Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gathering of Fools Recap

Amazingly enough, Army of Darkness was NOT on the list of things to do or watch.  No idea how that fell thru the cracks.

We did however, watch The Hunt for Gollum.  Very well done, especially considering it is a fan movie.  Better then most of the made for SciFy Channel stuff in any case. 

Family Guy, bad Heavy Metal videos, classic arcade games like Gauntlet 2 on the PS3... plus beer, chips and beef jerky.  Classic Fools Fare.  Oh, and some Krod Mandoon.  My god but that show left little to the imagination.

In the end I gave everyone copies of Dark Dungeon, and they got to do a last man standing with generic level 1 fighters for a copy of the collectible Swords & Wizardry Whitebox boxed set (a copy of the S&W Quickstart rules went to the three eliminated).  Probably the first time I had the classic group rolling dice in a meaningful manner in 13 years... it was a blast.  Think I've hooked 'em, no to reel them in ;)

I Looted the Birthday Beast

and all I got was a lousy t-shirt.  Not!  heh

I feel truly blessed, as I received presents way beyond what I deserved.  I'll be hitting Amazon pretty hard in the next couple of days and will need to hit Microcenter soon to spend my new gift card.  Got some new Teva sandals which will be worn at the Gathering of Fools in lieu of socks ;)  Even got a handly dandy Apple Keyboard and Stand for my iPad.  Most excellent.  Oh, and of course Monty Python's Holy Grail  ceramic goblet.  Good one.

Number one b-day loot?  I Hate Your Guts, by comedian Jimmy Norton (also a regular on the Opie and Anthony Satellite Radio Show).  This book was delivered to my Kindle app on my iPad thanks to my son Chris, who figured out the prefect gift without any help from me (i just said get me an iTunes gift card).  I'm a real proud poppa.

Of course, his other idea was to put money on my Paypal account so i could by some of those silly RPGs at RPGNow.  He really knows me well ;)

I get to give gifts out in about 3 hrs at the Gathering of Fools.  Awesome vacation so far.  Heh

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pending Gathering of Fools

Today is my birthday.  I have hit the grand old age of 43, an age I never would have imagined people actively roleplayed at when I was 13.  Go figure.

More importantly tomorrow is the seasonal (more or less) Gathering of Fools.  The core of my old High School / College / Life Before our own Families and Responsibilities Group gets together every few months to shoot the shit, have a few beers for old fiends we've lost, watch Army of Darkness for the 27th time, eat lots of beef jerky and basically act like we did 25 years ago.

I like to bear gifts when possible during these gatherings.  Castles & Crusades books, OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry... I've given them all out.

Tomorrow I get to give out copies of Dark Dungeons, some Swords and Wizardry Quickstarts and a single copy of the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox Edition in the collectible box.  Think I'll run a mock combat with the S&W rules, last man standing gets the boxed set.  Should be a blast.

Posting may be light the rest of the weekend.  Or not.  One never knows what may spark a post ;)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Warrior, Rogue & Mage

Warrior, Rogue & Mage from Stargazer Games is a free, lightweight fantasy RPG.  Its a complete game in all of 40 pages, including setting.

In this game, the classic class names from fantasy RPGs are instead your attributes.  Once you wrap your head around that a few times you'll be fine.

In simplest terms, Warrior defines your combat abilities,  Rogue your stealth and Mage your academic / magical abilities.  Add in skills (that are linked to your attributes) and talents and you've pretty much defined your character.

Simple games can be a lot of fun, but they take the correct group.  A 40 page PDF is not going to cover all possibilities, so common sense and GM fiat may be needed at times.  Still, for a quick and easy system Warrior, Rogue & Mage reminds me in ways of Ancient Odysseys - both games are easy to pick up and get gaming with pretty quickly.

Decent layout and nice enough artwork makes this a keeper.  Warrior, Rogue & Mage is released under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

LotFP - Weird Fantasy in Hand

Gotta give props to Jim and the Finnish mail service.  I got my copy of Weird Fantasy this afternoon, the 28 of July - Jim shipped o the 26th.

Lots of goodies jammed in the box.  Its a tasty box too, or at least my cat thinks so.  She was nibbling on the edge.

The first parts I plan to read are the Tutorial (to see how well it might actually explain role playing to those outside the hobby), and the two included adventures:  Tower of the Stargazer and Weird New World.  Need to step away from my iPad for a bit it seems ;)

Heck, the dice may be small but they look to be decent quality.

I'll give a review after I read thru everything.

Dungeon Demon - Mapping for this Dummy

I have spent years trying to use a computer program for my dungeon mapping.  Campaign Cartographer is an amazing program in the right hands - those hands are not mine.  Dundjinni is another excellent mapping program.  I came closer to success with this one, but still far from pleasing, and it takes me forever.

I stumbled across Dungeon Demon from Rusty Axe Games last nite, a surprisingly intuitive mapping program for the mapping impaired.  I was able to put a no frills 4 room dungeon together in about 10 minutes, suitable for my online Virtual Table Top of choice, Fantasy Grounds (tho iTabletop may be knocking on that door soon).  I figure if I spend another 20 minutes making it all pretty I'll be pretty well set.

It won't overwhelm you with options, and will probably be seen as a mapping program with training wheels for the mapping masters out there, but I need the training wheels :)

This is a first for me.  I'm actually kind of excited.  Another excuse for not running a game removed from me.  Going to need to get off my ass and DM soon it seems.

If I get anywhere near passable I'll post some on the blog, just don't hold your breath ;)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No More Core 4e Books?

Found this linked on Louis Porter's Facebook page. Will be interesting to see how this plays out if accurate.

ManaNation has received a tip that Wizards of the Coast has decided to end the print run of the Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition Core Handbooks, instead aiming to turn the game in the direction of “Dungeons and Dragons Essentials”, a product to be released later this year. The first product for the Essentials line is starting with the ‘Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Roleplaying Game’ also being called ‘the Red Box’ and is due to be released on Sept. 7th, 2010.

It is our understanding that they are not going to be reprinting any of the three main books, the Players Handbook, Dungeon Master Guide and Monster Manual from this point on to allow them to be phased out. No other books have been mentioned.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

EGG's Lejendary Adventures - Quick Start

Lejendary Adventures was Gary Gygax's most recent game system.  Somewhere in my piles and shelves and closets of gaming goodness, I have both the full sized paperback books and the boxed set published by the Troll Lords.

These days it is out of print.  As Gygax Games has yet to decide what to do with the property, it may be out of print for a while.  That being said, DragonsFoot has a decent amount of material for use in the game.  More to the point, they have the PDF version of the Lejendary Adventures Quickstart available for download.

On the day we remember the man who did much to bring about this hobby of ours, why don't you download a copy of the Lejendary Adventures Quickstart.  Designed by the man.  Played by the man.

Heck, I'm gonna download another copy myself.  So I can give it a good reading.  I never got to play on the man's porch, but I've gotten the chance to spend many a year with his creations.

Roll them dice lads and ladies.

edit:  fixed the damn "G" for "J" deallie - Gary's f'n with me from above I tell you! ;)

Encounters Mag - Aussie for Classic Gaming

The lads down under have been putting out a free PDF magazine called Encounters.  There is a nice amount of material to borrow or steal for your D&D, LL, S&W, or other assorted old school styled gaming.

Very high production values and a decent page count, this quarterly magazine would have me subscribing if it offered such, but it's free, so I'll need to remember to track it down very few months.

Issue 2 of Encounters was just released.  Do yourself, and your gaming group a favor, and grab a copy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quick Start Rules - The Listing - Part the Seventh

Yep, the Quick Starts just keep rolling along.  Seventh posting and no where done.  Free is fun ;)

HELLAS: Quick Start Rules - Hellas is an exciting fusion of high drama, action-adventure, romance, mythology-infused space opera and science fiction - all that seems to be missing is the kitchen sink.

S.A.V.A.G.E. Essentials Rulebook - (Survival and Victory after Global Extinction) - Stripped down core rules for free.  When the author says "for experienced gamers only", I lean toward beleiving him.  Still, mightbe some stuff stealable for your Mutant Future game.

Promethean: The Created Demo - Promethean: The Created Promo -  Think Frankenstein and Golems.  Its set in White Wolf's World of Darkness.  Hell, with of of the WoD quickstarts, you could game for months and not spend a cent.

SLA Industries FREE Rulebook - Not a quickstart, as the quickstart's link appears to be dead.  Instead, its the full core rulebook.  Spies, espionage, magic, biogenetics and more.  Over 300 pages.  Full game.  'Nuff said.

Destination Now Known

Christian over at the Destination Unknown blog has gotten back to the zine business. The latest can be downloaded directly from his site, or for the lucky few a paper copy will be arriving in the mail.

I'd link it up for ya, but still haven,t figured how to do that from the iPad. ;)

I'll edit this tonight for linkability.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

edit:  Got mine in my snail-mail box today.  Woot!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend Bits N Pieces

Lets see.  I've been getting a bunch of hits on the blog today from Germany.  It appears a German RPG Forum linked my BRP Classic Fantasy review.  Of course, I haven't taken a German class in over 16 years, and even when I was taking it in college I sucked at it.  I'd love to post a comment on their end, but I'm probably safer not doing so ;)

I just realized yesterday that Netflix on Demand has many of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 movies for instant viewing.  Some great Scifi and Fantasy cheese to watch.  Of course, my all time favorite Mitchel isn't available for instant viewing... I might have to pick that one up on DVD (not a gamer movie, but oh god, its great in its badness).

The Smallville RPG just hit RPGNow.  I don't think I've watched more then an episode or two, but I have friends that watch it religiously.  I have access to a reviewer's copy, so I might have to check this out.  Alot of folks like the Cortex System, so it should be fun to see how good a fit it is.

Oh, and I'm still going to bitch about the heat we've had in NYC.  Last year I didn't need to run my AC at night until August - but then again, last summer was unseasonably cool.

Last bit - open to suggestions for a new wireless router.  Mine is "okay", but I'm looking for some extra range and perhaps better support for wireless gaming.

Thanks for listening.  Should have some more Quickstarts listed in a day or so.

Fantasy Hero 6th ed- The Beast

I'm referring to Fantasy Hero 6 as The Beast because the sucker comes in at nearly 500 pages, and you still need the Core Hero Rules to use it.  It is an impressive PDF to behold, although it is of limited use to those that do not use the Hero System.
I tend to beg, borrow and steal from many sources when I run a game, and good ideas don't need to share the same rule system.  There is much here that is not specific to the Hero system.  The sections Elements of Fantasy, Fantasy Sub-genres, and crossing fantasy with other genres could stand on their own as generic advice for anyone about to begin a new Fantasy game with any set of rules.

Other Chapters, such as Beyond the Fields we Know:  Fantasy Worlds and Races and Wonders of the Imagination: Gamemastering Fantasy Hero stand pretty well on their own too.  The ideas and advice presented could easily be published as a systemless supplement, and I strongly suggest that Hero Games, or whatever the company is called these days, consider publishing these chapters to an audience outside of the Hero Game circle.  I suspect they would do well.

As for the bulk of the book?  Its been ages since I've run anything Hero / Champions - wise, so I am far from the person to be counted on for a definitive judgement, but even with my time away from the game I could see myself creating a Fantasy Hero character.  I don't have the day and a half available to do so at the moment ;)

On a more technical note, there is an excellent use of bookmarks in Fantasy Hero, something that is unappreciated until you start using them.  At that point, they become priceless.
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