Friday, February 28, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 28!

What is the single most important lesson that you learned from playing D&D?

People want to have fun.  When players are messing up your plot, killing important NPCs, and burning down villages, it is because they want to have a good time.  Roll with it and have fun.  I believe that the same philosophy goes for the rest of life.  When everyone at the table is laughing, you are doing it right.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 27!

If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything different when you first started gaming?

When I was young I actually did not game that much.  I felt that I had to have a complete mastery of the rules before I started playing.  This was especially tricky when I started to buy GURPS books.  I didn't realize that most people did not know every rule of D&D, and that half of the fun was making stuff up on the fly to cover crazy situations that the players and DM came up with.  

If I could do it over again I would spend less time trying to memorize rules, because I think that it is impossible to remember all of the rules for D&D.  I would play more, and make up house rules as I go.  This is my philosophy now when it comes to gaming.  Play first, rules second.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 26!

Do you still game with the group that introduced you to the hobby?

No.  My brother was my introduction to the hobby.  It was his Monster Manual and Players Handbook that I used to look through while making up stories in my head.  It was his stack of modules that I used to leaf through, enjoying the maps, traps, and new monsters.  It was my brother’s minis that I used to fight imaginary battles with.

My brother has not played in many years.  He doesn't have an interest in D&D anymore.  I will always be grateful for his influence, as he introduced me to a hobby that allows me to use my intelligence and imagination to have fun with my friends.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 25!

Longest Running Campaign that I’ve Been In

The longest running campaign that I’ve been a part of is the current campaign that I am running.  We started out playing Hackmaster Basic (which is a ruleset once removed from D&D) and then we changed it over to Pathfinder later on.  The campaign officially started on May 29, 2011 and has been running to the present day.  We have taken a few breaks, we have lost some people, and we have gained some new ones but it has been one coherent campaign since the beginning.

Monday, February 24, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 24!

First movie that comes to your mind that you associate with D&D

Ralph Bashki’s Hobbit is the movie that I associate with D&D the most.  I thought that the Hobbit and D&D took place in the same universe as a kid.  I was bothered that D&D spellcasting didn't work like Gandalf’s magic.  Gandalf didn't have to memorize spells every day.  This film was D&D in my mind; they fought goblins, there was magic, they fought a dragon, there were dark caverns to explore, there were riddles, etc.  This was a quest undertaken by a bunch of bumbling adventurers.  If you have never seen it, check it out.  I think that Bashki did a much better job of capturing the spirit of the Hobbit that Peter Jackson is doing.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 23! Music!

First song that comes to mind that you associate with D&D

“Dungeon Hustle” by Mississippi Bones is the song that I associate with D&D the most.  It has a crunchy metal tune with lyrics about kicking monster’s asses.  When I hear this song I want to pick up a longsword and start swinging.  It reminds me of the fighter I have in my campaign, he is not happy unless he is adding +20 to his to-hit rolls and chopping up enemies into mulch.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 22!

First D&D Novel that You Read 

The first time that I read D&D fiction was when I picked up a copy of the Dragonlance Saga graphic novel from Waldenbooks.  I was book #1 and it had an awesome cover on the front showing the characters camping, and it had another awesome picture on the back of three of the characters facing off against a dragon that has Raistlin trapped under its claw.  I read that book over and over.  I loved the scene where Raistlin reads a scroll and the letters vanish off of the parchment.  I remember thinking, "So that is how that works."  I also liked that fact that Raislin was sick, I had never seen a main character with such a physical fault before.  I read the novel Dragons of Autumn Twilight years later, and I realized that the graphic novel adapted the first half of the book.

Friday, February 21, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 21!

First time you sold some of your D&D books.

I have never sold a D&D book.  In fact, I have probably bought some of yours.  I did give my friend a copy of my 4th edition Beginners Box.  She had given me some board games from her collection and had expresses some interest in trying out D&D.  I had no plans for playing 4th ed so I sent it to her.  I considered it an act of proselytizing.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 20! Make Mine Marvel!

First non-D&D rpg you played

The first non-D&D rpg that I played was the old Marvel game that TSR published.  I bought a copy of it at a Kay Bee toy store.  I made my parents play it with me.  I gmed and I ran them through the first part of the Day of the Octopus adventure that came with the basic set.  I don’t think that they got the concept, but they got kudos for trying.  

If you are interesting in that system, there is a free retro clone of it called the Four Color System.  Also, the files for the old Marvel game can be found around the internet as abandonware.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 19! That Guy That Stole My Game!

First Gamer that Just Annoyed the Hell Out of You

The dude who stole my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rpg in high school was pretty annoying.  I don't even think that he was a real gamer.  He asked to borrow it and then then just told me that he wasn't going to give it back.  That was a total dick move.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 18! Game Conventions

First gaming convention you went to

I’ve never been to a big gaming convention, but I did go to a comic book convention in Texarkana a couple of years ago where I sat in on a game of the old TSR Marvel rpg.  The two characters that I could pick from were Black Cat and the Punisher, and people were giving me crap for choosing Black Cat.  The highlight of the game was when the GM asked my friend who was playing Daredevil if he wanted to pull his punches.  I screamed out, “You’re Frank Miller’s Daredevil, you don’t pull your punches!”

Monday, February 17, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 17! D&D is Evil

First time you heard the D&D was evil

I remember when I was six or seven my Mom called my brother and I into the TV room.  She told us that there was going to be a story on the news about D&D.  She thought that we would want to watch it because she knew my brother played it.  We gazed at the screen in anticipation.  Suddenly the newscaster was talking about Satanism and suicide.  My brother and I were let down, but our parents never gave us a hard time about D&D during the media witch hunt. That was the first time that I heard about D&D being evil.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 16! Edition Wars

Do you remember your first edition war?  Did you win?

Edition wars are for neckbeards.  If you like a game, then play it!  I have played many rpgs, and even the ones that I didn’t like still had something in it that I thought was clever, neat, or valuable.  Also, it is okay to offer criticisms, especially in the spirit of wanting improvement.  But darn it, everyone is entitled to enjoy the game they want!*

*Except for FATAL, that game is whack.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

D&D Blog Hop 15! I Love All Editions!

First Edition of D&D that You Didn't Enjoy

I like them all.  Seriously.  I don’t have too much experience with 2nd, and I think that 3.5/Pathfinder has way too many rules, but they are all cool.

I love the aesthetic and weirdness of 1st edition.

I love the simplicity of Basic.

I loved that 2nd edition had Spelljammer.

I love that 3rd edition gave way to the OGL and gives players cool options.

I love that when I played 4th edition I got to be a first level mage that kicked ass.

I really was enticed by the D&D Next playtest and how streamlined things were.  I am looking forward to the next edition.

Friday, February 14, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 14!

Random Monster for Valentine's Day

Death Rose

The Death Rose looks like a normal rose bush, but the flowers are translucent silver.  Anyone who touches a Death Rose bush or handles a Death Rose flower must make a save vs. poison.  Anyone who fails the save loses 1 hp every hour as they agonize over lost loves and regrets as to what could have been.  A remove curse will cure the player.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 13! Minis

First miniatures you used for D&D

I used my brother’s stuff when I started out, so I used his Grenadier miniatures.  He had the boxed set of Explorers, Monsters, and Dwarves.  He never painted them.  I didn't know minis could be painted until much later.

Here is a great website on the old Grenadier line.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 12!

First place you bought your gaming supplies.  Is it still around?

The one place that I used to buy most of my gaming products was Waldenbooks.  I was even a member of their Otherworlds club.  They closed up years ago.  Some of the games and books that I bought at a Waldenbooks include:

Oriental Adventures
World of Greyhawk boxed set
Shadowrun 1st edition
GURPS Prisoner
All of the Fighting Fantasy books
Plus a bunch of sci-fi books, comics, and magazines!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 11! Splatbooks (or lack thereof)

First “Splatbook” you begged you DM to approve

I didn't play 2nd edition, so I missed all of those splatbooks.  I didn't play 3rd edition either.  I am running a Pathfinder game right now, and I am allowing anything from Paizo’s SRD.  This led to a Tengu Archaeologist joining the party.  That’s cool with me, because I like gonzo fantasy campaigns.

Monday, February 10, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 10!

Day 10:  First Gaming Magazine You Bought

I didn't really know that Dragon existed when I was growing up.  The first gaming magazines that I saw were issues of Paper Mayhem, which was a play-by-mail zine that was published in the town we were living in at the time.  The first gaming magazine that I bought was an issue of Autoduel Quarterly, the magazine that was dedicated to Steve Jackson’s Car Wars game.  My brother introduced me to Car Wars, and I had almost every Car Wars product that was released up to Boat Wars.  Appropriately enough the first issue that I bought had rules for adding magic to your Car Wars game.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

D&D Blog Hop day 9! First Campaign Setting You Played In

First Published Campaign Setting You Played In

My friend ran me through a solo adventure in Ravenloft.  I played about 4 characters, and they were all made from Oriental Adventures.  That’s right, I had a samurai, a ninja, a wu-jen, and a shukenja taking on vampires in Ravenloft.  Ah, youth.

Yeah, it was kinda like that...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 8! Dice!

First set of polyhedral dice that you owned.

I co-opted my brother’s dice when I was young.  They are blue with uninked numbers.  I still have them, but the d10s are missing. They don't get much use today, they are mostly around for nostalgia.

My brother's dice.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Things I am Excited to See in the River of Heaven RPG

I just received a copy of the draft rules for River of Heaven, the new d100 rpg based on Openquest.  I got my copy because I’m a kickstarter backer.  We are not allowed to distribute the document, but we are allowed to talk about what we see.  I glance through the document and was impressed as to how complete the game is now.  There are also many additions that excited me.

Point based and random character creation
It is cool to have options for both.

Not by that name, but there are rules for bio-created humans.

Humans modified by space
This game has transhuman elements, but not to the gonzo extant of Eclipse Phase.  There are rules for humans who grow up in microgravity environments.

Characters can modify themselves in the transhuman sense, but if they do it too much they are post human and become unplayable.

Stats for robots in the book, yeah!

Tons of setting material
I had the assumption that this game would be like Mongoose’s Traveller book; big on rules, brief on setting, with supplements to flesh things out later.  There is a ton of backstory, information on planets, stars, etc. included in the book. I would say that it takes up the majority of the space.

Recommended reading
I always like it when an rpg has an “Appendix N”; a place where you can find works of fiction and nonfiction that can give you inspiration for your game.  This project seems to have two big inspirations, Alastair Reynolds and Frank Herbert.  I hope to see some more recommended reading added to the final edition.

Playable in different eras
I can see using these rules to play many different types of space games, such as a game set in the universe of  Leviathan Wakes, Dune, Stargate, Bladerunner, or an awesome homebrew.

This project is still on Kickstarter.  They have meet their goal and first stretch goal.  There will be tons of art.  The next stretch goal is for color art.  I hope it reaches this, because color art is pretty!  Check it out if you haven’t.

D&D Blog Hop Day 7! First D&D Product I Ever Bought

First D&D Product that I Bought

This is a tough one.  It was either the World of Greyhawk boxed set or Oriental Adventures for 1st ed. AD&D.  I remember buying the Greyhawk set because I was curious as to what was inside it.  I thought it might be a boardgame/rpg hybrid.  I thought that the maps were way cool but was also disappointed that there were no dungeon modules inside.

I think that I am going to say Oriental Adventures was the first product that I bought.  I always borrowed my brother’s rulebooks and he had a ton of modules so I never really felt the need to buy my own stuff.  However when I saw that there were rules for ninja, I grabbed that sucker right off the shelf. I don't have the Greyhawk box anymore but I do still have my copy of Oriental Adventures.

My book!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 6! Dragons (or not)

First dragon your character slew.

Haven’t done this one yet.  For a game with dragons in the title, I have seen few dragons in actual play.  Defeating a dragon is on my roleplaying bucket list.  I did fight a naga in a Pathfinder game.  I was playing a barbarian and the foul creature hit me with a lighting bolt.  I decided to rage and hack it to bits.  

Gaming resolution, more dragons!!!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ConTessa is coming up! Feb 7-9

ConTessa, the online game convention is this weekend.  You should sign up.  Events are for everyone!  Online conventions are awesome and a great way to grow the hobby.  You can play a game you've never tried.  You can play with people from all areas of the word.  

ConTessa has a great roster of games this year.  Check out their list of events.

All players are welcome.  Game and have fun! For more info go to

D&D Blog Hop Day 5!

Highest character I ever ran.

I had a half-orc thief that I was playing in a Hackmaster 4th edition game.  Hackmaster 4th was built off of the 2nd ed. AD&D rules.  I believe that I got him up to 3rd level.  I really wanted him to learn how to make poisons.  The best thing he was good at was digging a proper grave. He had that skill at over 100%.
Grave-digger by Victor Vasnetsov

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Day 4! First Dungeon and Old Toys!

First dungeon you explored as a PC.

That would be the Caves of Chaos from the Keep on the Borderlands. Mr brother ran me through it.  I was mesmerized by the blue ink map.  I remember very little of that session; mostly there are images of my brother reading box text and myself moving around Ral Partha Grenadier miniatures.  

The idea of the dungeon crawl enchanted me.  My brother had the old school dungeon tiles that were printed on cardboard.  I used to borrow them and build my own dungeons.  I also had a box of blue plastic kitchen tiles that my parents had left over from some home improvement project.  I used to lay those out and use my Dungeons and Dragons action figures from Toys R Us (anyone remember those?) to create even more dungeons.  I can see my seven year old self now, laying out a maze of tiles that I would populate with PVC goblins and orcs.   My heroes would trek through and slay them while I rolled d6s and used my homebrew system, as I was still too young to understand the D&D books.

If you are unfamiliar with the D&D action figures from the 80s, or just need a good dose of nostalgia, check out this clip.

Toy Archive also has a good article on the old D&D line of action figures.

Monday, February 3, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Challenge Day 3! First Character Death!

First character death?  How did you handle it?

When I was young I begged my brother to let me roll up a wizard.  My wizard had 1 hit point and he walked about ten feet into the dungeon and died.  I honestly don’t remember how, maybe a strong gust of wind knocked him down.  I never even got to cast one spell. I cried like a baby.  To this day I will let any magic users in any 1st edition campaign I run start at second level.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Challenge Day 2! First Person You Introduced to D&D

First person you introduced to D&D. Which edition? Their first Character?

The first person that I actually introduced to roleplaying is my friend Michael.  He was already interested in comics, video games, and fantasy literature so I didn't think it would be too hard to get him into our group.  At the time we were playing Hackmaster Basic, which is close enough to D&D.  Michael was talked into playing a cleric. I was stunned when his cleric carved the sign of his god into the forehead of a bandit as punishment before letting him go, and I then thought, "Now I can turn that bandit into a reoccurring villain!"

We later switched our campaign over to the Pathfinder rules, which I count as legitimate D&D.  Michael changed his character and made an inquisitor (who has an obligatory sword-with-cool-name).  Our group did try out the D&D Next playtest rules one night, so technically Michael is the first person that I introduced to an official Dungeons and Dragons product.

The D&D playtest rules are no longer available, but Hackmaster Basic is available as a free pfd. You can get a copy here.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

D&D Blog Hop Challenge Day 1

Day 1: The first person who introduced you to D&D

The first person to introduce me to D&D was my older brother.  He had the Moldvay red and blue books, plus the AD&D Players Handbook, Monster Manual, and a ton of modules.  I was very young, maybe 5, when he ran me through a solo adventure through Keep on the Borderlands.  I don’t remember what my character was.  I remember that I wanted to be a wizard, but I might have been a fighter in that first adventure.  

I was enthralled by the module.  I loved moving through the map and feeling that sense of exploration.  I also loved the mythical creatures.  I would spend many days grabbing my brother’s books and just flipping through them, looking at the art and trying to figure out how to play.  My brother doesn't play anymore, but I continued to buy books and am currently running a Pathfinder campaign.

My current campaign: Quest for Honor