Tuesday, December 29, 2015

State of the Blog and Games / Battlerager Blues

I can't recommend the DesignsByMiranda Etsy shop enough; I got several XMAS gifts for friends from it and they were shipped promptly and high quality and now I'm wishing I'd gotten more for myself.

I did a great job keeping this blog up to date, from this last August (2015) up through November, averaging a little over 9 posts a month. Then the dreaded Holiday season descended from the (mostly) snowless skies and games were postponed and rescheduled due to illness and the holiday business and I didn't keep up my blog posts.

Here's the state of my games in the order that it occurs to me this afternoon.

  • My Shattered World 5e-ish campaign continues apace, just let the PCs hit 5th level and plan on accelerating the plot now. Managed to make use of this swank Dyson hand themed dungeon, but not this other one... (yet). Eventually I'll get back and update my campaign log.
  • Back in early November I began running Out of The Abyss. We're 2ish sessions in, in that we did a character creation session plus short "test" dungeon for the players to get a feel for their PCs, then did about an hour and a half of play in a second session before it was cut short due to illness and finally a short-ish session on 12/20 to finish up Chapter One. So most of the PCs have escaped into the Underdark (one player was only at the character creation session so far, so her PC will be somewhere in the Underdark) with weapons, armor and rope they captured from the Drow, but without food or water. Expect at least one blog post on OOTA (which is how I've decided to abbreviate Out of the Abyss) next week when I sit down and share all the game aids I've found to use and share a few of my own that I've made.
  • Our Antagonist Relations Actual Play: A Red & Pleasant Land Podcast should be returning the first week of January, as the players face off against that Pudding. Maybe someday the Ginger Giant and I will do an Antagonist Relations podcast that isn't an actual play again, but right now time constraints on the Thursday evening's we're free and the joy of the actual play makes that hard as we end up spending most of the two hours playing and then don't get to just sitting around shooting the shit.
  • Thomas' 2nd Edition Al-Qadim Church continues to be quite enjoyable to play and I really ought to write a full post on it. Someday soon I'll have a chance to get my thoughts down right after playing, but running OOTA on 1st and 3rd Sundays has made that a little tougher.
  • Speaking of Thomas, since he is back in the (semi) frozen wastes of MN, we decided that instead of our traditional New Year's D&D we'd each run a session of D&D, using the same maps and tying our two sessions together, because we are overly ambitious. So on New Year's Day, Thomas will run a group of Dwarves through the dungeon of Dortherdoreft and then on January 3rd, I'll run a group of Drow though the very same dungeon. We'll be re-using some of the same elements and we're hoping to write up the adventures once we've run them. 
  • Also due to the aforementioned over-ambition, I'm toying with a bunch of new ideas to put up on the blog for 2016, but I probably will keep that all to myself since I should be continuing all the things I've started like GM Commentaries, Campaign Summary Updates, Gussying Up 5e Monsters and such before I do wacky things like creating custom 5e campaign settings with new (sub)races, class builds and what-not. Though since Thomas has started putting up more stuff for 5th edition Planescape conversions, I know that I'll have at least a few things in that vein coming soon
Since I needed to come up with a 5th level Dwarf PC for the first session of Dortherdoreft I took a closer look at the Battlerager Path as introduced in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (SCAG) hoping it would combine my love of Dwarves and Barbarians but instead it was... disappointing... to say the least, but instead of continuing to pepper Thomas with my problems with the build, I'm going to cover them here and then propose some fixes. Warning, I'm really harsh on the build as presented in the books, because in my opinion, it's awful. Way more awful than the Ranger or other by the book 5th edition classes/sub-classes that have gotten a lot of crap. And it hurts me, because Dwarf+Barbarian should be AWESOME and instead it is so sub-optimal that it isn't even worth playing as a joke. And I should know because I made a bunch of jokey less than optimal 5th edition PCs recently...

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...