Tuesday, December 29, 2015

[mobile post] Sci-Fi Invasion

I am not just a fan of retro-games but I also enjoy B-movies. I have seen those mega movie DVD sets from Mill Creek Entertainment. There are several of these 50 movie sets available ranging from horror to mystery to science fiction. I have always wanted to check one out because the titles remind me of the old Saturday night creature features that would play on the local Fox channel back in the 1980s. My wife explained that she still found it difficult to buy Christmas presents for me so I told her to pick one of those up and she did. I have only watched one or two movies but I did notice that the 50 movies are split up among 12 DVDs with several movies on each. Once a month for the next year I will be viewing and posting about these "classic" movie selections. Disc 1 is coming in January...

Friday, December 25, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

[mobile post] Fanzine Contents?

I am assembling ideas for a pdf fanzine devoted to the Perilous Journeys fantasy role-playing game and the SteamCraft role-playing game. I plan on starting off either quarterly or bi-monthly until the ball gets rolling good. It will be highly inspired by the GURPS minimagazine Roleplayer. Obviously, fanzines typically include stuff like new character races, professions, flaws, edges, spells, monsters, items, etc. and stuff like ideas for contacts and adventure seeds just to name a few more. Is there anything I am missing or suggestions for ideas that would make it stand out.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

[mobile post] Coming Out of Cryosleep

2015 got kind of crazy for a bit and one of the things that had to be put on the backburner was the old blog. It just did not seem that important with the real world issues going on. The doctors finally figured out my wife has something causing her a significant iron deficiency but after months of adjustments it looks like everything is headed in the right direction. I am just thankful it was not cancer as originally speculated.


I am going to get the blog back up and running in 2016. So, what exactly does that mean? Read on to find out...


Frequency
I think a once a week posting commitment should probably do the trick. Any more than that can be considered a bonus.


Content
You can expect the same sort of posts that have always been made here. There will be new features, of course, but it will still be the same familiar place.


That's it for now. Have a Merry Christmas and I will see you in 2016.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Deal of the Day - SteamCraft Core Rules $4.50

*Shameless Plug*

The SteamCraft Core Rules have been selected as DriveThruRPGs Deal of the Day.  That makes the PDF 70% its regular price.  You can order it from here: www.drivethrurpg.com/product/100695/SteamCraft?src=DotD

Putting the Punk into SteamPunk!

In the spirit of Gibson and Sterling's The Difference EngineSteamCraft takes you to an alternate, dystopian world where gears, goggles, and airships dominate life. The Industrial Age is joined by an early Information Age, combining into a gritty world where corporations use technological advances to amass hordes of wealth and power at the expense of the working class.  Meanwhile, technomages' ability to create by mixing magic with machine lurches ahead of their wisdom to control their creations and where scientific exploration is best done in coal powered airships venturing beyond the charted world maps.
It is a time when society threatens to plunge into either a dystopian future controlled by corporations and authoritarian governments, or one where heroic individuals manipulate information and technology to bring about a better future.  Intrigue, insidious evil, and the opportunity for both unlimited power, and unlimited beneficence await those that would explore this world.  The clever and the bold will shape that which it is to become.

With a Fantasy Edge

Just as Shadowrun mixes cyberpunk and fantasy, SteamCraft mixes steampunk and fantasy. The scientific wonders of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells mix with fantasy elements like dwarves and elves. The result is a world filled with ancient horrors as well as man-made beasts such as Clockwork Beholders.

Clockwork Beholder

Monday, October 12, 2015

[Perilous Journeys RPG] The Minotaur, Take One

The following monster entry is my first attempt at presenting the Minotaur using the Perilous Journeys RPG game stats.

Minotaur

H: 60-70  A: 36–45  S: 40  AF: 6
Attack: weapon +4/1d8/1d6

Encountered: 1-4

Description: Minotaurs appear to be large humanoid creatures with the head of a bull.  They are typically around 7 feet tall with a thick, rugged build.  Rumors speak of Minotaurs living on a diet consisting of humans and other smaller humanoid races.  Minotaurs are somewhat intelligent and may use tools and weapons.

Comat: Minotaurs tend to charge their opponents in an attempt to gore them for 1d8 damage; when closed to grappling distance a Minotaur may bite for 1d6 damage.  Some Minotaurs prefer to use weapons such as spears, clubs, or axes and get a +4 bonus to damage when doing so.  Minotaurs tend to attack things smaller than their size.  Minotaurs may be wearing a ragtag mix of garments for armor in addition to their tough hide and have an effective armor factor of 6 points.

Treasure: C

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

(mobile post) Entering Cryosleep

It's obvious that I haven't met my posting goals so far this year. This has been a hectic ride so far and continues to be time consuming in areas that prevent me from posting regularly. I am not closing this blog down but I am entering a deliberate period of little to no posting. I may pop up now and then with a post but it will definitely be sporadic instead of scheduled. Any of you readers that are anticipating any follow up posts on my various projects please stand by abut realize it will most likely be later rather than sooner. No worries - I will return...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Curse Continues / PBP or PBEM Recommendations?

Yesterday was supposed to be the first session of a new gaming group.  It has been several years so I was really looking forward to it.  We were meeting up around 6 p.m. to create characters and begin a Numenera campaign.  It was literally just a few hours or more until go time and all of a sudden there is an issue.  I am not going into details but, in short, the game did not take place; at least not with me. Put simply, I think I might need to change tactics so does anyone have any recommendations for a Play-by-Post or Play-by-Email site?  I need something that can accommodate the following:

1.  My work schedule is 5:00 pm to 3:30 am.
2.  I have an IPad; laptop bit the dust...lol.
3.  A slower paced game would be great; I'm not trying to post every day or anything like that.

Can you help me out?




Thursday, July 9, 2015

Disney Crawl Classics

I ran across a blog of a person who is using the DCC rules with his kids. He is using Disney characters to do this. 

If I tell my three children that they are playing a group of space-faring heroes they may smile. But if I tell them that their quest involves Buzz Lightyear, Wall-E, and Stitch they start jumping up and down with glee!

Imagine how excited my sweet little children will be after experiencing a Harley Stroh adventure with Mickey and friends. It’ll be swell!

My description of the three part mini-campaign was honest and to the point. “It’s like Kingdom Hearts… with corruption,” I told them as we sat down to choose characters.
You can read more at:

http://ilive4crits.blogspot.com/2015/07/disney-crawl-classics-when-you-wish.html?m=1

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How To Play: Boss Monster

For anyone that read my original post about Boss Monster and would like more information, here is a video explaining how to play.




Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Does an "evil" alignment really make sense?



Alignment as many issues to deal with, but there is one that I am not sure has been commonly raised.  Would a PC or NPC actually identify itself as evil?  From an objective moral standpoint, we could say that an action is evil.  We could evil call certain people evil.  But, would these “evil people” actually call themselves evil?  Yes, there are occasional individuals who do use those labels, but it is extremely rare.  Even if a person is committing human sacrifice, they are not doing it with the thought that it is morally wrong.  They are doing it because they think it is morally right.  Professional assassins do not identify as evil either.  They are simply making money performing a service.  If someone hires them to kill someone else, that person probably deserved to die. 

In the PHB, Gygax argues that assassins must be evil because being paid money for killing sentient beings is evil.  As an objective moral truth, he may be correct.  However, it makes little sense to think that PCs would identify as evil even if the player selects an evil alignment.  Monsters would be even less likely to identify themselves as evil. 

The AD&D rules treat alignment as objective moral truth as well as self-identification.  Yet, it is virtually nonsensical to claim that a sentient creature would identify as itself as evil.  Right actions are the ones to be done and wrong actions are the ones not to be done.  When orcs raid human villages, they do not think they are committing a wrong.  They think they are doing something that is right.  In other words, orcs or any other “evil” aligned entity is likely to call itself and its actions as good. 

I would suggest that an altruistic and egoistic axis to replace the good/evil one.  Then you could have an order-freedom axis to replace lawful/chaotic.  An orc or assassin would be viewed as extremely selfish thinking its needs outweigh the needs and rights of humans.  This would resolve many, but not all of the issues.  At least in terms of what most PCs will encounter in typical D&D games, this would make more sense. 

Winter Dragon


Apparently, a late night pilot for a Wheel of Time television series was snuck out in the wee hours of the morning several months ago.  Jordan's widow was not impressed and I hear that legal action is being pursued.  If you have not seen the pilot, here it is.  I put off reading the series because Imhad fears that it would never be finished.  I need to give it a shot one of these days since Sanderson has completed the story.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Some Details on the (Tentative) Gaming Group

The Game
It looks like the first game we will be playing is the Pathfinder Beginner Box.  It is probably one of the best introductory products out there.  I can see why Paizo has a strong fan base.  If you do not own or know the details on the Pathfinder Beginner Box then check out the video below.


The box I bought was one of the newer ones so it also includes the Transitions booklet for going on to the full game after reaching 5th level.  Another option is using the E6 Pathfinder rules from the P6 Codex site.  Additional rules options include stuff from the Beginner Box Player Pack, the Beginner Box GM Kit, and various resources from the posts at EdOWar's Blog.  I also have other games I am going to pitch; SteamCraft, Dead Reign, and Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG to name a few.

Frequency
Our initial thoughts are game sessions every 2 weeks but that may change.  Maybe we will be able to play more often?  

Location
We have not actually discussed it but this will,probably be the easiest decision to make.

DM
As it stands now the DM duties are going to rotate between myself and Alex.  Maybe someone else will give it a shot later?


More later as decisions are made...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Another Take on The Power Rangers

I am sure that most of you have seen the short film of the Power Rangers Bootleg Universe that seemed to get some pretty strong reactions from some people that viewed it.  I definitely dig it and this film is pretty much in line with the tone I would want to see for the Power Rangers.  If you have not seen it yet then check it out.

Zordon of Eltar

I always liked the basic idea behind the Power Rangers.  I would have preferred a slightly more mature feel to the show but the general idea is great. About a year ago - as best as I can remember - I stumbled on to a trailer for a fan film prequel focused on Zordon.  The trailer was interesting and I would check for updates but the film eventually slipped from my mind.  I got on YouTube this morning and it looks like the completed film was uploaded this weekend.  If you are interested take a look at the finished product.

Unexpected Gaming Group?!?!

I have been without a gaming group for a LONG time.  I do not just mean for months or even a year or two even.  I have been without a gaming group long enough that I am resembling some sort of rpg reader or researcher.  I actually used to play; back in my teen years we would often spend weekends playing.  We would start Friday after school and go until we got sleepy.  Then we would repeat the process Saturday.  I am sure many players back in the 1980s did something similar.

I have not been completely without opportunities to play.  Back in the early days of 3E I had a session with my cousin Alex and one of his friends; they were new to the hobby and wanted me to make sure they were "getting it" - YES, they were - and he continues to play to this day.  I tried Meetup one time with Alex.  The group was cool but the DM turned out to be a major killjoy; he basically wanted the "cream of the crop" at his table and would settle for nothing less.  Why one of the group did not take up the DM duties or the group find another DM I do not recall.  I am registered on Nearby Gamers also and occasionally get a hit on there but it is usually for a game scheduled during my work hours.

I happened to be on Facebook the other day and my cousin was discussing about being between groups also.  We started talking and we decided to get a group together with him, his wife, and me.  Three is not a bad number but then he said that out of the blue some of his other friends asked about a D&D group.  Suddenly, there are 5 of us and we are tentatively planning our first session for the next several weeks.

More later as the details unfold...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Boss Monster 2: The Next Level


I was out with the family doing some errands and stopped by the closest FLGS In between stops.  I had intended to get one of the various Munchkin expansions but they were all out of stock so I started looking at other stuff.  I liked the details on the MageKnight board game but I also realized I wanted something I could get my kids to play with me at times.  After a little more searching, I found a copy of Boss Monster 2: The Next Level on the shelf.  
                                              
As you can see, the game has a very cool retro look and feel to it.  Many of the characters, locatios, and details depicted on the cards bear a strong resemblance to old 8-bit NES games or characters.  The game play is basically a replication of a side-scrolling dungeon exploration quest from that era.  My 8 year old and I played a quick game - to satisfy his curiosity - and I am now diving in to the full rules now. 

More later...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Current Happenings

I know I have not posted in a while but I am about to start...."soon".  That does not mean I have not been talking about gaming brpecause I have.  Most of my discussion has been done at the OD&D Campaigns and House Rules Discussion forums.  There are a lot of great discussions going on there and several people, including myself, have started discussing their own campaign worlds in dedicated sections.  Stop by and join in if old school D&D or games of a similar style are your thing.  

I recently finished reading the first Mistborn novel, The Final Empire, and I just started reading the second, The Well of Ascension.  I almost paused on reading the second novel so I could continue the Stormlight Archive with Words Of Radiance but I decided against it.  Besides, the third book in the Stormlight Archive will be "that much" closer to being finished if I wait. ;)

I am currently watching the fifth season of Game of Thrones as it is aired.  I think I prefer the DVD binge watching method instead of one episode a week.  I am waiting for Fear the Walking Dead, season six of The Walking Dead, and season two of Z Nation.

My most recent gaming purchase was the Pathfinder Beginner Box.  Yeah, I know I am late to the party on this but it should be called the box of awesomeness!  Regardless of whether you are a Pathfinder fan, this is the way to do an introductory set.

More later...


Friday, May 22, 2015

AD&D, Super Heroes, and the Death Penalty



After watching an episode from The Flash a few weeks ago, it occurred to me.  The traditional super hero comics give one of the best arguments in favor of the death penalty.  I am not saying that the death penalty is right or wrong.  In fantasy worlds, you are dealing with entities that have super powers rather than typical human abilities.  With that said, the storylines of super heroes is such that it provides a compelling reason to for a person to be in favor of it, at least in cases of super powers.  To put it another way, perhaps AD&D handles villains better.  Let me explain why.

In many of the traditional super hero storylines, you have iconic villains.  Those villains will be sent to prison, or locked up in an atom collider.  At a certain point in time, those villains escape.  They are then recaptured and locked up again.  Then, at another point in time, they will escape again.  At least some of these villains have killed people.  On their release, they will kill people again.  The evidence is clear that the regular police have difficultly capturing them.  When these criminals are locked up, they will always find a way out.  Would it be better for the world if they were killed?  In fact, shouldn’t the super hero be held morally responsible for not killing the villain?  By sparing the life of a villain, who will only escape, he is enabling more death and carnage in the future.  I do not see what is so super or heroic about that! 

Let us now consider AD&D.  I do not know about your adventures, but generally, the group does not take prisoners.  You fight and kill the monsters.  You try to prevent their escape.  Why?  Because they will warn other monsters or come to attack you later.  Certainly it might be a situation where they surrender, but that is likely rare.  Such situations can pose both alignment issues and practical issues.  You ae 3 days inside of a dungeon and a group of orcs surrenders.  Can you really risk taking them out of the dungeon and turning them over to authorities?  Would the authorities even bother locking them up?  At the same time, can a good alignment character kill defenseless creatures that surrendered, even if they are evil?  The solution I suppose is to always have at least one evil character in your party to deal with the situation. 

Now, imagine how messed up your AD&D world would be if your Lawful Good Paladin acted like a super hero!  You have battled your way through the fortress.  The evil cleric is in the process of summoning an evil demon or god to the world.  The entire world could be destroyed or at least enslaved.   He is responsible for the deaths of hundreds already.  Your party kills all of the guards and defeats the cleric.  However, instead of killing the cleric, he is taken prisoner.  The prisoner is then taken to a prison.  He will later escape from the prison and the party will have to go after him again.  It seems to me this will only lead to a world where the evil cleric will eventually win. 

Isn’t the AD&D of method of simply killing the cleric and then destroying the body to prevent resurrection a much better way to deal with really powerful villains?  I know I would certainly feel better living in a world with lawful good paladin slaughtering evil villains than one where every few months another super villain finds his way out to cause harm to the public.   In the fantasy worlds, perhaps we should be looking at AD&D instead of super heroes for moral guidance.  Or at the very least, a common sense solution to the problem of how to handle super power villains.