About Me

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Seattle, Washington, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Real-life Paladin

Being a paladin isn't all about slaying demons and banishing the undead.  It's also about Truth by Example.  A paladin's everyday activities should inspire others to be more Lawful Good simply through observation.

The linked story below is about such an individual.

NYPD Boots (via USA Today)

This officer earns honorary paladinhood in my book.

photo credit: scoutnurse via photopin cc

Police officers take a lot of flak from a lot of jackasses - I know this firsthand, as I was a policeman for a few years in the 1990's.  I have always imagined paladins taking the same sort of flak.  But for paladins - and many police officers - it's worth it just for the chance to put a little good in someone else's life.

Next time a bonded mount or holy avenger quest comes around, think about incorporating simple stories like this.  Any fighter can kill a demon and add an extra notch to their sword, but a true paladin knows when to set the sword aside.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dam Dwarves!

There's nothing like a huge construction project to make me think of Dwarves.  I recently visited the Hoover Dam.

Copyright ME!
It's huge and stone.  And it took some new engineering principles to accomplish - using contemporary techniques, the cement would have taken around 100 years to cool.  That was obviously unacceptable so the "Dwarves" that made this came up with the new idea of putting pipes in the cement and running some serious cooling through them.

It's also probably the only construction project in America that finished 2 years ahead of schedule!

What really made me think of the short stout fellows was the Memorial Bridge that faces the Dam.

Mere mortals surely cannot create such things!
This bridge was really awe-inspiring, in exactly the sort of way I think Dwarven architecture should feel.  It has grand, almost caricature-like dimensions, built upon improbable circumstances.  It's a giant solution to an questionable problem.  Truly, only a Dwarf would try to cross a river this way instead of just using a boat!

I'll find it useful to think of such scenes when I describe my next Dwarven Stronghold.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I played some 2e today...

So I took a break from everything else and played a little 2nd edition D&D today with some friends and family.  I haven't actually played 2e since...  around 1999.

photo credit: Aztlek via photopin cc

The thing that struck me the most about 2e, as compared to more recent editions, is the class design.  Classes are far more important than attributes or racial selection, and they have a minimalist approach - only what is needed to accomplish the feel of the class is included in the class.

For instance, the "fighter" concept really just needs armor and the ability to swing weapons fairly well.  So it has a good THAC0 progression, can wear armor and shields, and gets a lot of weapon proficiency choices (with specialization as an option).

I found that approach fairly refreshing and the whole session did bring back some memories.  We played 3d6-in-order and I used a few house rules:
  1. All NWPs cost only 1 slot.  Why not?  And who thinks 3 slots for Weaponsmithing is worth it, anyways?
  2. Max HP at first level.
  3. Death is at negative CON with a 1 HP bleed out per round when under 0, unless an ally spends a round stabilizing the character.  A successful Healing NWP check on stabilization also restores 1d3 HP (but only once).
  4. The Rule of Assumption is in effect for food, water, and ammo.  Because I still don't want to track those.  If pressed, I'd let the rest of Phoenix's Rule of Assumption apply because, really, I don't care about counting torches or whetstones either.
  5. Instead of the 2e initiative system, I just used Phoenix Initiative cards.  The character with a high Dexterity got to use the Fast initiative method.  This worked great and let us have individual initiatives while avoiding extra calculations that go with weapon speeds, casting speeds, etc. in 2e.
The adventure was a mini-adventure from Dungeon Magazine #34 called Euphoric Horrors.  Pretty cheesy but, then again, it's Thanksgiving weekend after all!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My 2nd Edition "Hot Sheet"

When I ran 2e, I had this three page doc with me much of the time to help me remember the things I needed.  It wasn't so much a DM Screen as it was a reminder sheet for improvisation - it had basic treasure tables, alignments of various elements, spells for each character level (so I could ad hoc a caster authentically), and a list of all the Priest spheres amongst other things.

It may or may not be useful for you but here it is in the original glory.

Download [pdf] (right-click, save as)

(Note: "Sn" means Sun - same as a GP but campaign specific at the time)

Now I'm off to Vegas for a few days.  Don't wait up :)

photo credit: LasVegasInside via photopin cc

Monday, November 12, 2012

Search Terms to find this Blog, Part 2

Things have improved since last time, when frustrated kobold aficionados were anxiously searching for my blog.

Over the last month, the most popular search terms are:

I can only assume that Conan finally got his first computer...

Anyways, here's a little something for the next batch of googlers to hunt:

Robocop rode a unicorn into a gothic vampire loving forest to hunt virgins for his Twilight fan-fic festival.

You can find anything on internet.
photo credit: v i p e z via photopin cc


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ley Line Jumping

The Druids of Umbria are world-renowned for their deep understanding of nature's inherent architecture - ley lines.  Ley lines conduct the power of nature, and any who are well versed in how to use them can magnify their natural magic.  Druids, Witches, and other natural magicians have for centuries theorized about ways to temporarily meld one's self with ley lines, but the Druids of Umbria have gone further - they can use ley lines for rapid transit.

The Druids of Umbria keep the secrets of ley line jumping to themselves - but patient and well cloaked observers have seen them appear from thin air and have noted the patterns of this travel occur only on known ley lines.

Master of the Ley
photo credit: teobonjour - www.matteomignani.it via photopin cc

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