Dec 032012

  • RSS What’s Up With The Magic Pig

    • Come out and Meet The Authors
      Come out on Saturday to the Leander Public Library (between 2 and 4 PM) and meet the folks of the Leander Writers Guild. We’ll be there with cookbooks. Stop by say “Hi”, chat about food or whatever geeky goodness comes to mind. View Larger Map
    • OK, We’re going to make it even easier for you.
      Never let it be said that we don’t listen to fans. Things are going well but we’re going to make it even easier on you for you to win a copy of Crunchy Bits. All you have to do is either comment here, hit us up on the contact form, or just drop us an […]
  • RSS They Might Be Gazebos! My OSR Blog

    • Blasters & Black Holes: Gonzo Space Opera Classes
      If you’ve been following along, I just haven’t gotten this idea out of my head. Heck, even got a work title Blasters & Black Holes (maybe I’ll a neat graphic sometime). Here’s a few notes thrown into something that others may find only slightly coherent. It’s been spell checked and that’s about it. This firmly […]
    • What’s Happening In The City
      The party of adventures walk into town. What’s going on? A quick and dirty little chart for something interesting happening when the characters arrive. Enjoy! What’s Happening When They Get To The City

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So yeah, I’ve been thinking a lot about space opera stuff and furiously scribbling down notes. But whenever I do this stuff my brain goes back to one of my favorites. Farscape. And if you’ve never seen it. Hunt it down and watch it. But here’s a classic sequence that’s good for a few laughs. And if you haven’t seen it or know anything about it. No, it is not an animated series. This was just one of the many strange and funny things that happened.


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Let’s face it. Gamers are superstitious lot. We have all sorts of odd rituals to keep that dice mojo going.
The lucky die or that special dice rolling ritual. Time outs for bad dice or maybe threatening them with a hammer, fire, or trip to the deep freeze.
Break out the special snacks when things get hairy. Break out the Twizzlers because things have gotten interesting.
Or maybe there’s the mascot. The GM breaks out his special friend or maybe it’s a player.
Chants, cheers, and prayers to the Natural 20 gods.
Here’s my little “thing”. That’s right. It’s my lucky gaming hat. OK, I really need to wash the thing but hey, it’s LUCKY!
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So what’s your little ritual or good luck charm?

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Well, Fifth Edition D&D is out but you should know that already. But I do keep seeing a sort “Fighter is boring” meme going on.
Let’s look back to the early days of gaming. What was the Fighter? Pretty much run up and hit the monster. It was also the character you gave the new player because it was easy to play. Swing a weapon. That’s it. No spells or other special abilities to worry about.
In 4th Edition, the Fighter got all sorts of of silly video gamey powers (IMHO). In Pathfinder/3.x, the Fighter gets Feats. Lots of Feats. Feats for everything. Find your ass. There’s a Feat for that. Walk and chew gum. There’s a Feat for that.
Just running up and rolling to hit is kind of boring. But remember two little axioms. “Rulings not rules” and “You are responsible for your own orgasm”. Look at the fighter in that light, the class is a blank canvas. You have no special abilities or spells written out. You have your imagination, creativity and, hopefully, a great DM to pull off whatever kind of wild and crazy stunt or maneuver that just might save the day.

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OK, not the bad kind of heavy metals that can kill. Nor is it the music but cooking and rocking to some tunes is still a pretty good idea. I’m talking about cast iron, baby!
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A good cast iron skillet and a Dutch oven are must have for any kitchen.
Let’s get the simple stuff out of the way. Yes, they are heavy. That’s a good thing. It conducts the better and more evenly. With this combo, you can cook just about anything from steaks to bread. Yes, bread. I’ve cooked bread in a Dutch oven before. You can do that nifty little restaurant trick of start it on the stove and finish it in the oven. If you maintain your cast iron darlings, you can hand them down to your grandchildren. No kidding. They will last that long. A well seasoned cast iron pan becomes nonstick.
But wait, that’s not all. I’ve also used a cast iron skillet as meat tenderizer, nut cracker, and smoker box. Like I said, I’ve made bread in a Dutch oven. There’s the obvious stews and soups but also casseroles. And for the cautious, it can be used for deep frying (Like I said, be cautious and have fire extinguisher just in case).
There are some things that have been used for centuries, there’s a reason for it. Sometimes that stuff just works.


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There’s been a lot negativity bouncing around RPG circles. Heck, a new edition of D&D is out and it looks pretty good. There should more cheers of joy. But, no. So let this old grognard tell you about the neat parts of gaming from the dark ages before the Internet.
I was in the Army, and in case you didn’t know it, you tend move around a lot. I got transferred from place to place. That’s the nature of the beast. But I was a gamer and no matter where in the world I went I knew that there was already a community waiting there for me.
A fresh face with pile of dice was always welcome at the table. Gaming gave me a common point of reference with a group of strangers. Some became friends. Some didn’t. That’s the way life is. There was bitching about the rules or GM calls. There were marathon all night games. Dragons were slain. Beer was drank. Good times were had. Those were fun times.
And I still believe that’s happen in this day age all over the world. People are gaming and having great time. Go out there. Roll some dice. Kill monsters. Take their stuff. And laugh people.

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I spent a bunch of time this long holiday weekend messing around with 5th Edition D&D. It was fun and blast. I think WOTC did a good job on this one.
First, (on release day) I spent some extra time at the FLGS and played a little. I played the archery fighter pregen from the Starter set). The combats were quick. The rules were easy to pick up. The few minor differences (like breaking up your movement) took some getting used to but it was no biggie.
On Friday, I ran a few folks thru the first couple of encounters in the starter adventure. We found that the game was a lot deadlier than it looked. Yes, I TPK’d them with 4 goblins.
So some thoughts on the game itself on what we have so far. It’s quick and easy to play. There’s enough crunchy and story type RP stuff for the characters to make things fun. Now it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. When we played, the fighter just seemed kind of blah compared to the other classes. Now, the pregen fighter with axe was the one that the player chose. I went back and looked at the character again and we discussed it. It just seems that compared to the other characters, this one sucks. It was the character that dropped first in pretty much every encounter. It takes its fighter specialization and basically uses it compensate for using Dex as a dump stat. A simple tweak of giving the character a sword and shield makes the character much more effective.
Since the there’s that free PDf and my brain isn’t totally functioning. I’ll pretty much leave the in depth analysis and rants to others. Let me just say this. It’s a good game. I think it’s a good hybrid of old-school and new school ideas. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a nap.

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