A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pathfinder Beginner Box Campaign Comic Report Part 2

This time its on its own, free of me playing other 40K boardgames along side it.

The game continues to be good fun and folks seem to be enjoying themselves, enough so that now two of the players have bought the massive core rule book, and I have bought a good half dozen or so of the Pathfinder Companion books which are 32 odd full color things covering various minor topics in more depth.  I currently have 3 religion books, a book on Gnomes, a book on Pathfinder's AMAZING Goblins, and an equipment book.  They run about 11 bucks or so and are a good value.

Overall I am running this game quasi D&D Encounters style.  Its mostly a series of dungeons and encounters with light story and roleplaying, no real worry if you show up or not each session.  Low pressure.  While this does mean the story and roleplaying are as I stated LIGHT, its still a lot more freeform and open than D&D Encounters which is mostly a single combat encounter each session.  In general I have a series of dungeons with the odd setpiece here and there.

I say everyone is there even if they aren't so we don't have to keep figuring out why Player X is there this session while Player Y is not.  I've had a number of BIG CAMPAIGN ideas in the past that have petered out and just never got off the ground.

I'm using Pathfinder Beginner Box as a nice casual campaign to have a good time with right now.  Make some funny monster voices, give players some freedom without it becoming just a giant sandbox or a railroad where they have no real choices either, folks show up, kick some doors down, we plan for the next game.

I possibly could have (and if my player numbers that seem to keep growing maybe SHOULD HAVE) used a super light system like Swords & Wizardry or maybe 1983 Basic D&D to speed it all up but folks seem to quite like the game and the way I run it.

See full bore Pathfinder is D&D 3.75 edition with all those rules and boring bloat that ran me off from 3rd ed D&D in the first place.  The Pathfinder Beginner Box is a stripped down set of rules and takes PCs to 5th level.  While I will have some options in place for post 5th level advancement (because I probably shouldn't hope for Paizo Publishing to make an Expert Set.  Even though I WOULD SO BUY ONE PAIZO ARE YOU LISTENING?  Max level to 10, another 3 races, another 4-5 classes, more monsters and goodies.  I would be happy to give them money for this.) it keeps things to the point before it gets out of hand.

My players have told me it all seems to play MUCH faster and smoother than D&D 4e.  Also I am even using some 4e rules over Pathfinder's when I find they are better or faster or weren't in the Beginner Box, ala Attacks of Opportunity.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dungeons & Dragons Lair Assault Report

2 Saturdays back on a sunny noon March day, the unseasonably lovely weather helping me enjoy the day even though I tend to be asleep for a decent portion of this time when this mysterious "sun" is high in the sky I played in a D&D Lair Assault event and here is the photocomic report of this.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Pretty Good Video on the Electronic RPGs' History


It is by Roo of Clan of the Grey Wolf, who does the "16 Bit Gems" video series.  Sadly this means the video of 2 nearly 20 minute parts is primarily about the JRPG though it does actually give respect to both Dungeons & Dragons and the earliest electronic RPGs including the first network games from the 70s.

But its mostly about Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, though is just a general overview.

As an "Electronic RPGs 101" sort of thing though its VERY good and well worth watching if you have the time.  While I prefer western RPGs of the 80s and early 90s over Japanese ones, I vastly prefer both of those over more modern real time titles.

Sort of makes me nostalgic for some simple JRPG or CRPG fun.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What is Going on With D&D 4th Anyhow?

Over at Something Awful, there is this thread in their Traditional Games subforum called "Grognards.txt", which is basically 4e D&D fanboys mocking every other edition of D&D and everyone who dares enjoy other versions of D&D since 4e is the ONLY fun version of D&D.  A little question came up in the thread and here is my reply in a modified form from there since it was going a bit off topic and SA is known for both probating and banning people for silly things, not to mention looking for people's posting histories off site to find out if they are worthy to post there, in a weird Internet version of Joe McCarthy and J Edgar Hoover who seemed to think everyone was a Communist and were damned hellbent on finding proof even if they had to invent it.

SA has issues.  What's sad is its still the best online forum out there.  Though this is the effective equivalent of being the thinnest kid at Fat Camp...


Exactly how well has 4e and Pathfinder done, sales-wise? I can't find any real figures for either.

RPGs tend not to announce sales figures.  I brought up a couple months back that 4e really did cause WOTC to lose a shitload of customers and there is proof from WOTC themselves, albeit not in exact terms.  (And the evidence was mostly ignored here since most of the time this thread really is 4e grogs mocking every other D&D edition grogs.)

Stuff like the ICV sales charts also shows that 4e isn't doing as hot given how Pathfinder beats it in sales quite often. 

Honestly 2 things are keeing 4e afloat.

D&D Encounters which is possibly the smartest thing WOTC has ever done for D&D.

D&D Insider which is basically free money for WOTC every month.

Encounters does bring new players into the fold and is also casual friendly.  An open place for people to get an hour or two of RPG in every week and no worries if you can make it all the time.  Show up and play.  Fits busy adults' schedules and kids.  I've seen it sell a good amount of books to new players, lots of which aren't adults. 

I even try to encourage parents to join in and play with their children.  Its good bonding time, and something both parent and child will look back on with fondness. 

Insider is as mentioned, free money.  Even if you just sub for a month for 10 bucks and just make a gob of characters for the rest of 4e's lifespan you have given them some cash.  And like most online subscription things people tend to forget to unsub meaning more free money.

Honestly I would still pay a good 20-30 bucks for a complete offline suite of tools, and possibly another 10 for a character system that works offline on my Kindle Fire but WOTC doesn't seem to see it that way.  And given how Insider works it does make them a pretty penny.

For the record right now I am running a Pathfinder Beginner Box rules ONLY game though I allow official source stuff provided I ok it first.  And half the combat rules I use is 4e since if it works great why not use it?  (Attacks of opportunity, flanking, terrain and cover.)   Overall my group prefers it over 4th though many of us play both right now.

Pathfinder Beginner is closer to what I have generally always wanted D&D to be.  If they made an Expert set going to level 10 and adding in the main missing races and classes I would be set really.

In other news I have a couple projects in the comics report style pipeline with photos taken and such.  But I am a bit backlogged in stuff I am doing right now so my posting has been a bit behind my desired schedule.   Not to mention I want to continue my Transformers Toy Comic thingie, and my Atari Computer project which I have been continuing to spend money on. 

And losing out on dozens of bids since I am not willing to risk a lot of money on untested 5 1/4" floppy disks from the early 80s and many collectors are. :(

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some RPG and Boardgames I played in February

This comic isn't a review of mechanics or a proper storyline thing as I sometimes do.  I would just like to show off what I have been playing recently, and will then follow it up with a few comments.

It was do that or never actually make use of all these photos.

Getting all this fun and potentially more fun in the future took a LOT of work.  It took months if not years of posting online and on bulletin boards looking for players.  It took joining mailing lists and looking for interested folks.  It also took playing at a store as opposed to a home venue.  It also helps one of my players is a social butterfly and is utterly FEARLESS at talking to and inviting people to things.  I am more passive about it.

See we used to have a huge group, but we just met at a home to play.  We shrunk and shrunk and shrunk and never recovered to the point it basically fell apart.

Now some of us continue but play at stores and join in with other groups at stores looking to play new games and meet new people and not just do closed private games or games where nobody sees one playing.

Seeing folks PLAYING is a good way to get folks to join in and buy stuff of their own.  Hell, it gives you the chance to see other games.

And gaming is supposed to be a social activity after all.  

Things like board game meetups, open in store RPG campaigns, and events like the D&D Encounters program are great for gaming and meeting new people and maybe making a few new friends.

Which leads to me getting to run an RPG campaign, and play both Space Hulk and Space Crusade.

I am all for that!


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