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My Life as a Teenage Do-Wop Girl

HAMMERCRAWL! Part 2: Game Structure

The first post laid out the tools of the game, now this one sets down the adventure flow, with specific focus on the meta-game that the DM commands.


The characters’ main purpose is to venture out into the depths of a dungeon, kill monsters and gain loot, and then make it back to the surface alive in order to enjoy the primary benefit of those rewards: Experience! The longer they stay on a run, and the deeper into the dungeon they go, the greater the reward, and the darker the dangers. Read more

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HAMMERCRAWL! Roguelike Random OSR Gaming, Part 1: Tools

(This post has turned into something much larger than expected, so I’m breaking it up into multiple posts)

Last year at Gamestorm 2014, a few conversations on “roguelike” gaming experiences led me to come up with an on-the-fly method for character-grinding adventure gaming. With but a single simple Chessex d12 Dungeon Die, a handful of those custom Warhammer Fantasy Third Edition RPG dice, a Swords & Wizardry monster book, and a stack of random characters from Save vs Total Party Kill, we had a rip-roaring time plunging into unknown dungeons (and looting the bodies of fallen compatriots after every battle).

From this was born HAMMERCRAWL! – my nickname for this evolving method of using collated existing tools for immediate, “procedurally-generated” roguelike tabletop dungeon crawling. The idea is to have everything I need to run such a game on-hand in the size of a custom GM screen, or less. This year, I want to give HAMMERCRAWL! a second go at the coming Gamestorm 2015, and hopefully get things into a more well-oiled machine than the previous attempts. To assist with this, I’m keeping notes here on the various pieces and how they fit together.

First off, things that HAMMERCRAWL! is not:

  • HAMMERCRAWL! is not core game mechanic: It uses old-school D&D/retroclone rules – pick one of your choice, there are plenty!
  • HAMMERCRAWL! is not a system for generating story: If you want Story, you’ll have to add that part yourself.
  • HAMMERCRAWL! is not a method for campaign gaming: The various tools here are collected for the primary purpose of one-shot gaming; long-term use of HAMMERCRAWL! might not be fun, unless you and your group are exceptionally masochistic.

Instead, HAMMERCRAWL! is a system for randomly generating the “bottom line” elements of a dungeon crawl: Characters, Dungeon Rooms, Traps, Monsters, and Treasure. And it’s certainly not for everyone, especially those who want a more stable, fleshed-out gaming experience that lasts more than a single pick-up or con-game session. Read more

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An awesome write-up on a Motobushido game!

I rarely ever post here anymore these days (G+ is my current platform of choice for most blogging), but I feel the need to share this one. It’s a great write-up on the Motobushido game, from a recent convention in California. Rubber side down, mate!

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New Motobushido Pack Record Sheet

I’ve had multiple people ask about an official “Pack Record Sheet,” and even had a couple of folks submit some ideas of their own. In the end, I went with the basic layout that fellow motobushi Richard designed, and had our resident Sheet & Logo man Jeremy Kostiew whip up something cool. Check it out!

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Motobushido Actual Play: The Fallen Legion

I started a new Obsidian Portal campaign to chronicle all of my current and future Motobushido sessions. These will include my home games, guest games, convention one-shots, and more. I’m kicking this off with a detailed Actual Play report of last night’s session. Check out the link, and look through the other stuff to get a taste of how the game works, and where the pages are going.

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Motobushido is Now Available for Purchase

You can now get all versions of the Motobushido role-playing game, ordered either digital or POD direct-shipped from Drive Thru RPG. Check out the details here. Thanks to everyone involved in bringing this product to reality!

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You can now get Motobushido in PDF

Hey check that out! The digital version is here. Print versions are still being finalized, but I’m hoping to have them ready soon.

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The Cards Kickstarter Page is Live!

Hey everyone! I’ve just launched the new Kickstarter project page, this time for the companion deck of cards. Check it out!

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Collecting Feedback for Custom Card Deck Suits

Hey folks! for the next few days I’ll be collecting feedback for custom card deck suits. The plan is to Kickstart a deck of cards that can be used as a companion piece for playing Motobushido. The decks will have multiple artists, each doing a different suit, and if enough interest is raised there could very well be multiple decks with new suits. If interested, please answer the single question over at Survey Monkey. Thanks!

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I’ll let you in on a little secret

This weekend’s convention was pretty stellar, at least as Motobushido game play is concerned. The “pretty much final” version of the rules was tested in full, and stood pretty damn solidly. But there’s one cool thing that I really want to take a moment and talk about. Towards the end of one of the sessions, a player said to me something that I’d never really quantified in words, but had been otherwise trying to get across in different manners since the early days of this game.

To paraphrase him: “Motobushido is a game that has both motorcycles and samurai in it, but isn’t at all about either one of those two things.”

This is something of a secret, and totally true. While there are samurai mechanics, and motorcycle mechanics, and samurai fights on the backs of motorcycles, the true core of the game boils down to a sentence which involves neither: Motobushido is a game about brotherhood, reputation, and fatalistic action. Motobushido is a game about not discovering your own limits until after you’ve pushed them too far.

In pretty much every game I run, once the players finally grasp the mechanic (which – not to toot my horn here – is completely different from anything they’ve ever played before), their faces always show this “Ohhhhhhhh I get it” moment when they realize the truth of the game’s focus. And for me, that moment is always, always a wonderful thing to see in action.

Anyway, I’m spending this afternoon and evening mostly working on the final playtest draft. I had intended on releasing it today, but I’ve just got too much post-con administrivia to handle, so they’ll likely be up tomorrow, or Wednesday morning at the latest.

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