Monday, December 31, 2012


I was reading 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


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


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


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