Wednesday, August 19, 2009


So, I have a friend who owns a used booksore/comic store. He used to own two, but just had to close one, because as you can imagine, selling used books is becoming a dying art. Anyway, I had to go by his store today (to pay my annual football pool fees 8). I poked around for a while, shot the breeze, bought a bunch of valueless comic bundles for my classroom. As I was leaving, I saw a copy of DEITIES & DEMIGODS up on the wall. I said, that wouldn't happen to be the version with the C'Thulhu mythos stats in it, would it? Sure enough, it WAS. And is GOOD shape... no torn pages, a couple pencil marks, not much discolouring of pages, cover binding is still awesome and unscuffed and unstained. Not believeing my luck, I asked him, how much?


As you can imagine, I almost set the money on fire, I got it out of my wallet so fast.

I have been trying to acquire one of these for YEARS, but they always got bid out of my league at the last minute on eBay. But now... IT IS MINE!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why I shouldn't go shopping on my own...

So... I had some spare time at the end of my holidays today, so I went a questing. My primary stop was to hit the new locaion of Pendragon Games.... it was an old gaming store that I haven't been to in over 15 years (ever since they man my friend and I out on the accusation of trying to rip them off... long story short, my buddy bought a copy of WHITE DWARF while the person at the til was on the phone. She was paying more attention to the phone call than us, so when my buddy gave her a $20 to pay for the WD, she put it in the till without giving us change, then forgot she had done so. She asked for the money, we said, "We just paid you... we're waiting for change,", she told the manager who wandered out to see what was up we hadn't paid, he screamed at us for trying to beat him for $7, threw us out, and I never went back). Anyway, Pendragon is the only TRUE gaming store left in the city. So, I went fo a visit...

... and walked out with a copy of the Cyberpunk v3 rules, and the SAVAGE WORLD OR SOLOMON KANE hardcover RPG. I almost bought DARK HERESY as well, and was thinking of buying some of their used stuff, but I think they were getting their prices off eBay ($10 for a copy of ISLE OF DREAD that looked like it's been chewed by rats? $25 for a book of hex mapping paper? $375 FOR A USED COPY OF X11!?!?!? No thanks...). I looked at picking up ARKHAM HORROR too, but at $75, I declined.

However, I was surprised and heartened to see how much stuff they carried.I saw copies of SWORDS & WIZARDY, and tons of other little RPGs I've been reading about... Ironically, however... no Warhammer/Warhammer 40K stuff AT ALL.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A realization

So, I think I finally realized something today. I've been slogging along, preparing my Greyawk campaign. I've been coverting B1 to fit, and to do that, I've basically been cut and pasting the text from the original module, and then adding some stuff. I was getting bored, because I started finding it tedious. "Oh, to be creating dungeons like the one-page dungeon formats..."

Then it hit me.

I am making this WAY too difficult. I keep writing my modules or adventures like they're a BOOK, or a story. I'm trying to put the same detail I would as if I was writing a novel. I think back to all the old TSR modules I used to love, and I loved READING them more than PLAYING them. ut... why am I doing this? I don't need to be writing novels for my games... I should try to have less is more, and do more winging it. Let the game develop organically. And I credit all the reading of blogs and old-school gamers for this sudden revelation.

So, I'm going to go back to mhy B1 retro-fit, and redo it. I'm going to write a few paragraphs of general overview, and then redo the room contents with a much, MUCH simpler description. Hopefully, I won't get burned out as quick while preparing stuff.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Keep on the Borderlands: From TPK to eternity...

So... we FINALLY got to play tonight! A small group, only three players... my buddy Mike, my buddy Steph, and my buddy Tim's son, Zac. All have various experiences with AD&D of various flavours, but non thought they had ever played Basic before. I just wantd to PLAY dammit. We started making characters at 7, over pizza. 3d6 in order, but we used the Basic rule of being able to drop 2 points in some abilities to raise your prime requisite by 1. Went quite well... Zac had a fighter with 18 STR, but only 6 INT. He ended up named Ugh. Steph went with a mage, named "The Character Formerly Known As Prince".... so we just called him Prince. Mike made a female elf, name A. As expected, the TPK occured quickly. We started out rather silly... arguing with the men at arms in the tower, attacking gates (which didn't go well), and deciding to journey to thCaves without even looking around the Keep. Since they left late in the day, I actually used wandering monster rolls, and decided they ran ino the bandits south of the Keep at sundown. Outnumbered three to 1, they of course decided to fight. First round, lousy initiative, 2 dead characters. 2nd round, I gave the last character a chance to surrender. He declined, but managed to get one of the bandits horses to throw him, killing him in the fall when he landed on his head. Of course, the elf died shortly thereafter. Less than 2 hours door to door.

So, now that they knew I was going to school them if they got stupid, we tried again.

New characters. Now we had... another female elf named Mama Chopita (don't ask), a cleric named Brother Joseph, and a cleric named.... Brother of the character formerly known as Prince.... who became known as Brother Prince. This time, they actually poked around the inn and the tavern. After hearing a few tales, they tried to recuit some local yokels. The leader of the yokels declined, but to btohers, Zeke and Zebekiah, signed up. Zeke had such a positive reaction (a natural 12!) that he suggested their other brother Ulflucase (they called him Luke, everyone else called him Ulf) join them. Zeke and Zeb signed on for 3 gp a day, plus leather armor and a dagger. Ulf (a level 1 randomly generated thief, with a +1 longsword but only 2 hp) joined on as well, giving us six characters. They journeys to the caves, and decided, at random, to enter the ogre cave first. After awakening the ogre with a Magic Missle (which did little more than awaken him), they attempted to parlay, but when they couldn't meet his demand of 20gp to forget he saw them, melee ensued. In the first round, poor Zebekiah bought it when he failed his morale check, turned tail to run, but being in the front row, he couldn't get away... and got squashed by the ogre (3 hp, hit for 11 damage). A highly chaotic fight ensued, marked by pathetic rolling, and an enraged Zeke finishing the ogre by doing 8 points of damage with 2 well-placed dagger strikes to finish him off. By the end of the battle, Zebekiah was dead, dead, dead, Ulf was at -6 (healed to 1 hp and unconsciousness), and everyone was battered. A quick investigation revealed treasure in the small side cave, and also the secret door. However, the incautious party roused the suspicions of the goblins on the other side of the door. The first who stuck his head through the door was promptly slain by an enraged Zeke, but then the other 5 piled through the door. The quick witted Brother Joseph doused them with the brandy found in the room, and a well placed DEX check allowed Mama Chopita to light them on fire. Some spectacular damage rolls later, 4 of the 5 goblins died in the conflagration, and the last ran around the room wildly, on fire, until put out of his misery. The party quickly carted out the dead and wounded, along with all the coins except for the bag of copper. However, upon returning to camp, the pary basically attempted to screw Ulf out of his promised share, saying his share was left back in the cave, plus they owed him for the multiple Cure Light Wounds spells and carrying his near-dead unconscious ass out of the caves. They managed to return to the Keep, but while the party got their coins counted and converted (although the Bank wasn't happy about them trying to rip them off with the fake gold coins), Uld appealed to the Captain of the Watch for succor. An impromptu trial occured in the bank, the result of which was Ulf giving up his share of the treasure (the bag of coppers left back in the cave), and receiving 30 gp for his troubles. What the party doesn't realize is they now have a VERY bad rep amongst hireling, and can expect to have NO help, unless they get lucky and encounter a random adventurer in the tavern.

At this point, we had been playing for 6 hours, so we divided up the XP, and called it a night. I hope to turn this into a monthly event (even if it means trying to drive back in to Winnipeg once a month once school starts, which will be tough when I will have volleyball tourneys every weekend to help coach). However, I had a BLAST tonight... once I got back into the swing of things, it went pretty well (considering I had 2 laptops in front of me, instead of screens 8). I look forward to next session!