Microlite20 in the WoD

Josh D and I have lately been talking about his like (love?) of Microlite20 and how he's converting all his stuff to it. He shot me his pdf file for the thing and has linked me to more stuff and I admit that I dig it, though most of my rpg energy goes into rules heavy systems like D&D 3.x/d20/OGL games or White Wolf products.

When he first showed it to me, I originally thought of it as a way to revive a mini-campaign I used to run with my pals called "Some Teenagers Go Camping" in which a group of teenagers would go camping and (usually) all die while trying to survive zombies, a vampire, or some other gruesome horror movie creep(s). Since it's a series of one-shots, I thought it would be a great way to slap something together that's quick and would play to a level that even someone who isn't an RPGer could handle.

Thinking further on it, especially in the aftermath of my "I need undead, damnit!" thing not too long ago, which also happened to coincide with me going over the games I would like to run, I thought it would be a great avenue for bringing a World of Darkness, specifically Vampire, game to my pals, who seem hell-bent on NOT learning any other systems ever. Since it would play light, I think it would be a good way to get them interested in the story elements and then, perhaps, the true play elements of the original system.

Even if they didn't fall for this, I could see an ongoing M20 campaign with WoD conversions going on for a good long while, but a conversation with Josh earlier today made me question the longterm steadfastedness of M20 and light systems, in general.

Since the whole point behind 'lite' games are to NOT have a multitude of rules or stats slowing down the game, and those that are developed streamlined to a point of superquick playability, the game might putter out when it comes down to it, simply because of the amount of work the GM would have to pour into each session to have enough material to fill the session.

I'm an exacting person. I, at the very least, have outlines ready when I DM my games and though I'm comfortable with winging it during my games, it's not my "style," as it were. I've GM'd Vampire games, though, and I always improvise those, so maybe the system I'd be trying to emulate would help in that respect. I know what I'm doing there, so I could run it like a Vampire game, whereas if I was leaning toward running a lite D&D, I think the game would crash on me because I just simply wouldn't have the time to prepare my games.

I dunno. I'm extremely tired as I write this, so forgive the rambling. I just dislike the thought of a game that would end up like a runaway train simply because there's not a crunchy "filling" to uphold it in the end. Like I said, running a Storyteller system game would lessen that burden, but I wouldn't be using Storyteller and I'd like dice rolling at the table so that the players can not only feel they're doing something, but also to get them interested in the World of Darkness as a game on its own.

This is a bad way to pull that off, I think...trying to drum up interest in one system by using another system to introduce it...lol. I just thought of how silly that seems...but who knows. I can pull off some crazy shit. I think it has a chance...especially since over half the guys normally at my table ONLY know D&D as far as RPGs are concerned.


Khardtha Kompendium, part 1.

As I've mentioned before, I'm dusting off my old homebrew and breathing new life into it in preparation for 4th Edition. It's the goal to make it my (and possibly my group's?) "default" for any non-published campaign setting games. I will, however, likely pick up Forgotten Realms (though I don't like most of the changes) and Eberron (though I've really failed as far as that setting goes in 3.5).

The reason I'm posting now is that on my way home from work, I was thinking about FR and its supposed jump many years into the future and how I am going to handle the changes made to the magic system, etc., without totally retconning the whole thing, then it hit me....

In Khardtha's past, there was a great war between the schools of magic because they had just developed and the specialists in those schools wished theirs to be the "true heir" of magic. Before that, there was no such thing as a school of magic, and the ways of casting were vastly different. Problem solved...4E takes place in the past, when the world was still a wilder place and before all the events that led the gods to reconfiguring some of reality in the aftermath of calamaties.

In this way, there's no reason to explain WHY anything is how it is as opposed to how it was. There is no was, and what there IS is how it's always been. In the future, though....man, that'll just all be different and crazy.

Other things of note:

  • Goblins have horns.
  • Elves and Eladrin will have varying characteristics of fey creatures. One tribe might all share the horns and goat legs traits of a satyr while the next might have woody textured skin and vines for hair like a dryad.
  • Bryss Tahl (what will become Dungan), the large ruined city of the old campaign is now a vibrant place. The brightest of the "points of light" in the campaign. Arvedas Dungan isn't even heard of yet.
  • Long ago, the tendrils of the Abyss locked its hooks into the world, and with that came influence from its denizens. The madness of the demons brought about grasping power among men, elves, etc. Those falling prey to the depravity and rapaciousness of the demons spawned a new race called the Tieflings, who were steeped in chaos and evil. This tip of the natural balance in the world spurred something that has never happened before....the very planet itself, or some deeply hidden being within it (possibly a titan?), known in children's stories and legends as "The Great Dragon," spawned a race meant to bring about balance once more. Thus were the Dragonborn created. This explains away the two 'new' base races.
  • Warlocks gain their power from willing possession. They, with almost no exception, are covered in runic tattoos that help to bind their chosen power source within them, be it fey, demon, angel, etc.. Thinking about a type of "break" in which the Warlock might lose control once bloodied and the creature that fuels the eldritch power within takes over.
  • Wizards are generally mistrusted outside of larger cities. The folk of the outlying villages see too many horrors to trust anything that they blame for having created it. Clerics, on the other hand, are always welcomed...though sometimes the villagers might not know that the Cleric could be the one leading the undead harrying their village. Anyone who can heal is a good person, right?
More later. Alot of stuff is coming to me and I wanna hammer it out at least a little before I post it.


Bald Man Games

I'd like to think I owe Tony an apology.
Before on this very blog, I said that I didn't know how the merge between the Game Shop and Bald Man would go. I didn't give Tony the fair shake he deserved because I didn't see what that would be like before I made my assessment. Needless to say, I was very wrong and that pleases me greatly.
Bald Man Games is in full swing with product from both shops and Tony is likely the friendliest and most business savvy game shop owner I have encountered to date in this area. He plays all the games presented to him and actually enjoys the hobby and is friends with many of his customers.
It's a great place. It gets my money. I can only hope it will stay open for good.

And Now This Special Update of Gaming '08

It's been a bit since I've done any gaming synopses, so I thought I would swing short recaps of every game along with some thoughts on stuff to come.

Carl's Tuesday Game - Zombie A Go Go (3.5 D&D)
Not much has happened it this one except a couple of zombie battles. All of the zombies so far have been fast ones, and one was a freakin BISON! It nearly killed us, but we scraped through.

Paul's Wednesday Game - The Arcane College (3.5 D&D)
Time jumping has ceased. We're in a race FOR time and all of reality/ies against Orcus, who has started to unravel time in the ultimate act of spreading entropy. The Material Plane is almost lost. Our hopping weakened the timestream enough for the demon prince to almost entirely destroy it.
The Time Lords are the only ones holding it together, but they can't do that forever. We've been tasked to travel the planes to stop Orcus before he destroys everything. Our first stop, and where we currently are, is the Elemental Plane of Air. We're trying to get our bearings and figure out exactly where we need to go.

John's Thursday Game - Dragon Loins Inn (Forgotten Realms 3.5 D&D)
As it stands, we're racing toward Waterdeep to prevent the assassination of an "elf bitch." Evidence has led us to believe that she's a Harper agent and is being targeted by the Zhentarim. Certain parties wish to stop our interference and many other obstacles have slowed us down greatly in the pursuit of our goals.

My Sunday Game - The Drow War (3.5 D&D)
The party finally made it to Saragost and is now warning outlying villages. The army of Duergar and their mysterious masters draw ever closer to Saragost and the Battle of Hoxley Field is nigh!

So...that's it. The rest of the nights are pretty much all Magic: The Gathering, which I've been getting back into...because money sinks are fun, right? =/
Anyway, there's a pattern in all those games that I'd like to shake up: It's ALL freakin D&D! I'm thinking of throwing together a Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game campaign or even Vampire or Werewolf. Just something to break up the monotony.
I also have to work more on my freakin' 4E game. So much gaming, not enough time!

More on all that junk later.


I'm Bringing Undead Back From The....well, not dead. I want them to be undead still and...

First off, I owe my one reader a huge apology because I said I was back on track, then BOOM bombshell dropped on me and I just haven't had the will to post anything. Sorry. I hope everyone understands that personal shit > gaming.

But yeah, tonight I have been thinking about my games. Most notably, my 4th Edition game that is undoubtedly forthcoming, along with all those that have come before and I realized something.... I let undead fade away from my games. Why? I have no clue, because when I first got into the hobby, I ran a bit undead heavy. Zombies, skeletons, vampires, you name it, I used it. I even made up some of my own and I still think they're the most kickass monsters ever.

Hell, I even used to play Vampire Counts as my Warhammer Fantasy Battles army and I got into Vampire: The Masquerade because of my like of the creatures of the night, so why, in my most recent gaming endeavors, do I seem to shy away? It bugs me. It shouldn't, but it does.

What am I doing to correct it? Well, nothing at the moment, but they will be featured in my games prominently again, because they make for compelling villains, even when it's just a smash and move on encounter. In my experience, nothing makes a character stop and think more than encountering the walking dead, because you have to take into account the fact that 1) there could be more, 2) whoever animated them could be around, and 3) something very fucking bad is going down or has went down in this area.

Suspense created by even the foreshadowing of undeath can sometimes be very tangible. I think it feeds off the base fears of death we have and to think of not only something dead, but something dead that wants to make you dead...well, that's just some trippy shit. So...they're coming back in full swing. With the new zombie types and fast zombies in 4th, I think that everyone will have a blast with it.

Also, thinking about giving my goblins in Khardtha horns. Why? Because the Boggarts of Magic: The Gathering's Lorwyn/Shadowmoor have them and they look pretty keen. The elves have horns, too...things to think on!