Friday, December 7, 2012

Supporting A Meme

 First off , I know two months without a post. That is the longest I think I have ever gone without posting. I don't plan to do it again. So don't worry, I haven't quit this blog.

And to support another meme going around the blogophere. The RPG bookshelf pics. They showed me theirs. Now I show mine. As the gaming room is mostly finished and organized. I can show off what I got. This represents about 25 years of collecting.

My Traveller and D&D collections.

My Sci-fi section (not Traveller).

My reference material historical. 

My reference material fantastic .

Some of my war games collection.

Some more of my war games.

This doesn't include my board games or miniatures. That would take several more pictures.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Land Of Pluses

 Another thing that bothers me about the D&D rules is the proliferation of bonuses. Many little plus ones that make each less meaningful but yet have players scrambling to get as many as they can. Strength bonus, level bonus, magic weapons, magic spells and weapon vs armour bonuses. Stacking as many as they can players seem only to live or die for them. And yet I have seen a player toss away a magic sword because it was "only +1 and not worth the encumbrance" as he said. And how many times have you seen a Fighter with only average Strength? Or a Magic-user with average Intelligence? Or a average Wisdom Cleric? This is not the way I want to play.
 I have a plan to make each +1 more important.  I am going take them away. Well not all of them, but most of them. Only the level bonus and and magic will be used. And magic weapons will be limited +1. Maybe now players will not toss a magic weapon away because its only +1.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Of Heroism and Hit Points part 2

 There are a few things about the D&D rules that bother me. Like the more levels you have the more damage you can take but the tougher you are to heal. Or no matter how good at hitting things you are you never get better at defending yourself. There are more but I don't need to go on. My purpose has been to take another look at the rules with a mind to change my perceptions about them. My goal is to play the game as written with minimal house-ruling. Here is how I intend to do that. By treating Hit Points as morale and defense ability.

 When you wear armor your opponent can't just swing wildly at you. They have to aim for weak spots. Hence your AC is their target number. If they are on target (a successful roll) they roll for "damage". The damage they cause is you dodging, ducking, or blocking with a weapon or shield. Because no one is perfect this number is subtracted from your hit point total. This represents a general wearing down of your skill and luck. When you reach zero or go beyond, you have made a critical mistake and your enemy kills you. There I think I just explained how D&D combat works as written without changing anything. Except for magic, traps,  falling and poison.

 The following only applies to my game and does not apply to D&D in general.  Because armour doesn't protect from those things there are no rules for them. I will house rule that they do wounds directly to the character. Wounds would be based on the Constitution stat and damage taken off of it until death at zero. Magic, falling and poison will do stated damage to Con. Weapon damage rolls will 1, 2 or 3 D6 based on type. Healing spells will restore Con damage as will rest as stated in the rules. Hit points can be recovered fully after one nights rest as they do not represent actual damage at all.

There are most likely things I have missed but there it is. Keep this model of combat in mind and the rules make more sense. They are far from perfect but workable.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lifestyles of the Parental and Gameless

 I haven't posted much lately. I can't seem to get past the lazies. Maybe its because I am not playing or running anything right now. My new-found parental responsibilities got in the way of my previous gaming. I have also missed out on OSR Con. The second one ran last weekend in nearby Toronto. I missed last year too because of financial difficulties. This year it was the time I could not spare. Ah well hopefully I will make it next year.
 I feel guilty for  just writing about role playing and not actually doing it. I should start a game of something. I know enough people who would play. And its possible to work it into my schedule. My biggest problem is so far making decisions about the game I will run. I can't seem to make up my mind. And not just rules but setting and background. To help with this I bought a new note book to write stuff down. Its a composition book with pages that are hard to tear out. I am optimistic that a bunch of random scribbling and no page tearing-out will eventually work. Oh and I will write in pen. Something I almost never do. Maybe this will get me out of my rut caused by too much responsibility. So if you know me, and play RPGs I just might ask you to join my game.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wil Wheaton Thinks I'm Cool

Wil Wheaton thinks I'm cool. OK, He thought something I said was cool. Let me explain. Every year for the past 17 years I have attended and worked at the Polaris convention in Toronto. Originally called Toronto Trek its a fan run sci-fi and and fantasy con that attracts guests and attendees from all over. I work in the auditorium where the guests appear on stage to talk to the audience. I was working backstage when I met him. I thanked him for his Tabletop web show. On stage his enthusiasm for gaming was infectious and I felt part of an exclusive club. His talk reestablished my enthusiasm for gaming. I knew I had to say something to him for that. But it had to be a quick comment as he was sure to be pressed for time and I didn't want to hold him up. After a few moments of thought I had it. As he was leaving I turned to him and said "you give me pride in my passions".  He made the oh that's cool face and said "You have to pay that forward and pass it to the next generation to carry the flag of gaming." "Will do I said". My gaming urge has been restored.

Monday, June 11, 2012

And We're Back

 And we are back. Sorry for the long delay. At first it was a bad case of the doldrums. Then last month I came down with severe stomach pain. It lasted for days and days so I went the the hospital. After several trips over the course of two weeks (including one trip by ambulance) the doctors said I had a stomach Hernia and needed surgery right away. I was in and out of the operation without any trouble and so far no complications. I am in my second week of recovery and doing fine. I also lost ten pounds for my trouble. I'm glad to be feeling well enough to be back but I,m not liking the new blogger interface much.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Please Stand By

I haven't posted much lately. Between real life demands on my time and not feeling motivated, the creative urge has been dampened somewhat. I plan to resume your regularly scheduled content shortly. Please stand by. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Of Heroism and Hit Points part1

Land Of Nod has a good article on Hit Points. He describes hit points in his game Blood and Treasure ;

"Hit points don’t represent anything solid or real or concrete in and of themselves. Rather, they are part of a complex calculation that boils down to this: “What are the chances that the next moment of mortal peril you experience will be your last.” That mortal peril might be a sword fight, a poison needle, a trap door … anything that might kill you. Most often, hit points relate to combat.

This hits closest to how I imagine hit points work. To him they are an abstract measure of how likely you are to die in a dangerous situation. I think they are an abstract measure of how likely you think you are going to die. Think of it as morale. The player with their knowledge of the remaining hit point total acts like a countdown timer until they cut and run. That's how it could work. There is one problem though. Most players feel they have no other choice but to die when the ticker goes to 0. So many turn into suicide machines fighting on to the better end.
To counter this I use what I like to call my AWO option. Another Way Out. Let them escape or surrender and be taken prisoner. What ever the situation calls for.

P.S This is the first part of a two part post.
In the second part I will go into more detail about HPs work as morale.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Lost My Notes

AARRGG! I lost my notes. I who never lose anything have lost my notes. I made a note about my next few posts. I just jotted a few thoughts on a single piece of small note paper. I can't find it anywhere.
I will just have to reconstruct the ideas from memory. During the search I did find an old note about several subjects that I never posted so its not too bad. One question to you fellow bloggers;
Do you plan ahead or just wing it when posting?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Not Falling for Falling Damage

Over at Grognardia there is an article about the falling damage articles from Dragon magazine. Falling damage was one of a few things that never made sense. It just didn't mesh with our expectations. Back then we were trying to make everything "realistic". But the relationship between hit points, weapons damage, healing and falling damage was always difficult to understand. Much effort was put towards this end with (IMHO) little results. Usually adding more rules to a growing list.
But I am not falling for it anymore. I my future games (as I'm not currently running any now) hit points are considered a measure of fighting capacity and are only used in stand up fights where you can defend yourself. Falling down isn't a fight so it doesn't do hit point damage. I might use a saving throw to escape unharmed or assign arbitrary damage like half your hit point total. That might seem harsh to some. However I did create the world and populate it. So why can't I decide how much damage someone takes from falling down?

P.S. In my world if its not a monster or NPC attacking you, then its not hit point damage. This includes traps.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Forgot My Anniversary

My last post was just after the 3 rd anniversary of my blog. I can't believe I forgot it. January 14 was my first post 3 years ago. I also can't believe its been that long.

Monday, January 16, 2012

IF They Ask Me....

So WOTC is looking for players to tell them what they want in the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons. If they asked me I would gladly tell them what I want. I want D&D to be wild , mysterious and even a little bit creepy. I want the artwork to reflect that style. I would like the books to be like ancient tomes, not how to guides. I want them not care about upsetting people and not shy away from some material. I want the game to feel like an experience not an activity. I do not want some over hyped , one in every store, mass marketed, spoon fed, bubble wrapped, safe version of the game.


That's what I would say if they asked me.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rain on the Parade

5th edition scmith edition. I don't want to rain on the parade but the new edition of D&D will suck. By suck I mean fail to achieve its promise of having something for everyone. It just can't happen. I hope I am wrong but lets look at the facts. 3rd edition was supposed to be the massive revamp of the system designed to clear up and unify the rules and make the game accessible to a mass market. Yet it was replaced only 3 years later by the 3.5 "revision". 3.5 itself was replaced only 5 years after that by 4th. That edition was decried by many of the old guard as a tabletop copy online RPGs. 3.5 had a lifespan of 5 years. 4th ed is currently four years old. Time for a new edition! The designers might want a good game but the company wants a popular one. Popular means it will appeal to the most players. Does anyone wonder why 3 rd ed was so similar to computer games? I think the designers tried to tap into that popularity thinking popular=better. They could have turned away from that path with 4th ed. But they didn't so why would you think they would now. Sure they will listen to the players. But who is going to be talking. The squeakiest wheel will get the grease. I think the grognards voices will be lost to the noise of the munchkins.

P.S. This post didn't turn out as I originally planned. I had to compose it over the noise of children in the background.