Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vancian Halloween Presents

My wife and I exchange weird and cool gifts on Halloween every year. It's a lot of fun and sometimes they are better presents than gotten on Christmas. Finally, after going into my 5th decade of gaming I am going to read Jack Vance's, The Dying Earth. I've heard about it for so long I finally figured I might as well take the time to read it. So my gift this year was Tales of the Dying Earth. Includes all four books. So I am looking forward to taking the week off and indulging in a book that helped shape our obsessive hobby. Have a great Halloween and I hope you get something fun for yourself.

Those of you who already know The Happy Whisk, my wife, is dressed up for Halloween this year. Although when she spins too much in the living room she runs into things.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Killer Pumpkins

Have a great Friday before Halloween.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Driving NPCs Insane

I realized in last night's game session I've been running a very nasty elf. He is one sadistic s.o.b. I had justified some of his behaviors because of one slight or another, but last night my retribution (for a 150sp) had driven an NPC insane. The Warden, leader of a band of thugs known as the Madmen, flipped his lid. He obsessed about killing me drawing horrible little pictures on the wall and allowed himself to be possessed by a demon just to get at little old Ashling.

That's a first for me and I have to admit a little satisfying. I'd written what Ashling had done to this guy before in, Always Pay the Elf. This time the party had struck up deal with the powers that be and I wanted to live in the bastille where the Madmen lived. We marched in and took out all the low level thugs with sleep spells. Convinced one of the lieutenants he had a bright future with us and no future with the Madmen. Webbed the guard outside the Warden's door and this is where Ashling got a bit nasty again.

The door was locked barricaded and trapped. Since I'd been in the room before I teleported in. Don't you hate when all your preparation goes to crap in an instant? On the walls are several depictions of me being killed in various and horrible ways. His place looked clean and organized when I first was in here and now it looked a mess. This is when I realized I'd knocked this guy over the edge. A short trip to get there, but never the less he was flat out obsessed with killing me. So begins the third and final stage our encounters.

So while the Warden slept I poured oil over myself, on and around his bed. I have a Ring of Fire Resist so no worries and Rob let me play it out without getting rulesy on me. So I lit myself on fire and start shouting the Warden's real name, Mok. Mok wakes up terrified, but realizes who I am and screams, "I'm ready for you this time elf!" and pulls a sword from under his pillow. I place my burning hand on the bed and whoosh the bed is on fire. He wasn't prepared for that and scrambled away and huddled in the corner.

"I'll bet you wish you paid me that 150sp." But this wasn't about that any longer. It was about me killing the Warden and taking his place. He attacked me, but knocked himself out on my wall of force. The others came in Oelander and Syrinvald, we saw he had a demon necklace charm. Took it off and he began to transform. Oelander shoved his demon slayer sword into the Warden and killed him.

Now before we even started this I told them let me have the Warden and Oelander went ahead and killed him anyhow. Now I am not going to start drawing pictures on the wall, but I wish I was the one who killed the Warden.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blogging is a Strange and Wonderful Thing

Sometimes this blog thing is a strange and wonderful thing. A couple days ago I wrote a short, fill in blog about medieval bathroom accessories. Actually didn't write about them just showed them. I thought it would give a few people a laugh and a few people might actually get it for a gift. Then the blog entry would drift into the ether of the blogoshpere. Not so.

In two days I have had nearly 1000 hits for that blog. By far the most hits I've ever had for any blog I've written. On a good day for me I might get 150 hits. A great day I may get 200. You know what? That's not the weirdest thing about all this fascination with medieval toiletry items. The weirdest thing is almost half of those hits came from Texas. I have no explanation. I don't even have a guess as to why Texas has bombarded my site. I would love to know what the obsession is with knights holding toilet paper or a crapper cover in the shape of a shield is with the Texans. I'm not judging. I'm just wondering.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My 15 - Guest Blog

Hi Guys,

This is Tim's wife, guest blogging with My 15.

Clue: I played with Mamam (Hungarian Gram), because she never fudged the game and she always sounded like Dracula’s wife, when she read the cards.

Othello: Loved this game. Still enjoy it.

Charlie’s Angels: Technically not a game, but it’s what we played in the school yard. I was always Kelly Garrett, and had picture ID in my pocket, to prove it.

Space Invaders: Don’t know which version just that I never played with the sound on.

D&D: Never played as a kid, but did play recently with Tim. After which, he bought me my very own pretty pink dice.

Hungry Hungry Hippo: Colored hippos eating marbles. What’s not to love?

Zuma on the 360: NOT a fan of the computer version.

Risk: I never played risk but I have played Whisk with Mamam. It’s when we’d make homemade chocolate icing and I’d hand-whisk the heavy cream until my little arms were too tired. I never won. Does that count as a game?

In the Closet with a Book: This is a single player game, I invented it when I wanted quiet. I’d hide in the closet, with a flashlight and my Nancy Drew books.

Charlie’s Angels Board Game: Check out the groovy picture.

Easy Bake Oven: Not a game but I loved baking cakes and melting Tootsie Rolls. The Tootsie Rolls always took the longest to melt, under that little oven light bulb.

Detective in a Tree: A game where I sat in the tree with my detective notebook, taking notes as to the neighbor's whereabouts and goings-on.

Ghost of a Haunted House: This is a game where I’d sneak to my neighbor's house, rig their screen door with fishing wire and hide. When they came home, I’d open the door from a remote location.

Wonder Woman: My mom says I’d spin around the living room for hours. Probably not a real game either, but I do remember eating every night at the table, dressed as Wonder Woman.

Bionic Woman: A game where I pretended to have super strength in everything I did, while making cool bionic noises.

Thanks for reading My 15, and thanks for to the blogger who started it. This was a lot of fun. Happy Gaming :-)

Rocking Your Bathroom Medevial Style

You know you want it. And if you get the above ya gotta get the below.

So now you know what to put on the top of your Christmas lists. Insert all the bathroom puns here which I have resisted.

The website is here. They do have some cool stuff.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My 15 Games

These are various games that got me playing. They are not in any real order. There is a mix of RPGs, board games, video games and one card game.

1. AD&D, it started it all.

2. GURPS, more 3rd edition than 4th, but still love getting me some GURPS.

3. Atari 2600: Adventure, 1st D&D game on video.

4. Risk, pretty much everyone has this on their list.

5. Titan, I'm surprised this one is not on more lists.

6. Monopoly, are you kidding who could forget this one.

7. Cyberball, robot football, these guys are allowed knock the crap out of one another with getting fined.

8. Ultima Online, my first on-line addition. Spend way too much time on this game.

9. Cyberpunk, very cool game with a lot of great moments.

10. Swords & Wizardry and Castles & Crusades are tied here. C&C drew me in initially, but it was S&W that made me stay.

11. Pendragon, love this game and have never ran one. Something about the books that just gets my imagination churning.

12. Trouble, loved popping the little bubble over the die and first game I think I had a strategy.

13. Magic the Gathering, our group got in at the beginning and played the hell out of it, but it burned out fast.

14. OSRIC, definitely a great game that doesn't seem to get as much play as some of the retro clones.

15. Madden 93, first Madden game I think, may have been 92. Finally a football game that I always wanted.

Guard Greetings

So the party is strolling or riding to some city, town or backwood village and usually there is a wall, where there is usually a gate, where there is usually a guard or guards in various stages of boredom. Standing all day guarding a hole in the wall can test the limits of your sanity. How many times have the players approached and the guards shout "Halt, state your business." Then the player smartass replies fly. Well here is a mix of things the guards can greet the players with. Some are more serious and some are very smartass. Why let the players have all the fun?

1. Halt, state your business. (Why reinvent the wheel. This is always the tried and true greeting.)

2. Good day sirs (and ladies) what brings you to our quiet little town? (Same as above, but more polite.)

3. Guards don't say a thing. They don't care.

4. One gold per person, per cart, per horse and per comment I don't like.

5. Adventures, welcome to (insert name here), we have many fine taverns and shops within, but I need to ask you to behave. The guard points to the two bodies hanging from the walls. The lord will not tolerate chaos here so please act accordingly.

6. Name. Place of birth. List of arms.

7. It's been a long time since I've seen a group as ugly as this. I don't think they can pass through my pretty gate. That is unless they pay an ugly tax and by the looks of you it's gonna be high.

8. Archers aim at that one (the guard points at the most annoying person in the party. If the guards are going to kill someone it might as well be the annoying one). If he moves kill him. Kill them all. I don't like this group. Only one of you can go in while the others wait outside. And that one (the annoying player) is not allowed to be the one to go in.

9. I like meat.

10. The guard seems to wake up even though he was standing. Halt. Halt I say. Halt in the name of Lord...ummm.

11. Stop. You need a writ of passage to enter. The Lord requires all travelers to have a stamped writ of passage. Don't have one? You can buy one over there for 50gp.

12. It's raining again and I always get stuck doing the shit duty. I don't know why they hate me. They all hate me. I didn't do a damn thing to them.

13. Good day to you and welcome to our town. Is there anything I can assist you with?

14. All weapons need to be secured. Magic items must be checked in with the mage guild. If this is a problem turn around and go home. This is not an option and I am not interested in arguing about it.

15. Did you see any trolls out there? I heard them the other night growling and hooting in the woods over yonder.

16. By the gods you've arrived at last the lord is waiting for you. (Insert very annoying adventure here.)

17. The guards surround the party and a group of men ride out. This town is not accepting visitors this day.

18. Hey, doesn't that guy look like Harold? Hey buddy can you take off your helmet? Other guard comes walking around. He don't look nothing like him. Yes he does. No he don't. (You get the picture.)

19. A very short guard says, I smell something funny. Smells like trouble. Are you trouble? He points at a party member. (Little guard syndrome.)

20. You may pass. (I'm already running late for work so that's all I got.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is it me or does blogging suck up a lot of time?

Hi Guys. Tim invited me to guest blog.

I'm a week into blogging and I can't believe how long it takes to read posts, to comment and write blogs. Normally, I write 20 hours each week, but since I started blogging, I haven't been back to my manuscript.

Is it me or does blogging suck up a lot of time?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Knowing When Not to Game

Yesterday was our monthly game that Rob does on Saturdays. I attend this game irregularly. Well, I woke up in one pissy ass mood. Can't explain it just woke up irritated and angry. It was a beautiful fall day, was off of work, got paid the day before and gaming to look forward to in the afternoon so what the hell did I have to be grumpy about?

Well after a few hours my bad mood wouldn't budge. It was going to plant its big fat ass on my Saturday. I called Rob on Skype and told him that I wouldn't be making it to the game. The last thing I wanted to do was spoil a gaming night. That's sacrilege.

I've been in games where a player was in a crappy mood and vented it out in game. Spoils the fun for everyone and I refuse to be 'that guy'. So the better part of valor, common sense or courtesy I stayed home. Sometimes you just gotta know when to call it a day.

Please Help

Hi Guys. This is Ivy, Tim's wife. I'm writing to you all for help.

We can't get my Wonder Woman image to show when I follow a blog. But she does work in comments. How do I get her to work when I follow?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Much thanks, in advance.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jack the Ripper

A few blogs back I asked four questions if you were plunged into the arena with 100 zombies. One question was what song would you use. Here is mine in all its Saturday night loud energy.

Jack the Ripper

One day men will look back and say I gave birth to the Twentieth Century.

Jack the Ripper - 1888

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Wolfman has Nards!

Last night my wife and I sat down to watch a cool little movie called the Monster Squad. A very 80s movie. I think the scariest thing about it is the soundtrack and the ways some of the characters dress. A game we play is which actors have been in either X-Files, Babylon 5 or the Sopranos. It's amazing how many actors have been in those three series. The one pilot was in the Sopranos and the vampire was in Babylon 5, but I don't think we say anyone from the x-files, but I think the dad may have been.

The premise of the movie is that there is a balance of power between good and evil except every one hundred years when the balance tips to evil. To counter this a virgin must read a spell so a vortex opens and sucks the evils out of the world. The evil is a reluctant wolfman, a cool looking mummy, creature from the Black Lagoon which was only there in cameos, Dracula was the mastermind, and the best was Tom Noonan's portrayal Frankenstein's monster.

The cast of kids include a bunch of monster expert kids around 11. They discover the plot and go about foiling Dracula's plan. I have to say, for being a kids movie where parents are often pushed into nonexistence in this one the interaction between the main boy and his father was great. I loved the scene where they are sitting on the roof watching a drive in movie through binoculars eating Burger King (which must have been a sponsor since it was prominent through out the movie).

This is a great little movie for older kids. There is some swearing. The only part I did not like and was completely unneeded was Dracula's confrontation with the little girl. There is a lot of good, simple fun where the monsters are the stars and the kids are the heroes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What's On My Gaming Table?

Al over at Beyond the Black Gate asked what is on your gaming table. So here is what is on mine. I have two tables going, one for playing and one for working on adventures.

Players Table

Swords & Wizardry, Core Rule by Matt Finch

Supplement VI: The Majestic Wilderlands by Robert S. Conley

1st Edition DMG by Gary Gygax

We continue to play on Monday Nights fairly regular and my elf, Monteblank reached 9th level last night. I keep the 1st Edition DMG handy because of some of the magic items we get I need to refer to in there. I'm old. I've forgotten.

Publisher Table

Swords & Wizardry, Core Rule by Matt Finch

S&W Monster Book by Matt Finch, by the way if you don't have this book get it. I think it's the best monster manual out there. There is something I like a lot about its simplicity.

Adventure Design Deskbook by, hmm I wonder who it could be, oh that's right, Matt Finch

Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe by Expeditious Retreat Press

There is large a mixture of others that include Labyrinth Lord, HackMaster, Pathfinder, Pendragon, AD&D and GURPS. I'm not afraid to draw in inspiration or help from anywhere. I have books on medieval villages, cities, castles, visions and times. I'm not afraid to use them. So you can see my gaming table is always a fricking mess.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Canadian Thanksgiving

My wife, Ivy, has started her blog The Happy Whisk and is celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving today with a gruesome little picture that made me laugh. Her blog is primarily about cooking, but with gaming influences. So check out her blog if you like food and or gaming. And please let her know how pretty her pink dice are, she's been dying to kill some zombies with them.

Oh, and a Happy Thanksgiving from me to our neighbors to the north.

My Hat is in the Ring

I sent in a logo for 'company' I will be publishing my gaming books under. I chose the name GM Games to be company name. Originally I was going to go with Gothridge Manor Games, but that didn't fit in the hex. I played around with it and liked GM Games because of the obvious, initials of my blog and game master. I made a simple logo and sent it to RPGNow to get started. Now I have to figure out Lulu and get my webpage set up. So if see a random burst of swears appear on this blog you know I've been trying to figure that stuff out.

The first three products I have set up are adventures. The first will be the adventure Knowledge Illuminates. Second will be a reworking of Starter Adventures. I plan on keeping what I have now as a free download, but Rob Conley is going to provide maps and I plan on doubling the entries for the published Starter Adventures. And the third product is called The Mine of Rot and Disease. All these are low level adventures.

I hope to have my first adventure posted by next weekend. We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck. Have a good Monday.