Thursday, March 14, 2013

Descent Into the Lair of the Ginger Giant or "So You're Playing D&D for the 1st Time"


You’ve gathered a party of hearty friends, packed your rations, your casks of ale, acquired strangely shaped, mystical gems and descended into the subterranean lair of the Ginger Giant.  With indecipherable sheets of parchment clutched in your hands, you find yourself before a strange goatee'd frog creature, who is goggle-eyed and drooling, clutching a dozen worn tomes, full of arcane charts, jumping from foot to foot and cackling manically “You don’t know what you’ve gotten yourselves into… bully…wug…bully…wug” in between belts of some foul smelling liquor.  Before you can figure out what is going on or what you’re supposed to do, you hear the booming voice of the Ginger Giant, “Roll… for initiative…”

For the uninitiated tabletop role playing games can be every bit as terrifying as the flavor text above, especially when joining a group that has experienced players, who sometimes are Lawful Evil jerks who treat newcomers as ignorant and in the way of the game and the story, or who use the PCs of new players as disposable cannon fodder or gullible marks, instead of taking the path of Good and mentoring new players.  It can be daunting to look at the 200+ page Player’s Handbook, not to mention the dozens of other ancillary rule-books  and to wonder just what you need to know to play the game.  Here is my take, both as an experienced player of D&D and a longtime Dungeon Master, on some tips, hints and tricks that will improve your first Dungeons and Dragons experience.   A word of caution, too, before we begin… In addition to being a seasoned player and DM, I am, of course, also a crazy person (demonstrated by the tortured structuring of this poor, mangled sentence), who, as this blog attests to, spends entirely too much time thinking about these sorts of things.  That said, I do think that keeping the things below in mind, whether you decide to follow the trail of breadcrumbs I lay down or not, will help you as you take your first steps into the nerdy abyss that is tabletop role-playing.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

GM Commentary: Last Rest Episode 7: Swords and Secrets

Same disclaimer as always, go read the Summary of Reign Season One, Last Rest Episode Seven: Swords and Secrets...  You should also read the Teaser for Episode Eight:  “Down the Perimeter / Ringing the Bell…” as I'll talk about that briefly as well.

ALSO, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TAKE MY 2-PART SURVEY ABOUT THE GAME: PART ONE and PART TWO.  It's for both players and non-players and it will help me make the game as enjoyable as I can going forward.


A Bang & then a Whimper - The Final Dispatch from Parcher's

When we left our rag-tag band of PCs and their 50-60 hangers on (in addition to Pinky's gang, Man also decided to take the 'hav...