D&D Sixguns & Sinners – Bullet 1: GIRL

Alright, so let’s finally get some Wild West D&D underway!

In Attendance: John Dwyte (Darryl), Magnus Dwyte (Trev), Jebediah Underwood (Joe).


An’ naturally, I’ll be servin’ as the Lawman (that’s Wild West talk for Dungeon Master).

We begin our story in the sleepy little town of Rusty Creek, where’s there’s a lynching about to go down. Unfortunately, it’s the Dwyte boys who are being led up to the gallows. See, the folks of Rusty Creek don’t take kindly to strangers coming into town and scamming them out of their money. Magnus and John have been rumbled, and an angry mob has gathered to watch ’em swing.

While the mayor demonises them, Magnus spots a preacher in the crowd, and thinking quickly…

Badger “Wait now! You wouldn’t condemn us to fiery damnation without a man of the Lord saying a few words for our immortal souls first now, would you?”

The town elder grumbles a bit, but allows it. The preacher, obviously, is Jebediah Underwood, who steps up onto the gallows. He looks the Dwyte boys up and down, then turns to the crowd. Joe nails his Perform check, and Jeb delivers an impassioned sermon about guilt and sin and redemption. He says that he knows the Dwytes have done wrong, but maybe there’s some good they can do in the world before their time comes. He then demands that they be freed, and that he’ll take full responsibility for them.

The town elder isn’t too keen on that, and is about to protest, but Jeb over-rules him by whipping off his eyepatch and displaying his glowing eye Stigmata, showing that he is an Apostle and blessed with divine powers and authority. The townspeople can’t really argue with that, and after much bowing and scraping, John and Magnus are freed, and their possessions returned. The town elder, still butt-hurt (he really wanted to see ’em swing) gives them an ultimatum; they may be free, but he wants them out of town by nightfall. John and Magnus are happy to oblige, eager to put this redneck murder-village behind them.

They get to talking with Jeb. Everyone puts on a broad Southern state accent. Lols are had.

Badger“Preacher, why’d you save us?”

jeff-grit_1783061c“Shit son, I can ask them to string you up again if you’re disappointed.”


“I been a lot of places and seen a lot of things preacher, and I ain’t never seen nobody doin’ somethin’ for free in these parts.”


“Damn right. You boys are stickin’ with me. I got a long damn journey ahead of me. Reckon I can count on a pair of Dwytes.”


“As long there’s cash and booze, I’m in.”


“Dang it John! You ain’t even worried about how this preacher knows who we are?”


“Son, I knew your folks, back in the day. Damn shame what happened to ’em. But I could always count on ’em, and I figure I can count on you two as well.”

They’re packing the wagon ready to go, when one of the townsfolk nervously approaches Jeb, and asks if he could say a prayer for his daughter, who’s been ill for the past few days. He’s heard that Apostles like Jeb have some kind of healing powers, and if it’s not too much trouble…? Jeb umms and aahs, but gives in when the man says that his wife will provide dinner.

The three of them go to the man’s house (he’s not happy about the Dwyte brothers coming along, but Jeb assures him that they’re harmless) and go to see the daughter, Henrietta. The family dog isn’t happy to see Jeb, and starts barking.


“Ah, don’t you fret. It’s the power I got. Spooks ’em.”

The girl is in bed, and looks ill and feverish. Jeb uses his healing touch, and there seems to be an instant change; the girl stops tossing and turning and groaning, and seems to settle down. Grateful, the man and his wife give Jeb and the Dwytes a meal of stew (though the Dwytes get less, along with disapproving glares from their hosts), and the group take their leave.

They go back to the wagon.


“So where we headin’, preacher? The more miles my brother and I put between ourselves and these folks, the better.”


“Saint Pelor. Maybe along the way I’ll tell you the reasons why.”

The town elder sidles up along with the town lawman to make sure the brothers leave, and make a few threats about what’ll happen if they ever show up in Rusty Creek again.

Suddenly the man they helped comes running down the street, and telling them to come quickly. “It’s my little Hetty!” he screams.

John and Jeb dismount. John’s already got his guns out.

4804830_f260“Now Magnus, you stay with these nice gentlemen.”


“Fine, you do mindless violence better’n me anyhow.”

John and Jeb burst into the house, and the first thing they notice is the screaming coming from upstairs. Jeb roars at the wife to get out, and she seems happy to oblige. Expecting the worst, Jeb uses his holy weapon ability on his sixshooter.


“I thought you healed her!”

Jeb just shrugs, as confused as John is. They go up the stairs, weapons ready. They don’t know what to expect, but the screams definitely don’t sound normal.

As they reach the top of the stairs, the screaming suddenly stops.


“Well shit, that can’t be good.”

Instead of screaming, they can hear a different noise now, like buzzing. John, having had quite enough for one day, decides to boot the door down, and gets a face full of BEES.

John gets the full brunt of it, and takes some damage. Jeb, at the back, gets off a little better. John blunders through into the girl’s room, and finds her on the bed, mouth wide open and vomiting forth an ever-expanding cloud of stinging insects.


“She’s a goddamn witch!”

Witches are very much Bad News in the Territories, and all bets are off if you find yourself up against one. Swatting away the bees that are mobbing him, John takes aim at Henrietta…

To be continued!


D&D: Sixguns and Sinners Character Sheets

Just a quick one tonight; I mentioned that I’d make the guys’ character sheets available for view so that you, dear readers, can get to know them a little more.

Father Jebediah Underwood, the mysterious Apostle.

John Dwyte, the revenge-obsessed Desperado.

Magnus Dwyte, the silver-tongued Scoundrel.

Those documents also contain the information for the homebrew classes they’re playing; the Apostle, the Desperado, and the Scoundrel. You may notice though that there’s some unfamiliar sounding rules in there; Defence? Cunning? Destiny Points? Recovery Dice? Dazed? Worry not, all will make sense in an upcoming post when I give the run-down of the house rules we’ll be using for this campaign.


D&D: Sixguns and Sinners Episode 0: Characters

When I wrote about the end of our run with the Lost Mine of Phandelver, I mentioned that the next campaign round my table would be a Weird West adventure, and all that entails; despicable outlaws, drunken lawmen, grizzled bounty hunters, insane inventors, depraved demon-worshipping nobility, and trusty shootin’ irons. Ladies and gents, welcome to the Territories.

Ever since I read FFG’s Spellslinger mini-campaign setting, I’ve wanted to do a Wild West fantasy rpg. I’ve dug out the book and have drawn a lot of inspiration from it, tweaking rules and background for D&D 5th edition. 51UJBfMqziL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_   This has been quite a pet project for me; I’ve written up the setting background of The Territories, and made up new setting-appropriate classes; the Desperado, the Scoundrel, the Trailblazer, and the Apostle. The campaign will run up to level 5, so approximately ten sessions. Joining me at the table will be my Phandelver alumni, Darryl, Trev and Joe. Liam may also pop in occasionally as a recurring “guest character”, but the campaign will mostly centre around the misadventures of the three.

Tonight was session zero, where we went over the background and talked character generation. This is a step we missed out for Phandelver due to the pre-generated characters, and for Joe and Darryl it was their first time making a character from scratch.

We did all the usual guff of ability scores, buying equipment and so forth, but most of our time was spent making those numbers and scribbled notes into actual living, breathing characters. We explored personalities, obligations, flaws, supporting characters, story hooks, ambitions… everything to fully flesh out the characters they’ll be using for the next few months. I’ll put their character sheets, along with the homebrew class and setting information, plus our house rules, up for view once I’ve turned the rough notes into something legible.

Until then, let’s quickly meet the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, who will be causing all sorts of merry hell in the Fragmented States of Aurelia. jeff-grit_1783061c  Father Jebediah Underwood, played by Joe. A preacher who is also an Apostle, an individual who has been granted divine powers by the Almighty. His eye patch hides the proof of his power, an eye that burns with divine light. Has a mysterious past; he was a normal by-the-book preacher but disappeared for ten years. When he came back to civilisation, he was carrying an aelfar tribal bow and could heal wounds with a touch. Some say that he actually found the Ancient City, far to the west across the Dry Sea, but that’s just crazy talk… 4804830_f260  John Dwyte, played by Darryl. The Dwytes were once one of the wealthiest families in the Territories, and John was an officer in the Aurelian First Rifles. However he was court-martialled and dishonourably discharged by his commanding officer, Colonel Thaddeus Jefferson, on falsified charges. Worse, the Dwyte family home was razed to the ground shortly afterwards. John believes Jefferson to be responsible, and is consumed by the need for bloody revenge. Badger  Magnus Dwyte, played by Trev. John’s younger brother. Smarter and more of a talker than his gruff sibling, Magnus put his talents towards swindling and scamming when the family fortune was lost. Always on the look out for a new opportunity for easy money, Magnus relies on his older brother for muscle when things start going south. He’s a bit of a dandy and has an appreciation for the finer things in life. He has a dark secret about the downfall of the Dwyte family which he can’t bring himself to tell John about.

Shit, you know what, forget the RPG, this has the makings of a novel…

Plenty of gunslinging good times ahead. Hope you stick around for them!


Age of Sigmar: A Few More Thoughts

So last time I shared my first musings on NewHammer: Age of Sigmar. But it’s been a few days now, and I’ve actually managed to get a game in with the new rules!

Yep, I did something I haven’t done for about ten years… I went to my local Games Workshop to play a demo game! I went on Wednesday lunchtime, and managed to convince Darryl to come along as well; though to be fair, he needed very little actual persuasion.

I just showed him this picture and a few seconds later he’d already grabbed his coat.

Thankfully our office is just down the street, so we had plenty of time to get to grips with the new game. So new, in fact, that the GW Worthing staff hadn’t had time to fully paint the Stormcasts and Bloodtide beyond a basecoat…




First of all, I have to confirm that yes, the models are absolutely fucking gorgeous. The Lord-Celestant and Lord-Relictor are both incredible centrepieces, but my favourites were the Retributors and most surprisingly of all, the basic Marauders Bloodreavers. The Khorgorath is a little goofy-looking though, and the Prosecutors (while also amazing) will cause much frustration due to their enormous (and fragile) wings. On the whole though, A+.

But enough about models, we were here to play! Unfortunately we were limited to one of the smaller display tables, so everything was sort of clumped together. Darryl took the (infamous) four-page rules, I took the big book with the Battlescrolls, and we were off!

We only managed a few turns before we had to dash off back to work (booo!) but the turns we had were fairly eventful. As the table was small, things quickly devolved into a big ruck in the centre. So, you know, like a normal game of Warhammer!

If I could take this photo back in time, you’d have to pick up the bits of my 12 year-old brain with tweezers.

I was kept busy flipping back and forth for each unit’s special rules, plenty of which we missed as we rushed through things; re-rolling attacks, bonuses for rolling 6s, extra range on charges… it was a lot to take in all at once for a game that Internet Tough Guys are dismissing as “simplistic” and “for kids”.

On the subject of Internet Tough Guys, one actually manifested in the real world in his true form as a miserable fartsoul neckbeard who wandered over as we were playing, practically snatched the book off me, and hooted to discover that, yes, there are no points values. SHIT HOWEVER WILL WE HAVE FUN!? Oh wait, my Chaos Lord is squaring up against the Lord-Celestant and my Blood Warriors are beating the crap out some shiny golden lads and we’re rolling dice and having a laugh, soooooo… yeah. Thankfully the store manager engaged the neckbeard in word-to-word combat before Darryl and I made him eat his fedora, and we got on with it.


On the whole, I like the new rules. Battleshock didn’t really play too much of a part; both sides seemed to have a lot of abilities that let them ignore it. We probably got a few things wrong in the heat of the moment and may have covered up with half-remembered 40k rules knowledge, but like I said, good fun was still had.

A few criticisms though…

1) I would’ve included individual unit cards or reference sheets; as it was the book was already showing some wear and tear as we flipped back and forth for each unit. I guess this is something that’ll be fixed when the starter set units get their War Scrolls added as PDFs for download.

2) Some rules are a little too vague. I’m impressed they managed to condense the rules into four pages, but I would’ve loved it if they’d made it six pages and expanded on a few things. For instance, there’s technically nothing in the rules that stops you shooting into melee combat with perfect accuracy, or even using a model’s ranged weapons when they’re engaged in close combat!

3) “Bloodsecrator” sounds like an awesomely terrible 90’s comic book character.

So, yeah. Needless to say Darryl and I got a bit hooked and we’ll probably be going halfsies on the box set soon. And then there’s that entire unassembled Empire Battalion I’ve got that I haven’t done anything with for four years… oh, and I’ve always wanted to get some Orcs Orroks ORCS

Sigh. Bye bye money.



Age of Sigmar : First Thoughts

Brace yourself people, it’s the End Times. Oh, wait, actually, we just had those.

old nagash model
“Durrr, time to ensure that Chaos doesn’t destroy the world… by destroying the world!”

Okay, a different End Times. The usual End Times that comes about whenever Games Workshop unleash a new edition of one of their games upon the world. This time, it’s Fantasy’s turn. Great, yawn, whatever. More blocks of identical infantry nudging up against each other. Except it’s not that now. Now, it’s something a bit… different.


So let me get you up to speed if you’ve been under a rock for the past year. Warhammer 8th. Decent-ish, apparently. GW goes LOL ADVANCING THE PLOT and releases the End Times, aka Monster Mash Funtimes with big new plastic kits and stupid-expensive hardback books. Lots of significant characters die, or go Super-Saiyan (or both), the elves all kiss and make up, the Lizardmen fuck off to space, the Skaven eat most of not-Spain and not-Italy, Archaon goes RAAAAARRRRRRR, fucks the world with his spiky Chaos murderboner, and the Ruinous Powers win. Sort of. Except not, because one of the elven goddesses preserves a fragment of the Old World and uses it to create a new world. Skip forward, and now we have the Stormclad Eternals (above) who are NOT SPACE MARINES but are instead power-armoured demi-gods who are servants of the God-King (see it’s new because Kings are totally different from Emperors!), and everything’s on round bases and it looks all skirmish-y and the community is losing their fucking minds, because of course they are. Let me get this out of the way and I’m actually on board for Age of Sigmar. I like the look of the Stormclads (or Sigmarines, as the Internet has dubbed them), and I’m utterly in love with the boss-man on his drake/griffon/Battlecat thing. Some are saying that aesthetically they don’t look like “Warhammer” but honestly, “big dudes in armour” is not exactly ground-breaking stuff for Warhammer as Chaos Warriors have been around ever since this time known as forever. Also, as for things not looking like they “belong”, does anyone remember robo-horse? 99810202013_MasterEngineerMechanicalSteedNEW01 Or daemon-mecha? 99129915013_SoulgrinderNEW03WHF Or Apache helicopter? 99120205011_GyrobomberNEW01 But yeah, no, you’re right, dudes in magical armour is obviously crossing the line. Anyway, so, yeah, bit of a shake up, and not just in terms of a new faction and new rules. A lot has changed, the most surprising of which is GW’s business model. Now, as previously shown, I’m not exactly the biggest fan of GeeDubs, so it takes a lot for them to impress me, and would you know it, they actually have! Yes, GW have dragged themselves kicking and screaming into the 21st century and have seemed to acknowledge that other gaming companies give out rules for free! What does this mean? An end to army books! Now all units will have what’s called a War Scroll, basically like a unit card from Warmachine which gives their stats, special rules, etc. These will be completely free and ready to download as PDFs from the GW site on the same day that AoS drops. It’s okay. Take your time. It’s a lot to take on board; GW giving away something for free. The promise is that nothing is being obsoleted; you don’t have to rebase your dudes on round bases, you don’t have to eBay your 9,000 point Beastman army… everything will be there, including the new Stormclad stuff. Sure, it’ll be arranged into the new factions – all of which, by the way, have had their names tweaked to ensure easy trademarking (Aelf instead of elf, Seraphon instead of Lizardmen, Orokk instead of orc, etc. Kinda dumb but I also understand the reasoning) – but it’ll be there. It’ll exist. So, the new rules, which are four pages. Yep. Four. To say it’s been streamlined is an understatement. But we have what we need; rules for moving, shooting, fighting, morale, and a bit of magic. Gone is the venerable M/WS/BS/S/T/W/I/A/Ld array, something I’m actually glad of. There’s no more comparing your Weapon Skill to an opponent’s in close combat to determine what you need to roll to hit, or comparing Strength to Toughness to determine what you roll to wound; now models have set To Hit and To Wound, regardless of what they’re fighting. Of course, I’m sure some models will have special abilities to modify this mechanic. The one thing I’m concerned about is the rumour at there won’t be points values, or even some other kind of alternative list-building mechanic. There’s certainly no points values shown on the example War Scrolls for the Stormclad guys. If rumours are to be believed, you’ll just plonk down whatever models you like and go at it. We’ll see how that turns out. As many people online have said, other GW starter sets like Dark Vengeance don’t include points values, so… yeah. I imagine that’s one of the first things that the community may house rule, just to preserve some balance. It does leave a rather sour taste in the mouth though if it’s true; even checkers, the most basic of tabletop games, has a balancing mechanic! The starter set looks absolutely ace. Stormclads versus Khorne Warriors, hell yes. The Stormclads have He-Man on Battlecat, ten of the basic Sigmarines with hammers, some funky Thanagarian-Hawkman dudes, and even bigger Sigmarines with big ol’ smackin’ hammers. The Chaos dudes… well…


Yeah, they’re pretty cool as well. Chaos Lord, twenty Marauders, some Warriors, and a big ogre/troll/daemon monster which actually looks sort of goofy. The downside is that the starter set will probably run in the region of £75, which is definitely enough to make me think twice, especially when I’ve been eyeing up Mantic’s Deadzone and umm’ing and aah’ing about that for what seems like forever. As you can probably tell, I’m finding it all very exciting, because it’s actual genuine innovation from a company who have always had a history of, well, not innovating. I can fully sympathise with the people who don’t like it and who’d rather have a new game similar to 8th… but then what would be the point of that? It would be a 40k 6th to 7th deal; minor tweaks, a load of new problems (I mean, Jesus, Malefic Daemonology, wtf), and you’re £80 poorer after buying the new big rulebook and the new version of your army’s Codex. Age of Sigmar is the shot in the arm that Fantasy needed; it was dwindling when compared to the tumescent monstrosity that 40k has become. Even when I used to frequent my FLGS back in my old hometown when Ian and I were in our early twenties, no-one played Fantasy; people thought it was boring and complicated. GW may have gone too much the other way with Age of Sigmar. Like I said, the Internet backlash for this is mental. They’ve definitely created the most Marmite version of the game; you either love it or hate it, there’s no in-between. People are comparing it to D&D 4th edition in how divisive, which scares me; I used to like 4th, and then I realised what a monster it really was… hmm. Regardless, I’m psyched enough about the whole thing to pop into my local GW next week and have a demo game. Gotta hand to those lads in Nottingham; I keep pulling away, and they find ways to drag me back into their sweaty clutches.

Also America celebrates that time when they became a real country or something.

Gareth Some pictures courtesy of Bell of Lost Souls.

The D&D Pokédex #2

It’s a lazy Sunday evening and I recently got my hands on the 5th edition Monster Manual, so I thought it would be a good idea to continue this dumb little project and convert some more of your favourite Japanese seizure monsters into D&D statblocks!



Flametails are smaller and less intelligent than “true” dragons, but no less fearsome. Scholars believe that the first flametails were wyverns that were somehow infused with elemental fire, transforming their venomous stinger into a constantly-burning flame, hence the name. Although aggressive, it has been known for some flametails to be tamed and even ridden into battle by particularly bold individuals. 

– Scholar Oak, Beasts Most Peculiar

Large dragon, unaligned

Armour Class 13 (natural armour)

Hit Points 110 (13d10 + 39)

Speed 30 feet, fly 60 feet

STR 19 (+4)   DEX  10 (+0)   CON 16 (+3)  INT 7 (-2)  WIS 12 (+1)   CHA  6 (-2)

Skills Perception +4

Damage Resistances fire

Damage Vulnerabilities cold

Senses darkvision 60 feet, passive Perception 14

Languages none


Multiattack. The flametail dragon makes one bite attack and one claw or fiery tail attack.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack. +7 to hit, reach 10 feet, one creature. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) piercing damage

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack. +7 to hit, reach 5 feet, one creature. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) slashing damage

Fiery Tail. Melee Weapon Attack. +7 to hit, reach 10 feet, one creature. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) bludgeoning and fire damage

Fire Breath (Recharge 5-6). The flametail dragon exhales a jet of flame in a 3-foot wide, 30-foot long line. Each creature in the area must tale a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) fire damage on a failed save, or half damage on a successful one.



This bizarre animal has developed the most curious of natural weapons; organic cannons which it uses to spray a variety of corrosive, freezing, or scalding liquids to drive off predators. To this day, I haven’t been able to determine exactly how the creature achieves this; I suspect some kind of innate link to the Elemental Plane of Water. Further research is required. 

As these beasts are incredibly strong and well-armoured, it’s no surprise that many military commanders attempt to train them to act as living siege engines.

 – Scholar Oak, Beasts Most Peculiar

Large beast (reptile), unaligned

Armour Class 18 (natural armour)

Hit Points 142(15d10 + 60)

Speed 20 feet, swim 30 feet

STR 18 (+4)   DEX  8 (-1)   CON 18 (+4)  INT 7 (-2)  WIS 12 (+1)   CHA  6 (-2)

Saving Throws Constitution +7

Damage Resistances fire

Damage Vulnerabilities lightning

Senses darkvision 60 feet, passive Perception 11

Languages none

Amphibious. The artillery turtle can breathe air and water.


SlamMelee Weapon Attack. +7 to hit, reach 5 feet, one creature. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) bludgeoning damage

Multiattack. The artillery turtle makes two water cannon attacks.

Water Cannon. Ranged Weapon Attack. +7 to hit, range 50/200 feet, one creature. Hit: 10 (2d10-1) acid, cold, or fire damage

Tidal Rush (Recharge 5-6). The artillery turtle combines its cannons to unleash a wave of water in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in the area must tale a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 16 (3d10) bludgeoning damage, being pushed 10 feet away from the artillery turtle and being knocked prone on a failed save, or half damage and no other effects on a successful one.



These large, beautiful butterfly-like creatures are usually peaceful, and avoid violence when they can. They typically congregate in large groups to watch over their larvae. Their delicate nature shouldn’t be mistaken for one of weakness though; although too frail to attack enemies directly, the glitterwings are fully capable of defending themselves with the odd powders seemed to be produced by their flapping wings.

– Scholar Oak, Beasts Most Peculiar

Small beast (insect), unaligned

Armour Class 14

Hit Points 18 (5d6)

Speed 10 feet, fly 40 feet

STR 6 (-2)   DEX  16 (+3)   CON 10 (+0)  INT 3 (-4)  WIS 10 (+0)   CHA  4 (-3)

Damage Resistances psychic

Damage Vulnerabilities fire

Senses passive Perception 10

Languages none


Blinding Powder (Recharge 5-6). The glitterwing monarch sprinkles powder over a creature within 10 feet of it. The creature must pass a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is blinded for 1 minute. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turn to end the effect early.

Numbing Powder (Recharge 5-6). The glitterwing monarch sprinkles powder over a creature within 10 feet of it. The creature must pass a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature halves it speed and it can’t perform reactions or more than one attack per round for 1 minute. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turn to end the effect early.

Toxic Powder (Recharge 5-6). The glitterwing monarch sprinkles powder over a creature within 10 feet of it. The creature must pass a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 4 (1d8) poison damage and is poisoned for 1 minute. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turn to end the effect early.

So there we go, a few more beasties for D&D games! I’m having fun making these, so expect more to come, such as the javelin hornet (Beedrill), striker falcon (Pidgeotto) and chomper (Raticate).