Chronicles RPG Core Rules

It is with great pleasure that I would like to introduce the roleplaying rules I have been working on for way too long.  The link below is to a PDF file for the 38 page ruleset.  Enjoy!

Chronicles RPG Core Rules_1.0

I think this bit sums it up nicely.

What you are holding is an organic document.  It was never my intention for this to be a static set of rules.  The minute you read it you will have your own ideas, your own thoughts on what you should do with the framework.  Here is what I want you to do… use them!  Make this game yours.  I promise you, I’ll be doing the same on my end and fully expect these rules to go through numerous small modifications and iterations as I prune, graft and grow them.

And from the last paragraph…

In addition, I wanted to give back to a gaming community that I’ve seen evolve and grow and blossom since I first walked the hallowed halls of Gencon in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin dressed up like a ranger and carrying a Crown Royale dice bag.   It’s a community that has given me fantastic experiences, inspiration and some of the best friends I have ever made.  This core ruleset is for them, for you, and, in the spirit of it all, will remain forever free.

Some key features

  • Allows players to have an influence in world building with the game’s host by letting players make Matrix game statements. (Thanks to Chris Engle at Hamster Press!)
  • Only the players roll in combat.  This frees up the game host to help tell the story.
  • Uses a narrative system for level of success.  It uses “Yes, but…”, “No, and…” etc.

Stay tuned and thanks for being here!



Roleplaying Update

In between all this X-com nerdiness, I have a happy announcement for those of you patient, roleplaying folks that have listened to me go on about my homebrew roleplaying game.  If all goes well, I’m happy to announce that over the past few years I will FINALLY be ready to be publish the ruleset here on the blog.  I’m going over the document now, making some editing changes and making sure it looks good for it’s PDF preview.

I’ve implemented one big change which I’ve implemented as sort of a “last turn of the wrench” before finally just telling myself to “be done.”  The big change was to change the XP system by turning it around 180 degrees.  Where as before it was based on the system’s version of Critical Hits it is now based on a character’s failures.  That is, after all, how we learn, right?

Overall, I’m very happy and excited for what is to come over the next few weeks!  Hopefully, your patience will be rewarded!  Thanks for hanging on this long!




Update on the RPG

About a week ago I was able to get a quick playtest in with the final set of rules.  It was a quick run but it gave the players a sense of how the rules worked and how much control they had over the story.  The end result?  Everyone enjoyed it!   In turn, this only inspired me to get more focused on getting this thing done and out to all of you.  It feels good to be getting “serious” about this much fun.

I’m currently organizing another playtest with a group of friends that are a bit more experienced and hardened in the arena of roleplaying games.  I’m looking forward to getting their input and moving forward.

The only thing really left to get done is the formatting and a few of the appendices.  I’m going to supply the basic rundown of a magic system and include it in the initial rule set.  If nothing else, it will work as an initial example for other gamemasters to manipulate as they see fit.

Big week this week with two NPC’s of the week and hopefully the beginning of some solo play fun!


Like a Cart with Square Wheels

As 2015 passes away and 2016 knocks us around a bit, I’m looking back over this blog and where I am with things.  Unfortunately, I see a lot of herky-jerky motion that does not make me happy.

In frustration, my response was to take a sledgehammer to it, knock it all down, burn it and start over.   “No, no,” says the wizened me,  “it’s still good.  It just needs a bit of love and attention.  Focus on the wheels.  You’ll see.”


It seemed to be a good answer so let’s get this moving one more time and carve a few corners down.

The Superhero Sandbox game – The bad news? I managed to use the idea of a Solo Sandbox Superhero game to inspire me to write an entirely new RPG for the past year or so.  The good news?  See the bad news.  End result – It’s still going to happen!  (I also realized I allowed myself to get a little stuck on the world creation before actually just, you know, playing.  So, I’ll be doing the micro to macro formula and we’ll build the world as we go.)

The Homebrew Roleplaying Game – There is actually no bad news here.  Hooray!  And you know what else?  It has a name other than “that homebrew roleplaying game thing” and, as much as it can be, it’s done!  I’m running a few more playtests as well as getting it prettied up for it’s PDF deput.  I’ll be happily posting it here.  The goal is Early Spring 2016.   To get things warmed up, I’ll be talking about it here and going over a few concepts.

Game stuff, Storytelling Stuff and Whatnot –   I’ll be doing some other solo play.  I have no idea what genre.  I also want to get back to the NPC builds and maybe a few maps.  I want to create things for folks to use or experiment with.  You’ll start seeing some NPC’s pop up here again.  The first question is what genre?  Should I go with the most popular, fantasy and science fiction?  Or, maybe, make it a reader’s choice?  Maybe both?  Let me know your thoughts.  (I love the word Whatnot.  It covers SO much.)

Also under Storytelling stuff we are going to start talking about what makes the art form work.  For the record, I do consider it on par with the actual form of storytelling and performance.  In some regards, it is the same.  In others, it is different as you also need to work the storytelling within a framework of rules as well as other players, other attendees, etc.   The best comparison at hand is scripted acting vs. improvisational.  They are both acting but are very different.   What makes a good storyteller?  Should a storyteller hold all the power in the performance?  Is the Storyteller a lord or a servant?

Finally, I’ve been doing this the majority of my life and I’ve got some stories to tell.   Look out, I’m going to do storytelling about storytelling!  I’ve got a few rambling tales to offer up about running games, creating games and selling games.  I hope they’ll be entertaining, and, hopefully, informative.

More to come!

I promise!








Blogus Interruptus

wrongturnI’m Back!

Boy, did I take a wrong turn somewhere.  One minute I was talking about a solo Superhero game, GenCon and helping out a Children’s hospital and the next I’m stuck in a dramatic spiral of real life.  Next thing I know it’s a new year with a new job, I’ve got a bunch of hours wracked up on Steam flying a virtual plane and I’ve somehow managed to get most of a RPG rules set written out without ONE SINGLE POST on my gaming blog.

What a goon.

I think I’m going to simply call 2014 a warm-up for the real deal in 2015 and move forward.  Let’s not dwell too much on the past, shall we?

Back in July or so I stated I was going to run a Supers Solo Sandbox game here.  Well, I got started on that and then quickly came to realize that I could not find a RPG ruleset which worked for me.  I’m a huge fan of the FU RPG for most of my solo gaming but I was still having trouble with it, especially when it came to things like super powers.  I wanted… uh… I wanted… something else!  I just wasn’t sure what.  As one of my kids used to say when he was younger, “I want… I want.. I want a something!”

Then, Synchronicity/Fate/Muses stepped forward and in a bizarre series of events I stumbled across an old RPG game I had written up back in the early 90’s.  Can’t really explain it any better than that.  I was sorting through old boxes and there it was.  Looking through it I found a mechanic or two I liked which led me to the inevitable words, “Hey, I think I can do something with this.”  About that time, the Real Life Spiral started shortly around and after GenCon and I was off to the races and dealing with, well, uh, Real Life Stuff.

Still, I poked at it when I could and wrote notes on index cards and post-its, mused on it as I took our dog out for long walks.  I shaved off sections of the old text and re-wrote new sections that needed smoothing.  I re-tooled the magic/special abilities section and, in a handful of quick play throughs just last week, everything appeared to work.  I’m currently very happy with the results and am in the process of getting it away from a clunky text file and into a nicely organized PDF.  What am I going to do after that?  Well, read on!

Consider, for your review, a late list of goals for 2015 and this blog.

  • Finish up the new RPG rules, playtest them, hone them and then release them here for FREE, to the public.  (I’d like to have them done by Summer.)  Yes, you heard me right.  Free.
  • Using the new rules, I’ll begin posting the solo Superhero game here and, at the same time, begin building my own superhero world which anyone and everyone can start having fun with themselves.
  • Using the new rules, I would like to also post one shots and other games as the year goes along.
  • More posts from the computer game side of things.  This will be videos, stories and whatnot.  I was going to post them on forum boards but I figured I’d keep everything in one place.  Vids, of course, will be linked from my Youtube account.
  • Prepare for Extra Life 2015 by starting a new team which includes my friends and family.  Not only do I want to build the team but I want to prepare as many fun events for the team on Event day as possible.
  • Be ready for GenCon in August.  Pics, reviews, daily reports, etc.
  • And, finally, are you ready for this?  Weekly postings at the minimum.

Yeah, I’m not sure I believe that last one either!

And, yes, I said, “Free.”


It’s For The Kids! ExtraLife 2014

For the past ten days I have been getting ready for tomorrow.  Tomorrow, Extra Life 2014 kicks off at 9 AM my time and I’ll be there to kick it off.  What is Extra Life?  Well, in brief, it’s an nationwide 24 Hour gaming marathon where gamers will be raising money for the Children’s Hospital Network.  Locally, I will be playing Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

I can’t wait.


This is my second year and this time around I have several fun and creative things planned around my game play.  For the most part, I will be playing video games and livestreaming on my Twitch stream which I’ve been working very hard on all week to get as good as it can be with my limping older laptop.   If not computer gaming, I’ll be playing games with the family and friends and, if I need a boost in the middle of the night, I’m going to break out my solo rpg rules I’ve been working on!  I’m hoping to stream as much of it as I can!

In the next post I’ll be putting the rules up for my special variation/challenge of Skyrim play that I’m very excited to show off.  I’ve not seen anything like it and I’ve had a blast playtesting it.  It fits in perfectly with the marathon theme and promises to be entertaining.

Here’s my profile page for Extra Life if you are interested in helping me help the kids!


Pardon The Interruption but, Hey, GenCon!

I just wanted to jump on here real quick and offer a sincere apology for not having a more recent post!  You see, I was surprised a few weeks ago by my middle son who decided he wanted to go Gen Con for his first time ever.  So, after much scrambling, we are headed to Gen Con in nearby Indianapolis!

GenConMy first Gencon was in 1983 when it was still being held at the University of Wisconsin.  I was halfway through high school and about to burst with excitement when I walked into the vendor hall.  I partook in a TSR sanctioned D&D tournament which showed me that railroading PC’s DOES occur at the higher game levels.  (Close to actual quote of the GM at the time.  And yes, I was so mad I STILL REMEMBER IT. “Yeah, that Revenant was supposed to come after the Ranger character in the party.  It was designed for the Ranger to die because he would be too useful later on in the adventure.  IF the party could come together there was a slight chance he could survive…” )

I was a midwestern kid from a small town and a chunk of that town thought for sure roleplaying was the work of the Devil.  I had to find my game books in a dusty hobby shop that specialized in model trains, planes and race cars.  Not that I really cared but I never knew if I was doing any of this roleplaying stuff right.  By the time that summer weekend was over, I had a pretty good idea.  I played in a double blind Gamma World miniatures battle that blew my mind.  I saw my first large scale miniatures wargame that blew my mind.  I saw the first ever fantasy wargame battle strewn out on 30 square feet of convention floor that blew my mind!

Because of my interest in art I spent a large chunk in the artist’s hall and for two days was befriended by Timothy Truman who gave me impromptu art classes.  I remember him showing me the best way to draw legs and arms.  I would take my sketchbook in and sketch next to his table and we would talk about all stuff comicy and geeky.  Needless to say — Mind blown!

I think by Sunday morning of that first GenCon my brain was completely goo.

I’m not really sure how many I’ve attended now.  I attended them in Milwaukee numerous times including one time where everything fell through and I and my friends had no where to stay!  Funny enough, I’ve attended them less now that it moved to Indianapolis and is much closer to me.   The first year it was in Indianapolis I was working from the other side of a vendor table with friend Chris Engle after becoming enamored with his Matrix games, the first story style game I ever played.  I was even pushing my first garage made RPG at the time.  After that, I would go if I could afford to drive up but not attend.  You know,  just to meet old friends who were either going as convention-goers or vendors for dinner.  I don’t think I’ve been in probably five years.

But that’s all past now because I’m headed back.  This time I get to bring the next generation along and start a whole new round of stories, adventures and shennanigans!

I’ll most likely have a post out in the week following the con.  In the meantime, if you want to see a bunch of goofy con pics from a paleo-gamer, feel free to follow me on Instagram where I’ll be posting more than my fair share!  If you’re at the Con, let me know.  I’ll be the tall, graybearded fellow walking around with a nostalgic grin!

Announcements – Annnnnnd before I forget, I’ve been working on the Super’s setting for the solo play and I’ve managed, I think, to come up with a decent hack for the FU RPG.  Very shortly I’ll be presenting that as well as an outline of the up to date gameworld.   Hang in there!

I gotta deal with this pesky game convention thing…