Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Podcast...and gaming!

There is a new podcast here.

I have finally starting moving forward more with my 2E game.  I am liking how it is going and the players enjoy it as well.  Tonight we had them finishing a small dungeon of mind fucking and weirdness.  I took a page from Zak.  There was one that I really liked is making something new every session.  This session was the Spore Goblin.

I might write it up, yet making it into a stat block kinda takes the fun and mystery out of it.  I will simply say that it is an unnatural combination of goblin and yellow mold.  Beyond that, make it up on your own.

I know, short post.  I will get more up soon, I promise.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


New podcast!  Get it here.  Enjoy!

Thoughts on 2E and running a game...

Last night I was was able to start up my 2nd edition AD&D game.  Been chomping at the bit to get this to start.  It was a great deal of fun in my opinion.  My players thought so as well.  Not much happened though, and that is fine with me.

I find that the players were helping create the world more than just what I had set down.  They went around the starting town; getting the first "adventure hook," exploring, following a simple boy with a snake coin and the thief doing his best to be a thief before they even left for the next "plot point."  There was a great deal of role playing without much combat, expect for a single round where they chanced upon a warehouse guard/owner.  It wasn't until near the end of the night that there was fighting at all.  With the Tokli.  (I highly recommend this guys blog.  He is great!  And, I know my players read this blog.  I trust that they will keep in game and out of game knowledge separate.)

Was I disappointed that it took most of the night to get to the small town?  Not at all.  I was having fun, so were they.  That is what the game is about.  Granted, as we got closer to midnight there were some sleepy looks and a little confusion.  Yet that happens.  I think next time, I might have a break if the players start to drift and wonder--if we are deep into the game.  If it is five minutes in, then no.

Moving on, the only complaint I got from my players was that there seemed to be a lot going on.  And, there is.  I have built this world to be massive.  There are plots and plots and plots.  Wheels within wheels.  It was one reason why I made a player's handout and the first thing I said was, "Take notes!"

This is something that has not bothered me, but sometimes I see my players just nod when I tell them that and then a session or two later stare at me blankly when I ask what the name of an important NPC is.  I'm not asking you find out every NPC and keep a detailed flow chart, just write down names of people who talk to you for more than a few minutes.  Usually the quest giver and any major NPC that can affect the party-captain of the guard, king, head of the local temple and maybe the innkeeper if you are going to be there for awhile.

This has always been a sticking point with some of my players.  They do have the correct assumption that this is their character's life, their character would know the name of these NPCs and that they--as players--don't need to write it down.  At the same time, I believe that is shows the the players are paying attention to what is going on.  (Probably cover more of this on the podcast...which might be a little later than normal.   Having issues with people, life issues that get in the way.)

Beyond that, the only two problems were minor.  One was an NPC bodyguard for one of the players didn't follow her somewhere.  I completely forgot about him is why and it wasn't until combat started that I realized no one asked about him.  So I decided he stayed in town.  It happens.  The other issue was the mage of the group sidled up alongside the skirmish that started towards the end of the night.  He asked for targets, I told him five.  I neglected to tell him that two were fellow PCs and one was a damsel in distress.  He proceeded to cast a spell to affect all five targets.  When I asked the players for saving throws, who both failed and were knocked unconscious by it, he realized the error.  He apologized and tried to take back the action.  Yet, I didn't allow it.

Once again, I think it falls into the category of a player not paying attention to the game.  He stated he was confused by what was going on.  Both points hold water.  Again, something we will talk more about on the podcast, I think.

The rule system is something I cut my teeth on.  Yet this is one of the first times when I didn't have to constantly look in the book for something.  Granted, I also put that down as a player handout rule.  And, most of the first session was roleplaying.  However, I hope that I can continue to have games without me or my players constantly looking up things in the book.  The only exception is mages and their spells.  I might have them put down notes on what their spells do, damage, range and the like.  Yet, this is just a thought at the moment.

Overall, it was a very fun game and I can't wait to do it again.  The way things are slated right now, I think it is an every other week game.  We shall see.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I have been able to get my group of players together for a 2/2.5E D&D game.  They have rolled up characters and I will try to keep those readers who want updated.  I am also going to try and get my Obsidian Portal site up and working again.

The characters are:

A female human ranger who was pulled from another campaign.  Her name is Miriya, she is looking for a book for the woman who pulled her from the other dimension.  She feels a little obligated, since the woman saved her from the nasty death of a gnoll stew pot.

A female tiefling that was raised by humans, who were slain in a violent war in the North.  She is a priestess of the moon and a bard.  Her name is Dissidria.  She seeks to know about her past.

A male human paladin that fell, turned from the path of the paladin and has taken on the ascetic life of a monk.  His name is Thomas "The Penitent Guardian" Girvan.  He strives to continue the path of upholding the good of his goddess without the stiffness of the paladin code.

A male human thief that is skilled at escaping from dungeons.  His name is Anthony "The Ferret" Steward.  He has found himself in trouble with the law by helping the former paladin.  He now finds himself chained to the paladin, at least for the moment, and is being dragged to the Temple of Theran, Goddess of Light and Healing for the rest of his penitence.

The final member is a drow male.  (In my world, the drow aren't anathema.  They aren't trusted, yet not enough to be killed on sight.) Phryinid'Dris, a wizard who has become embroiled in something that might be to much for him

More will be written up later...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

DCC thoughts...

Well, the people at Goodman Games are closer and closer to releasing their DCC game.  Here is a link to the forum, scroll towards the bottom to look at some of the possible module covers.  The art isn't final.

I like the art and the overall rules of DCC.  Yeah, there are certain people in my group who won't like it (something about wanting to be heroic.  I kid, I kid.  He is a good guy, and he has his own ideas on gaming.  Some of them aren't to bad.)  I plan to pull out the beta-test rules and look them over a little bit more.  I want to look at the Luck roll again.  Thinking about setting that up in one of my own games. Hmmm.  Soon, I will be posting some of the changes I am going to do for my own game.  It will be a mix of 1st and 2nd ed.  AD&D.

Until then...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thoughts...thoughts and podcast stuff...

First off, I would have put this in the comment section of my last post, but Blogger isn't working right.  I couldn't even get my own blog to load.  Oh well...

Second, tonight we played an amazing game of Temple of Elemental Evil.  In this part of the game, Hedrack has pulled out a red dragon, a mature red, to cause chaos and destruction over the Kron Hills area.  Tonight, the group took it down.  I won't bore you all with details and minutia.  We struck down the beast, in mid-air, with gumption, heart, and a whole mess of luck.  Next part is the hoard and back to the temple for the last node gem and the golden skull!

Third, this is the real reason I am putting this up right now, and I am sorry to Rich for going on and on about other things...but hey, this is a blog.  The podcast I do with several others is up on iTunes, just go to the search engine and plug in RPG: Rants and Raves.  You should get it.

Finally, I have been thinking about Temple of Elemental Evil often.  And, the DM who is running it, Tom who is on the podcast once and again, talks about how it needs to be the center of the story.  It must be everything.  I don't agree.  I think that, while it is something that should be one of the main plots of a story, it shouldn't be the ONLY plotline.  There is a bit of a want to plant the Temple into my next campaign.  It won't be the only one.  It will be there, and will be a part of the plot.  Yet, it won't be everything.

And, now I am off to sleep.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Character Death, Hit Points and Healing

Hey, sorry for the break in the posting.  Been doing things other than role playing, to some extent, and trying to find a job...but anyway...

Listening to the guys on Fear the Boot over the last week or so and I have found that, even though I have listened to this episode several times, it got me thinking about things in a different way this time around.  I think that is also has to do with this blog post.

In the Temple game I am in, I have lost several characters.  It happens, it is that kind of module and the DM for the game is fair.  I was fine with my characters dying.  Yet, the frequency wasn't something I liked for awhile.  I have since grown comfortable with the character I am currently playing.  In other games, I have gone out of my way to kill my own character--a long story that I won't bore people with--and the DM refused to let me die.  By hook and by crook, he forced me to continue to live.  I had a small problem with it, but that stems from other issues in that game as well.

All that being said, something that I have come to think about is how hit points work and how death works as well.  In most D&D type games, hit points are not a measure of how much damage they can take.  Maybe Roger the GS has a point about them being a kind of morale system.  The only thing I disagree with is that first set of hit points, when you first make a character are actual, are a kind of gauge.  And, there is that rule in several editions of D&D about if you take fifty points of damage from a single attack, there is a chance the character can keel over from shock as well.

So, what is my point?

There is a certain part of the podcast linked above when the guys talk about combat, and that combat should have a danger.  "Any time you pull out a gun or a sword, there should be a very high chance of death occurring."  (Not sure if that is a direct or paraphrase, but it is said somewhere.)  And then, later they talk about in D&D, "Then, after the battle, the cleric heals everyone and mend is used and everyone looks like they did before the battle."

This got me thinking.  Why is it we go along with the rules about healing without scars?  I suppose there is some kind of worry for some that their pretty warrior will look worse and not be able to woo the women in the tavern, but I for one think that the healing rules need to be amended.  There should never be a a way for the healing spells to take care of EVERYTHING.  There should be a price for going into combat.  A scar, a twinge of pain, a pulled muscle or something.  Yes this is one way to talk about all of those extra hit points after your core hit points, from now on called life points, and what those extra hit points represent.  The same thing goes for mend.  I don't think this cantrip should be able to fix all the scars from battle on clothes and weapons--I could be wrong about the weapons thing, don't have the spell in front of me.  The thrust of what I am trying to say is that combat needs to be scary.  Fighters know this, and this is why they are the fighters.  They stand up to the brutality and take those hits.

I think that from now on, in any game that I run, I am going to make life points and hit points mean a little bit more.  The cleric can heal you, but there might be a slight mark or twinge of pain because of the wound.  Resting and healing natural will get rid of these small issues.  In fact, I think I can work up a table of some kind that will help show what kind of detriment such minor problems can cause if left untreated.  Besides, the way that the clerics cast spells, they almost never heal you fully with one spell.  They have to cast it several times to get the hit points back to full.  Unless you go back to town, or find a nice safe place to sit and rest in the wilds or in a dungeon.

Until next time, I will try and get the table up soon, goodnight all.