Savage Characters design concepts now on High Level Games website

The good folks over on High Level Games asked me to write some thoughts about the design principles behind Savage Characters Volume 1.

Take a look: 3 Keys to Building a Savage Character.

DLG One Sheets… coming soon!

The minions in the DLG Studios have been busy at more than our Gaming the Movies column in Knight of the Dinner Table Magazine and writing adventures for other settings. We’re creating a line of Savage Worlds “One Sheet” adventures: 2-3 page quick adventures suitable for a night of play or a convention slot. The first four adventures will highlight the DLG Settings first introduced in our Savage Characters, Volume 1.

Last Flight Out – Set in the swashbuckling future of Theta Ships and Iron Men, the crew of a system ship must do everything they can to get spaceborne and reach a Theta Ship before they get stranded on the planet for the rest of their lives.

Come to the Festival – In 1969, the Woodstock Festival gathered 400,000 people together for days of music, drugs, free-thinking, and maybe just a demonic summoning the size the world has never seen. Can our ‘off-duty’ mobsters realize what is happening and put a stop to demons muscling in on their territory? Set in Demon Streets and Made Men where the only ones to stop the evil are the bad guys.

Fall of Alexandria – The Dragon God in Rome is determined to destroy the stores of knowledge in Aegyptian Alexandria. Can our heroes survive the decimation of a city to find and protect the secrets to bringing down the Dragon God? Set in Dark Ages and Dragon Gods.

On the Trail – Sometimes the hardest thing is just to get from A to B. Our posse has to get to Blackwater but first they run into a wagon trail in trouble. Set in Sixguns & Ghost Lands.

500 Word Writing Challenge #1: Three Coins in the Hand

Rory MacLeod started a Facebook Group for Columbus Writers with sort of vague intention but I’m always drawn to supporting other writers and getting inspired to do more myself. So I joined and suggested a weekly challenge. The limit would be 500 words but each week we would seed the writing with just an image, a snippet of an idea. It would be open to wide interpretation and I think some of the fun is seeing how others take the same snippet in completely fresh directions.

This is my entry for the first week. The theme is “Three Coins in the Hand”. These are two characters I’ve messed around with fictionally as sort of classic partners (a’la the Gentlemen Bastards, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, etc.). I also wanted to see if I could write an entertaining one-sided conversation. I’m open to feedback.

Three Coins in the Hand

Bern opened his large hand revealing three silver coins which Corso snatched out of habit.

“Three shillings? What will three shillings do for us? Not that I’m one to turn away the dependable stalwart coin but we have crown-sized problems, not shillings.”

Bern sat on the long table’s bench, making the wood groan and the other patrons shift themselves away from him. He made a motion a slave brought over two large bowls of suety stew. Corso sat down opposite to his friend with distaste at the whole experience.

“Bern, time is running out. The King’s men are still looking for us and now that the Ibarites have decided to lay siege to the city, we can’t be on our merry way as usual. My local friends aren’t going to be friendly enough without some serious money.”

He looked down at the stew and made no move to partake even as Bern shoveled it into his mouth. Glancing around, he frowned as he saw more King’s soldiers march by the front of the squalid, crowded eatery.

“Where did you get the shillings anyway? You are many things my friend but a pocket filch is not one of them, at least without taking the pocket along with the coins. The King’s the only person with money in this city anyway.”

Bern ignored him, waving for more food.

Corso’s eyes opened wide.

“You took the King’s shilling!” Bern glanced up for a moment and resumed eating.

“You fool! Don’t you think walking into the King’s Court is just a few steps away from being walked into their prison?? We’d be recognized on the spot! I blend in easily anywhere but you are a man of proportions quite difficult to miss.”

A thin man stumbled into Bern and bounced back as if he’d hit a wall.

“Many pardons, sir,” mumbled the man as he faded into the crowd.

“What’s the big plan, eh? Swear our loyalties to the man who wants our heads on pikes, get kitted out in the Royal Blue, and die for him defending the gates? Or better yet, get volunteered for a suicidal sally force outside the walls against horde of Ibarite… archers and… axe…” Corso fell silent, his mind working.

“Where we fake our deaths, drop the Royal Blue, and disappear into the good night! Bern, you’re a genius!” whispered Corso his face filled with glee. “Dangerous to be sure but dashing as well and we do dangerous and dashing better than anyone!”

Bern favored his partner with a smile. “You going to eat that?” gesturing to Corso’s cold stew. Bern pulled it to himself.

“So where is the rest of the money? With the siege, the King is offering ten shillings a man.”

Bern didn’t even look up from his stew.

“What?!”

Bern raised an eyebrow.

“The money would be perfectly safe in my care. Money and I have the finest friendship. To be sure we have our spats but we always fall in love again.”

Bonus Setting Rules and Errata for Savage Characters Volume 1

Greetings DLG fans and supporters!

We have now posted a document to support our Savage Characters Volume 1 product. There are a couple minor pieces of errata in there but we’ve also added some Setting Rules from as-yet-unpublished Dark Ages and Dragon Gods Setting Book. Since some of the characters in the DADG part of the book have either the “Blooded” edge or the “Raised as an…” edge, we decided to provide full descriptions of the Racial Abilities and the options under the Raised as an… Edge.

Grab your copy as a free download.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short: the Accountant

My wife and I are avid movie-goers even in the age of Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO. There is something about the group experience in the theater, the energy, the big screen, and the popcorn. Can’t do a movie without the popcorn which is also our little way of making sure the theater industry can keep going.

This series of articles will be my movie reviews. We often watch movies at the second-run theater to economize so I don’t think any of my reviews should be considered spoiler-rich because if you haven’t seen the movie after six weeks of release, you’re fair game.

I rate movies by the number of “ticket stubs” (0 to 5) symbolizing if it was good enough to go see again.

The Accountant

Summary: Ben Affleck stars as Christopher Wolff, an autistic accountant who does accounting forensics for some of the worst people on the planet: drug kingpins wanting to know where that extra $100M went but unable to trust anyone in their own organization. Surprisingly he’s also got other crazy skills including being a crack sniper and a martial artist.

Review: (5 out of 5 ticket stubs)

What seems like a premise that is difficult to believe or like a knockoff of Jason Bourne, really comes off solidly in this movie. Wolff’s abilities and his autism are carefully established through flashbacks. Plot twists are prepared early and surprise late so they feel right. Wolff can do many things but also has difficult in social situations and it appears that romance is “undiscovered country” for him.

It really makes me realize how movies are not this well constructed. There is drama, suspense, secrets, and action that all make sense. I’d say 90% of the movies my wife and I see have us talking about them afterward, usually identifying hanging questions or plot holes. We couldn’t find anything wrong with the Accountant and she let me know about a clue that I’d missed while watching it.

I’d recommend this movie to anyone but especially those who like some action in their movie and a plot that never felt like a retread.

Latest work published through Adamant Entertainment

Greetings, fans!

While the Dragonlaird might be sluggish, work never stops here at DLG design studio. This week, Adamant Entertainment published Count Shadau, part of their Thrilling Tales Villains collection. You can grab a copy for your pulp Savage Worlds campaign for just $2!

Check it out on the Adamant Entertainment site!

Until next time!

Guild of Shadows Adventures available on DriveThruRPG

I had the opportunity to write three thief-oriented adventures for Mat Greenfield’s Guild of Shadows setting for Savage Worlds all set in the setting’s main city of Kurstwahl. I’m proud to have been a part of this endeavor as I believe that Mat brings fresh blood and imagination into the classic Thieves Guild structure of a fantasy campaign setting. Bringing it to life using my favorite game system, Savage Worlds, makes the setting easy to pick up and have fun with straight away.

The Campaign Guide as well as the individual adventures and other high quality support materials are available on DriveThruRPG and I recommend that you check them out.

2015 Activity at Dragonlaird Gaming

An interesting summary page on the activity here on the blog.

DriveThruRPG Halloween Sale – Get your copy of Savage Characters!

DriveThruRPG is holding its annual Halloween sale from October 26 through November 2. You can get copies of Savage Characters at a nice discount. Good time to buy for the holidays. :)

Savage Characters, Volume 1 Design Diary Published

Hey DLG Fans,

A design diary I wrote about the Savage Characters, Volume 1 has been published in a great e-zine, Savage Insider. I’d appreciate it if you took a look.

Savage Insider V3I2

Jim