Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Silver Bulette

Hi everyone,

Today I want to talk a bit about what Silver Bulette is, and what we hope to do. Silver Bulette was formed in response to a couple of factors. The first was Swords & Wizardry day 2017. As I have mentioned previously, I enjoy gaming conventions. I met most of the Frog God Games guys over the course of 2014-2017, and said, "sure, I'll write something for S&W day." I talked to Ian, and he did the same. So, we rushed out a couple of modules, and thought to ourselves, "hey, we are okay at this. Can we do it better?" So, we did. I entered a couple of contests similar to the one that Silver Bulette is running now (see the blog entry on that, if you are interested.) The resulting modules were The Oracle of Stone and Flame and The Blood Pharaoh.

When Erick Tenkar told us about Swords & Wizardry Light, we said we would help with that too. Ian produced the Orbs series, that we are still working on today. The final one should be out by Garycon. That's our best estimate right now.

The project I am currently working on is called "Silvery Moon Tavern." I hope to make it a fun book to build a campaign around. I am detailing a lot of NPCs and setting up adventure hooks for GMs to run with. I hope to keep the book "system neutral," but may end up putting a short adventure in the book as well. Here's a sample of one of the NPCs entry:
August Tadius: August is the Lead Bartender at Silvery Moon. He is a friendly man, with a quick wit and smile. He listens intently to all adventurers who frequent the Silvery Moon, and sells the information he hears. 
August stands over six feet tall, and sports brown hair beginning to grey around the temples. His darting brown eyes often disarm weary travellers. He wears a scar over his left eye from a minotaur he once bested.
His body is muscular, but beginning to wear its age. August walks with a slight limp, undoubtedly from another deadly encounter.
August and Silver once adventured together, saving each other’s life many times over. This fact allows August wide leeway as Lead Bartender. Silver trusts his judgement.
Personality Traits: Brash, cheerful, friendly, greedy, impulsive
Plot Hooks: August is a broker in information. The party’s earliest rumors will probably come from him. 
August has many enemies from his adventuring career. One or more of these may show up to cause trouble. He may ask for help from the party for this.
Also see Brei Tadius for more hooks.

I have about 20 NPCs in this format so far. In addition to this, I hope to add a menu (and menu generator,) a few rival NPC adventuring parties, a lot of townsfolk (with much less detail,) maps and a few other surprises. We will incorporate rumors for all of the adventures we have published to date into the possible plot hooks. We also will probably pluck out a few plot hooks and turn them into full fledged adventures over time.

If this goes well, we have a few ideas on similar source books: Temple, Merchants & Mercantile, Castle & King and Guilds. Both Ian and I are firm believers of not putting the cart in front of the horse, though.

Thanks for taking the time to read the blog! We will eventually figure out a blog schedule, so you can expect updates on a regular schedule. But, we're just 2 dudes with InDesign, and taking it one step at a time.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Introduction- Ian

I guess since Rocky did this....

I have been gaming since 1987 when a cousin gave me all of the D&D and AD&D books they had. A Basic set, an Expert set, a slew of AD&D 1st edition stuff. I was off and running. I discovered Gamma World shortly after and was completely hooked. I will play literally any RPG you put in front of me. I really enjoy the retroclones and their speed and simplicity. I'm not a huge fan of taking a whole evening to create a character and I really enjoy a high lethality in my games. I often run WEG Star Wars (yup, the d6 one) and I find that one to be extremely lethal as well.
I play in a Friday nite game with people I have played with for over a decade. I regularly attend many gaming conventions and Rocky and I now focus on: NTRPG, Gary Con, and Gamehole Con. You can find me at TotalCon as well because it is fairly local for me (I live in tropical NH).
My games are often heavy on puzzles, traps, and thinking. I really enjoy running Swords & Wizardry and have been quite excited about the amount of new and fantastic material that has been put out. My favorite monster is the bulette and I will use them as often as feasible. Rocky and I have known each other for years and became fast friends after meeting at Gen Con. The main push for this 'business' was to create the background and support for Rocky to produce a high quality mega-dungeon that was as close to his crazy vision as possible. I've played in it and it is a developed ecology that is difficult to translate into pieces as the living breathing piece that it is. We both share a love of OSR and the 'anything is possible' feel of those systems and games.
In my 'real' life, I am the father to two daughters and married to a hard working school teacher. I run my own business as a Speech Language Pathologist and love that day job. I live in a small village in NH (yup!) that is still close to Boston and Portland, ME.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Introduction - Rocky

Hi everyone,

A lot of you may have read my blogs at darkangel866.blogspot.com before. I will still post the lion's share of my posts over there. This is our new "corporate" blog.

My name is Jayson "Rocky" Gardner. I live in Michigan and have been playing RPG's since about 1984. I was a "victim" of the Satanic Panic, so through the 80's and early 90's I had to hide my games from the family. In the early 90's my family finally relented, and I have been openly gaming in one fashion or another ever since.

I especially enjoy the pre-3 style of play. Fast and loose, with a lot of ground covered in a session. But, I have been known to play all of the following games: D&D (every version except 4E), MERP, DCC, MCC, X-Crawl (another favorite), and pretty much every OSR Retroclone out there. I played a lot of World of Darkness games in the late 90's. My current favorite game systems include:

1. Swords & Wizardry (a 0E D&D clone)
2. Castles & Crusades
3. Dungeon Crawl Classics

I am particularly fond of the "mega-dungeon" idea, and one of the reasons for me helping found Silver Bulette is to eventually see Mord Mar (my personal mega-dungeon) in print.

Besides Silver Bulette, I own a taxi company, and spend time with my three boys, wife, live-in niece, and house full of dogs, cat, and fish.

Typically, I attend 3-6 conventions a year. For 2018, the list currently includes: GaryCon, North Texas RPG Con, and Gamehole Con. Other cons that I enjoy include Whosyercon, and GrandCon. I attended Gen Con 13 times, and may do so again.

Contest Rules

Forgive the long post, but to consolidate the rules of our contest into an easy to use location, I decided to put them here. It will be easy to link from all of the Facebook and G+ areas we use to discuss information.


Silver Bulette Writing Contest
1. Entries are limited to 10,000 words, and are due before April 2, 2018 at 12:01 am Pacific Time. All entries are expected to be in a fantasy game rules set that is compatible with the Open Game License (OGL). All entries should have a copy of the OGL attached.
2. Entries should be in a PDF format, and emailed to Silverbulettes@gmail.com . Please note which groups (if any) that you would like your module available to.
3. Each person may enter only once. The author(s) will retain intellectual property of their work. IF the author gives permission I (or they) will post the submission in the files section of Facebook pages to be shared by all members (credit will remain with the author).
4. All Silver Bulette personnel, judges and their families may not receive prizes from this contest.
5. Anything you send us won’t be returned. We don’t own your IP but no takesy backseys on physical things you send us. We
6. Winner(s) will be announced on or before May 1, 2018.
Writing Contest Criteria
1. The adventure must have a lead-in, back-story or plot line.
2. There must be at least 10 separate encounters.
2a. Encounters must take place in at least two environments. Example environments could include: desert, swamp, mountains, prairie, forest or underground.
2b. There must be at least one of each of the following encounter types: non-combat, puzzle (riddle or thinking problem), trap, and combat.
3. Maps must be included.
4. All entries must be original, previously unpublished works. Plagiarism will result in disqualification.
Judging Criteria
A perfect score will be 150 points. Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
1. Layout, Organization, and Presentation (10 points): Points will be given for grammar, ease of use, spelling, layout and overall aesthetic.
2. Creativity (50 points): Points will be given for using monsters and encounters in unforeseen and creative ways.
3. Each number in the writing contest criteria will be worth a maximum of 10 points (for a total of 40 possible points.)
4. Using up to 10 of the following encounters will give a 5 point bonus score (maximum 50 bonus points) for each one used:
a. Tyrannosaurus Rex
b. Medium-Sized Green Dragon
c. Ettin
d. Roper
e. “Cyclone”
f. Troll
g. Displacer Beast (NOT in OGL, be creative)
h. Large-Sized Lizard-Man
i. Troglodyte (at least 3)
j. Fleshy Undead (at least 2) - Wight, Ghoul, Ghast, etc.
k. Goblins (at least 5)
l. Bugbear
m. Lamia or other Snake-Woman
n. “Sinspawn” at least 3. (Rename, and be creative)
o. Grick
p. Krenshar
q. “Female Creature From The Black Lagoon”
r. Lich
s. “Huge” Red Dragon
t. Angels or “male valkerie”
u. Orcs (at least 6) with a wolf rider leader
v. Type VI demon.
w. Zombies (3 or more)
x. Minotaur
y. Redcaps (3 or more)

Prizes (and Sponsors)
The following items have been given to the Contest to be used as prizes:
Tome of Adventure Design in PDF format, given by Frog God Games
Bill Webb’s Book of Dirty Tricks in PDF format, given by Frog God Games
Many miscellaneous minis, given by Silver Bulette, including Jayson “Rocky” Gardner (bonus encounters a-q.).
Lee Autry has contacted the contest organizers and will be donating prizes as well (notably encounters r-v).
Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook, Classic Monsters, Monsters and Treasure, and A0-12. These have been donated by Ian McGarty for the contest. THIS GROUP OF BOOKS WILL BE 2ND PLACE PRIZE!!!!
Currently (January 7, 2018), all prizes will be awarded to 1st place. Depending on prize support given to the contest, this may change. Any change of prize distribution will be announced before March 16, 2018. All prizes announced will be given to contestants.
Additional minis announced as prizes will become
bonus encounters.
(Personal note: Silver Bulette hopes to enrich the RPG game environment by holding this contest. In doing so, we may decide it prudent to award multiple prize packs.)
This contest is for fun, and to expand the RPG game world on Facebook and other social media. The people who have donated prizes do so for the love of the game. Our only request is that the RPG hobby becomes a little better from the contest.
Humor is welcome in all submissions. Overt vulgarity can cost points. Images and pictures are welcome, but will not be considered for points. Any pictures included must be legal for the author to otherwise use.
Jayson “Rocky” Gardner and Ian McGarty are currently the judges. We may add more judges if volume of submissions warrant. Jacob McEwen will be the tie-breaking judge, if a need arises.
The writer of this contest (Jayson “Rocky” Gardner) is human, and fallible. I have done my best to make the rules and prizes clear, but there may be changes. If/when those changes happen, I will do my best to let everyone know. This contest is not a contract, and can be changed at any time.
I hope to get enough prizes to award a few different “places.” If I am able, I may add other considerations for subsequent prizes, like “coolest use of terrain,” or “most creative encounter.” It all depends on the additional prize support forthcoming.
The following creatures are Product Identity of Wizards of the Coast and cannot be used in conjunction with the OGL:
Beholder (and gauth)
Carrion Crawler
Displacer Beast
Umber Hulk
Slaad (all types)
Mind Flayer
Yuan-ti (all types)
Link to OGL (Open Game License)
Frog God Games - for donation of PDFs and for continuing to making the RPG hobby accessible.
Lee Autry - for donation of prizes and beginning the Module Contest idea. Without him, this would not exist.

*EDITED ON 1-19-2018* Added new monsters to the pool available for encounters bonus points.
*EDITED ON 1-30-2018* Added pictures of the miniatures.
*EDITED ON 2-12-2018* Added pictures of C&C Books and listed Ian McGarty's contributions to prizes.

The Pictures below are the 2nd place prizes!