Saturday, March 26, 2011


Time is a precious commodity for any adventurer, particularly one with bardic persuasions.  Your family and work responsibilities come first, and as such your writing has fallen to the wayside.  You can still manage to put together at least one blog per week, but it seems to be on a downward spiral.  Each day, make a Will save (DC 20) in order to make time to write.  If you fail the saving roll, you cannot try again for 24 hours.

As the DM said, I haven't been able to write as much lately, but I'd like to think that just means the quality of posts has increased.  Whether that is true or not isn't for me to decide.

I mentioned in the last post that character creation for my d20 Modern game was a bit unorthodox.  So everyone is up to speed, in the game, each PC is playing a version of himself in 2016.  Instead of using generic values or rolling, we all inserted the values that we thought were appropriate.  Each person went in turn going down the list of CHA, STR, and so on, and we all weighed in with our thoughts.  We gave a particularly intelligent member of our group a 15 in INT but an 8 in WIS.  Another PC who is known for injury and illness, got an 8 in CON but had high INT and CHA.  After everyone had taken their turn in this manner, we used the distributed point system in the rulebook to find out how many points would have been spent to get each PC to their established attribute levels.

Most of the PC's were within a few points of each other, with the injury-prone PC being lowest.  The highest was the oldest of the group who everyone agreed is above average in pretty much every category.  To make up for his exceptional overall abilities, he is a bit of a sociopath, and that will play into the campaign in some way.  The scheduling issue remains a problem, but that at least gives me time to plan a bit more.  Most of the PC's have put some thought into their backstory of what has happened between now and that point in the future, and I have a pretty firm grasp on the national and global political climate.  I still need to work on local scenes to have a good starting point for everyone.  I'm excited to run my first game and hope it all goes well.

Next time I'll have more pics and maybe a video or two of my girl.  She's almost walking!

May the Crits be with you

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Face When...

You arrive at work today and check your messages to find that your boss has indirectly called you out to the rest of the management team.  The message implies that you don't work hard enough and are too incompetent to follow directions.  Upon reading the message, you are dazed (save ends).  After saving, you are angered and take a -5 penalty to all CHA checks for the remainder of the night.

All my rage!  I don't guess I should be surprised, though.  I should have known by now not to trust anyone (at work) with even the most petty comments.  Our store is competing with another store under the same ownership, so the competition should be pretty intense.  I made a comment to a friend who works at that store, that I thought his store would win.  That comment made its way back to my store and the GM, after which she made the implication that I just needed to work harder.  This was the final straw.

Tomorrow before work, my supervisor is meeting with me and the GM.  With any luck, the situation will be resolved.  If I need to transfer to a different store, then so be it.  I'm tired of being the one to actually enforce policies, then get chastised for enforcing them!

My PS3 has made such an outstanding impression that I see no need to keep my 360.  The one thing the 360 does better (games), is the one thing I don't have time for.  Netflix on PS3 is better, the internet on PS3 is better, and I don't have to pay a yearly fee to use either of those.  Yesterday I used it to play one of my YouTube videos for some friends without having to crowd around a computer monitor.  I also used it to get "Like a Boss" stuck in my wife's head.  Thanks PS3!

Kennedy can't stop getting sick.  She had tubes put in and now she has bronchitis.  I hope she doesn't end up as sick as I was as a child.  If so, we're in for some difficult years.  On a positive note, the doctor said her ears are looking great, and her speech has improved dramatically since the tubes!

Oh, and Nigel still hasn't had his final night.  We ended up doing some prep work for my d20 Modern campaign, which I'll write about next time.  We took a pretty unorthodox method of character generation, but then, this is going to be a pretty unorthodox campaign.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nigel's (truly) Final Night

In a few short hours you will play your Lasombra for the final time.  Scheduling conflicts have restricted your ability to attend game nights, and tonight will be your final night in attendance thanks to being on vacation.  You know that Nigel will die tonight; your Storyteller has already told you this.  However, you may still be able to make a difference for those who will remain in the campaign long after Nigel is gone.  With trepidation, you arrive at game night.  What do you do?

With no uncertainty, tonight will truly be Nigel's final night.  The Storyteller has something planned for his demise, and hopefully it will be good.  Nigel's sire is another PC in the campaign so his death is sure to affect his plans, as well as the plans of the pack.  There will still be six PC's after I'm done, so its not like they will be hurting for people.  Perhaps the group is getting large enough that it could be split to two groups, one of which could game on a day I could work with?

I've currently thrown my name out to the Quilt City Ogres as interested in an upcoming D&D 3.5 campaign on Tuesday nights.  The setting is described as "Forgotten Realms-ish."  Should be a refreshing experience playing with a completely new playgroup, assuming I do play.

Kennedy had a 102-degree fever today, which is the highest she's had yet.  She has another ear infection, and was prescribed yet another antibiotic.  Maybe soon the infections will finally stop and this mess will all be over.

I uploaded some new videos to my YouTube page.  Check them out!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The minutes tick by slowly as you finish off your last shift before your vacation.  Five minutes, three minutes, one minute.  You are now officially on vacation!  You gain a +5 bonus to CHA for the next seven days.  Now, what do you do?

Vacation time!  Yesterday was a pretty lazy day.  I got on Netflix and nearly watched the whole first season of LOST.  Today was my second day of vacation, and we took Kennedy to her Aunt Liz's house to stay while we took an afternoon to ourselves.  We went to El Chico's in Paducah (Karsey hated it) and we checked out Hobby Lobby.  She got a decoration set for making a fantasy-castle style cake with towers and parapets and such.  This cake will require a moat made of JELLO with some Goldfish piranhas.  It's going to be awesome!

After Paducah, we went back to get Kennedy.  The original plan was to get her and head home, but we stayed for a while.  Karsey and Liz went to get food and we ate.  I played around a bit with her Kindle reader and read a bit of Les Miserables on it.  The screen on the Kindle is amazing and I can perhaps see one in my future.  My only qualm is the fact that you don't actually purchase books on a Kindle, you license them.  It would be a terrible business move, but they could theoretically remove books after they had been purchased.

On a side note, to everyone talking about not buying gas on March 10, allow me to explain a few things.  We rely on gas.  If we agree to boycott gas for one day, then the days before and after will just get all the business that would have gone on the 10th.  Boycotting only hurts the local employees, not that national chain or the executives.

More vacation tomorrow!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Nigel's Final Night / rpgKids

With waning vigor, you fight the oncoming sleep.  You only get to game a few hours a week as is, sleeping through the session is not an option.  Every ten minutes you must make a will save or you will fall asleep.  Make your first save now.  Really?  A one?  You fall asleep in the middle of the floor until game night is over.  Attempts to wake you are made at a -5 penalty.  Perhaps you should rethink your Saturday nights.

And rethink them I did.  The last game session I attended involved roughly thirty minutes of consciousness and the rest of the time I was out.  Getting up most days between six and seven to play with Kennedy, then working 2-10, then driving back forty minutes then gaming until two or three just doesn't work anymore.  And even staying until three still means leaving early most nights.  There's another local group starting up a Tuesday night Pathfinder game that I may try playing in.

Kennedy turned eight months on Wednesday, and she will be walking within a month or so.  She is pulling herself up on her bouncy seat and standing, so it's only a matter of time.  She's already crawling all over the place and gets so angry when she gets to the baby gate.

Fellow blogger Newbie DM is also the author of a game system geared toward kids titled rpgKids.  From the site description
If you’ve never played the game before, well here’s a description in a nutshell:  A very simple RPG consisting of opposed die rolls using a d12, while encouraging kids to think creatively, perform simple arithmetic, and have fun!
The 24-page PDF is a steal at three dollars at regular price.  In celebration of GM's Day, it can be had for $2.24 at RPG Now.  This is a great product for anyone interested in sharing their passion for tabletop RPGs with their children.  I look forward to eventually trying it out with Kennedy and hopefully another child in the near future.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2016 d20 Modern Campaign Primer (3/3)

Part 1
Part 2

On that day, an SSA jet was shot down, resulting in fifty-one casualties aboard the plane, and twelve casualties on the ground when it crashed into an apartment complex.  The US was fingered for the attack, but claimed they had no jets in the sector at the time.  The SSA stated that Flight Voice Recorders salvaged from the wreckage incriminated the US.  Audio clips released to the media contained a recording of the pilot speaking to someone over his headset.  The pilot refused to land the plane, as commanded by the other pilot.  After several minutes of arguing, an explosion is heard.  There were a few tense seconds of silence, followed by the captain’s stoic announcement to the passengers that the plane had been attacked by a US jet, and that their chances of survival were slim.  

The audio from the crash served as a catalyst for many people in the US who had been contemplating defection.  Unofficial estimates place the total number of defections between 800,000 and 1,000,000.  The bulk came from along the SSA border, but it is believed that there were defectors from all of the states.

Fearing the loss of additional citizens (and tax revenue), the US government officially cut all ties to the SSA and “enthusiastically advised” their allies to do the same.  To their surprise, though, most nations opted to support the SSA, lauding their determination, resilience, and transparency.

The US was not pleased.  They responded to the global rejection by closing all borders with the SSA, Republic of California, Canada, and Mexico.  Troops that had been stationed overseas in the Middle East were brought home to guard the borders.  US relations with countries who support the SSA are strained, but in tact.  

Since the SSA jet incident, there have been no serious conflicts.  The atmosphere is still quite tense, and there are still protests against the US government.  This despite the new version of the Bill of Rights, which removes the freedoms of Free Speech, Press, and Assembly.  Freedom of Religion still exists, but can no longer be used to exempt anyone from laws or other regulations.  

The revolutions in the Middle East in 2011 and Africa and South America in 2014 helped to encourage the states that would eventually form the SSA.  In a similar manner, the Second American Revolution inspired action in even more countries.  The United Kingdom split into its individual countries of London, Wales, and Scotland.  Ireland and Northern Ireland have now united.  

Recently, a movement has been gaining traction pushing for world-unification via a one-world government.  The European Union and African Union have already begun talks with each other and the Middle East.  Asian nations have begun talks of unification, noticeably lacking North Korea.  Australia and Oceania are expected to join the Asian Union if it forms.

The Americas are largely anti-unification.  Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has forged strategic alliances with most of South America, creating what foreign-policy experts have dubbed the “South American Pseudo-Union.”  The US has drawn international criticism and comparisons to North Korea and Nazi Germany.

End Backstory

Campaign begins on September 12, 2016 just after the fifteen-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  Justin and Vincent were jailed yesterday for anti-government speech and resisting arrest.  Vincent was also charged with assaulting an officer.  Justin was sentenced to thirty days in the county jail, and Vincent was sentenced to three years in prison.  He will be transferred to the Kentucky State Penitentiary in ten days.

Everyone else, give me ideas of what you’ve been doing between present day and 2016.