Saturday, September 27, 2014

This Fortnight in Gaming

The window between posts is narrowing, that's good right?

The Big News:
James' Maliszewsky's Dwimmermount finally shipped!
The kickstarter campaign started back in March 2012. Thirty months later, I have the hard-copy of the Labyrinth Lord version (a truly massive tome, possibly the largest RPG book in my collection) sitting on my desk. The people at Autarch have done an amazing job with this (especially given the hurdles they encountered), it looks like a solid year or two worth of weekly campaigning all packed in one book and ready to go.

If I get bored I may start posting some adaptations to make it to work with 5th edition D&D to have it ready to run the next time I need a game in a hurry.
Regarding Video Games:
Finished: Ni-No-Kuni, Wrath of the White Witch
Not going to waste your time with a review, you can read one elsewhere. Short version would be that this is really fun, clever, cute, what have you, but didn't have much in the way of original ideas worth stealing...except:
The Breach Time spell in the game is exactly the kind of thing I like as a GM. It allows a number of characters (the PCs of course) to travel either forward or backward in time. It seems pretty accurate, dropping the PCs in exactly the place and time they need to be, but--here is the clever part--it can only be cast ONCE in any given caster's lifetime (specifically subjective lifetime). So once the party jumps timelines and goes off to retcon the past of your campaign, they are stuck...
Obviously in the game they found a workaround by having someone else cast it on their behalf to send them back in time, then casting it themselves to get back after leveling up a bit. Also, obviously, your PCs could do the same, but placing such limits on high-powered, campaign altering spells (Wish anyone?) is definitely barking up the right tree.
Started: Kingdom Hearts
Yeah, I've never played it before. Also, yes, this is another cutesy generic-fantasy JRPG, with a side of Disney. Don't judge. I get all my seriousness from tabletop.

Recommended Blog Reading:

Last Gasp Grimoire
Last Gasp has not been in my feed before, I just stumbled on it from who knows where (probably something Zak shared), but I love it. The first Last Gasp post I found was this one, which takes good old fashioned D&D magic and adds a heavy dose of the random, chaotic, and grotesque. I immediately kifed the rules and tacked them on to my latest 5e games (it actually melds quite elegantly with the 5e separation of prepared spells and spell slots). This is now in my daily queue. If you like random tables, old-school gaming, and a heavy dose of the smutty and macabre, it should be in yours too. There is a lot of good stuff to steal.
Warning, in case you missed it somehow, some of the content could be considered NSFW. 

In Other/Real News:

9 Ways to Increase Your Charisma
Psychology Today is not my kind of site. Things that are lists generally do not appeal to me. So, why am I recommending this article? Because while it is lame reading for real-life, it is awesome reading from the perspective of role-playing. I almost always roll up high-Charisma characters (especially in 3.5 and Pathfinder games where it is so easy to spam Charisma to make awesome multi-class characters that are still single-stat dependent), viewed as "advice for how to role-play a high CHA character" this article is awesome.
What I've Been Playing:

More Collective Mayhem
The Ruins of Adventure campaign has really hit its stride with four parties running at once. I started writing more here about how awesomely 5e and 2e work together, then realized I wrote pretty much the same thing to weeks ago, so I won't bore you with repeating myself. The adventures of the various parties will appear here as regularly as I can write them. For now, here is a quick run-down of where things are:

Awesome picture courtesy of Tony DiTerlizzi
  • The Herald and the Expatriates (ongoing play-by-email, AD&D 2nd edition): A little slow lately. Still preparing for a giant show-down with some kobolds. 
  • The Bitter Blades (bi-weekly, G+ hangout, AD&D 2nd edition): Got themselves TPK'd by undead shadows. Rebooting this weekend as a party of bandits out to reclaim the loot that the former PCs dropped before someone else does.
  • Inquisitor Faustus (bi-weekly, G+ hangout, solo adventure, 5th edition): Still hanging out in Hillsfar, investigating a possible Zhentarim plot and the theft of a holy relic.
  • "The Third Party" (weekly, face-to-face, 5th edition):  Made it back to Phlan in one piece, won themselves a small keep north of town, and are now meddling in the politics of the city, trying to legalize same-sex relationships and give women the right to hold public office.

What I'm Waiting For:
I'm not spending a lot of money on gaming these days--there is just so much material that I already have that I have yet to use, and I find collecting for collecting's sake pretty boring. That said, there are a few things that I have laid down some theoretical/digital cash for that I am awaiting not-so-patiently (especially not so patiently as I waited for Dwimmermount):
(1) Andreas Walters's The Baby Bestiary. I'm a sucker for cuteness and monsters. If it arrives on time, the hard copy will probably be wrapped up as a present for my kids (who are also suckers for cuteness and monsters).
(2) Rafael Chandler's No Salvation for Witches. Not at all cute, but I already have the pdf and am using pieces of it for most of my games right now. It is exactly the kind of twisted, broken, and evil that appeals to me.
(3) Zak's Smith's A Red and Pleasant Land. Not kickstarted, but it will get my money as soon as it comes off the presses. Because, again, this is exactly my kind of twisted, and Zak's previous contributions to the hobby have been infinitely poachable.