Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Golden Voyages

I picked up a used copy of the Golden Voyages boxed set for Al-Qadim. I have approximately 0% chance of running it with anybody around here, but I've always loved the A-Q stuff and I'm happy to have it on my shelf anyway. If nothing else, the art is cool and I can study it for ideas. I've always liked the idea of an island-hopping campaign, even though I've never run one. I guess you could say that my efforts at running the first Mongoose edition of Traveller and my much-missed Stars Without Number campaigns were similar in that the planets were often stand-ins for islands, but I'm talking classic we're-on-a-boat island hopping.

In my brain, the soundtrack to Al-Qadim is the soundtrack to the SNES port of Prince of Persia. The skeletons are also the herky-jerky Ray Harryhausen variety.

I'm still kind of hoping that WotC will give Al-Qadim some love in 5e. Based on the recent survey, however, I'm not holding out hope. The survey gave me the chance to select what older settings I'd like to see more of, and Al-Qadim wasn't even an option. I did write it in under "other," but aside from that I pretty much had to just say pls more Ravenloft.

...and yes, I know Zakhara is technically part of Forgotten Realms, but I fucking hate Forgotten Realms.


I also chanced upon a trove of Spelljammer stuff, but the store that had it wanted $155 for the boxed set and haaaaaaaaaa no. Spelljammer was an interesting idea, but no way I'm paying that much for it.

Monday, November 4, 2019


The group that drafted me decided they just want to do 5e, specifically Curse of Strahd.

I think at this point I officially give up on the idea that I will ever again play my preferred editions of the game around a table with human beings. It seems like I can either have a full table of people who won't touch the editions I want, or the editions I want, but playing online (which I really don't like to do.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Call for Blogs

Yo, I need some new blogs to read. Half my blogroll hasn't updated in weeks or months.
Anybody got any suggestions?
They should be (primarily) about TTRPGs, but they needn't be only OSR-type stuff.


Monday, October 7, 2019

GM Drafted!

I have been unexpectedly asked to DM/GM for a group of people I used to play with a few years ago. (Well, most of them...there is a new face or two in the present configuration.) Back in the day it was a 5e group, and that's mostly what they've played, but they're open to a new game. Right now I'm trying to steer them toward White Box FMAG, Castles & Crusades, or perhaps White Star. (One player wanted to do the Star Wars RPG, mainly to be a Jedi, and White Star has a Star Knight class.)

I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it. First off, they seem willing to do retro-clones, whereas I can't get my present home group to play anything even remotely similar to old D&D. I've also been running nothing but PbtA games set in the same setting since August 2018, with my only breaks being a one-shot of Little Fears I ran on Halloween and my KantCon 2019 lineup. I'm ready for something different in terms of mechanics, genre, setting, and play style. I'll still be running my home group game, but it'll be nice to have a different direction to go in for awhile.

I was rethinking my idea for a game loosely based on the Dungeon novels, and it might work with Castles & Crusades... I have Troll Lord's other game, Amazing Adventures, and could run a mixed party with the game. I'm still leaning toward doing it with Savage Worlds, since my home group will actually try that.

This is a welcome twist after my previous weekend disappointment with Nuke-Con and just kind of a craptacular week overall.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Le Sigh

I will not be attending Nuke-Con this weekend.

Oh, well... only nine and a half months until KantCon 2020.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

In Which I Fail to be a Sponsor

A clutch of students at the school where I teach are trying to form a D&D club. We have a gaming club, but it's board/card/video games. I was tapped as a potential sponsor, but coaching debate takes up so much of my time that I can't really commit to it. 

...and that sucks. When I was a larval teacher (doing all my pre-service shit), I was really into the idea that someday I would sponsor some kind of rpg/gaming club. Now I have the chance and I just don't have the time. 

I mean, yeah, it'd probably be 5th edition, but that's the D&D for this generation and I shan't begrudge them for it. 

The only two other teachers in this school that I know play are also likewise busy with extra commitments and can't do it, either. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Dungeon

So I was blog-hopping yesterday, and I stumbled across the name of Philip Jose Farmer. I had heard the name previously, and I knew he was an author, but the name dug at my mind for some particular reason. Then it came to me: The Dungeon.

This was  book series that I tried to check out from the library when I was 10. I had just gotten into D&D by way of the Dragonlance novels, which I read endlessly. I'd started looking into the books that were shelved around them on the metal rotating cart that held fantasy/sci-fi paperbacks. I remember the covers absolutely grabbing me: a guy with wild hair and a mustache, always posing with a sword on some otherworldly landscape. On each cover he wore a brilliantly colored billowing cloak, always a different color- blood red on the first book, bright orange on the third one, and so on.

I remember the books contained sketches that were supposed to be from his journal as he explored the titular Dungeon (actually a series of different worlds/environments linked by warp gates.) I never did make it through a single one of the books, but I know I checked them out several times. I don't recall what the problem was, but I was more interested in staring at those covers, looking at the sketches, and imagining what the Dungeon might be like. It was a pretty formative experience in my D&D history, but I'd forgotten about them entirely until just yesterday.

Doing some research, I discovered that PJF didn't actually write the books, he seems to have come up with the idea and then persuaded four other authors to actually write the series. Interesting.

I've got a yarn to run a Dungeon-esque campaign, an extra-dimensional prison of many layers/levels, the PCs being a party of beings from different worlds/times/dimensions who are lost and trying to find a way out. As much as I'd love to use White Box or something similar, I know I won't find players for it. I'll probably make it my first outing with the new edition of Savage Worlds.

I've also got a yarn to order the first novel. I've found an old used copy for just a few dollars plus free shipping on ABE. At the same time, I'm worried that whatever is in the book, it won't live up to the imaginary wonder tied to ten year old me marveling at the cover at a time when I was just discovering what would come to be the defining pastime/passion of my life. Maybe I'll get it just to have that cover on my shelf.