Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Starfinder, Amazon, & Alexa

It was revealed today that Amazon's Alexa will guide a group through playing the adventure contained within the Starfinder Beginner Box, including sound effects and background music.

I'm not a huge fan of Starfinder, but I have to say that is a genius move.

I know many people love watching people play RPG and that has certainly served our hobby pretty well, especially DnD. But this is a pretty major milestone, in my opinion. 

I'm surprised they didn't announce this for Pathfinder 2, but it doesn't have a Beginner Box yet.

Wizards of the Coast is still the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, but they just got upstage by Paizo.

This almost makes me want to run Starfinder, almost.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Swords & Wizardry

I can't say for sure where I discovered the OSR, it might have been Grognardia, Dragons Foot, Basic Fantasy, or Swords & Wizardry.

The OSR taught me how to quit worrying and love D&D.

And while I love B/X Dungeons and Dragons (or Old School Essentials/Labyrinth Lord), there is something about Swords and Wizardry that really hums for me. I do know that very soon after discovering SnW, I found it's White Box adaption.

Between the two, I prefer White Box (both as White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game and The Hero's Journey).

I've been on a big SnW kick in the last few weeks, looking through what I own and finding new things I had missed.  I really would love to run it sometime and I might use it to run White Star for a Star Wars game this weekend. It's between White Star and FFG's Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Starter Box. I think FFG's Star Wars is a neat game, but those whacky dice are hard to say "yes" to.

Part of the reason I like SnW and its derivatives is the single Saving Throw mechanic, its use of Base Attack Bonus, and it's use of ascending AC. I can still calculate THAC0 but I've grown pretty comfortable with BAB and Ascending AC.
But beyond those areas I find that it cuts out extraneous rules and hums along like a well-oiled machine.

I'm sure Swords and Wizardry doesn't need me to plug it but sometimes when you love something you just need to tell the world.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Monstrous Monday: Sleestak for Apes Victorious

Sleestak for Apes Victorious

No. Enc.: 1d6 (3d6+)
Movement: 30' (10')
Intelligence: Low
Psionic Potential: 3d4, inactive
Hits: 1d8
Armor: -2
To Hit: 12
Save: U1
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d3 or by weapon
Morale: 9
XP: 19

"The Sleestak are a reptilian bipedal humanoid species. They have a thin but wide-set mouths and large, round black eyes that are averse to light. Covered mostly in green scales, their bellies are yellow. Sleestak also have claws on their feet and on their hands, with a horn protruding from the top of their heads. They breathe with a pronounced hissing sound as if breathing through congestion. This is probably due to their wide set mouth and flat nostrils.

   The Sleestak now are a degenerate race that have lost much of their knowledge and culture. They have come out of the Era of Intelligenceand into the Era of Solitude. The Era of Intelligence was the period in time when the Sleestak first arrived at The Land of the Lost. The Sleestak also built these temples that are now called Pylons. There was a period when there was only darkness, before the Sleestak built the Time Pylon, which controls the light and dark cycles of The Land of The Lost."

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Back This: City of Solstice: Low-Magic Urban Fantasy RPG

Chuck Rice of Apocalyptic Games has brought back his Kickstarter for the City of Solstice.

It features new classes, an alternative low-magic spellcasting system for the setting, and it's compatible with you favorite OSR engine.

Chuck's a great game designer and this setting rocks, I've been lucky to see it and you don't want to miss it.

Here's the set up:

"You are not adventurers.

They’re dead.

Just like His Royal Majesty, Prince Roth, Earl of the City of Solstice and his wife, the Princess Sirena.

Their killers were the Star Society, five rival criminal organizations who joined together as one. They are: the Church of Mother Moon, led by the Shadow Shroud, a mysterious prophetess, the Nizari, most ruthless mercenary company in the known world, the shadow archers of the Sagittarius Sect, the mysterious elven executioners of the Order of Antares, and the martial arts masters known as the Five Forms.

The city is now theirs in all but name. The Royal Chancellor, Lord Toren, Her Majesty’s Lord Protector, is officially in charge of the city. But everyone knows he’s a tired old man who looks the other way while terror rules the streets.

You are members of the Vigilant, a thoroughly corrupted effigy of a once proud guild, charged with keeping order in a chaotic city of 100,000 souls. You are not adventurers. But you have a duty.

Welcome to the City of Solstice"

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.

Starfinder, Amazon, & Alexa

It was revealed today that Amazon's Alexa will guide a group through playing the adventure contained within the Starfinder Beginner B...