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Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Next Monthly DCC RPG Contest is Obviously Delayed


Here we are on November 3rd, and I've yet to run the end of October DCC contest (in all honesty, the contest hasn't been on my mind at all the last few days). My plan had been to kick it off on October 31st and use a horror themed contest topic, but obviously that never happened (and if you follow this blog on a regular basis, you know why - Mother Nature, that's why!)

I won't be able to manage and push it like I usually do until things start to return to normal in the NYC area - 12+ hr long work days aren't blogging friendly (nor friendly to any sort of gaming for me in either).

Still, when we do get to kick it off, we have some nice, donated, in print prizes to give away, which really excites me.

So, when things start to return to normal, we'll kick off the contest. Technically, it will be the October / November DCC Contest I guess (assuming work returns to normal relatively quickly).

Feel free to toss out some contest ideas - I think my horror one may no longer be relevant when the contest finally goes live ;)

Anyone Get in Some Horror Roleplaying Around Halloween?


I had the idea in the back of my mind to run a One on One session of Call of Cthulhu with my wife for Halloween, but due to the real life horror of Hurricane Sandy that never came to be. Not sure it would have in any case, as I was still looking for a one on one scenario for CoC.

Still, I've always wanted to do some horror related roleplaying around Halloween. The closest I ever game was in college, running some Ravenloft adventures, but I'm not really sure you can count Ravenloft as horror. CoC does mind games to the players themselves when properly run and I'm not sure that Ravenloft / D&D / D20 can support such.

In any case, for those that somehow have missed Call of Cthulhu over the years, here's the link to the CoC Quickstart. It's not too late to squeeze in some horror into your RPG play time ;)

Do Natural Disasters Occur in Your Campaigns?

After dealing with an extremely long work week, the thought occurred to me:

Do natural disasters occur during most / some / any RPG campaigns?

I'm not taling about whatever magical plague / bullshit that WotC does to justify edition changes - I'm talking true natural disasters that change the course of a campaign.

So, what effect, if any, do natural disasters have on the campaigns your run or play in?


How Much Gaming Have I Missed Out on This Week Due to the Storm?

Well, thanks to the Hurricane and the overtime attached to it, I've had to cancel one game (the LL session that would have been last Monday), bow out on Keith's Wednesday Night Blood & Treasure Game, unable to play in Edjar's DCC Game and couldn't pound some drinks in Mark's Drinking Quest session.

Heck, tonight's game which was canceled as I was going away for the weekend I probably can't uncancel, as most of the group made other plans.

How the fuck I was going to do all this playing I have no idea, but doing none of it is damn depressing.

No weekday gaming for the foreseeable future with 4 am starts at work either.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle at RPGNow

RPGNow and a ton of publishers are offering the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle to help the Red Cross and those suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

This whole event has really opened my eyes to the power of Mother Nature. Yesterday I spent my afternoon and evening walking through housing projects in Brooklyn, checking on residents to see how they were holding up without electricity, water or heat. The strength of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me - nearly every person I came in contract with had a positive attitude in spite of their current hardships.

I work with people who lost their homes to the storm surge overnight Monday into Tuesday, yet they still came to work Tuesday morning to serve the city they are sworn to protect. My home and my family come through the storm relatively unscathed, but others up and down the eastern seaboard are not so lucky.

If there are games / and or other gaming products that appeal to you in the bundle, this is a great way to give while getting something back. Over $450 worth of gaming products in PDF for 20 bucks

(Pathfinder players / GMs will wind that Raging swan Press donated a number of pieces to the bundle. There are some hidden gems like Part-Time Gods and some Savage World Adventures and a ton of other stuff. It's light on OSR stuff, but then again, what isnt?)

Hopefully I will get a chance to get some of my usual game related posts posted this weekend. Maybe the fine folks at WotC would have been kind enough to post an article Grumpy will find appealing when he finally gets around to reading it. I'll need to take a peek it seems ;)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Word - Sandy's Work From Earlier in the Week

I was "In the Bag" today (NYPD vernacular for in full uniform) which rarely happens with my current position, but the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy is one hell of a exception to the rule.

No gaming thoughts today - I didn't have the time to play with such thoughts.

Nope, today real life stared me in the face for 15 hrs, and I was happy to offer what help I could (my feet are paying the price tonight).

Some scenes from a flooded area of Brooklyn earlier today -




Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink...

One of the situations I'm dealing with at my job is that the building we are located at has a basement that is flooding right now. Sure, I know the hurricane is long past, but we have a basement with 3' of water when I left for the day (saturated water table for the win) which is about the overcome and flood the pumps that pump water to the roof, which gives us water pressure.

Basically, too much water is going to cause us to have no water. Forget drinking water for the moment. We are going to have very disgusting toilets that won't flush.

Which of course brings us to the idea of "water traps".

Water is the one thing that can pass through doors (via the cracks in the door seal), seep through walls, ceilings and floors, and can devastate whole swaths of land in the blink of an eye.

It's also the one thing that life can not survive without.

Do you use water in traps and such? Do you penalize your parties when they "seek adventure" without enough drinkable water?

Some Much I Want to Write - So Much Burn Out From the Day

It's funny. You wouldn't think I'd have much time for gaming thoughts in the middle of the 2nd full day of the lower Manhattan blackout, but gaming certainly snuck it's way into the spare brainpower of my head today.

Lots of thoughts, all scattered around, and nothing forthcoming at the moment.

I think I need a beer of two to take some of the edge off of the day.

Well, that and maybe my wife can massage my painful feet. I think I've gotten way too used to spending most of my work day in the office and I'm paying for it now.

Ah well, maybe I'll get something out and on the page in a few.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What Can You Really See in the Dark?

Top of a Cabinet in My Office During
The Lower Manhattan Power Outage
Driving on a partially lit turning into unlit Williamsburg Bridge, I was immediately surprised at just how poorly my lowbeams actually illuminated the roadway and the bridge itself. It was a stark difference from the lit roadway.

Driving through normally lit streets that were totally unlit was also surreal. It was not the commute I was used to.

Getting to work and having the building itself totally blacked out, with even the emergency lighting failing, and it struck me just how totally unnerving it was to explore and unlit floor with hallways and rooms and wandering people with just a simple flashlight.

Imagine if all you had were a sputtering torch or a sloshing lantern in your hand?

I have a huge newfound respect for dungeons as an adventure location. There is simply an untapped potential to use the darkness as part of the dungeon dressing. I need to think on this when I have more free time, but I like the potential i see.

Sandy Overstays Her Welcome - Not a Pleasant Visitor

Today was a long day at work - the immediate future will be full of long days too - 12 hour plus tours until further notice. The five day vacation to the Poconos for my first wedding anniversary may be put off for a week or two.

Millions without power. Over 100 homes burned down in Breezy Point in Queens. Mass Transit taking a huge critical hit. Significant loss of life (including an off duty Police Officer who drowned in his home).

Mother Nature is an predicable and powerful creature, both friend and foe.

She can visit elsewhere next time.

(back to the usual gaming blogposts with the next post)

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Made Joe The Lawyer Pick Up a Copy of Palladium Fantasy


Yep, when we were warming up for PubCon at The Complete Strategist, Joe and I (and later Sarah) perused the aisles of gaming goodness. I pointed out Palladium Fantasy, probably the only Palladium game I would run as an adult and certainly something I'd gladly lift ideas and races from for my own campaign.

Joe pick up a copy. He should enjoy it, there is much old school fun held within.

Pictured is my 2nd copy. I grabbed it during the Palladium Christmas grab bag back in 2009. Nice piece of original art within.


I think I'll need another grab bag again this year. Hopefully no miniatures this time ;)

Barebones Fantasy is Released!



I'm sure you've seen numerous posts talking about Barebones Fantasy and the fact that it has released in PDF. I have one serious question - when is the Print on Demand coming?

It's not like you can't print it at home. DWD Publishing was nice enough to include a "printer friendly version" with the purchase of Barebones Fantasy, but a POD option would be nice. Larry, if you're listening, I have spoken!

I need to set aside some time to do an actual review of the system. I'll say this much, it's one of the few systems that my "grognard mind" can wrap around that isn't D&D based. I still need to work on the spell section, but it isn't so big I'll fail my Knowledge Roll ;)

I'm very impressed with the rewrite of the Maidens of Moordoth One-Sheet into a full sized adventure that's included with the Barebones RPG.

Wonderful, more lights flickering...

Damn you Frankenstorm!

From the blurb:


It may be small, but this game is a complete and unique fantasy role playing game. Add pencils and dice and you’ll have everything you need! Create your character and embark on an epic journey wrought with peril and rewards limited only by your imagination. Flip through the pages and you’ll see:

Classic character races: Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, and Human.
Eight character skills: Cleric, Enchanter, Leader, Scholar, Scout, Spellcaster, Thief, and Warrior.
Spells: 17 very flexible magic spells in a unique and simple magic system.
Equipment: a robust equipment list containing classic weapons and armor in addition to animals, gear, and even castles and ships.
Characters: Rules on creating and developing your character.
Rules lite: simple game rules relying on rapid resolution, action, and adventure.
Cool tools to get your creativity flowing: Magic item creation, alchemy, rune craft, spell scrolls, creature creation, traps, treasures, and more!
Adventure generation: we give you the nuts & bolts for developing memorable adventures, you sprinkle with creativity
Random dungeon creation system to help a GM prepare for a night’s fun.
A bestiary of over 45 creatures, ready to spread havoc on the world!
A broad brush-stroke setting, Keranak KingdomsTM, complete with brief history, atlas, and pantheon. A great backdrop for your epic saga.
Portable: fully indexed, e-book friendly, well-organized, and fits neatly in your pack or a large pocket. Take it with you and have it ready for an impromptu game. Try doing that with other fantasy role-playing game’s core rulebooks!
Within this zip file you should have:

BBF-Core Rulebook.pdf
BBF-Character Sheet.pdf
BBF-Player Reference.pdf
Kerenak Kingdoms Map.jpg
Keranak Kingdoms Map (Hexes).jpg
And because we like saving ink:

BBF-Core Rulebook-Print Friendly.pdf
BBF-Character Sheet-Print Friendly.pdf
BBF-Player Reference-Print Friendly.pdf
And finally we've added a free adventure module:

Maidens of Moordoth.pdf
Maidens of Moordoth-Print Friendly.pdf
MaidensOfMoordoth-GM.jpg
MaidensOfMoordoth-Player.jpg

Please join the site over at www.dwdstudios.com/barebones and get involved.  This game was written under a creative commons license, meaning YOU can write stuff too.  We already have several great promising adventure modules submitted, and we're excited to see what you add to the mix.




Waiting on the Frankenstorm - It Moves Slower Than an AD&D Class E Flyer


This storm is taking forever to get to NYC. I'm sure it will be the equivalent a Old Red Dragon, but it's got the maneuverability of a block of wood:


Class A: Creature can turn 180° per round, and requires 1 segment to reach full airspeed. Creature requires 1 segment to come to a full stop in the air, and can hover in place. Class A creatures have total and almost instantaneous control of their movements in the air. Examples: diinn, air elementals, aerial servants, couatl.

Class B: Creature can turn 120° per round, and requires 6 segments to reach full airspeed. Creature requires 5 segments to come to a full stop in the air, and can hover in place. Examples: fly spell, sprites, sylphs, giant wasps, ki-rin. 

Class C: Creature can turn 90° per round, and requires 1 round to reach full airspeed. Examples: carpet or wings of flying, gargoyles, harpies, pegasi, lammasu, shedu. 

Class D: Creature can turn 60° per round, and requires 2 rounds to reach full airspeed. Examples: pteranodons, sphinxes, mounted pegasi. 

Class E: Creature can turn 30° per round, and requires 4 rounds to reach full airspeed. Examples: dragons, rocs, wyverns. [DMG, p. 50-51]

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Slow Rebuilding of the Free RPG Game Links - OSR

These are the games I have so far. I'm sure I'm missing one or a half dozen ;)

Add them in the comments and I'll add them here. Mind you, this is the list for Free, OSR, D&D Clones and the like. I'll be doing other posts, and other side bar links, for other free RPG sources.

Damn Wayback machine last crawled the Tavern in 2011 :(

Labyrinth Lord
Labyrinth Lord AEC
Swords & Wizardry - Core
Swords & Wizardry - WB
Swords & Wizardry - Quickstart
OSRIC
LotFP Weird Fantasy
Delving Deeper
Spellcraft & Swordplay
Dark Dungeons
For Gold & Glory
Basic Fantasy RPG
Ambition & Avarice
Myth & Magic Player's Starter Guide
Myth & Magic Game Master's Starter Guide

Dearth of OSR Goodness at One of the Largest / Oldest Game Stores - The Complete Strategist NYC

Picture Borrowed From Google Maps
I mentioned in my last post that Joe the Lawyer and myself spent some time at the Complete Strategist yesterday afternoon. I walked out with CoC 6th Edition, Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer's Edition and Action Castle II (I'll discuss Action Castle in a later post). There's is a crapload of RPG goodness at the Strat, but there is a dearth of OSR games from any publisher.

Rifts and the rest of the Palladium line? I think the Complete Strategist keeps Palladium Book and Kevin Siembieda in business.

World of Darkness? Huge Selection

Warhammer Fantasy Role Play and WFRP40k? My God yes.

Pathfinder? Amazing selection.

D&D 4e / 3x? Eh. Not great, and the only section you are stuck looking at book spines and not covers.

OSR? A few copies of LotFP Grindhouse Boxed Set, Carcosa and Labyrinth Lord Core and AEC. That was all I saw.

No OSRIC, no Swords & Wizardry and certainly no modules with the exception of DCC RPG adventures.

Fucking humbling experience to see games like The Dying Earth RPG had more product available than the whole OSR.

My Latest Acquisition - Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition

Yesterday, part of PubCon was wandering the aisles of the Complete Strategist and deciding what I would be spending my money on. Mind you, "if" I was going to be spending money never came up - I knew I was, the question was "on what?"

Well, the main purchase was Call of Cthulhu Sixth Edition. I have a boxed set of CoC but I really haven't bought anything for it in years. As Halloween is just around the corner, CoC was an easy choice.

The book is much more complete than I expected, including 4 adventures. I'm considering doing a search for a 1 on 1 adventure to run for my wife on Halloween. As her only other RPG experience was a 1 on 1 Tunnels & Trolls session, it might be fun for her. If nothing else, I expect she'll humor me ;)

I also picked up the Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer's Edition for $9.99. I already own the hardcover, but for 10 bucks it's an amazing value. Who knows, I may actually run it at some point.

RATS! An Indiegogo Funded RPG to Roleplay Rats...


It's funny. I've been looking at the RATS! RPG since Uri first announced it, and yet I haven't got myself to pull the trigger on it. With 4 days to go in the crowdfunding, I'll need to make that decision soon.

The art looks amazing and I think Uri has done a great job putting together a game that might actually make roleplaying rats an enjoyable experience - I just dont have a good recent experience with rats in the RPGs I play ;)

That being said, and I don't want to draw a conclusion that may not play out when the full game, there seems to be an undertone of real life events boiling forth in the game itself. Not sure I would have used the term "holy war" in today's environment of political correctness. Hmmm, no - I probably would have, but then I don't have all that much published ;)

From the RATS! Indiegogo site:


RATS! is a satiric role playing game chronicling the rats’ awakening and subsequent holy war against modern humanity, other animals, each other and numerous inanimate objects as well. Players take on the role of intelligent rats who participate in various insanely dangerous, or just plain insane, missions to further the rodent cause.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our world holds more mysteries and horrors than any man, or even rat, can imagine (without reading the book).

Publishing a game about revolting rats has been my dream and obsession for many years now. During my work on RATS! I’ve come across two wonderfully talented artists who felt inspired by the campaign setting and started creating stunning art for the future book, as well as contributing their own ratty ideas.

We have put a tremendous amount of hard work into this game. With your help, we hope to make this furry vision a reality!