If I pay attention I just might learn something #DnD #Pathfinder

The boys are big console players. Specifically Call of Duty, and it’s many variants. Last night James bought a new variant that is a zombie hunting game set in a variant World War One setting. I was watching Danny play it some this morning and it is awful cool. Almost wish I had the skills to play a console game. The more important take away for me though is how I could adapt a role playing game that is like one of these games.

Being old school of course, and a reformed table top miniatures player I thought of how to use my vast stock of table top miniatures. And then I thought of how my favorite game, and universe, was the Mutant Chronicles and Warzone. For which I have a very large quantity of miniatures. And I thought, hey, you know I could probably adapt a Savage Worlds setting for Mutant Chronicles. So I grabbed my book on my way to work.

Then I thought, well maybe someone else has already done that work for me. Which led to a quick google search at work, and lo and behold, there is a game coming out soon that will do just that. And now I am excited by the potential here. I still plan to run Star Wars as my next major change, because that setting is the most accessible one for them.

The other part of this that I have learned is that maybe it is time to change up a little. It is certainly possible to make the games similar to consoles, and that is something I will strive to do more of. I even came across a very interesting post a few weeks back (lost the link though) which mentioned keeping track of kills and other things in the game, and giving out little achievement awards to the players. Which is similar to what you see in video games, and might help keep the boys going as they play.

All in all I learned a couple of things over the past couple of weeks and during my down time. I think that the boys would enjoy making the game a little more console like as far as tactical combat, and handing out small awards. And I need to give them a little more credit when it comes to thinking like that. Use more one shot items, things that need to be reloaded etc. Those are all concepts they are comfortable with. I am excited to restart the game, and excited to take it all in a slightly different direction, one that is maybe a little more suited to the players.

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Do I have to pick just one? #30DayChallenge #DnD

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Combining the last 2 into 1 post due to the brevity of one post.

Day 29 – What is the number you always seem to roll on a D20?

You know what happens if you are raised in a family of mathematicians who also enjoy games? You learn to ignore dice rolls, knowing that whatever happens is random. From my earliest days playing Risk (one of the worst games known to man.) I knew that the odds of a given number were always the same regardless of past rolls. Which means that to this day I have a built in tendency to ignore trends on a dice result, or pay any attention to them. Which is a really long way of saying I have no idea what number I always seem to roll.

Day 30 – Best DM You’ve Had

Here is where I almost refuse to make a choice. Because I have gamed for so long, with so many different groups and players and games. Having played in all of those different scenarios I have different criteria for best.

For a D&D game full of action, but finding a good way to role play through that action my DM in Denver is the best. Mark runs a very action packed game, and encourages us to role play through our choices in combat and action. His games are not so much a story as an adventure. They are the Mad Max Fury Road of role playing.

For a great story, variety in NPC’s and more role playing in the story my buddy Forrest is great. His combats are not the best, but he runs a good campaign, tells a great story, and keeps everyone involved.

For the best at setting an atmosphere my friend Stu takes the cake. His games are probably the best I have ever been in when it came to creating an overall atmosphere. He ran a one off game of his, called Redneck the Reckoning, that felt like we had all taken hallucinogens, And everyone of his games was like that, just great at capturing the atmosphere.

As you can see, it is impossible to pick just one DM for me. There are so many different components to a good game, and so many different game styles that picking just one is pretty much impossible. So if I want a different style I know what to look for. And it also depends on the game itself. Some games call for adventure (AKA combat), others for story, others for atmosphere and mystery. So picking just one is not possible.

This world will not see his like again #30DayChallenge #DnD

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Day 28 – A character you will never play ever again

Harken back to the old days of D&D, the original days of AD&D. When there were no web sites. There were magazines, but they only came out once a month. Where we teenagers had to make things up as we went along. Like I saw on one web site, those were not days of yore where everyone was low level, had few magic items if any, and it was a fun slog. No, it was not like that, instead it was wild and woolly, with an anything goes approach. And it was in that vein that Rongvald was born.

What happens when a Lawful Good Archpriest is seduced by a Succubus and a child is born of that union? We all know now that the result would be a Cambion, or potentially a Tiefling. But back in those days we flew by the seat of our pants and just made things up.

So the product of that union was a creature of volatility and strangeness. Rongvald had a choice: be a human Paladin of great power, or a Chaotic Evil demon, or claim true neutrality and gain great powers but be cursed with an ever changing shape. I chose the neutral option, which allowed him to progress as a multi-classed Fighter/Cleric/Magic user/Illusionist with Psionic abilities (yeah, I know, remember the days.)

Rongvald became a mighty warrior and leader. Founding and expanding a great Empire. Such was his might and renown that he brought forth the Demon King Demogorgon from the Abyss to challenge him. The fight was short, as both perished in the first round as Rongvald’s mighty blow cleaved the Demon, but not before falling to a Psychic blast.

When I say I will never play the character again, it is not because I hated the character. Far from it, in fact I really liked that character. But it is better to say he was retired, and lost to history. He was created in days when if we weren’t sure what to do we just made up a rule. And it is for that reason that we shall never see his like again.

Oh wow, so many ideas #DnD #30DayChallenge

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Day 27 – A character you want to play in the future

I really cannot think of just one concept that I like more than another. I guess that comes with the territory when you make characters for fun. There are so many ideas spinning around in my head, just waiting for a chance to play.

In Pathfinder I have already come up with 3 backup characters in case Viper ever bites the dust. First is a pure fighter, wielding a 2 handed sword, really based on a figure I have. Second is a rogue explorer, who specializes in exploring the undead cities in the world. And third is a halfling evoker who just loves fire spells.

I still like my concept of the Gnome Monk, a kind of Yoda precursor. And continuing on that theme is the Jedi Paladin, a concept that will only work in D&D 5E, which has a more open idea of what it means to be a Paladin.

Yeah, there are just so many ideas spinning through my head. I couldn’t really pick just one that I want to play in the future, because I want to play them all!

But again that is what has always kept me in role playing games, I love creating characters. It is one of my favorite mental exercises. And some times I will do it just to calm myself down when I am feeling especially anxious, as a calming and centering exercise. Whenever I hear people talking about a game they are in all I can think of is what kind of character I could play.

let’s be honest for a minute, I’m simple #30DayChallenge #DnD

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Day 26 – Favorite Nonmagic Item

When I was in 7th grade I changed schools, going from a Public elementary to a private middle school that was heavily influenced by a 60’s counterculture element. And the first day everyone was sitting in a circle and introducing ourselves. When it came to me, I said my name and that I liked to study military history and such things. However, as I learned later my introduction came across more like ‘I like war!’. And I have to be honest for a minute, I still like some aspects of that, I marvel at the picture of a beautiful weapon, I like action movies, and I like books with plenty of action.

And when it comes to Dungeons and Dragons or any other role playing, I admit that I focus on combat and action. My characters are rarely if ever unprepared for action. And so if you ask me what my favorite non-magic item, I’m going to say a sword. That is kind of pat, I know.

But to continue in honesty, I rarely worry about the other stuff. I don’t much dig on making players worry about things like food, encumbrance etc. I don’t build games around puzzles or traps. Generally if people want to solve problems they will have to find a way to defeat it.

Well now, so many choices #30DayChallenge #DnD

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Day 25 – Favorite Magic Item

Of course I like magic swords, rings of protection, gauntlets of strength, the usual stuff. But if I had to pick the one that I think has the most potential to be cool and fun I guess I can narrow it down to the first thing my Ranger bought in my Pathfinder game: Boots of Striding & Springing.

Not every game or combat has the chance to do acrobatic combat. But from the time I made a one shot Dwarf with these boots I saw the potential. In his case it was so he could turn himself into a missile weapon. But for my Ranger the idea is that I can get that much closer to achieving that Legolas/Hawkeye like archer. Jumping away from combat, then shooting. Leaping up to wall tops, running from spot to spot. I could do it all with these boots.

Again, it is not so much that I don’t like the utilitarian things, like swords, armor, etc. But I just think the boots have the most potential for fun and enjoyment.

Fire, Fire #DnD #30DayChallenge

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Day 24 -Favorite Energy Type

This was almost as easy as the favorite Dragon type. I mean come on, I am the kid that this cartoon was made about (in part)

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As a child of the 70’s, with pretty exhausted/Free Range parents and 2 older brothers, of course I played with fire. I never tried to burn any structures down or anything, but it is still the coolest (pardon the pun) energy around.

That is one of the reasons I don’t get quite as upset when the boys use lots of fireballs, with fire swords etc. You want to purge the world with fire? Sure go ahead. Now of course I don’t feel quite the same about fires as I once did after seeing my home town hit by 2 major wildfires, but still it is a favorite.

Some things just don’t belong or make any sense

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Day 23 – Least Favorite Monster Overall

What on earth is the purpose of the Oozes/Puddings? I just cannot figure out what they exist for, or how they would fit in any ecosystem, even one as odd as the standard D&D one. Sure there are some strange thigns out there, strange plant creatures, Monster earth burrowers. But the Oozes just don’t make any sense.

Of course I will admit that I don’t exactly run a lot of traditional Dungeon Crawls. That would be because the idea of a bunch of underground fortresses don’t make a lot of sense to me either. I guess I run different kind of campaign than that. Maybe if the group was underground more, delving into tunnels and fortresses it might make more sense that there was somehow a creature made of ooze. But I don’t, and therefore this just doesn’t make sense to me.

It is so simple, but few people realize it #30DayChallenge #DnD

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Day 22 – Favorite Monster Overall

I have just 1 go to monster. When you have to introduce something that will scare the players, make them worry, and if necessary beat them down. There is just one thing to use: other player characters. Think about it, what is the most dangerous thing in the game? Sure you can look through the Monster Manual and find some scary stuff. Or some interesting things, monsters that can sneak up on the party, or gang up on them.

But when I really want to make things interesting, I bring out other characters, technically NPC’s I guess. I just think they make the most interesting opponents. You can tailor them as much as you want, show them what they could be doing differently.

If you think about it big picture, the party is probably the scariest thing around in any given game. The local monsters fear, hate them. Villains plot against them. The locals just hope they don’t turn against them. Especially when they reach a certain level, and begin to gain renown, they become the biggest monster around.

I’m old school #30DayChallenge #DnD #Dragons

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Day 21 – Favorite Dragon Color/Type

There is only one Dragon for me. I am aware that there are other types, and that if you explore and dig into it they can do a lot more. But in my mind the following is what a Dragon is:

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I guess that is what happens when you have the Hobbit read to you when you are in Kindergarten, are raised in the 70’s where the Brothers Hildebrandt illustrations of the Hobbit are the image of Fantasy. When I picture a dragon, this is the image in my head, or at least the first to come to my mind.

So if you ask for my favorite Dragon type/color, the choice is simple. Give me an Ancient, huge Red Dragon, every time!