Page Collection for ^2009-12

2009-12-02 Hexcrawl

Zak thinks about hexcrawling and asks: do you just sort of write a few bits about each place and wing the details when the players get there, or what? Brian adds that most of his hexes are empty (about one in ten has interesting stuff). That density certainly looks similar to the Wilderlands of High Fantasy maps such as the Lenap map that I started with.

For my own Alder King game, I decided to take the advice found in one of the books saying that there was much more to be found in each hex. I started out with the original hex and the six surrounding hexes à la M20 – a true Microlite Campaign:

Old School Hex Map Tutorial

As time passed and my players started to explore, the map started to grow.

Alder King Map starts to grow...

The current player map is even bigger, now.

The things I do between sessions:

  1. Make sure the hexes around the player’s current hex and any long range goals they want to pursue are on the map with at least a paragraph of notes for each.
  2. Grow the map if I feel like it.
  3. Add notes for hexes on the map that don’t have any.
  4. Add more notes to hexes in order to interlink the various locations.

Also, How to make a Fantasy Sandbox by Rob Conley is the best advice on the topic I’ve seen.

More reading:



Comments on 2009-12-02 Hexcrawl

6 sided campaign building rules! :D

What I’ve been thinking about recently is fantasy map-building in the same way that Traveller generates subsectors with each hex being an 8-mile area on the grid. Roll to see if there’s a settlement or feature. If it’s over a certain size it’s a village/town/city, if it’s got a trading post, etc……

Hmmm. I feel a blogpost coming on!

greywulf 2009-12-02 10:43 UTC

Hm, I faintly remember seeing something like that… A one-page sandbox campaign-maker for OD&D by Nicolas Dessaux aka. Snorri, via Sean Wills’ One-Page Sandbox Maker “one link, one line” blogpost.

AlexSchroeder 2009-12-02 11:58 UTC

Nice post. I love the look of your large(r) scale hex map.

Brian 2009-12-03 04:32 UTC

How do you make your maps? I love the clean look to them, and the fact that they’re digital is a huge bonus (I have a wiki and we spend a fair amount of time scanning after every session.)

cr0m 2009-12-06 06:20 UTC

Old School Hex Map Tutorial! :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-12-06 11:33 UTC

Thank you!

cr0m 2009-12-06 22:59 UTC

I like the map a lot. Thanks for the link also.

timshorts 2012-07-09 00:56 UTC

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2009-12-03 Local rcirc Alias for Nicks

Is there an elisp package for rcirc to merge nicks locally and to treat them as one – Pidgin does, for example – including showing a local alias (eg. their full name) instead of their nicks, nominating one of the nicks as the primary to use when targeted? That would be cool for Bitlbee! It would also work for ordinary IRC but it’d be far less usefull, I assume.


Comments on 2009-12-03 Local rcirc Alias for Nicks

Suspicious how rcirc-alias.el shows up so quickly after you posed this question. Too bad I use XChat… nick coalescing is something useful.

AlokSingh 2009-12-03 17:22 UTC

Hehe. :)

I also found that bitlbee supports a rename command. But that means the aliases don’t reside in my local config files. I like them to be in an init file that I can easily share between machines. Perhaps a connect script that does thirty renames upon connecting.

AlexSchroeder 2009-12-04 00:02 UTC

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2009-12-05 Character Diversity

A gaming buddy suspected that I was playing the same kind of character in all my games. He had seen Gar, Perol, and Möllchen. I decided to list them all and see whether he’s right. I tried to think of all the characters I played ever since I started playing again in November 2006. Since I usually run games, I don’t often get to play. But then again I’m involved in [MyCampaigns multiple campaigns].

; Gar: A dwarven wizard specializing in the summoning of vermin. He was a disgusting fellow, fat, smelly, interested in all things slimy and oozy. He was hoping to find the Protoslime and a living specimen of the giant slug. He started to renovate a tower and helped a druid raise two griffins. Next session will be the campaign finale!

; Thorhall: A human fighter that acted as a guide to a few celestials (the other players). He was the youngest son of a duke with no hope of ever inheriting anything, so he tried to be a monster hunter, joined an order of questing knights, took up cartography, wore a glamored plate armor, owned a ring of hiding, used a shield and a warhammer of the fist. Campaign on hold.

; Pelor: A human fighter, bitter and mean, a bully and a brawler (using Rolemaster rules). If people were strong and hit him, he demured. If people were nice, he started bullying them around. In the end he was chosen by the red monkey god of Eshmir, grew hairy and bold and was finally abandoned by his friends who didn’t want to help him free his god from imprisonment. I will probably create a new character.

; Rhysalis Eina: A human paladin of Pelor, at first slightly in love with a fence they had met, but then joined Aria in defending Cauldron from a fiendish take-over. She fought with the blessed halberd Illefern created by Trichloric, the dwarven craftsman who had created it for the Order of the Chalice. Ongoing campaign.

; Orland: A human cleric of Shaundakul, the god of freedom, trade, and travel. Buffing his best friend Richard, a Paladin of Freedom, he helped fight the oppressors of this world. They freed slaves and then left them to fend for themselves, for Shaundakul is the god of freedom and trade, not protection and welfare. Knew how to track and plane shift. Good times! Campaign on hold.

; Möllchen: A goblin shapechanger (using The Shadows of Yesterday) rules who was addicted to wallowing in dirt. Only played him for one session.

; Björn: A dimwitted dwarven cleric of Marduk using Power Attack to run a spear through a dwarven magician at a slave mine when the rest of the party convinced him that now was the time to rise against the chain devil ruling the Red Heart Fortress. Only played him for one session when one of the players acted as guest DM but liked him very much. Too stupid to have any skill points.

Hm… Mostly humans, some dwarves – no elves, gnomes, or halflings. Fighters, Paladins, Clerics, Wizards – no Rogues, Bards, Druids, Sorcerers. Some are disgusting, some are noble, some a smart, others are dumb. I think the impression that I liked to play misanthropic outcasts was inaccurate.


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2009-12-08 The Gods Are Watching

A while ago I talked about the benefits and drawbacks of gods in my Alder King campaign. The gods are an eclectic mix of the following:

  1. the Player’s Guide to the setting we’re playing in – we’re playing in Lenap, which is one of the maps in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy
  2. the Gods and Demons available from Necromancer Games
  3. the gods listed in Ancient Kingdoms: Mesopotamia by Thulsa; check out his lists and notes on Gods and demons of the Hyborian Age

In my campaign, players encounter settlements and factions, and they can gain good or bad reputation by helping or hindering them. I saw DM Peter use this system in his Grenzmarken campaign and liked it. Obviously this kind of thing is less interesting if there are no moral ambiguities. It’s more fun if only some of the player characters are in good standing with the humans of Delan, the swamp hag, or goblins of Grezneck. Fortunately, things have been working out for me and adding reputation to the campaign wiki pages of settlements and factions have made this a bit more visible.

As I was pondering the question of alignment again, I thought of reusing this reputation mechanics for the gods in my game. On my campaign wiki, I’ve created pages for the gods that have come up in play and I started listing player reputations. Thus, if they keep animating the dead, I don’t have to get into a discussion of whether the player thinks this is evil or not. Orcus is going to take an interest in the player’s actions one way or another.

The benefits I’m hoping to see:

  • Players get feedback as their reputation changes.
  • It lists the things the gods like and dislike allowing players to act on that knowledge.
  • Powerful players will attract the attention of demons and gods sooner or later.
  • That attention in itself could motivate seeking the protection of other powers.
  • Planar politics & religious war – new challenges for high-level play.

Follow-up: 2010-02-02 Reputation Mechanics.


Comments on 2009-12-08 The Gods Are Watching

I like this idea of Karma. I am running Star wars d6 at the moment. The rules say that if you gain too many dark side points your character becomes an NPC. I think it would be cool to use your idea. good karma the rebels become interested in you. Bad the imperials become interested but allowing the characters to carry on, only getting jobs/missions based on thier karma. Its possible that an evil GM coul limit options depending on how far the PCs go one way or the other. No you can’t save the puppy, you are too evil right now. lol

misterecho 2009-12-08 23:32 UTC

Hehe… Or you can save the puppy but it hates you! :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-12-09 00:23 UTC

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2009-12-11 Looking for Headphones

Koss Porta ProWhile walking around I use either the Apple earbuds (specially when all I’m doing is listening to podcasts). When listening to music, eg. in the office, I use the Koss Porta Pro that I bought as a cheap replacement for my Shure in-ear headphones.

Facepalm! But now I’ve started working in a large office again, people are talking on the phone and discussing stuff. I work better after 17:00 because people start leaving the building and clients no longer make phone calls. My hope is that getting good headphones allows me to add an hour or two to my workday. The guy sitting in front of me owns a Bose Acoustic Noise Cancellling® Headphones. Switching them on is like entering a dreamworld. Everything’s so quiet. But people on don’t like the Bose sound. They think they are too expensive. And I won’t link to their website because they have popup ads for their own products! On their own site! How stupid can you be. Facepalm!

He also offered to sell his Beats by Dr. Dre Monster “Studio High Definition Headphones with Powered Noise Cancellation” – but the people don’t seem to like those, either. Too expensive for a bass slinger, they say.

So, what to pick? @stfn42 writes “I chose Sennheiser PXC450 over the Bose !QuietComfort 3” – well, that’s a start. And expensive, too. But that gives me some search terms to use in the forum. What I do is look at all threads that involve a comparison and note the other headphones mentioned.

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7 @ Promusig I found some recommendations for the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7 – available from Promusig next door for CHF 259.–

Buying from a local shop is important because then I can give it back or have it repaired without having to send it in. And now, after having bought it, I find that there’s just one shop on that sells it – and it’s selling the headphones for CHF 263.– Hurray!

I went to the shop and wore the ANC7 for a bit. Unfortunately I don’t have cute little monkey ears, so I have to fold them a bit in order to get them all into the cup. It was ok. The music color changed quite a bit with the noise reduction switched on, but nothing too bad. Noise reduction also wasn’t fantastic. But I bought it because it got much better reviews than the Dr. Dre Monster. We’ll see how it goes.


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2009-12-14 Character Generation Shortcuts

Today I ran a Labyrinth Lord one-shot and used the following short-cuts for character generation.

First, roll 3d6 in order for your abilities.

Then, pick your class – you get to choose between Fighter, Wizard, or Cleric.

Your basic equipment depends on the class you picked:

1d4Fighter Wizard Cleric
1you’re a bandit; you own leather armor and a club, a longbow, and twenty arrows you’re a half-naked shaman; your chest and arms are covered in tatoos, you wear twenty amulets and charms, you have several bone fetishes, a lizard familiar, and your spellbook is inscribed on conserved leaves and dried bark you’re a hermit; you own a thin blanket to wrap yourself into, a sling, and a staff with some bells on it acting as your holy symbol; your eyes glitter madly
2you’re a runaway; you took your uncle’s militia equipment and ran away from home; you own leather armor, a shield, and a longsword you’re a student of the arcane arts; you wear a pointy hat and a black cloak, carry a staff, a large spellbook with an ancient leather binding, and you have a raven familiar you’re a priest; well dressed, fresh haircut, and you own a silver holy symbol, a shield and a mace, but no armor
3you’re a guard; you own chain mail, an excellent helmet, a shield, and a longsword you’re a babylonian mystic; you have black, curly hair and if you’re male, you have a huge braided beard and walk around with a bare chest; if you’re female, your eyes have the longest eyelashes and a mesmerizing gaze; your spells are inscribed on clay tablets; your familiar is a hawk you’re an inquisitor; you wear chain mail, wield a crossbow in your left hand and a mace in your right hand, you have three bottles of holy water in your backpack and four wooden stakes in your shoulder belt, as well as garlic and a big silver holy symbol hanging around your neck
4you’re a knight errant; you own a horse, a lance, a longsword, a battered shield, tarnished plate armor, and a dented helmet; your tabard and your shield bear your coat of arms you’re a rune caster; you own a set of magically imbued runes, dice, fortune telling cards, and a crystal ball; your familiar is a ferret you’re a paladin; you own a white horse, a longsword, a flail, a steel shield, shining armor, and a helmet with a fancy visor; you carry a holy banner of your church

You also get to roll for useful dungeoneering equipment:

1d4Dungeoneering Equipment
1rope, grappling hook, pole
2hammer, spikes, extra blankets
3six torches, chalk
4a lantern and two oil flasks

Other useful stuff:

1d4Useful Stuff
1glutton, start with extra rations, apples, cooked eggs, and bacon
2vain, start with a mirror, razor, soap, perfume, kohl, and lipstick
3superstitious, start with an amulet or charm of dubious origin
4drinker, start with two bottles of particularly strong booze

Your background:

1urban youth, you grew up in the streets of a big city
2woodsman, you grew up in a remote forest hamlet
3street urchin, you grew up on a graveyard and in the sewers
4farmer, your parents worked the fields

Your recent past:

1an uncle just died and left you an inheritance; start with 100gp
2you committed a shameful deed and had to leave town; start with 20gp
3you just escaped a robbery; start with 0gp
4you decided to be an explorer; start with a mule, a map, a shovel, and a 20gp debt

I think my players liked it.

Update: A PDF with an expanded table and a table for demihumans is now available.


Comments on 2009-12-14 Character Generation Shortcuts

Excellent! The tables are perfect :D

greywulf 2009-12-15 11:11 UTC

Thanks. :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-12-15 12:47 UTC

Superb !

– Anonymous 2009-12-15 18:05 UTC

Another bit I found online regarding character creation: “3.5 characters take forever to make because of the number of choices, in 1st Edition it takes forever because nothing makes any sense. You just have to memorize it all. I knew I should have used Labyrinth Lord instead.” – rmckee78, Circle of Dar Janix, Expedition to Stonehell: Session 1

AlexSchroeder 2010-02-06 10:14 UTC

Updated tables available as a PDF.

AlexSchroeder 2010-06-28 00:30 UTC

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2009-12-15 Death Frost Doom

(Zurück zu den RoleplayingReviews.)

Death Frost Doom Death Frost Doom von James Edward Raggi IV alias Lamentations of the Flame Princess gibt’s im deutschsprachigen Raum bei Spährenmeisters Spiele zu kaufen. Vor kurzem hatte James nach Leuten gefragt, die eine deutsche Rezension seiner Produkte schreiben würden. Ich habe mich gemeldet und habe unter anderem auch dieses kleine, englische A5 Heft zugeschickt bekommen.

Das Abenteuer haben wir an einem dreistündigen Abend inklusive Charaktererschaffung mit den Herr der Labyrinthe Regeln, etwa einer halben Stunde vorbereitung und drei Spielern durchgespielt. Wer noch vorhat, das Abenteuer zu spielen, sollte nicht mehr weiterlesen.

Das ganze fängt mit etwa zwei Seiten Text zu einem Einsiedler an, der am Spielabend für einige Erheiterung gesorgt hat. Eine interessante Person ist immer eine gute Sache im Spiel. Hier kriegt man die ersten Hinweise auf das Ziel.

Dannach folgen etwa fünf Seiten Text zu einer kleinen Hochebene und einer Hütte. Das ganze hätte wohl sehr unheimlich sein sollen, doch ist es mir irgendwie nicht gelungen, all die kleinen Dinge (Spiegel, Bild, Geweih, Galgen, Toter, Brunnen) in eine kohärente Erzählung zu biegen. Die Gruppe schloss mal auf finstere Magie, und das war’s dann auch. Irgendwie fand ich es doch ziemlich viel Text um das spontan gut rüberbringen zu können. Hier wäre vielleicht weniger mehr gewesen.

Nun folgen etwa zehn Seiten mit dem eigentlichen Verlies, einer Sammlung von Krypten. Das Rätsel mit den Zähnen haben meine Spieler nicht lösen können und folgten alsbald dem seltsamen Ton. In die kleinen Gänge zu den Toten wollte keiner, so dass die Spieler ziemlich bald vor dem Busch standen, den sie schlussendlich mit dem vergifteten Wasser des Auges der vielen Augen besiegten. Ansonsten wäre der Kampf der drei Charaktere auf Stufe drei nicht zu schaffen gewesen, wie mir scheint.

Weil die Gruppe schlussendlich die drohende Gefahr sofort erkannte, flohen alle und entkamen, aber die spannende Begegnung mit Cyris Maximus fand leider nicht statt. Das wäre wirklich spannend gewesen.

Das Ende mit zigtausend Untoten beeindruckte die Spieler und weckte am Tisch den Wunsch, dieses Abenteuer als Start einer Untotenkampagne zu verwenden. Für diesen Teil wären ungefähr weitere vier Seiten enthalten gewesen.

Zudem gibt es noch drei Seiten Bonusabenteuer, welches auch in Ausgabe 4 von Fight On! erschienen ist.

Insgesamt hat das A5 Büchlein 28 Seiten und zwei Seiten Karte in der Innenklappe; der Rest ist mit atmosphärischen Bildern und ein paar weiteren Karten gefüllt.

Bei der Nachbesprechung, bemerkte ein Spieler, dass die Rätsel zu abgefahren gewesen seien. Um diese Rätsel zu lösen, hätte man viel vorsichter und systematischer spielen müssen, was den Spielern (und mir) zu langweilig gewesen wäre. Das Ende kam für die Spieler zu überraschend. Sie vermissten deutlichere Warnzeichen und Vorankündigungen. Die Zusammenfassung des Vampirs und den sich daraus ergebenden Möglichkeiten und der Ring of Vanishing gefiel den Spielern sehr. Schade, waren die Spieler nicht dorthin gekommen.

GEFÄLLT: Die Untotenmenge am Ende ist genial. Der Einsiedler hat grossen Spass gemacht. Passt ideal für einen oder zwei kurze Spielabende unter der Woche. Es hat Spass gemacht.

MISFÄLLT: Das Zahnrätsel und die Rätsel ohne Plotrelevanz wurden nicht von allen Spielern geschätzt. Das Ende kommt zu unverhofft.

QUALITÄT: Sehr gut.

PREIS: 8€ passt!

RATING: :star: :star: :star: (3 von 5 Sternen)


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2009-12-18 Historical Settings

Over on A Hamsterish Hoard of Dungeons and Dragons, Taichara asks Historical settings: What elements? Trollsmyth replies with For Taichara: Historical Settings.

When I bought Kitsunemori, I loved the Japanese flavor, the history, the culture, the alternate magic system, the equipment list, the calendar – all the things Trollsmyth mentioned.

But in actual play, it did not work. The players didn’t buy into it. They remembered some rules like the turning variant or how traditional armor works, but they wanted to play monks even though the setting doesn’t have them. Nobody cared about the current date. Nobody played variant magic users unless they were more powerful than the originals. Weapons and spells were useful if they were more powerful than the material in the existing rule books.

Of the things that were useful for the campaign, the setting had far too little. But now I know what to look for!

What I’m looking for:

Gods and religion inspire players with clerics. Churches and temples are interesting political factors. Evil clerics always provide a good adventure hook.

Names, lists of names! Sure, there were some high-level NPC stat blocks in the product, but I never got to use them. But I loved to see names. In fact, I ended up printing out lists of Japanese names I found on the web – and when the campaign moved into the City of Brass, I printed out a list of Arabic names I found on the web. The setting didn’t have enough names.

Maps – everybody loves maps. Player maps are important for the buy-in, and referee maps are important for inspiration. Maps provide names for rivers, mountains, ranges, valleys, cities, villages, lakes, oceans, bays, forests, nations. Good, detailed maps are very important.

Clans and rulers: More power structures, more political factors. If the setting mentions bandits in some province, then that’s an adventure hook. A general tries to fight them. Another adventure hook. There’s a neighbouring province that’s seeing an increase of bandit activity. Another adventure hook. I hope that the general, the bandit leader, their second in commands, and the lord of the neighbouring province all have a name and a sentence or two to go along with it.

Monsters – I want monsters from local fairy tales, with pictures, and summaries of the actual tales that inspired the monster. They might inspire me! You say the river god can manifest as a water dragon? Excellent.

Artifacts – if I want to take the campaign somewhere, I need a small list of magic items that can serve as turning points in the campaign. I need to know about them at the start of the campaign so that I can do an appropriate foreshadowing. Plusses if the artifacts are known items from folklore. Where is Excalibur? I like smaller magic items, but they aren’t necessary for a historical setting.

Adventures are the thing I’m mostly interested in. As far as I can tell, anything that is not an adventure seed should be a deletion candidate. Make the product as short as possible with the highest number of adventure ideas you can cram into those pages. The more detailed these are, and the more the setting reflects in the adventure, the more useful they are. These adventures should be short and episodic such that they can serve a variety of roles without tying me to an adventure path.

Typical NPC backgrounds, their equipment, and their stat block. Typical city guards, typical adepts of the various temples and the favored spells, small write-ups of interesting groups like beggars, mountain priests, temple whores, holy men, chariot racers, etc.


Comments on 2009-12-18 Historical Settings

Yeah, but I have an odd group of players who just eat that sort of stuff up.

I can’t believe I forgot names! That’s one huge thing for me, is coming up with names that fit the setting.

Otherwise, there’s not that much divergence between our lists.

Brian 2009-12-18 03:10 UTC

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2009-12-18 Save Web Pages as PDF

At last! On Mac OSX you have the wonderful ability to print stuff into PDF files. Except that these days most web designs produce horrid or broken output – you’ll have the title and the sidebar on the first page of your PDF, and the rest invisible “off the page” somewhere. Theoretically you can “print the selection” in Firefox, but for some reason this option is always greyed out on my system.

Some googling found the Print Selection Service for Mac. And it works in Safari. Now I can highlight the main body of a cool webpage and print just that to PDF. ok

Now I feel the urge to go through the 188 starred articles in Google Reader and see whether I want to keep some of that on my disk!


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2009-12-19 Waiting For Processes

I still have some questions when it comes to Ubuntu 9.10 on my old iBook (macppc!)

  • when I power down, the system often hangs “waiting for processes to terminate…”
  • when falling asleep or hibernating, the laptop often hangs itself when I wake it up again
  • when I browse an Atom or RSS feed on Firefox, I can’t subscribe to them even though Web Feed is correctly mapped to Preview in Firefox; I assume the Atom and RSS MIME types are not mapped correctly to this Web Feed thing

Other than that, I’m happy! :)

I got the Garamond font from the GhostPCL and GhostXPS download page. ok

And I made another change to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/ch:

diff -c /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/ch\~ /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/ch
*** /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/ch~	2009-12-02 00:22:09.827899906 +0100
--- /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/ch	2009-12-18 20:35:31.800186205 +0100
*** 160,166 ****
      key <AD09> { [ 	o,	O, 	oslash,		Ooblique		]	};
      key <AD10> { [ 	p,	P, 	Greek_pi,	Greek_PI		]	};
      key <AD11> { [	udiaeresis,	egrave, 	section,	ydiaeresis		]	};
!     key <AD12> { [	dead_diaeresis,	exclam, 	grave,		apostrophe		]	};
      key <AC01> { [ 	a,	A, 	aring,		Aring			]	};
      key <AC02> { [ 	s,	S, 	ssharp, 	NoSymbol		]	}; 
  					// ligature fl
--- 160,166 ----
      key <AD09> { [ 	o,	O, 	oslash,		Ooblique		]	};
      key <AD10> { [ 	p,	P, 	Greek_pi,	Greek_PI		]	};
      key <AD11> { [	udiaeresis,	egrave, 	section,	ydiaeresis		]	};
!     key <AD12> { [	dead_diaeresis,	exclam, leftsinglequotemark,	rightsinglequotemark	]	};
      key <AC01> { [ 	a,	A, 	aring,		Aring			]	};
      key <AC02> { [ 	s,	S, 	ssharp, 	NoSymbol		]	}; 
  					// ligature fl


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2009-12-24 Flickering Screen

Gaaah! I wanted to sit at the laptop and catch with my Google Reader – and find that my screen is flickering! Damn it. Does this herald the end of my beloved hardware – mere weeks after I finally installed Ubuntu on the iBook? Or has Ubuntu destroyed my monitor!?

The scary thing is that things seem much improved if I switch from 1024×768 to 800×600.

Update: Well, today it seems to be gone again. I wonder what that was about!


Comments on 2009-12-24 Flickering Screen

I don’t know if it was Ubuntu or age but my T42’s screen started cracking a few months ago and it’s battery died last month.

NoufalIbrahim 2009-12-28 05:36 UTC

Flickering screen usually means the inverter is slowly dying. If you’re into DIY, check here: and if it is the inverter, a replacement is 30$: I may also have an old and dead iBook somewhere that you could gut for parts.

Harald Wagener 2009-12-28 07:14 UTC

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2009-12-27 Jahresrückblick


Leider können wir nicht Tiefschneefahren, somit trauen wir uns nur in der Nähe der Piste hochzulaufen. Aber der Anfang ist gemacht.
Nun haben wir etwa 100 Chilischoten im Tiefkühlschrank. Ansonsten ist der leider leer, weil wir im Andenken an den Leibesumfang auf die sonst üblichen 0.5 Liter Eis pro Woche verzichtet haben.
Live-Action Roleplay, dh. Rollenspiel mit Verkleidung und Schaumstoffwaffen.


Comments on 2009-12-27 Jahresrückblick

Die Rückenlage ist wichtig beim Tiefschneefahren. Die Schispitzen müssen entlastet sein und aus dem Schnee herauskommen, sie dürfen sich nicht eingraben, das ist der ganze Trick! Schitouren haben mir immer besser gefallen als der Schizirkus. Na dann, viel Spass!

– der Vater 2009-12-29 14:21 UTC

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2009-12-27 Mass Combat

My Alder King game will soon end with a huge battle. I’m planning to continue the campaign, but some of the primary player characters will probably be settling down as well and secondary characters will take over. Entourage Approach for the win! :)

The rules I proposed are based on the Mass Combat Made Easy rules by Robin Stacey aka Greywulf. I’ve added some tactical modifiers and some notes on spell effects, and I’ve added a rule on player characters and other heroes joining units.

I’m trying to make the gathering of the host into its own little minigame: There’s a list of preparations the player characters can make. They can do six preparations for free. Every additional preparation has a 1 in 6 chance of triggering the battle. The battle is triggered after 15 preparations one way or another. The preparations include spying on the enemy, visiting old allies, convincing neutrals to join the fight, and so on.

I wonder if it’ll work. What do you think?


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2009-12-28 Gaming This Year

How was 2009? MJ Harnish’s gaming in 2009 inspired this post. :)

Hagfish Tavern – the Rise of the Runelords campaign started in December 2008 and was going strongly in 2009. We had an intermezzo with Secret of Smuggler’s Cove, continued the campaign until some players complained that it was too tough and they felt they didn’t really have an in-character motivation to fight ogres. So we had a second intermezzo written for a party two levels below current party average with Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale. We’re slowly returning to the campaign, however. This is my Monday game and it’s firmly in Paizo’s hand. It went from weekly to biweekly at some point because some of the players didn’t want to play every single week. In a way that relieves me of some reading pressure, but on the other hand it also takes out some of the drive. We replaced two players: One had started a family, the other spent weeks and months visiting his girlfriend in the states. And there’s still a player on the waiting list. Amazing!

Campaign:CityoftheSpiderQueen City of the Spider Queen – when Hagfish Tavern went biweekly, one of the players volunteered to run City of the Spider Queen by James Wyatt which he didn’t like since it was a big combat fest and we moved into the Silver Marches by Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (both adventures by Wizards of the Coast). It was a fun romp from level 10 up to 13, but then a little kid arrived on the scene and the DM had to drop a game…

Montags in Zürich – when City of the Spider Queen was canceled I had a second biweekly Monday slot to fill and decided to give all the small games a chance. I was ashamed of all the unused rule-books on my shelf. I started looking for people interested in one-shots and two-session games. And surprisingly, I found some! We really liked Spirit of the Century; I didn’t like how Blossoms are Falling (and Burning Wheel) went; I liked Western City; the others tell me that My Life With Master and Legends of Middle Earth are very cool. Legends of Middle Earth will in fact replace Rolemaster in our Middle Earth game! We also playtested Death Frost Doom using Labyrinth Lord which was ok but not mind blowing. I’m looking forward to some Warhammer RPG 2nd edition and many more strange and weird games. We have a long list of systems we want to try.

Mouse Guard – we played a few sessions and it just didn’t quite work for us. It felt passionless and dry. I think I need to see some actual play or sit at an awesome table in order to find the missing link. I think I’m not alone in this “want to like Luke Crane games” camp.

Echoes of Heaven – the campaign ended prematurely. Some players left and we never really managed to recruit new ones. The DM was afraid of cat piss men and method actors – the two of us having been bitten before – and when we needed to reschedule, it didn’t work out and nobody was unhappy about it. Luckily all four of us still play in other campaigns together, so all is good.

Alder King – still my favorite game on two Sundays every month. We use D&D 3.5 and the Lenap map of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. There’s hex crawling, players setting goals, Entourage Approach, and soon we’ll have a mass battle. The success of this campaign is giving me thoughts regarding the Monday game and all the Paizo material I’m subscribed to. I love having the Pathfinder Adventure Paths and Modules, but if I’m not reading them (because I might end up playing them), and I’m not running them (there’s not enough time!), and I’m not liking them as much as the organic campaign I’m running in my Sunday game – then perhaps I should consider canceling my subscriptions? I don’t want to do that. But the seed of doubt has been sown.

Golden Lanterns – we’re still playing in the Shackled City adventure path! It’s a monthly Sunday game, so it’s crawls along at a snail’s pace. We’re approaching the end, however. I don’t know what James is planning to run for us in 2010. He’s a big Paizo fan, so I expect Second Darkness or Legacy of Fire.

Kaylash – I started a (Mongoose) Traveler game. I’m still not sure I whether I like it. I think my main problem is that I lack role-models for good science fiction adventures. I’m improvising a lot. We also treat trade and routine skill checks for hyper jumps as part of the regular game. We’ll see where that goes.

Grenzmarken – the West Marches style game I’m in will end in a few sessions. It has been great fun and it has shown me that you can run a campaign with more than ten players. You just need to make sure that there are never more than a handful of players at the table. In this campaign sessions often went as follows: players come together, get a mission from the DM, small fight, big fight, loot, and return to base. Somehow the campaign was never really player driven. We’ll see what Peter has in store for us next. I heard it was going to be Warhammer RPG 2nd edition with a strong online/wiki component.

I also played some Battle Lore, some Iron Tide, some Pandemic, and some Bang! I’m looking forward to some Race for the Galaxy and Dominion: Intrigue. I was unable to convince a friend to try De Bellis Antiquitatis.

I didn’t play through Fable 2, didn’t play through Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, bought Dragon Age: Origins and played it a lot at the end of the year.

My wishes for 2010:

  1. I want to run a B/X D&D campaign using Labyrinth Lord rules.
  2. I want to run a Swords and Planet campaign in the vein of Carcosa, Planet Algol, or Savage Swords of Athanor
  3. I want to run a Babylonian, Assyrian, Swords and Sorcery campaign, possibly based around XP1: The Spider-God’s Bride.

My interest in roleplaying games was rekindled [HomoLudens three years ago], and it hasn’t collapsed, yet! :)


Comments on 2009-12-28 Gaming This Year

Just saw Robin’s post about his top games. :)

– Alex

Don’t forget the spider queen sessions.

– Sektat 2009-12-29 23:57 UTC

Absolutely. That was a crazy game. :)

AlexSchroeder 2009-12-31 23:57 UTC

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2009-12 Book Club

What: Miss Chopstick by Xinran Xue.

When: December 16, 19:30 @ at my place.

This is going to be our Christmas party book club meeting. :)

Contact me if you don’t have my address.

If you want to get a book gift, please bring one of your own so we can exchange books.

Feel free to bring cookies. ;)


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