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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Movie Nite at the Tavern

Tonight appears to be movie nite at the Tavern.  Just watched GI Joe and now we are watching Legion.

I have high hopes for gaming relevance for Legion ;)

1990: The Bronx Warriors - Make the Pain Stop!

Amazon Prime now offers thousands of free to stream movies and tv show episodes.  While flipping thru last nite, I saw 1990: The Bronx Warriors.  I never heard of it, but figured "It's the Bronx, its gotta be cool!"

Let's see... it's an Italian produced movie from 1983, filmed in NYC with Italian and American actors... so yes, there's lots of dubbing of voices.  I can handle that.  What I can't handle is the actual film locations.

You can't (well, couldn't) see the World Trade Center from the Bronx, but I guess they thought it would make for a good scene, so they filmed shots on the Queens and Brooklyn sides of the East River... you get to see the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge... you get the idea, no where near the Bronx.

But ya see, Da Bronx is No Man's Land.... it's just gangs (except for the scenes with kids playing basketball in a park, or traffic and truck deliveries in the background).  Ah, but the gangs... we get a Biker gang with Glowing Skulls (one skull must have had problems -  it wouldnt stay lit), a NYC Pimp gang, we get a Roller Hockey gang complete with hockey sticks and really bad uniforms, we have a Tap Dancing Gang with black canes and metallic makeup... we even have a Neanderthal gang (no idea how they survive).

I'd try to explain the plot, but why?  I'd ruin the surprise for you.  You need to see for yourself just how bad this movie is.  My girl fell asleep 15 minutes into it... I needed to see how it wrapped up (it really didn't).  Apparently it spawned a sequel... I may just have to search it out, just for shits and giggles ;)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mini Review - Curse of the Khan (Castles & Crusades)

Castles & Crusades is the game that drew me back to RPGs, so I always look forward to each release (except Crusader - here's hoping the improves).  Curse of the Khan is the latest adventure (in PDF) from the Troll Lords, and it's a whopper.  It clocks in at around 70 pages.  (If you bought a PDF copy of the CKG before the GM Week sale, you should have an email from the Trolls telling you how to get this adventure for free)

The adventure is more like 3 linked adventures, so expect to get at least 3 sessions of gaming out of it.  It covers levels 6-11 (although you can scale it lower / higher slightly if need) and it assumes that each of the 4 core adventuring roles will be filled.

You'll have to set  your backstory up, or rather flesh out the one that is given, to get the players where they need to be.  Not a big deal, but I felt it should be noted.

In addition to the 3 fairly distinct adventures sections, we also get a new PC usable race, 8 new magic items and 15 new monsters.  Oh, and maps.  13 levels of maps.  Did I say it's pretty well loaded?

From the blurb:

In days long gone, the Crawling Queen, a creature of the abyss, lorded over the lands of man, elf and dwarf. Her reign was terrible and the lamentations of the suffering people carried into the heavens! In time a dwarven prophet, St. Canor, came to their aid and, leading a bold group of heroes, he overcame the Queen and bound her in a temple. He set the bodies of his fallen comrades to guard her and placed wards upon them to imprison her. Over their tombs and her cell, he built a great temple. And there she lay for many eons.

But time passes and all things decay. So it was with the temple. Falling into the ruins came a host of her minions, they threatened to break the wards and bring the Crawling Queen back to the world. Such a horror must be prevented.

But the dangers are far greater than the Temple, for in her tomb beneath the ruins lies horrors unimagined and dangers to pry the skin from mortal men's flesh; and, deeper still, lie the dungeons where the darkness is complete and the horror long buried is come to life.

All this and much more await those willing to accept the challenges offered in The Curse of the Khan. The Curse of the Khan combines fast paced action with challenging role play and mind boggling puzzles at every turn. Including four brand new monsters and a plethora of new magical items, The Curse of the Khan is designed to keep your players on their toes, providing hours of dungeon crawling mind mangling fun!

Sale At Lulu - 20% Off

Enter coupon code GIANT305 at checkout and receive 20% off your book order. The code is good thru 3/7/11.

Its kinda like they knew it was GM Week ;)

When the Game Ends...

Fourteen years ago, I graduated from the Police Academy. It was a great moment, as it marked the true beginning of a great career, but it also marked the end of an era - the end of my gaming group, at least as far as gaming went.

For the first time, I was not going to be off on Sundays (our normal gaming day). Heck, I wasn't going to be off on Saturdays - my new weekend was Wednesday / Thursday. Working steady evenings, there was no way I could game. As my house was the weekly gaming location, a group that had been gaming regularly since high school, over 12 years... ended. I'm not sure we realized it at the time tho'. The campaign was never wrapped up properly.

Thankfully, the group has still remained close friends, even if we don't roll the dice anymore. MMORPGs with voice chat allow us to continue some of the social aspects of our old game sessions, but I do miss my time behind the DM screen. Oh, and filling Ring Dings with canned cheese... those reactions were priceless ;)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mini Review - Knockspell #5 (Swords & Wizardry)

It's aways nice to have another issue of Knockspell to read.  Issue # 5 is no exception.

Nicely filled with an assortment of gaming goodness, it hits a sweet spot between adventures and articles.

Actually, the article on how to create adventures using Scrabble tiles as aids still has me scratching my head -  the concept works, I just don't understand how anyone thought up the concept... heh

There's a lot of stuff to read in this issue, to be used in S&W, LL or your clone of choice.

Lets see, here's the table of contents for this issue:


 2   Editor’s Note, Matt Finch
 2   Adventuring at Conventions, Tim Kask
 3   Teach Your Children, Bill Webb
 6   Out of the Bag: Generating Encounters with Scrabble Tiles, Jim Pacek
 9     Dark Gods, Al Krombach
 12   WhiteBox Weaponry, Richard Lionheart
 18   Where Dwells the Mountain God, Bill Silvey
 28   Operation Unfathomable, Jason Sholtis
 49   Weird Watery Magic of Vats and Pools,  Richard Hart
 53   Five Portable Rooms, Andrew Trent
 56   Magic Items of the High Seas, James E. Bobb and Kim Nicholson
 57   ‘Don’t Touch Anything ’: Traps in Swords &  Wizardry  WhiteBox Edition, Scott A. Murray
 59   Sorcerous Servitors, Jason Sholtis
 61   NPCs of Note, Rob Hewlett
 62   The Bestiary, Matt Finch
 62   Legal
63   Forthcoming Publications

You might recognize some of these names from other OSR type blogs.  

Good stuff.  

Only $4.95.

see?  OSR goes to the top of the review pile ;)

Are Your PCs Rock Stars?

Charlie Sheen is a bit over the top lately, especially with his own self-importance (understatement), but how far is he from long term PCs in some campaigns?

Yes, I know the difference between reality and gaming, but think about it. When your PCs hit name level in AD&D, they are living on the edge. They could retire and live off their found treasures for a lifetime, but instead they continue to adventure, face danger, gain even more fame - they must have tiger blood or something ;)

Of course, you can't "win" in AD&D (another recent Sheenism).

Yeah, I'm rambling, but not as bad as Charlie. I'm watching the train wreck, and it seems to be in slow motion... it really is occupying too much of my brain these days ;)

Looking For GM Week Purchase Suggestions

As I mentioned earlier this week, there is a crap load of stuff on sale during GM Week over at RPGNow. What I'm looking for is suggestions for purchases - I get access to a decent amount of comps, but there is still great stuff that I don't catch right away (I don't get notified of all new products to hit RPGNow).

The next few days is my chance to fill in some holes in my OSR collection. Give me some ideas of what I may be missing (if I didn't review it, and its OSR, I probably don't have it).

Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Have Soul(s)

As I mentioned before, I've been playing the latest MMORPG - Rift. Don't ask me if it's a WoW killer, I have no idea. I do like it tho. I has the usual 4 man class branches - warrior, cleric, rogue and mage, but strangely enough, the sub classes (referred to in game as "souls") don't necessarily mean that your warrior is a tank, or that your mage can't be a healer. As each character can have 3 souls active from its main class (and swap out others at later levels), you can truly customize your character.

When it comes to Tabletop RPGs, much of that customization comes from the actual roleplaying, which is generally not at the forefront of a MMORPG, even on servers that are Role Play tagged.

Even if every Fighting Man in 0e is pretty damn close on paper, they play different due to player interactions. It is the very nature of the game. 3e gave us feats and skills, and allowed us to further customize our PCs, but it is still the role-play that defines the memories and highlights.

All that being said, I am enjoying Rift. I've found 2 character combinations that work well both solo and in group, so I should be able to keep on around my son's level (and that of my gaming group).

Now I am left wondering if anyone ever tried to convert a MMORPG class pet using class like Necromancer to Tunnels & Trolls, or some other RPG. Damn, I may need to dig out the Everquest RPG (that was OGL based if I recall) and borrow some ideas from there. If only I knew where I stored it.

Looking For an Old Advenure

With all the stuff going on in great state of Wisconsin, my memory has been partially prodded. I seem to recall an adventure in the pre-3e days, where the theme was the unionization of a bunch of overworked workers. I doubt it was in a stand alone adventure, so it was probably in Dungeon Magazine.

Anyone else have a better recollection? Or is my middle aged addled mind doing things to me again?

Crap, it could have been a Paranoia mission...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

RPGNow GM Sale is Live Thru March 7th

RPGNow and a host of publishers are running a GM Sale from now thru March 7th (next Monday).  There's a boatload of stuff marked down 25%, and a good portion is from some the great OSR publishers.  In no particular order of preference:

Brave Halfling Publishing - Castles & Crusades modules, Labyrinth Lord supplements and more

Goblinoid Games - Labyrinth Lord and a whole lot more

Fiery Dragon - Get your Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e rules at a reduced price

GM Games - Knowledge Illuminates on sale

NBOS Software -  Great mapping programs, amongst other goodies

Troll Lord Games - Finally, the Castle Keeper's Guide at a more reasonable price

White Haired Man - If you run games via Fantasy Grounds, this is a no brainer

Necromancer - Swords & Wizardry Complete and on sale.  Need I say more?

Goodman Games - The Grandaddy of Old School

Looking for Thoughts on RPG Campaign Wiki Website... Thingies

I know of two Campaign Wiki Websites: Obsidian Portal and Epic Worlds.

Do any of you use these for your RPG campaigns? Do you use the free versions or the upgraded versions?

Are there other Campaign Wiki Website thingamawops out there besides these two?

inquiring minds want to know ;)

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Trollish Taproom - The British Invasion

Over the weekend I received my first copy of the Tunnels & Trolls 1st UK Edition.  This took forever to ship from across the pond, but as it came with Buffalo Castle and Uncle Ugly's Underground, in beautiful condition, and from the same run as the T&T UK edition, so it makes a really nice set and was worth the wait.

Today I received my 2nd copy of the T&T 1st UK Edition rules - I was bidding on it as the price was right, and this made it to me in a week.  Woot!

Of course, this means my reprint copy of the T&T 1st UK Edition is now a bit obsolete.  I may have to run a contest to give it away.  I'm open to suggestions ;)

Back to the Grindstone

Today was "Back to Work Day" after my nice Staycation. It's also the first day of the work week, the last day of the month, and the day before a new month - so paperwork galore was awaiting my return. I really appreciated every single moment I could steal to read the latest posts on the gaming blogs I follow.

I also was hit with the realization that I still have a crap load of stuff I want to review, or at least pick over, as I didn't dig thru the pending review pile nearly as much as I would have like. Then again, OSR stuff goes right to the top of the pile when I get them, and it was a good week for OSR releases.

I'm also enjoying a MMORPG for the first time in 2 years or so... time to see if Rift has staying power. It is, most certainly, stealing time from me that would otherwise be spent reading blogs and forums ;)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What the Heck is "Old School Hack"?

I stumbled across this when I read my latest email from the fine folks at Kobold Quarterly just a few minutes ago... what exactly is the Old School Hack RPG?

I downloaded it, skimmed thru it, and can't figure out if it's an RPG, a quasi-board game... I'm kinda  confused as you can tell.  You seem to roll characters, but no more then one player per class - which is heavy handed in an rpg, but fine in a board game.

You can check it out here for free.  I need to look at this more.  Presentation is nice, just not 100% sure what is being presented ;)