Languages in Gamma World Role Playing 1st Edition.

I am embarking on a bit of nostalgia trip by running a short campaign in the original Gamma World RPG. The rule book as you know leaves A LOT to be detailed and judged by the game master. In my campaign the world is fragmented and I am expecting some language barriers. I needed a way to determine if the players know any additional languages and since I expect a brutal campaign with a lot of player deaths there won’t be much time for back stories like why the mutant porcupine speaks Esperanto. While the details of what languages are spoken will still need to be worked out I have in typical gygaxian style created a chart!

Base Intelligence for this chart is 10. For every point under 10 subtract 4 from the roll and for every point over 10 add 2 to the roll. Raised in a band -10, Raised in a tribe -5, raised in a village +0, raised in a town +5, raised in a city +10

00 – -38 Dumb – Can only communicate with grunts and gestures
01 – 40 Illiterate
41 – 50 Functionally Illiterate
51 – 59 Read and Write Local Language Barely (1st Grade)
60 – 68 Read and Write Local Language Basic (5th Grade)
69 – 70 Read and Write Local Language (High School)
71 – 76 Read and Write Local Language + Sign Language
77 – 82 Read and Write Local Language + Speak 1 Animal Language (mutant & stock)
83 – 87 Read and Write Local Language + Technical Manuals
88 – 92 Read and Write Local Language + Scientific Texts
93 – 97 Read and Write Local Language + Academic Texts
98 – 102 Read and Write Local Language + 1 Foreign Language
103 – 109 Read and Write Local Language + 1 Foreign Language & Speak 1 Animal Language
110 – 115 Read and Write Local Language + Polyglot – Speak any language that has been exposed to for over 1 month
116 – 121 Read and Write Local Language + 1 Foreign Languages, Speak 1 Animal Language & Sign Language
122 – 126 Read and Write Local Language + 2 Foreign Languages & Speak 2 Animal Languages

Keep Your Players Initiative Orders Sorted

Initiative Tags in Action

On Twitter today I saw a great post from Ron Smith aka @pollyroller on twitter about initiative tracking hanging tags for D&D 5e that you can put on your DM screen. For years I had used small pieces of an index card with PC names on both sides. These are much cooler looking and give you space on the backside for Passive Perception, Armor Class, and Hit Points. The Bond, ideals, flaws, spaces I will probably use for some other kind of notes. Just cut them out – they print 4 to a page, fold them over, hang over your screen, and move your players around the initiative order so everyone knows when their turn is.

With his permission I have uploaded the file here for you to download and use in your own games. initiative tags

Call of Cthulhu 1920s

Fatal Experiments Cthulhu 1920s

It was the summer after high school and my friends wanted to play Call of Cthulhu. I had read of few H.P. Lovecraft’s books which seemed to make me the Cthulhu expert of the group and thus I was elected to be the GM. I picked up the box set used at the local comic book shop and Fatal Experiments which was a bundle of adventures. The last sentence of the Lovecraft quote on the back of the book from the short story Herbert West: Re-animator (a favorite movie of ours!) set the tone for what kind of game we were getting ourselves into.

“The wonder and diabolism of the his experiments fascinated me utterly…. His views hinged on the the essential mechanistic nature of life and concerned mean for operating the organic machinery of mankind by calculated chemical action after the failure of natural processes…. My friend believed that artificial reanimation of the dead can depend only on the condition of the tissues; and that unless decomposition has set in, a corpse fully equipped with organs may be set going again in the peculiar fashion known as life…. He usually finished his experiments with a revolver.

I haven’t played much Cthulhu since that summer, but I still have my box set and hope someday that I get another chance to play. In the meantime I have 5 “new” Call of the Cthulhu 1920s books that I recently picked up from a comic book store that was getting rid of their role playing game stock. These books are new, but they have been sitting on dusty shelves for close to 30 years so they do have some wear, dings, and even stains. Regardless 4 of the 5 are in excellent condition for soft cover books of that age and one unfortunately the glue of binding gave out and it has a split. All of the are up on my eBay store. Mansion of Madness, Terror Australis, Cthulhu Casebook, The Great Old Ones, and the one that I used to terrify my friends with Fatal Experiments.

How this Dungeons & Dragons Player got his groove back

It had been close to 20 years since I had played Dungeons & Dragons. Well at least in any meaningful way. I had moved to Los Angeles and there were plenty of other things and interests that had grabbed my attention. Not to mention that I couldn’t find anyone who actually played the game or wanted to. The people I was hanging out with were not the D&D types and although they found my nerdy ways endearing they weren’t ready to jump in and embrace them as their own… plus this is LA and even with the least image conscious person image does matter.

I was in a very good place in my life, married, a toddler, and running a successful business. Regardless I would think back fondly on the times with friends gathered around dining tables, living rooms, libraries, lunch tables, and classrooms playing Dungeons & Dragons. I was not getting the same fulfillment in the things that I was doing socially; video games, dinners, clubbing, and especially not ‘social’ medial. I learned about Roll 20 and playing over Skype, but I have enough technology in my life. I wanted to sit around a table with a group of people and immerse ourselves together in a story, fantasy, and these shared experiences. It was time to find a D&D group!

That is how I found myself on the internet, browsing Craigslist, and looking at a gamer wanted ad. They were playing 1st Edition AD&D and meeting every other week…. in the Valley. This is Craigslist so there was some thought running through my mind of how unappealing it was going to be to get murdered in Reseda, but I threw caution to the wind and sent them a message telling them about my experience, lack of recent experience, and that I was committed (or should be committed) to make the hour plus drive to the Valley on Friday nights.

It was a chilly fall night and the traffic on the 101 going through the Cahuenga pass was the usual crawl made only worse by my own excitement and nervousness of jumping into an existing campaign with a bunch of strangers. I picked up the usual snacks and drinks at 7-11 and made my way to the address to find a small nondescript house. The sound of boisterous voices and laughter could be heard from the walk and that alone made it easier to knock on the door and introduce myself. A group of four guys were already there and they were waiting on two more. The group was play testing some new character classes for an “old school” supplement they were working on (This has since been released as the Exhumed Obscura – here on ebay – I will write a review of it soon) and I had decided to play as a ‘baseline’ character a half-elf Ranger to help them see how things balanced out. The group of guys had been playing together for many years and the course of the adventure got derailed by inside jokes and the like, but by the end of the night I had meshed with the group and gotten myself beguiled by their quest item.

Driving home while listening to KPFK I relived the nights adventure in my mind and knew that I had found a home among my fellow role players. It was going to be a long two weeks before I got a chance to play again!

Welcome to Role Playing Game Cache

Hi there and thanks for visiting. Most of you coming here have either bought something from me off of eBay or have interacted with me in some way or another on Twitter.

Slowly over the next year I am going to be developing this into a site for selling the enormous amount of role playing games that I have collected (D&D, GURPS, Shadowrun, Battletech, Pathfinder, & OSR) and collections I have bought. As well as a place to put my musings that exceed 140 characters, game reviews, and life as a game master.

I will still be selling on eBay as I think that is a good marketplace and it certainly exposes me to a lot more buyers than what my little site ever could. Heck in the meantime you ought to go browse my store!