexibility [5]; Half-Elf [27]; Smooth Operator 1 [15].
Perks: Penetrating Voice [1].
Half-Elf: IQ+1 [20]; Extended Lifespan 1 [2]; Magery 0 [5]. 27 points.
Disadvantages Combat Paralysis [-15]; Delusion (I am a wizard) [-5]; Gregarious [-10]; Wealth (Struggling) [-10].
Skills Acting (A) IQ+1 [2]-14†; Brawling (E) DX+2 [4]-14; Detect Lies (H) Per-1 [1]-12†; Diplomacy (H) IQ-1 [1]-12†; Escape (H) DX-2 [1]-10; Fast-Talk (A) IQ+2 [4]-15†; Holdout (A) IQ [2]-13; Knife (E) DX+1 [2]-13; Psychology (H) IQ [4]-1…

Martin the Strummer (from Let's Make a Character 1)

About a year ago, I started a series of live streams called Let’s Make a Character. I used social media polls to make key decisions about an RPG character, and then I built that character live on Twitch.

The first character I made was a bard for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. I used the template from Dungeon Fantasy 1 and the loadouts from Dungeon Fantasy 13. Below, you can find the completed stats for that character, and you can watch me make him right here. (Be warned, the audio for this stream had some definite problems. I’ve been working since then on finding better sound equipment.)

Martin the Strummer 250 points ST 11 [10]; DX 12 [40]; IQ 14 [80]; HT 11 [10].
Damage 1d-1/1d+1; BL 24 lbs.; HP 11 [0]; Will 14 [0]; Per 14 [0]; FP 13 [6].
Basic Speed 6.00 [5]; Basic Move 6 (4 while encumbered) [0]; Dodge 9 (8 while encumbered); Parry 10; Block 11.
Advantages Appearance (Attractive) [4]; Bardic Talent 3 [24]; Charisma 1 [5]; Eidetic Memory [5]; Musical Ability 2 [10]; Voice [10].
Perks: Penetr…

Speaking of Designer's Notes

I recently posted a blog about designer's notes for RPGs and why I love them. I mentioned a number of designer's notes about various GURPS products available from Steve Jackson Games. One of those articles, "GURPS Fourth Edition: Designer Notes," was recently republished on SJ Games' Medium account.

Also at that account, last September, Sean Punch put up a five-part series of designer's notes (starting here) detailing the upcoming Dungeon Fantasy RPG. In these posts, he discusses how he went about distilling and reshaping the GURPS Fourth Edition rules into a standalone fantasy box set. I definitely recommend checking these out if you are interested in either Dungeon Fantasy or game design and production in general.

Jeremiah Stone, Merchant and Silver Hand Spy

Another pregen for GURPS Harkwood. And some classic art!

Jeremiah Stone, Merchant and Silver Hand Spy 150 points
ST 10 [0]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 10 [0].
Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.; HP 10 [0]; Will 14 [5]; Per 13 [0]; FP 10 [0].
Basic Speed 5 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0].
Social BackgroundTL: 3 [0].
CF: Christian [0].
Languages: Anglish (Native) [0]; Arabic (Accented/Broken) [3]; Dwarven (Broken/None) [1]; Elven (Native/None) [3].
Advantages Business Acumen 2 [20]; Lightning Calculator [2]; Patron (King of Caithness; 9 or less) [15]; Photographic Memory [10].
Perks: Honest Face [1]
Disadvantages Duty (To the King, 9 or less) [-5]; Miserliness (9) [-15]; Stubbornness [-5]
Skills Accounting (H) IQ+2 [4]-15†; Acting (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Administration (A) IQ+2 [2]-15†; Area Knowledge (Caithness) (E) IQ+2 [4]-15; Carousing (E) HT [1]-10; Detect Lies (H) Per-1 [2]-12; Fast-Talk (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Finance (H) IQ+1 [2]-14†; Gambling (A) IQ+1 [1]-14†; Holdout (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Knife (E) DX+3 [8]-13; Merchant …

Dame Alaina, Knight of the Stone

A pre-generated character I made when I was thinking of running "Intrigue in Harkwood" from GURPS Harkwood for (I think) the third time. Plus a cute cartoon of a knight!

Dame Alaina, Knight of the Stone Female human, 22 years, 5'11", 170 lbs.
150 points
ST 13 [30]; DX 13 [60]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 12 [20].
Dmg 1d/2d-1; BL 34 lbs.; HP 13 [0]; Will 10 [0]; Per 10 [0]; FP 12 [0].
Basic Speed 6.25 [0]; Basic Move 6 [0]; Dodge 9 (11 on shield side); Parry 10 (12 on shield side); Block 12.
Social BackgroundTL: 3 [0].
CF: Christian [0].
Languages: Anglish (Native) [0].
Advantages Patron (Order of the Stone; 9 or less) [15]; Reputation (Champions of justice; +2; From Caithnessers loyal to the crown, all the time) [5]; Status 2 [10]; Wealth (Comfortable) [10]
Disadvantages Code of Honor (Chivalry) [-10]; Duty (To the Knights of the Stone; 9 or less) [-5]; Overconfidence (6) [-10]; Sense of Duty (To Caithnessers loyal to the crown) [-10]
Skills Area Knowledge (Caithness) (E) IQ+1 [2]-1…

What Does a Developer Do?

I think the role of "developer" is a nebulous one to a lot of folks in the tabletop gaming hobby, but it's one that is very important to the process of making games. Everyone knows what a "designer" is — they make the game, right? And a publisher is responsible for putting the game out for sale in a form people can use. There are a bunch of talented people who get involved along the way, from editors to artists and graphic designers.

But what is a "developer?" A lot of RPGs don't even list one on the credits page. Well, sometimes they're called "developmental editor," but that's not what I mean. Simply put, a developer helps the designer execute their vision. They take the rules draft and see how well it matches up to the design goals. Where they can, they offer suggestions and edits to make systems more coherent and to better fit to those goals.

It's possible for this role to fall to the book's editor, but the editor is …

My Sales Numbers for March

For March 2017, I offered PDFs, POD books, and POD cards for sale through OneBookShelf: DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, DriveThruCards, etc. The first half of March featured the GM's Day Sale, and I got a bit of a bump from that promotion. In total, I sold 27 units last month, all PDFs. My total earnings came to $19.94.

Arthuria: 1 PDF
Fragments, Volume 1, #2: 3 PDF
Full Moon: 1 PDF
Full Moon Quickstart Adventure: Stir Crazy: 1 PDF
Interstellar Patrol: 8 PDF
Rituals and Convergences: 6 PDF
Situation Aspect Cards: 6 Print-and-Play PDF
The Model: 1 PDF

Fragments Volume 1, #3 Released

I'm proud to announce the release of Fragments Volume 1, #3 on DriveThruRPG. The third issue of Fragments presents a mini-supplement for Fate Accelerated Edition—Dungeon Accelerated. Templates for character classes and races get you ready to delve into treacherous underground realms in moments!

These articles originally appeared at, but they have been expanded upon with rules for spicing up conflicts — including lethal attacks, tactical movement, and more — and are collected in a single illustrated PDF that features bookmarks as well as layers designed for easy printing.

For just $3.49, you get this complete mini-supplement, including spectacular art by Brian Patterson! If you like this issue and want to get future ones as well as support the work I do here on One Yard Hex, consider backing my Patreon. Patrons at the $5 level and above get each new issue of Fragments free.

What Did I Accomplish in March

This month, I continued my effort to produce daily content here on One Yard Hex as well as weekly Fragments on Unfortunately, I missed my blog goal once in March, but I still exceeded my word count goals for the month.

I maintained my goal of ~100 words for posts here on this blog. To date, I am averaging about 338 words per post. Over on, my goal was still 500 words per Fragments post, but the average there dipped a little to ~480 words each. In total, I planned to write 4,700 words this month, and I ended up writing ~8,300 words.

In total, I produced:

18 blog posts here on One Yard Hex, including6 GURPS posts, a 5-part series looking back at Vampire: The Masquerade 1st Edition, and7 posts on other topics; and5 Fragments posts (including tomorrow's entry) and one news post on (with another news post scheduled for tomorrow, the 31st).
I also streamed 6 Fallout 4 game sessions on Twitch, and thos…

Game Designers I Think Are Awesome: Cam Banks

I first noticed Cam Banks' work when I was running Dragonlance in college. His name kept popping up in these great adventures and sourcebooks I was buying. Since then, he's gone on to lead the design of the Cortex Plus system for Margaret Weis Productions and is the RPG Director at Atlas Games, where I've had the pleasure of working with him on Feng Shui 2.

One thing I've learned from following Cam's work is to be flexible and not get tied down to a single idea or a way of thinking. His design work with Amanda Valentine on the Demon Hunters: A Comedy of Terrors RPG for Dead Gentlemen Productions merged Cortex Plus and Fate Core in a way I didn't really expect was possible.

I was overjoyed when Cam announced that he had licensed Cortex and would be taking over its next evolution under his own banner at Magic Vacuum Design Studio. If you want to follow the great stuff he's putting out, head over to Cam's Patreon. I'm a backer, and I've already see…

Loi Scout Saucer (TL 11^)

Note: The Loi are an alien race featured in GURPS Atomic Horror. This can be used as a stock flying saucer for any B-movie inspired GURPS campaign.

The scout saucer features artificial gravity, gravitic compensators, a stealth hull (-10 to detect), and FTL comm/sensor arrays. Its tractor beam can generate 30 tons of force.
Front Hull [1] Armor, Diamondoid (dDR 20)
[2] Multipurpose Comm/Sensor Array
[3] Habitat (6 cabins)
[4] Habitat (20 hibernation chambers, 1-bed sickbay)
[5!] Weapon Battery, Major (turret-mounted 300MJ tractor beam)
[6] Cargo Hold (50 tons)
Central Hull [1] Armor, Diamondoid (dDR 20)
[2] Control Room
[3!] Weapon Battery, Medium (turret-mounted 100MJ laser, turret-mounted 28cm antimatter missile launcher, 15 tons cargo space)
[4!] Force Screen, Heavy (dDR 70)
[5-6] Cargo Hold (100 tons)
[core!] Stardrive Engine (FTL-1)
Rear Hull [1] Armor, Diamondoid (dDR 20)
[2] Engine Room
[3!] Reactionless Engine, Super (50G acceleration)
[4-6] Cargo Hold (150 tons)
[core] Power P…

Review: Kaiju Incorporated RPG

The Kaiju Incorporated RPG (KIRPG) is a Fate Core-powered roleplaying game setting supplement from Evil Hat Productions, designed by Rob Wieland. The RPG serves as a tie-in to the Kaiju Incorporated card game designed by Eric B. Vogel, also from Evil Hat.

In the world of Kaiju Incorporated, giant monsters threaten civilization on a regular basis, and the Earth's only defense is a force of giant robots piloted by Aces. This is certainly a familiar arrangement, but neither KIRPG nor the card game are about these epic battles. Rather, they are about the companies that profit from the cleanup and reconstruction that follows. In the case of KIRPG, you play as the actual cleanup teams on the ground after (or sometimes even during) a kaiju attack.

KIRPG is a simple implementation of Fate Core, akin to a double-sized Fate World. You'll need a copy of the Fate Core rules to play. Characters are built using a pared-down version of the modes from the Atomic Robo RPG, choosing three of C…

Sphinx Lock: A Combination Gadget for GURPS Cyberpunk/Ultra-Tech

Sphinx Lock (TL 9): This device fits onto a normal suitcase or trunk and seals it with a biometric scanlock. While the subject is being scanned, a non-volitional AI (IQ 6, running on a fast small computer) engages him in simplistic conversation. The childish question-and-answer may confuse an intruder, but an authorized user will know that the AI is simply fishing for pass-phrases. Anyone not delivering the proper pass-phrase in the 10 seconds needed to complete the scan fails the test, and the unit locks down completely. The lock can be programmed to accept multiple authorized users, each with one or more unique pass-phrases. $3,800, 1.32 lbs., C/4 days. LC4.

Some models deliver a high-voltage shock similar to a zap glove (p. 165) if the subject "fails. " $4,120,  2.12 lbs. C/4 days and B/10 "zaps." LC3. Other models include a built-in pneumohypo (p. 199) and 10 doses of morphazine (p. 205).  $3,916, 1.4 lbs., C/4 days. LC3.

(Page references are to GURPS Ultra-Tech

Noir World Launches on Kickstarter

Game designer and editor extraordinaire John Adamus has been working on Noir World, a film noir RPG powered by the Apocalypse, for a few years now, a real labor of love. I had the pleasure of testing an earlier version of it a few Metatopias ago, and I had quite a bit of fun. I know he's done a lot of work on it since then, and this morning he pulled the trigger on the Kickstarter. I don't have a lot more to say about it that hasn't been said on the Kickstarter page and in the podcast interviews and actual plays that will be coming out during the campaign. Check out Noir World, which as of this writing is already funded. And watch the video—it's pretty slick!

Slime: A New Race for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy

Slime0 points Choice Professions: Bard, Druid, Wizard.
Marginal Professions: Barbarian, Holy Warrior, Knight, Martial Artist, Swashbuckler.

A slime is an animate blob about 1 yard across with large, round eyes and a wide grin. Slimes typically move by bouncing, but occasionally they are known to roll. They have no limbs, being a blob, and therefor cannot use much in the way of equipment. (It might be possible for a slime to swallow rings, amulets and things and utilize them from within their body.)

Attributes: ST -1 [-10].
Advantages: Appearance (Attractive; Universal, +25%) [5]; Injury Tolerance (Homogenous, No Blood, No Head) [47]; Pitiable [5]; Telecommunication (Telesend; Racial, -20%) [24].
Disadvantages: Cannot Speak [-15]; Curious (12) [-5]; No Legs (Bounces) [0]; No Manipulators [-50].
Quirks: Loves new food [-1].

Adapting GURPS Dungeon Fantasy to Karthun

If I were going to run a GURPS Dungeon Fantasy campaign in the world of Karthun, I would replace the traditional GURPS magic system with the rules in Divine Favor and Thaumatology: Sorcery. These changes require a few adjustments to some of the templates in DF1.

Bards cannot use spells (remove options for spells from the template). Bardic Talent does not add to Communication and Empathy spells or Mind Control spells and therefore only costs 5 points/level. Spend the 6 points this frees up in the template on either Bard-Song abilities or special skills.

Clerics and Holy Warriors should use the Saint and Warrior-Saint lenses from Pyramid #3/36, pp. 8-9.

Druids do not use spells. Replace Power Investiture (Druidic) 3 with Druidic Talent 3 (p. 22 of Dungeon Fantasy 1). Spend the 15 points this frees up plus the 20 points allocated to spells on more Druidic abilities.

Wizards must take the Magebound lens below, using the 30 advantage points in the template.

Magebound 30 points Attributes: I…

On Designer Notes

I love designer’s notes. As sidebars, articles, blog posts, or podcast segments, I love when other designers talk about their games, their decisions, and why a system went one way instead of another.

Designer’s notes serve a few purposes. They can expand on the design by offering additional material or alternate systems that were cut from the finished product for some reason. They provide insight into the designer’s process. And finally, they are historical documents that record a particular moment in the evolution of game design.

In the designer’s notes for GURPS Powers, Sean Punch provides outtakes and optional rules that didn’t make it into the final book. A number of these were options suggested during the book’s extensive playtest process. Others, such as the system for pricing power talents, were legitimate outtakes cut from the manuscript. For over a decade, Steve Jackson Games released designer’s notes for nearly every GURPS release in their magazine, Pyramid.

In October 2007,…

Let's Read Vampire: The Masquerade, 1st Edition, Part Five

Chapter Eight: Chronicle We've reached the first Storyteller chapter, and it may be the best of the lot. This chapter contains the beating heart—pardon the expression—of VTM, one bit that sums up what makes this game different from the editions that descend from it.

"The characters in Vampire are expected to be heroes—they must care about what they have become and about what they may soon be. … [F]or the Vampire character to find some way to "win," they must somehow become heroic. They must defeat the monster within by exerting self-restraint, nurturing the impulses of human virtue, and displaying genuine courage. Sometimes the tragedy of Final Death is the Vampire's only hope of heroic escape."

This blew me away when I first read it. All of my previous experience with Vampire had been about duplicity, backstabbing, and generally reveling in being monsters. Here this book was saying, "Grow up. Be better than that." When did that sentiment die, an…

Let's Read Vampire: The Masquerade, 1st Edition, Part Four

Chapter Six: Drama This chapter expands on the very simplified rules we saw a few chapters earlier. Right away, it talks about breaking your game down into scenes, advice which shows up in just about every game these days. An interesting thing VTM does is suggest running action scenes—even ones without combat—in a structured way with each character taking turns resolving their actions.

This is followed by systems for various common actions—physical and social. Combat is just stuck in the middle of the section on physical actions. Combat is … different. There's no initiative system; actions are described and resolved in whatever order you like. In hand-to-hand combat, it's assumed that attackers pair off. If you are punching someone, it's assumed that they are punching or biting you back. And whoever wins the opposed roll does damage to the other. In a firefight, you just roll to shoot whoever you'd like. Damage and "soak" rolls work like in later Storyteller…