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Friday, June 27, 2014

V-Pod cast part 2 (Into the woods, unwanted discoveries)

Welcome to Part two of our AAIE V-Log actual play series.
Character gen is done and now the characters are out in the wilds.

We have 
A halfling wizard Dean Played by Chris p
Rolo Baggins the  Halfling priest of Thodin. Played by Neal T.
and 
Gruff The Dwarf Priest Known as the silent hand of the church , dues to his stealth abilities. 
Gruff is Played by Jay M.

These are the characters created in episode Character gen, so if you partook in that V-pod cast now you can hear them in action.
If you didn't and are wondering how these characters came to be check it out here:

This Second episode is more of  a straight forward actual play with four guys just sitting around playing the game. I have included some  rules explanations as the  game goes along but not to many. Admittedly this was a very straight forward game, We tried t keep things pretty basic for this production, but all in all I think it shows the game mechanics in a decent light. 


If you prefer your funk embedded I have that for ya right here.



Thank you very very much for watching  please feel free to drop comments in the comments bin bellow.

Dawning of New Content, actual plays!

So a new day has dawned here at the Dust Pan Games Blog.

Today I will present the first of a series of VLOG / Podcast / Mud-shark type affairs.
These Hybrid Podcasts will feature actual plays from an actual table with live humans in the other chairs. If everything goes well I will get one out a week, the first three episodes will be featuring our home game “Amazing Adventurers and Incredible Exploits or AAIE.”

Episode 1: Character creation, the episode will go step by step through the random generation of three characters, will all game options being used, It runs about 40 minutes.


Episode 2: will be “Into the Woods, Unwanted Discoveries”

Episode 3 will be “Exploring The furnace Ape Crypt.”

After that we may switch up game systems being recorded, or Switch up characters, I’m not sure, I want to see how well received this is first.

By way of introduction, AAIE is a fantasy RPG, about normal folk who don’t see any way to get ahead doing their normal mundane jobs so they make the ill advised decision to become adventurers. These are not the well equipped well thought out heroes found in other fantasy role play games, these characters are generally intrinsically flawed, under equipped, and following paths that they might not  be well suited to travel.

Furthermore the GM has the option of generating everything randomly.  Everything from the available story lines, quests, monsters, magic items and so forth can be generated on the fly. These results in a world that rarely pull punches on our desperate, untried heroes.  A Gm could certainly  use the game system in a more traditionally  set up world, with a more  traditionally balanced story design , for the purpose of these pod casts, were not going to.

Why would anyone want to play a character like that, in a place like that? Surprisingly if the character survives long enough to start going up levels and prospering, players tend to grow attached to them. It’s a system not unlike the Dungeon Crawl Classic’s character funnel.  
I think of it as “admiration through attrition.”



OR watch embedded, Whatever your  preference.


These Podcast are a work in progress, I think as we tweak things like Mic distances, set up , and editing, they will only get better.

As always, thank you for reading
AND WATCHING!

Comments welcome bellow!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

100 Random Things that just might lie in that inaccessible mountain valley the locals tell tales about.


You have traveled far, the village is a welcome rest, they welcome you and your party with good spirits.

In the village at the foot of the high mountains the  locals tell stories around open pits of coals over which  heavily spiced meats an root vegetables are roasted on crooked sticks older than you are, blackened and slick with  many nights worth of  flame. On these nights the  stories are about the stars, long revered as ancestral spirits, and bout the  history of the village , the families that live there. One story catches your ear, a long tale that tells of a deep, narrow and nearly inaccessible valley some miles into the high mountains. The village elder peers through the  herbal cloud rising from his  ivory pipe, with dark eyes and broken teeth he tells of the valley, he tells of....


  1. A vast necropolis where a long forgotten tribe built complex shrines for their dead. It is said the spirits still roam the cliffs that ring the valley keeping out intruders and protecting the shrines.
  2. The crash sight of a large flying ship that the locals say brought their ancestors to these mountains.
  3. A crystal clear lake, 100 foot deep but so clear and still you can see the bottom. At the bottom a marble sarcophagus can clearly be seen, but never reached.
  4. A clan of large hairy "Wild Men" live in the valley. Once a year the villagers send one strong youth into the mountains to leave them a tribute consisting of 5 pounds of salt at a shrine dedicated to the wild men.
  5. The Valley is desolate, the valley floor bubbles with steam vents and  geysers. The mud from these vents is said to have healing properties.
  6. The valley is the  grove of a mysterious druid. Not the hierophant, but something other perhaps even greater, the druid that has removed himself from the order completely and is creating his own form of dark worship.
  7. There is a supposedly a lost city, once occupied by  a race of little people, the elders say they built their thrown out of gold.
  8. Here lies a tribe of Minotaur that use ritual fighting to  determine who is the leader of their tribe.
  9. The skeletal remains of  a vast giant cover the floor of the valley. A group of Naga are said to have taken up residence in it's skull.
  10. A vast Lake with a small island at it's center, on that island a stepped pyramid that gleams white in the  sun. No tribesman has ever ventured to the island, because of "the guardian"
  11. The small valley is constantly shrouded in  thick mist. What lies below the mist is a mystery occasionally strange birds, and  animals wander up form the  valley and quickly die in the sun.
  12. a vast field of  bones and rusted armor, in days log past a battle was fought in the hidden valley, why and by whom is long forgotten.
  13. The Valley is a giant sink hole cause by greedy dwarfs undermining the area. The collapse was catastrophic and to this day no dwarfs can be found in the valley. The  stout folk did however leave behind a network of old mines and tunnels that have become home to all manner of creatures.
  14. The  Walls of the valley are covered with  dwellings carved into the stone, a network of rope bridges connect the sides of the  narrow valley. The tribe who lives there never go to the valley floor.
  15. The valley was carved eons ago when a great dragon crashed into the mountains, it's immense skeleton can still be seen at the valley's southern most edge embedded in the earth. Traditionally this valley is where dragons will come to duel over their differences.
  16. The valley is a lush temperate forest, sealed away from time and untouched by  man or other humanoids.
  17. The Valley is said to hold a cave that once entered can open back to any location in the world, perhaps even other worlds. A strange cult of  monks live in the valley and worship the cave as if it were a god. They call the cave, "Maw of the Traveling Sun."
  18. A large lake fed by mountains streams fills the  floor of the valley, a lone very large ship of unknown origin floats endlessly in the lake, circling with the gentile current, abandoned.
  19. A great kingdom once used the  valley as it's seat of power, however the kingdom is now much reduced, their once great temples still standing as silent witness to what once was. An overly proud king, one in the line of a seemingly endless dynasty rules over the small population.
  20. three rivers flow up form underground caves meet in the base of the valley, before flowing back under the earth southward. The valley walls were carved by the water and a very sheer and dangerous to climb, the  floor of the valley is desolate holding only boulders and scree. To retrieve a round stone that has been tumbled in the junction of the three rivers is considered a sacred act.
  21. A vast stone monolith in the shape of a man likes in plain sight on the valley floor. No plants grow near it and animals avoid the location. The  local tribes refer to it as "the fallen god," but have no other information about  how it came to be.
  22. The sacred valley is crossed by on narrow pole bridge, far below the valley floor is covered in harsh  boulders and loose rocks. At the center of the pole bride a small hut has been constructed, not unlike a birds nest, it is here village elders go to meditate when they feel their time to pass is coming.
  23. The Valley is a booming  Dwarven town. After ages of digging two Dwarven mines met at this valley and  built a great above ground trading post for use by both clans.
  24. This  valley is used by a local mountain tribe as a place to deposit their unwanted and their criminals. The tribe simply pitch them in to the valley and walk away. The  ones who have survived the fall  have formed a society of their own.
  25. The  valley floor is dominated by a thick glacier. The elders say the ancestors once locked a great beast away inside the mile thick ice. 
  26. A culture of large, intelligent, gorilla like humanoids live in the trees on the valley floor.
  27. There is temple on the valley floor where in the old times the  rulers of the tribes would offer up blood sacrifice to the  gods. It is long abandon now and considered cursed.
  28. IN the forest on the valley floor there is a well, none of the elders know who dug it , but it si said that if one peers into the well they can see, "things." Sometimes visions and prophecy and sometimes evil so dark and ancient it will drive even a strong man insane.
  29. Monkeys, hundreds of tiny monkeys that will harass a party, steal from them, pull on their ropes as they climb, do anything to make a visitors life miserable. They are kind of cute when they are not stealing your equipment or throwing their own shit.
  30.  A thick jungle carpets the  valley with  broad tunnel like road ways cut though the dense  underbrush. The  tunnels are slowly carved by the actions of  rare out door gelatinous cubes feeding off the plant life.
  31. The Valley is a purple worm mating ground. The  eggs of the  massive worms are incredibly valuable, once ingested it is said the eggs give a person of pure heart visions of the future.
  32. The valley floor has a stream running through it that is said to be a rich source of gold dust, many have tried to mine the valley walls, or pan the stream, none have returned.
  33. the  valley floor is ruled by a society of giant intelligent spiders. The do not communicate by  sound but by  actions and scent, they are wholly in human and will simply treat all humanoids as prey, or worse cattle to be bread for food.
  34. A society of Dark elves have built a temple to one of their cold dark gods at the center of the valley. They send raiding parties out into the  mountains, and  are growing in number.
  35. Long ago  a society of  little people lived in the valley. They were amazing with magic, tools and  crafting pushing their  arts until they built machines that helped them do many day to day tasks. In time the society became soft and lethargic, when plague struck they were ill prepared and none of their machines could help them. Now the jungle has taken back the valley, but it is said their machines remain. 
  36. The  valley is a lovely verdant forest, watched over by a clutch of extremely aggressive Rocs.
  37. Th natives travel to the valley once a year to collect rare red and white ocher used to create skin pigments used in sacred rituals. They say it is  a cursed place watched over by a powerful nature spirit. Offerings are made well in advance of the yearly  pilgrimage.
  38. The  limestone walls of the valley are riddled with complex wind carved caves that the natives consider sacred. 
  39. The  valley is actually a very large and ancient quarry. Roads which are now all but obscured by overgrowth once lead away form it deeper into the mountains. No one knows what could have been built so deep in the mountains with  the vast amount of stone that must have been taken from this location.
  40. The valley is a marshy field, thought to be hunted by the locals, it's actually methane gas that escapes form the marsh and sometimes ignites.
  41. Long ago a wizard built a tower in the valley, and quietly studied his arts for many years. The  tower has long since fallen to ruin, however the locals say that if a brave soul climbs to the lip of the valley and watches long enough to ancient wizard withered and terrible can sometimes be seen wondering the valley floor collecting herbs.
  42. In the north end of the narrow valley stands a huge keep carved from the valley wall it's self.
  43. A mist hangs in the  valley continuously, the villagers speak of it in hushed tones saying once it  crept from the valley and into the village from which the mist stole several children. That was years ago, the villagers call it the  "colds nights curse."
  44. Giant ants roam the  valley floor , all members of a huge hive, they clear the forest of most not plant like living things while growing  food in vast fungi  farm caverns below the surface.
  45. The  swampy valley is said to contain all manner of  deadly and poisonous beasts, and also a well that will restore youth to any who drink from it.
  46. The  floor of the Valley is dominated by large crystal growths, some the  size of trees. Wizards from all over have come at one time or another to  study or collect the crystals, but the journey is difficult and many do not return.
  47. This Valley is the legendary  goblin-holme, the mud from which all goblins arose and to which all goblins aspire to return.
  48. This icy vale  always blows with a cold wind, those who journey to the valley must be prepared to brave the severest of  weather. It is said the largest and  greatest of the white dragons calls it home, though the beast has not been seen for centuries.
  49. The Locals call the valley the seat of the gods, and indeed the  valleys western wall is shaped like a massive carved thrown.
  50. A  200 foot waterfall rolls over the edge of the valley and plunges into a deep  misty  pool below. The locals tell tales which state that kings wearing all of their gold and ceremonial gems woudl be cast over the falls after they died so their spirits could rise with the mists. Could those treasures remain?
  51. The  Floor of the valley is nothing but a vast field of burnt stones and obsidian. In the center of the valley there is a deep crater, that the local tribes call "The birthing place."
  52. The  valley is covered with thick woods, the  natives say that near the center of the woods lies a cave containing roughly carved stairs that snake downward into the darkness . They say it was made by men seeking knowledge in the earths lost places.
  53. The valley is actually a huge lake damned on one end by a massive earth work.
  54. The jungle floor of the  valley is like a lost world, containing flora and fauna long ago extinct in other parts of the world.
  55. The  walls of the  valley are  carved with massive caves, the entrance of each carved more ornately than the next. Once a year the giants gather here, take up position in their traditional caves and air their grievances by shouting them crossed the valley.
  56. In the valley lies the  city where the villagers once lived an earth quake caused a rock slide that damned the river which ran through the valley. The villagers were forced toe flee the rising waters.
  57. A vale occupied by  forest nymphs who attract unwary men to their deaths.
  58. A savage orc tribe holds the valley. anyone who dares enter will be slain or enslaved. In the center of it all is a human warlord who seem sot be pulling the orcs strings, but to what end?
  59. The floor of the valley is dominated by a swirling cloud of magical energy. It could be deadly to anyone who goes near or it could be a source of incredible power.
  60. A vast forest of bamboo covers the valley, the native report seeing curls of smoke as if from  camp fires occasionally rising into the air.
  61. In the valley lives a sword maker, but not any sword maker the master sword maker, on occasion he takes the long climb out of the valley to trade with the village and  buy supplies before the long winters.
  62. A patch of land lies at the floor for the  valley where fruit and vegetables grow to immense size. The villages enter the valley once a year to harvest huge strawberries.
  63. A lone temple stands in the valley it is a library of sorts with all of the knowledge remaining from a long dead civilization carved into the walls on huge bronze plates. It si guarded by a savage beast some say a manticore others say a hydra regardless, none have entered the library temple and lived.
  64. The valley contains a small  idealistic city, a lush paradise hidden away in the high mountains. I reclusive group of monks live here in peace, meditating on the deeper meanings of the universe. 
  65. The  base of  the valley  holds a perfectly round  lake surrounded by lush  forest while only  30 meters crossed it is  incredibly deep the villagers say up to 300 or meters or more. This  water filled cave is said to contain  a creature that sometimes rises to the surface at night. The squid like beast in believed to be an all knowing oracle.
  66. The  Hut of the  Doll People.
  67. The  valley is  constantly cloaked in  smoke and ash billowing  from a myriad of volcanic vents, a small lake  of the purest blue  sits bubbling at it's center. The natives say they can sometimes see large shadows moving through the  smoke, so they never go near.
  68. A two civilizations of men live on opposite ends of the  forested valley. They are isolated from the rest of the  world and have developed complex courting rituals to  reduce the amount of intermarriage. The greatest act a warrior from either tribe can ever accomplish is to  leave the valley and return with a stolen child.
  69. This valley is a scar on the land where once a titan was slain, over the centuries it's bones have turned to dust, but occasionally  a traveler will enter the valley looking for even a shard of titan bone with which powerful weapons can be forged. The  legends say the land is cursed by the titans blood and gives rise to many sorts of foul beasts.
  70. The  valley is very  steep and  sheer walled, the forest in  the bottom is many degrees warmer than the surrounding mountains. A small clan of natives live here, they are peaceful but leery of  outsiders. They claim that as long as they stay in the  valley  they can't die.
  71. Long ago a series of three stone temples were built by competing priesthoods, they are now abandon, covered by  think forests.
  72. The valley has been carved into a massive amphitheater with several  fields sectioned off at the bottom, once a decade dwarfs gather here for their games.
  73. The valley  is surrounded by high over arching  cliffs and only sees a sliver of sunlight pass by each day. In these deep shadows among pale plants and fungus, lies the fungal palace of the grey litch.
  74. One end of the valley  contains deep  pits whose walls have been carved to form  large aviaries for  pigeons known as dovecotes. A local tribe collect the  pigeon droppings and train the  birds to carry messages among their people. The birds and their droppings are  valuable commodities.
  75. The  Valley was once  the  site of a kings gold mining operation. Vast riches were pulled form the  ground, then the mines were suddenly abandoned. The old roads can still be seen snaking into the valley, but the  mine entrances themselves are lost to an ever growing  forest.
  76. The  frozen  basin of the valley is dominated by a castle  carved from the  thick blue ice along side of a glacier. 
  77. The Elephant grave yard. Well watched by a culture of bipedal intelligent elephants.
  78. The  grass that covers the  low hills of the valley floor is strange indeed, it sings in the  wind and  is strong as iron. The grass is sought by the natives after for making wickedly sharp blades, but the  fields are also home to the mantis men, who do not  welcome trespassers.
  79. the  walls of the valley are slick with some strange viscous purple substance, making climbing difficult. Once in the valley the land is prone to strange sudden storms and howling winds. The  locals consider it an evil place.
  80. The  Valley is ruled by a tribe of  fierce female warriors. They sometimes take prisoners to  increase their ranks. Men when captured are killed in an arcane ritual. No one  travels to near the  valley due to fear of  raiding parties.
  81. The floor of the valley is dominated by a vast tar pit. The tar pit is the  residence of  several tar cloaked earth elemental who squabble endlessly  over which one controls the valley. Over the years many adventures have sought to slay the elementals believing the  pits to be filled with  forgotten treasures, but they have failed, their bodies left in to rot in the tar.
  82. A towering obelisk of  the  darkest granite rises hundreds of feet out of the valleys forested floor.
  83. The valley plays home to the Medusa. The  forested valley floor contains several small  temples all of which contains statues of explorers and warriors alike. The Medusa has grown old and obese over time, she now lives in the largest of the temples, dragging her massive sweaty bulk slowly around the grounds endlessly looking for intruders.
  84. the  valleys steep walls are said to be a Griffon aviary.
  85. The smell of brimstone always hangs in the air near the valley. Near it's center stands a strange ring of 5 stones. hen elders say that at one time a summoning ritual had been performed in the valley and it was left a darker place.
  86. The valley contains a  village of hardy  halflings living in burrows built into the  valley slopes. These halflings long ago  fled persecution by  the  out side world to live in the valley. Over time they have become a thriving community with religion and traditions much different then more typical Halflings.
  87. A great spire of stone rises out of the  valley. This  towering edifice is used by a nearby kingdom as an anchoring point for sky ships (zeppelins). IN the mountains nearby sky ship sightings are quickly becoming a local religion. The natives in  the surrounding mountains have no idea what the sky ships are and consider them omens from the gods. Red sky ships are considered a good sign , blue sky ships are good for fertility and son on. IN fact the natives seem to have assigns a different meaning to  each  ship they have seen, and are going so far as to name them after their traditional gods.
  88. It is said that the stones on the valley floor move on their own.
  89. Things that die in the valley do not stay dead for ever. The natives say that  some  warriors from teh tribe attempted to  explore the valley  but were killed in a land slide. Months latter they were seen back in town , alive but with no memories of who they were or how they had returned. They only smoke of  bright lights and cold water.
  90. The valley is the last home of the true high elves, they have become so ancient and aloof, that they no longer travel out of the vale. It is said that magic abilities they wield are second to none, both  beautiful and terrifying.
    image by najtkriss deviantart
  91. The elders tell a story that says the valley was created by the tireless digging of a great beast.They also say the  beast finally went to sleep when the  valley was deep and long enough for it to fit, then over more time the  valley filled with water around the  monster. They say the creature is what  causes the waves which often cover the valleys vast lake.
  92. The valley  is plagued by a clan of trolls whole love nothing more than the taste of the  various humanoids who from time to time wander into their valley. No one woudl ever go there at all except that the secluded valley is one of the only places where the rare Valin Fruit can be found. The fruit is not only an expensive delicacy it is also a major component in many an apothecary's restorative potions. It is even speculated that being able to eat the Valin fruit for the whole lives is what give the trolls their amazing regeneration abilities.
  93. The  Dry and dusty valley floor is home to the single largest surface Kobold city. 
  94. The older members of the tribe remember making the long journey into the mountains and trading with the people of the valley. They would trade food and live stock for rare minerals, dyes and gems. The people of the valley were said to be tall and fierce, but honorable. It has been many years since any one has communicated with them.
  95. The valley contains and a once opulent but now overgrown ruined city. The city was ruined during an earthquakes and then a  volcanic eruption from a nearby mountain. Much of the population was buried, others escaped leaving all they owned behind. Many local tribes claim to be descended from the valley people, but none are brave enough to return.
  96. The valley has always been a place of peace a natural wonder ringed by  waterfalls and  containing idyllic forests. Lately however, the  water has stopped flowing  from the valley  and smoke has been seen in the mountains.
  97. The valley is a  neighboring tribes industrial heart. They use the  swift streams running through the  valley to  power great water wheels and smiths hammers. The other tribe has used it's industrial advantage to grow rich and powerful. The elders would like nothing more than to see it all putt to the torch.
  98. The valley is  covered  by a thick sheet of ice, below which lies a vast network of ice caverns formed by natural springs far below. The  elders say that sometimes the  grinding ice will scour gems from the steep valley walls.
  99. The Frozen mountain valley is the  home of a mated pair or Rhemoraz, which the locals call "The ones who thunder and steam." 
  100. The natives tell a tale so incredible it can not be believed. They say the valley is a paradise, ruled over by their god of death who lives in a floating inverted pyramid of pure onyx. The say that once a person dies their spirit journeys to the  valley where it is interned in the pyramid until the god of death deems  it ready for  reincarnation. Once a year the tribe sends young warriors who are coming of age to the  head of the valley for a week. They are never to speak of their experience, but it is said they receive the spirits of former tribal warriors, and this is when they receive their true names. What is known is each year at least one of the journeyers do not return.

Lasty:

If none of the above options trip your trigger, go to this gentleman Deviant art page and something will. Any one of these pictures would be amazing to find in a hidden mountain valley.


Hope you enjoyed.
Thanks for reading
Comments welcome !

Friday, June 20, 2014

AAIE: Critical failures for standard actions.

How to arbitrate a critical failure out side of Combat and Spell casting In AAIE:

In AAIE if a character takes and action the Gm does some figuring (and only the GM)  the player rolls 3D20 and compares a die value to the difficulty number the GM has assigned. If the  players roll is equal to or lower than the difficulty number the player succeeds if not they fail. Simple enough.
Where things get interesting is in that one of those three dice thrown is designated a "Result Die" which determines how successful the characters action is. If a character fails and that result die is also a 1 then the character has committed a fumble and those can be astoundingly bad.

(statistically critical fumbles and critical successes happen somewhere in the  neighborhood of .075 percent of the time and are unaffected by level or character ability. In effect  extreme failure or extreme success are plain cosmic luck of the dice.)


There is a chart of 100 combat fumbles, and a chart of 100 spell casting fumbles, most of which fall solidly into the category of "oh crap I'm dead." These charts are working fine in games when they do come up the rolls create quite a bit of tension .


What we ran into last game is the situation where a player fumbled a general skill check. For the record I think it was an underground Lore check. If he had simply failed I could easily say, "You know nothing about this area," or "You have never heard of this  kind of  rock formation before."
The problem comes up when a player fumbles a general check there should be something worse as a result then simply not succeeding. A fumble remember is  the whim of the cosmos telling the  player that on a very  personal level, the dice hate them.

Here are my thoughts:

  • It is impossible to create a "chart of Fumbles" that could capture  all of the possible general checks that may or may not happen in a game. 
  • If the  player fumbles a skill check the GM must decide if the check is a physical check or an information check. 
    • Physical checks are things like Riding, Climbing or lifting, or what have you. Generally Anything that might be modified by Athletics, Brawn, or Resolve or Appearance.
    • Information checks are things like lore  checks or tracking checks. An information check involves the  player trying to find something out or discern something particular. Any check that might be modified by Academics, Knowledge, Focus or Leadership will generally be informational checks.
  • All general check fumbles will be described by the GM. (And the GM should make it MEMORABLE Damn it)
  • General check fumbles will always result in the player earning a story point.
  • Physical check fumbles should result in damage, described by the GM. 
    • It is not "Your character falls down the hill," Rather it is " Your character bounces down the hill and lands unnaturally on  his  neck, everyone hears a loud cracking sound, a white light flashes before his eyes and for a second he can't feel his feet. IT's all so  frightening that it takes a moment for him to realize he has also landed on a Fire ant mound."
    • The damage should be at least 1D10 per level of the victim (yeah that's steep, it should be! The character just fumbled. Lets be honest here, your character likely just tripped and fell face first on a rusty rake made out of hate.)
  • For informational checks this is the only time I would ever say to the GM .. LIE TO THE PLAYER. 
    • The player knows he just fumbled the  roll is right there on the table, so the player is in on the joke. 
    • Have at it, give the  player the  most off base information possible, make it grand. 
    • The Character was trying to track wolves through the woods, tell him "You find the  tracks but they end abruptly, by the looks of this are some thing ate the wold and stopped off to the south."  The character is researching a magic item and fumbles! Great they discover "You seem to be holding Evan Sword of  Dragon Slaying!" right up until they  face a dragon and realize their research was way off base
  • At that point Its up to the  player how his or her character processes the  results of the bad roll.
General skill check fumbles are good instances for pointing out the  story game influence in AAIE. While the guide lines above give a frame to hang the results of a horrible roll, it again comes back to the creativity of the GM and the players to arbitrate the results. A fumble on a information check could easily send the party spinning off in a new and  horridly misinformed direction. The Gm and the  players need to be accepting of this style of play for it to work out.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A bit on World Building: Get Started And Don't let any one tell you your world is suck.

World building,

A person could write a book about world building and in fact over the years some talented people people have.  People have also written books on a myriad of subjects that describe how to do things that are better left to learning though experience. World building  for RPG’s is not a science, the  needs of each group and the desires of the person running the game have as much effect on how a setting gets put together as any set of best practices ever would.

Some Gm’s have a desire for hex maps with each hex deeply detailed containing personality, historical, physical, and socioeconomic information pertaining to that hex area.  A Gm looking for or creating this kind of map will use that information to craft their adventures, mining down each hex finding adventure hooks for their players to explore.  It’s a great way to run a game, but the overhead is not for everyone. Not liking this style is not a matter of being intellectually lazy, it’s simply that not everyone sees the need or desires that degree of control and detail.

On the other end of the scale are the folks who treat a game and its world more like a blank slate. A person in this vein will detail as little as possible beyond what they have in mind for the story at hand before the players actually interact with it.  They might create a detailed starting location and then work out form there session by session as the players make decisions about where they are going what needs to be tackled next. This free form style has the bonus of flexibility, the gm can work in whatever he or she wants between adventures. The failing here is that it’s again an awful lot of work to generate good locations and  adventure hooks session by session, and there's always the chance that the whole thing ends up a nonsensical mess.

Those two examples are extremes, but they are both working extremes. I fall somewhere in the middle as I think most of us do. The important thing is to remember is world building is a sliding scale with  many shades of grey between, full on data overload hex mania and  a blank piece of paper with a dot on it labeled "you are here."

My fantasy game setting started back when I was in Jr. High, and at the time was a terrible, brazen ripoff of middle earth. Over the years since I have mapped, and remapped, run several games in the same lands and generally learned from my mistakes. For example in the beginning my map was dreadfully sparse, too big and there was no content in most locations. Over the years I've tightened that up gotten history written in and when traveling the players commonly come a crossed at least a small settlement every few miles.  While I still fall closer to the second example of how people build settings then the first, I think that as a “world Builder” I strike the right balance for the group I play with between preset information, and creative flexibility. As a GM I value setting building as in important part of making a good game for the people I am playing with.

So how does this happen?

If anyone told me six months ago that I would be having a good time playing a game where the adventures are more than 90% random, and the setting is a player built coat hanger which only exists to frame those same tid-bits of random madness. I would have told that person to go jump in a lake.

That is seriously not my style of game, however we have been having a ball the past few weeks doing exactly that. Will it be a passing fad with in our group, possibly, but I don't think that lessens the  point, we are doing every thing I would consider counter to what I would have told you makes a great game, and we are still making a great game.

So what’s my point?

If you are thinking about running a game, and want to build a setting yourself, DO IT.
Don’t worry about doing it right the first time, just get in there and start trying.
As long as you and your group are enjoying the game and the process, this is not a fragile hobby, you can't break it.

You see that’s the beauty of role playing games, a person can make mistakes, that's true enough, but you can’t do it wrong.  The only way to learn what works for your game is to get out there and get started. The same can be said for  GM'ing, in both cases there is no need for a manual to explicitly state exactly what makes a good versus a bad  world / Gm, different things will work for different groups. The only way to find out what works for you and the group you play with is by doing.

An example of this is one of our players recently ran a few sessions of a game which petered out.. He was using a game setting of his own design and it is very ambitious it was clear that he had put allot of time and thought into it. While I think the stumbling block that lead to the  game petering out was I feel a matter of his miss matching the  group and the game system. (He used D&D 4thEd and as a group we quickly grew to dislike the  long combats.)  
I would love to see him give it another go, with another system of his choice. The best way to learn is by doing, and the best way to do is by playing.

This is a hobby, that falls less towards building houses via a blue print and more towards playing in a band, in that Role playing games are that rare hobby that gives each group a chance to find their own voice, play their own game.

The game system of choice gives the group common ground rules to work with, the rest is just getting out there and making noise. So what if your world design hits a few bad notes? That's the process embrace it. 
By all means don't let anyone tell you  your way is wrong and theirs is right, simply because no matter what their claims they have no way of knowing what is right for you and the group you play with.

Thank you for reading
As always Comments are welcome below.





Tuesday, June 17, 2014

100 things that are lying around in the corners of your dungeon.

100 things that are lying around in the corners of your dungeon.
(A List to be used just for general strange things lying around.)

I suppose some of these could spawn minor encounters or be small adventure hooks in their own right, though how far a player or GM woudl want to run with that is naturally up to them.

The player says, “I search the room.”
The Gm says….

1. A ball of hair containing 1. A human tooth 2. A gold coin 3. Melted wax 4. A desiccated mouse 5 a shred of silk 6. A broken piece of chalk.


2. A broken clay mask

3. A humanoid femur carved into a flute.

4. 1d4 gold coins

5. A melted candle

6. A rotten apple covered in aggressive maggots. (Stat out as a small swarm.)

7. A moldy flyer advertising a long past show called “The stories of Johann.”

8. A smashed potion bottle with one quarter dose from a random potion still salvageable. (Pick a random effect and make it one quarter as effective.)

9. A turnip carved to represent the head of a wolf.

10. A scrap of tattered 1.flag 2.tartan 3.cotton under clothing 4.cape 6.pants

11. A skull with a cross bow bolt lodged through it.

12.A rotten sack containing moldy rice and 1d4 vermin.

13. The paw of Vecna’s pet gerbil. An evil artifact, to gerbils.

15. A pile of coals, some grey some still black.

16. A fallen door that looks like something has in dug underneath it.  Under it can be found 1.a carrion crawler. 2. A bag containing 1d100 gold coins 3. A crushed dwarf skeleton 4. a very large and angry  woodchuck 5.A ghoul 6.A coiled up sleeping snake

17. A small moldy paper box colored red and containing a pile of papers along with two thin almost completely rotten books.

18.  A leather belt.

19. A small potted plant which looks relatively healthy.  1. Mint 2. A maple sapling 3. A white birch sapling 4.Basil 6. A sapling Man trapper.

20. A pile of 1d100 rusty nails.

21. A clutch of pool ball sized spider eggs.

22. A batch of strange mushrooms 1.Poison hallucinogenic 3.healing 4. intelligent and awake.

23. A large pile of Bat Guano.

24. A pile of ashes containing flakes of metal, bone, and 1d20 teeth.

25. A pile of clam and muscle shells.

26. A finger. (Could be any of the 8, but it's not a thumb.)

27. A rusty key, It has obviously been here a long time.

28. A chunk of rotten meat that has the distinct smell of smoke, apple wood smoke to be exact.

29. A small birds nest containing 1. A small but very aggressive bird 2. Small blue eggs (1d4) 3. A strange looking baby chick. 4. A large wise ass Raven who will now try to steal from you.

30. A puddle of bubbling mud.

40. A back pack containing 1. A small sewing kit 2.clothing 3.rotten books 4.a venomous snake 5. A book titled “How to Love Your Inner Kobold” 6.spore cloud producing mold.

41. A jar of pickled eggs.

42. A strange twine and wicker totem.

43. The mostly rotten corpse of a deer, the characters will all smell it long before they see it.

44. An expended torch.

45. A busted up tinder box, an empty flask of oil, and some unlit tinder.

46. A bag of wet sand.

47. A smashed ale stein decorated with scenes of human torture and butchery.

48. A bag containing 1d4 gold coins

49. A melted candle 

50.  A pile of dirty clothing swarmed with rodents. (Stat out as a small swarm.) 

51. A smashed human skull 

52.  A Cracked lute with  rotten strings.

53. A turnip carved to represent a running human.

54.  A puddle of congealed blood.

55.  A tiny gelatinous cube only 2 inches across and 3 inches tall... it is still acidic.

56.  A small puzzle box.

57. A cracked Ax handle with no head.
58. A bent saw.

59. A pile of still warm coals.

60. A bottle of ladies lilac perfume.

61. A smashed mirror.

62. The husk of a large insect.

63. A small book containing musical staff  and a partial completed musical score.

64. (1d6) Clay, amphora, pots and jars containing 1. nothing but dirt and dust  2.wine 3.pickled eyes 4.rancid rice 5.water 6.(1d100) gold each.

65. A set of writing instruments, pen and quill, a blotter,with no ink.

67. a horse shoe.

68. a nearly completely rusted away set of plate mail containing a skeleton

69. A lump of  bees wax and mica powder in 1.red 2.white 3.orange 4.Green

70. A small farmers implement 1.rake 2. hoe 3.shovel 4.sickle wrapped in dirty rags

71. Torn open brown paper wrappers.

72. A smashed chest, rotting and rusting away.

73. A piece of statuary in plaster representing 1.An angel 2.A lion 3.Thodin 4.A wolf 5.A dragon 6.A serpent 7.A symbol of evil 8.A warrior 9.A demon 10.An abstract form.

74. a wand snapped in half, burnt at both ends.

75. A tattered map to this local underground are, it looks very old and may well be out of date.

76. a wooden bucket with 1-3 a hole in the bottom, 4-6 no hole in the bottom.

77. A scalp.

78. An old dirty bandage.

79. A sack containing horse feed and a brush.

80. 1d20 arrows laid in a neat pile.

81. A large but harmless black Newt.

82. A leather pouch containing a quarter pound of salt.

83. An apparently empty lidless masons jar labeled "In case of emergency open."

84. A rotting leather bag containing a set of rusty thieves tools, a moldy deck of playing cards, and 1d4 gold.

85. A small onyx figurine depicting a Scottish wolfhound.

86. A ball of string, the free end has been singed.

87. A rusty compass, that is stuck pointing south west.

88. A cracked snow globe.

89. A document torn to shreds and tossed in the corner that seems to a a contract 1.between a retainer and an adventurer. 2.An assassin's contract 3.A sale of land between two parties. 4.An oath of allegiance between a wizard and some evil entity.

90. An elegant candle holder.

91. The skeleton of a large fish.

92. The dried peels form several different kinds of  citrus fruits and  several hash marks scratched on the wall.

93. A rotten leather whip.

94. Roll twice on this chart discount another result of 94. (Or, A  half eaten moldy cheese-wheel in cloth, if the Gm prefers a result.)

95. Two skeletons with their hands locked around each others throats.

96. A molds and nearly rotten away spell book, lying next to a skeleton that's been  ripped in two.

97. A smashed coffin full of dirt. (D4 vermin as well)

98. Three ration packs still sealed in their iron casings.

99. a child's baby doll toy, dirty and tattered, missing an eye.

100. A face recently removed from an unfortunate. 1.Elf 2.Dwarf 3.human 4.Halfling 5.Orc 6.Kobold.




Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Everything I want in a Role Playing Game (today)

So I 'm in a not great mood
It leads to this.

Role playing games are about doing things in your imagination that you can not do in real life.
If a bar tender gives me a hard time in real life, I go to another bar.
In a role playing game I punch his teeth down his throat, steal his stuff, and light the place afire.

See?
Cathartic.


We spend a lot of time working on ways to package this catharsis, but at the end of the day, I just want to kick a door down kill the bad guy and take his stuff.






Thank you for reading and listening, comments and other such things? Leave it in the comments section below.

 (While I'm on  this  one more thing, to spite what you see on television you would think that being quiet woudl be a better way to find big foot then running around screeching in the woods like a lunatic.. but WTF do I know.)


The Pins of Skull Crushing (a magic item)

The Pins of Skull Crushing:

Description:
This item is a two inch long golden hat pin, the head of the pin is a tiny but detailed ivory skull wearing a thorny crown and processing eyes set with small ruby flakes. If held up to candle light the shaft of the pins will reflect not only golden light but a dark crimson hue as well.

Story:
While it is no longer known who created the Pins what is known is that they are assassin’s relics, created for the sole purpose of eliminating a single target in the most shocking way possible. It is said that originally a set of six pins were created however over time most of the pins were lost or expended.
The pin must be forcefully placed into the back of a targets head, i.e. jabbed in during an attack. The pin on its own does no damage however (see mechanics below) if the pin is well placed the targets head will violently implode on the next turn, killing the victim and sending a shower of gore in all direction. The shaft of the pin is consumed the tiny ivory skull left behind presumably as a calling card.
While this would seem to be an overly done effect, it seems the creator of the pins knew what he or she was doing. The shocking way in which the target is killed serves as a smoke screen for the assassin, the violence and disgust of the scene blinding onlookers to the assassin slipping away.

Possession of a pin of skull crushing in most places is a crime that will result in imprisonment, torture and death. (Then more torture.)


Recent History:
In the record, there are two known uses of the pins. The first perpetrated nearly 70 years ago, the bard Juran Flutechasser was performing to a sold out theater.  The music and revelry was cut short when one of the viewers was assailed with a pin of skull crushing. In the ensuing panic two other onlookers were killed by guards and one was trampled, Juran never performed again and the assailant was never caught.

The second known use of the pin happened more recently, when the son of arch duke Nethran was assailed with a pin in broad daylight while walking the crowded streets of the capital city. This attack killed its target, sent the arch duke and his family into hiding and out of court politics, and again nearly caused a riot. The assailant was never found.

(Mechanics)
  • Name: Pin of skull crushing:
  • Uses  1.
  • Effective against non-undead, Medium sized humanoids only, I.E.  From Halfling to Human, noting bigger or smaller, target must have a discernible “head”.
  • When attacking with the pin of skull crushing the attacker must make a successful attack with a result die of at least 14. (At least 12 if they are using the “assassins strike” ability.)
    • If the result die is not high enough the resulting attack only causes a pin prick and automatically alerts the target to the assailant’s presence.
  • On a successful strike with a high enough result die the targets head violently implodes, killing the target, destroying the pin.
    • Onlookers must roll a leadership checks against a difficulty of 16 or be stunned for 1 round. (Stunned is +4  difficulty to all rolls)
    • Identifying the assailant to give chase requires a knowledge check against a difficulty of 18.



Rumors:
  • Legend has it the pins were created by a litch for a successful assassin, they are in actuality cursed as each time one is used both the victim's and part of the  users soul is siphoned off back to the litch.
  • A rumor says that one who is attacked by a pin of skull crushing and survives is considered "deathless" by the  guild of assassins and can never be targeted by the guild again.
  • I have heard pricking ones finger with a Pin of skull crushing and bathing the ivory skull with one's own blood creates a bond with the pin, the one who does it will always know where the pin is and can see through it's eyes.
  • It has been whispered that Demogorgon created the pins, just for laughs.
  • One rumor states that the royal family have three of the pins under lock and key, these represent a full half of the known pins.
  • It is said that if the head of the pin gets buried with the victims body shaft of the pin will grow back in six months.
  • It is said that the pins ivory  skull heads are not normal ivory but  chips from a demons tooth, any one who possesses a pin for more than six months will be visited by the demon looking to reclaim the  pin.
  • A story is told that an assassin took one of the pins into the Tomb of the  Corpulent Hydrax looking to assassinate the Hydrax. That assassin was never seen again.
  • Another story tells of an assassin being buried in the mountains with one of the  Pins, others have sought for it but it has not been found.
  • It is said counterfeit Pins abound throughout the realms, some are poison needles others are simply replicas. A great number of assassins, thieves and cut throughout lay claim to owning a Pin of Skull Crushing but very few could possibly have ever even seen one.
This was originally a random magic item rolled up for my AAIE game.. I attempted to write this article in a way that at the very least the lore could be used in any game where such a thing woudl be welcome.

Monday, June 9, 2014

State of my home brew RPG State and finishing Touches, What project is next?

Finishing touches:
Feeling admittedly a bit maudlin today , hang with me.

I’m planning on slowly reading though the main document of our game AAIE  (Amazing Adventurers and Exciting Exploits,) starting today.


I’m going to go though slowly and look for mistakes, and omissions, and rework anything I think is grossly unclear.

I would not use the term “edit” though the game sorely needs an editor, as anyone who has followed this blog can attest I am no writer.  I’m simply not willing or able to put up the cash a real editor woudl require.  

Once this final step of the project is finished I’ll be releasing it into the wild.

I would love to use this blog a as hub where people share their experiences with the game, actual plays ideas, funny characters that got spit out and them killed, and all that good sauce. I do know however that the idea that even a minor community of players based off this game is a is a real stretch.


That leaves me with the question what’s next?

I have some more AAIE stuff in the pipeline whether or not the game gets played by anyone out there in inter-web land I may or may not keep going on it. I just missed the  sign up to run AAIE at Dexcon, which is a shame, there's just no way I'm going to have the time or money to do it on July 4th weekend, a con table will have to wait until Metatopia I guess. 
(Though I do have to thank Neal for hooking me up with the information and  being super supportive about getting AAIE some Con-love'n, he has been a great help, his con knowledge is vast and helpful.)
  • I have been working on an extension to AAIE called “The town” Which the players are digging right now. The town allows the players to use their loot to slowly build up a "home base" town building by building. Each building being upgrade-able and each opening up new character, weapon and skill options that is not included in the main document. 
  • I have a larva of a random dungeon generator already typed up. It’s far from usable, but it’s there and the players seem to want me to keep going with it, so that they can use it as a tool when they run games.
  • Then there are monsters, a more detailed approach to random monsters with examples would be useful, and the guys have shown some interest in it. The result would be the “AAIE Monstrous Codex.” While this is the least important thing to work on, it honestly sounds like it will be the most fun out of the three. The content woudl be along the lines of my two "ecology of" Posts. (perhaps not as silly? Also thank you to everyone who read those posts, both of you are awesome!)


When a designer is chugging away on stuff for an expected zero gain, the fun projects tend to win out.

After I do some of that, or none of that? 
What would be next?
Who knows?
It's not like we don't have enough games to play or work on.....

We had some new ideas, like “Nova 74” a funktastic ride through the wastelands with a honey on one arm, a suicide knob in the other and a .50Cal on the hood. (think car wars with sunglasses, bro-staches, afro’s, bass lines, and mullets.)


And there are always project I have started and never really finished. 

I could....
Go back to fiddling with "Phase Ball?"

Go back to working on “Phase abandon?”



Go back to the massive, seething, beast know as  “The Block Game?”




Or just you know, take a break for a while and play whatever gets put in front of me.


Questions comments ect ... below.
Thank you for reading.

Friday, June 6, 2014

A stingy DM's look at magic items in AD&D

Gm’s and magic items.
I think GM’s who were brought up on AD&D and its ilk get a bit too caught up in what magic items “do” rather than what they “are.”

That ring of protection + 1 that was just found in some dank corner of a dungeon can be easily swept aside in a game by simply focusing on mechanics. This ring when worn gives the wearer a bonus of 1 to their armor class.  Fancy that, and useful to boot.

However even the most run of the mill magic items still represent a creation of some effort by some craftsman with both the  jewelers skill to produce the ring and an enchanters skill in  granting a constant magical effect.

Simple wood ring, or the Hirophant Druids ring of spell Turning?


Not exactly something that would be given out lightly or treated roughly. For a common person a simple ring of AC plus one is an heirloom. How would that common person  with less experience dealing with magical  effects view that golden ring that uncle Garaius passed down? Is it their lucky ring in that they have never been hurt when they are wearing it? Do they know it’s magical? Is it a prized possession?  Does the family look on the ring as a talisman that is to be respected as to not disturb the spirit within?

I am known (Rightfully so) as a stingy D.M.  *
In my  main game, I do not lavish magical items on players, and when I do, there is usually some history behind them, in that whoever identifies the item can usually give some info about where it came from. Sometimes the information about an item is  pretty in depth, other time snot so much, but it’s always a bit of something. I don’t want the special nature of magic items to ever wane. Were I to equip a whole battalion of skeletons with plus three swords, then run that battalion against the players, the end result would cheapen the idea of a magical sword considerably.

Here is an idea:
When a character finds a magical item, don’t tell them a thing about it until they can get it properly researched.  If the player decides to wear the ornately engraved ring found in the  robes of the dead viscount, then the gm can modify what it take monsters to hit the player without ever overtly saying the ring is a ring of protection plus one.
If the  player uses that sword plus three against  goblins, the gm can describe the sword flickering with a sickly purple flame as it cuts down the attacking goblin, and let the player make his or her own assumptions as to why.

The character never really needs to know what the pluses and minuses of a magic item are. In-fact  sometimes it’s just better if they don’t know all the mechanical details.

When research is done, give as much history as you feel comfortable with and describe the power in and interesting way. The viscount was gifted this ring by king Seluch, before he lead his men against the troop of lord Nethran. The ring was said to be a talisman against harm  the king had received it from the elven nations at his coronation.
Ok that’s long winded, but the result is a shit load more interesting than “You found a Ring of protection plus one.”

The  Necklace of  Starchy  Goodness.

Dealing with magic items in the manner also allows for that ahh-ha moment when things are going bad and the character realizes that that dagger he has been toting around is magical and it can really help in this situation. It’s a moment of discovery, and that’s something that a lot of GM’s overlook. 
Tension and release, pacing, and tone get a lot of attention out here in the blog-o-sphere but for my money a moment of actual discovery is just as important as any of them.



(*It should be said that I’m really only stingy in AD&D2nd. In AAIE I roll up random magic items and pass them out like candy Then again AAIE’s a vastly different system with much different game play and goals.)

As always thank you reading , questions, comments, and shenanigans are welcome below.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Video Game and the RPG the Player.

This might rock some cradles I don't know. I guess that would depend on the audience.
If a developer came out and said, our next effort on video game consoles is going to be an RPG.
Our RPG is / Has / involves / Is:

  •  combat heavy, the player will be engaged in  simulations of  combat in a fantasy world loosely based on  mid evil times and the works of Tolkien.
  • Enemies scale with the characters so they are always challenged.
  • Areas rarely scale, if a character wanders into the wrong area they might get in over their head. 
  • It will involve resource management, yes you will get to track your health, your spells, your rations, and even your torches.
  • Social interactions can be effected by reaction rolls, based on character attributes, appearance and other factors, or an NPC might just be grumpy because the player failed to provide pizza or beer and  refuse to give up any information at all (ok that's a stretch)
  • There will be nearly unlimited hours of game play, with multiple story lines going on at once, and  story arcs that may literally take years to complete.
  • The characters will have an effect on the game world, they may fail missions and adversely  effect the story around them.
  • Co-op play is  highly suggested, in fact it is the point of the  game.
  • Only "hot seat" Cop op is supported, in other words you can only play with others if they are present.
  • There are save points but they are not player controlled, they happen at opportune moments in the fiction.
  • There is allot to read.
  • It would be best for the payers to learn the  mechanics of combat so they can make good decisions when the shit hits the fan.
  • The graphics are going to suck, just use your imagination to fill in the blanks.
  • characters start off very  frail but will grow in power with in a class based, level system.
  • Leveling my take quite some time.
  • Death is permanent.
  • no re-spawns.

Holy shit!
No publisher would pick that up, noone would play it. OK only a sadist would enjoy it , a sadist with other sadists friends that are willing to come over sit and play it.

The game would be like Skyrim mixed with the difficulty of Nintendo's battletoads, and the group play of monopoly.
Sounds like fun. No, Not so much.

It's no wonder that classic RPG's are a lot to ask the current generation of players raised on next gen video games to swallow. I love just about everything I put on that list above, the risk or permanently loosing my character and having to start over fresh is to me an excepted part of my hobby. Starting over happens. Playing in a harsh world of enemies that really don't give a crap about your characters health is par for the course.

Can you really fail at video games theses days? I die on Skyrim about once every twelve minutes, I stink at the game. You know what I'm still chewing through the main story only because I save allot, and reload the damn game. Young people  raised in today's electronic environment can not be blamed for not jumping to invest in all of the things it takes to really play and enjoy a role playing game. No I am not knocking younger people, it's simply that they have broader options, and they have been raised with a diffident idea of what "Game" means. RPG's have competition these days that they just did not have back in 1977 when AD&D came out. Admittedly Zork was pretty cool but, it's not quite the same.

I'm a bit torn in my opinion about the generational differences concerning gaming. On one hand I think any new game that is written with an eye towards the traditional tropes of role playing games is going to have a tough road to hoe. Imagine dealing with and retaining a player base who either thinks the actuality failing in a game should be neigh impossible or who put as much thought into their next character as they would to their  next re-spawn in call of duty. "That hill Giant totally Pwned!"

On the on the other hand there is the sort of revolution in  "geek" culture going on over the past couple of years which may or may not have already peaked.  (Editorial: The Big Bang theory is just a live action version of Dexter's Lab.Eat it.) Which gives me hope that there is a fresh group of people that are going to be less self conscious about  saying "Hey Why not. I play what ever table top game Will wheaten decrees is good this week, why not try a role playing game? Will there be beer?"

Capturing a new audience that is used to having great graphics, vivid action, decent stories, and endorphin rushes fed to them via computers is going to be the  real mountain any new game will have to climb inorder to be the next big thing.

WoTC found out what happens when an design shoots directly for the  video game generation.  DunD4th edition was a fantastic table top combat system that any MMO game player could love. It was however widely disliked by  fans of traditional role playing games and story games. It failed with it's core market by trying too hard to grope  a new market.

I'm hoping the latest version of D&D will try and strike a balance between the two. From every thing I have heard they have tried very hard to satisfy the traditional fan base of grognards and goblin pokers. I'm just not sure what they are going to do to engage with the younger generation. The 15 to 20 year olds. That generation that can sit quietly in a diner with a group of six  friends, all texting.

 I'm sure they have a plan, but I hope it's better than having an app for that.

Thank you for reading!

Questions comments shenanigans welcome in the comments section!