Monday, September 30, 2013

Closing Out September

September is always a long month for me.  There is always a Magic Pre-Release and Launch and it's usually on my birthday.

I turned 41 this year.  I think I'm closer to some of the goals I had last year, but have a long way to go.  I participated in the 30 Day DnD Challenge so that I wouldn't shy away from posting.  I finished, but was always late and posts came in clumps.  But they came.

I'm not gaming as much as I was last year, but it's okay.  Professionally there is quite a bit going on.

And personally too.

My wife and I are expecting our fourth child, a daughter, at the end of December, God willing.

So I'm trying to aim for 15 posts a month in October but hope I beat it.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 30 Best DM You've Had

Tony W.  

Our Monday game has lasted longer than most of my DnD games and we try some crazy stuff.  Essentially, we move into a town and murder the rulers and install our own just because we are assholes.  As soon as we pillage the place we move on.  We've enslaved a race of lizard men to manufacture potions for us.  We're assholes.  And he keeps chugging along.  There is even an epic story to it all.  And he comes up with great names.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 29 What is the number you always seem to roll on a D20?

12.  Not bad.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 28 A Character You Will Never Play Ever Again

Garamond.  My first character.  A fighter that wanted to be a swashbuckler.  He's retired now.  He would like a keep though.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 27 A Character You Want to Play in the Future

Billy Ray Cordite.  A lawful Dick Paladin from the South.  Shitkickers, a mullet, and a Holy Avenger.  I really would like to play him again.  We'll see.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 26 Favorite Non-Magic Item

Torches.  We always needed them (most of us played humans).  And they were hand weapons too.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 25 Favorite Magic Item

The Vorpal sword.  I know it seems impossible, but somehow I knew what the weapon did to people the moment I heard about it.  Part of it is the name: VORPAL.  But part of it is decapitating your foes.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

13th Age Bestiary Preorder

I just bought the Hatchling Edition of the 13th Age Bestiary.  I can't recommend it enough.  I think it's the coolest bestiary I've ever purchased.  Go buy it.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

So I'm done watching the pilot and I'm still figuring things out.

What I do know is that I think Joss Whedon should stick to directing features, as this is the third one of his pilots that left me wanting.  But, I will keep up with this, mainly for the Agent Coulston character.

I did enjoy the remark by Simmons about a "Journey Into Mystery", and while I know Disney/Marvel wants their big name properties for films, how cool would it have been for Michael to have been Luke Cage?

I hope this series develops well.  I get a bit tired of Whedon reusing castmates from other shows and I think he needs to work with some new archetypes.  But we'll see, at least I have Sleepy Hollow to completely look forward to.

I will add that the last scene with Lola was AWESOME.  Made me smile on every level.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

20 Day D&D Challenge: Day 21 Favorite Dragon (Color/Type)

I'm going to cheat again.

My favorite dragon is Tiamat. Blame the DnD Cartoon.  She's a real bitch.

20 Day D&D Challenge: Day 20 Favorite Monster (Humanoid/Natural Fey)


Favorite humanoid...I'm sure it's sad, but I really like Drow.

Yeah, I know, it's probably pathetic, but I came up during the heyday of Drizz't.  They make great bad guys.  Great.  Bad.  Guys.  And their elves and I really loathe elves.  Loathe.  Them.

So there you are.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Still Alive

First, sorry for the plethora of 30 Days of DnD as I get myself caught up.  I knew that I would need some motivation to get the blog back on track and it was the perfect motivation.

Gaming has been non-existent for me lately, I've had to back to back comic shows we set up at, Cincy Comicon and Cincinnati Comics Expo and now I'm prepping for this weekends Theros Prerelease Tournament for Magic: the Gathering.

The life of a comics and game store manage sure is glamourous...

I hope to get my 13th Age back on track and fit in some Numenera somewhere.  I have some people interested in trying it and have offered to run it for the Friday group at some point (though John W. just picked it up, so he might be contemplating running it, depending on my schedule, maybe there will be a spot for me).

I'm aching for some good horror fiction to read, so if anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 18 Favorite Monster (Immortal/Outsider)


Their horrid space toads.  How awesome is that?

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 17 Favorite Monster (Animal/Vermin)

Carnivorous Ape.

Because apes are cool and monster apes are the bomb.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 16 Favorite Monster (Aberration)


A giant eye that kills you.  We have a winner!

30 Day D&D Challenger: Day 15 Favorite Monster (Undead)

Death Knight, hand's down.

The name alone does it, but Lord Soth finishes it for me.

30 Day D&D Challange: Day 14 Favorite NPC

Popo the bear.  A bristlebearn bear.

He's the brother to a player who was "Raised by Bears."  He's a worrywart and the conscious of the party.  And he's their driver.

30 Day D&D Challange: Day 13 Favorite Trap/Puzzle

I ran this one recently. 

A large room, with sloped ceilings and a tiled floor with a chessboard motif in white and black.  Something can be seen lurking within the white tiles.  The black tile opens the the three closest white tiles which have stirges trapped within, ready to attack.

Meanwhile, on the far left of the room is a lever, which when pulled rotates the room so that the floor becomes the ceiling (and releases all of the stirges) and the ceiling becomes the floor.  And the exits are now high above on the walls.

30 Day D&D Challange: Day 12: Favorite Dungeon Type/Location

Dungeon Type would be ancient burial chambers deep within the earth, built by long dead and evil worshipers of some Great Elder Thing.

Location would be a haunted moor, rung by standing stones beneath a baleful moon.

30 Day D&D Challange: Day 11 Favorite Adventure You Have Ran

Haunted Halls of Evening Star.  It was the first ADnD adventure I used and I probably ran it terribly.  But I remember it fondly and still look back at it.  I don't used canned adventures much, though.

30 Day D&D Challange: Day 10 Craziest Thing That's Happened That You Saw

I was running a 13th Age game and the group was on Monster Island.  While planning to ambush a scouting party from the planet Mongo, Rodan swooped in for the attack and captured two of the players in it's talons.  But while soaring off to devour them, Godzilla came into view.  If two monsters on Monster Island see each other, I reckon they have to fight.  It's a law.

So Rodan changed course and attacked Godzilla, while the players got into the fray.  One of the player's had not yet picked their One Unique Thing and decided they were "Gamma Incredible".  Now, I generally don't allow a OUT to give a bonus, but in this instance, I allowed the Player to "hulk out".

Rodan and Godzilla were routed and the player's were safe.  Mostly.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 9 Favorite Character You Haven't Played

Spanner Dunwich.

A necromancer and planar traveller who is the mastermind behind the Circle of Fire.

Dunwich wants to kill a god and replace him with one of his followers.  A follower, compelled to obey the necromancer.

You'll find him lurking around in every game I run.  Even if he's using an alias.

He's smart, tough, and a risk taker.

He's also dangerous and calculating.

One day I'd like to play him.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 8 Favorite Character You Have Played

Billy Ray Cordite.  A Lawful Dick Paladin who happens to have the best gods damned mullet in the Multiverse AND a Colt Peacemaker.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 7 Favorite Edition

This is a tough one.  ADnD 2E was my first edition.  I truly love the DnD Rules Cyclopedia.  And I really do like DnD Next quite a bit.  But my favorite edition is...

13th Age.  

Yeah, I'm cheating some, but it's really everything I need and it was designed by a designer from 3rd and 4th.

So there it is.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 6 Diety

Saint Cuthbert!  I'm not sure exactly why, but I even named a Duchy after him.  I haven't played much in Greyhawk, but I'm always intrigued by it.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 5 Favorite Set of Dice

Golden Cobalt from Chessex!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick Start

So, I finally took a break from reading 13th Age and Numenera to look this over and am pleased with what I've seen.

It's funny, most of the changes that the development team have made are ones I would have made, but I found myself fighting the the old monster known as nostalgia as I moved through it.  Make no mistake, I like this iteration of the rules (and have 6 previous editions and the BRP rule book) and look forward to owning them.  I was simply surprised at missing statistics in the 3 -18 range and a even the hoary resistance table.

However, I feel that these rules make total sense moving forward and capture the essence of Call of Cthulhu and Basic Role Playing, and that is all that matters.

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 4 Favorite Gameworld

This was tough and it covered several worlds.  I really like Planescape and had a long fling with Dragonlance.  I've devoted much time to the Forgotten Realms and wished I'd spent more time in Dark Sun.  But my favorite DnD world is...

Ravenloft.  Hand down.  I think I've purchased every version of the setting and have a deep fondness for it.  I won't lie, back in the heyday of ADnD 2E, I really wished for playable monsters and when White Wolf took it over during the 3.X era, part of me secretly hoped they would to a treatment of it using the World of Darkness rules.  But I still love Ravenloft and Strahd Von Zarovich and most games I run have, at minimum, a hint of horror.

Hopefully, we'll see some version of it for DnD Next, but no matter what, the mists of Ravenloft move through my games.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 3 Favorite Playable Class

Dread Necromancer.  I LOVE necromancers and this scratched that itch.  I'm not much on optimization and maybe its a terrible class, but I like it nonetheless.

Even in MMORPGs, I'm a sucker for necromancers.  I think, part of it is the name, but if there is a necromancer option in a game, I'm going to explore it.

The idea of a (relatively) good character trying to explore death and try to turn it's power to help others is pretty cool to me.  And the stereotypical lonely death mage, working dark dweomers, in some profane temple is just a classic antagonist and is incapable of being over used.

Many of my DnD games has featured a necromancer named, Dunwich, plotting behind the scenes and manipulating the players and setting.

30 Day D&D Challenger: Day 2 Favorite Playable Race

Humans.  Hands down.  None of the other races inspire all really.  I did play a dwarf (warlock in 4e) who betrayed his people in exchange for power, but I played him all emo and stuff.

DnD 3.X cemented it with an additional skill point and feat!

30 Day D&D Challenge: Day 1 How I got Started

This answer has two parts.

First, in Fifth Grade, I had a friend make me an elf named Melf (from the DnD Action figures) with Hank's Bow from the cartoon and he would tell me how awesome I was doing in the game (where he ran my PC).  I had a blast.  No, I don't know why I didn't just play in their game, it never occurred to my fifth grade self.

Second, I was a sophomore at the College of Mount Saint Jospeh and my old buddy, Barry, had been playing some Star Wars with some friends in highs school and when he came to the Mount I got pluged into his group.  We started on Champions, but quickly moved onto ADnD 2E, where I made a Fighter named Garamond (I was a Graphic Design student and took the name from the Font), who really wanted to be a Swashbuckler, but didn't have the stats to qualify for the Kit.  And no, our DM wasn't going to fudge anything...he only did that for a player named Kurt.

While I made the character for Todd's game, another friend, Richard ran the character first where we went to a town where if you left you lost your soul and were supposed to make it into a mysterious tower we never found the entrance to (Richard like puzzles...but he wasn't good at them).  The game last one and a half sessions.

Thundarr the Movie

As a life-long comics fan and a retailer with a quarter century of experience, I was today years old when I discovered that Buzz Dixon and ...