Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Location, Location, Location

UPDATE: my desktop is dead. Blown mobo, blown chipset, probably going to have to replace the power supply too. And the RAM. And the video card. At least I can salvage the capture card and the modem card.

I've been deciding where to run my planned campaign. Part of me was leaning towards a sandbox world, but knowing what an anal retentive goof I am, this wouldn't have worked (well, not for right now). Since I have EVERYTHING for Greyhawk, I decided to use Greyhawk as my sandbox. My plan is to run a modified version of Return to the Keep on the Borderlands, and I also have In Search of the Unknown that I can throw in, and a few other ideas. I am becoming less attached to my "big story" idea, and thinking of letting the chips fall where they may. I might still be able to use elements of my big story, but I won't force it as much.

Anyway, it looks like I'm going to use the Yeomanry as my starting point. I perused some of the Living Greyhawk materials I could find, to get ideas of locales, but I wasn't terribly motivated. Then I started thinking that there's a lot of dangling plot threads and REALLY over the top locales I'm not interested in using. So, my Greyhawk is going to be pretty sandbox, with LOTS of new open exloring ideas.

Come to think of it, the more I think about this, the more I start thinking maybe I should run the campaign using D&D B/X rules. I haven't read them in years, but I have.... ahem, *copies* of the Mentzer B/X/C/M rules, the Rules Cyclopedia, the Moldvay/Cook B rules, and I think I have OSRIC and white-box S&S that I would have to read. It's kind of daunting, in a way... in the old days, you played what you played, because often, that was all you could find. Now, there's so much choice, it's almost paralyzing.

Still wondering what would be the better system to run virgin RPGers through... 2nd Ed AD&D (with which I am most familiar), B/X D&D (which I used to know quite well, but would need to do some refreshing on), or something like OSRIC (which I'm sure is fairly compatible, but I would still need to read up on first).


Saturday, January 24, 2009

On Magic Users and Multi-classing

Ever since reading about Gandalf weilding the magical sword Glamdring, I've always wondered why mages can't use swords. I suppose I've understood the argument about too much metal, but I thought it was kind of silly, if the iconic magiciain in literature can carry a sword. So, I'm thinking of lifting the restriction on edged weapons for mages in my campaign. They still can't wear metal armour - that much cold iron around their body will mess up magic's ability to function - but I'm thinking of allowing mages to use swords of a size up to a longsword without penalty. However, the trade off is, they don't get to use their STR damage bonus with any weapons, unless they take a level as a fighter somewhere down the road. I've also been thinking about the idea I saw on a blog (I really need to start archinving this stuff when I find it) about magic-users being able to counter spells. If cold iron is what hinders magic, then a magic-user using an iron sword to help disrupt the casting process of another mage makes sense to me.

I've also been thinking about my homebrew mutli-classing rules. I'm thinking of stipulating that players can't multi-class until they hit level 4. In other words, they have to stay with the class they start with for 3 levels. When they hit 4th level, then they can start to branch out with other classes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Sorry for he lack of new content recently... my primary desktop computer blew up last week. My house is extremely dry, and super-staticky, so I arced my desktop when I went to power it up one day. Thank GOD the hard drives were salvagable, but the mobo, RAM and sundry other parts (video card, etc.) are garbage. So, I'm running on backup systems right now, so I might be scarce until I can get stuff fixed. I'll try to post some thoughts... maybe after LOST finishes. 8)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

House rule thoughts

So, I've been starting to think about what house rules I want to use in my campaign. I plan on using 2nd Edition rules, because they have a few tweaks from the 1st Edition rules I know and love, but not as much chaos as 3rd Edition. I thought about going with B/X rules for a while, since this is going to be a group of people who have never played ANY RPG before, much less D&D, but I'm more comfortable with AD&D, so that's what I'm sticking wth. Anyways, here's my thoughts...

1) first thing I want to do.... I'm thinking of taking the XP totals from all the various classes, adding them up for each level, and averaging them, so that I have one XP Level progression table, like they do in 3ed (which is one of exactly 3 things I liked in 3ed). Reasoning for this is because....

2) I'm thinking of getting rid of the multiclass hindrances, so players can take a level from any class, like in 3ed. That's what the unified XP tables would help. Here will of course be some restrictions (see below), but has anyone tried this with 2nd Ed? I don't want to rip the 3Ed XP table off totally, because I like that you need more XP for levels in 2nd Ed.

3) As starting classes, I am allowing Warrior, Mage, Cleric, or Rogue. Rangers, Paladins and Druids are allowable later on, but will be rare to encounter (and I may do some changes with them too... see later). Monks are ultra-rare, but could be allowed later. Since this is a group of first-timers, I'm keeping it simple off the start. Also, my monks are going to be a little different... all monks must be a deity of physical perfection. Monks are meant to be the pinnacle of human ability, and not seen as religious warriors... that's paladins.

4) I'm thinking of putting some restrictions in, to keep from having a character with 8 different classes. Here's what I'm thinking:
- if a character has any levels in classes other than cleric or warrior, they cannot select paladin levels. Conversely, once they select a level as a paladin, they may no longer select levels as a warrior. If they take a level in any class other than paladin or cleric after their first paladin level, they may never select a paladin level again.
- once a character selects a level as ranger, they may no longer take warrior levels. If they subsequently select a warrior lev el after taking a ranger level, they may no longe take ranger levels.
- once a character takes a level as a druid, they may only take further levels as druid or a ranger. If they take a level in any other class, they may no longer select druid levels.
- a character who wishes to take a level as a monk may only have levels in warrior or mage. Once they take a monk level, they may not take a level in anything other than monk, mage or warrior, or they may no longer selectt monk levels.
I know that is a lot of deatil, but we'll see how it works.

5) Every character in this campaign is going to have a mentor, to whom they must pay a stipend in turn for their support and training. Also, instant adventure hooks!

6) I think I'm going to use an XP for treasure rule, but I'm not sure how much yet.... 1 XP = 10 gp? 100 gp? Thoughts?

Also, one other thing I've been thinking about.... I'm going to make a bunch of pre-fabbed characters for the players to choose from to start, so we can speed things up. My question is... I want to have SOME background for the characters (to explain how they all know each other), but how much background is TOO much? I want to have room for these players to make the characters their own... as such, I'm letting the players select the alignments, after I explain what the alignments mean. Should I just make some real loose background connections between the characters, or go into some detail?

I fear my love of detail will bog this down... must learn to love less. 8)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What I learned from RPGs

This is just to fill time until I have a chance to make a real post (I'm adminstering the provincial English Language Arts exam to my grade 12 this week, so I have no time for fun and frivolity. Other than FINALLY finishing FALLOUT 3. And now wanting to start it again, only this time, be a GOOD guy)

What I Learned from RPGs

1) If you take over a starship in TRAVELLER, don't call the rest of your party from the bridge saying you need help to fly the ship when you don' have complete control of the ship yet.

2) If you're playing TRAVELLER, and you're an Aslan, and a giant suction tube pops out of the ceiling to suck you away to somewhere else, don't say, "I pop my dewclaws and sink them into the tube material so I don't get pulled away."

3) When you're playing a fighter/magic-user/thief in AD&D, don't try to burn through the ropes holding up a rope bridge with a Flame Finger spell, hoping that you will have an opportunity to pick someone's pocket when the bridge suddenly lurches.

4) Advice for dealing with stolen tanks in Twilight 2000: if you're driving ouside an occupied town, and you find a radio band where someone is constantly updating coordinates, and ends with the phrase "Target has stopped" when you stop your tank...... GET OUT OF THE TANK.

5) Never climb in a Winnebago with a crazy ex-hippie in a Call of C'Thulhu game.

6) If you're playing Top Secret, and you come home to find a lightbulb burned out, but when you go to change it, instead you find a rolled-up piece of paper in the socket that says, "BANG! You're dead"? You probably are. Damn Russian double agents.

7) Cyberpunk 2020 tips: in your first session of a new campaign, if one of your fellow players has his character try to pick the pocket of Arasaka riot police who show up at a club.... just start rerolling your character. Also, as a corollary to this tip.... if Arasaka riot police walk up to your party, and flash a picture of an absent party member and ask, "Have you seen this person?"....... don't say, "Yeah! That's my best friend!"

8) Life expectancy of characters named "Bill, Brother of Tim the Elf"? Surprisingly short.

9) It is considered bad form to kill the guards of the local Polish warlord in Twilight 2000 and stash them in the storage compartment of your APC, especially when other members of your group are meeting with him, and eventually ally you with him.

10) If you really hate your Traveller character's rolls, make him a belter. They never survive...... except when they do. And then they become the WORST characters EVER.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Welcome to my humble abode

Greetings, and welcome to the Badger King's Den. I decided to start this blog as a way of not only musing on various gaming ideas I may have, but also as a journal of my attempt to get back into live, face to face role-playing anfter being out of the hobby for many, many years.

This first post is just a little background on me. I first became aware of the plethora of gaming blogs earlier this year, when a message board I frequented pointed out an excellent article on Grognardia. After reading the article, I began exploring the links to other blogs from there, and the rest, as they say, is history.

My gaming background goes back about 29 years. I was 8 years old when a friend of mine introduced me to D&D. Ironically, even though it was my first experience, it was already a homebrew - he modified it heavily and used the rules to help tell stories for his incredible selection of Micronauts toys. At the time, we were using the B/X rules, but often running them in AD&D modules. After a few years of exclusive D&D/AD&D playing, I moved on to junior high, where my obsession began in earnest. My best friend and his older brother were both hardcore gamers, and I feel in with this reprobate crew of gamers. Now, we played not only AD&D, but Traveller, Top Secret, Twilight:2000, James Bond, DC Heroes, Marvel Heroes, and dabbled in almost every game we could get our hands on. At one point, I took part in an AD&D campaign that had 2 groups of 7 players, all working on the same campaign from different ends. We also had a massive T:2K game which featured a dozen players in one group, and some very memorable Traveller and Top Secret campaigns. My role-playing slowed a little in high school, as my friend's older brother and his friends fell into university, and I ended up going to a different school than the rest of my gaming group; even though, I fell into a new group, who exposed me to the joys of Car Wars and Cyberpunk. As I moved into university and beyond, our core gaming group grew progressively smaller. I still bought games like a fiend (Star Wars RPG, Cyberpunk 2020, WH40K, Call of C'Thulhu), but our opportunities to game became less and less. Eventually, the group broke up, as the winds of fate moved us around the country. Since about 1996, I have not played, much less even thought about, RPGS.

Then, last year, the itch started to hit me again. I had always kept up with gaming, buying games that struck my fancy (Unknown Armies), and at least keeping an eye on D&D (for the record, D&D stopped being D&D after AD&D 2nd Edition), so it's not like I was ever totally out. I was now teaching in a little farm town in rural Canada, and with the opportunities for creative minds being EXTREMLY limited, I started to explore the possibility of introducing a new generation to RPG games. And that's how I got here.

Anyways, that's enough of an intro. Hopefully, I'll have some content up here fairly regularly.