After arriving at home and having a proper look at the box's contents, I was astounded to see that everything in the box looked as if it just left TSR's printer. No creases, no dirt, no old food stains, no finger prints, just perfection. This adventure, though it doesn't directly relate to the systems I run, will no doubt provide me with endless ideas and inspiration. Not to mention it's hella cool to own a classic piece from D&D history!!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Today I had the great honor and pleasure of stumbling upon a box full of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons boxed sets. The ones of note that I perused included the original Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, The Ruins of Undermountain, and Dragon Mountain. The latter I was able to purchase after being disappointed by the news that the others were being held for eBay sales.
After being on hiatus since late February, early March, my group and I once again dove into our campaign.
The night started off rough with the PCs finally concluding a five day trek through thick woodland. They arrived at an elven outpost on the isle of Alus Enial ("Water home") and there met the ranger guard of the elven wood and their druid leader. After much role playing, setting up adventure hooks and acquainting the party with the society of the isle, the PCs were off to questing. Investigating the disappearance of elven rangers led them to a rough encounter with boggards (Pathfinder's answer to bullywugs) which they survived without a hitch. Carrying one of the enemy bodies back to the elves to answer their questions regarding what may have caused the disappearance they then struck out to find a boar for an upcoming feast. This led them down a particularly large trail left by what appeared to have been a massive beast. Following this with little difficulty due to the destruction surely caused by the beast's size, they, once again, encountered boggards, coincidentally in the same "marshy area" they fought in previously.
After overcoming another encounter with the vile frog-like men, the majority of the party continued after the boar. The elven cleric decided to take it upon himself to further investigate the marsh after hearing sounds of boggard-like conversation. He stumbled upon a small, mud hut village populated by women and the elderly. He essentially went Anakin Skywalker on the lot and the massive tadpoles they were nursing.
The rest of the party, in the meantime, continued on the trail only to run into a dire boar that was in the process of rooting through vegetation. The two who made this discovery were a bard and a sorceress, hardly melee combatants. The bard, through clever spell use and trickery managed to distract the boar while the sorceress stealthily moved behind the beast to begin attacking it. After a long exchange of goring blows from the enraged animal and jabs from both party combatants, with the sorceress eventually falling unconscious from damage, the party managed to fell the beast.
Taking their hard earned trophy back to the elven village, after being rejoined by the wayward cleric, they returned back to the safety and gratitude of their new elven allies. Now they wait for the feast and the coming of the king's ambassador's envoy.
I'm thankful that after some rigid role play to start the evening, the players finally eased themselves back into their roles and did splendidly at playing their very interesting characters. I'm looking forward to leading them further into my home-brewed world.
Stay tuned for more from our the Tabletop Epics! adventures!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Today, my only weekday off from work, I sit at my computer and let the fantasy world I've crafted spin through my head and out onto game notes. Today I craft adventures in worlds beyond the norm and deep with history and magic.
I really enjoy this part of the hobby. Not only can one sit and play creator to a whole new world, shaped by one's whims and imagination, but you can prepare others to delve into it.
I'd love to post the history for the world I've created and the ideas I have for the character party but I'd rather not spoil the fun.
One day I hope to shape all these efforts of mine into a publishable campaign setting for many other gamers to dive into. One day, perhaps.
For years now I've enjoyed the offerings of David S. Kenzer, Jolly Blackburn, Steve Johansson, and company. Not only do they provide one of the best gaming magazines ever, they do it with all the love for the hobby one could ever possibly have.
Knights of the Dinner Table is a publication worth subscribing to if you enjoy gaming at all. The laughs provided in the comics are gut-busting, the content of the game related articles is rich with helpful information, and the staff behind it makes sure to provide as much fun per issue as possible. I actively seek for the newest issue any time I'm in a game or hobby store. It's what gets me through the year when my own table is in a slump.
Among the games they publish Hackmaster is the most noteworthy. Now in the Basic incarnation, this game continues to build upon the original role playing game penned by Gygax and Arneson. It differs in many ways, yet stays classically flavored. Anyone looking to try out a new role playing system should absolutely give this one a read. I'd also recommend Tech Support especially if you're into an easy card game to share with your friends. I had the pleasure of play testing this item at the KenzerCo. booth at Gen Con Indy 2005, where I was fortunate to meet Jolly Blackburn, the creative mind behind the Knights Comic, and have him sign issue #100.
I can't express how much entertainment this company has given me over the years. They're magazine lifts my spirits when life has beaten them down, and they're games remind me that the heart of the hobby is the pursuit of having fun!
Make mine KenzerCo!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Paizo games, a company definitely worth noting, has really proven themselves in recent years. They've always delivered, in my opinion, while they were publishing Dungeon and Dragon magazines. Now they are the publishers of one of the best products to come out of the d20 Open License. The Pathfinder RPG is not only a direct descendant of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, it is, for my money, a superior descendant. It should rightfully hold the license that Wizards of the Coast has mistakenly applied to their new RPG which is NOT Dungeons and Dragons.
My title for this blog is probably off. Paizo, in their grand effort to continue and better the legacy of 3.5, have really saved the worked of Cook, Tweet, and Williams. These names, for me, are no less than divine in the realms of tabletop gaming, though they aren't Gygax or Arneson.
I'm excited about running Pathfinder. I can't stop being excited. It's so friendly towards a DM who would rather have the core books and be left alone to my his own designs, like myself. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to have fun role playing or looking to get back into the hobby.
Paizo, whose message boards I've begun frequent, will have my business for as long as they maintain the quality I've known them to have. The creative team there deserves much praise!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
On June 19, 2010 my gaming group and I will be off to enjoy a local Renaissance Faire and all its wonder. After that blessed madness we shall trek back to the sofas and coffee tables of our house to game on into the night. Pathfinder shall be our system, the story is a tale crafted by me, myself, and the beverage of the night will probably be tied between Monster and the traditional elixir of choice, Mountain Dew.
I've not been this excited about gaming in a long time. A day to not only attend Ren Faire (FUN, FUN) but to also come home and continue our campaign, which I wrote, that has been in an unfortunate hiatus since late February (my fault). I look forward to pulling back some more of the slightly open curtain for my group to show them the labors of my mind and the fantasy therein. Here's hoping all works as close to plan as possible.
In regard to my home-brewed campaign, for the sake of not spoiling anything much, I've found that I'm really fond of elves after all. There was a time when I absolutely had to be a dwarf, close-cropped hair, long, braided beard, and an axe at hand. Since writing this game and expanding my horizons with other races of the fantasy role playing genre, I've been able to accept races that before were better in my mind as two-dimensional background dressing. Though, as much as I've enjoyed writing my version of these people, their history, and how it's shaped and will shape events, I'm going to enjoy flipping the table on the group at the end. We shall have to wait for that report, folks.
Game on, friends! Play till ye can no more, fellow dice slingers!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I'm a fan and player of many games. My interests range from CCG's like Magic the Gathering and the X-Files CCG to RPG's like Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder. I like to imagine and create, to revel in a fantasy world.
My cardinal gaming rule:
IF YOU WANT TO GAME BE PREPARED TO HAVE FUN!
Sadly to game one must find others with at least that one shared interest. My misfortune is being surrounded by people I can't comfortably play with or people whose play style clashes tragically with mine.
No one seems to look for the fun in gaming anymore. It's all competitive, down to the prize card for tournament events or the XP heavy adventure with enough Magic Items to frighten a wizard's school. Rules systems have become crazy and over complicated, at least in regards to RPG's, in their attempt to be "Realistic." Strange that realism is in such demand for a hobby built up in the Fantasy and Sci-fi genres.
I'd like to take a nice rules set for RPG's, find people who don't mind casually sitting around and chatting all while enjoying an adventure, and actually have fun gaming. I'd also like to make some casual play card decks and attempt to have fun without feeling bullied or like I'm guilty of bullying (my wife's complaint when playing against me). I'm tired of stressing over the lack of fun I'm having in my favorite hobby. I refuse to let Munchkin demands make DMing feel like a second job or to let over-caffeinated, teenagers at the game store make me feel inferior because I haven't spent the last month indoors analyzing every potential combination in the nth million set of cards!!
My cardinal gaming rule:
IF YOU WANT TO GAME BE PREPARED TO HAVE FUN!