Monday 28 May 2012

The Caverns of Psychopathic Crazy Lunatics (free adventure!)

I was just reading the 5E playtest materials sent out for Dungeons and Dragons. I thought it was pretty funny they set it back in the old B2 adventure, The Caverns of Chaos, complete with original map and everything. I thought it was so funny, in fact, that I decided to write up a spoof of the adventure Caverns of Chaos using my very own beer and pretzels RPG game system: Of Mice Men and Wizards (free on Amazon and DrivethruRPG).

The original adventure was set in a large 'u' shaped hill with varying elevations and multiple cavern entrances. The Caverns of Psychopathic Crazy Lunatics is pretty much the same except most of the entrances will kill you if you try to enter them and some stupid idiot built a village named "The Village" right under the hills in the territory of a vicious red dragon.

The brav--greedy heroes of your adventuring party have decided to come and try to gain some of the fabulous loot rumored to lie within the ultra-dangerous dungeon. Because the dungeon is so lethal, stupid, and filled with treasure; it's not really suitable for campaign play (I recommend a one-shot adventure) but it 'is' suitable for all character levels, all RPG systems, and anything else you care to throw at it (short of a Mark 3 Nuke).

If your group of brave heroes comes out of this adventure unscathed, you should probably see a professional GM for help because you probably have some serious powergaming problems.

The Of Mice Men and Wizards game system can be read in under 20 short, e-book pages. Various free expansions are available should you actually like the game (unlikely).

While I recommend you use whatever characters you want, Of Mice Men and Wizards characters would probably work best. Just don't use your favorite heroes because they may never return. Good luck!

--David L. Dostaler
Author, Of Mice Men and Wizards and Challenger RPG (both free)

...1st Official Playtest of this Adventure 

Sunday 27 May 2012

An Interesting Question (And Answers)

Someone on this website (RPG Stack Exchange) asked where they could play a good free RPG similar to Dungeons and Dragons and yet simpler. The responses were great! If you're into RPGs you might want to check it out. A lot of interesting info and links.

...The RPG Stack Exchange 

...Free E-Books 

Sunday 13 May 2012

Currently Rewriting Challenger (May 26th I'm still Alive!)

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the awesome support and feedback. Keep it coming! It's never too late to send me your ideas.

I've recently started the 3rd major overhaul revision on Challenger (see Challenger's Future here: It's going to take some time so I might not be able to post here as often as I might like. Don't worry. I'm still reading everything you send me!

Don't consider it too late to have your ideas implemented into Challenger. I'm just working on it right now, it's not set in stone yet. If you have great ideas, please keep sending them my way. Thank you.


I'd just like to say I feel good about this revision. Thanks mostly to Istaran, there are some very sweet ideas in the works and I think it'll improve the game a lot. I'm only hoping I can do your ideas justice, and perhaps lay out the book a little better and more clearly.

Look forward to: more balanced mechanics, classes, and powers; Telekinetics and Summoners; a cleaner and simpler skill system (thanks Istaran); Weapon Damage and clearer equipment/weapon/armor tables (thanks Bocaj); a better introduction, glossary, and ToC (thanks to Mylon and Leane); a possible world lore section and achievements section; page borders (I hope. I have them, it's just formatting with the printers); possible better visual cues (filled out character sheet, maps, world map etc.); and a dozen other 'little' tweaks to make the game: faster, more fun, and easier to use.


Thanks for sticking it out with me guys. You're all awesome.

In the meantime, feel free to check out the 'sweet links' sidebar for: adventure ideas, writing advice, free books, cool rpg games, free area maps (thanks Mr. Knysh!) and other sweet stuff and gaming news. Play the Avengers in Challenger with the stats here:

Best Regards, and a Big +5 Thank You to Everyone,

--David L. Dostaler
Author, Challenger RPG
(Still alive, but rewriting like a maniac)

May 26th Update: I'm....still....Alive! I added an Avengers in Challenger link above and my good playtesters are currently kicking the crap out of Challenger. I think this is awesome. If I can survive, Challenger will (hopefully) be 'way' better. Currently there is requested art on every single page, not sure if I'll manage that, but look forward to a lot more artwork!

I'm also trying to fix the engagement and combat rules with the help of some very fine men and women. Thanks guys. I also added a link with an Open Game License for Challenger. Tell me what you think!

--David L. Dostaler

Sunday 6 May 2012

Sweet Photoshop Character Portraits by Tor

Hi everyone,

I just had the honor of viewing the 'amazing' artwork Tor can create using Photoshop. I'm not talking about Tor the publishing house, I'm talking about Tor the incredibly awesome creative designer. Check out his sweet artwork at his website linked below (I'll remove the picture if you want, Tor). Also, he has a video there on how he does it. Crazy, huh?

I don't favor the 'dark' them of Dark Heresy so much. However, this guy's art and imagination are both stellar! Be sure to check out his work and leave a comment!

...Stormtroopers Dancing 

Friday 4 May 2012

How to Play the Avengers in Challenger

Photo thanks to Pat Rick on Google+ If you want me to remove it, Mr. Rick; just let me know!

...The mighty Iron-y Man flies through a portal into the depths of space on the tail of a Nuke, The Hulk Smasher bashes Loki up and calls him: "Puny God", Captain Americana says: "Give me a minute on that lever, Black Widow Woman beats the crap out of Eagle Hawk Man, and Thor bursts out of an impenetrable prison toppling through the air.

Do you have a hankering to play the characters from the movie you just watched? Well, so do I. Luckily, my RPG supports a wide range of play-styles and character concepts. To put the system 'through its paces' I whipped up some famous hero look-alikes for you to try out. Only you can tell me if I succeeded, or do better on your own! Good luck Heroes!

How to play the Avengers in Challenger RPG. See below for game statistics. Please note: not ‘all’ statistics are provided below. These stat blocks just show you what powers, skills, classes, and races to take in order to mimic the abilities and flavor of the Avengers. You will have to download Challenger RPG for free to finish detailing your characters and begin play. I've also included stats for the bad guys seen in a recent movie. see "Villains". 


Iron-y Man

Classes: Gadget Maker/Weapons Specialist (Wizard with advanced flavor).

Race: Human (Steel Man)

Powers: (5) Power Suit, Item Set (10 concealed with amazing uses), Gadget (using nothing, make something to solve your predicament), Fireball (missiles), Rock Skin (metal suit) +5 hp and some attacks may not damage you at all, Fly (powersuit ability).

Skills: Mental Strength +5 (genius), Forging Skill (metallurgy) +5, Seduction +5 (playboy), Wealth +5 (billionaire), Dazzling Wit +5, Repair/Create (tech) +5

Item Set Items: Laser (built into suit), Jarvis (computer program), Flares, Building (main base with suit repair shop etc.), Computers, Computer Hacking Equipment, Targetting Sensors, Scanners, Armor (2-6), Girl Henchman (Potties).

The Hulk Smasher

Classes: Incredibly Strong Daft Stinker/Rage Maniac

Race: Human (Beast Demon Thing)

Powers: Great Strength, Smash Anything, Huge Muscles, Rage, Thick Skin (+3 hp), and Undefeatable Rage.

Skills: Jump +5, Climb +5, Physical Strength +5 (incredible), Mental Strength +5 (in human form), Can’t die, gets more angry -5 (in Hulk Smasher form), Intimidate +5

Items: Clothes that rip off.


Classes: Warrior

Race: Immortal (Asgardian).

Powers: Dimensional Travel (from Asgard to other ‘realms’), Super-Strength, Flight, Cosmic Powers (lightning control and hammer), Unaging, Spinning Attack (up to 4 foes with only 1 attack back).

Skills: Flight Skill +5, Physical Strength +5 (incredible), Smash with Hammer +5, Lightning Bolt Power -5, Tornado Power -5, Returning Hammer Power (only those worthy may lift it) -5

Items: Thors Hammer magical lightning weapon, armor 2-5 (asgardian), red cape.

Captain Americana

Classes: Soldier (warrior)/Shield Thrower (Knife Thrower entry)

Race: Human

Powers: Catch Shield, Multi-attack-throw (multi-throw hits up to 3 people with only 1 attack back), Aim for the Eyes, Shield Skills +3 Attack +1 Damage, Defender, Unstoppable Tank, Human Versitility (1 bonus skill, +4 to one skill ‘leadership’)

Skills: Athletics +0, Leadership +9, Diplomacy +5, Acrobatics +5, Physical Strength +5 (incredible), Shield Stunts (returning, blocking, etc.) armor 2-6, and Smash the little Punching Bag +5

Items: Shield, blue spandex tights. Armor 2-6 from shield (see above). The shield is also pretty much unbreakable.

Eagle Hawk Eye

Classes: Archer/Assassin

Race: Human

Powers: Precision Strike +3 attack, Far Shot, Robin Hood Thing (Mad Archery), Perfect Shot, Human versatility (+4 to one skill and 1 extra skill), and Lethal Strike.

Skills: Deadly Strike -5, Focus -5, Aim +5, Assassin Strike -5, Hail of Arrows -1, Acrobatics +0, and Mad Archery -5.

Items: Sweet rotating bow quiver, collapsible bow, explosive arrows (1d6 bonus explosion damage), black suit, and a cigar.

Black Widow Woman

Classes: Ninja/Spy

Race: Human

Powers: Amazing Jump (like 40 ft. vertically), Finishing Move, Cobra Strike (interrupt any action for a free attack once per encounter), Obtain Information, Human Versatility (+4 to one skill and 1 bonus skill), and Ultimate Smoothness.

Skills: Acrobatics +4, Tumble +5, Martial Arts (unarmed fighting) +5, Lying/Bluff +5 (to obtain information), Electrical wrist bands -5, Language Skill (Russian) +5, and killer instinct and training -5.

Equipment: killer electrical wrist bands (in skills so if lost can replace), black suit, and daggers.


Bad Guys

Hp: 1 RR: 10 Movement: 3 Damage: 1 Challenge Level: easy

Special: staff weapon. Damage 1d6 in the hands of a hero. Also  has a blade on the end.

Hover Cycle (3 Bad Guys approx. per craft)

Hp: 1 (to be thematic) RR: 12 Movement: 24 (fly) Damage: 2 Challenge Level: moderate

Special: cannot bank well. Must make a save or crash each time this happens in tight quarters.

Giant Shark Mother-ship

Hp: 5 Armor: damage reduction 1 RR: 15 Movement 24 (fly) maneuverability low. Damage: 1d6 bite, slam, or death-ray cannon. Challenge Level: Difficult

Special: can go inside stomach and blow up. All Hover Cycles launch from these mother-ships as well.

Huge Enemy Battle-cruiser (Boss Ship)

Hp: 10 Armor: damage reduction 1 RR: 16 Movement: 20 (clumsy fly) Damage: 2d6 cannons. Challenge Level: very difficult.

Special: the battle-cruiser is equipped with multiple cannons and so can attack multiple times per round as if it was a multi-monster challenge. It can also be blow up by a well-placed nuke.


Hp: 8 Armor: none (evade 1 hit per battle if you want, he tends not to). RR: 14 Movement: 3 Damage: 2 staff blade or mind control which doesn't work on the super heroes. Mind Control grants a mental saving throw to heroes but not to NPCs. Challenge Level: moderate

Special: Loki is kind of nuts. He'll gladly insult heroes while he could instead be fighting them or coming up with a plan. Anyone who tanks advantage of this should receive a +2 to their attack roll. 

...The Vampire War

Wednesday 2 May 2012

To My Old Playtesters...I Haven't Forgotten You!

...About Challenger 

Hi guys,

If you're reading this, awesome! My sister accidentally deleted all my e-mails about 2 months ago, so I kind of lost touch (sorry). If you were one of the original people involved in helping me out with Challenger, I'd 'love' to hear from you. I can update the game credits to include your real name (if you want) and also it'd be cool to put your 'persona' as the 'best' at a particular class in Challenger and work you into the 'world lore' that way.

I can't thank you enough for all you've done for my game. Please don't think I'm ignoring you. I would 'love' to get back in touch.

Best Regards,

David L. Dostaler
Author, Challenger RPG


I owe it all to these guys. ;) You're the best, Challenger Playtesters!

From an e-mail in reply to Jen Bowden


No, I don't mind at all! I'd love to see your completed 'paper' if it's not too much trouble to send me a copy. Hey, maybe it'll even build up my publishing credits, no? Thanks so much for your interest in my works and I!

Hm, about me? There's an uninteresting story. Here goes:

David L. Dostaler lives in Beaumont, Alberta, Canada just south of Edmonton and West Edmonton Mall the largest shopping center in the world (which he's maybe been to once). He is currently single and works with heavy equipment (backhoes, trackhoes, and dump trucks) for Breton Excavation Inc.


In my free time I write novels and game design. My first love is writing and I've enjoyed it for years now. I've written more than 11 full length novels (one over 20 notebooks long). I'm currently in the process of rewriting a ten-book series entitled the Vannara Chronicles to market it to the major publishers. In the meantime I'm trying to keep up with the mass of suggestions pouring in from all over the world for changes to my free e-book/game rulebook "Challenger RPG". I'll soon be putting out a new revision again. I've read every book on writing, editing, and formatting in my Province of Alberta (which is like a state, but larger). I enjoy: writing, reading, gaming, the outdoors, running, camping, hiking, playing hockey, sports, good movies, Terry Pratchett, and all forms of Humor.

Here are some reviews I've received for my free e-book (I'm hoping it'll build my platform along with my download count):

Edit: ("excerpted from the start of the first novel in the Vannara Chronicles")


“Any last words, Mr. Rock?” asked Granny Weatherwaxe triumphantly.
“You’re the maddest old hag I’ve ever met, seen, or heard of in my life, you idiotic old woman. I hope your caretaker is severely well-paid.”
Granny ground her teeth. The blasted piece of bedrock had no manners to speak of. “Respect for your elders, young man,” she screamed. The shadow of someone entering the chamber distracted her.
Greebo was annoyed. The dragons had rather un-sportingly flown off before he was through playing with them. He also had to go to the bathroom. He wasted no time on pleasantries.
“Why can’t you just stay away, you stupid little cat?” Granny screeched at him.
He raised a hand, fingernails extended, and hissed.


“…I’ll sometime pick up a system just to see if it has any insane ideas inside that maybe I could use sometimes. Challenger is way, way up there when it comes to having insane ideas.”
—Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

“The ideas are way out there [and are] great.
The system is interesting to say the least, the book is not dry and bland…”—“Air Pirate”

“…it [is] awesome.”—Bocaj518

“5.0 out of 5 stars, Great, January 19, 2012”
“This game is great. It beats the pants off D&D because you can’t accidentally summon a demon from another world to kill us all. It can be kind of silly sometimes [killer chicken!?] but a great system nonetheless. Great job, David!”—W.W.

AwesomeI highly recommend this book…”—W. Felty

This is a CLASSIC...It’s very similar to [D&D]. With the original classes this book offers, it is very fun!”—Anonymous
“If you have an imagination I suggest you get this.”—Anonymous

“…very[,] very good…”—Anonymous

I love this book
“I love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
—Anonymous (and, yes, that’s a direct quote)

“Overall a good game…Great for experienced GMs who are tired of running D&D or similar games and [want] something easier to run.”—Mattguy15

“I can hardly wait to unleash a couple of these on my unsuspecting gaming group!”
—David Stark (4 out of 5 stars)

“…this is a fine role playing game system.”
“I also give the designer credit in his emphasis on getting feedback from the players. Rare to see a game that so strongly points this out...”—Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer


Thanks again, Jen! I really appreciate your interest in my works! Please feel free to ask me 'anything' else you want to know!

All the Best,


...Challenger RPG 

Free E-books I've 'dug up' for you

I haven't had the time to finish reading a couple of these e-books. Please download them for free/donate money to the authors at your own discretion. Views expressed in these books are those of the respective authors alone and have nothing to do with me.

All artwork below is copyright to the respective artists. Please do not reproduce. If the artists/authors would like me to remove the miniature pictures please let me know and I will do so. Ditto with the book links.

To sum up: My favorite one is "A Galaxy of Heroes" by Gus Flory. The other books aren't quite my style, but are books by some really nice people. I'm sure they'd love the support of downloads/reviews if you'd be willing.

Cover for 'Rubberband Lazer - Or, The Adventures of Casey Norider and Jaq Synergy, Vol. 1'  Sci-Fi/Cowboy Novel "Rubberband Laser" pay by Donation (or free to download) by Nathan Reese Maher. This wasn't exactly 'my kind of book' but I know the author, so I thought I'd pass on the good word. Looks like a Sci-Fi/Western with cowboys, martians, and rubberband laser guns. Looks very cool!

Bubblegum Princess (A great way to tell your little princess you love them!) Children's Fiction Currently free (limited time only) a very nice book for reading to your daughter by S.E. Gordan who's a great guy: Please support this fine author and person by downloading his book and giving him a nice review. Thanks! Lots of ads at the back which is annoying, but, oh well. Also, the story might not work so well for little boys. ;)

Product Details Sci-Fi Book (Adult War Story) This one's not quite my style. Too serious, too much killing.

Product Details Free Sci-Fi Book This book's start is a cool, action-packed space battle. After that I kind of lost interest. Might want to check it out. ;)

Product Details Free Fantasy Book with an Internal Link to Another I haven't had the chance to read all of "Mage-Wrought" yet, but the author looks like he knows what he's doing. Might want to give this one a look:

Galaxy of Heroes A Free Sci-Fi Novel (This book is my favorite of those listed here. It's epic, so far as I've read.) The novel looks and feels great. A lot of quick action, punchy lines, and stuff like Star Wars. Looking forward to reading it myself. Witty main character, vivid aleins and descriptions.

  A Free Sci-Fi Short Story (Adult) This short story was really interesting, well-written, and contained a lot of action. My only problem with it were several 'adult' references which (I believe) make in inappropriate for younger audiences. I'd rate it: 18+ Only "Adult References and Violence" They weren't 'terrible' but it wouldn't be something I'd want my younger readers reading either.

Labyrinth Lord: Revised Edition (no-art version) A Free Tabletop RPG Game For some reason you can't get Warrior, Rogue and Mage on anymore. However, I did find an interesting retro-clone of the original D&D game. There is an advanced 'no art' book too for free and a very sweet character sheet (also free). The emphasis on combat was a little over the top, but as a very nice PDF with all the original D&D basic set rules (and some nice additions like levels up to 20 included) it's not a bad thing to check out. Gives you an idea of where the whole tabletop gaming industry started. It's also a fine example of how to layout a book better than I did. I rolled up a character but died pretty quickly. Still, might be worth a look for all you 'old school' RPG fans out there. Labyrinth Lord: (May not be appropriate for all ages)


...The Vampire War