Friday, May 24, 2013

Help NUELOW Games donate to Oklahoma disaster relief

NUELOW Games's editor L.L. Hundal was greatly saddened by the devastation visited upon Oklahoma this week when the unstoppable forces of Nature tore through communities there. She prompted me to design a ROLF! scenario expressly intended to raise some funds to donate to the relief efforts.

The result was ROLF!: The Tornado vs. Steve Costigan. It is available for sale now, and I urge everyone who plays ROLF! to get a copy. All of NUELOW Games's proceeds from sales on this booklet through the end of September 2013 will be donated to Feed the Children's tornado relief fund. Click here to see previews and to get a copy of your own.

The Tornado vs. Steve Costigan is also one 11 items that are included in a bundle of products we've collected and discounted as part of this fund-raising effort.

If you've never checked out ROLF!, or if you've never bothered to see why I hold Robert E. Howard's humor stories in higher regard than his famous Conan and Solomon Kane tales, now is your chance to discover both at a 45% discount on the total price of the individual items. All proceeds of sales on this bundle will be donated to Feed the Children's Oklahoma tornado relief, and it will be available through at least June 1. If it proves to be a successful fund-raising tool, I'll extend its shelf-life.

When Howard Met ROLF! includes the following products:

Fists of Foolishness -- The first ten stories about sea-faring boxing champ Steve Costigan--a man with fists of steel, a heart of gold, and a head of wood. This book also includes the complete ROLF!-powered roleplaying game The Violent Worlds of Robert E. Howard. Fiction by Robert E. Howard (with one story featuring revisions by Steve Miller), game design by Steve Miller and L/L. Hundal.

Shanghaied Mitts -- Eleven more tales of the boxing exploits and misadventures of Steve Costigan. Includes a game adventure that can be played solo or used with The Violent Worlds of Robert E. Howard or ROLF!. Fiction by Howard (with one story featuring revisions by Miller), game design by Miller.

The Sheik: A Literary (?) Spoof and Battle Scenario: An Arab prince bites off more than he can chew in this spoof of cheesy bodice rippers. Features one of Howard's earliest publications. Fiction by Howard, game design by Hundal.

Bathtime at Bear Creek: Breckenridge Elkins takes a bath once a year whether he needs it or not... but this year's bathtime is interrupted by the nefarious Black Phantom Gang. Includes the very first story featuring Howard's dimwitted cowboy hero, and an additiional little story plus game scenario where he crosses paths with Frank Bolle's Black Phantom. Fiction by Howard and Miller, game design by Miller.

Hammerin' Tongs: Steve Costigan teams crosses paths with Steve Harrison, Howard's hardboiled detective with a habit of catching horrific cases. Game design by Miller.

Cap'n Jack on the Isle of Pirate's Doom: Three Cap'n Jacks join forces with Howard's Caribbean Pirate Queen Helen Taverel in a fight for survival against ninjas and the mysterious Mustache. Game design by Miller

Conan vs. Conan: A joke-slinging late-night talk show host meets a sword-swinging barbarian--will the mouth prove mightier than the sword? Game design by Miller & Hundal.

Pirates vs. Fairies: Howard's legendary pirate Black Vulmea meets the NUELOW Fairies. Game design by Miller & Hundal.

R.L. McSterlingthong and Nikola Tesla vs. the Daughter of Skull-Face: Partly inspired by Howard's "Yellow Meance" character. Fiction by Miller, game design by Miller and Lisa Harding

The Tornado vs. Steve Costigan: The sea-faring boxing champ makes landfall to save a friend's farm by winning a prize fight against Tornado Thommerson... but things don't go quite as planned. Fiction and game design by Miller.

In addition to all of that, we're also donating proceeds on sales on a bundle of our best-selling Oriental Stories anthologies to Feed the Children's tornado relief effort through June 1. Click here for details on the four books featured, and to contribute to a good cause.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Alfred's Scepters--for three different game systems

I am finishing up the latest for NUELOW Games... a little product which will be our first straight-up fantasty-themed d20 System release. (Well, sort of... the artifacts in question were inspired by the real-world 9th century King of Wessex, Alfred the Great.)

By way of a preview, here's Alfred's Scepters... with stats for OGL d20, OpenD6, and ROLF! (Everything here is released under the Open Gaming License, except the paragraph starting "ROLF! System Rules" although if someone is really interested in ROLF! OGL, I will make an SRD and work up a license. :) )

Alfred, King of Wessex
Alfred's Scepters
Two feet in length Afred's Scepters are a matched set of gilded wooded rods crowned with highly stylized, floriated gold Celtic crosses covered in a delicate web-like pattern of silver. The head-pieces can be removed from the wooden rods by simply twisting them off; this does not disrupt the magic inherent in these artifacts, as it resides in the gold crosses.
   When subjected to spells that reveal enchantments, the scepters radiate mild divination magic.

D6 System Rules
When separated, one of Alfred's Scepters grants the character holding it a +1 enchantment bonus to Strength checks to avoid damage. However, the real power of this two-part artifact are revealed when the same character is wielding both of them--one in each hand. To gain the full benefit of Alfred's Scepters, the character cannot be wielding any other weapons.
   When both scepters are used at the same time, the character still gains the +1 enchantment bonus to Strength checks, but gains limited precognative abilities that means he or she gains automatic initiative in any round that he or she is attacked. Essentially, when wielding Alfred's Scepters, the character cannot be taken by surprise. Additionally, he or she gains a +2 bonus to all Diplomacy skill checks and Sense Motive skill checks.
   When out-of-doors, characters wielding both of Alfred's Scepters may, as a full round action, commune with trees and other plant-life to discover what Intelligent beings hostile to the user or his or her subjects, allies, and loved ones, have most recently (within the past month) passed nearby. The level of success and detail of the information gained depends on a Perception roll against the follow target numbers:

Target Number    Result
1-4                      Whether someone has passed.
5-8                      Roughly how many creatures have passed
9-12                    Exactly how many have passed, what race/nationality
13-17                  Same as above, the exact day they passed, name of leader
18+                     Same as above, where they were traveling to.

D20 System Rules
When separated, one of Alfred Scepter's grants the character holding it a +2 enchantment bonus to Armor Class or Defense Rating. However, the real power of this two-part artifact are revealed when the same character is wielding both of them--one in each hand. To gain the full benefit of Alfred's Scepters, the character cannot be wielding any other weapons.
   When both scepters are used at the same time, the character still gains the +2 enchantment bonus to AC/DR, but also cannot be surprised by an attacker and never suffers any penalties from being flat-footed or flanked. Additionally, he or she gains a +4 bonus to all Diplomacy skill checks and Sense Motive skill checks.
   When out of doors, characters wielding both of Alfred's Scepters may, as a full round action, commune with trees and other plant-life to discover what Intelligent beings hostile to the user or his or her subjects, allies, and loved ones, have most recently (within the past month) passed nearby. The level of success and detail of the information gained depends on a Wisdom check against the following DCs:

Wis Check DC    Result
1-7                        Whether someone has passed.
8-10                      Roughly how many creatures have passed
11-15                    Exactly how many have passed, what race/nationality
16-20                    Same as above, the exact day they passed, name of leader
21+                       Same as above, where they were traveling to.

ROLF! System Rules
Alfred's Scepters are small items. They are melee weapons that deal 2 points of damage each, although the character can only strike with one each action. While wielding them--carrying one in each hand--all damage suffered is reduced by 2 after Armor has been subtracted (to a minimum of 0). If the character loses one, through a successful Disarm from an enemy, the reduction is lowered to 1 point

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bring a taste of terror to your OGL d20 campaigns

The latest in NUELOW Games's Modern Basics series presents revised bits and pieces that originally appeared on this very blog, and adds a pair of all-new talent trees and a dozen or so additional brand new feats--all of them being perfect Tools of Terror and Blood.

Modern Basics: Tools of Terror and Blood was designed by Steve Miller-- contributor to the classic Ravneloft gothic horror game setting--with help from NUELOW Games regular contributors L.L. Hundal and Dave Mendez. It presents OGL game mechanics to bring elements of slasher films and supernatural thrillers to your gaming table by injecting standards of those genres straight into core of the characters through feats and talent trees.

Although designed primarily with the OGL Modern system in mind. Modern Basics: Tools of Terror and Blood is easily adaptable to other d20-based systems, and it should prove a valuable asset to any GM and players who have wished their favorite game would include the means to more effectively mirror their favorite genre.

Modern Basics: Tools of Terror and Blood is available for purchase and download from RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. Click here to see previews or get your very own copy for less than a dollar.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Is it a sign the global economy is strengthening?

This spam comment showed up on the "waiting for approval" list today here at the NUELOW Games blog:

Unravel the history regarding rubber production over Kerala on rubberized plantation tours. Kinds of exotic plantations allow for an fantastic retreat in Kerala. Stop by my page :: imprezy integracyjne

While I'm sure a tour of rubberized plantations of Kerala are absolutely fascinating--even more so if one visits them as part of a trip conducted by a Polish company--I don't see what that has to do with "Sinbad and the Seven Golden Skeletons" or ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters.

When even spammers can't find good help, it probably means the global economy is picking up. I say everyone should celebrate by buying some NUELOW Games products!

(In all seriousness, I think someone just doesn't know how to properly filter an image-based search result.)

All this, however, gives me a perfect excuse to dust off a couple old-time NUELOW OGL d20 feats and bring them into the 21st century with some minor revisions. The rest of this post (save the illo) is Open Gaming Content published under this license.

Craptacular [General, Dedicated Hero, Hardcore Activist] (By Steve Miller & Dave Mendez)
The character is of mediocre, or even limited, talent and skill in his or her chosen field, but excels at self-promotion and convincing others how great he or she is. Sometimes, fans and fellow professionals can't see through the ruse, but mostly the end result reveals the person's true colors.
   Prerequisite: 3 ranks in Bluff
   Benefit: The character receives a +4 bonus to all Bluff nd Diplomacy checks.
   Special: The character suffers a -1 penalty to all class skill checks, and a -2 penalty to all cross-class skill checks. These penalties do not apply to Bluff and Diplomacy checks.

Spammer [General] (By Steve Miller)
This feat allows you to vomit forth off-topic drivel to the first 100,000 blogs and forums you can think of, or a search engine can find. 
   Prerequisite: You must be a moron; Maximum INT 6, Maximum WIS 8.
   Benefit: The character receives +4 to Computer Use skill checks. He or she is also able to win over huge amounts of business from any blog or forum who willingly accepts the posts with open arms--especially if the character can't spell and has the grammatical powers of a chipmunk.

Monday, May 13, 2013

This Just In: Kate Moss Poses Nude!

A recent headline that came across my news-feed read "Kate Moss Poses Nude!" (The article was a blurb about an article about a photo-spread for a suntan product she uses and models for, which you can read here.)

My first thought was "That's note-worthy? Is it the first time this year or something?"--because it seems that Moss has a habit of posing in less rather than more clothing... and her posing nude isn't exactly something she has done before, many times.

My second thought was "Kate Moss Poses Nude" would be great title for another ROLF! match-up of Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner."

Ultimately, we decided that we didn't have quite strong enough a hook for a product... but there may be a sequel to "ROLF!: Supermodel Slapfest" percolating. In the meantime, here are stats for Kate Moss if you want to cook up a Battle Scenario of some sort featuring her. (And if you do, please send it to us. :) )

Kate Moss (Female)
Brawn 13, Body 15, Brain 7
  Traits: Improv Master, Nimble, So Very British
  Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dodge, Double Strike, Seduce, Strike Pose, The Walk, Withering Insult
  Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Nothing of note, as birthday suits don't have pockets.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A new mini RPG -- You vs. Me!

The latest release from NUELOW Games is You vs. Me. In this stand-alone game designed for two players, you and a friend make characters based on each other, swap them, and then do battle.

It's a quirky game that shares its core system with NUELOW Games's flagship ROLF! game, and it's a great way to pass the time with a close friend between convention games or during a regular game session where you're left at the table while the GM is away with another player for a Serious and Secret Roleplaying Encounter. Characters can be made in five or minutes... and fights usually don't take much longer.

L.L. Hundal posted slightly expanded design notes for the game as part of the "A to Z April Blogging Challenge" last month, filling the requirement for the letter Y. This final version was designed by Steve Miller & L.L. Hundal, co-creators of ROLF! and the lunatics behind NUELOW Games. Miller is a long-time veteran of the game industry whose credits include work for Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf, West End Games, TSR, and others. Hundal has always been smart enough to hold down a real job and just do games for fun and otherwise leads life as a Woman of International Mystery.

You vs. Me is a self-contained mini RPG that includes everything you need to play except for a couple of pencils, four six-sided dice, and a friend. It is available for download from RPGNow for a mere $1.50.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sinbad and the Seven Golden Skeletons:
A ROLF! Battle Scenario

I was saddened to hear about Ray Harryhausen's passing today. Many of the movies he produced and/or did stop-action animation for are ranked among my favorite films ever. It's not much a tribute to his great work, but here is a little ROLF! Battle Scenario that 'borrows" the famous Harryhausen skeletons (which I so loved in "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" and "Jason and the Argonauts"), Sinbad and Margiana from "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" (portrayed by John Philip Law and Caroline Munro, who probably jump-puberty for a number of people reading this, or that of their parents).

You will need a copy of ROLF!: Old Skool or ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game to play this scenario (as well as a friend). A copy of the free Something About Hats might also be useful, as would The Mummy's Tune supplement.

A ROLF! Battle Scenario for 2 - 3 Players
By Steve Miller

Getting Ready to Play
If two gamers are playig this battle scenario, then one controls Sinbad and Margianna and the other the skeletons. If three gamers are playing, then one gamer each controls Sidbad, Margianna, and the skeletons.
   Another option for a two-player game could be to remove Margianna from play and reduce the number of skeletons to four.

On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, sometime early in the 8th century A.D., the pirate captain Sinbad and his lovely sidekick Margianna make landfall on a lush island. They are here to check out a cave containing a legendary treasure hoard, and to then have a nice a picnic lunch.

They easily locate the cave... and the treasure within seems likewise easy to access, as it's just scattered about the cave floor or overflowing open chests. The partially decayed, dismembered corpses scattered about are sure evidence that this treasure is indeed not as easily accessible as it seems.

The adventurers move warily forward, but as they do, seven gold-coated skeletons that seemed to be no more than macabre wall decorations, come to life. The gold coating flakes from their bones as they move jerkily toward Sinbad and Margiana.

The Battle
There are a total of seven skeletons--hence the title of the scenario. In the first round, two skeletons attack Sinbad and one attacks Margianna. When the first skeleton on each of the heroes is defeated, two more rush forward to take its place. The fight continues until all the skeletons or Sinbad and Margianna are defeated.

Pre-Generated Characters
Here are the characters featured in "Sinbad and the Seven Golden Skeletons."

Skeletons (Undead)
Brawn 12, Body 3, Brains 3
Traits: Dead
Combat Maneuvers: Bitch Slap, Disarm, Double Strike
Important Stuff Word/Wielded: Sword (Medium Melee Weapon. Deals 3 points of damage).

Sinbad the Sailor (Male)
Brawn 27 (includes +1 Hat Bonus), Body 17, Brains 7
Traits: Honorable, Nimble, Too Sexy for My Shirt
Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Dodge, Disembowel, Double Strike, Murderous Mitts, Strike Pose
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Turban (Hat. +1 to Brawn while worn). Sword (Medium Melee Weapon,deals 3 points of damage,

Margiana (Female)
Brawn 22, Body 18, Brains 6
Traits: Improv Master, Nimble
Comb:at Maneuvers Basic Attack, Dance Move, Dodge, Seduce, Strike Pose, The Look
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Kris Dagger (Small Melee Weapon, deals 2 points of damage).

It's a one-day only sale at NUELOW Games!

The entire NUELOW Games line-up is on sale for 33-44 percent off! Through 23:59 Pacific Time on May 7 only! Click here!

In celebration of my birthday (today, May 7), all NUELOW Games products are 33 to 44 percent off their usual price! (A few of the fiction anthologies are discounted less steeply than everything else.)

If you've ever been curious about ROLF! or one of our Robert E. Howard e-books, now is a great chance to check them out at even lower than our usually low prices!

Treat yourself, and give me the gift the of royalties as you do so! And let me know what you think of the products you get!