Saturday, October 22, 2011

Greg is Now a Chubby

Heh!  Well, more accurately, Greg Christopher and the Errant RPG blog are now a Chubby Funster.  No, I'm not quite sure what it all means, but the new webpage he has to showcase his free games looks pretty neato.

I just hope he keeps the new site updates more then the old blog.  Google+ is fine and dandy, but if you miss a day it is certainly hard to catch up ;)

Listening to the Music - As I Shoot Stuff - In Fallout: New Vegas

I don't post much about computer games, even the RPG ones.  Very few can come close to reproducing an immersive environment that table-top roleplaying does.  For what it's worth, I think the Fallout series does a pretty good job at it.

New Vegas allows you to have radio stations playing in the background which adds some amazing depth to the game play (and even has my fiancee singing along at points).  Not bad at all.

I do wish more games would be like the Neverwinter series, allowing for a party to run through the quests and story line without all of the MMORPG crap (I enjoy MMORPGs a lot, but they aren't role playing experiences, they are level grinders).  New Vegas would rock with a 4 person party!

Ah well, time for me to kill some shite near New Vegas.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Feltothraxis Has a Cold :(

Or rather, the voice of Feltothraxis has a cold.  It started as seasonal allergies and has progressed into a mildly nasty cold.  I don't think I can pull off a Felty video until this passes, at least a bit.  That, or I need a better decongestant.

The good news is the future Mrs. Tenkar is no longer in a bootie and crutches due to a broken foot.  Nope, she's mobile again.  Great news for her and even better news for me... taking her too and from work on my way too and from work had more then doubled my commute.  Not to mention the $13 in bridge tolls I had to pay that I normally don't.  So, big win all around I'd have to say ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Taking a Peek at Realm Works (Campaign Organizer)

As I was flipping thru my virtual issue of Kobold #19 (more on that later) I came across an ad for Realm Works from Lone Wolf Development.  These are the folks who do Hero Lab, which is a character manager program for 3.5 / Pathfinder, which has impressed me with what I've seen of it.

From the screen shots, Realm Works look a lot like NBOS' The Keep software but upgraded four years later.  In other words, it looks like it might actually help run your campaign,

It is genre and play style neutral, so I'm assuming (hoping) that is is also system neutral.

It looks to me that this is something that could also be used to supplement a Virtual Table Top campaign (VTT), as there is mention of "ndependent player viewing and comments via the cloud"

Actually, there seems to be a decent amount of integration with online resources, as there is a private forum with full linking of game content.  I really need to look into this.  Looks to release in 2012.

Random Fall Thoughts

I've made it to October 20th with short sleeves and no jacket, but I think I'll have to dig into the closet shortly. While it would be fun to say I made it to November 1st without putting a jacket on, I don't think it is feasible ;)

There is a difference between taking pieces of another's work, adding your own name to it and claiming ownership and making a copy of a PDF or a music track for a friend. The first one, you are actually taking claim to another's creativity - in the second case, while you may be causing a publisher a loss of potential income, in many cases, the friend would never have made the purchase anyway. Torrenting and such is a whole other level - that is organized distribution of works one does not have the right to distribute.

Yes, it's all shades of grey. I think the responsibility of a writer / publisher to produce works that don't infringe on the rights of other writers / producers is huge. Not just from a legal standard, but a moral standard too.

So, if I were asked, I'd have to say a writer / publisher that improperly uses the work of others is more offensive to me then someone who torrents the works of others. Someone that copies a PDF for a friend to peruse? On the same level as the photocopied copy of Deity & Demigods I have with Elric and the Mythos stuff that was later removed

As for using somebody else's copyrighted work in a houserules project that is staying within your group? Have at it. That's what gaming is all about.

Delving Into the Kindreds in Tunnels & Trolls: Skeletons

Thanks to Captain Oblivious for pointing out that the invisible flesh skeletons were seen in the Lieber's Lankmar. It's been ages since I've read the books, but that is where the itch in the back of my noggin musta come from - familiar yet not.

I believe Mongoose has a Lankmar book out for use with it's Runequest rules - I could probably crib some info from there if I had the book, but I don't, so I'm just going to wing it.

"Skeletons" as a race (not the walking undead) are very similar to humans, both in appearance (well, except for the translucent / invisible flesh). Attribute wise, the only attribute with a modifier is Charisma, which gets .25 added to it. Not a huge modifier by far, and certainly not to an attribute that comes into play often.

In many ways, they are like normal humans, except that their flesh and skin are nearly invisible. When looking thru a Skeleton, one sees the bones and a slightly distorted view of what is behind them (think of looking thru a curved fish tank full of water). Because of this, when unclothed and unarmored, Skeletons can decrease the saving throw they need to successfully hide by one SR level, or increase the SR level by one of those looking to find the hidden skeleton.

Skeletons are not immune to the effects of temperature or weather, and generally wear clothes and armor like normal humans. As such, a clothed, gloves and deeply hooded skeleton can often pass as a human at a quick glance.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Defining the Kindreds in Tunnels & Trolls: Picking Over the Rare Pieces

There are (if I counted correctly) 32 "rare" kindreds in Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e. This includes the various varieties of trolls and such.

Some of the kindreds kinda stick out when I look at the list:

Merperson - safe to assume they can breath water, but can they survive on land?

Skeleton - I seem to recall from somewhere that these are humans with transparent flesh and organs. Could be interesting.

Urook - orcs?

Ghoul - although Vampires are also on the list, I don't think these are meant to be undead. Eaters of human flesh perhaps, but not undead.

Balrukh - dying to figure out what the heck these guys are.

So, when I start defining the kindreds, I'll pick and choose my way thru the list, depending on what strikes my fancy at the moment.

I hoping it's a fun trip for all ;)

I've Got Some Google Music Beta Invites to Give Out!

I just got invited to the Google Music Beta last nite by a friend, and lo and behold, I have four invites left to give out myself (had 8, but 4 are spoken for).

Google Music is cloud storage and access for your music. It can hold 20,000 songs if I remember right. Highly integrated with google android (i'm an iphone / ipad user myself) it still seems pretty good in linking my music between my computers.

First four to ask for it in the comments to this post should get their invites sometime tonight (I'm at work on my ipad, so you'll have to wait until I get home).

Obscure your email address in the usual ways ;)

More then four can ask, and if I get access to other invites, they'll be the next to get.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Iron Chef Adventure Challenge: The Unwrapping

Mike Monaco over at the Swords & Dorkery Blog is running an Iron Chef Adventure Challenge using unopened decks of the 1992 AD&D 2e Collector's Cards (say that 5 times fast).  My deck arrived today.  Saweet!

16 cards.  Need to use at least 8. Shouldn't be too hard.

Ack!  3 checklists.  Effectively down to 13 cards before I even start.

6 Al-Qadim cards - 5 monsters and 1 character.  Half my effective deck.  I see a theme here ;)

2 Ravenloft - 1 monster, 1 character

2 Forgotten Realms - both characters

1 Spelljammer and 1 Dragonlance - both characters.

1 AD&D 2e character - which is really Oriental Adventures in this case.

Interesting challenge I've drawn.  Shame I never owned Al-Qadim :(

Washing Away the Piss n' Vinegar

I'm okay now. My piss and vinegar is gone. Time to breath deep of the beauty that is the hobby we call role-playing.

Which is good. I was close to doing a Feltothraxis video that, although it probably would have been funny as hell, would have channeled way too much of the piss and vinegar I was carrying over the weekend. Felty doesn't need that burden attached to him.

How did I let it go? Some G+ posts and comments about Occupy Wall Street. Cause the small pile of poo caused by someone that doesn't understand copyrights or the OGL doesn't compare to the powder kegs that are waiting for a match to go boom.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Defining the Kindreds in Tunnels & Trolls - The Basics - Leprechauns

What exactly is a Leprechaun in Tunnels & Trolls?  Is it the "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow" little man in a green suit and a funny hat that talks with a brogue?  Not according to the artwork on page 25 of of the T&T 7.5e rulebook.  He stands about as high as a Hobb's shoulders, with a short beard and elvish ears.  So, to me this makes him closer to a gnome in appearance then a classic leprechaun of modern lore.

Leprechauns are one of the few races with a footnote (and the only one of the common kindreds to have such).  We are told that all leprechauns are wizards.  We are also told they have a natural Wink-Wing spell that they can do without any magical training... but as they are all wizards, aren't they all magically trained?  Oh, and the spell was moved from the core book to theCodex Incantatem - no idea why.  It is 4th level, so I guess the Leprechauns get to learn it early and for free.  It even costs them no WIZ points to cast it - it's totally free, but you won't know that until you read the spell description.

Stat-wise they take 1/2 hit to STR and and extra 50% to DEX, INT and LK.  Even with their hit to STR, they should still be able to tweak out decent combat adds if they want to.

Not sure how to tweak them.  Truth, I don't think they need any.  The free Wink-Wing spell is a great "get out of melee range free" card to play.  They make great scouts with it's use and should rarely find themselves cornered.  I think I've overlooked their sue in the past.  I need to make up for that.

"It's Free" Does Not Mean "Free for all!"

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but this crap really annoys me. Probably even more so, as I get alerts from OBS for most of the OSR releases. I like to pass that info on to my readers as soon as I can, and in doing so I got burned by the same person twice.

Just because you are releasing your latest set of houserules for free it doesn't mean you don't have to follow the law.

Let me put it another way. John gives Mike a free joint. Free as in "Yo man! Just take it. I made it special. It's free!" Guess what, in the eyes of the law (at least under the NYS Penal Law)
John just "sold" Mike marijuana. Criminal Sale of Marijuana. No money needs to exchange hands.

Releasing your latest and greatest plagiarized piece of work for free is no different than asking cash for it. Hell, you might as well ask cash for it - it's product lifetime is gonna be short either way, you may as well make a few bucks off of it.

I'm wondering what his third release will be. You know he has something waiting in the wings.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Two For Two - Or is it "Oh!" For Two?

The author of the OSRIC Players Reference (NOT to be confused with the OSRIC Player's Guide) and The Mazes & Perils OSR clone / rip / pilfered from the bones of the Original D&D Boxed set and Holmes Basic, has managed to have both of his projects pulled from OneBookShelf / RPGNow.

Or maybe he had them both pulled on his own.  Somehow I doubt that.  Because if that was the case, he never would have put his second project up on OBS - he would have learned his lesson with his first f' up.

If you want to do a bunch of house rules using copyrighted material, ignoring the OGL, go at it.  DON'T try to distribute it into the RPG wilds, even for free, especially not via a company like OBS and it's like.  Why put a company like OBS in the possible sights of WotC / Hasbro because your ego prevents you from following the rules (OGL / copyright law).  It has to be ego.  Even stupidity has a failsafe mechanism.  Besides, stupid wouldn't have been able to put together the packages he did, which, although far from perfect, were certainly serviceable.

Next time your ego demands that you ignore the law (and the polite niceties of the OSR in general), host it yourself.  That way your ego can get stroked and the lawyers can cut out the middle man when the cease and desist comes your way.

Busy Weekend Here at the Tavern

Yesterday wasn't just who's the latest ass in the OSR.  It was also getting 3 piece suits for my son and I (he's also the best man for the upcoming nuptials).  It was also family coming down from Canada to visit for a few days.

Today was paying off the florist, a meet and great with the organist and getting some face time (and giving a deposit to) the photographer.  He seems to be down to earth with a relaxed personality.  I think it will all fall into place like a well oiled machine.

So, obviously no Feltothraxis video was done over the weekend.  Hopefully tomorrow.  I suspect he'll have a lot to say ;)
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