Monday, November 03, 2014

Five The Hard Way

This was something I ended up putting on Facebook. It belongs here.

BAM!  Right in the Saving Throw!
I have come to the realization that, with the release of 5E D&D, it's quite a bit more difficult to fight for using the older editions. At first I thought that, well, that's going to happen when every new edition that comes out. BUT 5E gets quite a few things right as far as the Old School mindset is concerned (I didn't say EVERYTHING - just enough for me to notice and want to steal). SO, my resistance to embrace the new edition boils down to two reasons why I won't DM it:

1) Sill too much chrome - yes, I know most of the optional rules are just that - optional. But (having dealt with this before in 2E) it is a rare player that won't want you to use this new skill and that character build and I get tired of saying "no." Besides, if I'm going to strip to rules down to the bare bones I might as well use an earlier edition (which I already own). which brings me to my second reason:

2) I don't want to buy another edition. Yeah, I know you can get the PDFs of the core mechanic for free but from what I've seen so far, it's still not the complete game and at $50 a pop for the three books (online discounts be damned) I'd rather build up my library of earlier editions (which, as I said, I already own) which is (usually) WAY more inexpensive on the used/retroclone market than those books and any of the glut of supplements/modules that are sure to follow.

So there it is. My take on it. Don't know why I put it on Facebook first. I blame no caffiene.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NTRPG Con 2014: Thundarr, Drunken Vampires and Ballick IV Lives!

Giving The Devil His Doo-Doo.
And coming in dead last, my North Texas RPG Con report.

My gaming buddy Brad Hand and I took off in the wee hours Thursday and got to the hotel around 9. We had lunch with the special guests (the hotel's restaurant has pretty good food) then off to schmooze. Did my share of gaming, talking and spending (too much) money but all in all I had a great time. Here's the highlights:

* Sitting next to Jennell Jaquays at the luncheon and having to sheepishly explain why I dropped her game when she switched systems from T&T to Runequest 2. Not one of my finest moments.

* Playing in BadMike's B1 game (my fourth year) and, by some miracle, having the dog I bought at the beginning of the adventure survive the game. I'm still convinced that it was due to Liz Stewart's character watching said pooch while I was trapped in the second level of the dungeon due to a rockslide. But what the hell, Ballick IV lived! Thanks Liz!

* Following Vince Florio around Saturday so's we could get interviews for our podcasts.  Oh boy.

* Having a really nice talk with Andrew Larius, who was one of two people who came to the con this year from Ireland.  He told me that 1. they came here specifically to go to this con from hearing about it on the Save or Die Podcast (yay Mike, Liz, Jim and me) and 2. this is the first American convention they've been to, a first and a feather in Doug and BadMike's cap.

* Getting roped into Frank Mentzer's small board games.  Hive was okay, but Cathedral was a blast, even though I suck at it.

* Playing the Dungeons and Dragons Tower of Doom video game. Man that manticore is tough.

* Playing Thundarr in Sniderman's ( Thundarr game Saturday morning. Even more fun was watching Matt Evans (Odinist on Dragonsfoot and my regular DM) play Ookla, tear stuff up and fly through the air, with a generous push from Princess Ariel.

* Studiously avoiding the auction as there's a lot of cool stuff there and there's a few others with WAY deeper pockets than I.

* Running, for the first time, a scheduled convention game.  The Castle of The Howling Dead, a Basic D&D/RC scenario, was a great success.  Having my friends Justin and Alana Groshong Davis there was a treat.  Of course, also having FulOnGamer at my table guarantees at least an interesting time.  Afterwards, I handed the Davises one of my copies of the Rules Cyclopedia with Frank Mentzer's and Jeff Easley's signatures.  They did great and it was my way of paying it forward a bit.

* Missing the midnight auction due to being sucked into playing Edition Wars with FulOn and Matt.  Hope I catch the auction next year - although I did spare myself the sight of BadMike live dressed in devil's horns and a cape (I also heard he was going to wear a matching Speedo - dodged that bullet).

* Being gobsmacked when Zach Glazar walked up to me prior to my game starting, pressing an Attoral Broodsource mini in my hand and saying he was too wiped to play in my game.  Wow, thanks Zach - you should bow out of my games more often.

* Playing Cthulhu Wars with Sandy Peterson before we took off home Sunday.  Fantastic minis for the game but it was just as confusing as it looked.  It's kinda like an eldritch version of Risk.  Not my kind of game but folks say it's great.

Once again, a great time was had by all.  I ran my first convention game (something I intend to repeat next year), Ballick IV survived, I got to play Thundarr and no broken shoulder this time (although during my game I DID, in my excitement of getting around the table to draw the map, manage to trip on FulOn's backpack and faceplant on the floor).  Thanks go to Mike Badolato (BadMike) and Doug Rhea for again putting on a helluva show.  I hope to attend (and not hurt myself) for the next 10 years.