Friday, May 11, 2018

Primeval Thule Hits My Hyborean Sweet Spot


In another case of "How did I not Know About This," Primeval Thule jumps up and slaps me around for not discovering it earlier. It's classic Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith all for D&D5E - and a few other games that I don't play. The only thing is, I think I don't want to use 5E for it ... I want to use it for Swords & Wizardry Whitebox ... another not-so-guilty pleasure of mine.

More on this as I absorb the goodness ...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Unofficial Elder Scrolls RPG ... How Did I Not Know About This?


I've been a Elder Scrolls fan since way back and I've seen other homebrew TES role playing games before ... But ZOWIE! ... This collection of books rocks your socks off as being the most loyal to the video game experience as I've ever seen!

Check This Out

Now, 3rd Edition is not yet complete, but 2nd edition is more so complete, so I'd advise getting the Second edition stuff to play and use the 3rd edition as a sort of supplement were applicable.That's what my son and I are gonna do ... yes this is going on to our overfilled plate because it looks too good to pass up. There's even a Reddit forum for the development of this game. I can't wait to role up a Nord Adventuring Party for my son's game - I'm so excited!!!

As an update, we Outlaws are slowly gaining ground on the gaming front at our FLGS, WARGEAR of New Philadelphia, Ohio. with new players such as Billy and Tony, fantastic evenings of adventure await .. and I think we have room for a couple more!

GAME ON, BROTHER TRUCKERS!


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Update 2-1-18

sigh ...

Our group has not been able to get all cylinders firing all last month; from folks working (which I don't find fault with,) having previous engagements (again, no fault,) or just not answering ANY attempt at communication (Here, I have issue ...)

My son and I have started gaming at a FLGS, The Wargear in Dover, Ohio. The atmosphere is pleasant and enjoyable and we plan on dropping anchor here for a while in hopes of finding new players.

In the meantime our Home games, which have been the subjects of our network of blogs listed above, are going to continue the best we can, even if the postings become less frequent.

Wish us luck and GAME ON!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Games with a Canon Story

A game with a canon story, like Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Dragonlance can really throw a monkey wrench into campaign design. As a fan, you know the plot points, but as a GM you want your players to shine as bright as the stars of these genres ...

The obvious thing is to throw caution to the wind and remove the big players from your game. But then ... what is Star Wars without the evil Darth Vader breathing down your players collective necks? Harry Potter without ... Harry Potter?

Throw Canon out right away. The PCs are the stars here and will create their own story through game play. Most of these stories have Plot Points, where hero X must do Y ... if possible, save these pivotal moments in the game for the players to resolve, and hang on ... your story is going to take twists and turns, I guarantee it.

Unless you allow iconic characters to be played by your players, their intrusion into your game could be jarring. But then, allowing players to play iconic characters IS an option ... don't worry so much about them upsetting your game balance, if one player plays an icon, so should all the players if this method is selected. They will also take on those characters flaws and rogues galleries, so a sort of balance will be maintained. Also, Die rolls matter over plot points. What if The Force wasn't quite with Luke Skywalker and he couldn't blow up the Death Star due to a bad die roll? hmmmm .... Now, we got a game where the PCs have a moment to shine.

Another method similar to the one above  might be accomplished as visiting the worlds of what if ... What if more than two children had been born on that fateful day that marked the coming of the Chosen One in Godric's Hollow?

What if the Ring dominated Frodo at the last moment ... would Aragorn's army been enough to push back the darkness at the Gates of Mordor? Could the tides have turned that much with that single, crippling moment?

What if the Tusken Raider killed Luke and Obi Wan was a split second too late to save the lad? He'd still discover the droids and take them off to Alderaan, perhaps for one last hope in finding the Princess ...

Done this way, the method removes the icon (albeit a bit heavy handedly)  and allows the players to become part of the story - which will change now due to character interaction. You need to create your own story now, perhaps with elements of the original story still lingering for GMs to draw from.

See, everyone wants to be the focus of the story, everybody in these games wants to be the hero. I think as a GM, you owe it to the players to present that OPPORTUNITY  ...  not to be misunderstood as ENTITLEMENT. Entitlement says The Force is always with Luke. Last I checked, we were playing Roleplaying Games not writing Fanfic, so it's not a sure thing for Luke any more. He must roll dice, and as such, he has the opportunity to succeed or fail.

I'm spinning my wheels here as I have a few games like this our group wants to get in on. Maybe my ramblings will help someone, maybe you think I’m full of shit - comments are welcome.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Game Day Today - 12.01.17

It's been a long week, but as soon as my son gets home from school and the guys show up, IT'S GAME TIME. Not sure what exactly we're gonna do, as we have lots of stuff ready for tabletime, but if I had my dreathers, we'd prep up for OUTER RIM OUTLAWS, get a little Chult time in, and work on our MYSTERY PROJECT ... oooooh .... Mystery Goodness ...

More posting later, until then -
"Foaming Flagons raised up high, we salute those poor dumb bastards about to die ..." -- A Traditional Toast at The Yawning Portal Tavern, Waterdeep.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Is the OSR just a bunch of stubborn luddites?

I used to dig the OSR years ago, y'know, back when Grognardia was a thing?

Swords & Wizardry absolutely rocks, but now it's like everyone's trying to make a buck off of it, or so it seems. And then there's the design ethics ... must EVERYTHING look like it was thrown together by complete non-talents or ne’er-do-wells?

Don't get me wrong, I really like most of the material that has come out from the OSR, it has been creative and a good thing for RPGs in general, but man-Oh-Man why do all the custom character sheets look like shit? Some might argue that black and white art sets a mood ... well it can, but when your pen and ink skills look amateur, so does your product. Step it up, OSR.

EDIT: For further discussion, and a well shown rebuttal, on this topic, see the G+ comments around here.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - WOW!


I'll probably have more to say about this later, but I would like to say that all you 1st edition AD&D really, really need to put all your many hardbacks away to collect value, because Astonishing Swordsman and Sorcerers ofHyperborea is really the game for you. Yes, I dig it – but not because it's new and shiny – it IS first Edition as most people play it – but better. You already know most of the rules, but those you don't follow a Gygaxian sense of logic. Really – this is what Second Edition could've and probably should've looked like.
This game is for all you grognards out there who cling tenaciously to 1E.

There are no Demihumans, however; but to make up for this, there are a variety of man-races to pick from. Some of the classes are different too, but on closer examination, many of the new classes are common dual classed character types merged into a single class, while others are common specializations, such as the Pyromancer.

Seriously, I've played this game a couple of times now, and aside from the heavily pulp influenced setting out-of-the-box, I can barely tell this isn't 1E. The setting does seem to be well thought out though and has a gritty feel to it despite being relatively gonzo – providing one defines gonzo in the Lovecraft, Howard, Ashton-Smith vein.

Like I said, I'll have more to gush about this game later, when we delve into the revised edition of the rules, which comes in quite a meaty tome full of beautiful art and old-school goodness.

Until then, Happy Gobble-Gobble Day!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Space, the Final Frontier ...

I'd love to run or play Far Trek.

I've pretty much always been a fan of the source material, even though I completely disagree with the Prime Directive (Captain Kirk for the win!) But that said, most of the incarnations of the series have been pretty good and it has a plethora of material to draw from as a setting. I haven't looked at the new Star Trek Adventures game, but I am fairly certain that Far Trek is a much lighter set of rules to learn.

Then there is what I'd do to the setting ...

Firstly, everyone who has ever played a Trek game has wanted to play their version of the stars of the show, no matter which generation we're talking about. In the case of our group, that would be The Original Series. I say let them, and play out the continuing voyages of the Starship Enterprise.

Next, we'd delve into the complex - but fun - universe of Starfleet Battles. SFB is one of those tactical board games with zillions of rules that I'd love to master but don't have the time or player interest to do so, but the fluff is solid. It builds upon the Original Series, yet the lore is obscure enough to be all new to my players. I'd use Prime Directive and its supplements as a base for the setting, but instead of Prime Teams, we play the Original bridge crew.

Should a player want to create an original character, the Player Character races would be expanded to include Alpha Centaurians, Cygnians, and many more when including the Federation Supplement, which allows for the diverse racial mixtures that follow the spirit of the show. Prime Directive has a more militant structure to Starfleet, which somewhat represents the continuity that flows into the motion pictures of Kirk and Crew.

Both Klingons and Romulans might make appearances in a campaign for familiarity's sake - but using foes such as The ISC, Orions, Jindarians, and Kzinti sound pretty sweet.

 I'm getting pumped just writing this ... maybe we can squeeze another sci-fi game into our schedule ...


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Welcome to our Blog Hub.

I created this network as a means of sorting and organizing my ideas and thoughts on various RPGs. The links above will take you to the games I GM for; our motley crew of players, The Outlaws.

I do hope you enjoy our retelling of adventure gaming and some of the wacky stuff that comes along with it.

John.