Take on Rules

Jeremy Friesen - a poor soul consumed by gaming.

A Preview of Things to Come

Written by Jeremy Friesen on

Two Dungeon World monsters I’ve worked on this morning.

Hydrodæmon Solitary, Large, Magical, Intelligent, Planar, Organized
Bite (d12 damage) 16 HP 2 armor
**Special Qualities:** Amphibious

This massive frog-like creature has massive dull milky white eyes. Its skin, while strong as mail, is loose and flappy, enabling it to glide for brief distances. Not from this world, the hydrodæmon may be conjured here by powerful magic. It has also been known to rip through to this plane so that it may bear witness to the final moments of the water filled gasps of a large number of people drowning. Instinct: To drown the living

  • Spit inky black sleep toxin at someone nearby
  • Control or befoul nearby water
  • Summon other hydrodæmons to this plane…if only for a short while
  • Hear the final prayers of the drowned
Mageiadæmon Solitary, Stealthy, Magical, Organized, Planar, Amorphous
Raw arcana (d10 damage) 19 HP 2 armor
Close, Ignores Armor, Near, Far

As magic incarnate, the mageiadæmon assumes any functional physical form as it hungrily seeks out offerings of vassalage and places or people of power. Once magic fills the air, the mageiadæmon revels in its debaucherous feast, stripping naked to reveal a maelstrom of arcane energy barely contained.

Mercifully, the mageiadæmon is not of this world, instead vigilantly dwelling amongst the platonic representations of arcane sigils, rituals, and eldritch power, waiting for a time when too much power is drawn from the arcane ether. And in that moment, it travels the arcane conduits to this world. So be wary of a spell gone awry with seemingly little consequence…for you may have open the door to a mageiadæmon. Instinct: To unleash all of the magic

  • Overload a mortal coil with raw arcana
  • Assume a mundane physical form
  • Seize absolute control of nearby magic
  • Call in the bargain that all warlocks make
  • Reveal the true nature of magic

Dungeon World Update and Some Resources

Written by Jeremy Friesen on

I regularly review the search terms that were used in finding my blog. I get an awful lot of “Dungeon World” and “World of Dungeons” searches. Especially for free Dungeon World downloads.

Dungeon World

The PDF is $10 over at RPGNow. It’s fantastic. But you can legally get the rules for free (no art, alternate layout) at book.dwgazetteer.com.

Additional resources

World of Dungeons

For those of you looking for this game, be patient. I’ve heard that it will be released under Creative Commons. I don’t recall the exact timing, but John Harper does have an excellent track record of releasing cool games to the Creative Commons.

While you are at it take a look at Ghost Lines, it is the rules John Harper has crafted for playing out events 1000 years in the future of his World of Dungeons campaign.

An Ongoing Thought Experiment for an Adventure Conversion

Written by Jeremy Friesen on

Below is an attempt at creating a random underground adventure framework that escalates and would move you towards your eventual locations. The charge is very much inspired by the Angry DM’s blog post on Abstract Dungeoneering.

A Work in Progress

I’ve been kicking around a conversion of Wolfgang Baur’s “Kingdom of Ghouls” from Dungeon #70. It is a fantastic 2nd edition adventure that I’ve thought about running on occasion. Instead of True Ghoul, I’ve opted for Ghöl as it simply looks better.

I’ve created some of the monsters (i.e. the Ghöls, Drider, and Ichtha-Gogs (a deep one type race with fish heads)) but haven’t given them much of a spin. Coordinating a game day and travel work against me actually playing games.


  • d❖ - Roll Adventure Dice
  • d☮ - Roll Adventure Dice and consult Refugees/"Allies" table
  • d☯ - Roll Adventure Dice (Larger die ≥ smaller then unfavorable result; Otherwise favorable)
Distilling an Underground Adventure
Roll d❖ - Location d❖ - Event d☮ - Refugees/"Allies"
1 Narrow passage way Transition to Surface Human
2 Wide passage way Evacuees [d☮] Dwarf
3 Honeycombed small caverns Tunnel collapse! Deep Gnome
4 Wide passage way Hidden cache of supplies [d☮] Deep Gnome
5 Narrow passage way Treacherous vapors Deep Gnome
6 Honeycombed small caverns Holed up, and unlikely allies [2d☮] Deep Gnome
7 Wide passage way Transition to Glimmerfell Dark Elf
8 Large cavern Recent Skirmish [d☮+d☯] Dark Elf
9 Honeycombed small caverns Haunted location [d☮+d☯] Dark Elf
10 Dried river bed Ghöl scouts Dark Elf
11 Large cavern Bubbling spring [d☯] Duegar
12 Fungal grove Transition to Sunless Sea Duegar
13 Dried river bed Transition to Sunken Library Duegar
14 Underground lake Ghöl border garrison (captives [d☮]) Duegar
15 Fungal grove Skirmish in progress [d☮ & Ghöls, d☯] Troglodyte
16 Petrified forest Shattered City [d☮] Troglodyte
17 Large cavern Ghöl platoon on the march Troglodyte
18 Honeycombed small caverns Transition to Ghölheim Troglodyte
19 Wide passage way Slavers [d☮] Kuo-toan
20 Narrow passage way Despoiled graveyard [d☮] Kuo-toan
21 Dried river bed Vein of rare metals Kuo-toan
22 Petrified forest Ghöl Emperor on the move Kuo-toan

Adventure Dice Advancement

  • d4 - (begin here)
  • d6
  • d4+d6
  • d4+d8
  • d6+d8
  • d6+d10
  • d8+d10
  • d8+d12
  • d10+d12

Are they “pressing on”; Step up Adventure Dice (d4 → d6) Are they “retreating”; Step down Adventure Dice (d6+d8 → d4+d8)

A Night of Android: Netrunner

Written by Jeremy Friesen on

Aidan Friesen and I ended up playing 3 games of Android: Netrunner. So far, I’ve been the Corporation and he’s been the Runner. In the first two games Aidan lost – once to Net damage and once to the Corporation advancing enough of their agendas.

In the final game of the night, Aidan and I switched our base decks. And things got interesting. I was playing a Corporation that expanded with greater ease (after all they utilized cloning). Aidan was playing the Anarchists, who made ample use of Virus software.

During this game, I was always struggling to find more $ as I was brining assets, agenda, and ice into play, but unable to quite Rez them (make them active); Whereas Aidan was burning through his deck by drawing 2 cards per turn by paying one action point (instead of the customary 1 card per 1 action point).

Things were looking grim for Aidan, and he even commented that it looked impossible for him to beat some of my ICE. But he soldiered on. Steadily I was picking up victory points, while Aidan was skirting around and building the best runner he could. But then the attacks came, and they were furious; Parasites were eroding my big ICE – all the while as installed viruses were chipping away at my R&D opportunities.

The Runner breach corporate HQ on a few occasions, netting a single Agenda. And then I pounced…gathering a tremendous amount of coin so I could being advancing my final agenda, while protecting it behind some serious defenses.

In one run, Aidan played a fantastic card that gave him tremendous resources at the cost of taking one point of Brain damage – discard a card at random and reduce your maximum hand size by one. A risky move, but with his regular drawing of 2 cards per turn, that disadvantage was almost entirely mitigated.

Aidan, seeing he had one last turn before the Corporation would advance their final agenda, made a risky gamble. With 2 actions, he began his run on a weakened R&D. And came up empty. But his viruses were spreading, and R&D’s servers were more porous for his second run, which netted him two agendas with enough points to steal and win the game.

At one point, I was wondering if Aidan was going to attempt to deck the Corporation by running them out of cards to draw. I wonder how valid of a tactic it would’ve been?

Take on Game Day (Part 2 of N)

Written by Jeremy Friesen on

I began this multipart series by going over the when and where of game day and getting help. Refining that post, the initial help I was going for was to make sure that I knew what I was personally risking as well as I might be able to give to the GMs for their time.

The next step was very organic.

Getting GMs to Run Games

Remember, my initial focus was to create a role-playing game day. So I needed GMs. But how many? I had no idea. My first estimate was that I could stretch and get 25 RPG gamers; I also knew that I could get boardgame gamers, but boardgames are a bit more self-organizing that role-playing games (more on that in another post).

I began writing a list of potential GMs – and according to my handwritten notebook, I started the speculation on or before September 2nd. With names in hand, I began reaching out. Slowly getting commitments, until I felt as though I had enough GMs.

Many thanks to Derek Stoelting, Steve Sigety, Sean O'Shea, Nick Garcia, Joe Ingold, Jacob Kemery, David Morford, and Matt Boersma. Everyone has spoken very highly of the games you ran and facilitated.

Have a Back-up Plan

But I didn’t stop there. I began securing a few alternate GMs. After all, someone may end up sick or stuck in Columbus during an epic snow storm. For each time slot, I had at least one alternate person ready to run something at the drop of a hat (i.e. Dungeon World, Hollowpoint, Fiasco, and Microscope were some of the backups).

Now Find the Players

And with many GMs set, I began recruiting players for those games. And slowly the games took form. I used Facebook as my main event page but kept the information on this blog. I also kept a Google Docs spreadsheet of events as well as a separate sheet for tracking all the other details (i.e. what needed doing, what to bring, etc.).

Ultimately, I relied on my long time face to face friends to be the base for the gameday, and then engaged several Facebook groups. And by engage, I mean taking to heart what I had learned in my years in University Communications at Notre Dame. I needed to communicate details, and engage with my audience, and educate as needed. (Don, I was listening to all of that stuff, even though I was also keeping Conductor afloat.)

I also made extensive use of Google+ as a sounding board for some things. After all it is my goto location for interacting with table top gamers. If you are a pen and paper gamer, I cannot encourage you enough to join Google+; there are lots of things going on there.

And as Gameday approached I made one audible play that made all of the difference, but more on that in my next post.