Back at the Table

Back at the table

Wow! It has been a while and I’d lost my way. Too much going on to indulge my hobbies, but I’m back. After some unexpected surgery and the mandatory recovery time, I’ve realigned with some of the fun things in my life.  This post was originally entitled “Father’s Day Update – Summary Campaign with my Minions”, in which I described my re-emergence, my recent involvement/re-involvement with Table-Top Role-playing Games, and described the fun new campaign I’m running with my family this summer.

You read that right….”Father’s Day”. I’ve been working on this post for more than a week now. Now some of that is related to making decisions on the nature and form of the campaign as I wrote about them, but mostly, I think I was just trying to write about too many different things at once. Obviously, that isn’t helping me actually complete any writing in a meaningful time frame and it certainly isn’t developing the sort of engagement for which I was hoping online. So I’ve decided to break things down into smaller bite sizes and see how that goes.

As chance would have it, somehow Baldur’s Gate started itself up as I was typing this….Boo must need me.

I’d been filling the gaming void in my life with some Baldur’s Gate with one of my minions (10), but it is now time to come back to the table and table-top games. Time to come back to Dungeons & Dragons.

By D&D, I have come to mean essentially any table-top role-playing game (generally, meaning with a fantasy slant, but not always).  HAG and Aega Mythea essentially grew out of my need to house-rule and tinker with game engines/mash stuff up and out-of-the-box D&D is somewhat of a rarity in my gaming history, but in this case (as it were), you will see that I actually mean actual D&D…D&D 5E to be more exact. More on that later.

With regard to the most basics of the campaign, let’s start with the players and their circumstances. First of all, due to some unexpected surgery, I am home on the mend, healing up from that. Hence both my time and inclination to play again (you look death in the face and you may find yourself refocusing your life a bit….in this case, time with family). I have three players: my wife (who loves games, but was never really into D&D, but is excited to give it a go) and my two kids (12 and 10, both of whom have a little experience with D&D and such games). We are very excited to do this together and I’ll be sure to provide updates and expansions on this post as appropriate.

With regard to Baldur’s Gate, for those not in the know, the game is now available on Steam and elsewhere as an Enhanced Edition. I highly recommend you pick it up.

~AoB

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Aega Mythea – HAGIS Element – The TriDie (via High Adventure Games)

I’ve previously posted about the TriDie (aka mid20, roll 3d20 and take the mid result) and it will feature front and center in the Aega Mythea mashup! In fact, no other dice will be needed.

~AoB

HAGIS Element - The TriDie In getting back to developing and describing HAGIS, let’s talk about the main mechanic randomizer…the TriDie. Torben Mogensen, esteemed RPG Mathematician of DoomTM,has been discussing this very mechanic in his recent article on RPG.net. Torben (and Woodelf….where, o where art thou, Woodelf?) were the first to propose this mechanic to me on the Yahoo RPG Create board.       Let me explain….no, there’s no time….Let me sum up. Rather than te … Read More

via High Adventure Games

RPG Design Patterns (via High Adventure Games)

As I’ve mentioned (see my post below from…jeeze over 3 years ago), I’m a big fan of John Kirk’s RPG Design Patterns. Its a work that describes aspects of mechanics, etc. that are implemented indifferent games, as well as the pros and cons of each. Well, some months ago (Sept 2009), he released a new version of the work available on his download page (here). You may be interested in his most excellent Legendary Quest (cool mythic gaming) and Gnostigmata (with which I’m unfamiliar, but looks cool at first glance) while you’re there. If you’re really into it, you might contribute to the Elements of Design wiki that went up in February 2010.

RPG Design Patterns I highly recommend this book by John Kirk for those table-top RPG designers, Gamemasters, and even players who want to understand how the nuts and bolts of the varying design elements can make a game work (or not work) in supporting design goals. Design Patterns of Successful Role-playing Games Even if one disagrees with any of the specifics contained within, it definitely can serve as fodder for thought. It has greatly influenced some of the dec … Read More

via High Adventure Games

Anyway, his use of terminology and such largely makes sense to me so I try to use it in my own design endeavors. I also deeply consider his thoughts on the merits/shortcomings of each element before using…whether I completely agree or not, it is instructive to follow his logic. I’ve added this note as a reference for my Aega Mythea game (a Atlantean Trilogy + Castles & Crusades + HAGIS mashup). I’ll be putting up some specifics about how I see that working in bits and pieces.

~AoB

Crusader Number 9, Number 9, Number 9…

crus_vol9_big

The Crusader’s May 2008 (Volume 4 Number 9) arrived at my house over the weekend and I’ve been slowly digging in.

First of all, I want to say that I really love this gaming magazine. It is devoted to the concept of old-school Dungeons & Dragons in its latest incarnation, Castles & Crusades.It has fantastic, old-school, color cover art (this is where the color should be) and a well-put-together, black-and-white interior (this is where color is NOT needed….let’s keep the costs down people). Its just long enough (32 pages), contains some new info, some throw-back stuff, and an adventure (this month) to boot! Very nice all around.

While I’m at it, here’s the run down:

Revenge of the Skobbits – goofy color comic on the inside cover that’s sure to appeal to any who revered Wormy or its ilk.

How it All Happened – more from the late Gary Gygax on his youth and the beginnings of D&D. I really miss Gary being around and well, I have no words poetic enough to describe just how much he meant to me. I’m not sure how many more of these columns Gary got to write before passing on, but I know his death will really hit home when I see the first Crusader without his input.

Alea Iacta Est – Stephen Chenault’s thoughts on how 4E is a good thing for all concerns…He comes across as a bit of a blow-hard in this, but that’s never bothered me…..I mean, Gary came across as a bit of a blow-hard in much of his writing. If that really bothered me, I’d have never finished the original AD&D DungeonMaster’s Guide. And I’m a bit of a blowhard too….Anyway, and to be fair to Stephen, I think he expresses a lot of really great ideas in this editorial.

Hammer & Anvil – Casey Canfield’s campaign setting continues to take shape. I’ll be interested to see where he goes with this.

A Starsiege ad ov note….Can’t wait to see this in print….

An Intro to Card Modeling – Some practical advice from Tom Tullis

The Aihrdian Chronicles – I haven’t finished this yet, but from what I’ve seen, Stephen Chenault seems to be doing some fine fiction as well as fine game design.

Castellan’ sGuide to Arms and Armor Ad – WTF, is this 3.5?

The Angry Gamer – Stupid Names piss him off….and me.

Moat Gate – Don MacVittie updates us on the Moat Gate product of Yggsburgh….

The Dweomercraefter’s Den – Gary and Jeffery Calanian on Zagyg Castle…interesting history.

Musings from the Den – Stephen Chenault tells us about what to expect…

And finally, Slippery Slope – A Joe Damiani adventure. To be honest, I have only skimmed this. I have high hopes and really would like to see this sort of thing be a regular in The Crusader…..I’m assuming it rocks….if it doesn’t you’ll hear about it soon.

Auld Wyrmish – Mike Stewart’s…um errata from…like the last issue….wasn’t this handled online? I think this was a wash for me.

And finally, Tom Wham’s goofy, morbid cartoon and a back cover that advertises advertising…..eek

Anyway, I did really enjoy the magazine. I give it a solid 8.

~AoB