Nathanael Cole / Alliterated Games

Hero image


Homerules: Something Unexpected Happened Along the Way

In this post I want to share the “Random Encounters and Vistas” house rules that we use in my ongoing D&D campaign. This set of rules has crossed game editions from OD&D (using the Rules Cyclopedia) through 2nd Edition AD&D and into today’s 5th Edition D&D incarnation of this campaign. Before you say it, yes, I know, every D&D blog under the Sun has their own random encounter rules. While some groups out there find the very concept of random encounters completely anathema to their style of play, there are still dozens of approaches to the rules for groups that find them useful. That’s one of my favorite parts about this grand new digital age for my most beloved hobby: there’s any number of ways to do any one thing in your games, something for everyone and then some. So here are mine.


Lately we’ve been playing a lot of exploration-heavy games in our main group. Be it exploring a newly-discovered southern continent in our Forthalome campaign (which I swear I will get back to some day), or traveling cross-country back in the northernmost reaches of the homeland in our Northwarde campaign, the process of The Journey has become a core focus in many of our sessions. The flow we use is in many ways similar to the “Hex Crawl” approach to gaming, albeit with a few personal twists and less of a main stage focus. For us, we always have a starting point and a destination in mind, and everything in between is largely undefined. Random encounters mixed with direct requests for improvisational player input help us flesh out all of that intervening space while also making it an active play event at the table. Read More »

Read More »

Friday Kickstarter Recap #3

Been really damn busy the last week, followed by two days of illness, so many apologies for the delays in updates. Let’s do a weekly recap!

In other news, I’ve gotten the Playtest Packs mostly assembled. I’ve gotta put some finishing touches on them, which I hope to do this weekend. Converting my own digital shorthand to a format understandable by my fellow human has been amusing at times, to say the least.

And to the lone biker I saw this morning on my commute, I apologize for not waving back. My hand was frozen to the handlebar! Next time, I promise!

That’s all for now. Keep the Rubber Side Down, friends!


Read More »

Friday Kickstarter Re-Cap #2

The big news: This week we hit the funding mark! Yay! That’s a lot off my shoulders, for sure. Thanks, everyone! Now, to hammer down those stretch goals.

This week saw the start of a new Dueling Lessons series of mechanics posts, to introduce readers to the essence of the game’s core crunch. I’ve got two up already, and am hoping to get a third out today or tomorrow.

Some project updates of note this week:

In other news…

  • I had a fun time interviewing on the Geeky and Genki podcast. It will hopefully be released in the next week or two.
  • Coming all the way from France, a blogger at has a quick shout-out.
  • Motobushido was featured at a recent installment of our local “Ready Set Game” event here in Portland this week. The game was a lot of fun (I reviewed it a couple of days ago, and we’ll be playing again in two weeks.

And as a taste of things to come, next week I’m going to be adding tshirts, and a special new cross-promotion.

Read More »

Motobushido Game Recap: When Alice Cooper Slew Neil Diamond and Became King

“But I forgot! Cher’s head is no longer useful!” – Justin Smith, the Enforcer

Last night’s demo game of Motobushido was perhaps the most insane session I’ve ever run of any game, ever. It all started with a war between two parties, over the hidden oil reserves underneath Weird Vegas. Their unit in the war had been commanded to ride into the middle of town and play the One True Power Chord which would start the nukes and destroy the enemy. The Glory Hound did not find these orders to be suitably glorious, and attempted to leave, but got into a fight with the Veteran, and ended up tied to a bike and minus one hand. The unit ultimately decided to charge forth and carry out their orders.

Three years later, the Veteran and the Glory Hound are still alive, the last survivors of their unit. See, the One True Power Chord didn’t work, the nukes never triggered, and the enemy wiped out their side of the battle. Vegas was lost, now ruled by the New Brat Pack, with their Prizefighters enforcement gang. The Veteran – now Road Captain – had led his pack to many victories in the small amount of time since the war. They’d slain Presley, Diamond, and even wiped out Mike Tyson and most of his Prizefighters. The Glory Hound now served as his Enforcer, and knew is place of subservience within the ranks. Accompanying them was a Trail Blazer, a Historian, and a Nomad (played by none other than Rick Marcks, the game’s artist).

The time had come to take out the new King of Vegas. You see, after killing off Neil Diamond, they’d thought that they’d taken out the power of town, and destabilized it to the point of anarchy. But in truth, they just left a void that was quickly filled by none other than the Road Captain’s twin brother: Alice Cooper. But there was one problem: Cooper’d given up Rock, and turned to Jazz. The Pack couldn’t let that insult stand.

Gathering their Pack together, they charged the Luxor, going in for the kill. The front line resistance was led by none other than Cher, with her deadly squad of kabuki assassin Pop Stars. They were overcome with ease, however, and the Pack rode their bikes right up the side of the pyramid. After defeating the archers at the top, partially assisted by the power of the Nomad’s strongly-worded Yelp Reviews, they finally came face to face with AC himself, the new King of Vegas. One simple gunshot later, and the king was dead.

The Enforcer, having fired the fatal shot, then immediately usurped the throne, becoming King Diamond.

And now, somewhere in the shadows, Elvis Costello plans his revenge.

Thus went the adventure of Fingerbang, the Rock and Roll Samurai Pack.

Read More »

Quad RPG version 1.2 now available

After some awesome demo sessions yesterday at Free RPG Day, I’ve updated the Quad rules a wee bit:

  • Removed “Substance” mechanic. Health and such have been incorporated into the core Tiks mechanic.
  • Improved the Degrees of Success mechanics. Now based on matching dice instead of subtracting lows.
  • Updated examples to illustrate new changes

The new rules can be downloaded here.

Thanks to everyone who played in my games yesterday. I’m glad “Mecha-Taliban” and “Operation Hot Goblin” were such fun sessions!

Read More »