Day 15: What was the first edition you didn’t enjoy. Why?

Our group stayed away from original D&D. Partly because once all the books for advanced was out, who needed basic. We saw basic as less than advanced.

I then had an extended break with play and missed all the different versions. From what I have read, I would not like to try and play a 3, 3.5 or 4th edition game. It sounds like they made it harder to get started and required the rules to be followed in a way that I think is counter to it. I like enough rules to give you a fairly simple framework that can be adjusted to suit one’s taste.

I like what little I have dug into 5th edition, what is the name of that now?

I have all the materials for AD&D and I have an extra Player’s Handbook and have it in PDF so I can accommodate players for a game. I don’t get the need for all the books, etc., except that is how a company makes money.

I would play a retro clone, and did the Kickstarter for ACKS. I like the domain play concepts. I have PDFs of many different retro clones and modules. It gives a lot of ideas for things to try as a DM.

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Helpful Tool – Print Friendly

I learned of Print Friendly from OSR blogs a few years ago. A lot of OSR bloggers have it on every article on their blog. I need to look into that. You can also add a script to the tool bar of your browser as a bookmark and you can use it. I also use it to record information for work, which is totally unrelated to RPGs, except maybe “Papers and Paychecks”, LOL. 🙂

This tool allows you to make a PDF with links and the URL of the page you found the information. The PDF can be saved to your PC or emailed to yourself.

The links in the PDFs are clickable and it is searchable text, not just an image.

This is much easier than saving HTML files for later.

Just follow the instructions on the Print Friendly page to get it working for you.

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The Dungeons of Lost Coppers Cartographic Contest

Dyson’s Dodecahedron is hosting a cartography contest where you take one of his maps and finish it with your own twist.

The deadline is fast approaching:  “23:59 Eastern Standard Time of Sunday, February 23rd, 2014.”

I’m not the best at maps, but I may see what I can devise. It has the same deadline for the OSR Superstar Contest. If I focus, I know I can meet both deadlines.

Dyson has several interesting tables, and of course lots of maps. He even has a few short tutorials that explain how he does his style of maps. I tried a little doodling on graph paper to do it. I can see with practice it can be done fairly easily, but it requires scanning and then processing the image in Gimp or other graphics software. I get so sidetracked looking at all the goodies all the different RPG sites have to offer that I take lots of notes and download/use Print Friendly to add to my ideas for my own campaigns.

Cartography Contest
Cartography Contest
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OSR Superstar Contest

Tenkar’s Tavern is hosting the OSR Superstar Contest.

There are three stages. If you make the cut of the first stage you move on to the second stage.

The first stage involves submitting a magic item. You can submit up to three of them. Don’t post it on the blog, it will be disqualified, it must be emailed to the specified address. The deadline is “Sunday, February 16th, at 1PM Eastern (NYC) Time.”

I have decided to participate. So far, I have two magic items sketched out in pretty good detail. You have to use the Swords and Wizardry rules, so I am having to refer back to those. I can do AD&D without a lot of thought and just for specifics. At least it will be flexible to work with any OSR like rule set.

If you make the cut with the magic items, next is a monster.

If you make it to the third round you must use an assigned dungeon map to craft an adventure using the magic item and monster.


OSR Superstar
OSR Superstar
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Day 14: Did you meet your significant other while playing D&D? Does he or she still play? (Or just post a randomly generated monster in protest of Valentine’s Day).

My ex would not go near an RPG, she does not get it. She considers D&D to be evil. Oddly enough, she bought “Magic The Gathering” cards for our sons.

I have known very few female gamers. There were none in my high school and in college they were girlfriends of other players.

It would be awesome to meet a woman who does not think you are odd to be playing D&D.

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Ravenloft – Cool Maps!

I saw this post on RPG Bloggers about Ravenloft today on The Geek Life Project  and I had to make a comment here.

This is only one of two modules from the glory days that I own, the other is Village of Hommlet.

I bought Ravenloft because the maps are cool. When I got back into planning my own campaign a few years ago, when I found a copy of the Dungeoneers Survival Guide and it has a section on how to do those kinds of maps, I bought it.

I think one of our gaming group from the 80’s had his own copy of Ravenloft and ran it. I know that I never ran it. I did read it, but the maps are what got me.

I love maps. I could get into trouble buying maps. When I was in college, I was too poor to take advantage of a USGS office in town. I love all kinds of maps, just to look at them. I can draw OK maps by hand and modern graphics programs make it easy to do decent maps, but I am addicted to well done maps done by others.

I think we played Ravenloft and maybe the sequel. I don’t recall when it came out. Maybe we did our own return to Ravenloft, it has been too long to recall for sure.

I have downloaded several free modules from various places across the internet and like the ideas I get and the maps I can use from the OPDC.

I also prefer the “classic” vampire to what many modern authors and movies have done. See my article on playing 1st level vampire hunters for a laugh.

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Day 13: First miniature(s) you used for D&D.

We could not afford a lot of miniatures. We often used the redcoats and continentals you could order from the back of comic books, since they were small. We we lucky if every player had a miniature of their character.

We used Ral Partha mostly. I know there were a lot of companies doing them back then. You would pick up a package of goblin archers, some orcs. Slowly those who DM’d the most built up a collection.

Miniatures were not needed most of the time. Usually we only used them for the party to show marching/riding order or where we were relative to each other. A big piece of paper or wet erase mat would then have marks for the enemies, or a unique die, Lego, small Lincoln Log, etc.

We have played with nothing more than X’s and O’s or initials on the mat or paper to distinguish players from monsters.

Not all miniatures were painted, and not all that were painted were painted well.

[EDIT] – Here are pictures of my entire miniature collection. All but one is from Ral Partha, 1979. The skeleton, I am not sure of, and I can’t read what is on the bottom of the three-pack minis. They all have lead, and the warning on the back of the box mentions it. the cool thing about the three stage minis is that you could change your character’s pose mid-game, or you had three minis for whatever you needed.

I have also participated in the Hero Forge Kickstarter at the level to get my own mini. This will be fun! It has four days to go as of February 13, 2014.

Skeleton and Goblin
Skeleton and Goblin
Dwarves With Mattocks.
Dwarves With Mattocks.
Ral Partha Three Stage Character - Half-Elf
Ral Partha Three Stage Character – Half-Elf
Ral Partha Three Stage back of box.
Ral Partha Three Stage back of box.
Closeup of Ral Partha Three Stage Character.
Closeup of Ral Partha Three Stage Character.
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Places to play D&D

What places have you played D&D or any RPG?

Here is my list. The last one, my own house is cool. I need to expand it to be more than my sons and one of their friends.

1.) Parent’s basement in high school and college breaks.

2.) High School Library

3.) Around the campfire in high school.

4.) One tournament at a convention in KC, MO.

5.) Apartment in college.

6.) Student organization in college.

7.) My brother’s apartment, later his house.

8.) My own house in whatever room I please.

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Day 12: First store where you bought your gaming supplies. Does it still exist?

The hobby shop in Independence Center in Independence, MO. It had trains of various gauges, plastic model kits, and games. We bugged our parents all the time to drive there so we could see if they had anything new. Hoping we had the cash to get the items we desired. I think it went out of business in the late 80’s, that would have been when I was in college. But I’m not sure it stayed in business that long.

One guy two years behind me in high school said that he planned to start a game store and he did and is still in business. Some people from the same group still play with him.

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Day 11: First splatbook you begged your DM to approve.

I assume this means supplemental rules for critical hits. There were all kinds of things from Judges Guild booklets and tables in Dragon Magazine, etc. We developed our own systems for critical hits. Some of our systems were complex and specific as to what body part got injured to instant death. This worked for both critical hits and critical fumbles 1 on d20. No matter what a 1 always missed.

If we rolled a 20 or a 1 on a 20 sided die, we would roll again and second 20 or a second 1 would result in a critical hit for a 20 or a fumble for a 1. There were many awesome hits and fumbles. People shot themselves with their own bow and arrow, or bow strings broke, or people cut off body parts, etc.

The simplest of these was just rolling double damage to keep things moving.

A few of those who DMd would go all out with these materials. Others decided it slowed things down too much for the intricately detailed tables.

I do remember one time that someone wrote to the small town paper complaining about a Judges Guild booklet that had a picture of a woman on an altar and said that proved D&d was evil. The guy from our club who now owns his own game shop, Phil, wrote back and I will never forget this line. “Calling Judges Guild D&D is like calling football Spaulding.” Of course that was back when the D&D was evil was very powerful.

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Ramblings of an Old Gamer