Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kickstarter - Beasties & Bygones: Raunchy Comedy RPG - Dungeon World & 3.5

If this graphic isn't busy enough to turn one off...
In a recent episode of The Brainstorm Podcast, we discussed using humor in RPGs.  From my experience, it's fine in small doses or when occurring naturally, but when force upon the players or the campaign it is rarely as funny as the adventure author expects it to be. There are exceptions - Paranoia and Toon come rapidly to mind, but neither system was built with the idea of campaign play.

Beasties & Bygones appears to be an attempt to build upon the natural humor that comes from group play and make it the default style of gameplay.

The Kickstarter may very well be successfully funded down the line, but I doubt the final product will be all that successful. I'm seeing visions of Castle Greyhawk in my head, and that is not a pretty sight for anyone to see.
Many Mythical Creatures call Al'tearth their home but most Beasties were tainted upon arrival: 
Some creatures were once a daydream on Earth but now exist only in Al'tearth, like the Dingle Faeries; tainted faeries that are servants to the Excremental Gods.  
Some creatures were morphed into one like the Chupasasquatch; it was created when the Chupacabra of Mexican lore was merged with a Sasquatch or like Mime-pyres; who were Vampires that merged with Mimes. 
Bi-Nicorns are randy animals that were unicorns that grew another horn when they came over. Some say that Hermaphrodite has a special love for these creatures and watches over them, kind-a like we watch Animal Planet. 
Ancient Gods from all mythologies have been twisted into bizarre bygones of their former selves. They govern each other with a yearly award ceremony where they grant positions in the Zodiac Council. All creatures are born under a zodiac sign. The Gods govern the population based on the sign/seat they rule. For example, Leo is a seat at the council of 12. Here are some Bygones: 
Penetor, the God of Fertility was Priapus in Ancient Greece. 
Hermaphrodite wasn't always the androgynous lord of sexual ambiguity, s/he was once Aphrodite, Greek God of love, beauty, and sexual passion. 
Uranus, The Evil Brown Eye...I think you get the picture.
When I was 12, this might have been funny.

Oh, but wait, if you watch the video, you are treated to:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Which is more Useful to you as a DM - Adventures or Rules Supplements?

I ask this as a DM that loves both adventures and rules supplements (although I am more likely to use an adventure nearly as is than I am a rules supplement.) What is more useful to you a as DM - pre-written adventures or rules supplements?

Back in the days that Dragon and Dungeon produced useful material for AD&D 1e and 2e, I found Dragon to be more inspirational and Dungeon to be more practical - as the primary DM in my group, I needed adventures faster than I could whip them up myself, and Dungeon was one hell of an asset.

Of course, we have neither these days even if we do have fanzines that do their best to fill in the gaps?

So, Dungeon, Dragon, a mongrelization of the two or neither?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Never Drink with Your Wife and Kid - and other Lessons Learned not Fully Game Related


So, after an eleven hour day at work I went down to our neighborhood pub with my wife for dinner. I was non pulsed to find my son already pulled up to the bar. Ah, to be 21 again.

4 Pints, 3 shots and 2 007s later, I have come to one indisputable conclusion...

I am no longer 21.

At 21 we could drink all night (and when I was 21, the drinking age was still 18, so I had been legally practicing for 3 years.)

At 21 we could game all night. Start gaming at 6pm and game right thru to 6am - the unwritten rule with our parents was no sleeping - when you had to sleep, you went home to your own bed.

At 21 I had no bills. My money went to gaming, booze and snacks - mostly in that order. The world was care free.

At 21 Led Zep and Pink Floyd defined my life. These days, my life is defined by counting the days down to my retirement.

At 21, I gamed nearly every moment I could squeeze in. These days, work interferes more often than it has a right to.

Maybe if I'm lucky, in less than a year I can be 21 again...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Free Call of Chtulhu Solo - Alone Against the Flames

Free Solo adventure for Call of Chtulhu? All you need is the free Quickstart rules? Over 60 pages?

Where do I sign up?

I need to block out some time and enjoy this to the fullest.

Alone Against the Flames? Never alone when I have dice...

Tavern Chat Tonight, 830 PM Eastern - Be There or Be Not

Tonight is Tavern Chat night, where we use the chat widget to talk about all things gaming related.

It is very much a free for all and drop in, drop out and you literally never know who is going to pop in to chew the fat.

Later on this month I'll be hosting a G+ Hangout under pretty much the same rules - for that I expect moderate insanity will take place ;)

Hope to see you tonight, 830 to 1000 ish.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Header Commissioned for The Tavern - I'm Giddy as a School Girl

Last night I commissioned a new header for The Tavern. Top end fantasy artist, one I'm a HUGE fanboy of. I'm so excited :)

No details yet. No name until it's ready, but I fully expect to commission a second later on this year. I'd like to have 3 or 4 in rotation.

I feel like I'm sprucing up the place.

If folks want to know where their Patreon money is going, this will be as fine an example as I could ask for.

OGL - Boon, Bane or Curse?

There was a bit of a kerfuffle last night on G+ regarding the OGL, as one small publisher has taken to republishing another small publishers work word for word - no addition or subtraction, just a copy paste job. Legal under the OGL, but bad form and in and of itself a reason not to leave one's products totally open under the OGL (my suggestion was to ensure each product contained Product Identity and designate that pieces as such.)

Sine Nomine does fine publishing OSR products under copyright - no OGL. Others do the same even though the vast majority do publish under the OGL.

Now that the cat is out of the bag and the OSR is full of clones and such built upon the OGL, how needed is the OGL going forward?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Kickstarter - From the Folks That Brought You "Pencil Dice" (twice), Deck Dice - Playing Cards with Roll-Ability!

Just how many open Kickstarters does D20 Productions have? (and by open, I mean yet to be fulfilled, not necessarily still taking cash)

Pencil Dice (because an unbalanced, not truly random randomizer of the numbers 1-6 is useful in our jail system)

RPG Pencil Dice  (and still open for another 17 hrs as I type this)

Castles & Crusades: Beyond the River (TV Pilot - shudder - I dare you to watch the sample video)

Spinward Traveller (another TV Pilot, and yet more shuddering)

Knights of the Dinner Table: Live Action Series (I've heard some not so good things about the path this has gone down, but my knowledge is 2nd hand, so maybe I should hold out some hope)

Now we have Deck Dice, for those times real dice or even Pencil Dice just won't suffice.

For Ken's next trick, I fully expect Dice Dice, for those that like dice and like rolling them too...

Torchbearers, Hirelings and Redshirts - Oh My!

When I read about the early days of gaming (Hawk & Moor) hirelings - or maybe more accurately cannon-fodder were commonplace. When I played in the early 80s, almost every character had a henchman or two in the group I played with in the Poconos (summers and occasional weekends) and nearly no henchmen in my New York groups.

The primary difference was number of players in the group.

In the Poconos we had a group of four at best - a DM and three players. We tried using two PCs per player for a bit (and even the evil DM PC on occasion) but quickly decided one PC per player and a rotating stable of henchmen and followers was more satisfying. It gave each player a singular lead character and gave an easy solution to the question "what do I do with this + 1 sword now that I have something better?" You simply passed it down.

In New York, my group consisted of schoolmates. We could easily have six, eight or even twelve or more players at the table. Hirelings and henchmen weren't feasible to add to the number of characters already in play.

When the New York group stabilized at five to six players plus DM, we did see the occasional henchman or torchbearer, but they were the exception to the rule.

These days my players often grab a handful of men at arms at first level, but by the time they've reach second level, those red shirts are either dead or dismissed. Unless they gain a henchman through roleplay and the events in the adventure, henchmen are rare indeed these days.

Where do you stand on henchmen and hirelings these days? Does it depend on the size of your group?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Picking the Patreon Patrons Picks with My Wife

My Patreon page has 2 $50 spots were backers can have my wife pick duplicate or "you're never going to use this" pieces from my collection of gaming goodness. I thought she was going to start picking through my Tunnels & Trolls collection, but she went right for the piles underneath my desk (which is "L" shaped, and therefore has much room for piles;)

"Exactly how much of this Lejendary Adventure stuff do you have? I see boxes and books - the same boxes and books? That's gotta go. Two copies of the same issue of Strategic Review? One goes. Chivalry & Sorcery? You've got two copies, both beat to hell - I'm taking one." There were other casualties, old and new. It was slightly painful, but Rach had fun and they're going to good homes. It was also fun watching her adjust the piles to fit in the shipping boxes I had saved from Goodman Games and the Trolls, but she made it all fit.

Somehow she missed the fact that I have two copies of the Red Dwarf RPG - good thing I have them stored in different rooms.

Kickstarter - Dwarven Forge's City Builder System

I'm a backer of the two previous Dwarven Forge Kickstarters. Still not 100% sure why I backed them, as 99% of my gaming is via Roll20 (and the rest is convention play.) I love both sets and I want to display them, but I don't know how much actual game use they will get.

So when I saw that Dwarven Forge had a Kickstarter for a City Builder System, I was interested, but more as someone that looks from afar. I played the video and was excited by what I saw, but I wasn't going to pull the trigger until my wife piped up from the next room: "That sounds really cool. Can I see the video?"

I have now been told that we NEED it. The painted version too. Lowest buy in that includes stretch goals. I don't recall Rach ever telling me that we needed anything regarding gaming material before, except maybe some Doug Kovak's prints at NTRPG Con last year.

So, in for the painted Hamlet level. Rach is already deciding where we are going to display it.

When things fall in place this well I'm afraid to ask many questions ;)

Mini Review - White Box Adventures: The Wererat's Well (Swords & Wizardry White Box adventure levels 1-3)

+James Spahn is at it again. Does the man not sleep? Is he cloned? I want his secret so I can bottle it ;)

Now James gives us White Box Adventures: The Wererat's Well. This follows on his well selling trilogy of supplements for White Box, which in turn followed upon the Swords & Wizardry Companion. Now you know why I asked if James ever sleeps.

The Wererat's Well is the first of a trilogy of White Box adventures (but is easily used with any OSR ruleset.) It covers about a night's worth of play (or if you are my normal Saturday night group, at least 2 sessions, as we tend to derail with practiced ease.)

It's up to James' usual standards - it's a well written adventure that will challenge the average party. It might be a bit tough to kick off a campaign with, but if your group swings towards the hight side of the pendulum in party numbers (it calls for 6-8 whereas my groups are lucky to have 4-5) my fears may be for naught.

+matt jackson supplies the dungeon map, and it is well done as usual. My only quibble, and it is a usual one for me, is that I would have preferred an unmarked and unlabeled player's map for use with the VTT of your choice. Like I said, it's on my usual wish list.

The Wererat's Well is a solid adventure and is well worth $1.99 ($1.39 for the GM's week sale.)

The only question is can James grab the top four sales slots at RPGNow yet again ;)

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