I Swing the Vorpal Spork of Irony like some Hyperborean Usurper through the Hordes of the Unwashed.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My One Page Dungeon Submission

At left is my submission for the One Page Dungeon Contest. Yes, that does look familiar. It was inspired by one of my favorite Star Trek episodes, "The Gamesters of Triskelion". If you are an old Fart please don't tell my players how Captain Kirk got out of this situation. (It has something to do with sex and a green-haired Thrall) Feel free to use it for DM'ly Hi-Jinks.

Friday, February 26, 2010

On Friends and Gaming

A really awesome thing happened to me today. The owner of our Friendly Local Gaming Store called me and said that there was something cool waiting for me at the shop. The call got me thinking of how my life had changed in the last 18 months.

Long story short, I returned to roleplaying after a 20 year absence and starting hanging around a gaming store again. Something interesting started to happen. I started making friends. I actually thought that I couldn't make friends anymore. Work and school and small children had changed the way that I viewed friendship. Now that my life has evolved I guess that I subconsciously started looking for friends again. And what better place than around the gaming table? I was seeking out people who were similar to me with similar interests. What I found was something I didn't expect.

Lots and lots of friends. Now, gamers don't tend to be outgoing and gregarious people. But, once you're in, you're in for good. I'm having a great time with my new friends.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Big Mistake

Last night got my GM hackles up a bit. But, upon further reflection, It was all my fault.
Long story short, I was running a Call of Cthulhu campaign. I have never ran or actually played the game before. Duh! Not sure what I was thinking. To my players, I apologize.
What I didn't realize is that a CoC group needs a commonality and a reason to stay together. Without which it's like "Herding Cats".
In D&D an adventuring group has different roles to fill, and everyone knows not to split the party.
Next time I will strand everyone on an island. Yeah, pre-gens, maybe a farm girl, a movie star, and an older wealthy couple.
I wanted to kill off a pregnant Nun with her own Cthulhu baby (who doesn't), but alas it was not to be. Maybe next time. Does anyone know of a CoC investigation I can join?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Background Music

Tonight I spent several hours searching for some cool ass D&D background Music. What I finally downloaded surprised me. Not because I shelled out precious gaming Moola on what is essentially Musak, but that the Tunes came from Video Game Soundtracks. Here is what I bought.

  • The Age of Conan-in my opinion this is cooler than the Movie Soundtracks.
  • Viking: Battle for Asgard-this album has 29 really excellent tracks.
  • Kiss: God of Thunder-I bought this one to kick off a Boss fight of Legendary proportions. Probably won't use it when DM'ing for middle schooler's.

I already own two very good Midnight Syndicate albums, this should put me over the top. I would love to hear what other gamers use or don't use.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

D&D and Poker

As I contemplated my next post (something about snow) an interesting thought struck me. My two favorite pastimes, Hold'em and D&D, have some very interesting similarities.
  • One person, who is supposed to be neutral, controls the action and decides who gets the treasure.
  • Each involves a significant amount of cursing.
  • Each involves sitting around a large table for endless hours with the hygienically challenged waiting for something to happen.
  • The participants of each activity have an endless supply of stories about something "interesting" that happened 3 years ago that makes no sense to anyone unless they happened to be sitting around that same table 3 years ago.

Those are just a few, feel free to add your own.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gelatinous Cubed

I was bidding on a Gelatinous Cube mini on Ebay when a thought occured to me. Why not make my own. The duece you say. Actually it takes about 5 minutes, and the results are excellent. What you need:
Unflavored gelatin (Knox is the best)
Hot Water
Mold (Large Chessex dice cube for me)
Pam or Vegetable Oil
3 hours
Coat the inside of the mold with a tiny amount of Pam or vegetable oil.
Disovle 1 pack of gelatin in 1 cup of hot or boiling water.
Wisk until comepletely disolved.
Pour into mold with the unfortunate victim, or without.
Refrigerate for 3 hours.
Hint: you will need to gently or ungently shake the mold to get the cube out.
The cube will not last forever, and will need to be refrigerated while not in use.
Unflavored gelatin tastes like crap.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

4th Ed. Dungeon Masters' Best Friend

I hate laptops at the gaming table!!! I swore I would never do it. They are a horrible distraction, they take up too much space, and the cords are a trip hazard.
Here comes the but....
They do have some very valid uses for a Dungeon Master. Especially if you are DM'ing outside your home.
I am a D&D Insider subscriber so having instaneous access to the character and monster builder is a huge plus.
I play background music during my sessions, which is stored in my iTunes library.
But I recently found something that put me over the top. It's called the Dungeon Master's Battlescreen.
For the first 11 months of DM'ing 4th Ed. I was overwhelmed with all the bookkeeping. Hit Points, Ongoing Effects and Initiative not to mention all of the Monster and PC stats. In short I wasn't having a whole lot of fun.
DM's Battle Screen does all the dirty work for you.
Seriously, I could go on and on, but you need to see it for yourself. The program is Freeware and not an official WOTC program. You can however import files from the Monster and Character Builders. Take a look.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Old School Revolution

Since my triumphant return to RPG'ing one thing has puzzled me. That would be the 'Old School Revolution'. The 'Old School' exists on most of your bookshelves. If you want to run or play 'Old School' go to the source. That's why I'm going back to where it all began. With one big difference. Just one book. Thats right, Players Handbook only. I'll post an update after the first session. If my players don't kill me first.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why all D&D Movies Suck

*Recently heard around my Gaming Table*

Why do all the Sci-Fi Channels' D & D movies blow Kobolds?

Well I'll Tell you why, BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE DWARVES IN THEM THAT'S WHY!!! Before you call me crazy, think about it for a minute. What fantasy race is more iconic? Elves? Just pluck a couple of guys from a Duran Duran cover band and slap some pointy ears on them. Get with the plan Hollywood "Short Guys with Beards = Made for TV success". I hear Adam Baldwin is available.

RIP The Heroes Ever Mysterious

Last night, my first adventuring party since returning to gaming, Died.

Not a glorious death at the hands of a Demogorgon or Beholder Eye Tyrant.
But, an inglorious death of changing work schedules, family commitments and lousy weather.
It was fun while it lasted, thanks for the laughs!
[insert sad bagpipe music here]

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gaming Paper

Last year, while updating my Facebook page, one of those "side ads" caught my attention. It was for something called "Gaming Paper". What I saw intrigued me, and tweeked my "Old School" meter. So I ordered a roll.
Long story short, I have been using this ever since.
Basically it has 1 inch squares or hexes. It's 12 ft long and 30 inches wide. And, are you ready for this, it costs 4 dollars!!! You can't get a cup of damn coffee for 4 dollars. I was able to put an entire dungeon on it and roll it up in between sessions. It is hands down better than the dry or wet erase battle maps. I've posted more in-use pics on their Facebook page (I'm a big fan). Order a roll and try it.

I am a Dwarf-o-Holic

Do you like rocks?
Do you have a candle on your hat?
Do you hide things in your beard?
Have you ever used a battleaxe to open a can of Ravioli?
If you answered yes to these questions you may have a problem.
No, not a real problem, but an imaginary problem.
I play only Dwarves and I don't know why. And, I don't really care.
But is that so bad?