Friday, January 28, 2011

Rage Against the Layering of the White!

I officially hate winter. And snow. Most of all snow. Apologies to my young children, who like all of their ilk are enchanted by snow. But there can indeed be too much of anything, my friends, even an enchanting thing. Ask Ed Pevensie about Turkish delight, for example.

My ire toward the season springs from many reasons (heh, rhyme). I'm tired of the backbreaking labor and repetitive nature of shoveling. I'm tired of how it impedes my freedom of movement. Tired of how it gets in the way of things that cause me happiness (i.e. libraries closing, friends unable to come over, etc). The last item is the real reason behind this idiotic post, as, you see, the snow caused me to have to cancel our regularly scheduled game session last night. Curse you, snow!

I refuse to let snow cause any sort of disruption in the life of my growing RPG campaign! I will fight against the insidious enemy, whether it comes in its fluffy form or its wet and heavy guise. I will not let the thrice-damned specter of winter succeed in its bid to stymie my game! I will regroup, and take my players under my protective wing, and we will not lose faith!

Pardon me, it's 4:30 on a Friday know how one can get at a time like this. But if anyone out there is reading this, and this particularly brutal winter and its wave after wave of snow has caused you RPG grief, please, feel free to share your pain. Share it with me like you would share it with Sybok. And now that I have tainted my blog with a Star Trek reference, I bid you adieu for the nonce.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another Day, Another Whiteout

Ah yes, it's snowing once again in the Philadephia area, folks. Yay. More exercise for me, this time with nice, wet, heavy snow, they say. Awesome.

Anyway, I am keeping my spirits up by thoughts of, what else, roleplaying! I hope the guys can come over again tomorrow night, despite the white dump that old man Winter is taking on us.

I've found myself becoming more drawn by "different shiny." My Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook has been calling to me from the bookshelf. And I think that I am finally going to heed that call. Not that there's anything wrong with Swords & Wizardry or Lamentations of the Flame Princess (the systems I have been using for my still-young campaign), but I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm more of an AD&D man (and C&C being as close to AD&D as one can get these days using a currently-in-print game system, IMHO). And the limited classes and races-as-classes things that S&W and LotFP have going on is just not cutting it at the moment. Among other issues.

So, before we get any further into the campaign, I'm taking the plunge and making the switch to C&C! I think the recent completion and looming release of the long-awaited Castle Keeper's Guide also has something to do with this desire to switch.

Oh, and in the spirit of this, here's something for you cats:

Torc of Agony (magical/cursed item)

This golden torc was created by a long-dead archmage, who used it to control his slaves. Rumor has it that he created numerous torcs, but this is one of the few that still remain to the present day. The device fits most medium-sized and smaller humanoids (it expands or contracts to fit). When placed around the neck of a victim, it can be activated using a command word. When activated, the torc causes continuous pain that both harms and debilitates the victim (i.e. the torc causes damage and also bestows penalties to hit, armor class, etc. as determined by the gamemaster). The pain stops when the command word is spoken again. Note that the command word only functions for the individual who actually places the torc on a victim.

The torc can only be removed by the one who placed it on the victim. A gamemaster may decide that the torc can also be removed using a spell that removes curses, dispels magic, grants wishes, etc. It is only detectable as a cursed item once it has been placed on a victim, but does show as a magical item if a detect magic spell is used.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An Embarrassment of [RPG] Riches?

Happy new year, all! I'm still slowly building momentum in my small table-top campaign, Tales of the Wanderers. It's still just me as GM and two old friends as my players, meeting on at least a bi-weekly basis on Thursday nights. My hope is that as time goes on things will blossom into something bigger; i.e. at least a couple more players!

That being said, I'm feeling a bit of gamer ADD, unfortunately! I blame it all on Swords & Wizardry Complete! I just obtained that little beauty, and it's thrown me for a loop. I'm still focused mainly on Lamentations of the Flame Princess as my rules foundation, but I am using a heavy dose of S&W stuff now. Then there's the announcement of the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, which Akrasia talks about in this post on his blog. He makes mention of how "crowded" the old-school RPG realm is getting. I don't want to get into that tired debate as to whether or not there are too many clones out there, etc. But I guess I feel I have to make some sort of comment, however specious that statement might be:

I guess I think it all comes down to discipline on the part of a gamer. As a GM in particular, you need to prepare yourself to withstand the lure of the next shiny object that passes before your eyes. This can only benefit you and your players...especially if those players are new to the hobby (as is the case with one of my current players). I am a big believer in "staying the course" when it comes to a campaign (one-shot dungeon crawls and other sessions of that ilk are another matter entirely). Maybe I feel this way because, as a teenager, my gaming buddies and I rarely stuck with the same game for more than a month. And now that I've returned with gusto to the hobby, I really want to accomplish a long-running campaign.

But consider this: maybe if that new shiny is pulling hard on your psyche, there's a message hidden in that reaction. Maybe your current game needs some rethinking, or needs to be abandoned entirely.

Utlimately, there may be an embarrassment of RPG riches right now, especially in the OSR, but it's up to each of us as individuals to, as the venerable Egg Shen once said, "We take what we want, and leave the rest...just like your salad bar!" I for one will be doing something similar to what Tenkar is doing: packing away distractions!

And of course, I know I am stating the utter obvious, so I will bother you no longer! Game on!