'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Monday, January 22, 2018

Happy Birthday to Robert E Howard.

On this day, January 22, in the year 1906 a man was born. This man, Robert E Howard, became one of the best known pulp authors of his, or any, time. He was published in numerous pulp magazines, selling many different stories, across numerous genres. Of course his most famous character is Conan, a barbarian from a forgotten time. Conan is the personification of the struggle of the barbaric man vs civilization.

Howard is credited as being the father of "Sword & Sorcery", and was a contemporary of HP Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. These three are often referred to when people speak of the three big writers of pulp fiction.

He was much more than simply the writer of Conan. Howard was a man that loved history and tried to work it into his stories whenever he could. Many of his yarns take place around historical events, where he tells the stories of people intertwined with them. His writing and characters were expansive ranging from King Kull of Atlantis, through to his modern age. Many of his stories speak of everyone living in a connected universe. Kull to Conan, Kull to Brank Mak Morn. Conan to the modern age.

Kull, Solomon Kane, Conan, Breckenrdige Elkins, El Borak, Sailor Steve Costigan, Brank Mak Morn, Dark Agnes and the list goes on. Many of his characters and stories have been adapted to the television and movie screen to varying degrees of success.

Both a man of his time and a man ahead of his time, he has influenced many people and many elements of fantasy.

Today I raise my glass in salute to a great writer.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

John Carter FG Extension, a first look.

Spent a little more time on the project last night.  Largely working on graphics items; choosing and modifying.  Although I didn't get THAT much done I did get some work done include creating the start of a new JCM roller to handle the 2d20 Momentum system.


After last night and this morning I currently have a good start.




Complete.
Desktop - updated - will need further updating to allow for tiling, but this is a good intermediary step.
Sidebar - Updated
Decal - Updated
Chat box - updated.  Framedef needs to be updated still. - Framedef updated
Added a titlebar graphic lifted from the kickstarter page, slightly modified.
Dice rolling fundamentals - completed
New character sheet tab added back into the charsheet allowing the build of a JCM specific sheet, still contains CONAN 2d20 at the moment.

To do.
New character sheet graphics
New NPC sheet & graphics
New CT Graphics
Update the roller with proper documentation

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

John Carter for Fantasy Grounds. The Beginning.

Last night I started working on a re-skinning of the MoreCore ruleset for use with John Carter of Mars by Modiphius.

I have decided to handle the big graphical components first.  Desktop, decal, sidebars, chat box and option buttons.

After last night and this morning I currently have a good start.
Desktop - updated
Sidebar - Updated
Decal - Updated
Chat box - updated.  Framedef needs to be updated still.

To do.
New character sheet graphics
New NPC graphics
New CT Graphics
Update the character sheet to use the new 2d20 system using 2 attributes.

I hope to have some screenshots available tomorrow.

My Advent on Mars

Like Conan, I came to Barsoom later in my life.  These early works of fiction eluded me.  I had certainly heard of Conan, but I head read none of the comics and NONE of Howard's writing till about 7 years ago.  I considered myself a fan of the character and the movie. 

Barsoom was different.  I have certainly heard of Tarzan, but not of Barsoom.  Maybe I saw the occasional comic cover here and there and didn't know what it was.  When they decided to make a movie, I looked into it more.  I became excited for the movie.  I *ENJOYED* the movie.  Did it have an amazing plot?  No.  Did it have a fun plot?  Sure!  Earth man on new world rescues the Princess and finds love.  What did it have?

Action.  Adventure.  Visuals.

This movie for me is visually stunning, and so the world created by ERB captured my imagination.  Hordes of inhuman, tribal, green Martians with 6 limbs doing battle against the Red human men of Barsoom.  A dying world of violence and conflict.  A world where airships glide across the skies like our ships on the ocean.  The movie showed me all of this and more. 

After the movie I immediately sought out and read the first three of ERBs books set on Barsoom.   They are of course different than the movie.  It seems obvious the writers were going for a more connected set of books starting from day 1.  They had an advantage over ERB in this respect.  They had all 3 books. 

So now I find myself a fan of John Carter of Mars.  The world captures my imagination.

I was delighted to learn Modiphius was planning a series of games centered around John Carter of Mars and I looked forward to the launch of the Kickstarter for the RPG.  The system is based around the same system as their Conan 2d20 lineup, which I am familiar with having played it for the last year and participated in the various forums for a longer time.

So come!  Join me on Barsoom and save YOUR Princess!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

John Carter of Mars: Adventures on a Dying World

"Instantly the scene changed as by magic; the foremost vessel swung broadside toward us, and bringing her guns into play returned our fire, at the same time moving parallel to our front for a short distance and then turning back with the evident intention of completing a great circle which would bring her up to position once more opposite our firing line; the other vessels followed in her wake, each one opening upon us as she swung into position. Our own fire never diminished, and I doubt if twenty-five per cent of our shots went wild. It had never been given me to see such deadly accuracy of aim, and it seemed as though a little figure on one of the craft dropped at the explosion of each bullet, while the banners and upper works dissolved in spurts of flame as the irresistible projectiles of our warriors mowed through them. "
-Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Princess of Mars

Modiphius is bringing another piece of classic pulp fiction to the tabletop.  This time we visit the dying world of Barsoom with it's Red and Green men.  With the constant war between peoples.  With it's Airships and hordes of Tharks.  With it's mighty cities like Helium and Zodanga.

It is currently LIVE! on Kickstarter right now!  It has more than met it's desired goal and is cruising through stretch goals.

The game uses a skill-less based 2d20lite system.  Instead of skills you will combine 2 attributes to determine the outcome of your action.  If you desire to run into melee combat with the Thark about to kill your lover, your GM will probably tell you to roll against your attributes of Daring and Might.  Daring deals with movement and Might physical combat.

Check out the cool character sheet!

I've not seen the whole system, but what I have seen I find exceptionally interesting with a lot of potential to increase narrative story telling.  I look forward to the quickstart rules arriving soon!

If you want to get in early on the community stop by the google+ group, it currently only has 14 members!

Check back often here and on youtube for updates as the kickstarter progresses and we get a chance to play the quickstart rules!

Fantasy Grounds Extension V3.4

Completed somemore work on the Conan 2d20 FG Extension.

Conan 2d20 FG Extension v3.4
Original blog post...

V3.4 updates
-Proper tab control on NPCs for easier entering. -Completed
-Selecting of NPC type (Minion, Toughened, Nemesis), and the setting of the correct base dice. -Completed
-Increased NPC sheet size to allow for larger buttons. -Completed, but when a different way.
-Fixed a bug that involved the amount of doom/momentum being spent increasing even when dice were maxed.
-added three fields to the attributes to signify additional damage on the character sheet.

Known Issues
-Player combat tracker needs work.
-GM combat tracker has a few issues I would like to work on, but should be functional.

V3.5
-Add complication being flagged on rolls.
-Look into order of Minion-Toughened-Nemesis.
-Incorporate bonus damage into rolls.
-See about fixing the combat tracker

Future ideas
-Working/automatic Momentum & Doom Pools.
-Difficulty set for rolls.
-Further work on the Combat Tracker

Monday, January 8, 2018

Fantasy Grounds extension for Conan 2d20 v3.3

HO Dog Brothers and Sword Sisters!

Many moons ago I set out to extend the beautiful Fantasy Grounds extension created by the Jolly GM.

I am far from an expert user of Fantasy Grounds, so I will direct you to an excellent blog post by the aforementioned Jolly GM where he describes where to get MoreCore as well as his Doom Pit.
http://thejollygm.blogspot.ca/2017/01/conan-2d20-theme-for-use-with-morecore.html

As I mentioned my extension builds off of his, and so builds off of MoreCore with a specific Conan Character Sheet, Conan NPC sheet and fledgling combat tracker. 

There is still much to do on the project but I will keep spending a little time on it here and there as I can.

The current version is V3.3
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Pg7wGnGcJA6IzsCgK6Z_LVHSSN3SqJCm

V3.4 is in the works
-Proper tab control on NPCs for easier entering. -Completed
-Selecting of NPC type (Minion, Toughened, Nemesis), and the setting of the correct base dice. -Completed
-Increased NPC sheet size to allow for larger buttons.

Known Issues
-Player combat tracker needs work.
-GM combat tracker has a few issues I would like to work on, but should be functional.

Future ideas
-Working/automatic Momentum & Doom Pools.
-Difficulty set for rolls.
-Further work on the Combat Tracker

Please feel free to download and give the extension a try in it's current form, and don't forget to drop me some feedback on what you think.

If you find this to be useful please feel free to buy me a coffee over here at ko-fi