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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Not So Scary Monster Saturday: Gorbel

OK, you busted me. I did just buy a Fiend Folio last week. It's been at least 20 years since I've owned one. Now the scariest part of this guy is that he kinda resembles one of those red playground balls. You know, the kind that the big kids hurled at the skinny little nerdlings during DodgeBall.
-"the Gorbel appears as a red globe of thin rubbery material about 3' in diameter"
Andrew Key, Fiend Folio 1981
It looks like it is scaring the hell out of the guy in the fez.
From the previews I see that there will be some of these forgotten gems in the upcoming Monster Manual 3. Score!!!
It looks like WOTC is becoming more comfortable with thier customer base.....Old Farts.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ride the Giant Down

While printing out my character sheet for last nights 4th Ed. game I noticed something odd. There was an unsolicited power added to old Grognard Deepmugs' repertoire. Apparently when you choose a paragon path (Giantslayer in this case) the character builder just adds stuff. In this case it's called.....

Ride the Giant Down

You scramble onto the creature’s back, distracting it and gaining a better position to bring it down.

Daily: Martial
Move Action Melee 1

Target: One Large or larger creature

Effect: You move into the target’s space, provoking opportunity attacks as normal. Until you leave the target’s space, the target grants combat advantage to you and your allies and takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls, and you grant combat advantage to other enemies. Any attack that damages you also deals half the attack’s damage to the target. When the target moves, you move with it, staying in the same portion of the target’s space.
If the target hits you with a melee attack, it can slide you 1 square to a square adjacent to its space unless you succeed on a saving throw.

Special: If you’re trained in Athletics, you don’t grant combat advantage to other enemies because of being in the target’s space, and you can make a saving throw to negate any pull, push, or slide that would move you out of the target’s space.

....Now I've been trying to do this for years. Some DM's let you do stuff like this with an extremely difficult series of rolls, most just shake their head and chuckle. You see, I always play Dwarves, and any self-respecting son of Moradin knows that the best place from which to smite a large foe is from the top down. Thank you WOTC.

I just wish this was an At-Will.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sunken Empires - a review

One of the coolest things about being an RPG’er is the ability to take a quirky idea and build a world around it. Before I received my review copy of Open Designs “Sunken Empires” I thought it might be just that. Or at worst it was some cool gear to change my sword and board fighter into Aquaman. I was way off.

If you’d like to drop your campaign into Atlantis or Mu you should get this book.

You get new Pathfinder monsters like the Coral Drake and the Goblin Shark. New spells like Barnacle Armor and Sea Legs (which would have come in handy when I was in the Navy). Sweet watery weapons like the sawfish sword and the Orca Suit Armor crafted by merfolk. Add some excellent maps and you’ve got an extremely useful campaign tool. And yes, there are Aboleths!

This book not only lends itself to high fantasy but to a Jules Verne kind of pulp vibe. It’s easily as good if not better than anything the Big RPG Dogs produce.

Click on the title to go to the Website.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

W.T.F. L.F.R.?

I played in a Living Forgotten Realms event at a small convention today. Let's just say that I was not impressed.
Why we bothered to name our characters I will never know. We did 2 skill challenges which were adequate at best. We had 3 encounters which were disappointing to say the least. I spent hours smoothing and worrying over my character, what a waste of time. I had a total of 11 turns in 3 encounters. Basically we were on a small boat assaulting a larger ship. Before I could climb out of the boat the fight was over. The PC's, whose names I never did learn (I think one of them was Old Pete) were so geeked up, that each fight only lasted 2 to 3 rounds. I actually felt like I was playing a different game. Now, the players and DM themselves were extremely nice, and there were some funny moments. But over all I was extremely disappointed. It was not fun at all. I wish they would have just handed out the loot and XP and dispensed with the fake D&D.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Character Builder+Me=Gibbering Idiot

It's recently come to my attention that I am a gibbering idiot. No seriously. I'm playing in a good friends 3.5 clone campaign, and I have lost the ability to fill out and update a character sheet.
It's kind of sad really. I used to love doing it. Now I just stare at the book like a neanderthal with an iPad.
The problem is that I depend way to much on WOTC's Character Builder. If you haven't seen this bundle of digital crack let me explain. The character builder is part of WOTC's DM Tools. It allows you to create, store and print an infinite amount of player characters. It does every single bit of math. You can, in mere minutes, run through dozens of combinations of skill, powers, and weapons. Choose the best combo then print it out complete with customized power cards. It literally has everything. All the books, errata, and magazine articles updated monthly for you to choose from. I love it.
Beware, you will become addicted. They even let you preview the first 3 level for free. But if you play more than 4th Edition it will spoil you forever.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Why We Play

I've had a rough couple of weeks. It happens. But, the other night I was able to leave that all behind. For a few hours I became someone else. I fought his fights and loved his loves. With the help of an awesome Dungeon Master, I was transported to a land of magic and monsters. I picked up his axe and charged the giants. Soon, two hours had turned to five and it was over. For that time I had forgotten about being laid off and about the car payments. I was totally engrossed and loving it. I got something way better than 3200 XP, I got to escape, and to relax. The best kind of therapy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Forward to the Past or Back to the Future

I was busy rescuing the captured maiden when the dragon showed up. Fifty feet of scaled terror glared down at us with smoldering red eyes. Tendrils of smoke drifted out from between fangs larger than daggers. The dragon blocked the only exit from the cave.

Tom Moldvay from the Forward of the 1980 Basic Set

Recent events have forced me to a crossroads in my gaming life that I was hoping to avoid.
On one hand we have 4th Edition and Pathfinder. So shiny, and so good. Currently I'm playing in two 4th Ed. campaigns. They are immensely fun, and entertaining. (I think 4th Ed. is much more fun to play than to DM) I'm currently reading the Pathfinder book, and from what my friends say, it's lots of fun to play.
On the other hand I'm sitting here staring at the Moldvay basic set with the Erol Otus cover. Oh you know the one don't you, beckoning to me like that Farrah Fawcett swimsuit poster (RIP). I really really really want to start a Sunday game starting with the Basic set then Expert then 1st Edition AD&D.
Obviously I can't play and do both and still stay married. What the hell should I do?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bobbing for Orcs!!!

A funny thing happened on the way to the Land of the Giants. Our weary party stumbled over the last ridge into a vale with a frozen pond. A party of Orcs had chipped a hole in the ice and were filling their water skins. As we watched, a blue tentacle reached out from the hole and was grasping for a quick snack.....
What were we to do? What would you do?

Let me know what your party would do.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Worst Cleric EVER!!!

It's been suggested that Tamclarn the Shorn, my Tuesday nights' Everquest character, is the worst cleric EVER. That seems a little harsh don't you think?
OK it's possible that I might have refused to heal a party member. But, said character shouldn't assume that magic items belong to him. Also said character is a marshmallow-ish magic user with an un-naturally large forehead and shouldn't be anywhere near combat. Just saying. Also I haven't really read that pesky rule book.
Truth be told, I'm more of Tank guy anyway. Tanks don't need to read the rules. We just stand in the middle and kick ass and look sexy. And why would the rules (which I should probably read) say I can have a Brutal Warhammer if I'm not supposed to use it.
And, if the Barbarian fails into a pit then runs into a room full of coins, and basilisks, is it my fault? Should I risk my ass to heal him? Apparently I should.
OK, I'll read the rules! And if someone needs healed I'll heal them, even if they are stupid. Just let me kick some ass once in while.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My First MMORPG Experience!

(panting) For the last two hours I've been running around a Dungeon. OK, the first hour I was trying to figure out how not to chop up NPC's. But, I might have actually been having fun. I was playing an MMORPG, which I swore I would never do. Of course I said that I would never play 4th Edition also.
The worst part was waiting for the damn thing to download. Now I'm not sure how much time I will spend playing xxxx MMORPG but it wasn't as bad as I thought. (this one is free and based on a popular pen and paper) I will definitely try it again.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Finally! New D&D Shirts!

When was the last time you bought a new D&D shirt? C'mon, admit it, it was GenCon '84 wasn't it? Now you've got no excuse, you have a place of your own, maybe even a real girlfriend. Get over to Jinx (enclosed link helps yours truly) and check them out. I really like the Rust Monster one.