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.

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

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

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...