Monthly Archives: November 2011

If you’re a Dungeon Master, you’ll recognize this scenario.  You’ve carefully prepared the next game session.  You have the dungeon mapped out, the monsters and NPCs statted.  There’s absolutely no way that things will go wrong.  That is until the game starts and your players decide to ignore your carefully laid plans and go in an entirely different direction.  Well, welcome to my world and why I tend to DM on the fly.  Plans A, B, C, D, and E are going to be tossed to the wayside in favor of plan X, Y or Z…that I didn’t plan for.

Friday night was one of these nights since I decided to be a lazy DM.  I went and found an old 3.0 D&D adventure that I’ve had sitting on my PC for some time now.  It fit where the PCs were currently in the City of Freeport.  Since I’m running Freeport in the Savage Worlds system, all I did to ‘convert’ the adventure is find the equivalent monsters in my various SW resource books and then stat the Big Bad Guy at the end to something that looks like the appropriate toughness for the adventure.

Needless to say, I never got to run that adventure.  The PCs stumbled on a body covered in violet worms (I think I needed a big neon sign stating “Plot Hook HERE”) and when the watch came around the corner to investigate the screams they had heard just before the PCs found the body, the PCs WAVED the guards over instead of removing the grate from the church basement and diving through.

Did I mention that one of the 3 PCs is wanted by the City Watch for making a diversion in the prison (I.E. plying her prostitute trade) while the other PCs sprung a prisoner from her jail cell?

Anyways, the 3 got arrested and hauled to the prison.  However, before they made it very far from the body, one of the PCs thought it wise to start backtalking the Watch’s Sergeant on duty.  Then when the Sergeant (with not so nice ethics when it comes to prisoners…hey, it is Freeport after all) got physical, the mouthy PC decided to choke the Sergeant with his clockwork arm.  After the other 9 guards beat him into unconsciousness…as he slumped to the ground the Sergeant’s neck broke due to the vice like grip on his neck.

Now they’re really being arrested for murder…

This is how the entire night went and much hilarity ensued from the situation.

Am I mad that my carefully laid plans were thwarted by my players? Nope.  I don’t really like railroading my players and if they want to go off the beaten path, so be it.  I fancy myself a good enough DM that I can deal with where ever the players lead me (yea, I’m the follower most of the time).  It’s their story after all AND, if the adventure was a major plot device it’s not like it’ll go away.  I guarantee their asses will be in that church basement at some point to try to figure out who’s murdering citizens of Freeport.  Especially now that they’re part of the City Watch.

Dun dun duuuuuuuuun.

Since my dearest and nearest couldn’t think of anything else to get me for my birthday next month, he decided to get me tickets to the Diary of Dreams concert in Antwerp next month (December 4th).  Aside from the fact that I’m the one who actually had to figure out the order form and purchase the tickets, I can’t say I’m unhappy with his choice of gift.

I’ve got to say, it’s been fairly annoying.  Since October 29th, I’ve had nearly the entire Diary of Dreams playlist from their last concert stuck in my head.  Usually it’s Pain or the Cruxshadows that get this honor (or perhaps a really annoying song called Wat Zullen We Drinken).  So my whole theory is if I end the year with another Diary of Dreams concert, maybe the songs will become unstuck from my brain.

I can always hope, right?

Oh, and there could be worst places for a concert than Antwerp.  Adrian Hates + warm belgian waffles…yuuumm!

I’ll leave you with the current song that’s been on loop in my skull…The Wedding.

On December 9th I get to go to the mobile store and pick up a brand new shiny mobile phone (that’s cell phone for those of you in the US).  I’ve got to tell you, I’m bloody excited to finally ditch my Windows Mobile phone and get one with Android! Appppppppppppppsssss!

One of the apps that I plan on getting when it’s released for the Droid in spring 2012 is called Zombies, RUN! I came across it while browsing through for new and interesting gaming projects that I might like to contribute to and get cool stuff.  As an avid runner and zombie lover, I zero’d in on this baby pretty quick!

Zombies, RUN! is what is known as an augmented reality game for mobile phones.  By running through your surroundings in the real world, you’re able to pick up much needed supplies to expand your base in the game.  Plus you get a story line through your headphones as you run away from the zombies!

As a gamer geek, I really think this project is going to be a winner.  Those of us who love both zombies and running are going to see great things from Six to Start because they posted a $12,500 goal and currently have over $70k.  I think the zombies got the yay in this case! With so much more money pledged than they asked for, I’m really hoping to see some expansions in the future and perhaps even a multi-player game.  Wouldn’t that be cool? Being able to play with other runner, joggers, and plodders in your area or perhaps around the globe?!

This app will be ready soon for the apple fanboys that have iphones, but us droid users will have to wait patiently until spring for Zombies, RUN! If you can’t wait, you can always pre-order your app so that when it’s ready, you can download it and go RUN AWAY!

While we’ve been losing literary masterminds for generations, from Mark Twain to Edgar Allan Poe, the fantasy genre lost someone that is near and dear to a lot of us.  Anne McCaffrey.

Like many teenagers who love everything about dragons and fantasy in general, I grew up reading about the Dragon Riders of Pern.  Along side Meredith ann Pierce (Darkangel Trilogy), Tamora Pierce (Tortall series among others), and L.J. Smith (Vampire Diaries), Ann McCaffrey was one of my favorite female fantasy authors to curl up on the couch and read whether it be about Pern or Acorna.

I never was able to be in the right place at the right time to get a book signed or hear any of her readings, but regardless, I was still a fan.

Thank you Anne McCaffrey for giving me a place to escape to, with dragons.

When it comes to using miniatures, every Dungeon Master has their own preference.  One of my old DMs from the gaming past would have a few cases of pewter minis for our Dungeons and Dragons game, those miniatures didn’t come cheap.

Another game master used figure flats since they were nothing but little strips of paper with the baddie (and hero) printed on them.  He also has loads of proper miniatures.  Thankfully he always alerts me to deals when he runs across them.

While I have some proper miniatures (even painted!), I tend to either use figure flats since they travel easy (try carting boxes of minis on public transport…not easy) or stuff out of my bits and bob box.  I’m the queen of cheap miniatures.  Somewhere in that box among the bottle caps, colored stones and whatnot there’s a 3 year old pistachio with a face drawn on it that was meant to represent my other half at the gaming table.  It’s become a household item.

Oh yea, and I also use candy.  Dungeon Masters beware, edible NPCs can backfire if you buy the good stuff.  It doesn’t take players long to figure out if they kill your monsters and NPCs, they get to eat them.  I’ve lost several good NPCs this way!

However, today one of my converts to the gaming table made a post on my work forum showing off his newest miniatures that came on the cheap.  Zombies! They cost him a whopping .50 cents and came out of one of those machines that spit out cheap plastic toys in those little plastic eggs.  I’ve got to say, this is a pretty awesome find!

He made bases for the zombies out of black bake polymer clay to turn them into perfectly good, cheap miniatures! This is just proof that miniatures don’t have to cost an arm, leg, and your soul!

What are some of your cheap miniature creations?

Cheap Zombie MiniatureZombie Miniature Too

Darkness at the end of the tunnelEveryone says when you’re dying, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  This, is how I think kindred feel when they face final death.  Instead of light, they’re about to meet all their demons.

This photo was taken by Andy Deane of Bella Morte who has been posting some awesome photographs on his Facebook page lately.  This one was just so striking that I had to share.

Thanks Andy!