Sunday, March 19, 2023

pledge allegiance

Booty and the Beasts is a 1979 monster and treasure book from Fantasy Art Enterptises. Art by Erol Otus, text by Otus, Mathias Genser, and Paul Reiche III, A pdf of this book has been floating around for a decade or more. As you can see from the dude on the front cover, some of the stuff in it leans more sci-fi than fantasy.

Anyhoo, the last page of the text (other than the inside back cover add for the Necromican, the spell book from the same outfit) is an illustration of the flag of the United Empire of America:

For a while I wanted to see what a color version of this flag would look like.

I'm just guessing at the colors here. Some combination of red, white, and blue seems like a no brainer. The texturing used by Otus suggests a non-white color for the small stars. The central star lacks that texture, suggesting a different hue. I went with yellow since ol' Sol is a yellow star. Here's an alternative take:

Here's another take that less resembles the flag used by Japan in WWII. Not sure which I prefer. Anybody got any other ideas?

Friday, March 17, 2023

something less than complete success

My first attempt at 3-D printing came out a little rough. It's supposed to be a 1/7000 spaceship on an integral hexagonal flight stand. My buddy Pat got good results on his rig, so I know the design isn't the issue. The tiny peg structure connecting the base to the ship snapped off with just a little hamfisted handling, but maybe that wouldn't have occurred if there were fewer supports obscuring what I was doing.
Maybe I'll try the same printer set-up but with a larger scale vessel.  

Thursday, March 16, 2023

How tall is my brood giant?

In a comment to last Sunday's post, Zak asked about how the beasties from Broodmother Skyfortress matched up to the math I was doing there. He did not like my answer, saying "The Broodmother giants are WAYYY bigger than 21 feet iirc". I'm not so sure. This cover art from Ian Maclean looks at least in the right ballpark to me:

Did I specify in the book an actual size? I don't remember doing so. I'll have to go back and check. However, I do know that the original logic of the broodmother and her kin was the following: AD&D Cloud Giants, but they are Elephant-Centaurs and also Sharks. (Also the broodmother is the Slurm Queen from Futurama, but that's not important here; I'm wanting data on a typical brood giant.)
This morning I had a lengthy exchange with ChatGPT to try to find out what an 18' giant body on a bull elephant would come out to height wise and how much that body would weigh is it was made of dense shark flesh. The answer we came to was 28 to 29 feet tall and a weight between 11,200 and 12,300 pounds. This puts the brood over the top of the scale of Raggi's animal chart.

If you'd like to see the ridiculous conversation that led to these conclusions, here's a transcript.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

AI and Dragons

AI tools like ChatGPT has the whole educational system in a kerfuffle right now, so this post technically counts as work for me.

And here's GPT-4 getting all sorts of things wrong about Broodmother Skyfortress.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Ettins weigh just under a ton.


I was re-reading the Referee book from the old Lamentations of the Flame Princess boxed set. It's really good stuff and the PDF version is available for free. James includes a chart in this book for eyeballing the stats of normal animals based upon their weight.

James notes that herbivore would do half the damage listed above.

This time reading that section reminded me of another weight-related D&D items, the article "How Heavy is My Giant?", which I read in Best of The Dragon, volume 1. It includes this handy chart of average weights for human-types of various sizes:

Since people are animals two, we can put these items together and get the totally unofficial LotFP hit dice and damage for big gronkos, like so:

The results are lower powered than the Monster Manual version, which makes sense given the deliberate flattening of the power curve in LotFP. Note that the clay, stone, and iron golem weights are based upon the density of their respective substances, rather than ordinary flesh. Also, all the weights assume that everyone on the chart has the same general build and proportions as an average human. Of course, back in the day when everyone used human minis is various scales for their giant figures, this made perfect sense.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Dig this 3-D goon!

 I was poking around as I am wont to do from time to time, when I stumbled over a file called "Brood Giant." It turned out to be a .stl file, which is what one uses for 3D prints. A cat who goes by the moniker cobra-surfer made a model inspired by the baddies in Broodmother Skyfortress! Dig it:

"Put up your dukes, bucko!"

Here's the Thingiverse page for it. I've been meaning to try out the 3d printers at work...

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Take Me Back to Dillhonker City

In this venue I haven't talked about the Zoom game I have been running for a while. The game started as a little pick-up dungeoneering affair with Zak S. and James Raggi. The first batch of sessions focused on exploring the Halls of Tizun Thane, from White Dwarf #18 (1980), written by late great Albie Fiore.

I colored this illo to share with the group.

Zak had an existing goblin cleric/thief from some old game and another character I forget and James made a pair of LotFP characters, so we started very FLAILSNAILSy with a mishmosh of rules in play. It was during this phase of the campaign that I was relying heavily on my homemade Remedial Underworlds & Unicorns Dungeon Bastard's Quick Ref, though I didn't use all the charts in that booklet. Near the end of this adventure we gained our third player, a friend of Zak's also in LA.

Our second adventure was an obscure old dungeon from Judges Guild with three authors and not much going for it despite that fact. I ran Tizun Thane because I wanted to have a go at what is often considered a classic. This second adventure I ran for the opposite reason; sometimes I like to try to make the most of a dungeon that I find subpar. I think that went pretty well.

This second dungeon came to a conclusion a little early one session. Also, it was a successful enough outing that Zak was looking to start wrecking havoc on the campaign world status quo. The problem was, we didn't really have a campaign world up until this point, only a couple of dungeons.

Now, I had in my back pocket this clever/stupid scheme of dropping the PCs in a D&D-type conversion of The Court of Ardor, perhaps the least canonical of MERP setting books. The game had been bending towards LotFP style play and I thought secretly dropping Lamentations PCs into the super elf drama of a faux Tolkien setting would be hilarious. I had even gone so far as to prep an innocuous player handout to the setting.

But I hadn't counted on Zak asking me my own damn 20 questions. In the moment I couldn't resist just making up all sorts of stupid bullshit answers, so now the game is set in just about the stupidest campaign world I have ever seen. Judge for yourself. Here's the ongoing campaign world doc. So that's the world the players find themselves in now.

Along the way we picked up a couple of new players, Bec in Texas and Simon in Ukraine (as I understand it, he's located pretty far west in the country, relatively distant from the fighting). Bec's playing the first dwarf PC in my own games who made use of my How to Name a Dwarf charts. Simon is playing a LotFP specialist/bard with a penchant for perverse activities such as washing with soap. The main party are currently exploring a wizard's tower that has been engulfed by a very large, very slow slime monster (a One Page Dungeon I've been wanting to play for ever).

Last week only Bec and Jimbo could make the game, so James got out his back up PC and Bec whipped up a quick magic-user. They went on an adventure inside the mind of a madman, another One Page Dungeon. Bec's new MU was the first in the campaign, and we're using the MU rules in Vaginas are Magic!/James Raggi's Eldritch Cock. To make the campaign spell list, I started with my huge custom MU spell lists from the Vaults of Vyzor days and smooshed them together with the official LotFP spells and any other LotFP magic I had handy. I've been slowly adding other spells to my list, with the goal being to have every third party Old School MU spell on it. Or at least every spell appearing in everything I have a copy of. When Bec rolled her PC's three starting spells, there were 913 spells available. As of my last updating of the list, I now have 1,315 spells on it.

So that's my current game.