Islands of War Blog

Here you'll find blog entries related to GURPS, my campaign settings and various role-playing activities. Entries will be few and far between, but likely also interesting, as I often do strange things with GURPS.

Best Laid Plans of Goblins and Men

I just finished running this adventure seed. My gosh, did that initial encounter ever explode. The sniper took aim on one of the PCs (Paladin/ranger hybrid with the Berserk Disadvantage and shot him in the ear as a prelude to negotiation.

He actually got the PCs to put down their weapons. I'm amazed that part went so well. Then, as the goblin started talking, the paladin went berserk and rushed him (failed the self-control roll), starting a quick battle between them. The goblin had previously warned that the next shot would be in his eye.

The goblin took aim again and put a bullet in his brain. This did not stop or even slow him down! Then the other player's character knocked him down (and back!) with an Airbolt spell. The goblin failed a Cowardice roll and then a fright check roll (they don't normally keep moving after he puts a bullet in their eye!), so he was stunned and came to his senses right on time for the now no longer berserk paladin to be standing over him.

He surrendered and called the paladin master. Because, to a goblin, it's better to serve the conqueror than to die today. I asked if the player wanted a goblin sniper as an Ally and he said yes. Oh my gosh! He said yes!

So now I'm running a campaign with a paladin PC that's wielding The White Flame and has a goblin sniper that's a known blackmailer to watch his back.

I never saw that one coming. Wow. What weird crap will happen next week?

2015/05/25 23:37 · Richard Owen Lewis

Diagrams as an Alternative to Maps

Goblin Hidey Hole.png Relatively recently I wrote an adventure, called Goblin Hidey Hole. It's not much more than a typical dungeon crawl involving killing a bunch of goblins and goblin hybrids (half-troll, half-goblin), but I did try something new.

I built the map for the adventure in a diagram editing program called Dia.

I reasoned, based on the way I often write my dungeons, I don't actually need a map. Basically, players never see the map, so it's for the GM's eyes only. It doesn't even need to be pretty. It just has to convey a few simple ideas.

Something similar to a flowchart fits the bill almost perfectly, so I gave it a try.

I got the idea from maps of old text adventure games. Those were always abstract and never involved any kind of real detail, because that would have been superfluous. I've begun to feel the same about my adventure maps.

I don't really like how it looks, to be honest. It's ugly. However, it does the job.

As far as experiments go, I feel it's a successful one, but I really would prefer a better approach. Some kind of hybrid between my earlier efforts and this one.

I don't want ugly. I want pretty. I just don't want to work as hard as I did with Clearing the Gnomish Mines.

Ah, middle ground, where are you?

2013/10/29 03:45 · Richard Owen Lewis

Lilly and the Outsiders: They've got character sheets

I've just finished the GURPS character sheets for the Outsiders.

Teka turned out far more deadly than I thought he would be. His favorite attack (an arrow in each eye) is an immediate kill on just about anything with a brain.1)

You can find the wiki page that links to their character sheets here.

2013/07/09 10:45 · Richard Owen Lewis

Lilly and the Outsiders: Introduction

I've finished jumping through the annoying hoops required to put the introduction in the wiki.

You can find it here.

I just wish Wikispaces2) had some way to do paragraph indentation. I had to turn all the tabs I used for indenting into blank lines. It looks all wrong, but I've gotten quite sick of struggling with the editor.3) This is not the first occasion where I've had to fight with the thing, either.4)

Not that this blog will let me do paragraph indentation, either.


Anyway, I hope you enjoy the beginning of the somewhat mangled story.

Hopefully I'll find some way to properly format it at some point in the future and then I can fix it.5)

2013/07/09 10:38 · Richard Owen Lewis

Lilly and the Outsiders

I've been working on a story in my spare time that I thought others would enjoy reading.

It uses Islands of War for the setting and is about one of the adventuring parties that I'm building.

The group isn't listed in the wiki yet, but they're called Lilly and the Outsiders.

Here's a list of the party members (by order of appearance in the story):
Lilliam “Lilly” Branche (Leader of the Party, Fighter)
Katelynn Maroguin, better known as Daughter of Shadow (Priest, Martial Artist, Rogue)
Burton Russello (Jack of all trades, Entertainer)
Odnom Orazzib (Warlock)
Teka, the Dead Eye (Blind Archer)

Lilly, Daughter of Shadow and Burton already have character sheets in the wiki, but will likely require some updates to bring them in line with events in the story. For example, Lilly is taught quite a bit about leadership behind the scenes by Teka.

Odnom is almost finished and I've yet to start on Teka.

Their first adventure is Clearing the Gnomish Mines. I'm still writing that bit out, but I'll post as each section is completed.

I'll put completed sections in the wiki here.

2013/07/09 10:26 · Richard Owen Lewis


1) Plus eyes.
2) This is the original wiki engine Islands of War was built in. I'm so glad I switched to Dokuwiki!
3) An interesting side note is that this is the very reason that story hasn't been updated in the wiki in so long.
4) And now we're to the reason I finally switched to Dokuwiki: control over how my wiki works. Don't get me wrong, Wikispaces is a good start for someone that's never used a wiki, but Dokuwiki is far better, if a tad harder to set up.
5) I just have a little research to do on paragraph indentation and Dokuwiki plugins that handle it and it'll all work fine. I have every confidence that I'll find a way. On the other hand, I've still got to pull myself away from the hundred other projects in this wiki vying for my time.
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