Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

RIP Carrie Fisher - Princess Leia has passed on

I have been a huge Star Wars fan for almost all of my life. As a little kid, I had most of the Star Wars toys, and played with them every day. I have seen all of the movies (barring the current release, which I will see this weekend).

Carrie Fisher was just a huge part of all things Star Wars. She led a wild, crazy life, but accomplished so much. It's hard to believe she's gone.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

RIP John Glenn - Astronaut and Senator

John Glenn was one of the last great heroes. He did so much, and had a long life, but he will be missed. I have so much respect for the man.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

RIP Joe Dever - Lone Wolf author

When I was a kid, I played through a number of Lone Wolf books. Joe Dever wrote a great world, with fun adventures. RIP, you wonderful man.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Where I review some pens I have

I write a lot, mostly just notes for gaming, though also short stories and poetry. In any case, I use pens a lot. I have a strong fondness for gel pens. They tend to write the best, and don't require me to press real hard while writing. In any case, here are my own opinions on the pens I've been using lately.

Promate Grippy 1.0mm gel pen - Cheap pen, but it feels good in the hand. Writes well, if a little thick. Definitely wouldn't hold up to extended use. Rating: 2 out of 5.

Uniball Signo 207 0.7mm gel pen. Looks great. Feels nice in the hand. It skips for me, though. Not sure why. Maybe it's just the way I write. The lines are neat and look great, except when I write loops, where it skips. Rating: 3 out of 5.

Parker Jotter stainless steel ballpoint pen. Looks nice. Is a little too thin. Tends to clump on the roller, so that there's a splotch when I start using it after it's sat for a little while. Have to press fairly hard. Once it starts, it writes well. Rating: 2 out of 5. (I've ordered the Schmidt Easyflow 9000 refills for this pen. I really hope they improve it, as the included Parker ink kind of sucks).

Pilot G2 0.7mm gel pen. Works great. Feels great to hold. Perfect lines with no splotches or skips. Wish they made fancier versions that weren't plastic. Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fantasy Age from Green Ronin - any good?

Just wondering if anyone has played Fantasy Age from Green Ronin. It looks pretty interesting. I know it was based on the older Dragon Age game. I've read a couple reviews, but I'm not sure how well the game would work in regular play.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

1st edition demons were scarier

Maybe it's just me, but the demons as presented in 1st edition were the scariest. Heck, a number of mid to high level spells were all about summoning and controlling them. Maybe it was just the artwork, or Gary's writing, but it seemed more dangerous than the editions that followed.

2e really did drop the ball by renaming everything, and 3e was just too numbers-heavy to give any feeling of dread. 4e was a joke, and I still haven't picked up 5e (so maybe 5e finally fixed them). In any case, I loved the whole set-up and feeling of danger created by the writing in the 1e books.

Also, the Demons boxed sets made my Mayfair Games were fantastic. I have both, and if you ever have a chance to grab them, do yourself a favor and do it. Not only do they add tons of cool demons, there are great examples of investigators going crazy, etc.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Berserk (anime)

I'm currently watching Berserk. It's a fantastic show. It reminds of a cross between D&D and Dark Souls. The characters are all mercenaries in a world with hidden magic and monsters. I'm still only halfway through, but I suspect magic and monsters become much more prevalent as the series goes on.

The series starts with Guts fighting a monster lord, and then goes back in time till when he was a younger mercenary. Much of the series is taking place in the past.

Lots of nasty politics, big battles, and bloodshed. Another neat thing is that the armor appears to be a mix of medieval for leaders and English Civil War for the more common troops. I like it.

I haven't finished the show or read the manga, so no spoilers, please. Just wanted to say this anime is perfect for D&D fans.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Runequest 2e - I finally have a copy

Chaosium has published a reformatted version of Runequest 2e, that also includes all errata in it's correct locations. I've heard of this game for years, and it's always been very expensive on eBay, so I finally got myself a copy.

I like it, though I don't know that it would be my preferred version for d100 gaming (Openquest is the best version I've tried). I was also surprised that no Sorcery rules were included. I guess they got introduced in 3e by Avalon Hill.

I was also surprised that the rules really aren't that Glorantha specific. Yeah, the cults included and some of the monsters are definitely Gloranthan, but the way lots of old gamers talked, I thought this book would be stuffed with it. I think the RQ Deluxe Set from AH had more Glorantha info in it. Just a weird thing I noticed from what forum-goers say vs. what is actually in the product.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Gurps Fantasy Set Kickstarter reached goal!

Well, as of now, they are over $104,000, on a goal of $100,000, and still have 11 days to go. I'm glad this was a success for them, and I expect the product will be very well done. I normally would hesitate on a Kickstarter project, after going through the Dwimmermount fiasco, but I expect Steve Jackson Games won't have any trouble meeting and exceeding everyone's expectations for this game.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

More info on the upcoming Gurps Fantasy box set

The Gaming Ballistic blog has collected a bunch of Sean Punch's quotes on how he's going about writing the set and what's in it. I, for one, think it's pretty interesting, and I really wish that SJ Games had published this set years ago.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Gurps Fantasy on Kickstarter

Steve Jackson Games is finally going to do a Fantasy-specific Gurps adaptation (Kickstarter here). All you need in one box set! I have high hopes for this!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Glorantha - I love it but...

Glorantha has been around in gaming since the late 70's. It was the default system for the Runequest rpg. If you are interested in bronze age roleplaying, it's one of the best options available (outside of ancient Greece).

However, it went through a long period of navel-gazing, with products focusing heavily on daily life, spirit quests, and pre-ordained battles. This stuff is really cool to read, but is largely worthless at the gaming table.

I'm also not a fan of the Heroquest/Hero Wars system. I like the 100 word character essay, but I just don't "get" the actual system. It's very poorly explained. I suspect that if someone who knows it could actually sit down and teach it, it would work well. Trying to figure it out from reading a book didn't, at least for me.

Runequest itself has gone through a whole bunch of editions lately. I'm not even sure which edition is the current official one, or if one even exists right now. RQ6 was published and then Chaosium yanked their license (not sure how, since it was released under the OGL). In any case, I like the world, but the rules situation is stupid and finding players is very difficult.

Anyways, the Lunar Empire are the good guys and the Orlanthi scum should be crushed under heel immediately, other than this cool Vingan warrior:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Greyhawk - my favorite edition

I know this is probably sacrilege  to the OSR, but I don't really care for the Greyhawk box set with the Darlene map. Yes, it is wide open so you can do what you want. There's not really anything going on, which a lot of DM's probably love. However, it feels very bland to me.

I'd have to say my favorite version is the Player's Guide to Greyhawk, which was published for 2e. It's still pretty open, but a lot has happened. The world actually feels alive. The Greyhawk Wars changed a lot of countries, the Circle of Eight was broken and rebuilt, and Iuz became a god. The Scarlet Brotherhood is also a great villain.

Another thing I like about this version is that even the evil countries fight each other. Ahlissa and the Scarlet Brotherhood are fighting in Onnwal. Heck, most of the evil countries would fight Iuz if he got near them. There are active wars going on (the new Shield Lands and Geoff are the best examples of this), but large parts of the world are relatively peaceful, or at least a good spot for adventurers. Heck, the area right around Greyhawk City is loaded with stuff for players to do.

In any case, if I get to run another Greyhawk campaign, this is the version I'm using.

I also have the Living Greyhawk book, and I like it. I don't think it's as good, though. Maybe the writing style is too dry, or stuff changed even further as the timeline moved. I'm not really sure, but I don't like it as much.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Currently published fantasy valley settings?

I was just wondering if there were any currently published fantasy settings.

Settings similar to what I'm looking for:

1. Haunted Highlands (Castles & Crusades). I like large parts of this setting, but it's certainly not perfect. I'd have preferred more stuff like the first couple books, and less on a big war against the orcs.

2. Nentir Vale. WotC really dropped the ball with this. A fully-fledged campaign box or hardback would have been great.

3. Griffin Island (Runequest). Good stuff, but I prefer more medieval settings.

4. Thunder Rift (D&D). This was pretty good, but also had some silly stuff like ninja rakasta.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Someone made a white box Dark Souls conversion

The OSR blog "games with others" has three posts on Dark Souls and the Original D&D rules.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

I think it's really cool, though I don't know about starting as a 0-level character. If nothing else, there's lots of usable bits for people interested in dark, gritty games.

Also, a cool 5e conversion is HERE.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dark Souls and Greyhawk

I was thinking about running Dark Souls atmospheric game set in Greyhawk. The characters wouldn't be undead, but the area would be dark, filled with monsters and undead. I would probably run this with one player, who would be a follower of either Pelor or Pholtus. I'd probably make a new class, similar to the Paladin, but with no holy mounts and more fire-based magic.

In any case, is there a region that would fit easily for this? I'm thinking of either the Hellfurnaces west of the Sea Princes, or somewhere around Iuz. Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Demon city

I recently rewatched the anime Demon City Shinjuku. It gave me an idea. Have the biggest city in your setting have a demon gate open in it. The demons take over part of the city, turning it into a literal hell on earth.

For a fantasy city, I'd think the local mages find some way to use the walls around that particular neighborhood to contain the demon outbreak. The demons can't get out, but entering the area is a death sentence.

Maybe the local government uses this as a way to execute criminals. Maybe heroes come from everywhere and attempt to seal the gate. Sneaky demons may actually get over the walls and corrupt the rest of the city. The sorcerer who initially opened the gate may be dead, or he may have become incredibly powerful, but with his death, the gate might close.

Friday, August 5, 2016

A tree diagram showing Earth's religions

Here's a tree diagram showing current Earth religions: I've heard of most of the big religions, but there are so many sects in each one. I'm surprised more fantasy games don't go into that a bit more. Imagine a Forgotten Realms where the different churches of Lathander fight each other based upon whether to use the term Dawn or Sunrise during services.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bushi D6 updated and available again

Comcast removed webpages for their users, so all of my internet stuff was unavailable. I wrote Bushi D6 a while back. If you like samurai and the Mini Six/D6 system, you might like this.

Rules: Bushi D6 Rules pdf

Map: Bushi Setting Map

Sunday, January 17, 2016

WFRP and Doctor Who rpgs on eBay

Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd edition lot:

Doctor Who RPG:

Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 11, 2016

RIP David Bowie

Ground Control to Major Tom. You are cleared to land. Welcome home.

RIP. One of the greatest rock artists to ever live passed away from cancer. He will be missed.