Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tripping The Rift 1: The Critters In The Keep

But wait!  There's more!
Well, Gage and one of his friends managed to convene with me for more D&D in Thunder Rift (we lost one player due to a move).  Previously I was going to run Rage of The Rakasta for just Gage but since his friend showed up I decided to run the kinda-prequel Quest For the Silver Sword and save Rakasta for later.

The party consisted of Logan Semester, cleric of Poseidon (Gage), Shadowkill the Elf (his friend Zack) and two NPC adventurers: Theodora Kelp a friend of Logan's and also a cleric of Poseidon and her other friend, Selper the Thief.

After the preliminaries (being contacted by the Burgormeister of Torlynn, offerd help, etc. - which, BTW, Logan refused any payment (the boy's got this Hero thing down pat) the party arrived at Barrik's Keep.  Seeing the front door hanging on one hinge, Logan and Shadowkill decide to...climb up to the roof to see if they can "sneak up on them."  Who I don't know, but after a DEX check, they were on the roof.  I told them there was a nice view of the area and a roof, with two towers.  They climbed down and walked through the front door.

Instead of going straight up the hall they went right down a side hall to the kitchen.  There they surprised four ratlings and soundly trounced them.  Shadowkill found a Bell of Sustenance and they proceeded to the kitchen, where they three more ratlings carving up a dead orc.  They were also defeated.

Interesting thing about these ratlings - they only have one attack (I'm assuming a bite).  Even the ones with the cleaver, so I added a second attack with the weapon.  Personally, I don't even know why these aren't rat-men or were-rats.  The author probably needed something with human-like intelligence but not as deadly as a were. I rolled with it.

That was about it, as by then it was suppertime.  Should be playing again this week some time.  Keep ya posted.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bet You're Sorry You Asked, Huh?

And for this I went to DM School?
Seeing as this little bit of quiz is making the rounds of the gaming community courtesy of Zak S., he of  the Vornheim OSR supplement and the D&D With Porn Stars blog (thanks loads), I thought I'd take a whack at it.  Dunno if it'll give you some insight into me or my game style but it's a cheap laugh at my expense for your entertainment.  Don't say I never gave ya nuthin'.  Enjoy:

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?
Death Knights for my old 2E game.  They get a +1 to hit/damage if they smear the blood of their freshly slain enemy on them.  Made the PCs go NUTS.  Even the neutral cleric wanted their heads.  Ah, memories…

2. When was the last time you DMed?
Last night.  Ran the first part of Quest for The Silver Sword for my 8 Y-O grandson and his friend.

3. When was the last time you played?
Last week, DM Brian's 2E Mystara: three PCs, a dwarf myrmadon (me), a half-orc swashbuckler (DM FulOnGamer), and a half-elf  mealiden (I have no idea what that is) (Allie, DM Brian's ex-fiance) plus a few others as NPCs.  We're heading to The Horror on the Hill.  Oh boy.

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven’t run but would like to.
The PCs have to help a farmer save his druid sister from being kidnapped and getting "hitched" shotgun-style by a clan of redneck/hillbilly orcs.

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?
Look over my notes and keep an ear open in case they say anything "interesting.".

6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?
Anything from salt & vinegar chips to a full meal, although we usually pause the game for that.

7. Do you find DMing physically exhausting?
Yeah, unfortunately.  Must be my age, although it doesn't make me anywhere NEAR as tired as running Champions.  Those battles really take a lot out of me.

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?
A wizard character of mine in a long-ago 2E Forgotten Realms game using the Grease spell on a set of stairs, waiting for the orcs to come down and landing in a heap at the foot of the stairs, and the DM determining that the Grease spell is flammable.

9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?
It's hard to take any games I run serious when you're dealing with a nutjob like me behind the screen.

10. What do you do with goblins?
Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew…

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?
None that I can recall, although I do like to add Steampunk elements into my world.

12. What’s the funniest table moment you can remember right now?
A recent Labyrinth Lord Skype game DM Chrispy ran.  A low-INT PC was fighting what he thought was a dragon but was actually an illusion thrown up by another character.  The character controlling the illusion dispelled it at the exact moment the PC thrust his sword into the beast's breast.  He is still convinced he defeated an actual dragon.

13. What was the last game book you looked at–aside from things you referenced in a game–why were you looking at it?
The D&D Rules Cyclopedia, as I was prepping for the last game I ran.

14. Who’s your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator?
A tie between Jenell Jaquays and Jim Holloway.

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?
Nope.  Then again, they're about 8…

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn’t write? (If ever)
Running Goblin Gully with my grandson and his friends.  Nothing like watching fledgling gamers stretch their role-playing muscles.

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?
My own game room with a nice big round table with plenty of room to walk around, all the dice I need and reference books at hand.

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

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?
Film Noir and The Three Stooges.

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?
One who likes being part of a great adventure and not afraid to contribute to it.  A player who takes chances and thinks out of the box.  It may be more work for me, but in the long run it makes the game all that better and more fun.

21. What’s a real life experience you’ve translated into game terms?
None that I can think of...

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn’t?
I'm sure there is, but nothing comes to mind right now…

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn’t play? How do those conversations go?
I don't.  Aside from my grandsons, no one in my family has an interest in RPGs.  My wife will occasionally listen to something, but on the whole I really don't talk RPGs around them.  It would be pointless.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I've Been Everywhere, Man...

Run rodent run rodent run run run...
Now that the new year has begun it's time to think about starting up that Basic D&D game I'm running for my grandson and his two friends.  Unfortunately, between one of his friends moving away and the other not coming around much the group is reduced to Gage and I.  A minor setback, as I can keep him busy 'till more players can be acquired.

Gives me a chance to work on the world.  I've already changed my mind on the world they end up in (Mystara) once they poke their heads out of Thunder Rift, but that took a lot of dicipline.  See, I tend to suffer from Toomanyworlditis.  In other words, I have a hard time deciding which setting I want to use.

The main contenders were Mystara (I got the first Gazeteer - Karameikos - and it just whet my appetite for more), The Wilderlands (I'm a sucker for all things Judges' Guild), my own world of Skye and that map I found in that copy of the 2E PHB a while back.  All of them had their pluses and very few minuses but in the end I went with Mystara.  I'll keep looking at the others and maybe I can get some ideas off them.  I'll keep the map I found in reserve for a future campaign and save Skye for a 2E game I may start up on Skype in the future.

It's difficult when you have too much of a good thing, but better that than not enough.  Onward, player(s)!