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

    • Mutant Future & Bandits & Battlecruisers
      I know I haven’t blogged anything of late. I’ve been busy reading. One the really neat things about the OSR is that there’s so much stuff. And if you just don’t happen to grab something when it’s new and shiny. It’s OK to go back and grab some stuff and start reading. You know I’ve […]
    • Making Dragonborn a little more interesting
      Yes, I like dragons but the Dragonborn always just kind of felt “meh” to me. Sort of dragons but not quite. And some overall feeling that they were just tacked on to D&D as a fanboy service. They just didn’t seem interesting. So instead of telling you what to do. I got some inspiration from […]

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Yes, I know I haven’t thrown anything up on the old blog. But it’s getting close to that time of year when I start doing mental inventories. It’s just a little exercise to how my tastes my change. And they tend to do that a lot and see what things still hold my interest.
The Good
There’s a few things that have held my attention over the years. There’s all that OSR stuff. And there is a lot of it. I’m seeing myself lean towards the crazy and gonzo but I rant about that later on.
I still have my love of Savage Worlds despite not playing or running in long time. I’ve still got those crazy ideas (and they’re just ideas) about doing that Solomon Kane/Pirates of the Spanish Main/Realms of Cthulhu kit bash. Like I said, it’s an idea. I haven’t even put pen to paper to jot stuff down.
And then there’s everyone’s darling. Fifth Edition D&D. OK, that just came out but like so many others, I’m a bit stricken by it. It’s the shiny new toy and I want to play around with it more.
The Meh
I hate to say it but after 5E, Pathfinder is getting kind stale. I already think that Paizo has hit the over-bloated, shark-jumping stage. Maybe I’m just not feeling. I mean the gaming group is awesome. Maybe we’ve just played too damned much of it.
The Bye Bye
These are things that just totally fell of my radar. I used to have with World of Darkness. But the thought of playing or running does nothing me. It just whatever.
Then there’s FATE. I ran a decent length Dresden Files game. It was fun. Everyone enjoyed. But after kicking the tires on it well. It just didn’t quite float my boat. There were good things, just the system overall just wasn’t that exciting.
So there it is a silly rant. And I’ll probably do a couple more of these things before the year is out.

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October 12 is Free Thought Day. No long rant here. Just this. THINK FOR YOURSELF. Don’t let anyone tell you how to think. GO out there an be yourself.

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monster-manual-5e-cover
Yes it’s in my grubby little grognard hands and I’ve curled up with the new Monster Manual. Oh is it sweet.
Let’s get the easy part of out the way. There aren’t any new monsters but classic monsters redesigned for the newest edition of D&D. (But you probably know that already.) It is missing that very handy “Monster by CR” index but hey there’s a PDF for that. And there isn’t any “How to build a balanced encounter” section but there is some preliminary notes on the freebie DM Basic Rules. Now I’m sure that got somebody all in an uproar. How can we play without balanced encounters? My precious elf snowflake might get killed. Get off my lawn, kid. Back in my day all we had to judge a monster’s toughness and Hit Dice. Yeah, there TPK’s but that’s party of the game. Roll up new characters and get revenge on whatever killed your last one.
But there is some totally awesome sauce stuff that they’ve added. Namely, the Legendary and Lair Actions. Let me break this down as simple as possible. Legendary Actions let bad ass monsters be even more bad ass. They get to do extra stuff to mess up the party’s day. Lair Actions are what these guys get to do additionally if they are in their lair.
Now that may seem really powerful but with the way the rules are set up it works and this is nifty place for DM’s to easily tweak that big bad. Just look at the Legendary Actions of that creature and others and let that be your inspiration to do a little customization.
As for Lair Actions, my first thought is why let the big bads have all the fun. Just take this one in. A mob of kobolds with Lair Actions. Hmm, traps galore. And just like the Legendary Actions, why not mix up and tweak those Lair Actions to for a little customization.
There’s one other thing I want to throw out there and the Regional Effects. This was one of those head meets desk moments. Why the hell didn’t I think of that? Of course big bad monsters are going to have an effect on the countryside. Duh?
Even if Fifth Edition hasn’t floated your boat, the ideas behind Legendary and Lair Actions as well as Regional Effects are nifty little tools for a DM to throw into whatever game they want to play. Hey, do you want kids. Just have fun doing it.
So far, Fifth Edition has been good. Hell, it’s exceed every exception that I’ve had. Just go back in the archives and you’ll find that I said I was going to just buy the Starter Set. Well, I bought the Players Handbook and Monster Manual. Yes, I’ll pick up the Dungeon Masters Guide sometime but that’s not at the top of my list. I know famous last words.

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weirdaltfhat
OK, I have no proof or anything else like that so just get that out of your system. But I was thinking the other day about that license for Fifth Edition that we’re supposed to hear about next year.
You can debate all you want but here’s some of my own little opinions. The OGL helped the gaming hobby as whole greatly. Yes, it may have dug into WOTC’s pockets a bit. And yes, people published all sorts of shit. But there was a lot of cool and very good stuff that came out of it. Now the GSL for Fourth Edition was train wreck. It was basically crap on stick, poorly handled, and ticked off quite a few fans and quality third party publishers.
So new here we are sitting and waiting for the Fifth Edition license. It’s going to suck. You know why? Because WOTC is getting their big sales push out of the way. People like the game and they’re buying up the core books. If they come out with a crappy license and it ticks you off then just sell off those core books you just dropped your hard earned cash on. Whine about it. Suck it up, kid. Everybody else likes the game. Third Party Publishers. You guys go do Pathfinder or one of the old-school things.
Like I said when I started this post. I have no proof. No rumors. Nothing. And I’m praying that I’m wrong.

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Every month in National “Something” Month. Believe it or not, October is pretty cool when it comes to celebrating food. Let’s see.
It’s National Pizza Month. Look for specials at your favorite pizza joint or even better make your own.
It’s National Pork Month! Oh that magical animal. There’s so much you can do with it. Even more than bacon.
It’s National Sausage Month. That kind of goes along with pork but you can make sausage out of other things besides Porky.
It’s National American Cheese Month. So many kinds. So many different flavors. So many uses.
It’s National Popcorn Month. Nothing goes better with your favorite movie than some popcorn.
So there you go foodies. Celebrate with some pizza, pork, cheese, sausage, and popcorn.

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DFDcvr
Yeah, there’s a new revised edition of Death Frost Doom out. Some might say that isn’t a “Classic Dungeon” and I know when I ranted other times about classic dungeons it was always something from the ancient days of gaming. But Death Frost Doom is special.
This is adventure that launched a 1,000 screams. Not only from the unfortunate characters who foolishly entered its unholy halls but also from the Internet. Let’s see Death Frost Doom became the iconic Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventure and when the rule book for it came there were screams. I remember that? OMG! Boobies and gore! People argued and flamed. Blah. Blah. Also, Death Frost Doom played a big part in Zak S’s Vornheim campaign. (Which if you don’t have Vornheim get it.) But in certain corners of the Internet, if you say like Zak and his stuff. Well, that’s a lynching offense. So yeah. Death Frost Doom. It launched probably more than a thousand screams. And probably a thousand more just because Zak revised it.
The revised Death Frost Doom has some totally awesome and creepy new art from brilliant Jez Gordon. I don’t often comment on art in RPG books. But this stuff is has style that leaps out of the page at you.
As far as the adventure itself. (Don’t expect any spoilers.) The new format is much easier for this aged grognard to read. There’s more options and details than the original. The general plot is pretty straight forward. Big mountain. Lost temple. Bad things happen. Really bad things happen. I mean world changing bad things happen. This is still a challenging and very dangerous dungeon. If you have a bunch of players who expect perfectly balanced encounters and a happy ending then they’re in the wrong dungeon crawl. There’s a very good chance that not every character will make it out alive and maybe the dead one’s are the lucky ones. And bonus points for the Evil Dead reference. (OK, that’s as close to a spoiler as I’m getting.)
Death Frost Doom was already a great adventure. This revision takes it up to 11. Really, it goes to 11.

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