Welcome, and well met!

I'm a fan of pen-and-paper RPG's. That's what you are going to find on this site. Sometimes there might be a blurb about the Secret World MMO; but the focus here is my drifting through Wisconsin's gaming communities.

Links will be added as cons are visited, games are played, and authoring is published.

Wander around. Grab a tankard. Relax and immerse yourself into polyhedron geekness, Wisconsin style!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

TTB and into Nythera

   A few years ago, I decided to try out one new RPG each year. I figured that the best way to jump in was at Gen Con. Two years ago it was D&D 5. The slow release dates of the core books allowed me to drift away from the game until it became little more than casual one-shots. Last year, it wasn't a single game, but a type of game system: fast, one-shot games that blurred the line between RPG and board games. Story telling card games like GLOOM and Once Upon A Time were popular. I've seen a few board games that looked good (Dread and Betrayal at House on the Hill). Then there are pure creative fare such as Fiasco and Driver (where you play it in a car, RPG-ing the parts of a heist gone bad). In the end, I created a board game / RPG with my daughter and we had fun with it for a month or so.

   Sooooooo, this year I decided to let myself get hooked into Wyrd Games' Through the Breach RPG this Gen Con.

   In a nutshell, this is wild west meets steampunk meets Clive Barker. The game world itself began a number of years ago as the setting for small army skirmish battles set in an otherworldly realm. Last year, the TTB RPG dropped as an expansion from tactical battle games into the storytelling world.

   It's been an interesting read. I am a complete noob in this game system. It follows a card mechanic (draw cards instead of rolling dice) that also involves the suits in the drawn result. Like cards, you can 'cheat' at the draws as well (as long as the 'cheat' follows the cheat rules). For whatever reason, the mechanic is throwing me for a loop. Reading through the players handbook (The Fated Almanac); where the heart of most of the game's rules may be found, has left me somewhat disillusioned. The trick is reading it 'in the spirit of the rules' and not letting myself get bogged down in the (often) generalized technical language of the rules themselves. The Fatemaster's Almanac (the DM guide) is more of a bestiary that expands on some of the rules mentioned in the Fated Almanac.

   I've set out to create a handful of characters. The method follows a simplified Tarot draw of 5 cards. This got me hooked into the game in a big way. Each card results in two elements: first is a character creation mechanic that provides numbers / slots for skills or abilities for the character archetype that has been chosen. Second, a literal fortune is told from each card. When the 5 fortunes (eventually) play out for the character, then the character is retired / slain / returns to the masses. This makes for episodic games that focus upon one or two of the players each session.

   Lastly, there is the NYTHERA event that begins this month. This is an in-game world building / history building event that will allow the players to determine how the game will evolve in the coming years. There are two even types: the skirmish battles and the TTB RPG games. My copy of the first (of three) RPG games (Title: Penny Dreadful: Nythera) has downloaded just last night.

   More to come as I read and jump into the world of Wyrd-ness!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

...and now for something completely different.

Greetings from the aether!

Wow. It has been a while since I've posted on the RD. Gaming has been more of a memory of clacking dice and less of a reality at this end (lately). However; that has changed as of this weekend. I've been contacted by a number of folks from the realm of Gen Con to help out in various arenas.

<Insane, toothy grin>

First off, I've been invited to provide DM duties at the True Dungeon on Saturday! That's eight straight hours of LARP-esque interaction, a tee shirt, ultra-rare coin, and other goodies. This is a bit of a dream come true, as I have always wanted to peek 'behind the curtain' of one of these events and see how the nuts and bolts of the event fit together. Hopefully, I will not regret what I have wished for.

Second on the roster is Feng Shui 2! Atlas Games is working me into their DM-ing rotation so that I can do some world-saving-pulpy-sci-fi-weird-magic game of guns and explosions to life!

Third; on the subject of Atlas Games, is the newly dropped card game: Three Cheers for Master! This is a nifty little game where each player builds cheerleader towers with whatever little black minions they are dealt; in the hope that when master returns, they will bring master joy (or at least not get eaten).

Finally, Gen Con event sign-up unlocks today around noon. Time to lock down those schedules!

Ten weeks to go.
Ten weeks to go.
Ten weeks to go.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sooooooo What Has Come Out For D&D5 as of Today?

With Ars Magica 5 being what it is, I was considering jumping into the D&D world once again. Fifth ed, of course. I have a feeling it is going to be around for at least a decade. With that, this would be the system my daughter is going to grow up with...

Core Books:
Dungeon Master's Guide
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 Hardcover)
Monster Manual
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 Hardcover)
Player's Handbook
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 Hardcover)
D&D Basic Rules
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 PDF)
D&D Starter Set
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 Box)

The Rise of Tiamat
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 Hardcover)
Hoard of the Dragon Queen
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 Hardcover)
Dreams of the Red Wizards: Dead in Thay
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 PDF)
Dreams of the Red Wizards: Scourge of the Sword Coast
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 PDF)
Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2013 )
Legacy of the Crystal Shard
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2013 )
Murder in Baldur's Gate
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2013 )
Vault of the Dracolich
Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2013 )
Accessory Cards:
Spellbook Cards - Arcane
Gale Force Nine: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 )
Spellbook Cards - Bard
Gale Force Nine: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 )
Spellbook Cards - Cleric
Gale Force Nine: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 )
Spellbook Cards - Druid
Gale Force Nine: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 )
Spellbook Cards - Paladin
Gale Force Nine: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 )
Spellbook Cards - Ranger
Gale Force Nine: Dungeons & Dragons 5 (2014 )

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thrice Told Tales is coming to a close.

After a couple of years of revision, FOUR playtests, and countless hours of analyzing every word in every sentence; it is looking like my writing for Ars Magica 5's 'Sequels' book is coming to a close.


Looking back on the first draft to this current version, it is amazing how many changes have been made. To put it simply, I started writing something in the spirit of Indian Jones and closed with something in the spirit of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

It's been a fun, wild ride.

Everything in this book has changed. Even the title. Until yesterday, it was known as 'Sequels'. As of today, it is now being published as 'Thrice Told Tales". I'm looking forward to seeing this one in print. Now that the wordsmithing is complete, only the artwork remains. This was a pleasant reality check when I cracked open my 'Hooks' book and found Jenna Fowler's interpretations of the story.

I loved 'em! The images gave the story a real breath of life. This current story takes place in the form of three individual adventures. I'm looking forward to the artistic renderings of the maps and concepts for this one.

That's it for me. Time to get a room for Gen Con!