Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time has flown by...

Been a bit since an update....

Last Friday we had a new youngster join us for DnD and we had two out with being sick...but in good old school fashion the show went on! The new player picked a thief to play, meaning three in the party BUT after the adventure my son chose to move his character to a Ranger type. Now the good news is they survived their first foray into the ruins of the castle, rescued the prisoners from the orcs and hobgoblins and found some treasure as well! They managed to get back to the village without issue and are deciding if they are going back into the ruins OR try and track where the raiders came from.

We are short a spellcaster so an npc MIGHT have to be arranged for...we shall see.

The high school kids are one session short of finishing the 13th Floor and they didn't have their best showing BUT they moved the plot along and should finish this portion of the adventure this next week, then they have to decide what they want to play next!

Tomorrow is the first official meeting of the Northlands Gaming Group, what I am calling the adult group, I am very stoked about this! We will be dining well on pizza and deciding what we are going to officially start with the next time we get together in February.

Well the car is cold and I need to warm them up so...bye for now and I will continue trying to be better about my blog!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I live in the Chicago land area and in case you had not heard it is FREAKING cold here and that made me think about Savage Worlds HELLFROST. I do like Savage Worlds and would love to test it out again now having a better handle on a few things. I'm not sure if you have ever taken a look at the world, I have to tell you there is some fun things going on here. I feel there is a nice mix of Greyhawk meets Middle-Earth.

The land has been frozen and races have had to adapt, new races have made their appearance and of course you have the obligatory monsters. I am really starting to dig the vibe here, don't know if I would sit tight on the world, I might, or I might adapt a few different things. This really is the strength of the Savage Worlds system, it is much easier to comprehend then Rifts/Palladium and I think it is even easier then Unisystem. Well I am going to be doing some reading today about this cold world setting, I don't need much inspiration, just looking outside helps.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Palladium RPG System by Kevin Siembieda. I have a love hate relationship with this system, the hate part is that game balance is pretty much ignored. The love part is that I really like the magic, psionic and combat system, I really really do!

The skill system though is rough, really rough and it didn't get much better as more games were added using the system. There is just something though that I feel the need to try and use...more paper...gotta love paper.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

DAMN! There is some crap brewing between the parties that wrote the WB rules seems that Marv and Matt are on two different pages about this and it might effect anymore copies of the book being sold. This is a damn shame as I am really enjoying the rules and the pbp game that I'm running currently. I am also using this with my kids and they are loving it, though they do miss all the cool power ups from 4thEssentials they are enjoying the problem solving.

I do hope these guys can get if figured out amicably and soon, there was some neat stuff in the pipe from what I understand and I would like to see it sooner rather than later.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chciago Bears

Going down to the Bears game today, it will be cold and I am really looking forward to seeing the Seattle Seahawks being beaten so we can have Green Bay next week here at Soldier Field in -30 degree temperature.


I know it's a short posting but I need to start layering now!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This morning I took a road trip to the store front this morning and I really enjoyed it! I love my FLGS and will stand by them forever BUT the niche this store fills is wonderful and I was made to feel very welcome there. I don't know if I would ever go back there just because I can do my shopping from home but...once in a great while would be fun, and the fact there is a Farm and Fleet and a Gander Mountain at the same exit is an easy sell as well!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No more DnD Mini's

Alright I have thought about this and I understand the thought of no more mini's, counters are easier to transport and easier to make. The 3D representation on a mat or a board though really can't be beat...but WOTC also has decided to kill books. NOW this is a much more ominous sign as this could mean to signal the end of something or a very large change.

The DnD world changed in 2008 with the introduction of 4e, it was very much different than what we had experienced in the 3.x era, much less the two generations before that. In two years we got a "boiled" down version of the game in Essentials or 4.E, but now I get a sense there is another move, and if this becomes 5th edition...well I gave up Magic in the nineties I can give up another WOTC project.

Now I've been called a hater recently and I had to chuckle...I spend a lot on my hobby and I buy from my FLGS and I will continue, there are times I go around them, but not many. I run games online, I sponsor a club at the school I work at and I assist with the club my kids started at their school, I've been asked to help with the club at the local library. I am involved with the hobby!

Over the last break the kids, some five of them, were playing and after they were done, my wife commented, "Sounds to me like they don't make decisions other than to roll the d20 and see if they hit." I laughed and said..."Your right!" The decision making process had been taken out of the players hands. It was run from encounter to encounter any critical thinking had been ruled out of the game based upon the correct, Daily, Encounter and At-Will powers. Heck you didn't have to worry about healing or resting anymore just get through the encounter and you'll heal.

Now the next time we got together we did something different a very basic game that had the kids thinking about how to avoid traps, and how to get around the dungeon...heck the comment was even made, "Do we want to leave a closed door between us and the entrance?" I smiled and was proud of my little new DnD players. The ages for this group are, 10, 10, 10, 7, 7 and sometimes a 6 year old.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Berry Grove

Berry Grove

The Hobbits of Berry Grove are industrious, inventive and very sturdy folk. They have fought off attacks from a variety of different humanoids and when pushed into a fight they fight are very dangerous. They are also a fun loving people who enjoy a good wine or spirit, they adore good cooking and of course nothing goes with either of those than a good story and a pipe.

There are a good six or seven families that make up the population of Berry Grove and over the years of course they have mixed but they are proud of their family past. With this in mind there is a guild of sorts, called the Berry Grove Seekers, these hobbits leave the Grove and search for treasure lost from hobbits over the years. The hobbits that become involved in the Seekers are a cut above other hobbits having skills and abilities that they can use while out looking for lost hobbit treasure.

There is a myth of a lost Hobbit City, this has been the focus of many of the Seeker expeditions, NOW the one thing the Seekers won't do is steal. IF they find something that can be traced to the original owner they will do everything that they can to try and get it back to the owner or a descendant if possible. This is a great point of honor for them, and if they are ever compared to a Thieves Guild...let's just say that any wines or spirits destined for that party might not taste the best until a formal apology is given.


The end of the world as we know it..

These were pretty good and wanted to share with whomever is reading this!

More later today on my Northlands game!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Blues

With all of the snow I am going to most likely cancel tonight's Dr. Who game. The kids need to get safely home and the daylight will help with that if I wait and game until 5pm it will be dark. Also if I leave at 5pm it will take me two hours to go 20 miles...

It might let up in the in the next two hours but I'm betting not.... :(

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ahh...the Weekend

Ok so the weekend consisted of some great finds at two estate sales we went to, and the two re-sale shops we visited! We had a great dinner with Tim and Natalie, though we did get a surprise that we were not expecting!!

Sunday Gina gave blood and I took the kids to spend the last of the Xmas gift cards, which they spent on Pokemon that they could then download some new pokemon only from Games Stop.

Now there was a brief conversation about running things at GenCon and I am going to run this year, three events for now.

1) The Lonely Tower: Beginning Swords and Wizardry game for ages 7-13.
2) The 13th Floor: A Doctor Who game that starts in Las Vegas moves to San Francisco and ends up...well that would ruin the surprise.
3) This slot is still very much open, though I have quite a few ideas...we shall see what catches my fancy.

Well that's it for now...back to work, no I mean really work. ;)


Friday, January 7, 2011


Now I am a very loyal fan of Ghosts of Albion, not a fan of Eden at the moment for a variety of reasons...but I digress.

Over the last two years I have bought this game returned it, bought it again, auctioned it off and finally have bought it again and pledged to keep it. I finally sat down a few weeks ago and started reading it in a quiet place when my house was all asleep and you know what...I really liked it.

I had picked up the GM screen a while back and today I picked up a few of the other books out for it....and I am in a PbP game now and I have to say that while the system might not be my works! I like the fluff of the game and the history and style of the game work for me. The book is a bit cumbersome but once you realize what you have it really does rock. I would like to drag my adult table gamers away and see if we could do something with this...especially when I read all about the Prussians and I fondly think about a certain pyromaniac that we have had in our Ghosts games.


Lovecraft for Labyrinth Lord!

All I can say is that this is awesome, I have wanted to mix DnD and Lovecraft for a long time and looked at using the BRP rules a long time ago, but chose not to...I will be getting this and I look forward to telling these stories! For mature minds only though!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dr. Who Christmas Carol

We sat down tonight and watched it as a family and I enjoyed it, Gina was lost and the boys just liked the flying fish!

Overall I thought it was a well done episode, but right now I am just going to be, I will write more up tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Doctor Who Game Part 2

Holly left the new found room and went down to the lobby running into one of her friends, Marcus, they talked and Holly's phone rang it was another friend Kristy who explained that she needed to see her in front of the hotel....she hung up. As she did she was approached by a woman in the uniform of a security officer from the hotel, "If you want to live come with me." Marcus and Holly followed her through the backways of the hotel and into a waiting suv. The woman explained that they were from UNIT and that there was a piece of alien technology on the planet and it was dangerous and Holly had the key to it, off to San Francisco. They also told them that there were aliens on the planet and they were trying to get this technology and it couldn't fall into their hands.

Now the rest of the group found themselves captured...held in a basement somewhere in Vegas. A Mr. Roberts introduced himself and he needed them to convince Holly to come as she was the only one that they had not tested yet. Kristy tried calling her and told her to come to the front of the hotel. Roberts left in a flash of light, the group found another young woman in the basement a Ginger Bailey who was in the uniform of a server from the hotel they were staying at. She said she couldn't remember much...Roberts came back and explained that Ginger had stumbled onto the UNIT operatives and saw to much, she needed to be watched over until this was done. Roberts also told the group that their friend had been abducted by aliens and that she needed to come back to Vegas. Roberts identified himself as a UNIT operative and that the aliens were disguised as humans but they could be identified by the fact they couldn't show humor, Roberts also inoculated them against the alien pheromones that would be dangerous to them. Shane had one question but before he could ask it there was a flash and the rest of the group was in an alley with a vehicle and tickets to San Francisco!

Fun because the players were all at the same table and heard all of what each week there will be the introduction of The Professor! I hope to tell the story in four parts maybe five!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Doctor Who Game

Alright...I will explain what happened from the perspective of a viewer but the people playing are really not sure what is happening....

When we last left off Holly Winters had found that only she could access the 13th floor of the hotel they were staying in, three college friends helped her get tot he floor BUT when she stepped out, they were gone.

Holly saw six doors but only one of them were opened and light was spilling into the hall...she walked in and found an empty room the room was what you would normally see in a hotel BUT there was a doorway out of here. The doorway led to a catwalk and a metal staircase down, taking the stairs down she found an octagonal room that had five doors in it and one doorway, this doorway led to a costume room. Exploring for a weapon, she found a cricket bat, taking this she found another door, this one opened revealing a library, complete with study areas and lights and thick orange yellow carpeting as well as a circular staircase going up. Taking the stairs she found a door that opened and revealed another octagonal room colored in white and gray. There was an octagonal control center that was badly damaged and the walls in here were burnt and blackened. Finally she heard the voice again, "Holly I've waited a long time for you." She fled out and took the catwalk this time finding a pool and a garden..she had to go back this time she went back to the control room and asked if she could leave. A mechanical voice asked if she had the key, she said what key, then there was a debate of computerized voices and finally one of the screens came on showing her mother, Noel. Noel explained that she was proud of her daughter and all of the things that she had accomplished even if she herself had not done them yet, but she needed her daughter to bring back the key. Explaining that she had given something to her as a baby, the player remembered that her mother had given her a charm bracelet before she died...but that was at home in San Francisco.

Wow!! I need to go but I will finish more of this later...the rest of the group had to be detailed out....


Today is our first meeting with the Adventure Games Club, since the break, that I sponsor at the high school I work at. Today they either pick up the reins of the Doctor Who game OR they choose something more fantasy related, it is their choice.

I will post more about what happened after they decide...

More to come.

On an another note...

I am putting together some of my house rules for a Swords and Wizardry game that I would like to try here with the adults I game with...

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Northlands

Rough and tumble country, I would picture it as somewhere in Colorado if I were looking for some type of comparison to the real world. You have some great plains but then you have mountain ranges in and around the plains.

The Dale Lands are heavily borrowed right now from the Realms, I will change that as time goes on but I wanted a picture to stick in my head and that worked quite well. The countryside is broken up by the occasional woods and we have large farmstead that support the villages that make up the dales.

We have a home for the dwarves and the elves and hobbits (halflings) and depending on the rules set a home for the half orcs. In the past we have had a war between dwarves and the elves but that was long ago, the land still carries the scars and that is where the fun is. ;)

Crown Pointe is the capital of the White Woods Barony and that is actually a city, the only one in the is not Waterdeep or Greyhawk but it is my large metropolis that I hope the party gets to at some point. IF I had to compare it to something I might have to use Sanctuary, but I'm not sure that is an accurate one right now...we'll see.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rivers Edge

The focus of my new campaign at the moment, it is a small town but sits at the crossroads from the "Dale Lands" to the east and the more untamed lands to the west. It sits alongside the Silver River and is split into two sections, an upper ridge and a lower riverside. The upper ridge tends to be a little nicer and has more of the "wealthy" citizens that reside in town. The riverside tends to be a little rougher around the edges and has many of the more adventuring types of businesses that adventuring bands tend to look for.

There is a large clock tower that operates in the center of town and chimes on the hour, generally the houses are two stories with at least one fireplace but two are not uncommon. The first floors are usually stone and then wooden uppers with peaked roofs that are shingled and insulated. Windows are shuttered and filled with thick glass, in the fairer temperatures those windows and shutters are opened to let the fresh air in. Most homes have a common room, a kitchen and then a room for the children and then one for the parents. Wealthier homes will have more rooms, possibly another bedroom more likely some kind of sewing room or a workshop of some sort.

There are a few churches in town...(This is something I'm still working on)

There is a barge that operates just to the north of Riverside, and sees much activity during the spring, summer and fall but is not operated during the winter months...

More later

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year

First I want to wish anyone reading this a Happy New Year! I'm not going to wax poetic about last year, there were a few things that I would change but for the most part I was happy the way 2010 went...

Now I have re-discovered the OSRIC scene over the last few weeks and have made a few purchases and am running a PbP game over at ODD using the Swords and Wizardry rules and I'm having a blast! Now that shouldn't be a shock to me because I've realized that as long as I'm gaming I'm having fun. Now I understand that there is bad gaming but when I'm GMing I am in my element as a storyteller, and I really enjoy it.

My world, not since second edition have I had a world of my own...well with my paid coaching career on hiatus right now I have more time and I am filling a notebook with notes. This will be a world that I hope to pass on to my son Nathan and he can build on...but that is a story for a different time. No name yet but I know that the game is set in the Northlands and the Whitewoods Barony!