April 15, 2014

Theme song for Dungeon Fantastic: Contest!

After I noted that'd I'd picked out Sons of Odin for music to be played if/when I win an Ennie for this masterpiece of a blog (and when you say masterpiece,you have to say it like Zola from Captain America: The First Avenger).

+Peter V. Dell'Orto responded with the audacious and patently invalid suggestion that his blog doesn't need a theme song.

Wait. Let's say that again: Dungeon Fantastic doesn't need a theme song.

Bah! I say. Bah! I wave Peter's Dismissive Hand at its owner.

Back when I gamed at Rice, we had a rule about creating PCs. If you refuse or hesitate to name your character, a name will be provided to you by the court. Or the group. Whatever. That's how my friend Anne's Jedi PC became Winnebago.

But I digress, and we really must right the wrong that Peter has wrought here, by providing him with a theme song.

Let the nominations begin. Please provide a link to a sample of the song.

Let me start with Tubthumping.

Ennie Submission is in!

So, just for fun, I threw my hat into the ring for the Ennie Awards in the Blog category. Much like +Peter V. Dell'Orto I don't expect to win. But exposure is good.

The entries I submitted:

My interview with +Kenneth Hite

The Melee Academy post on Ranged Weapons

The blow-by-blow report for the fight in Iron Man 2: Technical Natasha.

I guess we'll see how things go!

Also: you're asked to submit a "theme song" if you win. Mine's Sons of Odin, from the Thor soundtrack, starting at 0:30. Heh.


Things have been sparse around here for the last few days. Mostly a lot of campaign prep for this weekend.

April 12, 2014

"Ennie" Blog Awards, Assorted campaign prep, Fantasy grounds

I've been challenged to throw my hat into the ring for the Ennies. Much like +Peter V. Dell'Orto I don't expect to win, much less make a strong showing. But you never know, and the more exposure the better.

I figure I'll link up one or two of the interviews, a S&W or Pathfinder post, and a GURPS post - maybe Technical Natasha.

But I'm open to suggestions. What posts will make the entry the most compelling?


In other news, my family spent a fun night last Thursday night in the ER as my daughter came down with croup, and the usual palliatives weren't effective. She responded well to the nebulized epinephrine and oral steroid, so she's been much better. But my wife and I are wiped out. She's very, very pregnant and I had been up late and up early for the last week, for both work and fun. Short version: took Friday off due to necessity, took care of Short Stack, but am still wiped out.

What that meant, though, was campaign prep. Thanks to some truly epic assistance from +Eric hil, I now know exactly how to get characters, NPCs and otherwise, into FG2. Along with fog of war, importing maps, some nifty waypoint stuff for movement, and a bunch of tokens.

I'm not ready yet, but I will be. He also introduced me to making "modules" in FG, so you can just preload and go from map to map to map, like a pre-prepared adventure.

Also doing a lot with the players. +Peter V. Dell'Orto will be playing a heavy weapons guy (and likely team lead). +Christopher R. Rice is the combat medic with a penchant for two-weapon hand-to-hand fighting. +Nathan Joy is going to be a scout/sniper with an XM500 as his "Muton go away" switch. +Tim Shorts has yet to report for duty, but I also have two 225-point NPCs ready to go for fire support, and can create more (the PCs are 275 points).

Standard gear will be a modified XM8 rifle setup. But chambered in a more impressive cartridge, and I've chosen the 6.8x43 SPC, largely because it does exactly 6d from a 16" carbine, and can credibly be shortened to 12-13" while losing only 1 point.

The game's set two decades in the future, so I can more or less do what I want/need for equipment. Chose the XM8 largely for looks, I'll admit, but I like the overall feel, and it's something different.

I've got the team kitted out in high-quality body armor, but still TL8 stuff. Improvements in gear are part of the genre.

In addition to being a FG guru, Eric is also an artist, He took my basic cavern map that I'd done, and turned it into something special. Heh.

I'm not ready yet . . . but I'm getting closer.


Lastly, this campaign has caused me to jot down a few other ideas for articles. And of course Peter and I have agreed to collaborate and contribute something to an issue of the Manor, which will be my first foray into publishing something D&D-esque.

April 10, 2014

Templates and Loadouts

As I work through the details on my Alien Menace campaign, I find myself fretting about character templates and kitting up the fighters.

On the one hand, if you're basically doing GURPS XCOM, it's basically all about how good a trooper you are (a template), and the ever-cooler gear you get.

From a RPG and problem-solving perspective, toolkits and first aid and electronic devices come in very handy, and are a fairly indispensable part of a modern warrior's carried load.

But those loads get pretty darn heavy. Ken Peters did a couple of great articles in Pyramid #3/55 and #3/57 (and other places, actually) about loadouts for modern warriors and what one could expect at TL9.

Thing is, I don't want to bother.

I understand the raw value of templates. I will purchase and read with interest +Sean Punch's latest work on creating templates, likely this weekend. But I hate writing them, I hate coding them into GCA, and I find the entire process painful. Same thing with loadouts.

+Mark Langsdorf is on the right track with his post on Gun Closets and Supply Cabinets. This has triggered some ideas that I'll work on.

In the meantime, I will be trying to come to grips with pulling GCA output into Fantasy Grounds (there's a video that +Eric hil hit me up with that will likely tell me what I need to know), and generally trying to follow my own advice where it comes to "have this stuff prepared before the game starts. Because it's T-9 days to the first Alien Menace game.

The players may not be ready, but I'd better be.

Oh: Links to already-done writeups or GCA files of nasty alien creatures are always welcome. Especially from certain tactically-based alien extermination games.

April 7, 2014

New DF Game: Swashbuckling through the Darkwoods campaign

Yesterday we played the first session in +Colin Ritter's new GURPS Dungeon Fantasy campaign, which he calls Darkwoods.

I decided to play another hand-to-hand combatant, this time a Swashbucker. But rather than a straight-up Swashy, I wanted to try my hand at a pirate. Thanks to +Sean Punch's take on the pirate theme from Pyramid #3/64: Pirates and Swashbucklers, this was fairly straight-forward. 

That being said. Colin wanted to run something a bit more sophisticated? detailed? than something with "town" and "not town," so he gave us an extra 50 points total. So I've got (for example) 20 points in Seafarer 2 and another 20 points in "I hope they're useful" social skills. Heraldry already came in handy, so we'll see.

April 5, 2014

Firing Squad welcomes Nolan T Jones of Roll20

Today the Firing Squad puts Nolan T Jones of Roll20 up against the wall, in a slightly-belated but much anticipated (at least by me) continuation of the Virtual TableTop  topic for the RPGBA Blog Carnival. We'll be discussing the ideal features of VTTs, where Roll20's strengths and weaknesses lie, support for major and minor games, and what's currently enabled and what lies in the future.

Unlike the usual process, we're uploading the video immediately, with the audio file and transcript to be made available as soon as possible. 

Text Transcript (forthcoming)

April 4, 2014

Firing Squad Interview with James Introcaso

Today's installment of the Firing Squad welcomes +James Introcaso , proprietor of the World Builder blog and all-around fun guy to talk with. We chat about the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons, his world-in-progress called Exploration Age, the edition wars, and other fun topics (like grappling!) having to do with RPGs.

We spoke for nearly two hours, and if nothing else, this interview taught me that while I might not stick with my list of questions, not having one makes for some scattered topic coverage! 

Text Transcript

Douglas Cole (Gaming Ballistic): Good evening and welcome to Gaming Ballistic’s Firing Squad. We are joined today by . . . James Introcaso?

James Introcaso (World-Builder Blog): Yes.

Doug: Very good! James Introcaso. Proprietor of the World-Builder Blog, and I believe that you got a few publishings to your name, and you also run the Roundtable – a regular podcast on . . . all-things role-playing, or all-things Dungeons and Dragons, or both?

James: It’s all things Dungeons and Dragons, but we do often delve into other systems and topics as well. But it’s very role-playing centric for sure.

April 3, 2014

Cinematic awesome vs. two mooks - what do you do?

In this post on the GURPS Forums, TheOneRonin was asking about how to fight multiple opponents in GURPS while unarmed. This was sort of interpreted to mean "I should be able to beat up many foes if I have Karate and Judo!"

That wasn't precisely fair, but the advice he received: expect to lose; expect to get hurt; expect to die. This is more or less spot-on in real life.

But GURPS isn't real life, and when I dug in to the situation a little by private message, I'm revising my opinion. The character in question could rock out with Jason Bourne. The bad guys were utterly unimpressive . . . and there were but two of them.