Jan 202015

My head has been bouncing around on way too topics of late and as usual it bounced into the gaming area of my brain.  I thought about all the different games I’ve played and ran over the years.

There’s systems that have struck my fancy for a while and then faded to depths of gaming shelves (or even sometimes boxes).  I had my time with Hero, GURPS and World of Darkness.  Pathfinder has grown a bit tedious and overly crunchy, splat book heavy and just “meh”. FATE was an experiment. We all get to have those now and then.  But in the end, it just really felt flat as game but still has useful ideas (or dare I say aspects) that are useful.

Then there’s a whole slew of games that are fun and I really enjoy. But there’s a few that just cause my little gamer heart to go all aflutter and I start bouncing in my chair. First, there’s all that OSR stuff.  I admit, I didn’t come wandering into the old-school until late in the game. But when I did that old passion came back.   I dug out my White Box with the Little Brown Books. Those feelings that got me started in gaming in the first place. And with a thriving OSR online community, there’s plenty of really cool, creative and original ideas.  Yeah, go ahead and call it nostalgia. But the simple games of yore have special place in my heart and dang it just like wine somethings do improve with age.

There’s also Savage Worlds.  Yeah, I know I haven’t blogged about in way too long but see the above paragraph.  Whenever I get a chance, I’ll hop right into a Savage Worlds game.  Fast, Furious and Fun. That’s the tag line.  It’s an awesome game that’s pretty easy to tweak to whatever setting/genre you want. Yes it does have a bit of pulpy/cinematic feel.  But some games need that.

So that’s my little rant.  I suppose I should throw in some special mention to faithful D6 system.  My mind has wandered back into that territory too.

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 Posted by at 10:02 am
Jan 062015
Magic Pig Media

I dunno. I’ve been thinking about what makes certain types of games different and as usual my little grognard brain wanders into OSR territory.
First off, if you haven’t read Matt Finch’s Quick Primer for Old School Gaming then you really should. It’s free. You ain’t got anything to lose.
Now on to my own rant. Newer games five you lots of choices. Skill choices. Point builds. Advantages/Disadvantages. You get the idea. Generally, this comes down to players building the character they want to overcome the expected hazards of the setting. Every decision in character creation and advancement boils to making the best tool (the character) to get the job done (the adventure).
On the OSR side of things, it’s different. Totally random character generation. Sometimes even random character advancement. Many times there will even crazy random things happen that can change a character for ever. So when you’re down in that dungeon facing off against whatever crazy horror the DM has dreamed up, you don’t have the best character for the job. You didn’t even get a lot choices about the character. You don’t have the best tool to get the job done. You’re stuck working with what you have at hand and making the best of it. This becomes part of the challenge of the game.
Instead of always taking a gun to a gun fight, you just may end taking a screwdriver to a bazooka fight. You get the idea. It’s time to MacGyver up what ever crazy plan that pops into your and make the best of it.
So there you go. Another little tidbit of thought fodder for you.

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 Posted by at 10:45 am  Tagged with:
Jan 022015

That’s right it’s a new year and already there’s probably some cool stuff hitting the small screen.
Let’s see if Marvel can keep their success streak going. I really hop that they do. But Agent Carter starts next week. Record it watch it. I always did think SHIELD was pretty awesome.

And if you’re in the mood for fun fantasy musical comedy. Yes, you read that right. There’s Galavant! Might not be the next Princess Bride but hey it might be worth a laugh. Heck, Ricky Gervais, Weird Al and more. At least it might be a cult classic.

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 Posted by at 10:43 am
Jan 012015
Magic Pig Media

Yeah, 2014 is over. It’s no secret that the last couple years have pretty much sucked ass. I mean really sucked like a giant flaming bucket of poo. But 2015 is here and things just gotta change.
I won’t jinx myself by ranting on about what I’ve got planned nor will I list my resolutions but I’ll tell you all this. Hang on. You’ll probably see some changes happening on the blogs. You’ll some weird stuff on social media and who knows I just might finally get a few of those projects done. I mean really done.
This year is all about change. Like I said, things just have to change (or at least die trying). A New Year is going to be interesting and hopefully the best year.
So stay tuned for some fun stuff. Either that or train wreck. Let’s hope it’s fun stuff.

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 Posted by at 10:07 am
Dec 312014

Playing It Wrong
Well 2015 is almost over. It should have been a really good year but no. I mean for geeks there were some really cool things that happened.
Let’s see. Guardians of the Galaxy rocked ass. I mean really. Like I said before, I haven’t felt like that since the first time I saw Star Wars for the very first time. It was child like glee.
Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition hit the shelves. And it’s been very well received. Heck what could go wrong?
The final Hobbit movie is in theaters. Way cool.
Unfortunately, there’s a sect of the Internet who just want whine, bitch, and troll. It makes pretty terrible place. Witch hunts, doxxing, threats, whine, twitter storms, Gategates, whataver. And 99% (NOTE: not a real stat but just a number I pulled out of my ass.) of the whines are about bull shit. Little insignificant things. Much drama about nothing. There are real problems in the world. Real dangers and real threats. Arguing about games, movies, and books for days, weeks, or even months is just fucking stupid.
In 2015, let’s have fun with our entertainment. And maybe take a few minutes out of your day being outraged, do something nice for a complete stranger. Do some action that really just might make the world a better place not a bitter place.
Chances are that I’ve already offended somebody. So there’s the door. Good Bye! You’re not part of the solution. You’re part of the problem. And the rest of you “Happy New Year!”

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 Posted by at 10:07 am
Dec 222014
Dungeon Masters Guide

The Fifth Edition DMG is out and the trilogy of core books is on the street. To be pretty honest, Fifth Edition is looking pretty darned good. Now A lot of folks who are a whole lot wiser than me have dissected this book in detail so I won’t bother to do that plus I just ain’t that kind of guy.
I had some real misgivings about finally ordering it. Lot’s of folks were talking about all the random charts for a DM to use in the book. Heck, if you’ve been hanging out in the DIY OSR gang then you’ve got more random tables than you could ever use. But the opportunity was there so I grabbed up the book and I’m pretty pleased. (Yes, I did have the wavy pages that so many others have encountered.)
The DMG gives a good look at the nuts and bolts and design philosophies behind Fifth Edition. If you’re an old hat at this DM thing then you’ll probably sit there and nod or mutter to yourself, “Oh ,I get it.” If you’re new then you might feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of options and information. Just take your time and digest it.
Now that doesn’t mean there aren’t some hiccups here and there. OK, there’s some really cool and pretty maps in the back. Why? Inspiration for newbies, That’s OK. But unless you plan on hacking apart your book then they’re pretty useless. A freebie PDF would be more useful (and heck there’s plenty of cool maps on Drivethrurpg and the web). There’s a nice index of monsters by terrain and CR. Such an index for magic items would have been nice. Yes, I know they can’t include everything. The DMG has great guidelines on crafting the game for whatever your style of play happens to be. That’s good. But for some new DM’s there might be some analysis paralysis. Just so many options. Old hat’s just play around with ideas and talk to your players. For the new folks, try running it as is before you really start tweaking with stuff.
With all three core books in grubby little grognard fingers, I feel it’s safe to say that Fifth Edition is damned cool. They really did pull the best parts together to make something that’s easily playable and tweakable. So looks like one of my plans for 2015 is going to get some sort of 5E game off the ground. Cool beans.

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