Wednesday, August 3, 2016

RPG Assumptions - A Tale of Two (Powered by the) Apocalypse Games - With Bonus Adventure Fronts!

Last month I ran two games, both Powered by the Apocalypse, in the first, a game of Viking World, I feel like the game ran aground a bit on some player assumptions so for the second, a game of Adventures on Dungeon Planet, I was upfront about the assumptions of the game and as a consequence it went much more smoothly. But the whole thing has had me thinking more about the assumptions that players and game masters bring to games.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Additional Podcastery

Once again I descended into the Lair of the Ginger Giant to cast some pods.

First we have the 6th Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast: Because They're Suckers where the party, with a new Were-frog companion, descended into the dungeon below the Mirror Reflecting.

Second, we have a long and rambling actual, old-school Antagonist Relations Podcast, Roll a CON Save, where we talked about some of the shortcomings of 5e D&D and how we address them, games we want to run and I did some more convincing of Ben of the glory that will be Death Grind D&D before the three beers and late night caught up to me and we ran out of steam. We're going to try and be more focused on these in the future, and cover topics instead of (who am I kidding, in addition to) rambling on and on, so if you have a topic you'd like us to cover, reach out and let us know.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pudding Crisis/Plate Fort - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 5 - GM Commentary

First, go listen to Gary the Pudding: Pudding Party Part 2 - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 5 as that is the session that I'll be commenting on. A Red and Pleasant Land is abbreviated as aR&PL below. Also, spoilers for the podcast, though I'll hide any spoilers for the players about upcoming sessions.

Comments are in roughly chronological order as I listen to the podcast for the umpteenth time...


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lessons from al-Qadim Church: 2nd Edition D&D in the time of 5th

Thomas runs a 2nd Edition D&D game set in al-Qadim over Roll20 most Sundays, that we've taken to refering to as 'Church', originally as a bit of a joke about our scheduling, since for most of the players it's a 9am-1pm time slot. But thinking about it, it is a time of fellowship and reflection, with parables I can apply to my (gaming) life.

I've been playing Thema, a lawful evil moralist priest of Ragarra, dedicated to bringing the 'old' Gods of Ragarra, Shajar et al back to prominence and eventually casting out the Enlightened religion in the Ruined Kingdoms area where the campaign is set. So far we've cleared goblins out a monastery, cleared over a hundred gnolls out of a canyon of caverns, killed a vampire by releasing it out of a bottle into the tropical high noon sun and escaped from a trio of giants who wanted to keep us captive to pose for their topiary sculpting, among other things. We've played most Sunday mornings since September 2015, with over 20 sessions and put in nearly 100 days in game and every week it's well worth getting up early on Sunday, even if I was up late the night before, to sign on and play.

But up above I joked about parables, so what have I learned from playing 2nd Edition D&D when we're now three and half more editions on? And what do I want to steal from 2e for my own games?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

OotA v. CoS Cagematch + Out of the Abyss Fixes & Resources

If you recall, I've previously discussed some of my personal struggles running Out of the Abyss, which you can find here in "I've Got the (Out of the) Abyss Blues" (SPOILERS GALORE), so this will be a post focused more on the positives and negatives of Out of the Abyss, with some comparisons to Curse of Strahd (warning, I've not run any of CoS so I'm admittedly less familiar with it) and then some fixes and resources for running OotA that I've made and many more that I've found.

Spoilers abound below, so don't read if you're playing or want to play Out of the Abyss or Curse of Strahd.

Last updated 06/27/2016

Gary the Pudding: Pudding Party Part 2 - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 5

Here is the fifth installment of our Actual Play of A Red & Pleasant Land utilizing the World of Dungeons 1979 rules set and Planarch Codex options. The Stonestrike Sisters and Ochen on their first quest to fetch ingredients for their "friend" Thomasina the Pie Witch, make a new "friend" Gary the Pudding.

(link to podcast below tweets from the game)

Antagonist Relations Podcast - Episode 19 - Gary The Pudding  (Numbering is different because the Ginger Giant numbers from total AR podcasts and I only have been counting Actual Play. As always, any complaints can be addressed to him and any compliments to me ;-P)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thought of the Day: Boneless Wizards - Skaggar's Skeleton Scouting

So this is more a thought that came up during my Wednesday night Shattered World D&D game, I modded an Iron and Stone golem slightly, twinned them together as the same red/green that I did the Ruby Dragon the players had previously fought and decided that the Red (Iron) golem would become Green (Stone) when the players did enough damage and vice versa.

At one point my lovely wife decided to cast Banishment and the golem failed its saving throw, despite having advantage from the golem magic resistance feature. Instead of just having the one golem which wouldn't let me use my color swap and twin golem nonsense, I decided on the fly instead to have the Banishment do 50 points of damage and cost both golems a turn as the Green golem then crawled out of the Red golem's mouth. That way when they were damaged on the next turn, I got to do my color swap nonsense and while the players may not have realized it, they still managed to do both damage to the golems and prevent some damage to themselves as the golems were unable to attack for a turn.

But, that led to a great digression as the image of the one golem crawling out of the other's mouth caused my players to wonder if there was a spell that would let a Necromancer have his skeleton leave his body to scout while his body was left somewhere safe as a pile of flesh.

I thought that Thomas might have a spell similar to this in his excellent "Necromancy After the Godswar" packet, available on the DMsGuild, but he doesn't. So here is a not at all playtested or balanced spell to do just that.

Skaggar's Skeleton Scouting

3rd-level necromancy

Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (a human tooth and a bit of grease)
Duration: 4 hours

You cause your skeleton to leave your body, climbing out of your mouth, at the cost of one hit die. For the remainder of the duration, you can move your skeleton independently of your body, which remains where you left it as an immobile pile of flesh. Your skeleton has the hit points, stats and senses of a skeleton, but you are able to cast spells or take any other action your DM sees as reasonable. As a skeleton your voice is whispery and dry. As an action you can move your perspective back to your body and use your normal senses. When the duration ends or at any point during the duration when you use a bonus action, your skeleton returns to your body, though the process takes a full turn before you can stand or take any other action. If your skeleton is reduced to 0 hit points or fewer before the duration ends you take any excess damage carries over to your normal body and your skeleton is returned to your body, requiring the full extra turn before you can take actions just as if the duration ended or you used a bonus action to end the spell.

During the duration of the spell your body is unable to move, speak or take any other actions. A generous DM may allow you simple communication by blinking your eyes. A successful Dispel Magic spell against your skeleton or body can end the spell.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level you can choose to either extend the duration by 4 hours or use the stats of a minotaur skeleton, using the extra magic to cause your bones to grow and strengthen. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher you extend both the duration by 4 hours and use the stats of a minotaur skeleton.