Friday, October 29, 2010

Steal this idea!

Hey there, I'm back with a little something to help you out, in case you are having trouble coming up with ideas for your game. Think about an awesome movie/tv show, video game, anything and if there is a cool plot device or story point that you love or maybe you have an old module from AD&D 1st edition or something. Is there a way to fit it into your campaign?

The basis for my campaign I am running is the idea presented in Return to Northmoor ( It was a good launching point and it did some of the work for me while I found my stride. As I moved through the Northmoor stuff I began looking through my RPG collection for things I could adapt, and justify why I still have books for games I don't play, hehe.

Which leads me to "The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh"(U1) a great 1st edition AD&D module from Great Britain. My group accepted a job from the local fort to investigate a haunted house at the edge of the swamp. I turned searching the first and second floors into one long skill challenge, without telling them. Basically they would search a room, if there was something to find and they were made it, I marked it as a success. I removed a lot of combat, trying to keep key moments and give the PC's the feeling that anything could happen. They were checking for traps for most of the search, watching for weak spots in the floor, and looking through books laying around. I'll come visit this game another time, it was a blast!

I play some video games, and have been playing a certain MMO which has a number of amazing and adaptable quests in it. One such quest involves a little ghost girl who asks your character to find the various pieces of her dolly and put it back together. It is really creepy and kicks off a string of quests where you're working towards redeeming an NPC in the game. I needed a little diversion for the next small town the group was coming to and this would do nicely.

The PC's come across some kids who had been checking out a burned out house and thought they'd seen a ghost. Of course the group has to check it out, and a little girl appears, asking if they can find her dolly. A little searching gets them the body of the doll but the head is missing. More detective work reveals that seventeen years ago, a cult of demon worshipers attacked the town, and one of the guards had allowed them to slip past unnoticed. When the villagers defeated these cultists they lynched the guard, who was the little ghost girls father. People remembered he had something in his hand that he dropped when he died. This had occurred in the town's square and when they investigate they are attacked by demons and undead. After the battle they search and find the doll's head. Heading back to the ghost, they present the newly repaired dolly, and she thanks them, then asks them to help her papa. all from some quests from a video game.

So look around, see what you can steal, or draw inspiration from, there's a ton of stuff out there and who knows what kind of awesome you can show your players! :) Take care guys.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Halloween (looking for a movie?)

Hey there and happy Halloween folks!! It’s that time of year when most folks start watching “scary” movies. Here’s a little site to check out . I use it whenever the urge to watch something different hits me, but it’s perfect for this time of year. Italian zombies, Japanese ghost stories, all kinds of things are here even sections on classic actors (Vincent Price), studios (American International), and even black and white/silent film stuff.

The first section is the Vault and it contains movies that the site owner considers revolutionized the way we watch horror, and I feel he gets it right for the most part. There are 29 movies linked on this page and each subsequent page has info about the film, facts and trivia. At the bottom of the main vault page are several links such as Hammer Horror, Asian Horror, EuroHorror, etc. Each one has a description of the types of cinema and is followed by individual titles (example, Hammer Horror has Curse of Frankenstein starring Peter Cushing, squee!)

The Master’s Chamber is dedicated to directors of the genre, such as John Carpenter, George Romero, and Sam Raimi. Each entry contains a biography and filmography as well as why the owner felt they are masters of the craft. A few of them do not link to anything (I really wanted to read about Tsoi Hark) so apparently there are a few things left unfinished. The Observatory is an actor version with a lot more empty slots so to speak (only Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Gunnar Hansen have information). The Laboratory rounds out these type of pages, this time with special effects, unfortunately only the Tom Savini entry has information.

Horror sub-genres get a look at in the Parlor, specifically vampires, ghosts and aliens. The Dungeon is a links page, in case you need something more specific, or slightly different. Hopefully this has been helpful, informative or at least in some way entertaining. Take care and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Con the Cob 2010

Apologies to everyone, I have been slacking in regards to my poor blog here. I am here to rectify that by telling you about Con on the Cob, an amazing little convention I attended this past weekend. It's a four day event that occurs around Halloween, anytime from mid October to the beginning of November. This year it was October 14th-17th, unfortunately I missed Thursday but was there Friday at noon until closing ceremonies on Sunday.

I cannot plan for conventions, as a rule, and here is why: I don't like disappointment. Years ago I signed up for a few games at Origins and was really looking forward to them. When it came time for them, I was appalled at the (im)maturity level of the some (all in one case) of my fellow players. So now I just see what is available when I get to a con.

I came prepared to play Savage Worlds and 4E LFR, and was a bit disappointed to see the LFR events were two dollars a piece. Which is average for a con but traditionally CotC is usually all about free gaming, and I decided to put my focus into playing SW, especially Sean Patrick Fannon's epic three part Shaintar game he was running (he was also the gaming guest of honor). If anyone knows why LFR was being charged for, let me know or just reply here, I'm sure there was a fine reason, I just wasn't worried enough to investigate.

Shaintar is a wonderful, detailed world that encourages stunts, risk taking, and amazing acts of heroism, even more so when Sean is running. Pregens were available that you could take and level as you played and along the way your character would acquire items and/or titles (Chosen of the Horn, ohmigod!). I missed the first game but got in on parts two and three, eventually getting Chosen of the Horn status for the ogre I played at the end of part three. The great thing about this game is if I play in another game Sean is running, I'll be able to play this character (if it's the appropriate level, of course).

The first part sounded pretty standard, Grayson's Grey Rangers were sent on a mission that dovetailed into the second, and finally third parts. I picked an ogre so I wouldn't have to watch where I stepped, and really, since my ogre (Grolsch) had trouble seeing far away I could afford to be a bit bullish, hehe. At the end of part two we discovered there was a bigger menace than we had previously thought, and soon we were off to save the world.

Part three was even more fun and amazing due to the fact that the game was being played at two tables, up until the climax. Essentially it was two groups working towards the same point, and man it was exciting! I don't want to spoil it for anyone who may play this in the future, and there were some new story elements I believe will be showing up for the first time in the new books coming from Reality Blurs next year. Just be assured, it will be awesome!!

Art is the main focus of the con, though, with artwork and artists hanging around it is inescapable. I was there in the beginning when it was a group of amazing artists, and I'm proud that has grown into this great event I can attend every year. For the art alone, it's worth it and when you add in the comedy music track (Positive Attitude, Worm Quartet, Luke Ski), miniatures (terrain and paint n' take), an amazing children's track, and a lot of gaming. Well, it can be overwhelming, it has to be experienced to be believed.

That's all for now, hope to hear from some of you guys out there.