Saturday, 18 October 2008

Friday, 17 October 2008

General: Thanks to Jadrax

Today I just want to post a public thank you to Altdorf Correspondent reader Jadrax, who has alterted me to some erroneous links in the older material.

So ... eh ... thank you, Jadrax! I hope the links are fixed now, and if any of my other readers stumble upon any more errors, just post a comment and I'll be alerted.


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

General: Ooops!

Today I was trying to export my template for the blog, but I managed to replace my template with an older version instead. Go figure.

So until I manage to redo my changes to the template, my blog will look unfamiliar and not at all the way I want it to look.

Oh well.

UPDATE: Well, now it looks sort of normal. I'll have to fiddle with the margins and stuff like that, but mostly it's back to normal.


Friday, 10 October 2008

FAL General: Dungeon of Doom II (UPDATED)

At this very moment I am running the popular dungeon delve Dungeon of Doom at the Stockholm Spelkonvent, in Stockholm, Sweden, together with my friends. We've printed a map 2 meters by 2,40 meters, created by the talented Dante Algstrand and based on WotC dungeon tiles. You can catch a glimpse of it in the pictures below!

We're using the D&D 4e rules, and the players get to pick a PC at random, and then go into our dungeon facing overwhelming odds. PCs are killed left to right, and the players love it!

UPDATE: The Dungeon of Doom is a simple and very popular concept. I had the idea several years ago and together a group of friends put together a killer dungeon for D&D 3e. We had maps, kill markers, overwhelming monsters, adversarial dungeon mastering, and low level PCs. And dropin. Anyone could play, and it took about 15 minutes for their PC to get whacked. And people lined up in droves and droves.

The freewheeling manner of play, one of the basic philosophies behind my own gaming style, is a real draw. And it seems to work equally well for D&D 4e. We're running into some things that slow down play, such as Analysis Paralysis, but a firm DM hand brings things up to speed when things get bogged down.

We have one DM, one rules assistant and one player coach. One huge map, minis for the PCs and minis for the monsters. Dice, rulebooks and stuff like that. We've laminated the character sheets, so players can write on them with dry erase markers.

Works like a charm!


Monday, 6 October 2008

WFRP: Atypical Dwarfs (3)

Welcome to the third installment of Atypical Dwarfs, a series of posts examining dwarf demeanour and offering alternative personalities for dwarf PCs and NPCs.

Click here for installment 1 and 2!

The series is illustrated by Patrik Norrman, the talented and award-winning comic book artist and illustrator. If you enjoy his work and feel that you would like to commission his services, go to my profile and drop me an e-mail.

The Master Smith

In this third part of the series we’ll finally take a look at our first variant dwarf personality; the Master Smith. A dwarf in pursuit of knowledge about how to shape steel into formidable weapons and armour. In a world where possession of a sharp sword can mean the difference between aquisition of supreme power and ignoble defeat, and a sturdy chain mail can save your hide in the heat of battle, a Master Smith is always in demand.

And there are no greater Master Smiths than those who come from the dwarf kingdoms. The most legendary masters have even built small kingdoms of their own, where they rule by stint of their authority on the secrets of iron and fire. For those masters to carry out a commission a prospective buyer must first petition an audience and then pay a large sum of gold, silver, gems or even ancient artifacts for the task to be carried out. There are a few wandering smiths who wander the lands of man and beast, searching for the chance to express their mastery of the craft, and to add to their knowledge by observing what the other races are up to. They are the stuff of legends and are much sought after by kings and lords for their knowledge of smithing.

Adventure seed
The PCs are hired to escort a master smith to a Borderlands kingdom. The ancient master has been commissioned by the king himself to create a fantastic sword as a powerful symbol of his new reign. As might be imagined there are those who want to stop this, or who want to kidnap the smith and put his skills to their own use. When the PCs arrive it transpires that they have to travel to a dwarf hold close by to fetch high class steel ... but there are Beastmen in the mountains. The adventure continues!

PC suggestions

Create a dwarf who has the ambition to become the best smith in the history of the race. He travels around the world, accompanied by other adventurers to learn more about the riddle of steel, hoping to find ancient tomes of documented smithing procedures regarding weapons and armour. This PC should always have an appetite for new knowledge and should put a lot of time into developing his smithing skills and his knowledge of the legends of weaponmaking. He should also be a warrior of some renown, to truly understand the soul of the blade.


Thursday, 2 October 2008

WFRP: Where the fog is the thickest, the Ruinous powers hide

My shameless mining of the works of Charles Dickens continues. This time, the writing comes from Bleak House.


Altdorf. The Chill Month lately over, and our Lord Chancellor sitting in his gilded courts of law. Implacable Ulriczeit weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Jabberwock, forty feet long or so, waddling like a humongous lizard up Imperial Hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakes—gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another in a general infection of ill temper, and losing their foot-hold at street-corners, where tens of thousands of other foot passengers have been slipping and sliding since the day broke (if this day ever broke), adding new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at those points tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound interest.

Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls deified among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Reikland marshes, fog on the Hagercrybs heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Drecksack pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little 'prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a dwarfish balloon and hanging in the misty clouds.

Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time—as the gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling look.

The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in the Courts of Justice, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.

Never can there come fog too thick, never can there come mud and mire too deep, to assort with the groping and floundering condition which this High Court of Chancery, most pestilent of hoary sinners, holds this day in the sight of heaven and earth.

Adolphus Altdorfer
Angestag, Kaldezeit 2, 2523 IC