Posts Tagged “rpg”


I have been reading Appendix N material and I must say it is bringing an understanding of D&D and DCC in a manner of which I find very surprising.  And what a delight!

I just finished the first Elric book and oh boy was it fantastic.  Not only is it a great read but it puts forth so much insight into old things that I am seeing in a new light.

Elric brings much to the table concerning Law vs Chaos, intelligent weapons and patrons.¬† I have always been a huge fan of alignment and while these books deal with law vs chaos I see the roots of the fuller system here.¬† It’s interesting to see how D&D expanded on it so fully while DCC is more pure in it’s adaptation from within the pages of these books.

The patron issue is fascinating.¬† D&D didn’t do as much as what DCC has done in this regard.¬† It’s so much more present in DCC, and I see it directly here in this first novel and it is beautifully done.¬† It is really helping me to understand the intent of the rules and thus it will help me in their execution at the table.¬† When you make a¬† pact with an otherworldly being…you better be careful.

When Joe Goodman sat down to write these rules for DCC it is as if he did NOT read D&D at all.¬† It’s as if he read Appendix N and made his own game from his own interpretation of that material that so influenced Gary Gygax.¬† Obviously, d20 is slapped in there as the core mechanic and for that I am happy as I am a fan.

After reading Lieber, Vance and now Moorcock, a fuller picture of D&D now resides within me.¬† My understanding of urban fantasy, magic and alignment as intended by the creators is so much richer now, I am anxious to read more.¬†¬†¬† They ripped off everything in their amazing original creation!¬† Growing up, I looked for the Appendix N books, but this was pre-Internet; I simply couldn’t find most of it.¬† Some, like Moorcock, was there.¬† I wish I had picked it up and am not sure why I did not.

Comments Comments Off on Elric / Appendix N

chained coffin

Session 3 was really quite good.¬† This was nice since session 2 felt a little flat.¬† I’m still figuring out the magic formula for my family group.

I changed up the Bad Lick Beast a little bit and I think it worked pretty well.  He was able to kill two level 0s that were brought along.  One of the level 0s was Magmar, and he actually had a good story; it was sad when he left.  I should have permitted him to level up to level 1.

The wheel was cool, fortunately they had found the pattern in the giant’s house.¬† If they hadn’t I can’t really figure out how this would have been solved.

The encounter with chaos is next week.  This has been a great module for the party overall.  Possibly the best one since Doom of the Savage Kings, which is what hooked the family.


Comments Comments Off on DCC: Session 3 of the Chained Coffin

The party is level 3, and the first level 3 adventure is Jewels of the Carnifex.

Tonight’s adventure was AMAZING.¬† I am so happy.¬† My family, at the table…what could be better.¬† They went to the city and shopped for 30 minutes.¬† LOL.¬† I don’t mind the mundane stuff, it’s fun. They ran with it.¬† So fun.¬† Did not make it far into the module…so perfect.

I bought a couple more modules, I seem to want them all.

img_8340 img_8343 img_8345

Comments Comments Off on DCC: Jewels of the Carnifex

Last night in my family’s campaign we finished up the Abbott of the Woods, by Harley Stroh.¬†¬† We seem to be running lots of Stroh stuff.¬† He is very good.

This was the second session, and I could tell after the first session that I would need to make some modifications.¬†¬† Creepy is fine, but my family isn’t too keen on straight up gross, which is in spades in this adventure.

So I took out some of those encounters, and changed it up a bit.  This is what any Judge is supposed to do anyway.  Only I know what my players want, and Harley had to write for the masses.

One of the problems is that the players are already overpowered.  They have picked up some nice gear.  That wolf-spear from Doom of the Savage Kings is fantastic.  Even the armor from Portal Under the Stars is pretty sweet.

So I beefed up the encounters.  I gave the Abbott himself 125 hit points!  Two PCs did hit the dirt, but the cleric and a healing potion got them back up in time.

Now they are level 3, and we will be moving to another Stroh piece, Jewels of the Carnifex.¬† I’ll be working the city a bit more at the start, I think.

There may only be one more module after this next one, and our campaign will be complete.  At least, the first part.  I will have to see what the family wants to do next.  Maybe a Shudder Mountain campaign if they want to start again from level 0.

I am just so pleased with DCC.¬† It has brought back to me that feeling I had when I first started playing rpgs.¬† And, it’s the first real campaign for my family.¬† My wife’s very first rpg.¬† It’s so well received by all of them, what a delight.

Also, Ed’s Smooth Red pairs very well with DCC.

Ed's Smooth Red goes very well with DCC.

RPG cat.



Comments Comments Off on DCC: The Abbott of the Woods

Friday night we had another DCC adventure.  This time Рthe Abbot of the Woods.

I put a little village into the start of this one.  I like urban fantasy.  DCC is so wonderful but my group needs a little more urban stuff, like Doom of the Savage Kings.  That module was sooooo friggin perfect for my group.

What I really want is a string of separate, short 16-20 page adventures that all start in a village / town / city.  I like that DCC keeps the adventures separate, but my group, as noted in a previous post, requires a cohesiveness in these adventures.

I started out Abbot by having WANTED posters up for one of the player characters, the one with the first half of¬† the Rod of Rulership from the adventure ‘Portal Under the Stars.’¬† That’s our campaign.¬† It worked pretty well I think!

Our kitties like to come and visit us while we are playing, as you can see by the two pictures.


Comments Comments Off on Abbot of the Woods – DCC Adventure

It all started with D&D.

5th edition is very good, if all too familiar. ¬†That’s not a bad thing, and maybe even a good thing.

As a long time fan of published adventures, I have all of them for 5E. ¬† ¬†Storm King’s Thunder is the latest. ¬†I’ve flipped through it.

It’s too complex.

They all are.  For me, anyway, at this time.  The prospect of running one of these is just daunting.

For the moment, I’m looking for simple adventures. ¬†I don’t need 10 moving parts.

The basic adventure Mines of Phandelver is a perfect example of what I want. ¬†I was so excited and have run this twice; it’s great! ¬†There are things going on , but it’s not too complicated.

Phandelver might be my favorite adventure ever.

I was hoping the new modules would be more like this, but they have moved to a more complicated (advanced) adventure path.

I hope to return to 5e someday,but I don’t have a group to do it, and mustering a new group, which I have done in the past, takes energy that I do not seem to have right now.

9/29/16 update:¬† So Storm King’s Thunder actually ISN’T as complicated as I first thought.¬† And, I think it is my favorite of the published adventures.¬† Maybe I will run this at some point.

Comments No Comments »

So I made a decision on the DCC campaign.¬† I’m not going to move away from DCC adventure modules, but am going to add the Rod of Rulership, mentioned at the end of the Portal Under The Stars, into a campaign.

It worked quite well, I think, last night.

Modification of anything is within the prerogative of the Judge, it’s just not something I want to do too much.

So I added a mercenary group to the game.  They came up behind the party and tried to take the rod of rulership.  They were led by a wizard, who disappeared.

Then, I had the goat creature talk to the party, and told them to go through a portal to the Abbey for the dryad wood needed to find the location of the second half of the rod.

So now there are two factions that want the rod.  My son helped me with this idea, as he is the driving force behind wanting some cohesiveness to the games.

Everyone had fun, I believe, and we even expanded the session a little to 2 1/2 hours.¬† I’m soooo happy about this!¬† It was really fun, and we finished up The One Who Watches From Below.



Comments No Comments »



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.



Comments No Comments »

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  РI 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.




Comments No Comments »

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.


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!


Comments No Comments »