Saturday, April 30, 2005
Your Irish Name Is...
This next one was harder for me to answer, as the quiz amounted to "click all the bands you like". Does liking a groups one big hit count? That seems to low a standard, so I went with having to like at least two songs, one of which I can actually name. Anyway, here's the results:
Your Taste in Music:
|80's Rock: Highest Influence|
|Classic Rock: Highest Influence|
|80's Alternative: High Influence|
|80's Pop: High Influence|
|80's R&B: High Influence|
|90's Alternative: High Influence|
|90's Pop: High Influence|
|Gangsta Rap: High Influence|
|Old School Hip Hop: High Influence|
|Progressive Rock: High Influence|
|90's Hip Hop: Medium Influence|
|Hair Bands: Medium Influence|
|Punk: Medium Influence|
|90's R&amp;B: Low Influence|
|Adult Alternative: Low Influence|
|Heavy Metal: Low Influence|
|R&B: Low Influence|
|Ska: Low Influence|
And here's one back at you, Pat:
You May Be a Bit Schizotypal ...
A bit odd and socially isolated.
You couldn't care less of what others think.
And some of your beliefs are a little weird.
Like that time you thought you were Jesus.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Healer Dude: Either a bard, druid, or *gasp* cleric. Maybe a cleric of a druidic deity will help the medicine go down. Or some bastard of a deity like Ralishaz. Perhaps with a mystic theurge prestige class in the planning. I can be a team player. I honestly don't mind playing support characters like clerics, I just happen to hate the typical holier-than-thou walking medic most clerics are played as. Hell, maybe I could break the mold by building a cleric of St. Cuthbert or Pholtus who is not a total ass.
Burninator: The spellcaster what casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! Prolly a human sorcerer. I like the faster spell progression of the wizard (who doesn't?) but my informants on EN World say spellbooks and such are hard to find in most Living Greyhawk modules. Also, the Wrinkle Academy. Other campaign settings get wizardly orders with names like the Invisible College of Thaumaturgy. Verbobonc gets Wrinkle Academy. Suddenly Hennet seems a lot cooler than before.
Axer: He will hit you with his axe! Fighter, ranger, paladin, barbarian, whatever. Just give me a greataxe and a roomful of orcs.
Maybe I'll make two or three of these dudes over the next few days so we can try to put together something resembling a coherent team.
For the minis I ordered a Deathknell booster and a Giants of Legend hugepack. I really, really want one of those fly new beholders. A bullette would be sweet as well, but I wouldn't turn up my nose at a fiendish tyrannosaur. But really, all of the size huge critters look pretty sweet.
I spent my lunch today reading the opening section of the spells chapter of the 3.5 PHB. You know what? I am finally digging this big crunchy thing that is the new D&D. I'm getting ideas for NPCs and encounters and such. I may even build a smallish dungeon.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Monday, April 25, 2005
G'Kar from Babylon 5 was old school.
(Thanks to RPGnetter OsamaBonJovi for the quote.)
Phobos Entertainment's "100 Science Fiction Books You Just Have to Read"
Phillip K. Dick got on that list 3 times. I used to think of him as "that author Pat likes" but more and more I see evidence that he really is a giant in the field.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Their rpg selection is mostly limited to D&D, Star Wars d20, and some White Wolf. You might want to go check it out if any of those trip your trigger.
Friday, April 22, 2005
16 oz. club soda (chilled)
Heaping tablespoon beef bullion (sodium-less)
One teaspoon steak sauce powder (the kind you mix yourself)
Dash of onion salt
Dash of tabasco
Mix ingredients in a cup that can hold 16 oz, one tablespoon, one teaspoon, and two dashes. Drink.
(Meeting interesting people like Almafeta is one of the reasons I love RPG.net so much.)
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Unrelated bonus review link #1: C&C Module Assault on Blacktooth Ridge review by Mythmere
Unrelated yada yada #2: The classis review in which Mike Mearls rips on the Keep on the Borderlands. Sure the guy makes some good points. Mearls is a smart cookie. But I don't go to his house and tell him that the first girl he ever kissed was uglier than he remembers.
Monday, April 18, 2005
1/2 cup of milk
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp of pepper
1 cup (or more to taste) of cheddar cheese (sharp or mild or mix. Feel free to experiment.)
Mix all of the ingredients together except hashbrowns and cheese. Add hashbrowns. Grease 9x13 baking pan and place hashbrown mix in. Pat down a bit to break air bubbles. Top with cheese. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Cheese should be gooey and maybe a little toasted brown.
A recent thread on RPGnet discusses the theoretical horrors of trimming your D&D book collection down to just 10 texts plus the PHB, DMG, and MM. What do you do? (Highlight the bottom of this post for the correct answer.) These sorts of threads both attract and repulse me. Now I admit that my game collection is pretty dang large. And that I have a room in my house just for gaming crap. And that I can't keep track of how many individual versions of D&D I own. But still, ten books plus the three core? Oh boo fucking hoo, the tragedy of it all. What ten books do I choose? It's questions like these that cause my existential gorge to rise because debating such trifles lays bare the dread truth of the hobby: we're all a bunch of prancing nancy boys spending way too much money on stupid D&D books. We're frickin' diletanttes when we should be gamers. Days like this I get the urge to quit buying game crap cold turkey and just start running a game with a bare bones rules set and my own frickin' imagination. Where did I make the wrong turn? Was it those four Advanced books bought so many years ago at a K-Mart after-Christmas sale? I had hardly played my D&D Basic and Expert sets at that point. Was it all the other TSR games I purchased over the next couple of years? We barely got past chargen for most of them, with an occasional single run of Gamma World or Star Frontiers. Was it Unearthed Arcana? Somewhere along the way I got a nasty combination of the collector bug, variantitis and inflamed completist syndrome. And the hobby is all too ready to feed these dark urges. Meanwhile, I am dead certain that I have yet to fully plumb the depths of any single D&D book I own, including my precious '81 Basic rules.
A: Shoot the hostage.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Has it always required a full round to cast sleep? I don't think so. First they give it a saving throw to avoid and then they increase the casting time. Frankly,I never thought sleep was so overpowered that it needed to be cut down to size. It had a hit dice cap, it didn't work on undeaders or non-humanoids, and the numbers it could affect were really quite small.
I don't really have any plans to GM any RPGA events any time soon. That really wasn't the point of me taking the test. For one thing I wanted to see if I could pass it. Aside from the challenge there's the educational aspect. By taking the test multiple times I learned a lot about 3.5 D&D I didn't know. And I learned my way around several chunks of the SRD. I also now have memorized my RPGA number becuase I had to re-enter it every damn time I re-took the test.
There is a very interesting variant using playing cards instead of d20s. Take a deck, pull out all the face cards, aces = 1, black suits = 10 + card value, and deal 5 cards to each player, and the DM gets 8 or so. Instead of rolling 20s, you play a card, applying all the normal D&D modifiers. The players get to choose when to use each card; when they've used up all 5 they are dealt 5 more.I like this idea, though I know some folks won't. I'd want to keep the face cards and jokers and come up with something jazzy for them to do. The other problem would be players trying to work the system by initiating non-dangerous but roll-requiring actions in hope of dumping their low cards.
This would be a nice mechanic in a story driven game. Task resolution is still random, the math stays the same with the same success/failure probabilities, but players have a lot more control over when they "roll well" or "roll badly."
Anyway, if you're intertested in the Advanced GMG it's not yet available in print but RPGnow has it in PDF form.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
"If for any reason Mr. S returns tell him he can either wait until I get back or he can leave a number I can call him back at. If anyone else comes looking for me while I'm gone just tell them I'm dead."
Moments later I was out of the bank. I swung by the corner store and bought a sammich and a vanilla frappuccino. That's one of them there Starbuck's drinks in a bottle. Now I have never been a coffee drinker. I like the aroma but can't stand the taste. Once every year or two I manage to gulp down a cupfull of liquid that's approximately a 50% cream/50% coffee. I do this at work when I am absolutely dead dog tired and my usual caffeinated beverages aren't doing the job.
But I'm a sucker for a new beverage and I like vanilla and the copy on the bottle said "A Lowfat Creamy Blend of Starbucks© Coffee and Milk." The contents of the bottle looked even more pallid than my own attempts to water down coffee (or perhaps "cream down" would be the better term), so I figure I'd give this a try. Let me attempt to portray graphically what this concoction tastes like:
Not exactly what I was hoping for, but it sure took my mind off of work.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Monday night was boardgame night, at the end of which I discussed my character Ahjay a bit with Bruce. He offered some free advice on my PC, which resulted in me doing a rewrite over my lunchbreak yesterday. Ahjay 2.0 is a swashbuckler 1 instead of a monk 1. So of course ther were at least two points during the night in which being a monk would have been super helpful. The other funny part was that Pat made a swashbuckler too. I think you can tell the two of us apart though: he's the elf and I'm the black woman. ;)
One of my highlights of the night was when I successfully planned and implemented a Tumble roll to avoid an Attack of Opportunity and followed that up with poking the bad guy with my rapier. Huzzah! I was also pleasantly surprised by how easy the RPGA paperwork turned out to be. I think we'll be playing more of this stuff in the future.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Monday, April 11, 2005
However I kinda wonder if these folks understand the legal end of the d20/OGL/OGC world, as they mention verrik and other Arcana Evolved races in their stuff. The word 'verrik' and the names of the other AE races have been designated by Malhavok as Product Identity. Hopefully these folks have permission to be using Monte Cook's IP. I sent them a little note asking them about this issue. I'm nosy that way.
So anyway, I made a monk. Somewhere at home is a chart marking out 16 levels of progress for this character: multiclassing, prestige class choices, feat selection, the whole kit-n-kaboodle. How does monk 2/swashbuckler 1/ranger 2/fighter1/dervish 5/tempest 5 suit you? I've also been boning up on my 3.5 rules in hopes of A) building an effective character and B) using it effectively in play. I've been reading tactics and tips articles on Wizards' site, hanging out more on EN World, and I even bought a couple of items to help with my game. The Power Gamer's 3.5 Warrior Strategy Guide from Goodman Games and a little PDF all about the dreaded Attack of Opportunity.
As a minor postscript to this char generation stuff my PC is a black female. I usually play dudes with lily white skin (like myself) or pale greenish skin (like a half-orc) with an occasionally foray into Drow black or Xvart blue. When I say that Ahjay, my PC, is black I mean black-as-in-African, not black-as-in-that-Drizzt-jackass. Ethnically she's a Touv, which is the Greyhawk pidgeonhole for all African types. Hey, at least Greyhawk has a pidgeon hole. How many Tolkien ripoff style settings have any black folks at all? You can find Arabian knights (like Greyhawk's Backlunish people) or usually some crappy Sino-Japanese hybrid (Kara-Tur, fr'instance) but sometimes it seems that the Southern hemisphere doesn't exist in most fantasy worlds.
I have to give credit to RPGnetter Amado G for the idea of playing someone who isn't just a another white guy. He has a policy of only playing a Caucasian or a male when constrained to do so by campaign limits or other metagame considerations. I can dig that. Of course he's like twenty times cooler and smarter than me so its a surefire bet that he won't stumble over the role. When you play someone of a different ethnicity or gender you have to steer clear of two obstacles. The obvious one to avoid is falling into the trap of playing a stupid stereotype. I think I can probably handle that one on most days. But on the flip side is the "Whaddya mean you're playing a black chick?" snare, where your character is so lusterless and uninspiring that no one can even tell that you are playing a role beyond Human Monk Level 1. If you fall into this trap then gender and ethnicity become nothing more than the words in the sex and skincolor fields on a char sheet. I might end up caught by that second problem, but I still think it is important to try. Some days I squirm at the fact that in too many campaigns black people don't exist and women exist primarily as sex objects. Not that I'm against sex objects. This is a fantasy game, after all. But I think there's room for other stuff beyond typical puerile swords & sorcery stuff.
With all the thought I've put into this PC she's probably doomed to die in the first encounter.
Saturday, April 09, 2005
I also found a link to here from anyway., the blog of Forge luminary and notorious puppykiller Vincent Baker. It's pretty effin' cool to see him linking to my blog. I think I'll return the favor and add Mike Mearls's Livejournal while I'm at it.
Friday, April 08, 2005
by Anson Caralya
Hidden between the planes of existence and behind time itself, the Quicksilver Hourglass has kept its terrible prisoner obscured from reality. Yet now, the leader of a transplanar conspiracy of vampiric masterminds has invaded this ancient prison, intent on unleashing a wretched doom upon the multiverse. An epic D&D adventure for 30th-level characters.
Alright gang, which of us is going to run this thing? Unlike the crazy old Throne of Bloodstone (a 1st edition module "For Character Levels 18-100") this won't be the final installment in a lengthy series. A one-shot is clearly in order.
Couple of cool links:
EN World preview of d20 rules for Tesla technology
Dark Star 6mm sci-fi figs (Until these guys pointed it out, I never realized that BattleTech was in 6mm scale. Some days I am an idiot.)
April 07, 2005
Calling the d20 market "volatile," White Wolf is adjusting its Sword & Sorcery line to concentrate on its best-selling titles. Citing the "economic necessity" of dealing with the tough market for RPGs, the company will not release any new Scarred Lands or Gamma World products this year.
The last Scarred Lands product was in December, and the final Gamma World product was also late last year. White Wolf expects its strongest d20/OGL lines this year to be its licenses, Ravenloft, Warcraft, and EverQuest, and Monte Cook's Malhavoc Press.
In the Everquest line, the connection to the online game is being emphasized this year. The just-released Everquest II RPG Player's Guide was designed to look like a videogame "strategy guide." In June, the Everquest II RPG Spell Guide ($34.99) will feature lots of full color screen shots.
Like the Everquest products, the Warcraft products are also being brought closer to the source material. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game is scheduled for July at $39.99. This will be an OGL game, not d20, which will allow the design to take players closer to the online experience. This will also allow more cross-marketing with Blizzard, the marker of the videogame. White Wolf is also doing an ad swap with Tokyopop, which publishes the Warcraft manga.
Two Ravenloft products are scheduled for the next few months. Dark Tales and Disturbing Legends will be released in May at $22.95, and Von Richten's Guide to the Mists in August, also at $22.95.
Malhavoc's big release for 2005 is Iron Lore, due out this summer (see "Iron Lore from Monte Cook"). "Malhavoc has weathered the d20 storm," White Wolf's Philippe Boulle said.
White Wolf will also continue to work with three other studios: Necromancer, Paragon, and Goodman (for its Dragonmech line). Necromancer is bringing back Grimtooth's Traps via The Wurst of Grimtooth's Traps in May, at $34.99. And Necromancer and Judge's Guild are bringing out The Wilderlands of High Fantasy in August, a $69.99 box set with the first major campaign setting for fantasy roleplaying. The box will contain two 250-page manuals and nine double-sided full-color maps.
Thursday, April 07, 2005
The Genesis 1 & 2 Resolution
Paul Murray has recognized a solution to some of the Genesis 1 & 2 conflicts--but not one that creationists are likely to welcome:
[In Paul's words] Genesis 1 and 2 do not conflict, provided that you remember that Moses and the partiarchs were polytheistic heathens, just like their heathen neighbors. They believed that the world was inhabited and animated by "spirits," much like most native religions do. They claimed that their particular god was better than all the other gods (much as people today will cheer for their home-town football team), but that does not mean that they were monotheists. The wording of the First Commandment in Ex 20 makes that plain ["thou shalt have no other," not "there is no other"]. Jehovah was to be number one god, but that's all.
As to "the order of creation," many people have noted that the word translated "God" changes from "Elohim" [a PLURAL] to "Jehovah" in Gen 2:4. Some take this as evidence of Gen 2 being a second account. I say: the two tell a single story.
Genesis 1 describes how the spirits created the world and mankind; the spirits (or "Elohim"--plural) made their own people after their own image--that's why races of people look different. The spirit who created the Hebrews made people that looked like himself, the spirit who created the Egyptians made people that looked like himself, etc.
Genesis 2 zooms in to one among the Elohim, named "Jehovah," and his little eugenics experiment in the Garden of Eden.
See? Doesn't it all make perfect sense? The name of God changing from the plural "Elohim" to "Jehovah" in Gen 2:4 is not an artifact, it's actually a meaningful and important distinction. Gen 1 is talking about the gods in general, Gen 2 about one particular one. [In other words, the Bible is right, even where creationists DON'T want it to be. -RJR]
So enough of this "Gen 1 & 2 contradict one another" business! It's total nonsense - there's a perfectly reasonable explanation
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Monday, April 04, 2005
Here's an interesting article by D&D numinary Sean K. Reynolds on the subject of NPC classes. In short he ties levels in NPC classes to age, using the following breakdown:
Up to age 20: Level 1
21-22: Level 2
23-25: Level 3
26-29: Level 4
30-34: Level 5
35-40: Level 6
41-48: Level 7
49-60: Level 8
61+: Level 9
I'm somewhat interested in this research because I've been statting up soldiers and conscripts for my upcoming Arcana Evolved project. Given their similarites in longevity the above chart should work not only for humans, but also for Dracha, Sibbecai, and Verrik. Faen and Giants mature much more slowly, so their chart might look something like this:
Up to age 60: Level 1
61-66: Level 2
67-75: Level 3
76-87: Level 4
88-92: Level 5
93-110: Level 6
111-134: Level 7
135-167: Level 8
168+: Level 9
Two special cases are the Litorians and the Mojh. Litorians have lifespans somewhere between the shortlived human/sibbecai/verrik/dracha group and the longtoothed giant/faen group, but according to their racial write-up they reach maturity just as quickly as humans. My solution is to just use the chart for humans. Watch out for old lion men: any Litorian showing grey in his mane is going to be 8th or 9th level. And as far as mojh go, I'm not sure how useful it is to even worry about how manny levels of commoner a mojh might have. Willingly undergoing the mojh transformation strikes me as something only a crazy adventurer type would choose to do. Maybe they have some experts or adepts or hedge mages among their numbers, but my guess is that most mojh are adventurers and that any attempt to build a table for them is pointless.
While I'm on the subject of The Dragon War project I ought to mention the miniatures. I am seriously considering getting fielding miniatures for this campaign. Bewteen MageKnight and the D&D miniatures game there are a lot of excellent prepainted figures available for relatively low cost. As the DM my main concern would be a sufficient quanitity of dragon men to fill the ranks of the draconic armies. Given availability of the Kapak archer in the Dragoneye expansion for D&D minis and the Draconum faction in MageKnight there seems to be enough d00dz for sale to make this work. The new style halflings in the D&D material ought to work fine as Faen PCs. Humans can be painted red for Verrik. Mojh can be represented with lizard men, troglodytes, yuan-ti, etc. For sibbecai some gnoll sculpts will work, as well as the anubi from Wargods of Argyptus. Giants abound in nearly every fantasy figure line. And let's not forget the official figures from Iron Wind Metals.
I wonder if Pat still has that big bowl of MageKnight figures somewhere?