Tuesday, August 11, 2015

RPG a Day 11 Favorite RPG writer:

The toughest question so far, there are so many great writers over the years.  Gary Gygax , Dave Arneson, David Cook, Tom Moldvay, Frank Mentzer, Tracy and Laura Hickman, Mark Acres, Lawrence Schick, Jim Ward, Joseph Goodman, Jon Mar, Harley Stroh, Greg Gillespie, Michael Curtis, Jobe Bittman, Daniel J Bishop, Zach Glazar, Stephen Newton, Mark Bishop....the list goes on.
There are plenty more writers that I just can not recall at the moment, and this list is only of D&D and DCC RPG authors!  There are even more writers for other games.

By far the most prolific in his time was Gary Gygax.  He left a lot up to the DM in running his adventures, but the bare bones were there to make the adventures fun and exciting.  He was great, but there were a large number of even better writers that wrote for his company, and the many other companies that formed afterwards, that were almost as influential on gaming.

I honestly can not say that I have a favorite writer, or even a group of writers.  Every one of the above listed writers has a unique style of writing.  All of them create material to inspire your own campaigns and adventures.  Ultimately, it comes down to what you find useful for your table.

I guess you might say that my "favorite writer" is you, because it is what you take from the past and current writing to create for your own gaming groups that matters.  Loot, plunder, and outright steal if you have to, for material to keep your friends having fun around the table.  You never know it may turn into a marketable adventure or campaign setting some day, that will inspire some other gamer's table.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Villainous Slayers July 25th session part 2

Our adventurers pressed further into the cavern system wading through waist deep ocean water, eventually walking into an ambush from above. The Nevodari and Orkril began by dumping lit barrels of oil down from an overhead sinkhole in the chamber above them. It eventually turned into a running battle spread over a few chambers.
The party found their way the upper level and defeated most of their foes, before the last few of the Nevodari fled deeper into the caves. The victory came at a great cost with most of the party badly injured, and with the loss of P___head the warrior. (Failed luck roll on turning the body.)

Torgud the Unlucky was not having a good day with his lay on hands. By the time combat was done he was at an eight disapproval, had lost all but one of his spells for the day, was making spell checks at a -2, and needed to start praying to his god for the next hour.

RPG A Day days 7-10

It's been a busy few days...
Day 7 Favorite Free RPG:  Being a fan Classic D&D and AD&D 1e, my choice would be Labyrinth Lord.  The art free versions of Labyrinth Lord and the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion are not a straight up retro-clone of those versions of those games.  Instead they are a version designed to be the way that most people actually played classic and 1e.

Day 8 Favorite appearance of RPGs in the media:  My favorite would be from Freaks & Geeks. It just seemed way too reminiscent of the games and players of my early gaming days. The DM in the game reminded me a little too much of one our rotating DMs.

Day 9 Favorite Media you wish was an RPG:  The 1981 film Outland with Sean Connery would be a great game. Gumshoe in a brutal space environment with conspiracies, corruption and drug problems... sounds like it would be a fun setting for all kinds of adventuring.

Day 10 Favorite RPG Publisher:  There are so many great publishers out there.  I have a number of favorites Goodman Games, Goblinoid / Pacesetter, Frog God, Troll Lord, Green Ronin... all of which put out consistent and useful products.  I do think that Goodman Games stands out a quite a bit for their giving back to the community by making a lot of the old Judges Guild and Flying Buffalo available again.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

RPG A Day: Day #6 "Most Recent RPG you have played"

DCC RPG is my game of choice, and my most recent RPG I have played and run. I do try to find time to play in other games when I can, just to keep from hitting Judge's burnout. I've been having fun playing Dragon Age, D&D (Classic, 1e, Labyrinth lord, and 5e), Gamma World (4e), Ghost Busters, Fate, Fiasco...

It's great idea for GMs to try to get on the player's side of the table every so often. It helps you keep perspective when running games.

If you consider yourself just a player, I suggest you try running a one shot or two just to give your GM a break every once in a while. I think you will find both their and your games will improve.

If you consider yourself just a GM, encourage your players to take a shot at GMing. Try to give them positive, constructive criticism afterword.  You will find it makes them better players, and will give you a chance to see how your players view the game.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

RPG A Day Day 5: "Most Recent RPG Purchase"

Going back to the basics: My most recent purchases have been the pdf versions of the AD&D 1e core books.

The Monster Manual, Players Handbook, and Dungeon Masters Guide were some of the earliest RPG purchases I made. Having them readily available on my laptop or tablet makes it a lot easier for quick reference during a game. I still have my original copies, which are great for when I'm at home and want to read up on the game.

I'm rather surprised that WotC has not made 5e available in pdf format. I would be more likely to run it, if I didn't have to lug around the core books every time someone wants to play. It's not like all of us who DM don't buy the core books anyway. It's just that I'm no longer a school kid willing to carry around a thirty pound backpack filled with reference books.


Another great purchase I made recently was the print version of "Steel & Fury" by Purple Duck. It is a great set of options for the warrior's deed in Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. If nothing else it will inspire the warriors in your game to get creative in combat.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

RPG A Day 2015 Day 4 most surprising game.

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse here, but Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG is the most surprising game I have both run and played. Some people say, "It's swingy, and can't hold up to a long campaign." I have found that the mechanics are surprisingly stable. Yes, TPKs and character deaths can happen, but I have had no problems running a regular campaign.

I don't run your standard campaign, however. There is no big story arch with a fully detailed setting. It's more of an extended hex crawl, with only key places and NPCs being mapped out ahead of time. We build the world as we go and let the story build organically from the results of the sessions.

Monday, August 3, 2015

RPG A Day 2015 Day 3 "Favorite new game in the last 12 months"

Far Away Land RPG is my favorite "new game"... It's a simple d6 system. The art style is very fun and entertaining. Most of the adventures are inexpensive or free.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

RPG A Day 2015 Day 2

What Kickstarted game was I most pleased with backing?
This is a difficult one to answer, as most of the RPG material I backed this last year are supplements, and system neutral material.

For posterity's sake it would be the deluxe printing of Metamorphosis Alpha (1e), but my favorite new product would be the Monster Alphabet. It's a great system neutral product usable with any fantasy system.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

RPG A Day Challenge 2015 Day one

For those that know me, it is no secret what my most anticipated forthcoming RPG is, but there are some great ones either just coming out or soon to be released.  Honorable mentions go to the A.G.E. fantasy system by Green Ronin, and to Victorious by Troll Lord Games.

My real love is for futurist sci-fi and fantasy mash ups. I love the freedom of DCC RPG and I have always loved the post apocalypse style of Gamma World. When I heard that there would be a set of optional rules to mix my favorite styles and genres of game, a tear came to my eye. I loved crossing back and forth from AD&D 1e and Gamma World  as a kid.  So by far, my most anticipated game will be Goodman Games Mutant Crawl Classics!

Villainous Slayers session July 25th, 2015 part 1

After surviving their second raid on the mysterious sea cave, P___head and Albert sold off their spoils and returned to meet up with Roan and Torgud the Unlucky at the Speckled Sculpin Tavern.
They then announced that they were looking for some brave townsfolk or adventurers to join them in rooting out whatever the problem is at the cave. They managed to recruit Murgen (Dwarf mercenary), Locket ( a local thief and fool of some renown), Dargo, Vodu (Elven way warden), Garblek (the Dwarven smith), Henry (the potato farmer), and Sven (the woodcutter).

The party made their way to the secret entrance to the mushroom cavern and began moving into the cave network. They were quickly discovered, but the octopoid humanoids (Nevod) they saw quickly fled to warn the others. They made their way to the jail cells only to find the gate locked. Locket tried to unlock the gate unsuccessfully, not noticing the  two Orkril (7 ft. tall humanoids with lamprey like mouths) guards on the otherside.

Locket was the first casualty. He received a quick spear thrust through his leg severing his femoral artery. Unfortunately, Torgud had not caught up to the party, and Locket quickly bleed out. A skirmish ensued, eventually Murgen managed to bash in the gate and slay the last of the guards.  The party found a barrel of ale and a few useful items in the guard room. The also rescued Frank the wheat farmer, and Steve the Halfling trader from the holding cell there. Locket was not so lucky. He failed his luck roll on turning the body.

Our adventurers moved on to the sunken cavern that leads out to the main entrance to find the room is now filled most of the way with seawater and the cavern openings look like some large creature has burrowed it's way deep into the cavern complex. Roan the thief was the first to (attempt a) climb down. He fell onto the small beach bellow.

While waiting for the rest of the party to climb down he was surprised by a pseudopod arm grabbing his leg from the water and stinging his leg. He failed his fortitude save and found himself becoming paralyzed as the giant anemone. Helpless, he was pulled into the water as it began to drown and prepare to devour him.The party manged to free him, and defeat the creature, but not before he had already drowned. They turned the body, but it was too late. He failed his luck roll.