Sunday, December 8, 2019

Nostalgia: Battletech

It was summer of 1991 and my buddy Barry was having his 18th birthday party. He was going to join me at Mount Saint Joseph University in the fall of my sophomore that August.  We had been friends since he was in 1st grade and I was in 2nd grade.

A bunch of his buddies from his high school were at the party, as well as me and one lone young lady.  I was trying to flirt with her when I started talking to Todd about role playing games and I asked if he had ever played the Robotech RPG (whose ad I saw in numerous comic books). While he hadn't played Robotech he told me about Battletech. I didn't get anywhere with the young lady, but the next day we all tried Battletech.

I was hooked from the moment we started playing. However, we didn't use a squad of Mechs, we only controlled one Mech and we were treating it almost like an RPG. In the first couple of games I used a Wolverine and really enjoyed it. But even more than that was the fact that the game included most, if not all, of the Robotech Mecha.

The next day we all got together again and made a Pilot and Todd, a notoriously strict Game Master to the point of punishing, made us roll for our Mech's weight class on percentile dice. I ended up with a Hermes, which I wasn't too keen on. We spent the whole day playing and having a blast. To the point that the next day I went to Comic Book World, our local comic and games store (where I now work) and I bought a Hermes miniature. I was so excited, I was even contemplating painted it.

We never played Battletech again. Seriously, as much as I love the game, I haven't played it once in the last 28 years.

Apparently, Battletech was their groups big fad at the moment, but it was about to get replaced by Champions 4th Edition from Hero Games.

It would be November of the same year before I would try my first RPG session and I would be added to the group.

I've thought about picking the game up (I do have at least 1 edition of Mechwarrior), but have never gotten around to it.

I think I need to teach my kids how to play it.

Friday, December 6, 2019

2019: The Year That Broke Me

I've been absent from blogging due to the fact that I woke up Thanksgiving Day with a pinched nerve in my shoulder causing extreme pain and numbness in my right arm, hand, and fingers. In truth, it's the most pain I have encountered in my life thus far. By Sunday, I ended up going to Urgent Care who directed me to the ER because my heartbeat was so rapid. 

But it was just the pinched nerve.  I've had X-rays and they are clear and I have an MRI and Physical Therapy schedule for next week.

Right now, my pain is closer to a 3 or 4 and I can sleep, which is very important to me.

Strangely, 2019 opened with the same problem in January, it just wasn't as painful and I'm hoping to stop this from recurring.

Then by late April I had my various insomnia and anxiety issues which basically took me until October to mostly resolve.

Don't get me wrong, things could be much worse, in fact, I'll be going to a Celebration of Life for a dear friend who lost her battle to cancer this weekend.

I'm just hoping for a fresh start in 2020.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

What I'm Thankful for...

It's been a tough couple of years, but that has left me feeling very Thankful for what I have.

I'm Thankful for my Wife, Kids, Family, and Friends. I'm really blessed that we are all healthy and well.

I'm Thankful for the members of both of my gaming groups. They are some of the best people I have ever met and their friendship is something I cherish.

I'm Thankful for many of the friends I've made here on the Blog and on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. It's easy to focus on the negative on the internet, but I've met some truly wonderful people that make my day brighter.

I'm Thankful for my job, being part of running a Comic and Game store is a dream come true. And the experience is sweeter because I work with my family.

I'm Thankful for the ability to create and write both this Blog and the various projects I've self-published over the years.

And finally, I'm thankful for you, for taking the time to read my posts on here.  Thank you.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Back in the OSR: Ningen for Eldritch Tales

Ningen for Eldritch Tales

AC: 7 [12]
Save: 16
Morale: 3
Insanity: 16
Attacks: Bite +3 (1d6)
Special: Amphibious, Keen Senses
HD: 3
Move: 12

Level/XP: 3/60

These bizarre creatures, according Winifred Persian's interview of a Tcho-Tcho tribe on the Pacific island of Ogun, arrived here by hitching a ride on Haley's Comet in 1910. Conflicting reports from members of the tribe mention that they are either an expeditionary force for the mysterious Zot or servant's of Hastur seeking to ensure that Cthulhu doesn't wake from it's slumber.

Ningen live in the deep but are known to come ashore seemingly randomly, sometimes walking a few yards or even miles before plunging back into the ocean.


White Star: Mudhorn


Armor Class: 5 [14]
HDE: 4
Total Hit Bonus: +4

Movement: 18
Special: Charge
Attack: Horn (2d6)
Hit Dice: 4
Saving Throw: 13

"Mudhorns are large horned creatures that inhabit Arvala-7. The eggs of Mudhorns are considered a delicacy by Jawas."
     Mudhorns that use at least half their movement when attacking a creature do an additional +2 to their horn's damage.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

RPGs Played This Year

As I've written before, this was another tough year for all of us. The early part of the year saw me taking a step back as Game Master and even to some degree, as a player.

I ran Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition using the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. We didn't finish that campaign, but I wouldn't mind returning to those characters one day.

I also ran Deadlands Reloaded for Savage Worlds. I've always been a big fan of Pinnacle Entertainment Group and Savage Worlds, but I really like for game systems to have hit points and I doubt I'll ever return to this rules set. I'm not a big fan of the decision that was made about Deadlands metaplot and I honestly don't see how Savage Worlds runs faster than most other systems. I do hope to go back to the Weird West but it will either be with Basic Role Playing, Tiny Gunslingers, Tall Tales: Wild West BX Fantasy Adventure Game, or the Eerie West.

I used my own version of a D100 system to run a Call of Cthulhu scenario that went very well.

I ran a playtest of Robert Schwalb's PunkApocalyptic that was a tiny bit rough, I wasn't really at my best as a GM at that point in the year.

Finally, I ran the Quickstart of Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars that was very well received and we are all looking forward to the full game.

I've been playing a Tremere, on and off, in a Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition game that is close to a year old. My Storyteller is excellent but I struggle with a game just about Vampires, I'd prefer other supernaturals, but we haven't got those rules yet.

I've also been playing a Kensei Monk in an awesome DnD 5E set in Saltmarsh.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Daughters & Dragons: Her First Campaign

My 15 year old daughter has begun her first campaign tonight, as I type this, actually.

She's played with me, her brother, and friends for years, but tonight she embarks on a new path with a group all of her own. She decided she wanted to stick to something close to DnD but in a modern setting.

I helped her pick Skyscrapers and Sorcery, which is based on Swords and Wizardry White Box or White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game.

Her group is making characters now and going through Session Zero.

Nostalgia: Battletech

It was summer of 1991 and my buddy Barry was having his 18th birthday party. He was going to join me at Mount Saint Joseph University i...