Saturday, June 28, 2008

5 Influences! Yay memes!

1. Piers Anthony
As much as I wanted to read real fantasy fiction as a lad, the local library left much to be desired. Of your fantasy mainstays, seems like they never had more than one or two of any given series, and never the first episode. Except for the Xanth books. Think this is where I decided a little bit of silly anachronism is ok in fantasy.

2. Elfquest
When Marvel comics reprinted this under the epic imprint, in color no less, I was lucky enough to stumble onto the first issue. I was just strolling through the local drug store, when BAM! I espied a first issue of a new series. I spouted "Wow! This looks just like dungeons and dragons!" From there on I was hooked. Took periodic three mile walks to the local comic store to try and snag the current issue. If I missed an issue, hunted for it in the back issue bins of whatever comic store we might visit on family vacations. I'm still missing one issue, which I have sort of avoided finding. I like having that quest unfinished.

3. Krull
My brother had the board game, which came with little resin figures of The Prince, and The Beast. They found their way into the first couple of sessions I ran, along with whatever half painted mini's of my bro's I could scrounge up.

4. Zork
Not the computer game, we were too poor for that. Nope, the What-do-I-do-now books. Good stuff, picked them up at school book fairs, when I could beg the change for them. Still have a copy of #4 Conquest at Quendor. Bivotaur and Juranda have to face down a riddle talking cat head on the end of a tentacle. The demon Jeearr!

5. Dr. Frankenstein's Haunted Castle
Awesome attraction at Indiana beach. Just really think a good dungeon should kinda be like a haunted house ride. Like the intro to the DnD cartoon. Rat tails tickling at your feet, drop away balconies, false doors, all kindsa tricksy fun.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Free Game Day!

So, free game day, pretty ossim eh? All kinds of free starter rules, think the one I like the best is the Harnmaster Field of Daisies. Never really paid much attention to Harn, but looking through this, I'm thinking I should have. Half realistic middle ages, half typical fantasy, nice middle ground between the ole D&D and Pendragon. The scenario itself seems like it would be great fun, with a sort of made by Europeans feel, like the old Warhammer fantasy adventures. One of the character stats I've never seen in any other system, is for how pleasant one's voice sounds. That just might be the key to easy role playing (for npc's at least) that I have been searching for!

Field of Daisies also has a new fun toy in it for me, a extensive map key. I really feel like map making in RPG's fell by the wayside. Probably in the early nineties, when on one side, you had TSR trying to convince you to make 3d maps (Castles and Catacombs guide) and on the other, White Wolf telling you that maps are for railroading suckers. This map key has usable symbols for ceiling height, whether or not a door has a bar, what type of ceiling, how to mark changes in elevation and floor height easily, all sorts of goodies.

The castles and crusades quick start has character creation in it. Neato! Reminds me of the Holmes blue book Dnd, without monster and magic item listings. Traveller 0, full set of rules, plus character creation as well. This really impresses me. I thought demo and quick start rules were made of about 5 pre-generated characters, a rough run down of the rules, and a short scenario. Quite a few of these little booklets are just rules, no characters or scenario. One of them is just setting information (the goodman games one I think). Would be nice to have the time to sit down and blast through one or two of these eventually. Heh, seems like the backlog of gaming is just piling up.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Road

I just finished reading The Road yesterday. It's a Pulitzer prize winner by Cormac McCarthy. Pretty powerful stuff, it's about a man and his son wandering the burnt out ashes of a nuclear war ravaged earth. Of the two visions of a post apocalyptic world, I prefer the one with crazy psychic mutants over the one with endless winter and people slowly dying of radiation poisoning. But as a depiction of the more likely scenario, this book is tops.

Besides being a moving read, this book also conveys the brutality and just wrongness of a world with no order. Everyone but the main character eats people, that's about the only food source. If you meet someone, 90% chance they want to kill, rob, and eat you. It's set like ten years after the fall of civilization, so there is just about nothing left to scavenge. Shoes are as rare as ammunition and guns. A world full of barefoot bearded killers wielding lead pipes.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Do I wanna play some Mutant Future? Hmmmm...

So this here is Jedediah "Smell Good" Xerox, orneriest mutie to prowl the wastes. He's got a firm sense of what's right and wrong, and since most folks are wrong, it gives him a reason to bury an axe in your face. His mutation takes the form of fragrant flowers sprouting every where hair should. These daisies put out a hypnotizing aroma, which has saved his irradiated rump once or twice. He's stubborn, so don't try any funny mind tricks on him. Jeb ain't afraid of a scuffle, because he can't feel pain, gotta look at the hole in his hide to know he's been hurt. So get some other reckless types together, and he'll go sifting through some ruins in no time!

I'm thinking lawful is like the chaotic of the apocalypse. The status quo seems to be survival of the fittest, kill or be kill. Someone who wants to instill law or order would be the aberrant weirdo in that situation. Without any static society to base his lawfulness on, it would be just do as I say, because I am right!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Less than once a month!

I've been far too lazy to post, this is a pretty common occurrence so it really shouldn't raise any eyebrows. Anyway, as far as gaming goes, I've got mixed feelings on how soon Shackled City is going to be over. On the one hand, I'm a little dissapointed I couldn't meet my personal goal of finishing it by summer, setting back further the much anticipated (at least by me!) start of Rise of the Runelords. On the other side, kinda glad it's dragging out, because I've really enjoy trying to kill Krunk, Midori, and Silverswift.

Things I am diddling with:

A Subsector of Traveller. Something I started in september, and have slowly been adding to over the past nine months. Tedious, mind numbing at times, but also super fascinating. Trying to make each world stand out, when there are dozens in a system, pretty damn hard. Eventually it will be to the point where I can drop players in on a planet and have the fun explode out from behind the screen by the gallon!

Omega World. From the polyhedron article that I borrowed, and will give back, because I just downloaded the pdf. Making a ruin crawl and such, drawing up maps, slapping together monsters and npc's. Planning on adapting Legions of Gold to it next, for a micro campaign (four to eight sessions tops).

4.0 Random Dungeon. Love randomizing dungeons, and this one set of tables really breathes life into my random dungeonizing. Pretty much the only table I use on a regular basis is the Gygax ones from the DMG, so using these makes me happier. No 45 degree angle tunnels, curved tunnels, tunnels that smack into each other, x intersections, all that poop. Made up 3 levels of my 4.0 MEGADUNGEON! so far, it has way too many goblins in it for my tastes, gonna have to go back in there and change them into robot dogs or something.