Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ravenloft - Fith edition - the meeting

We converted over to fifth edition for Ravenloft last night.

The party is a drow monk, drow warlock,  tiefling fighter,  tiefling druid, tiefling wizard, dragonborn cleric, and a human barbarian.

The party met in secret under Harmonic Hall.  There they met the Crooked Man. A lich. Their benefactor.

After a brief meeting and intro to the Lode Stone, they were sent off to recover an artifact from the Dirge Cemetery.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Skulls and Shackles - Mancatcher Cove pt 1

Last night we used the projector and I did something a little different and used the tokens from Roll20 and some other art that I uploaded instead of monster minis.  The tokens were easy to move around and made the game easy to DM. I enjoyed the effects too. At one time a fireball blasted the party and I used a big red fire explosion that I had pulled from the site.

The party figured out very quickly the trick with the eyes and went into the right one and after spending about an hour picking at the area they decided to dig and discovered the hole.  Down the hole they went and were ambushed by Saughaun before plunging into the frigid waters and almost drowning due to the length of time they had to spend underwater between air pockets. After a time they finally emerged into the chamber of Isabella and after dispatching the plant creatures there they looted the room.

A great fun game was had by all. I decided to mutate one of the Saughaun since I wanted to give them a bit more of a challenge. The funny thing is that it was my DMPC Avignon du Benard's Eidilon Murray the Moray, my pc is named  that almost died in the battle.

Here are some photos:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Plan B - How to Party Without the Whole Party

You have prepared the maps, the npcs, the monsters, the dungeon, loaded the room with treasure and set the scene with lighting, effects, mood, music, and munchies – a perfect plan for a perfect gaming session. Then it happens. You waited all week to game and now you are getting a call from a member of the party that cannot make it. You think to yourself “maybe I can save this thing!” optimistically but then as you start to figure out exactly how the party is going to get on without a cleric in the Lost Dungeon of Undead Madness, you get a call from the player of the rogue –crap. Now you are down too many people to run your cool awesome game and you are feeling the pressure. Do you cancel? Well that depends. How badly do you want to game?

You could go ahead and cancel. That will give everyone enough time to find something else to do that night. Notice I did not say “better”. For me gaming IS the better thing to do. If you are playing a game because you have nothing better to do then you are playing it wrong. Sorry. That’s how I feel.

Anyway at this point you start looking at the dusty card and board games and think “I can have a board game night!” and then it hits you –zombies! Or Chez Geek or Arkham Horror (hey it’s basically an RPG with cool graphics and a board) so you smile and text your buddies.

“Hey guys, we’re down a few tonight. What about some card or boardgames?”

You get one of two answers.

“Sure sounds great”

Or, man I was hoping for a game.

Now here’s plan B.

You can do BOTH.

One of the great things about rpgs is their ability to be able to do things on the side. This is known as downtime actions in Pathfinder and is known as downtime or side quests among some other grognards.

Undoubtedly everyone in the party has something that they want to do with their characters. This is especially true if the game is an established one and the characters have played for a while (redundant I know but think about an established game with brand new characters, hmm, maybe they’d need MORE downtime, but I digress). The game isn’t all about hacking and slashing and rescuing princes. It is about adventure! So what can you do as a GM? Maybe run a quick adventure featuring the players and GIVE those that could make it to the game a good time by allowing them to complete side quests together as a smaller group - ones that they are going to be wanting to play.

Vindication/Admission : This is where the rogue becomes a member of a thieves guild, or the cleric has the ability to join the church, or the fighter a warrior order or the party has the chance of proving themselves individually to some other group or the town as a whole.

Quest for Item: Maybe one of your party members has heard the whereabouts of the longsword his father carried in battle before he was slain by the marauding orc from Toothymaw hills? This would be a great side quest for him to gain that item!

Craft: A great time to have players work on crafting items, writing spells, and training is also during downtime quests.

Other: Once a group of players decided to host a circus in one of my games. I ran this on the fly and off the cuff. We had a blast. Their circus ran for a week and after which time they were awarded some xp and some gold.

Ah but you say, what happens when the players are in the middle of a dungen?

That’s easy! Adventurers are by nature curious. Separate them!

GM: “You see a strange looking torch on the wall”

Player: “I look it over for traps and then touch it.”

GM: “You feel the entire floor shift beneath you and you realize that you (and whoever else is at the table) is now on the opposite side of the wall.”

Now the players have to figure out how to get back. Maybe magic or teleportation works, maybe it doesn’t – the choice is yours and should make sense for whatever dungeon eh players are exploring.

I said before you could do boardgames and cardgames as well as rpg in a night. This is true but only if you want to do it (and have the time).

We have played side quests for a few hours and then gleefully broken out Munchkin or Fluxx. The players especially enjoyed the one time at the circus because we broke out Munchkin Cthulhu after and they proceeded on gaming up on me. Cthulhu was doubled and my items mysteriously disappeared. I deserved it though because putting a pick pocket monkey into the game that worked for the major npc villain of the campaign kind of ticket them off when he stole their lockbox after the show…

Happy gaming!

DND Starter Set in Chult

The group wanted to try the starter set but in Chult, land of dinosaurs, snakes, nagas, and mosquitoes; so that is what I've done.

We have played two sessions.

This game is deadly! They quickly learned to use inspiration and teamwork and were barely able to best the first goblin encounter. Once they got into the swing of things; however, the game picked up fast.

The first night quick but bloody battle filled with awesome in character roleplaying. This was followed by searching and locating the cave.

The second night we played the cave battle and the party decided to leave the cave and went to town instead.

This was particularly funny because I just bought the cave maps ...


So they get to town. Get the payment. Find out no dwarf and then promptly find the meanest tavern and start a fight with redbrands.

A few nasty crits later and one beheading and a throat red lining was answered by the surrender of the brands. What does the party do? They say get us drinks and tell us what you know and we'll call it even.

I love this game and those gamers (half ladies )!

This game made it very easy to makeup stuff on the fly and to give the impression of fluidity in mechanics.

Love it!

The redbrand whose name was Alarn told them he was happy to trade drinks for keeping his life and that they should check out the cave for their dwarf friend. He added "check us out when you return.  I will tell Glassstaff some new players and potential recruits are in town."

Skulls and Shackles Tidewater

So we've been playing the AP for about a year and they have just got to the third part of the second module.

They have successfully scrubbed ships, plundered merchants,  taken Tidewater, and made a name and enemies for themselves.

They have battled crews and sahaguin, sharks and rays, and came out on top.

So far...

Tonight they enter Mancatchers Cove after last week fighting the Beast and chasing it back to its hideout.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Contributing Writers - Bring Your A Game Magazine

Mike Williams just asked me to be a contributing writer to BringYourAGame. I have accepted. I will feature game advice and reviews as well as fun stuff and probably outlandish strange stuff too and Mike gets to edit all of my ramblings so hopefully he won't go too mad. Well at least I have the Laundry to fall back on. This should be fun!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

DND vs Pathfinder (The New Round)

This guy echos my thoughts on DND 5th edition. Well maybe I echo his. Anyway here's my thoughts followed by his blog post which is linked below.

I agree with this article. The Alchemist and steampunk stuff got me into pathfinder too. I was also very sad with 4e. The rulesbloat thing got to me with Pathfinder.

I picked up Mythic hoping for a change and what I got was more rules to put with the rules of the rules that I had used to support the core rules and then players always seem to like to challenge those rules or my ruling of situations that are spelled out in some sourcebook somewhere. It was honestly like having to dig through chapter approveds in 40k which is a nightmare when you have to look for the marines but are playing nids. As a GM there is NO WAY UNDER HEAVEN that I will be able to read all of the material out there for pathfinder and remember it all. We HAVE to use d20pfsrd and pdfs because the game is that rules heavy.

I am running Lost Mines and I LOVE it. I will be changing our Ravenloft game to 5th and once Skulls and Shackles is over I imagine I will be putting away pathfinder for a while. I will be running the same group through Tyranny of Dragons later this year once they complete the Lost Mines.

Topless Robot - DND 5th Edition is better than Pathfinder

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sharknado the Miniature

I loved the cheesy first movie and loved the second one even more. I made this as a tribute and will be running it using miniatures that can move up and down the sharknado. Yes the sharks move too!

For the full slideshow:

Sharknado in all its glory!