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Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm Still Here, and So Are You!

Guess the day was off... again.

Alright, since I didn't see any suddenly unoccupied moving vehicles when we were out driving prior to, during and after the 6pm kick-off time, I think it is safe to assume that the kook was just that... a kook.

Doomsayers have shown up fairly frequently as background figures in RPG sessions I ran during college, probably because NYC is full of them.  The trick would be to have one of these loons actually be right, but for all the wrong reasons.  Of course, it would be up the the PCs to save the world.

The major problem with an adventure like this, is that it doesn't work well commercially (or even given away for free).  Any adventure that can bring the campaign to a complete and utter end if the PCs fail has to be tailored to the PCs AND the campaign.  I'd hate to see my game come to an awkward stop due to a generic end of the world adventure.

Time for me to do some reading and write some checks to pay off some bills.  I was hoping a rapture-like experience would have done away with those responsibilities ;)

We Need More Power Captain!

It looks like the battery in my Macbook is kaput.  The Macbook is less then 2 years old and only used on vacations and weekend getaways (this ain't no vacation either).  Needless to say I'm a wee bit disappointed.
It's not like the power source its attached with anything stronger then some magnetism.

Assuming I'm still here after 6PM EST I've got some reviews I want to get to tonight, such as this one:


From the blurb (review later - God willing ;)


    RAPTURE

    The End of Days... is just the beginning. 

    The year is 2644. Humanity has cast off religion and mi­grated to the stars. With science as the new savior, man­kind believed himself to be creating new Edens in the far flung heavens.
    But God kept His promise. The day of Rapture came.
    Those who walked the Earth with a righteous spirit and pure soul were taken into the loving arms of the Lord. Those who skulked with the devil, ignoring God's divine laws, have been cast aside to face the horrors awaiting all sinners. As promised, the Earth burned. The clouds evap orated. The rule of man, of reason and science, came to an end.
    But that was on Earth.
    And not all of Mankind was on Earth.
    These far flung few who remain, forgotten by God, or per­haps given a second chance, now face a future where good and evil have come into sharp relief; where science has proven to be a false idol, yet one that is vital for survival.
    With communications between colonies severed, no one knows for sure what has befallen humanity. The isolated pockets of human colonists are returning to the old ways - political squabbling, superstition and factional infighting are on the rise. As a tide of distrust rises among the survi­vors, unexplainable horrors are emerging.
    The legions of Satan are real...
    And they are coming for you.
     Rapture. The End of Days... is just the beginning.

    Praise for Rapture: The End of Days

    "This is the most clever, original setting concept I've seen since Day After Ragnarok. Someone really needs to make a film of this, right now."
    - Greg Stanyer
    "I like this book. It feels very much like a theological sci-fi horror, so it achieves everything it sets out to... The system for "Extras" is one of the most interesting ways I've seen to reward players for followers while making them both incredibly useful and expendable."
    - Erathoniel Woodenbow (Featured Reviewer)

     Inside...
    • Unique rule system that throws your heroes into the tension and fear of sci-fi thrillers.
    • Mimic the dark claustrophobic grittiness of films like Alien and Event Horizon, where players are hunted down one by one.
    • Or pitch your heroes into mass battles against hoards aliens or undead with fast and fun mass combat mechanics. Put the life and death decisions squarely in your players trembling hands.
    • Paranoia and politics. Passion and puzzlement. Rapid character development and an open-ended approach to character backgrounds. You'll have interesting heroes alive and kicking in no time at all.
    • Fear and Madness mechanics that truly reflect the growing terror and insanity of the best thrillers.
    • Unique 'experience the sweet release of death' rules simulate way sci-fi thrillers cut through the cast of heroes until only a lucky few are left standing: as your heroes are killed off - and they will be - their friends will quickly step in, tougher and more desperate to survive than before.
    A complete universe of terror...
    • A finely crafted blend of hard science fiction and authentic theological mysticism made real.
    • A beautifully realized future history, where science has thrust mankind into the stars... but where God is all too real.
    • The Rapture has come. But, despite the evidence, not everyone believes. Theological struggles, once through dead and buried, are emerging... along with the sinister forces of hell.
    • Rules for on-the-fly technology innovation.
    • Details of colonial nations, corporations and smaller powers scattered through Human Occupied space.
    • Descriptions of the foes of man, both natural and supernatural.
    • An extensive list of dark miracles and natural creature powers to allow the game master to create almost any being to torment the players.
    Or create your own worlds of mayhem!
    • Alien horrors, zombie outbreaks, deadly unknowns from beyond time and space...
    For the game master...
    • Tips, tricks and advice on running top-notch game sessions
    • A slew of cunningly deadly adventure seeds to get games up and running fast
    • Deep-indexing lets you get to the rules quickly, without breaking the tension of the game.
    eBook Features
    • 117 pages of awesome design and artwork
    • Fully printable
    • Deep-linking for easy cross-referencing.
    • iPad friendly. Looks great as a single or double-page spread!

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Mother Nature is a Real Mother...

    Well, we escaped the thundershowers yesterday, but the rain is back in force today. I really am tired of it. NYC is NOT Seattle. If I wanted rain 7 days a week I'd move west.

    Still, I'm holding out hope that tomorrow may actually be nice. Maybe a good day to catch up on reading in the park (I have a sandbox setting for Labyrinth Lord I'd like to review) and maybe some solo gaming (not in the park - I'd look way too weird).

    I've been flipping thru the LotFP WF Grindhouse rules, and I do like this presentation better then the first go round. I do think the books could have been shorter by removing some of the repetitive art from the top of certain pages, but what annoys me in a minor way may be another's selling point.

    I haven't given Vornheim a proper look in actually book format yet. The PDF turned me off, as it seemed cluttered and busy and a really unpleasant to navigate in PDF. I suspect it works better in dead tree. At least, I hope so ;)

    I need to delay that Rapture thing for another 40 or 50 years of no one minds much. Tomorrow is very inconvenient. I have a vet appointment in the morning for the fiancée's dog. She's overdue on her shots.


    Zombie Apocalypse Preparation From the CDC

    Today's your last chance to prep for the end of the world. If you haven't marked your calendar yet, May 21st, 2011 is the latest date for the Rapture.

    Now, if you're like me, earthquakes aren't the fear, its the Zombie Apocalypse. Have no fears tho', the CDC has an emergency plan tailored just for us.

    Good to know the government has all the bases covered.

    Zombies I can handle. A tsunami may leave me fucked.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    OneBookShelf Contest - "Tell Us About Your Character"



    Yep, tell the folks at OneBookShelf, DriveThruRPG, RPGNow about your bestest, favorite character and YOU could win a Viewsonic Multitouch G-Tablet!  Heck they are even giving away gift certificates to OneBookShelf.

    Any rule system.

    Any character (keep the whole submission family friendly, as the finalists will be voted on by you, the public).

    Enter by June 2, 2011.

    Click here for the rules, and good luck!

    Mini Review - Where Heroes Fear To Tread (Chivalry & Sorcery)

    Where Heroes Fear To Tread is not a new release, but it is new to RPGNow.  Its a short (and free) scenario for Chivalry & Sorcery Light, but as the game stats are all relegated to the back of the module, it can be treated as systemless and therefore usable with just about any system.

    Were the GM to use this adventure in his own setting, he might have to make a few changes in the background of the adventure, as the default is (of course) flavored by Chivalry & Sorcery.  Peasants aren't D&D peasants - they are dirt poor.

    It's a basic delivery mission / ransoming of some NPCs, but the tweaks and surprises keep it fresh.  My main issue is that a main scene has very little for the PCs to do, but that might be more a C&S issue then anything else.  It's easy enough to change.

    Did I mention its free?

    From the blurb:


    A short adventure set in Marakush, usable with C&S from 3rd edition onwards.


    Are to Players brave enough to rescue a group of Pilgrims kidnapped by a band of Orcs, now hiding within the dark confines of Darken Forest.


    Beware the Dragons.

    Snapple Facts - Let's Duel!

    Snapple "Real Fact" 907 - Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

    How cool (and totally f'ed up) is that? Major reason not to give blood in Paraguay if you ask me.

    Still, you could easily port this little tidbit into a sc-fi setting. Or a South American Old Ones horror campaign.




    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Mage: The Awakening - Demo Part 4 (Storyteller)


    Just a heads of that the 4th part of the Mage: The Awakening - Demo hit the virtual shelves at OneBookShelf today.  If you are already running with the first 3 parts, this is a no brainer.  Heck, it's free, so it should be a no brainer even if you run another Storyteller game or even Dresden - free stuff to borrow and steal is always a good deal.

    From the blurb:


    Siren's Song
    Welcome to the fourth installment of Gloria Mundi, the demo chronicle for Mage: The Awakening. In this story, the characters begin their own investigation of the Vice-spirits and discover that one of them, at least, has carved out a niche for itself in the Fallen World. They find out how subtle and poisonous the influence of these spirits can be, and, hopefully, they learn that diplomacy can be just as effective a tool for banishing the spirits as brute force and magical prowess.

    Along the way, the characters also discover that even in a city with Puritanical roots, the pleasures of the flesh make for popular pastimes. The rich and jaded take these pastimes to extremes… and the spirit of Lust is soaking up their carnal excesses

    Enough With the F'n Rain Already!

    Yes, I'm bitching about the weather... again. Yes, I should be happy it's not snow. I don't care. NYC had spotty rain on Saturday night, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, a crapload today, looks to be more tomorrow (and I get to play with firearms in possible thunder showers... sigh) and even Friday.

    Maybe this means the holiday weekend will be nice. It better be, I have 2 dozen coming over for the kid's 18th b-day!

    Game On! (Tunnels & Trolls)

    Last nite was the first session of the online, chat based, Tunnels & Trolls game being run by Scott over at the blog HUGE RUINED PILE. It's in my blog list to the left (links are a PITA with the iPad). Scott has a nice write up of last night's session, so I won't bore you with a retread. Suffice to say it was a most excellent gaming session.

    My son, he who is to shortly turn 18, stopped at my desk three times to comment:

    "I thought you said you were playing a game? All I see is chat. You call this a game?"

    Three times. I actually think he is interested. Fantasy Grounds he understood as a game interface, and he dismissed it as boring. Entirely chat based he found intriguing enough to stop at least 3 times to read the chat and comment about the game (or lack there of).

    I think I may be able to draw him to the Darkside ;)

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    The Draconic Archeologist: Identity Crisis- The Dragon Issue #7


    Is it Vol. II, No.1 as the cover states, or is it Vol. I No. 7 as the inside front cover says?  It's the 7th issue, regardless of numbering.

    The editorial tells us that readership has increased 300% since the first issue.  Not bad for a new gaming magazine.

    On to the articles...

    What to Do When the Dog Eats Your Dice - alternate methods of random generation: chits, deck of cards, numbered straws, spinners, calculators (high end ones back then i would think), the second hand of a watch (not to sure about this method myself), phone book and blindfold, and a few ridiculous methods (counting flying birds, pulling out chest hairs, jumping beans).  There is an interesting chart to use 2D6 to generate results like a D20, reproduced below:


     PERCENTAGES GENERATED
    WITH TWO STANDARD DICE (D6)
    The following table is from FIGHT IN THE SKIES. The column
    on the left is percentages and numbers needed to get them, while the
    figures on the right are the actual probabilities. (I.E., if there is a 10%
    chance of an encounter, a roll of “9” indicates that it occurs. The actual
    percentage chance of rolling a “9” with two standard dice is 11.1% .)
      5%  11                                       5.6%
    10%   9                                      11.1%
    15%   6                                      13.9%
    20%   7,12                                 19.4%
    25%   4,7                                   25.0%
    30%   7,8                                   30.6%
    35%   2,4,5,6                             36.1%
    40%   5,6,8                                38.9%
    45%   6,7,8                                44.4%
    50%   4, 5, 6, 7                          50.0%
    55%   5,6,7,8                             55.6%
    60%   3,5,6,7,8                          61.6%
    65%   4,5,6,7,8                          63.9%
    70%   3,4,5,6,7,8                       69.4%
    75%   all except 2,3,4,10           75.0%
    80%   all except 2,4,10              80.6%
    85%   all except 3, 11, 12          86.1%
    90%   all except 9                      88.9%
    95%   all except 11                    94.4%

    Gary Gygax on D&D: Origins of the Game - A short article on how Chainmail evolved with Dave Arneson's help into D&D.

    Our Featured Creature of the Months is The Prowler.  Never heard of it.  Nice Erol Otus artwork tho'.


    The 7th installment of Gnome Cache - fiction that requires you to read 7 issues in a row.  Bad idea.

    Hmm, fairly light issue as far as OD&D gaming goes.


    Update... Re-date... New Date? What Is Up With Blogger?

    I updated a post (caught a typo) from last thursday and blogger has re-dated it with today's date. Apparently Blogger is still having issues. Joy of joys.

    I guess it's an easy way to keep the appearance of fresh posts, but it can screw things up if there is a necessary progression one must follow while reading the posts (which wasn't really the situation in this case). Still, it's annoying.

    K, done venting.

    Fight On! is Looking For Some Trolls (Tunnels & Trolls)

    As I mentioned earlier, Fight On! 13 is going to have a Tunnels & Trolls theme going for it, assuming they get enough quality articles to do so. The Trollgod himself, Ken St. Andre has given word to Trollhallaians (heh) to do their part, and I'm just passing that word on to the readers of this blog.

    If you have something to submit, it does not go to Trollgod, but to the editor of Fight On! at iggyunlaut AT gmail DOT com. I hope I have that right, if not, I'm sure someone will be quick to correct me.

    Game on!

    Information Overload

    Gamer ADD is a horrible curse. Really. It stops more games from happening then it ever helps start.

    I've got my Tunnels & Trolls. I'll be starting in a weekly online campaign next week. I'll be playing, which is good, as I'm probably too distracted to run a game as I planned because...

    Swords & Wizardry is occupying my thoughts. I'm close to finishing off the Bard class I've been working on and should be able to hit the deadline like a radio DJ hitting the post right before the singer hits their first note. Which is good because...

    OpenQuest / Runequest is also sneaking it's way back. I really enjoyed the original RQ2 - the setting material was many colors of awesome. Mongoose is putting out some really good setting material these days for their RQ2. Which makes me sad, as I only have so much free time these days. I must allocate my time better.

    The Gathering of Fools (my old gaming group) will be happening in early June. I'll get to distract them with some Tunnels & Trolls goodness I've been gathering for them. I've also been asked to bring a copy of Parsely #1: Action Castle to actually (unheard of at these gatherings) play a session of. Good to know at least one member of my old group reads this blog on occasions ;)

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    The Slow Boat From Finland Arrived Today (LotFP)!

    Finally my Finish package finished it's journey from Finland... 20 days... the Fins are slacking these days ;)

    I was very pleasantly surprised with the contents of my package:
         LotFP Weird Fantasy Grindhouse Edition Boxed Set?  Check
         Vornheim: The Complete City? Check
         Vornheim: Insert / Map Thingie?  Check
         Extra Copy LotFP Weird Fantasy Grindhouse Edition Rules and Magic Book?  Holy Shit!

    Yep, James threw in an extra copy of the LotFP WF GE rulebook.  Major awesome!

    I don't know if that was a Penbrooktonshire Gardening Society bonus or not, but the Gathering of Fools now has another gift for the pot.

    On a side note, I sent Matt a corrected file for Knock Spell #6.  Hopefully it finds him ;)

    Stimpy! You Fat, Bloated Idiot!

    Yep, that's me being yelled at. By myself.

    The file I sent Matt was in whatever format Pages for OSX saves things as... I knew I shoulda saved as a .doc.

    Damn Bard is trying to sing reggae at an Iron Maiden concert! heh

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Bard Put to Bed - Next Project...


    Well, I sent off my take on the Bard for Swords & Wizardry last night - we will see if Matt has a place for it in Knock Spell #6.  If he doesn't, I'll post it up here.

    I had a blast working on it, even with all the things i wound up NOT using (like the turning table for Charm / Changing Crowd Reactions), additional languages spoken (I figured being given a chance to READ almost anything was better balanced), new spells / songs (would have added major length to the submission - they can always be added later), instruments (and a bonus to use them) - this stuff was cut not because it wasn't useful, but because it wasn't needed.  Short and sweet.

    So, what next?

    The TrollGod informed the members of Trollhalla that Fight On! #13 is going to be dedicated to Ken St. Andre, for all his work on RPGs (Go Tunnels & Trolls!).  Maybe I can work on a T&T submission to Fight On!

    Hmmm... I probably need a deadline ;)