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Showing posts from February, 2015

Friday game recap: frogs and skunks

My group has been exploring the Tomb of Abysthor, from Goodman Games, converted to 5E by Yours Truly.  The first go-round last week was a bit of a slow, riddle-laden slog.  This time they made more headway, doing quite a bit of exploration and making their way down a few levels (although leaving a lot behind them unexplored--always dangerous!)
Some of the denizens of the Tomb are giant frogs, and in the group's first encounter one of the clerics cast Charm Animal using his Channel Divinity power and turned two of the frogs on the other two.  Some of the PC's expressed a little discomfort at this...
Things were chugging along and we took a break to celebrate one of the player's birthdays.  We always do this with the traditional gift of a very geeky shirt (this time, featuring the comic book character Deadpool).  While eating cake, my dog rushed in through the dog door, smelling horrifically of skunk!  The group beat a hasty retreat from my house while my family struggled to…

My Favorite Things are becoming other people's Favorite Things

So, a bit of personal information.  I work in a private high school, and recently for Valentine's Day one of the teachers asked all the faculty to provide a favorite item to put in a display case for a collection called "My Favorite Things."  The items were numbered, and the students were given a sheet with the list of faculty members and had to try to match each item to its owner.  I contributed my copy of the 1st Edition AD&D Player's Handbook.

Humorously enough, most students actually ascribed the book to the Head of School, who had loved RPG's as a youth (thus proving what a cool school I work at).  But since three students at the school actually play in my current game, they began to quietly tell people the book was mine.

I don't have an advising group of my own, but usually sit in the Head of School's group on Wednesdays during Morning Meeting and yesterday he and I were joking around about the book (since the contest is now over).  One of the s…

Young Justice vs.Teen Titans (the new 52)

My daughter and I have loved the Young Justice TV series ever since it hit Netflix and helped us transition from Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, even though they don't share the same universe (Young Justice appears to be about one alternative dimension over, what with Wally West being the Flash in the older series, and Kid Flash in Young Justice).  Now we are working our way through Season 2 of Young Justice just as my son has finally gotten on the Season 1 bandwagon.

While all this is going on, the Teen Titans comic book is poised to join Justice League in my "how to save six dollars a month not buying bad comic books" list.

What makes one teen DC product so good (possibly superior even to JLU, and maybe one of the best animated superhero series ever) and the other similar title called by some the worst of the New 52 (and that's saying a lot)?  And more importantly, what can superhero RPG campaign makers glean from both of those things?  Let's take …

30,000 Pageviews

Well, my funny little gaming blog hit 30,000 pageviews.  The last time it appears that I kept track was in December 2012, when I hit 5,000.  Looking at the graph, readership has steadily increased, not including the odd outlying spike apparently caused by Russian gambling website robots attracted to words like "games" and "gaming" (and possibly "Russian gambling robots").

Over the last year or so I've noticed that aside from participating in a "answer the daily question for a month" thing my blog posts are largely quick re-caps of my gaming sessions and the odd thought about this, that, or the other when it comes to RPG's.  I think there is some value in being a person who is publicly admitting to not only gaming but gaming often and with a lot of people who are new to the hobby.  But I also realize that there's not a ton of usable content by other GM's.

Some of that is circumstantial.  I only took the reins of the gaming group …

Friday Gaming Recap, Speed Grapher Edition!

No pics, unfortunately, because I was too busy running the action!

This was the group's first foray at third level, having blasted through second level with one high-XP session.  The gaps widen between XP benchmarks in 5E, so they'll be at third level for several sessions.

The group returned to Dewalt Manor, where they were searching for the kidnapped angel Meloniel.  In an underground complex they discovered a sect of the Larvate Sublimity (the masked rulers of Grimfest) who were combining the blood of the tarrasque with the captured angel's blood to make even more mutative concoctions.  Despite being almost completely exhausted of spells the group went up against a group of opponents that were way out of their league but managed to handily defeat them instead.  What's weird is that they had real trouble with a CR 2 encounter  featuring two gargoyles earlier.  What made the difference?  Easy, and one of the strange things I've noticed about 5E...

There are a lot o…

My tri-ennial discourse on non-violence

What brings this on?  Two things, actually.

First, Doctor Who went off Netflix at the end of January, so I was binge-watching quite a bit of it over the weekend.  Doctor Who is pretty much the ultimate in romantic science fiction that suggests that intellect and personal character are superior to violence (especially the mindless variety).

Second, I don't talk much my work as a clergyman or religion in general because that's not what most people come here for.  But every three years in the Revised Common Lectionary (a list that dictates what passages of Scripture are read in Episcopal Churches, not to mention several other Protestant denominations) a certain rather obscure reading from the first epistle of Paul to the church in Corinth comes up.  This passage is 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 and concerns, of all things, the question of whether or not it is appropriate for Christians to purchase meat from animals that have been sacrificed to pagan gods.  You see, temples back in Paul…