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Showing posts from December, 2009

Gaming with Kids: Sir Kevin and the Daring Rescue

Continued from Part I Sir Kevin was able to convince the mushroom men that he was not hostile through gestures, hopping around, and making funny noises. The mushroom men surrounded him and herded him down a corridor. Soon he was in the throne room of the queen of the mushroom people. He was surprised to see that the queen was a teenage girl named Ariel. She explained to him that she had fallen into a hole when she was a young girl and the mushroom men had raised her. As she got older they learned to trust her judgment and made her their queen. Sir Kevin explained his quest to rescue the unicorn and Queen Ariel ordered the mushroom men to escort him back to the surface. Once back above ground Sir Kevin set out in the direction of the Goblin's shack. As he made his way through the forest he saw what looked like a beehive dangling from a tree. Since there had been nothing to eat in the caves other than rats Sir Kevin decided he wanted some honey. He used his sword to knock down the hi

Stonehell: Halfway

I am halfway through reading Michael Curtis's Stonehell and it has ruined me. I have always hated reading dungeon adventures, and now I will hate them twice as much. Nothing irritates me more than having to flip back and forth between the map and the entries. It makes it very hard for me to enjoy reading map heavy modules, even campaign settings. I keep getting yanked out of the flow by having to flip back. It will be even more irritating going forward, because I now know that IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! If he has done nothing else with this book, and trust me he has done other stuff, Mr. Curtis has set a new standard for how dungeon adventures should be presented. Each chapter starts with a map of a whole level of the dungeon. There is also a brief discussion of the level and a list of all the monsters, with stats, on the level. This is followed by four sections, each detailing 1/4 of the level. Each of these sections starts with a more detailed description of that quarter

Knockspell Issue #3

Finally back at it after exams and a nasty sneak attack by pneumonia. Alright, Knockspell #3 is a great issue. Let's start at the start! From Kuroth's Quill: First, I appreciate the bibliography. This is one of the most academically written old school articles I have seen yet. It is an interesting classification system for dimensional gates. Usually, when I run fantasy, I am very much a "keep the magic parts magic" kind of guy. I don't like to get into how magic works, I like it to be a mystery. When I run sci-fi I tend towards hard sci-fi so I go the other way with fantasy. That said, it is far easier to construct interesting puzzles when there is a basis for how everything works. I am talking about puzzles that challenge the players' creativity here, not just the match the color kind from video games. As usual I found myself coming up with some ideas as I read grodog's article. Pulp Heroes and the Colors of Magic: Akrasia has written one of my top 5 favo

Hello Readers

I have not forgotten you. I am just in the midsts of my final exam period. I actually wrote several posts over Thanksgiving that I have not put up yet. I intended to just have to edit them and put them up during exams. Sadly I got pneumonia the day before exams started and have been playing catch up ever since. The end is near though, it is all over Friday.

Gamist v. Simulationist

I want to start this post by saying that the first blog I scroll to in Reader every day is Grognardia. I find James' posts to be very insightful and well thought out when it comes to designing and running your game. The main reason I enjoy his blog so much is that we have completely opposite styles. His profile even states his interest in philosophy. I, on the other hand, am an engineer working on becoming a patent attorney. I like to think that I am a pretty good DM. I have brought quite a few new people into the hobby over the years and I haven't had a lot of complaints. I personally find James' work in Fight On!, Thousand Suns and other places to be excellent. He comes to a lot of the same conclusions as me, and produces stuff I like, but his way of getting there fascinates me. It is totally opposite of the way I do things. An illustration. In a recent post he discusses keys in dungeons . He feels that every lock in a dungeon should have a key hidden somewhere. He talks

Hex Crawls

Those of you who have been reading this blog know that I have never run a megadungeon before. I have always used more realistic dungeon settings, keeping all underground areas to a minimum and keeping the over all size of castles and the like fairly small. There is another style of gaming I have never indulged in: the hex crawl. I have never seen hexes as discrete chunks of the map. I always just used them as a guide to find distance if they were present and not worrying about themif they were not. I have always taken a more continuous view of overland maps. This is another streak that will be ending with my upcoming OSRIC game. I will be using James M's Outdoor Map as a starting pont in my campaign. I will be heavily modifying it for my purposes but most of the features will stay the same. I will be adding my own versions of Castles Blackmoor and Greyhawk to the map. I have been struggling with how a hex crawl works. How do I know if they find features in the hex and isn't 5 m