Saturday, August 31, 2013

RPG Blog Carnival - September Challenge

Sept 2013 RPG Blog Carnival Challenge - Location-Location-Location

This already has my head spinning with ideas. Stay tuned for much much more to come. I greatly look forward to another month's challenge after the wrap up of my May to Z posts.

But in case you're on imagination overload (as tends to happen when someone drops such an inspiration bomb), check out these links to give some definition to your surroundings. Some of these are new to me a la, but D&D Doodles has been a faithful standby whenever I need a settlement to wander through. 

The Bridge District

Fallcrest, Winterhaven & more

Val Nevan

City of Galastan

Monday, August 26, 2013

DemonWars: Reformation - Kickstarter 2

I've been a fan of R.A. Salvatore for years now. His Crimson Shadow Trilogy is among my top favorites of fantasy I've read to date. I ate up 15 books of his Drizzt series., of which I "loaned" (wordnerd speak for 'I'll probably never get that book back') my copy of the Crystal Shard to a friend whose young son was craving an introduction to fantasy novels.

With that said, I could not turn my back on him when he asked us to back him and his son(s) in their revival of his earlier DemonWars tabletop RPG

Thus I have given to DemonWars: Reformation Kickstarter.

At the time of this post there are still 3 days to contribute. Yes, I know it's 143% funded, but still....

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fantasy Bar Fight

This here is a great idea from the Land of Nod blog.

Fantasy Bar Fight table

And what's a bar fight table without chairs, flagons, and mugs with which to bash opponents?

Thus, since you checked your weapons at the door, you must improvise with what's close at hand to make sure you come out on top. So here's a quick addition I whipped up:

glass bottle/ceramic mug - does +1 damage, but breaks after one hit
metal tankard - does +1 damage and can be used 3 times before discarding
brass knuckles (which you conveniently forgot you had in your glove) - does +2 damage, but other players will spot the unfair advantage after 2 turns and gang up on you, or the barkeep will thump you unconscious with a blackjack/sap for "cheating" in a fair fight
table - does +2 damage if a person is knocked/thrown/body-slammed through one
chair/stool - does +3 damage, or knocks an opponent unconscious instantly if you roll a natural high

If you're still standing around when the town guard arrives, roll a d6 (for luck) to see what your punishment is.
1 - you are fined heavily and run out of town, meaning you cannot resupply or scout for jobs
2 - you have to pay for *damages and spend 1d6 nights in jail
3 - you have to pay for damages and spend the evening in jail
4 - you only have to pay for damages
5 - you only have to pay 50% of damages
6 - you're strongly advised to clear out and the authorities will be keeping a keen eye on you, meaning you cannot commit any other crimes, intimidation, or general rambunctiousness while in town or else spend 1d6 nights in jail

*DM's discretion for how to calculate damages - the bar keep nickel and dimes the cost of every broken table, chair, mug, etc. (assuming you have an equipment list that prices these items), or it's a flat fine for each player of 1d4x10 gold.

A modification of my own would be to roll 1d10x2 for the number of occupants in the establishment. Minus 1d4 for noncombatant bar staff. Roll another d4 for NPCs that just back against a wall and stay out of it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Game Music Library

I don't belong to Wordpress, which I'm sure some would find near blasphemous, and what the less dramatic would simply dub "limiting myself."  Both are probably correct. It is such limitation that keeps me from commenting on others' blogs. And I do like to comment because we bloggers thrive on feedback.

But I ramble. My point is that I came across this little beauty through RPGBA (at right) and figured that sharing on my rarely used Facebook wasn't enough. I wanted to link to it here as well.

Game Music Library. It's quite the suggested playlist of tracks to punch up a gaming experience.

I usually write and worldbuild to music. Mostly I use Grooveshark if I want a particular artist or song, but if just want something backgroundy along the lines of such-and-such genre, I'll turn on Pandora.

But the author of this playlist is right about the music needing to fit the moment/scene. There have been lots of times that I'll be writing sometime sad and tragic to a woeful Irish ballad...and then it jumps to lively fiddle and flute and suddenly I want to forget my trouble and kick up my heels in a field of heather.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Generation One: Children of Mars - Kickstarter 1

I've backed a few Kickstarters in my day. I'd love to back more money for more projects, I simply can't afford to. Maybe someday...

It's not for completely selfless reasons, although I have given $5 here or there and not asked for any rewards. Mostly I do it because I like to promote and support art, and hopefully generate some good KS karma for when some friends and I upload our own project in search of backers.

It is with this want to contribute toward future contribution that I present this

Generation One: Children of Mars Kickstarter

From here on I will make it a point to post any backings.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

By the Gods

Let us consider how in the real world there are various names and faiths in "modern" monotheism alone. Biblical culture can't agree on what to call God or which version of [basically] the same tale is "the truth."
If we wind the clock back to pre-Roman polytheistic cultures from the cold north, to the rainy isles, to the balmy ocean, all had a smattering of gods over varied realms/domains.
Then the Romans adopted Greek gods and changed their names. Then they took them to the 'barbaric' world where they intertwined with Norse and Celtic deities. And then when Christianity was introduced to the heathen pagans, myths were adopted and adapted that further jumbled everything up to and including modern holidays and names of the days of the week.

Now keep in mind, that's just among real world humans whose only concrete, scientific separation is geography. Religious wars are some of the bloodiest, darkest moments in human history. It's not like they're elves and dwarves and goblins arguing theology over a cup o' tea.

So when crafting your own gods and religions for stories and games, where should you begin?
Some might say "at the beginning". Seems logical enough. But that's a big bite to try to take on a whim. How did this all start? When? How long before the present? How is it that the creation myth is known and passed on?

Another issue is that you're trying to compartmentalize...well EVERYTHING! That's, like, a lot. Maybe you don't work in such a linear pattern. If your noggin is anything like mine, it spits out what it wants, when it wants. I can't say "ok brain, gimme a Genesis." I've had more mythos and parts of godly personalities spring to mind at random than I could effectively summarize for blogging purposes. Go with your gut. Relax. Don't try to push it just to make something. That's a sure fire way to get a doosie of an imagination hemorrhoid. Ew.

Maybe these will ease your discomfort and help get the juices flowing in an organized and easily digestible manner:

Sarah Snyder's tips on creating pantheons and religions

Michael James Liljenberg's Genesis How To