Page Collection for ^2009-08

2009-08-01 Balancing Spotlight Time

Gah. Fear the Boot episode 158 about balance gets it right: It’s about introducing lots of situations were the various characters get to shine. [1] I should think about this for tomorrow’s game.


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2009-08-03 Strange Perl Issue

Today I had to make the following change to Oddmuse because that fixes an image upload issue on my dad’s blog. What’s going on? He’s using the following:

  • Apache/2.2.3 (Debian) DAV/2 SVN/1.4.2 mod_jk/1.2.18 mod_ssl/2.2.3 OpenSSL/0.9.8c mod_wsgi/2.3 Python/2.5
  • Perl v5.8.8
  • CGI: 3.15

Any ideas? The net result was that <$file> resulted in no content if run within the eval block.

***	Fri Jul  3 11:23:01 2009
---	Tue Aug  4 00:20:26 2009
*** 3548,3554 ****
      $type = $q->uploadInfo($filename)->{'Content-Type'};
      ReportError(T('Browser reports no file type.'), '415 UNSUPPORTED MEDIA TYPE') unless $type;
      local $/ = undef;   # Read complete files
!     eval { require MIME::Base64; $_ = MIME::Base64::encode(<$file>) };
      $string = '#FILE ' . $type . "\n" . $_;
    } else {
      $string = AddComment($old, $comment) if $comment;
--- 3548,3555 ----
      $type = $q->uploadInfo($filename)->{'Content-Type'};
      ReportError(T('Browser reports no file type.'), '415 UNSUPPORTED MEDIA TYPE') unless $type;
      local $/ = undef;   # Read complete files
!     my $content = <$file>; # Apparently we cannot count on <$file> to always work within the eval!?
!     eval { require MIME::Base64; $_ = MIME::Base64::encode($content) };
      $string = '#FILE ' . $type . "\n" . $_;
    } else {
      $string = AddComment($old, $comment) if $comment;


Comments on 2009-08-03 Strange Perl Issue

This sounds like the issue we have on EmacsWiki as well.

AaronHawley 2009-08-04 07:39 UTC

Thanks for the reminder! I had forgotten about it. :(

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-04 09:03 UTC

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2009-08-04 Mythodea

Wir fahren ans Mythodea. Was für eine Sorte von Spiel sollte man mitnehmen, für ein paar langweilige Stunden zwischendurch? Ich hatte den Drang, Labyrinth Lord mitzunehmen. Und ein Abenteuer. Aber welches? Oder vielleicht drei Ausgaben von Fight On um Darkness Beneath durchzuspielen? Oder Points of Light? Für nur zwei-drei Sessions? Wohl kaum.


Fudge Würfel

Damit kann man Märchen Fudge spielen. Scheint mir die einfachste Lösung zu sein!


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2009-08-04 RPG Circus Inspiration

I was listening to the RPG Circus #4 and two of the segments reminded me of things on my mind as well.

3-D Terrain for use in your RPG Games – I usually prefer No Battlemap, but if a battlemap is used, I prefer to use the Dungeon Tiles by Wizards of the Coast. I like them better than using a whiteboard or laminated sheet of paper. Getting my fingers dirty and wiping the maps is not my thing. The drawback with the tiles is that they are overproduced. I don’t need fancy tiles. I don’t need tables, chairs, skulls, corpses, etc. Finding the right tiles takes far too long, and I don’t fancy preparing my tiles ahead of time. Maybe I should just get myself a sheet or two of 1 in. squared paper, cut the tiles I need, and have the pieces laminated. I wonder where I could do that here in Zürich.

This is what our battlemaps usually looks like:

The simplest battlemap is the best

Notice how we’re using cheap generic wooden tokens for most characters. No painted miniatures for most of us, and no paper miniatures either.

The Pros and Cons of Authorative DM vs decentralized game authority – Yesterday I talked with three of my players and learnt something about myself and them. I was basically trying to argue rules-light, and the first player gave me the same argument another commenter left some months back: “rules-heavy provokes arguments about the rules, rules-light provokes arguments about what would realistically happen in a situation.” [1]

The reason this player liked the rules was security. At first I thought it was a statement of mistrust, ie. security against a DM trying to screw players, but it turned out that the rules are what allow players to make tactical decisions. This rings true. And I am in fact not very tactically minded when I’m playing D&D – I much prefer strategic decisions such as where to pick a fight, when to pick fights, with whom to pick fights, instead of an actual tactical wargame.

The second player didn’t like their character being truly in danger. I replied that being in danger was what made the entire thing an adventure. I want my character to be in danger, and conversely I’m not too attached to it. If the character dies – hopefully with a big bang! – I can laugh and cheer and roll up a new one in no time. Unless I’m playing a game where character generation is a chore such as D&D 3.5 or Rolemaster and unlike Labyrinth Lord or classic D&D editions. That, in turn, is also afforded by my play-style where I do a lot of postparation instead of preparation. Nothing is wasted because I interpret events after the fact.

We also had a big laugh when I told them that my DM nightmare was imagining me as the party wanker, telling every player “oooh, you’re good! you’re awesome! oh yeah, you hit it! you HIT it! aahhhh, you’re so awesome!!” X(

So both of these players wanted to be more in control of their characters and I enjoy games were I’m continually surprised. It’ll be interesting to work this out. I’m curious. :)

(Also, Canon Puncture Show #74 talks about long background and mentions the issue of control. I love it when Judd Karlman makes an appearance.)


Comments on 2009-08-04 RPG Circus Inspiration

I miss my painted minis. I used to paint sweet figs for every one of my characters. And I was pretty good at it, too.

I agree, the Dungeon Tiles are very nice – they provide the basic spacing, the general feel of the terrain (dungeon, outdoors, ancient ruins, etc.), and the random little things on the tile can stand in as randomly placed difficult terrain.

I can see both sides of the player control issue. I agree that a large part of the fun of RPGs is being surprised, and then thinking on your feet to handle an unexpected situation. At the same time, the only thing the players can really exert any sort of control over are their characters. So I can empathize with the desire to maintain that control whenever possible.

– Adrian 2009-08-04 19:59 UTC

Rob Conley also writes about dungeon tiles. He apparently likes the “bits” – small pieces of scenery to quickly toss on the map. Except I can never find what I’m looking for. :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-09-14 10:40 UTC

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2009-08-10 Back Online

We’re back from Mythodea! Other people have taken many pictures at the LARP, and we took some of our own. And with that, I’m happy to report that my hayfever is gone again. Northern Germany in early August was full of tears. :'(


Comments on 2009-08-10 Back Online

Welcome back :D

greywulf 2009-08-10 11:36 UTC

Hah, my “Gaming” RPG category in my blog aggregator is still showing 193 unread posts. Life is great! :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-10 16:20 UTC

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2009-08-11 Musik am Mythodea

In unserem Teezelt auf der ConQuest 2009 habe ein paar Bands gespielt. Sehr gefallen haben mir Heiter bis Folkig [1] mit den Liedern Männer mit Bärte und Duo Spectaculus [2] mit den Liedern Elfenlied und Immer Drauf, letzteres eine besonders coole Rammsteinpersiflage!


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2009-08-12 Traveller

Ich habe mir nun endlich Traveller von Moongoose vorgenommen. Die Art of Star Wars Bücher mit den Konzeptzeichnungen für Episoden 1-3 haben mich wieder mal mit der Begeisterung für ein Science Fiction Rollenspiel angesteckt, und Star Wars SAGA mag ich mir einfach nicht vornehmen. Ich habe genug von der d20 Regelfuchserei.

Das Problem mit den Science Fiction Rollenspielen ist, dass mir irgendwie die Ideen fehlen. Mit Fantasy Rollenspiele habe ich halt einfach mehr Erfahrung und mehr Vorlagen. Ich habe beschlossen, wie früher mit der Weltenerschaffung anzufangen. Klar besteht die Gefahr, sich in den Details zu verlieren und nie zu spielen, aber ich brauche das als Einarbeitung. Mit Traveller gibt’s ja ein ganzes System von Zufallstabellen, welche die Ausgangslage und Inspirationsquelle für den Rest bilden.

Mein Vorbild ist ein Subsektor wie in James Mishler mit seinem Hardscrabble Subsector. Und zum Anfangen habe ich mir einen Subsector mit dem Random Subsector Generator von Isomage besorgt. Er oder sie hat mit wildgen auch einen total coolen Wildnis Hexkartengenerator.

Jetzt werde ich mich mal hinsetzen und versuchen, im generierten PDF und den Universal World Profiles einen roten Faden zu finden. :)

Da evt. eines unserer beiden Montagsspiele ausfallen könnte und Marcos unregelmässiges Mittwochsspiel verschoben werden muss, hätte ich vielleicht wieder Zeit für eine neue Runde. Und auf D&D 3+ habe ich im Moment keine Lust.

Update: Rob Conley hat hierzu eine passende Schritt-für-Schritt Anleitung: How to make a Traveller Sandbox. :)


Comments on 2009-08-12 Traveller

Traveller? WANT.

Harald Wagener 2009-08-12 13:07 UTC

Habe übrigens gerade den zweiten Mouse Guard Comic gelesen und freue mich schon auf den nächsten Mouse Guard Spielnachmittag. :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-12 16:02 UTC

Traveller würde mich auch interessieren. Habe das uralte Regelbuch sowie MegaTraveller (ist glaubs die 3. Edition). Wollte immer gerne SciFi spielen, und Traveller sprach mich immer am meisten an, doch irgendwie hat das bei unserer alten Gruppe nie so gefunkt. Habe daher auch kaum Erfahrung, wie man ein Abenteuer gestalten könnte. Habe früher viel Shadowrun und Vampire geleitet - Abenteuer in der Zivlisation sind schon was anderes als Fantasy-Dungeoneering… irgendwie auch schwieriger zum erstellen, finde ich.

Könnte mir eine Kampagne mit rotierenden Spielleitern vorstellen, mit den SC als Besatzung eines Raumschiffs, z.B. als Freihändler. Dann kann jeder Spielleiter “seine” Welten für die jeweiligen Episoden nach Gusto ausarbeiten. Nicht anwesende SC hüten gerade das Schiff.

– Peter 2009-08-12 20:26 UTC

Übrigens: Cool ist auch die interaktive Karte des 3. Imperiums als mögliche Vorlage oder Inspiration:

– Peter 2009-08-12 21:03 UTC

Hehe, ich kannte bisher nur die interaktive Traveller Map.

Ich habe soeben gehört, dass meine Echoes of Heaven Kampagne, die jeweils Mittwochs lief, auslaufen wird. Damit hätte ich also wieder einen Slot frei und werde mich mit Eifer ans Aufstellen einer Traveller Kampagne machen. Ich habe nur das erste Buch von Mongoose Traveller, dh. der gesammte Hintergrund des dritten Imperiums fehlt mir.

Ich sollte bald soweit sein, dass ich eine Einladung verschicken kann. Die Idee mit einer grossen Gruppe Spieler die in verschiedenen Besetzungen spielen, finde ich seit Grenzmarken eine ausgezeichnete Sache. Wenn wir soviele Traveller-Spieler zusammenkriegen könnten wäre das natürlich extrem cool.

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-12 22:35 UTC

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2009-08-13 Kaylash Subsector

Kaylash Subsector Process Notes Nachdem ich also beschlossen habe, mich mit Traveller zu beschäftigen und insbesondere mit der Erschaffung eines Subsektors zu beginnen, sind erste Fortschritte zu verzeichnen.

  1. Ich habe einen Kampagnen Wiki erstellt: Campaign:Kaylash.
  2. Die Karte steht!
  3. Die Liste der Planeten mit ihren UWP Codes stammt von Isomages Subsektorgenerator.
  4. Die Trade Codes wurden von mir mit einem kleinen Perl script angepasst, welches die Regeln aus Mongoose Traveller verwendet.
  5. Fehlende Info wie Forschungsbasen, imperiale Konsulate, TAS-Basen und Piraten wurden von mir noch ausgewürfelt und nachgetragen.
  6. Basierend auf dem überarbeiteten Profil und einer nachgeflickten Version von David Dorwards Subsektorkartengenerator habe ich dann eine SVG Karte generiert und diese via Inkscape in eine PNG Datei verwandelt.

Ich bin ein verdammter Nerd und verschwende zuviel Zeit mit Programmieren!

Allerdings habe ich noch etwas weiter gearbeitet:

  1. Wichtige Weltraumhäfen und Marinestützpunkte wurden via Kommunikationslinien verbunden.
  2. Natürliche Gruppen wurden zu Allianzen zusammengefasst.
  3. Handelsrouten wurden gemäss Empfehlungen der Regeln basierend auf den Trade Codes angelegt.
  4. Alle Systeme die entweder reich, hohe Technologiestufe, gesetzlos, stark bevölkert, oder tyrannisch veranlagt waren, wurden nochmal angeschaut.
  5. Ich habe ein kleines Kampagnenbüchlein angefangen und für jedes System eine Seite reserviert. Darin habe ich für etwa einen drittel der Systeme eine kleine Idee für Auftraggeber (Patrons) festgehalten: Rebellenführer, Spione, Händler, Kopfgeldjäger, und so weiter.

Was noch fehlt sind ein paar mobile Ereignisse, ein paar mehr Auftraggeber mit Komplikationen, ein paar Stichpunkte über die zukünftige Entwicklung, in welche sich die Spieler einmischen können oder nicht, ein paar wichtige Personen, die über Auftraggeber hinausgehen, und dann bin ich bereit. Bei der Charaktererschaffung entstehen ja dann auch wieder Aufhänger – Freunde und Feinde, welche noch integriert werden können. Und schliesslich müssen auch noch ein paar Systeme undefiniert bleiben, damit Gastspielleiter und zukünftige Rätsel noch einen Platz haben!

Ich bin schon ganz gespannt. Auch nach weiteren Spielern muss ich mich noch umschauen. Danke Harald und Peter für euer Interesse!


Comments on 2009-08-13 Kaylash Subsector

Das sieht ja schon vielversprechend aus. Wäre Farbumkehrung eine grosse Sache? D.h. schwarzer, weltraummässiger Hintergrund und weisse Schrift und Hexlinien - finde ich für SciFi irgendwie stimmungsvoller.

Eine zusätzliche Codierung von Traveller ist glaubs noch, dass Welten mit mehr als 1 Milliarde Bevölkerung in GROSSBUCHSTABEN angeschrieben sind. Dann sieht man auf den ersten Blick, welches die wichtigen Welten sind (in Kombination mit dem Raumhafen-Code).

– Peter 2009-08-14 05:11 UTC

Mit der Farbumkehr werde ich noch warten. Zum drucken werde ich diese nicht wollen, und was auf der Karte noch fehlt sind Grenzen, Kommunikations- und Handelsrouten. Diese werden natürlich farbig sein, und beim Invertieren schlecht aussehen. Also verschiebe ich mal auf morgen… James Mishlers Hardscrabble Sector sieht allerdings auch schwarz auf weiss nicht schlecht aus. Was meiner Meinung nach mit der Menge der verwendeten Farben zusammenhängt.

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-14 08:37 UTC

Ach ja: Ich kann mir vorstellen, einen Nachbarsektor zu beleiten.

Harald Wagener 2009-08-18 13:41 UTC

Das tönt super! :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-18 20:35 UTC

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2009-08-14 Critical Hits

Over on Akratic Wizardry the anonymous author (“Akrasia”) is thinking about Critical Hits and pondering the possibility of critical hits reducing Constitution instead of Hit Points.

In response, I asked: What’s the point of critical hits? Make combat more dangerous for all? Make it a lot more dangerous to high-level characters since their Constitution doesn’t go up? Get people to cheer when they roll a natural 20? Also consider that making things more random will generally make combat more difficult for players, skewing the general balance of fights. You will have to take this into account if you’re using Challenge Ratings or Hit Dice to eyeball encounters.

Then again, if you’ve been eyeballing encounters before because there is only a very rough estimate based on hit dice, or if your players are eyeballing encounters for you by picking their fights in a sandbox, there is no problem.

For me personally, I just want to encourage that happy cheering at the table when a natural 20 is rolled. In order to do that, I don’t need critical hits to do extra damage, or do Constitution damage, or max damage. I’m not interested in critical hits as a simulation of anything. I’m just interested in random happy moments at the table.

In a rules-light combat system like classic D&D, I would love to add little effects that give players choice. The simplest effect might be “you shove your opponent back – now’s an excellent opportunity to disengage” – if that’s what the players need. Or “press on and gain a +2 next round” if that’s what the players need. Just let it be something small and cool.


Comments on 2009-08-14 Critical Hits

Interesting take on Critical Hits…I think that different people like different “grit” in terms of combat though. In other words, I’ve got a good friend that I often play with and he loves the fact that a 9th level character could die from one well placed (or lucky) dagger to a vital organ. And I think that that’s what the constitution-based critical hit system dutifully represents. It’s certainly a different mentality, one that’s very akin to the save or die poison / trap school of old.

Gamer Dude 2009-08-21 15:15 UTC

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2009-08-15 Die Grenzmarken

DM Peter hat vor einiger Zeit die Grenzmarken Kampagne im Stil der West Marches gestartet: Viele Spieler, Gastspielleiter, ständig wechselnde Besetzungen der Gruppe und ein Abenteuer pro Spielabend. Morgen wird die Kampagne ein Jahr alt! Zumindest auf unserem Wiki wurde die erste Seite am 2008-08-16 angelegt. Auf dem Aktivitätsindex sieht man, dass in diesen zwölf Monaten 36 (!) Spielabende stattfanden. Wahnsinn.

Was man auch sieht: 5/6 aller Spielabende wurden von DM Peter geleitet. Ich fand es schwierig, mich als Gastspielleiter zu melden. Zum einen leite ich schon mehrere andere Kampagnen und war froh, selber immer wieder Spieler zu sein, und zum anderen kann ich mich daran erinnern, dass andere Spieler auf dem Wiki die “Vision” von Peter und den Grenzmarken sehr hochgejubelt haben. Und wenn man so deutlich in einer fremden Welt zu Gast ist, verlässt mich dann halt der Mut oder Gestaltungswille, und zwar ganz unabhängig davon, was Peter eigentlich davon hält. Ihn habe ich nämlich nie gefragt.

Für mein neues Traveller Spiel würde mir so eine lockere Organisation ebenfalls passen. Wie könnte man fremde Spielleiter dazu ermutigen, sich vermehrt zu melden? Die Welterschaffung gemeinsam betreiben? Keine langfristigen Handlungsstränge einplanen, so dass jeder Spielleiter in seinen Abenteuern ohne vorherige Absprache wichtige Ereignisse einbauen kann?

Zurück zu den Grenzmarken. Da gewisse Spieler der Organisationsform gegenüber skeptisch waren, haben wir einen akribisch geführten Aktivitätsindex. So wollten wir verstehen, wer zu wenig zum Spiel kam und entsprechend bei zukünftigen Terminen Vorzugsrechte genoss. Wie sich nun aber herausstellt, finde ich die Diskrepanz zwischen dem inneren Kreis mit 18-23 Spielabenden und den Randspielern mit 11-14 Spielabend deutlich genug. Wir Randspieler kommen sowieso selten genug und mir sind keine Platzgerangeleien zu Ohren gekommen. Sehr angenehm!


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Comments on 2009-08-15 Die Grenzmarken

Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Bin gespannt wie sich die Welt entwickelt und ob die neuen Inhalte auch auf die Seite kommen.

Wie sieht denn nun das Konzept aus mit mehreren Spielleitern (oder Gastspielleitern) eine West marshes Kampagne zu spielen. Das war doch reichlich inkonkret.

Falcon 2009-08-15 16:14 UTC

Wie das Spiel mit Gastspielleitern aussehen soll, wurde nicht ausformuliert. Ich hatte den Eindruck, dass die Karte nicht zu 100% von DM Peter ausgefüllt ist. Wer also Gastspielleiter machte, schlug Peter ein Hex und eine Idee vor, bekam das Ok, und bereitete dann ein kleines, unabhängiges Abenteuer in diesem Hex vor.

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-15 17:52 UTC

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2009-08-16 HCoop problems

Gah, HCoop is having problems. Apparently we’re in need of a machine upgrade. This doesn’t seem like it’s going to be over soon. I also have an account at Eggplant Farms. In the past, Eggplant Farms’ performance has been really and Community Wiki suffered. I started looking for an alternative and created Campaign Wiki on HCoop. And now the tables are turned, Eggplant Farms is stable again where as HCoop is failing. I guess I need to move Campaign Wiki back to Eggplant Farms…

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Comments on 2009-08-16 HCoop problems

What’s your resource requirements?

Harald Wagener 2009-08-18 13:40 UTC

Letzte Woche habe ich 122.9M auf, 1.3M auf, und 0.1M auf traffic gemäss access.log Dateien gehabt.

Platzverbrauch gemäss du -sh:

64M     campaignwiki/
19M     planet/
3.3M    oddmuse/
2.3M    venus/
657K    cgi-bin/
247K    spielabende/

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-18 20:48 UTC

Ich habe für “mein” auf eine account, aber gar nicht ausgelastet. Vielleicht ist das für Dich eine Option?

– Chris 2009-08-19 09:59 UTC

Danke für das Angebot! Ich werde mal schauen, ob es sich nicht einfach auf Epfarms zügeln lässt. Ich bin auf drei verschiedenen Servern eingemietet, da muss doch was funktionieren! :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-19 16:20 UTC

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2009-08-16 Rediscovering .mailrc

My old laptop will only run Firefox 2 and I’m too lazy to attempt and build a new binary. That means its Javascript implementation is very slow, and that means that Gmail is getting too slow to use. I started to use Gnus again. Yesterday I discovered how aggravating it is to send a new mail instead of replying to one. You have to actually know email addresses! Gaaah!

Via help on the TAB key I discovered that the function in question is message-expand-name, which in turn run expand-abbrev. And via the Mail Aliases section in the Message manual I learnt about mailabbrev, the package that parses the ~/.mailrc file and creates all the abbreviations. Once I started looking for it I discovered that I actually already had a ~/.mailrc file – I must have created it ages ago. The first thing I did was delete all entries except for family and close friends. :)

Now, I define an alias as follows:

alias Alex "Alex Schroeder <>"

When I type “alex” TAB in a header field of a new mail, this gets expanded. Remember to use message-mode, not mail-mode! But what if I type “al” TAB and want to be told about the existing “alex” alias?

;; override the simple defun provided
(defadvice message-expand-name (after or-complete-alias activate)
  "Complete alias at point if it could not be expanded."
  (unless ad-return-value

So now I type “al” TAB and see the list of aliases that start with “al”, or this gets completed to the only matching alias, “alex”, and when I press TAB again, that is expanded into the real email address.

If only I knew how to make this a cycling expansion… :)


Comments on 2009-08-16 Rediscovering .mailrc

You can also use BBDB with Gnus, which provides email address expansion as well. I have this in my ~/.emacs.el:

(require 'bbdb)
(bbdb-initialize 'gnus 'message 'w3)
(add-hook 'message-setup-hook 'bbdb-define-all-aliases)

Andreas Rottmann 2009-08-26 13:13 UTC

Yes, many ages ago I was in fact one of the BBDB developpers. As I’m slowly creeping back into Gnus territory, I dread to dive into it head-first… :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-26 15:50 UTC

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2009-08-18 What to Run at a Small Con

Apparently, OerliCon is a small, yearly con in the Zürich area. I’ve signed up from Friday evening to Sunday morning (with a hike planned Sunday afternoon). I’ve seen two games I’m interested in: A Legends of the Five Rings game, and a Traveller game – both on Saturday evening slots. There’s not much going on Friday evening. Naturally my thoughts turn to running games myself. I should be prepared to run something, at least!

So I’m thinking:


Comments on 2009-08-18 What to Run at a Small Con

Con games are easy: Expect nothing and everything. Take everything people do at face value. Don’t try to play mind games with gamers you don’t know. Be upfront about what you are planning to do.

I might bring Dungeonslayers, because I like it. Also, Mouse Guard, since it is so easy to run with little prep.

– Harald Wagener 2009-08-19 11:00 UTC

Naja, wenn du am Freitag Abend etwas leitest spiele ich vielleicht lieber bei dir mit! :D

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-19 13:26 UTC

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2009-08-19 Textwall

Neuerdings ist mir das Textwall Phänomen aufgefallen. Ich kaufe viele Abenteuer, weil ich wenig Zeit habe und mir erhoffe, Zeit zu sparen. Deswegen habe ich auch keine Zeit, das ganze Ding von vorne bis hinten zu lesen sondern bereitet mich einfach auf den kommenden Spielabend vor. Und dann passiert es: Was war nochmal das wichstigste an diesem Ort, dieser Person, was kann man hier erfahren, wer ist hier zuständig, wer steckt dahinter? Und plötzlich muss ich es genau wissen.

“Vor euch seht ihr die Stadt … äääh … Schildkrötrückenfähre. Schon von weitem seht ihr die Fähren, die je aus einem riesigen Schild bestehen. Ihr nähert euch und – Spot Check! … Ahhh, ihr seht nichts besonderes. Das Gasthaus … uhhhhh … Silberschwan! – ist etwas heruntergekommen, aber ihr seid erst Mal froh, die Lamia abgehängt zu haben.”

Das Problem ist, dass in den gekauften Abenteuern einfach zuviel Text steht. Text, der sich gut liest. Unterhaltung für den Spielleiter! Aber am Tisch wird alles schwieriger. Da gibt es eine zweite Lamia im Dorf, erinnere ich mich. Stand das jetzt vorne in der Einleitung? Hier zu Beginn des Kapitels? Oder doch weiter hinten bei der Beschreibung des Gasthofes? Blätter, blätter… und währenddessen bauen die Spieler Türmchen mit ihren Würfeln oder blättern im Spielerhandbuch.

Ich finde die Information nicht schnell genug, will nicht alles auswendig lernen, und traue mich nicht, zu improvisieren, weil es ja irgendwo steht!

Ich beginne spartanische Abenteuer zu schätzen – so wie sie im One Page Dungeon Contest erschienen sind. Auch Stonehell gefällt mir. Jeder Quadrant des Verlieses ist auf zwei Seiten beschrieben: Karte, Zufallsbegegnungen, Raumbeschreibungen – alles auf zwei Seiten. Sowas in der Art kann ich schnell überfliegen. Da kann ich schnell herausfinden, wer in der Nachbarschaft den Lärm gehört haben könnte. Und weil ich genau weiss, dass sonst nirgendwo etwas zum Thema stehen kann, bin ich frei, den Rest hinzuzuimprovisieren. Endlich – freie Luft!

Bei Joseph Blochs Castle of the Mad Archmage bin ich mir schon nicht mehr so sicher. Die Karten sind der Hammer, aber wie soll man so etwas übersichtlich präsentieren? Wenn die Karte zu gross wird, ist die lange Liste der dazugehörigen Einträge ja trotzdem ein Textwall. Joseph Bloch at die Krypta aus seinem Megadungeon Projekt für den One Page Dungeon Contest extrahiert und war einer meiner Favoriten. Eine übersichtliche, prägnante Darstellung ist also möglich!

Die One Page Dungeon Vorlage ist mein Vorbild. Im Science Fiction Bereicht ist die prägnante Darstellung eines Subsektors in der Art des Hardscrabble Sectors mein Vorbild. Für eine kleine Kampagne dient mir Rob Conleys Points of Light Format als Vorbild.

Kürzer ist besser.

Das gilt auch für Blogartikel. Ooops!

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Comments on 2009-08-19 Textwall

Für Reden Gilt: Man darf über alles Reden, aber nicht über 20 Minuten.

Für Texte gilt in etwa: Man darf über alles schreiben, aber nicht über eine Doppelseite.

Der Vergleich zieht natürlich nur, wenn es um ein klar umrissenes Thema gehen soll. Aber ein Abenteuer, bzw. eine Location fällt da sicher drunter. Ich würde hier auch 2 Doppelseiten für akzeptabel halten: 1 für Karte und Stats, eine für Abenteuerliches. Es gibt aber Minimalisten, die letzteres schon im ersten sehen. Dann stimmt mein “schlauer Spruch” auch wieder.

– Harald Wagener 2009-08-20 11:01 UTC

I have no idea what y’all are saying, but I saw you link to the one page adventures, and I’ve absolutely loved reading through those. I’m eager for my daughter to return from DC, so I can play another Dungeon Squad adventure with her through a one-pager.

LionKimbro 2009-08-21 00:40 UTC

ehe, I don’t really follow the german stuff either, nor all the RPG discussions to be honest, but it does bring back memories and after seeing this post I started looking for rpg for kids, I recently bought Faery’s Tales and Monster Island from firefly games…now looking into Dungeon squad!

– PierreGaston 2009-08-21 05:30 UTC

Heh. I find spending time with kids difficult enough. I’m always at a loss: What to do with them now? And after you’re done, what then? They’re always right there, wanting more. It feels like social vampirism. :)

In this context a roleplaying game is a source of endless gaming, and it automatically adapts to the current situation of the kids. It’s impossible to outgrow. That’s a pretty cool property.

As for which games to use, I don’t know. I’ve also bought Faery’s Tale but ended up not using it with the kids. If I remember correctly, one has to pick particular feats at character creation, and I thought the long list of things to pick from a bit daunting, both to choose from and to explain to the kids.

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-21 07:55 UTC

Sakura (8) and I (32) have played Dungeon Squad twice, (using the two adventures on the DS! companion) and she (& I) had a wonderful time each time. We have also played Shadows several times, which she always enjoys.

The nice thing about DS is that it’s very simple, and yet its easy to map to “full grown” adventures. I will be surprised if, when she is 14 or 15, I am not playing as a character in her adventures, in AD&D v5.0 or 6.0 or whatever it is by then.

I haven’t run a game with her and her friends at the same time yet, but I look forward to assembling some of these one page dungeons for them.

Yes, they always want to play more. “Social vampires,” indeed.

I think I’m going to put into the next game a pack of kids that always say “please please please, play with us, play with us, play with us, please please please.”

LionKimbro 2009-08-21 21:05 UTC

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2009-08-21 RPG Blog Readership Survey

There’s a RPG Blog Readership Survey out now. Preliminary results show that GM tips are the most popular topic. I recommend skimming the text answers to question 10: Why do you post comments on blogs? ;)


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2009-08-23 OerliCon

Ich war zum ersten Mal an der OerliCon, einem kleinen Con mit etwas weniger als vierzig Leuten im Pfadiheim Dietikon von Freitag Abend bis Sonntag Morgen.

Am Freitag konnte ich für drei Leute etwas Labyrinth Lord leiten. Außer Charaktererschaffung, Einkaufen, Diskussionen innerhalb der Gruppe, dem Verhandeln mit sechzehn Kobolden und dem Erschlagen einer Riesenkröte und dem Heben eines Schatzes ist allerdings nicht viel passiert. Eigentlich wollte ich Stonehell leiten, hatte aber alle Unterlagen daheim vergessen.

Ich habe einen Spielleiter für Mazes & Minotaurs getroffen!

Habe mich dann einige Stunden gelangweilt weil keine neuen Spielrunden mehr aufgingen. Alle schienen Munchkin Quest und Kobolde (12-15 Spieler!!) zu spielen.

Zum Glück hat mich ein Spieler dann noch heimgefahren. Mit ihm hatte ich schon Rolemaster und Mouse Guard gespielt. Er schlug für Samstag Abend Burning Wheel vor. Das habe ich dann auch fünf Leuten erklärt und mit zwei Leuten gespielt.

Sehr interessant war auch die Legends of the Five Rings Runde vom Samstag Nachmittag. Leider hatte ein Spieler etwas Mühe mit dem pseudo-japanischem Setting. Aus Zeitnot musste dann später im Plot gekürzt werden. Setting, Spielleiter, Abenteuer, vorgefertigte Charaktere, die L5R Regeln – alles hat super gepasst und haben mich motiviert, doch wieder ein pseudo-japanisches Spiel auszuprobieren. Vielleicht wird’s ja mal was mit The Blossoms Are Falling für Burning Wheel? :)

Das war’s! Ich hatte keine Energie für eine unsichere Sonntag Nacht und bin dann auf einen späten Zug.


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2009-08-23 Old School Flyers

I recently planned to run some Stonehell at a local mini-con called OerliCon. I ended up forgetting my notes (shame on me!!) and improvised an adventure based some maps by Tim Hartin. The players didn’t get far, etc. Doesn’t matter – what I wanted to show was my flyer:

So, what did I do?

  1. I used one of the pages from the Dungeon & Dragons Coloring Book found on Monster Brains [1] via Grognardia [2] as a very light background
  2. added my own picture so that people can find me if they’re interested
  3. added a link to Michael Curtis’ Stonehell ;)
  4. added my own name
  5. and, most importantly of all, I provided some statements about old-school play, mostly gleaned from the Old School Primer by Matt Finch

The statements, translated:

High death rate probable Easy character creation
Combat is quick and easy No skills, no feats
Survival depends on strategy Challenging players
Heroes not superheroes Malevolent underworld
Gameplay is unbalanced Finding treasure is the goal
Hire spearmen and torch bearers Gain levels finding gold

Maybe that’ll help you create your own flyers? Specially considering the recent TARGA discussion rekindled by Michael Shorten. [3] [4] I could convert the Open Office document to a Word document, but I’m not sure whether it’d still look the same.

Feel free to suggest improvements and to make it your own. I don’t own the copyright to the image from the coloring book, so you might want to consider swapping it out. If you do, please let me know what you used. I’d love to use something without copyright risk. (Free Culture, I miss you.)


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2009-08-23 The Last Bunch Of Favorites

The compilation of One Page Dungeon Contest Entries has been available for a while, now. Excellent! Quick recap: we each nominated about twenty entries to get started. I’ve written previously about the entries I nominated myself. [1] [2] [3] Time for the last set!

Secret of the Old City by Simon Bull: This was the winning entry! Ogres, thieves, guards, kids, sewers. It’s a refreshing take on sewers. None of that standard waterway criss-cross at right angles. This is a messy urban area. Many buildings provide access to the sewers. If the there’s an official building above, there will be guards on their sewer shift. I nominated this entry for the “Sewers” category. If there’s a ruined building above, maybe the cellar is used as a meeting point for the local thieves guild. And where does the water go? Eventually it’ll end up flowing into a sink hole leading to the next level. All of this was so compelling and seemed so plausible, such an ideal mini-campaign starting area, I immediately wanted to start my next game using it.

It had foes (monsters), potential allies (thieves or guards, depending on your outlook), missions (resc uing the kids), treasure (provide one of the players with a map), and foes (monsters), a nice and unconventional map, and it was well-written. Loved it. A well deserved winner!

(Does Simon Bull have a blog entry I could link to?)

The Sea Goddess Tower by Steve Polasky: I filed this one under “Short”. The simplest towers often work as linear dungeons. This is one such tower. On the other hand, this entry allows players to bypass levels. The interesting design element was that there are connections between the denizens. There’s an item at the beginning of the adventure that is needed elsewhere. Taking the item will cause another group to investigate. Trying to figure out where they came from will lead to a concealed area. There’s an evil looking dude that’s honestly asking for help. He’s also afraid from another group.

Thus, it was short and simple as far as the map goes, but complexity is introduced by setting up conflicting interests between the various denizens of the dungeon. I liked that.

(Does Steve Polasky have a blog entry I could link to?)

The Ancient Academy by Stuart Robertson: I suggested this entry for the category “Traditional”. The map is clean and simple. It has enemies and allies within the dungeon, spiders, goblins, dwarves (always nice), cultists, undead, and green slime – whee! Too bad there wasn’t as much interconnection between the various factions.

The Ominous Portent of the Highlands Meteor by Tim Hensley: It’s rare these days to find science fiction elements in a fantasy adventure. That endeared it to me. I nominated it for the “Aliens” category. What’s not to love about flying saucers? This discovery could be fun if you don’t make it too obvious in the introduction. I was intrigued.

(Does Tim Hensley have a blog entry I could link to?)

What Now? I’ve created a little file for a bunch of One Page Dungeon Contest entries. I’ll take them to conventions and use them for old school one shots together with the empty maps by Tim Hartin. This is excellent material.

Do you know of any similar attempts at discussing the various 1PDC entries?

If not, all I can say is: What about 1PDC 2010!? I’ll do it again. I’ll even run it – without prizes and without any fancy PDF compilation. It’ll be super simple – and full of excellent adventures, one would hope.


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2009-08-25 Dungeon Improv

Last week-end I was at a local convention and had forgotten the dungeon I wanted to run. Luckily I have many of Tim Hartin’s dungeons in various folders, so I was able to improvise. I picked Dungeon Map 011 and kept stocking the dungeon as we went along. Adapting from Labyrinth Lord page 123 (which uses d100):

Roll d6ContentsTreasure

Room #1 – trap! I decided on falling stones. “The stone creaks and groans, the stairs and walls look as if they are about to burst and twisted by the forces of earth.” One player decides to protect his head with a shield, triggers the trap, and his shield is splintered – no damage taken. The players spend some time reinforcing the tunnel. All they can hear from the landing is faint howling from further down. They decide to take the first door.

Room #2 – monsters! I rolled up 16 kobolds. This is going to be rough. I decide the kobolds tried to barricade the door. The group forces the door after mutliple tries and sees the room full of critters. But they decide to talk, and their magic user had decided to take kobold as his one and only extra language. Hurray for pacifists! The reaction roll indicates “indifferent.” Very cool. The players talk and ask about the rest of the level. I quickly decide that the big room in the middle holds a toad god. My favorite. So we talk about it and the players want to see it. The kobolds lead the group past their lair which I had decided was room #6 and all the following ones.

Room #3 – no roll. I’m making shit up. The kobolds first tried to have some in front and some behind the party, but they wouldn’t have any of that. Now the party wants the kobolds to open the door instead of opening it themselves. The kobold suddenly remember that you need to bring some sacrifice for the hungry toad god. One of them is dispatched back to room #6 and gives a secret knock. One player wants to memorize it so I ask for a Wisdom check. He makes it, so they’re prepared to trick the kobolds into opening their front door later. The kobold returns with the leg of a deer.

Room #26 – the kobolds open the double door, a giant toad appears from the murky waters, they hand over the partial deer, the toad hops into the room and swallows it whole. The party has been warned! Everybody retreats and a big discussion starts outside. Eventually the party decides to kill the toad if the kobolds agree to a reward. No problem I say, having rolled up the kobold lair treasure in the mean time. 100 silver pieces if they do it! And so they do it. The fighter is hit once and healed by the cleric. Another long discussion and a break later the party decides that one of the hirelings must dive to the bottom of the murky well. The guy demands some extra for the dangerous work and the party offers a 3% share of anything they find. The guy had been hired as a treasure bearer and agrees. I had rolled up a XII treasure which ended up being 7000 sp and 3000 ep!! The hireling is going to be filthy rich and retire immediately. :)

The party returns to the surface and hauls the treasure back into town. Too bad I didn’t have the B/X encumbrance rules with me. I quickly guestimated that each character could carry 20kg, 40lb, 8000 coins – but even with 1600 coins max, they would have been able to secure all of the treasure since we had three player characters and four hirelings, if I remember correctly.

As I said before, the adventure was astonishingly short and still it took us two and a half hours, including character creation and the buying of equipment. Another thing I should have prepared: Character sheets. Then again, I felt like showing off how quick character generation can be.


Tim Hartin. Awesome stuff. I have 122 of his maps on my local disk. And don’t forget the best thread, ever.


Comments on 2009-08-25 Dungeon Improv


greywulf 2009-08-25 21:15 UTC

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2009-08-25 Player Control

Nick Dipetrillo aka Nicholas @ Dungeon Mastering wrote Old vs. New School: The War for Control of Your Character, a subject I recently talked about with some of my players. I started a post about that discussion until I realized that I had written about it before: 2009-08-04 RPG Circus Inspiration, scroll down. D’Oh! What am I going to do with this article, now?


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2009-08-25 Three Kinds of Alignment

I read a German post on alignment – Gesinnung — Ja, welche denn and liked his approach. He basically postulates three different interpretations:

  1. alignment as faction – one faction honors the gods and civilization, the other wants to destroy and possibly remake the world. On what side are you on? This is what Jeff's Threefold Apocalyptic Alignment System is all about.
  2. alignment as ideal – your aligment is what you are striving for; the key here is your intent – did you try to be good even if you failed?
  3. alignment as measure – no matter what you intentions, the key is your deeds – if innocent people died, then that’s evil.

Up to now I started new campaigns by explaining that I wanted to avoid the discussion of ethics and get on with the game. I’ve also started asking my players Jeff’s question: The end of the world has come – Thor fights the Fenrir wolf! Do you take sides or do you grab the gold and run? It has worked just fine until now, but I see that my players still slip into the other categories – specially if we have paladins in the party. Perhaps I should preface this by alignment by the three categories mentioned above and make it even more explicit.

Also note James Maliszewski’s The Changing Meaning of "Alignment" in OD&D blog post.


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2009-08-26 Gimp 2.6 for Mac

Cool. I was looking at Isomage’s hexGIMP and found that the script didn’t work on my Gimp 2.2 on Mac OS 10.4. I groaned in fear of the upgrade hassle waiting for me. But lo and behold, I went to the Gimp download page, found a link to GIMP on OS X by Simone Lehmann. And it just worked!

All I had to do was copy my brushes and scripts from ~/.gimp-2.2 to ~/Library/Application Support/Gimp – and that was it. Awesome! :) 👌

Thank you, Simone.


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2009-08-26 Google Reader Recommendations

I’ve switched from BlogLines to GoogleReader some time ago. I’m happy with it. Recently it added some sort of recommendation mechanism. I don’t get it. Some people are recommended to me. Some people seem to be regular readers. What’s going on? I have no idea.


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2009-08-26 No Map Required for Urban Adventures

I find the discussion on Using city maps in gaming to be interesting. The Omnipotent Eye asks its readers: How do you do it? The answers range for map required since every combat needs to be grounded with street and shop names to no map required except for the common places the party wants to go to.

Hakone My own maps are rudimentary.

You see the castle standing in the river, the caves in the mountain to the south-west, the rapids, the docks, a shabby area, an alley of orderly shops, a big temple by the river, a small temple at the east end, and the city square with four bigger houses. That’s it. All of these were important to the players, but most of it was in my head.

I can’t imagine my telling my players “you turn into Snailfishroad, walk past Prioran the alchemist, Rock On Inn, and the Temple of Small Things, heading for the Crimson Curtain.” Unless they already had several adventures involving all these locations already. Ordinarily, there will be no adventures in getting from A to B.

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Comments on 2009-08-26 No Map Required for Urban Adventures

My maps are usually even less detailed then that. I typically create a overall city map as colored zones, with ‘ward’ labels upon them. I might place a dot indicating a place the players have visited, but I find that detailed cities to be a waste of my time typically. Adventures rarely if ever stay in a city like TSR’s Ravensbluff.

– J. P. Mullen 2009-08-27 01:50 UTC

Agreed. While I love detailed maps as a prop (I’m a huge fan of the classic Lankhmar 1e supplement), the map is there to add verisimilitude when we just “teleport” from one part of the city to another, with the occasional commentary on the regions in between. The maps basically serve to keep the players from being too confused about the city proper when they whisk their way from shop to temple to the king and back again. It gives them a common ground to set hteir experiences in so they don’t each have a wildly different mental image of the city.

Dyson Logos 2009-08-27 03:32 UTC

Hmm; …

I just never really got into city “adventure.” :(

Maybe if I played thieves rather than wizards, it would mean more to me.

LionKimbro 2009-09-01 22:44 UTC

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2009-08-26 Oddmuse Footer

I’m thinking about not using a goto bar at the bottom of my pages:

# show goto bar only once                                                       
*MyOldGetGotoBar = *GetGotoBar;
*GetGotoBar = *MyNewGetGotoBar;
my $MyGetGotoBar = 0;
sub MyNewGetGotoBar {
  return MyOldGetGotoBar(@_) unless $MyGetGotoBar++;
  return '';
# get rid of extra break                                                        
*MyOldGetFooterLinks = *GetFooterLinks;
*GetFooterLinks = *MyNewGetFooterLinks;
sub MyNewGetFooterLinks {
  my $html = MyOldGetFooterLinks(@_);
  $html =~ s!<br />!!;
  return $html;

The reason I started thinking about it is a. I hardly use the links in the footer and b. the link to the comments tends to get lost, visually.

What do you think?


Comments on 2009-08-26 Oddmuse Footer

I agree with this. I usually think of the top bar as my “User Bar” and the bottom one as my admin bar.

PhillipReay 2010-05-08 00:18 UTC

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2009-08-26 Oddmuse Mode

Gah, sometimes EmacsLisp code will also go all byzantine on me. I had this super simple OddmuseMode to edit pages on Oddmuse wikis and EmacsWiki in particular. It used curl and was comparatively easy to hack. Other people took over maintainership and now I’m trying to use it on wikis that use the Oddmuse:QuestionAsker Extension and Oddmuse:Namespaces Extension. That meanst I have to do error checking on the response I get, and I need to hack the exact handling of posting URLs. And I realize it’s no longer my baby! :groan: Time to dive into the code.

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Comments on 2009-08-26 Oddmuse Mode

About !QuestionAsker Extension: Yaoddmuse can handle different magic words for different wikis. (not sure if this helps but…)

– PierreGaston 2009-08-26 12:54 UTC

Ah, interesting. I just found oddmuse-curl.el which is really close to what I originally had and hacked a fourth element into the oddmuse-wikis alist. Perhaps I should have looked at Yaoddmuse instead… I’m also about to add some error checking to my version of the code, and I also plan to do the extra requests required to get merging to work. Whee! :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-26 13:03 UTC

Sigh As the original author of auto-insert-mode, I feel your pain. What used to be a simple insert-boilerplate function turned into yet another template package.

Charlie (Colorado) 2009-08-26 16:03 UTC

Yes, there seems to be a natural tendency for code to approach unmaintainability. :) I remember groaning when I looked at BBDB or Gnus – or the Emacs display code! :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-26 16:57 UTC

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2009-08-27 Podcast Update

MJ Harnish writes about his Bi-annual RPG Podcast Round-up. Let me go through my podcasts as well… Most of them are about roleplaying games, obviously.

I usually listen to podcasts on my portable audio player, so I’m fine with low information density. If I’m at the computer while they’re playing, I will sometimes listen to a show two or three times in a row. That also means that I don’t care about video content.

I think that most interviews are sort of ok when they’re about the person behind a product. I find interviews with people trying to sell their product lame because we’re neither getting critical questions nor a review. It’s just advertising. I prefer a people story.

But now, on to the list:

  • All Games Considered – I was unsubscribed for a while but resubscribed as it got nominated for the Ennies 👌
  • Atomic Array – the hosts are funny, but the games they talk about are often not games I’d enjoy, sometimes it’s a bit heavy on the marketing :yellow:
  • Brilliant Gameologists – not being a native English speaker, I was surprised by the “raunchy humor and sexual innuendo” as MJ Harnish puts it; I guess I stay subscribed because I treat it as a curiosity :yellow:
  • Fear the Boot – at the moment John is back, so it’s funny enough; I don’t care for Battletech but at least some of the hosts are with me, haha; I really liked the various DM styles they presented a while back :green:
  • Green Ronin Publishing Podcast – I’m interested in the company even though I play none of their games; I liked the few they did, specially the one about their favorite games; they hardly ever publish new episodes but I don’t mind :yellow:
  • Have Games, Will Travel – short episodes, the games not quite my style, I find monologues less entertaining than a group chat :yellow:
  • The History of Rome – historical stuff; awesome – also consider 12 Byzantine Emperors :green: ☆ ☆ ☆
  • In Our Time – science and history, awesome BBC4 stuff :green:
  • Kobold Quarterly – I guess this feed was replaced by the Open Design Podcast? :red:
  • Midnight’s Lair – hasn’t published in a long time; I don’t even know what it was about anymore :red:
  • Open Design Podcast – short segments by Monte Cook and others; I like it; doesn’t publish too often :green: ☆
  • Order 66 – haven’t heard anything, yet; I subscribed because of the Ennies :question:
  • Pulp Gamer Inside Track – they had some interesting interviews in the past :yellow:
  • RPG Circus – an interesting mix of topics; I’m often on the brink of sending in an audio comment; very new :green: ☆
  • Sons of Kryos – I loved them but then they switched to video and I can’t watch videos while walking or riding public transport; I don’t think they ever produced more than one video episode? Listen to the archives if you haven’t! Also note that Judd Kalrmann has appeared on the Cannon Puncture Show occasionally :llap: ☆
  • The Canon Puncture Show – currently one of my favorite shows; I really like how they pick some of the recent RPG blog posts and discuss them – I can immediately relate since most often I’ve read the same articles and have my own related thoughts :green: ☆ ☆
  • Thinking Allowed – usually two interviews relating to recent books published; not quite sure whether I like it :red:
  • This Just In… From GenCon – I listened to it while !GenCon was going on :yellow:
  • The Voice of the Revolution – hear about new indie games since I don’t read any of the fancy forums (Story Games? The Forge?)
  • 2d6 Feet in a Random Direction – if they’re not talking too much about the shop, I enjoy the show very much :) – they made me buy Mongoose Traveller :green: ☆
  • 3.5 Private Sanctuary – I don’t really like the class features where they delve into the rules, but I found it to be a cool source of thoughts on Pathfinder :green: ☆ ☆

Unsubscribed stuff still hanging around in my list: Dragons Landing, Gamer’s Haven, Geek Girls Rule!, Godzilla Gaming Podcast, Hackerfunk, The Podge Cast, !SanD Worldbuilding 101, The Tome Show, !TrapCast. Maybe if someone convinces me that they changed a lot, I’d resubscribe?

Older lists → click on the podcast category link below.

Update: I forgot to list the Canon Puncture Show!! Oops! :cry:


Comments on 2009-08-27 Podcast Update

Hey, just out of curiosity - you listed Canon Puncture as a show you listen to in your post from May, but it isn’t in your August update (except in your mention of Judd). We hope you haven’t stopped listening to us - but if you have, feel free to let me know why, and maybe we can bring you back.

Mick Bradley 2009-08-27 19:25 UTC

Yikes, this is an oversight! I fixed it: The Canon Puncture Show is one of my favorites! :)

I’m also looking for podcasts to server as inspiration for my upcoming Traveller game. Does anybody have a suggestion?

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-27 21:53 UTC

Wow, thanks, Alex. We appreciate your very kind words. We’ll try to keep it up!

Mick Bradley 2009-08-28 14:19 UTC

As always, thanks for listening. Good note about the shop talk, and glad you found our discussion of Mongoose Traveller to be interesting and useful!

Brian Isikoff 2009-09-13 17:17 UTC

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2009-08-28 Warhammer 2. Edition

Heute ist mein deutsches Warhammer Fantasy-Rollenspiel Regelwerk (dritte Auflage, zweite Edition, haha) angekommen – zusammen mit dem Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game. Die wollte ich mir noch kaufen, bevor das ganze Dingens mit der 3. Edition anfängt: Karten, Spezialwürfel, nur drei Spieler mit der Starterbox, und so weiter. Zudem interessierem mich die Regeln 1. weil sie von Chris Pramas (Green Ronin) von entwickelt wurden, und 2. weil ich den Spruch “Anfangs denkt man, man spiele Dungeons & Dragons, aber am Ende ist es immer Call of Cthulhu” klasse finde! ✌

Es sieht so aus wie wenn die Grenzmarken Kampagne ihrem Ende zugeht. Peter wird eine ähnlich offene Runde mit Warhammer Fantasy leiten – die Erben des Sturms.

Und dann ist ja noch meine Traveller Kampagne.

Ideal wäre vielleicht, wenn ich nur noch Montags D&D 3.5 (oder bald einmal Pathfinder?) spiele würde. An zwei Sonntagen im Monat würde ich gerne auf Labyrinth Lord wechseln. An zwei Mittwochen im Monat würde ich (Mongoose) Traveller dann spielen. Ab und zu würde ich an einem Samstag Rolemaster spielen, und mit Harald & Co. würde ich dann Mouse Guard, Dogs in the Vinyard, und andere kleinere Systeme spielen.

Nachdem in der letzten Ausgabe von The Canon Puncture Show schon wieder Mountain Witch erwähnt wurde, muss ich mir das Teil auch endlich mal zulegen. Aber $18 für ein PDF!? Gaaah!

Irgendwie habe ich das Gefühl, in der besten Rollenspielzeit zu leben. :)

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Comments on 2009-08-28 Warhammer 2. Edition

Warhammer 2nd ist ein richtig klasse System! Aber mein Rat: nicht beim Hauptregelwerk aufhören. Tome of Salvation, Realms of Sorcery, Tome of Corruption und auch das Career Compendium erweitern das System um wirklich gelungenes Zusatzmaterial. Und dann die Hintergrundbände wie Realm of the Ice Queen, Knights of the Grail oder Barony of the Damned. Und… und… und… Ja, mich hat das System wirklich umschlungen und fest an sich gebunden. Regel- wie weltentechnisch. Und das wichtigste: es macht unglaublich viel Spaß, es zu leiten und zu spielen. Und das ist ja immer noch entscheidend…

Cyric 2009-08-30 20:19 UTC

Whoa mach’ mir keine Angst! :) Ich würde lieber weniger in neue Bücher investieren und mehr spielen. Mit D&D Büchern und Paizo Abonnements bin ich nämlich schon ziemlich eingedeckt. Im Moment wird für Warhammer zum Glück Peter die Spielleitung übernehmen.

AlexSchroeder 2009-08-30 22:30 UTC

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2009-08-30 Emacs Subversion

I finally decided to apply for a Savannah project to host the plain text content of EmacsWiki:

svn co

Distributed backups and your RightToFork – that’s what’s important to me.

Tags: RSS

Comments on 2009-08-30 Emacs Subversion

The checkout does not work and produces no error. Have tried a few times over past couple of days. Everything okay at the other end?

– Manish 2009-09-02 18:10 UTC

I think so…

Pyrobombus:~ alex$ cd /tmp
Pyrobombus:/tmp alex$ svn co svn://
A    emacswikipages/outline-wiki.el
A    emacswikipages/HiroseYuuji
A    emacswikipages/Mercurial

AlexSchroeder 2009-09-02 19:02 UTC

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2009-08-31 Labyrinth Lord Revised Edition

Revised Edition

A revised edition of Labyrinth Lord with art by Steve Zieser.

  • Good game? Check.
  • Nice art? Check.
  • Free PDF? Well…

The free PDF will not contain the artwork. A PDF containing the artwork will cost about USD 5. I’m not sure I like this approach. I’m torn. Was that necessary? Is it a lot of art? Why the revised look of all the Goblinoid Games products? I guess the weird orcs ganging up on the poor halfling and the pink background did grow on me in the end. I printed out some character sheets and put them in a pink folder to go along with the pink theme. Oh well. I think I’ll get used to the Steve Zieser art. I really like his stuff.

I just hope that old school games like Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord won’t start competing against each other on the level of art.


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2009-08-31 Lulu – Again

Ruins & Ronin Softcover                           $11.25
by Mike Davison
Paperback, 79 pages, ©2009

Swords & Wizardry - Quick Start Module (print)     $6.59
by Michael Shorten
Paperback, 26 pages, ©2009

Fight On! #6 Summer 2009                          $10.00
by Ignatius Umlaut
Paperback, 124 pages, ©2009

Subtotal                                          $27.84
Shipping and Handling                             $17.84
Total                                             $45.68

I didn’t notice any jump in the price for shipping and handling. For the moment it seems that it does not matter whether I order three or four items. When I did my last order I had heard somewhere that “three items or less get a flatrate. Not true for me, in Switzerland.

Let’s hope everything works this time around.


Comments on 2009-08-31 Lulu – Again

Yay! “Shipped on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 via Priority Mail—All items in your order have been shipped.”

AlexSchroeder 2009-09-09 12:23 UTC

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2009-08-31 Postprocessing Twitter Feeds

On Community:AlexSchroeder I include my Twitter feed. In order to strip the unfortunate duplication of title and description, and in order to strip my username from the feed, I wrote a little proxy which will remove the description if it matches the title and which will remove the username if possible.


  1. my Twitter feed as-is
  2. the same feed, stripped

Cheers. :)


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2009-08-31 RSS Feed Without RPG Articles

I added a a feed to the English diary pages excluding the RPG category to the metadata of this site. As far as I can tell there’s still the occasional German page that slips through. Let me know if you find so that I can try and improve the language filter. To be honest, it is very primitive – basically I count matches for the following regular expressions:

\b(the|that|and|why|what|you|it|one)\b – three matches and the page is considered to contain English text.

\b(der|die|das|und|oder|eins|zwei|drei|vier|ich|du|er|sie|es|den|dem|des|ein|eine|einer|eines)\b – three matches and the page is considered to contain German text.

If a page is not identified as English or German, it’ll match any language filter and get shown. Thus, German pages that are too short for three matches, or German pages that contain some English book titles matching the other regular expression three times will still show up in the feed.


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2009-08 Book Club

What: Carpentaria by Alexis Wright.

When: August 26, 19:30 @ Chuchi am Wasser, Wasserwerkstrasse 21 near Dynamo

Wikipedia: Carpentaria, Alexis Wright.

Supporters: Nanda, Karina, Uli, Chrissie, robert.


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