Friday, October 27, 2017

The Second Generation

Inspired by a now-I-can't-find-it G+ thing.
  Like the header says, I've been playing D&D and other TRPGs for 40 years and going. RPGs are my hobby of choice. My first planned date with my now-wife was a D6 Star Wars session (which I must write up some day). The default present my friends get me is a bundle consisting of a college-ruled notebook, a book of graph paper, and a pack of mechanical pencils.
  My wife has been playing with me since we met, obviously. Once we began having kids we all knew it was just a matter of time. Our oldest (Jack) was inventing D&D monsters when he was 4 (and the lemon devil is feared in my campaigns to this day!). Jack was reading the AD&D PHB by 6 and asking to play soon after, but his 3 younger brothers interrupted a lot, so he and I played a lot of Starfleet Battles, instead.
  Finally, it happened. Nick, the then-youngest, turned 6 and had a ton of patience. I had been working on an AD&D 2e S&P campaign (my wife's favorite RPG is 2e with all the Skills and Powers books!). The wife and kids all made characters, and we started a dedicated campaign from 1st level.
  The climax, although not end, for that first party is here.
  In the 9 years since we have played a ton of RPGs ranging from the Battletech RPG to HERO 6e to a series of playtest sessions for Rolemaster Unified. Three of my four oldest have DM'ed at least a bit and a common lament from Nick is that we need to become independently wealthy so we have the time to play 8 hours a day 4 to 5 days a week. The oldest is running his own group with friends at a FLGS and the kids even run their own games (usually 4e or 5e) among themselves.

  One thing that I have noticed is - while I know a fair amount of fellow gamers with kids who play, mine seem older. Jack is almost 21, for example.
  So here are some of my observations about my own older second generation players

They Have No Idea How Good They Are
  Outwitting traps, puzzles, etc. in games? Modules made by others? Sometimes they don't notice that there is a trick because it is so intuitive to them. My favorite was from the Hidden Shrine
  I run a 'classic' module every Halloween weekend. Usually heavily modified.
  I was running the 'inverted' version where they start outside. They get to the top.
  They see the altar to the bat god. The conversation went something like:
  Jack: "Mayincatec altar; bat god. We obviously need to spill blood to open a secret door."
  Sam: "Into the bat mouth. Probably has to be fresh, too."
  Nick: "I bet it bites down."
  Alex: "Obviously it won't let go; use the Bag of Beans."
  Jack: "Certainly."
  [end SPOILERS]
  Here's the thing; I've never used vaguely Aztec stuff before, I think I've hit the party with 4 traps ever, and none of them had read the thing!
  They do this sorta' thing all the damn time, too.
  Now I just assume I have to make everything 25% more deadly and that 2 or 3 of my 3 twists won't work.

Time Sucks Don't Work
  I gave up on giving them timed  quests and then trying to distract them. Oh, I'll give a time limit, but I just know that no amount of 'there might be gold if you pause' works.

They're Opinionated
  This may be genetic.
  Nick? He's an AD&D, no Unearthed Arcana, 3d6 in order and suck it up, kinda' guy. There is no other "real" Dungeons & Dragons. He hates that I use my house rules in my 38 year old campaign and mentions it a lot.
  That's just an example.
  Thing is? Its wonderful. They can logically defend their opinions and aren't unwilling to try new or other things. Their strong opinions lead to, oh, Nick's many great new magic items, or Jack's wildly original campaign settings or Alex's stellar roleplaying at the table, or Sam's keen insight into design.

They Love RPGs
  They love that I have for this crazy pastime? They caught it. It is something we share and that binds our family together.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Classic Traveller: More for the Clash of Stars Campaign - Mercenary Cruiser and Mercenary Company

  I never really liked the mercenary cruiser from Classic Traveller. Once I was in the army, I liked it less. So I took the opportunity to make my version of a mercenary unit and cruiser for my new Traveller campaign!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Superhero Book is Coming: A Sneak Peek

  The Fun Lads and I have been working on a new superhero book for months. Here is a sneak peek at one of the characters.

His Story- Pierre Gustav Toutant Beauregard Hazzard (or  just 'Beau') was born in rural Alabama near Bakerhill the oldest of five children born to Jeb Stuart 'Stu' Hazzard and Roberta Leeanne 'Bobbi Lee' (Macon) Hazzard. His father worked his own farm and pulled second shifts at a chicken processing plant to pay off the mortgage while his mother played organ in church and organized free meals for new mothers, the sick, and the needy throughout the county.
  He worked on the farm from as soon as he could walk and developed a knack for repairing machinery with 'make do' parts and tools. He was fiercely protective of his younger siblings and was soon known as a good fighter and for his strength.
  He did well in school and would have had better than decent grades if he hadn't preferred hunting, fishing, and working on cars to homework.
  At about age 16 he realized that puberty was a bit different for him. By 17 he knew he was superhuman and soon learned how tough and strong he was, as well as his ability to fly. He reined it in for years until, just after graduating high school a fire at the state fair threatened scores of people. He seized a 1,000 water tank and doused the flames with it while flying, an act captured on dozens of cameras.
  A bystander referred to him as 'that freebird lookin' good ole boy' and the name stuck.

What he looks like- In some ways he is so nondescript as to defy description. He is a man in his early 20's with brown hair, brown eyes, a muscular build without looking like a bodybuilder, and a perpetual smile. He never wears a mask, but is almost never recognized.
  The closest thing he has to a 'costume' is what he typically wears when expecting trouble: steel-toed work boots, jeans, a t-shirt with an American flag, and a confederate battle flag bandanna over his hair.

What he can do- He is one of the strongest and toughest superhumans in the world, maybe the strongest and toughest. He is immune to almost all diseases, all known toxins, and radiation. He can fly at speeds up to mach 12. His senses are only as good as a normal man, but he is a skilled observer with a lifetime of hunting experience.
  He is an excellent mechanic and craftsman, a decent tracker, and has a lot of experience with people. He is a skilled fighter with a lot of experience before he gained powers.
  A life-long hunter, he is a savvy opponent who will take his time to study a foe, search for traps, recon all possible exits, etc. He is much more stealthy than most assume and is quite capable of sneaking up to within arm's reach of even an alert foe.

What he's like- He was raised to be a Southern gentleman, and it shows. He is unfailingly polite,  uses 'sir' and 'ma'am' as appropriate, will never swear in public or in front of women or children, and will never lie. He will never cheat, steal, or rob anyone. He has a strong sense of honor and will keep his word. He will also defend his honor and one of the worst mistakes you can make is to lie to, cheat, rob, or betray him.
  He judges others by their words and deeds, not on appearance education, or wealth. That being said, he is wary of Northerners and urbanites.
  He loves helping people for its own sake and will never seek out attention, the press, or accolades. He is very selfless and giving of his time and attention, especially to children.
  He is aware that others sometimes mistake his dress and drawl for ignorance or stupidity and will play that to his own advantage.

Classic Traveller: Ships for the Clash of Stars Campaign

  As I wrote just today I am gearing up for a CT campaign focused in a TL 9 interstellar nation. Here are a few of the homebrew ships.

Classic Traveller Campaign the Clash of Stars: Setting Details

  Hi, everyone! Posting has been light due to a new contract keeping me at work long hours, but gaming has been going on in the background.
  I have mentioned the general setting before.
  I have mentioned a few more details and even a starmap before [althought the final map will differ].
  Let's get down to some nuts and bolts!