Friday, April 13, 2018

Eldrad's Review of Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

Well I finally started running 5E and I am so far, very impressed. Yeah I know, I am late to the party but I was trying to push my own Level Based D20 Fantasy RPG, but now I am done with that. 
It was something I wanted to do. 
I did it. 
Fantasy Heart Breaker. 
Boo Hoo!

I kept seeing everyone else having fun at the party so I gave it a second look. 

So let's get started with the review! Let's start at the beginning. 

It's the standard 4D6 take away the lowest, standard array, or point buy. Myself being old school, prefer the rolling method.
The standard SDCIWC attributes of the D20 system with the standard modifiers.  Pick a difficulty and roll a D20 and add the attribute bonus. If you are proficient then add the proficiency bonus. It's all time tested and works very well.

The races have been streamlined and simplified and they work very well. There is a great selection of races and subraces. Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Gnome, Half-Elf, Half-Orc and Humans from the standard old school cannon  are the selection of races. Tieflings and Dragonborn are included as well.

The classes all have the simplified aspects and all serve their functions and the system allows for the blurring of the classes through backgrounds. The classes all work very well. It's just simple and fun to play. 

Backgrounds allow for one to coustomize their characters to help form a personal story. 

The skills and weapon proficiencies all work the same. Proficiency Bonuses stack onto the attribute rolls the same in skills and in attacks. If you are not proficient then you don't add a proficiency bonus. The proficiency bonus is awlays the same and depends on the level, with +6 being the highest. Yes the math had been gotten rid of for the most part.

They make making a character for the inexperienced players totally easy and understandable.

Magic is a semi-Vanician but with a twist. You memorize a small list and then have spell slots (basically spell points) to select between the memorized spells. You have useful zero level spells that actually can cause some damage. It's more fun to play a caster now.  Characters seem more powerful now until you start looking at the monsters. 

The monsters in 5E are back to being scary. If you go against many of the monsters of the past, blindly attacking, you might have some problems. The monsters can be easier to hit but now they have lots of hit points and do a lot of damage.  Combat is really fun once again with no more of the +27/+25/+20/+12 to hit multiple attacks versus an AC of 36. Whomever designed the new system realized that it wasn't necessary to always have inflation of of to hit and AC to have a good game. It's the same with the skill and attribute checks, all simplified. 

I can see the OSR influence on 5E. It's the game that an old school gamer and a new school gamer could be at the table and both have a good time. 

Although the monster stats blocks are longer than I like, they work. They are perfectly organized and make running monsters easy.

The DM's guide is a great guide for starting DMs as well as a great source of inspiration for we DMs who may not have the youthful free time. 

Most of your rules are there to run the game and the magic items. Very well organized. 
Made to be easy to run.

Very simply, 5E just flows very well in play, promotes hack and slash deep role playing, and had brought the game back to it's old school roots with the innovations of the new rules.  It has fixed many of the problems of the past editions and is the perfect  hybrid of the game. Now everyone has an edition that all gamers can sit at the table and play.

I can see the age of the retroclone possibly becoming a fading fad as this edition satisfies the itch for all styles of play and gets rid of the more asinine restrictions of the past rules that the OSR holds on to. 
It also does change the fantasy death gore festival of the old school but unlike most newer games, in 5E you still have  a pretty good mortality rate. 
It seems that many of the OSR have converted. Still, many will hold onto their systems that they love. More power to them. You might want to find a game that everyone else is playing or at least that has always been my problem in a smaller gaming community. 
Nevertheless, I will still keep playing 5E in the brutal OSR style. 
Do I mean that the OSR community is over? Not hardly. The "do it yourself" spirit is always going to come through. 
I can't wait to see the OSR inspired products through the DM's Guild! 

The other Mathfinder system is going to be in trouble as well if it's not already. It's become or always was a bloated monster. A really fun to play bloated monster but it can't compare to the new 5E that has taken D20 to the "just right"place. 
They have done a White Wolf to some of their players with their 2nd edition according to may of their players. 
They are going to change what made the Mathfinder game what these power gamer and min-maxers love as far as I can tell. The point of the game was to keep the system that all these people were hanging on to. Maybe the world is ready for a 2nd edition Mathfinder. 

I love that this will also invigorate the RPG industry and hobby!
What I am seeing a new BOOM of people playing in my area and the game that they are playing and having fun with is 5E. 

I would rather join then die. Maybe I can get some of my goals I wanted with BttDRPG. A huge multi DM campaign of old. We shall see. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Effective Immediately: BttDRPG is on Hiatius

Well there are times in life where you have to just stop what you are doing are reexamine what RPG Projects you are working on and if they are even viable anymore. 

Purpose of BttDRPG and Why it was  Written

I started writing BttDRPG during the D20 WTF age. The D20 craze had brought back the RPG industry. It also brought a level of complexity that crushed many a future gamer and crushed games. With the OGL one could create their own D20 content and people did. Some Gamers started wanting something without the unnecessary bloat of rules started making their own stuff. The OSR (indies, story games, ect) was born out of that or some say that they have been and always will be playing the more nostalgic versions of the game. At that time I discovered the OSR Blogs, OSRIC, and C&C. I saw the creative closed door policy of C&C on outsiders as well as the system was not what I was looking for. I saw many of the same old systems retold anew but still the same systems. I saw level limits and class restrictions come back as sacred cows and it kept coming back. I saw many a post on many a forums wanting a system with the simplicity of old and the innovation of the new. I saw it was my time to write my own version of the rules for The Fantasy RPG!I just wanted to save the gaming world!

The Long and Horrible Trail

If any of you have ever tried to write and RPG, it's fun and exciting! It also can give you great agitation, heartache and pain. Work on something and it never gets played, or even worse nobody even wants to play it. If you have been gaming as long as I have and have written as many unpublished RPGs as I have before and after the Advent of the PC and printers, you find it's a passion and curse, it's enjoyable and taxing! You also end up with huge piles and files of unfinished shit.

The Universe Strikes 5E

Well the announcement of 5E and it's plan to do what I was going to do kinda made me say damnit! I was going to throw in the towel until I saw what their final product was going to be. Not as Simplified as I and the world want. Still really good though. I kept on going and started a local group of BttDRPG. Plus 5E had a year or two before it came out.

The Local Plan: The Gathering of the Game Master's FAIL.

Well I started a group and things we're going pretty good. A gathering of old friends. I started to look at the history of old expeditionary campaigns of old and how they did it and I got excited!
I decided to branch out to another few GMs and groups to get a real multiple GM campaigns going and many of them were really good players. 

THE Entire Universe is Against Me. 

Then my job for at least 6-8 months went full retard and we started working 13 days on and one off. When the job calmed down, everything that could and would break broke.  My dad needed some surgery. 

I spoke my Oracle (The Wizard of the South) and he said that it was in the cards to make this decision. He let me know that I could continue on but just more failure and more of the same. Real good there. SHit I already knew. BTW the Oracle TWOTS is really good at advice but very few people can contact him. 

So it's over until...

We here at LFR Game Studios have decided to put BttDRPG on a hiatus to begin working on other projects.
Lord Eldrad Wolfsbane of LFR Studios.

So I started writing Classic Fantasy RPG and then changed the name to Back to the Dungeon RPG. I wrote the game that most of the discontented people of the OSR talked about and supposedly wanted. I also read about people complaining about he modern versions having too many  rules. I saw an opening for something that people supposedly wanted. I sent it around to a few friends with a few good reactions so I kept going. 

This was in the age of 4E and the group I was playing with was 4E only, play nothing else so we broke up. 

I finally released BttDRPG to the world with the answer to all gaming for both the old school and the new school, heck I might even just make a few bucks! The game table would once again not be divided by editions. 


The reaction was incredible! Absolutely nobody reacted! Well maybe a few. Crickets! Reshashes of various older version with almost verbatim copies of the old rules came out with hundreds of thousands of likes and hits. My "Neoclone" in it's B&W primitive zine form just ripened like a tomato in summer. Still I kept writing and tweaking the system. Hell, 4E was bombing. I am in the perfect place.

What if I could get a few of the most skilled GMs in the area to join with me? One of my group members was formally (or supposedly) one of the best GMs in the area so I tried to recruit him and tell him my grand plan! He sadly now is mostly an online gamer and only wanted to use older editions of the rules because he already had all the books. 

I made him copies of my game and explained how it was far Simplified compared to his favorite edition. I noticed that months after the booklets were sitting where they were laid and he had not even looked at the rules or even tried to create anything but an old map for his favorite edition but never even finished that. After quite a few months I just gave up on him and just kept chugging my way towards GM burnout. 

Even though I ran and wrote some of the best Adventures of my gaming life but over cautious party of played make a game not as fun as it could be. It may have been some of my fault as the struggle was real and maybe I wanted it too much. 

A few of the GMs were also some of the best in the area. Sadly one of them who is a fantastic GM would not even look at my rules.  

They did play and that game went pretty well. We had a successful romp back to the dungeon. It just might work.

My gaming group has began to try other rule systems in my absence and are as far away from my plan as possible. Even playing way more painful and complicated systems instead of mine. Switching systems and RPGs every few months. Guess my plan for a multiple GM mega campaign failed.   

In my very rare spare time I edited, wrote and improved Back to the Dungeon RPG. Wrote a few modules. 

We think you are being a DICK Eldrad!

In between all of this I made a few blurbs or advertisements. I have seen a few other people put out their blurbs one after another and everyone celebrates. I put out a few MORE than the invisible rulebook says I am allowed and now I get accused of spamming. A few say a few rude things but at least they have failed ( I like to watch and follow my critics online to see i they can saty in the kitchen) at even barely getting anything done. A few people download the PWYW basic version but sales are slow. 

Even a local FB group who is gaming group decided to have a few choice words about my blurbs. It was all mostly in jest but it was the final straw. 

So what am I even doing wasting my time with my system? I am a gamer who creates, writes, and thinks games but I don't get to game. I am going to start clearing my slate and just make time to play. I ain't running or offering to do shit. 

The secret behind the scenes stuff that I have been and trying to do for the TTRPG community around here is not even noticed. I am just going to study 5E and go along with the flow.      

Feel free to use the BttDRPG rules to make your own modules and settings. 

For for now I am going still screw with with DUNGEONPUNK RPG, some 5E stuff, and some other weird projects but at a very limited capacity.

What I am going to do is start to just simply play and have fun. 

Friday, February 23, 2018


About the Tinkerage

This blog is dedicated to the author's inveterate tinkering with tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) and scenarios. That's it. Really. A place to tinker and post ideas about rules, adventures, and worlds.
Readers are free to use anything they find here for personal, that is non-commercial, use (but it would be nice that if you like or use something, you leave a comment to say so).

AND so the Tinkerage does just what he says, tinker with rules. It's how he does it that is so invigorating. Examples of very rules light, narrative systems. SO much so that he inspire me to make a hack from one of his post. See for yourself how good this Blog is. 

Tales from the Green Dragon Inn

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Vanadorn's D&D Campaign.

Vanadorn's D&D Campaign

IF you can't play then it's good to read about people's campaigns who are ongoing. Vanadorn doesn't beat around the bush. The tales from these two different groups is really some great stuff. It's one of those obscure blogs with a few followers that deserves to have a look taken at it.  I would suggest having a few pictures from the sessions and possibly a character profile or two and some art. Give his site a like and follow! One day I will take a longer look with a good bourbon on a rainy day. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

BACK to the DUNGEON Role Playing Game: The Races: A few Examples and the Old School/New School Combat System...

A few Races...

Attributes: Str +1, Dex -2, Con +2, Wis +1, Cha -2
The stern and dour dwarves all stand a slight bit shorter
that mankind although quite a bit stockier with large
feet for stability. Dwarfs live typically 350 years on
average. The dwarven men all sport long hair and beards
while the women stand slightly shorter and are very
shapely and full figured with most having no beards
though some tribes and stocks do. Despite their
appearance they are very dangerous opponents in war.
Dwarves are a rough and tough race that likes the strong
drink. They also enjoy the crafting of fine weapons and
armor. Most of the dwarves live in great and ancient
underground halls carved out of the mountains or in
cities deep in ancient giant caverns mining for precious
gold and gems for which they love so dearly.
• STONECUNNING (WIS): Dwarves are better at spotting
traps, sloping passages, and new construction while
• CAVESIGHT: Because of this life underground Dwarves
can see in the dark 60'.
• BASTION: Dwarves can push a victim back five feet on
a critical.
• STOUTBACK: Dwarves move 20 foot a round until the get
1.5 times their load.
• GREENNOSE (WIS): Dwarves can tell by the smell what
kind of humanoid is in the area. It's not a special
power it's just that goblinoids stink and dwarves
have been around them enough to tell what type by a
successful Wis roll. Dwarves hate orcs and goblins
and will attack them on sight.
• GIANTFIGHTER: Dwarves take half damage from giants.

Attributes: Str -4, Dex +2, Con -1, Wis -1
The Wee Folk are a short race that lives in comfortable
burrows. Most Halflings prefer the simple life and
growing old and fat eating their six to eight meals a
day, smoking tobacco, various weeds, and drinking heavily
late into the night. They stand more than half the height
and weight of mankind (Though non-adventuring halfling
can get very fat) with the more isolated halflings being
smaller and live around 120 years. A halfling adventurer
is a rare thing.
• UNDERFOOT: Halflings get +1AC and can hide better due
to being small. They are found of farming,
gardening, fishing, and crafts.
• TUNNELCUNNING (WIS): Halflings live in dirt burrows
and hills and can detect weaknesses such structures
made of dirt such as dirt caves. They are not
particularly warlike but can very ferocious when
• SLINGER: Halflings are experts at slings and thrown
rocks and do one dice higher in damage.

This is exactly like you are and they are considered the
base race to create other races from. They have no
modifiers to their attributes. Humans have the ability to
survive. The get to re-roll one death save they fail once
a day per five levels.

Wood Elf
Attributes: Str -2, Dex +2, Con -2, Cha +2
Deep within the primordial forest live the ancient wood
elves. Elves are the same size as mankind but usually
thinner and delicate framed and have pointed ears. They
are one of the many races of elves but in the entire elf
race is fading. They live in communities high in the
ancient trees singing their ancient songs in giant tree
house cities. Elves live thousands of years and only die
from violence. At around 1200 years old they go back to
the wilderness to become one with nature.
• WOODWISE (WIS): Wood Elves are wise to the way of the
woods, survival, and stealth in the wilderness.
• ELFBLADES: All elves are trained in swordplay and
archery regardless of class.
• ELFFOOT (DEX): All elves can move silently in the
wilderness or forest.
• TREEWALKING (DEX): Wood Elves can tree walk. That is
the ability to walk from tree to tree as long as
there are limbs. Clever elves can apply this skill to
other uses.
• FEYCHARM (CHA): Wood Elves can use their Charisma to
fascinate and allure other races. This is especially
so when they sing or recite poetry.
• MAGICEBB (WIS): Wood Elves can use their Wisdom to
feel the ebb and flow of magic and fate but only in
the vaguest of visions. Only those of very high level
have the full foresight. All elves see the material
world dying and it makes them seem distant.
• ELVINACCURACY: Wood Elves have Elvin Accuracy which
means they can re-roll one miss per battle.
• ELFSIGHT (WIS): Wood Elves have incredible vision and
can see ten times farther than a human and can see
quite well in moonlight but not complete darkness.
Wood Elves are really good at finding hidden or
concealed doors when they are actively searching.
• ELFWILL (WIS): Wood Elves are immune to paralysis
caused by undead such as ghouls and are very
resistant to charm and sleep

The Old School/New School Combat System


1. Determine Surprise.
Determine if the different sides notice each other by
rolling a D20 against the unaware party's Passive
Perception which is their Wisdom bonus +10. IF the
unaware party does not notice the attacker then that
party is surprised and their enemies get a free round of

2. Initiative.
Each character rolls a D20 + Dexterity Bonus + ½ their
Level or Hit Dice. Highest roll goes first. Combat goes
in that order for the rest of the combat. Groups of
monsters or troops may be rolled for collectively to save
time. One may delay their attack to a go at a lower
Initiative number but they are now at that lower number
in the Initiative.

3. Roll to Hit.
When one wants to attack one rolls a D20 plus ½ Your
Level or Hit Dice, plus Strength Bonus for Physical
Attacks, Dexterity Bonus for Light Physical, Ranged
Attacks and Spell Level plus appropriate attribute for
Spell Attacks. A natural 20 does Double Damage and may
have other effects depending on the Class. A 1 means the
player gets disarmed, bowstring breaks, gets tripped, or
gets pushed back five feet. Any Dexterity bonus (or
penalty) is added (or subtracted) from the Armor Class.
Magic is detailed in the magic booklet. Monsters attack
with 1/2 their HD total round down plus any other bonuses
as noted in their descriptions.

4. Roll for damage.
If one is hit then damage is rolled as followed. Remember
to add Strength (or Dexterity) Bonus to Damage (or
Penalty but at least 1 point of damage will be done.)
Subtract the damage from Hit Points. When you are at half
your hit points you are considered Bloodied and this may
allow for special conditions to occur. When you get to 0
Hit Points you are knocked unconscious. Below 0 you must
roll 10 plus the damage below 0 every round as a
Constitution Save. If you fail you die. If someone heals
you back to at least 1 Hit point you become functional
and back in the fight. Subdue damage only knocks out
another opponent. Monsters and NPCs die at 0 Hit Points
or less.

5. Try new things!
You can try anything in combat other than just hitting
and doing damage! Try making your opponent fall down or
be blinded by throwing things into their eyes or whatever
you can think of. The Game Master makes up these rules on
the spot and most of the time the difficulty is raised.
Try Combat Extremes! Charging, Tripping, Sundering
Weapons, and Pushing an Opponent. The Game Master sets
the difficulty for you such as adding up to +4 to the AC
of the monster to be hit to do such things. Many times
giant sized monsters can hit multiple opponents in one
swing. Game Masters can and will make up rulings as they

6. Healing
You heal one point plus your Constitution bonus times
your level per day. Subdue damage is healed at the same
rate per hour. Regardless of modifiers you heal at least
1 point per level per day/hour.

7. Other Combat Modifiers
Two Weapon fighting -2/-4
Flanking +2
Invisible -4
Prone -4
Cover +1 to +5
Higher Ground +1
Afraid -2
Shooting Into Melee -4
Tiny +2AC
Small +1AC
Large -1AC
Huge -2AC

8. Extra Attacks
Every 6 Levels or HD one gets 1 additional attack unless

otherwise noted.

Next Post will be over the Monster Rules.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Back to the Dungeon RPG: The Class Act! Fighter and Rogue

So why another Neoclone? 
If you print them out in booklet style, they make nifty little zine book! 

Well most of the clones out there are just that, an almost exact clone of what was, flaws and all. THEN you have the bloated new stuff with all the cool options and such but DAMN! to many rules! 
IT'S just bad game design to make rules like that! So what did I do? I made a simple version of the old system I loved and added in a few modern options. IT needs to be easy to run! 

It should be a pleasure to create dungeon deep and wildernesses wild and NOT WORK!  

Here are monsters for example! 

For example here is a Goblin...
Goblin AC12+ HD1-1 Move20 Damage 1d6 Weapon and Ranged.

Goblins are small 4' tall evil stinking humanoids of various bestial looks. They only live to destroy. They are the ancient enemy of the dwarves but the plague all when they come to an area and multiply.

Orc AC12+ HD2 Move30 By Weapon +2

The ugly race of pig faced humanoids with green to brown mottled skin. They form tribes in the wilderness and join up to raid and destroy. The only weakness they have is fighting among themselves. Their leaders will have many more hit dice.

Swamp Dragon...
Dragon, Swamp AC16 HD7 Move40/60f/40s Bite 1d6, 2 claws
1d6, Tail 1d4, or Breath Weapon DC13 Acid 7d6

The Swamp Dragon is an evil swamp dwelling dragon that plots and plans how to acquire more gold.

There will be an entire post on monsters in the future. 

I gave the classes a bit more meat because players seemed to like that. I took the complication out of most of it compared to modern gaming. Check out the Fighter and the Rogue.

The brave and strong Fighter is the backbone of any adventuring group. He is the first line of defense against any and all threats. Fighters can be of any background and come from anywhere. Most Fighters depend on their Strength to do great damage on their opponents in combat. The Fighter answers most conflict with weapons drawn. They are trained at all weapons and armor. They are the simplest class to play.
• STRONG (STR): The Fighter may use his Strength to perform a feat of Strength such as moving heavy objects that no other characters can.
• SOLDIER (INT): The Fighter may also use his Intelligence to see the quality of weapons and armor.
• RESIST (CON): The Fighter uses his Constitution to resist toxins and drugs as well as any thing that might shock his system.
• RIDER (WIS): A Fighter may also use his Wisdom to keep control of his horse or other steed.
• DEFENDER (WIS): The Fighter may also keep his
undivided attention on as many opponents as his
Wisdom Bonus, that if they try and get past him or
attack anyone else, he will get a free melee attack
against as many adjacent enemies as his Wisdom Bonus
even if he has already taken an action this round.
• CLEAVE: A Fighter can cleave one extra victim at
first level and then every two levels. A cleave is
when you drop one opponent your leftover damage then
continues to the next opponent adjacent as long as
the attack roll would beat the AC and another attack
is made with a damage roll as well.
• FIGHTER: You are proficient in all weapons and armor.
• CRITICAL: Fighters get the Melee Critical Hit
ability. When they roll a natural “20” they
automatically do triple damage in Melee Combat only.
This damage continues to cleave to the next monster
if the first one dies from the massive damage.
Critical hits improve to x4 at 4th level x 5 at 8th
level improving every 4 levels.
Armor: Any
Weapons: Any
Hit Points: 1d10 per level.

Here is the nifty character sheet!

The Rogue can be a trained criminal, a thief, the master
of stealth and locks, a charmer, or conman. A Rogue can
be many things though most depend on their dexterity and
craftiness. Some are nothing of the sort using their
ability to manipulate others by their sheer personality.
In some cases these more criminally organized sorts kinds
will gather together and form Thievery Guilds.
• SHEERCLIMB (STR): The Rogue uses his Strength to
climb sheer surfaces that no other class can climb.
• THIEVERY (DEX): The Rogue uses his Dexterity to pick
locks, pick pockets, Stealth, and other criminal
activities better than any other class.
• DIRTYFIGHTER: If they hit a victim with a surprise or
flanking attack they do an additional 1d6 damage
every two levels.
• FLINGER (DEX): The Rogue is a flinger of darts and
daggers and may fling equal too his Dexterity bonus
per round.
• STALK (CON): They use their Constitution to hang out
for a very long time in cramp hidden places to stalk
their prey.
• DECIPHER (INT): The Rogue uses his Intelligence to
decipher maps and magic scrolls as well as ancient
text if he is literate.
• POISONER (INT): They have knowledge of various
poisons and their effects.
• CANT (INT): They also speak a Thieves Cant which
varies from area to area.
• SEARCH (WIS): The Rogue uses his Wisdom to spot
hidden things and to notice traps and tricks.
• SHADOW (WIS): He can also use his Wisdom to shadow
someone in a crowd.
• CONMAN (CHA): Many Rogues have glib tongues and use
their Charisma to charm and convince others.
• GIMP:On a natural “20” a rogue may Slow an opponent
causing him to move at half speed until healed, Stun
the opponent for 1d4 rounds, or cause 1 point
bleeding for 1d6 rounds.
Armor: Anything past Leather (AC 12) interferes with
physical abilities.
Weapons: Any

Hit Points:1d6 per level

Sunday, November 26, 2017