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Showing posts from November, 2016

Heroes Against Darkness review

For my birthday I picked up a print copy of Heroes Against Darkness by Justin Halliday.  Why, might you ask, would I spent hard currency on a book that is offered as a .pdf for free?

First, I like real books.  I read them better, and can do so in places other than in front of a computer monitor.

Second, it's worth it.  Beats me if Halliday makes any money off the sale or not, but I hope he did, because offering this game for free was a very generous gift to the gaming world. Heroes Against Darkness is worth owning. (At least if you are me.  Your mileage may vary.)

Heroes Against Darkness is, by its own admission, a "fantasy heartbreaker," which is the usually derogatory term used by someone's homegrown version of Dungeons & Dragons.  If I had to summarize HAD's genetic heritage, I'd call it an early edition of D&D done using Fourth Edition mechanics.  If that early edition had 11 character classes.

HAD has the standard D&D stat layout (Strength, D…

The role of the GM in resolving player conflict

On the drive to school today I had a really good conversation with my two kids about gamemastering (which is a sign I'm raising them right).  The question was, if a player is having a legitimate problem with another player at the gaming table, should the GM intervene?  My kids had two very different responses.

One said yes, because as the GM you have made a social contract with the players that they will have a good experience and be treated with respect.  If one player is giving the other a hard time, it's your job to say something to the offending player about how that isn't acceptable behavior.

The other one said no, because that's triangulation, which isn't healthy, mature social behavior.  If the offended player comes to you complaining about the behavior of another player, you should tell them to take it up with the player one-on-one.

I had my own answer, but what do you think?

Friday Night Recap: The D&D Postlude

I felt it would be good and fair to run one more session of the Grimfest D&D campaign (aka "The Bad News Bears") in order to resolve a loose thread of a plot point: the fact that the group had never managed to find the missing fiance' of their elven druid, Calidis.  So I dusted off my GM screen and ran one more session for the Bears.

The PC's managed to trace a clue indicating that Calidis' fiance' was being held by an efreet in his palace on the Prime Material plane.  After clashing with fire giants, fire elementals, and even young red dragons, the PC's were able to rescue him (and possible his "love the one you're with" girlfriend).

I don't would to sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but the adventure had lots of madcap action, problem-solving, and dramatic tension.  Oh, and a cleric who had an 11% chance of having their goddess intervene rolled an 09, hence the angel reinforcement depicted above.  It reminded me of why I love…

The 500th Post

A bit of a benchmark for the blog--500 posts about RPG's and associated topics.  It's good timing, because I'm about to retake the GM screen in my group and kick off a new campaign, namely Champions.


It's been a long time since I ran this game, and a big change for the group.  My plan is to commit to doing a six-session "mini-series" as a test run for the game.  At that point I will take stock, talk to the group, and then begin to either plot out a larger campaign or change gears and go with something else. Before that, however, I'm doing a "victory lap" with the 5E campaign by running one more session of that game.  For awhile now it's been run by the other Rob, but when he wrapped up his adventure arc there was still a PC plot thread left dangling.  In the past I haven't sweated those too much, but this was a big deal for this young player (the first PC she's ever made) so I'm coming back to D&D for the sole purpose of mak…