Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Surveys are surveylicious!

There's a survey that's been making the rounds, and surveys are fun!

    • Ability scores generation method?
      • 4d6, drop the lowest, arrange as desired
    • How are death and dying handled?
      • 0 = unconscious, -10 = death
    • What about raising the dead?
      • System shock roll for survival
    • How are replacement PCs handled?
      • Work them into the story
    • Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
      • Individual for PCs, group(s) for monsters
    • Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
      • Yes and yes.  Critical hits max the damage, critical fumbles cause an attack roll against yourself.  I just picked up those Critical Hit/Fumble decks, though, and I'm thinking about starting to use those.
    • Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
      • -1AC
    • Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
      • Only if you fumble
    • Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
      • Most of the time kill everything, sometimes you wanna run
    • Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
      • Not usually, no.
    • Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
      • Absolutely
    • How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
      • Within reason.  Until someone wants to pick up an elephant, I'm not concerned with tracking the weight of all of their arrows and such.
    • What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
      • It happens when it happens.
    • What do I get experience for?
      • I use the optional 2e personal experience awards.
    • How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
      • Dice rolling, although I'd like to incorporate the Skyrim lockpicking subgame into it.
    • Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
      • Yes they are, and it's handled situationally.  I'm not going to roll every round for it, but if they watch their main dude get smooshed by an ogre, that might deflate their enthusiasm a bit.
    • How do I identify magic items?
      • Magic!
    • Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
      • Potions and other low level magical items, maybe, but there will be no Sun Blades in the window of  Ye Olde Majick Shoppe
    • Can I create magic items? When and how?
      • Yes, during character down time, and at enormous expense.  You-sure-you-don't-want-to-just-go-out-and-quest-for-one level expense
    • What about splitting the party?
      • Sure, anything they want, heh-heh-heh...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Post-Apocalyptic vs. Post-Civilization

This started off as a post about the dearth of Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy out there, but more and more examples of it started flooding my brain, so I reconsidered.  But then I thought them through, none of them seemed quite... right.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was because while there is quite a bit of Post-Civilization fantasy out there, none of them were Post-Apocalyptic.  As I see it, the difference is in the origin of the current state of things. 

In Post-Apocalyptic literature, there is a defining event - The Apocalypse, whether that is a meteor striking the earth, zombies rising from the grave, rising water levels, what have you.  It doesn't need to be a sudden 90 degree turn that causes the current state of affairs, but looking back, someone needs to be able to say, "Yep, that was when the world went to pot."

Post-Civilization, though is more along the lines of either a) a general decline in the state of things over the course of time, or b) a Post-Apocalyptic world where the Apocalypse happened so long ago that no-one remembers it.

There's lots of examples of Post-Civilization Fantasy out there, but you don't see much Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy out there.  Seems like an area worth investigating.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Last year, my better half and I were sitting at a  Restaurant one Saturday morning, when we looked over to the table next to us and spied a group of youngish folks sitting next to us.  One of them got up to pay their bill, and lo, there was a tail hanging from her backside.  The rest got up, and they ALL had tails.  A quick search on the interwebs determined that our town was playing host to the Furry Fiesta, sponsored by the Dallas Regional Anthropomorphic Meeting Association (D.R.A.M.A.).  We ran down the road immediately, taking a National Geographic-like interest in exploring this strange subculture.  I was surprised at the time (although in retrospect I probably shouldn't have been) to see personals put up for people looking for RPG groups, and it was there that I heard of Bunnies & Burrows, Furry Pirates, Shard, and other furry-inspired role playing games.  Not my cup of tea, personally, but I was surprised to learn that such things existed.

When I saw that it was coming back around again this year, I was intrigued.  When I saw that it had a Post-Apocalyptic theme this year, I knew I had to go.  Rounding up a group of friends, we decided to wander through again this year.  Unfortunately, while we went through on Saturday last year and it was wall to wall furries, we went on Sunday this year, and most of the hardcore furries had already departed, and aside from a showing of Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome listed on the schedule, there was little to indicate the theme was being used for much of anything.  Still, it was an entertaining 20 minutes or so - walking around, we heard people making jokes about failing saving throws and other RPG stuff.  I thought back to some of the pickup Werewolf: The Apocalypse games that I had played, the people I had played with, and I realized that there was a Venn Diagram to be made.

Anyways, here are the highlights of this year's Dallas Furry Convention.  I can't bring myself to pay for admission, so I was restricted to the public areas, so I'm sure there was more to be seen.  Maybe next year.


Saturday, February 25, 2012


I stumbled upon a series of old posts by Jim Raggi at his LOTFP blog, citing musical influences for him.  It got me thinking - there are, in alot of cases, songs that I hear that I immediately associate with various rpgs.  Some of them are a bit on the nose, while others have more personal meanings, but I figured, what the hell, that'll make a nice blog post.

So here they are, for your listening enjoyment. 



Rogue Trader


Gamma World


Vampire: The Masquerade

Werewolf: The Apocalypse

Mage: The Ascension

Friday, February 24, 2012


Inspired by Ark's Dungeonspiration series of posts, I just wanted to put up some of the art by two artists that I've been obsessed with lately.

                        Fransisco Goya

                                                   The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

Yard With Lunatics

Saturn Devouring His Son

                                                                                                            The Witches Coven

                                                            Two Old Men Eating Soup

Atropos (The Fates)

The Colossus

Nothing The Event Will Tell

El Lazarillo De Tormes

John Martin

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

The Seventh Plague of Egypt

The Great Day of His Wrath

The Bridge Over Chaos


The Destruction of Babylon


Belshazzar's Feast

Manfred and the Witch of the Alps

Christ Stilleth the Tempest

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bees! Bees! For the Love of God BEEEEES!!!!

I love Grimtooth.  

If you haven't heard of Grimtooth, shame on you!  First published back in 1981, the Grimtooth's Traps series has been scaring PCs for over 30 years now.  You don't even need to use any of the traps - just setting a copy on the table in your stack of monstrous compendiums and DMs Guides is enough to keep most parties creeping through the dungeons one skill check at a time.

Or poking doors with sticks.

An illithid had just ripped a dwarven temple out of the side of a mountain, turning it into a massive stone golem.  The PCs stopped it, but not before it completed it's nefarious work, sending some blast of energy into the sky.  The dwarven temple guard had noticed that a gem, used to power the statue of Moradin that flowed with Holy Beer, had been taken before the attack, and sent the group into a hole in the side of the mountain, exposed after the debacle, reasoning that since the stone wasn't in the wreckage of the temple, something must have grabbed it and slid back down into the darkness in the confusion.

Once again feeling their oats, and accompanied by their NPC siblings, they sauntered down into the darkness.  The thief was doing his thiefy things, checking each door for traps, and disarming them, but then they came to the Dead End.  There were doors on either side.  Only the door on the left wasn't a door at all, as the thief found out when he failed his detect traps roll - someone had smeared a jelly of animal control on the wall in the shape of a door, glued a doorknob onto it, and summoned a swarm of bees, which had waited patiently for an adventuring party to stumble across them.  The bees swarmed, and several people were stung, causing them to take a -1 penalty to their Dexterity, as their fingers swelled up like sausages.

The party was, to say the least, traumatized, and was practically poking doors with sticks for the rest of the night.  They found potions, and checked to make sure there weren't bees in them.  They climbed a ladder, but not before making sure the rungs were not, in fact, bees.  Phantom bees lurked everywhere for the rest of the night, and likely haunted their dreams after they left.

Oh, and the other door?  That was made of a flimsy glass like substance which shattered when the fighter yanked the door open, spraying the party with acid.  There were deadfalls, tripwires and lots of other nasty traps all over the place, but nothing affected the party as viscerally as the bees did, for some reason.

And that was out of  Grimtooth's Traps LITE, described as, "kinder, gentler traps".

Heh heh.  I can't wait to break out the REALLY nasty stuff.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I'd like to apologize

To all the people who came here, having gone to google and typed in "porn", I'm sorry.  My site is so low on the search rankings for "porn" that I couldn't find it after about 10 minutes of searching, so I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you to have clicked on the 10,000,000th link last night and found bookshelves, not naked people.

Journey on, brave trawlers of this darkened sea!  May you find safe harbor elsewhere!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bookshelf Porn

Documenting my obsession...

Yes, that is World of Synnibarr down on the bottom there :blush:

Also, note to self - need better camera.  Hmmm.