Category Archives: Project

I regularly have fun with projects. PHP, .net, .. whatnot :)

Secret DM links

I need to remember these. Because I’m going to use them later. AGAINST the players!! :D Though if you’re a player, nothing to see here, carry on..

 

 

That’s it. Not too exciting, I know.

RPG Dungeon Master tools

I DM an ongoing DnD 3.5 game, play WFRP 3 and play/gm random stuff. As a GM, I would like a selection of tools to make my life easier; to help me do or track things that bug me otherwise. I also have several Android devices: a Nexus S and an Archos 101 and I would like them to help me. Two cool apps I found so far are Dice Bag (though I usually just roll the actual dice) and Spellbook – D&D 3.5 (because I forget and because its quicker than the book!) But I need more.

A quick brainstorm and look at what I do and dont yields an interesting list..

Random stuff

Monsters
A random encounter with a certain Challenge Rating

Encounters
A random group of enemy with a certain Challenge Rating

Magic items
Throw out a certain level random magic item

Treasure
Generate a treasure within certain parameters like min/max # items, min/max lvl, gold worth

NPCs
Generate a random NPC

Random Dungeon
Instant scenario blurb. This stuff would be Awesome! Zak has awesome ideas to do this on paper but trying to go paperless, or at least use the least possible paper, so software would be cooler..

Some of this I dont really need in a software version since I got the Vornheim City Kit, but there is some part that doesnt overlap and it would be nice to have that in software. Also; it would be nice to have Vornheim City Kit in software too :)

Tracking

Combat Hitpoints
It annoys me to have to scribble on tiny pieces of paper to keep track of the damage being done.

Maps
I need some tool to handle my maps. I need to be able to show my players the maps on screen. And I need some sort of fog of war so that I can reveal parts and leave other parts obscured. And I need to be able to turn the motherfucker around & be able to zoom it all.

Random
Randomly generated map for different environments (dungeon, forest, city, ..) I imagine these could be infinite; generate me a big city and the parts you havent been yet are generated on the fly! This shouldnt be too hard; an infinite dungeon / city / .. wouldnt be too hard..

pre-prepared
I want to be able to prepare/create an image, maybe in some vector format..

scanned images
I want to scan images from those fancy scenarios I have (maybe clean them up some) and be able to use them.

There are already some tools available that do this; but most of them don’t do my specific flavor of DnD 3.5; so that doesnt work. And some other tools are just not compatible with my approach to note taking :D

A lesson in the above is that only supporting one system is a problem to many. Supporting them all is impossible. So the only solution, really, is to make it independent of that data and to make the data easy to import!

So the search continues. And Im sure to find what I need either on the Market or in the dev pages..

The Same Page Tool

I heard about The Same Page Tool from the walking eye and immediately realized that this could have told us earlier that the player that left back when did not fit in the game..

So I sent it to the current players and I am very curious what will come of it! *Forward about a week* And these are the results! :)

The Players: Dirk, Nico, Tom, Zoet, Kenneth

Do you play to win?
a) Yes, you totally play to win! The win conditions are…
Kenneth
b) Good play isn’t a win/lose kind of thing
Dirk, Nico, Tom, Zoet

Good news I guess.. Though I think this doesnt matter really; If all were into it to Win Id have to provide clearer WIN conditions, but since most of them are not, the current scenario path will be OK, it has “win conditions” but none too rigid.

Player characters are:
a) expected to work together; conflicts between them are mostly for show
Kenneth
b) expected to work together; but major conflicts might erupt but you’ll patch them up given some time
Dirk, Tom, Zoet
c) expected to work together; major conflicts might erupt and never see reconciliation
Nico
d) pursuing their own agendas – they might work together, they might work against each other
Nico, Kenneth
e) expected to work against each other, alliances are temporary at best

I like the spread and I like how most/all expect internal conflict. Cool.
Certainly since I have made it abundantly clear that I don’t consider it my role to make their party work together. Any shit they want to pull, they can and if anyone doesn’t like it, they’ll have to resolve that (any way they like – Kill the problem if thats how the story has to go) without GM help.. (This doesn’t mean NPCs cant help, its just that I as a person won’t.)

The GM’s role is:
a) The GM preps a set of events – linear or branching; players run their characters through these events. The GM gives hints to provide direction.
Dirk, Nico, Kenneth
b) The GM preps a map with NPCs and/or monsters. The players have their characters travel anywhere they can reach on the map, according to their own goals.
Tom, Zoet, Kenneth
c) The GM has no plan – the GM simply plays the NPCs and has them act or react based on their motivations
Nico, Tom
d) There’s no GM. Everyone works together to make the story through freeform.
e) There’s no GM. The rules and the system coordinate it all.

ok.
I offer All of that :D I had potential for improvement but the Vornheim city kit has already helped me on that.

The players’ roles are…
a) …to follow the GM’s lead to fit the story
Kenneth
b) …to set goals for their characters, and pursue them proactively
Dirk, Nico, Tom, Zoet, Kenneth
c) …to fling their characters into tough situations and make hard, sometimes, unwise choices

ok; cool. You can feel free to tell me them goals; always good info!

Doing the smartest thing for your character’s survival…
a) …is what a good player does.
b) …sometimes isn’t as important as other choices
Dirk, Nico, Kenneth
c) …isn’t even a concern or focus for this game.
Tom, Zoet

Smart things aren’t always fun. Its about the fun. Hooray :)

The GM’s role to the rules is…
a) …follow them, come what may. (including following house rules)
Tom, Zoet
b) …ignore them when they conflict with what would be good for the story
Dirk, Nico, Kenneth
c) …ignore them when they conflict with what “should” happen, based either on realism, the setting, or the genre

If you start with the official body of rules, I have a lot of house rules changing them or even scrapping big parts. Other than that I dutifully follow the rules. Not all house rules have been written or set in stone though :)

After many sessions of play, during one session, a player decides to have her character side with an enemy. This is…
a) …something that shouldn’t even happen. This is someone being a jerk.
b) …where the character becomes an NPC, right away or fairly soon.
c) …something the player and the GM should have set up ahead of time.
Nico
d) …only going to last until the other player characters find out and do something about it.
Dirk, Tom, Zoet, Kenneth
e) …a meaningful moment, powerful and an example of excellent play.

Would I ever do such a thing? In Ravenloft?
Will ask Nico about what he means with setting it up though..
I would be curious to see what something they would do about it though :D

Interesting!

Tnx to all of you for taking the time to answer the questions :) Though Zoet merely said “what he said” on Tom’s answers. Gotta love having players that care!

And a 3 on the d10 for the fun of it..

Zak from DnD With Pornstars wrote “What Should You Blog About Today? Roll D10” recently. I rolled a 9 and did that. but I also felt like doing a quick three.

3–Four things you wish you want more of in your campaign, four things you wish you had less of. Or, if you can;t do that, tell us why you can’t. Is your campaign perfect? Rock–tell us why you think it’s humming so well.

Things you wish you want More of in your campaign (Im going to assume the “you wish you want” part is a typo)

  • Seriously scared or at least unsettled players
  • Practical Fun cursed items. One can think of many but its only in the right game, situation and players hands that they become FUN
  • Progress!! I read scenarios about 100x faster than the players complete them. Soo many cool ideas so little progress. Not that my players aren’t good or fast or whatever, its just the nature of the hobby :)
  • voices. I’ll admit to having to do more voices. It d enrich the experience and clarity for everyone but I just cant. I’m not good at keeping them up and ……… Maybe I’ll try ..

Things you wish you had Less of.

  • Random maiming at stupid moments (seriously, you know who you are)
  • Rules. I don’t like rules. They are a means to the fun and games, but less is more. And I am supposed to be the rules reference; so I need to know more of them, …… I need a rules happy player that ‘ll know them all and that ll spare me the knowing them. At least there is software for character creation.
  • Pause. We play about monthly which means that if one gets canceled it becomes a long wait. Which makes it hard to build up real tension and has screwed up good and interesting concepts before. Its a pity, it would ‘ve been cool had it worked..
  • Less points in this list because I REALLY cant think of a fourth..

I am generally quite happy about it all. The players & the game..

Interesting for considering though

What Should You Blog About Today? Roll D10

Zak from DnD With Pornstars wrote “What Should You Blog About Today? Roll D10” recently and yes. I will play :D

To roll a D10!

1d10: 9
9–Google up a random mini, then describe this fellow or lass as an NPC. Give us some hooks for him or her

After a cryptic Google Image search, I got this guy from some site called Necrotales.
Necrotales

Hidden in a maze of tiny alleys and streets only those few that really breathe the city know to find lies the Orchard of Talfes. The path there declines into somewhat of a pit that is the orchard and seems eternally covered by a white cloud. Strangers trying to approach the garden find their way blocked by an impressive wooden fence that seems to have grown out of the rock itself and has big boulders where the different parts of the fence meet, high above the ground. Anyone trying to find their way in finds that the orchard is surrounded by buildings yet weirdly unaccessible through or over them. The only way in is through a well hidden gate in the fence. Anyone trying to get in will find their way blocked by the keeper of the orchard; the trees are kept by Jeorst Dowornn,

The orchard trees exhale a constant stream of white smoke that utterly evaporates after a few meters. There are 5 trees in the orchard and they are the last of their kind as far as anyone knows. The trees a unique kind of wood that is infused with the essence of rock, making it stronger and heavier than normal wood yet not as fragile as rock would be, adding the flexibility of wood. The smoke rising from the branches of the living trees can be turned to rock in a special ritual known only to the keepers. Or keeper as there’s only one left.

Jeorst Dowornn is the last of the keepers. He can remember fragments of the orders history as a great and widespread organisation but bad oral history and flaky memory have blurred out all important details. The keepers know the secrets of the trees they keep and are able to prune the right branches to make the fine weaponry the Taflest name is known for. Or was known for as these weapons have grown rare. The keepers hold the secret, an alchemical concoction, to crystallizing the smoke around the extremities to form the stone parts. Jeorst himself has an ancient halberd style Talfest weapon and is very proficient in its use. The weapon itself was made by the keeper that trained him upon completion of his apprenticeship and holds great emotional value.

Talfest weapons are extra strong; they dont wear out as quick. They are heavier than normal weapons; using it gives a slight penalty in dexterity unless after specific training by a keeper or an experienced Talfest wielder. The keeper will be 50% quicker in training. The weapon does extra damage; +2 or whatever seems ok in your system. The wood is infused with some magical ability but the keeper has forgotten its use. When extensively studying the keeper while he is genuinely fighting for his life, some weird effects can be observed but you cant really figure out whats happening nor how exactly he does it. When asked, the keeper cant either.

The fence is of Talfest make and is near indestructible. The magical properties of the wood make it extra strong and resistant to damage.

Hooks
* You need to procure a Talfes weapon
* You need to steal a tree so that it can be planted in a rich mans garden / a weapon masters workshop / .. You’ll have to figure out how to make this tree grow outside of the grove
* You need to destroy the orchard. The orchard has ill effects on the environs / the city council wants the space for fresh development / a rivaling order has a Talfes tree and wants the monopoly.
* You need to find a mythical 6th tree high on a mountain / wherever really. I’m not sure if there should even be a 6th tree anywhere.
* You need to find a fresh keeper as the old keeper is going to lay down with the trees for his eternal rest soon
* A crime was committed and a Talfes weapon was used; Jeorst is the prime suspect

And thats that.

Danger Patrol – a Daring play test!

Today was game day! Yet trough a series of very unexpected events, we ended up short and decided not to continue the research into who is killing off the fair maidens of Paridon ..
So I got my print of the Danger Patrol beta rules (by onesevendesign.com) and we started a game of heroic adventures, 50s style!

Tommy Spike, a psychic investigator paired with an atomic explorer known only as “Pitch Black”.
Pitched against a Crimson Ape outbreak! We played through the Action scene, filled with rampant apes being crushed by a telepathically induced tornado, potentially exploding cars and a former nemesis coming back in a seductive assassination attempt at Tommy, only to be thrown out of the hover car and violently crack her skull on the pavement, meters below.)
The interlude presented some needed RnR time
And a short overview of what the Suspense would have been, had we had more time (with mob assassins, poison driving the zoo animals INSANE and a cunning trap, set up to KILL the valiant heroes!)

The system; I generally liked it.
Even though I managed to miss the Threat Moves section, that table quite puzzled me and since the failed danger dice didnt really do all that much without it, I was slightly puzzled at how the damage actually got to the players. The show, however, must go on and damage was dealt, but in retrospect, we did miss out on a nice part of the system. Next time..
I also found a small typo in nr of danger dice available to the player. 2 or 3? (Pg 13: 1-3; pg Pg 25 Rules Summary 1-2) We played 3 since I like how the players themselves are in control instead of putting that with the DM!
Its a nice system. It works smoothly and I love how it takes you places you otherwise wouldn’t go! Having these other random story creation seeds influencing the storyline is really rich!

A point of interest is that there is more of a load on the storyteller and to a certain level on the players. Actually, there is just more of a load on the game as a whole and how that gets divided really depends on the players. Regular games always have the scenario and if the players go catatonic, you can easily fall back on the prepared scenario points to kick them to action or death. If the players fail at giving their input in this game, you need to create it all on a whim and that can be hard (supposing you’re above putting the players through any pathetic thin drivel) on a longer run. If on the other hand the players really get into the describing, you re in for an easy ride, really! One player immediately pointed out that you need a specific type of person to really make this work, though I don’t believe thats entirely true.
That being said and at any rate, I’m confident that any troupe of moderately creative people can have a blast at this!

Im wondering if this game could be modified to be more DM-less by rotating the DM role for the scene to a different player, so that Everyone has a character and the rotating GM does the storytelling..

The notes overview system is very nice. You are able to create a great overview on the go and this greatly helps the game. A friend however quickly remarked that its not really that nature friendly, considering the big pile of paper waste you end up with after the game! And I agree. But I like it. .. theres definitely conceptual gold in there! (actually, there should be an app for that ;) heheh If only I had the time to write all that!)

Danger Patrol is a fun game with some great mechanics that offers a humongous amount of freedom but requires more creativity than the big, more scripted and rule heavy RPGs.

And the Beta is downloadable for free at dangerpatrol.com!

Hathédru – a SAGE gift.

The SAGE ends today (I received my present earlier and its Awesome :) tnx squidman!) and as such I present to you my personal SAGE gift. And to  borrow Zaks words.. “Happy birthday Ghost of Gary, we still like your game…and thanks for coming to the party, Ghost of Dave, we couldn’t have done it without you.

The request
> I want a monster that’s Lovecraftian- not Cthulhu-thing Lovecraftian,
> but rather Nyarlathotep-style subversion-of-men Lovecraftian. There
> should be no relation of any sort to tentacles. Pictures not
> necessary, but a write-up and basic stats/powers should be enough.
> Stats preferably 3.5 rules.

I first started off with a strong Nyarlatothep theme, but decided (after it was 50% completed) that I needed more of a monster and started over. The overall Cthulhu theme as I see it (the gods etc) is mostly about a huge and incomprehensible evil lurking over humanity. Not much is known, but most of that is very fearsome. Nyarlatothep kicks it up a notch (BAM!) as it disguises the evil in every day forms and even takes away the recognisable “pure evil” actions and puts more mundane ones in place that are equally devastating in the long run.

I had a long thought about a disguised evil with enormous proportions. Ever looming and impossible to destroy. So Hathédru was born! (I hope he’s what you were looking for! :) )

Hathédru

Hathédru is an ancient god, slumbering deep underground and only sporadicly manifesting itself in the cities of humanoids though never without disastrous results.
Supported by a well spread and well organised secret cult believing they receive the will of Hathédru trough their elder Sages.

Or at least thats what some believe. A small faction supports the less popular idea that describes the Hathédru as a sentient hive of bugs, the hive mind often combining 1000 of bugs (and a host of magical racial treats) to mimic humanoid forms.
Continue reading

Cormyr

Looking into the scenarios on my shelves. I recently got Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave and apparently thats the first part of a trilogy.. and of course it Irks me that the collection is incomplete..

That means Im still missing Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land and Anauroch: The Empire of Shade. (Dont think they mention those titles in the book however, If you re not willing to google it to wiki style pages you re obviously not worthy of knowing the other parts.)

I think Ill try n get over it.. Ive got stories for several lifetimes. On the other hand; I d really like the trilogy to be Complete.

Ill put it on the “Some Day” and “Low Priority” list.
Still not entirely persuaded though.. Forgotten Realms are so extremely colorful.

The Personalities ~ After todays battle

They died. But not quite
And they recieved some XP..

XP: 12089
Next Level: 15000

The sheets and RedBlade files..

We did decide not to use the RB files for inventory. Its just too bothersome to keep track of in the file; too many different and specific items and too much changes with each session.

The story (probably) continues on August 8th!

The Personalities ~ a DnD update!

We ve been playing for a while now and I really prefer using some piece of software for character maintenance.. As such I just input the characters in RedBlade. (which runs just fine under Wine) The chars are not exactly right (what with illegible writing and all that) but Ill ask everyone to set the record straight tomorrow before we start.

Without ado, the usual suspects:

Im considering a dnd.cone.be site for this but in the mean while, the sheets! :)

The Search for Projection Screen Paint

For several reasons, most of which are aesthetics and size, we re projecting on a wall and as such looking for a paint on projection screen! They turn out to cost and there s even some choice at that. The screen is about 6 square meters.

I havent decided what path to go. Havent found too much reviews either, except that it does pay in picture quality to paint it black Expensive Grey

Ill take a few more days to decide.. also because I figured it d cost a 100 instead of twice to four times that amount!