In one of my favourite Voltron episodes, the Paladins play Monsters and Mana (their version of Dungeons and Dragons) and Lance plays a character called Pike. This costume (by @gilove2dance) is practically screen-accurate. So great!
Do you like tabletop role-playing games? Do you want the atmosphere to be authentic?
There is a company offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences of playing D&D in a castle. You don’t even have to worry about finding a GM (they’re provided as part of the package), or if you’ve never played before (they’re great at coaching newbies).
Check it out! This is seriously cool.
Side note: Can you imagine your first experience with D&D being IN A CASTLE?
Are you interested in travelling to a castle to play D&D?
You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello My Imaginary Friends,
Since July of last year people have been recommending to me a TV show called Stranger Things.
If I were to describe the show, I’d say it was an homage to 1980’s YA movies with more than a little supernatural horror thrown in. It has D&D, Monsters, Psychic/Magic abilities, Conspiracies, Eighties Rock, and lots of kids on bikes.
It’s eight episodes on Netflix and although the first episode is a little slow, it builds quickly. The special effects are amazing, the locations are great, the music is wonderful, but most of all the acting is fantastic. The actors in this each play stereotypes from eighties movies, but managed to pull those characters out of cliché and make them believable.
The one thing that I found lacking in the show was complexity and surprise. After two episodes I could have given you an outline of the entire season. I wasn’t surprised and was actually a little underwhelmed by the story.
It was a fun watch and the acting alone made it worth it, but this show was too close to my own influences, likes, and writing style for comfort. Seriously, after the last episode, I went to IMDB to make sure I hadn’t written it. I’ll let you decide if that’s a compliment or a condemnation.
In short, if you like Horror, YA, Eighties movies, and/or my writing; you’ll enjoy Stranger Things.
I give it 85% or 4.25/5
Last weekend I ran the fourth playtest for The Simplest Role Playing System. It went great. I noticed a tiny issue with balance between defence and attack which I fixed. Other than that it’s a perfect rules light system for quick games.
I’ve also developed a Character sheet for the Advanced rules.
Here’s the PDF for download: The Simplest Role Playing System-CharacterSheet (111kb)
Have you tried the system? What did you think of it?
Hello my Imaginary Friends,
I may have way too many things on my mind right now. It has nothing to do with being busy and everything to do with my mind working in overtime. I blame running oneshots and preparing to run a new campaign.
After nearly four months of not running or playing in any games (pen and paper games like D&D) I ran a oneshot two weeks ago and another yesterday. Oneshots are short adventures that take an evening to start and finish.
I’ve learned some valuable lessons with both games. The first being that rules light games are harder for people to grasp as a first gaming experience. Second is that I’m very rusty with the D&D 3.5 rules. It took me forever to make characters.
I also got the Emerald Spire Superdungeon in the mail from Paizo. It’s the special Kickstarter, leather bound edition. It’s beautiful and exciting. I can’t wait to run my group through it on Thursday.
I’ve noticed most authors I know have another creative outlet. It varies from person to person, there’s gardening, sculpting, drawing, painting, music, acting, web videos etc.
I think it’s important to have an outlet that lets you do something other than writing. I’m still not an official author but I’ve noticed that writing sort of steels a section of my brain. I’m constantly thinking of scenes, stories, novels, characters and other things for what I’m writing or want to write. It’s exhausting and sometimes builds into stress.
If I don’t do something else with my mind, I often feel guilty for not writing. Writing is a combination urge, craving, and need.
The closest thing I have to another creative outlet is gaming. It allows me to use the same parts of my brain that create stories for another purpose. A good gaming session, or preparation session feels like I’ve rebooted or defragmented my brain. It’s great.
I’ve also greatly enjoyed working on my own gaming system called Four Attribute Duel Dodecahedron System or FADDS for short. I’ve talked about it before but I’ll be doing some playtest at the end of August for the game.
I’m toying with the idea of filming a playtest oneshot to see how well it plays.
On the note of writing, I’m hard at work on chapter 20 of Parasomnia. It started out as a Supernatural Suspense but I think I’ll have to re-classify it as a Drama Fantasy. I also started writing it for Adults but I’m fairly sure it’s better suited for Young Adults, or that odd new category called New Adults.
The book should have roughly 23-25 chapters and I’m going to do something with it that I’ve never needed to do before and that’s edit the crap out of it before my Weditor (Also known as my Wife) looks at it.
Unlike the Elizabeth Investigates series, I find this book needs a lot more cleanup. It might be that I have 5 POV characters instead of 2 or maybe the others need it and I didn’t notice. Either way once I’m done I’ll have a few weeks’ worth of work before I send it to the Weditor.
An author I know, and respect, sends her beta readers her new books one at a time. So she’s already edited what the first one says before she sends it to the second one. I think this is a brilliant way to get a book edited and that’s what I’ll do with this one when it’s done.
It’s been a hard book to write. Each of the five main characters is fundamentally broken. I don’t mean a fatal flaw but a mental problem that hampers their development and their ability to deal with the world. It’s hard to include those things and try to make them realistic without caricaturizing them.
There’s still a strong dose of action and adventure throughout but this book has more character introspection than I’ve ever attempted.
I’m very proud of it so far and I hope it will be well received.
That’s it for today.
See you tomorrow with more random topics.
Hello my imaginary friends,
Last week I wrote ahead to make sure I had Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off from writing. I thought that was enough. I totally forgot about the fact that Monday was a vacation and that I should have worked ahead. Past Eric messing with present Eric again.
Of course it’s a short week and the workload can be described as “AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” so I’m not getting as much done as I’d like.
For all those reasons I’m starting a new tradition: Recommendation Wednesday. Where it’s Wednesday and I recommend something.
This week’s recommendation is: WereGeek.
It’s the most balanced gaming/slice of life comic I’ve read. The characters are fun and believable and the gaming is exciting and makes me want to try new things. Plus there’s a healthy sprinkling of puns.
Alina Pete has a great sense of humour and a great feel for characters. Go give it a read if you’re into gaming and like webcomics.
I went to a social gathering the other night and someone asked if I’d brought a game. I hadn’t, so obviously I offered to run an improvised RPG. I had my phone with a dice roller so I was covered.
Turned out that I wasn’t needed but it got me thinking about how to create a simplified rule set that would be easy to remember and even easier to teach.
Here’s what I came up with… You need a coin or a dice (a coaster or other flip-able thing works too), a storyteller, and players. (Something to write on and with would help.)
Simple Rules: Each player chooses Body, Mind, or Luck as their characters specialty. They have 3 in that ability. (Ex. Fighters choose Body.) Their health and defence equal 4.
Complex Rules: Each person has 5 points to place in Body, Mind, and Luck. No negatives. Their health equals their Body plus their Luck+1. Their Defence equals Body plus Mind +1
Resolution Mechanism: When a character needs to do something the Storyteller decides if it’s easy (1), hard (2), ridiculous (4), or clownshoes crazy (7). The character then subtracts their attribute from the difficulty.
If the attribute is higher than the difficulty they succeed. If not they have to flip the coin 5 times and call it (if it’s a die have them call even or odd). Add every right guess to their attribute.
Combat: Each character does 1 point of damage if they hit something and take the same if they are hit. Death occurs at 0 health.
Everything else: The storyteller makes up.
Character Sheets: Available here!
Remember this when you’re at a bar or party and everyone looks scared or/and bored. Everyone will think you’re awesome! I promise.
*Rules updated July 7th, 2015 after a play test*
The Siberys Operative
Base Attack Bonus: +12
Feats: Combat expertise, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack, Improved Feint.
Skills: Stealth 11 ranks, and Bluff 11 ranks.
Hit points: d8
Skills per Level: 6+ Int Modifier
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+0||Fast Movement +10ft, Sneak attack +1d6|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+0||Hide in Plain Site, Careful Step +5ft|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+1||Improved Evasion, Sneak Attack +2d6|
|4th||+3||+4||+4||+1||Fast Movement +20ft, Careful Step +10ft|
|5th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Improved Whirlwind Attack, Improved Wandwind Attack, Sneak Attack +3d6|
Fast Movement +10ft (Ex):
At first level a Siberys Operative base speed increases by 10ft and by another 10ft for a total of 20ft at level 4.
Sneak Attack :
A Siberys Operative gains the ability to sneak attack, like the rogue ability.
Hide in Plain Site (Ex):
At second level a Siberys Operative gains the ability to use the hide skill even when being watched or in the open.
Improved Evasion (Ex):
This ability, gained at third level, works like evasion. A Siberys Operative takes no damage at all on successful saving throws against attacks that allow a Reflex saving throw for half damage. What’s more, she takes only half damage even if she fails her saving throw.
Careful Step (Ex):
At second level and at fourth level, the Siberys Operative can weave in and out of combat with little difficulty, allowing them to move an extra 5ft without an attack of opportunity at second level and an additional 5ft at fourth level.
Improved Whirlwind Attack (Ex):
At fifth level a Siberys Operative is so comfortable with their Whirlwind attack that it no long takes them a full round action, instead it is treated as a standard action.
This allows the Siberys Operative to use a move action in order to either move or use improved feint; only one bluff check is used for all enemies.
*Edited* Improved Wandwind Attack:
The Improved Whirlwind Attack ability can be used in conjunction with a wand that uses a touch attack and Use Magic Device check.
The Siberys operative must make a Use Magic Device check of 20+opponents Base attack bonus or incur an attack of opportunity. The target must be in adjacent scare and must still pass the normal save. Each attack is treated separately and therefore uses a separate charge from the wand even if the attack fails.
Here is the story of how Ebb got Ruby back.
I’ve made some minor changes to the first part of the Wizards Eberron Character Sheet. I’ve moved things around and added a few boxes but the big change was incorperating Pathfinder skills into the sheet.
Here is the PDF for download: Eberron Character Sheets Edited