Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In Defense of Dungeons & Dragons

 
Last month, I wrote a post that gave a hint as to what I've been doing instead of roleplaying these days: I'm working on my burgeoning life as a personal development coach. It's something I've already been doing for most of my life. I've just decided to make it "official."
 
And I've been giving props to my roleplaying career for shaping the well-rounded, responsible adult I am today. Here's my most direct reference yet (on my personal development blog) to D&D and its influence on me and the world beyond the gaming table:
 
 
That post actually started as a speech I gave at my Toastmasters club. I hope to give this speech in other venues in the future. I feel honored to add my voice to the chorus of folks who have put D&D in the spotlight this year, the 40th anniversary of the grand old game.
 
I welcome your feedback, and your continued readership, of both my blogs. If you like my other blog, please consider following me there, and keep checking in on me!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Debunking Dragonlance Misconceptions: Kender don't have to be stupid


And by stupid, I mean lame. Kender don't have to be lame. Particularly as a PC race.

Every kender doesn't have to be as vapid as Tasslehoff Burrfoot always seemed to be. Hell, every kender doesn't have to be Tasslehoff Burrfoot, period. But I think that's the prevailing perception.
 
I'm continually dumbfounded whenever I encounter the paradoxical thinking process of some gamers. There are gamers that spout off about how roleplaying is not about slavishly following rules, but rather about treating published rules as guidelines rather than strictures.
 
AND YET, I've heard the same gamers complain about the "problems" of this or that PC race.
 
Folks, if you don't like something about the rules pertaining to a race, change it. It's just more rules to be used as needed, bent to your whim, etc.
 
Um...NO.
So, let's apply this to kender. If you don't want them to be giggling, air-headed kleptomaniacs in your game, then they don't have to be.
 
I can't be the only person who has figured this out. Why do I have to explain house ruling to you guys?
 
So, what do you want your kender to be like? And by extension, how else does YOUR version of Krynn differ in your games from what's depicted in the published fiction?
 
Are your kender capable of the entire range of personalities, from happy-go-lucky to dark and brooding?
 
Do your kender barely have an urge to "acquire" objects, unlike the light-fingered filching freaks they are sometimes made out to be in the novels?
 
Make them your own, for the love of Paladine! Stop whining about their foibles and, uh, change what you don't like. Work with players who want to be kender, and (wow, concept here) ask THEM how they want their kender to behave. And let them play the little bastard that way.

Picture kender as ruthless villains, aloof assassins, whatever. Make them painfully conscious of their race's genetic urge to pilfer objects, and make them DESPISE the impulse, which they cannot control.

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are not going to sue you for messing with the kender stereotype, I promise.

Now get out of here, and play kender YOUR way.

The End
Brought to you by a Google search for "kender."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Some Dragonlance love on the blogosphere at io9!

Enjoy some non-Elmore Dragonlance art, emphasis on the beefcake
 
So, as I predicted this past Friday, my wacky brain has shifted direction once again when it comes to choice of campaign setting for my next stint as GM (whenever the heck that would actually happen).
 
Yes, I've swung back to Dragonlance. And a voice welled up inside of me to scold me on the subject, saying: "Hey stunad, didn't you promise in a post last October to make your blog a bastion of Dragonlance love for the OSR crowd?"
 
(note: those readers of non-Italian descent may have to Google the term "stunad") 
 
Why yes, I replied to that inner voice, I did indeed state such an intention, and have been found sorely lacking. Hand me the hair shirt, my penance shall begin anon.
 
Ahem. ANYway...I think it's time again for me to revisit that intention. To that end, I did some web surfing on the subject, and came upon this interesting bit of Dragonlance love over at i09:
 

An interesting read, but I'm not holding my breath of course.

So, please excuse me while I go get my Dragonlance mojo worked up. See you on Krynn, folks.

Friday, April 18, 2014

End-of-Week...Tapestry? (4/18/14)


The Unicorn Defends Itself

The famous Medieval tapestry above provides a visual for what's been running through my mind for the last week.
 
The last two "End-of-Week" posts on this blog discussed my thoughts regarding running campaigns in either the world of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser or the world of Conan the barbarian.
 
Over the last week, my whimsical and ever-shifting mind migrated to thoughts of running a campaign set in some alternate version of the real-world Middle Ages.
 
So, of course, I ran out to the library and gathered up some source material. Of particular interest to me are the years around the year 1000. And coincidentally, there are several books I found that discuss life and events around that particular millennial milestone. These books include The Last Apocalypse by James Reston, Jr. Just the title makes my mind swirl with possibilities: a campaign that takes place in the years just before 1000 A.D., an Earth where magic has been a very real force, and God and the Devil are just as real.
 
Well, enough of that for now. Who knows what the next week will bring to my fevered brain! Until then, happy gaming, dear readers!