Monday, November 4, 2019

DM Report: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

  As I have mentioned before, over the years I have very rarely used a published module and, when I do, I heavily modify it. The exception has been that over the last few years at Halloween the players all make one-shot characters and I run a classic module.
  Then there is Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.
  For a variety of reasons that could fill a novella in the Winter of 1980 through the Summer of 1985 I DMed Expedition to the Barrier Peaks about 8 times, never for my own "main group" and never canonical in my own setting. Just one of those things.
  So this year the Halloween adventure was Expedition!
  The players all took last Friday off of work and we started Thursday night and played 4 hours. Then 6 on Friday, 6 on Saturday, and 4 on Sunday, wrapping up the module in a grand total of 20 hours that included breaks for meals (I got a new smoker and we blew through a LOT of meat).

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Scaling and Threats: DM Insights

We all know the player where we aren't sure what the heck they're doing at the table. Here's my favorite example, from my old friend Mike Nevala's d6 Star Wars game.

  The young Jedi, hotshot pilot, young senatorial, and smuggler were separated in the Imperial base. The Jedi (me) found the young senatorial (now my wife on what was our first real date a looooooong time ago) pinned down by blaster fire and rescued her. The smuggler (my wife's best pal) had already stolen a shuttle and was waiting for us at a side exit. The hotshot pilot (Dave, in his first game with us) was on top of a lift when this occurred.
  Mike: "Above you you see a metal grate about 4 meters square - the top of the lift shaft. Above it you see the lift machinery. The elevator will be at the top soon, if you don't do something you'll be crushed."
  Dave: "Uhhhhhh. I pray."
  Mike: "Wha?"
  Dave: " I kneel in the corner and pray for the Force to save me."
  Mike: "Ummmm. OK, as you raise your eyes in prayer you see that in the very center of the grate the grill has a different pattern, an area about a meter on the side."
  Dave: "Does the Force tell me what to do?"
  Mike: "....noooo. But that square area could be an access hatch or something."
  Dave: "I don't move."
  Mike: "OK, well. You die."

  Dave never played with us again. I saw him 2 years later and he was still complaining bitterly that Mike was a killer GM.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Play Report: Dragon Heist

  I get to write a play report!
  For my birthday everyone promised to get me at the table in front of the screen more often.
  Jack picked up the adventure Dragon Heist.

  Players:
  Me: 1st level dwarven wizard Don Jose Francisco Diego Bernardino Mateo Marco Maria Mateo de la Chula Vista, Conde de San Luis Obispo. Noble, bon vivant, and natural philosopher.
  Sam: 1st level skeleton bard Mr. Skeleton. A good, decent man who loved music so much he returned from the grave to play. Can't speak.
  Nick: 1st level half-elven cleric of war Elendil the Blackhearted. Formerly a pirate notorious for his viciousness, he had an epiphany, changed his ways forever, and is now a mighty force for Good and foe of injustice.

Monday, September 30, 2019

DM Report: the trip to Robias

  Over the weekend we had a bookkeeping session/mini-adventure/investigation mission.
  The Party:
  Jennifer = Fiona, half-elven Fighter/Magic-user
  Jack = Athanasius, human Cleric
  Alex = the Sparrow, half-elven Fighter/Thief
  Sam = Clarence, Human Fighter/Ninja (books, wishes, and such involved)
  Nick = Thoren, half-orc Fighter/Thief

Sunday, September 22, 2019

DM Report: Return to the haunted Tower - with guest player

  The players have not been back to the village of Richacre and the Haunted Tower in 5 years (real time). First level characters on their first adventure played.

Jack - a half-elven thief
Sam - an elven fighter
Nick - a human cleric
David - a dwarven fighter


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Worldbuilding: Precision or Atmosphere?

  The Fun Lads Four (who will soon be the Fun Lads Five as the youngest is rapidly joining the nerdery) and I were going over campaign notes last night and we were discussing how very subtle shifts in tone result is massive changes in perception. We think we came up with some insights:

Saturday, September 14, 2019

DM Notes: Seaward, the Celestial Bureaucracy, Genies, and Cambions

  As I have written about extensively, clerics, religious brothers, and all 'good guy human/semi-human/demi-human/etc.' NPCs/PCs in the Seward area are essentially Medieval Catholics. I vaguely mention that druids, Oriental Adventures PCs/NPCs, my guys from Arabialand, cultists, and humanoids aren't.
  But what are they?