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Archive for September, 2013

Customized Gaming

September 23, 2013 Comments off

I’m not sure when it happened, but many years ago, I started to be come a ‘Game Prep’ aficionado.   I think it was the time a local gamer running a Dragonlance Campaign produced a fully painted miniature for every single creature encountered in module, including a special ordered Takhisis (Chromatic Dragon, Tiamat, etc.) which had just come in from England.

How amazing, it seemed, to have every single figure, from adventurer to kobold to orc to dragon.  I went out a week later and bought some Ral Partha minaitures, proceeded to paint them horribly with oil based paint, and realized that I would be middle aged before I could realize my dream of perfect prep.

Well that was almost 30 years ago, and while I’ve probably obtained about 1,000 miniatures, perfect prep remains a struggle, or perhaps better phrased as a question of degree.

A few of us started in to the Reign of Winter Adventure Path recently, and in looking through the mod (I’m running, not just cheating) I found a truly strange assortment of critters, largely from Bestiary 3.  These are things that not only do I not own the miniature for the creature, but I’d probably have to modify a couple existing mini’s just to get close.  While they often offer up the pawn set for use, it seems that Paizo has a knack for timing the release of the Pawns perfectly so as to avoid their potential use by players going through the module.

And frankly, and this is the deep and disturbed Ultimate Prep Geek in me, I’m a little dissatisfied with two dimensional pawns.  It’s not perfect, it’s just getting by.  That being said, I weigh my desires versus my natural laziness; the pawns, when they come out, will have to do.

There are a few things I discovered this week that make my Gaming-Prep brain excited, and I’ll share with you.

Reign of WinterFirst, GOOGLE SITES – Kevin (Thorynn) sent this to me by accident when I was looking for a GM Prep site, and it is FRICKING AMAZING. You’ve got links for each character, character sheets, a file section, different boards for In Character and OOC chat, an Inventory Tracker, and calendaring function usable with Google Calendar.  And it’s all free.

Now it’s not necessarily easy, but it gets quicker with time and it’s far superior to the usual google/yahoo group means of keeping up with game stuff.

Second – POSTERIZE with GD SOFTWARE’s EASY POSTER PRINTER – I had thought this would be awesome to use months ago, but hadn’t had a chance to test it.  It’s free, fast, and easy to use.  I ran a couple Reign of Winter pics through it, set the height and width to inches based on the squares on the map, and BLAM I had a full scale map for the players to explore and do battle on, all in full color and detail.

Savage WOrlds siteFinally, we have Savage Worlds’ blank GM Screen.  That’s right.  It’s a do-it-yourselfer, but perfectly customizable.

This is a collection of  3 binder covers built as one, but is surprisingly effective at letting you put the rules you really want where you need them.  While I have little experience with Savage Worlds, the screen works well with their wide variety of settings.  If you’re a Savage world’s fan, they’ve got multiple inserts free or cheap to download, so the prep is done with minimal effort.  Perfect.

While prep is good in the end, it’s really only worth doing if you enjoy it (in some way).  Otherwise, the game becomes an end in itself, and that’s no fun at all.  Go ahead, use those pawns. I won’t tell if you won’t.

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Pacifist Pathfinder Pregens

September 9, 2013 Comments off

Even though Pathfinder Society agents are part of a larger organization they tend to group themselves into smaller factions based on nationality, religion, race or ideology.  Some of these parties are easier to play and some take a more experienced role-player to accomplish the goals set forth in a scenario or module.  Here is one of those more difficult to play parties of pre-generated characters.

One of the foundations of the majority of role-playing games is combat, but what if a party does not believe in violence and chooses to focus instead on the exploration duties of the Society?  Do the players use diplomacy or intimidation when dealing with others?  What happens when presented with situations that only combat could accomplish?  Do they automatically give up or do they find another way?  Do they rise above and become legends of the Society?

This balanced party presents unique challenges and opportunities.  Everyone has impressive social skills and can still hold their own in actual combat.  In combat they do only deal non-lethal damage so as to not break their oaths and corrupt their values.  Look them over and let us discuss them; this is a very interesting group.  And now to present the Pacifists:

Gaerk Hardrock (Male Dwarf Cavalier – Huntmaster) : This tough, grizzled old dwarf and his trusty old dog joined the Society’s Silver Crusade after years of struggle with orcs, giants and goblins.  Gaerk is just tired of the fighting and has taken up the Order of the Blue Rose to help point him in a new direction in his life.  (Possible Prestige Path : Stalwart Defender)

Tarkhun Marxion (Male Human Cleric – Hidden Priest, Separatist) : Born and raised in Taldor all his life but keeping his worship of Sarenrae a secret, Tarkhun poses as a sorcerer and uses his blunted morningstar to promote peace and goodwill throughout the Inner Sea.  (Possible Prestige Path : Dawnflower Dissident)

Ping Jing (Male Human Monk – Ki Mystic, Sensei, Monk of the Lotus) : From the Far East, Ping arrived at the Grand Lodge looking to learn more of the world so that he may in turn pass it on to his students.  He seeks perfection and peace for this world and wishes to share all of the knowledge he gathers in this life.  (Possible Prestige Path : Pathfinder Chronicler)

Selene (Female Aasimar Paladin – Warrior of the Holy Light, Tranquil Guardian) : Hailing from the deserts of Osirion, the tanned Selene claims a distant ancestor as a celestial being.  Drawing on her inner light, she intends to bring peace and tranquility to the world while serving the Ruby Prince.  (Possible Prestige Path : Living Monolith)

Eagilis of Forest Green (Female Half-Elf Witch) : As a stalwart champion of freedom and peace, the aging Eagilis uses her gifts from her magical dove to promote her homeland of Andoran.  Wearing her somewhat suspect fullplate and brandishing her shiny spear, her knowledge of the world and magical abilities complement her goals.  NOTE: The patron of peace is not legal in Society Organized Play, so pick another and the dove familiar would the just a re-skinned thrush to complement the theme.  (Possible Prestige Path : Steel Falcon)

ACE 2013 – Asheville Comic Expo Gaming

September 8, 2013 Comments off

flierround1It is nearly time! Join us at the 2nd Annual Asheville Comic Expo! Skyland Games is in charge of organizing the tabletop RPGs, and we’ve got some great tables this year! Check out the full schedule and guarantee your spot at the table by registering at our warhorn for the event.

Admission is $5 for all day, and kids 12 and under get in free!

The venue will be the same as last year in the expo space at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville. The easiest parking is at the civic center parking deck, and the entrance to the Expo will be off Hiawassee St. on the North side of the center.

Sure you’ve read about Star Wars: Edge of the Empire here, well now is your chance to charge up your blaster and hit the hyperdrive! Maybe you’d like a more traditional dungeon delve, with a twist: check out Dungeon Crawl Classics. Like your Worlds nice and Savage? Try Slipstream, a sci-fi adventure world full of jetpacks and rayguns! Pathfinder more your speed? Why not try it from a Goblin perspective in We Be Goblins, or discover who has claimed an ancient siege castle in Master of the Fallen Fortress. New to Pathfinder? Sign up for In Service to Lore, an awesome introductory adventure to Pathfinder Society, the organized play version of the Pathfinder game. Want to get the next generation of gamers off on the right foot? Sign up your younglings for the Pathfinder Kids table, offered in both time slots, and featuring the excellent Pathfinder Beginner Box!

Last year the costumes and costume contest were fantastic! Dust off you capes, and practice your best hero pose because the cosplayers will be out in force. It also makes for some excellent people watching! All kinds of comic and toy vendors will be on hand, as well as artists, and a Friendly Local Game Store or two!

Show your support of our local comic convention, and maybe play an RPG or two! See you there!