Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Grim World + Love Letters & Extra Life Thanks

Last Saturday I ran Grim World as a "pre-Halloween" one-shot game, which was a lot of fun and a few caveats. I'll provide a review below, but my biggest caveat was I put out a large invitation to 10+ players, thinking, as I often do, that I'd be lucky to get the four players I'd need to run... Instead, and much to my surprise, I ended up with 8 players (and 7 PCs, since there was some question if the 8th player would be able to attend so he shared a playbook with his GF) and as I always do when I run really large groups of players, I felt like I didn't do the best job of giving each PC a shot in the spotlight and let things get a little more chaotic and bogged down than I liked. But that's all on me and not on the players.

Speaking of, thanks to the incredible generosity of the players, Christy and I managed to raise $135 for Extra Life between the two of us.  I'm now over 75% to my goal (as of 10/28/2015) and if any of the players from the Grim World game want to go back and retroactively ask for any of the rewards I was offering, you certainly can. If you are a regular reader of the blog and haven't pitched in any support for the Extra Life campaign yet, we're nearing the end, with a little over two weeks left, so I hope you'll consider a donation, even if it's just $5.

Click here to skip the Grim World Review and go straight to my further thoughts on Love Letters...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Planarch Codex - Living Job Board Table

Obligatory Extra Life reminder... please go and support my Extra Life campaign, if you haven't already. There's still plenty of rewards that could be earned.

Doing the minimal prep work that I do for Planarch Codex, I noticed that the jobs I'd rolled up for my band of Freebooters had gotten a little less random... Lots of work for criminals, cults and merchants, lots of deliveries... Now, I could just have players re-roll when they get those results on the table, but instead I've whipped up a slightly modified Job Table, keeping the things that haven't come up (or come up as often) and adding in some new options. I'll probably return to this as needed to update, change up options as I run Planarch Codex more and more. Find a printer friendly, non-blog version here.

Who is the Patron or Target?

[1-2] Urban Denizens

1 – gang
2 – road warden
3 – guild
4 – library
5 – temple
6 – wizard

[3-4] Strangers

1 – diplomat
2 – freebooter
3 – lawyer
4 – militarist
5 – pilgrim
6 – refugee

[5-6] Weirdos

1 – alien god
2 – diabolist
3 – immortal
4 – outlaw
5 – philosopher
6 – spirit

[1-4] Patron
[5-6] Target

What type of job is it?

1 – acquisition
2 – espionage
3 – exploration
4 – killing
5 – protection
6 – investigation

Where is the target? - Roll on normal table

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

100th Post! - 2 Possible Extra Life PCs...

It's my 100th post on the blog, so here are 2 PCs that I might inflict on DMs in Extra Life, if they'll let me... Though it'll be easier to do if people donate... wink wink...and then I can blame popular demand...

Prince Dartor

Prince Dartor (need to update the sheet to reflect his Princeliness). Bask in his majestic nobility, marvel at his potential to do 36 points of damage per round with only Blowgun darts... Or to disarm a foe from 100ft with only a blowgun dart.


Based on the Really Good Dog class from Goblin Punch. Laddie is a Really Good Dog with a couple levels of fighter.

I'll post more of these as I start to get donations.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Extra Life Supporter Rewards + Scattered GM Prep Thoughts + Recent Reading

First, an appeal for dedicated readers of the blog to make a donation to Extra Life. As you've all no doubt gotten tired of reading, I will be playing as part of a 24 hour charity Extra Life event with the proceeds going to Children's Miracle Network on with most of those 24 hours falling on Saturday 11/7/2015. I've actually donated $25 myself, just not to my own profile. I run this blog without asking for any donations or support, mostly out of my own obsessive need to bloviate about RPGs, and while I do have ads at the bottom so far this year they've netted me less than a dollar. Each time I put up a post, I see that it usually gets 10-15 views within 24 hours, so even if only five of your donate $5 we'll double the donation I've already made. It's for a good cause so please donate, even if it's just a dollar or two.

If you do donate because of this blog, let me know and if I can generate $50 of donations from the blog I will let supporters demand that I do wacky (but not game ruining) things during the game sessions that I play and/or run. Here are some options:

  • Force me to play a wacky character off my list of Characters Too Ridiculous to play if I can (the DMs get veto power on PCs, so the intensely wacky characters might require a bit of finagling on my part but I'll try my damnedest or trick one of the other DMs into running a 5 minute mini-session or something or have them show up in a session I run as an NPC)
  • Record a video of myself speaking in character, in an accent determined by donors during play. Those of you who listen to the actual play podcast or who game with me in real life know how mortifyingly bad my accents/voices usually are.
  • Determine my PCs for sessions. I've got one character I definitely want to play (spoiler, it's Alice), but I'm hoping to play in at least 3 of the 3 hour sessions and I've already got 18 potential PCs made, well, 14 if you count the 5 versions of Alice I've made as a single PC.
  • Pick out dialogue from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass (the books only, not any movies or other adaptations please.) that I have to utter in character as Alice.
I'm also waiting on more details about the location and scheduling, but I may be able to do things like live-blog sessions I play in, and if the schedule works out right, I'm hoping to run one of the 7 versions I've drafted up of the True Tomb of Isidore Philokrates which will be largely improvised and which, if I receive donations, I could allow sponsors to make decisions about what happens in the Tomb, perhaps even in real time through one of the many social media platforms available. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Shady Hobo Moth and Witch Pies - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 3 - GM Commentary

First, go listen to Antagonist Relations Podcast - Episode 17 "I have my finger in many sinister pies!" 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...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fiddly Bits - Old and New

An early illustration of a Medieval Elephant Drop?

Fiddly bits have been on my mind lately.Between running my Shattered World 5e-ish D&D game (as discussed here), running World of Dungeons 1979 with Planarch Codex for my non-D&D games and playing in Thomas' Church of Al-Qadim Sun-AD&D 2e game, I've been noticing more and more about the fiddly bits that make play more difficult, are easy to sweep aside when needed, easy to create and add in or just weird little things that make the game more enjoyable or at least more interesting. Then on this last Saturday I ran a last-minute-ish Birthday D&D game for a friend that brought a lot of the fiddliness into focus for me.

Friday, October 2, 2015

"I have my fingers in many sinister pies!" - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 3

Listen to episode three of our Actual Play of A Red & Pleasant Land utilizing the World of Dungeons 1979 rules set and Planarch Codex options. Pies, Witches, Accusations of Trollop'ry, Stolen Voices, Nearly Deadly Skeletons, this podcast has all of those things.

"I have my fingers in many sinister pies!" - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 3 

Also, please support our Extra Life drive!

You can also find our event/team donation page here and my personal donation page on the top right corner of THIS VERY BLOG (or here if you're too lazy to scroll elsewhere or use RSS or mobile). If you're a regular reader, please consider making a donation, even if it's only a few dollars. It goes to a good cause and the sooner I start getting a few donations, the less I'll need to spam my blog with pitches over the next month.

Extra Life - PCs I'll never be allowed to play - Recent Reading

The planning for the Ginger Giant's Extra Life event continues apace, and you can read and hear all 'bout it on his blog. 

You can also find our event/team donation page here and my personal donation page on the top right corner of THIS VERY BLOG (or here if you're too lazy to scroll elsewhere or use RSS or mobile). If you're a regular reader, please consider making a donation, even if it's only a few dollars. It goes to a good cause and the sooner I start getting a few donations, the less I'll need to spam my blog with pitches over the next month.

Ben had been making a few noises about not wanting me to play so ridiculous a character that I took over the game, so of course that was A GAUNTLET THROWN DOWN, and I had to come up with characters so ridiculous I'd never be allowed to play them in the event. Originally I had thought I could do a hundred but that was overly ambitious, so instead below are 23, two of which I originally pitched in my first Extra Life post.

Also below is some of my Recent Reading with a few thoughts.

Post-Apocalyptic Names

As I'm prepping to run a Godless mini-campaign, I wanted to have a good post-apocalyptic name table to draw from. The Apocalypse World...