GM Sanctuary My random thoughts on Gaming

Out of the Abyss 2017/2/13

Notes from the Feb. 13, 2017 D&D session Picking up from last session the PCs were venturing into a Goblin holdout in the underdark. I had a chance in between games to prep this a bit, so I picked a few chewy nuggets of inspriation from a goblin-based adventure from the En5ider magazine that EnWorld puts out. Oooh, and Nilbogs. So, the first point for the game to pick up was Eric Tealeaf sneaking into the Goblin cavern just before the guards were able to roll a stone blocking the entrance.

Ancient Gods

I’ve been pondering world-building a lot recently. I’m mostly running games in pre-built universes for now, but every once in a while I get the world-building itch. So recently, when a discussion of the difference between creator gods of the various different races popped up on one of the forums I read regularly, it triggered a few thoughts that I wanted to explore. First off, if two or more cultures have creation stories involving different gods, they can’t both be right.

Secret Antiquities

Today I just happened across Secret Antiquities, Which appears to be a zine about running Dungeon Crawl Classics set in America, with High Weirdness added into the mix. Kind of an “Unknown Armies” meets “Werewolf the Apocalypse”. While my feelings on Dungeon Crawl Classics are kind of mixed, I have a copy of it, and modern games with alternate occult history are a special sort of wonderful for me.

Mythoard 23

For those who aren’t familiar, Mythoard is a monthly subscription box of RPG goodies that started almost 2 years ago now, and has had a lot of fantastic books and materials. I just got my shipment of Mythoard 23, and found some delightful bits. Creature Components: Volume 1 The first book that caught my attention was the Creature Components: Volume 1. Material Components have always been a fascinating feature of D&D.

Out of the Abyss 2017/1/29

Notes from the Jan. 29, 2016 D&D session Started off with a bit of bookeeping in Gauntlgrym, where the PCs decided they needed to speak with Trevion Stonechalk, a dwarf working for the Granitespike family who had contact with Jaezred and owes him some money. Trevion gave them some details on Gravenhollow, namely that they should speak with the Stone Giants to find the route there. He said that he had held the Kybere in his hands, and knew that it was evil.

Out of the Abyss 2016/1/15

Notes from the Jan. 15, 2016 D&D session The game picked up with Uthgar and Kendal negotiating with Autie Bertha to keep Uthgar’s home intact. Bertha’s gout is temporarily alleviated by Kendal’s magics, but she’s still getting old and is looking for a way to retire and support herself. Uthgar offers to let her stay at his house, so she can sell her own house, and live off of the profits, with the caveat that she not molest/touch Grandfather Thornbeard’s beard, which is preserved in state on the wall of the house.

The Space Hack - Rock Jockey

The Expanse focuses pretty heavily on characters who are scrabbling out an existence at the edges of society and the solar system: Belters whose survival depends entirely on making do with little to nothing, Naval officers who burned out of the service, washed up cops, and so forth. While you could just make a game with a whole party full of Scoundrels, i’d like to have a bit more variety in the party.

Gaming in The Expanse

I’ve been watching the Sy-Fy TV Series “The Expanse” recently, and found it very interesting. Doing some cursor research reveals that the original author was writing the setting as an MMO which never made it out of the “pitch” stage, then translated it to a play-by-post forum RPG, and it is now a book series, and an ambitious TV series. For those of you who haven’t come across the books or TV show yet, the basic plot is that mankind has expanded into the solar system, establishing a Martian colony and a series of smaller colonies in the asteroid belt and orbiting some of the outer planets.

Taking the Initiative

One of my least favorite aspects of D&D is what I call the “Conga Line of Death” initiative system. At the beginning of the combat (or turn in earlier editions), you figure out what order everyone is going to act in, and then no matter what happens “mid round”, the characters proceed to act one after the other in the order established previously, like dancers in a conga line. This is easy for the DM to track, as they can just have an ordered list like a baseball lineup, calling each ‘hitter’ up to bat in order.