Monster of the Week: Continuing the Conversation

I’m loving Monster of the Week more every day. This game is well-designed and has so much to offer new Keepers.

Monster of the Week by Evil Hat Productions.

MotW is a fascinating RPG.

I really dig this game, but it’s taking a little bit of getting used to. Specifically, the Keeper’s section. I’m probably going to have to run a couple of mysteries before I get the hang of the system.

I still feel like it’s a little stiff and rigid from the Keeper’s side of the table. Then again, I’ve always felt that PbtA in general is a push toward GM-less roleplaying. As I say often, if that’s what you’re into, go for it.MotW would be a tough run without a Keeper because someone has to come up with all the cool monster and plot stuff, right?

I keep coming back to Page 131.

I actually think MotW is great for new GMs (Keepers.) They give you a play-by-play how to way to run a game session. They give all kinds of really solid advice on running a #ttrpg. The core book gives two mysteries and walks the reader through how to run them.

How awesome is that if you’re brand new? I would have loved this back in ye olden days. I’m still wrestling with it mentally now. It’s like learning to run a game all over again.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It’s the same thing I’m already used to doing, but I never referred to it as “using moves.” Up until this came up, I never had a strict list of principles to stick with in order to run the game.

My long standing way of setting up a campaign (*Oops! Not supposed to say, “campaign” any more. Now they’re “plot points.”) So, my long standing way of setting up plot points is episodic in format. I plan 24 sessions/games. At one episode per week that’s about half the year give or take. It rarely works that way, but that’s how I plan it.

My original planning for this game was to set up 24 episodes with pretty specific agenda. So, I hit rewind. It’s going to be more of a sandbox now, kinda like I planned Power Rangers RPG campaign. (Which is also still in the works, btw.)

I’m going to build a set of case files that the group can fall back on for clues and in-character advice. They’re following a group of three hunters that have vanished or moved off grid for mysterious reasons. Not really X-Files, but more like Giles’ school library in early Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The group’s mystery files won’t cover every mystery, though.

I already know who the first season BBEG looks like and what they’ve got going on. We’re going to touch on some real world conspiracies and paranormal events. I already know who most of my Bystanders, Minions, and Monsters are going to be. I have most of the behind-the-scenes stuff worked out. I think we’re still going to do episodes, but they’re going to be more like story arcs and done similarly to the way they’re described in the MotW core rules.

They have a very nice template worked out for writing mysteries. They walk the reader through all of the steps of mystery creation. It’s brilliant! Other game companies could learn from Michael Sands.

In short, with any game system, harvest what you like, pass on the rest. There is no one set way to run a game, as many, many of us have said. I’m personally just struggling to learn and adapt to the PbtA way of doing things.

I’m going to be dropping some of my mysteries on here, since I’m not expecting my players will read my blog. Bwah Ha Ha. I’ll put trigger warnings on the really gruesome stuff. I have an in-game calendar of events in my head, depending on which hooks get a bite. <“evil” Grognard Keeper noises.>

Thanks for being here all. I appreciate you! Have a great weekend!

Why I’m Still Blogging.

My point being, I get there’s no profits in simply giving people money. But building a community, planting trees, and creating jobs for people can be profitable. If people can throw $40+ BILLION at something, why not have it be locally owned farms? Why not have it be community centers and housing for the homeless? How about we encourage people to embrace joy and prosperity?

I spend a lot of time behind this computer screen.

Every day I come to this blog to pump out fresh content of some kind. Not gonna josh anyone, it keeps me sane. I’m super grateful for you if you’re reading this, whoever you are. Thank you!

I’ve been through a lot dealing with unemployment and health issues. It’s getting better, slowly but surely. I think the Universe likes to test us to see if we’re ready for more joy, love, freedom, prosperity, peace, and harmony every day. It’s not always easy.

We don’t learn as much from easy.

These billionaires, God love em, who have so much money to throw at buying major social media entities just blow my mind. I don’t envy their riches. Good for them for getting where they are today. (I would love to join them.) I mean, they literally have the power to do so much for so many and yet…

It’s true since the first epoch of mankind on this planet that life isn’t easy. We’re here in the physical to learn, remember, and grow. Overcoming challenges and trauma ultimately lead to joy and love. Where would we be without duality and contrast through it all?

I keep coming back to this notion that if I were a millionaire, things would look different.

What would I do with that kind of money? First, take care of my family. Get all the bills paid and make sure the kids are pretty much set for life. I’d teach them what I did to hit millionaire status so they could do the same.

Next, I’d make sure my wife could retire happily and maybe sell real estate or just hang out at home with the cats all day. As long as she’s happy, it’s okay. My wife, Heather, has truly earned a rest after everything she’s done for us.

After the personal stuff comes the investments. I’ve blogged about this before. I want to build my personal empire by helping people. I want to pay it forward as much as possible. Heck, I’d start my own commune if I thought it would help people. (*commune? Collective might be a better choice of words. Not trying to set myself up as any kind of cult leader.)

My point being, I get there’s no profits in simply giving people money. But building a community, planting trees, and creating jobs for people can be profitable. If people can throw $40+ BILLION at something, why not have it be locally owned farms? Why not have it be community centers and housing for the homeless? How about we encourage people to embrace joy and prosperity?

I’m not there yet. I dunno if I ever will be.

With the way things have been going this past year, I don’t know if it will ever happen. Right now I’m planting that seed. I’m doing the few things that bring me joy throughout this struggle, like my humble little blog here.

I’ll take the joy as it comes. I’ll look to expand my resources when the time and the opportunity come. The prosperity will come in many forms and I absolutely know it’s there. Right now, I’m just working on getting out of neutral in my life to get the prosperity flowing into it more. I believe love, prosperity and joy are out there waiting for us. ALL of us.

Thanks for stopping in today. I truly appreciate all of you. Happy Cinco de Mayo if that’s a holiday you celebrate. Take care.

May 4th…

I’ve been a Star Wars fan since 1977. My favorite toys were the Kenner action figures for Luke, Ben, C-3PO, R2 D2 and the landspeeder. Such simple times.

The Force should have hit the snooze bar and rolled over for another century.

Photo by Jay Johnson on Pexels.com

I’ve held back my opinion on this topic for a number of years now. I used to be the absolutely biggest Star Wars nerd on my block. Not just the movies, but the RPG and the novels too. (See what I did there?)  I cherish every memory of those days. Then Disney f*k’n came along and killed the franchise for me.

I’m serious. Anyone who knows me knows I was the biggest Boba Fett fan of my friend groups. I have a Darth Vader shrine as well as one dedicated to my hero, Boba Fett. I cherish my autographed picture of Jeremy Bulloch. (R.I.P.) And then Mandalorian happened. Then this new Boba Fett series. Yeah. yeah… <disgruntled fan noises>

Enough sadness. Let’s turn to the part of the franchise I loved more than anything. The RPG.

Seriously, I ran the RPG all the way through high school and a long time in college. (*Old Grognard moment incoming.) I remember when D6 Star Wars RPG from West End games first arrived at my doorstep. I remember how excited I was when THE Star Wars Sourcebook came out. Back then if I wasn’t running AD&D, it was Star Wars. (Then DC or Marvel supers…) Star Wars RPG was a major part of my life

I had to laugh when the 30th anniversary reprints came out. I still have my originals where I can easily find them. I also have the other D6 editions. It was so amazing attending the WEG writers panel at Gen Con. I learned so much that day.

One of the happiest days of my life was meeting and getting to play in a Star Wars game with one of the original D6 Star Wars playtesters. Really amazing barbeque after we extinguished the fire in his yard, LOL! Ahh… Old gamer memories.

We ran the heck out of the D6 game in college. I met a girl that I dated for a long time through D6 Star Wars. I had this other friend that was into Star Wars in general and the RPG almost as much as I was. He and I talked Star Wars so much and connected so well that my best friend said it sounded like we were speaking binary together. It almost literally sounded like ones and zeros with some giggling thrown in.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

I ran it at conventions. I ran it at home. I role played it solo many times. I had some of the best groups I’ve ever run any game with in Star Wars or any game. Star Wars is the only RPG is one of a handful of games I’ve roleplayed solo. I even found a Clone Wars campaign that I was building for D20 written in a notebook about twelve years ago when I was stocking groceries. (You have remarkable amount of time to think when you’re stocking shelves.)

Not joking- I still have ALL of my old convention game notes, and a couple of entire campaigns I ran for the D20 game still sitting on an old laptop and on paper. My wife will tell you there was a time, before I had kids that I ate, drank, slept and breathed Star Wars. So many good times.

Star Wars D20. Better than people gave it credit for.

I was okay when WotC introduced the d20 Star Wars RPG. I bought every sourcebook that came out like the drooling fanboy that I am. I met the man who performed our wedding looking for Star Wars players online.

The WotC system was based on D20 which was basically a revision of D&D. It was a little clunky in places. Jedi powers were a little tricky, or at least trickier than the old game. Combat was okay to run. Very minis based, not so much theatre of the mind which is what I was used to.

I’m not kidding when I say the RPG is a big part of my life. Or it was, rather…

Welcome to the new era, I guess.

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

I probably would have breen okay if Disney hadn’t made the third trilogy. Star Wars could have feature at Disney World and they honestly could have left it alone. They could have even dropped some more cool animated stuff like Clone Wars and I’d have been okay with it. (I absolutely love Ahsoka Tano, btw.) Mark Hamill is one heck of a voice actor and they could have done so much.

Ya know, it’s not even the characters in the new movies. I even like the fact that we get to see Jedi being Jedi more than ever. What had me literally screaming at my TV was when they started killing off Episodes IV-VI characters in the most horrible, stupid ways possible!

I get that Harrison Ford asked to be written out. We will all miss Carrie Fisher, may she rest in peace. But why the actual flying flaming f*ck did they bring Luke back just long enough to portray him as a miserable failure and kill the character? Someone should be dragged into the street and flogged with a gaffi stick for that one!

If that’s what Lucas originally intended for Luke Skywalker, then I’m sad. I’d like to blame Disney. After George Lucas handed the rights over, it was all on Disney to do whatever they wanted (their worst) to the franchise. Admitedly, at least we don’t have warm, fluffy revisions of everything where everyone gets along and nothing bad ever really happens. At least the franchise hasn’t been overrun by Ewoks and Gungans holding hands and singing “Yub nub” everywhere.

The only really nice thing that has come out of the last trilogy is the roundabout way the Zahn novels have more or less become canon. That’s a plus because the Zahn books are some of my favorites. Yay, Boba Fett came back and most of the Clone Wars animation was also made canon.

I was still pretty pumped to run the RPG until-

So bummed out about the game these days. I can’t believe where this has gone.

The movies really deflated my interest in the whole franchise. Sorry, friends and family. I don’t know if I can bring myself to run it again knowing what Disney and their crew of assorted hack artists did to the thing. If I ever did run it again, I’d have to rewrite three movies (or more) worth of canon. Then players get confused and complain. Not sure if it’d be worth it even as a writing exercise.

I was all happy that Fantasy Flight Games got the nod to do Star Wars again. I have a couple of friends that work there. It’s a good company. They make a ton of cool stuff. Except they’ve now FFG has canceled the entire line and another Star Wars RPG is in the works from yet another company.

That’s also sort of a downer. (I Sense a disturbance in the Old Grognard Force. Rolled an 18.) Who knows what will happen next or how many dozen sourcebooks will follow. Time will tell. I’m sticking to the old D6 and D20 stuff (plus tons of homebrew) until then. Old Jedi shakes fist at corporations.

So, May the Force Be With You, Always. If Star Wars is still your jam, I’m happy for you. It will always have a special place in my heart. Or Episodes I-VI will, anyway. The D6 and D20 versions of the RPG will, anyway. I kinda miss chopping battle droids into tiny bits with a lightsaber.

Thanks for being here. I appreciate you. See you tomorrow.

DCC Tomb of the Wolf Lord Room 1-2

The group has survived the first room and breached the doors. What now?

*Read aloud: The lock clacks open and the doors swing open into the room. The right side door swings open freely, but the left door is obstructed and only opens part way. The left door is stiff, as if something heavy was on the floor behind it.

The room has a very earthy smell and no visible light sources, save the group’s torches. At a glance there is mud everywhere. Some has been dry for ages, some is fresh.

A low scraping sound of slow movement can be heard. It sounds as if someone is dragging a stone through thick mud. Soon, you see a pair of orange eyes peering back at you in the darkness.

Room 1-2.

Room 1-2: The right door opens freely, save the initial push to break free of the mud. The left door is obstructed by the body of Therin, the brave fighter. The blade of his sword became stuck under the door. The bulk of his heavy plate, now full of mud, is also behind the door.

The room might have been carefully excavated originally, but is now coated in thick mud on the floors, wall and ceiling, forming a pocket of air. Most of the features of the room are concealed, making searching the room difficult. The torch sconces are long since buried.

The pressing issue in the room is the sudden appearance of an Earth Elemental from the neck up in the center of the room. It appears curious and watches the group intently. If the PCs try to attack or approach aggressively, the other two elementals will join their brothers in attacking the group.

However, if they are cautious, the PCs can approach the Earth Elementals and discover them to be quite playful. Unfortunately for Therin, he discovered the elementals like to play extremely rough. The pocket of air formed by this room is a strange playground for the elementals. They were likely attracted by the earth magic used to create the final resting place of the Wolf Lord, or by the coven as a natural source of defense.

Elemental, Earth: Init +4; Atk slam +12 melee (4d6); AC
20; HD 8d8 MV 30’ or dig 30’; Act 1d20 (or
more); SP elemental traits; SV Fort +10, Ref +4, Will +8; AL
N

If the group is careful, they can search the room for the concealed doors leading to the treasure trove (1-3,) the preparation room (1-4,) and the ramp down to the chamber of tests (1-5.) More information on those rooms to come.

More information on the Journal to come.

Thank you for being here! I appreciate you! Game on!

Inspiration for Dungeon Crawl Classics Material.

I am a big fan of the Beg, Borrow, and Become-Inspired-By school of campaign and dungeon design, however. What’s a game without homebrew materials? Especially one like DCC that strongly resembles old school D&D.

I borrow from other RPGs when building campaigns for just about anything.

I have three games that I am drawing a lot of inspiration for my DCC campaign. I’m building this game for fun, partly on here, partly just for fun. Three games immediately came to mind when I first read through DCC. They were Warhammer FRP (First Ed mostly,) Hackmaster, and Earthdawn.

I’d be remiss if I left off prior editions of D&D, but I think that should be pretty obvious. I really liked a lot of 3rd Ed. The Diablo 2 books were of particular interest for DCC given that game is almost a never ending dungeon romp. There are also some keen things in 4th Ed, oddly enough. I’m thinking of borrowing some items and abilities from that edition.

*Disclaimer: I’m not publishing anything that I borrow directly from any of these games. I am a big fan of the Beg, Borrow, and Become-Inspired-By school of campaign and dungeon design, however. What’s a game without homebrew materials? Especially one like DCC that strongly resembles old school D&D.

The 0-Level funnel and class abilities in DCC immediately made me think of Warhammer FRP.

Ran this a lot back in the day.

The first edition of WFRP was epic in its own right. The classes and utterly brutal combats made for an outstanding game. The combat and class abilities are a nice fit with DCC. I may actually consider pulling some of the classes over. They’re pretty simple. Heck, DCC is a pretty simple system to begin with.

DCC only has 10 class levels to work with. The previous 0-Level career also plays in a lot like good old WFRP’s mulitclassing options. Not to mention WFRP’s rich world and grim fantasy adventures. This system begs to be pillaged for spells, items, and character classes.

The Dungeon Crawls and overall camp value reminded me of Hackmaster.

Using a game that emulates another game for ideas in a game that emulates the same game… Deep thoughts.

I still have all of the Hackmaster books within easy reach on my shelves. I’m most likely going to pull some of the less cartoonish weapons and monsters from Hackmaster. Every time I look at DCC, I think of Knights of the Dinner Table. The Hackmaster sword, the Crossbow of Slaying, and a Fireball coming online.

Yes, Hackmaster is a campy take off of Rolemaster and old D&D, but it is hilarious and a lot like DCC in its delivery. Given a +2 weapon is noteworthy in DCC, I’m sure the big ticket items from Hackmaster will fit in quite nicely. The modules for Hackmaster are knockoffs of old D&D modules, so converting them should be fun. I also like Flateroy’s Guide to Fortification and plan on pillaging some from that book.

Last but not least is Earthdawn.

FASA really out-did themselves with this RPG in terms of campaign creation and world design.

I played a lot in the first two editions of Earthdawn. The Horrors are ridiculously powerful. Magic was its own sort of special. The gods? Long gone, IIRC. I miss a lot of the Earthdawn world

When I read through the magic system and saw the variable monster tables (*Demons, Dragons, etc) toward the back of the book, Earthdawn immediately came to mind. I think a few d12 tables of unspeakable random horrors would be good for DCC. I’m also considering adding Windlings to DCC and possibly Orks and as friendly races. I think adding Trolls and Obsidimen might be a bit too much.

Thanks for stopping by. More to come. Have a great week!

My Recent Foray into Monster of the Week.

I will say this game truly inspired me to go back to my old Hunters Hunted and Call of Cthulhu: Delta Green notes. I’ve always wanted to run a sort of detective agency mystery/horror game.

Monster of the Week from Evil Hat Games.

Monster of the Week by Michael Sands

I kept seeing this game go by in various places and I finally got curious. While I have sort of a love-hate relationship with horror games, this got my attention because it’s more focused on the good guys. I prefer my horror games to be A.) Not completely hopeless for the PCs, and B.) Told from the perspective of regular people fighting the darkness. Monster of the Week gets it done for the most part.

A friend on RPG Twitter mentioned this as their favorite game and I became curious. My first venture into the Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) system was with Henshin:Sentai the RPG and I have to say left a bad taste in my mouth. I still kinda feel like PbtA is a bit restrictive in terms of the PC actions and character creation. It feels to me like we’re constantly using Pre-gen characters. A lot of experienced gamers prefer to customize heavily.

I will say this game truly inspired me to go back to my old Hunters Hunted and Call of Cthulhu: Delta Green notes. I’ve always wanted to run a sort of detective agency mystery/horror game. My wife is a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I’m big on Evil Dead/Army of Darkness. I also have my own personal freaky experiences to draw from if so desired.

Honestly, I love horror movies. I see so many things that are just laughably stupid. No one in their right mind would do some of the things characters in horror movies do and I find it amazing that some of the simplest solutions to these paranormal terrors are often overlooked.

I have so many scenarios in mind for this game already, I’m having trouble writing them all down fast enough. I’m inspired. Don’t know if I’ll have a group or if this will be an online game just yet, but I’m excited nonetheless.

One thing I really admire about the game is that they seem to have a playbook for just about everyone. Great job! It does take some of the analysis paralysis out of character creation.

Powered by the Apocalypse.

Evil Hat delivers once again!

Tome of Mysteries for MotW. Fantastic Sourcebook!

I’m a big fan of FATE as well. Part of the appeal of Monster of the Week was the quality that comes with all of the games I’ve seen from Evil Hat. (*Minus Thirsty Sword Lesbians because I haven’t read through it yet.) These folks also write a heck of a sourcebook, IMO.

I’m talking about Tome of Mysteries for Monster of the Week. They added more moves, playbooks, and a bunch of GM Advice. I felt some of the moves they added in this book were overdue and excellent additions. The GM support for MotW in general has been awesome. It has made setting up a sandbox easier for this game and dispelled some of my long-held beliefs about writing for horror games. I give it a huge thumbs up.

I can’t wait to get a chance to try this game out. I have a LOT of projects in the works right now. I hope to get some of my series outline posted eventually, as soon as my calendar clears up.

Thank you for stopping by. Happy May Day. I appreciate you!

1d12 Dungeon Rumor Table

First Table: 1d12 Rumors about Dungeons.
Bonus Table: Not for the Squeamish.

Roll 1d12 to give hapless adventurers what the local subterranean scene might be. (DM/GM will determine the truth of said rumors.)

  1. Some farm kids plowing a nearby field unearthed a large boulder covering the entrance to nine levels of pure hell containing wealth beyond imagination.
  2. A very old Dragon sleeps in a mountain not too far away. It’s been asleep so long, some think its lair is unguarded and it might even be dead.
  3. A lone tower sits in the middle of an open plain with very little around for miles. A powerful lich built it to protect its research.
  4. The oldest cottage in town conceals a ritual summoning circle. The witch who lived there used it to open a portal to her underground stronghold.
  5. A general from a long forgotten army lies buried under the fields south of town. It is said his soldiers were incredibly loyal and remained with him even in death.
  6. Creatures made of dust, smoke and ash can still be seen circling about the old druidic circle on a new moon.
  7. The crazy old hermit in the nearby mountains is actually a disgraced wizard and his cave is secretly the entrance to a much older complex.
  8. There is a partial map to a renowned buried treasure in an unmarked grave in the old cemetery outside of town. The problem is finding it without digging up massive amounts of ground. The group knows where the other half of the map is located.
  9. A much older village lies in ruins underneath a city the group frequents. It has recently become a source of ghosts and other unhappy spirits.
  10. A nearby hill is actually a buried pyramid that contains a portal to other dimensions.
  11. There is a secret entrance to a dragon’s lair underneath the nearby lake.
  12. Townsfolk digging a new well have discovered a “strange glowing boat” buried beneath the otherwise landlocked site.

Bonus Table: 1d12 Horrible Mysterious Deaths.

(*Trigger Warning: This is intended for generic fantasy/horror and could possibly trigger trauma in some readers. It includes mentions of homicide, gore, and sensitive subjects. Reader discretion is advised.*)

  1. Body was found bereft of head and completely exsanguinated with no blood on the scene.
  2. Victim appears to have drowned in less than a teaspoonful of water.
  3. Empty husk of a body was found at the scene. It crumbled to dust as soon as someone touched it.
  4. The ghost of the recently deceased can be seen standing above the body waiting for someone specific.
  5. Several bodies have been found in separate locations recently covered completely in green moss from head to toe. No one seems to know how they got there.
  6. The body was found with no flesh covering the skull and a rare gem in each eye socket.
  7. The body is found writhing on the ground. It is full of scarab beetles.
  8. The deceased spontaneously frozen to death in a crowded room.
  9. The victim isn’t actually dead, but in a state of deep suspended animation.
  10. The body is booby trapped with poison cactus needles that protrude as soon as someone touches it.
  11. The body dissolves into a pool of acid slime as soon as someone says the name of the deceased.
  12. A demon tears its way out of the body in the while everyone is eating breakfast.

Of course, none of this is meant to be a suggestion. Let’s keep the fantasy/horror on the gaming table. This was a work of fiction.

Ending on a much freakier note than usual. Thank you for being here. I appreciate you! Have a great weekend.

Power Rangers RPG General Mayhem and the K Putties.

Stats for the General and K Putties as promised.

No, that’s not the name of my garage band.

The General was modeled after American General Douglas MacArthur.

General Mayhem (normal)

THREAT LEVEL: 5

SIZE: LARGE | HEALTH: 5

TOUGHNESS: 16 | EVASION: 14

WILLPOWER: 10 | CLEVERNESS: 10

GROUND MOVEMENT: 30 ft.

SKILLS:

Might +d8
Intimidation +d6
Perception +d2
Targeting +d6

Languages: Putty

PERKS:

Summon 2d6 additional Krohn Putties per encounter

ATTACKS:

Fists (Might): +d8, (Toughness, 1 Damage)
Pistol: (Targeting) +d6 (40ft/75ft Energy 1 or Stun 1)

POWERS:

Shapeshifting: The general can make himself appear human at will, requiring 1 Action to shift between forms. He may be able to shift into appearances other than General Brooks.

HANGUPS:

Arrogant.

Krohn’s Putties aka K-Putties.


THREAT LEVEL: 3
SIZE: COMMON | HEALTH: 3
TOUGHNESS: 16 (18)| EVASION: 13
WILLPOWER: 12 | CLEVERNESS: 11
GROUND MOVEMENT: 25 ft.

They are stronger as well as better armed and armored than average Putties, but a bit slower.
Armor: +2 Toughness, Deflective.

SKILLS:
Might (Martial Arts) +d6*
Athletics +d4
Targeting +d4*
Alertness +d4
Languages: Putty, understands English
PERKS:
Coordinated fire. If 3 or more K Putties fire on the same target, +1CS on their Targeting Roll. A hit still does damage for 1 weapon.
ATTACKS:
Buzzsaw Sword (Martial Arts): +d6*
(Toughness, 1 Sharp Damage)
K Putties are brutal in melee combat.

Bolter Pistol (Targeting) +d4 Range 30ft/50ft. Ballistic, Damage: Blunt 1/Stun 1

HANGUPS:
K-Putties are slower and chunkier than normal putties. As a result they may only ever shoot or attack once in melee. They do still explode like regular putties when defeated.

You may have guessed by now what these guys are based off-of.

Here’s to hoping GW doesn’t freak out on me. Thanks for being here. Have a great weekend!

Laughable Old Grognard Moments.

I’m still pretty committed to keeping things positive and this is by no means a jab at anyone in the RPG community. I’ve heard a few things recently that make me chuckle in a way that only some of us older gamers can really relate.

Y’all kids make me laugh.

I mean that in the nicest way, of course. I’m still pretty committed to keeping things positive and this is by no means a jab at anyone in the RPG community. I’ve heard a few things recently that make me chuckle in a way that only some of us older gamers can really relate.

Btw, when I say “kids,” I really mean some of you younger Players and Game Masters that are in your 20s and 30s. Again, not dissing on anyone, it’s all good clean fun. Some of us just don’t remember the glory days of D&D as well and it makes me laugh.

Someone on YouTube said, “When a cleric switches domains, they might lose touch with their deity for a session or two.”

Ravenloft 2E. The campaign setting so potentially brutal it nearly required a change of underwear.

This comment had me rolling on the floor. Anyone remember getting dropped into Realms of Ravenloft (*Not just the module with Strahd) as a cleric from somewhere else? Or a paladin? Congratulations! Your cleric just became a second rate fighter and your paladin just became a fighter with a holy symbol that meant absolutely nothing! Rangers and druids didn’t have it much better.

See, Domains in Ravenloft (*The setting not the specific geographical domain Ravenloft, where Strahd lived,) didn’t have a standard pantheon of deities and demigods per say. The Mists were controlled by an unknown element (*Who we always suspected might be the Old Gods of R’lyeh, but could never confirm due to IP reasons.) The Mists were renowned for grabbing adventurers from other realms such as FR, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, and elsewhere, and dropping them off in a suitable realm where they could be tempted toward evil. The Mists would also rarely spit adventurers back out if they proved to be too incorruptible.

The healing magic in Ravenloft… Let’s just say the healing you wanted you weren’t getting and the magic healing you received was usually at a terrible cost. Remove Curse? That ain’t happening. Raise Dead? If you did have access to it, did you really want to see what happened? Eesh.

Dragonlance has been teased.

Picture of my copy of the AD&D 1E Dragonlance hardcover.

Oh, y’all thought Ravenloft was tough on clerics? At least they had clerics. OG Dragonlance didn’t even mention clerics!

It got better. Mages had to make a critical choice of which Tower of High Sorcery to serve. Spells were limited accordingly. Oh, and Tiamat’s illegitimate sister was on the list of things you could possibly run into at high levels. Paladins and cavaliers had it kinda rough, but not really. (Knightly orders ftw.)

Races played a huge role in old DL. I’ll be curious to see what they do in the new WotC paradigm of warm and fuzzy races everywhere. I will say Minotaurs, Wild Elves and Kender were pretty friggin sweet, though. (Love my Kender thief.) We’ll see what happens.

Someone mentioned they hadn’t been born when the last edition of Spelljammer was new.

Old Spelljammer. Let’s bring back audio cassette tape adventures while we’re at it. (Yes, that really happened.)

Okay, I’m old. I graduated high school in 1990. Spelljammer was first released in 1989.

I was not the first kid on the block to avoid this thing. I remember the Forgotten Realms comic even mentioned it. Great comic series, incidentally. The group in the comics actually had access to a ship with a spelljamming engine.

Despite all advertising efforts, I just couldn’t get into it. For me, sci-fi is its own separate entity. If I wanted to do space fantasy, there’s always Star Wars or Rifts. Nowadays we have Starfinder.

I go back to the notion that there’s nothing wrong with Spelljammer per se. It’s just not my cup of tea. It’s worth a shot, just like Strixhaven and Candlekeep Mysteries. Maybe it will turn out better in 5E. Who knows?

What puzzles me the most about 5E right now is-

Why did they choose to bring back Spelljammer and Dragonlance? Why not Al Qadim or Dark Sun. For crying out loud, they brought back Dark Sun in 4th Ed. It wasn’t that bad.

Or better yet, Greyhawk, Birthright, Oriental Adventures and Mystara are completely untouched by the newest editions. Why not? Are all these old campaign worlds a tough sell for the Mighty Matt Mercer? (Yeah… Old Grognard still poking at Matt. Sorry, kid.) What? They can’t be reimagined for today’s audiences but Spelljammer can? What’s next? Chronomancy?

Here’s a deep thought: If 5E spawned as many or probably several more homebrew campaign worlds than even 3E, why not tap into one or two of them? I mean, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of homebrew campaign settings and ravenous hordes of fans looking to become the next Ed Greenwood or Keith Baker. Why won’t WotC tap into a literally untapped landscape of campaigns with no real IP attachments or potential lawsuits?

Food for thought, anyway. I hope you’re having a great week so far. Take care. Thank you for being here.

Power Rangers RPG vs the Military? Part 2.

Oh, and they’re Krohn’s Putties disguised as soldiers. (Did you really think I’d make the Rangers duke it out with real soldiers? Pffft!)

What happens when they say “No.”

In the previous article, I went over what might happen when the group agrees to join the US Army and the absolute nightmares that would follow. The Morphing Grid and Zordon will not likely agree to this plan. So then what happens?

Let’s give the American Military DIA of Earth 129 some credit. They’ve done their homework. The know where the Ranger’s base is. They’ve managed to hack into the base communications and Alpha 4. If the group rejects the offer to join, the military will strike!

Monsters are one thing, but live soldiers?

Okay, there are some plot elements I haven’t mentioned yet. First, because the Triumvirate, the Season 1 bad guys are a military type organization, General Krohn has infiltrated the Army and kidnapped General Bronson and replaced him with a clone, the monster General Mayhem.

The soldiers going in to arrest the Rangers aren’t armed with regular firearms. They have stun staves and blaster pistols. Oh, and they’re Krohn’s Putties disguised as soldiers. (Did you really think I’d make the Rangers duke it out with real soldiers? Pffft!)

Just before the military strikes, the group is going to be distracted by a kaiju attack. Gnarl has sent down Gigalon to threaten Bennet’s Cove. Once the Rangers are engaged with the giant monster using their Megazord, the “military” will shut down the base and the teleporters completely, override and shut down Alphour, and force the base closed.

The plot thickens.

Zordon of Earth 129 was sent to protect the Ninja Steel encased Zeo Crystal. Rather than let the location of the Crystal fall into enemy hands, Zordon will seal the secret chamber to the Morphing Grid interface and retreat within the Grid itself.

Alphour will behave a little differently once she is hacked. The group knows she is fascinated with humans and wants to become more like them. However, hacked Alphour will revert back to her cold, robotic personality. She’s fighting the hacker’s control. She will subtly hint that things are not right in the base, followed by notifying the group that the teleportation system is down. (Locked out to prevent the military from gaining control.)

After that, it’s a typical Rangers RPG adventure.

The Rangers will travel back to the Zord’s hangar in their Zords after dispatching the kaiju. Once everyone is in, General Mayhem will appear and the trap will be sprung! The group will slug it out with the K Putties.

Alphour finally shakes off the hacker’s control, becoming a fully sentient AI. She unlocks the teleportation system and transports the whole works outside. She also back hacks the military and finds the secluded warehouse where the real General Bronson is being held.

Once the K Putties and General Mayhem is defeated (for now,) Alphour teleports the group to rescue the real general. Of course, in true Rangers fashion, once General Bronson is rescued, the monster goes Mega mode and will be ready for that giant monster fight.

Aftermath…

General Bronson is grateful and somewhat indebted to the Rangers for rescuing him. Things could have gone much, much worse. The Rangers (Morphed) are awarded with a medal for bravery. The military agrees to only call upon them to help with giant monsters and other such villainy.

Krohn leaves a few spies in the military unrevealed for future schemes. Even though Alphour has beefed up the firewalls and base defenses both physical and computer. While defeated, the Triumvirate is one step closer to finding the Crystal.

The ROTC comedy relief characters are back to their zany antics and life goes on in Bennet’s Cove.

I’ll put up the stats for General Mayhem and the K Putties in the near future. Of course, we all know no plot survives a run-in with the actual players. Who knows what will actually go down. I can only plan for my NPCs and the bad guys.

I know Krohn is going to continue to manipulate the Army into other plots involving the Rangers. Truth be told, I can’t resist creating an attack helicopter Zord and equipping a land Zord with 120mm cannons. Also, I’m pretty excited for GI Joe RPG… I mean, there’s a Street Fighter/Rangers crossover.

Thank you for being here! I appreciate you. I hope this was useful for you. Please feel free to steal this plot and rock it in your own games. Game on!

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