Friday, February 26, 2010

Monthly Poll: What was your Favorite TSR Game?

Well, the polls have closed on another monthly poll and once again we have a tie.

The question was Who is your favorite Old School D&D Artist and the people have spoken. Their answer?
* Drum Roll *
Erol Otus and Larry Elmore!
Each bringing in 24% of the votes.
Behind them, sharing the Silver was Trampier and David Sutherland with 16% a piece.

Make sure to check out this month's poll: What is your favorite TSR game?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Too Many Classes

One thing I've always had a gripe about in D&D is the Class System. I can understand the theory behind them and the history of where they came from in war gaming, however as D&D continued to grow and evolve it seemed like character classes became just a "Flavor of the Month" addition to the rules.

Flashback Thursday

According to rumor, here-say and IMDB, this was originally supposed to be called Dungeons and Dragons. I'm not really sure if that title was before some changes happened to the story, but the final product doesn't exactly scream D&D to me. However, this is still one of my favorite 80's fantasy adventure flicks of all time.

And as you watch, you can see there are some really amazing actors in this movie. Liam Neeson, Alun Armstrong, Freddie Jones and Robbie Coltrane.

And honestly, who didn't watch this and want a Glaive of his or her own for Christmas?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Comic Strip Tuesday

Episode 7 - The party fights the man, who it turns out is a Druid (at least I think he is, he changes from a man to a wolf and then to a raven), and his werewolf companion. The werewolf is paralyzed and the druid flees and the party continue through the Black Swamp of Lobella and toward the Mountains of Ash.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Look Out! It's a Chase Scene!!

Pictured: NOT the party!

I've been trying for years to set up a chase scene for a party of players. I want them to be chased by an opposing force, either a large creature or band of enemies. I've tried it several different ways: Once the party was in a wagon being chased by a larger force on horse back. Once it was a chase out of a bar and into the twisting streets of a port city. Once it was a dragon chasing them through a heavily forested area...etc etc etc. I always write a nice "script" with obstacles and split second decisions that they will need to make to continue their flight to freedom.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Adventure Ruining Spells

As a DM of many many years, there is nothing I hate more than players ruining a good adventure opportunity with a simple spell.

How many times have you, as a DM, allowed a party to stumble on an interesting Cursed magic item and thought "Gee, it'll be interesting to see how they cope with this" or "This will make for a great side quest to see how they rid themselves of this item" only to have the know-it-all cleric throw Remove Curse all over your adventure hook?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Flashback Thursday

Ah yes, Hawk the Slayer!

If any of you out there haven't seen this little gem, you're not truly bored enough on a Sunday afternoon.

This is a spectacular B-/C+ movie made in the early 80's staring Jack Palance as the despicable Voltan and John Terry as his brother Hawk (the Slayer). Co-starring Bernard Bresslaw (the cyclopse from Krull) as his giant companion Gort, who is actually sorta short for what I always pictured as a giant.

If for no other reason, you must watch with for Crow, the elven archer and his Legol-ass kicking bow work.

Why are you still here reading this? Go get it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Comic Strip Tuesday

Episode 6: The party sets off to search for Grindal, Grimsalde's old mentor. And by the looks of the second panel, it seems the magic-user is also their henchman from the amount of gear in his backpack. From out of the woods an arrow thinks into a tree in front of Indel. A man and a woman challenges them and Saren tries to talk their way past them, but before the party can do anything, the man and woman transform into wolves and attack.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Anyone know how to program?

I want to create some program functions that will select from a list of items and generate a result. For example, I have a list of rooms that you might find in a dungeon and under each room type there are a list of items, decorations and furniture that might be found in each. I would like to be able to select a room type, say a barracks, and have it select from the appropriate list to give me a description of what is in the room. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about programming, not even the simplest programs. like Excel etc Hell, I haven't done any programming since I took BASIC and PASCAL in high school 23 years ago.

I have some nice lists in an Excel spreadsheet but I have no idea what to do with it.

I'm Back!

Vacation is over and I'm back for another round of gaming and blogging.

I'm not a big traveler. I think I've only been out of California a half dozen times. I'm just not good at it. I like having all my stuff around me and I like being able to just go home when I want to. But I must say, Toronto was awesome! It was very clean and the every single person we met was very friendly and polite. I always heard people say that when they come back vacation, but I never understood what they meant because everyone I run into around me is usually irritable and rude. Now I understand. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Flashback Thursday

For today's video, boys and girls, we have the wonderful intro to the popular Dungeons and Dragons cartoon enjoyed by those wacky, satan worshiping kids of the 1980's.

Personally, I would have sold the big ass ruby that Diana has in her head band and bought some fricken' weapons! I can see how the shield is pretty useful, but wouldn't a sword go nicely with it?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Comic Strip Tuesday

Episode 5: The party returns to Gavin's Inn for a mug of ale to to reminisce about adventures past. They think back to their first adventure: Grimslade being introduced to his companions by his mentor Grindal, defeating a Black Dragon (I assume its a black dragon because it looks like it's breathing acid on Saren.) to find the fabulous Heart of Mekron.

Suddenly at the inn, an apparition appears, it's Grindal!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Vacation Time!

No new posts for the next week, just comic strip Tuesday and Flashback Thursday.

I'm going to Toronto eh. For my 40th birthday my lovely wife bought us tickets to Toronto to see the Hockey Hall of Fame and tickets to see my beloved San Jose Sharks face off against the Maple Leafs on their turf. I'm a huge hockey fan as you can tell and I'm totally looking forward to this. Just not looking forward to the weather. I'm from California where we only have two seasons: Summer and almost Summer, I'm not even sure how to dress for 20 degree weather. Anyways, see ya when I get back.

DM's Corner: Free Form DMing and The Formula

I’m what I like to call a “Free Form” DM. When I write an adventure for a party, I tend to write a skeletal outline for the events I want to take place and some of the major encounters, but other than that I just go in with an idea and no set plan. I don’t like to have every room accounted for and every encounter thought out in advance. I think this is because my history with gaming groups clearly tells me that “No plan survives first contact with the enemy”. Not that I think of a party as the enemy, but I am writing an adventure to challenge the party and this they are sort of an adversary.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fallout LARP-ing?

Let me preface this by saying I have never LARPed before. Not that I necessarily have anything against the idea or anything, I just don't have the time or money to invest in it and to be honest, it usually looks like a hundred people all wandering around with little or no goal in mind. I could be wrong, but my wallet isn't willing to let me find out.

Now, having said that let me continue by saying I love all things post-apocalyptic! From games to movies to books and everything in between I love Armageddon and the zombie apocalypse that it brings to the dance with it and if I was Russian...I would totally get in on this.

Vin Diesel is Melchor

I was wasting time at work watching YouTube usual and stumbled across this interview with Vin Diesel on the Jimmy Kimmel show. I had always heard he played D&D, but now the word is really starting to get out. Maybe now more people will start admitting they play, or at least played some RPGs.

Here's another interview about his gaming history. He really seems to love the game and gaming. When I was first hearing about his playing, I thought it was all a put on and he was just someone that played once and now people are making fun of him for it, but he really seems to love it. It actually makes me like him.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Comic Strip Tuesday

Episode 4: Saren uses her powers to find Indel through a door. Valerius makes his Open Doors roll and smashes it inward. He draws his newly found magic sword and, recognizing it as the Great Sword Naril, the dragon allows them to leave in peace.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rise of the Runelords - Session 1

My gaming group and I started a new campaign this weekend. We're using the Pathfinder rule system because there are some new gamers in the group and they've never played anything earlier than 3.5 so they aren't familiar with most of the earlier versions. 

We actually began playing a few months ago with a 3.5 campaign and another DM but have since given up trying to hash together a decent set of house rules to fix things we hate about that version so when Pathfinder released, we all picked up the new book and went with it.