Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Clerics and Magic-Users

(I apologize, a podcast will be coming next week.  And, sorry I haven't written much, been working on outside projects.)

Reading around the blogsphere today, I discovered this little tidbit from the Mule Abides.  Look towards the bottom for the joesky tax.  It is an interesting little houserule that I might use.  Though, I know my two spell casters, who are both arcane/divine casters (one is a bard/priest the other is a fighter/mage/cleric) might get annoyed by this.  A little carrot to go along with the stick is that the healers can switch out their mem'ed spells for healing ones.  Though, I might not.  Depends on the hue and cry I get.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Podcasting and gaming...

We have a new podcast, which can found here.  Later tonight, I will talk more about the game...until then.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Two things to talk about

(I apologize, this is a post I should have done a few days ago.  I started to write it and the second topic literally swept out of my head when I sat down to write this post.  But, here it is...)

One of them is brought up by Michael Curtis over at Torch, Pole and Rope here.  I think what I will do is try and talk to my players about asking questions.  There have been many times in this past game I am DMing right now that could have been avoided, or it could have changed the game play in a good way.

The other thing I wanted to talk about today was using things from other bloggers.  Now, I must warn you, I have forgotten who did this great keying for a dungeon.  (If you are out there and read my tiny blog, please send a shout out to me on my comments.)

What he did was he took the map included in the 1st ed. DMG, the underground temple complex of the Fire Opal, and keyed the entire thing.  It was roughly 35 rooms or so.  I stumbled upon it and thought it was amazing.  Once again, I wish I could throw the link up, I will try and dive through the mountain of posts from more prolific bloggers than I and try to find it.

Anyway, I ran my group through it.  I tinkered with a few things and added a few things of my own, a wall of darkness that concealed an altar to Asmodeus, the altar itself destroyed by a very devout fighter/mage/cleric and found the wall solid when he tried to go back through.  Discovered that the ability to "turn undead" also worked on the wall.  And, I put the Fire Opal and the manual on how to use it in the same room.  (Though the "fire opal" and book were part of a trap which lead to a nasty surprise by the end of the session.)

Afterwards, my players were telling me that it seems really hard and one of them even said I think this was for a MUCH higher party.  And, this feeds back into the first point.  None of them really asked any questions about this abandoned temple.  They knew it was a place where Asmodeus worshippers use to gather.  They knew it was abandoned and sacked fifty years ago in my campaign's timeline and they stumbled upon a small group of human worshippers of a snake deity.  Yet that was it.

Granted, I do think I need to have a chance for them to ask questions.  There are a few times when I feel like I am rushing them along.  Maybe being chased by goblins or some group of "paladins" that believe themselves to be part of a holy war.  (I hope to get back to this idea later on.  IF the campaign ever does falter, or if I need some blogging fodder and I need to, I write about these guys.)  The main point is that my players and I need to learn to start asking more questions.

The reason to ask questions instead of out and out telling them is I think it takes away from the game.  It becomes a more meta-game plot of, "Well, I can't go into that dungeon because the monsters are to tough for me," or "Hey, I just dinged and I need to go train."  (Yes, I do require training, YET it isn't at every level.  I looked at how 2nd ed. does weapon and non-weapon "skills" and thought it would be best to have a PC train when they are eligible for a weapon or non weapon slot.  Granted, a few of my players still don't like it and think it is a money sink and time waster, yet I think PCs need to get some training every now and then.  I know we have debated it on the podcast more than once.  I am sure it will come up again and again.

But, I do know what the topic will be for the next podcast, and that is not only the level drain topic I posted a few days ago, but also this idea of having characters ask MORE questions.

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another post, finally...Level Drain!

Sorry for the long overdue post.  I have been dealing with things, both in game and out of game.  I haven't really wanted to come back here and write anything for awhile.  Yet, that has gone now and I am back.

In the game I am DMing on Mondays, just last night we had an issue.  The characters I have are still neophyte, 2-5 in levels.  They ran into a spectre.  I was running it a particular way and everyone but the monk in the party got out of the way.  He lost two levels, bringing him down to level 1.  Not as bad as you would think, he is playing a dual class, and already had a few other levels under his belt.  Yet, losing levels sucks regardless of how many you have.

Then, there was a unanimous vote from the party that this was a bad call.  I give my players one such call a session.  They happened to use it at the end of the session.  I gave the monk back his levels and xp.

Before I go any further, though I don't want to tell a gaming story, the basics of what happened should be set up.  The spectre was demanding a book from the thief PC, they were in a tight corridor where the five adventurers, four PCs and one NPC and one NPC non-com.  The thief rushed past everyone to throw the book down a pit instead of give the book back.  The rest of the PCs, and the two NPCs, made a Dex. check to get out of the way.  The monk did not.  The spectre, furious that he had to chase the book, was able to expand his essence and shot down after the thief.  Everyone got out of the way, except the monk.  There was no "to hit" roll on the monk, yet I said he took damage and lost two levels.  This was then amended by the vote later.

So, I am getting ready for bed and I start looking through my fellow bloggers out of habit and I find Raggi over at LotFP has come up with an interesting idea on level drain.

While it is not something I would take whole cloth, I do find it an interesting idea.  I might start to implement a system like Raggi's instead of the somewhat cumbersome level drain idea.  And, another thing I was thinking about and toying with is, since this is something that is a soul attack, the idea of the -10 hp that most of players are familiar with might not exist when it comes to energy drain.  That -10 is for physical damage, not for something that attacks the soul.

This is something I will be tinkering with and I want to try and get a podcast going about it.  Speaking of which, sorry for those fans who like the podcast.  We took a short hiatus.  We should be returning to it next week.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Not gone...

I swear, I haven't gone anywhere, neither has our podcast.  Just dealing with things and gaming, and non-gaming issues.  Will have a post up soon, and should have a podcast next Monday.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dave Arneson...Happy Birthday

I am not someone who knew him, heck I hadn't even heard his name until I started to delve into the older editions of D&D.  Also, there is this.  He and Gary did much for this hobby.  I think we should all pause for a moment to remember him and what he did for it.

I know, another short post.  Hopefully soon, I can get more stuff up.  Until then, enjoy your gaming...