Monday, December 31, 2012

Possibilities

I was reading http://penny-arcade.com/2012/12/28/playing-roles and they raise a very valid point right at the end of the post about what players know about what is possible in a game.  We learn by playing our roleplaying games if I do action x, they will get result y (all rolling non withstanding).  A new player doesn't have this sense.  On one hand this can be good as they will try things that the group has deemed "bad options" and surprise everyone when they work.  On the other had they will try "bad options" and find out why no one uses them.  Their sense of the physics of the system and the world are incomplete.  The difficult question that faces every RPG out there is how to let the new players know they physics.  This becomes more of an issue for smaller RPG writing outfits as someone may pick up your game without ever having played it.  For the larger RPGs most people are brought to it by DMs who have played before and know the rules.  Overall I believe RPGs could do more like the recent Edge of the Empire game to be accessible to new players.  Yes, people inviting others to play grows the hobby but you can't ignore the first generation players either.

Art from GIS for "impossible jump"
LooneyDM out

Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday Themed Gaming

I personally enjoy a break from the regular themes of gaming to toss holiday themed sessions at players.  I even had a "Talk Like a Pirate" themed session one year.  Obviously this is not for everyone.  My campaigns are on the lighter side of serious.  I'm sure that other DMs and players would not enjoy having their current experiences interrupted as it were by a mood altering change.  I can understand completely.  In the mean time I'm still going to have my players take on giant gingerbread men and colossal evil pumpkins.  Treats for everyone!

Art from GIS for D&D santa
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DnD Next

You may be wondering why I don't talk much about D&D next, given that I run two D&D games and play in a third.  I have not much to say because I don't have time for the play test.  I haven't had the motivation to wrangle players for another session outside of the sessions I currently run.  I prefer to wait on games until they're finished.  It manages my expectations better than if I'm involved in the process.  This extends to all my entertainment hobbies.  I don't enjoy movie first looks and I don't play in video game betas.  The other reason I'm not interested much in D&D next is it appears to not be the edition that I either need or want.  But you protest "LooneyDM, D&D next is to be for everyone!".  I disagree.  I currently enjoy both 3rd and 4th editions of D&D (Scandalous, I know).  What I need from a new edition of D&D is one of two things.  The first is a better balanced version of the 3.5 rules.  D&D next is not promising to do that.  In fact they seem to be staying away from any discussion of balance.  I know of only one system out there that tries to fill that need.  That's Legend from Rule of Cool.  (No, Pathfinder does not count as they haven't fixed the big problems).  The other desire I have is for a system that follows in the steps of 4th edition in cutting new ground for D&D mechanics.  D&D next wants to do the opposite and bring back all the old mechanics to appeal to everyone.  So in the end I am taking a wait and see approach on D&D next.  I'll see it when it is done.

Art from GIS for "D&D next"
LooneyDM out

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bards

You may be familiar with the quote that goes like this:
Fighter: "I can kill a guy on my turn."
Cleric: "I can kill a guy in half my turn."
Wizard: "I can kill a guy before my turn."
Bard: "I can get three idiots to kill guys for me."
To me this sums up bards.  They're idea men with the force of charisma to have others carry through on their ideas.  They're the guileful heros who have a trick up their sleeve.  They're the type of character I'd love to play but simply can't because I don't think that quick on my feet. 
I've always thought of bards as the most heroic of classes.  I believe this is because I expect my heroes to be at least moderately competent at a wide variety of talents.  Swordfighting, swinging from chandeliers, bluffing or sneaking their way past guards.  The bard is the class that you don't need to have extrinsic motivation for them to adventure.  They adventure because ADVENTURE!

LooneyDM out

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Expectations (Bards)

I hate to put this poster up.  But I also hate to leave a joke like this hanging out there.  This was supposed to go up Monday but I forgot about it.  So just imagine it came right after the wizard expectation poster.  The reason I hate to put this up is I completely disagree with the people who say bards are useless.  They may take a little more planning and effort than some other classes, but they are not useless.  Which makes them the perfect class for this set of posters on expectations, because you could possibly blow people's minds with an unexpected use of a bard.  But I couldn't make that joke because this one was funnier.  Such is the life of one being humorous on the internet.

Art from LoL
LooneyDM out

Monday, December 17, 2012

Law of Conservation of Details

I try to avoid skimping on the descriptions for people, places, and things.  Sometimes I can't avoid it.  It's getting late, I'm getting tired or any number of distractions are occurring.  Then you get descriptions like "You're in a desert.  There is sand."  Of course the players know by this point that anything mentioned by the DM is important enough to warrant further investigation.  So off they go on a merry chase after whatever it is that is so important about the sand in this particular desert.

Image from Imgur
LooneyDM out


Friday, December 14, 2012

Residuum

4e made a large change to the way that magic items were created in D&D.  And it was about damn time.  Gone are the days of having to search high and low for someone to buy that extra +1 blah off you so you can get what you really wanted.  Now you can distill it down to its component essence and build the damn item yourself.  Finally an entire swath of useless bookkeeping was cut out of the game.  Huzzah!

Art from GIS for Residuum

LooneyDM out

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Expectations (Wizard)

Wizards are much like clerics in people's expectations of them vs what they are capable of.  In many D&D groups the wizard is treated as the one who ships out the fireball or other hp damage dealing mass ranged spells.  Switching it up can cause consternation among the rest of your party.  Especially if you go for the illusion school and ban the fireball school. 

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Monday, December 10, 2012

Expectations (Rogue)

Continuing the theme of expectations.  Today I cover what most people expect from a rogue, vs what you might get. 

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Friday, December 7, 2012

Expectations (Fighter)

I like it when I can challenge expectations in a RPG setting.  As this series of posters should make clear.  Yes, there will be more.  I promise to cover all of the classic D&D classes with this series.  The fighter in 3.5 was less flexible than others in the classic set but there is still room to do the unexpected.  Like an archer.  Fighters can make better archers than rangers in many cases as they aren't locked into certain feats and progress feats faster than archers get their bonus features.  Or you can go a completely different route with sword and board (not recommended), gattling chain tripper (trip ALL the enemies), or the power attack combo (if I can charge it, it is dead!).  Still plenty of flexibility to mess with expectations. 

Again art from League of Legends (specifically the wiki)
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Expectations (Cleric)

One of the reasons I like 3.5 is because of how classes can defy the standard expectations of their role.  Take your humble cleric.  Usually considered to be a healbot who occasionally hits the enemy upside the head with a blunt trauma weapon.  Now build it differently and you've got a holy warrior ready to lead an army against the forces of darkness.  It's all in the choices you make for your character.  Also it amuses me to challenge people's expectations of classes.  Especially ones that are supposed to be backup or "boring.

Art from LoL Wiki
LooneyDM out

Monday, December 3, 2012

Menegerie

The druid.  Friend to all animals.  Or possibly psychopath who gets animals to do all their fighting for them.  Technically that counts a pacifism if your friends are doing the punching for you.  Of course you run into the Aesop about the soldiers who captured the drummer and treated him like any other soldier.  Such is the issue with technical pacifism.  Or a general insisting that they never fight themselves.  After all they command everyone else to do it for them.  But don't mock the druid unless you're sure you can take it.

Art from GIS for "pokemon"

LooneyDM out

Friday, November 30, 2012

Illusions

I have no illusions that I have no more words in my brain after wednesday's post.  So many words.  I do have illusions that I'll be able to DM still.

Art from GIS for "wizard of oz"
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Real Geeks

The idea that someone needs to have certain qualifications to be a real geek is at once fascinating and frustrating.  Fascinating because of the human psychology behind it.  Frustrating because of the negative attitudes it encourages.  I'll delve into the brain games behind it first, then tackle the frustration, and round off with some thoughts on change.

The brain games behind every statement of "You're not a real geek if you don't x" or "You're not a real geek if you haven't y" are complicated and I believe stem from a variety of different sources.  First off the grouping tendency.  Humans like to group items because it helps our monkey brains deal with large numbers.  Our relationships with others are no exception.  People group themselves and others by their politics, religious affiliations, sports teams, and all manner of social clubs.  In and of itself this is fairly harmless.  Even competition between these self regulated groups can be friendly and reasonable.  However when we group others into groups we consider inferior the troubles start.  You can see much of this in politics and religion.  The "geek" and "not geek" designations simply become an outgrowth of this phenomenon.  We want to be in the right group, or the superior group, or [insert adjective that indicates I'm better than you here] group.  This is fascinating because there are so many motivations behind it.  Some times we may not even be aware of the motivations.  Motivations of being accepted, being special, or being better than someone else.  Sadly therein lies a terrible illusion.  Designating yourself with a label doesn't make you smarter, more logical, more open minded, or more reasonable.  But so many people act like it does.  Saying you're a geek doesn't put you in an elite group, even if we like to think it does.  We make the label, the label does not make us. 

The whole frustration behind this grouping is that it causes so much exclusion, ostracizing, and negativity.  This strikes me as hypocritical of us as geeks since the idea of being a geek or a nerd has long been a negative term of ostracizing and exclusion.  And that straight up sucks.  If you've been at the place of being the unwanted one in a social circle it's that much worse when you become the force that makes others unwanted.  Especially on the internets and in the geek industries it has reached a point of many different people being told they're not wanted.  Or they're being treated poorly to the point they want to leave.  The follow up frustration is if the geeks doing the poor treating are called out on it they often get defensive.

So what can we do?  This is the part I feel is most important.  Analysis is all well and good but if there isn't any solution to the problem the information isn't useful.  The biggest pit trap to jump over is bringing the geeks who engage in this behavior from a state of defensiveness to a state of willingness to listen.  Patience and reasonableness are the prime weapons in this fight.  Patience is required because minds will not be changed overnight.  Reasonableness because it's super easy to get into flame wars where no one wants to back down and just wants to hurt the other side because they've been hurt.  Of important note is that some of us have the experience to win this mind battle.  If I'm hanging out or participating in a discussion with person A who declares "If you haven't played game X, you're not a real geek" and I happen to have played game X, I am the one who needs to wield patience and reasonableness against this statement.  Why?  Because like it or not if person B who hasn't played game X speaks up in disagreement person A will ignore what Person B has to say because they haven't played game X.  It simply won't matter how patience or reasonable that person B is, person A isn't going to listen.  This isn't going to be easy.  I'm not going to pretend otherwise.  Someone has to be the one to stand up for what's right and if it isn't you then someone else is going to be that hero.  And isn't being the hero one of our shared fantasies?  Let's bring some of our fantasies into reality.

I leave you with this.  We're all geeks here.  All of us.  It took all of us to change geek from derogatory to a badge of honor.  It's going to take all of us to change the geek community from what it is to a place where anyone is welcome no matter how weird (the weirder the better).  Can we all be geek enough to stand up for each other and say "We're all geeks here"?   

Art from GIS for "brony"
LooneyDM out

Monday, November 19, 2012

Flaws

You know you're playing under a good DM when you take a flaw that you thought was fool proof and they bring it into the narrative anyways.  Or if they bring in flaws that you hadn't thought of that match what you're trying to do with your character concept exactly.

LooneyDM out.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rolled Stats

I'm not a fan of rolling for my character abilities.  I prefer to make the character that I want to make when I make a character for an escapist fantasy game.  I've got a list of character ideas longer than my arm and that's just for D&D.  The idea of trying to shoehorn one of them into a random set of stats makes me cringe.  In addition I've found I roll poorly for characters.  Sure when I roll test rolls for fun they'll turn up good, but as soon as I start on my official character I will be lucky to match the elite array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8).  Inevitably there will be someone else in the group who rolls much better.  Overall when I'm playing a game where I have a character for longer than one session I want to make what I want to make.  I don't want the dice to render the concept I have in mind unplayable.  Life's too short and full of amazing experiences to waste time playing a character you don't want to play.

Art from here 
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Encumbrance

I have decided that I am done with D&D.  Well not done done, but done.  Specifically I'm done dealing with the D&D Next playtest.  I've determined that at this point I can't keep up to date on the D&D Next play test and stay positive.  Given that I don't want to give up on being positive, D&D Next playtest will have to go.  There are a few reasons for this.  The first doesn't have anything to do with optimism or positivity.  It has to do with the fact that I don't have the time to run playtest games.  I'm running a weekly 3.5 game and a bi-monthly 4e game.  I'm having too much fun with both of those to suspend either of them to run a playtest session.  I don't currently have the headspace to prep another game, even if it is a one shot.  Without being able to run or play in a playtest game I don't feel involved in the playtest process.
The other major reason has to do with today's poster.  D&D has a lot of design baggage.  There are entire swaths of mechanics that only make sense in the context of their original design culture.  This can have a polarizing effect.  Those who are currently part of that culture feel that these mechanics are important to their fun and react with hostility to their removal.  Those who are not currently part of that culture feel that these mechanics get in the way of their fun and react with hostility to their inclusion.  My personal opinion is that the more the designers jettison this design baggage the better.  The trouble being this goes against D&D next's stated design goals.  At this point the designers and I have fundamental differences about what D&D should be and it appears that no amount of playtesting is going to change that. 
Going forward I won't be paying any more attention to the D&D Next play test.  I'm looking to decrease the number of D&D games I run and branch out into other systems.  Specifically into the prep light arenas of gaming.  I know I've had plenty of fun playing in Savage Worlds and PDQ.
 
Art from GIS for "emotional baggage"
LooneyDM out

Monday, November 12, 2012

Inappropriate Attire

I mean really.  Nobody wants to see the wizard shirtless.  Especially your stereotypical wizard.  You know the one.  80 years old.  Full white beard.  Wizened eyes.  Robes with runes.  The whole get up.  Of course in a delicious set of double standards, everyone wants to see the stereotypical sorceress or sorcerer shirtless.  Go figure.

Art from GIS for "shirtless old man"
LooneyDM out

Friday, November 9, 2012

Board Game Night

This hasn't ever actually happened to me.  I can say I have been tempted more than once.  I know it has happened out there somewhere as I read about it on the internet.  And if you read about it on the internet it has to be true.  Any way you slice it, board game night is lots of fun.

Art from GIS for "Lords of Waterdeep"
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hit Points

Been done before, but hit point jokes never get old.  Especially with that many arrows sticking out of you.  Either way have some critical humor hits in the form of these quotes from my wednesday game.

* Pitch uses hand signals to communicate what she sees
Iannes: ....there's pies in the fridge?

Pitch: (( If you did hit me, you'd be in trouble ))
Pitch: (( Then again, I'm fire resistant ))
Pitch: (( Maybe we should plan around that! ))

While down in the sewers
Rendar: How about we take a breather before heading back with the girl.
Markarian: theres not much to breathe around here
Pitch: "Breathe? Down here?"

* Iannes rolls: d20+0 Insight to reporter lying or misinforming => 3 + 0 = 3
Iannes: (( I believe everything he says, including that the sky is made of candy ))
* Rendar rolls: 1d20+1 insight => 1 + 1 = 2
Rendar: (( The sky is candy! ))

Pitch: "If this mission gets me a half-step closer to punching the face of the guy who framed me for a crime I didn't commit? I will walk across hot coals for it. So enough of your pessimism."
Rendar: "Aren't you resistant to fire?"
Pitch: "Shh. You weren't supposed to remember that."

LooneyGM: Yes. A slightly unusual request but not out of ny expertise.
Rendar: (( The inquisitors that say ny ))

Rendar: (( We'll just call Iannes Captain Fubar. ))

Pitch: (( Do the Dark Lanterns all get rings with cosmic powers? ))
Rendar: (( By darkest day, by brightest night... ))

* Laemkral rolls: d20+9 => 20 + 9 = 29
* Iannes I AM LOKI, KING OF LIES

LooneyDM: You have heroically agreed to help him out after the mob smashed up his inn
Iannes: (( They ruined my favorite stool. ))
Pitch: (( That's us! Helping the downtrodden. Also I like this inn. ))
Iannes: (( I LIKED THAT STOOL. IT WAS WELL POLISHED. ))
Rendar: (( Well why don't you take a sample of that stool for a keepsake. ))

Iannes: Oh fuck me.
Rendar: I wouldn't say that so loud near an ogre.

LooneyGM: (( eenie meenie miny moe ))
Dashiyn: (( come at me bro! ))
Iannes: (( That rhymes ))

Markarian: (( its like an icy hot pad thats also Bi ))

LooneyGM: Pitch goes over the edge
Pitch: "I REGRET NOTHING!"

Markarian: Ray of Frost: 25 vs. Fort. On hit 11 and the target is slowed
Markarian: stay forsty goblin
Markarian: dammit
Rendar: I bet hes forsty

Pitch: (( When did I graduate from falling off of towers to spinning death top? ))

Markarian: acrobat boots, all the cool kids are using them
Rendar: If by cool you meant me, you are correct.
Markarian: what can i say big guy, youre rubbing off on me, and by that i mean youre filthy

Markarian: pitch, i need one of your dresses
Pitch: "I just have the one, and it's tailored for someone with a tail."
Markarian: good, ill fill the hole with alchemist fire

Pitch: (( I will supply a box if it means Markarian sneaks around Metal Gear Solid style ))

murdock: (( markarian is strangely turned on by his brothers roughness ))
Iannes: (( okay Homosexual McFeycest, take it easy ))

Pitch: (( Oh no he's going to offer you his daughter's hand in marriage! ))
murdock: (( its not too bad, its a carry-on sized wife ))

Markarian: i used to be a grand wizard! then the orcs stole my magic

Iannes: (( Suck my elven balls ))
Iannes: (( Like my ears, they are pointy ))

Iannes: (( Well I now need to paint Markarian red so he has more dakka, that's the only way left to make him even more dangerous ))

Markarian: (( ok, lets just go in disguise ))
Markarian: (( ill dress as lady stripper ))

Markarian: (( go pitch! i know you can do it! ))
* Pitch rolls: 1d20+8 flail => 7 + 8 = 15
* Pitch rolls: 1d20+8 mace => 7 + 8 = 15
Pitch: (( Dicechan, 7s are not good luck if you're rolling a d20! ))
Markarian: (( thats it, im not going to be positive anymore ))

Markarian: (( maybe you should switch up for some longswords, something with a +3 ))
Pitch: (( But the flail is awesome! ))
Markarian: (( is it pitch? is it? ))
Pitch: (( Yes! ))
Pitch: (( *sulks* ))

LooneyGM: There they regaled him with stories of dead gnolls, burning carts, and pirates
Iannes: (( Or as it's known in my homeland....Tuesday ))

Dashiyn: (( are you crawling around? ))
Markarian: (( yes ))
Markarian: (( never question a wizard about his ways ))

Markarian: (( im gonna use prestidigitation to make it look like im pulling scarves and doves out of his corpse ))

LooneyGM: No assassins come for you in the night, and you all wake rested and refreshed
Iannes: (( Well, that's almost reassuring. ))

Art from WotC art gallery
LooneyDM out

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monster

Ambiguous morality systems can be fun in RPGs.  After all if the "monsters" are attacking the village because the village founders chopped down the forest to make room for the village and surrounding farms rather than "we are bad bad evil bad monsters" it can throw a kink in the players plans to kill them all and take their stuff.  Who the monster is is often merely a matter of perspective.  It can be fun to try to mess with players in this way.  Make them consider the ramifications of their actions.  Of course they may just go with the "civilized" races are superior tack and kill the monsters anyways.

Art from Magicka
LooneyDM out

Friday, November 2, 2012

Lightsaber

In honor of Disney buying Star Wars I give you a post about lightsabers.  Pink ones at that.  Since Mace Windu had his purple one and the advent of different colored ones at the jedi academy in the expanded universe a pink one shouldn't be that far out there.  It's all gem based any ways and I know there are pink gems.  So rock the pink lightsaber with coordinating outfit.
As far as the Disney buyout of Star Wars.  Bring it on.  As mentioned many places before they can hardly do worse than the prequels.  I don't have any favorites for directors for the new movies but if John Lasseter or Brad Bird want to take a swing at it I wouldn't complain.  They've done well with the movies they directed and Star Wars really is a kids franchise anyways.

LooneyDM out

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Plot Hooks

Classic Halloween image.  The lightning lit castle on the hill.  Looming over the town below.  The perfect hook for a halloween or horror game experience.  Assuming your players will take the obvious bait in the even more obvious trap that you want them to walk into.  Of course they could do the completely logical thing and burn the castle to the ground.  Or siege the castle.  Or any number of intelligent courses of action that don't involve walking into the trap.  Darn those players for thinking when you don't want them to and not thinking when you do want them to.

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Monday, October 29, 2012

Spiders

Generally I'm not a fan of memes posters.  I do make exceptions for the originals and ones the pull the meme off well.  Hopefully this one falls into the latter category.  I also hope I haven't caused anyone's arachnophobia to kick into high gear with this poster.

Art fromWotC art gallery
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dirgesinger

D&D is so full of odd ball classes, feats and prestige classes.  Dirgesinger is one of those prestige classes.  Bards and undead rarely get along but this is the exception to that. 
Art from here
LooneyDM out

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sune

In my internet travels I stumbled upon a picture of Sune, Forgotten Realms goddess of love and beauty.  It was accompanied by this description "When Sune appears to the mortals of Faerûn she wears only a near-transparent gown. She is known for her lustrous red hair that drapes down to the ground, her eyes of shining emeralds and ruby red plump lips".  Seriously this reads like something out of erotica.  I know that it has classic roots (Aphrodite, Venus, etc) but why do all the female deities of love have to be drawn and described like they walked off the set of a porn movie?  It's not like all of them have lust in their domain portfolio either.  That said there's a long tradition behind it, and I suspect there would be a severe outcry from some quarters if the goddess of love didn't match up with contemporary standards of beauty.

Art from WotC Art Gallery
LooneyDM out

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rings

I have poor planning skills this week.  So you get bad pop culture reference jokes about magic items.  And a rant about magic items.  I hate picking out magic items.  Because dammit I don't want to have to choose between the boring stuff like +x to hit and damage or important ability score and the interesting stuff like immovable rods and decanters of endless water.  They need to be in separate wealth bins or the +x items need to be dropped from the game math so I can get the item that will be the most fun, not the item that will let my character retain functionality.

Art from WotC Art Gallery
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Shoulderpads

I used to think that excessive shoulderpads were strictly a Warhammer 40K motif.  Then I found this picture in the WotC art gallery archive.  It really speaks for itself.  But I'm going to speak about it anyways.  There's no way that he could use that sword while wearing those shoulderpads.  They'd definitely stop him from moving in a way that would allow the sword to be effective.  Though that may not be the point.  Still they're overdone for a fancy dress outfit as well.  The sword is lacking a scabbard as well.  His outfit is overall a total mess and he should feel bad about it.  Not as bad as he should feel about being a drow but that's another post entirely.

Art from WotC art gallery archive
LooneyDM out

Monday, October 15, 2012

Turn Undead


I enjoy playing clerics.  What I don't enjoy is the ubiquity of turn undead.  I dislike it for a few reasons.  The first is I dislike monster specific situational abilities.  Especially as class features.  It requires that the DM throw you a bone by intentionally using a creature type that is weak to your abilities.  This goes similar for rangers and their favored enemy ability.  Bane weapons aren't as bad as you can switch them out for other items.  Turn Undead and Favored Enemy you're stuck. 
The other reason is the theme dissonance.  Decide to play a cleric of the chief illusion deity of the setting?  Still have to take turn undead.  Want to play a cleric of a war deity who doesn't give a crap about undead?  Too bad, you're still doing the turn undead gig.  It makes no sense in so many cases but you're still unable to trade it in for something useful or conceptually relevant.  Thank goodness for divine metamagic and devotion feats in 3.5 and the healer's mercy alternate class feature in 4e which at least allow you some flexibility.

Art from GIS for Turn Undead
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Special Snowflakes

There's always one PC who just can't go with the flow.  They have to have something that sets them apart.  Something blatantly obvious to everyone who plays with them.

Art from WIN!
LooneyDM out

Monday, October 8, 2012

Aggressive Negotiations

Last night we almost went into aggressive negotiations as our potentially new employer admitted he was behind the kidnapping we had to thwart previously.  He gave us a plausible reason but we're on our guard.

Art from here

Makani: (( Classic PC plan B, USE MORE FIRE! ))

Seldon"Smoke": traveling to find someone who can best the undefeated bear?
Bear: (( Go WWE on their asses ))
Seldon"Smoke": millions have tried and lost, do any of you think you have what it takes?
DM: (( shame folding chairs don't exist yet ))
Larrasa: (( improvise ^_^ ))
Bear: (( I am pretty sure with my strength check I could make one fold... just saying ))

Makani: This is the Unsoppable Bear, a wrestling champion
human male 12: (( .... unsoppable? He cannot be picked up by a bounty paper towel? ))
Larrasa: (( rolled a 1 on his typing check! ))

DM: (( The inn is peaceful, aside from Seldon's activities. ))

Larrasa: (( Seldon is in bed with the elf? ))

Larrasa: (( is that a rapier in your scabbard, or are you just happy to see the stablehand? ))

Captain Exposition: (( lol really? Who changed my name? ))

LooneyDM out

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wizard

Some people trade their very souls for phenomenal arcane powers.  Others trade different things.  Like their fashion sense and social lives.  To paraphrase Harry Dresden "Wizards are nerds".  Maybe that's why I don't play wizards often.  Their lifestyle and means of acquiring arcane power hits a little too close to home.

LooneyDM out

Monday, October 1, 2012

GMing Advice

There are many pieces of good GMing advice out there.  This is one of the ones I heard very early in my GMing career and it has stuck with me for a good long time.  Not everything is a win for the players.  Not every obstacle can be overcome.  The biggest hurdle is realizing this and then dealing with it, both on the player side and on the GM side.  It is also rather fitting given the TPK I delivered last friday in my weekly D&D game.  Okay, not completely a TPK but the entire party was rendered unconscious and captured with as yet unspecified results

Art from GIS for "dragon wins"
LooneyDM out

Friday, September 28, 2012

Social Encounters

Much as fire should not be your plan b for social encounters (or plan a for that matter), causing the NPCs heads to explode does not count as a win.  You will not receive xp for this sort of lunacy at the game table.  And holy hand grenades of antioch are right out.

Art from GIS for "head explode"
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Character Motivations

There are days when you have an amazingly deep nuanced character concept in your head, waiting to be released to interact with all the other characters in the campaign.  Other times you just want a simpler character with simpler wants.  Sometimes it even involves potatoes.

LooneyDM out

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monsters

My humor sense is ker-broke right now.  So you will have to deal with a more monstrous motivatory post today instead of a humorous one.   I'll work to fix this by wednesday by getting a full nights sleep.

Art from here
LooneyDM

Friday, September 21, 2012

Calling in Sick

I'm phoning this one in because VIDEO GAMES!  Seriously who's idea was it to have Borderlands 2 and torchlight 2 show up in the same week.

LooneyDM out

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pirates vs Ninjas

It's that time of year again.  That international holiday of great renown.  Talk like a Pirate Day!  As such I present to you a classic match up of epic proportions.

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Monday, September 17, 2012

Natural 20





Ever have those days when you feel like you need an epic skill check to manage even the simplest of tasks.  This person isn't having one of those days.  In fact they're likely hoping for the best possible results given that they went over a waterfall like that

Picture from WIN
LooneyDM out

Friday, September 14, 2012

Complexity

I have to admit that as a fan of the 3.5 and 4th editions of D&D that I enjoy complexity.  I know that there are going to be many people disagreeing with me on this but having started with 3.5 D&D it feels like an integral part of D&D to me.  Rolling into 4th right after 3.5 only reenforced that.  This isn't to say that I don't enjoy simpler systems.  I do very much enjoy systems like Savage Worlds and PDQ which are orders of magnitude simpler than the current iterations of D&D.  However the lack of complexity just makes for a not D&D feel to me.  Again this isn't a "you're wrong if you think otherwise" sort of statement, it's merely how I've come to this particular facet of the hobby and how it has affected my perception of what is and isn't D&D to me.

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Phobias

Never mention your real life fears to your DM.  Ever.  You will regret it.  I assure you this will always be the case.

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Monday, September 10, 2012

Stunning Vistas

Your players know what they want and lengthy descriptions of landscapes is not it.  You're not George R. R. Martin as much as you would like to think you are.  Such is the case for the verbose DM with plenty of descriptions.  It is a sad and bemoanable state.  You can always console yourself knowing that the descriptions in the module you write will be read by other DMs who will sigh to themselves and truncate them to the succinctest text possible for players just like yours.

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Friday, September 7, 2012

Awesome Loot

You know it to be true.  Moral quandries?  The players will find a way to get along so they can continue stomping bad guys.  Sacrificial requirements?  Someone will step up and take one for the team.  A single piece of awesome loot?  It's going to be a bloodbath between players for sure.

Art from Girl Genius
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

PDQ against Humanity

I want to run a game of PDQ entirely based off Cards Against Humanity which is a game for horrible people.  Cards Against Humanity that is.  PDQ is for all sorts of people.  I envision playing one round of Cards against Humanity.  All the white cards you receive are the qualities of your character.  Unless you're the GM and then the white cards you receive inspire the session.  Completely off the cuff.  No one knows what you're playing until after the round is finished.  I think it would be a fun exercise in roleplaying for everyone involved.  The GM especially would learn about GMing in an improvisational fashion.

Picture from google image search for "Cards Against Humanity"
LooneyDM out

Monday, August 27, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gather Information (Of the fail variety)

RIP Neil Armstrong.  You'd like to think that your players would rise to the challenge of a momentous occasion.  Of course that's when the dice come out full force in "screw you I'm only rolling 1's today".  The fails roll in and all you can do is grit your teeth and laugh through the silliness.  But really, shame on nbc for getting the name wrong.  I know Neil Young is influential in music and all but we're talking about the first human from our planet to walk on another celestial body.  Do a little proofreading for goodness sake! 

Art from a very obvious location but screenshotted as they'll likely fix it by the time you see this.
LooneyDM out

Friday, August 24, 2012

Colossal

Large monsters get no respect.  At least not in fantasy games.  In modern settings there a little bit of a big deal.  Especially when they're the only one and all you have are little tanks and planes whose weaponry can't penetrate its hide.  You know, unlike those magic swords that the fantasy heroes have.  Sadly the Colossal size category went away in 4e D&D but who knows, it might be back next go around.

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Coward





I'm sure it has been done before.  I'm sure it has been done well before.  That still doesn't make it acceptable to take the coward flaw on a barbarian.  Or any other similar flaw or trait for that matter.  It simply should not be done. 

Art from here
LooneyDM out

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lucky

Near misses and other hijinks.  All of these can be yours for the price of one trait!  I've always wanted to play a luck based character but I've not run into a system that can adequately model what I want to do.  Rerolls are nice, added bonuses are nice, but it just doesn't create that intangible feeling of having a character who is lucky.  Unless you go by the astronomer definition of lucky.  ie, if you weren't lucky then it would have been something even worse happening.

LooneyDM out.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Flaw: Mute

Of course when the lead character in a single player game has the mute flaw it's different from when a player in a multi character game has it.  That said I do have a few players that I would trust with playing a mute character.  And then there are some I would inflict a silence curse on just because the results would be too hilarious. 
Apparently GenCon is this weekend.  Obviously I'm not going but its been blowing up my twitter feed with pictures and news.  Oh well, you can all be jealous when ever I get to my next con.

Art from GIS for "Link"
LooneyDM out