Friday, February 28, 2014

Free Starlog!

Internet Archives now has Starlog! 

Day 28: D&D Blog Hop Lessons Learned

What is the single most important lesson you’ve learned from playing D&D?

Play the game that is in front of you. If you stop complaining, you might actually enjoy yourself. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 27: Regret is Inefficient. All Hail the Computer!

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I’d have played less RIFTS. I'd certainly not have spent as much money as I did on Palladium books. Don’t get me wrong, I love RIFTS. It’s a lot of fun in a really gonzo way, but I don't think that anyone will deny that its mostly a steaming hot mess. I blame it all on the XTREMEness of the 90’s
Remember when this was cool? Neither do i.
But I do wish I’d have played wider variety of games. Here is a short list of games that I wish I’d had a chance to play, or have played more of:

Always more TWERPS.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 26: Gaming Friends are the Bestest Friends (except when they're Gamey Friends)

Do you still game with the group that introduced you to the hobby?

When I actually started gaming with other people, it was mostly neighbourhood kids. Then they’d bring in other friends and other kids would drop out. It was a pretty random group for long time, but in high school it began to gel around a core group of three guys, myself included. Other people played, but we were the main group that they played with.

Eventually it settled into a group of six and together we weathered through university, jobs, illnesses, girlfriends/boyfriends, spouses, kids, divorces ... once a week for nearly two decades. 

We didn’t stop regularly playing as a group until I moved to Nova Scotia. After that I didn’t play much of anything for a while; some Munchkin with friends’ kids and board games with my wife were about it.

Every third week for six months, I would spend five days locked in a room with not much else to do except watch a wide variety of fluids get pumped into my body. Having cancer can actually be really boring.

After some online snooping and scouring a few second hand bookstores, I got back into Game Books and solo Tunnels and Trolls mainly just so I'd have something to do.

It didn’t take long before my gaming group, now scattered across five time zones, to get together on Skype and we together bravely battled out way through ‘In Search of the Unknown’ and then ‘Palace of the Silver Princess’. It was an incredible show of love and support to someone who was both bored and terrified and in need of a little escape. 

That is the kind of friends that gaming gave me. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 25: May the Force be With Yous Guys

What was the longest running campaign you’ve ever played?

It wasn’t D&D, it was WEG D6 Star Wars where we took a group of rebels from a year before Yavin to a few years after Return of the Jedi. It was a truly epic campaign: the Failed Jedi sacrificed himself so that his apprentice could become a true Jedi;  The group’s leader was hunted by a vicious Star Destroyer captain, who also happened to be his mother; The two Wookies in the group squared off against a slaving ring. It was the best campaign I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of.
The Naughty Banthas Live!
D&D tended to be one offs and despite some efforts to get a longer running campaign, they never quite gelled into anything we could truly build on. I think with the effort we were putting into Star Wars, the D&D stuff tended to be a pallet cleaner full of old fashioned hack and slash.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 24: Never Say Die!

First movie that comes to mind when you think of D&D?

A gang of misfits, each with their own unique talents, making their way through a trap laden maze and solvig puzzles on the hunt for pirate treasure. All the while being chased by a gang of homicidal criminals. How more D&D can you get? They also fight monsters! 
 The octopus was very scary. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Day 23: The Metal Queen Rocks Us All

First song that made you think of D&D? Why?

Why? Fricking look at it!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Glitter Balls

This rare magical codpiece is prized by delvers because it allows them carry a light source while keeping both hands free. There is no encumbrance penalty to carrying this item.

It is powered by a small magical crystal that will carry about seven days's worth of worth of light, and can be recharged by laying it out in bright sunlight for eight hours, or by any spell that simulates daylight in any way.

It will cause discomfort to vampires and any other creatures that are harmed by sunlight.

If worn in a social situation, it will increase any male wearer's Charisma score by 1.

Day 21: Is a Metric Shit-Ton a Scientifically Actual Measurement? It Should Be.

First time you ever sold some of your gaming books?

I didn’t even consider selling my gaming stuff until I seven years ago when I was faced with a move half-way across the country. It would have been very expensive to ship them, and I didn’t know if I’d find a gaming group out here.

So I gave away most of my stuff to a few friends and the people in my gaming group. Then I dumped a metric shit-ton of RIFTS sourcebooks off at the second hand shop.  
Later on I even sold most of my dice to a woman who sent them to her son’s platoon in Afghanistan, which I thought that was kind of awesome.

The funny thing is that while D&D was never our main game, I did keep all my D&D books. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 22: Well, that sucked.

First RPG novel you ever read?

First and pretty much last. I know this was a big part of some people's formative D&D experience, but did no one else realize that the so-called heroes NEVER did anything worthwhile on their own? I can remember them fighting a dragon and then getting saved by a god, and a battle against a horde of zombies and being saved by the sudden appearance of a unicorn. There were more, I’m sure. 

The exception that proves the rule. 
After about the fourth dues-ex-machina, I completely gave up. 

Unfortunately, the experience kinda soured me on rpg novels and I’ve read very few since. 

Day 20: No Elves.

First non D&D game you played?
I discovered Talislanta through Dragon Magazine and ads like this and a glowing review in some issue or another. About the same time, I found The Chronicles of Talislanta* in my LGS and saved up for a month to buy it.The book has no rules, it is simply a travelers' guide to the different regions and I was immediately hooked like a pot head on nachos. The rules were also a revelation. Instead of the randomness of D&D with its THAC0 and %rolls and wonky Stats (Str 18/76?), Talislanta had a nice clean system where everything was rolled on one D20 chart. 

Then in 2005, I was lucky enough to add my own stamp on the lost continent when I wrote two (semi-)offical supplements for the game. The adventure, 'The Weight of Water' even got properly published, which has been the highlight of my gaming career to this point. I'll be the first to admit that the adventure is rail-roady as hell, but I'm still proud of most it. Much to my amazement and delight, it even got a P.D.Breeding Black cover!
Download it free (and legal)!*
The second was a based on more of a sandbox idea, which combined a sourcebook and an adventure for exploring the tropical island of Thaecia during the week of their (not just famous, but) in-famous 'Festival of the Bizarre'. It was never properly published and needs a good edit or six, but I still like to put it out there. 

* has all old material available for free! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 19: PC Hoppers and Jedi Rapists

First gamer who annoyed the hell of you?

watch your back!
The player I hate most is the guy who can't stick with a character. The one who spent six hours making his Thief, but gets distracted during play by reading the Paladin kit, then wants to bump off the Thief to make a Ranger. 

But the only gamer who ever actually scared me happened  one day at Fandom II, when a buddy and I were looking through the WEG D6 Star Wars stuff, our game of choice back in the day. We were interrupted by some guy who then spent the next fifteen minutes telling us about his Noghri Jedi (small, Jawa sized aliens who moved like ninjas and could take out Wookies. Now make that a Jedi) who would then anally violate everyone he killed. 

True story. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day 18: The Captain Carrot Convention

First Gaming Convention you ever attended?

Just after I started playing D&D (mostly solo), I happened to be in a local rec-centre that was holding a comic/gaming convention. I begged my mother for the admittance fee and she relented. I don't know what I was expecting, but it turned out to be a huge disappointment.

A lot of older guys in Iron Maiden t-shirts who took themselves far to seriously and wouldn't talk to an kid, even one that seemed eager to learn. I bought a couple of Captain Carrot comics and bugged out. I think my mother thought I didn't spend enough time in there to justify the entrance fee. She was probably right.  
but the Zoo Crew will forever be, AWESOME!.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Day 17: The Night Tom Hanks was EVIL!

First time you heard that D&D was somehow, evil?

One night I saw Tom Hanks in 'Mazes and Monsters', it may have even been the original airing.

Even as a kid I thought the movie was about a guy who was seriously messed up, not that the game he was playing was in any way 'evil'.

I also have an Uncle who is a fundamentalist Catholic, and I remember that my father would ask me to take down my D&D poster whenever him and his family would come visit. The one time I forgot to take down the poster, my cousin wasn't allowed to sleep in my room, even after I'd taken the poster down.

I was lucky in that my parents never took this sort of nonsense seriously.