Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mystara PBEM

A couple of weeks ago I began to entertain the notion of running a Basic D&D game as a Play by Email (PBEM) game. The response I received after posting my intention on several forums was interesting the most prevalent comment was…why? With all the great systems and campaign worlds available in 2006 why do I insist on trudging through an archaic and out of print system that most of the gaming world has forgotten?
I really didn’t have an answer. But lo and behold I began to get emails trickling in late at night from other like souls who would like to brave the world of Mystara.
My players are all male and 30+ years of age, professionally they are teachers, artists(in fact the illustration above is from one of the players), businessmen, a journalist and a law student. Some were regular gamers and others hadn’t slung the dice since the big 80’s. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the players in my new game all possessed vivid and vibrant imaginations In the process of character creation I insisted on backgrounds for the characters. To my excitement, their back-stories for their characters were worthy of any being written up in the pages of Dungeon Magazine. So let the 3.5 boys have a good laugh. It’s not the system you play it’s the quality of the players, and with these guys I have a real good feeling.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Wrath of the Dragon God - My thoughts

I finally sat down and watched the Dungeons and Dragons movie: Wrath of the Dragon God. I suppose I could be a gamer snob and say it sucked, The Lord of the Rings trilogy has set the bar so high now that we tend to forget that there was a time when gamers would take whatever we could get movie-wise. But actually it was no worse than an episode of Xena. The budget was mediocre by today’s standards but they did what they could with it. If you play D&D you will recognize the classes, spells and monsters (It’s fun to point out to the wife “That was a Ring of the Ram, Honey”). My family enjoyed it, and my wife was interested enough to have me play it again for the parts she missed, when she went to the store during the first showing. There were several lines and situations that brought a laugh and you know the writers were having fun with the material (“Good Times”). All in all I’m happy I bought it and most likely will watch it again. My biggest disappointment with the movie was with the commentary. I expected the producer, director, and maybe a couple of the actors to discuss the technical parts of the movie, instead they have three managers from Wizard of the Coast, posing as a Cleric, ½ Orc and a Thief, giving in-character commentary. We could have done without that, the jokes fell flat and it came off as a lame rip-off of Mystery Science Theater.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

In praise of PDF’s

Well we started up a group for the Basic D&D game called the Mystara PBEM.
We have a pretty good mix of guys. Some are dusting off the dice bags after years of neglect. One thing that we have been making use of is the availability of PDF copies of the entire out of print D&D stuff. Some folks don’t really care for the format, preferring to hold a “real book” in their hands. While I don’t exactly disagree, I feel that PDF’s definitely have their uses. The sad fact is that even when you can find a copy of these older games the prices some of them can fetch are insane. I remarked in an earlier post about a copy of the Five Shires going for like $80.00 on EBay. Over at drive thru RPG (See the link in the sidebar)or RPGnow you can get a PDF copy for under $5.00

Monday, February 20, 2006

Back to Basics

The other day a buddy of mine emailed me asking if I knew of any Play by Email games going on, (It seems that the one he had been playing in had gone on indefinite hiatus). I contacted the DM of the basher game to see if he could work him in, but we already had close to ten players, so I wasn’t too surprised when he said he couldn’t. Later while perusing several message boards I came across a post asking if anyone was running a Basic D&D game. The more I thought about it that day the more intrigued I became. I was familiar with the basic D&D game; having played when I was first introduced to gaming a century ago, but it had been decades since I last played it. Doing a bit of research I found that the Basic D&D world is as vibrant as any out there. And the Rules Cyclopedia is one of the best written and organized sets of rules ever published. Many dismiss it as beginner’s rules, but Basic D&D and its campaign world of Mystara has a definite presence on the net.
So I gathered a few of my dusty Gazetteers and downloaded a PDF of the Rules Cyclopedia, and decided to run a game for my friend. I put out the word on some of the gaming boards and got a couple of bites. So, If anyone else out there wants to play some REAL old school D&D drop me a line.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


This weekend I found the Unknown Soldier figure at Tuesday Morning for $14.99
(Originally they were like $60.00). From what I understand they also have Mademoiselle Marie, but she appears to be harder to find. No doubt they were picked up in masse by some scalper scum, who will double the price and post it on EBay- and after they do I hope they choke and die in their own vomit- or better yet someone else’s vomit- I HATE toy scalpers- but I digress.

I hope they discount Miss Fear too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oh no.

Yeah I know the first one sucked some serious crotch. But The buzz on this one is that it ain’t too shabby. I guess an Evil DM’s gotta do what an Evil DM’s gotta do…. I’ll see if I can pull myself through it. The first one physically started hurting ten minutes into the movie. How could they get it all so damn wrong? Blechh.
I really hope this one is at least decent. I’ll let y’all know once my copy arrives. Suncoast video at the mall wanted $24.99 HA!! Amazon has it for $15.99.
There’s a trailer in French here. It kinda reminds me of a Xena episode; the effects are at about that level.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Geek Alert!

Yesterday at lunch I decided to get some fresh air. So I headed down the street to the mall and stopped by at the EB Games store to see if they had anything interesting in the clearance bins. I didn’t find anything on clearance but I did run across a neat looking program called Comic Book Creator. It looked interesting and only cost $19.99 so I filed it away mentally with plans to visit their website when I got home. Looking it over I was impressed enough to take the plunge and pluck down the cash. I'm a big fan of software that allows me to incorporate my other hobbies (Gaming, Action figures, Comics). Hopefully. CBC will be right up there with my other software toy favorites HeroMachine and XOW!

Stay tuned…

Here's a little something I whipped up tonight.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

LoS Dramatis Personae :Talena

Many of you old timers may fondly remember the example of a Melee encounter from the pages of the old AD&D Dungeon masters guide, names like Gutboy Barrelhouse, Aggro the fighter, Balto the monk, and Arlanni the thief. It’s become a staple of RPG’s to offer a sampling of characters created with the rules to illustrate the mechanics of the game, and Legends of Steel is no exception. One of my sideline endeavors has been to create a group of heroes taken from the various examples of the genre and build them using the LoS rules. I’ll be presenting them as they are completed.
First off we have a Pirate /Adventurer by the name of Talena.

Character Name: Talena
Profession: Pirate/Brigand
Age: 22
Sex: Female
Movement: 10

Agility 75
Brawn 50
Intellect 50
Perception 60
Personality 60
Strike 50
Willpower 50
Stun 25
Life 25

*Danger sense
*Speed: +25% to movement & initiative
*Leap: Talena can spring 10’ upward and up to 30’ forward. If used in an attack she gains a +10% to her attack roll.

(1) Acrobatics 75%
(1) Appraise 50%
(1) Area knowledge: City of Port Karn 50%
(1) Area knowledge: Slayers Isles 50%
(1) Climbing 75%
(2) Cutpurse 75%
(1) Games of chance 60%
(2) Lock-picking 75%
(13) Martial Arts 70%
(3) Off hand weapon use
(11) Seamanship 70%
(1) Stealth 75%
(1) Streetwise 60%
(1) Traps 50%