Thursday, September 28, 2017

There Be Dragons

In response to someone's recent query "What level is ok to throw a dragon at the party?", I have this reply ...

I don't throw stuff at my party, typically. I create a world in which exist many creatures who settle themselves into certain locations and do their thing. I then let the party roam around as they will exploring and adventuring. If they are careful they watch and plan, and peer around corners, listen at doors, ask the locals for information, and try not to walk into a dragon's lair... unless they are prepared for it. So I have a few dragons here and there. So far they've not directly confronted any of them. They could ... but they don't because ... well ...Dragon! That's how I do it. What I don't do is try to manage what level encounter is appropriate for the party as that is just 1) waaay too much work for me, and 2) puts all the burden on me for any TPKs if things go south ("You threw a F*cking DRAGON at us!") ... etc. Nope. Not for me. I have a world. It lives and breaths and in between games I roll to see what the major NPCs and Monsters are doing, based on what their motives, knowledge and resources are. And then when it comes time for the game I let the party play smart or stupid as they wish, and if they encounter the Dragon - cool. If they avoid the Dragon - cool. But throwing stuff at the party and trying to mange what level encounter is "safe enough but not too safe" just never worked for me. I prefer to have a world, and let them live or die in it by their own decisions, not mine. I consider myself referee rather than story-director.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Animal Monks Of Whitewode

There are a few Characters that didn't find their way into the Whitewode Campaign proper, but have been lurkers in the dark corners of things, and actors behind the scenes of the main Campaign.  I think I'll just post a few of them here... Don't tell my players. ;)

If you're one of my players who doesn't like to "cheat" by seeing things your character didn't encounter (Chris), then avert your eyes now... 


Ok now here we go. As some of you who have been following my game story for some time may already know, I have animals in Elthos whose Royal families can transform into humanoid form, which is kind of the lingua franca of all (or most) animal forms in the Elthos Universe. This started out years ago with the Insect Lords way back when. First my players encountered the Aphid Men.  Then the Ant Men. Then the Locust Men.  Then there was the Insect War.  All quite fun.

Well, after all this time my players have finally encountered the cavern in which dwell the Mammal Lords.  Many of the The Royal Lines of the Mammals are supreme martial artists (from whom humans learned various Martial Arts Styles), and when they want to, they can take on Human form. In this form they can interact in the language of the humans, to some degree, some better some worse, and some don't bother at all (like the Cat Men, who just couldn't be bothered to learn the human tongue, of course).  Following are some sketches of a few of the Animal Monks from the area in and below and around Whitewode, and the caverns and lands round about.  There are plenty more, but these are the one's I've sketched most recently.

Iron Bear Monk in Repose

Black Jackal Monk Preparing to enter the Bow Stance

Iron Bear Monk with Staff

Rhino Monk Preparing Crushing Fist

Well that's them, thar. Pretty fun. Anthropomorphic Super-Monks. :)

By the way, we are at the tail end of the Free Open Beta. If you want to try out the Mythos Machine now would be the right time to do it. Get a free account, and start playing around with it. If you have any questions or comments please let me know! You can contact me through the website or email me at
ElthosRPG @

Also, I think I should mention that I am hoping to be able to continue working on the Mythos Machine going forward. However, my resources for that are running thin. So if you want to help please hop on over to Elthos, click on the Shop in the Menu and buy some Swag! We have cool T-Shirts and stuff. Or you can buy a the Elthos RPG Core Rules Book, or even just make a direct Contribution. You can also join my Patreon here: VBWyrde on Patreon!  And as always, thank you so much for your help, feedback and support everyone!  It's been great!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

New Proto-Worlds Are Coming

Well, it's been a long few weeks of stress.  My sister and nephew are living just outside of Houston.  Need I say more?  Oh, and my dad and step-mother are living in Boca Raton, FL.  So ... there you have it.  Bit of a nervous wreck here.

But nevertheless, the work goes on.  I am a World Weaver, and my love of this is strong.  :)

So lately I'm working on Proto-Worlds for the Mythos Machine.  It's coming along well. Right now I'm revamping the Fantasy World with a better set of characters and adventures.  It's fun.  Making progress.  Here are some character and place sketches related to Griswold ...

The Lovely Marya

Evil Minion

Arch Villain

Arch Villain's Castle on Iron Mountain

The Sullen Stooge

Master Feng Liu - World Traveler

Secret Fortress (don't tell)

Secret Map (shhhhhh!)
So things are coming along.  Mythos Machine has picked up a bunch of new Beta Testers lately, and that's been great, and they're providing incredibly helpful feedback.  So things are improving rapidly.

The latest improvements are:

New Bulk Edit Screens for Weapons, Armors, Races and Classes.  I will be adding more as requests come in, but those are the most important ones, and they're up and running nicely.

Bug Fixes - found a few nasty critters lurking in the shadows. Squashed.

Fantasy Proto-World - coming along nicely.

Cosmic Horror Proto-World - also coming along nicely with the help of Yicheng Liu who came up with the idea and agreed to put the first brush to it.  I'm really impressed with what he's done, and collaborating with him on getting things tooled right so it can serve as another Proto-World for new GMs.

Modern Proto-World - That one is coming along ok, I think, but I'm not 100% sure. The author is working on it, but I think he wants to get more done before sharing it.  He's been a fabulous Beta Tester and I'm really looking forward to seeing what he's come up with.

Western Proto-World - this one only needs a little bit more fine tuning, and is probably the most complete one of the lot at this point.  Fun stuff.

Anyway, so that's progress for you.  Super busy.

If you want to participate in the Free Open Beta, now's your chance.  It won't last much longer.  I'm looking for feedback, things to improve and polish with the site.  Get your licks in and help shape the RPG Software Tools of tomorrow, today.

Go to and create a Mythos Machine account for yourself.

Build your own World.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Alex Pe on Creating One Shots

As those of you following my posts have probably figured out by now - I tend to run long term Campaigns. One year would be a super short Campaign for me. Whitewode, for example, started 2.75 years ago. Still going strong, though we're nearing the climax.

But lately I've been thinking about trying my hand at One Shots online. And it occurred to me that I'm in need of advice on the topic. So who did I turn to? The grand master of the One Shot, Alex Pe, of course. And this is what he said:

"Have a good core idea and theme. Don't overprepare. Start at the end, then do the beginning. Everything in between is not that important."

He also sent along this video on how to create One Shots:

Thanks Alex!

Ref: Original Thread on FB (you might need to join the One Shot Group to read the OP).