Sunday, October 30, 2011

Looking for Apothecary/Alchemist/Herbalist/Poison Recipes/Formulas

Stuff that would fit something more old school in style.  In other words, don't have the concoction simply heal or harm for some numerical value on some stat or attribute, like newer editions do.  Looking for the oddball shit, like "Halts male pattern baldness, with the potential side effect of turning your fingernails purple."   I'm using LOTFP, but anything along that line that can be ported over to an older DnD style game would be much appreciated.

Even more of a bonus would be a list of places where to harvest some of the ingredients, like "The flower blooms only on the full moon if the full moon falls on the same day as the summer solstice."  Or, "Must be extracted from the brain of a living Unnderhuld, and there is a 10% chance upon extraction that the juice reacts violently with the air, causing noxious fumes..." 

That sort of thing.  Thanks!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Unconventional Gaming

So I'm running a DnD campaign using LOTFP Grindhouse rules, and typing this with a Capt. Morgan buzz, so fuck typos. 

I find myself playing a neverending game.  By that I mean it continues in between the "official" game days in a lot of ways.

Here's some shit I find myself doing these days that I've never done before:

Between game days, we run PBEM (Play By E-Mail) to work out lots of stuff.  Very helpful in terms of details and world building.

The players email me specific stuff they want their characters to do on their own, like investigate the polititcal structure of a town.  I send them the info they are looking for.  Fills in the gaps, and lets me take the time to detail something I would normally take less time to do less thoroughly in-game.  Makes for a richer experience I think.

Players call me on the phone and we discuss ideas both in character and out of character.  Not that we geek out and talk in funny voices and shit, but we do say shit like "my character would do this..."

This weekend we can't get together formally, but we are going to try to do a Skype or Google Plus game for an hour tomorrow night, where the players take sides in a side battle that will indirectly affect their characters for good or for bad.  For some characters, more directly than indirectly.

The gameday never really ends.  It always ongoing, in one medium or another, all the time.

Here's the biggie---In-game, I usually have the characters roll almost everything the DM would roll, other than secret door search checks and the like.  For example, if there is a saving throw for the big bad guy, I elect a player to roll it to see if the bad guy makes it or not.  I let one player roll the attack roll for a bad guy who is attacking another player character.  I let another player roll the damage dice.  I let one player roll the dice to determine which PC  the big bad guy will attack that round---which is hilarious if he rolls for himself. Sometimes I let one player roll for initiative for the bad guys,  Is this sadistic?  I love it when a player has to roll for the opposition and the roll's outcome could potentially be something that fucks him, a party member, or the group as a whole. 

I do it in an effort to be transparent, and because it gives me a thrill to see how things will turn out.  I love the randomness of it all.  Plus, its a thrill to be sadistic I think :)

Anyhow, that's my update.

Anyone else do shit like this?  What else are you doing that I might want to try along these lines?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

LA Area DnD Players! Join Satine Phoenix's DnD Meetup and Eat Pancakes!

Check it out!

"DnDMelt is Los Angeles and Hollywood's Premier Dungeons and Dragons Gaming venue for gamers of all ages and experience levels. We have groups for character creation and basic gaming for beginners, one shot games anyone can join and on going Campaigns for those who long for Epic adventures. 4E, 3.5 ... whatever your flavor we will have a place for you. Located at Meltdown Comics at 7522 Sunset Blvd, LA, CA 90046. Our General gaming days are Thursdays 5-10pm and Sundays 11am - 6pm. Walk-ins welcome tho RSVP is preferred so I can organize the right amount of DMs to players. Striving to band our DnD Community together DnDMelt offers more than just a place to game, we offer monthly Memberships, Raffles and Mixer Events. need more information? want to be a part of our DM Crew? Feel free to ask: ~ Satine Phoenix: DnD@meltcomics.com"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Review: A Thief in the Night

About a month ago I reviewed a new book by David Chandler called Den of Thieves.  It was a great book, that left me looking forward to the second book in the series.  Well, the second book came in the mail free last week!  I guess because I took the time to review the first one.  My thanks to Harper Collins Publishing.

Anyhow, if someone sends me something for free, I feel its only right to review it.  I'll always be honest, too, which I guess is the reason people don't send me anything for free to review.  :)

A Thief in the Night picks up a short time after Den of Thieves leaves off.  The thrust of this book is a delve into ancient dwarven mines. 

As he did in the first book, Chandler turns some common tropes and assumptions people have about swords and sorcery books on their heads.  There is  moral ambiguity, suspicious paladin types, creepy elves, ancient double-crosses that play a part in today's world, weird magic, and a group that is often at odds with each other and seem to be using each other to pursue their own goals at times.  Picture Gandalf's Company of Nine as a bunch of selfish Neutral types with conflicting goals all entering Moria together and you get the idea. 

That being said, it was a  good ride, and kept me guessing as to how it would turn out for various characters, who would live, and how things would resolve as to the big-picture.  The good thing about flipping some assumptions on their heads is that the reader is always trying to figure out if other assumptions might be flipped, and how other aspects of what you expect to happen will be affected.  When neat happy endings aren't the expectation, it keeps the reader on their toes throughout the story.

The book is well-written and kept my attention the whole time, which is rare for a book these days.  Its book two of the Ancient Blades Trilogy, so if they keep up this release schedule, book three will be out in a month or so.  I look forward to it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

ConstantCon Game: Playing in Kyrinn's World of Urutsk--Orgies and Feral Chicks...

I have to admit that I never took the time to really get into Kyrinn's world.  I knew from some of her blog posts that her world was extremely well developed--- she had been working on it for decades or something.  As you all know, I'm a one trick pony in that I just play regular ol' DnD, and this world and game system seemed to be too different for me to be able to sink my teeth into and enjoy.

Anyhow, when I saw her running Constantcon games on Google+, I was reluctant to join in for the above reason, and also, to tell the truth here, because she was a woman.  I've never played DnD with a woman before, other than my sister when we were kids, so that doesn't count, and Zak's Mandy in a Constantcon game once.  I'm not exactly the most classy guy in the world, and when I play a Constantcon game, I usually like to have a couple beers in me, kick back, relax and enjoy myself.   That usually involves juvenile/crude/classless humor or comments and/or character actions and interactions.  Most women don't seem to be enchanted with such behavior in other aspects of real life, for some unknown reason, so I figured it wouldn't go over well in playing the kind of DnD I like to play with women in the group.  What can I say---I guess I'm still single at 41 for a reason.  :)

Anyhow, the other night I asked if anyone was running a pickup game, and Kyrinn offered to run one for me.  She grabbed another player, a girlfriend of hers, and we were off.  Now I'm sitting her thinking "Shit, I've got to be on my best behavior.  Try to sober up.  It's gonna be a rainbow and butterflies type game.  We're gonna chase leprechauns or some shit."

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the first situation my character encountered was being dropped into an inn on the outskirts of civilization where people were fighting and killing each other, and fucking in various corners.  The first being I encountered was a feral wolf-girl who eyeballed my food, and once I fed her wanted to fuck.  So I obliged, of course.  One flaw all my characters I've ever played enjoy, is that if someone offers to bang you, take them up on the offer, no matter what their race.  I call this the Captain Kirk rule.

Next thing you know, there is a spell being cast on the whole bar, trying to put us to sleep or something.  I made the save only because the feral chick just bit me in the neck after sex.  See how the Capt. Kirk rule rules?  So I loot some purses while they're all half asleep, and run outside.  (I should probably add here that my character was a LOTFP Grindhouse Specialist.  Kyrinn simply converted whatever I wanted to do to her game system seamlessly, based on my stats and abilities and stuff.)

Once outside I meet my Kyrinn's girlfriend's character.  She is on her way in, I warn her off, and when I see two more of those caster race people coming towards the inn, I hightail it to the bushes, chivalrously leaving my newfound companion to deal with their shit.

Feeling a twinge of guilt, I keep an arrow aimed at the whole exchange from the bushes.  A fight ensues, we get the hell out of there after I throw burning oil on the tent house where a ton of people are being entranced by 3 of the enemies' companions.  They break off their attack, and we run into a cleft in a wall, looking for "old gold."

After a bit of delving, we come to a room with a bunch of weird chicks who keep petting us down, trying to draw us in, putting us at ease.  My paranoid "I'm just a first level thief and nothing good can come of someone wanting to make you feel at ease in a dungeon" DnD reflexes kick in and overwhelm any twinge of chivalry I have, and I hightail it out of there too, with the feral chick (who I named  Kim, after a crazy ex-girlfriend I had in college) accompanying me, having already peed on my leg in fear.

Little did I know that if I just stayed I would have partaken in a harmless orgy.  Shit!  Capt. Kirk would be disappointed in me.  My only solace is the fact that Kyrinn and I were on the same page in taking some perverse enjoyment in making her girlfriend blush for like half the game.  :)

Lest you think that this was the best part of the game---fucking feral chicks and orgies and a DM who can "go there" as well as any I've played with in terms of the down and dirty shit of life in a game---this was the least part of my enjoyment of the game.  The best part was Kyrinn's world itself.  The level of detail is unparalleled in any game I've ever played in.  She has like 7000 years of history timelined in great detail, including all aspects of races and cultures, geography, npc's, etc.  It's something else to see in play.  Her descriptions were in such detail that I've never felt so much like I was in a certain location in my head while playing a game.  I still have a very clear image in my head of everything that transpired, as if I watched a movie a few times.  It was fantastic.

The magic and weirdness level were spectacular. I couldn't figure a lot of stuff out, it didn't fit any known paradigm I am used to dealing with, and it was scary/creepy/twilight-zonish/wtf is going on here!  She's an excellent DM, the world is amazing, and the game she creates for the players is cool as hell.  I'm hoping we can make it a regular weekly event.  You're missing out on something great if you don't join in.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lyrics That Either Have or Could Have Inspired Awesome Game Sessions

We all know of songs that were inspired by some bit of fantasy literature, or even DnD.  Zeppelin comes to my mind most often in this regard.  (from like 2:50 on for a minute or so)

Let's flip that around.  Here's the question---have you ever had a specific bit of song lyric that inspired something in your game?  Either a monster, encounter, theme, adventure, or something else? If not, can you think of a part of a song's lyrics that you would love to do something with because it's so fucking awesomely evocative of something cool for DnD?

Name the song, specific part of the lyric, artist, album, and what you've done with it (or want to do with it), and tell us how it turned out.  It you want to be really cool, link to the YouTube video and tell us the minute/second mark of the lyric.  :)

Edit to add:  Maybe it's the 6-pack talking, and I know its hardly METAL!!! (though a great tune), but I'm thinking there is something that can be done with Simon and Garfunkel's Sound of Silence.  There's some creepy shit in them thar lyrics...