Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Dungeons and Dragons 5E: Taking the Plunge!

After finally purchasing the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition Players Handbook and Dungeon Masters Guide and reading them, I have decided on running a local game. Also, as a tinkerer, I feel the need to create a setting that incorporates all of the awesomeness that is to be found in the PHB. Making a setting that is both all my own, and hearkening back to all of the weird stuff that I loved as a kid to the even weirder stuff I like today.

So what does that mean? It means Spelljammer, Planescape, He-Man, Voltron, Blackstar, Dragons, weird Comic Books, Dinosaurs and anything else I can cram in there. But keeping the weird and wonderful D&D feel. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017



The Explorers Club is an American-based international multidisciplinary professional society with the goal of promoting scientific exploration and field study. The club was founded in New York City in 1905, and has served as a meeting point for explorers and scientists worldwide. The Explorers Club originally met at the request of noted journalist, historian, and explorer Henry Collins Walsh, to form an organization to unite explorers in the bonds of good fellowship and to promote the work of exploration by every means in its power. The Explorers Club was incorporated on October 25, 1905 and has chapters around the globe and one on Mars and one on Venus.
The Explorers Club’s New York chapter holds regular meetings in its current headquarters on the Upper East Side, a six-story Jacobean revival mansion on East 70th Street, where it houses its extensive collection of artifacts, trophies and specimens. Also on the premises is the Frank Reade Exploration Library, the Professor George Edward Challenger Map Room, Patrick Burlingame Botanical garden and many laboratories and classrooms for use by its members. The building was purchased in 1919 from the estate of Stephen C. Clark (who was killed in a Martian Gas attack in 1901). Since then expansion and remodeling has been underway.
Chapter Houses: New York (main HQ), Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, San Diego, St Louis, Hawaii (Owahu), London, Cairo, Johannesburg, Piedmont, Istanbul, Sari City (Pellucidar Confederacy), Erotia (Venus) and Zodanga (Mars). 

Prominent Members

David Legge Brainard (1856–Present): U.S. Army Lieutenant-Colonel: Sioux, Bannock, and Nez Perce Campaigns; Survivor, Lady Franklin Bay Expedition (1881–1884); in 1882 claimed Farthest North at 83ยบ24’30” North latitude
Patrick Burlingame (1860-???): British explorer. Biologist and Chief Botanist to the first exploratory mission to Venus (1901); leader of the Mountains of Eternity expedition (1914).
Frank Chapman (1864–Present): Curator of Birds, Dinosaurs and Mammals, American Museum of Natural History.
Frederick Cook (1865–Present): Surgeon and ethnologist to the first Peary Expedition to Greenland (1892); leader of the SS Miranda Expedition (1894); surgeon on the Belgica Expedition (1897–1898), the first ship to winter over in the Antarctic; founding member of the American Alpine Club (1902)
William Dyer (1875-Present): Professor of Geology, Miskatonic University; mountaineer; author; founding member of the Pelucidar Mountaineers Club (1915).
Gullivar Jones (1876-???): U.S. Navy Lieutenant: Spanish–American War, Battle of Manila Bay and Santiago de Cuba. Lost in 1911 during the Mars expedition (1912). Whereabouts unknown.
Herschel Clifford Parker (1867–Present): Professor of Physics, Columbia University; mountaineer; author; founding member of the American Alpine Club (1902)
Frank Reade Jr., (1862-present): U.S. Inventor-hero and owner of Readeworks. Inventor of airships, submersibles, weapons, electrical land vehicles, and automatons.
Marshall Howard Saville (1867–Present): Professor of American Archaeology, Columbia University; Curator of Archaeology, American Museum of Natural History
Henry Collins Walsh (1863– Present): Journalist; historian; explorer of Central America, Greenland and Venus; founding member of Arctic Club of America (1894); and founding member of the Arctic Club of Venus (1910); nominal "Founder" of The Explorers Club (1904)
Caspar Whitney (1862– Present): War correspondent, explorer of North and South America, outdoorsman, sports journalist, member of the International Olympic Committee (1900–1905), author; Editor, Outing magazine.

Famous firsts
The Explorers Club is renowned for a series of "famous firsts" accomplished by its members, including:
First to catalogue native life on Venus (1901) – Patrick Burlingame
First to the North Pole of Venus (1909) – Robert E. Peary & Matthew Henson
First to discover South Pole entrance to the Hollow Earth (1911) – Roald Amundsen & William Dyer
First solo flight to the Moon (1912) – Cyrus P. Hackenbacker
First to explore the Dead World of Pellucidar (1919) – Frank Chapman

Members of the Explorers Club are men (and women) of action, but also of purpose. Not all are academics, but all are dedicated to discovery and adventure. Players characters can come from any kind of background, but all must be dedicated to new discoveries, whatever their motivation.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


A Campaign Setting for Grit & Vigor

With Autumn closing in I find myself pondering tabletop RPG campaigns, and as I have a group eager for a game I am delving back into the Pulp Age Universe I designed for the Grit and Vigor RPG by John Stater. For those unaware, Pulp Age is an alternate universe setting in which select stories all of which is taken from pre-existing literary works or mythology are historic fact (though often hidden from the public). Most of these bits of strange history are those that found their way into the pulps and magazines such as Adventure, Argosy, Amazing Stories, Black Mask, Blue Book, Dime Detective, The Novel Magazine, The Popular Magazine, The Sovereign Magazine, Flying Aces, Stories, Planet Stories, Short Stories, Startling Stories, Street & Smith, Unknown, Weird Tales and Western Story Magazine.
So, the world of the Pulp Age will share much of the history of our world, but punctuated with Alien Invasions, Flying Ships, Lost Lands, Dieselpunk Spaceships, Sorcery, and Mad Science. The resulting world has more BIG DREAMS front and center with scientific innovations are bigger and more obvious, and wild, wonderful and dreadful discoveries are in the newspapers every day.
A bit about Pulp Age Science andTechnology.

The campaign setting, I will be using will begin in the Pulp Age version of New York City in 1923. The Roaring Twenties. An age of social, artistic and cultural dynamism. It was a time that saw unprecedented industrial and economic growth, celebrity and music. It was a world of Art Deco design, automobiles, flappers, gangsters, moving pictures and jazz music. In this Post Great War America, everything is UP. Broadway, Ragtime, Jazz and the beginnings of the movie industry are on everyone's minds and the economy, industry, the stock market, and the American Dream is in full swing. However a number of recent historic events and cultural happenings are in everyone’s minds. Some potent ones are as follows:

THE MARTIAN INVASION (1898-1901): The coming of the Invaders and the subsequent warfare was a bitter struggle that is still in the memories and minds of the people of the Western World. The invaders themselves, are a loathsome species now known as the Sarmak that originate in the Nix Olympias in the Nordus Gordii region of Mars. The Sarmak Martians are now believed to be one of
the Elder Races of Mars and due to the ecological changes ravaging the planet, a race in decline at the time of the first human landings. Technologically advanced, the Sarmak made much use of their perverted science to eke out the meagre resources of Mars and launch their failed invasion of Earth. Though mostly defeated by human resistance the Sarmak are still an issue in some regions of the Earth, and remain active on Mars and Venus.
The Invasion, though catastrophic to many, allowed humanity access to advanced technology and materials that allowed the Western Powers to create many marvels and terrors of their own. Anti-Martian weaponry, particularly Aeronef (heavier than air aircraft), Aerostat (Zeppelins), Babbage Engines (computers), Land Ironclads, Tripods, and other marvels were all developed by extensive study of Martian technology. Unfortunately, many of these marvels were used against humans during the Great War.
Mars Colonies: Several Earth colonies now exist on Mars, originally sent to fight against the Sarmak. These colonies are small at-present, but hope to exploit the Red Planets many riches. Of notable interest are the humanoid Martians called the Auroreans, who are believed to be descendants of Atlantis.

LOST WORLDS AND THE HOLLOW EARTH (1863-Present): Despite Professor Lidenbrock's
discovery of an unknown world beneath the Earth's crust in 1863, it was not until the later Peterson and Challenger expeditions, in the 1890's, that scientists began to understand the riches of the unique prehistoric ecosystem beneath their very feet. With access to the interior world being possible from locations in the Mountains of the Moon and Maple White Land, as well as Iceland, and most recently Caprona Island (now a US territory) it soon became apparent that the virgin world held many exploitable riches including deposits of R-Matter and Apergion.
The difficulty of access, as well as the hostile fauna and flora, did initially restrict the ability of the Western Powers to colonize the new lands, but where the prize is big enough, man's avarice knows no bounds and soon the Powers began to carve up the newly discovered territories, domesticating some of the wild pre-historic beasts to use as transportation and conquering the indigenous sub-human races that populated the wild lands below. Many of the locals are human, and eager to learn from the Western colonials, though some have proven hostile. Several representatives of advanced societies have been discovered in recent days, who have access to advanced technology and are clearly hostile to surface people. 
Fort Dinosaur (United States, Caspak): A growing city on the Island of Caprona, this city/port has tamed this region. The island is an entry point into the Hollow World, and is of great value to the U.S., explorers and investors.

LUNA (1900-Present): The Bedford-Cavour expedition in 1900 which uncovered a subterranean race named the Selenites set about a series of powerful discoveries. The insect-like race had created a relatively advanced underground society following an ancient apocalyptic war on the surface of their world. The Selenites soon found themselves at war with subsequent interlopers from Earth as deposits of R-Matter were discovered on the lunar surface. Whilst their military technology is not as advanced as that from Earth, their innovative use of large underground creatures gives them a decided advantage in battles against the colonial powers. The human bases on the Moon (similar in construction to the Undersea Forts on Earth) find themselves under near constant siege and mining convoys on the Moon's surface are regularly ambushed by Selenite forces.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

AMERU-KA: Zillasaur!

Type: Dragon
Size: Huge
Hit Dice: 18
Armor Class: 18
Attack: 2 Claws (2d4), Bite (3d8 + swallow).
Movement: 40′ (20’ swim)
Save: 8
Intelligence: Low
Alignment: Neutral
No. Appearing: 1d4
XP/CL: 1,800/19

SD—Immunity (sleep, paralysis, poison), Resistance (acid, fire).

Zillasaur are mutant monsters that haunt the post-Ragnarok wilderness. It is believed that these monsters are born from the venom of the dragon-god Nidhoggr and perhaps the flesh of the slaim Midgard Serpent. Whatever the origin, Zillasaurs are a terror wherever they dwell. In the wild, a Zillasaur is primarily a scavenger, eating just about anything it can get ahold of from roadkilla and garbage to all but the fiercest monsters and well-armed people.
Occasionally, powerful spellcasters and warriors can capture and tame a young Zillasaur, using the monster as a powerful and hungry mount. Such brave souls are true terrors of the wastes, though the feeding bill can be expensive. It is claimed that once tamed, a Zillasaur if an obedient and even affectionate mount, rarely leaving its masters side.
Zillasaurs can breathe a 30-foot cone of fire that deals 6d6 points of damage. A successful saving throw reduces damage by half.

These stats are made for use with the Blood & Treasure 2nd Edition RPG by John Stater. Its a fun D20 based game that has an old-school feel. Check it out!

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan