Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hey Let's Go Explore That Place Gary Made Up

A recent post over on Back To Dungeon, (a Most Excellent Blog, IMHO,) really has me thinking tonight.  Go Read IT, then come back.

That smacks me with a reality I didn't get before.  This game is so much all about creation--- of something, a world, a place to be in and from, stemming from a person's own imagination. Initially, it was COMPLETELY all about the imagination. Only later did it die under crunch.  I had the privilege of talking to +Rob Kuntz once, and he related a story to me about when TSR was approached by someone wanting to publish the first modules (I think JG?  Can't remember, and paraphrasing the conversation because I've imbibed some various shit tonight because I have a yearly team meeting tomorrow/xmas party/mandatory good time that I have to go to (AND GET UP EARLY FOR!!) and I'd rather twist my nutsack off with pliers than go to it) told me something like "We couldn't believe people would want someone else to do their imagining for them." 

It was soooo one side of the brain focused at the beginning.  The rules were there just to support how to explore stuff and fight stuff if you needed to, IN THE COURSE OF EXPLORATION, in order to be able to explore more.  The rewards of the exploration were wondrous treasure and magic and the ability to go see more interesting and dangerous stuff. The exploration was like a joint astral journey or acid trip together INTO SOMEONE'S MIND, bound by loose rules of engagement, to experience the wonder and peril and feel the glory and amazement of someone's imaginary universe.  The details on paper were just some lower plane points of reference.  You weren't exploring a dungeon, you were exploring someone's imagination.  A piece of someone's daydream.  A creation, no different than a book, full of people and places and things, that you lived not by reading the words in order from page one to the end, but you jumped right into the fucking thing and took a part in the potential play out of every potential scene in this awesome new wondrous unlimited universe that a human being thought of (or has yet to think of because of your actions in their world,) in all its bits, pieces, and wondrous glory.  A DM is just someone who asks "Hey do you want to come and dance in my brain for a while?  You can be whoever you want while you're there.  No Judgment."

We DM's are like Gods.  That's fucking cool.  :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sir the Fist Has Capped. Man, Has He Seen Some Shit. Flailsnails!

I first created Sir the Fist of Uther, as a half-elf, follower of the Elven God of Magic, Uther.  I have no idea where I thought of the appellation "The Fist".  The whole purpose of Fist was to give me a magic user that would survive Flailsnails.  Every one I made kept dying.  I figured I needed armor and healing, so I made him a half elf, the only class in AD&D who can wear armor and cast mu spells.  Triple class, MU, Fighter, and Cleric.

Since then he encountered a neanderthal ray in +Ian Burns Vats that made him a useless character as a mage, so I rolled the bones and committed suicide, after which +Zak Smith shoved a potion of reincarnation down my throat and I came back as a full orc.  Ian let me keep the mu and cleric class levels, but said I could no longer level up in them, and that thereafter I could go up as fighter and thief, and had to split xp two ways.  I could only gain any hp for advancement as a thief once, when I hit 6th level, my cap.  I got one roll/2, which happened today.  So I'm a weird 4 classed orc.  Godlike for AD&D orc, average as far as Flailsnails characters go.  I figure I'll never be the best at anything, but I have versatility and am a good backup now for most things.

Anyhow, +Zak Smith asked how many times he died, and that took me to the over 20 pages of game journals to see.  Memory Lane.  Here are some highlights from Fist's weird-assed adventures.

Also, it reminded me of how many of us used to DM awesome Flailsnails campaigns.  Hopefully you'll DM them again soon, I miss the weird shit you bastards come up with.  :)

5-26-12, first game played in +Jason K  's Dust.  Killed a living outhouse that sprayed shit at us.

6-13-12 played in +Trent B 's New Fiereland.  Played with +Zach Marx Weber 's assassin malice who was created and ran his first game in the Castle Zagyg dungeon I DM'd.  I was determined to find some way to get him to die without it being my fault so I could get the fire sword he got from Zagyg.  I have yet to make it happen, 3 1/2 years later.  The fucker is a survivor.

6-23-12, Flailsnails rescue mission to +Shawn Sanford 's Castle Amber game. My wimpy mage as well as like half the flailsnails characters were held captive by some Amberians, and we mounted a rescue mission to get them out.  That's when I realized how cool Flailsnails was.

7-9-12 my first trip to +Michael Moscrip 's awesome Castle Nicodemus.

7-19-12 +Brendan S DM'd a game where +Gus L saved my ass from likely death with a flying monkey pc named Bobo.

7-22-12 +Joey Lindsey DM'd a game where I made the acquaintance of +Zach Marx Weber Henry the murder hobo ballad boy, who will snort anything.

8-1-12 the first game of +Gus L Apollyon, which I dubbed "weird-assed ship" in my notes.  I loved going out and getting xp for scavenging crap like Sanford and Son would sell.

7-9-12 my first foray into +Ian Johnson 's the Bleaklands.  We had to capture a Pumpkin Boy.

9-1-12 my first foray into +Erik Jensen 's Wampus Country.  We dealt with trollsquatches, giant spotted skunks, and a scarebear.

9-3-12 played in +Kyrinn S. Eis 's Gamma World/Boot Hill mashup setting.   My first line in the comment section was "HO LEE SHIT."  We sailed across sand dunes, got hit by LSD spores, then ended up ion a dungeon where we had to fight robo-cop shit shooting lasers at us and I think someone had to sacrifice a hand to get out of there.  I've never been so scared of dying.  I was the only one to survive and I pulled out the corpses of the rest of the party.  The final note in the journal entry was "Next time I go back there I'm bringing Count Dooku's Clone Army with me so I have a better chance of survival."

9-13-12 I meet +Shoe Skogen 's Elsjinn on board the Apollyon, who becomes the bane of every one of my character's existences.  Though she won't admit she is in love with my other main Flailsnails character, Roscoe P. Coltrane, a Halfling F/T.  :)  Also I get a necromantic spellbook.  The first of many awesome spellbooks +Gus L  puts out into the Flailsnails 'verse thru the ghost ship from hell.

I played so many FS games onboard the Apollyon and Castle Amber during these months.  It was awesome!

9-26-12 +Zach Marx Weber 's Henry snorts Ghost Salt on the Apollyon.  Because why not.

9-28-12 played in +Reece Carter 's game.  Got a magical trident and a magical sword of shadows, now in +Zach Marx Weber 's possession.

This one you have to read in full, to get the fun of Wampus.  :)

Friday Oct 5, 2012
Wampus Country


+Peter Robbins as the Right Reverend Ornibus Jones, snake-priest
+James Aulds as Abel Killiejoy, purveyor of minor artifacts
+Joe D as Sir the Fist of Uther, immune to caution
+Gabriel Perez Gallardi as Gimli of Geoff, pyrophile
+Shoe Skogen as Elsjinn, gnordic gnome

During a break in the action between delves to Crumbledown, two of the usual suspects - the Rat-Bastards Ornibus and Abel - entertain several visitors to Wampus Country by means of a picturesque picnic on a hillside. Very quickly, Abel asks if the newcomers want to see what he has in his pocket - a
deck of many things .

Elsjinn, egged on by Sir the Fist, draws a single card,
the Comet , and she feels her potential short-term destiny shift. Not to be outdone, Sir the Fist draws two cards - the Gem followed by the Moon . Jewelry tumbles out of nothingness, which he quickly collects (save the bits stolen by Elsjinn and her chipmunk); further, Sir the Fist has a wish to make - and soon, before it expires.

While chuckling over their good fortune regarding the
deck , the picnickers are startled by a monstrous roar, and a forty-foot rooster lumbers over the horizon, headed for the sleepy frontier town of Thistlemarch (which the Rat-Bastards call home at the moment). Concerned that the giant chanticleer might destroy the town, the adventurers spring into action, attempting to steer the beast by frightening it, and warning the townsfolk.

In the end, Elsjinn uses her ability to
speak with animals to convince the rooster to steer clear of the town and return to the picnic, where it is fed stalks of corn and some magically-enhanced grasshoppers. Yet that feast is insufficient, for the rooster has many wives who also require sustenance. Calling up on the powers of the Serpent God Sethet, Reverend Jones also speaks with animals and warns the rooster that Ornibus' brother-snakes may be en route. Panicked, the rooster runs back to its home farm - with the adventurers in hot pursuit.

Back at the farm - belonging to Ernie Pyewackett, the guy who trains goats - the view is dominated by a half-dozen thirty-foot hens. Our heroes witness I giant hungry hen swallow a horse in a single peck. Abel uses hypnosis to calm the hens while Ornibus
commands the rooster to sleep; Gimli checks on the frightened farmer and assists him in gathering flammables for a potential terminal barbecue.

Meanwhile, Sir the Fist investigates the intact chicken-coop, and finds that the seed corn in the trough has been magically altered, perhaps by someone pouring a potion of some sort overtop of it. Obviously, in such a situation, the right thing for a cleric of the God of Magic to do is to eat the rest of the corn as quickly as possible in hopes of becoming a giant.

Growing to a good thirty-five foot height, the now-naked Sir the Fist suggests using the black lotus powder in his kit to put all the chickens to sleep; through the use of some euphoric mushrooms to gather the hens together, and a
potion of flying so Gimli can bomb them from above, this is accomplished, and all the giant chickens are subdued.

There is, however, one problem. Thanks to his
detect magic spell, Sir the Fist can see that there is still a transformative process going on inside the chickens - just as there is within himself. He uproots a tree and crushes the heads of the hens, lest they grow larger or wake; simultaneously, Elsjinn steps into the rooster's beak and drives a weapon into its brainpan. The flesh beneath the feathers is roiling and bubbling even though the rooster is dead, and in mere moments the rooster explodes in a poultrytechnic display which scatters raw chicken meat across the barnyard; thankfully, Elsjinn tumbles to safety.

The hens, of course, are due to blow, so the adventurers hide in and behind the barn, and soon six giant chickens explode in sequence like a string of Chinese firecrackers; it takes several minutes for all the chicken chunks to come to earth, but when the thunderous sound of wet slapping noises ends, our heroes are hale and hearty. Or are they? It quickly dawns on Sir the Fist that he will be the next to explode in due time...

The adventurers high-tail it to the Stump-Witch, who has previously assisted Ornibus with curse removal (see also: The Platypus Incident). Sir the Fist trades a book of necromancy from the
HMS Apollyon to the Stump-Witch in exchange for the cure, and he shrinks back down to normal size without exploding. He then utters the wish he gained from the deck and summons to his side a flying carpet.

Notice how +Shoe Skogen 's Elsjinn picked my pocket?  Also it was awesome to play on the same side as  +Gabriel Perez Gallardi 's character Gimli who he created for my Zagyg game.  It was also here that I got the flying carpet, bane of many a DM.

The DM note for xp to Gabriel is funny.
+Gabriel Perez Gallardi *GIMLI OF GEOFF* I ought to be penalizing you because my wife won't shut up about how sexy your accent is, but I'm going to be a fair DM here and swallow my pride.

At some point after October 5, 2012, I played in +Zak Smith 's tactical game set in the lands around Vornheim, and fireballed a catapult which burned the rope which shot the catapult rock at Fist which rolled like a nat. 20 and hit and killed him in one shot.  And that was the first round of the session.  I lost all my gear and had to buy some of it back.  Finally found a use for money in Flailsnails.  :)

10-20-12 Beat Castle Amber!

2-8-13 Played in +Steven Goodman 's game, forst time ever, it was set in the Wilderlands, city of the Invincible Overlord.  My first foray into that setting as a player of any character.

2-27-13 The infamous Neander-half-elf incident.  Shit went down for me on that day.

3-1-13 Wampus game, traded a favor to the Stump Witch so I could get +Gus L 's tome back that I traded to her because the spells in it were so cool I didn't want that work to be lost forever.

3-2-13 played in +Shawn Sanford Dwellers of the Forbidden city game and got the badass sword with empathy and detect invis, at will, and also heal once a week.

2-24-13 +Shawn Sanford 's Dark Tower commences!

9-19-13 the last Apollyon game Fist ran in.  We need more Flailsnails games on the Apollyon +Gus L !

2-1-14 first time playing Fist in a DC game, Shawn Sanford's that he plays every other Saturday.  It's weird taking an AD&D guy into DCC.  The conversion is tricky, but Shawn handles it nicely.

Random memories:

Elsjinn selling her soul to a devil.  I laughed heartily.  :)

Zach Weber's Malice cutting my eyeball out at my reuqest to implant an eyeball from a beholder in there---and it worked!  I think that was in one of Shawn's games.

+Chris H taking my half-elven eyeball and keeping it for some odd reason.  He's like the odd junk collector of Flailsnails.

I think I've played in more games with +Chris H than any other person.  Which is somehow fitting because I sorta got him into D&D with my face to face game we used to play at the Moe's burrito place in New Haven.  :)

I've played with over a dozen dm's, scores of players, and hundreds of characters and game sessions, and it's been fucking awesome.  Flailsnails rocks!

I thank you all for the fun I've had, and look forward to getting into more trouble with you all soon.

Also, if you see your name here for running a Flailsnails game and haven't in a while, I wish you would again.  It was a blast!  Let's do it again!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

50 Bucks for the New PHB?!?!

For all who say that adjusted for inflation its about the same ask yourselves this:  does that math work when wages adjusted for inflation have remained flat since like 1974 or so?  Even the ENWorld fanboys don't like this deal.  And assuming a smaller simpler PHB to go along with a simpler system, you are getting less for the buck than before? And have to wait how long until you have a complete set of books?  At least with pathfinder you got 2 books in one for 50 bucks.  And still do get that deal today.  They've driven many peeps to preview the book by other than ethical means just to see if the thing is worth buying.  Way to promote piracy.  And no word on an ogl yet.  Why would they possibly need other supporting products to be released the same day as their product? After all, it wouldn't help sales or  buzz or anything.  And officially we have a "No comment" from WOTC according to a guy on ENWorld.

Way to hurt brick and mortar stores too.  Who is gonna drop 50 bucks plus gas to get there and back when you can get it for 35 at amazon and free shipping?  Especially when faced with the prospect of 100 bucks more in book costs just to play the game.  Yeah Yeah B&M stores are dead and can't compete with Amazon.  Blah Blah.  There were still some people who went there regardless to try to support them.  This pricing really makes that difficult to justify in this economy.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Made an OSR Zine Run Today

Had a tad extra in the wallet this week after the bills were paid, so I made a Zine run.  :)

First I picked up the last couple issues of Tim Shorts' excellent print Zine "The Manor".  Always a good read.  In fact, +Erik Tenkar ran us through an adventure contained in one of them the other day, and it was a great time. :)

Next I picked up the first four of nine issues of another print Zine called "Crawl."  I've been hearing good things about it, and can't wait to dig in.

After that, I bought the print Zine "CrawlJammer" #1.  Figured I'd get in on the ground floor for this one.

A new one I just heard of today was Zogorion.  Issue one ordered of this print Zine.

Of course I can't forget to update my collection of +John Stater 's "Nod" Zine.  I needed 5 of the pdf's to bring me up to date.  He also has them all in print.  Both are available on LULU.

For the paid one I picked up today, last but not least is the new Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad.  Everyone's talking about this print Zine it seems.

A few new Zines were brought to my attention this week:

Encounter comes only in an electronic version, but it is free.  Four issues are out already, and have been downloaded.  :)

Another free one I just heard of is called & Magazine.  They have about 8-10 issues and supplements out already.

One that I'm shocked  I've never downloaded before is the Dragonsfoot site's magazine called "Footprints" of which there are already 20 issues published.  All have been downloaded.  

I ran out of extra cash by the time I got to Oubliette magazine, of which there have been 8 issues published so far.  Both print and pdf are available from LULU.

Both these and the rest of the Crawl Zines are for the next paycheck.  :)

Here's my question to any other Zine fans or publishers out there---what did I miss that I can still get my hands on? I prefer print, but I'll go for anything, as you can see.  Even stuff that's no longer updated or in print.  I just love the whole DIY aspect of Zines and the creativity they show.

Lastly, +Christian Walker +Christian Walker any Zines coming out soon?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Great D&D Find on Craigslist

I made a great find on Craigslist for D&D stuff the other day.  I was finally able to obtain the Holmes Boxed set.  I had the book as a separate thing for a while, but never owned the boxed set.  I also got a few bonuses with it that the seller wasn't aware of.  :)  (Ignore the red tint to the photos, just my mood lighting.  :)  )

Book and Dice, book in excellent condition.  Missing a 20-sider to the dice set, but the rest are there---the old mixed colored ones you needed to color in with the white crayon. :). 

Inside I found a complete Monster and Treasure levels 1-3. 

Also, 4 Dungeon Geomorphs. 

Someone photocopied the character sheets, there were about 20 in there.

Plus, maybe my favorite thing, I ended up with an actual player's character sheet, Isaac the Knight.  I love it when I find stuff like that.  It's like a little bit of history from someone's old campaign. 

As a bonus for not being able to ship to me when he said, he also included this module, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars by Jeff Grubb (MHSP-1) plus a brand new set of black/grey Chessex dice.  :)

All that for 20 bucks plus 5 bucks shipping isn't bad  :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Just How Big is the OSR Getting?

I've had my issues with ENWorld over the years, and some of the admins there (PirateCat is a cool dude though), due mostly to the fact that back when 4e hit I thought they became a bunch of kiss-ass pussy cheerleaders for the biggest name brand, and were trying to push out all dissenters.  So I left.  Fuck 'em.

Look where that got them, supporting the Edition of Suck. And they lost me.  Losers.

I pretty much stopped hitting the boards regularly after that, except for the occasional post at the Mos Eisley of RPG Boards,  It was easy, as I was never into many other boards, and always somehow managed to avoid the big one, Every time I went there it looked like a the topics were controlled by cabal of asshole admins jumping on whoever got out of line.  The tyranny of culture in full effect.

I started this blog I got involved with the then-new OSR blogger crowd, and found a place more to my taste. 

The OSR thing has had its ups and downs and all arounds, and has grown a lot since its humble beginnings.  It's had its TARGA riots, its porn interludes, and its own naval-gazing never-ending narrations on what the fuck it is in the first place.

What's grown from it though has been far more.  It's a great place to meet people who are going back home, getting back to their roots, their childhoods, their "happy places" again.  People who hop on a G+ game to play D&D  for the first time in decades to kick some goblin ass, fathers and sons bonding over mass slaughter in the Caves of Chaos through the joys of FLAILSNAILS.  Along the way we've dissected every motherfucking rule in every single edition, whether in print or not. 

People noticed!  Articles were written about it in obscure places!  WOTC re-printed old shit and said a lot of good stuff about the old editions as they are devloping their new edition.

One thing I noticed though--the old boards, when I popped in, still kept to themselves, discussing the same crap they always did.

Check 'em out now.

ENWORLD, a former 3e haven, then a 4e devotee playground of self-delusion and denial, decided to break out older editions of D&D on separate discussion boards.  They also added a sub-breakout for the OSR (though they call it the Old School Revival.  Must be a British thing.)

Tonight, as I do when I'm either bored, drunk, or under the influence of Longbottom Leaf (trifecta tonight!) I checked out  My bookmark always takes me to the board where they talk about all RPG's in general.  (In four years I haven't had the uuumph to change the where the link link goes to the D20 and D&D related board.)

To my surprise,  on the general board, I saw two threads on Harn and one on Runequest.  Curious, I went to the d20/D&D section.  I saw threads on:

Gygax Games
Microlite 20
Castles and Crusades three times
2e and Kara-Tur
Barrowmaze 2
1e and clones
Against the Giants 1-2-3

Out of 34 threads on my first page.

That's like a third of Big Purple.
I've always had nothing but disdain for Big Purple Disease Ridden Cock, but if their D&D boards have like 1/3 of the articles dealing with the OSR in some way, I may have to re-evaluate.

Also, how fucking cool are we? Look at where we've permeated?   We're influencing everything!

And spreading!

Kinda like this.