Saturday, June 23, 2012

More Prizes for the DCC RPG Contest! Perils of the Sunken City & Attack of the Frawgs!

There are some very generous 3rd Party publishers for the DCC RPG :)

Purple Sorcerer Games has been kind enough to add a PDF copy of Perils of the Sunken City to the current DCC contest.  Purple Sorcerer are also the folks that are doing the DCC Crawler's Companion Kickstarter to make an Android and a iOS app for tablets.  I'm a supporter of the Kickstarter and the app is nearly a must have for the DCC RPG.  I play with it every night just to see the random table results ;)

Heres the quick blurb on Perils of the Sunken City:

Attack of the Frawgs is by Thick Skull Adventures.  It quite literally released today. I don't even have a copy myself yet, but we're giving one away.

Most find death in the crumbling ruins that stretch beyond sight into the mists south of the Great City; once rich districts now claimed by swamp and dark denizens. But for the desperate folk of the city, the ruins offer treasures the Great City denies them: fortune, glory, and a fighting chance! 
The massive crumbling ruins of the swamp-ravaged Sunken City await! The way is filled with peril, but those who survive will be ready to face even more dangerous fare!

Heres the quick blurb on Attack of the Frawgs! (I'll review this in the next day or two)

When creatures prey on the innocent, the meek must become the hunters!

Panic is mounting in the isolated settlement of Sagewood! Frightened villagers speak in hushed tones of “walking frogs the size of men” peering at them from within the woods. And now, a severely wounded local trapper has barely managed to return from Dead Goblin Lake; the fate of his partner known only to the foul creatures that so savagely attacked them.

In a small village without heroes, the townsfolk look desperately towards each other for salvation from this terror. Those who face the creatures will almost certainly pay with their lives...

Are you brave enough to risk it all?

Attack of the Frawgs is a Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game adventure designed for 8-14 0-level characters or can be easily adapted for use with 1st-level characters.

The Importance of Definitions

I was struck last night by something one of my friends said when we were hanging out last night.

"You know, it wasn't until recently that I figured out what OSR meant, and I've been reading your blog for nearly 3 years. Now that I know what it means, I realize it defines the type of gamer i am."

Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees , or visa-versa.

OSR - Old School Renaissance, Old School Revival, Oh Shit! Run! - it referes to Old School Gaming. I post about it constantly, but I fear there are times we assume knowledge that isn't necessarily there for all of our readers.

As I say in the training classes I give at work - if you have a question, ask! I don't bite.  Most of my fellow bloggers don't bite. So ask.

And if someone asks you a legitimate question, don't respond with "I'm not your fucking research assistant!  Look it up yourself!" You're not helping. Your just an asshole. The world has enough assholes already.  BTW, the only Gaslight I know of is in Call of Chtuhlu and in my house (it was built in 105 and the old cas light fixtures are still in place in many rooms i disconnected from the gas line just so you know)

Sorry, got sidetracked there by the remains of a G+ conversation from earlier today.

Anyhow, just like an RPG usually has a glossary of useful definitions, so should our RPG hobby.

Heck, it might already be out there, but if it is, we need to make sure we point people to it.  If it isn't, we owe it to ourselves to make sure there is a readily accessible one. Constantly changing, constantly being updated, constantly helping those who might otherwise be afraid to ask.

Besides, it may just help the new 5e players that are coming back to gaming from any prior edition.  That whole Hit Die definition reworks is going to be one confusing smack down ;)

Win a Free PDF Copy of One of Three Different DCC RPG Adventures

Yep, I'm giving away a free copy of DCC #67 - Sailors on the Starless Sea.  (edit - due to the generosity of certain 3rd party DCC RPG Publishers, we are adding Perils of the Sunken City AND Attack of the Frawgs! to the prize pool! - read more about these excellent prizes here)

Joe Goodman was generous enough to send me a coupon for DCC #67 at RPGNow, but I had already purchased a PDF copy from there.  I asked if I could forward the copy on to one of my blog readers, and he said yes. (in the off chance that the code is linked to my account specifically, I'll purchase it as a gift for your account using the code at my account - should work the same in the end).

What do you need to do to win such wondrous prizes?

It's fairly simple.

Generate a Zero Level character for the DCC RPG.  What, you don't have a copy of the rules?  No problem at all.  Just got to the Purple Sorcerer's website and they'll generate 4 characters for you!  How easy is that? (remember, you just need 1, so pick the one you like the most and run with it)

Now all you need to do is name your character, post the stats, occupation, starting equipment and "lucky roll" - and 2 to 3 sentences of background, motivation, random info - whatever you want to post about your Zero level "noob" as a comment to this post.

Tuesday, June 26th at around 6 pm eastern time I'll close the door on entries and randomly pick 3 winners later on that night (why tuesday?  because I may be running it monday night for my players that signed up via the UA-LC).  Three main prizes - Three main winners. I will add two bundles from the Toys For the Sandbox series of releases.  These two winners will be by my choice, not random.  So, make me laugh, make an amazing write up, make poor stats into something memorable - whatever.
The bundles choices will be from the first three, so 1-5, 6-10 or 11-15.

You may enter as many times as you may like, but only one entry will count towards winning one of the three main adventures = Sailors on the Starless Sea, Perils of the Sunken City and Attack of the Frawg.

Good luck to all :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Got Some Game Time in With My Old Gaming Group Tonight

Yep, after dinner and beers and such we go in about 2 hrs of play - playing pool that is ;)

We try to get together multiple times a year, but a "Gathering of Fools" HAS to happen in June. Our friend Paul, who we lost on 9-11 when the Towers fell, had his birthday in June.  We gather in his memory.  Usually, we do it on a weekend, but most of us being 40ish and married with kids doesn't lend itself to easy scheduling.

Still, tonight was an excellent time.  Lots of catching up, joking around, heck - even got my last wedding present (thanks Dave ;)

It's nice to know that even if we don't get the chance to game (although that may be changing with G+ Hangouts - logistics of scheduling is the issue as always) this little blog helps keep them connected to the gaming world. Makes me feel or warm inside - or that may be the booze from earlier ;)

Oh, BTW, keep an eye out tomorrow for a contest post. It should be fun (and rewarding to whoever wins of course ;)

Weather as Campaign Dressing

Lower Manhattan just had one hell of a thunderstorm cell roll through as I was getting my overpriced lunch, and the thought came to me - I pretty much leave weather out of my campaigns unless it's part of the plot or theme. I don't really put rain / snow / wind / heat waves and the like into the game as window / campaign dressing.

That might be a failure on my point, but I suspect if I added it now, the players would suspect the weather to be a plot device that it isn't. Actually, maybe that would be fun anyway, as some of them see plots devices in the dark that I never planted in the first place.

What about you?

Do you use weather in your campaigns as part of the back drop, as a plot device, or not at all?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

DCC Free RPG Day 2012 Adventure(s) - First Impressions and Other Thoughts

I've been flipping through the Free RPG Day 2012 Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Free Adventures tonight, and I find myself wantig to make a few observations.

First, presentation as always is awesome.  The art just works.  I constantly find myself thinking of WFRP 1e when I look at the art in the various DCC products because they seem to share the same "feel".  Trust me, its a very good thing, at least in my eyes.

Michael Curtis' adventure - The Undulating Corruption is a 5th level outdoor, or wilderness adventure. For some reason I hadn't thought of using wilderness adventures with the DCC ruleset, probably because the adventures I've read so far basically plop you at the beginning of a dungeon.  This one is a nice change.  It requires the hook of a party wizard suffering from corruption, but if  you have a 5th level wizard in DCC that isn't suffering from corruption, something is definitely wrong.

The second adventure is from the tireless Harley Stroh - The Jeweler That Dealt in Stardust.  Guess what?  This adventure is a city adventure.  Now, it also has basement, so technically you could say it's also a dungeon adventure, but that might be stretching things just a tad ;)  BTW, the map for this adventure is yet another one I'd like to get a print of.  Why do I feel that Joseph isn't hearing my pleas?  I might have to start posting on the DCC forum to make sure I'm heard :)

Talking about maps, there is a partially started map in the center of the booklet that is part of the Adventure Design contest.  Just over 4 months to submit entries (10/31/12) I might actually take a stab at this.  After I make about a dozen copies of the map and see how many variations of it I can crank out - and then work from the one I like the best.

Free Swords & Wizardry Variant - Renegade

Let me say this straight out - I doubt I'd run Renegade (which is the free, stripped down version of Corruption), but my God, this is full of nuggets to borrow and steal from.

It's not fancy - single column text.  The amazing thing is this PDF is bookmarked and hyperlinked in part. There are RPG products out there that scream to have their PDFs bookmarked, and here we have a free PDF that went that extra step.  Kudos.

What is worth stealing?

The Animal Companions section - but I'll be stealing from this to help flesh out my NPCs in my ACKS campaign - don't tell my players ;)

The adventure creation section starts out merely okay, but then hits full throttle with the Rooms, Caverns, Furnishings and Accessories table - people pay for random tables like the ones included to help them flesh out dungeons, so if you needs some table look no further.  Remember, the price is right.

Tricks & Traps, Wilderness Encounters (using 3d12!), Climate & Terrain, Government Types - the list of tables and lists goes on and on.  Why bother rolling?  Just us it for inspiration.

Decent monster and magic sections are also included.

Really, raid Renegade for what you need in the OSR game you are currently playing.  Even the classes have interesting tweaks (not that I'd run them as is, and if I wasn't going to run them as is, I'll keep the classes I have ;) that you may want to borrow pieces of.

Definitely worth a (free) look ;)

My Free RPG Day Loot

I did my Free RPG Game shopping the same way as I did last year - shopping online at Noble Knight Games.

The Dungeon Crawl Classics Free RPG Day release has a level 3 and a level 5 adventure.  If I keep running DCC RPG as a flexible campaign for 2 to 3 sessions a month via the UA-LC, I'll have a nice collection of adventures to fall back upon.

Only War is part of the Warhammer 40k Roleplay series of games. I played Dark Heresy a few years ago and really enjoyed it, and I've picked up the other games in the series and they all ready pretty well.  Production qualities lok top notch.

Cosmic Patrol is a game I own in PDF, and i like the concept but had trouble groking it - maybe I'll run the quick start at some point.

The dice tower is pretty cool.  It's great for the secret DM die rolls when I'm at my desk running a game via G+ Hangout, as it needs very little space.  Very glad I grabbed this.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Grumpy Dwarf Chops Away at Mike Mearls Q&A on Reddit (Part 2)

Yep, The Grumpy Dwarf here, back with part 2 of Mike Mearls' endless Reddit Q&A.  There's more after this post, as a Dwarf can only do so much in one (or it it two now?) sittings ;)

Answer 5 (of the answers I'm picking - skipping a few)

We're looking at a set of maneuvers that characters can dip into to gain more concrete options in fights, along with options that you can use to push yourself beyond your limits for an action or two per encounter (encounter powers make their return - 4e players, this is for you - enjoying the crumbs?).

We're strongly considering adding a free attack if someone breaks away from a melee (isn't this an "Attack of Opportunity?  I never even realized they removed it). The playtest feedback has been a little soured on letting people move around without consequence. (ya think?) However, the rule would be much simpler than attacks of opportunity - likely it'll be that if you start your turn in someone's reach, they get an attack on you if you try to leave their reach using an action to withdraw. (so you can run by or run through them without consequence?  i so much prefer Theatre of the Mind)

Answer 6

I think that as the game takes shape, the breadth of mechanical options for DMs will make this game stand out as the next step in D&D's progression (time will tell).

This is the first time that we're building D&D from the bottom up to account for house rules and expansion. The simple rules we've shown off so far are about as complex as we want the core (so this is the OSR or 0e game they are trying to emulate? because if it is, they got it wrong). I want the game to be easy to understand not just from the POV of learning how to play, but also in terms of understanding how all the parts work together.

Once you understand that, you can much more easily house rule, add rules modules, tinker with things, and otherwise make the game yours. Really, our goal isn't to make everyone happy by making a game (now there's a surprise). It's to make a range of options that any individual DM can modify and reconfigure to make the specific type of D&D they always wanted and that no other edition was able to exactly deliver. (but i get to do that with a handful of house rules to ACKS - they are going to do an OSR style game better with the current base rule set?)

Of course, some people will be perfectly happy with an older edition. (yep) If that game is perfect for them, I'm not going to try to force them to buy into Next or leave the game they love. (but we'd love for you to check it out and buy a copy - just in case ;)

In some ways, this is a shift back to independence, back to the 0e feel, but with a really welcoming starting point for people who have never played D&D before. (0e "rewritten", such as S&W White Box is pretty simple to understand and is fairly welcoming)

Answer 7 (re: 4e)

As I mentioned above, we're working right now on a maneuver system for fighters and other characters (is this a feats deal?). In addition, we're looking at alternate magic systems for casters other than the wizard and cleric.

Also, we're 100% committed to taking the same approach to balancing the math behind the game (do we really need the game to be so closely balanced?  doesn't that take some of the soul from the game?) and improving upon the 4e tools for encounter, NPC/monster, and adventure design (sweet!  recipes for perfectly balanced encounters! sigh).

 Answer 8

For caster supremacy, the key lies in attacking it from both ends. We can do a lot by reining in the most abusive spells and making it harder for casters to chain things together in abusive combos (if this is anything like the combo that mike talked about it one of his posts, i saw nothing wrong with the combo - it was smart play - and the saves required should have made it a rarely successful occurrence). The other end is making sure that we make an honest comparison of the casters to the non-casters.

For instance, if a wizard can turn invisible we have to be cool with rogues having an almost entirely assured chance of success to hide or sneak up on people (how is this unbalanced?  the game was like this up to at least 3.5e, and it played fine). It's unbalanced if the guy who is supposed to be stealthy has a real chance of failure, while the wizard's magic has 100% chance of success of turning someone invisible (skills have no limit to use - spells have a limited number of castings - therein lies the balance) .

For skills, we definitely will have them in some form to give people pointers to the non-combat stuff they are good at. Right now, classes give skills as appropriate but most of your skills come form your background. Backgrounds are not linked to class, so a fighter can choose the criminal background to become stealthy or good at picking locks (so what is a thief / rogue good at anyway?  or are we going to give spells to all the classes to?).

The key discussion we're having right now with skills boils down to this - does a skill make you better than you otherwise would be at something, or does it make you strictly good at it?

Making you better would be a +3 bonus, which is then stacked on top of an ability modifier. So, a Wis 9 rogue (ahem) would be better at finding traps, but still only at +2 (wouldn't INT be just as useful for finding taps if not more so?).

The second path removes abilities from the equation. The rogue would just have +5 to find traps. You'd use either an ability mod or your skill, rather than stacking them. (which makes ability mods relatively useless outside of combat)

We've been arguing back and forth on which path works better. Neither has emerged as a clear front runner.

Thats the end of Part 2 - more tomorrow night

Oubliette #8 - Free For a Limted Time (OSR Magazine)

Gold Piece Publications has been releasing the current issues of Oubliette for free for a limited period of time.  Issue #8 was just released and is available for free.

I find Oubliette to be a great resource for sandbox styled campaigns, as much of what is included is plop-and-drop in nature.  Heck, this issue even includes a small sandbox setting and encounters and locations for it.  I'll be using the encounters and locations in my own sandbox - they should transfer over with little if any issues.

Here's the content of the latest issue:
  • Tales from Hell Cartoon
  • Editorial
  • The Maslow Dungeon
  • Monster Club #14: The Death Gate
  • The Lands of Ara - Special Feature
  • Newland Campaign Setting Part III: Factions in the Forest
  • Monster Club #15: Newland Bestiary Part II
  • Forest Mini-Adventure: The Kobold & Goblin Resistance
  • Forest Location: Moot Point
  • Forest Mini-adventure: The Bloodbeard Bugbears
  • Forest Mini-adventure: The Burnt Tree Clan
  • Monster Club #16: Dungeon Random Encounter Tables: Levels 7-8 
  • Goblin Quest Cartoon
  • Fanzine Frenzy
  • Found Familiar: The Cat 
  • What's in the Oubliette? Reviews
  • Mouse Watch Cartoon
  • The Song of Sithakk Part 8
Warning! Oubliette may contain content that is suitable for adult audiences only. Persons 18+ only.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Grumpy Dwarf Chops Away at Mike Mearls Q&A on Reddit (Part 1)

Food For Dwarven Thought ;)
My God but Mike had a shitload to say at Reddit!  I'm going to go through this in pieces, because a dwarf needs to make sure he doesn't get buried in a pile of dung - it's the whole height issue if you must know.

Now, lets hear Mike's Words of Wizzdom

Answer One (because the questions are just too fucking long and rambling)

First, I think it's important that we learn from the past and guard against those mistakes. So, we've seen the sort of mechanics that cause issues in 3e and 4e. (I've seen some of those mistakes crop up in 5e.  Wait - those are features now, my bad!)

Second, we've made a big effort this time to define what exists within each piece of a character - race, class, feat, spell, magic item, and so on. Before, there were a lot of grey areas. For instance, in 4e powers were fairly well defined, but feats were all over the place. (but this means that 4e was defective.  oh, i get it.  every edition prior to what ever edition that is being worked on now id defective)

So, the key lies in establishing the limits in each area and then, most importantly, throttling way back on the flood of mechanics (whoa!  i thought the whole mechanics BS was the bread and butter of the design team). We have to consider each spell, theme, or whatever with the same attention that the Magic team regards a new card (comparing D&D to MtG is not a good sign in my book).

By keeping the core options under control and expanding slowly, we can keep a handle on the worst excesses.

This ties back into class support, where we want to release overall less stuff (dumb question - where is the money in a New Edition if you don't release the usual pile of useless shit to go with it?  isn't that where the bottom line is made?), and the stuff we do release make as usable across classes as possible. So, we're more likely to introduce new themes that any class can take rather than spells for one specific class.

The math will be baked into the class and race. Since those are the only things that are 100% required for the game, between the two of them they contain all the math that we assume.

We 100% will support sliding complexity within classes, though with some limits (wizards and clerics are inherently a little more complex than non-casters). (i will believe this when i see it - sliding complexity with parity among the complexities)

Balancing the simple vs. the complex is tricky. The important thing is to keep the math level and make the simple character feel effective, even if the experienced played who takes a few maneuvers and applies them intelligently comes out ahead. We have to allow for skill and experience -otherwise the game gets stale - but I think we can mitigate that if the beginner feels like he has an effective characters and has some obvious, clearly useful things he can do.

For instance - the pregen fighter's damage on a miss. A beginner player always feels like he or she is contributing in a fight. (that is the reason?  are we moving our RPGs to the type of Little League where everyone gets a trophy?  why not just make every roll auto-hit?  hell, lets just make every monster a one hit and it's dead wonder. Mike, if there is no chance to fail, there is not true chance to succeed)

Answer Two

I can't say any specific about digital tools, but we're 100% committed to making them happen. I think the easiest way to make D&D fade would be to mistake the core thing about D&D with the way it's delivered. (but don't expect anything in PDF ever again - because PDFs are tools of the Devil!  They make people steal!  It has nothing to do with fairly pricing our products in PDF format.)

D&D has survived and thrived over the years because it engages the imagination and brings people together in a really unique way. It would be foolish to lose that by equating those things with physical books. (But WotC has a history of foolishness in such matters)

Of course, people do like physical products and there's no reason to stop those, but the reverse is also true - we aren't making book lovers happy by pissing off people who want the game delivered digitally, with a robust set of tools. (Mike, we trust WotC to piss off a large bunch of people before they figure out what to do digitally.  Just accept it, you'll feel better)

(Hey Mike, how's that Virtual Table Top thing going for ya?)

Answer Three

Ah yes, the rats. Sometimes, playtests reveal subtle issues. Other times, they hit you over the head.
This is a pretty big issue, because the monster design is aiming to keep hordes of orcs/goblins/etc a viable threat at high levels. So, at level 1 it might be 18 rats, but at level 10 it might be 18 orcs. (wait, keeping orcs viable at higher level is to turn them into "swarms"?)

I'd like to incorporate a core "swarm" rule into the game, an easy way for DMs to group up monsters into single attacks. For instance, something that lets you combine X attacks into one die roll, with some small amount of damage even on a miss to make that an appealing option. (again with this fucking success on a failure shit, but now on the DM's side of things)

Hopefully, that solves the rat issue and also the humanoid horde issue at higher levels. (personally, I suggest going back to the drawing board on this one)

Answer Four

Probably the most surprising thing has been the positive reaction to having fairly slimmed down rules. I was expecting a lot of people to feel that the game was incomplete - and obviously it's just a first draft - but I think a lot of people are pretty happy with a simple, fast game. That's been cool to see.

The feedback on long rests has primarily been that they are far too forgiving. (you think!?!  you didn't find this out in the earlier playtests?) It feels lame that the party can be on the edge of death, sleep for eight hours, and bounce back up to full strength.

The thing I loved and had to see go away - there's been a few. I wanted to go back to the name magic-user because it is so uniquely D&D, but cooler heads prevailed (magic-user is cooler than wizard in some ways, but whatever). Some for thief, though thief is an option under rogue. (rogue is so - bleh!)

I really liked one of the drafts of the auto success system we had early on, but it was hard for DMs to grok it. An auto success mechanic is something I still want to see in the game, but making it work without making it too good is a tricky thing to balance. (auto success can be extremely unbalancing, especially if the extremes are Auto and Miracle Time)

Alright, that's all The Grumpy Dwarf has time for today.  More tomorrow ;)

Free RPG Day Quick Start Freebies in PDF!

Free RPG Day was this past Saturday, and the freebies are now starting to make their roll-out in PDF form.

Lets see what Quick Starts we have so far (I'll post up adventures tomorrow):

Cosmic Patrol: The Kahn Protcols - Blast off into the dangerous cosmos with The Kahn Protocols, Cosmic Patrol's addition to Free RPG Day 2012. This rules-light system will have you fighting lizardmen and saving the universe in no time at all! Are you ready for the challenge?

 BattleTech: A Time of War: Quick Start Rules - These A Time of War Quick-Start Rules will have you and your friends adventuring in the BattleTech universe in no time! A part of Free RPG Day 2012, these rule are the perfect way to get starting roleplaying BattleTech.

Shadowrun: Quick Start Rules -  Want to relive the adventure from Free RPG Day 2012? Or did you miss it and want to see what all the fuss was about? These Free RPG Day Shadowrun Quick-Start Rules are the perfect way to jump into the action of the Sixth World! (Note - there's already a review stating great production values but pretty much unusable as a quick start - I might have to get Grumpy to take a peek later on this week - damn shame as i would have liked to see how the new Shadowrun rules play out).

Conspiracy X 2.0: Introductory Game Kit -

There is a war being waged behind the scenes.

A war between secret government agencies and alien invaders.

It is one of your first missions working for the secret conspiracy Aegis. Dedicated to protecting humanity from alien threat, they come under constant attack from the government conspiracy known as the National Defense Directorate, a group of alien collaborators working with at least two of the known alien races that could bring about our own race's extinction.

A crashed alien craft has been recovered by an Aegis Cell, but at terrible cost. Most are dead, only their tech support survive and it is up to you and your newly formed Cell to take this alien technology to Aegis. The NDD are aware of the craft, the know where it is, they know where you'll be taking it, and danger awaits at every turn and intersection. You cannot let this technology fall into enemy hands, but who can help you when you can trust no one?

Welcome to the Conspiracy X 2.0 Introductory Game Kit.

Inside you will find:

• Complete streamlined rules for playing the Conspiracy X roleplaying game.

• Six complete and ready to play Aegis agents.

• The complete Convoy adventure which can be played in one or two sessions, and can launch the characters' new careers working for Aegis leading to months of play.

Some Thoughts on Last Night's DCC Session - Short Funnel of Death

This is not a recap of the game session. Instead, its some observations I'd like to make about last nights game.

The Funnel - I didn't think I'd like the funnel but it seemed to work fine in actual play. We went initially with 4 characters each for each of five players. So, 20 peasants in the mix, which dropped to 16 when one player lost internet connectivity. Oh, and a cow. Can't forget the cow. Actually, by my reckoning, the cow saved 1 or possibly 2 peasant lives, as it took 2 of the limited stock of Flaming Finger of Death shots to kill the cow. That could have been 2 more peasants dead.

PC Death - quick and painless. Alright, relatively painless. I hadn't killed a PC in over 15 years, and I think I killed 8 last night (and a cow). I need to put some notches on my D20 I guess.

Adventure Length - shorter than I expected, but that was fine. It felt like a full adventure and the pace of the adventure was pretty quick for the most part. I specifically chose the Zero-Level adventure in the rulebook, as we just had a 3 hr window to work with, and I wasn't sure how quick the system will run. I'm going to assume things will slow down when we hit first level and start accessing the different tables.

The Set Up - I am, apparently, a sandbox style DM by nature. Not that I would have called myself that years ago, but it's obvious to me now. Starting fresh PCs at the front door of the dungeon and basically saying: "Seek Adventure!" as you shove the PC hoard through the entrance wasn't something I was all that comfortable doing. I adjusted fine as the adventure got moving, but there is a lot of flavor text, at least in this module. Which is fine if you like to hear your DM reading flavor text. Sure, I could rewrite it in my own words, but it will still wind up being "hear your DM reading flavor text".

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dungeon Crawl Classics in a Hour...

Guess I need to put on some pants and a clean shirt for the occasion ;)

Wish me luck - new system, new players (not new to RPGs, but to me as a GM), new PC deaths I am sure...

Crap, I still need to eat some dinner.

Where is The Grumpy Dwarf at Yo!

Mike Mearls' posting on monster design last week made sense for the most part. Heck, the man was using AD&D 2e as source material. Kinda hard to find fault in someone that does that.

The Grumpy Dwarf doesn't tear apart 5e posts for the sake of tearing apart 5e posts (although some may feel otherwise), he does so because something(s) in the post piss him off. Nothing last week really pissed him off, and the Rule of Three was boring as hell - so no Grumpy.

This week's Mike Mearls' Monster Mucking might get Grumpy to write something - we'll have to take a closer look at it. It won't be happening tonight, as I'll be running a DCC game and Grumpy Won't have access to to the computer ;)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Changing My View on Mortality for Tomorrow Night's Dungeon Crawl Classics Session

Not too much actual prep needed at this point except to reread the adventure.  I've never run a "funnel type" adventure, and my instincts are to not indiscriminately kill PCs by the bucketful.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for "let the dice fall where they may" type of play, and if a PC dies, have a drink in their memory and move on.

I'm not a Killer DM, I'm a Let Them Be Killed if the Fates Will It DM.  I've never felt joy when a PC died, and TPKs grate on my Gamer's Soul.

Tomorrow night I need to change my view on PC mortality for a bit.  Not only is PC death acceptable, it is to be expected.  There is a reason why folks start out with 4 PCs in DCC, as the usual death toll for the zero level peasant swarm is usually somewhere over 50% from the postings I've read. So yeah, I need to be okay with PCs dropping like flies to an electric fly swatter (damn but i love mine!  ZAP! and the occasional smell of burnt fly).

I currently have 3 of the 5 PC sheets I'm expecting.  Hopefully I get the last 2 before the game.

Should be fun.  New set of RPG Rules.  New group of players.  What could go wrong? ;)

ACK or Die Session 6 Recap - Sprinkling in Some New Magic

The Party Fought Some Mud Elementals
Last night my player's wrapped up the 1-Sheet Maidens of Moordoth "Plus" - the plus being the Matt Jackson Tiles that we used for last week's Hangouts on Air.  Which meant the adventure took a turn in a different direct then initially laid out.  In turn, this led one of my players to turn a small plot hole into something large enough to march an invading army through.  At least I have a week to figure out how to fill the hole ;)

No deaths, although creatures with high AC turn combat into a stagnant slugfest of sorts.  This in and of itself isn't a huge issue, as a long combat in ACKS is somewhere around two rounds of combat in 4e (or so I've been told).

Last night was the first night we were short a player (heal up Charles) and it was interesting to see the idea of tactical retreat entering players' minds when the Gladiator was on auto pilot.

I was able to place a few of the new magical items I've been working on into the game as loot.  I even put in the Beer Bear, which a few of my players had read about on my blog.  I'm looking forward to them "stretching" the items as far as they can take them.  Which is a main reason why I really like non-standard magic items: I get to watch the players surprise me even more than usual :)

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