Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ain't that the truth?

"Car Wars: Lifting a rock would entail getting out of your car. Don't do that."

more rock lifting witticisms here:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Wife's Box

During the move I rediscovered the box of D&D stuff my wife brought with her when we first moved in together.

The whitebox D&D set is a little beat up on the outside but the rulebooks inside are in great shape along with Greyhawk, Blackmoor and Eldritch Wizardry supplements. As I recall the OD&D set came along in a box of game stuff a female professor's mother gave her in college (which had some dice and grenadier miniatures also). I jokingly call the whole box her dowry.

A number of books also came from a random guy who dropped off a box of D&D stuff when he saw her playing in a coffee shop.

She's got another box of White Wolf Games products but I can forgive her for that ;-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

That's the pepper!

In last nights game (the first in a couple weeks due to moving) the party of five bold adventurers found themselves hunting down "The Red Hairy Death" and they found it.

After climbing down several shafts the party found themselves on a ledge over a water of unknown depth a couple hundred feet underground in a large cavern and The Red Hairy Death found them.

It was massive and exploded out of a hole in the wall opposite their position and raced at them along the rough cavern walls. It was a great hairy spider, it body as large as a rhino and it's legs reaching far. It attacked them spraying strands of acidic webbing. It drew near but still out of touch of man-sized weapons when it lurched forward and snatched Thorgrim the dwarf from the ledge.

Out of range of an easy melee strike Dan Black lept off the ledge and at the gargantuan arachnid striking it once with his two handed sword before falling into the water beneath. This was all the chance Tasmetus needed to dispatch The Red Hairy Death with his magics and they day was won (following a bit of swimming).


I love that stuff when I'm DMing. Actual heroic action, seemingly ridiculous odds and a desperate gambit and it worked. Best of all Dan Black is played by my teen son so I was thrilled to see him having his character act in a daring and heroic manner. There was only a 50/50 chance of leaping far enough but the risk was taken (without the player knowing the odds) and it worked and luckily so did the weapon blow.

Leaping into the air to strike a gargantuan spider that has your dwarf companion in it's maw over a black body of water deep underground... that's the pepper indeed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Still Alive

The move is sucking up a lot of my time but I'm still alive.

I didi manage to find the time to post this from Zak.

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?

Leper zombies.

2. When was the last time you GMed?

Two weeks ago.

3. When was the last time you played?

I always feel like I'm playing when I'm GMing.

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.

Can your band of heroes survive and find their fortunes in the Tomb of the Bull King?

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?

Pressure them to make a decision and twiddle with my notes.

6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?

Dinner, Baked Goods and the occasional chip.

7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?

I find it exciting, I often end up staying up a couple hours later than normal following a game.

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?

Escaping from a tower.

9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?


10. What do you do with goblins?

I enjoy goblins they are typically fodder but the occasional goblin is a notch above the rest. They are all evil baddies that are working against faeries.

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?

I used an old horror comic monster.

12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?

When one player warned the other of the jallopoinous cube

13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?

RuneQuest second edition rulebook.

14. Who's your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator?

I don't really have one, I like a wide range of styles and artists.

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?

I put the scare in a kid once so badly he had trouble sleeping for days and now year later i still hear folks talking about it.

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)

I really enjoyed death frost doom . A limited cast of NPCs that do any talking, weirdness and a
whole lot of running away.

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?
A big table with a side table for me.

18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be?

The Dallas RPG and Twilight 2000.

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?

15th-17th century history and Conan.

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?

One who can stay involved, share table time with others, and has fun.

21. What's a real life experience you've translated into game terms?

Camping. REal life wilderness travel sucks and most ages really gloss over it.

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?

realtime 3D virtual reality projector.

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?


Friday, January 6, 2012

Mapping- New England Rockwall trick

for mappers out there here's a simple trick I learned as a surveyor's assistant over 25 years ago. This method allows one to quickly draw (and or ink) rock walls.

One draws a bumpy or wavy line along the run of a wall and then repeats an alternating bump along the same run to produce an illustration of a rock wall that doesn't require one to draw a bunch of little ellipses.

Here's an example:

Draw the first line

Draw the second line

All done, you've got a rock wall.

One can easily create packed rubble walls with more jagged lines and blocks/bricks of masonry with squared off lines. Some of my walls in my last post were done with such a method.

I mostly use it to pretty up maps I have to look at frequently but different patterns can be used to convey meaningful information.