Power Rangers RPG Campaign

I looked at the character sheet for the new Power Rangers RPG and I can’t help but to want to build a campaign.

I just saw the character sheet for this game…

And like so many other character sheets, it got me thinking. There is so much potential for this particular RPG to be outstanding in my collection as a GM. I have four kids who are all huge fans of the series, plus my wife is a huge fan of the original Green Ranger played by Jason David Frank.

I’m going to walk through some of my design process without a system attached on here just for fun. The first thing I want to consider is the version of Earth’s timeline or alternate Earth. This happens in several Power Ranger series and is referenced throughout some seasons. Personally, I love cameo appearances by rangers from older series. Megaforce was probably my favorite for this reason.

The opportunities presented by this new RPG are just too juicy to pass up.

Looks very familiar. Similar to D&D.

Needless to say, we’re going to probably start with an alternate timeline to Mighty Morphing. I mean, the original characters were cool and all, but why not kick it up a notch? Think about it. The Time Force Rangers knew alternate Earths exist. What’s to keep our old original arch enemy, Rita Repulsa from doing the same? What if she cast a spell that broke the time/space/dimensional barrier?

I’m going to start out with Lord Zed as the main bad guy in Season One of Power Rangers, uh… ooh. We need a name. Power Rangers Lightning Force. Okay, I can work with that. My 12 year old already has his character designed, like the minute I mentioned it. He wants to play Blue Phoenix. Can you tell he’s excited?

The idea here is not to just replay the old scripts.

Hence an alternate timeline. We’ll keep a few things here and there, but let’s mix and match. Gonna try to go slightly more serious than the Bulk and Skull type characters, but not as dark as the 15 minute remake with Katee Sackhoff that got banned. (Loved it for what it was, but yeesh. Dark…)

The characters are still going to start out as high school students in detention together. We’ll have a Breakfast Club type opening with them all in weekend detention together. My wife will probably want to play Tommy Oliver as a girl, if I had to guess. Tommi Oliver it is. I want to minimize the use of NPC rangers, but so far I’m betting I’ll have three or four solid players at the most with my wife and oldest popping in and out. My youngest is still learning how to play games and sit still, so he might get relegated to GMs helper to begin with.

I’m going to plan on the team only having four colors starting out.

We can always add more later, right? The original team for Lightning Force will be Red (Dragon) Blue (Phoenix) Black (Chimera?) and Green (Pegasus?) I may have to recruit a player or two online and adjust. Again, we’re in the development phase, so nothing is locked down. I’m feeling a very magical flying monster vibe so far.

We’re going to leave the gang in Angel Grove but I’m thinking the population might change. Ever notice how monsters regularly rampage through the town, smashing buildings and crushing cars? Why don’t we ever hear about innocent bystanders during these battles? I want there to be some kind of consequences to not leading the giant monsters out of town whenever possible. Who’d want to live in that town? Can you imagine the real estate nightmares? But I digress…

In the next installment of this campaign building series, let’s talk about the bad guys a bit. I want something more than a gold monkey with wings. I’m kinda considering borrowing extensively from a gaming company that is no stranger to trademark lawsuits. Think of it as a tribute to 40K. But if I’m flirting with danger, why not go all in?

Til then, take care. Please stay healthy. Eat your vitamins, drink plenty of water, get some exercise, get some sleep, and avoid giant monsters rampaging through your town if you can. Game on.

Obscure RPGs

There are tons of RPG systems out there besides the standard D&D and fantasy. Go out and explore. Find something new!

“Obscure” being a relative term, I guess.

Today I realized I collect and love a lot of offbeat RPGs. You know, things that aren’t mainstream D&D. I’m not knocking the grandfather of all RPGs or anything. I still love D&D from BECMI on up. But there are so many other RPGs outside of D&D. Heck, there are plenty of genres outside of fantasy to explore.

I see a lot of posts/articles to the effect of “Alternatives to D&D.” I always chuckle at the notion because some of us have embraced this idea for years now. I don’t just mean Pathfinder or Middle Earth, either. I mean alternatives to fantasy rpgs.

Life can be scary away from spell slinging elves with swords.

Personally, I love the mecha genre of anime style games. Good luck ever finding players for that, btw. (I guess they exist somewhere but not around where I live.) WWII gaming has some appeal, but again players seem to be few and far between. (Check out Operation White Box!) Most people go toward Star Wars in its many incarnations because Space Opera is kind of like fantasy’s futuristic cousin.

I think a lot of sci-fi and modern games get a bad rep because “guns are icky.” Truthfully, many of us have had negative experiences with firearms to the point of not wanting to roleplay characters that use them. And there’s also the percentage of the population that knows little to nothing about guns. Swords and spells are easier to figure out, I suppose. The same can be said for modern horror as well, although Call of Cthulhu is still thriving.

I recommend looking into one’s own favorite genre of books, movies, or tv shows for inspiration. Chances are, there’s probably an RPG out there on the market for it or a way to adapt a current system. Generic, universal RPGs are fairly common these days from the d20 System (OGL, D&D rules,) to FATE, D6, Open Legends, Genre Diversion, and dozens more. There are too many to list here and most are adaptable to anything from gritty historical realism to far flung psychedelic future utopian fantasy.

DrivethruRPG is chock full of alternative games.

Full disclosure: I am NOT a spokesman for OneBookShelf or any subsidiaries, but I’ve been a customer for years. It’s a good RPG shopping site for indie games. There’s also a lot of good reviews there if you’re on the fence about buying a new game or game system.

I could go on all day naming good systems and specific RPGs for people to try out, but it might be easier just to go on Itch.io or DrivethruRPG and look around for yourself. Your local used bookstore might also be a good resource for RPGs off the beaten path.

Please consult your group before launching a new campaign or system.

I want to emphasize that some groups may not be ready to do something other than good old D&D. I have friends who absolutely refused to do anything besides D&D. It was the only game they knew. It was the only genre they were comfortable it and you could not get them out of that comfort zone for love or money. To those friends, I said, “Cool. See you next week for D&D.”

Challenging though it may be at times, one can always find a group online somewhere for almost any game imaginable. It might take some time, persistence, and effort to find said players or GM. If lockdowns taught us anything, it’s that there’s a niche out there for just about everyone on the internet. Failing that, I would recommend trying some solo roleplaying. More on that here.

Whatever your game or system of choice is, please do enjoy. I hope your weekend is full of good friends and superb die rolls. Game on.

Mighty Powerful “Morphering” RPG

Personally, I have campaigns for a sentai built outside of the Zordon era and a couple of campaigns for Rangers that wouldn’t be part of the Morphing grid, but would easily be Power Rangers games.

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers RPG from Renegade Games has dropped.

I have to say, I’m excited someone finally dropped an official version of this game. Some of us have been playing various versions of the world’s most famous superhero sentai for a long time or at least have campaigns waiting in the wings. I know the overwhelming concern with many game designers was the fear of being sued by mega giants Hasbro and Saban Entertainment for making an unofficial, unlicensed version of the game.

I was hyped when Renegade announced Power Rangers, GI Joe and Transformers are coming as RPGs. They’re all a d20 based system, probably as to make it friendly to the D&D players. I kind of wonder why Hasbro didn’t simply enlist the folks at WotC to do these games, but maybe they wanted to separate the licensing out.

Power Rangers RPG from Renegade Games.

Personally, I have campaigns for a sentai built outside of the Zordon era and a couple of campaigns for Rangers that wouldn’t be part of the Morphing grid, but would easily be Power Rangers games. I will say FATE Mecha v Kaiju did an awesome job of setting up a similar campaign. I’ve also come up with my own FATE sentai series, played around with Henshin Sentai RPG and have a Cartoon Action Hour campaign that is a fusion of Power Rangers and another popular kid’s cartoon that has its own trademark police. Needless to say, I’ve loved the concept of Power Rangers for years now.

My kids convinced me to watch Mini Force, so I could create a campaign for that any time as well. It’s a cute show. Lil fuzzy Power Rangers from SAMG Entertainment. It might be kind of a short campaign, though. Heh heh.

I grew up watching GI Joe, Transformers and Power Rangers after school. I’ve thought for years that a fusion of all three would be amazing. Take the zords to an all new level and have them be akin to Autobots and combine into a Megazord. Watch out Devastator! Likewise, making the Rangers into a military organization and have them fight terrorists from space would be epic, but a little outside of the scope of a Rangers TV series.

As a side note, I hung onto a lot of my old GI Joe and Transformers figures from back in the day. Still waiting for the crossover movie. Might have to do it as an RPG some day.

Dear Renegade,

Please email me a pdf copy of this game for review jeffcraigmile@gmail.com or drop me a note and I’ll send you my home address for a physical copy. I promise I’ll say good things on every website I can reach. I’ll even put up a YouTube channel just to review your games. Yes, seriously. I’m good for reviews of GI Joe and Transformers RPGs, too.

I’m also available if you’re hiring, especially writers. Thank you!

Your pal,
Jeff

Okay, before I drop any more puns intentionally or otherwise, I’m out. Have a great day. Game on.

Anxiety and How I Beat It Back

What’s the BEST that can happen?

Kind of a personal share today.

My chest is getting a bit tight just thinking about all this. Breathe…

I’m working on a couple of projects that I’m very excited about or at least I should be. I’m sworn to secrecy, so I can’t say what they are, but they’re very important to me. It’s also very exciting.

That’s all fine and well, but the old sinking feelings set in. I start asking all the wrong questions in my head. What if I fail? What if I miss my deadline? What if no one likes it? What if my wife gets on me for spending more time on this than housework or finding a “real” job. What if I’m successful? Ooh pressure… What if there’s criticism? See also all of my personal PTSD triggers…

If anyone needs me, I’ll be curled up under my desk.

Procrastination sets in. I start spending way more time on social media. I play Diablo 3 like it’s going out of style. I do housework until my body says “no more.” The cats are avoiding me because of too many snuggles. Time to be my own therapist for a change. None of this pattern is new to me. Time to break the cycle.

What’s the BEST that can happen?

The worst case scenario has had enough time in the limelight to last me a lifetime. I took Public Relations in college. I know how it works. But I’m done with thinking about what could go wrong. Let’s project what it looks like when things go right.

  • Use positive affirmations to build confidence back up. If nothing else, I am okay.
  • Speak it into existence with gratitude for what will happen. “I am so happy and grateful now that I am a successfully published RPG writer.”
  • Take inspired action. Don’t let those good ideas sit on the shelf.
  • “Lean into the suck.” (Thanks Laura DiBenedetto!) More on that below.
  • False Evidence Appearing Real. Let the demons go on a diet. No more fear.
  • Stay calm. Relax. Breathe. Stay present in the moment. Every now moment.
  • Get knocked down 99 times. Stand up 100 times. Failure is part of the process.
  • Do not compare oneself to the images on social media. The grass is always greener in someone else’s front yard.
  • Finally, criticism is also part of the process. Trust that it isn’t personal. Learn. Grow from it. Keep going with the knowledge that change and growth go hand in hand.

A good friend of mine once said, “Lean into the suck.”

Yes, there’s stress. But…

Yes, there’s going to be stress. It’s part of the process. Yes, there are challenges to overcome. If it were totally easy, someone else would have done it by now. Sometimes, you just have to push through all the fear, stress, concerns and challenges to come out on top in that place of gratitude. Even Elon Musk and Jeff Besos have off days and problems to solve.

Inspired action is still action and sometimes that comes with more challenges (or consequences.) I know I have to step out of my comfort zone. I have to reach for those goals. They’re not just going to happen magically while I sit on my couch and meditate. (Yay meditation, but still…)

Yeah, sometimes things are going to suck. There are setbacks. They’re not permanent. Hold my Dr Pepper. I got this.

I have to constantly remind myself I am NOT my feelings.

Sure, I have feelings. (My man card is burning. LOL!) The thing we tend to forget is that we choose our feelings. I’m not in any imminent danger of being eaten by a bear, so I can choose something besides stress.

Yeah, criticism is likely. But my editor is human. I’m still going to put my best foot forward and do my utmost to meet deadline. If it’s not perfect, we’ll figure it out together.

I am not my diagnosis of PTSD, ADHD, depression, anxiety disorder or anything else psychology labels me as having. I am capable of staying positive and present. I can do this. I’ve got this.

Thanks for bearing with me on a personal share. Sometimes I just need to put it down in words to feel my way through things. The interweb is my vision board.

I am so grateful for all of you. Be back soon.

If you’re interested in more life changing suggestions for personal growth, you can check out The Six Habits by Laura DiBenedetto. This book and its author have helped me so much these last three years.

Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Review

Thank you Goodman Games.

DCC RPG isn’t even a new game. It’s not even close! But what it is- AWESOME!

I picked up my new physical copy today. It comes in at a whopping $29.99 for 477+ Pages?!? That is unheard-of in this day and age!

And that’s before we even get into the game itself. It’s like Warhammer Fantasy RPG and Hackmaster had a baby and raised it during the era of 3rd Ed D&D. Which, that is partially true given that Goodman started out making DCC adventures during the hay days of the OGL in Third Ed, making throwback style modules. DCC RPG is basically a cut down, streamlined version of the 3rd Ed rules, with a LOT of exceptions that make it a unique and beautiful baby.

It also borrows from the good old BECMI days of D&D with the character races as classes and only seven classes total. There are also only 10 levels to worry about and an experience point system that is anything but overly crunchy or burdensome. The design theory here was- make characters, go on adventures, and have fun.

Artwork sells games. This is from the interior of DCC RPG. Look familiar?

I’ve said for years that artwork sells RPGs.

The “old Grognards” in the crowd will probably recognize the Easter Egg in the image above as a tribute to the First Ed AD&D Player’s Handbook. The art throughout the book is very much in that old T$R style of black and white (mostly) artwork. Some of it can be a little goofy looking, some more serious fantasy. It really takes me back to the old Tunnels & Trolls or Dragon Magazine era in the 1980’s.

This game comes highly regarded and well recognized. I could go on for hours about it.

Even the guy who sold me my softcover today stopped to chat about this game. He said he wished he could get a campaign going for it. If nothing else, we both got a good chuckle at the 0 Level character funnel. “Oops, character A died in the first five minutes. Good thing I have a stack of characters here.”

It’s very much in that old school dungeon crawl game way of doing things. Kick in the front door of the dungeon, smash orcs in the face with your mace, and rescue the elf girl in the chainmail bikini. If you’re really “lucky” you’ll probably get to fight a dragon on dungeon level eight or nine. DCC RPG lends itself well to beer-n-pretzels roleplaying- not too serious or dramatic.

I daresay Matt Mercer and his Critical cast would be seriously confused by how this game is usually run. Don’t even think about making a costume when your character could get mangled in a deathtrap before third level and the GM has no qualms about doing it.

DCC RPG goes all out with superfluous tables and statistics.

I find it amazing for a game that is basically supposed to be rules lite to go so far into what I consider old school style tables. Thieves get bonuses to their skills based on level and alignment. There are tables for spellcasting, talking to a deity, and various dragon styles. You can create new strange humanoid races and customize your dragon’s fighting style in this game. The amount of tables and the types of things they cover really take me back while still being all fresh and new.

Speaking of unique and wonderful concepts, this game uses some freaky dice! d7’s? d24? Because everyone has one of those lying around. Okay, I have d24’s and d30’s but I still have to go out and acquire a set with d7, d14, and d16’s. That’s strange even for me. You have to see for yourself how they’re built into the system, but they’re there. You can also fake it with regular polyhedral dice or find a dice roller for your device of choice. Personally, I like physical dice.

DCC RPG Dice available from Goodman Games, Amazon, and others.

I’m not kidding when I say I could literally go on about this game for hours. I love how it’s laid out. I love the art! Even the dice are appealing. I think I’m probably going to generate a few characters tonight, or at least a stack of 0 Level neophyte characters to see how many live one session in and become actual classed PCs. I’m also going to pull out the random dungeon generator and Grimtooth’s Traps. Remember a while back when I said dungeons didn’t necessarily make a ton of sense back in the day? Yeah… yeah… I’m pretty excited!

As a GM, the most appealing part of this system to me is the monsters. You can customize all of your standard monster types from demons to un-dead, humanoids and dragons. There really aren’t a lot of cookie cutter monsters in this game and the stat blocks are loose and friendly enough that they can be modified easily. The best part- there’s no crunchy experience point system. No CRs and no encounter levels to balance. The party can either rock it and drop it or run away. Running away still gets experience. Okay, maybe not quite as much, but smart and alive is still better than valorous and extremely dead, right? Hopefully the players see it that way.

I really wanted to talk some about all of the cool spells and magic items, but I’ll save that for another time. I’m also thinking seriously about putting some material together for it. I actually give Goodman Games a lot of credit for not putting out a million sourcebooks. Lots of great adventure modules, though. Personally, I want to do a hex crawl campaign with this system.

The game also includes some inspirational reading material for GMs and players. There are open tributes to everyone including Gygax, Arneson, Moldvay and others.

Overall, I give this game very high marks. It is possibly the best rules lite-ish throwback OSR style game going right now. It’s wonderful for us “old Grognards” and young players alike if you’re looking for a change of pace and style. I highly recommend this product with all sincerity.

Until next time, keep those dice rolling. Stay safe. Game on!

Table for One?

Yes, I am guilty of rolling dice and talking to myself, mostly at home.

Should Role Playing Games Be a Solo Endeavour?

Okay. Please hear me out before I get branded a heretic in the RPG community. I think it’s okay, but with a few stipulations. No, a mental health waiver isn’t one of them, although you may want to keep your solo RP activities at home. Moderation is always a good thing with anything. It’s also probably better to go out and socialize occasionally if you can. Just sayin…

I’m not crazy, but I used to spend a lot of time alone.

Yes, I am guilty of rolling dice and talking to myself, mostly at home. As far back as high school I ran scenarios with my 2nd Ed AD&D characters to work out combats and anticipate what would probably be said by an average party. It filled a lot of lonely Friday nights in high school with Dr Who playing in the background. Back then, I didn’t have minis, so I used painted thumb tacks and push pins on a piece of graph paper tacked to a piece of wood. It’s okay to laugh, really.

Solo roleplaying evolves into story writing.

It’s a great writing exercise!

As I grew older, I really found a fondness for writing. I still generated tons of D&D characters, but I started writing their stories out as they leveled. It became more about fantasizing and less about rolling dice for random outcomes. This is something I still shamelessly do today with games such as ICONS and ICRPG. I even have a Pathfinder 2E character that’s kind of going this way.

I’ve written a lot of good fiction for myself this way. It’s a good way to kill time if I’m stuck at my kids’ practices and I’ve already done my meditation for the day. I shamelessly carry a bag of dice and a notepad around for just such an occasion. I also come up with a lot of interesting plot and campaign ideas this way.

These Days, It’s More Common Than Ever.

Thanks to the Icky Cough-Coughs (as my oldest calls it,) a lot of games went indoors, out of the public and online. If online isn’t your thing and your family doesn’t like dragons, giant robots or magical girls, there aren’t a lot of other roleplaying options. Computer games don’t require dice rolls. Most console games have relatively simple characters and no dice rolling.

Luckily, a few companies easily found on DriveThruRPG have you covered. They have tables for NPC reactions to simulate roleplay, approaches to solo combat, and even some adventuring tips related to exploration. Most of these are oriented toward fantasy RPGs, but not all of them. I’m particularly fascinated with solo ICONS and solo Operation White Box (WW2 RPG.) There aren’t a lot of modern or supers solo games, but they aren’t impossible to find.

Again, most of my focus these days is on writing, so I sit down and make a lot of notes or just start banging out stories. It works the other way around, too. Sometimes I make a D&D or Pathfinder character based on something I’m writing. It can help fill in some character blanks that I might not have considered yet.

One of my characters from a novel I was writing has actually showed up as an NPC in three different systems/worlds. It’s the end result of knowing a character inside and out, I suppose. It helped me acclimate to PF2E and WOIN.

I recommend solo RP for writers, GMs/DMs, and game designers who are struggling to work out character design challenges or just looking to boost their creativity. It also helps with designing interesting combats and traps sometimes. If you’re stuck inside on a rainy day and just want to roll some dice because you’ve already made over a hundred characters, it’s good for that, too.

I’m sane. I promise! 😅🤪

Art for this article is courtesy of the Bitmoji app. Too much fun to be had. Have a great day. See you again very soon. Game on!

Hex Crawl Adventures

This style of play isn’t for everyone, but one thing I recommend for players and GMs/DMs who get burned out on the same old campaign world is to drop the player characters onto a brand new planet or sub-plane/demi-plane after an adventure or two in the old world. Much the same way the mists of Ravenloft used to abduct entire groups of adventurers, the PCs could literally just wake up in a new world and have to explore to try and find a way home, if they ever want to go back.

Exploration at its most fun!

Many gamers from back in the day probably still remember the old Expert Set adventure, Isle of Dread. Which is now reprinted here as a deluxe hardcover. My copy came with my original Expert D&D Blue boxed set. I have spent hours pouring over this module. I love it for its simplicity and charm. Not to mention several terrifying adventure sessions running around dodging dinosaurs and cannibals.

Without too many spoilers, X1 Isle of Dread sets up as a shipwreck. Or at least that’s my preferred way of running it. From there, the PCs have to salvage what they can for supplies, pick a direction, and start exploring. Assuming they have time to choose wisely because they’re not being chased by something. Thus, for many of us, began what is now commonly referred to as a “Hex Crawl.”

Small Hex Grid

If you’re running a game, this can be a fast way to put together a campaign world on the fly. Or, for a completely random campaign of fantasy adventure, you can literally roll as you go or roll for any blank surrounding hexes next to the one the party just entered.

This style of game is a hoot because the person running it doesn’t necessarily even know what’s coming next. Personally, I recommend rolling for the adjoining hexes at the end of the session just so the GM can prep accordingly. That, and some landmarks are going to be dead obvious to the group, especially if they can get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area.

I’ve seen all manner of distances applied to hexes from one mile to ten miles across or more. Some people like to draw on them with colored pencils or mark key land features for future reference. If you’re running a game based on random hexes, you can also have tables for encounters in any given terrain type, or even preset adventures for when the group enters “X” hex space. Ruins are a great example.

Example courtesy of Shieldice Studio’s Realm Fables: Hex-Worlds

This style of world generation is also very useful if designing your own campaign world, especially if it’s set in a time before modern or magical global cartography. (There’s an adventure seed there for someone- Imagine a mage’s guild whose entire job is to teleport to random places, make a quick map, and teleport back before they get eaten by the locals…) I use this generation method myself because I don’t want to give away the whole map at once. Usually, I have a page of the larger hexes as my starting campaign map and then make more map pages as my group ventures out from their current hex.

I usually have some vague, general idea of where I want them to end up and what’s around it, but I certainly don’t have the whole thing lined up all in one week. That’s one distinct advantage homebrew worlds have over premade settings. The group can legitimately say, “We don’t know where we’re going yet. No one has been there yet as far as we know.”

How do I (h)explore if my group is in a premade world?

This style of play isn’t for everyone, but one thing I recommend for players and GMs/DMs who get burned out on the same old campaign world is to drop the player characters onto a brand new planet or sub-plane/demi-plane after an adventure or two in the old world. Much the same way the mists of Ravenloft used to abduct entire groups of adventurers, the PCs could literally just wake up in a new world and have to explore to try and find a way home, if they ever want to go back.

Once they’ve been transported from the old familiar maps they may be used to, the group is going to have to become somewhat more resourceful. If you think about it, food might not look the same. There are no familiar landmarks to go by. Heck, the stars aren’t going to look the same, if there are stars. Different planes have different rules. Maybe there’s perpetual day or night. Maybe there’s no metal as far as the locals know. This makes exploration one of the most valuable pillars in any RPG where the group is engaged in a hex crawl.

One word of caution for using this style of play- You may wish to limit certain types of magic if you’re going to have a good hex crawl. At low levels, it’s not a huge problem. Teleportation can be a regular game wrecker for hex crawls. So can certain divination spells. Even basic flying can get out of hand if the GM doesn’t find a way to reasonably limit it. (Freakish thunderstorms, flying monsters, antiaircraft flora…) Obviously technology can make things rough on the GM and super easy on the party. Look how far humans got with just a telescope and a few simple navigational tools here on Earth.

The nice thing about dropping the group onto a whole new world is they can hex crawl for a few sessions or the rest of the campaign. I do recommend if you’re going to turn the game into this style of play that it be mentioned before characters are made. Obviously someone’s 100 page backstory is going to deflate completely if they’re no longer anywhere near those places and events mentioned therein. Artificers, Clerics, and druids are going to be extremely useful or completely hosed depending on where they end up. It’s also a good time to introduce any major rules changes the GM might wish to impose due to the new environment. Please make sure everyone is on board before the hex crawl begins.

Hope this little foray into the worlds of hexcrawling was useful. I may drop another article similar to this one down the line explaining how to set up the random tables with more examples of adjudicating a hex crawl game. Have a great day. Take care. Game on.

“Old Grognard”

I don’t consider myself to be a grumpy old man gamer, aka “Old Grognard.” Rather, I’m an older, slightly more mature, experienced gamer.

I don’t find this term offensive. Do you?

Yes, I’ve been around a while. Back when I first started using the Internet, there was this thing called “Usenet News” that I got all of my RPG news and reviews on. It was a forum like any other. Many of the same truths and toxic attitudes still prevail today. Thus began my love-hate relationship with forums.

I love Instagram. Every community I’ve joined over there has been helpful, supportive, and fun. I love you guys. Keep up the good work.

My Facebook RPG experiences have been somewhat limited, as have my forays into Reddit and Pinterest. Really not much to comment on there. Is YouTube considered “Social Media?” If it is, I watch a lot of videos on there. Again, I like pretty much all of the content I consume, or I wouldn’t be watching it.

Then there’s Twitter. After the Ufology community showed its true, very ugly colors, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be deleting my account. So I started hanging out over on the #ttrpg side. Thus far, I have found it to be a warm, supportive, positive group of peers 98% of the time I interact with anyone. (Okay, I’ve had one less stellar experience, but it was mostly miscommunication.) I love all you beautiful people over there #ttrpgfamily. I’m grateful for all of my followers.

I’m not that old.

I mean, I’m 49. My roots go back to T$R Marvel and BECMI when it was new. I’ve been in the hobby for almost 40 years. Yes, there were good old days.

But that doesn’t mean I’m stuck there. Yeah, I know guys older than me who will never give up their lead minis and boardgames with cardboard chits. They’re reluctant or downright intragnizent when it comes to learning/playing anything new, even if it’s a reprint. Change is truly frightening for some folks. That’s before we start adding technology to the works. Yeesh.

D&D has plenty of throwbacks, and so do I.

Lately, I’ve been encouraged by a friend to get back into more rules-lite, Old School Roleplaying. I’m monkeying around with Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mutant Crawl Classics (Goodman Games,) and Frontier Space (DwD Studios.) I really like that kind of old world BECMI, Gamma World, and Star Frontiers feeling.

That’s not to say I’m abandoning 5E D&D, Pathfinder 2E, or anything. Still tons of fun to be had with any game. If nothing else, playing older games makes me appreciate both eras of play and those play styles that much more.

RPGs have evolved over the years, and so have I.

Beer and pretzels was a style of play back when I started. We did some goofy things running around in dungeons just for the fun of it. We hacked and slashed our way to finding incredible treasures and fought freaky, sometimes bizarre monsters. Some of those dungeons made very little logical sense to begin with. I enjoyed those games as much as I imagine people do Critical Role now.

As the years progressed and we matured as people and as players, some games turned more dramatic. We still talk about those with the same affection and fondness as we do about the half-crazed dungeon romps. Characters and stories mean more nowadays. That’s cool. I think there’s room for both yet.

There’s room for all.

I don’t consider myself to be a grumpy old man gamer, aka “Old Grognard.” Rather, I’m an older, slightly more mature, experienced gamer. I’ll allow pretty much anyone at my table. I’m here to have fun however that comes about. I don’t hold any grudges, and I don’t begrudge any particular play style. Just enjoy the game. That’s what we’re there for. No worries as long as someone’s not ruining it for everyone else at the table.

Yes. I’m sure I’ll still get lumped in with the other old Grognards. I’ll still gladly play Man O War or whatever else they want to pull out when I’m hanging out with those friends, too. Likewise, if I’ve got a group of 20-something 5E players, we’re going to probably be a bit more character intensive.

On the other hand, I’ll offer up some Old School concepts to my younger audience. It’s fun to watch younger players racking their brains to come up with solutions to old school traps and puzzles as long as I don’t overwhelm anyone. There’s also some oldie-but-goodie treasure to be given out and even a few bizarre, somewhat goofy monsters to fight that may not appear anywhere in the newer books.

Lots more to come. I’m going to be putting out some add-ons to old school games that came to mind recently. I’ve also got a few newer projects I’ve been working on for fun that I’ll be putting up somewhere here eventually that are kind of old new school or new old school…however that’s supposed to work. (You know what I mean.) I’m still contemplating various aspects of FATE, Pathfinder 2E and Starfinder, too. The RPG world is never boring.

Next time, let’s talk a little about Hex Crawls. What are they and what do we do with them? Game on!

New Year, New Everything.

I have not abandoned spirituality, ufology or the beings completely, but I’m stepping a very long way back from talking about it. I’ve been into tabletop roleplaying games for years before awakening.

After a LOT of consideration and thought, I’ve rebranded my site and almost everything else I had going. I’ll briefly get into a couple of reasons for this, primarily because I was just due for a major overhaul.

The first reason that comes to mind is I wanted the look of the site to evolve and reflect the change in content. I was running Sellswordgames.blog. As that site will no longer being used and I am pretty much done with that brand, we’re moving back in here with all my gaming content.

I have not abandoned spirituality, ufology or the beings completely, but I’m stepping a very long way back from talking about it. I’ve been into tabletop roleplaying games for years before awakening. I will still embrace the Universe in all things, thanking Source for all things, and loving life on Gaia each and every day. My focus on love, prosperity, and joy have not gone away, but rather are being rekindled here in a different way.

The second reason is I wanted to take advantage of my primary blog site’s WordPress features. There are a few more options for monetization, etc here than on the free WordPress sites. There are also more/better looking thematic options and plugins I can use.

Lastly, it was just time for some changes. Law of Attraction means getting into that flow state; acting on inspiration, and I really felt like I was getting into a groove at the end of last year. I will still be posting the occasional personal note along with all the cool gaming stuff I have lined up. I’m excited to be up and running again. I have a renewed sense of vigor when it comes to writing and I have a lot of fun projects lined up.

Thank you. Namaste

I am grateful for everyone who follows me and sees this. Thank you! Have a great week and I’ll be back very soon.

FATE?

It attached itself to the hull. At first it was just a nuisance. Then the crew began to change…

Horror? One Shot? In Space?!?

I’m thinking about putting together a one-shot game or possibly a mini campaign. I like FATE because it’s a simple system and easy to work with. I’m not sure what kind of an audience I would have for the kind of adventure I want to write, though.

Some background. I like anime a lot. Much of the material I tend to come up with for funsies in my own head usually revolves around some type of anime game such as OVA, BESM, Gratuitous Anime Gimmick, Mecha Hack, and so on. I’ve played around with a lot of systems over the years. I also love Mecha v Kaiju for FATE, which is roundabout how I got here.

My favorite anime series, of which there are many, is still Neon Genesis Evangelion. I also love Chrome Shelled Regios, Appleseed, Satellizer El Bridget (Freezing,) Macross, and Arpeggio of Blue Steel. I never get tired of anime, especially anything with giant robots. I also loved long Cowboy Bebop before it got popular again (Just ask my wife, who got tired of listening to Real Folk Blues…)

I’m shooting for a change of pace on this one.

Chrome Shelled Regios is getting incorporated into a D&D campaign I’m building, especially the dite. However I still love the idea behind the contaminoids. They had to spread through space, theoretically. And that brings around my love of two other series; Starship Troopers and Aliens.

Here’s kind of the premise for the adventure: The group runs into a distress beacon from a ship that has this big, gnarly thing attached to its hull. The ship has had an outbreak of a zombie-like virus that is killing the crew. Turns out the big gnarly thing is using humanoid hosts to turn the ship into its egg.

What to do with the ship? What to do with the crew? Do we cure them? Rev up the space chainsaws and start beheading zombies? Nuke the whole thing from orbit? Where did the big nasty bug come from? Are there more?

This could literally turn into a campaign or series of campaigns and the more I think about it the more cool ideas bubble up. There’s only two questions remaining. The first is what system? The second is, do I drop this into an established universe or just run with my own?

These questions and more answered in another article. Game on. Have fun!

%d bloggers like this: