Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Greyhawk bound!

I think I've settled on the Grand Duchy Of Geoff for my initial setting in Greyhawk.  Probably the town or city? of Gorna.

The nice thing about the 1983 box set is that its vague.  Don't get me wrong, there's lots of great stuff in the book.

I initially thought that I would run either "Against The Giants" (the tale of the yawning portal version) and or "Expedition to the barrier peaks".  However after a brief conversation with Scott Charlton he reminded me of "Against the cult of the reptile god", which I've always wanted to run.  That might be a great starting point.  Rather than use it in its original location, I'll just plop it somewhere in Geoff.  Although the initial location isn't that far away from Geoff.

A few minor things I'm thinking of game wise: 

1.  Initially I decided that I might outlaw monks as a class (as it just doesnt' fit in my brain), However it was pointed out to me that there are ton of different kinds of monks other than the typical "Shoalin" ones I have in my brain.

2.  Whilst I'd love to say "Basic four classes only" I'll get spit on.  So all of them in the phb will be allowed, however no "unearthed arcana" and splat books stuff.

3.  side initiative.  I want to try it again, I really enjoyed it in my mutant future game.

4.  Only the races that are highlighted in the 1983 book will be allowed, (if I'm not mistaken that's humans, halflings, elves, half orcs, dwarves and possibly gnomes? gotta check that). As well everyone will roll on the "Where am i from tables"

5.  Obviously no feats.

6.  Toying with no cantrips however see #2 getting spit on.

7.  I want it gritty.  I'm going to hand out XP for gold and monsters.  (keeping the same XP charts from 5e however).  Healing will work like this:  Full Rest is a week of downtown, get up to maximum hit points.  Short rests you are allowed to expend hit dice.

8.  Considering upping the death save to 15.

The campaign is as follows: 
Against the cult of the reptile god
Expedition to the barrier peaks
Against the Giants  or alternatively "the liberation of geoff"

I may also insert "white plume mountain" in there somewhere.

Helpful Greyhawk Links
The most helpful site:
Nifty map link:
Flanaess Heraldry Collage:

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Saturday night nerding

Caution possible Tomb Of Annihilation spoilers. 

After a six month (or what seemed like it) hiatus I jumped back in with the 5e group.  They have been playing thru "Tomb Of Annihilation" and are now at level 9.  Rather than play my original character (who was only leveled up to 4th) I decided to just print off a pre gen.  From the original group of adventurers only one was left.  As we had one new player that evening, the DM took both of us aside to try and figure out how we would meet up with the group in the Forbidden City (it's ormu or whatever, but it's the forbidden city only titled).  I came up with the concept that we had left the port city around the same time and were slowly following the group of intrepid adventurers.  Hoping to meet up with them.  However there was a LOT of complications and we only finally caught up with them inside the city.  I stepped out of the bushes to say HI! and was blasted by the warlock with eldritch blast (I hate that damn spell).

We ended up doing a bit of exploring of a amphitheater, apparently looking for a place to take these weird square stones (honestly I don't know what is going on in the game, I've been following the play reports, but if your not there it really makes no sense). 

As is typical with fifth ed,  we got into a large fight (with some smaller dinosaurs).  During the combat (which basically lasted most of the session) we started hearing THUNKS coming from the jungle. 

CUE every Jurassic Park joke you can think of.

And on CUE after a few rounds of combat with the smaller dinosaurs, a very large hungry T-Rex came out of the bushes.  (Because challenge ratings).

My character (a rogue) decided to bum rush the T Rex, because after all I'm just AC and HP on a piece of paper. 

A few of the others stayed back, covering themselves with dung (this was happening when the first set of dinos showed up).  They did however finally get into the melee, but at that point we had almost decimated the t rex.  Seriously whilst I bitch up about eldritch blast, the sneak attack feature is friggin deadly.

Anyways, we killed the thing, did a bit more exploring, then found this weirdo tomb.  A bit of a puzzle.  Which none of us were awake enough to figure out.  Bunch of statues, apparently they looked like the stones we were carrying around (ancient evil gods).

I then did some investigating, found a secret door and a necklace, put it on.  Which then lead me to the correct place to put the stones.  (another entrance).  Which was a bit of hand waving by the DM but that's fine as we were all quite tired at this point.

As a personal note, I'm unsure as to whether the DM is getting bored with the campaign, or burned out.  It feels like he's trying to push it thru a bit.  I really hope that, that is not the case.  As well I hope that we aren't handwaved another level next time (for challenge levels), I like the idea of growing into a character and it's skills.  Whatever the case, it's gaming and it's fun. 

Part of the problem I feel is the following:
1.  This group owns/collects all of the WOTC sanctioned material.

2.  All of these adventures are made (for the most part) to be campaigns that take you from level 1 - 20

3.  Playing these campaigns on a weekly basis would get you thru them a lot quicker.  (we meet every three weeks).

4.  People have the new BRIGHT and shiny module and they get excited about playing that one, which makes people want to fast forward the current module.

All of this would be thrown out the window if I was running a game, as I'd want to do a sandbox, home brew thing.  That said I don't really want to DM 5e for awhile.  However after having picked up a copy of Greyhawk, and playing a game on the weekend I got a LOT of inspiration.  That's another post, I've got a lot of ideas rolling around my head.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Not worth the effort

I'm a bad player (I've said this before).  I mean I'm an alright player when playing the actual game, but I haven't been able to make it out to the 5e group since it got nice outside.  For the simple reason that well it's nice out and we only get warm weather for a few months.

Anyhow, I had this crazy idea this morning.  I have on my google drive my original rogue character from when we started (she's level one currently on the drive).  I was told to have my character at 9th level (because balance reasons I guess?).  I thought alright I'll spend some time leveling a 1st level character to 9th. 

I just gave up.

It's entirely fine to do leveling as you go, in actual fact it's extremely easy to do this.  Normally what happens is you only get one new thing per level.  However attempting to go from 1-9 is requiring far too much brain power this morning.

Thankfully I printed off a peon from the wotc site, which I'll use on Saturday.

Now the real question is, what kinda scotch do i buy?

That's about it for me today. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The reason why I'm enjoying it

Early in the spring we shut off our netflix, in an attempt to not be "lumps on the couch" during the summer.  This was a smart move.  Now that it's starting to get colder out (we are already in the single digits in the morning), we've restarted our subscription.

I had heard a bit about "disenchantment" from a few people on G+ and thought I'd give it a go.  I know that for some people that show comes off a little "meh", and that's fine.  I don't know if I would equate the humour to "toilet humour", but I do find myself giggling thru out the show.

What it really reminds me of, is the way our old school group plays DND.  The adventures have a sense of danger but usually turn towards laughs.  (our group is totally the monty python meme, complete with the monty jokes).  On occasion the game becomes a bit Muchkinesq and that's fine.  I mean in the grand scheme of things it's just a game right?

What I have started to realize is that the world that Disenchantment takes place in, is a really fun and wonderful world to play games in.  In our current game (I'm not DMing), some of the places near us are called things like "the blood river!" and "the jagged mountains", and the "trolls tooth falls".  Of course there's probably a very fairy specific forest in there somewhere.

What I'm getting at is the typical troupes of fantasy.

However, what I'm thinking about is turning all of that on its head for the sake of laughs (and adventures obviously).

In one of the episodes Hanzel and Gretle make an appearance.  But they are completely different, the story starts off the same, but in the end they become cannibals and live in the gingerbread house.  I love that! It reminds me of the near sighted partially deaf guard from our raveloft campaign.  Anytime someone would speak he would yell "who goes there!", because he was only aware of one player at the gate at a time.  Things like this make me laugh still.

A few plots hooks for a silly fantasy world. 

1.  A dragon who has been kidnapped by a princess.
2.  A witch who is beautiful, and has been cursed by an evil princess.
3.  The werewolf who hunts the hunters, because they have stolen something from him/her
4.  The nice orc colony who makes toys for kids.
5.  Elves that have destroyed the forest to make way for a large shopping mall.
6.  Dumb barbarian raiders who get drunk easily.
7.  The sword in the stone is actually a demonic curse.
8.  The small boy who killed a powerful wizard and then went on to lead a normal life.
9.  The Minotaur sells tickets to his labyrinth, which is similar to an escape room.
10.  The plague that makes people cough up jelly beans.
11.  The candy maker who has lost all his/her recipes.
12.  Once a year a elf comes into peoples houses and steals their toys.
13.  Seven dwarves who need to be rescued from servitude.
14.  Gypsy's who do very serious political plays have gone missing.
15.  The wolf who was waylaid by a little girl in the forest.
16.  The three gangster pigs who charge crazy taxes to see their nice mansions.
17.  Beggar child who is actually a prince/princess BUT is wholly evil.
18.  The good doctor who sews together corpses so they can be his friend.
19.  Tales of a far away land filled with violent singing mice and ducks.
20.   A teaparty that no one is ever invited to.

Fantasy Places

1.  Chocolate River
2.  Fairy Forest
3.  Murmuring Moor
4.  Haunted Hill
5.  FriendlyVille
6.  Dragons Roost

This post is obviously silly.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Teaching an old dog a few new tricks

If you haven't heard about the new old school primer that's making the rounds I'd be amazed.  It's called Principia Apocrypha.  Written by Ben Milton & Steven Lumpkin, illustrated by Evlyn Moreau.  You can get it here:

BTW this isn't a review just yet, more of a pondering.  First things first, I'm really glad they made 2 versions of the document.  One for printing and one for mobile.  Smart!

While reading the primer, I found a chapter on NPCs and the following struck me:

Give NPCs a motivation or concern that doesn’t involve the PCs. This lends them some depth and grounding, as well as giving the PCs a lever to pull, if they can find it.  (from the NPC's aren't scripts section). 

Every time I write something for home use, or publishing, this never crosses my mind. I've been thinking a lot latetly about world building and game prep.  At some point in time I'll be running more games and I'd like to be prepared.  Since I've settled on Mystara (although that might change.... see below).  The town of Luln struck me as a interesting place for a home base.  For the sake that its on the border of the evil Black Eagle Barony.  Using the above suggestion, I'd like to spend some time working out NPCs for the town.  Nothing major, but just back fill their personalities a bit more.  And of course fill the town with a bunch of stores etc.  I may even setup a crazy tent preacher on the outskirts of town.

I look forward to reading the rest of Principia Apocrypha in my spare time.  Anyways, check it out when you get some time, it's super awesome!

Yesterday I started working on a new character for our upcoming 5e session.  I'd posted about it on G plus.  The idea of a thief who basically steals for the thrill and then gives away the loot.  The build (I can't believe i just said that....) is a straight up rogue with a noble background.  I went over to the wotc basic D&D rules online and copied and pasted everything into a word doc.  Of course after I finished I had a few concerns and questions about rules.  Specifically the whole mulit classing thing.  I'm supposed to create a 9th level character, so I decided 8 of rogue and 1 of wizard just for giggles. 
(BTW I think I cleared up my issues). 

However, as usual I had a bit of "do I really want to play this PC?" in the back of my head.  I decided for saftety sake I'd print off the pre gens from the wotc site for the halfling rogue & the human fighter.  The fighter is very appealing to me, although the DM suggested they party really needs a rogue.  The only problem I had was the pdfs were sized at 8.5" x 10.9" .  When I went to print it (I scaled to fit, and tried actual size) the printer started beeping at me "hey you! you need to put in the correct paper size!"

Alas I had to dump the file into GIMP and resize just to be able to print. 

So I think in the end I'm going to just play one of the two pre gens for ease of everything is on the sheet.  Probably the rogue.  (fuck I hate using that term, it's a damn thief).

In other news I scored a copy of Greyhawk from 1983, including 2 near perfect maps, 2 books, the box and a copy of "judges survival tools for Indiana jones!".  I got all of this for 10 BUCKS CANADIAN!!!! 

Frank T said "pics or it didn't happen".  So here's the pic: So just in case, if you are wondering what I'll be up to this weekend, reading!

Oh and I think we are going to do a new Star Trek movie marathon with homemade pizza.

If you get a chance head over to gothride manor and check out the latest episode of Tims podcast.  I'll be doing a response podcast very soon (possibly today).

These episodes are targeted at individuals like myself who are small-time publishers not back by the companies. I want to share my experience with the process and I am hoping others join in the conversation to share their experiences.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Session 0 - we are off to the arena? Mega dungeon Mondays

Tonight we started a new game, playing a house ruled version of basic fantasy. (the gist is that we use adv/dis and inspiration from 5e the rest is the bf chassis).  We all started as fifth level characters but had no equipment or spells.

First scene we were stuck in metal cages on a cart going thru the country side. A halfling npc named Jeff managed to escape but was quickly killed by the "cannibal forest" that we were going thru.

Obviously no escape.

We quickly realized that we are on the way to a large coliseum. Where it appears we will be fighters in the arena.

Waves of Thor ragnorok.

While in the cages we started talking to a few people and meet this nice dude named Randy, who is a fisherman (whoever there are no rivers or bodies of water close by).  We get to our destination and are quickly put in cells.  All the rest of the prisoners don't have any recollections or memory of how they wound up in the cart.  The next morning we are introduced to a orc named MORGUK, who has apparently been in the fighting arena for a long time, and is now our trainer.   We proceed to the arena to train to fight.  A few days go by and we are finally given weapons (still no equipment however). 

The arena is large stadium seating etc.  In the centre is a LARGE BLACK tower.  Apparently the winners go there, and get the fruits of their labours (ie big orgys, all you can drink etc).  The tower is very phallic shaped.....

The big day finally comes and we are ready to fight.  We make our way into the arena and have to face off against another pile of prisoners led by a large orc (similar to MORGUK).  Unfortunately there was no chance to escape as we were being watched closely by guards.  The battle enues!

The wizard and the cleric start to slowly remember spells (only 1st level ones).  After a few rounds of battle, the wizard wanders off to the east trying to find a way out, or a secret passage.  He is successful in finding a way up into the stands.  We keep fighting, slowly backing our way over to the east wall. 

There's a joke made about the "great big spaghetti god in the sky", to which my cleric now believes is the deity he follows. 

Finally we get to the wall and start trying to climb up.  We have to face off against orc guards wearing leather armour with "security" written on their lapels.

There's mass panic in the crowd.  Much of them wear MORGUK jerseys (apparently he is a fan favourite).  In the mean time he is slaying people left and right (including members of our team) He wants in the black tower.

We make our way up the stands, kill the guard and make a break for it.  I charm the rest of the guards and we escape onto the road with all of the audience. 

Talking with a few NPCs in turns out that we are on our way to "Fleshmound" a small village not far from the arena. 

We get to the town and goto the one tavern (which I can't remember the funny name).  There we find a few games of chance including one called Gold Fish!  Which the gist of is:  You put a fish in your mouth and attempt to drink a pint of ale without swallowing or spitting out the fish.  This continues with 2 fish, etc.  Since I have nothing to bet but my mace, I put that on the line.  And sadly loose it. 

At this point we decide to call that a session and make our way home for a good rest.