Friday, February 25, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

new podcast


Here you go, hope you enjoy!

Sorry for the mix up on the Star Wars podcast.  My files are still getting mixed up.

Star Wars and Temple of Elemental Evil

Hello all and welcome to a double dose of gaming updates.

First off, since it is fresh in my head, I will tell you how my first Sta Wars Saga game went.  In a word, smooth.  We have two humans, a scoundrel and a soldier, a Duros scout and a Miralukan Jedi.  The game is set int he Dark Age or Purge Era between episode 3 and 4 of the Star Wars movies.  There are two other characters that were rolled up, yet neither player was here and I don't believe in NPCing player's characters if they aren't here.

The game started with a blast as the four found themselves in the Blackstone Cantina in the city of Peroon, the only real city.  The scoundrel and soldier were getting two parts of the same job of guarding a woman named Glenda when two things happened.  A small swoop gang started to act strange and some Imperials came in under the leadership of Gher Thull a sub-clerk of Sarn Shild.  The swoop gang leader started to threaten the woman and the solider was having none of that.  So, a small fire fight erupted with the help of the solider screaming out, "Jedi scum!"  Half the swoop gang was gunned down, the other half arrested.  Three of the four found themselves bound together while the scout was given a job by the mysterious Glenda for a "private tour" of the B'omarr monastery ruins the next day.

The scoundrel poked around trying to figure out what was going on and almost ended up dead due to a dark Jedi adept when he tried to rig a warehouse to explode and the scout found out the Empire was keeping the ruins of the monastery in a "quarantine zone."  The scout, solider and Glenda take off int he morning and run into the mind tricked scoundrel and young Jedi on an escaping swoop bike.

The game ended with a swoop gang, airspeeders and two ships chasing them.  One of them was the mysterious Glenda's--actually Ice Hilda's--ship Horus.  By the skin of their teeth, the group of four escape and blasted off towards space when the session ended.

Thoughts after the session.  I was amazed at how smooth the game ran.  I think I can thank this guy and his advice.  I found that if I just let my mind go, then I remembered more of the rules.  For those I didn't, we winged it and no one really had a problem with it.  Looking forward to the next game.

After a small respite from the temple, the group went hunting trolls and were waylaid by a hurricane that trapped them for the better part of a month.  They found the surrounding land devastated and we trudged back to Hommlet.  Then, we turned our sites back to the temple.  And, after some water logged roadwork later--and a nasty attack by owlbears--we entered the temple and following the strange elf Renu, we found the leader of the Earth Temple--Romag--and slaughtered him and many of his followers.

Then. we turned to the center of the Earth Temple, a vile ziggurat of dirt and stone.  It was guarded by four Stone Golems.  While in the first foray, Sir William, an NPC cavalier was struck dead.  Renu went in to deal with them for a time, and then my own Dwallin-priest of the dwarven pantheon--entered the fray with Sir William's own sword named Chauncy.  (This sword was once wielded by my PC cavalier, The Baron of Graystone.  Sir William was a follower.  Since The Baron's death, Sir William has been the group's only real fighter.)  The dwarf and elf were able to best the other elementals and crept back to a hiding area where Sir William was brought back with a minor version of raise dead.

Thoughts after playing the Temple dwarf needs to get more religious and break his quirk of "Little Faith."  (Yes, this is a Hackmaster/D&D mix-up.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This game we play

First, read this.
Next read a response here.

And, now for my two cents.

Yes, I am a newbie to gaming and blogging.  I haven't played as long as some of those who appear to the left of this blog have.  Yet, I did start this to share my own feelings with the world at large about gaming from my perspective.

Mearls has a good point.  Stop this fucking argument about which edition is better.  Everyone has their own favorite.  I know after reading Mearls's post, I will stop railing against other edition as much as I have.  And, Joethelawyer has his own point about releasing the older versions of this game that we all love.

But, to demand that WotC does this is like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill.  At least in my opinion.  There are other sources besides WotC.  The biggest one is that pinkish gray matter between the ears.  This is a game of imagination, use it!  It is a wonderful tool that can be used to help spur us on to even greater games.  I do agree, it would be wonderful to have those older editions out for those who like them...however after some time you either have to deal with the fact that these old editions aren't going to be released and move on to the fact that you either have to remember the rules or make them up from whole cloth.  Yet, the is the option of hunting them down for a collection.  I believe that Joethelawyer might be coming at the idea of those old out-of-print editions with this idea in mind.  I would love to have a copy of those older editions.  However, it probably isn't going to happen.  MOVE ON guys.

I find the closing words of Mearls piece to be words to live by for  gamers everywhere.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Podcasting issues

Hey everyone.  I am still having issues with the podcast stuff.  I will try and get the older episodes from my other computer onto the new one so I can upload them again onto the site.

Anyway, the newest podcast.  I have a friend help me and he might become a regular, depending on his spelljamming ability.  (LONG story, listen to the podcast to get some hints.  One day, I might post the whole story of Davion Lat'nam of Waterdeep.)

Beyond that, gentle readers, I have nothing much else.  I have been busy with attempting to start a new novel project, work on my Star Wars Saga game and find the mental fortitude to head back into the Temple of Elemental Evil.  I will have more stuff up soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


The podcast is forthcoming...this weekend put me behind with many things.  Yet, had a good vacation, so...hit you up Thursday with the podcast.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Things...Life and everything else...

I know I haven't posted anything in a bit.  Things keep getting in the way when I try to come up with a topic for writing something.  I will come back when I have something more game related.  Just felt the need to blog about something.

Quasi game related, I have sent out emails and found out what everyone is going to be in my Star Wars game.  I have two Jedi and I wanted to keep it to one, but players tend to disagree with you.  I am not the kind of GM that says no ALL the time.  This is a Dark Times game, and it is their own fault if the Jedi get the rest of the group into trouble.  We have a noble, a scoundrel, two Jedi and a droid.  This should be a fun game.  They are starting on the Outer Rim world of Teth.  I will keep you readers updated when the game starts and how it goes.

Podcast stuff, I have found an easy solution to posting it.  I am a Mac person--I will wait while the scoffing and spitwads fly...done?  Good.  Anyway, I have made a site for my own podcasts and have decided to link them directly in this blog.  It directs you to the other website.  It also has option to subscribe to iTunes.  Have tested the feed and it works.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Podcast up!

Hey everyone, a new podcast is up.  This time, my buddy Dave couldn't make it.  Yet, two others came in to help.  They will probably be in more of them, since I wanted more people involved with this project.

In gaming news, nothing new.  Working on my Star Wars campaign and getting some good ideas from the various books I have gotten my hands on.  More will be coming up later.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Game update: The Temple of Elemental Evil

Well, tonight marked the return of our gaming group to the Temple of Elemental Evil.

We started the temple module long ago, about a year ago.  Then, in late summer we had a big crash.  We had a high turn over of player characters and some of us got burned out, at least I know I did.  SO, we stopped and after a few months grasping at other campaigns and my own aborted attempt at running it with 2nd edition rules, we started a pure Hackmaster game in October I believe.

We again floundered a little with a tough but fair DM.  It was still set in Greyhawk and we even saw a group of people leave the city of Verbobonc to go put down this temple.  (It was the party that started the other game.)  For more than a few months, we have been hearing about their exploits and even flirted with going into the temple again.  Yet, we were determined to not go.

Then, we were pushed and prodded by our own choices and ended up returning.  The leader of our adventuring band was almost killed by a black pudding and we took off in a hurry.  I won't bore you with details, yet the short answer is the group broke up over moral objections.

The DM gave us an option, to bring in other characters.  There was one dwarf priest I had that left the temple in a hurry because of a personal choice.  I lost the sheet, yet resurrected him in the Hackmaster system.  Also, we have come to find that the point where most of the first group to attempt to take down the temple and failed has just passed.  The only surviving member of the party was one a priest of the goddess Selune--out DM and this player love using Sigil and the Planescape settings--has elected to help out new group conquer the temple.

And so, we charge again...once more into the temple, once more.  Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do...or die.

I shall keep you updated if you want to keep reading about it.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Opinion, something else everyone has

It all started with this. The this guy jumps onto the band wagon without actually reading the first posting completely.  I think all he wanted was to vent about his own feelings towards the idea of IP's and how he thinks they are sucking the life out of the rpg market.  He has a point, yet he is so vitriolic about it that he needs to relax.  Then, Raggi chimes in with his own two cents.

What does all this have to do with me and where do I stand?

I stand in between them all.  Where Steven S. Long stands. There are some good IP games out there.  I own a few.  There are some that aren't very good.  I own a few.  Yet, it will always be around because this is how the consumer market functions.  The blogging community at large will always find a way to make some giant point out of something someone else said.  It is the nature of these blogs.

It reminds me of the old saying that opinions are like a certain part of the anatomy, and they all stink.  Some stink more than others and some people just need to relax.

In other news, I'm still trying to get my group together for the Star Wars Saga game.  Need to try and get them together to make characters.

And, I'm thinking of doing something with both the podcast and the blog here.  One is to "pimp" or at least recommend a podcast or blog.  Today, I highly recommend the RFI podcast.  Even if you aren't into 1st ed. D&D, it is a great podcast.  The link is to their site.  The site is a little behind.  Or, go to iTunes and look for RFI podcast.  If you see Book of Sorrows, download that one too.  It is their actual play podcast.

As for gaming blogs, any of those to the right of my rants are good.  I recommend Raggi's own LotFP.  It is pretty good.

Farewell for now, and may evil be confused on the way to your house.

I think Zak's blog over at D&D with Porn Stars helps to illustrate what I'm trying to get at, check it out!

Friday, February 4, 2011

10th post-Favorites and Sandboxes

Yeah, got up to ten posts.  I won't celebrate again until fifty or one hundred.  I hope.

For the this special tenth post, I will tell you some of my favorite games I've been in over the years.

One of the top games was a log campaign that a friend ran in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.  We started out a small ragtag bunch of adventurers, leading to a grand climax in Myth Drannor fighting to keep Bhaal spawn from bringing back the god of assassin's and murder.  There were many points in time when I didn't want to play, I felt my eleven ranger was useless and sometimes I thought the DM was fudging dice just so I would hit another party member in the back with an arrow...that is for another post.  Overall, it was fun.  It helped set up an idea of what an overarching campaign can be.

Yet, there was one thing about it that bugged me and I realize now that I have been doing something with my players that I hated.  The last few games I've run, I have been keeping them on a clock, forcing them down paths and setting them on rails so obviously visible, you could feel the engine pushing them along.

It is because of that feeling I am trying to go more for a sandbox type of game.  I plan on running a Star Wars Saga game soon--if my players can get together and agree on a time at least--and I plan to put this into motion.

Sandbox games are bantered about on all kinds of game blogs.  Sometimes, people don't define them.  I will attempt, since they can mean different things to different people.

In my world, a sandbox game is one that you set up some base, station or town and throw the players into it.  Then, you play out some hooks and maybe...maybe point them in one direction and tell them that is where the bad guys/loot/macguffin is and let them find their own way there.  I have also read and pondered the idea of module sandbox games where you take modules and scatter them around the base of the players, re-tailor the plot hooks and NPCs to work within the larger story and let the PCs loose.

Both of these ideas have merit.  I would be more comfortable doing the module sandbox in a fantasy setting, since I think I could "wing it" a little better.  However, I did recently get my hands on some old West End Star Wars modules and could do the same with them.  Just means putting in a little more time to convert things into Saga.

I like the idea of a sandbox.  Mostly because there is no railroad.  The PCs are the ones who choose what to do.  If they don't they are going to be stuck in the tavern/cantina and the players are gonna look at me and I will look at them with a blank face going, "So, what do your characters do now?"

There is the obvious problem with sandbox games.  I just mentioned it.  Players who aren't proactive with their characters will sit back and expect me to lead them by the hand to get to the starting point.  I know a few players in my time who have this habit.  They sit there and stare at me, expecting me to spoon feed them.  Also, there is the issue of not having everything mapped out.  A sandbox game measn that there should be some thumbnail sketches of a few places of interest.  Yet, you don't have anything concrete with anything until the PCs get there or are on the way and there is a break for the game master to ponder it for a few minutes or to the next session depending on when the break occurs.  Finally, there is the random element.  Something that the players can do.  They want to go someplace the game master didn't expect.  That is another issue with some sandbox games.

However, I think I am good enough to cope with all of these issues.  We shall see when the game gets under way.

Of course, if the planning of this drags on any longer, I might have to just shut it down and start work on my 1st ed. AD&D game.  More on that later.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Podcast issues

Alright everyone, I have created a what you might call a stop-gap solution to the podcasts and iTunes.  I will tell you all when we have a new podcast and you can go here  to download it or subscribe to it on iTunes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Podcast and GADD


The above link has a good explanation of what I have a big problem with when it comes to gaming.  The gaming group has helped by forcing me to come up with a a number of sessions to play before we can do anything else.  It might help, it might not.

And as far as the podcast, sorry for the ramblings towards the end.  There are some war stories.  It shouldn't happen again.  I hope...

Still working on the technical issues.  Should be able to get onto iTunes soonish.

Cthulhu's birthday

Something I forgot to post, so I'll do a quick one.

It is Call of Cthulhu's birthday.  Not the game, the short story that helped inspire the crazy, insantiy draining game of the same name.  83 years ago, Lovecraft's story was published, though it was written two years previous.

In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.

Podcast, forthcoming

I am working on something for the next podcast.  It should be up today, I hope.  In the meantime, might I suggest some other wonderful podcasts.

Roll for Initiative-A 1st ed. podcast that is amazing.  They have interviews with many of the surviving people who worked on the 1st. edition of AD&D.  Great podcast.

Save or Die-An even older school podcast, talking about the old OD&D, debating all of the different box sets that came out.

Order 66-Yes, it is a Star Wars podcast.  It talks about Star Wars Saga Edition and nothing else.  They have been running for three years now.  I highly recommend this one.  Entertaining and fun.  Plus, it is helping me put together a good campaign.

Fear the Boot-Odd name, yet these guys are great.  They have been going for longer than Order 66.  Yet, iTunes doesn't have that much of a catalog.  Need to go to their site.  Just type in the name and it will take you right to the site.  An interesting group of guys.

And, I highly recommend many of the blogs that I have listed on the side.  One of the best in my opinion is the D&D with Pornstars blog.  Read a few of them, they are amazing, well thought out and a great source for any GM.

As for my own game, as I stated earlier with the podcast list, I am putting together a Star Wars Saga edition game.  It should be interesting.  Need to get my players to agree to a time and day to play.  Yet, I have three people who are interested.  One is thinking of a caustic young padawan.  One player wants to be a droid, which should be all kinds of fun.  The last one wants to play a Miralukan.

The time period of the game will be set about five years before the original movie New Hope.  Vader and his Inquisition are still looking for those force sensitive and either recruiting or destroying them.  They will be starting on a backwater planet by the name of Teth.  Beyond that, you will all have to wait and see what happens.