Archive for August, 2016

I really like all the extra Zocchi dice that DCC incorporates.
Recently there was a nice rumor table with 30 listings in one of the delightful modules I ran and I do like the periodic use of my d30 dice. It’s fun to roll 🙂
However I have quickly discovered that the extra dice can make it confusing as many are just so similar to the standard d20 dice set.
The solution seems to be to only give the dice needed to the players, and use a different color.
For example, halflings get two d16 dice on their attacks, so I hand that player those two dice in a distinctive color.
Similarly, our dwarf gets a d3 to accompany each d20 attack, so I have provided that particular d3 but only that one Zocchi die.

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So I’m in a bit of a spot, and I need to get this right.

Our first 4 sessions of DCC were fantastic.  Well received by all.   This is a big deal because it’s my family; getting the family together at the table is a dream come true for me, and I really am extremely fond of DCC.

So after prepping for The One Who Watches From Below, a highly rated adventure, I thought the next session would be great.

However, it was not so well received!

While the module itself is really good, it seems that my players felt a disconnect from the previous modules.  This was very interesting to me.  The idea of a campaign that works together from module to module had not struck me as relevant, but apparently it is.

The party didn’t understand WHY they were at the cave of secrets, they intro didn’t work for them.  They didn’t understand the goal.  In the module, the goal is wealth, but this party isn’t interested in wealth, and I couldn’t get a buy in.

Our first adventure was the Portal Under The Sky, and the end of that has one piece of a rod of rulership.  I was asked about that.  I was also asked about the previous village of Hirot, from the delightful Doom of the Savage Kings.

Neither of these were at all in The One Who Watches From Below.

Clearly this is a Judge issue; I need to figure out how to tie this stuff together, and I’m really struggling.

So I’ve been scrambling.  One of the things I like about DCC is the strength of the modules; I’m not so good at this improv stuff.

I did find out that in the 2016 Gongfarmer’s Almanac there is a continuation of the Rod of Rulership adventure.  I found that; and now I have a decision.

Do I tie that quest into the DCC modules I have ?  How can I do this?

Or,

Do I run a Pathfinder or some other adventure path using DCC rules?

I have one week to figure this out.

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Another video to be added to the many thousands of other World of Warcraft videos out there.

This time my little troll goes and attacks another human infestation.  I don’t think this quest line has changed since the game was released.  Except to make it even easier.  I do like how it tells you where to go now.  Super easy.

 

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I created a Troll Hunter.  Wow hasn’t been in my mind for several years, but on a whim I decided to load up the free version.  I think you can go to level 20 with the free, although I am not sure.

Anyway, it was pretty fun.  I’m sure I will tire of it very soon.

 

 

 

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camping

 

Day 29.  You can game anywhere on Earth, where would you choose?

Again, I skipped a whole bunch of questions.  I don’t have good answers for most of these questions.  But for 29, I do have a vision.

I like to go camping.  I’d like to have a game, outside, at night, maybe under a tree, at some nice park.  Out of all the places on the Earth, I think some Texas State Park in the fall would be my favorite place.

There could be a fire, a couple of lanterns, a nice breeze and a clear sky.  Yes, that sounds wonderful to me.

 

rpgaday-2016

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Hello!  I have skipped many of these days.  Some of these questions just don’t really appeal to me, but I do like #13.

What makes a successful campaign?

Successful campaigns are rare for me.  Rare, and precious.  I’ve had a few, and while there are many factors, there are a few things that I think are critical.

1 . Commitment from key players and GM.

There are some others, but this is the most important thing. There are other factors help a campaign be successful, but there has to be the drive from everyone.  It has to be high on the priority list of all parties.  If the GM or any of the key players doesn’t have the campaign near the very top of priorities, for me it usually falls apart.

What are key players?  Usually in my campaigns there are people who are kinda just along for the ride.  They like the game, but really if they miss a session here or there they don’t really care and, more importantly, they are not missed.

But some people are critical.  When they are gone, the games are flat, and quickly I have learned to just cancel a session when certain people are not there.   There are ways to identify key players.  Really it’s intuitive, but here are some things I have noticed that key players might do.  These are the players that might write down names and places, or maybe draw maps.  They will grab the rule book and flip through it, and even look up a rule.  They are the players who have characters with some kind of history, or background, or even just a name that isn’t ‘bob.’  These players look at the GM when he is talking.  They don’t have their phone in their hands.  They are on time.  They work to help keep the game going.  They send emails here and there about the campaign.  A key player might even do the recap at the beginning of each session.  Key players character’s interact with the world, npcs,  and even other player characters.

Key players.  Find them, keep them, feed them, nurture them, appreciate them.

2.  Consistency of play – for me, my most successful campaigns have ALWAYS been weekly.  The next most successful campaigns have been bi-weekly.  I’ve never had a monthly campaign that has lasted very long.  Life happens, and sometimes events must be cancelled, but it should be rarely.

3.  Fun players  – I mentioned above key players.  In addition to key players, hopefully one or more of them are FUN players.  Players that actually do things, that enhance the game.  They contribute.

 

 

rpgaday-2016

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Played some Overwatch last night.

I am pretty much a Blizzard fanboy.  What can I say?  It’s fun.  I like all their games, with the possible exception of Hearthstone.

I made 4 videos.  The first one, below, is a video of two matches.  The link is the last two minutes of the second match, which was a great game.

One of the nice things about Overwatch is it’s just so fast.  Times vary; but matches are often around the 10 minute mark for me.

 

 

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Last night my family finished up Doom of the Savage Kings.

It took us three sessions to play, and it was pretty obviously a huge success.

The module has three main parts.  The town, the dungeon, and finally the lair.

For my group, the town and the dungeon were just great.

There was enough going on in the town for some fun side moments without bogging down in irrelevant side quests.  The whole jarl thing was nice, and my family enjoyed the church as well.

The dungeon was great!  I like these smaller dungeons that seem to be within the DCC modules.  There were some fun traps, exploration opportunities with just the right about of combat sprinkled in.

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I will say that the final encounter was slightly less engaging for my group.  It was fine; they had fun, but it wasn’t quite as snappy as the other two parts of the module.  I couldn’t really figure out how to help; this is my job as Judge but it’s not really my strong point, which is why I run pre-published adventures in the first place.

Overall, this is a fantastic module.  I really like the length and complexity of of the DCC modules so far.  They are short and simple, with the correct depth opportunities where the players choose to go deeper.  There are strange problems that have to be overcome, and the solution isn’t necessarily spelled out in the dungeon.  This is interesting, and my players had to become creative to solve things, which they did!   The wizard spells, in particular, where instrumental in their success.  Sometimes that wizard spell that wasn’t wanted becomes fantastic.

It was a lethal module for us.  We lost 5 PCs, I believe.  Some were level 0, so that was to be expected.  The hound is viscous, and he got his bloody kills in before he himself fell.

After we finished, the level 0 characters leveled up.  And then, the thing any parent / Judge wants to see happened.  My son reached for the rulebook and leveled up his characters of his own accord.  He also took the rulebook to his room to read last night.  Success!

 

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I seem to have a problem.  I want to collect all the DCC modules.  I just love them so much.

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Yesterday I got this wonderful box from Goodman Games.  I just really dig art like this.  It’s exciting to get a package like this one.

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Inside was the Chained Coffin box set.

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Inside are lots of cool things.  Three adventures and a couple of source books, plus a strange wheel thing.  The box itself is very sturdy and just looks great.

Last night I read the main adventure, which is level 5.  It’s really fun.  I like that even with these box sets, the adventures are accessible.  This one isn’t too complicated, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t stuff going on.  What I mean is it doesn’t bog down upon itself trying to fulfil a role that is outside of what DCC is all about, which is fun fast play.  I’m glad they didn’t add length to the adventure in stretch goals, but instead added other things.

One of the things I like about this adventure is it puts the band in a bad spot almost right away.  They have to carry around this coffin the whole time.  I love it.  This is the kind of stuff my group likes.  Unusual circumstances that can be fun.  How are they going to lug that thing around without looking creepy?  I can’t wait to find out.

The wheel thing, shown in the image below in the upper right corner, is interesting but doesn’t really seem so critical to the adventure itself.  Which is ironic, Goodman Games stated that it is the primary reason they funded this on Kickstarter.  But it’s not terribly inspired, and the solution is a bit of a disappointment.  Maybe I’m missing something.

Everything else is great.  Michael Curtis is a wonderful writer.

And the art, as usual, is so inspiring.  Doug Kovaks is just amazing.  He really hits the spot with this art.

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