Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
You've met a picnicking Sicilian and death is on the line...
01-15 - Treat him as a great fool. Put poison into his goblet
16-31 - Don't treat him as a great fool. Put poison into own goblet
32-47 - He won't trust you. Put poison into own goblet
48-63 - He'll know you can't be trusted. Put poison into his goblet
64-79 - Be strong! Put poison into own goblet
80-95 - Study mortality. Put poison into his goblet
96-100 - Start a land war in Asia
She also happens to have a new album out. Just doing my part to add to her web presence.
Some song samples from Soundcloud.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I watch Ancient Aliens because I think it is funny and because I really, really want this shirt.
Nor does any of that answer the question, if life on earth originated on another planet, how did that life originate? I guess its turtles all the way down.
Rock of Ages, btw was bloody awful despite Paul Giamati, Alec Baldwin and Russel Brand doing their damnest. I'll admit that Tom Cruise managed to be mildy entertaining, if only because he came with a monkey. The two 'leads' unfortunately, were tone deaf and had the combined charisma of a coffee table, though they did have this one funny exchange;
Girl "L.A. isn't working out. I'm a stripper."
Boy. "I'm in a Boy Band."
Girl. "You win."
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Personally, I think that as awful as this is, it still looks more D&Dy than the first movie. If this was a fan film, it would rate a 'nice try'.
Friday, June 22, 2012
*Star Trek lied to me! The idea that the word 'sabotage' comes from French luddities throwing their wooden shoes, 'sabo' into mechanized looms is unsupported. The word comes from the general French 'saboter' which simply means to do things in a clumsy or slipsod manner. From 'Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do with Pigs' by Katherine Barber.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
|Click to Enlarge|
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
|It's filled with Pecans!|
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Friday, June 8, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
D&D reduces spells to bullets and Wizards (at least higher level ones) to heavy artillery. I’ve seen attempts at making it seem a bit more ‘mysterious’ or adding complications such as material components, but nothing in any form that anyone would actually want to play.
There is nothing actually WRONG with the D&D magic system, if that is the way magic works in the D&Dverse - then that is the way it works in the D&Dverse. At least it is internally consistent. It just isn’t to my taste.
The hang up for me is Saving Throws. The more powerful the character, the better their chance at resisting magic. That seems wrong. No matter how powerful Conan became, he ALWAYS feared magic and Superman’s second most exploited weakness is his vulnerability to magic. Yet in the D&D system, both these guys would have saving throws up the whazoo.
The thing is, that from Merlin to Gandalf to Doctor Strange, Zantanna, Harry Potter and Ponder Stibbons … I’ve never seen a magic system work that way. In almost every other interpretation of magic that I have come across if a spell fails it is because the wizard screwed up, not because their target was somehow able to shrug it off. If the spell gets casts, it works.
So for my own homemade system, I’m developing a system where the wizard must make a series of rolls over a couple of rounds to ‘weave’ a spell together. If they make all the rolls, then the spell is successfully cast and there is nothing the target can do about it. I think I could make this work for LL/D&DBasic as well, but it would take some heavy tinkering and I’m thinking that it must have already been done by someone.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Saturday, June 2, 2012
In any RPG basically the characters start off with low stats, but generally enter situations that they can handle. As the character gains levels their stats go up, but the situations they find themselves in are more difficult. The basic premise hasn’t changed; only the numbers have gotten bigger. Unfortunately, in some games this leads to stat bloat and/or unwieldy amounts of dice to roll.
Getting back to the Hulk, superheroes don’t “gain levels’, neither did Conan, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Frodo and Sam, or Katniss. Harry Potter kinda did, but he was literally growing up in each book and in an environment where he was actively learning new skills. What do those characters gain? Experiences.
So, in keeping with that idea, and to honour the fact that I've hardly worn pants the past five months, I came up with this. It owes a great deal to RISUS and I have no idea if it would actually play or not, but I think the premise is sound and it was fun to think up, so what the heck? If I get really bored, I'll do a list of possible MAXs and MINs.
To Do Everything Roll 1d6
How to build a Completely Pantsless Character
Player Characters (or PCs) in CPR are created by selecting three MAXs and one MIN. To make it simple, MAXs and MINs can be anything the player can think of, though some examples are provided. When choosing or creating MAXs and MINs, players should keep in mind what kind of personality, background and abilities they want their PC to have.
MAXs are anything that benefits the character such as skills, bonuses, positive quirks, special items, background details or anything the player can come up with.
MAXs can be bonuses to the Dice roll, but must be applied to a specific situation and no bonus may be higher than +3. Each + costs a MAX. For example, Pherry the Wonder Elf has Woodlore +2, which means he spent two MAXs and he can only apply the bonus when doing something woodsy.
MINS any detrimental elements to the characters such as phobias, character flaws, handicaps, etc. MINs can also be applied to Dice rolls with the same conditions. For example, Pherry is coulrophobic, so all rolls made in the presence of clowns are made at -1.
Characters also start with four KO points. At the time of character creation, they can gain extra KO points by sacrificing a MAX, or loose one by using up their MIN. NPCs have KO3 unless otherwise stated.
Fightin’n Stuff Non-Player Characters (NPCs) and Monsters have three basic stats; HIT, DAMAGE and KO. They are Easy, Medium, Hard (or Impossible) to HIT and then Easy, Medium, Hard (or Impossible) to DAMAGE. There may be a specific number, for example Easy 2, associated with the stat which indicates that they must roll that number of higher to HIT or DAMAGE.
All humans (and humanoids), including PCs are Easy 2 to HIT and Easy 2 to DAMAGE unless they are wearing armour or take a MAX to raise
When a fight breaks out, the GM randomly chooses which player goes first, but she cannot choose herself or the same player twice in a row. The turn then continues clockwise around the room until the fight is over.
The player whose turn it is then chooses an opponent and rolls the D6, applying any applicable MAXs or MINs, to HIT.
If the PC meets or surpasses their opponent’s HIT, then they are successful and can now roll to see how much Damage has been inflicted.
Weapons have a Damage rating from +1 and up. Armour has a negative rating raging from -1 and down. Roll for Damage and apply all weapon and armour modifiers. If the result, with modifiers, is equal or higher than the opponent’s DAMAGE stat, then they loose a number of KO points equal to the weapon’s Damage (so a +2 weapon would inflict 2 KO point).
When a character runs out of KO, they are out of the fight. Their condition depends on how they ran out of KO points. If they were shot or stabbed, they now require medical attention, but if they lost the KO points to a spell or a fall, they may be unconscious or too exhausted to continue fighting.
Doing Other Stuff
Anytime an action or event comes up in play the requires a roll, the GM simply determines if it will be EASY, MEDIUM or HARD and the player rolls a D6. If the PC has any applicable MAXs, the GM may lower the difficulty.
If a PC does not have an applicable MAX, then it is up to the GM to raise the difficulty to reflect how hard it would be to perform that action without training. Fixing a bicycle without training might only be HARD, but fixing a super-computer would be IMPOSSIBLE.
Each time the PC does something particularly awesome, they gain 1 Awesome point. GMs also award Awesome points at the end of an adventure. For every 10 Awesome points the player can select a new MAX. For every two MAXs the player selects, they must choose a MIN.
The caveat is that the MAXs and MINs selected must be in some way related to what happened during the adventure. For example, the PC learned to drive a tank and speak Farsi, but has also been Brainwashed by the Order of Chaos to kill the King of Romania.
However, the film did have one interesting visual courtesy of Christopher Lambert which could be used in any campaign, the tatooed monks:
Friday, June 1, 2012
Snow Golems are sometimes created by wizards inhabiting high mountains or Polar Regions to be used as guardians to their lairs. If their creator passes away or forgets about them, the golem will eventually become autonomous, at which point their alignment and temperament will become randomly determined.
Snow Golems can only be harmed by magical or heat/fire weapons. They are also completely immune to cold based attacks, though they can be temporarily blinded by a well-thrown snowball.
If they are in a snowy environment, Snow Golems can repair themselves by packing in new snow, and have even replaced heads and limbs. If attacked by Fire/Heat, snow golems melt by getting smaller (half damage at half hit-points). Snow Golems are the enemies of Fire Wolves.
Armour Class: 5
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 2 (Fist/Snowball)
Damage: 2d6 / 1d6
Spirit: N (equal to rank if autonomous)
New Editions have always bothered the crap out of me because it is like trying to convince someone else to love bean casserole. You might LOVE bean casserole and could eat it six days a week, but if someone else thinks it tastes and smells like an old, lumpy gym sock, nothing you do or say will ever convince them. While it might be fun to debates the merits for a while or tell them that your homebrewed version tastes better, in the end you are just going to have to let it go. Just because they prefer tuna casserole doesn’t make them an asshole.
Nor do I like new Editions because of the cost. My carefree days of disposable income are long behind me, sucked away by mortgage payments, medical concerns, hungry animals and lots and lots of bills. There is no way I am shelling out $100plus dollars every few years to add yet another Player’s Guide/GM Manual/Monster Manual to my shelf next to all the other editions.
And whether you play the new edition or not, suddenly everything else on that shelf is now obsolete. You’re now driving a Desoto and its damned hard to find parts. If you insist on clinging to your diesel guzzling ways, soon you’re reduced to scavenging through files of Raistlin/Tasslehoff slashfick, hunting for homemade conversion guides on a wayback’d geocities sites.
Not to mention that it is this sort of idiocy results in things like edition flame wars, OSR self publishers and copycats like Pathfinder. They all have their merits (except edition flame war trolls), but they all lead to dissatisfaction and degradation of the original product and causes WotC to shed customers like dandruff off a Con-goer.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Hasbro/WotC releasing* miniatures, computer games, board games, apps CCGs or whatever else they want with the D&D logo stamped on the front. Come to think of it, I’d LOVE the idea, because I think that in the end it would help bring proper (imaginative) role-playing back to a whole new generation (lost to ‘passive’ computer rpgs like WoW and Skyrim). Sure they’ll probably use tablets and interactive cards or figures, and who know what other tools to play. Some old schoolers are going to bitch about how the new kids ‘don’t play like we used to’, but those old schoolers are now in their thirties, forties or more. The game MUST evolve or it will die, and I’m not afraid to say that I have caught the whiff of gangrene settling in. Nor do I believe that D&DNext is anything more than a temporary bandage.
But please WotC, for us old school guys pushing forty, the guys who care enough to write bullshit pieces like this for a blog that no one reads, stop fucking with new editions and give us a game we can all rally behind! No more total reboots or attempts to be clever (Next!) or cribbing from MMORPGs. Just give us a straightforward (backwards compatible, or is that too much to ask?) game and STAND BEHIND IT. You give us that, and we’ll stand behind you.
*I can’t help but wonder if Hasbro isn’t promoting D&D harder more because of the wingnut Christian climate in the States right now. Maybe they are afraid of another ‘Mazes and Monsters’ style backlash which could lead to a boycott of other Hasbro products. Just a thought.