Hexcrawl High: They say that he got crazy once

Well it’s been a month since I last posted about the D&D campaign I’m currently playing. In that month we had two more sessions and then unfortunately the archenemy of adult hobbies, scheduling, reared its ugly head. But we’re resuming play this Thursday. Assuming we can play regularly then I think by the end of October we may be ready to transition to the “second stage” of the campaign I had planned. But now I’m not sure if we will. Continue reading…

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Hexcrawl High: It keeps changing fast and it don’t last for long

Location, location, location. Not just a real estate agent’s mantra or a vehicle for Channel 4 to try to ensnare their viewers with Kirstie Allsopp’s sultry appeal but also the topic for this post. As I mentioned in my last post I’m working on encounter tables and I’ve been flip flopping like a fish trying to escape the belly ripping attentions of an inbred good’ol’boy. Continue reading…

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Hexcrawl High: He saw everything as far as you can see

So much like God when creating the world I had reached the stage in my campaign prep where I needed to populate the hexcrawl with people, animals and the admixtures of the two ubiquitous in every fantasy setting. This is the step I’m currently on, even though we rolled up the characters for the campaign yesterday I still don’t have everything in this step nailed down. Which means I’ve got about five days to bang the rest out in the shed. No worries. Continue reading…

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Hexcrawl High: Coming home to a place he’d never been before

It was about a week ago when the urge struck. I wanted some old school fantasy. I wanted D&D with alignment penalties, with arguing the merits of a Bec de Corbin versus a Guisarme-Volgue, with THAC0 and big swords and helmets with wings on them, with Larry Elmore art and half elven stablehands molesting horses (that last one may be specific to my own AD&D history). This urge was pretty odd to be honest. For two reasons, the first is that fantasy is a genre that I have very much cooled on, I honestly cannot remember the last time I read a fantasy novel and I have no urge to change that. The second reason is that while I have very fond memories of AD&D there is absolutely no rose tint to those memories. Modern systems with unified mechanics are infinitely preferable and while I do miss Stoneskin being amazing I have no urge to return to older mechanics. But still the urge was there. Continue reading…

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Best of 2015 – Videogames

Well that time of year again, I’m typing this up in the first week of January. When I actually finish and post it is anyone’s guess. 2015 was a pretty solid year in terms of gaming as a whole. Lots of great games were released, several of which will easily become “classics”. Most major publishers and platform holders started making serious moves towards promoting VR. Sony had perhaps the greatest E3 ever. Several white whales were spotted and beached (Shenmue 3, FFVII Remake, Last Guardian alive and well). Overall a solid year. But it was also the year of the delay, so many titles got pushed back 2016. Which, when you add in the titles planned for 2016, makes the upcoming year look like a monster. Continue reading…

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GIWTR 02 – Eight Devils of the Demon’s Gate – Part 02.5 – Delays

I was really hoping to keep up bi-weekly posts on this little project but sadly it was clearly not meant to be. While there are some minor extenuating circumstances the main reason for the delay is the process of getting to grips with GURPS that I mentioned in my previous post. I love the idea of a modular endlessly customisable and adaptable system. I also love the basic idea for this campaign. But as it turns out I don’t love reading (literally) hundreds of pages of generic advantages and disadvantages. My first few attempts to slog through it met with failure. Clearly my tolerance for reading pure RPG mechanics has faded as it woudlnt have phased me in the least in the past. While I can appreciate the depth reading through it just to read through it feels like a waste of time. Not that all the effort is wasted as I’ve mentally made provisional lists of which advantages and disadvantages are suitable for the campaign. The customisation options are also impressive, but I think I’ll need to mock up some sample characters just to stop myself falling asleep. I did switch to skimming the text but that only brought me up to the skills chapter. Which is equally unexciting. How an RPG reads has little to do with how it is in play. But this is a spectacularly dull book to read. I shall soldier on, but with no chance to run this in the near future my interest and drive has drifted a bit (to running “pure” Lovecraftian Call of Cthulhu or first edition Earthdawn). I shall try to solider on, if for no other reason than the hopes of making some use of this blog again. I have thought more about the setting (because its easier and I’m lazy). I’ll try and fire up a post outlining that this week (preferably when it isnt five in the morning).

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GIWTR 02 – Eight Devils of the Demon’s Gate – Part 02 – GURPS and Iterative Conversions

Came up with a snappy title, and by came up with I mean just took the literal translation of the antagonists from Ninja Scroll. But I won’t tell if you don’t. So when we last looked at EDotDG (behold my mighty acronym powers) I was considering how best to create a system for the Tracking/”Discovery” phase of the game. I do have some thoughts on that, which I’ll get to later, but while thinking around it other elements sprung up. Perhaps the most pressing of which was how to make the combats against the “Devils” feel both different and fun. Considering the menagerie of huge monsters that show up in most fantasy RPG’s (and a number of other genres) there is surprisingly little written about how to run such combats, in terms of either GM advice or actual mechanics. Continue reading…

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PDF’s, Print on Demand and the allure of custom rulebooks

If you’ve been reading my recent gaming posts you’ll know I’m on something of a GURPS kick as the moment. While reading about it online I came across people discussing custom rulebooks. At first I thought they were simply talking about a PDF with some stuff Frankensteined together. But then I realised they were talking about actual physical books (made from PDF’s Frankensteined together). I’m not going to lie, this idea intrigued me greatly. Continue reading…

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