Interesting Reddits

Friday, December 10, 2010

Abilene, Paizo, and Sintel

Sorry I missed the last bi-weekly. It was a messy week.

That said, even if I been able to sit down and put something together, there wasn't much to say. There's a little more now.

First, I finally had a PFRPG session with Abilene locals last night. One had played 2e, 3e, and 3.5 before, the other... completely new to pen&paper. I think it shows promise though!

Second, My brother finished my Merisiel mini for me. Its fantastic, I really need to get a functional camera again so I can post some images. He posted some on his facebook, for those who know me personally... just hunt him down.

Third, Paizo's about to ship me the Bestiary II!... I haven't been paying attention to any previews or blog posts, so when it gets here I'll be digging through it cold. Also, I've narrowed down my RPG Superstar ideas to two... but not really happy with either yet.

Last, It's been out a while but if you haven't seen the Open Movie Project: Sintel Go watch it. It's sad, and short, but a truly impressive production.

That's about it. Derek at Spectral Plane is trying to get stuff squared away to order me reaper minis. It'll be good to see those in the store (and hopefully dice and books...)

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Krenna, New Paizo, Abilene Progress!

So, progress on Snakes Among Us continues. The Players Guide has already hit four pages and 2500+ words, its no where near done though... The Story Path file's even bigger, but that's to be expected... especially considering I'm already at four statblocks for just the first encounter!

The Krenna/K&D setting in general has made some progress because of this... More art's done, both character sketches and holy symbols. I have an additional artist (Daemion from the CBT message boards), and the sibling is working on some symbols as well.

Also, I got this email monday:

The following products are included in this shipment:
1 x Pathfinder Tales: Winter Witch Print Edition
1 x Pathfinder Adventure Path #39: The City of Seven Spears (Serpent's Skull 3 of 6) (PFRPG) Print Edition
1 x Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Misfit Monsters Redeemed (PFRPG) Print Edition

I haven't had a chance to look at the AP or CS installment, but I had time to read the pdf copy of Winter Witch. This was way better than Prince of Wolves. It might have been a little shorter though. Either way, good quick read, "brain candy" quality.

Prepare for RPGSuperstar! I know, Paizo hasn't said anything yet... but unless they decide to drop it, its coming again in December/January... so best start thinking about your Wondrous Item entries now... I am.

Spectral Plane in Abilene has made progress towards becoming a respectable gaming store along with collectible toys. I'm supposed to run an introduction game for Pathfinder this weekend there, they've started selling WH40K product, and I left them with a Paizo catalogue last week. Derek (the shop owner) was going to make an attempt to contact Paizo soon... So I'm hoping with in a few weeks there will finally be a place in Abilene with game tables, and PFRPG product!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Eating Habits, Kaidan Update

First... I asked a question here a few days ago. I also asked it at:
Cartographers Guild
Classic Battletech
and RPtools

In short... sandwiches/burgers, pizza, finger foods, and a few others were really common. Right now its just babel... but I did have a reason for asking which I'll get to at a later date.

Otherwise, Kaidan has become a patronage project. As someone who tried to be of help to Michael K. Tumey when he started it... and who did drop the $10USD on The Gift back when it came out. I'm happy he's getting to continue... and ready for more. So check it out!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You've got a long day of gaming ahead of you... what do you eat?

Roleplaying, CBT, Console, or Computer... you know your gonna be there all day( or night) and you don't want grabbing food to take too much time away. So what do you bring with you? If you do take a break for a meal, what do you typically get?

This can be at home gaming, or in the shop gaming...

Comments please!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Krenna continues, despite computer death

That title doesn't really cover everything from the past two weeks. Just the important pieces. More play testing, brain storming, and writing means I'm closer to finishing Snakes Among Us. The players guide is up to three pages (two column format) even without art that's already been provided. The first "act" is exactly where I want it, and the second one is starting to shape up nicely.

Now, the computer... yeah dead mobo, on my only home machine. (I'm bumming for this post). It'll be a little bit before I'll get back up and running at home (probably December) but I'll be taking a older work laptop home for the duration. So I don't expect a huge delay.

Other things: I had my first successful gaming session under maptool over a network this past week. I've been using it more as an electronic game table for face to face sessions. So using the other way was a good experience, and we had lots of fun.

Now for another tiny bit about Krenna:

Races: Krenna is a world where reptilian races gained sentience before mammals (humans and such)... These reptilian races enslaved fantasy genre's more common races for a few centuries before the uprising and a climate change brought them down. Because of that, and some wars with the reptilian races gods, there are some differences.

Dwarves: Oldest mammal race, life span more like humans...
Elves: Tall, long lived, but eaiser to disguise as human than in most fantasy settings (more in the books)...
Gnomes: Think more garden gnomes, or if you saw the cartoon as a kid "David the Gnome"... but not quite so cutesy. Chances are I won't have them ready to play for the first story.
Halflings: Last race to develop, important to the uprising, and they know it.
Half-Elves: Not so shunned as in most settings...
Half-Orcs: Don't exist. In this world, orcs are the result of a curse a group of elves voluntarily accepted in a betrayal based grasp for power during the gods wars. The hate between orcs and humans is strong and they're biologically incompatible, the hate between orcs and elves runs clear to the blood, each of which is used as a poison against the other.
Humans: Not much to say here... or is there? You'll have to see in the books!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Region 3 Game Day, Foxtail Games, and another teaser

First, I went last week to Starfleet Region 3's Game Day in Roundrock Tx. Had fun... A little 3.5 and the Starcraft boardgame. There was also Battletech and yet another infant LARP group. Thanks to the USS Lonstar group for dragging me there, and the USS Archangel for hosting. I don't know where it's supposed to be next year, but Region 3 is Central Texas... so expect DFW/Austin/Lubbock.

Foxtail Games: I posted this on facebook a while back, but Guy Davis, a mutual Star Trek fan, is working on a CCG to publish under his as yet unrealized group called Foxtail Games. Why is this important? Well... He's offered (and even finished) art for my project... and we're talking about putting my setting as his group's second title. So I have a potential publisher, and art!!! Which leads me to my teaser.

Meet Ourane Parth:

Ourane is the Hereditary Mayor of the small town of Parth (named after the family who's farm became the center for the town... and who Ourane is a main decedent of). She'll be an important contact to the party during the entire campaign set. (I still haven't come up with a naming scheme for individual modules and their 4-piece groups.) She's smart, charismatic, and determined... but like the rest of the town, unprepared for idea the Parth would be threatened by more than the occasional magical beast or wild animal. Luckily for her that her family, despite the isolation of Parth... sticks to the tradition and unwritten rule that the ruling family of any individual settlement should spend time either in service of the standing army, or one of the various clergies. Lucky for Parth that the heroes of this story are there at the first attack.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A little about the process...

... of getting my setting and modules into something that I feel like publishing.

This'll probably be the subject I'll post on for a while. I'm still nowhere near done even with the Snakes Among Us module, but there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel... or is that a train?

So the things I've learned so far:

One bite at a time means you still have to take a lot of bites.

I knew when someone asked me to run a modern game for a change, and I rolled a "ancient holy symbol" as one of the random items in the attic of the house the guys had to clear of rival gang members... that I was going to take my infant campagin setting and run it in three time periods. I also knew that meant this was going to be a freaking HUGE project.

So one bite at a time... except it was kinda like each bite exposed more of the mountain. I've been biting for years now... and I still don't know where the bottom of the plate is, but I kinda like that.

Don't be afraid of other authors or game designers stuff

Three ideas I threw out because shortly after starting on them I read a book or module summary that was so close to what I'd thought up I feared I'd be accused of stealing. It was with David Weber's Oath of Swords that I finally realized something people had been saying around me. "No story is original anymore."

The really good story ideas exist somewhere else... you are influenced by what you read and hear and see. Don't throw something out because it's too close to that... the real originality comes from making a story or scenario yours, with your flavor and your touch. That's not an excuse to rip something straight out of another book and run with it... that's just lazy... but if you like something, chances are someone else likes it too... its what about it you like, and what you see in it yourself that makes it interesting.

Prepare for abandonment
I've tried to get commissions for artwork several times along the way... only to have whoever I was talking to fall off the face of the planet. Same with writing and editing help. Heck, I've had hell simply keeping a gaming group together long enough to playtest stuff. I'm not talking about free/barter work only either. It happens, this project is in most people's point of view "small". I'm not backed by some known company or publisher. So even when I'm willing to pay upfront (thankfully no one insisted yet) I'm on the back burner. I let it stop my work once or twice... that was dumb. Don't do it, don't take it personal when it happens.

I still need artists and authors for help... so if anyone wants to play... let me know. That said...

Look at your strengths and weaknesses, and find Friends that fill the wholes

If your doing something like this, without the backing of a publisher (yet)... make friends with people who'll be able to do the things you can't. You'll still be paying them money to do it, but a good rapport with an artist makes it easier to get art.

Or at least, I hope it does... It did with story pieces, but I don't have any character artist friends yet -_-;

Be prepared to start over, a lot

Anything from blowing your world map away, to loosing all your work to a bad hardrive and poor backup practices, to going "okay that was just dumb"... It'll happen, more than once... Don't let it eat you.

That's it for this week. Next week I'll gripe a little more about this project (probably what I'm currently fussing with)... and post some tidbit about Krenna.

PS. I really do need character sketchers and artists... holy symbols are one thing I'd like to knock out soon. Comment or email me! noble(dot)hays(at)gmail(dot)com.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A sneak peek! Comments DEMANDED

Alright, I know this is less than a day from my last post... but a piece of my first module that I'm willing to expose now is ready to be posted. Here's the "sales pitch" back cover text.

An ancient evil god wishes to make his return to power, and the answer to stop him is split and buried in the tombs and secrets of two neighboring realms. One realm is respected, and envied by the other. One realm has trouble brewing in its nobility. One has a cult growing in its heart. One has been infiltrated by the beginnings of an invasion. Will the hero's defeat the god? Will they find the truth? Will a realm grow? Will war, and a plague bring a realm to its death?

The town of Parth has been raided by unknown forces, and just over the border, the line of succession in a small Barony has come into... question. Is there really a cult devoted to the most feared and hated of the ancient gods growing in one of the most respected kingdoms of Krenna? Is a baron of Khamshom really raiding the very villages he's supposed to be protecting? Can the party find out the truth? Will they be able to stop the dark god's return? Will a entire barony defect to its neighbor? The answers to these questions are in this first installment of a four piece campaign.

So there it is. It will of course be run by a few editors before the final... but I thought I'd actually post it for people to see I'm not crazy and I am working on something.

What do you all think?

Lots of Gaming, Advice given, finally some time on the player side of the board

Okay, so this is late. I'm still in a simi-permanent state of exhaustion. So meh.

Anyway, I still haven't been able to read more than a single chapter in a sitting on Prince of Wolves. Infact I'm having a hard time staying interested enough to finish a whole chapter per sitting. It's getting predictable and bleh...

I did however get some gaming in this weekend. More work (playtesting) on my personal setting. I should have the ending dungeon for the first module/chapter of adventure path flushed out quite soon. Go Me!

I also got some advice kinda threw at me that I've now heard several times.

"You through too much thought and backstory into a pickup game!!"

Hmm... perhaps he's right... after all he ran a pickup game for me and the other player (this is a pair that I thought were going to be the base of a good group that started fighting... for those that remember that post... they're not fighting anymore... but one's talking about Egypt in January and the other's talking about Oregon in December... WHY!!!???????)

Damn real life.

I'm getting side tracked. He was able to get us going fairly quickly... Back story was quick, but not really that much quicker than mine... the bit that was different was that the first NPC he threw at us didn't do a whole lot of explaining details the players hadn't seen... I'll have to think about this. Also, when we did get NPC's to talk to... I found myself asking all the questions his NPCs didn't volunteer information that mine tend to do. So it could all be a difference in play style.

Any way... now there's three games going with a person who I barely get to see once a month, two of which require someone else I only get to see twice a month, and getting all three of us together in the same place seems to happen once every three months... Ouch. But we enjoyed it all...

I need to get in gear about taking another stab at making maptool behave. Which means finishing my blasted computer rebuild. Next weekend I go back home, so we'll see what happens there.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wolves, Witches, Hradani and a lack of gamers

Well, several chapters into Prince of Wolves... The story's good, but for the people who know my typical reading habits... I've not finished this book yet. Thats typically not a good sign. It really is how the story is presented that's bugging me. The chapters about Radovan aren't bad. But reading Varian's letters to his friend is just off.

The final pathfinder Witch class. I like some of the final changes. You pick a familiar, and then pick a patron these patrons aren't described beyond a basic type of power it grants the witch, so it could be anything from another way a god provides power to nature to some other being supernatural or mundane. The familiar is still the channel, but not the granter, and the patron choice determines what extra spells you get, not the familiar type itself. Much more flexible, and better from a use-the-class-to-create-the-story point of view.

David Weber has promised more Bahzell soon. Details I don't know, I'll check the bar over the next two weeks and see if he's left anything out there to describe his tweet in detail. While I hope we get our HH anthology soon, more Hradani stories is a good thing.

Didn't get any gaming in with the people who expected some, and still haven't had any luck locally. I apparently just missed a group talking at the shop that's talking about expanding into the gaming universe, so we shall see.

I know this post is kinda bleh and "more of the same" but I've never been good at keeping any kind of journal... Let me get into the habit, both of jotting down things to talk about that happen to me, and remembering that I need to look at things to talk to others about.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pathfinder Tales, Advanced Players Guide, and Life

First: Life has been a freaking crazy roller-coaster inside a dungeon on a planet with random changes in gravity... But things have started to calm down. I'm back to a single apartment... My brother's married and off to Dublin... The job has reached a stage where I don't feel 30 weeks behind in what needs to be done... The drama between friends/family has been sifted out... All in all a crazy summer that looks to be followed by a quiet fall...

But enough of that, off to the new things that came in the mail.

I can't say much about either the Player's Guide or the new novel at this point. I've skimmed the players guide, the artwork's fantastic, the books nice and thick, and the material seems to be arranged well. I can't wait to play a witch or an oracle, unfortunately i'm stuck in no-gamer-ville for the foreseeable future. Although I am making an attempt to remedy that (not moving, shaping the town). The new novel, well I've made it to chapter two. If you've been reading the web fiction, its about the same quality of work so far, its also the same characters, and POV. I don't know if I'm going to like lots of first person pov for novels. It's not bad, but I'm really hoping that this is something for these characters, expecting it to be Mr. Gross's stick, and worried its something to expect out of all PF fiction.

So that's about it. I hope to be a) more consistent with my posting here in the future, and b) have more worthwhile things to say from now on. We shall see.

Also on a side note: I finally moved in to the age of smartphones, I'm loving the Captivate, so I'll probably be able to post more often as well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

More gaming

Independence Day weekend I had what was quite probably the most aggressive gaming I've ever done...

Short of the final battle (which they're coming back for sometime... I completed the entire Pathfinder Adventure Path 14: Second Darkness: Children of the Void... in a weekend.

It was fun... and brain draining... we actually sat down to finish the caves with the drow in then on monday... and never got anywhere, we were gammed out...

Yeah, I didn't know it could happen either.

It did however, leave my gaming group with yet another couple to cause out of game drama... but I also got someone willing to look at and work with maptools... we'll see how it goes.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pathfinder NPC Guide Review

Okay, this is kinda late compared to it's release but here's a quick review of several light uses of The Pathfinder Chronicles NPC Guide

The good:

  • The thirty unique NPCs native to the myriad nations of Golarion

    • Well built NPCs to add flavor to Golarion in a way that didn't involve just recapping some AP or Module major NPC...

    • Nice amount of fluff for each one

    • Good Artwork

  • The 50+ nameless NPC stat blocks

    • Nice selection for a handful of low and some mid-level encounters

  • Seven adventurer PCs played by Paizo staff members

    • These were a fun read... and still provide you with seven more encounters to give the world a little life...

The bad:

  • The thirty unique NPCs native to the myriad nations of Golarion

    • Not much to say here... for what they are they're nice

  • The 50+ nameless NPC stat blocks

    • Organization is bad... if you plan on using something out of it... take the time before the session to find it...

    • Could have been a little more complete, especially level-spread wise...

  • Seven adventurer PCs played by Paizo staff members

    • I kinda wish we'd gotten progressive stat-blocks for these... but that's more of a "gimme more" than a real complaint.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pathfinder Fiction Update

This is the email I got today.

Dear Noble,

We have some good news for subscribers of our Pathfinder Fiction line—you won't have to wait until September for the first book to arrive!

Dave Gross has turned in a fantastic manuscript for Prince of Wolves, and we've been able to adjust the release schedule so that his novel will now kick off the line at Gen Con Indy in August! Elaine Cunningham's Winter Witch will move to fill the October slot that Prince of Wolves previously occupied.

We've already adjusted your subscription so that you'll receive Prince of Wolves as your starting volume in August, and Winter Witch will be shipped to you in October. You don't need to do anything... except count the days to August!

Keep your eye on—we'll be unveiling final cover art for both of these novels in the near future, and in just a few months, we'll be announcing more books and authors for 2011!

Thanks for supporting our Pathfinder Fiction line!

Erik Mona
Paizo Publishing, LLC

How often does a release date get shoved forward!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Filliable PFRPG Character Sheet

Okay, this is done (well, until some people get around to making suggestions about changes). It also follows all the Paizo Community Use rules.
Grab it here. Save it somewhere. It's on a friend's site and I don't want to burn up all his bandwidth... I'll probably move it some time soon.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Revisiting some early prestige classes

So I was thinking I'd re-visit an old prestige class I designed as a way to practice for building the new anti-cleric I was talking about. I don't know if it's going to be worth it though for a few reasons.

It was an orc Barbarian-Bard p-class. Big special mount, drums, wider aoe for bardic music, and some other neat tricks. But here's the changes that bother me:

Paladin mount became Divine Bond, and mount half of it went through some interesting changes that make it much more likely to break the class in a huge way.

Bardic Performance from PF actually completely nullified one of the neat abilities, because a full attack no longer breaks the performance.

So my 10 level p-class is now extremely overpowered in someways, and has some truly useless abilities in other ways. I could thin it out to a 5 level or 3 level p-class, but then we get to the third problem... I hate the micro p-classes. They feel more like sacrificing a few class levels for super-feats... Oh well, perhaps I can think of some other neat stuff for it to provide in order to make it worth while...

My fourth reason, Ranger-Barbarians make truly wicked nasty boss NPCs... this p-class was a different way of doing that back when Ranger sucked, and Barbarians were just cool fighters.

Well back to the drawing board...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

GM's Day

So It seems that today is GM's Day. RPGNow and some other companies are doing sales on stuff, and some people have talked about it other places I frequent on the internet.

If the forum and Enworld can be believed, its been a round since 2002.

So call your Dungeon Masters, Game Masters, and Storytellers and tell them thanks today. If their like me they work their tails off even for the crappy sessions. If not they don't work their tails off, then your lucky to have talented GMs and should thank them anyway!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Working on an Underdark Game... creating a anti-cleric

So I've got this "Matron Mother" for a FR game that has somehow managed to survive despite not being even a cleric of Lolth... well, she was for a while, but it's kinda hard to keep favor with a deity when you discover you truly hate her guts.

A Rogue 5, Assassin 10, Cleric 1, can probably go ex-cleric and survive... especially when she gives up on her "worthless mistress" during a time when her god doesn't answer anybody anyway. So when the spider queen returns instead of simply asking for power from her, she does what any powerful drow who spent her life assassinating her "betters" and demons. She simply steals the power by force of will.

But now I need something for her to progress in, that could protect her from Lolth's personal wrath... and keeps other women at bay... My first thought? Complete Divine's Ur-Priest...

But I'm running FR with the Pathfinder ruleset... and I don't really like Ur-Priest anyway... and I want something that perhaps I can post... then I notice the spell progression of Ur-Priest... now I don't mind a 10 level class that provides 9th level spells, but it provides more perday's than Pathfinder, and its an odd progression... and I need to slap 10 more levels on this character RTFN, because she's a major player NPC in the game I'm running.

Okay... So thinking about it... I've decided I'll build an Ex-Cleric... divine power stealing... wicked class... but how?

First, I think I'm gonna have it be very wizard like... requires a spell book, spell components (and for the spells that only have a focus, some other reusable component... like specifically defaced holy symbols)... and some advantage to replace domain spells.

I think I'll also make it "Any Non-Good" good ex-clerics probably shift deities in the better half of the pantheon, or have shifted from an evil deity... they tend to also tend to focus on other abilities instead of hungering for the power they've been denied. Neutral's could hunger only to weaken some deity that offended them, but otherwise wishes the world no ill, perhaps is even out to prove that the deities are unnecessary and spends much time working for the greater good, but at very aggressive odds with any clergy...

I'm not sure if I'm gonna post this yet. I didn't make RPGSuperstar this year, but I plan on entering next year... and they're kinda running out of things to give as second, third, and fourth stage challenges... So I don't know if I want to drop a custom open to the public prestige class out there, only to make the second cut and part II of RPGS 2011 be "create a prestige class"... Then again, if they did, there'd probably be something specific about it... So I may do this anyway. I can always make another.

So if I definitely want comments on the concept, and if I post a mechanics version... I'll want comments and playtest reports! If it goes that far... then based on peoples responses, and playtesting here and with you all... I'll tweak it over time. I'll attach it in a document with OGL and PFCL stuff attached. So if it works, I can follow up with it in actual published material without any legal or personal guilt.

I'll also cross post it at Paizo, and give them limited permission to use whatever develops out of it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My RPG Superstar Entry

The one that didn't make... here it is.

I'd appreciate any comments. I know Clark'll post about it... but other peoples views would be nice too. I'd like to avoid mistakes next year.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New gaming, Forgotten Realms Underdark

I've been running a FR Underdark/Drow campaign for a friend from out of town. Going down to visit to help her get ready for her husband has caused me to miss my local games twice. However, He is home, so I will have lots less distractions. I'm in the process of finding a new apartment though...

I didn't make RPG Superstar... oh well, there's always next year. Also, I had my only plastic disappear on the trip, so my paizo orders are going to be delayed, yay.

Other than that, not much going on.