Saturday, April 2, 2011

What's With All the Negative Energy?

Think about the size of this hobby.  It ain't all that large anymore, and you can easily argue it's getting smaller.

Think about the size of the OSR within this hobby of ours.  While it may be larger then a pimple on the ass of the 40-something Cougar in the latest Non-Pathfinder supplement, it's still small as all shit.

We don't need negativity.  What we need is naivety.  Really.  No sane indie publisher of OSR related gaming material should even make the attempt to publish without a large dose of it.

To quote the great sage Baloo:  "You've got to accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative, And latch on to the affirmative, Don't mess with Mister In-Between!"

Give it you all, lads and ladies.  If you bugger it, pick yourself up and try again.  Whether it's in this hobby, or life in general, the only failure is the lack of making the attempt.

Final word of advice:  Beer, Books and Felines don't mix ;)

The Trollish Taproom - Spillin' Some Beer

I've been working on two rooms at home, trying to turn them into a new master bedroom.  One room has been used mostly for storage, and i placed a bottle of Levitation Ale on top of a box of my Tunnels & Trolls collection as I was removing wallpaper and scraping down the molding.

It was secure, at least until my cat Ashely poked her head out of the closet and knocked it over.  Yep, my Trolls had some beer tonight.

Sigh.  At least beer doesn't make pages sticky like soda, and they smell good now ;)

I Pity the Fool!

Yeah, yesterday I had nothing.  Nothing for April Fool's Day.  Maybe that's good, because I had decent news at work yesterday and no Fool's jokes (I did warn my underlings to avoid doing anything majorly stupid;)

I was busy tho'.  Between work and Home Depot I didn't have much time to do anything else, and I completely forgot about Raggi's Grindhouse preorder.  Damn, and the Vornheim preorder.  So, this morning I did what any gaming fanatic who see's that his available discretionary cash will be dwindling as renovations start increasing in pace - I jumped on the preorders ;)

Yeah, Weird Fantasy has an issue with some of the letters missing in the text.  Damn Weird fonts giving weird font issues.  Art is excellent.  Vornhiem is... different to say the least.  Hopefully I  can read thru it later today a bit if I can squeeze some time in.  Pembrooktonshire Gardening Society member #19 finally got to use his discount. ;)

Congrats to James.  Now fix the frickin' fonts Fool!  heh

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool Free Post

I was trying for a good Fool's post, but it's been elusive. Ah well. April Fools!

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Communication is Key... Just Ask Any Baby

Your players and my niece have something in common.... they all have needs and often have trouble communicating those needs.

Players, and therefore their characters, have different drives.  Some want to level, some want to roleplay, other's want to acquire magic, or fame, or power... or more then one of these, or none of these.  You need to understand your players' needs for them, and you, to get the most out of the game.

Play with the same players long enough, you'll learn what drives them, but a good player will communicate  what drives them to their GM.  A good GM should be able to read those needs and drives without much help.

My 3 1/2 month old niece has been trying to communicate with me tonight, and she's not hungry, doesn't need changing, isn't ready to sleep - I'm going to vote "she's got gas", but it will be a lot easier when she can tell me exactly what she wants.  In the meantime, she's very frustrated and upset.  I'd hate for your players to feel the same way ;)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Time to Upgrade the Box...

It's a small box too.  I've had a Mac Mini ( the mini-mini 2010 version) running alongside my PC since last August, and I figure it's time to give it some love.  So, after getting a nice deal on some Mac Software (including Parallels 6) for $49, I decided to get a family pack of Windows 7 from Amazon for about $120, and to upgrade the 2 gigs of ram to 8 gigs at Crucial.com for $100 or so.  It won't be a huge gaming machine, but my nearly 3 year old Gateway with a swapped out power supply and video card isnt cutting edge these days either.

I won't have to fun Fantasy Grounds via Crossover anymore either, which was far from a perfect solution

In any case, when I move to the new (currently being renovated) rooms, I think I'll run the Alienware Netbook from x-mass alongside my revamped Mac Mini. I only boot up the PC to play Rift or load up Fantasy Grounds these days, and  the long boot time and loud ass fan noise is killing me.  The Alienware handles gaming fairly well, at least as well as my PC it seems, tho' I'll see how well it does with my 28" monitor.

Damn, there's an update for my iPad available too.  Guess that will wait till this weekend too.

Oh, and a link for Your Majesty's new "R" trailer.

The Trollish Taproom - Tripping the Fantastic Trollish Light

... and thus it was that The Tavern of Tenkar did post it's One Hundredth Trollish Post, and there was much rejoicing and beer.

The beginning of renovations, and all the planning leading up to it, has taken much of my time away from Tunnels & Trolls. Boo! Maybe it's good that there hasn't been a Tunnels & Trolls release in a few weeks... I wouldn't have much time to look at it.

All that being said, I'm finding fairly recent purchasesin some of the strange places. I know I'll read just about anywhere, but I don't fit under the sofa or behind my desk. I guess it's good I'm moving stuff around these days.

Heck, I haven't even had a chance to post about my latest Trollgod Auction acquisition... the masters for Supernova 33 (the last issue of Supernova and the predecessor to Sorcerer's Apprentice). A piece of history and a one of a kind item, i really need to find the time to take some pics of this find.

I'll try and limit my time doing renovations tonight ;)

Awaiting on "Your Highness"

Your Highness opens on April 8th, a week from this Friday. On my drive to work yesterday I listened to an interview (using the term loosely) on the Opie & Anthony Show (Sirius/XM Satellite Radio) with Danny McBride. Danny plays one of the leads (the loser princely brother) and also co-wrote the script.

From the trailers I've seen, and the interview from yesterday, this is either going to be a hilarious success, or a depressing failure. I'm hoping for the first, obviously.

There is a new trailer available online, complete with "F-Bombs", so for sure this is a movie that is going to offend some / many. I'm just hoping the humor and storyline carry it thru.

Besides, it apparently has a Minotaur erection on film. Time to be thankful it's not going to be in 3-D ;)

Er, I don't THINK it's going to be in 3-D. It does have Natalie Portman in it, and she swims naked in a pond, so 3-D could be beneficial ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stealing Ideas From Bottle Caps

"The oldest living Nantucket resident is given the Boston Post Cane, an award they hold until passing" - Nantucket Nectars Bottle-cap

This sounds pretty cool. A nice little honor to hold while clawing your way through old age. Why leave it as just an honor? Let's convert this to a fantasy setting. and give it a little power. Oh, and a curse. No point to it if there isn't a curse.

The Gnarly Post Cane is given to the oldest living human resident of Village of Gnarly Post. It is believed that the cane ensures bountiful harvests, and it may be truth, as even during the worst years of drought and famine, the crops in Gnarly Post thrive.

The holder of the Gnarley Post Cane can expect to live a productive life well into his or her early 120's or longer, assuming they don't come to an unnatural end.

The Village of Gnarly Post has more then it's share of heart attacks among its middle aged population. Wether that has something to do with the Gnarly Post Cane, coincidence, or some other factor is anyone's guess.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Necromancer Releases PDFs for Swords & Wizardry at OneBookShelf

Necromancer has released a couple of adventures for Swords & Wizardry at OneBookShelf / RPGNow / DriveThruRPG today.  I'll be reviewing them over the next few days, but here's what we have today:

The Jungle Ruins of Madaro-Shanti

Another of the One Night Stand Series, Jungle Ruins of Madaro-Shanti is an adventure for a party of 4-8 characters of fourth through seventh level. A century ago or more, when the town of Cholagadi was just a frontier fort on the coast, Madaro-Shanti was the most powerful city-state in the entire Ambicuaria Jungle.  Its citizens were highly advanced in the arts of magic, and even retained some vestiges of magical quasi-technologies perhaps more ancient than humankind itself.  Their prosperity made for jealous enemies, none more covetous than the powerful and sorcerous Kiengaa Tribe of the deep jungles.  The Kiengaa plotted against Madaro-Shanti, making dark pacts with the monstrous ape-centaurs known as the Borsin, and with the monkey-faced, snake-like monsters known as the Hanu-Naga.  Once this terrible, unnatural army was gathered, the Kiengaa and their allies laid siege to Madaro-Shanti itself.

As the walls of Madaro-Shanti fell, and the invaders swarmed into the city, the high priest of the city closed himself within the royal shrine, praying to all the gods for intervention. Yet none of the gods answered his prayers until the last - and that was Ojala, whom the people of Madaro-Shanti knew as a god of evil and treachery.  A deadly bargain was struck that night, and true to his promise, Ojala caused a horrible wasting disease to strike the besieging army.  But the full extent of the evil god's treachery became clear when the surviving people of Madaro-Shanti themselves began to succumb to the same disease which had slain their enemies.  Within a fortnight, all the people of Madaro-Shanti had either died of the plague or scattered into the depths of the predator-filled jungle.

In only a few years, the city was overgrown by the jungle and fell into ruin, but the magical disease was to have one final consequence. Not only did the contagion affect the Kiengaa and the Madaro-Shanti - it also infected the mind of a powerful nature-spirit that inhabited the surrounding jungles. The nature-spirit Cho-Odaa, driven mad by the disease and hungry for vengeance against all humankind, has discovered the means to exact a terrible reckoning

Splinters of Faith 5: 

Ancient Evil Awakens
In a long-buried tomb, a grave robber restores a death-cult leader to life, and his cloud of evil spreads across the land. Left behind are the broken Scepter of Faiths and a litany of shrines to restore the weapon. But the evil one and his minions wait to destroy any who try...

Temples of faith, bastions of evilSplinters of FaithTM is a collection of 10 adventures for characters of levels 1 to 15 that can be played individually or as part of an epic campaign to restore the Scepter of Faiths. Adventure in 10 fully detailed temples such as the Shield Basilica of Muir or the dwarven city of Anvil Plunge, and conquer the nightmarish Nether Sepulcher to restore the balance of good.
  • Ten complete adventures for low- to high-level characters, usable separately or as a massive linked campaign.
  • Eighteen unique temples (10 fully detailed) ready to drop into any campaign world.
  • New monsters and magic items to discover, and ideas for further adventures
This is the first in a series of 10. Look for others coming soon!
Splinters of Faith 5: Eclipse of the Hearth (Levels 5 through 7)
The pyramid Seraph, once a holy temple, now lies under the sway of darkness. Breaking into the temple is hard enough, but braving the sinister twists awaiting in the dark catacombs will test the strongest PCs.

The Northland Saga Part 1 - Vengeance of the Long Serpent

This series of adventures takes place in the frozen north, where men are men, beer is ale and monsters are, well, scary. Who has not loved the setting of the 13th Warrior or wished to relive the Frost Giant's Daughter by R.E. Howard? Heroes will fight evil in the cold lands, sail the treacherous ice filled seas where sea monsters swallow ships and crews and feast in fire-lit halls with Vikings! Planned as a series of 10 modules, this series will begin in January (appropriately, due to the cold). More information will be added as it becomes available.  Written by Ken Spencer, this series is sure to send shivers up even the bravest adventurer's spine!

Vengeance of the Long Serpent  Pull on your hauberk, ready your shield, and take up your axe, the tide is moving
out and it is time to set sail on a voyage of adventure. In Vengeance of the Long Serpent the heroes sail north into a land of murder, savagery, and madness to face a reawakened dark god and his deadly cult.

Scenario or Setting?

With the exception of Splatbooks, which, thankfully, the OSR is pretty light on, most RPG material beyond the actual core rules of a system fall into two categories: Scenario or Setting.

The differentiation is minor in some cases, and there can be some overlap (especially with the more sandboxie settings) but for the most part, these are the two types of products we buy for our games.

I enjoy settings more myself, even if I'll only use one or two in the long run, as they usually make for a better read, and bits and pieces can always be used elsewhere.

Scenarios are pretty much a one shot deal. You run it and you're done. Most aren't as enjoyable a read (for me) as settings are.

Still, I'm not running anything at the moment. If I was, I'm sure settings would take a backseat to scenarios, as you only need one setting for your campaign once its in motion. I'll need a new scenario every session or two, as I suspect my free time for designing my own will be fairly limited.

It's almost like the question: Paper or Plastic - depends on your current needs.

What are your current needs?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday Nite Netflix at the Tavern - Archer: Season 1, Episode 1

Take 007, make him an uncharming, dishonest, deceitful, womanizing little shit who is also a mamma's boy, and you have Archer.  Holy shit but this is a funny show!

I didn't want to like it.  It's from FX, and that channel is hit or miss, and more miss these days then hit.  Still, I found myself laughing out load, or cringing, way more then I had expected to.

If South Park is your cup of tea, Archer should fit your taste.  Maybe.  It's WAY more offensive then South Park and the characters aren't cute.

I laughed a lot.  Must say something about me.

Caution! Men Working

My son (God bless the lad) took it upon himself to fully open up the archway between the two rooms that will soon be the Master Bedroom.  There is an alternative motive - my current bedroom will soon be his.  All that being said, he did some great work earlier today.  I'm proud of the lad.

I think it's time to put the solo comparison into motion.  I'm feeling the itch to run a game of Bean! I'll probably run it later today or tomorrow.  Probably tomorrow.  I still need to clean up the Kid's renovations ;)
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