Dec 262012

The year is almost over and most folks are still busy messing around with the holidays. So are we. But I figured I’d take this chance to do few quick little rants.
Both 2011 and 2012 have pretty much sucked for me. Lots of really bad things happened both personally and professionally. But I’m not going to let any of that keep me down. It’s to get all crazy busy.
I started my little geeky imprint, Magic Pig Media. There’s a lot of neat stuff in the works. And dammit, it’s going to get done. One way or the other. That’s what’s really going to take up the bulk of my free time. Don’t worry. You’ll still see all sorts of neat stuff here as well as on They Might Be Gazebos. Hell, you just might see more crazy posts. I hope so.
Sometime in 2013, I’m going to start an Old School Campaign with my twisted take on the rules. I have no idea when nor do I even know whether it’ll be face to face or via Google+.
That’s pretty much it. My whole goal for 2013 is to basically pull my head out of my ass and get shit done.
So Happy New Year, folks. Let’s have a good one.

 Posted by at 10:03 am
Dec 212012

The holidays are always a time for feasting, fun and family. It’s a time for traditions both new and old. It’s that time when you’re supposed to fell all warm and fuzzy inside.
This year around the old homestead, we’re starting what will hopefully be some new traditions. We’re doing ham. From scratch. That’s right there’s a nice big Boston butt curing in the spare refrigerator. That’s right. A two person household has an extra refrigerator. It’s primarily for all of our culinary experiments.
We plan to spend most of Christmas day cooking then just chilling out and relaxing. That’s our plan. That’s our new tradition.
So what’s yours?

 Posted by at 10:17 am
Dec 192012

Well, actually it returns tomorrow. But in case you’ve been totally living in a cave with a bunch of rat eating kobolds you’ve should really take the time to catch up on Season One of Standard Action. Let’s face it. A good fantasy comedy series that is blessing. So go check out Season One and learn important lessons like why barbarians and wizards shouldn’t date.

And Druids aren’t healers dammit! Remember a happy Druid is a productive Druid.

 Posted by at 10:08 am
Dec 172012

We had our last Dresden Files session before the holiday break. I decided that we’d speed up the timeline in the campaign. This way after a couple weeks off from gaming we can come back and advance the city and get things rolling again with a semi-fresh start. Here’s how things went down:
We finished up the football season. Yippee! New Bay City University won the championship. Alex The Werewolf continues to be the local football here. When the campaign started off he was the bumbling country boy. Now he’s a start and getting a few kickbacks from the alumni.
We sped through the baseball season. The Dude is really The Dude of Baseball. And now New Bay City University has two championship sports teams but its not going to the Dude’s head because after all he IS The Dude.
Finals: And this didn’t go as planned. But we muscled through it. Alex cheated, bribed and just tried to weasel his way through the finals. He still failed. Artie the Apprentice Wizard brewed up his “Genius Potion” and did a little divination but still in the long run. He failed too. The Dude did manage to pass. The others are on double secret academic probation.
Amongst all this chaos, Artie takes the time to confront the Dean. Artie spells out a simple ultimatum to the Dean. Tell him what is going on and why he’s being used as a delivery boy or the Dean can just get his own packages. The Dean asks for time and tells Artie that he’ll get back to him. A couple days later Warden Lake shows up at Artie’s dorm room. She asks him to come along with her to a meeting at her office. Once he gets there the Warden tells him to into her office. She stays in the waiting room (along with Whisper and The Dude). Inside, Artie is a little shocked. Sitting there waiting for him is the Gatekeeper who explains to Artie what exactly is happening. The Dean has the position of Custodian of the Vault. It is his responsibility to collect, store and protect various dangerous magical artifacts. Some of these artifacts has dangerous side effects and many would drive a normal person mad. Plus, there’s the temptation to possibly use some of said artifacts. Many a Custodian has gone mad or worse. The secondary role of the Custodian is to be a Gatekeeper in training in case anything should happen to the current Gatekeeper. The theory is that if a wizard can stand up to all of those magical artifacts, he should be able to watch the Outer Gates. The Gatekeeper makes it clear how important the Dean’s job is, he also stresses the importance of keeping an eye on the Dean ahould he be driven mad.
Then we get into the meat of the session. It’s Pirate Days! The local festival kicking off the summer vacation and the tourist season. The local radio station is having a big contest! They’ve hidden old pirate coins all around the city. Whoever collects the most coins wins a shiny Shelby Cobra. This wouldn’t be so terrible if there weren’t a Denarian loose in the city. Finally, the second major villain of the campaign shows up.
For this I made a little mini game. I wrote out the names of all the major NPC’s on index cards and dealt them out on the table face down and placed a coin on one of the cards in the center. We decided on 13 “rounds” and then the Denarian would have his new host. The rounds broke down in this order:
Puck: could switch the position of any two cards.
The Player Characters: Each PC could use their skills to do one of the following. Turn a card over. Switch the position of any two cards (one of them must be face up).
The Denarian: Could move the coin to any adjacent card.
At the end of 13 rounds where ever the coin ends up, that NPC would be the host. To add a little more drama, I allowed the PC’s the option of putting themselves into the mix. Alex the Werewolf took up the challenge.
It was pretty exciting. The players were having to make all sorts of moral decisions. Do we let this really bad and powerful person get the coin or do we throw somebody else under the bus. For some reason, Milo Swanson the Mild Mannered City Clerk kept getting throw under bus.
After all the rounds, it was the moment of decision, the Denarian had a few choices but basically boiled down to two. Alex the Werewolf (A PC) and an unknown person (the card was still face down). I let the players decide what the Denarian would do. It was a pretty short debate and the best and most dramatic story twist would for Alex to take the coin and be the new host. The player heartily agreed and even encouraged it a bit. We did some quick calculations and there was no way that Alex could remain a PC. So there’s a whole new plot twist for the next story arch. We’ll see if Artie can save the love of his life from a Denarian. If the Dean finally goes off the deep end and a host of other questions. I had no idea that the story would end up like this.
And that dear readers is sacrificing a PC for story. Man, fucking cool.

Dec 142012

There I admitted it. I’ll chow down on a bacon cheeseburger. I’ll dive face first into a bowl of queso. Occasionally, I get the uncontrollable craving for a cheap frozen pizza or a bowl of ramen noodles. I’m an old time geek and things like this are comfort food for me.
Now, it’s not that I don’t like good food. Good food is great. Healthy food is great even though as an adult it’s difficult for anybody to get me to eat my vegetables. And I know that a balanced diet is good for you. But food, like so many other things, should be fun now and then.
So yes. I like to play with my food. And yes I like junk food.

 Posted by at 10:45 am
Dec 132012

The FATE Core Kickstarter is the current buzz. I’ll be honest at first I didn’t quite get FATE but then the little light bulb went on. And if anything I feel this game has made me a better GM and player.
As a GM, the collaborative world building is an easy way to get player investment. As an added bonus, it takes off some of the burden of world creation off the shoulders of the GM and lets the players say what they want in the campaign. It gives the players a sense that the characters are actually part of the world and have some sort of history and connection.
When it comes to actually running an adventure (just like Savage Worlds), FATE has taught me not to sweat the little shit. You know that’s one of the things that really started to annoy me with Pathfinder. A butt load of different “Conditions” that were only slightly different when it came to game mechanics. Screw it. Keep it simple. Keep rolling. Keep playing. Looking up the exact wording of a particular little tweak is pretty much a waste of time. And it’s pretty damned boring.
As a player, Aspects are a quick and easy way to outline a character. Even if it’s a game that we aren’t using Aspects. Just a little 3 x 5 index card can serve as outline for my character beyond a bunch of numbers.
So even if you aren’t into FATE there’s still something there that can help out in other games. Crap, you don’t even have to use the exact crunchy bits, just give it look and apply some of the philosophies. It just might save a little bit of time and headache.

 Posted by at 10:44 am  Tagged with: