Monday, August 31, 2015

#RPGaDay Days 28 - 31

Day 28-Favorite game you no longer play. I love weird west settings. Deadlands, with its combination of old west, steampunk, magic, and Cthulhu is just about perfect. I played Savage Deadlands at Gencon this year. Playing again reminded me how cool the setting is. I've run 3 campaigns using classic Deadlands. I've been meaning to start a new one using the Savage Worlds version for a while. There's so many good games and so little time.

Day 29-Favorite RPG Website/Blog I read a lot of blogs. I mean A LOT.  Dispatches from Kickassistan is the only blog that I keep up with that I went back and read all the old entries as well. It's a fine piece of work written by blogger, podcaster, and zine author +Adam Muszkiewicz. Highly recommended.

Day 30-Favorite RPG Playing Celebrity Felicia Day is the new media mogul behind the Guild and Geek and Sundry. She's also a roleplayer, and not just from video games. Geek and Sundry could easily leave out the niche of RPGs and concentrate and things with much larger audiences, but they don't. They even had their own booth at Gencon this year right next to Green Ronin.

Day 31 Favorite Non-RPG thing to come out of RPGing. What I'm doing right now, connecting with the RPG community. I've been playing RPGs since I was 10 years old. Only recently did I start participating in the RPG community by blogging, going to conventions, chatting with folks online and writing original content. It all started with NTRPGcon, then this year I took the plunge and went to Gencon. Next year I'm headed to GaryCon. I can't wait!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The War Rig for DCC

The War Rig
 Custom built truck/trailer

 Init 0; Atk rundown +7 melee (2d12+Ram); AC 20; HD 9d16 Cab, 9d10 for trailer ; Speed Level cruise 4/ max 6; Act 1d20; SV Fort +6, Ref -3, Will NA.Fuel Tank 1d30; Guzzle 8.

Basic Traits: Power Hauler, Extra Cargo x80 (Trailer has up to four traits of its own)
Additional Traits: Armored; Big Tank, Nitrous tank, Ram plate, Rugged

Reserve Tank: If the reserve tank is attached the War Rig's cruise and max speed drop by one but it gains an extra 1d8 fuel tank.

Defenders perch: The War rig has two armored perches for defenders on the front and rear of the trailer. Anyone in the perches receives the full benefit of the War Rig's AC.

A War Rig gains additional abilities when driven by a Petrol Head.
Kill Switch: A Petrol Head may set the kill switch so only those knowing the proper procedure can run the War Rig.
Tough as Nails:A Petrol Head may burn luck to keep the War Rig moving after it has dropped to zero hp. The luck must be burnt every time the War Rig is hit after it drops to zero hp. As soon as the battle is over the War Rig must stop and be repaired.
Weapons Stash:There are small knives and guns hidden everywhere on the War Rig. A Petrol head may burn a point of luck to acquire either a knife or small firearm.

Petrol Heads and Vehicle rules can be found in Crawling Under a Broken Moon issue #6.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

RPGaDay Days 25-27

Day 25 - Favorite Revolutionary game mechanic  The Deed die in Dungeon Crawl Classics. In DCC, the fighter (and dwarf) don't have a fixed number for their attack bonus. Instead they roll an extra die along with the D20. Before rolling, the player can declare a "Mighty Deed" such as tripping, shield bashing, bull rushing, disarming, etc.  If the player both hits and rolls at least a 3 on their Deed die then the deed succeeds. I love how this mechanic takes every combat maneuver and feat and rolls it up one one simple mechanic. It also encourages player creativity!

Day 26- Favorite Inspiration for your game. Does stealing from novels count as inspiration? I've taken scenes from The Expanse novels and used them in my Edge of the Empire game. The bad guys from the Hiero novels have put in an appearance and the entire Laundry Files series is literally a source book for Call of Cthulhu. Bob Howard just can't catch a break.

Day 27 - Favorite Idea for merging two games into one. This is all I did back in high school and college. I had a post-Apocalypse campaign that combined Aftermath, Runequest, and Call of Cthulhu. That didn't work out to well. I didn't really think through the implications of Runequest battle magic combined with guns. It was fun the few times we played though. My longest running combo was AD&D and Rolemaster. I was bored of the AD&D combat system, so I forklifted Rolemaster's with all it's lovely charts and crit tables. It worked surprisingly well. We played through some of the most famous AD&D dungeons, Temple of Elemental Evil and Ruins of Undermountain. the players still talk about it today.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Iron Cobra Story

Here's the story I mentioned in my Gen Con wrap-up. At Gencon, I bought +Doug Kovacs  awesome artwork of the Iron Cobra. I bought it for my players. Here's the story.

I'm always after my group to come up with a name for their adventuring band. In our Eberron campaign, they called themselves "Blue Steel," which I thought was pretty good. They even named their flying ship "Steel's Edge." In our Ptolus game, when they registered with the adventurer's guild, they couldn't settle on a name.  I had the guild master put down their name as "Adventuring Guild #18." It stuck, and they went by the name AG18 for the rest of the campaign, much to the chagrin of some of the players.

About 2 years ago I started a Swords and Wizardry campaign for my regular gaming group. The campaign was was to be pure old school dungeon crawling. They started out in the Keep on the Borderlands.  After looting an pillaging the Caves of Chaos, I took them through a mini campaign using two of my favorite old school adventures, UK2 The Sentinel and UK3 The Gauntlet. In the Sentinel the characters explore some caves that were inhabited by a band of Xvarts (shown on the right.) Stashed in the lair was a solid gold idol of a Xvart.

As soon as they saw Golden Xvart idol, the conversation went something like this:

Player one: "I know! We can call ourselves the Golden Xvarts!"

Player two: "There is no way we are calling ourselves that. People will call us the golden farts."

Player three: "Whatever, we are definitely taking that idol."

Later in the adventure, they encountered the an Iron Cobra. Immediately one of the players exclaimed:

 "That's it! We're called Iron Cobra! I'm writing it down! No changes!"

Player two:  "Okay but the golden xvart is totally our mascot then."

Player three:  "Yeah we can melt down the idol and have little Xvart idols made for each of us to carry!"

Player four: "Fine. ..........sigh"

And that's how my group came to be known as Iron Cobra, with a golden xvart for a mascot, and why I had to buy Doug's painting as soon as I saw it. One of the players even made a symbol for the group.  (Awesome Xvart flag by +Tracy O )



Sunday, August 23, 2015

RPGaDay Days 22 - 24

Day 22 - Perfect Gaming Environment  I love to run games, so anywhere is the perfect place. My game room at home gets the most use and I also run games at conventions. I even ran one game at a very loud bar at Gencon this year.  I'd have to say that was less that perfect but still a blast. At Dragoncon last year we made a makeshift table out of costume bins and played in the hallway. Anywhere everyone is having fun is the perfect place.

Day 23 - Perfect Game for Me. I'm not sure there is any one perfect game for me. I hack, modify and house rule any game I run. I like that DCC can be adapted to almost any setting. I like that Swords and Wizardry lets me  make my own version of D&D. I like that I can use the BRP rules for other published settings. The perfect game for me? Anyone that I can change.

Day 24- Favorite House Rule  What just one? As I said above I hack and modify almost everything I run. Check out my Swords and Wizardry house rules, Dark Heresy house rules, Edge of the Empire Starship combat, or heck my whole Thundarr campaign. I think it's safe to say I'm a fan of house rules. I use my nifty hit location die in all my games.

Friday, August 21, 2015

RPGaDay Days 20 and 21

Day 20 - Favorite Horror RPG.  Back in high school I saw an ad for Beyond the Supernatural in Dragon magazine. The ad had this awesome artwork of three people fighting a supernatural monster using sub-machine gun. I wanted to play that game. I went to the game store and asked about buying it. The store owner said that it wasn't out yet but recommended Call of Cthulhu instead. He thought I would like it better. Wow, that was probably the best recommendation I've ever gotten at a game store. I have been running Call of Cthulhu ever since.

Day 21 - Favorite RPG Setting. I love fantasy RPGs but ever since I first read Gamma World I've been fascinated by the Post-Apocalypse setting. It's like playing D&D except the dungeons are abandoned hi-tech bases and the magic items are blaster rifles and power armor.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

RPGaDay 2015 Days 16-19

Day 16-Longest game session played. Back in High School, our system of choice was my glorious mashup of AD&D and Rolemaster. I received Ruins of Undermountain for Christmas, so we played it starting new years eve till about 6 in the morning, slept for a while then played until well into the night on January 1st.  I think we got through the whole 1st level.

Day 17 - Favorite Fantasy RPG. Runequest, old Runequest. The RPG is built around the world of Glorantha rather than the other way around. It was the first fantasy RPG I played in the campaign rather than running it. I still have the character sheet for my Humakt initiate.

Day 18 - Favorite SF RPG Though I'd really consider it a science fantasy rpg, Gamma World wins this one. I've been fascinated by Gamma World since I got the third edition boxed set and played through the solo adventure.

Day 19 - Favorite Supers RPG - Marvels Super Heroes. I played this almost as much as D&D and since the rules were so simple, I didn't have to fudge a lot of stuff.  I recently bought both the original set and the advanced set used so I can run it for my nephews.

Monday, August 17, 2015

RPGaDay 2015 Day 11-15

Day 11 - Favorite RPG Writer. A hard choice, but if I am honest with myself I have to go with Gary Gygax. I spent years searching for that "perfect" fantasy RPG only to realize what I wanted to do was run all the old Gygax AD&D adventures.

Day 12 - Favorite RPG Illustration. Doug Kovcas's illustration of the corruption of the Wizard from the DCC core book. There is so much going on in this picture. If you look closely, his fetish in the last image is his younger self.

Day 13 - Favorite RPG Podcast. I had never listened to podcasts till last year. Now I'm listening to podcasts instead of the radio in my car. I've heard every episode of Spellburn twice. It's what got me back into running DCC.

Day 14 - Favorite RPG Accessory - The Chessex reversible gaming mat. My wife bought me the Mondomat size a few years back, for my birthday. I can draw a whole dungeon on it.

Day 15 - Longest Campaign Played. Sometime around September/October 2007 I started up a Delta Green Call of Cthulhu campaign. I still run it at a few times a year. The agents are a little "twitchy" now.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

RPGaDay 2015 Days 5-10

Here's the next 6 days of RPGaDay. Maybe I'll finally be caught up by the end of the month.

Day 5 - Most recent RPG purchase. You'd think this would be the massive pile of RPGs I bought at Gencon. However, last RPG purchase was Black Power, Black Magic, Vol2 by +Carl Bussler  and +Eric Hoffman. DCC six guns and sorcery can't be beat!

Day 6 - Most recent RPG played This would have been Dark Heresy but I had to cancel my game on Wednesday due to crazy work stuff. That means that last game I played was my monthly DCC game. Right now my players are in the midst of "The God Seed Awakens" by +Paul Wolfe

Day 7 - Favorite Free RPG  Did you know that the Swords and Wizardry rules are 100% free? If you want to play the best D&D retro-clone, you should go get them.

Day 8 - Favorite appearance by RPGs in the media. The D&D scene in ET. It was my favorite part of the movie when I was a kid. I had never seen a reference to D&D anywhere in the media before. I think I babbled about it to my mom for half an hour after the movie.

Day 9 - Favorite Media you wish was an RPG. +Tim Snider  picked Thundarr, which I agree with 100%. I think Tim's already done a fine job making that wish come true.

Day 10 - Favorite RPG Publisher. I bought almost everything Goodman Games released this year.  The GG staff, writers, artists go above and beyond to support the DCC community.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

RPGaDay 2015 Days 1-4

Since this started during Gencon, I'm a little behind. Here are days 1 thru 4. 

Day 1 - Forthcoming game you're most looking forward to.  Easy choice here, Mutant Crawl Classics by +Jim Wampler.  Basically, it's DCC Gamma World. 

Day 2 - Kickstarted game most pleased you backed. Wow. There are so many. Peril on the Purple Planet is my favorite though. Science Fantasy is my anti-drug.

Day 3 - Favorite New Game of the last 12 months.  I buy a lot of old games. I did pick up Mutant Year Zero. I really like the community building rules. I'm going to steal them for my next PA game.

Day 4 - Most Surprising Game Savage Worlds I think I own a whole shelf full of Savage Worlds books, but I'd never played it until this year at Gencon. I was surprised by how easy it was for new players to pick up the rules.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Gencon 2015 Wrap-up

I'm back from Gencon and it was amazing. I wasn't able to sign up for many games beforehand so I was worried. I shouldn't have been. I didn't even make it to everything I had planned.

Wednesday night I got to join in on +Marc Bruner's "10th level" DCC funnel with a bunch of cool people in the Embassy Suites bar area. That's the DCC crew hang out area if you are ever at Gencon BTW. Marc's concept and adventure were great. High level DCC characters intrigue me. They get very powerful at that level. It was cool to see how they work in practice. FYI, they can slay gods.

Thursday, I had my first scheduled game, Freeblades. It's a neat little skirmish game, sort of a retro-clone of Mordheim. Both of my friends bought the rulebook. There is a dedicated line of models for Freeblades but you don't need them. Any ole fantasy minis will work. I had planned to buy it as well but I found something I liked better.  More on that later.

The rest of the day on Thursday, I dove into the Exhibition Hall. I wanted to make sure I didn't miss out on a few books. I bought so much DCC stuff from the Goodman Games booth I hurt my shoulder carrying them out. That wore me out.  I made the trek back to my hotel to drop off my burden, went to dinner and had a few drinks.  I went back over to the Embassy Suites that night to view the first night of Catastrophe Island or "Dougcon," a huge multi-table DCC event hosted by +Doug Kovacs.

On Friday, I played in my only scheduled RPG, Deadlands. I've run the classic Deadlands but I've never played the Savage Worlds version. Ii was good. I thought my character, who was a mage, was slightly overpowered, but that's not all that different from classic. We had our GM rolling with quotes like this: "Are you done interrogating the werewolf? Okay good, I shoot it in the head and set it on fire. Frontier Justice." Now that I've played Savage Worlds, I'd like to play a game of Hell on Earth too.

Afterwards I again dove back into the Exhibition Hall. Every time I go to a convention, I'm either inspired to do something new or reminded how much I love something I've forgotten. There were so many cool miniatures games at Gencon, I was reminded how much I love painting and modeling. After playing Freeblades, I wanted a cool skirmish game. I was considering purchasing an Infinity or Malifaux starter set, when I discovered Wild West Exodus. I was blown away by the models. I purchased a starter set right then. I came back the next two days and purchased even more, including the model above.

I played Powergrid that afternoon, which was cool, but not something I'd play regularly. It's like Catan but with almost no randomness. That night, I ran my DCC Thundarr game over in the Embassy suites. It was a blast. I wasn't planning on running a game, but I'm glad I did. A few of the players said it was thier only game at the convention.

Saturday morning, I played Zombiecide. That was good. I need to play it again. I think it's almost a perfect combination of boardgame and tactical miniatures game. After that I took it slow and wandered around the convention center looking at all the cool stuff. I found the miniature painting competition and took tons of pictures.

I hung out in the area where publishers were showing off their in-development games for a bit. I talked to the guys from Boardcraft for a while. They make nifty 3-d printed games and terrain. Thier 3-d dungeon were aweomse so I backed their Kickstarter. They're local guys from here in DFW. Gotta support the home team!

That evening I had plans to finally attend a panel. Didn't happen. I "gencon'd" it and hung out in a bar with my friends till very late. I didn't even make it over for Catastrophe Island part 2. On Sunday, I made my last and final foray into the exhibits hall. I methodically went down every row that I hadn't been down.  Lots of cool stuff to see. All I ended up buying though was more models for Wild West Exodus.

Oh I almost forgot, I also bought some of Doug Kovacs original art. The Iron Cobra he did for the 4E mosnter manual. As to why I wanted the Iron Cobra specifically is whole nother story. I'll post that one later. This post is already stretching into TL/DR territory.