Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Back again to it!

Ah, it has been awhile since I have blogged.  I think I have missed a milestone somewhere.  Doesn't matter much, just haven't been in the mood to write much out on here.

However, I decided that today, I would sit down and try to write up something...

Why?  Well, first off, I had a great experience last night with my gaming group.  We are doing something really odd and a bit old school.  I am rolling all of the dice.  Yes, to some, that is kind of annoying and prefer to roll it themselves.  My players do get to roll something, initiative.  And, once and again, I will have them roll a die for a random encounter check.

I find that without really working with a written out "rule system," though there are elements of 2E and 3E I am using, there is little arguing and more interaction with the players and some of the NPCs.

Apologizes, my mind is all over the place.  I was reading one of Zak's posts and that made me try and find the rpg he was talking about.  Can't find it at all.  Then, I was reading Hack& Slash's posts here and here.

I will try and readjust and work on the next blog to talk more about the game.  Though, I will say that towards the end of the night, I thought I would have a TPK when the dwarf attacked the leader of a bunch of cultists.  It was four PCs, against nine cultists.  In the end, they were broken, battered and bruised, but survived.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge Day 30

The best DM I ever had, hmmmm.  Not wanting to step on any toes, and yes there were more than a few rough moments with him...Govin.  First time I met him, I called up my friend Nick and asked what was going on.  He said, "Playing D&D."  I went over to his place in L.A. and I have never looked back.

He wove stories into the game and opened up this world of the Forgotten Realms.  It was great.  Yes, he did screw me over more than once, but we all had problems and issues.  The big thing I remember is the way he could truly bring you and fellow gamers into world with descriptive worlds and phrases.

Best DM...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge Day 29

Day 29 What is the number you always seem to roll on a d20?

Well, I don't know about always, but I do roll a 3 or a 6 more often than not.  And it is never a good time when I do.  Oh well...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

30 Dady D&D Challenge Day 28

Alright, Day 28--just under the gun--

A character I would never play again?  Hmmmmm, I don't know if I would do that.  There are characters that have baggage, like Symal my elven ranger.  LOTS of baggage.  But that doesn't mean I wouldn't play him.  None of my characters are tainted beyond play.  Even William/Willamenia deMontefort isn't beyond playing.  Just need to find a way to uncurse myself and maybe get rid of Nerull as the current god she worships.

So, I am going to have to say, there is no character I would never play again.  All of my characters are worthy of being picked up again and played.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

30 Day Challenge 20-26

Yeah, been busy and just in a weird headspace recently.


Day 20-Favorite Monster (Humaniod/Natural/Fey)  Would have to say that my favorite is the Half-Orc.  He can sort of blend into society, and yet still have the savage orc background.  Need to use more of them...

Day 21-Favorite Dragon Color/Type- That is easy, the red dragon, the biggest, meanest dragons around.  Just love them.

Day 22-Favorite Monster overall- Going to have to stick to the red dragon.

Day 23-Least Favorite Monster overall- any of the oozes.  They are alright, but for the most part,t hey are just annoying creatures.

Day 24- Favorite Energy Type-Electricity.  As a grip friend of mine once said, "Electricity is smart fire."

Day 25- Favorite Magic Item- Ring of Three Wishes.  Wishes and players and FUN!

Day 26-  Favorite Nonmagic Item- Long sword.  Basic, durable, a good damage range.  Me and my trusty sword is all I need.

Day 27- A character I want to play in the future- A wizard.  Just a young wizard trying to learn more powerful spells.  Will think of this a bit more...

Friday, September 20, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge Day 19

Day 19: Favorite Elemental or Plant Monster:

Well, this is a bit hard.  I have some likes, though I have never really had a chance to throw either at my players.  There is the want to try and throw a treant at them once and again.  And not the treants from the book.  I like the WoW version of a treant, the huge hulking things that look like in one punch could crush an entire adventuring party.

The other side is I have always liked the water weird and the fire elemental.  Again, never had a chance to really throw them at the players, yet, I would like to try it.  The closest I have gotten is to throw a watery double spell at someone.  It creates a water clone of the person and tries to drown them.  That was fun for me, and horrible for the player that had it cast on them.

But, I think I would have to go with the treant.  Yeah, final answer, treant.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge Day 18

Day 18: Favorite Immortal/Outsider?

I would have to say that devils are probably the ones I like the most.  Lawful evil, can make deals with them and they will use EVERY loophole around to get out of it, yet will deliver.  So, there you go...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

30 Dat D&D CHallenge Day 13-17

Sorry, got a bit busy and then was battling an ee infection or something.  The eye thing is clearing up and I can see the screen without crying because of the light.  (Yeah, no idea what was going on, just glad I am on the mend.)

So, I will do a quick catch-up

Day 13: Favorite Trap/Puzzle-  Favorite trap I have ever used has to be the Death Frost Doom module itself.  If you don't know what it is, here is a link.  It is a killer module, literally.  I know a few of my players that are reading this blog shake their fists at this module.  They should be happy I haven't tried the new one, which goes to Favorite Trap/Puzzle I have seen which is this

Day 14: Favorite NPC- My players should know there are two that I have inserted into every game I have every run.  One of the Roberto Miguel de'Seville, a swashbuckling rouge with a minor magical talent.  Garish, foppish and wielding a partially cursed back biter (this was made by a friend who was DMing a game when I first came up with Roberto.  It is a rapier that will stab through the target and backstab if you roll a 20.  I did this once during the play with Roberto--on an undead which did nothing.)
My other favorite NPC is The Great Khan.  Think Hedonism Bot made flesh, along with his own Jambie.  This merchant has caused problems and given slightly cursed items to many of my players.  Most notably the chain mail +4 on a female player.  And every once and again, her nipples would be tweaked, for the Khan had had an extra enchantment placed upon it to fell up and be able to tweak anyone's nipples if they wore the mail.

Day 15: Favorite (Undead) Monster: Though I don't use them as often as I should, I love the ghast.  The ghoul that can mess up an elf.  Look just like ghouls, until they hit an elf and you look at the player and say "Make a saving throw versus paralyzation." And they realize what it is that is attacking them.

Day 16: Favorite (Aberration) Monster: I am not going to lie, I had to look this up.  I'm an old school player and the term was odd.  (I know what it means, just never thought of things like the beholder and the rust monster as abberations.  I would have to say that the beholder is my favorite.  The floating eye things are creepy, hard to kill--not impossible, just hard, and weird.

Day 17: Favorite (Animal/Vermin) Monster: I have to go with an oldie, but goodie, the rat.  The rat is a bit cliche, yet I love them for the various ways you can make use of them.  A swarm, a few giant rats, or even just a few regular ones.  All of them have a chance of delivering a disease that I sometimes forget to roll for.  They are versatile and easy to use.  Plus, in most settings, people are surprised to see a few rats roaming around.

Caught up!  Now, I hope to keep going...we will see...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenege Day 12

Day 12-Favorite Dungeon type...

Well, the old school dungeon delves are fun.  However there is a sameness to them after awhile.  In the wild can be fun, yet the problem is again, hex crawling can have a blandness to it if the random encounters aren't spiced up.

I think that a city, a full fledged city, has more going for it.  More rules that you need to adhere to or be jailed, kicked out, tried or just outright hung for doing that is fine in a dungeon or wilderness.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge Day 10-11

Two day catch up...

Day 10- Craziest thing that has happened to the party was also the craziest thing I have seen happen to a player.  First time I saw a Deck of Many Things effect a player so badly.  He drew three cards first off.  Then, he lost a level (He was a 10 lvl. fighter/10 lvl. mage) Then, lost another one, yet the DM was kind and didn't ding him twice.  Then, he lost all of his magic items.  This character was loaded with magic items.  He had a bag of holding that carried his spell book, a forge, all of the parties treasure, his weapons, armor, and other items.  He was pissed.  So were we because we lost all our gold.  (He was holding it all because, he thought he was a dragon and mind tricked everyone into letting him hold all the treasure.)

Day 11-The adventure that I have run that is my favorite is hard to say.  Many of the adventures I run are my own, or so ripped and twisted from the original version that it is barely the same thing.  But, I do use Destiny of Kings often and I guess I could say that is my favorite adventure.  So far...

Monday, September 9, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge Day 9

Alright, finally got back on track with this one...

Favorite character I never played?  This is really an easy one for me.  That would be the dwarven locksmith kitted thief I made for the very first AD&D game that sparked my interest int he hobby, yet never got around to playing it.  I can't remember the name, yet it is something I have thought about playing once and again.  Maybe one day I can rez the old dwarf and he can see some action.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge Day 7 and 8

Alright, doing a double play here, so that I can get back on track with this whole challenge.

Day 7-Favorite Edition?
Well, that is not that hard to figure out really.  The old school editions are better, in my opinion, because there wasn't such a glut of rules.  Yes, 2E did have splat books galore, yet when compared to the glut of 3E?  Or 4E?  I wonder what the books will look like for Next?

But, I am getting off topic.  I am sure that those who know me or read this blog will know that i love 2E.  It will always be my default, go to edition.  Granted, I have delved into 1E, Original and even 3E and 4E.  But, Second Edition Dungeons & Dragons is and will probably always be my favorite editon.

Day 8-Favorite Character I have played.
This is not as easy as I thought when I first read these.  My gut says Athalan Symal Greenbow, the princeling elven ranger of a long run Forgotten Realms 2E game.  He was the character I have run the longest.

Then there is the swashbuckler Roberto Miguel DeSeville, rougish good looks, a devil-may-care attitude and a large foppish hat.  He was fun to play, yet the DM hated the character and did much to show it.  The inglorious death of Roberto, at the hands of a ettin--who had one head that could cast magic mind you--and a spell from the Abi Dalzim collection of spells, was not the best way to go for him.  Yet, I would play him again and I would also love to have played him from level one as well.

Then there is the cavalier I have played in the Temple of Elemental Evil, William of Graystone.  He started off as a retainer to another cavalier I played, The Baron of Graystone.  The Baron died in the mouth of a white dragon, William took up his lord's sword, a Frostbrand named Chauncy--the DM asked for a name and it was the first thing I said, sue me I was tired--and became an NPC.  Then, as the new party bumbled and stumbled our way into the Temple and its plots within plots, we lost our main fighter and I had lost another character, a rouge I think--there was such a high turnover in that game ugh--William came back as a PC.  Later, he became a she with a belt that switched your gender--cursed items, got to love them.  William became Willmenia and I rolled with it.  We defeated the Temple and continued forward.  When we reached a crux in the plotline, Willmenia changed from Lawful Good to Lawful Evil, gave up the sword--Chauncy was a Lawful Good sword--made a deal with Nerull and gained a vampiric sword in the deal...I could go on for a bit more...

Yet, At the moment, it is a tie between Symal, who will always be the first great PC I even played and William/menia who changed the most and I was able to roleplay that whole changeover from good to evil for the right reasons.  So, there is your answer.  A tie between Symal the ranger and William the cavalier.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

D&D Challenge Day 6

(I know this is two days in a row I am behind, this stuff happens.)

Favorite Deity, that is an interesting one.  Hmmmm.  Several pop out, and also showing my bias for The Realms with names like Bhaal, Bane, Myrkul, Cyric, Kelemvor and Mask.  All of them have good and bad points to being the favorite.  Though, Bhaal was gone before 2E started which I never liked.  Myrkul isn't gone, but he is, but he isn't...it gets confusing.  Kelemvor was cool in the books, yet the god was kind "meh" after awhile.  Cyric was nice for a bit, but to crazy.

And then there is Mask.  Who I love to use even in my own worlds.  So, I guess the one legged god--given to Kezef the Chaos Hound and who hungers for more of the god--of thieves and rouges is my diety.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Conversion question

Timothy over at The Other Side (an awesome blog by the way, check it out.) Was talking about this.

I was going to answer in his section but I thought I would answer it here, since I feel inspired to do a little bit of work even though it is a billion degrees outside.  (Granted the sun has gone down so I am much happier, yet I still feel a bit sick and blah blah blah.)

He question was: So when looking for a OSR supplement, adventure or add-on do the clone rules matter to you?  And also:
What are your experiences? Do you ignore S&W's single save when using the Tome of Horrors with Basic Fantasy?   Do you convert on the fly?

The first thing I want to tackle is his first question, which I will do a bit of a disservice to by asking this question.  Why only do OSR supplements?  I get he is asking about the old school idea, and most of what I run is old school, (More 2E than anything, yet I have run 1E and a 0E once or twice) And when it comes to them, I convert if I need to.  Or I just take it, squint at the numbers and fudge something here or there.

But coming back to my question, why only OSR stuff?  There is something to be said for the OSR.  It is a great thing and I love it.  Yet, there are some good things from things not in the OSR.  Some things from 3E and even 4E are interesting.  Yeah, you need to convert them and that takes some time, but I wan to put in time into a campaign that I will be running, therefore, why not put the time in to convert some of the cool ideas from the newer editions? Heck, there is the Pathfinder mega campaign of Rise of the Runelords that I want to try to sift through and take out parts I like.  I just got another big book called The Shackled City Adventure Path.  Why?  Because it takes place in a volcano! That is why.  If you are knowledgeable with the rules of the system you are using and running, then anything is grist for the mill.  Anything can be converted.  There are some things in 4E I have taken a shine too, and there are even things in all of the player's packets of D&D Next that I want to take and cannibalize for my own mutant version of 2E.

Do I ignore things, yes.  Sometimes you have to.  Anything from 3E and upward has feats which I don't like, you can either make them some nifty ability the creature has, some special training that the NPC has or just ignore it if it is something rather silly like Power Attack.

I try not to convert on the fly anymore, since the last time I tried that, my gaming group met up with a goblin with three arms and I have not been able to live down the "sassy hand" gesture.  (LONG STORY!)

Of course, this is just my way of doing things.  your mileage may vary.

30 Day D&D Challenge Day Five (a bit late)

My favorite set of dice was from a friend who knows me all to well.  They are a set of black and yellow dice that instead of a 1 had D'oh on them.

Yet, my new set of favorite dice is from Swords and Wizardry, I was part of a Kickstarter of their that did something, I can't even remember what is was for.  All I know is I got a small dice box with it which are a shiny blue with s wizard holding a sword as the 6.  The d20 has been very good to me, for the most part.

(Sorry this is a bit late, been feeling sick for awhile and just woke up to write this out before going back to bed.  Hoping the heat will go away soon.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

30 Day Challenge--Day Four

What gameworld?  Oh boy, that is a loaded question.  I love Faerun, yet I also hate it.  Greyhawk is interesting, yet there are some issues I have with it.  But who knows why.  Yes, Temple of Elemental Evil took a part of my soul, yet that isn't it.

The problem is I prefer my own gameworlds to run.  Running the Realms is sometimes hard with players who are more knowledgeable of the Realms than I am.  It is hard to run when the players start to dictate what is going on and all of these changes are in books that part of me has no intention of reading.

But, if it must be a published world, The Forgotten Realms are still fun to kick around in.  So there you go.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge Day Three

I have several favorites classes, wizard, ranger, rouge and paladin.

Yet, the wizard, while being able to "bend the arcane forces of the universe to [their] will," aren't something I can always get into.  They are powerful, yet I prefer something with a bit more challenge. where a wave of the hand won't solve every problem...and fireball won't solve all your problems anyway...:-P

Rouges are fun.  They are slippery and sly.  They are the second favorite class of mine, which is tied with the exact opposite class I like, the paladin. Paladins have that unbreakable code of honor that they must adhere to and that kind of structure is weirdly freeing.  Yes, the role playing is a bit stiff.  But it can be fun.

The favorite, if you couldn't tell by now, is the ranger.  The skirmish fighter, the archer who can still get up in your face and use his strength to cut down an enemy.  The favored enemy, a fun idea that I have had use both in favor and out of favor.  The woodland ability, the magic ability at higher level, the loner mentality, who wouldn't love the ranger.

Monday, September 2, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge Day Two

My favorite class is hard.  There have been may games where I liked playing humans.  Humans are amazing.  Thanks to a friend for this, I like playing humans.  Yet, my first character every, as I stated yesterday was a dwarven thief.  The first character in a D&D game I was able to play was an elven ranger.  I have played almost all of the base races in the player's handbook.  Haven't tried gnomes--there is something that bothers me about them really--and haven't tried the half-orc yet--however, I would like to play one of these brutes as something else.  Not a fighter, but maybe a 1E assassin or cleric.  Could be fun.

And I am digressing. Trying to get my head to come around to the idea of which is my favorite.  I have to say humans really.  So, there you go.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

30 Day Challenge

How did I get started in D&D?

Well, I think I have answered the question before, but will answer it again as best I can.

Back in college, way back in 1996--yes starting couting if you must--I came back from a weekend at home (free laundry service and free food.  Come on, who wouldn't.) I found a group of my friends in a circle talking about things their character was doing.  I was intrigued, but wasn't sure what to do.  I waited for the DM, a guy named Kyle, to finish up and I tracked him down after.  I asked him what he was up to and he said, "Playing D&D."

Until then, I was the Sci-Fi nerd supreme, looking down my nose a little at fantasy for being "cute and folksy."  But I had gone to college for trying new things and when he asked if I wanted to create a character, I jumped at the chance.  He had 2nd edition AD&D books and I devoured them.  Looking through them, amazed by the art, by the magic and baffled by the rules.  I made a character, a 1st level dwarven theif who had the kit of locksmith.  I even delved into his backstory, giving him a scar on his arm from not disabling a trap quick enough and having to run off from the job he was doing.

And then...nothing.  The game never got picked up again.  I was dejected and sad, but then the same guy started up a Superhero game and I got to play in that, so that was the first rpg I every experienced.  (Superheroes Unlimited, the first edition.  Pretty fun one shot.  Never played that game again either.  Sigh, the problem with college sometimes.)

I didn't get my first taste of a campaign until I called up a friend and asked what he was up to.  This was 2002.  It was late, about 10 pm, and I as bored  He said, "We're gaming.  Want to come over?" I thought, why not.  I went over and again, 2nd edition AD&D.  I was told we already had a thief, but "We could use a ranger, and if you want to be an Elven princeling, that would help tremendously..." So said the DM.  (I later learned this was a trap.  Oh Admirmal Ackbar, where were you?)

And since that day, rolling up Symal the Elven Ranger, I have never looked back.

Now, as an addendum, there is a friend who tried to get me into rpgs a year or so before.  But, I stll had the bad taste in my mouth of gaming with the guys in college for a session and then nothing.  Since that time, that friend and I, have gamed often.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

And, back...hopefully for awhile...

Yes, it has been six months since I have had time to sit down and write a blog post.  Life gets in the way and all of that.  The podcast has faded, yet there is still the desire and want to do it.  Just need to get things together for it.

As for gaming:

I have been gaming more than a bit.  On Mondays, I am running a game using most 2E rules, with some houserules (since straight core isn't fun at all. :-P).  It is in a game world I have created called Sydell.  They are currently on a mission to destroy an island full of fish-people who are connected to the Slave Lords.  (Yes, THOSE Slave Lords.)

On Friday, my buddy Josh is running a 3E WoW game.  I am playing a Tauren Druid.  It is interesting and different.  Never been a giant fan of 3E (my term for 3 and 3.5).  But, it is not the typical WoW game though.  The group is on an unexplored island, trying to explore and make a town on said island.  I missed the last session and I only got a text message, "The Necromancer made a fifty foot blight.  This is what happens without you."  (I might just have to kill the PC.  Keep you updated.)

Another friend of mine has started up his Superhero game again after several years of a hiatus.  I am once again playing The Knight, a paladin-esque character who changes from milquetoast to The Knight with help of a magic umbrella and bowler hat.  Faced off against a dragon and now seeking one of our allies who is missing.

I have also been working on a new campaign setting, one based off the LotFP rule book with ideas from LL, S&W, OD&D-D&DNext.  There are little things from each of these editions that I like and have stolen for my own campaign.  Will put some of the ideas up when I can.

The final thing I am doing is looking at the idea of publishing my own campaign world/game ideas.  I brought this up on G+ and someone pointed me towards the Tome of Horrors Complete since it has the OGL and explains on how to use it.  (Actually, just bought and downloaded it...will look at it soon.)

Well, that is what is going on.  Should be back in a few days, want to try and get back to at least a three day a week schedule.

Until then, happy gaming....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A return of sorts...

It has been awhile!

Life gets int he way sometimes.  Oh well.

Don't have much to say right now, games are up int he air at the moment, which can happen.  More than anything I want to talk about what WotC is doing right now.

They have released pdfs of "classic" or "old school" modules and rulebooks.

They have reprinted the first AD&D, and now the Unearthed Arcana is out!  (I just got mine and I am very happy with it.)

They are coming out with reprints of the 2E books!  And the Original Box Set. (There are many pictures of the box set at several blogs.  A few are here, here and here.  I already have the reprints of 2E bought, waiting for them to be shipped, waiting for the Boxest to be posted so I can get that one.  This should be an interesting edition to my bookshelf.

I have most of the retro-clones that were from the whitebox set.  But I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this reprint.

What I find it funny is many people are grousing about the fact that WotC is doing this as a cash grab.  Many of these people are the same ones who wanted, begged and pleaded for WotC to release the pdfs, reprint the previous editions and now they are turning their noses up, though still handing their money over.  It was bound to happen.

Personally, I don't care.  I like the reprints, and like the original books I have.  And, now I can put the originals somewhere safe and keep them from being used and abused by players.