Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year: 2009 goes out with tequila

Happy New Year to all out there. Although we have plenty of choices to drink tonight, it appears like we are going out featuring tequila. Got some Anejos for sipping: Cabo, Espolon & Milagro. Got some Jose Cuervo Traditional (reposado) and 1800 (white) limited edition for the margaritas. Notice the interesting bottle artwork on the 1800. If I remember anything tomorrow I may post about it. Don't hold your breath. Have a happy, safe & prosperous new year. Update Jan 1: For those of you against my advice are holding your breath, here is the scoop. Milagro slightly preferred as the sipping tequila by some of the group. After a pitcher of each tequilas mentioned above for magaritas, the group preferred the Traditional which then became the staple for the rest of the evening. Good tequila = minimal hangover.

Friday, December 18, 2009


the bloggers version with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, on the 'net and in the house, Not a blogger was posting, motionless their mouse
The FRPG musings were posted on blogspot with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas would be reading there
The characters were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of treasure hoards danced in their heads
And mamma with her handbook, and I with my map, Had just nodded off for a short gamer's nap
When from the game room there arose such a clatter, I fell from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away down the stairs I tumbled with fright, Tore open the door and threw on the lights.
The rays from tree lights on the hexgrid below Gave an erie lustre of magic to objects that glow,
When, what to my bloodshot eyes should appear, But miniatures, a sleigh, and eight pewter reindeer
With a little old driver, so red and waist thick, I knew it was painted to look like St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles on hastes spells they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name; "Now, Mialee! now, Redgar! now, Tordek and Jozan! On, Lidda! on Krusk! on, Gimble and Nebin!
To the top of the castle! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As wizards, who at fifth level take the spell fly, those figures they flew just missing my eye.
So up to the Mantel-top the miniature reindeer they flew, the tiny sleigh full of games, and St. Nicholas too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard as they stood, prancing and pawing of metal on wood.
As I drew up my hand, and was uttering a sound, off the mantel St. Nicholas enlarged with a bound. He was dressed in fake fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes looked tarnished with faux ashes and soot
A bundle of boxes fell on the floor with his growth, like at Gencon, a marketer just opening his booth.
His red eyes -- how they twinkled! it was really quite scary!
His lips were bright red, more like blood than a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a shortbow, his beard braided dwarf like was as white as the snow
In his teeth was a pipe the color of bones, the smoke it encircled his head like ioun stones
He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook, when he laughed like gelatinous cube jelly.
He was chubby and plump, who though him an elf? He is more like a 1E gnome, I thought to myself
A wink of his eye, and my reactions had trailed, I was immobile, my save it had failed
He spoke not a word, but went straight to my snacks, and stuffed his mouth full and mumbled, 'relax'.
And laying his finger aside of his nose, getting quite small, up the mantel he rose
He sprang to his sleigh, said 'teleport' to his team, and vanished all like they were a dream.
But I heard him exclaim, from the ether out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, back to posting 'morrow night."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Imagination vs. Antiseptic Standard Descriptions

In my previous post about Vancian magic someone commented that "Part of my like for it stems from the weird names of the old spells ("Otto's Irresistable Dance," etc.)" I also enjoyed Gary's creative and odd naming of things. Rather than bemoan the passing of that creativity, we should rather be spurred on to continue in that tradition. You have undoubtedly read before that instead of just saying, "I attack", you could say, "I draw back and give a tremendous overhead chop with my bloody falchion attempting to cut the foul creature in two!" No news here, that is fairly standard advice. So why are we limited to the antiseptic spell names and descriptions? I say that you are only limited by your imagination and the effort you spend. You could cast color spray. Instead you could weave arcane symbols in the air and speak the difficult words of power and release Marigus Coruscating Assault. At the completion of casting a myriad of sparkles of red, green and blue light spray forth from the casters eyes and growing quickly in size to become recognizable as twirling knives, axes and scythes which fill the area of the cone as a brief assault against all in the area. You could cast Cause Fear. Instead the wizard casts Fear the Mage. The target of the spell suddenly has a flash of understanding of the dark power of the mage who cast the spell. You could cast Burning Hands. Instead the wizard casts Icy Breath (like burning hands but cold). At the completion of casting the mage blows forth an icy breath in a cone. Lastly, there is no reason the DM has the sole responsibility for creative descriptions in the game. I challenge the players to stand up and be counted. If you miss 'old school' D&D for the descriptions, then I say there is nothing to miss. Let the spirit of Gary flow regardless of what version of the game you play.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vancian Magic vs. greater spell flexibility

I have always despised the Vancian magic system of D&D. During our play of Basic, AD&D, and 3rd edition we tried RAW in every case but over time they left us feeling unsatisfied. We gave up basic for AD&D. House ruled AD&D for spell points. House ruled 3rd edition for spell slots. Vancian magic never felt 'right' in our campaigns and we did not like the side effects on the game. Those who do not like the Vancian magic have written tomes on what is wrong with it. For us it was: 1. Takes too long to select spells 2. Spells other than standard never selected 3. The short adventure day: Forced to respell after a small number of encounters – come back next day (to be fair this is not entirely a Vancian magic problem) 4. Cleric has to save spells to cure characters and/or party needs to purchase curing power (wands, potions, scrolls) to use between encounters. So we devised house rules to change the game. (what a shock, huh) For us it works. It does require some machinations on the part of the DM; the game is just not designed for the power boost granted the players by that flexibility. I say so what. The magic system seemed alien to us and there was always a sense of something not quite right in the game. We are much happier with the change, and with careful DMing and some other house rules the spell casters do NOT overshadow the other characters. So my questions to you all: (regardless of edition you play pre 4th): If you could easily house rule the game balance, would you change to a more flexible spell learning/using system or do you prefer the flavor of the Vancian spell system? If you are a fan of the flavor of the Vancian spell system, is it because you are a fan of the Vance novels or a fan of the original flavor as you learned in the game?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stuck for a fantasy name? Comment on a blog

You are working on your adventure, and you are stuck for a fantasy name for an NPC. No worries, just make a comment on one of your favorite gaming blogs. comes up and presto! Here is your NPC name. Try some yourself. I just got these four myself. Oddlente - he can be a merchant Califo - she sounds like a minstrel Caliblyt - definitely a priestess of some obscure goddess Prescals - a mercenary by trade Thank you Blogspot for this RPG tool! Silly Sarcasm alert is now over, you are free to return to your normal programming.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...