Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Latest Brew

When I used to DM in college I had a pretty strict "No Booze" rule at the table.  It's not that I didn't drink, I just found it to be distracting at the gaming table - roleplaying was serious business!

Skip ahead 20 years and I find myself home brewing (beer, not adventures), using Sodastream for my sodas and now I am a proud owner of a Tassimo Coffee / Tea brewer.  Yeah, my gadget geekiness has extended to my beverages in my middle age.  The thing is, I don't drink coffee - it's tea for me.  My teenage son drinks his milk with coffee and my lady likes lattes.  I could have 3 machines or 1, and at least this way I can offer guests a selection of hot beverages.  So, I'm counting this as my Christmas gift to myself.  My first brew was an Earl Grey (just like Piccard) and now I'm sipping an herbal.

The kid's already in bed, so unless I find a pair of headphones I won't be watching any Black Adder tonight... I'll have to watch TWO episodes tomorrow ;)

You Know You've Made It...

When you get hit with UBER blog spam. Talk about a fishing expedition!

I'm sorry, but if you want to guest post on my blog, have some vague idea of the topics I post on, because apparently Elizabeth is fairly clueless.

Still, maybe they'll get a few curious hits from this... I checked out the dog last nite... it wasn't my cup of tea. Besides, the only beer drinker in the bunch drinks Stella... ewwww ;)

Dear Tenkar,

My name is Elizabeth, the assistant editor at My Dog Ate My Blog, http://www.mydogatemyblog.com. We have been blogging about politics, education, and technology for a few months now and we think it is about time to start reaching out to other passionate people.

I would love to have one of our bloggers write a guest post for tenkarstavern.com. If you have any topic or style guidelines for guest posts, please send them my way.

I am looking forward to talking with you more.


Elizabeth Greene
Assistant to the Editor - My Dog Ate My Blog
Follow us @DogAteBlog

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Dead Keep Walking

Maybe its just me, but The Walking Dead TV Series is playing out like a damn good post holocaust style RPG.  You can identify the PCs and the NPCs, the importance of weapons, a GM giving some great setting details and atmosphere - well, maybe comparing to a RPG is an oversimplification.

Still, there are some things that roleplayers can relate to - such as: "do we kill the guy that's infected and going to go bad now... or wait until he actually goes bad?"  I  can see my old group having that discussion, and having the infected player basically sacrifice himself?  Priceless.  Heck, the final scene of this episode could be seen as writing that player's new PC into the game.

It takes a lot to get me invested into a TV series these days.  The Walking Dead has done it for me.  Of course, I can never seem to stay awake to 11 on a work nite, but thanks to iTunes I can grab the episode in HD the very next day.

Lulu - 25% Off - Today Only

Lulu.com is offering a 25% discount on your entire order for 11/29 only. Use coupon code CYBER305.

It's a good time to grab Oubliette, Fight On!, Knockspell or any of the other print on demand / PDF RPG goodness you've been waiting on.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

We May Not Be the Young Ones Anymore

The Young Ones, a BBC comedy that I used to watch on PBS back in my college days, hasn't held up to the test of time, at least for me. I bought the series a few weeks back on Amazon, and finally put the first DVD in to watch last night. I was disappointed. The show seemed flat and forced at the same time. There were moments that were just painful to watch, and that was just the first episode.

I guess my taste in comedy has changed over the years, just like my taste in RPGs has changed. I used to really enjoy AD&D 2e, Complete Handbooks and all, but I'd never consider running it these days. My tastes have changed. I want something a bit more streamlined in my current day RPG choices.

I hope Black Adder holds up better. I'm going to pop that into the DVD player tonight and see if I have any taste left for classic British Comedy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Survived Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping...

and all I have for myself are a handful of 2 dollar DVD's from Walmart.  Hmmm... they are a good batch tho:

All 3 Lord of the Rings Movies (widescreen) - yes, I already own the collector's editions, but for 2 bucks a pop I'll grab the originals

A crapload of DC Universe Animated Movies:
-Batman - Gotham Knight
-Batman - Under the Red Hood
-Superman / Batman - Public Enemies
-Superman - Doomsday
-Green Lantern - First Flight

Halo Legends - Animated

Alright, I didn't do bad for myself, and I think I've convinced the lady that I NEED the Alienware x-11 Netbook for Christmas, which is good - I convinced myself that my son needed it too ;)

Game Day Quandary

Yep, there's a bit of a Game Day Quandary at the moment.  In the once a month Castles & Crusades game I play in via Fantasy Grounds, our GM is in Europe (I believe the rest of us are all her in the states).  So our  Saturday nite games are like 2 in the morning starts for him, or something close to it.

He's floating the idea of moving the game to Sunday afternoons (my time), which puts me in a bit of a spot.  I'd like to make the time more convenient for him, but Sundays are for the kid... and if they aren't solely for the kid, its because we spend the weekend in the mountains and are returning Sunday afternoon.  It doesn't help that the decision to leave for the weekend doesn't usually happen until late Thursday nite... yes, at times, I can be fairly spur-of-the-moment ;)

Maybe I'll see how the rest of the group is leaning.  It's rough changing a game time that's been in effect for 2 years, as the rest of your life seems to sprout up around it...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What I Learned Changing a Lightbulb

Well, I just spent 45 minutes on my back changing a fog light lamp in my car. What a total PITA! Lying on the cold ground, working with little light in a cramped spot trying to get a tension rod to stay in place, a thought occurred to me...

This is the exact same crap that thieves in fantasy RPGs have to do. Except if they fail, they are risking more then a broken light.

This also changes my perspective on a thief's abilities. Given enough time, almost any trap or lock could probably be bypassed by a thief, but in most cases, they don't have much time. Therefore the relatively low success chances at low levels... They don't have the speed yet.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

So, yesterday afternoon I packed my bag real quick for a weekend in the Poconos.  I like to pack light (because everyone else in the car tends to pack heavy), and i wanted to get some T&T solo gaming in this weekend so I grabbed the T&T 7.5e boxed set and some of the Corgi T&T books.

I could have gone even lighter if I had left the 7.5e behind.  I forgo that the Corgi books have a nearly complete T&T ruleset included in each one.  They really are a great buy, especially if one wants to test out the system for cheap with a physical book.  If you can't find them in a used bookstore, Flying Buffalo still as them cheap.  Most are actually two solo adventures and the rules, so it's a great bargain.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday - The Strategy Game

I used to do the Black Friday deal.  You know the routine... up at 2am, wait on a line for something that you wouldn't be getting if it wasn't dirt cheap, just to find out that the only two pieces in inventory were sold to family members of the staff.

Nope, these days my strategy is to do most of my shopping online.  With the exception of hitting Walmart earlier this evening for a bunch of dirt cheap DVDs (and no lines), my Black Friday shopping was done online.  More sleep, still buy stuff I wouldn't usually break down and buy, UPS Delivery Guy gets a decent Christmas tip.

Second (cheap) monitor for my son's computer setup? check
Auxiliary Power Supply? check
Camera for my mother? check
Dirt cheap tetrabyte hard drive for above computer system? check
32 GB 3g iPad for a very important person that doesn't read my blog? check

Bulk of my shopping is done ;)

I'm very tempted by the Alienware 11" Screen Gaming Netbook for $599 - 1 gig of decent video ram, 2 gig of system ram,160 gb hd and an HDMI out has me drooling.  Adding 3g ups the price and adds a monthly cost, but this Win 7 netbook can almost double as an iPad AND a desktop replacement.  Maybe I can have a $699 version with 4 gb ram and a 250 gig hd added to my Christmas list.  It's on sale until mid December.

Many publishers are running sales at RPGNow.  Chaosium is running a sale on their site.  I think Troll Lord is too.

I'm gonna shop until my laptop protests ;)

iPads on Sale at the Apple Webstore

Apple has discounted its iPads for one day only.  That day is today, Black Friday.  Hit the Apple store and save $41 on the iPad of your choice (with free shipping too)

If you were going to buy an iPad this Holiday Season, today is the day to pull the trigger on your purchase.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time they have been put on sale (Marshals and TJ Max are selling some of the $499 iPads for $499 today, at limited stores in very limited quantities - trust me, they are all gone already).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Knee Deep in Gravy

Had an amazing Thanksgiving Dinner. Guilt feeling all over ;)

Should have a contest to announce this weekend. I need to confirm the generous prizes that Onebookshelf is supplying.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thankful Turkey Day to All

Well, maybe not so many thankful turkeys here in the states, as the most common main course on Thanksgiving is turkey,  those poor semi-flightless birds.  They can't even do Black Friday shopping ;)

I'll be hitting the usual suspects online over the next 24 hrs or so: Best Buy, Amazon, TigerDirect, Geeks... etc.

Many of the publishers on RPGNow are also running sales for the holiday weekend (or longer).  Goodman Games is 33% off, Louis Porter Jr has his stuff running 50-80% off, Fat Dragon Games is discounting from 15-50% - heck, just click here for the list ;)

Enjoy the day.  Eat Well.  Shop hard! heh

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Free Traveller Starter Set - RPGNow

A big thanks to Bat in the Attic for posting this.  The Starter Boxed Set is the version of Traveller I started with, and for free the price can't be beat.  It should be free until the end of the year.

Treat yourself on the Black Friday weekend to a free game ;)

Oubliette Now Available in Print

I meant to give this a mention on Tuesday, but time sometimes get's away from one.  Oubliette is now available in print via Lulu.

You can read all about it at the Oubliette Magazine blog, or just head to Lulu and order the 4 issue compilation.

PDF copies of issues 1-4 are still available at RPGNow, and hopefully the next issue will be available in time for Christmas.

Going Solo

Before I start the posts comparing some Solo Gaming Experiences, I'd like to address the question: "why play solo anyway?"

Here are some possible reasons (not necessarily my own, but reasons why gamers in general may enjoy some solo adventuring):

I have no gaming group where I live.
I GM all the time, I'd like to have a chance to play and no one else wants to GM.
Sometimes I want to game when my group isn't available.
I want to game more then my gaming group wants to.
It's convenient and ready when I am.
It's fun (it better be, or why do it).

I'm sure there are dozens of reasons, but those are the basics as far as I am concerned.

I remember running solo / GM-less dungeon crawls using the random dungeon generator and the wandering monster tables from the back of the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide simply because I wanted to play.

Games like Tunnels & Trolls address that desire to play a RPG when the individual player wants to by publishing solo adventures. Many of those early T&T solos weren't all that deep on story or plausibility, but they offered you an adventure that you could explore, face challenges, roll dice and if your were extremely lucky (or if you cheated) you didn't die. Solos tend to be fairly lethal, as you don't have a GM to soften the blow / make decisions on situations not covered by the rules / engage in role-play to avoid combat situations.

That all being said, if you survive the adventure, you can increase in ability and use that same character in the next adventure. Therein lies the secret to the success of a good series of solo adventures - continuity of the PC. You didn't get that in an endless quest book.

In my opinion, you need a simplified system to run solo adventures successfully. The more complicated the rules, the greater the need to have a GM arbitrate those rules. T&T works well as a solo system, as the rules can take a backseat to the character and story in a properly written solo. My instinct is that a system like 4e would only work as a solo if you greatly limited the options available to the player, and at that point i don't think you would be playing 4e anymore.

I've played T&T solos in the past, and will be running thru some more as part of this comparison of games that have solo adventures. It should be interesting to see if the complexity added to T&T core system by Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes enhances or detracts from the solo experience. As for LotFP Weird Fantasy, I almost ran my lady thru the tutorial instead of the T&T 7.5e Hot Pursuit solo... I'm glad I didn't, as I'd like to experience James' version of a solo - I expect it to be fairly lethal ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

My Thoughts on WotC's Virtual Table Top

I originally posted this in a thread on ENWorld earlier this week, but I'm reposting it here (edited slightly) as I think it has relevance - I am very interested in the VTTs that are, or soon will be, out there, and the Wizards' VTT could be a game changer when it's released, even if it is a buggy mess (not predicting - just saying).

The WotC VTT is probably NOT aimed at you if you are currently playing in a face to face group. It's aimed at those that want to play with their old college group that is scattered across the country.

More importantly, it is aimed at the lapsed players that bought the new Red Box and want to play with their old group which isn't a group anymore. Yes, there are other VTTs out there, but you would have to know about them to find them. WotC gets their VTT up and running, places a splash ad in the back of all it's books or each box, and people will suddenly KNOW about D&D's Virtual Table Top.

The other stuff (4e Character & Monster Builders, etc) won't be bringing in a steady stream of NEW monthly fees, it will just give stuff to those that probably already subscribe. The VTT can bring in NEW subscribers.

In all probability, if you are an ENWorld / RPG Blog-type regular, it's not aimed at you. If you made it here, and you want to game regularly, you either have a face to face group or you found one of the current VTTs that suits your needs.

If you bought the Red Box, haven't gamed since 2e and your group is in the wind, then this VTT is squarely aimed at you.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Time = Less Time

The upcoming 4 day weekend should thoroughly suck up all my time. I'll try to get a Solo gameplay post up tomorrow night before festivities / travel / shopping keep me hidden for a few days ;)

iPad Software Update OS 4.2

Most of you are going "who the hell cares about some software update on a blog about RPGs?" Well, I care, as most of my RPG reading, blogging, blog reading and such occurs on my iPad these days. ;)

The multi-tasking isn't multi-tasking like you have one your desktop, but i think it will suffice for copying and pasting for blog posts - which was a PITA under OS 3.0

The integrated mailbox is a feature I've had on my iPhone for a bit... very happy to have it now on my iPad.

The Air-Print feature, allowing one to print to a wireless printer I haven't tried yet. With any luck, I'll give it a try tonight.

Finally I can group my apps into folders. I'm a pack rat app collector, and now I have even more room for my apps. Woot!

Most importantly, my Apple Keyboard, specifically made for the iPad, wasn't always recognized by the old OS. I had to seat it and reseat it, sometimes within the same session. New OS? Seems flawless so far, but time will tell.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tonight I'm Gonna Play With Myself...

Gutterhead!  Not like that!

I'm gonna run a solo tonight for myself... either some T&T or the LotFP Weird Fantasy Tutorial.  Because if I don't get started and find the time now, time will just slip away during the Holiday Season without me even noticing.

This is a short work week for me, yet time to read and / or game will be minimal during the non-working part, so the time to roll the dice is now.

Totally off topic:

The Walking Dead series on AMC is a keeper.  It's the first series to keep my attention like this since Firefly - its just that good.  Doesn't hurt that the lead character is a member of law enforcement ;)

The OS 4.2 update is out for the iPad today.  I'm installing as I type.  I'll let you know what I think later.

Gifts For Gamers & Geeks

The holidays are sneaking up on us, and now is the time to find the deals to get your gift purchases for less (read cheaply).  I spent 8 1/2 years working in a retail environment before becoming a public servant and I refuse to stand on those Black Friday lines - maybe if a game store was having a sale of that type, but even then probably not.

Still, gamers and geeks need gifts.  As I posted on Saturday, I'm open to any and all suggestions.  This is my chance to throw a few out there for others in no particular order:

Sodastream - make your own soda.  It's about as geeky as you can get, and I am enjoying the crap out of it for the last month or so.  I got mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond with one of their 15% off coupons.  About $100 before coupons.

Roku - stream Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and other services to you TV.  The device starts at @ $59

Tablet Devices - the low end iPad will apparently be available for $399 at Marshalls and TJ-Max for Black Friday in very limited quantities.  The iPad is no longer the only game in town, however.  If your main desire is a mobile PDF reader, you can get Android Based 7" Resistive Touch Screen (means using pressure as opposed to the multi-touch iTouch/iPhone/iPad) for about $150 as a starting price.

Ebook Readers - there's a whole bunch of them out now, with the Kindle starting at $139.  Kindle has the advantage of the Amazon Kindle store, but adding books from outside the store can be a pain.  Still, lots of choices out there and it's hard to go wrong.

Amazon - yes, many folks consider it evil, but when I want my RPGs on the cheap its the place I hit.  Less expensive and free shipping.

RPGs - I'm a gamer, so I'll be happy to get a copy of a game I don't own, or even one I do.  Still, as its a gift purchase. I recommend something that comes in a box.  It's just more exciting when you unwrap and get a box then a book, probably because you know its a book the moment you feel it through the wrapping paper.

Mr Beer - Brew your own beer around the holidays.  21+ please ;)  - Damn, I really need to spend time on my brewing blog again

Amazon, Tiger Direct, Best Buy, Geeks and other sites will be running online sales starting Thanksgiving Day.  This is how I do 90% of my Christmas shopping these days.  Less time on line means more time for other stuff, like gaming ;)

More stuff as I think of it :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mini Review - Path of the Delver (For Labyrinth Lord)

We're doing pretty well with the Old School module releases recently, at least if you are looking for low level adventures.  Path of the Delver from Knightvision Games is the latest OSR release on RPGNow.

At quick glance, it has some highs and some lows, but that's to be expected for the first release from a new publisher.  First, the lows:  The map of the town of Castle Wickersham is pretty useless.  It is muddied and unkeyed except for the scale.  The outdoor map actually looks pretty useful, but again lacks a map key AND a scale in this case.  The dungeon maps look pretty well done, but again, they lack a scale (is it 5' or 10' on the grid? - 5' judging by the description of cavern room 18).

On the plus side, there are some player handouts, a new Cleric Spell, 9 new magic items and a dozen new monsters.  The whole thing, including the OGL, clocks in at 48 pages.

From the blurb:

"Secrets to all things lie in the heart of Bitter Root Mountain...and the only thing between you and its secrets is an army of Orcs, a horde of undead creatures, and a secret cult that will turn your blood cold...Dare ye enter?"   Path of the Delver is a Labyrinth Lord and AEC compatible adventure designed for 1st and 2nd level characters. Set in the upcoming Ebonyr campaign setting, it can also fit into any generic RPG world. The adventure combines urban, wilderness and a classic dungeon crawl.   Inside the PDF you'll find:
    * Over  9 new monsters including the Lessor Demonos and Mogren
    * Over 9 new magic items including the Delver's Spectacles and Tears of Palandria

Simple Sunday

Sundays have become a day of relaxation for me recently.  No work, no shopping, no drama... just me, some reading, possibly some game playing and football.  All because the kid was really determined to have a day that was just for himself and I... which really means he plays computer games and I watch football.

What can I say, it works ; )

For todays musical interlude:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Magazines For Give-Away

Nick, from the Carto Cacography Blog, is looking to give away a pile of classic magazines for the mere price of postage. Read more below:

As a member of the US Armed Forces, I am expected to pick up everything and move myself every two to three years. With one exception, I have not lived anywhere for longer than three years in the last fourteen, and in some cases, I lived someplace for as little as three months.
I enjoy this lifestyle. I get to move alot; I get to see new places; I get to experience new people and things. Luckily, my wife also enjoys the lifestyle. Just as important, my kids seem okay with it.

One aspect of this lifestyle is that I get to sort through all of my belongings every few years. (For someone with packrat tendencies, this is a good thing.) To be honest, nothing forces me to look through my stuff, but when you watch a mountain of boxes being packed onto a moving truck and then unpacked a few weeks (or months) later every few years, you get the idea that that mountain should occasionally be downsized.

Today, as I was looking through boxes, I came across a stash of Dragon magazines that I completely forget that I owned. In the same box, I also came across some classic Golden Age D&D modules. Ka-ching!

But now we get to the meat of this post: I also came across a vast quantity of old magazines that I have no desire to own anymore. Having had subscriptions to many, I am now at a loss for what to do with them. Frankly, just chucking them in the trash (or recycling bin) seems like a colossal waste. In some cases, I've been holding on to them and carrything them around for 20+ years.

I have a fairly large collection of OMNI magazine, described on its wikipedia page as follows: "OMNI was launched by Kathy Keeton, long-time companion and later wife of Penthouse magazine publisherBob Guccione, who described the magazine in its first issue as "an original if not controversial mixture of science fact, fiction, fantasy and the paranormal."
I also have a large collections of Family Computing magazine (and its later incarnations, "Family & Home Office Computing" and "Home Office Computing"). If you were into computers in the 1980's, you might remember this little gem.
(Not really science fiction, fantasy, or geek related, but I also have a massive collection of Boy's Life magazine, if anyone is interested. Any Boy Scouts out there feeling a bit nostalgic? Huh?)

All of the issues that I have are from the late 1970's through the early 1990's.

So, here is the question: What should I do with these?

I have some ideas, but here is my offer: I will give them away to anyone who wants them from me, for free. The only thing that you'll have to pay for is the postage. If anyone is interested in them, please let me know. Also, for those of you who have blogs of your own, please throw up a quick post and advertise this. I don't want to dump them in the trash, but that is where they will end up sometime before Christmas.

If anyone is interested, please drop a comment below, or send me an email at fantasy.cartographic@gmail.com.

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QuickStart - Trinity RPG Quickstart

Two quickstarts released in a week... not bad.  I'm not even sure how many I have tagged at the moment.

The latest one is for White Wolf's Trinity RPG.  Clocking in at 28 pages, its a decent size for a quickstart.

From the blurb:

In the 22nd century, humanity has ventured to the stars. Yet amid the wonders of this new age, makind faces many dangers from without and within. Alien races, fractious colonies, contending governments, ruthless corporations and aberrant mutations all vie for supremacy.

This quickstart provides an introductory look at Trinity. It does not contain every aspect of the game, but it should give you a feel for the Trinity universe.

Holiday Hit-list Request

Am I the only one that has a problem figuring out what I want for Christmas? I really need to put a list together just to get my family off my back. I'm open to suggestions, whether its gaming, tech or otherwise.

Thanks in advance.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mini Review - OS1 - Something Unholy Stirs

It's always a treat to read another Old School style adventure, and Something Unholy Stirs is no exception. It's written for OSRIC (with conversion stats included for Altus Adventum 2e).  You get a small sandboxie area setting and a dungeon to kill stuff and take their stuff.  Damn hard to go wrong if you ask me ;)

It's for 1st to 3rd level characters, which may be an issue for some, as it seems there is a large portion of Old School adventures that already fall into that range.  From my personal point of view, you can never have enough low end adventures.

From the blurb:

              For the people of the border town of Aldin, danger was part of life. Savage beasts, extreme    winters--these were things the people were prepared to deal with. What they weren't expecting to face was something so unholy that it was forbidden to speak of.

    Now a young group of would-be adventurers on their way to potential riches are forced to take refuge in Aldin due to a severe storm. Will they manage to escape...

WotC's D&D Virtual Table Top Goes Closed Beta

And here I thought this was vaporware. I just found a thread about it on the ENWorld forums (you'll have to search for it, as my ability to hyper link on my iPad is piss poor).

It appears to resemble little of the software that was first announced with 4e's release, but anything is a good thing. Just having WotC release a VTT will mean more exposure for the other VTTs in the market, which can only be a good thing.

Okay, now i need to actually read the whole damn thread ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Capping the Troll God Saga

Well, I've spent the last 3 days trying to decide whether or not to post the Troll God's apology letter to Trollhalla.  Yes, it's pretty personal (at least for something that was sent to every member of the Trollhalla community).  Revealing and insightful too.  Or not.  I just don't know how I feel about it in the total sense of it.  Or I do, and I am not comfortable with it.

The thing is, I was asked to post open letters to further Ken's cause, and then after the change of heart, I'm kinda left by myself pissing in the wind.

I had no horse in the race, but I added my voice upon request.  In the long run, this is a pimple on the ass of Trollhalla, Ken, T&T and whoever else got caught up in it.  It too shall pass, and will be forgotten by most.  Still, I was a pimple popper in my teens.  Drain the bastid and let it heal instead of festering for weeks.

Which means I probably should post the damn thing so I can put the thing to bed on this blog.

Where should I begin?
You can't imagine how bad I feel right now.
Tom Loney is right.  I am a hypocrite and a bad person who thinks only of his own welfare.  No matter how charming I may be, I'm really a sociopath, and if you stay with me long enough, you are bound to be hurt.  Just ask my wife, Cathy, if that isn't true.
The only thing I can say in my own defense is that I never really wanted to harm anyone--not anyone.  I don't hurt people because I want to hurt them.  I do it because I can't help myself.
I apologize for turning Trollhalla into a tool to be used against a single person (namely James Shipman). I apologize for asking people to join me in spreading news of my personal argument with James Shipman. I apologize for starting a crusade, and then bailing out when it looked like I might be the first person killed in that crusade.  I apologize for looking after my own interests and not considering the interests of others who might be involved.
I have never claimed to be a perfect, or even a "good" person.  I know how many flaws and weaknesses I have.  I had rather hoped that no one else would ever find out, but of course these things come out here and there.
I can promise that such things won't happen again. At least I'll try to make certain that they don't.
Anyone who wishes may feel free to forward this apology or put it up on their websites. I hope you don't, but . . . YOU ARE FREE AND EMPOWERED TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.  I am not your leader, and you don't have to answer to me or to anyone but yourself and God for your actions.  Believe me, I pay for my sins every day.
Ken St. Andre

Gaming Music Review - Transylvania (Nox Arcana) - Monolith Grpahics

In general, I'm not big on music in my RPGs.  I generally find it to be distracting in my D&D sessions, even the soundtracks that are supposed to be evocative of sword fighting and such.  Yeah, I know the soundtracks from Lord of the Rings do a decent job, but again, I would find them distracting during gaming.

Horror gaming, however, lends itself to atmosphere.  Music is probably the most effective way to get your group into the mood for a nice nerve-racking Call of Chtulhu session.  The Transylvania - Nox Arcana album from Monolith Graphics does a surprisingly good job at setting that mood.

I say surprisingly, because as I stated earlier, I'm not big on music in my games and never used it in the past.  This album I think I could use.  CoC, Ravenloft... maybe even a Chill session.  Hmm, or maybe not Chill -  the camp factor is a bit high there.

I'm surprised that Monolith didn't release this just prior to Halloween.  They kinda missed a built in promotion by nearly 3 weeks.  Still, it's good.  Is it worth the 10 bucks?  If you asked me 3 weeks ago, I would have told you to have this playing as the Trick-or-Treaters made their rounds.  Now, unless you have a horror game session coming up, its kinda outa place.

It's al in the timing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

QuickStart - Legend of the 5 Rings - Legacy of Disaster

When I first started tracking down all the Quickstarts that were available in PDF, it was a daunting task.  Thankfully, for the most part, all I need to do now is catch them as they get released.

Legacy of Disaster is a quickstart for Legend of the Five Rings.  It was a Free RPG Day giveaway, and is now available in PDF at RPGNow.  With all of these Samurai style releases over the last few days, I may have to seriously give the genre some further thought.

Here the blurb:

For over a decade role-players have come to the Emerald Empire of Rokugan to learn the true meaning of honor and glory. Now it is your turn to take up your katana in the name of your Clan.
The minor daimyo Doji Haruki has always craved more power and prestige among those who possess true influence in the Imperial Court. Now, on the eve of his greatest and most promising court, mere hours before his moment truly arrives, his most valued treasure is stolen. The daisho of the great hero Seppun Daiori, gifted to Haruki by the Seppun family, is mysteriously absent. Fearful that his greatest triumph shall become the moment of his ruination, Haruki turns to a handful of samurai who arrived for court ahead of schedule, desperate for their aid in returning the daisho before the court concludes.
Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition Role-Playing game is on sale now. This free adventure contains everything you need to get started.

Random Mid-Week Thoughts

A bad internet connection lost my first attempt to post this in the black hole of the internet, so lets see how the second attempt goes.

The one way pissing match between St. Andre and Shipman has been a weird ride that has left a strange taste in my mouth. After all the negative press Shippy has had over the last year or so, I was more then happy to relay the emails that the Troll God asked to be posted. Then came a small redaction. Then a request to delete one of the posts. The latest Troll God email on the subject sheds some light on a situation that seems to have been more personal then anything else. I haven't posted that one yet and I'm not sure I will. But the story is half told at this point, and the only way to clear it up may be to post it.

Did i mention I hate wearing my old work hat with my new work hat?

All went well last night. Hopefully there is some peace of mind as a result of it.

I have a perfect view from my office window of someone picking his nose as he looks out his window. Lovely.

Did I mention my 3g connection sucks? Can't get on the web. Can't post at Trollbridge. Can't post in the play by post im in over there.

Still have an hour before i can leave for home. Sigh

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sometimes Son Knows Best

I'm sitting in my car, in the rain, outside a major NYC hospital (Nila, you know the one) as my son gets himself checked out for some reoccurring headaches. His grandma is with him, there is no legal parking in 10 blocks, so I sit and wait.

My money is on seasonal allergies, but as his mother passed from a brain hemorrhage (and complained of headaches immediately prior) I understand his concern.

Of course, he could have told me of his concern during normal doctor's hours, but he IS my son ;)

Back to more gaming stuff tomorrow, assuming I get any sleep tonight.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Blog Spotlight - Errant RPG Blog

Yep, the link is up there on top of this page.  Some of you have already found it.  The rest of you need to check it out.  Greg Christopher (of the Synapse Design Blog) is using the Errant blog to highlight his latest project, the Errant RPG.

For the basics of what to expect, click here, but to summarize (as best I can... I'm sure Greg will correct me if I am wrong), this D&D clone is more of a toned down 3.5 then a straight out clone of one of D&D's earlier iterations.  It's not so much Old School or New School but a D&D without all the unnecessary crunch.

So, why should you check out the blog, let alone another D&D clone?  Because Greg is a thinker and a puzzle solver, which leads me to expect this will be really sweet when all the pieces are put together.  Well, all that and the fool likes to put together really professional projects and then gives them away for free.  I figure get his stuff before he wises up ;)

I kid... he ain't wising up anytime soon ;P

You can also follow him at Synapse Design.  Give them both a peek.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mini Review - Blood and Honor

John Wick has returned to feudal Japan with Blood and Honor.  Here's your chance to play Samurai and their clans using the system from Houses of the Blooded (Houses of the Blooded is NOT required).

Personally, I like the idea of Clan emphasis, it reminds me a bit of Ars Magica (one of the best games I never played)

From the blurb:

After ten years, John Wick has returned to the world of samurai!
Blood & Honor: Samurai Tragedy in Old Japan is a new way to tell stories of honor and steel!
Blood & Honor includes:
* 170 Fully Illustrated Pages
* Rules for Creating Both Clans and Characters
* Task Resolution that allows Player Narration
* A New System for Duels and War
* Magic and Religion from Old Japan
* Streamlined Seasons System for Long-Term Goals
* Chapters Devoted to Player and Narrator Advice

Welcome to Old Japan...

Then then there is my (so far) favorite quote from the book:

But I Want to Play a Ronin!
So... you want to play a wave man, eh? Okay. Here are the rules.
Make a character. You get no Clan Points. All of your equipment is poor quality. You have no horse, you have no food, you have nothing.
Oh, and samurai treat you like crap because you’re a coward. You didn’t have the courage to kill yourself when your Daimyo died.
Playing a ronin is the modern equivalent of playing a homeless person in modern America. Yes, you can get picked up by a Clan as a sword arm, but they’ll put you in the crappiest part of the army and expect you to die quickly. You’ll have to do manual labor for food—remember the samurai cutting wood in Seven Samurai?—and you’ll be scorned wherever you go.
Those are the rules. Have fun with them.

I haven't played with an Oriental RPG setting since Oriental Adventures for AD&D.  This is tempting, even if it is just for the good read.  At 5 bucks, its a steal.

First Look - Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes

The boxed set of MS&PE (if you can find it) is the standard sized RPG Box (not the smaller box size that was used with T&T 7.5e or LotFP Weird Fantasy). As such, even tho it is larger, it seems to be less, as the box is not overflowing.

The rulebook is impressive - the box might not be overflowing, but the rulebook is. Just flipping thru I stopped at the section on Martial Arts and came to the realization that this is a rulebook I will need to read from cover to cover. Whereas Tunnels & Trolls is fairly straight forward in play, MS&PE appears at first glance to crank that up to 11. Might be a nice way to bring skills to T&T tho'. Time will tell.

The paper in the rulebook feels kinda cheap - it's from the Blade generation, and the printer used appears to have been different then in previous T&T products.

I'll try to get some pics up later today or tomorrow. Well, that and hit upon the rest of the goodies in the box.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Poll Results Are In - I'm Going to be a Busy Little Beaver

Yep, the poll is closed.  We had 38 voters (who could vote for as many choices as they wanted).

The solo run throughs easily came in first with 19 votes.  Its a busy plate and I think I'll be adding Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes to the systems that will get a workout.

MS&PE came in second (barely) with 11 votes.  I might actually do this first.  It depends on how things work out.

The comparison of different T&T editions came in third with 10 votes... it was that close.  I'll get to this at some point.  It's probably the biggest project of the three, so don't expect me to get to it too soon ;)

Thanks to all who voted.  Now I've got some work to do... heh

Trollgod Speaks - Healing the Wounds

The Trollgod has been pretty busy with his communications the past couple of weeks, and even though this wasn't specifically indicated to be shared with all the blogosphere, it was shared with all of Trollhalla.  Personally, I think its important enough to be shared with all (if I am wrong, I am fairly sure Ken will tell me to correct things quickly enough).

I want to tell you all that James Shipman and I have resolved our personal differences.  He has agreed to stop selling my works without permission and to stop collaborating with him.  I have resolved to stop saying anything negative about him on the web.
This doesn't mean that James has resolved his differences with anyone else.  He has not resolved his differences with Flying Buffalo, for example.  He will never resolve that until he stops using, making, and selling Flying Buffalo's trademarked property Tunnels and Trolls.
In the past I said I would rather not have members of Trollhalla working with Mr. Shipman, but you, of course, coould do what you wanted.  I have softened my stance a bit.  If you wish to work with Mr. Shipman on any of his publishing projects, go right ahead. It is none of my business, after all, what other people do with their time and their talent.
--Ken St. Andre

Tick Tock

Less then 5 hrs to go with the poll, and the race is still for second place.  Vote, and vote often ;)

Football afternoon starts in 10 minutes.  Woot!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Poll Closing in Less Then 20 Hrs

Yep, in less then 20 hrs the poll will close.  It's really a battle for second place at this point, as I can see the Solos are placing first.  So if you haven't voted yet, do so.  It still counts.  For second place at least... heh.

It should be some fun weeks ahead.  (I need to find a way to squeeze some solo gaming in during lunch time at work ;)

More from Homeless Mustard for your listening pleasure:

Down Day

The last 2 weeks have been packed with work on weekdays and visiting family on the weekends. Tomorrow will be my down day, a day to watch football and get my game plan together for the different solos and systems.

Needless to say, today is another visiting family day. Heh

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 12, 2010

Balancing Act

Well, I need to balance out this afternoon's somber post yet I don't have anything gaming to really post.

The poll ends in a day or so, and it looks like solos are coming in first, but MS&PE is a strong second.  Second might get completed before first in this case, but we shall see.

In any case, I'm posting this song for Christian (as he always finds the best stuff to the point I'm actually buying music on iTunes again).

Falling Leaves

The Fall is no longer the season it used to be for me. Leaves changing colors, preparing for the Holidays and lots of weekend gaming. As an adult it has become a season of remembrance.

I lost my training sergeant in an off-duty incident in the fall of 1997 - shot and killed with his own gun. Rest well Fitz.

9-11 was on the cusp of the fall, and not only did my department lose 23 officers, and the nation lost thousands of citizens, but my core group of friends (and former gaming group) lost one of out own that day. Be at peace, Paul.

Today, my son's mother would have been 38. She was taken from us way too young. I will never be able to fill her shoes, but I try. No worries Min, he's in good hands.

Before you know it, winter will come and go, and spring will return. Sometimes you need to remember what you've lost to truly value what you have left.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lots of Lone Wolves

Project Aon is a collection of the Lone Wolf series of adventure books available free and legally on the net.

I might have to put some time into this after I do a run thru of all the solo's it looks like I'll be running as per the current poll results.

Of course, at the pace I move at, it means sometime in 2011 before I dance with the Lone Wolf ;)

Distilling Tunnels & Trolls

I'm going to work on an experiment and see if I can distill T&T down to 4 digest sized pages - basically folding a sheet of printer paper in half, and using the 4 sides as a pamphlet.

I'm seeking to do this so I will have access to a handy dandy reference sheet when I'm stuck at work. T&T is not OGL and does not have an SRD, so I won't be distributing it, but if I can get it to work I'll let you all know how I did it.

I suspect Apple Pages will be the software I'll be using, just not 100% sure yet.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society - Reprints

Traveller is one of those games where character generation is a game unto itself.  Heck, you can die before ever seeing actual gameplay.  This made for some great time in High School when me and my friend Andrew were in charge of the Book Room.  Spend 10 minutes delivering books, then 50 minutes rolling up Traveller Characters.  Saweet!

Far Future Enterprises holds the rights to the GDW Traveller stuff, and they currently have all 3 volumes of The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society reprints at 10 bucks a volume when you purchase all 3 volumes in a bundle for 30 (usually they are 30 bucks a volume).

This covers issues 1 - 33 of the Journal, and included 2 maps of the Spinward Marches of the Third Imperium in the shipping box as a bonus (at least they were in my box).

Traveller is a setting I enjoy reading, and I have plenty of reading to keep me occupied for a long time.

I blame Christian for this purchase, as he had asked about the Traveller reprints a few weeks back on his blog ;)

Keeping Up With the Borderlands

I'm trying to find a setting to use with my (hopefully) forthcoming Tunnels & Trolls Campaign. It aint easy.

The underlying system doesn't concern me much, as it's easy enough to convert to T&T. The problem is the scope of most commercial campaigns. The Forgotten Realms / The World of Greyawk / The Wilderlands and their kind are nice, but their scope is too huge. I need a backyard for the players to play in,not an endless park.

I want it to be sandboxy. Something like Keep on the Borderlands, but designed with todays sensibilities.

I might already have it in my library and I just need to identify it, but I am open to suggestions. Like I said, system doesn't matter much, as I'll be converting to T&T anyways.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Petty Gods, Large Rewards

James over at Grognardia has a Petty Gods Project that he is seeking submissions for.  It's a pretty cool project, and I'm thinking about a Petty Junior Deity or two myself.

How do you make a cool project even cooler? When Dan of Labyrinth Lord fame offers free (art enhanced) PDFs of the same to contributors to the Petty Gods Project.  Damn sweet offer.  Get off your butts and be petty folks!

Hedging My Bets

If the poll results keep going as they are, I've got a fun crap load of solo gaming to get to. Even if it doesn't stay in the first position, its clear that its a decent idea. Might as well get a head start.

I was listening to the Opie & Anthony show this morning, and Penn from Penn & Teller was the guest. He mentioned that for legal reason, when he uses derogatory words to describe people in his shows, he keeps to vulgarity, as its harder to sue someone who calls you a mother f^cker for slander then it is if you call them a liar or dishonest. His staff lawyer will actually go thru the scripts ahead of time and take out possibly slander words and replace then with imaginative four letter+ words. Very interesting and topical, considering the events of the past few days here in the blogosphere of Old School gaming.

I've had the Apple keyboard for the iPad since my birthday over the summer and hardly ever gave it a workout until now. Its actually pretty good. I'm impressed. I don't mind the touchscreen the iPad uses at all, but this is so much easier and quicker.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 8, 2010

Some Thoughts...

-The poll is more active then I expected.  It looks like solo run thru / comparisons of play has taken the lead.  Probably should have thrown MS&PE into the mix for that choice, but then I'd never finish ;)

It is nice tho, as I can focus on one or two things as a steady column / regular entry for a bit.  Very interested in seeing how it plays out.

-Sometimes the drama behind the game is more exciting then the game.

-I haven't started Christmas Shopping yet.  Another year of Black Friday shopping from my computer if all goes well, then back to sleep.  Avoiding the crowds is the best part.

-I just saw a Christmas miracle right now as I type... my son closed his window all the way.  Heck, you might even think winter were almost here.

-I'm tempted to roll a Tunnels & Trolls 7e character right now, so I can run him thru some early T&T Solos w/o adjusting the MRs... with luck he'd run roughshod over his adversaries and I wouldn't have to fudge rolls.  Not that I EVER fudge rolls when playing solo... or when I GM...

-I very badly want to watch last nite's episode of The Walking Dead, but the kid's in bed, and it deserves to be played loud.

-I thought I was going to get an extra hour's sleep with DST in effect.  I never saw it.  Someone owes me.

-I had something I wanted to post about something, but I forget what it was.  Unless its part of the above list, but I doubt that it is.  Grrrrrrr...

From Ken St. Andre

Public Apology to James Shipman

A few days ago, I sent a mail to all Trollhalla members in which I tried to explain my current relationship with James Shipman and Outlaw Press. As you may know, we are not on good terms, and I let my anger get the better of me. That is no excuse. I should have remembered my courtesy, and not called him any names at all. I certainly should not have called him a felon. I recant. I take it all back. Despite our differences, Jim Shipman is a gentleman, and I will never insult him again. I sincerely hope we can resolve our differences, and that my lapse in courtesy last week can be overlooked and forgotten.

Ken St. Andre

P.S. I hereby ask anyone who carried my previous message about James Shipman to take that message down and run this one in its place.

Ken St. Andre
November 8, 2010

(I'm just a messenger. The above is posted and the previous redacted as per the wishes of Ken St. Andre)

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The Obsession(s)

Slinky. It's fun for a girl and a boy. It's apparently also fun for me as I sit at my desk at work and find the thing constantly in my hands. Metal, not the horrid plastic one. Of course, sooner or later it will get tangled and bent, and that will be the end of that.

Call of Duty: Black Ops. I suspect this will also be fun. Probably also fairly obsessive for the first few weeks after release, father and son will be sharing in this one.

If only the lad would consider table top roleplaying, I wouldn't need to buy two copies of every release we want to play together. Well, at least he pays a share of the cost from his allowance ;)

The Walking Dead. First zombie movie / series / whatever that i'd love to play in as a player. I need to watch last nite's episode later.

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Poll Update

I am humbled by the number of early votes in the poll. A big Thank You to all who have voted and will vote. It is up until next weekend, so get your vote in when you can.

The poll results should keep me fairly focused for a while... Won't that be a nice change? Heh

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Working on a Poll

No, not a stripper's pole... I don't think you or I could stomach that.

No, a poll, as in "vote for the silly stuff you want Tenkar to do next"

I'm thinking something along the line of my next in-depth review (like I did for Tunnels & Trolls 7e) or even running myself thru solos in D&D 4e Essentials Red box, LotFP Weird Fantasy Tutorial, T&T, MSPE and maybe even a Fighting Fantasy adventure and compare... crap, that would be a series of posts.

Eh, lets see how the poll works out.  It might even surprise me ;)

Another Good Session Last Night

When you can play for four hours of gaming, not roll any combat dice and not even realize it, it's a damn good session.

That, or maybe I was just too tired to tell the difference ;)

Some great role playing last nite. I had a blast. Next month will be a long wait for the next session.

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sometimes the Hook is Only as Good as the Players

Here I am, in the middle of a Castles & Crusades (via Fantasy Grounds 2) session, and all I can think is that my roleplaying almost cost us an adventure hook that I was willing to avoid at all cost (being the suspicious dwarf that I am).

Of course, there are 4 of us tonight, and you only need to hook one ;)

Still, it is something to bear in mind... if you can hook one player, you'll probably pull the rest in tow...

I'll remember that as I work on my Tunnels & Trolls campaign... (no asking for when yet... after the New Year at the very least)

Ass... Dragging... Must... Game...

I am totally beat.

Last nite was movie nite.  After letting the kid get his driving time in and doing taxi service for the lady, I didn't get home until after 1 am... and then i had to be up at 615 to get the kid to his SAT test at 730 this morning.

More driving after the test and I'm ready to crawl into the sheets.  I can't tho', as I have a C&C game via FG2 at 8 tonight.  The game only rolls around once a month so I'm not going to miss it, but I can already feel the pain.

Let's see how long I last tonight before the "junkie nod" takes me out for the night ;)

QuickStart - BattleTech: A Time of War

Yep, Battletech has RPG rules, and now there is a free Quickstart for those rules.  If you've lived in a cave for the last 25 years or so, Battletech is a game of mechanized fighting robots, with people in the gooey center.  Alright, that may be an oversimplification, but why take my work for it?  Here's your chance to roleplay the gooey center ;)

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Note From the Troll God

A word about James Shipman and Outlaw Press.

Xxxxxx removed as per Ken St. Andre's request xxxxxx

--Ken St. Andre
Nov. 6, 2010

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In Spite of Damage

Tunnels & Trolls 5.5e and later added Spite Damage into the mix. Basically, every natural 6 rolled on a d6 during combat represents unstoppable damage... Roll 2,4,6,6 you know you did at least 2 points of damage to your opponent, irregardless of whether you won that combat round or your opponent's armor protection.

As combat between two relatively equal opponents in armor could drag out forever before spite damage, it's a nice change. The problem is, most solo adventures were written for the 5.0 rules (pre-spite damage), and the inclusion of spite damage will frequently whittle your delver down to pieces.

My suggestion? Leave out spite damage when playing the solos, or for a harder solo, only count it for the delver's dice... Use it against the monsters.

It really is there to help the mobs more then the delvers anyway. Delvers tend to roll less dice (but have better combat adds) then the monsters, and spite damage is all about the dice.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Where There is Darksmoke, There Are Trolls

Yep, got myself The Isle of Darksmoke, a GM Adventure for Tunnels & Trolls, in the mail today.  It seems when you shake the Post Office just a wee bit, prompt deliveries are the result.  Sweet.

Now, a quick glance at the cover (and an advertisement on the back), shows that this was supposed to be part on of a 2? 3? part series.  The actual full title is The Isle of Darksmoke -1: The Nameless Village and the Dome Level.  At 56 pages, it's no slouch, and the back cover has a Cardboard Heroes Fold out, if you want to add paper miniatures to your T&T game.

The module is quasi-sandboxish, in that the island (aside from the village and the dome) aren't mapped, but it is suggested that you could do so, and entrances are indicated on the dome map for levels of the GM's own design.

Suggested levels are 1-4 and an average party size of 5.  Which is a good starting point, but I suspect the trek to Island could make for a decent adventure itself.  Actually, I think you would need a reason to get the party to this remote island, at least these days (todays youngen's need more purpose then player's basic greed and lust for adventure - paraphrasing a bit).  The included quest hooks assume the party is already on the Island.

All this from a quick glance.  It's pretty meaty.  I'll need some time to digest it, but it's a nice change from the usual (there aren't all that many really) GM adventure for T&T

Too Many Hats, Just One Head

I've got my finger in too many pies at work at the moment. It seems I need to find a temporary replacement for my (old) job as I temporarily fill in for someone else. Either that or I go sick for a few weeks when this crap catches up to me.

Wait, that could leave lots of time for games and blogging.

Maybe I need a third hat ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mini Review - A Dungeon Dash: Wraithwood Cavern

I'm throwing this one out there for Christian, as its a short and FREE side adventure for 4e.  Having read thru most (not all) of the 4e rules when they came out, and having picked up the Essentials Core Books upon release (cause it was damn cheap on Amazon, and you never know where your next game group may gravitate) I still can't tell how well this will play out.

I just have a hard time visualizing all the 4e tactical combat... hell, 3.5e had way to much for me.  In any case, I figure some of you 4e DM's mind find a use for this.  OOOOoooo, and they include adventure hooks for the lazy DM ;)

From the blurb:

The "A Dungeon Dash" series of side adventures by Kurt Sparkuhl are FREE products designed to enhance your 4th edition D&D campaign. Each Dash takes only 10 minutes or less to read through, and usually clocks about 3-5 hours of play time. With some additional preparation, each Dungeon Dash can serve as the foundation for a larger highly detailed adventure.
Every Dungeon Dash includes:
- New custom monsters
- New traps/hazards/puzzles
- A detailed map and descriptions of every encounter
- Treasure and reward guidelines
- Example story hooks to blend the adventure into your campaign.

First Look: Monsters! Monsters! (Reprint Edition)

I actually have my Monsters! Monsters! 2nd Edition (4th Printing) open right next to my Monsters! Monsters! reprint edition.

Some quick things.  Apparently the 1st Edition had a full color cover by Liz Danforth.  2nd Edition has a mostly black & white cover with red highlights.

The reprint is stapled, the 2nd Edition has the spiral binding that is either loved or hated it seems.

1st edition has some footnotes that are missing from 2nd Edition.  Apparently there were some text "errors" inserted by the 1st Edition's Editor, that were changed / corrected in the 2nd Edition.  Steve Jackson wasn't perfect back then it seems ;)

The 1st Edition Reprint has been reset professionally using modern techniques (computers) according to my untrained eyes.  It's not a photocopy of the original but a remastered copy.  Oh, and the Reprint also includes an 8 page GM adventure inserted in the middle... can't complain with freebies ;)

The rules appear to mirror T&T fairly closely, but I'd probably need to see them next to the 4e and or 5e  rules to make sure.  It looks like stat increase for leveling is boosted,  I'll look at it closer to be sure, probably over the weekend.

It is nice to see there is a Monster Glossary with a sentence or two detailing each of the Monster Kindreds, something sorely lacking in T&T 7.5 e.  Even at that it still takes 5 pages of the 40 page book (plus an 8 page insert of a town).

More later...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Parent = Game Master

Really.  As a GM you want your players' characters to grow, it's sometimes hard to give them enough freedom where they can get in actual trouble, whatever plans you have for them they somehow always avoid, they are suspicious of the carrot and resent the stick, the Friend / GM line is a fuzzy one at times, even running a game with just one PC can feel like herding cats...

Thing is, after a few hours once every week or two, your players go home.

After a few hours in school for the day, your kids come home.

Can you tell I had a wild parenting ride over the past few days?

I did six months of chemo a few years back, hardly lost any hair.

Solo parenting a teenager must account for 90% of my grey hairs tho ;)

It's all worth it in the end... even if I start pulling my hair out...

See, being a GM over all those years left me well prepared... heh

Alright, back to the gaming crap mananna folks :)

Better Late Then Never

I mentioned previously that my local post office had a package sitting for over a week at the neighboring post office for me but never told me.  That was my collection of T&T solos and a few others choice books.
My Flying Buffalo order that was shipped on October 12th was no where to be found at either post office.

What do I find leaning against my front door today?  My Flying Buffalo order from nearly a month ago.  Go figure.  Two reprint copies of Monsters! Monsters! for the next Gathering of Fools and some other small T&T stuff.  It was a wait but I'm glad it didn't get sent back to Rick.

Today was a good day.  The fact that I ditched work made it even better ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Not a Review (Yet) - Wordplay Basics

Just recently released for free on RPGNow / DriveThruRPG, Wordplay Basics from D101 Games is a new RPG that uses d6s by the bucket.  Well, maybe not by the bucket, but if you are a Tunnels & Trolls player, you probably have the right number of dice.

I haven't done more then skim the first few pages, but from what I can tell the system look fairly free form and rules lite.  Oh, did I mention it's free?  It's been a while since I posted one of those ;)

From the publisher's blurb:

Wordplay is very easy to play and has been designed to be played with

any created setting or genre that you wish to explore.
The game features the following:
• Free flowing character creation, allowing a player to describe their alterego in the game and use those descriptions as Traits (which are then split between Body, Mind and Soul categories)
• A dice building game. Describe what your character is doing and make use of as many advantages as you can to build as large a hand or pool of dice as possible.
• Roll your dice and count up your successes and the highest total wins, only the dice that land on the table count!
• Create goals for your character and drive them forward to succeed.
Instead of numerous complicated rules, Wordplay provides story telling opportunities that are translated into dice for your characters.
The game is meant to be rules light, open and encourages players to give vivid descriptions that build a shared, character focussed, story.
Wordplay requires traditional six sided dice to play and many of them!
This plain text Basic edition of the game, gives you the core system which is everything you need to play the game except your imagination and a hand full of dice.

Just a Coincidence

It's just a coincidence that Tenkar's Tavern and Tunnels & Trolls share the same initials.  Heck, I never even realized it until just now.  Go figure ;)

Alright, on the T&T review plate we have:

The Delver's Pack for 7.5e
Monsters! Monsters! (reprint and 2nd printing - haven't checked closely but I expect they are the same)
5e T&T Boxed Set (can't find my 5.5e book from back in the day, so I ordered a second copy)
5e T&T Corgi Paperback Edition
4e T&T Rules
Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes Boxed Set (MSPE)
A whole bunch of T&T Solos
            1-10 & 12-14 from Flying Buffalo
            11 & 15, 8 & 19, 16& 17, 2 & 4, 12 & 20 and 9 in Corgi Paperbacks (I believe this is complete)
            So, effectively 1-17 and 19-20 and hunting the rest down (with the intent on getting all in FBI editions)

Decisions, decisions... heh
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