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What the Heck have I been up to?

Since I haven’t posted anything in awhile (with the exception of the last post saying I never post) I have decided to ramble on about the things that have happened in the past year.

Still playing with the Doctor Strangeroll group. http://doctorstrangeroll.wordpress.com

Though our focus has changed in the recent past. We started out playing all of the editions of DnD one at a time. We barely got through Basic before the focus (and some of the members) changed. We are now playing Pathfinder in the Skull and Shackles adventure path. We are all goblins. I am a goblin monkey cleric of Besmara names Spack Jarrow. Just got my own ship too. You can check out our antics here http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/goblin-skulls-shackles or in the Doctor Strangeroll blog linked above.

Gencon was pretty fun last year. I didn’t make a post about it and now it is almost time for 2013′s Gencon. This year I am running Beginner’s Box games for Paizo which is a change from previous years where I ran Ashes of Athas for WOTC. The AoA campaign has come to an end and with all the DnD Next hubub at Gencon this year i have decided to move on to greener pastures. Perhaps I will actually write about Gencon. Who knows?

Also playing with another group though not quite as often. I have known them all for ~13 years and real life has gotten in the way of gaming many times. hopefully we will get together soon and resume our Vampire or Star Trek game. I was at one of their houses yesterday for his daughter’s 5th birthday and we discussed getting together for a game real soon. So, fingers crossed.

Tried to start a Pathfinder society group on the south side of Indy. Didn’t have enough RSVPs to make it work. Hopefully after Gencon I can actually get something going.
My side of town is greatly under-served in that aspect despite having 2 game stores.

 

In other news. I just applied to go back to school. I finished my Associates degree last year and have decided to finish up a Bachelor’s. This was another discussion that I had with a friend yesterday. Since I have been considering the school that he just got his Master’s from.

Hopefully I will continue to write here and not go over a year with out writing anything…

I guess we will see.

Sorry for the brain dump of a post.

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Sub Classes and Base Classes in DND Next

So, a short conversation on Twitter about base classes got me thinking and usually that is a dangerous thing.

I have for quite some time now wanted it this way in the new edition of DnD. I would like for there to be a base class that you start with and can specialize in various subclasses. All base classes would get class features. For instance, all clerics would have healing of some sort. All fighters would be proficient with more weapons or get more attacks.etc.

I scribbled down how I would split the “big four” classes as base classes.

Here we go in no particular order.

Base class: Cleric

Subclasses: Crusader -heavy armor, fighter type

Priest – light armor, more emphasis on skills and spells

Druid – nature oriented cleric

Base class: Fighter

Subclasses: Paladin/Knight/Antipaladin – holy warrior

Warrior – regular “fighter” type

Barbarian – berserker fighter

Base Class: Rogue

Subclasses: Bard – arcane magic, bardic music

Thief – the rogue we know and love

Swashbuckler – fighter type rogue

Base Class: Mage

Subclasses: Wizard – the wizard we know and love

Sorceror – spontaneous caster

Gish (swordmage whatever) – fighter mage

 

From there, I think you should further be able to specialize but I have not put much thought into it. Besides, who knows what WOTC really has planned?

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Time flies when you don’t post anything.

Well time has gotten away from me. It has been quite some time since I have posted anything on here. Apparently my Gencon wrap-up was the last time I decided to post.

Well, lets see here, what should I put in this post (don’t you love that I am actually putting my train of thought into this post? Eh, probably not. I will stop)

I joined a new DnD group. We are doing an experiment where we are playing classic adventures using all of the different editions of DnD. We are currently using Basic DnD and playing The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.

I am playing Herrick Moriarty, cleric of Fharlanghn (since we are using Greyhawk deities for Basic).

If you want to know more about our little experiment I would point you to this blog… Doctor Strangeroll

Other Craig related gaming news…

I bought the 20th anniversary of the Vampire the Masquerade book. My one sentence review of it is… “This book is awesome!”

Seriously though, If you like Old World of Darkness Vampire I would highly recommend it. The book actually makes sense and you can find things in it unlike the editions that came out 20 years ago.

I may or may not do a full review of it at some point. I know other people have done them so the point is probably moot. (shrug)

 

So…………………………..There you have it. I really just wanted to have a newer post here.

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Gencon 2011

This year’s Gencon was a blast. As usual I DMed RPGA games for Baldman games. Unlike other years, my wife decided to tag along this year. She bought the Educator/Trade day badge so she was able to attend the trade day classes and demos.

Wednesday: Day 0

I volunteered to run the Lair Assault demo for the trade day attendees. It is pretty interesting. I cannot say much because I am still under the Non-disclosure agreement, but I can say that it is very difficult and is not your daddy’s DnD. Well, unless of course Gary Gygax was his DM.

Also got to chat a little with WOTC’s organized play manager, Chris Tulach. He is a pretty nice guy.

Here is the info on Lair Assault on the WOTC site. http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4news/20110517

Thursday-Saturday: Days 1-3

Most of Thursday through Saturday I ran Ashes of Athas chapter 2. http://www.baldmangames.com/aoamain

Which if you don’t know, is basically a Living Darksun campaign. I won’t give any spoilers on chapter 2 but I will say that there is an awesome gladiator battle, defending of a town and some politicking.

I ended up running a total of 8 slots of chapter 2.

Saturday night I met up with my wife and we did the Indianapolis Ghost Tour. We are former members of the Indiana Ghost Trackers. The director of IGT happens to be the one who runs the ghost tour so we thought we would check it out. It was pretty interesting but we knew a lot of the info he gave since.

Sunday: Day 4

On the last day my wife had a chain-mail teddy bear class so I went and hit the dungeon delve so I could at least say I played something I didn’t run.

After that I met up with my wife and we hit the dealer hall one last time before having lunch at the Ram.

Fat Loot:

Bought

  • Dark Platypus condition flag set – I have a friend who has a set and have always really like. Plus the people who own Dark Platypus are pretty cool. I got to run a game for them at DDXP earlier in the year.
  • Troll and Toad’s 1,000 Magic cards box
  • TARDIS Key Chain
  • TARDIS Pencil Case (wife bought me for my birthday)
  • TARDIS heat activated mug (wife bought me for my birthday)
  • A couple of the WHO North America canvas bags

DM SWAG

  • Neverwinter campaign setting
  • Witchlight Fens dungeon tiles
  • Shadowfell box set
  • Monster Vault: Threats to Nentir Vale
  • Heroes of Shadow
  • A bunch of packs of the new set of Magic cards

Getting the Magic cards has opened an old wound. I am thinking about playing again (hence the picking up the 1k card box). Of course I think I will only play casually. Competitive Magic is expensive.

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The Great and Powerful Elilill Adventure

Here is my level 3 Gamma World adventure “The Great and Powerful Elilill that I ran at DDXP this year.

I also plan on running it at Who’ Yer Con (http://www.whosyergamers.org/wygms/) on Sunday March 13th.

The adventure also contains a few pages on how I Gammarized my hometown of Indianapolis. I plan to elaborate on that further since I plan on running an ongoing campaign set in Indy switching off with another DM.

The Adventure itself  http://tinyurl.com/Elilill

There are no maps included. I ended up hand drawing them on Gaming Paper but the maps that come with the various GW sets would work fine.

The first combat encounter will do well with any map that has a cave mouth on it.

The second combat encounter is set inside a cave.

The final combat is set in a large science lab.

 

These are the Pregenerated characters that I created for the game.
http://tinyurl.com/ElilillCordie Cordie, the Reanimated / Fungoid
http://tinyurl.com/ElilillKNocks Knocks, the Nightmare / Ectoplasmic
http://tinyurl.com/ElilillLink Linkovich, the Simian / Yeti
http://tinyurl.com/ElilillLouis Louis Marx, the Mythic / Plastic
http://tinyurl.com/ElilillMNirl M’Nirl, the Speedster / Felinoid
http://tinyurl.com/ElilillTAD T.A.D., the Temporal / A.I.

If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to add them.

I know both times I ran it so far the players seemed to have a good time.

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DnD Experience Wrap Up

I go to two major conventions a year. Gencon being one of them (since I live in Indianapolis I feel I am required to go), The other is DnD Experience. The latter being my favorite by far.

If you don’t know what DnD Experience is, I will give you the gist of it. It takes place at the end of January in Fort Wayne IN (don’t ask why Fort Wayne because I have no idea). It is mainly Dungeons and Dragons focused (hence the name). It is a smaller con so there are less crowds and it is more intimate (well as intimate as 500+ people can get).

Games I Ran:

This year, much like last year I decided to DM for Baldman Games (the group that runs the RPGA stuff for DDXP, origins and Gencon). If you DM at least 7 slots for them you get a free hotel room and some DM SWAG. So it is a pretty good deal since at a convention I would rather DM than play some times.

This year I decided to enter the DM challenge DM competition. This year’s theme was Hometown Heroes: Gamma World. I saw that and said to myself, “Gamma World adventure” yes please! So I created an adventure set in Indianapolis. Specifically Green Wood since I live just north of there. I did not win the competition but heard that 2 points separated first and last place so I don’t feel too bad. Plus I had fun and the players seemed to have fun as well and that is the whole point isn’t it? Though I would have loved to win since the prize was all the minis released last year.

The other 7 slots I ran went off without a hitch. Gamed with lots of cool people. All in all i ended up running 4 different adventures (counting my Gamma World adventure) all in the heroic tier. I saw some of the newer Essentials classes and was pretty impressed with how they worked.

Games I played:

On Wednesday i was signed up to play the Ashes of Athas 1 and 2. AoA is the new Darksun campaign that Baldman Games is going to be running at DDXP, Origins and Gencon. I played my Thri Kreen Arena Fighter Chan’Tho. The name is a Doctor Who reference for those keeping score. It was pretty fun. I just wish I had a chance to play the third one.

On Thursday I played the Classic. Which is where they take classic adventures and update them for 4e. It includes pregenerated characters. I played the evil drow assassin. Her goals were different than the other characters and it ended up getting me knocked unconscious and tied up by the party. Luckily they felt they needed me for the final battle and it gave me a chance to get the hell out of there. I wasn’t about to stick around with the party hating me and one healing surge left.

The Classic was also where you could try out the Fortune cards for the first time. Every played received 2 packs of them. They are free actions to use and give you minor bonuses. like gaining combat advantage or +1 to attack. Really I don’t see why everyone is so up in arms about them. I don’t hate them. The jury is still out on whether or not I will actually use them or not. I guess I have two packs of them to try out on other games.

I also got to play in the Paragon Special. I played my level 12 Dwarven Infernal Warlock Delbrek Darkhammer. I had recently retrained him as the new Essentials Hexblade.  I have to say that Hexblades are more strikery than regular warlocks. I love Delbrek now despite the fact that I retired the character a while back to focus on my Warforged Paladin of Gond, HAL.

DM SWAG:

I got all kinds of awesome stuff at the convention this year.

  • Castle Ravenloft
  • The new Gamma World Expansion; Legion of Gold
  • The Gamma World Promo Card “Two Headed” (Which a couple friends game me theirs so I ended up with 3 of them)
  • The new DM screen
  • The Wilderness Dungeon Tiles Set
  • the new Icewind Dale dungeon tiles set
  • Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons

I also bought myself the Doctor Who AITAS Aliens and Creatures set.

All in all I’d say it was an awesome convention. I was exhausted when it was done and couldn’t wait to sleep in my own bed and see my wife and kitties… But I cannot wait until next year.

Bring on Gen Con!

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Gammaworld: The Great and Powerful Elilill.

Wow! It has been since September since the last time I wrote anything here…

Let me start off by saying that Gamma World is freaking awesome!

That being said I am entering a GM competition at DnD Experience at the end of January called “Hometown Heroes”. You are supposed to write a Gamma World adventure set in your hometown.The adventure will start in the village of Green Woods on the southern edge of the Territory of Naptowne. Here is a little history on the area…

The Territory of Naptowne:
In 2012 Indianapolis was a bustling metropolis. The Big Mistake changed all of that. When the Large Hadron Collider caused realities to slam into each other. Indianapolis became Hell on Earth, literally. Fire and Brimstone engulfed the city leaving much of it charred wasteland. Gamma radiation from the Hellfire caused most of the living creatures to have weird mutations and left portions of the land uninhabitable. There were a few pockets of civilization that survived. Flash forward 100 years, Indianapolis is now The Territory of Naptowne. The name Indianapolis was lost to the ages. The territory consists of small villages scattered throughout the area all lead by Governor Jack Reynolds. Villages all have mayors that report directly to the governor.

Villages of note include Circle Village in the center, Kar Mill to the north, Green Woods to the south, Trackside to the west and Cucumber Land to the east. There are many other smaller villages in between.

The Village of Green Woods:
The village of Green Woods to the south is led by mayor Cornelius T Hanna. It is a small walled village of about 400 people. The mall has been converted into an apartment complex where most of the inhabitants live. North of that there is a small mansion built for the mayor. Across the road from that in an old abandoned Chuck-E-Cheese is Stinky’s Vittle Hut.

NPCs of note:

Cornelius T. Hannah – Mayor of the village of Green Woods. A large blob of a man. He weighs in at over 1,000 pounds. He rules the village with grandfatherly wisdom and his keen intellect. his head is larger than normal due to his psychic abilities. Telekinesis and  laziness are the main causes for his obesity.
Stinky Pete – Old man who knows a lot. catch phrase: “Well if you ask me, and most people do (wink).” Runs a small diner called Stinky’s Vittle Hut. There is something not quite right about this guy.
Billy Bob Bear - Redneck android bear. He is the bouncer at Stinky’s Vittle Hut and part time moonshiner. He also acts as sheriff of the village.
The We – Swarm of hive-mind rats with the gift of “The sight” They live on the outskirts of Green Woods and act as advisor to the Mayor.

There are some other NPCs I have write ups for but they are villains and I do not want to give anything away.

The story line will involve The We’s prophecy of the coming of the Great and Powerful Elilill but there will be more on that later.

Stay tuned…

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Time Agency (Department of Paradox Management)

The more I play it the more I dig the Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space RPG (http://www.cubicle-7.com/doctorwho/Who-front-page.html). So I decided to run a game based on the Time Agency that Captain Jack Harkness was a part of…

I am going to set the game in the 51st century shortly after Captain Jack went rogue. The players will be a small band of time agents based out of New New York that are sent back to fix paradoxes in the past. This is necessary since the fall of the Time Lords who used to handle all of that Timey Wimey stuff. There is not a lot of info on the Time Agency so I plan on making a lot of stuff up.

The group will be members of the department of paradox management.

Positions in the group will include:

Commander – leads the group and is responsible for the success of the mission.
Weapons Expert – knowledgeable of past and present weaponry
Tech Expert – knowledgeable of past and present technology
Medic – keeps the group alive and well
Cultural Liaison / Negotiator – knowledgeable of past cultures to help them blend in.

The group will be issued Time Agency Vortex Manipulators these will differ from the “factory” ones listed in the book. They will only allow pre-programmed time travel set by the agency. It will translate languages for them (much like the TARDIS). It will have a limited teleport usable once every 24 hours.

The group will get the traits “Time Agent” and “Time Traveler” in exchange for taking the  “Amnesia (Major)” trait.

I would like each of the players to be from a different time period which would be reflected by the “Time Traveler” trait. Though I am in no way requiring this. I just think it would be fun to have someone from 51st century working with someone originally from the 2oth .

I will post more details as I have them…

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Tomb of Horrors Part 2 (continued)

Our heroes found Acereack’s tomb and faced the lich himself. Right off the bat their young barbarian boy was killed. The cleric banished the lich for just long enough for the heroes to escape with the rod they needed to fulfill their quest.

They then head back to Candlekeep to meet up with the High Priestess that sent them on this quest but she never shows up. They decide to head to Impiltur wo find her. All along the way they are followed by dark robed monks.

The Cult of Acereack questions how they escaped the certain death that the tomb held. They explain that it was a trap set for them and the rod is worthless. They taunt the party for a little while longer and disappear.

The group makes it back to Impiltur and meet with the church of Selune officials and explain what had happened. The church asks them to look into these matters further. Upon doing some research they find that the Cult of Acereack has built more Tombs much like the one they just faced…

To be continued?