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Joshua Burnett
Vagabond Cartoonist and Game Designer
Vagabond Cartoonist and Game Designer

Joshua's posts

Rotating GMs?
One of our players in our online Dresden Files game couldn't show up this week, so the rest of us started to put together a Blades in the Dark crew. It occurred to us that the low-prep nature of the game plus the "crew is more important than the individual PC" philosophy of the game might make Blades in the Dark perfect for rotating GM campaign.
Has anyone here had any experience with rotating GMs in their Blades games? Any advice you can give or pitfalls you can warn me about?

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D&D was on hold due to player absence, so I ran a one-shot/first session of Ryuutama for my group this past Sunday.

The Travelers:
Sven Saddlesoap (played by my son Erik, who mostly has just played D&D with us): 22 year old male Artisan (weapon smith) who carries his father's old hammer. His sister works as a florist in the nearby town of Ravenshield.

Zephyr (played by my wife Ivy, whose favorite games are Vampire, Monsterhearts, and Dogs in the Vineyard): 16 year-old merchant androgyne with a foul-mouthed parrot named Jark. Zephyr's family are refugees from an exotic foreign land, and can be found working as merchants in every city and town (like Nurse Jenny from Pokemon).

Lady Marigold (played by Adam, who's mostly only played D&D and maybe Shadowrun but he's played a lot of it): 17 year-old female noble from a long line on winter wizards. Blonde, excitable, and peppy. She wants to "get to the other side of the board" and increase her noble standing.

Jolene (played by Pockets, who's got a history with Warhammer and plays D&D with us now): 15 year-old female farmer. Scrubby and frumpy with a "Daria" additude. Zephyr's family took her in when her parents died.

The travelers leave their home of Onion Town and head for the city of Moon Shallows. Moon Shallows is famous for its healing springs, and is a common first-stop for travelers who bathe in the sacred waters for luck. It's just now spring, and the roads are in bad condition after a long and unusally harsh winter.

A few miles out of town, the travelers encounter a field full of giant flowers with bloom the size of umbrellas. Three-inch bees buzz back and forth between the flowers and the honey-swollen tree where they make their hive. Marigold uses winter magic to put the hive to sleep and the party manages to steal several units of honey (delicious rations). However, the greedy Marigold fumbles her gathering roll and breaks into the queen-bee's chamber, awakening the hive. Marigold gets poisoned and the party gets while the getting's good.

That night, Sven fumbles the camping roll, but the timely intervention of a green bespectacled owl (Kendrick the Ryujin) changes that to a critical success. The party also finds a beautiful greenwood walking stick at a dragon statue.

The next day the travelers come to a bridge guarded by thee Neko-goblins who demand a toll to cross. Negotiations fail, and we fall into our first combat. The PCs made great rolls on their initiatives, and dispatch the nekos without taking any damage. (The PCs didn't find this out because the conversation didn't go that way, but the Nekos had been run out of their home by a couple of slimes and are shaking down travelers for money so they can buy a new place to live. The PCs didn't pick up the sidequest to drive away the Slime Brothers).

Finally the travelers enter the highlands south of the Angel Mountains and spot the city of Moon Shallows. Its rainy and the road is in terrible disrepair, which is weird because road crews from the large city should have fixed the winter damage by now. The party runs into a surveyor, Stella, from the city and her giant pack tortoise. Stella informs them that something has corrupted Moon Shallow's sacred pools, and most of the city folk are sick (that's why she's out here surveying the roads alone). The travelers lend her a hand with her surveying tasks (its difficult in the rain) then head into the city to find an inn, sell off some of their trade goods, and maybe solve the mystery of the city's ills.

But that's for next session...

Sadly, while everyone had a good time and liked the system (especially the easy mechanics and group world building), they did not love it like I hoped they would. I'm not sure if we'll play it again, but I hop to. It' will be up to my players (I have a couple other games in the chamber).

Thankfully, I have two other groups (online ones) that have expressed interest, so I'm sure I'll run Ryuutama again in the near future.

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I don't quite grok the Objectives rules. They're a organizational and pacing tool for campaigns, which is fine. Milestones lay out the traditional campaign structure of "to get X, you need to do A, B, and C" which is fine. Then it ads the percentages on top of everything which seems... unnecessary? Especially since (as described "Shortcut!") you can totally complete you objective when you're nowhere near 100%

I really dig most of the new rules in the 3rd edition, but Objectives just aren't clicking for me. What would my campaign loose if I chucked the Objectives rules entirely? What am i missing?

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Guess whose wife got him a #Svengoolie shirt for his birthday.
(This guy!)

An hour on the treadmill listening to power metal (Slough Feg, Manowar, and Blind Guardian). I feel ready to march on Rome!

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Flumphs of Carcosa [Flumph Friday February]
Today I add flumphs to Geoffrey McKinney’s Carcosa . The specific version of Carcosa I’m using comes from McKinney’s four Carcosa AD&D modules , not the core Carcosa book. These gazetteers (which you should go buy) make use of traditional AD&D classes and a...

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The Flumph for Ryuutama [Flumph Friday February]
Today I present to you the Flumph for Ryuutama (a delightful game I intend on reviewing in the near future.)

Flumph Level: 4 Habitat: All Season: All Materials: Flumph pearl (500gp) Draconica Number: 537 HP: 12 MP: 16 STR: 6 DEX: 4 INT: 6 SPI: 8 Initiative ...
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