Friday, February 7, 2020


Tonight: Character creation for D&D shall commence 

Wednesday: Character creation for Troika! shall commence 

It is so ordered.

Friday, January 31, 2020

And Now For Something Completely Different

I am putting away a game that I've been running off and on since 2018. Not forever, just need a palette cleanse, as it were. I'm all urban fantasy/horror'd out.

I am replacing this cryogenically frozen game with Troika! (Numinous Edition)

From reading the book, particularly the beginning adventure, and from perusing the community on the internet, I have determined that I am not British enough to run Troika! as it was envisioned. The game as presented and the game as I will run it are likely to be two very different animals. I had even briefly considered just doing Advanced Fighting Fantasy, buuuuuuut I think this group will buy in more if the venue is bizarre space fantasy rather than pretty bog standard elves and wizards and shit.

I mean, there will definitely be wizards. Definitely. I can't guarantee elves, though, and I kind of like the idea that 1.) they all perished in some kind of elfpocalypse, or 2.) despite widespread lore describing them, nobody in the million spheres has ever seen an elf, nor can anyone produce any conclusive evidence that they ever existed. Still, everyone knows someone who has a friend who once went on an adventure with an elf.

My significant other is quite leery about rolling up a random background, as she comes from the customization-crazy world of Pathfinder. I have made a compromise: she rolls the dice, and then can choose to reverse the numbers if she pleases and take the other background instead.

I haven't decided if I'm going to use the adventure included in the book as a campaign starter or not.

 I think the aesthetic I'm going for is "Spelljammer, but after having eaten rather a lot of hallucinatory mushrooms."

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Carrying On

I GM'd tonight for the first time in... fuck... like two months at least. It was fun. I hope to do it again more often.

I'm wrapping up the game I've been theoretically running since August because we only play 1/3 of the time and I need to get my head into new spaces.

I'm starting a new game with a new crew. I'll return to this one eventually, but I need to shift gears for awhile.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

MeWe? More like EnnWe

hahahaha get it haha

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for a MeWe account, hoping to perhaps find some of the gamer folk I followed on G+, perhaps find some local gamers, etc.

I have joined some communities of various games I'm interested in, but none of them are really very active.

I did a search for my city name and all I came up with were three different gun fap- ah, excuse me, gun enthusiast groups. Searching my state added another gun group, some guy advertising that he's in a sexless marriage, and maybe some white supremacists. How depressing, albeit unsurprising.

Expanding to other nearby areas netted me an anti-vaccination group. What a fucking wasteland. 

I found a couple of people from the blogosphere, including some whose blogs have gone dark... but their MeWe is about as equally inactive. 

All in all, my initial impression is... that this isn't something I'm going to invest any time or energy in.

In the meantime, I'm still working through my newly purchased stuff and will get some more constructive thoughts posted at a later time.

Friday, January 3, 2020

A Dozen and One Adventures

I was at my FLGS this evening when I chanced across a dearth of used Al-Qadim materials. Most of it was, shall we say, "nostalgia priced," but I did pick up A Dozen and One Adventures for ten bucks. That map isn't in the best shape, but a cursory check on the internet revealed that the POD option is fucked and missing materials that WotC apparently doesn't care to fix.

Now, I've been burned before on AD&D 2nd edition adventure collections. Some years back I picked up some adventure anthologies for Ravenloft and they were hot fucking garbage. I've heard better things about the AQ modules, so I decided to take a risk. I'm too tired to do more than leaf through them at present, so I'll have to post my thoughts once I've digested them.

As for ever actually seeing any AQ action, I have two players (who sadly live in different towns), who will play just about anything I run. Hell, now that I think about it, one of them was in my Ravenloft/Gothic Earth game that I ran back in 2014. (The campaign was a lot of fun, once I tweaked the hell out of the modules.)

There we go, my first gaming purchase of 2020. My late '19 purchases are on the way to my house, but they have to cross the pond, so I'm guessing I'm not going to get them for at least another week.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

It's 2020, Where's My Goddamn Robot?

Welcome to 2020. This is not the future I was promised as a child.

I'm starting my 12th year of running this blog, even though nowadays I just post little thoughts and snippets. Gone are the treatises of my early days, and probably for the best. I used to post snippets of half-finished projects, but all of those projects remain half-finished.

A few thoughts:

*So I'm on that big OSR Discord know, the one with like 300-400 people online at a time.
Normally, that kind of thing isn't my bag at all, but I've found a thing that is fun to do there:

There are a couple of channels, #dice-democracy and #d20-democracy, where we all build tables of random shit. Each person takes turns contributing one entry to the table. Whoever provides the last entry creates the next table. For instance, you might have "1d8 irritating hirelings," and whoever does entry #8 would start a new table, perhaps "1d12 diseases you might catch in the underworld" or some-such. I've become a regular contributer and I've started a few tables. It's surprisingly fun.

*I read Troika! and it will get its own post. I am waiting on my physical copy of the book. I have a friend who is quite excited about playing it.

*I am reading Esoteric Enterprises, and so far I love it a lot. I'm not sure it scratches the exact itch that my B/X WOD attempt was going for, but it's definitely something I needed in my library. In particular, I'm interested in the fact that Emmy was partially inspired by White Wolf's Orpheus, a weird little short-run game they released around 2003ish. (I just remember I was in my last or second to last year of undergrad.) I loved Orpheus and I'm interested to see where it pokes through in the game's implied setting.

*I broke down and bought the Old School Essentials Boxed Set, which is something I've been wanting for months now, adding it to online shopping carts and deleting it with an intensity bordering on edging. Seeing that the tome sold out, I decided to grab the boxed set while I could. I know there are plans to restock it, but I'm not historically known for my impulse control and frankly it's mind-boggling that I have successfully denied myself this long.

Immediate plans for 2020:

-Conclude the third season of my present game.
-Switch my home game back to Wednesdays and change it to either Troika! or Ryuutama
-Flip a coin between taking over for that 5e group or starting a game of B/X with the two people who have expressed interest in playing IRL and damn the rest. (Or perhaps run the games on alternating weeks.)

Running three games during the school year while debate season is on is a practical impossibility, but given the non-start/failure rate that tends to plague the hobby, I figure it's best to hedge my bets.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

My Gaming in 2019: The Obligatory Retrospective

Last year, I set some goals for 2019. Let's see how I did.

-Knock out two more seasons each of Monster of the Week and Monsterhearts 2.

I knocked out one season of Monster of the Week.  I knocked out one season of MH and should have knocked out another, but the group fucking cancels and goes on hiatus so much that we've played eight times since fucking August. Goal failed.

-Try Urban Shadows or Masks. Leaning toward Masks because 80% of my gaming in 2018 was urban fantasy/horror

Goal failed. I didn't so much as crack open either of these games because of how long my other two have dragged out. 

-Find a totally different goddamn group to play old D&D with

Utterly and totally failed. I can't so much find a single gamer in this town who doesn't wan to play Pathfinder or 5e. Well, except for John, and he's a forever DM. I don't really want to play in a non-DM capacity anymore, so that makes the issue a non-starter.

-Go to KantCon again (Still salty about the one I missed)

I went to KantCon and three out of my four games were fucking magical. It was easily the best KantCon I've been to, and the best convention one shot I've ever run in the form of Cartoon Action Hour. 

So, one goal out of four achieved. I will tout the bonus victory, however, of getting my girlfriend to enjoy an OSR game. (Starships & Spacemen at KantCon) Given her "old D&D sucks" stance, it was a pretty significant turnaround.

I do enjoy the MotW/MH shared universe game I've created, but it's 95% of what I've run since August 2018 and I want to wrap the present season so I can do something else for awhile.

2019 was also the year I was invited by like four different groups to DM 5e, and I either turned them down outright or just blew them off...I regret that last part, but just... fuck. I'd rather run just about anything else, and it's absolutely maddening to be unable to fill a table for old school D&D but to be tripping over 5e groups. Something something ancient mariner.

So, my goals for 2020:

-Go to KantCon, although at this point that's sort of become a given, not really much of a goal.
-Run something that isn't PbtA for a significant length of time. (As in, other than convention one shots.)
-Find and additional convention to go to. (Not Nuke-Con)
-Kidnap several people and chain them up in my basement, forcing them to play B/X D&D in exchange for food.  Continue to seek out new gamers with differing interests than my home group.

Happy end of the year to you, you fuckin' nerds.

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