Thursday, April 17, 2014

Racial Prejudice - Do You Have a Favorite PC Race (or race / class combo)?

I know I'm guilty of it. Given the choice, I'll play a dwarf every time, hands down. If the rules allow multiclassing, he'll be a fighter / cleric or fighter / thief. That's how I roll these days, even tho back in my early days of gaming, just about every PC I had was a human. Racial restrictions were tough to stomach when campaigns often hit their higher teens in level.

I'm not hugely keen on elves. No idea why. Maybe it's the bad taste Bladesingers left in my mouth as a 2e DM.

I have players that will always play an elf (magic user or m-u / something) or some other favorite. Others seem to have no such racial (or class) predispositions.

Do you find yourself predisposed (or prejudiced against) certain races or race / class combos when creating your PCs?

My Wife Wants Me to Bring Feltothraxis Out of Retirement for NTRPG Con - Who Shall the Dragon Interview?

Hard to believe it is over two years since I did a Feltothraxis video. Ain't he a cute little bugger?

I do believe +Zach Glazar has agreed to be interviewed by Feltothraxis at NTRPG Con. I guess if I am to do this right, I will need to line up some others.

+Vincent Florio you up to some silliness? ;)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"The Perilous Forge of the Ghoul Farm" - The Seeds of Inspiration are Sprouting!

I've broken out the D30 Sandbox Companion and The Tome of Adventure Design and I'm using them in tandem for inspiration for the S&W Adventure I want to run as a pick up game at NTRPG Con.

I'm really enjoying the results thus far:

The party will receive a message from one of their patrons, requesting that they stop a villain amassing power (D30 SB AG1, AG2). To do so, they'll need to stop a ritual (D30 SB AG3). The patron is a sinful Priest (ToAD 1-8), which will certainly add some... complications.

To do that, they will need to brave The Perilous Forge of the Ghoul Farm (ToAD 1-1B Columns 1, 2 and 1-2 Columns 1, 2).

Amazingly enough, thanks to +Jim Magnusson , I already know what the villain and the forge look like.

I do love it when a plan starts to come together. :)

Found - My Original Gaming Dice!

Yep, these are the original dice my parents bought for me to go along with my Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide. The d4 was missing for years before mysteriously reappearing. There was no d10 for any of the young ones asking - the d20 was numbered from 0-9 twice. One side is orange numbers (kinda) the other was usually green. Guess I went with white in my later years ;)

These dice were first used in the summer of 1980. These were followed a year or two later by a set of un-inked gem dice.

Thanks to +parrish warren for giving me the push to find them :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Brainstorming a S&W "Pick-Up" Adventure for North Texas RPG Con

There's been interest in me running a pick up session of Swords & Wizardry while I attend North Texas RPG Con in June with my lovely wife.

So, what do I pull out for inspiration? The Tome of Adventure Design, the D30 Sandbox Companion and the D30 DM Companion. Color me inspired :)

I just need to get back to playing with mapping again - haven't had the time nor the right mental state to map, but I feel the urge returning.

Figure the adventure should be able to be run in about three hours and I'm thinking low to low-mid level (3-5 seems to be a sweet spot).

Of course, this would be my first face to face session as a DM since '97 (though I've done dozens via G+ Hangouts).

Damn, long ass time.

Whisper & Venom goes Hardcore, er... Hardcover

+Zach Glazar , he of Lesser Gnome, sent me the hardcover Whisper & Venom Compendium. It's the boxed set in a convenient book size.

The paper is high quality and the product itself is excellent (I am also a proud owner of the boxed set). If you want an affordable version of the boxed set without the bells and whistles (dice, minis, monster cards, map booklet. amazing regional poster map), this is the way to go - 30 bucks compared to 60 for the boxed set.

Whisper & Venom is written for Labyrinth Lord but converts to the old school rules of your choice without issue (OSR for the win). There is also a Pathfinder version in the works, which I am sure will increase the page count (just an observation - not a criticism - kinda.)

If I can get my wife properly acclimated to RPGs and the OSR in general via Scarlet Heroes, I suspect this would make a nice one on one campaign, as there is a richness in roleplay opportunities (and a crapload of swords swinging, dice rolling opportunities too.) Then the wife and I get to play in +Zach Glazar 's game at NTRPG Con in June ;)

Digging Out My First Two Gaming Books - 1e PH & DMG

Sure, they're beat to all hell, but that's because they were read or used every day for 6 or 7 years (before foolishly moving on to 2e, but that's a whole 'nother story).

Now I just need to find my original set of dice. I put them somewhere safe years ago and no longer know where they are...

My North Texas RPG Con Schedule is in the Bag

My #ntrpgcon schedule -

Thursday Evening - Timemaster - +Tim Snider 

Friday Evening - LL - +Zach Glazar

Sat Morning - S&W - +Matt Finch

Sat Evening - Shiverwhen - +Michael Curtis

Sun Morning - S&W again with +Matt Finch

looks like I have room to run a pick up game in the morning or afternoon of thursday or friday.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Waiting for NTRPG Con Game Registration to Open in Just Over an Hour...

Two browsers open - one for me, one for my wife.

Even took off the the 15th to stay up without issues ;)

After I see what and when I am playing, then I'll figure out what and when I'll run in open gaming...

Of course, what I run will be S&W powered :)

Problems Can Always be Bigger (Pewter Diarama)

The problem you THINK you have

The problem waiting for you after the problem you think you had
Found this pewter piece searching through a drawer of assorted "stuff" last night. Dind't find what I was looking for, but found this. Actually had forgotten about it.

I wish it were to scale with my miniatures and Dwarven Forge stuff, but alas, it's not. Way smaller.

Still, what a fun encounter to run with a group :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Should a "Good Adventure" Tell a Story or Enable One?

Alright, so my assumption that the next great D&D release is going to be a railroad got lots of
"hurrumphs!" about railroads and sandboxes and my general predisposition D&D Next.

Now, I'm not going to be making ANY assumptions about the Tyranny of dragons in this post, except that it has something to do with a "tyranny" and perhaps "dragons" are involved. Might even involve Tiamat, who is certainly an underused property by the fine folks over at WotC. But I digress.

No, I'm thinking about adventures that were written to tell a story. We don't have to look in the recent past - we have it in the glory days of gaming. I'm not even going to focus on Dragonlance, the "Big Daddy" of telling a story at the expense of player empowerment.

I'm thinking of the horrid 'Time of Troubles" storyline that brought the Forgotten Realms from AD&D 1e to 2e in the most heavy handed manner possible.

No more "assassins" in 2e? Let's do away with those pesky assassin cults. Change the bards while you are at it too.

Throw in wild magic, spell plague, gods walking the realms, replace certain gods with characters from the books that are telling the same story as the series of adventures - oh, and don't allow the player characters within those adventures to have any real effect on the progress of the story...

I could write more, but someone else has already done a better job than i ever could. I'll wait.

You read it, right? Shit is spot on.

Yes, Shadowdale could very well be the worst adventure ever, at least as far as TSR put out. The fiction trilogy wasn't much better, either.

So, "tell a story" or "enable a story"? Rails and sand are inconsequential in the larger scope of things.

Dungeons & Dragons is a Tool of the Devil - circa 1983

Huge thanks to +David Przybyla for supplying me with a copy of this gem - let alone holding on to it since 1983.

I think the above piece speaks for itself...

A Sneak Peek at Some Inspirational Art for a Future Tavern Competition

+Jim Magnusson does some truly inspirational art. The Tavern will find a way to use this in a forthcoming contest.

My players will be seeing this fine young lad pop up
in an adventure, sooner or later.
Tonight is the cut off for those that made the 1st round cut of the of the OSR Superstar Competition to get their monster entries in. Do it!

Tyranny of Dragons - The (More or Less) Self Contained D&D Next Storyline

Forbes (of all places) just had an article on the upcoming Tyranny of Dragons "Event" from WotC based upon a preview Chris Perkins shared at PAX East.

An interesting tidbit in the above linked article:
• The ToD adventures will be separate from the core system rules coming out this summer, but will be closely tied into those rules, and the first major adventures.
So, it looks like Tyranny of Dragons will be self contained and NOT require the core D&D Next books to play. Which is kinda good for the discerning gamer, as you can get a peek at the rules and the "breakout" adventure in one shot and decide if this train trip through the Realms is right for you and your group. It also means you get to pay for the rules an extra time - or at least, non identical twins of said rules if you want the "full monty".

But, it's not like they expect players in traditional home groups to cross over with organized play groups...
  • ”We’re thinking of Dungeons & Dragons as an entertainment experience across multiple platforms” that will move from story to story fluidly… so a plotline might start in the organized play games and finish in a published module. 
Never mind.

There is certainly an effort to maximize the earnings potential from the upcoming releases. I wonder how much they will charge for B/X and 1e PDF conversions of the upcoming railroads (as well as 3.5 and 4e I am sure)?