Thursday, March 31, 2016

Childhood Television memories - Part 5 - The 90's - live shows

The 90's was also an era that scifi came into it's own.  Star trek reached his zenneth and these are some of my favorites

Alien Nation


The Pretender

Red Dwarf

Space - Above and Beyond

Star Trek - The Next Generation

Star Trek - Deep Space Nine

It had a few westerns eras

The Adventures of Brisco County Junior

The Young Riders

Monday, March 28, 2016

Batman vs Spoilers - a moderately humorous review.

[warning spoilers]

Went in with no expectations and in a mst3k sort of mood and was entertained because of it.

"Crazy Steve" Ben Afflict was pitch perfect and believe he could have played a great Batman as well.   :p
Remember kids, Vehicular homicide doesn't count for killing people.

Superman played nice. Henry Carville isn't so bad and honestly, he felt like Charlie Brown.  I know he can play a charismatic character (see man from U.N.C.L.E.  because apparently most of you didn't. :p), but it's like the darkness is affecting his power level.

Wonderwoman was awesome...for all of 5 minutes she was in it.  I liked her theme.

Btw glad they went with Luthor's son instead of Luthor, but I will forever call this villain Zuckerberg Luthor.  He blew as a main villain and my only redemption of the character is in my head cannon Clancy Brown beat him repeatedly screaming THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!  Now if we could only get footage. :D

I was going to congratulate them for using a different villain then Luthor and Zod, but then realized they used both, and re-skinned them so we wouldn't notice.

and did they forget Superman is solar powered?

In Short.
Wait till rifftrax comes out and see what Mike and the boys can come up with.  It will be a hoot.

watch the flash/supergirl tonight because if we don't, we won't get a real crossover. :p.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

My Next Project - The Saurials of the Hidden Vale

While drevrpg 5e is coming together, I wanted to try something smaller to improve my knowledge of the system and to scratch an seriously old itch

The reopening of the D.M.s guild to allow others to publish and sell forgotten realms material has gotten me thinking.

It lit a fire based on an old passion.

Namely the Saurials

I remembered reading the Finder Stone's trilogy a long time ago in a world far far away (called Faerun).

I always loved the idea of an alien dinosaur humanoid species that communicated with scents, had unlimited class levels in 2e, and dinosaur paladins.

I played a Hornhead Saurial wizard in 2e and he was one of my legacy characters.

So I did some followups to see what had been done.

I was disappointed with the results.  One Dragon Article, one web expansion in 3rd edition and that was pretty much it.

4e was worse. Thanks to netheril, it looked like they had pretty much been written out of the world (driven underground is pretty much the canon equivelent of "being put on a bus.")

So I sat down and decided, what could I do with the concept?

The Saurials have been on Faerun for about 200 years.  I wanted to connect them to the Forgotten Realms so they would be not easily written out in the future as well as explain what had happened during this time.

Additionally Paleotology has been a passion of mine and concepts have changed so much since the finder stones trilogy was written.

I want to give it that 2e sourcebook feel, and will try to keep it to public domain pics for the artwork (because quite frankly, I can't draw worth a darm).

I've done some stewing, but created this thread below for a bunch of crazy ideas as well as any crazy dinosaur facts to see where it leads?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

5e About the Fighter and other Thoughts.

The biggest problem with 5e as a whole is they setup the concept to the 3 pillars of xp (exploration, social interaction, combat) and then didn't figure out how this applies to every single class or even a proper mechanic to cover 2 of the three pillars.

even if we had pull a 4e and revise from the ground up, it would solve a ton of problems.

the fighter in particular is a problematic class from a conceptual model.

they what do they do outside of combat?

in 2e, they were powerful, but boring.
in 3e, they were given kewl abilities that were actually traps because of how many cookisms were dumped into the game.
in 4e, we build a fighter that could actually fight, but was compared unfavourably as a wizard because of design mechanics.

I honestly think changing the fighter and making it based on the Knight, Mercenary Fighter, and Soldier as archetypes which gives you an idea of what the niche is.

The Knight would include marking (like the knights challenge from 3.5 phb2 ), and outside skills like heraldry, social etiquette, and horses, falconry as well as other rudamentary skills befitting a long mentorship. If people are still terrified of the Warlord class being in 5e, this would be the closest to being one. 

The Mercenary Fighter would be based on the champion and also be the exotic weapons master. He'd be the type that would pull out the spiked chains, or other wacky weapons because it's how they achieve infamy. they would also be the closest to a fighter/rogue without being one. If you really want to build a bar room brawler, this is also the one of choice and gets bonuses by being a thug.

The Soldier would give synergy bonuses to teamwork actions. They also would be the only of the fighter archetypes to get a MOS that would determine their training (Archer, Polearm Specialist, Shield Bearer, Skirmisher), that gives skill set to be used outside of combat. They also went to boot camp and learned a range of rudamentary skills to help out around the camp site and to quickly evaluate targets. This can also be the one that gets combat manoeuvres.

I'd be okay with throwing in the Eldritch Knight as well, but using this base you have a concept stuck in your head and it makes it easier to figure out what they'd be good at.

and it's also easier to figure out what they'd do outside of combat.

edit: one last thing. If the archtypes don't give you an "agony of choice" feel when trying to decide which to pick, you've failed as a game designer.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Space Janitor's of Fate - Part 4 - Pollen Haze

Part 1

Our heroes negotiate our ways from certain doom and get into another trouble involving prisoners, a plasma monster and a broken light.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Gaming Thoughts - Beware the Baldrick Effect.

I was listening to the following podcast from role playing public radio and they were presenting the premise of a shoggoth boss forcing their minions to setup an art gallery to unleash unspeakable horrors.

It then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

The bigger idiot and bumbling oaf I would be in such a game, the more likely I was to be successful.

This isn't the same of not being involved, but if your hit the right amount of incompetency, your more likely to succeed then a big damn hero whom goes in guns a blazing or is a professional.

This also is likely to twist your game into a comedy.

I'm calling this the Baldrick effect, after one of my most favourite examples of this troupe: Baldrick from Black Adder.

I personally love such goofy adventures.  I think it's safe to assume that the Dark Revelations -  The Role Playing Game at RPGlory has been silly not because of the mechanics, but because of the feel of the game.

Additionally games like HoL (Human occupied Landfill), Paranoa and Toon thrive on such antics.

Improvisation benefits greatly from comedy as it often creates a memory that you will remember as a group long after a game is done.

However, if your horror or drama game benefits from a fool being incompetent, expect to be bitterly disappointed by it.

So ask yourself.  If the players twist it into a comedy sketch, will they be more likely to succeed?

If they are, you might want to double check your game's premise.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Childhood Television Memories - Part 4 - The 90's - animated shows

The 90's was a transformation decade in storytelling.  The Serial format began to achieve dominance as time continued.  Additionally, this was the era that the internet became a dominant force in my life.

Many of these technically came out earlier, but I didn't see them until much later


It was the first cgi tv show.

It is Canadian. :)

It took place inside a computer, like Tron.

Unlike Tron, it combined playing games with a slice of life least at first.

It's main character was Black Blue, and while a dork, was a big damn hero.

The main heroine was a supergenius that was also a great capitalist.

The kid was a stereotype that changed drastically while the series progressed.

The main villain was both a absolute bad ass, very intelligent and competent, while still being an amoral being.

The main female villain was the single most powerful being in it's universe, and was a horribly broken being, to the point where she used masks for a face.

It had a ton of female characters that were big damn heroes , while not defaulting to the "girl" archetype.

It's animation is dated but the storytelling, once it got started, was second to none.

It also might have been the series that launch the use of pop culture as part of the story.

If there is one obscure series that needs to be watched, to both see where we came from and as a model for trying something different, this is the one.

Batman - the animated series - This launched the longest running cartoon in history (with the exception of the simpsons:p). bruce tim and paul dini repackaged the dc universe with inspiration from just about everything and made it their own. I really want them to continue this series and keep my fingers crossed for a jlu:next.

The Disney afternoon: Eisner may have had many faults, but the one I don't give him is the sheer fun that these cartoons brought.

Aladdin is required watching for any gm needing a plot and it was a blast as well.

what Aladdin is to fantasy gaming, tail spin is for the pulp genre. I loved the repackaging of Baloo as a bush pilot in the 30's. I have used Don Carnage as a villain in my games and that is the perfect version of Shere Khan. :)

Ducktales has the single most addictive theme song period and if you like treasure hunts, this is your show.

Darkwing duck is in the same universe as ducktales and expands on it still further to the the point it's a blast.

I still got a soft spot for the Gummi bears. while they were shown before the 90's, they were the first show to star in this slot in 1990 so it is shown here.

Gargoyles: while part of the disney afternoon, it is awesome enough to give it it's own header. Dark, well animated, great characters, and surprisingly moral for a show about genocide, it has my undying praise.

The Simpsons: this is the stick that all animation will be measured. any series that can last almost 2 decades and still be reasonably funny needs to be appreciated.

Animaniacs: the only worthy successor of the loony toons. with a lot of fun, awesome characters and some great writing, it left a legacy that just rocked.

The Tick: the single greatest parody of the super hero genre of all time. I consider the tick to be the my example of somebody truely good in the universe when I feel humans are scum.

Beast Wars: I hadn't looked at transformers in quite some time, when I first say this series, I thought it was blasphemy. Then It showed itself to be as good a quality as Reboot. Hell Dinobot alone was yet another character study.

Ren and stimpy: wierd as hell. Original as hell.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! : without this show, we wouldn't have the phrase "scuse me princess". for that alone it gets praise :).

Exo-Squad: or how to tell a war story in animated format. Extremely well done.

Johnny Bravo - the last hanna barbera character that was original yet fun to remember. Hell a buddy of mine built him for a besm character and had a blast.

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs:  I consider this show and Gummi Bears to be transitional shows between the 80's and 90's as they have elements of both.  This show was bloody original in that most of the cast were not white.  The concept was sound and you can see the fight between their budget and their ambition. :p

Other Awesome Stuff

Biker Mice from Mars

Bot's Master

Dexter's Laboratory



Mighty Max

Pirates of Dark Water

Shadow Raiders

Spiderman - 1990's series

Tiny Toon Adventures

Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (yeah I know it's way older, but didn't see it until then)

Sparticus and the Land Beneath the Sea.

Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs

Where on Earth is Carmen San Diego


Monday, March 7, 2016

Space Janitor's of Fate - Part 2 - Microscoping a World

I couldn't make it so the gang decided to play a game of Microscope to flesh out the world.

here is the hilarious results. :D

Thursday, March 3, 2016

GM’s Day - March 04 - 2016

I just found out about this internet holiday.

GM’s Day is an annual day to show your GM (or DM, or Storyteller, or Referee) how much you appreciate them.

While I'm pretty sure it's a marketing scheme, I agree with the sentiment .

Tomarrow, let your gm know he/she/it rocks. :)

Because it is also the day we lost Gary Gygax. :(