Friday, November 28, 2014

Dungeon Master's Guide Quick Review

So life, family, and friends have been keeping me busy, but I have managed to skim though the DMG, and I wanted to go over a few things that caught my eye.

First off, the overall impression that I get from this tome is of a tinker's tool box. There is a clear understanding that there is a zero chance that DMs will run their games as written. House rules, often based on table rulings inevitably and quickly creep in, and no two DMs are going to make all the same decisions. The DMG seems to embrace that idea wholeheartedly.

The entire final chapter is based around changing parts of the game whole cloth! New magic items? Sure. New Spells? Definitely. New races and sub races? Totally covered. Alternate XP systems? Yup.

Want to add rules for more realistic healing? There's an entire sliding scale of suggested options. Tossing in some lovecraftian madness? It's in there. Need some old school hirelings? I saw that in there too.

Oh, and monster lists? Remember how we were all upset the MM didn't have a list of monsters by CR? It's in the DMG. How about monsters by terrain type? Think that'll be useful? It's sorted by CR!

Random dungeons? 12 pages of charts!

Like I said, it's only been a quick skim so far, but there'll be more... so much more, and I've already found a few things I'll be tweaking in my game with what's in here..

And the art? Solid. I really like all the magic item illustrations. And that redhead on 243? Well, you'll just have to check her out for yourself!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful for Gaming

2014 has been kind of a rough year. On the other hand, it's also seen me back at the gaming table to an extent that matches what I was doing in high school! Seriously, I've got 4 games a week going on, and while I'm DMing most of them (3/4) I'm having such a great time!

So today, I'm thankful for gaming. I'm thankful to my players, my DMs, my readers, my FLGS, and my friends over on G+. It would have been a much worse year without you all.

This morning I raise my mug (of coffee) to you!

I'm also thankful to have a little light reading... Jealous?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Impatient Players

In my Sunday night Castles and Crusades game, I sometimes find myself getting impatient when the action slows down and my fellow players spend what seems like an agonizing amount of time talking about what to do.

For example, in the last session we encountered a group of 4 pirates, including their captain. Now the party has already slaughtered a number of pirates in this dungeon, but the captain offered parlay, and suggested that we work together to overcome the dungeon, splitting the treasure. The 7 of us huddled together to discuss our options. Very quickly the pros and cons were hammered out, and the general consensus seemed to be that pirates are not to be trusted.

But then the talking continued… Maybe it was just me, but it seemed that it was just going to continue… on and on… In reality, it probably was only just an extra minute or two, but more and more I could feel my patience failing, so I targeted the captain, and loosed an arrow.

I missed, but it focused the party on killing the pirates, which we did with remarkable speed. And I made up for my missed shot by delivering the killing blow to the captain with a charge attack using a broad sword.

I'll be honest, it felt good. Not just landing the killing blow, but getting the action moving.

On reflection though, was I being a bad player? I don’t think I was… we weren't talking with the pirates, we were just rehashing what we’d already discussed, and given how limited my time to play as a player actually is, I want to spend it actually playing!

Any other DMs have the same sort of problem when you play? Or is it just me?

Monday, November 24, 2014

#6MMRPC Week 12 KotDT!

Yeah, like everything else this month, weeks 10 + 11 were completely skipped. No progress was made on much of anything... this week though I'm back at it, and focusing on my goal for the month: Knights of the Dinner Table and Dork Tower minis.

I decided to prime them black. Not sure if that was a mistake or not. I've gotten very used to painting over white, both with the bones minis, and most everything else recently.

It did show me that I missed a fair amount of flash and mold lines on my KotDT minis, which I then had to re-clean. I do find myself wishing they all had the same size base. And yes, I know this is a crappy shot, but honestly, it's all just base colors at this point, no details. Not that there are a lot of details on these minis... (big part of why I choose them as my goal for the month)

Not too much work on the Dork Tower minis yet.

And here's a group shot. With the holiday this week, I'm hoping to have some time to finish them up before the next update. However the DMG also comes out this week, and I know that'll eat into my time a bit too...Getting them all done is still the goal though, even if I have to put the DMG down to do it!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Inspirational Image: At Dawn

Dawn is such a hopeful time... A renewal of the world. The chance for a new beginning. Whether it's a frosty winter morning, or a dewy summer day that promises to be hazy, there's always hope at the break of day...

At Dawn by artbytheo

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Breaking the radio silence

I can’t remember the last time I went this long without posting… Probably back when I was finishing up my Masters Degree, but even then I tried to get some posting in as I could… But life, as it so often does, has thrown a number of monkey wrenches at me, and I failed my Dex saving throws to dodge them. Between getting a hellacious cold and an avalanche of personal bullshit I had no attention to spare for gaming in general and the blog specifically. I haven't even picked up a paint brush in weeks...

On the upside, I’m now over the cold (mostly), and the avalanche seems to have subsided. I’m starting to dig out from the mess it’s left in it’s wake, and getting back into my gaming grove. The cleanup will be an ongoing process, and one that isn’t likely to end anytime soon but at least it’s underway.

I don’t know how quickly I’ll be getting back to my previous near daily posting schedule, but things will be picking up!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Inspirational Image: The Plague

The plague has arrived at The Tower, and none of the clerics seem to be able to do anything about it...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Chopping Mall

Saturday, my FLGS Titan Games, hosted a Halloween event they called Chopping Mall. A zombie survival game set appropriately enough in a mall. There were around 16 players, each with their own survivor. Most of us had built our survivor beforehand, and had painted them up, but a few were built almost immediately before the game.

The rules were based on the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, with a base 4+ on a d6 to kill a zombie. Different weapons had different effects, as shown below:

Survivors had 2 wounds each, or 3 if painted. Taking a wound infected the survivor, but there was a chance to avoid turning if you removed the limb, if the limb was what got bit.

The board filled a 4*6 table, and included a lot of the usual mall stores. It was neat seeing it come together over the last couple of weeks. I have to admit when I was in on the Wednesday before I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t be done in time, but the guys at Titan pulled it off.

The game itself had the survivors starting in random stores, and almost all the zombies in the corridors.

And this is where I died...

Things didn’t go too well for my survivor. While I managed to kill a couple of zeds, mostly through my use of Molotov cocktails, I got bit pretty early on, chopped my arm off, and then got bit again. I did turn into a super zombie for a little bit which exploded when it died, so that was fun!

Overall I had a blast, and i can't wait to see what they've got planned for next Halloween!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Constantine - Are you watching it?

Short post to say that the new TV show Constantine, based on the comic is (at least after 2 episodes) pretty solid! It's got the darkness that's appropriate for a series dealing with demons, but manages to avoid the oppressive GRIMDARK that seems to plague to much of the DC-verse.

I wasn't a huge fan of the comic, but I read some of it... over a decade ago. So my memory isn't fresh, but from what I remember, they're capturing the spirit of the character at least.

Have you watched it yet? What do you think?

Monday, November 3, 2014

#6MMRPC Week 9 Spirits!

Yeah, I skipped week 8. It wasn't all that productive anyway...

I got to make a zombie survivor for an event held at my FLGS called Chopping Mall. I aimed to have him look as much like me as possible.

While I worked on my survivor I also worked on Mr. Bones, and did the final detail work on the Death Knight and Ghost King.

It's a little hard to see, but the survivor has a cricket bat and a molotov cocktail.

Here he is in the store display with some zeds.

Here he is in the store display with some zeds.

And with a little ink...

My plans for November are modest - a mere 12 figures compared to Octobers total of 23 completed minis. It's going to be a rough month, which means I'll either knock these out like they're nothing, and more on top of that, or I'll struggle to get these done. We'll see how it goes.