Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I never really understood the deal with gnomes.  Specifically the part where some people exceedingly hate them and others absolutely enjoy them.  For me they've always just been "there".  I guess that makes me somewhat of an outlier.  No strong opinion either way.  It is hilarious to watch the fans and anti-fans go at it though.  Doubly so when the anti-fans are kobold-huggers.  Much in the way of bizarre train-wreck arguments abound.

Art from GIS for lawn gnome
LooneyDM out

Monday, November 28, 2011

Failing Knowledge Checks

Knowledge skills are some of my favorite skills to have in a game.  When you succeed on a check you obtain relevant information about your situation.  When you fail, it's hilarious.  Even more so than spot or listen checks.  I like to let players make stuff up when their fail knowledge checks.  Or say they don't know.  But it's much more fun when they play to the same style as I do and make up something completely wrong for their character to declare about the given situation, monster, geography, etc.   Fun for the whole party!

LooneyDM out

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Epic Skill (Storytelling)

I'm putting this one up in honor of John Neville who passed away this week.  It's unlikely anyone else would have been able to pull off the Baron Munchausen at the level he did.  The movie itself struck me as unique.  It made me think about the power of stories.  Especially with regards to the idea of epic skills.  The thought that one could alter reality, and even end the siege of a city, simply by telling a story struck me as something I'd love to pull off in an RPG some day.  I doubt I'll have the chance as the mechanics for such a feat don't exist in any system that I'm aware of.  But I can dream.  I can dream that someday I'll have a character story that is at the very least a fraction as cool as the stories of the Baron Munchausen.

Art from GIS for Baron Munchausen
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


 One thing I didn't learn until later in my DMing career was the subject of player expectations.  I managed to avoid almost all the speed bumps because my starting group played the way I did.  Thankfully they didn't try to walk off with the aliens that were trying to abduct them.  But talking about expectations is important.  Extra so when you're stepping away from the paradigm of D&D and dungeon crawling.  After all if the players don't know they're supposed to be scared of the aliens, they may just take things into their own hands.  With amusing or disastrous consequences.  Turning your possible Independence Day inspired epic game into a tea and (flying) saucers party like something out of a Daniel Pinkwater book.  Now go read Tooth-Gnasher Superflash and be inspired.

Art from god knows where
LooneyDM out

Monday, November 21, 2011

Big Gun

Big guns.  Favorite of player characters every where, in every genre.  Even if the genre doesn't have guns.  They'll go looking for the damage equivalent.  Such is the manner of player characters.  After all negotiations go so much better with a kind word and superior firepower than they do with a kind word.  And you can't deny the appeal of making shit go boom!  Doesn't matter what shit it is, it just needs to go boom.  Preferably with large explosions filled with colors.  Lots and lots of colors.  Just watch out for the recoil.

Art from GIS for anime big gun
LooneyDM out

Friday, November 18, 2011


Ah, pants.  Frequently optional for adventure, but classy heroes know that running around bottomless sends all the wrong messages to the grateful citizenry.  On the other hand maybe that's the sort of message you want to send to them.  "Of course I have my chain shirt.  Pants are unnecessary for such a great hero as myself."  Heck you might even start a trend.  Or maybe your hero is being played by a loony.  On the player side of the equation it isn't so bad if you're playing over the internet.  This is assuming that you don't video chat.  Even if you do the webcam can always be reaimed.  It's in person games where this sort of caviler attitude causes problems.  The sort of problems that get people kicked out of their game group.  Don't be that guy.

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Genre Mashups

Smushing two genres together can lead to bizarre consequences, odd situations, and occasionally if executed well a campaign of pure awesome.  I can see a muppet movie/007 mashup being one of the awesome ones.  After all, parodies of James Bond tend to do well and the Muppets are really good at the parody genre.  Of course this depends on the GM having a good knowledge of both genres, whatever genres they are.  The knowledge is essential in a mashup because you want to keep the distilled essence of both genres and know what to drop out as extra fluff that doesn't further the mashup.  Dropping the wrong piece can lose the feel of either of the mashed genre.  It's also important to mash the right genres.  Some genres mash easier than others.  Highly serious and highly silly genres mix less well than serious and serious or silly and silly.  Horror tends not to go well with high fantasy ("What do you mean run from the vampire? I cast daylight and charge it!").  All in all, watch your step when mashing.

LooneyDM out

Monday, November 14, 2011


You know no one uses the encumbrance rules.  Time to abuse it!  Battering Ram?  I'll take three!  No need to worry about lack of light, I'll strap 10 torches to my helmet and light them all on fire.  Need some rope?  I have 300 feet wrapped around my waist.  A thimble?  I'm sure there's one inside the chest of drawers that I'm balancing on my head.  All in all it's very silly what RPG characters can usually carry when you think about it.

LooneyDM out

Friday, November 11, 2011


Nothing quite like the classics. Yes that is Skeletor. Of course if he had looked like that in the original version there would be lots more frightened children in the 80s. This has happened to other 80s cartoon villains but this is one of the shiny ones. On the subject at hand, drawing from your childhood for campaign villains can be fairly inspired. Especially if you adapt them for the setting you're playing. Or not as the case may be. I have had requests to run He-man and She-Ra games before. Myself I'd be pulling inspiration from the likes of TMNT and possibly Darkwing Duck. Grabbing villains from the latter would be quite bizarre given the parody status of the show.

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Epic Roleplaying

There are some games of roleplaying that only answer to one word. And that word is epic. If you haven't been to PAX, or you haven't been able to seen any of the Live D&D games they've had there you are missing out. They are crazy awesome. This time around they even had bards. Does your RP session have bards? I didn't think so. Yours also probably isn't being DM'd by one of the people who worked on D&D. Again. I repeat. Epic.

Art from, well I've told you that already.
LooneyDM out

Friday, November 4, 2011

Craft: Baking

Some of my posters are funny. At least I think so. Others are just plain awesome. This is one of the awesome ones. I mean would you feel right eating a cake with that level of craftsmanship? I know I would have a few second thoughts. Yes, that is a cake. Not a minature. You may pick your jaws up off the floor now. All I can say is that cake better have had a game to match.

Picture found on WIN!
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dire Snail

Dire Snail! Real thing is real in real life. Of course it could be photoshopped but who cares! A familiar that can live in your pocket and it makes perfect sense for it to stay put there all the time. Just drop in food every now and again and it will never try to leave. Perfect for parties. Ladies love it when you pull a giant snail out of your pocket. Yeah some losers might have a crow, or a frog, or a cat, but you know what the new cool familiar is. But remember to clean up its slime trail. No one wants that hanging around.

LooneyDM out