Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Battle Beast Tuesday: Colonel Bird for D&D Next


Colonel Bird

Medium Humanoid

Armor Class 15

Hit Points 18 (4d8) 

Speed 25 ft.; flying 60 ft.

Str 11 (+0)     Dex 13 (+1)    Con 10 (+0)
Int  13 (+1)    Wis 17  (+3)   Cha  14  (+2)

Alignment lawful
Languages common, avian


TRAITS______________________________________
Turbo Boost:  Once per encounter, Colonel Bird activate the gold turbo modulators on his chest and gains advantage on melee or ranged attack roll for that turn and +1d6 damage.


Wing Commander: While flying, Colonel Bird give all allies +1 to AC.

(Optional) Heart of Fire: Colonel Bird is vulnerable to water damage.

(Optional) Slash and Burn: Colonel Burd is resistant to wood damage.

ACTIONS_____________________________________
Melee Attack—Talons: +2 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 3 (1d4) fire damage.

Melee AttackVortex Javelin: +3 to hit (reach 15 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 7 (1d10+1) fire damage.

Ranged AttackVortex Blast: +3 to hit (range 200 ft./400 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 5 (1d6+1) fire damage.

ENCOUNTER BUILDING 

Level 4                   XP 250

Closing Out April...

It's been a long week already, and it won't end until Free Comic Book Day, but I'm pretty happy with my output for the month of April.  Obviously the A to Z Blog Challenge helped me get plenty of posts in and I wish my month hadn't gotten so busy that I could've spent more time on each post.  But it least I finished.

May will be odd because of how busy it is for us (5 birthdays, 1 anniversary) and a trip to Disney World (huzzah), but hopefully I'll maintain a post a day.

As always, thanks for keeping tabs on me.

Z is for Zoids

As a kid, I was never into models, even though they looked very cool on the store's shelf.  One problem with models was having to put the kits together and then they lacked articulation and probably wouldn't be safe to play with.  

Zoids, however, let me build something AND play with it.  I loved putting them together and having them battle like titanic monsters out of a Godzilla film...or the forthcoming Pacific Rim.

I was kind of startled, as a kid, how much I enjoyed putting them together and messing with them.  I guess, I was never much of a "builder", but part of me wanted to be one.  And Zoids help me express that.



I'd also like to send out a big thanks to the organizers of the A to Z Blog Challenge and to everyone who has come and visited me, old and new.

Monday, April 29, 2013

I Missed Masters of the Universe Day!

Apparently, April 28th was Masters of the Universe Day on the web!

I was busy running a prerelease of Dragon's Maze for Magic: the Gathering, I had NO idea.

Grumble, grumble, mumble.

Check out Battlegrip.com, Phil Reed's (of Steve Jackson Games) excellent toy site for the rundown of content.

Y is for Yeti

How many of you remember watching In Search Of...?

It's hard to believe that before the Star Trek films, it was the best way to get your dose of Spock.
And your dose of Bigfoot, Nessie, UFOs (well before X-Files), the Bermuda Triangle, Psychics, and on and on for 6 seasons.

Back then we didn't have the internet to read about forteana, conspiracies and ESP, so In Search Of... filled in for us.

I loved watching this show and Nemoy's voice over was perfect.  Being born in1972, I still think of him as much for this show as for Star Trek.

These days, I still watch shows like Ghost Adventures, Dead Files and Haunted Collector, so I guess I've never really stopped searching.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for Power Xtreme

Anybody else have fond memories of the Centurions?  Power Xtreme, indeed.

These figure were just awesome as a kid, and I dug them  and their accessories out recently and they are still in GREAT shape.  My son and I are enjoying playing with them together.

I remember playing with these guys quite a bit and actually have fond memories of the cartoon.

It's funny, I remember referencing Ace McCloud to remember Conner McCloud's name after watching Highlander the first time.

As I look back at my childhood, I've begun to realize I prefer the larger scale action figures to the smaller one.  I wonder if my adult size is tainting those memories?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Superhero Spotlight: Rotted Capes from Paradigm Concepts

Super Hero RPG's is what brought me into the industry.  My first group played Champions 4th Edition, the Big Blue Book and had a good time with it.  But even back then, it wasn't quite what I was looking for and within two weeks of our first session, I bought Heroes Unlimited Revised.

Today, I own a ton of Super Hero RPG's and in the wake of Green Ronin releasing the DC Heroes Universe supplement (sadly, not a big fan of Mutants and Masterminds) and the ending of the Marvel Heroic Role Playing (again, not a big fan), I thought I'd shine the spotlight on a forthcoming game from Paradigm Concepts (makers of Arcanis and Witch Hunter), Rotted Capes.

Last year, Paradigm Kickstarted Rotted Capes, but I didn't back it due to low funds.  But a friend of mine did and we've been looking over his PDF, making some characters and planning a game and I'm pretty impressed.

It's a Supers vs. Zombies game, which usually wouldn't be my bag (not a big fan of Marvel Zombies), but it's an interesting idea for an RPG and it works great as a straight Super Hero RPG, so I think it worked out good for everyone.

One of my quirks with Super Hero games is how often your rolling handfuls of dice (and in Champions' case, counted the dice for Stun, Body and Knockback, ugh).  Rotted Capes keeps your dice pool small and easy to work with.  If you've looked at Arcanis, you've experienced the game system, which is roll 2d10, add your Attribute Die and add any Skill (a flat number) to be a Difficulty.

In character creation, an Archetype gives you direction and let's powers cost slightly less and there are
Professions, bundles of skills you can quickly buy to get things moving.  The powers are well covered and everything makes sense to me.

In combat, initiative is replaced with a Clock system of ticks where your action will prevent you from acting for X number of ticks.  It looks like it could take a bit of work to get used to, but I think it could make the game more cinematic.

I really can't recommend this game enough.  I hope to get something started with it before the end of summer and may well use it to continue my Dead AGE game.

W is for Wave Motion Gun

Ah, Star Blazers.  I was seven when my local WXIX, Channel 19 began broadcasting it and I would wake up early every morning to watch it.  It was so cool to not only have an epic sci-fi adventure, but a continuous story throughout each season.

I really wanted to be Derek Wildstar and even memorized the first season's opening theme:

We're off to outer space / We're leaving Mother Earth / To save the human race / Our Star Blazers
Searching for a distant star / Heading off to Iscandar / Leaving all we love behind / Who knows what danger we'll find?
We must be strong and brave / Our home we've got to save / If we don't in just one year / Mother Earth will disappear
Fighting with the Gamilons / We won't stop until we've won / Then we'll return and when we arrive / The Earth will survive
With our Star Blazers


Even at that age I enjoyed the conflict between the characters and the flaws each crew member of the Argo had to overcome.

And then there was the Wave Motion Gun.  Sure, it was a huge plot device, but each time they used it, I 'd get super excited.

Star Blazers was so cool, it replaced Star Wars for my seven year old self' favorite thing.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Visionaries

Hasbro released these Visionaries when I was about 15 and was getting close to feeling "too embarrassed" to buy toys.

I've always been a sucker for science fantasy and I have to admit taking a shine to the holograms.

I also liked that the figure were a bigger size than G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, but just as articulated.

Witch Hunter 2nd Edition on Kickstarter

Paradigm Concepts is Kickstarting Witch Hunter 2nd Edition.  I'm a big fan of PCI and always appreciate that they have something cool to release at Origins each year.  I picked up Witch Hunter 1E a few years ago and really appreciated it.  And I'm a fan of Arcanis.

Check it out.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

No More Marvel RPG

Margeret Weiss Productions made this announcement today:

And in Marvel news… the economics of licensing a tie-in product is always something we have to weigh carefully. We brokered an admittedly ambitious license with Marvel. Our first event, CIVIL WAR, was successful and well received, but it didn’t garner the level of sales necessary to sustain the rest of the line. We’ve learned from this and are taking a very different approach with the other licensed properties we’re bringing out to you in the next three years. We believe we created a great game. Those of you that have supported us have been terrific, and we appreciate you. But, unfortunately, we will not be bringing any new product out under the Marvel line. We know this affects our customers. Those that have pre-ordered Annihilation will receive a full refund or a credit worth 150% of their Annihilation order to use on existing or future product.

While I feel bad for MWP, I'm not surprised.  I myself couldn't really get into the system and they had significant trouble hitting their original schedule (I don't assume this is all MWP's fault, licensed products have all kinds of headaches, however their company has never been known for hitting deadlines and you have to factor that into your goals).

I've seen how dedicated the various design members have been with the game and wish them all future success.

Apparently MWP is putting many of their eggs in the Firefly basket.  Seems strange to me to revisit a game you published years ago, but I'm squarely not a Browncoat and miss much of the show's appeal.  If I want to watch a "space western", I'd watch the Original Star Trek series.  I still find it amazing that Joss Whedon is regaled as an innovator for borrowing Roddenberry's idea for Trek (Wagon Train is space).  

U is for Underoos

Underwear that's fun to wear!

In my childhood, there was little cooler than a t-shirt and matching underwear of my favorite superheroes and star wars characters.  Who ever came up with Underoos deserves some kind of award.

I remember having Aquaman, Captain America, Captain Marvel (Shazam), Boba Fett (Boba Fett!), Luke Skywalker (I wore this all the time) and of course Batman and Superman.

I know they made me feel like a super hero.





Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Battle Beast Tuesday: Ferocious Tiger for D&D Next


Ferocious Tiger


Medium Humanoid

Armor Class 15

Hit Points 26 (4d10+4) 

Speed 40 ft.
Senses darkvision 30 ft.


Str 14 (+2)     Dex 16 (+3)    Con 13 (+1)
Int  9 (-1)       Wis 13  (+1)   Cha  12  (+1)

Alignment lawful
Languages common, feline


TRAITS______________________________________
Fearful Symmetry:  Ferocious Tiger gains advantage on all Dexterity checks to sneak and hide.


Apex Predator: Ferocious Tiger's critical hit range for melee attacks is 19-20.

(Optional) Heart of Water: Ferocious Tiger is vulnerable to wood damage.


(Optional) Riptide: Ferocious Tiger is resistant to fire damage.
ACTIONS_____________________________________
Melee Attack—Claws: +4 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 6 (1d6+2) water damage.

Melee AttackWhirlpool Mace: +4 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 8 (1d10+2) water damage.

Ranged AttackShoulder Cannon: +4 to hit (range 100 ft./200 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 7 (2d6) wood damage.


Ranged AttackShoulder Missles: +5 to hit (6 uses per day; range 200 ft./400 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 7 (1d8+3) water damage.


ENCOUNTER BUILDING 

Level 4                   XP 250

T is for Transformers

"One shall stand, one shall fall."

The Transformers rocketed into my life with a commercial for the Marvel comics series. Then,  I remember my Mom buying me Blue Streak at our local Sears store and getting a bunch of them for my 12th birthday.

Those Gen 1 robots in disguise were not always the easier to transform and remember spending hours trying to memorize how each figure worked.

My favorite toy was probably Soundwave and my least was probably Megatron.

When I was growing up, I was lucky to see 1 movie a year at the local cinema, and Transformers the (animated) Movie was a movie my Mom refused "to sit through", so I had to wait for it to be on TV before I saw it (we had moved to Indiana which didn't have cable in our area yet).

It was a treat to sit through the Michael Bay's first film and share it with my kids, but I haven't seen the
other two films and really have no desire "to sit through" them.

Funny how life works, eh?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mearls clarifies his goals D&D Next

Last week's Legends and Lore really unsettled me, but this week's reminded me that I've really enjoyed watching the development of DnD Next and to give them a chance before I burn Mike in effigy.

I truly hope they maintain a proper economy of bonuses with Feats being equal to +1 Ability Score.


I'm curious how the optional skill system will work out.

S is for Shaman

While I'm a huge fan of Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen, this post is about the team he was a part of.

Alpha Flight.  It was the second comic book I collected.  I picked up issue #1 on our way home from vacation from a gas station's convenient store and was super happy to see that it was only on issue #4 and Comic Book World had all of the issues still.

It might be hard to believe, but #1's weren't always easy to come by in the comics industry, back in the day first issues didn't sell.  I hadn't yet learned that John Byrne was a keep part of the duo that rocketed the X-Men to the heights of comicdom (and made Wolverine cool), but I knew I loved his art.  I still due, though I wish he would apologize to Terry Austin (an incredible inker), so that his artwork looked that good once again.

Even though Alpha Flight was Canada's premier (and only) super hero group, the book hooked me and blew my mind in #12, when John killed the book's leader and star, Guardian.

I grew to like most of the team, Heather Hudson/Vindicator, Puck, Sasquatch, Marina, Snowbird, Shaman and eventually Talisman.

And never quite grew to like Aurora and Northstar.

Eventually, Byrne would leave the book and Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) would take over art chores, but while I love Mike's work it didn't grab me at the time.  Even Jim Lee left a mark on the book, early in his career, but none compared to John.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tipping Point

So I've come to the conclusion that I prefer PDF's and eBooks over traditional print RPG's and books.
While I still love owning a book, I always have my macbook handy and having a digital version of a game has become nearly a necessity for me.

And when it comes to eBooks, my preference is merely based on the fact that I'm trying desperately to declutter and the format offers me the ability to read without accumulating.

On a different note, it's been an unbelievably hard week for the people of Boston and the U.S.A.  My prayers and love go out to them.

What makes me sad, however is the fact that at one time our differences made us stronger and now they not only seem to make us weaker, but they're exploited at nearly every turn.  I really hope we all start questioning those exploiting us?  In my hope for bipartisan solutions to our many problems, I realize sadly, the main bipartisan effort is being made to make our politicians more wealthy and powerful with little or no regard for their constituents.

Remember when we looked forward to the future, instead of fearing it?

I long for those days...perhaps that's a reason I chose the A to Z of Nostalgia, this year.


R is for Robotech

I remember rushing home every weekday to watch the next episode of this series of cartoons.

Rick Hunter and Scott Bernard were my favorite characters, but the whole series was rich and lavish...it was epic.

I was captivated by Macross, didn't really get too entrenched in Southern Cross but was enamored with New Generation.

Obviously a big part of the draw were the Mecha, but my 15 year old self found the story engaging.

If I had the funds I'd still have a Veritech and a Cyclone built for myself.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quest

Johnny Quest.

It's hard to remember growing up with cartoons that weren't toy tie-ins, but Johnny Quest tops that list for me.  I know part of it is that the show premiered in 1964 and I was just watching reruns growing up in the '70's and '80's.

Even as a kid, I noticed that artistry to the animation and the cleverness to the plots.  As we all know, so many think you have to dumb things down for kids, but the best stuff brought up to their level.  I'm sure I've not seen every episode, but I still remember great chase scenes to that iconic score.

Thank you Johnny, Race, Doc, Hadji, and Bandit for being part of something truly special.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Planet of the Apes

It's funny because growing up in the '70's and '80's it was probably the Mego 8" action figures and the TV show that drove my love for the "damn, dirty apes".

For a period of time, there was nothing cooler than the humanoid chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans that took over the Earth.  I probably overlooked the various commentary that went hand and hand with the films, but that was simply because I like watching talking apes with assault rifles on horseback.

Pretty simple formula, really.

I was hugely disappointed by Tim Burton's remake (which is saying something because I hate Burton's work), but enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Hopefully there will be more Apes in all of our futures.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Back This: Trigger Happy

There is a new RPG on Kickstarter named Trigger Happy: Roleplaying in a World Which Hates You.

Its setup reminds me strongly of the Feng Shui RPG (thats a good thing).  I love action movies and it looks like it can handle that genre well.

Give it a look and think about backing it.

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day

Swords and Wizardry was my doorway into the OSR and the catalyst to finding a version of DnD that served my game design aesthetics and was streamlined to play.  It took what I wanted out of ADnD 2e and what I felt was lacking from DnD 3.x and DnD 4e.  Then it tread what was new ground for me, but old hat for so many others.


It was that healing potion that gets you back into the fight, so you can score a critical hit.


It was how I first learned to stop worrying and love DnD.  Even if it was my own DnD.

I'm sad to admit that I've moved away from SnW these days, but it still holds a special place in my heart.

I can truly say that If I hadn't stumbled upon it, this blog would probably not exist.

So raise a glass to SnW!

O is for Outlaw

Outlaw was command vehicle for V.E.N.O.M.

And it was M.A.S.K.'s job to stop V.E.N.O.M.

I loved M.A.S.K. toys as a kid and the cartoon was better than most from the '80's.  While I hadn't been into vehicle toys since my love for Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars from well before elementary school, M.A.S.K grabbed me as awesome alternative to Transformers.  I also liked the scale of the figures and the fact that each mask the heroes and villains wore had unique powers.

I still remember that M.A.S.K stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand and that V.E.N.O.M stands for Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem.  Miles Mayhem, that is (M.A.S.K was led by Matt Tracker).

It would be cool to see Hasbro (they bought out Kenner) bring these back.

It would be even cooler to see Hasbro allow Wizards of the Coast to make RPG's of M.A.S.K, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Battle Beasts that was cross-compatible.  Think World of Darkness but where the games actually worked together.

A man can dream, right?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Battle Beasts Tuesday: Stalking Deer for D&D Next



Stalking Deer

Medium Humanoid

Armor Class 16

Hit Points 18 (4d8) 

Speed 60 ft.
Senses darkvision 90 ft.


Str 11 (+0)     Dex 14 (+2)    Con 10 (+0)
Int  12 (+1)     Wis 13  (+1)    Cha  9  (-1)

Alignment lawful
Languages common, ruminantia


TRAITS______________________________________
Ultra-Goggles:  Stalking Deer gains advantage on all Search and Spot checks.

Burrowing: Stalking Deer can use his drill fist to burrow at a speed of 20 feet.

(Optional) Heart of Wood: Stalking Deer is vulnerable to fire damage.

(Optional) Mighty Oak: Stalking Deer is resistant to water damage.

ACTIONS_____________________________________
Melee Attack—Drill Fist: +2 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 7 (1d12) wood damage.

Ranged AttackBladearang: +4 to hit reach 5 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 6 (1d6+2) wood damage.

Ranged AttackShoulder Cannon: +4 to hit (range 100 ft./200 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 7 (2d6) wood damage.


Ranged AttackHip Missles: +5 to hit (4 uses per day; range 200 ft./400 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 6 (1d10) wood damage.


ENCOUNTER BUILDING 

Level 4                   XP 250

Delving Deeper and D&D Next

Delving Deeper

Saturday night, my son and I got to play Delving Deeper in Dan F.'s Keep on the Borderland game and we had a blast.  The game included both of us and Dan's son and youngest daughter.  We all worked fairly well together and were able to rescue to the people the hobgoblins had captured and slaughter quite a few goblins and make it safely to the Keep.

I've never played 0 Edition or "ODnD" and I really better understand it's charm.  Swords and Wizardry is what pulled me into the OSR, and while I found that game's single Save mechanic genius, I find I prefer Delving Deeper's closer approximation of the the original game.

And I've never played through (or run) the Keep on the Borderlands so I'm truly looking forward to playing more of this.

DnD Next

Yesterday, in Legends and Lore, Mike Mearls discussed changes to Feats and once again, I'm left feeling dubious about future packets.  While I appreciate they are working on the "bonus economy*", something I feel that 3.x, 4E and Pathfinder all needed to do, I like having 4 pillars to character creation and am worried about uneven Feat acquisition.  But, I've enjoyed everything they've shown me so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

*Something that disturbed me in previous editions is how +1 to BAB (a Feat can give you +1)  compared to a +1 to Ability Scores(No Feat equivalent) compared to +1 to Skills(a Feat can give you a +2 or +3) compared to a +1 to Saves (a Feat give you +2).  To me Feats could've clearly delineated an economy for these bonuses and then could've have been applied more logically through the rest of the system.


N is for Night Stalker

Carl Kolchak.  The Night Stalker.

Growing up, I know around here Channel 19's "Sunday Movie Greats" use to show the two movies The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler, but if memory serves, the series would air on sunday nights after the news.  And I would watch them...and not sleep very well.

One powerful memory I've kept all of these years was the Seattle Underground from the second film.

There is something powerful and charming about a runty reporter running around with a camera and very rarely, a gun to hunt monsters simply to prove they exist.  Carl is a great character and I'm sad I haven't picked up any of the comics published by Moonstone.




Truth be told, I even liked the reboot ABC did a few years ago...although I'm positive if it wasn't for that series I might not have fallen in love with my 2006 Mustang GT...so maybe I shouldn't have watched it.

Obviously, it's influence on X-Files is well-documented and I'd have to assume Erick Kripke pulled some inspiration from it for Superntatural, as well.

Monday, April 15, 2013

An Epiphany

As I've been posting the A to Z of my youth, I've come to a conclusion about my passion for RPG's.

You see, I stopped buying toys around the time I was 15 years old.  It wasn't that I didn't like them still, it was that I was too embarrassed to shop in toy stores.  I thought people were staring at me and judging me (yeah, it's a shame, but it's who I was).  So I stopped buying toys.

A few years later, I not only started gaming, but I started buying as many RPG's as I could (not really) afford.  It was a real drive and it replaced toys.

I didn't realize that the new hobby filled the same space in me as the previous hobby.  My RPG tastes have always been inspired and strengthened by the toys I played with and now I see it's a deeper connection than I'd previously imagined.

I don't necessarily regret this, but I'm startled I didn't see it earlier.  When one door closes...

M is for Mobile Action Command

Matchbox made the Mobile Action Command figures in the '70's, when I was but a wee lad.

I don't know how old I was when I started playing with these figures and their playsets, but I remember I loved them.  The guys were small and I was young enough to appreciate that on a very basic level.  I was small too, you see.

For years I tried to figure out what they were until I stumbled upon their name on Plaid Stallions.

I remember playing with these guys for hours and like the Adventure People, the playsets were geared less toward conflict and more toward rescue.  That resonates very deeply with me still, even though I love playing "war".


Saturday, April 13, 2013

On Being a Game Master: Letting it Roll

A few weeks ago, I posted about feeling like I ran a very poor session of Dragon Age for John W.'s group.

I'm happy to report that, while it took several weeks for, the next session (our third), I felt it went much, much better.

Stranded in the Fade, I had a book that Nathan's character find simply be used to conjure the rest of the party.

Then the players began to experiment with the Fade and shaping it.  Seemed fair enough.

Next was their encounter with Battle Beasts allied with K-Thu-Lu.  Why not?

I was surprised that Matt W.'s character decide to take K-Thu-Lu's shape.  Yes.  Yes, he did.

Two characters died horrible deaths in the ensuing firestorm, but they decided to make Battle Beasts for the next session.  So, I think it went pretty well.


Something I did a little differently was that I embraced my gonzo.

Most of my sessions have at least a dollop for good measure, but I just let it roll.  And I let the player's drive it.

They did good.

See you on the flip side!

Matt W. wants to be this guy.
Dave wants to be this guy.
















L is for Luminos

He Fights by Night with Light!

Between G.I. Joe's Adventure Team and G.I.: A Real American Hero, there was Super Joe.

Hasbro's foray into the 8" toy market faired well for about a year, before a toy line from Kenner, called Star Wars, came along.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the "light" feature of the figures, one particularly indelible memory I have is trying to learn to pronounce the name of Super Joe's ally, Luminos and my Mom helping me get out this absolutely huge Webster's New World Dictionary we'd bought at our local Walden's to teach about it's root, Luminous.

Looking back, I think the 40 year old me, probably has a better appreciation for the figures than the 6 year old me, but that's ok.

Now, if I could just figure out where they went...

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Kay

Mary Kay...my Mom.

I've always been a mama's boy, I wrote earlier about my past problems communicating with my Dad, so it's no surprise, really.

One of the gifts she gave me was my love of games and gaming.  My brother and I constantly played board games with Mom when we both very small, and one of the interesting facets is that she often made up the rules.  In many ways, that was the prototype for my interest in game designs.

Mom made sure that I had a great childhood and was able to remain a kid as long as I wanted.  In many ways, even in high school, I'd come home to a lovingly crafted sanctum for my toys, dreams, and imagination, of which my Mom was the architect.

Its hard to list specific moments, because Mom made sure that everyday was an adventure in one way or another.

Thank you Mom, for not being afraid to let my imagination soar.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cyborg Specialty for D&D Next

Cyborg 

Wether your from the future, a different plane or you've had magitech grafted to you from an arcane or divine source or even been exposed to arcanonites, you are for more than humanoid.
Optional: Unlike other Specialties, once you start taking these feats, you can't deviate from this path or take these feats any other way or in any other order.

Level 1: Night Vision
              Benefit:  You treat darkness within 90
              feet of you as dim light.
Level 3: Dermal Plating
              Benefit: Your AC becomes 12 + your Dex modifier. 
Level 6: Wired Reflexes
              Benefit: You add 1d6 to your initiative rolls.

              Special: At 7th, 12th and 17th level you have the option of improving the die size of the bonus
              as you would when improving any other skill.
 Level 9: Targeting Systems
              Benefit: Increase the die size of any weapon you use, by one step.  So a dagger would due
              1d6 damage, instead of 1d4.

J is for Jones

Indiana Jones, that is.

Raiders of the Lost Ark was one of the few movies, growing up, that my Dad took me to see.  I didn't realize it then, but he was sharing one of his favorite genre's of film with me.

And who could blame him?  How could I not love the pulp tradition?

Professor Jones left a huge impression on me.  Within hours of leaving the movie theater, I had taken an old handbag of my moms, found a huge hat and turned a length of some kind of heavy duty elastic and some blue duct tape into a bull whip.  And Kansas Craddock, joined Indy on his quest for lost treasures and fighting nazis.

(Even before this, fighting nazis was a favorite passtime of mine and my friends.  I don't know why, but WWII was a much bigger deal in the '70's and '80's.)

In the last year, I've turned my 11 and 8 year olds onto the adventures of the Jones family, just like my Dad did for me.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy First Birthday to Cross Planes!

A year ago today, I started this blog and one year later, I'm still here.

I appreciate all of my fans and all of the comments more than I can even express.

I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't hit a post a day, but I made 333 before this one.  That's something, right?

I'm also grateful that I started my blog during last year's A to Z Challenge as that really let me get in a rhythm.

My most popular Post, by far, was the Tonberry Rogue Pre-Gen for one of the earlier DnD Next packets.

I'm hoping to work out a pretty spiffy new theme for my blog and am planning to work up a logo.

Thanks for going along for the ride.

Cheers!

I is for Inhumanoids

Inhumanoids hit the toy scene right as I was leaving it, which is to say, I was a Junior in High School.  It was a point in my life where my fear of being discovered as a toy and comics nerd outweighed my love for them (fortunately, I could still read comics without drawing attention to myself).

It wanted to share it because its one of those things you walk away from in life and it still leaves a small hole.  The hole isn't for the toys I didn't get, but for the decision I made.

It saddens me that I let peer pressure change who I was, but it taught me a valuable lesson and I can't ignore that.  I'm a better, stronger person for making that decision and it galvanizes who I am now and how I raise my children.  Plus, I'm not foolish enough to try to afford being a toy collector, so there is a bright side to every decision.

Anyway, the cool thing about Inhumanoids' heroes, the Earth Corps, is that they had giant bodies and little heads, since they all wore environmental suits to brave the subterranean horrors they had to face.

I think the Heroes in Mechs vs Monsters from Below is what I like best about this line.



D&D 5th Edition: Training

I was reading a thread on RPG.Net about DnD 5th Edition House Rules and I noticed that one I've been using for awhile wasn't listed....