Daily Punch 8/19-8/21/13

I want to bring Shaunte, the worlds sexiest Troll, back to Shadowrun.  And for that…there must be one spell…here we go….

Orgasm

(Realistic, Single-Sense)_________________

Type:M            Range:LOS

Duration:I      Drain: F +1

Orgy

(Realistic, Single-Sense)_________________

Type:M            Range:LOS(A)

Duration:I      Drain: F +3

This spell causes a living target to have an orgasm.  For every success, the target of the spells initiative score is reduced by 1d6 as they are otherwise occupied.  If a target’s initiative is reduced to below 0, the target collapses and may not react to anything.  If the target has not taken any action to control a vehicle this combat turn, any vehicle controlled by the target goes out of control.  If a targets initiative is negative at the end of a initiative pass because of this spell, not because of subtracting for a new initiative pass, apply that value as a penalty to the targets next combat turn.

Orgasm affects a single target, while Orgy is the area spell.

Ring Side Report GenCon Experience! Friday to Sunday

Friday

Orc Stomp 5k-My day started at 5:30, because I hate me.  After going to bed at 12:30, I decided to run.  Why?  ORC STOMP!  This yearly 5k is at 8AM one day and 6AM the next.  These are a great group of guys and gals who put on a race.  This year was even better than the last.  Now, they have time sensors, sponsors, all sorts of great things!  I love these guys and wish them the best.  You can tell that I haven’t been running lately because my 5k time was 38:12.  Not great, but it is what it is.  Either way you should join them if you can!  Join quick because T-shirts are limited!

After a shower, shave, and fruit breakfast, its off to the con floor!

Paizo-I am pretty sure these guys did NOT have a clue how swamped they would be at this con.  This year is their first year as a large co-sponsor to the con.  I had a pre-order of the pathfinder adventure game, and If I didn’t it was SOLD OUT the second  day of the con!  HECK, they had canvas bags for anyone who spent over $100 and those were SOLD OUT of the SECOND DAY OF THE CON!  It’s a damn good day as a retailer when you are sold out of bags with a $100 price tag.  Picked up my pre-orders and was off.  Something new I’ve noticed: line end standy holders.  Lines are getting CRAZY at GenCon!  Now stores have lines to just BUY that wrap around the booth!  Not sure how I feel about this.  Either way, Paizo, you got the most of my money, so you win this con.  Congrats!

After the crazy that was the Paizo booth, it was off to the rest of the con.

Daydreamer Interactive-Ever hear of these guys?  No.  Neither have I, but you know what they did right?  It’s a quick start guide that’s free.  I walked up to these guys and they handed me a free copy of Infinem quickstart guide.  These always make me happy.  Now, I will run a game at my local store.  All those other games that I walked past, if you don’t even have a quickstart PDF I can download when you hand me a card, I don’t remember you.  I never heard of Arcanis from Paradigm before Origins 2011, but now I run two games a month and have bought all their books.  Keep that in mind.  I don’t even need a real book, just give me a dropbox link!

Gust Bustin’ Games-Last GenCon I wandered over to their tables and played Trailer Park Wars.  Since then, I’ve bought two copies.  They are currently making an expansion to the game.  Its due in October, but whenever I see them I like to scream at them “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”  They always laugh and as I walked away one sales person looked at the manager of the company and said “See, that man wants our product!”  By the way, if you cosplay a character from your game, you get points in my book.  You cosplay a redneck (I know you because I are one)  you get big extra points.  Hence, I’ve bought two copies and will most likely buy two copies of the expansion.

Geek Preacher, Christian Gaming Guild, and Game Church-I ran in to these guys and I always love them.  I’m Catholic, so I tend to be at odds with my religion a lot.  These guys make me happy as they always have uplifting messages that tie my gaming life to my faith.  As I said to them and it became the quote of GenCon “You guys make me not hate my religion!”

Tasty Minstrel Games-I am CHEAP! and my local game store offers 1/5 off the cover price of any game.  For me to buy a game that is the amount I want off a game to buy it outright.  Beyond that you have to give me something extra like a mini-expansion or something.  As I walked around the con, Tasty Minstrel was selling Belfort for 1/5 off and giving the first expansion of Dungeon Roll with a Dungeon Roll purchase.  I love the Secret Gaming Cabal Gaming Podcast(more later) and they vouched for Belfort so I bought it sight unseen.  I also was able to talk with the publisher and an artist at the company.  We commiserated over his low pay and how the convention hall charged $75 BUCKS A DAY FOR VENDER INTERNET!  Always great to talk to the guys who make the games.  It’s even better to pat them on the back as they fake cry over artist rates!  Great bunch of guys.

Modiphius Entertainment-I walked by the creators of the ACHTUNG! CTHULHU game.  We talked about their kickstarter and how progress was going on the game.  I missed their playtest, but we talked about the future and the possibility of a living game.  Great people who are working hard to bring a good product to market.  Looking forward to my PDF!

CritSuccess-THESE GUYS MAKE DICE RINGS!  I had never heard of these, but they are awesome.  I bought my wife won.  And later, I found out DMs get their first one for $5 bucks, so I bought one for me!  About $20 for a ring that rolls!  Lots of styles!  HURRAY!

And with that it was food time and then back to work for Baldman Games and Wizards of the Coast.   I love DnD Next and working with the crew at Baldman.  Good times and fun, strange things always happen at my tables.  Also, nothing like being told you have to game till 1AM or your fired!

After words, one of my friends flagged me down and excitedly told me about his new discovery!  There is this great place for Noodles!  I asked what the place was and he told me its called Noodles and Co.  He had never seen that place before, and it blew his mind.  Laughing as I told him, I talked about eating there most of college and how its just north of Jackson.  We ended up eating there next to a woman in a TARDIS dress. God bless GenCon!

Saturday

3AM is not conducive to a 7AM wakeup, but it happened.  Thank god no running today!

Wizards of the Coast and Baldman Games–  Back to running Confrontation at Candlekeep.  I love this mod and the variability.  As I said before, nothing is as awesome as a battle interactive introduction to a system.  I had tables that ranged from a complete party of monks named Skunk, Punk, Funk, and Drunk to a FULL table of people dressed head to toe as Drow.  I love this job.  Ever better Saturday, I got a chance to be first reader.  This person is the proctor for the adventure and keeps time for the tables.  I loved it, it beat the hell out of me, made me horse, and is MUCH harder than it looks to do well.  I think my tables had fun and I know I did.

Passport Games-Mid game shift, I was able to get 30 minutes to sneak out to get a copy of Tokaido.  The creator was signing games at that time and I got a copy signed for my wife.  These guys still remember me from Let’s Play Green Bay so its good to see old friends again!

Back to the con floor!

Stan!-Before the con I visited a holy site on a pilgrimage through Wisconsin: I stopped a the old site of TSR.  I wasn’t sure about the address, and I reached out to twitter.  Stan! responded and helped me.  We talked for a while and I’m really glad I got to meet him.  He’s a great guy.  Also, he signed my Mazes and Monsters  book.

The Manhattan Project –Stumbling and wondering off (Remember less than 4 hours of sleep and no food at this point), I wondered the hall in a drunken stupor and found a group of guys demoing The Manhattan Project .  Again The Secret Gaming Cabal Podcast recommended this game, but this time I got to try it out.  While not completely sure where I was I was able to win this game by my teeth.  A great game that is awesome.  I was hooked.  Now….to buy……

Secret Gaming Cabal Podcast-At New Years, I decided I would pick up a bunch game podcasts and pare them to a few.  This was one and I’ve keep listening since then.  Good guys.  I like the games they like.  I don’t always agree with the games they poo-poo, but I like what they like.  I hadn’t heard the latest podcast, but I saw on twitter the were doing a meet up at the Ram, then the Omni.  No gaming (sad panda), but you could grab a beer and maybe win some games.  At the meet up, Stephen Buonocore was there and its always a great time to see him.  I thanked him for sponsoring the Orc Stomp 5k.  I also got to meet the Cabal crew and they are great guys.  It was good to put some names to faces, it makes listning to the podcasts that much more relatable.  I was able to win a game Pixel Lincoln.  I thank the guys and then had to head out.

The night ended with me drinking with the rest of the GMs from Baldman games while being regaled with insider information on how game companies work as well as learning the history of my hobby.  God I love this job.

Sunday

Going to bed at 3AM and waking up at 7AM is still a bad idea!  Woke up and got all my gear together and brought it to my car.  From their it’s off to the con!

Church-The Geek Preacher and crew put on a non-denominational church service.  This year is was creation.  Good messages, good fun, lots of puns, and I left with a feeling a faith I haven’t honestly had in a long time.

Catalyst-I thought I was done giving money to these guys at Origins, but I was wrong!  I talked with some of the writer for the game and found they had updated the Firing Line Book.  Good stuff.  I also talked about Battletech and Mechwarrior.  I want to do some gaming, but its hard to find people who do the same thing.  I meet with some more designers to talk about that.   After the RPG stuff, I moved on to trying The Duke.  It’s like chess, magic, and roborally had a baby.  Tile movement that changes, random tile drawing, and critical thinking.   Great game, I plan to buy it.  It was a lot of fun.

Indie Boards and Cards-I’ve always wanted to try Flash Point, so I flagged down a person and asked how to play.  Its simple enough and now I think I’ll buy it sooner then later.  I love co-op games that my wife and I can play when we’re home on a week night, and this fits the bill!

Indie game hall-Across from the exhibitor hall was the playtest hall.  I walked in and grabbed all the business cards I could, and guess what I saw…paper copy of RPG rules quickstart for Mazaki no Fantaji.  Since I don’t turn those down I grabbed it and now I’ve got another RPG to try.  Heck they have a kickstarter right now and they follow my rules for a cheep PDF level so they even got my money without a try of the game.  Good job guys!

Cubical 7-I talked with the guys over at Cubical 7.   These guys recently released World War Cthulhu.  For the con, they had cheaper copies with a  free PDF.  They followed my rule of a con price as well as a free pdf, so as a Lovecraft nut, I bought it.  I also was very happy when I talked with a developer of the game and he told me they didn’t kickstart because kickstarter is for companies that need it, not just need cheep publicity.  That made me happy so I felt that was a good purchase.

Margaret Weiss Production-These Guys made the award winning Marvel game that was recently shut down.  To help them break the curse of stopping an awesome idea before its time, they now made the Firefly RPG…..oh boy…. Well, I wanted to help so I bought a copy and they gave me a free PDF (AS IT SHOULD BE!).  I even was able to get it signed by Margaret Weiss herself.

Minion Games-The makers of The Manhattan Project.  This place was like if I ran a game company.  I got to talk to the creator.  He’s a hard swearing guy who is pretty friendly.  Funny guy.  He and I sat for half an hour discussing making ipad games from board games and if it will drive sales.  Good times.  I did get my copy of Manhattan Project.

Game Salute-These guys sponsor The Secret Gaming Cabal, so I felt it was my job to stop by and say I heard about them on the podcast.  While there, they had Sunrise City for 50% OFF!  So that happened without hesitation.

All and all a great con.  I met lot of good people, discussed the industry, spent WAY too much money, and played 30+ hours of DnD Next.  I couldn’t ask for a better weekend.

Ring Side Report-GenCon Day1 or How I spent my Summer Vacation!

Day one of GenCon is always like the opening rush at a food court and the best part of Christmas all crammed together.  It is some of the best and the worst you can experience.  Let’s start with the worst because I want to end on a high note.  Companies are still figuring things out and so are their demo teams.  And, sadly, there is no better way to deal with this as you need the players there to really stress test any idea for play and organization out there.  That makes this like a fast food job as you have a burst of stress that you have to feed of our you will not last long.  If you can, you’re in for a ride.  The best is seeing all your friends, old and new, meeting with industry, and seeing all the shiny, new toys!

I, like many poor, poor, PhD (Poor, Hungry Doctors), can’t afford to just “go”, so I work.  And I work for the best Damn Demo/Gaming team out there Baldman Games!  For this GenCon, I am stationed at the Delve which this year is “Confrontation at Candlekeep.”  Being a lover of the Realms, (If you’re in Jackson, MI, you can find Candlekeep because that my house!) This was a great fit.  Also, its a low level battle interactive, which are my favorite battle interactive.  Just role-playing, monster killing fun.  I ran from 8AM to 10:45PM.  It was a long day, but a fun one.  I meet so met great people ranging from people who may have known the DnD Next rules a bit more then me to a mom and her two small children who never even heard of DnD before.  Always a blast, great group of GMs to work with, and a great person to read/coordinate the event (even if the he never pronounced Asmodeus the same way twice!  One time it was even Amadeus!)

 

If you get a chance, go to the Wizards of the Coast Both, check it out, play the game, and get some $4 dice man!  Chessex can’t beat that price and it comes with a game!  If you don’t want to wait, go around 8AM or 10PM.  Good luck out there!  More tomorrow!

Daily Punch 8/13-8/16

How about a bunch of combo feats?  What do you think?

Master of War

Benefit-You can change martial path features from several different  paths, but you  may change features between the different ones.

Druid of the Many Circles

Benefit-You can change druid circle class features with different class features.  You do not gain the benefit of a second circle feature, but you  may change features between the different ones.

Master of the All Arcane

Benefit-You can change Arcane Tradition features with your current arcane tradition.  You do not gain the benefit of a second Arcane Tradition, but you  may change features between the different ones.

Traveler of the Many Temples

Benefit-You can change Monastic Traditions with your current Monastic Tradition.  You do not gain the benefit of a second Monastic Tradition, but you my change different features between the Monastic Traditions.

Daily Punch 8-6-13

New DnD Playtest with a lot less feats.  Lets add one

 

Healing Master

Prerequisite: Cleric

You focus your talents on keeping your friends alive.  So much so even your worst is often better then then most peoples best

When you cast a spell that restores hit points, changed all d8 to 2d4.  Also, reroll all natural ones that you roll.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 8-5-13

Played a bunch 13th Age, let’s try my hand at this!

 

Battle Tempo

Adventurer Tier:  When the escalation die is an even number, gain a +1 bonus to all saves.  For the purposes of this feat, 0 is not an even number.

Champion Tier: When the escalation die is 1 or greater, gain a +1 bonus to all saves.

Epic Tier: The bonus to saves from the champion tier feat is now +2.

 

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report-13th Age

Ring Side Report- 13 Age

 

TL;DR-13th age in a phenomenal RPG.  It combines the best of 4th, 3rd, and 1st edition Dungeons and Dragons all while creating its own soul.  A word to the wise, this system requires more audience and GM participation that most RPGs thought! 9.5/10

 

Basics-13th Age is a new RPG from Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet , some of the paragons from 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons.  After leaving Wizards, this creative group forged 13th Age alone with a few other projects.  This game focuses heavily on role-playing while not giving up on most of the crunchy bits that players of Dungeons and Dragons love.  The game is set in a world where 12 icons control the fate of the people there.  These icons represent things from races (Elf Queen and the Dwarf Lord) to aspects of nature and power (High Druid to Lich King).  The PCs all have a relationship to these icons and this relationship changes what occurs in every session.  In addition, each PC is unique for several reasons.  All PCs possess powers that most of their race to make it know right off the bat mechanically that the players are better than almost anyone.  In addition to this mechanical benefit, players also have a unique “thing.”  This “thing” ranges from being the world’s smartest Gnoll to a dwarf living in the wild wood in a treehouse in the tallest tree.  The uniqueness of the PCs really makes the game enjoyable, and in general keeps the game fresh.  There is a reason this game was on the most anticipated RPGs of summer 2013.

Mechanics or Medians, Means, and backgrounds oh my!

Basics-It’s not hard to see DnD was the backbone of this system.  Roll a d20, add numbers, compare to other numbers.  Done.  It’s worked since Gygax, and it still works.  Where fun enters is what numbers you add.  For starters, let’s talk about the escalation die.  For this game, each round of combat after the first the GM places a die on the table.  This die is added to your d20 rolls for that round, and some powers trigger or are affected by it.  There are wizard powers that are not used up if used when the escalation die is even.  This brings combat to a head very quickly and ramps up the fun as combat gradually becomes more intense.

Powers/spells– Powers and spells how a strong 3.0 and 4th edition influence.  All characters have the basic melee and range attacks, but these look much closer to 4th edition powers then simple descriptions in the 3rd edition book.  For a layout point of view, this makes the game much easier to read.  I know some people flee at the slightly whisper of “powers” from 4th edition, but writing the spells and some combat abilities this way really makes the book more digestible.  Also, powers/spells have random refresh abilities.  Some powers and spell can be used again if after  use you roll a 11 or better on a d20.  While this makes the game more random, I will admit it makes the game more fun.  All the standard 3rd and 4th edition powers are in the game, so your favorites are there or coming quickly.

Skills-This game has absolutely no skills, but replaces them with backgrounds.  At character creation you get eight points to place in your backgrounds.  Backgrounds are what ever you want.  There is no limit to this except your imagination.  Now your background could be as simple as “climber+4”, but that’s boring!  What if you were the “savage tree hermit+4”!  The second implies more about who you are the just a single ability.  When you want to do anything that failure would matter, the GM will ask for a roll.  You perform the standard 3rd edition math of d20+skill, but now you can look at the GM as a player and say “As a savage tree hermit, Im used to scaring travelers away from my home, can I add my savage tree hermit background to the roll to intimidate the guards?”  Odds are your GM will say yes in that case.  This makes what you were before the adventure that much more important.  The system is an AWESOME change to the standard gaming landscape of skill use and metagaming.

Medians and Means-This game is not super numbers crunchy.  Don’t expect a hard slog through a book full of different way to game the system. This game aims to put roleplaying center, but it doesn’t forget its crunchy, rule heavy roots.  The game prefers to use standard damage for its monsters.  It also advices the players to do the same.  For defenses, the players use the middle of three abilities to find what defense they should use.  Again, this discourages metagaming and power-gaming as it forces the players to take into account how focusing on one ability will hurt their characters.  Characters can still power game, but this new method for defenses makes a person think a bit more in how they build their characters.

Movement-Like many abstract games, this game uses abstract movement rules.  Basically characters are near, far, or engaged with other characters/enemies.  This style really makes the game move fast.  Honestly, I’ve had combat with six things running around end in less than 15 minutes!  In an average Pathfinder or DnD game, that’s at LEAST an hour.  Spells are built to take this in account and it really helps the flow of game play.  I wish more games were designed like that!

Icon Rolls-At the start of each game session, for each point of a relationship with an icon of the world, you roll a d6.  Getting a six means you get a boon from the icon.  Getting a 5 means you get a boon but with some strings attached.  All this is at GM’s discretion, but it is fun.  Keeps the GM from planning too much and makes the world fresh.  I like it.

Odds and Evens-A final note, dice rolls matter, but it tends to be more than just the total.  Some dice rolls look at if the die is even or odd.  Some powers refresh on an odd roll in combat. Some monsters get to add the escalation die if they get even or odd d20 rolls in combat.  Its more random, but its fun.  New mechanics to keep me on my toes.

 

Theme and Story-Here is where you will either absolutely LOVE the game like me or may possibly be turned away.  As a default, the world is very open.  Honestly, the world building section of the book is about 10 pages or less.  This is very much done on purpose and not a lazy move by the writers.  The writers of the book want each game to be its own thing.  You decide if dwarfs love scotch or apple martinis.  There are common elements such as the icons, but how a negative relationship with the icon plays out is up to you.  Its amazingly fun, but it could cause less creative groups to become paralyzed.  As a group, you build your world on the fly.  If you want a more developed world, then you may want to check out other games or worlds such as the Primal Thule kickstarter that just ended.  To use a food analogy, 13th Age by itself will assume that you’re fine with short order cook work rather than already scheduled catering.

 

Writing in the Book-I want to bring some special attention to how the book was written.  This book has the same vibe that Shadowrun has.  Its much less a white washed, corporate generated book.  This book honestly feels like two guys telling you about some game idea they wrote as are handing you the word file via dropbox.  That’s an AWESOME thing.  I like that I feel the authors talking to me via text.  Even more, the two main authors openly debate with one another across the text or give how the bend the rules of THEIR OWN GAME to make it their own!  One a page, you will see a symbol next to some text and it if accompanies by a small section of someone’s thoughts.  Often this is countered by another author’s symbol and their thoughts.  This whole process fills me with happies in my heart!

 

Summary-A great game.  Its got some flaws, but any book will.  It plays fast and makes the GM really make some choices for the world.  Dice mechanics are great and fresh.  Nothing feels stale.  Nothing is just rehashed 3.5.  Players matter and are the crème de la crème of the world.  Its about $50 bucks at http://www.pelgranepress.com/ with PDF as part of the deal.  To me PDF come standard with a book and Pelgrane Press seems to agree.  Go buy it. 9.5/10

 

Living Games-There is a Living game much like DnD encounters.  Want an adventure to test drive this game after you bought the book?  Crown of the Lich King is FREE!  Go to http://www.pelgranepress.com/ and ask nice and they will send you a link to Google docs where you can get the whole document for FREE!  Did I mention is FREE, even for home play?  Go NOW!