Thursday, November 29, 2018

Zombie Outbreak

This is a post apocalyptic apartment crawl. Buildings are packed together. Survival is not guaranteed.

Proof of concept

There are always 1d4 zombies when encountered

DM Moves
Elevator Shaft - the DM can place one elevator in any building over 6 floors. The operational status of which should be entertaining.
Fire - once per campaign the DM can have a building catch on fire as long as the party is inside of it and it's hard to get out.

Depth Rules
At  1 Depth, a -1 Depth = an exit to outside
At Max Depth, a +1 Depth = the rooftop

Max Depth = Building's total floors

Add 1 zombie per Depth level when encountering zombies
Go up one letter on the loot table per Depth Level

3 Random Plot Hooks

Thursday, February 8, 2018

100 Letters from Iwo Jima encounters

  1. Soldiers pull pins on grenades to die honorably
  2. Soldiers dig pillboxes
  3. New general walks his new base camp
  4. Bombing run
  5. Large invasion is imminent
  6. Soldier blows brains out instead of surrender
  7. Soldier pulls pin on grenade and is shot
  8. Ally holds squadmate at gunpoint for running
  9. Abandoned cave system dug for cover
  10. Rusted artillery left behind
  11. Flame-thrower trap
  12. Grenade lands in front of you
  13. Several soldiers beat an enemy to death with bare hands
  14. Incompetent soldier accidently points gun at ally
  15. Bayonet soldier charges you
  16. Several men bayonet and torture one enemy
  17. Lantern boy comes by with ammo
  18. General gives rousing speech over loudspeaker
  19. Detachment holes up in cave system
  20. Detachment decides to die fighting
  21. Kamikaze soldier draws sword for combat
  22. Flares signal approaching enemy
  23. Gunfire in the knight lights up area
  24. Commander stares at map looking for possible solution
  25. Commander draws sword to execute allies for abandoning their post
  26. Fog rolls through a field, it's an omen
  27. Darkened soldiers fire from cliffside
  28. Wooden posts are only cover in this field
  29. Gravesite of recent battle
  30. Detachment hides in cave, unable to join battle
  31. Radio is down, detachments don't have orders
  32. Field of dead soldiers
  33. Soldiers wipe allies blood on themselves for disguise
  34. Soldiers gather ammo from the dead
  35. Soldier dies with photographs in hand
  36. Soldier shoot to wound so they can interrogate prisoners
  37. Soldiers shoot to wound so they can randsom soldiers back
  38. Several soldiers in chains for running from combat
  39. Enemy soldiers is from your hometown
  40. Ally soldier shares his sob story
  41. A detachment of conscripts
  42. Soldiers hang flag to spread patriotism
  43. Soldiers take men from their homes to join the war
  44. Soldier tries to spare the life of a dog
  45. Commander berates soldier as if he was a child
  46. Officers and wives attend a ball
  47. Soldier gifts ally a decorative gun
  48. Soldier burries enemy soldier with honor
  49. Dead enemy soldier has letter from his mother
  50. Shellshocked soldier lies in field with dead detachment
  51. Blind soldier wears bandana around eyes
  52. Crippled commander tells his detachment to leave so he can die honorably
  53. Mortal lands in front of you - doesn't explode
  54. Officer executes fleeing soldier
  55. Enemy soldier waves white flag
  56. Two soldiers watch two enemy prisoners
  57. Something is uncovered by soldiers digging pillbox
  58. Field of bullets from previous battle
  59. Woulded ally holding white flag, slowly dying
  60. A full canteen, never used
  61. It begins to rain
  62. A horse is hit with shrapnel and is crippled
  63. Soldier cries over fallen ally
  64. Enemy executes line of prisoners
  65. Crossfire must be traversed to reach safety
  66. Enemy pulls pin on grenade and runs at you
  67. There's no more water
  68. Everything happens in threes
  69. Officers paints battlefield in remembrance
  70. Detachment has been without food or water for 5 days
  71. Officer gives you a cup and says "dig for worms"
  72. Detachment is out of ammo
  73. Officer makes a spirit offering for divine intervention
  74. Troop from a distant detachment show up with bad news
  75. Soldier tells you his normal profession
  76. Messenger arrives with news - 50/50 good or bad
  77. A child sings a song for fallen troops
  78. Mass of beleagured soldiers parts for their leader
  79. Someone tells you to be proud to die for your cause
  80. Soldier burns classified documents before enemy can kill him
  81. Enemy charges into camp with melee weapons in the dead of night
  82. Charging war hero imobilized by shrapnel
  83. Soldier burries something sacred to him before being taken prisoner
  84. Blackened field of battle, enemy pokes through for survivors to kill
  85. Soldier drags injured commander away from battle
  86. Crippled commander about to be beheaded by fellow soldier
  87. Two soldiers lie far away from battle, both shot in the head
  88. Wounded commander orders you to bury him
  89. Commander leaves you his sacred weapon before dying
  90. Commander refuses to use enemy ammo, even though they are running low
  91. Soldier digs grave alone
  92. Enemy soldier found dead far away from battlefield - has ceremonial sword
  93. Shellshocked enemy found hidding behind a rock
  94. Crazed grave digger swings shovel harmlessly at anyone who comes near
  95. Scholars excavate a former battlefield
  96. Letters from home rain down from the sky
  97. A quiet beach, the sun is rising
  98. A mountain side filled with hidden enemy caves
  99. A field of dead bodies
  100. War secrets hidden inside a locked pillbox

79 Dunkirk Encounters

Here's (almost) 100 encounters taken from the movie Dunkirk.

  1. Rogue Fighter Attacks
  2. Man on overturned boat - last survivor 50/50 chance he's enemy
  3. Propoganda falls from the sky
  4. Friendly troops mistake you as enemy
  5. Wreckage of fighter jet - 50/50 friendly/alive
  6. Enemy fighter strafe
  7. Mortar fire
  8. Man burying body - stole their stuff
  9. Wounded man lying on stretcher, he'll survive if you help him
  10. A drowning man
  11. Sinking ship
  12. Rescue ship looking for survivors
  13. Nurse trying to save a dead man
  14. A man giving toast and jam to soldiers
  15. A column of black smoke rises into the air
  16. A cup of coffee - it's still warm
  17. Shellshocked soldier - refuses to be near the action
  18. U-boat in the water
  19. Rowboats full of desperate, screaming soliders
  20. Torpedo!
  21. Trio of planes flies over - friendly
  22. Damaged plane lands near you
  23. Overcrowded rowboat
  24. Flaming wreckage
  25. Shellshocked man reacts violently
  26. Group of soldiers flee from battle
  27. Soldier strips and walks into water
  28. Soldiers building make-shift dock for rescue boat
  29. Dead bodies float with the tide
  30. Group of injured men left lying on stretchers
  31. Group of men just standing still, silent
  32. Officer who lost his men
  33. Officer desperate to get his men home
  34. Abandoned boat on the shore
  35. Wounded enemy ship flies overhead
  36. Enemy fighter pilot ejects above
  37. Detachment hiding in hull of overturned ship
  38. Ally civilian looking to help
  39. Ejected pilot caught in tree - 50/50 enemy/alive
  40. Enemy soldier in ally uniform - or vice versa
  41. Enemy fire from fortified position
  42. Fleet of Galleons marching to war
  43. Detachments of men on a beach
  44. Large patch of oil - land or sea
  45. Injured child
  46. Father and his son looking to help
  47. Sinking ship
  48. Oil fire - land or sea
  49. Something explodes in a big ball of fire
  50. Engine stops - land, air, or sea
  51. Sea Captain positive that reinforcements are coming
  52. Stalled plan soars overhead - ally
  53. Plane is diving right for you
  54. Ally plane saves your skin
  55. Crashed pilot joins up with you to continue fighting - refuses to go home
  56. Large city occupied by enemy
  57. Beautiful natural landmark gives everyone reprieve
  58. Something that reminds you of home
  59. Fog rolls over - it's actually smoke
  60. Civilian thanks you for your effort
  61. Injured soldiers mocks you - "where were you?"
  62. Man offering sweets and coffee
  63. Old man thanking you by giving you blankets - "well done"
  64. Group of soldiers - none meet your gaze
  65. Soldier wakes up - detachment left him behind
  66. Captain lets him men go while he stays
  67. Paper boy in civilian area - thinks he knows everything
  68. Your face is in the paper
  69. Civilians glad that you're safe - give beer
  70. Plane lands safely on the beach - 50/50 enemy
  71. Local hero injured in combat
  72. Soldiers bury the dead in shallow grave
  73. Military Commander gives roaring speech
  74. Field of helmets left behind
  75. Burning plane wreckage
  76. Ally pilot taken prisoner by enemy - vice versa
  77. Burning refinery
  78. Tattered flag
  79. Dozens of crates of supplies, abandoned

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


My RPG is a roadtrip. The goal of the game is to reach the center of the forest. "In the center of the universe is a forest. In the center of the forest is a secret." Or so the saying goes. But like all good dreams, and desires, there's another layer to it. Something beneath it. Our hero might set out to find love, and ends up realizing it's friendship that he needs.

My game is about journeying to the center of the forest. But really it's about the journey. It changes you. It makes you weird and it makes you unique. It's based around "Into the Odd", because that game spoke to me and is very close to what I want. Except that's a game about Greed and finding oddities. My game is about obsession and tragedy.

You will head into the DemonWood to reach the center, but dying or retiring are more likely. All the villages you will run into out there were built by people like you. But they found something else, or had their spirits crushed.

Every session begins with the phrase, "You're lost in the Woods." Because that is a constant state in the DemonWood. You are wandering from place to place, inching closer to your goal, crawling closer into legend.

I'm making this game because I've been playing DnD since jr. high, and my friends and I have never played it like it should be. We never went into dungeons. We had adventures, we had fun, but we didn't spend our time beneath the ground. So my game isn't about dungeons. There are dungeons, sure. But this is about adventure.

This is Cowboy Bebop in a mythic forest. This is Samurai Champloo with weirdness. This is the Arya/Hound arc on Game of Thrones. This is an episode adventure, where ever session is an episode, and every episode ends and begins the same. Every episode you either handle the problem or you don't.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Making a Songbird

My magical girl RPG is called Songbirds.

Creating a character works like this:

Everyone gets 1 heart. This represents your life. Lose it and you die.

Everyone gets a dream and a nightmare.

Your dream is how you level up. Doing something in service of your dream, trying to attain it, is how you get xp.

Your nightmare exists because of your dream. Think of it as a meter, with dream on one end and nightmare on the other. Witnessing terrible things, ignoring your dream, or failing, pushes you closer to your nightmare.

Nightmares are all monsters that you fight in the game. The key is to only fight the nightmares of others, but sometimes shit happens.

The goal of the game is to not become a nightmare.

It's a melancholic game. A fight against unstoppable forces. There will always be nightmares because not everyone achieves their dream. You are the people who stop those nightmares. You are Songbirds.


Dreams are your wish. The game begins and there is something you want to fix. This is your ticking clock. It can be serious and devastating to small and personal. Losing a loved one, a friend moving away, your father losing his job, a classmate with depression. There is something that you want to fix. This is what makes you special. This is what makes a Songbird choose you and grant you the power to fix it.

Your dream is like hope in this bleak world. It cannot save the world, but it can make it nicer for those close to you.

To get your dream you have to do things for the songbird that grants you these powers. These things range from strange (burying a memento under a certain tree) to cruel (breaking up that popular couple at your school). If you do enough for them before you become a nightmare, your wish comes true.


Nightmares come true. Everyone has a fear and those fears live in the mind and plague your thoughts. Songbirds face Nightmares in battle. This is where the deck building and card battling takes place.

Every session is an Episode. Every episode has a nightmare (if a nightmare is not dealt with during an episode, it becomes a 2-part episode, which adds complications).

These work like mysteries, where the players see a problem caused by the nightmare and have to figure out who is having this nightmare before it spreads and becomes a catastrophe (things like hurricanes, tornadoes, horrible, life-altering events).

(These are just thoughts and need more work)