Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Red Box Niagara: First Session Tomorrow Night!

Hi all,

So tomorrow is our first session of Red Box Niagara.

I'm looking at 5-7 players roughly 19-24 years of age. A couple have 4E experience and a couple have never played before. I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm going to start by handing out some introductory sheets on style of play and role-playing, then character generation, and finally on to the Keep on the Borderlands.

I've created point-form sheets for the classes (nobody will have the ruleset in front of them). For those who want to get their own copy I will be directing people to the Labyrinth Lord core rules.

I have to tell you, I'm fighting serious urges to begin this group with the Advanced Edition Companion as gospel. I'm back and forth on the issue. The only thing keeping me back is that several people haven't played before. I should keep it simple, right? Or am I just totally overthinking this?

I've made several additions and house rules. I've created Latin corruptions as spell invocations. Spell-casters must use these when casting spells. When turning undead clerics must exclaim, "In the name of [Deity’s Name in Ancient Common], I banish you unholy abominations!” Sweet eh? I always liked that from the second D&D movie. I've added a couple weapons and one suit of armor. Magic-users can use the longsword (Gandalf-like). Don't give me any of that stealing the fighter's thunder stuff. I have no problem with this because if they need to use their longswords they are likely dead anyway. Also, excluding ranged weapons, the halberd, and the two-handed sword, fighters can use any weapon two-handed and increase the damage die of that weapon by 1. Dwarves can do the same thing but only with hammers and axes. Elves need magic armor to cast spells. I've created another category for ranged attacks called "Point Blank Range." We will be using minis as well. I've added two deities for each of Law, Neutrality, and Chaos. Hopefully the players over time can develop these areas further. I am setting things up to use the AEC even if I don't use it right away.

I realize that it's common to do zero character background but I'm having each player answer the following two questions to stimulate thought about their characters and role-playing: Write a short, creative background for your character. Answer two questions: 1) Who are you? 2) How did you end up at a remote, god-forsaken, borderland keep inhabited by criminals, barbarians, and cut-throats at the ass-end of the civilized realm?

So, that's the quick and dirty version. I can't wait to get them hyped about playing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Homemade Tavern Music!

If your game is anything like mine, a fair degree of time is spent in taverns. Whether it's the gathering place for the first adventure, finding out the local rumours, or trying to find hirelings, there's always something to do in a local establishment. I also like to bring something unique to the tavern environment because the setting contrasts well with later adventures and exploits in dank dungeons and ancient ruins.

I've surveyed the internet landscape and found the Prosperous Tavern and Rumors Inn mp3s on RPGnow. Prosperous Tavern is great but $3 and Rumors Inn is way to repetitive in music selection (although the price is right .50). This file is only about 3 minutes and this was my first attempt. All comments gratefully received. The player/file may take a moment before playing (sorry). Listen for Easter Eggs! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Red Box Niagara Poster

I've been reading lately about the Red Box Calgary crew, and the other Red Box games in Vancouver and New York. They certainly look like fun.

I decided to post a flyer at Phoenix Rising, the FLGS in St. Catharines, ON.

I have to be honest, I'm not sure exactly what will come of it. I'm hoping for the best, but won't be surprized if nothing develops.

So, I tried to make a poster that grabbed some attention, dripped Old School, and had a sense of humour.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that it drums up some interest. You have to start somewhere, you know?

Poster V2

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Yoinked: B-X Alignment Language House-Rule

I've always hated D&D alignment languages.

As a result I've never used them.

I was listening to Stuart Robertson's Podcast of the Expedition to the Ancient Academy and heard him reference a house-rule whereby the characters of law, neutrality, and chaos may select Ancient, Thieves' Cant, or the Black tongue as one of their bonus languages.

I'll let his post outline the detail.

Stuart, consider this rule yoinked! :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

BX-LL-AEC Borderlands Campaign Character Sheet

The Borderlands Campaign Player Record Sheet

Here's a draft of a special character record sheet for a potential Old School "Borderlands Campaign". This is just a draft. Please feel free to make comments and suggestions for revision.

Note: This sheet has a space for Base To Hit. I'm considering running the target20 style for attack rolls to avoid combat charts.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Giant Mushrooms and Otherworldliness

I need some help.

Throughout D&D modules we see depictions of giant mushrooms.

One of the earliest modules, B1 In Search of the Unknown, depicts them on both the monochrome and colour module covers.

Does anyone know where this signifier of otherworldliness came from? I'm guessing fantasy fiction. Does anyone have any specific thoughts?