What’s New With The Burger King Kids Club.

I’ve been working quite a bit on my various home games this week, as Gary Con got my creative juices flowing. The Burger King Kids Club is currently enjoying our game of Labyrinth Lord. They have taken their characters through my Dwarven Brewery, The Puddin’ Works (Dingleblatz Brewery), which led them to the Underdank and a journey to find a way back out, all while encountering a MindFlayer that sent them to space. After crashing back to the planet surface in a Federation Starship, they found the Pyramid and Temple of Buttinkhamen, after a skirmish with some Klingons. They found themselves in Whisper and Venom’s Gauntswept, traveling in their Apparatus of the Crab, when they found themselves approaching an oasis. Thopas was there sunning himself by the water and with loads of indifference he hired the party to retrieve an item for him. They were then instantly teleported outside a Frost Giant lair to the North of the Gauntswept, in heavy snow and facing down a group of polar bears and their Frost Giant masters. What will they do next? Hopefully not encounter one of my favorite creatures that I never get to use, the Remorhaz! Heh.

So, after this adventure I should be able to run through Whisper and Venom, but what next? Well, I have some ideas. First off, I’m working on translating the old TV show Land of the Lost, into my next game. I originally planned to use Savage Worlds for the system, but I was hit with some inspiration at Gary Con and have decided to use another system for the game entirely. I don’t want to spoil the game for my players with a direct “This is the game I’m going to run.” because I think the game will be all the better for a little mystery up front. I’ve started working on my Forge of Ice Saleesa minis, so I should be ready to run this as we wind up Whisper and Venom in the next few weeks, which will also see a player return to the table after an absence. It will be good to have him back.

The main other item catching my eye right now is Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. I picked up the box set and I’m very impressed. The quality of reading is top notch and the old-school Diamond Dice, Box Set and Poster Map, along with some great subclasses, make this game look very solid while giving me a stiff dose of tactile nostalgia. I’m getting through the Players’ Manual as I’m writing this, so I hope to know whether my group would be into it after next Wednesday’s game. If what I’ve seen and read so far is any indication, we will be rolling some AS&SH as well.

ASSH01 ASSH02 ASSH03

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Mindflayers and Klingons.

The Puddin’ Works gets near it’s conclusion as our heroes battle a Mindflayer. Starting off on a lunch break, our heroes left the mine they were working in to get a Bladder Buster over at Dingleblatz Brewery. When they arrived, the Brewery had been closed, warned of corruption and danger, but offering them a ten percent stake in Dingleblatz if they aid in the situation, got them in the doors. They faced Shriekers and Green Slime, Black Pudding and Grey Ooze (The vats were corrupted). They found all the Dwarves who worked there had been killed and brains were removed. They get to the evil cleric Stinkydink Twerkabert and find out that the Brewery was corrupted as the evil cleric concocted a disgusting brew made with Dwarf brains. Slightly pink, with a frothy head, the cleric downed a mug of brew and was trapped by a Hold Person spell. As the heroes defeated him, his Duergar minions collapsed the room, leaving our heroes trapped with the only way out being down. So they descend into the Underdark to find out more about the mystery.

That was the main hook, they then went down and found the Barrel staging area, where the barrels of brew would be dropped to an underground river to travel to…where? Various clues led them onward. Through an underground lake whose ceiling was covered with Piercers (By the way, dropping Piercers from the ceiling as they are in boats, is pretty evil) they continued. Finally finding a small settlement after the Mushroom Forest. Told of a way out of the Underdark, they set out to find the “map and key”. Finding the cave, they enter. After a battle with a minor Beholder that destroyed most of their main magic weapons, they found a large chasm underground. Crossing with ease they came upon some more Dwarf skeletons with open skulls, and vanquished them as well. After successfully finding a pit trap, the heroes moved forward to find the room where the Mindflayer was. They made every single save versus the Mind Blast, except for one that resulted in a lame Stun. They fought and were about to lose the cleric’s brain to the Beast when a strange device rose from the Pool of Frothy Brew. The Mindflayer released the cleric as he scrambled to get to…his teleporter. He disappeared and as the cavern began to collapse, so did our party. They wake up in a strange room thats filled with smoke and violently shaking, as a balding man in blue walks through the smoke towards them and says, “Please state the nature of the medical emergency.”

They then heard a voice say, “Collision with surface, imminent. Life support at 12%. Saucer separation in two minutes.”

And then I said, “I’ll see you guys next week.”  🙂

How D and D 3.0/3.5 Changed Gaming Forever.

Did the concept of Attacks of Opportunity destroy the game? Has a game mechanic that allows you to be punished (attacked) for wanting to move your character made the average gamer change the way he thinks about ALL games?

Even back in 2004, the Attack of Opportunity was causing problems. Look at WOTC’s own article on the subject. The first sentence is “If there’s one question players and DMs dread, it’s this one: Does that provoke an attack of opportunity?” That was almost a decade ago.

Now, Attacks of Opportunity have invaded gaming in every way. People who have never played D and D know of the concept and ask about it. I was playing Zombicide with my game group a few weeks ago. A player had his character near a couple of zombies, when deciding whether to move or fight, he asked if moving away from the zombie would provoke an Attack of Opportunity  This is a player who has NEVER played 3.0/3.5. Yet, he still knows about Attacks of Opportunity, questions his actions in game worrying about them, and would have changed tactics if the game supported the rule.

This got me thinking, “Has the Attack of Opportunity become such a confusing/worrisome notion that even a gamer who has never played in a game that utilizes them considers them in his gaming decisions?”

We are currently playing Savage Worlds and since I run all of our games, I have so many rules rattling around in my brain pan that I get confused sometimes when thinking about the rules of the game I’m currently running, We have played Deadlands Classic, HackMaster, DCC RPG, Hollow Earth Expedition, Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, Tunnels and Trolls, Hero System 6th Ed., along with various board and card games. Having run all of these games, sometimes my mind blanks for a second and I have to find a rule in the book. While we were playing Deadlands Noir the other week, a player asked if he would provoke an Attack of Opportunity moving out of melee. I had to pause and think, then look in the book.

Why did one game mechanic change our entire way of thinking about games? Not in a good way mind you. The pervasive worry that comes from that rule has put many a game on hold right in the middle of the action. As a GM, if a player asks about Attacks of Opportunity, I have to know the answer. One of the problems with that, is that other games that don’t use the same verbiage may in fact have a rule just like an Attack of Opportunity. So, unless you have memorized all of your various games’ rules, you have to check. That disrupts the game, it’s flow and it’s effectiveness as a storytelling medium.  When I played 3.0/3.5 as a GM I just removed the rule (OSR FTW) but that didn’t stop the players from asking if they provoked one during most encounters. But during Zombicide? A board game? And we still had to look in the rulebook?

I will say this definitively, I wish the Attack of Opportunity had never been invented, I have spent more time pausing games and checking rulebooks for rules that operate in the same way as that accursed D and D mechanic that I now have to write on the inside cover of my campaign notes where and how it exists in each game I’m running.

Has there ever been an RPG game rule that has caused more confusion and anger than the Attack of Opportunity? I think not.

The Walking Dead Prison.

Here are the photos from my Walking Dead: Take the Prison Savage Worlds Game. For a play-test it worked out pretty well, although I underestimated how long it would take to get into the Courtyard area. I also forgot my dice. Epic Fail. A GM not using his own dice? Preposterous. Can’t wait to get this painted and re-play it.

Working With Modest Magic’s Terrain

The Gallery below contains some of the builds I’ve been working on for my Home Game this Wednesday. The first three photos are a test of a smaller version of what I’m trying to build, The Prison from The Walking Dead. All of the other pictures show pieces that I have glued together. There is the big Keep piece, five floors high. The small Tower, currently four floors high. Then there is the Gate Piece, which I have glued, but left some modular pieces loose so I could use the Gate as a piece of Modular Terrain, which is one of the key features of Modest Magic. I’ll have photos up of the complete build after the game. It will most likely not be painted until a later date due to time constraints. I’d like to add that working with the terrain has been very clean, aside from breaking it off the sprue, there are no worries if you live in an urban location and need to work on the stuff in a confined space, as you can probably tell I have.