Frog God Game days and One Last Thing, new FGG Module

On September 12th & 13th I played in the Frog God Game Days. This was a sort of online game convention where many DM’s and players played various RPG’s from 5th edition D&D to Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry. I selected two S&W games to play in. The first Saturday morning ran by DM John “Pexx” Barnhouse. He ran the Lost Menagerie, an adventure from Frog God games. Warning, spoilers ahead if you have not played through Lost Menagerie. A lot of the Frog God modules and books come out through Indieagogo or Kickstarter, and I try to back them and get most of the releases I can. This is one I got a few months back and still have not had the chance to break open and read through. I had planned on running it for my gaming group, and I thought the opportunity to play through it would give me a different perspective on the module than if I were less familiar with it when I ran it. I rolled up a few characters at random and ended up playing a Paladin of Muir. Muir is a deity of virtue and Paladins. She is the sister of the god Thyr and the deities have been playing a part in the Lost Lands campaign I have bee running. If you are unfamiliar, the World of The Lost Lands is the setting for many of the books and adventures Frog God publishes. There is a lot of great content out there for the Lost Lands. The DM and the group I played with was a lot of fun, and it was a good change to have someone new DM me. I tend to have the same DM’s when I get a chance to play, so I have been trying to find opportunities to play at other people’s tables to see how they DM and see what I might be able to do to spice up my own games. The Lost Menagerie was an adventure which lead our characters to a hidden prehistoric world under a mountain fighting dinosaurs and other oddities. It really had a Land of the Lost feel to me. I was almost convinced that the whole party was going to die at the end there, but somehow that managed not to happen. (more…)

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What happens when you don’t have the core 4 classes?

So you are about to start a game session….. Everyone wants to play a fighter type character. Or the Bard and Healer can’t make it to game that day. One session we only had 2 fighter types and a rogue in a particularly nasty dungeon where we desperately needed a paladin and cleric for healing and undead encounters. We got mauled and had to escape the dungeon. Mission not completed.

It happens that you may not have the core 4 classes (Fighter type, Healer/Cleric type, Thief/Rogue type, Magic user type) at every game due to one thing or the other. If you are about to enter a deep dungeon or extended campaign, you will need all the core classes represented. Loading up on healing potions or healing poultices will only get you so far. So what to do? (more…)

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The Book of Collected Rumors on Kickstarter

I want to highlight a kickstarter going on right not. Philip Reed has been doing a lot of great kickstarters at reasonable prices. The content he has been putting out tends to be system neutral, so usable with whatever fantasy RPG you might be playing. I have been backing his kickstarters this year, and using some of the content in our game. I can say that I really appreciate the quality of the content I have received from previous kickstarters of his.

The current kickstarter is putting into print some of the content he released in PDF collected in one book. There seems to be some new content in the book as well. I am happy to get a print of the PDF’s to go with the other print books I picked up of his. You can click here to back the project, as of my writing this there is a week left to back this project on kickstarter. (more…)

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Thinking of getting into D&D?

I see lots of people posting in online groups looking for a game to join. Role Playing takes friends. But, if you want to play you do not need to find a group already playing. You can always start the group you want to play with. Run your own game. Things have changed a great deal, and now we have celebrity DM’s running games not for tables of players to have fun as much as running games for an audience to enjoy. Some of these players and DM’s are even professional actors and entertainers. Do not think your game will resemble a professional production meant to entertain people. Playing with your group will likely be quite different. There are many posts online from people who want to play who find this intimidating. I have heard of groups where players expect something more like these popular live play podcasts. Forget about those. (more…)

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Read more about the article Hero / Luck / Fate / Oh Crap Points. <L>
top view of a expanse of four-leaf clovers of different height and dimensions

Hero / Luck / Fate / Oh Crap Points.

Most games have some elements of this. Luck points, pushing rolls, advantages, bennies etc. It is some mechanism that allows the players to re-roll after missing a critical roll/save. Most RPGs have some version of this. I like using Hero points to include doing heroic / extra-ordinary shitte. This usage is more geared toward Pulp / Heroic type games to allow character to perform crazy but entertaining actions. This involves the player more into the action of the game. I get them to describe their heroic act when they spend hero points. Eg. Leaping across to catch a rope, swing over the water, and stick the landing on the other side. Under normal circumstances, that could be like 2 DEX checks at med-high DC level. (more…)

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Old School Revival Humble Bundle

Humble Bundle has a great deal right now. Their Old School Revival Dragons, Dungeons & Mazes bundle has almost everything you would need to run quite a few campaigns. Not only is it chock full of great modules, campaigns and adventures, but it comes with the core book for Swords & Wizardry and the Player’s handbook for Castles & Crusades.  These two systems the bundle comes with are two I highly recommend, so if nothing else, they are a chance to check them out and see what kind of great content is out there for them. Now, the adventures this comes with I want to highlight. A lot of the stuff in here I own, some of the stuff I have ran and read through. There are a few new ones here for me, but I’d like to focus on the books that I have and am familiar with because I feel they are well worth this bundle if you do not have them. (more…)

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5th Edition Is Dead! Long Live 5th Edition!

AD&D ran from 1977 to 2000 with the two editions. Since then we have had 4 editions in 20 years that’s about five-year shelf life for an edition here lately. That is compared to over 10-year shelf life for AD&D editions.  I think it would be wise for Hasbro to keep 5th edition. But 5th edition came out in 2014, so it is about at that 5-year mark now. Hasbro has been losing money. D&D sets are coming out like monopoly each with some branded popular media as the selling point, Stranger Things, Rick & Morty etc… And then there is the survey, if you have not taken it, Hasbro has a big survey online for gamers. It sounds like they are looking to change things when you take it. I would much rather an RPG company buy the rights and take a new direction of just giving us the game we like to play. I wish somehow the rights could go to people who already put out great content with focus on just putting out stuff for existing editions instead of getting some team tasked with changing the game completely again. On top of that there has been a lot of discussion around social issues and the game, and I feel we can better address those in the community instead of just giving Hasbro money to address it with selling you a new product or profiting from your creation on their web community. Hasbro realizes they can make money by addressing these problems and that seems to be a point of marketing for them. (more…)

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Open Gaming

My choice in gaming is political. I have played Role Playing games since the late 80s. When I picked up my first Role Playing Game (RPG) I had no idea what I was doing. My first games were not run correctly at all. We really did not start playing in a more correct manner until a friend played some games with another group and came back to us to Game Master (GM) us in my parent’s basement. I played a lot of smaller press games at the time from more independent publishers before I ever played Dungeons & Dragons. We often would use the games we played to depict the ideas for stories and characters we had. The rule sets were there as a vehicle to tell the stories and share the ideas in our imaginations.

Palladium games were big for me in the early years of role playing. The Palladium system was based on house rules for Kevin Siembieda’s Dungeons & Dragons game. Even in the early 80s, the DIY element was present in the publishing of games. Just running a game was a DIY effort most of the time. Role Playing appealed to kids who wanted to create their own entertainment. As I grew to learn the history of role playing and Dungeons & Dragons, I began to see this wonderful past time where people were engaged in a community of gamers who were creating their own games and rules as they went along. Dave Arneson introduced Gary Gygax to his game which he called Blackmoor and Gary & Dave would go on to publish the first white box of the game. Over the years people getting into it would create their own worlds, rules and elements to play. Eventually other small press game companies would publish supplements and other versions of RPGs. The first few decades there were often conflicts over publishing material for existing games, even though it continued. (more…)

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