Friday, October 9, 2020


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I retain full and exclusive possession of all Basic Red RPG, Adder Entertainment, and Dungeon Mix articles that are found on their respective pages to the right (in desktop mode; if you're not sure what's what in mobile mode maybe wait until you get to a laptop or console). I do not grant blanket permission to use these in any form other than linking the original articles. However, feel free to ask.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Sunsetting This Place

I started this as sort of an R&D space and ready source document for games I was running using Basic and Expert over Skype. In time I started reading more, writing more, playing and running more, and as I started sharing things on G+ I started kind of writing to a specific audience and voice. I was never as active on Hangouts as I wanted to be but being in those wild world-hopping games that grew out of Hangouts cross-play meant that I started to prioritize different things in what I designed. I think most of this was innocuous enough and I don't really regret the people I met and the opportunities the Work afforded me. But it's a pattern I'd fallen into before, where unconsciously I was holding myself to an impossible standard of a character. Holding my potential future against my present, and holding some perception of how I thought people thought of me against how I was actually feeling at any given time.

When I had to quit my job and lose my house and move and lose my autonomy it caused a lot of pain and I handled it so badly that I damaged pretty much every relationship over it. Like when my grandfather died I suddenly had this unhealthy drive to make the time I spent making and enjoying my pastimes "count," "matter." This sucked a lot of the joy out of it and made it harder than ever to persevere to finish something, which meant I'd never really achieve a goal I didn't fully realize that I'd set for myself.

In the, what, five or six years? since then I've tried to rally and get back to recapturing the feeling of the Work from before I let things sour. There have been times when I've rallied, maybe even made some decent stuff. But it's not coming from a place of heart, discipline, or inspiration. As I've played less, run less, read less, bought less, as the social webbing I took part in for this hobby disintegrated for one reason or another, I have gotten myself pretty thoroughly removed from everything.

It's been rewarding to get into this hobby right before it was set to explode into a global phenomenon eclipsing even the early 80s, with more diverse creators, products, and viewpoints than ever. I can only imagine what it must be like for those of you who were into this shit since you were young. But I don't think my voice has value in this conversation. I won't claim a place in that transformation.

You could argue that I "left" years ago, to be sure, so yes I do feel stupid writing this now. I'm not walking away entirely, or forever, and in fact I'm actively creating material and running a game on a consistent basis for the first time in about a century. But without wishing to annoy anyone reading this, this just doesn't entirely feel like me any more. I'll be taking the best of it with me - or at least, the stuff I care about most. The Adder Entertainment and Dungeon Mix articles may find a place if I start a new blog, probably on a different platform. A few articles might go away. Someone else will have to host the linklist I collected for the FRACAs, probably someone from the Discord. This place won't go anywhere, though. Not until Google takes it down. I'll put the rest of it under one of the CC licenses which I'll post here next, and finally. I'll also organize and streamline this site a little whenever I get drunk.

Comments won't do much good but you can shoot me an email, my address to the right doesn't show up in mobile mode but that's....good. This should be the place on Discord I hang out in. Questions, comments, concerns, requests, hit me up. And if I have a new place to show off I'll mention it here.

Friday, September 13, 2019



So Tossers are also called Hucksters, Fastballers, Throwmeos, and Motherchuckers. And they are in all respects FIGHTERS with one step better HD than normal in your game. In all other respects they are Fighters.


They are proficient with no conventional weapons. They are proficient exclusively in found, hurled weapons, which they can hurl their Strength-plus-Level in feet. This includes enemies. This includes fellow PCs.

When throwing an unattended object..... 

Treat it as a 1d3 item and use the higher of your Strength or Dex bonus to determine a hit. If it isn't something you could conceivably shove with your same Strength score, like a wall or an obelisk, you can't throw it.

When throwing an enemy....... 

You may attempt an unarmed attack roll plus your Strength bonus (if any) to grab an enemy on a hit. You can elect to keep the enemy grappled/held as per normal rules or you may throw them as part of the same action. At 1st level you may hurl any enemy with 1HD or less. At 2nd you may hurl any enemy 2HD or less, and so on, up to 9HD. Enemies of roughly humanoid/demihuman size and shape with more than 9HD may also be hurled as long as 1) their total HD is lower than your level and 2) they get a saving throw vs Paralyze/Petrify to land safely.

Enemies who take fall damage this way are treated to have fallen an additional 20'. An enemy making contact with a solid object take 1d8 damage plus your Strength bonus (and if the solid object is like spikes or a trap or on fire they may suffer other effects).

An enemy colliding with one or more enemies means you roll 1d10 damage plus your Strength bonus, and then the DM distributes the damage among the victims as she sees fit.

When throwing a Party Member.......

You may use the higher attack value between you and the thrown PC, and the higher damage between the two of you, and the PC gets a Death save to land safely. This effectively uses the thrown PC's turn in concert with yours so ask for consent and Throw Responsibly(tm). If the PC gets any bonus to a successful hit like Sneak Attack or a magic weapon effect it can go off thanks to your roll. This by definition moves the thrown PC. You cannot throw a PC with more HD than you.

Summing up the main rules of this class are:
No Weapons
Throw anything you can move normally through Strength
Throw any enemy or PC with HD equal to/less than yours
Throw high level enemies if they are basically people of a lower level than you who fail their save
Throwing distance is your Strength+Level in feet.

Tossers may wield no magic weapons unless they are specifically meant to be thrown, like Thor's hammer, and may only wear magic rings and gloves that improve their throwing power or accuracy. Also potions and uh....capes. Magic capes.

At level 9 they do not establish a kingdom or attract a bunch of acolytes but they become proficient in all weapons. They also become famous for throwing things, and can earn lots of money throwing things for people for fun and show, and signing autographs.

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Pokemon Sword (and Sword)

First let's break enemies down into 14 types a la Pokemon. This will be at least as sensible and at least as arbitrary as the way D&D currently does things.

Dude- Dude Types are women and men who can blend in with 90% of the population but could really bring anything to the table. Orcs and halflings also go here, neat!

Goblin- Gob-Hogbog-Bugbear is the most natural pokevolution parallel in D&D but this tree also includes kobolds, gremlins, quicklings, anything gob-adjacent.

Fae- Elfs, pixies, sprites, pucks, wisps, so on.

Yucky- Cubes, oozes, puddings, Dragon Quest guys with faces, mimics

Bug- Carrion crawlers, umber hulks, rust monsters, stuff that crunches.

Arcane- All Magic-Users but also animate brooms and familiars and so on, or chimeras like the owlbear.

Rocky- Dwarfs, gnomes, piercers, ropers, neanderthals.

Elemental- The specific element doesn't matter, you're just infused with primordial power or made only of that.

Psionic- Berbalangs and all that stupid shit but also like whatever the Battlemind is supposed to have been...

Spooky- Skeletons, Vampires, Liches, Mummies, Witches, Werewolves, ghoulsghostsghasts anything very Halloweeny.

Mythic- Medusa, Coatls, Minotaurs, Goliaths, Angels, Demons, world religion and mythology creatures.

Zoo- For like regular animals and giant versions of the same.

Ninja- Shadows, invisible stalkers, and other things you can't see.

Lizard- Pretty much all reptile stuff, from yuanti to dragons, because D&D has a lot of lizard shit.

So we see how application of these principles to existing enemies is easy. Drow are Night Fae, Acererak is Spooky Arcane, Vecna is Spooky Mythic, Shadowfax is Zoo Mythic, Conan is Rocky Dude, Lava Children are Yucky Elemental, Venom is Bug Dude,dragons can be Arcane Lizards but Tiamat is obviously a Mythic Lizard, while regular old drakes are Zoo Lizards.

We'll arrange these on a diagram. That's right, this magic item requires a diagram. That's right, I'm doing all this for the sake of a single magic item. A Type is Weak (1/2 dmage) against the two types adjacent to it, and Strong (2x damage) against the two Types across from it that it can draw a straight line to on the star. Arrange these howeeeever it makes sense to you: in my example here, Rocky Types are Weak against Arcane and Elemental but Strong against Fae and Ninja. Our needs aren't as complicated as Pokemon's, though, so we can still have Arcane be Weak to Rocky without making things too complicated. I'll include a blank diagram I ganked from Google so you can lay out your own typings. Your actual layout doesn't matter a ton so long as everyone is on the same page about it.

OKAY SO HAVING DONE ALL THIS SHIT, this weapon is a magic sword that does +1 and overcomes magic resistance bla blah. ALSO it absorbs the essence of those it wounds. Write down two blanks and number them 1 and 2. Whenever you roll the highest number on this sword's damage die - be that a d6 d8 d12 whatever your DM decides - your sword will absorb the Typing of the creature you inflicted that damage on. You can decide not to take a target's Typing but you have five seconds to make up your mind or the effect fails.

Whenever you roll 20/d20 with this sword, you pick up a SECOND Type. This only changes when you roll a crit to hit and you don't get a choice in whether this Type changes or not, it just does. These modifiers stack and combine to mitigate or multiply bonuses.

If you have a player who spends all their time looking up obscure errata or arguing the wording of spells, give them one of these instead and it will take up all that time. Just try to be firm and consistent with what categories you sort things into. If you want this sword to work for existing dnd monster types or even alignment then I guess that works too..... I think if I were going to modify it any I'd just use this same concept but affecting what language if any the targets spoke.

............god DAMN it that's such a better iDEA i made this whole GRAPHic mother FUCKer....

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Life and Death in a Mode of Play (Quick Fighter Showerthoughts)

The thing is that if you look at D&D as a game that's about fighting then I don't particularly agree with you but it makes sense a bit why you have a dim view of the standard fighter and cleric. One comes without any obvious extras and the other just slows your party's overall gradual ablation from all the fights you get into. You don't get to do anything COOL. I don't agree with this perspective but I understand it.

If you strip away a lot of the things a cleric grants you - plentiful healing, extra lives, cures for curses and poisons and diseases - you can leave the fighter mostly intact. With their extra armor class, extra hit points, and quickly improving saving throws they sort of become something new: the old cleric.

They're not blowing up skeletons and purifying your tacos or anything but they have become that line of surest defense. Their abilities now take on the importance not just of helping them to survive but helping EVERYONE to survive. See without the net of magical healing (which it really fundamentally changes things to remove entirely so let's just say plentiful or default expectation of ready magical healing) then a fight becomes not something to endure and then patch up afterward. It becomes a real question of survival, promoting avoidance and escape where possible.

People who play games rooted in older styles know this. Elemental edition fighters and clerics are fairly close in a lot of game metrics, including defense and damage output, they just trade some personal survivability for a limited supply of help-others-survive. I'm accustomed to rolling randomly for my spells so a cleric whose big contribution is blinding the troll so we can leg it instead of healing us up from troll damage is par for the course, really. Absent a true cleric role or removing them from the game entirely the sole weight of survivability lies with the fighter and to a lesser extent the race-as-class elf.

First thing most people would replace either class with is a Paladin, which is just a fighter or cleric that has more of the other's bits in. Says it all, just about.