It’s a hard thing to consider…

…mortality that is. I have not written about this here on The Scriptorium, however, it seems a necessary thing to do at this point; the issue having been discussed over at Knights-n-Knaves. Due to personal health issues, I am looking for a potential new home for Usherwood. I would rather see it go to someone else to carry its hooded lantern into the unknown, rather than to just see it wither and die a cold, lonely death. So, while I still have the power of rational thought I felt it would be prudent to start searching around for interested parties; whether they be individuals or small publishers such as myself.

What I am looking for is not simply a monetary sell-out; I am looking for someone who ‘gets’ the hard work and love of the game that prompted me to dust off my original DM notes written as a 13-year old, and mold them into what Usherwood is today (though in all honesty, if Paizo knocked on my front door and handed me a check for $10,000 I would be hard pressed to say no).

I don’t have a time frame for when this might occur, other than to say it really depends on future prognoses (better prognoses = longer time frame).

Interested parties should contact me at kramer at usherwoodadventures dot com to start a dialog.

I will say that this journey has been a helluva ride and if I had my way I would continue writing until my laptop is pried from my cold, dead fingers…but then, that is pretty much what we are talking about here.

In the meantime, as always, good gaming!

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Caravans of Blood Pass; book 2 of the Towers of Mysteries

As I continue with the post-production check list for both Revolvers & Wizardry and The Door of Infinite Portals (ebooks and POD editions), I am also now beginning book 2 of the The Tower of Mysteries entitled The Caravans of Blood Pass.

The Caravans of Blood Pass alpha cover concept.
The Caravans of Blood Pass alpha cover concept.
Final colored line art
Final colored line art

As is typical of my projects, a simple premise—party travels from point A to point B and is harried by several humanoid tribes—is developing into a something more far extensive. At these initial stages where I am just beginning to flesh out the skeleton of the outline, there are hints at power struggles between the humanoids that the party can take advantage of, multiple routes through the Pass that the party can use to their advantage or bad fortune, and extensive miscellaneous encounter tables. Multiple trips through the Pass and surrounding areas should provide several gaming sessions worth of challenges.

And of course, there will be more encounters involving the Tower of Mysteries itself, as continued from The Door of Infinite Portals.

At this time, I am estimating a page count of 120 pages, 9 separate but inter-related adventuring sections, numerous new creatures and new magic elements. Involvement with the Revolvers & Wizardry supplement is not planned, but, you never know may surprise me as events evolve.

Planned release date for Caravans is Summer 2017.

Good gaming,

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Revolvers & Wizardry entering “final stages”

RnW_bugProbably a little to early to make such announcements, but I am so excited about getting this project released I can’t help but jump the gun just a little. I believe I have all sections at least in outline form that I want to include, and I even have a couple groups who have promised to play test for me. I probably will not make my Christmas 2014 self-imposed deadline, but I think January 2015 is definitely doable.

Here’s a current compiling of the Table of Contents (completed sections only, more will certainly be added in the coming weeks);

Publisher’s Note
Open Game Content
Character Options for R&W
New Character Race Options
Considerations for Standard OSRIC Races
Considerations for Usherwood Expansion Races
Racial Preferences
New Character Class Options
Secondary Professions
Level Limitations for Standard OSRIC Races
Weapons and Combat
Firearm Damage
Using Two Firearms Simultaneously
The Kill Shot
Mishaps, Misfires and Hang Fires
Conducting a Showdown
Firearms vs. Armor
Melee Weapons & Other Devices
Mass Brawls
The Riot
Cowboy Riot
Notes on Existing OSRIC Monsters
Other Creatures
New Creatures
Nameless Stranger
Jackrabbit, Gigantic
Lizard, Giant Poisonous
Other Creatures
Bird, Assassin
Cattle, Carnivorous
Desert Raider
Hag, Frontier
Prairie Lobster
Rattlesnake, Titanic
Scorpion, Monstrous
Tarantula, Titanic
Tarantula Hawk, Gargantuan
Heroes & Villains of Lore
Robert LeRoy Parker (a.k.a “Butch Cassidy”)
Henry Longbaugh (a.k.a “Sundance Kid”)
George “Flat Nose” Curry
William “News” Carver
“Black” Jack Ketchum
“Laughing” Sam Carey
Clyde Barrow
Bonnie Parker
William Daniel “W.D.” Jones
John Dillinger
Lester Joseph Gillis (a.k.a George “Baby Face” Nelson)
Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd
Jesse James
Frank James
James “Wild Bill” Hickock
Wyatt Earp
John “Crooked Nose Jack” McCall
Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt (a.k.a “Chief Joseph”)
K’uu-ch’ish (a.k.a “Cochise”)
Thathaka lyotake (a.k.a “Sitting Bull”)
Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak (a.k.a “Black Hawk”)
“Doctor” Henry Fate
Turkan Ruggedhide (a.k.a “Long Horns”)
Magic, Machinery & Science
New Spells
Bad Medicine
Call Spirit Animal
Divine Favor
Enhance Attribute
Protection from Death
Battle Frenzy
Call Spirit Animal
Protection from Death
Spirit Animal
Magic User
Render Inert
Repair Technology
Weld Metal
Feign Technology
Magic Items

Good gaming,

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Revolvers & Wizardry Update

RnW_bugAs with most Usherwood products, my ideas seed other ideas, which in turn seed yet more ideas. This simple expansion is starting(?) to take on a life of its own.

Here’s some new artwork you can expect to find in the Usherwood Weird West OSRIC expansion;

Desert Raider; humanoid variant, based on the Tuskan Raiders of Star Wars.
Desert Raider; humanoid variant, based on the Tuskan Raiders of Star Wars.
Titanic Rattlesnake; 60-ft of bad ass reptilian.
Titanic Rattlesnake; 60-ft of bad ass reptilian.
Minotaur; new PC class.
Minotaur; new PC class.
Nameless Stranger; an undead nod to Clint Eastwood's iconic character from High Plains Drifter.
Nameless Stranger; an undead nod to Clint Eastwood’s iconic character from High Plains Drifter.
Prarie Lobster; dada-chick dada-chum, based on Stephen King's lobstrocities.
Prairie Lobster; dada-chick dada-chum, based on Stephen King’s lobstrocities.

Good gaming,

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InDesign novice?

indesign2013_RPGNcoverIn my (now defunct) career as a freelance graphic designer, I had occasion to be an instructor at Everett Community College, where I taught courses in the Adobe Creative Suite applications (InDesign and Acrobat most specifically). Recently, I have had a few instructors (located variously in Australia, California, and London) request to use my course materials in their teaching curriculum. This has spurred me to update and continue developing this material for casual and new users of InDesign.

The PDF and required exercise files can be purchased at for just $1.00*.

Table of Contents

Lesson 1: Interface Overview

The Quickstart screen and Creating a New Document
The Control bar
Customizing your Workspace(s)
Customizing Menus and Panels
Saving your Workspace(s)
Exercise 1: Starting a new project template

Lesson 2: Working with Text Styles

The Paragraph Styles Dialog
The Character Styles Dialog
Exercise 2: Creating and editing text styles

Lesson 3: Working with Tables

The Table Styles Dialog
The Cell Styles Dialog
Exercise 3: Creating Table and Cell styles
Other creative uses for Table Styles

Lesson 4: Working with Objects

Formatting Objects
The Object Styles Dialog
Importable Graphics
Exercise 4: Creating and editing object styles

Lesson 5: Working with Master Pages

Creating and Organizing Master Pages
Basing Master pages on other Master pages
Exercise 5: Creating and editing master pages

Lesson 6: Working with Editorial Controls

Working with the Story Editor
Working with Search and Replace Routines
Dynamic Spell Checker
Exercise 6: Creating search and replace routines

*price subject to change without notice.

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Revolvers & Wizardry update

RnW_bugWork progresses, albiet slowly, on the OSRIC Weird-West expansion that is in preparation for the Door of Infinite Portals update.

The most recently completed development milestone, is the line art for the firearms that will be featured within the expansion; a selection of pistols, rifles, and shotguns (which I have termed ‘scattershot’). Also, in the development of rules descriptions for these weapons, I have gone into some small amount of history to explain where these items originated. In this, the expansion will feature four specific historic groups of warriors; Union Knights (gunslingers), Confederate Marauders (frontiersmen), Myrlunds (doctors), and Minotaurs (as PCs).

Firearms to be featured within the Revolvers & Wizardry Weird-West Expansion for OSRIC
Firearms to be featured within the Revolvers & Wizardry Weird-West Expansion for OSRIC

Other recent additions to the R&W expansion;

  • New weapons; bull whip, boomerang, Bowie knife, slingshot, military saber, bayonet
  • New combat options; one-shot kill, showdown, using two firearms simultaneously, firearms versus undead
  • New creatures; assassin bird, carnivorous cattle, desert raider (inspired by the sand people in Star Wars™), gummersaurus (a three-stage creature inspired by the Tremors movies and TV series), frontier hag, hyenawere, nameless stranger (undead creature inspired by Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter character), prairie lobster (inspired by the lobstrocities from Stephen King’s Dark Tower books), titanic rattlesnake, titanic tarantula, gargantuan tarantula hawk
  • New magic; grasses to provide healing, summoning, poisoning, ESP, and hallucinogenic spell-like effects (still in-progress)

Good gaming,

Posted in OSRIC, Usherwood Publishing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments