Sunday, January 23, 2022

Session 1, For Real This Time!

So this last Friday, I officially started my Red Frontier game. Returning from the previous test session, Rumbo Battlecock (dwarven vaultguard) and Dread Pirate Robert (bard) lead three new adventurers: Giorgio Fishmonger (explorer), Tony Rice (Thief), and Hazzik (dwarven delver). Robert also has managed to snag two level 0 henchmen: Conway Strong, a former soldier, and Markus Blackeye, a hunter. Rotho sends our group back to the Old Bastard and they no longer see the partially eaten, rotting body parts that surrounded the entrance. Instead, now four spiked morlock heads greet them. Markus is reluctant to in, but Robert manages to bribe him with 15 extra gold. Our group enters through the Dragon's Eye. Inside they see that the four cubicles in the corners of the intersection are now alight with torches. Giorgio deduces that they've only been lit for about an half of an hour. The team decides to finish the western branch of the intersection they came across in the previous session. 

On their way down, the hit the first door on the south wall of the hall. They find no traps, nor hear anything on the other side of the door. The door itself isn't locked, but is hard to move. Rumbo gives it a solid push and the group finds within a 20' squared chamber with some mold growing on rubble and three dwarven skeletons. Combat ensues. They manage to dispatch the short revived skeletons with military oil, sword, and spear attacks. Rumbo is wounded in the shoulder from a spear attack, unfortunately, Hazzik is severely wounded. They use a comfrey on Hazzik, prop him against some boulders (once the mold is determined to be harmless), and shut the door tight, with plans on retrieving their fallen comrade on their way out. Hazzik's player now takes control of one of Robert's henchmen, Conway strong.

They soon investigate the opposite door on the north wall, and another on the south wall. The door in the north wall is hides a gruesome discovery: four headless Morlock bodies, dripping blood and hanging upside down with from two morlock spears. The other southern door is 50' away from the first and they hear a creaking whisper from the other side. The thief Tony and Rumbo proceed to open it with caution once it's revealed it's not trapped or locked. Inside they looking upon a lone morlock enjoying a meal of goblin arm. It goes down fast with a combo of military oil and a crossbow bolt through the throat. Within the burned corpses, the find a small burned pouch with a handful of diamonds: 4 diamonds and a ruby. 

The group finally heads down to the end of the hallway, where the octagon and it's sand pit lies. Previously, Dread Pirate Robert threw a military oil down into the pit, resulting into obscene groaning and a foul, gaseous order that caused a couple of the members to retch up. Rumbo begins to search the doors around the octagon counter clockwise, only finding two collapsed rooms, while Tony looks into the pit and sees what appears to be to chained, blackened skeletons. He also sees a necklace with medallions and a gold, metallic box. While the pit is only 10' deep, they decide to tie a rope around Tony's waist, and attach it to the closest southern door back in the hallway, and have him slowly descend into the pit, Mission Impossible style. 

While Tony is going down into the pit to retrieve the items, Conway and Rumbo begin to look around the unexplored doors in each side of the octagon, making sure nothing comes out. Tony comes back up with the necklace, which a large golden medallion in the middle that depicts a large sun. The chest is unusual as it has latch on each side, and is a perfectly foot cubed. Their tools are unable to open the chest, while Rumbo determines that the sun medallion is one of the keys to open the large stone door they came across in the previous session.

Conway soon sees the most southern door begin to creek open, with skeletal hands peering through. He lets the group know and they soon descend upon the door with Rumbo leading and Robert throwing another military oil at the boney hand. The hand and arm ignites and soon falls down as ash and coals. Rumbo opens the door to find four human skeletons with the two in front charred with burn damage. The rest are quickly dispatched. All they find in the stone room is chains and shackles spiked into the wall. With the session nearly over, the group decides to head back and grab their fallen delver and leave the Old Bastard. This puts them in a bit of dilemma. 

Hazzik was only able to heal one hit point, putting him at -2 hp. Pottsfort is three days away. In ACKS, natural healing of 1d3 will only happen when a character is in a place with sanitary conditions, and it must be a full days worth without interruption. Being out in the wilderness three days away from any sort of civilization (sanitary), it's looks grim for our group. The player of Dread Pirate Robert informs, that due to his occupation in real life, that the minimum of sanitary conditions basically means as long it's not in dog shit. Comforting. With that in mind, and with the fact that I'm trying to reinforce that this a (mostly) howling wilderness full dangers, partially inspired by the American Frontier, I let the players know that if they can a place free of creatures, and what that's meets the bare minimum of sanitary conditions, I'll let them rest there as long as someone takes up guard. I'll probably flesh this out more and make it a house rule for the game. 

With Hazzik healed enough to walk, the group will have to take it slow, going from a three day journey to now six to make it back to Pottsfort. Thankfully, they encounter nothing on their way back and now are back in Pottsfort, but are now in time compression. They now will have the chance to sell their jewels and have their golden chest open by the newly arrived jeweler, Glomm the dwarf. Next week, any returning players will have to roll up new PCs who will hopefully be joined by new players. Until next time, fight on!

Total XP from Monsters and Treasure:

Rumbo Battlecock (10%): 935xp  (935+864(black sapphire was sold)= 1799)

Dread Pirate Robert (10%): 935xp  (935+864(black sapphire was sold)= 1799)

Giorgio Fishmonger: 850 xp

Hazzik the Delver (10%): 935xp

Tony Rice (5%): 893xp

Markus Blackeye (5%): 446xp (Now level 1)

Conway Strong (0%): 425xp
(Now level 1)

Tuesday, January 18, 2022


There's not going to be many, thankfully.

First off, battles will not be individual initiative based as they are in the book. Instead, they will be group based as they are in older version of D&D, such as B/X which ACKS is based off of. Battles will go like this:

  1. Surprise will be determined. 
  2. Players will announce they're actions.
  3. Initiative will be rolled.
  4. Magic and missile fire will go first. Melee will commence after that.
  5. Repeat if necessary. 

This brings up house rule #2: Initiative. Since certain classes and races in ACKS have initiative modifiers either through class abilities, proficiencies, or ability modifiers, the players will use the highest number and apply it to the whole group. THEY WILL NOT STACK!

Third, while I'm using both the ACKS Core Rule Book and Player's Companion, not all races and classes will be available. This is mainly because the Red Frontier is an original setting, and some of the races and classes in those books are tied to Auran Empire, the pre-made setting used for ACKS.

Races Available: 

  • Humans
  • Dwarves
  • Elves
  • Hobbits

The newer races in the Players Companion aren't included.

Classes Available: 

  • All in the Core Rulebook except for Blade Dancer.
  • The only classes available from the PC are the Barbarian, Shaman, Dwarf Classes, Elf Classes, and the Paladin. 

And that's about it for now!

The Humans of the Red Frontier

 The men of the Red Frontier do originate from this world, but our own. Some come from different times and by different means, rather the Crusaders who got lost on their way to Jerusalem, or the Vikings who might have sailed into strange mists and into this new world. Or the Red Man from the North American continent arriving by violent storms. There are even myths and legends of men arriving by ships that travel the cosmos or even strange alien portals. Regardless, their descendants are here now, and must make the best of this new world. The major bastion of men lies in the Great City of Ieston. After the great flood that caused the Old World to sink and partially submerge Ieston itself, they are now forced to try once more to tame the Red Frontier.

But they’re not alone. There are many petty kingdoms, most being no more than bandit kingdoms, made up of descendants of those who tried to colonize before and even those of the fabled Vikings. Many tribes of the Red Man now have moved eastward, some even embracing the ways of Ieston. They all call the Red Frontier home and must try to make the best of it, regardless how they accomplish said goals through peace, war, treachery, or destruction from themselves or the land itself.

Friday, January 14, 2022

The Hobbits of the Red Frontier

 The Hobbits are actual Hobbits from Middle Earth that found their way here in the Red Frontier. They were lead to this world by a great leader called Chadwise Gamgee, whose own ancestor helped save their land. The hobbits established a state called Newshire that bordered between Ieston and the western Blackrot Swamp. They're pretty much Southerners from Dixie. They keep to themselves, are polite to others, and show hospitality to those who come to visit peacefully. And they will fight like hell to keep it that way. They love tea (especially iced and sweet), hate Goblins, and have no problem with killing them on sight. With that said, some of their people have caught the germ of adventure, and seek out a life of pioneering, hunting, and even exploring far from their borders.

The Dwarves of the Red Frontier


The Dwarfs

The dwarfish folk hail from the Shaggy Mountains (or as they call it, the Shaggy Cocks). They're pretty much like Appalachian miners. Their of knotty, short frame, yet stronger than their stature lets on. A clannish people, they usually stick the Shaggies and the area around Ieston. While they have a king, he must share power with the heads of the clans. They've allowed the Shaggies to serve as north western border for Ieston. They also share the Shaggies with Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes. With that said, more than a handful of dwarf have began trailblazing north and east, looking to mine and set colonies around and in the Devil’s Spine.  Many have accepted God and are at peace with Ieston, though some still worship their ancient and weird god The Great Fly Brundle-bl’mzz.

Most tribes build a small, squat building above ground called a Blockhall or Blocks, usually three stories in height, but most of their people, mining, and training is done many levels under the earth. Eventually, the younger dwarfs either getting into bloody fights with their kin and die, or go out to start a Blockhall of their own. Many of these Blocks are connected by the road called the Great Chain which travels underground throughout the Shaggies.


Elves of the Red Frontier

 No one knows from where the Elf-folk hail from, but some allude that they journeyed from the stars. Others say they’re from another realm connected to this world. These man-height peoples have pointy ears, angular black eyes, skin of green and gray, and with hair of flaming red or sunny blond. Most live in keeps made of trees and stone and are kept hidden from prying eyes by ancient magics. Their magic is deadly and eldritch and some even say they have no souls. There is a legend that they have a hidden city called Starheim. No one has ever been able to find out if this city exists or not. They're seen as untrustworthy by most folks. Many elves joined the forces of the Anti-Church when they led the Black Crusade against the Red Frontier. Others either sided with the men of Ieston, or stayed neutral. But during the Black Crusade, many elves on both sides died from the white plague. Still, these days, most stick to themselves in their hidden enclaves. Though it’s not uncommon to see younger members of their race wander the The Red Frontier in search of magic and knowledge.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

What's the BROSR?

It should also be said that this blog is a BROSR blog. What’s that? Well what sets the BROSR apart from the regular OSR, is that instead of shilling you regurgitated rulesets that fill your bookshelf never played, or modules that go unused, we’re about actually playing the damn game as it was meant to be played. The BROSR was started by a tight nit group on twitter, including the legendary blogger and author Jeffro Johnson. And that usually means showing that the older editions, especially the ones written by Gary Gygax himself actually work as intended when run RAW or Run As Written.

For most of us that’s the classic AD&D, for others, we’re willing to use other rulesets by applying near forgotten rules and techniques to achieve the same thing. We also adhere not only to the writings of Gygax but the pulp fantasies that inspired him, especially those found in the immortal Appendix N of the 1E DMG. But that’s not to mean we exclude outside sources. We’re humans after all and that means other things will influence our games, knowingly or not. We do this to show that these rules actually work, what results that come from following them, and show everyone that it’s possible to get the best game they can run or play! Finally, some of us aren’t against using modules, or at least modules, but realize most Dms, especially new ones, should stick to playing by the rules and see how the game grows organically by seeing what adventures the players come up with through their actions.

And then there’s the player side of the BROSR! We not only wan the DM to become the best that he can become, but for the player to achieve ELITE LEVEL DOMINANCE! This is achieved through power gaming. What I mean by power gaming, I mean for the players to take charge of the table, to set goals for themselves, and to be willing to accomplish said goals. For YOU to DRIVE the game. Don’t let the DM railroad you. Don’t agree to play along in his failed novel. YOU the player MAKE the game! Take risks, but don’t be stupid about it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Realize that you are more than your character sheet. Accept that death can and will come for you. This game is about YOU! Play smart, play brave, play ELITE! And remember, YOU CAN WIN AT D&D!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Test Session or Play Session 1?


Play Report

This is a test Session. Maybe not necessarily session 1, but no way in hell a “session 0.” This session was just for me to get a feel of running something, anything really, online. I’ve been told by my brave players that I did alright. Which is good, cause I was worried I’d retard things up too much!

The Players:

Dread Pirate Roberts (Bard)

Lucky Callihan (Thief)

Rumbo Battlecock ( Dwarf Vaultgaurd)

Mickey the Mage (Magic-User)

About four days after meeting the local former trailblazer Rotho at the Piss & Stone Tavern in Pottsfort, about the recently discovered Old Bastard, the group sets to find the long forgotten keep. They head through a giant crack on the Dragon’s Eye after finding body parts and old, dried blood on it's steps. Soon the group makes their way north along an intersection until they come across a bridge over an underground stream. Passing this, they emerge into a plaza where they discover a two story structure, and other doors along the west wall of the plaza. They also find a large stone door in the western wall that has a moon and sun carved into it’s face. It’s locked, but the group ascertains that two special keys are needed to unlock it, one for the moon side, and one for the sun.

Dragon Eye Cave

Lucky scopes out north of the structure and hears some loud sniffing around from something. The group quickly realizes that the structure is about 80’ in length and 40’ in width. They plan on using their grappling hooks and rope to ascend to the second floor through one of it’s many windows. Before they accomplish this, Lucky spots a group of three giant albino weasels, each looking hungrier than the last. The weasels are fairly large. About 9 to 10’ in length and about as wide as a full grown horse. Our heroes decide to run back pass the bridge from earlier in hopes to avoid the weasels leave them alone. And to make it a bit more persuasive, Rumbo throws a weeks worth of rations on the floor as an enticement for giant rodents. The weasels take the bait more or less, and leave the group be.

Moon & Sun Door (but stone!)

The group heads back to the intersection, and takes the hallway left. They pass a handful of doors, including one on the north side of the hallway. They make their way all the to the most western door and manage to open it. Inside is an octagonal chamber, with seven doors, one for each side except for the southeastern wall. In the middle, the floor is made out of sand with a pit about 20’ deep. Dread Pirate Roberts decides to throw a flask of lit military oil inside of the pit. It hits something and causes the pit to light up in great flame, and bubbling shrieking emerges along with an odious smell that reeks of mustard and chemicals. I make the group save against breath, and only half succeeds. Dread Pirate Roberts and Lucky manage to get the other two out before they can cough up their lungs. After the gas subsides, they decide to head back to the north doorway they passed a few minutes earlier. It seems that noises from breaking the door down, the explosion, and coughing up a storm attract a group of humanoid creatures. They hear loud shuffling of feet. Dread Pirate Roberts soon belches out a song to help boost the group and soon hears the oncoming creatures respond by echoing his singing, but way off key. The group’s torch and lantern soon bear witness to three morlocks, one with a spear, the other two with clubs, and all three with drool dangling from their mouth and chins.

Some wild Morlocks!

The two groups soon engage in combat. Mickey the Mage soon blasts Burning Hands at the inbred humanoids, and all three take damage, while the one holding the spear drops his weapon to put himself out. Lucky shoots an arrow but it misses and hit the ceiling. Rumbo and Roberts soon take the two club wielding mongrels down in quick and brutal fashion while escaping harm themselves. The second proves successful for our adventurers as they quickly dispatch the third morlock. Our team resumes their way to the north doorway. They manage to open it and soon find a largely empty space, except for the large metal treasure chest that rests at the foot of the east wall of the chamber. They search the room and Rumbo discerns that there may be a trap 5’ above the chest: he see’s a slightly discolored stone brick. The group exists past door while Rumbo takes his rope and lasso’s the chest. It’s heavy, but makes it slowly to him. While it moves his way, it triggers what indeed was a trap. Quickly the brick gives way and long halberd like device pops outs to kill whatever that might have been in front of the chest.

The group opens the chest without any problems, and find 2000 gp, 500 sp, and a black sapphire worth 1,000 gp. Not a bad haul at all. They soon make their way out of the dungeon and back to Pottsfort without incident.

Total XP from Monsters & Treasure: 

30 xp from the Morlocks

58 xp from the Pit Ghouls

2,000 xp from gold pieces found

50 xp from the silver pieces found

1,000 xp from the black sapphire (must be sold first)

Each member receive a bonus amount from their Prime Ability Score.

Dread Pirate Roberts (10%) = 589

Rumbo Battlecock (10%) = 589

Mickey the Mage (10%) = 589

Luck Callihan (0%) = 535

Sweet Loot!

So yeah, the night went pretty good. I didn't have the entire 1st level keyed mostly because it turned out bigger than I realized. I also need to learn on giving better directions and descriptions of the rooms and what not. I've ran games before, but it's been a couple of years and I've never ran one online before. Still, it shouldn't take long to improve on these. Not sure when I'll get started, and it depends on a setting a schedule, but it shouldn't be too much longer. Anyway, here's hoping for the best and remember to Fight On!

What's this all about now?


My original idea was to use OD&D, but since this test session was kind of spur of the moment, I decided to use the Adventurer, Conqueror, King System or ACKS for short cause I already knew it, or some of it due to play in bdubs1776 most excellent game. It can be found over hear: It’s a great system, and probably the best of the OSR rulesets. It’s based off the old Basic versions of D&D, but pretty much surpasses those. It has the tools needed to design the setting from the ground up, including rules for economies and mass combat. There’s more to it, but I highly recommend you check it out. It also combines some elements found in later edition of D&D, like proficiencies, which are a combination of skills and feats. Though unlike those versions of that game, these are optional but also never feel like they get in the way of actual play. And unlike the B/X version of the game, this is less horror pulp, and more gritty sword & sorcery similar to that of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Though that’s not to say it’s not a horror game, it is essentially D&D after all.

But what house rules? Do I use them, and if so, how many?

Not many, as I’m not the biggest fan of making a bunch of house rules. One should play the game as written first, and only make rulings and house rules for things the game doesn’t cover and maybe a few that emerge from actual play and that suit your setting. With that said, there are two rules I’m starting with out of the gate: 1) to switch from individual initiative to that of group initiative. This isn’t as much of a radical change than one may think as D&D from it’s first edition to that of even 2E all use group initiative. It’s faster and meaner. And I like it a lot. 2) mostly that not all races and classes will be available. This is mainly due to The Red Frontier being a homebrew setting, and at the moment I don’t see the need or want to use those that are tied to ACKS in game setting, Auron. Not a bad setting mind you. I dig the late antiquity vibe with a pseudo late era Roman Empire in decline setting it goes for. But I really want to do my own thing. Mainly I’m inspired about the earliest of settings: Greyhawk, Blackmoor, the Wilderlands. But also that of Rick Stumps own setting Seaward. Go check his blog out:

The Red Frontier and The Old Bastard


Red Frontier

The Red Frontier. A vast wilderness made of lost kingdoms. Viscous barbarians. Eldritch Magic. Of the forgotten and unknown. A new world with a very ancient past. But a land where many are willing to risk all. For fame, glory, riches, and life itself. Many have tried to claim The Red Frontier for themselves, but it's has always proven to be unconquerable. And it always pays back in blood and death. Will you risk you're life, dare everything, to leave your mark? To make a name for yourself? Will you pay the blood price the Red Frontier demands? Meet your fate or ride to your doom!

The Old Bastard

Long ago, before the First Cataclysm claimed the entire Red Frontier and expelling the early colonies of the old world, there was Oggac, bastard son of king Oggar, who became a curse upon the land. Banditry, pirating, kin slaying, debaucheries, devil worshiper, and with many other foul deeds to his name, he began to build a keep to hoard his vast ill-gotten wealth and his brides. Instead of a large castle atop a hill, he built it within and under a large hill within the foothills of the mountain range, The Devil’s Spine. He used slaves, including dwarves and savages, and even foul magic to complete this task. Once the First Cataclysm swept over all the land, he retreated into his keep. Hidden within a strange hill, and behind a dragon’s eye, The Bastard’s Keep Oggac called it. After a few hundred years have passed, the old countries began to reestablish a foothold in the Red Frontier. And some remembered the vile legends of the bastard Oggac and his Keep. And some began to search for his fabled keep. None returned. The natives along with new comers began to call it something else, something that fitted it’s mythic and now infamous status: The Old Bastard.

But time moves on, and recently a party was sent out by the old trailblazer Rotho of Pottsfort. A month later only one survivor from that party came back. A man half naked, with horrible scars, and whose sanity was lost. The man rambled on about coming to hollow whose floor shimmered and then disappeared. Of finding a large cavern through the roots of trees on a side of a strange, large hill at the end of hollow. He drew a map with vague directions to the Old Bastard at Rotho’s insistence. And the poor soul soon killed himself that same night. Rotho sent out another team. This time they arrived back, in whole, and with treasure in tow. Now Rotho is calling in for more help to map out the area, and to map the lost keep. Will you accept the call and risk death, or will you stay home, safe and regretting you could have made a name for yourself?


 A BLOG!!!

So I’ve got a blog now! Cool! Anyway, this is gonna be mostly for the game I plan running, The Red Frontier, powered by ACKS. I’m gonna stick to play session reports, maybe some info about the setting as it’s a homebrew setting, and maybe thoughts on art, movies, music, and literature that’s influenced my game. Enjoy!

Happenings and Going Ons in the Red Frontier Part 2

These events took place during August thru October of 2022 While the Urgak and Wier were preparing to fight against the forces of Law, the p...