Monday, June 27, 2011

Magic Realm: The Black Knight

I've mentioned before that Avalon Hill's Magic Realm is the best fantasy-adventure role-playing board-game ever invented.

Magic Realm's greatest fault? An earlier set of labyrinthine, and nearly inscrutable, rules. Those rules caused most Magic Realm early-adopters to throw up their hands in frustration, relegating the game to the top shelf of the game cabinet, never to be played again.

Though the rules remain labyrinthine, they have since been cleaned up by a group of stalwart fans. But the game is now long out of print. And it's unlikely to be reprinted anytime soon, since the world has moved on from the chit and hex styled board-game.

Attempts to purchase a copy of Magic Realm are an exercise in frustration, because of the game's out-of-print and cult status. But you can obtain a free electronic version, called Realmspeak, that is a near perfect re-creation of the board-game.

The problem is, once you download Realmspeak, what do you do with it?
That's where video tutorials come in. Here is the first part in a series of tutorials at Bookshelf Games, this one using the Black Knight, my favorite Magic Realm character.

Magic Realm Black Knight 2 Week 1 from BookshelfGames on Vimeo.

If you have a copy of Magic Realm, or are interested in trying Realmspeak, these videos are a good place to start, to understanding how Magic Realm works, and what you are supposed to do, with each of the Magic Realm characters.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Charisma

The Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG renames three of the six traditional Dungeons and Dragons attributes, keeps two, and jettisons one, replacing it with a new attribute, Luck.

The jettisoned attribute? Charisma.

I understand that DCCRPG is its' own game, and I can't expect everything I like about Dungeons and Dragons to appear in that new game, but there's something about the absence of a Charisma that is unsettling me.

Wisdom is one of the renamed attributes, and has been called Personality. Perhaps Goodman's intention is to merge Wisdom and Charisma into that new Personality attribute. However, there are no rules in the DCCRPG beta for the effects of Personality on encounter checks or the retention of henchmen or hirelings.

The only effect that Personality has is that it modifies the spell-casting power of Clerics and improves Willpower checks.

Perhaps i'm one of the few old-schoolers who promotes the use of henchmen and hirelings. To me, the inclusion of henchmen, hirelings and followers is an integral part of emulating the tales of Conan, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, and other classic sword and sorcery tales.

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Funky Dice

I finally broke down and picked up a d7 on my way home from work on Friday.

I visited the Sentry Box, where my inquiry about d7's was greeted with empty stares. Fortunately, after searching the counter, me and the staff found one (that's right, just one) d7, along with a d14 and d16, all in a mixed bowl of dice. I didn't purchase either the d14 and d16, as they were expensive and were un-inked crystal dice. I'm not a big fan of crystal dice.

One of the odder complaints about Dungeon Crawl Classics is unhappiness with the introduction of the new funky dice. Funky d3, d5, d7, d14, d16, d24 and d30 dice are planned additions, to be used along side the usual random generator suspects. Not sure why the complaints, other than perceptions that the funky dice are a money-grab.

Of the new dice being added to DCC, only the purchase of the d7 is really necessary. The rest are easily emulated, either by using existing dice, or by adding a control die.

The d3? Roll a d6 and divide by 2, rounding up to the next higher whole number.

Same with the d5: roll a d10, divide by two, and round up.

The d14, d16 and d24 can be emulated by rolling a d7, d8 or d12 in conjunction with a d6 control die. Simply add 7, 8 or 12, respectively, if the d6 comes up odd.

As for the d30, roll a d10 and d6 control die, and add 10 if the control comes up 3 or 4, and 20 if the control comes up 5 or 6.

You can generate most any DCC funky dice range using the existing dice and the d7. But there is one die that we still need, that DCC does not even consider a use for. The d9.

The d2, d3, d4, d5, d6, d7 and d8 are already represented, or can be emulated by rolling a single existing die. But we have no d9. Now I know you can generate a d9 range by using two d6, one as a control die and one as a d3, but it's nice to be able to roll a single die to generate a range, where possible. I was mentioning my desire for a d9 on Jeff's Gameblog, and magic pointed me to shapeways, which has a d9 on its site.

The only prohibitive aspect of this d9 is the price. I nearly swallowed my tongue when I found out the d7 at Sentry Box was $5.00. The d9 is priced at over $8.30, and that does not include shipping. When you consider the price, two d6 to emulate a d9 doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Still, it would be neat to have a d9 in my arsenal.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Canadiana: Aldo Nova

Continuing on with our exciting survey of execrable Canadian supergroups and one hit wonders, we have everybody's favorite leopard-print wearing musician, Aldo Caporuscio.

Aldo Nova is what you might call a one-and-a-half hit wonder. Skip to the 1:20 mark of Fantasy to hear the actual song, the first minute or so is too painful to sit through.

Ball and Chain got a lot of airplay in Canada. They didn't do a very good job of synching the music to the video here. Again, skip the first minute to get to the song.

Foolin' Yourself made it on both the Canadian and US charts.

Finally, an Aldo Nova retrospective would be incomplete without an eyepatch and a black panther...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shields Deserve Better, Dammit!

This table is from Chainmail, the earliest combat system for Dungeons and Dragons.

I wish to draw your attention to the first three armor class columns: No Armor (9), Shield Only (8), and Leather Only (7).

As you can see, Shield Only is a better defensive option than Leather Only.

Against four weapons, Sheild Only is better than Leather Only. Against the other nine weapons, Shield Only is as good as Leather Only.

Somewhere in translation, Armor Class 7 (Leather Only) mistakenly became better than Armor Class 8 (Shield Only).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jungle Ruins: Dungeons In Reverse

What about using a city map as a dungeon, but instead of the DM creating the hallways between the rooms and or buildings, the players have to use machetes to clear a path through the jungle, between the locations they want to explore?

Essentially, as each 10x10 or hexagonal section of the wilderness map is cleared, the DM denotes the clearance in a color (yellow for instance). Once the players clear a path, they can then explore that particular building.

It's a little bit like a hexcrawl, since the players may have only a vague idea of which direction each of the taller ruins are in. In addition, the DM can place certain natural hazards and encounters in various locations, that take some effort to reach.

This would also have the benefit of being able to give players a map of the ruins, a map that may have certain inaccuracies that the DM can exploit.

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Cover

Trampier is a hard act to follow.

His cover of the ADnD Players Handbook is so iconic (and not just to the millions of players who grew up with the DnD game in the period 1978 to 1983) that all the subsequent illustrations pale in comparison.

Even though TSR eventually replaced the original cover of the Players Handbook, Trampier's illustration transcended all the covers that came later, and the original cover has spawned endless homages, parodies and imitators.

Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG has it's work cut out for it, then, in trying to come up with the look for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. In order to be successful, they need to attract four groups of gamers. One, the old-school gamers who are still playing pre-third edition DnD. Two, d20 gamers who want to try an old-school system that is in-print. Three, Pathfinder and 4E gamers that are aching for something a little more unpredictable. And four, lapsed gamers who are nearing middle age and want to relive the magic of those halcyon days of ADnD.

The last group is the most important for Goodman Games. Why? Because the other three have built-in biases about what they want or need from a game. The lapsed gamers though, they will be walking into a game-store, looking for something that immediately reminds them of the games they played in their youth.

Which is why the decision on a cover for DCC RPG is so important. Those lapsed gamers will see Hackmaster and a plethora of other games, with homages to the original Trampier cover, and be drawn to them for nostalgic reasons.

I'm sure you can see where i'm heading here.

I really like Doug Kovacs' illustrations. He's a talented artist. I particularly like his illustrations on pages 51, 55, 61, 77 and 91. But the cover illustration for Dungeon Crawl Classics doesn't say Dungeon Crawl, or Classics, at least not to me.

And before you think that I want to see another imitation of Tramp's Players Handbook cover, let me assure you that I don't. The original Tramp cover has been re-done too many times. However, this Roslof illustration fits the Dungeon Crawl Classics moniker much better. It shows a party engaging in a dungeon crawl. And it showcases the four classic characters; fighter, magic-user, cleric and thief. The poster also used the old DnD font, which some think apes the trade-dress of original DnD too closely, but would certainly catch my attention if I was a nostalgic lapsed gamer, looking to re-engage in an beloved past-time, or introduce it to my children.

And finally, if that Roslof illustration doesn't match your vision of what the front cover of a Dungeon Crawl Classics game should look like, let me suggest another great Tramp illustration, that has not been overdone but would serve as fodder for an apt homage and alternate cover for DCC RPG.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Cartoons

One of my favorite things about the original ADnD rulebooks and Dragon magazines was the inclusion of humorous cartoons (mostly by Will McLean) poking fun at the tropes and conventions of the game.

Chuck Whelon is credited with the cartoons in the beta version of Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. His cartoons are every bit as much fun as those of Will McLean. You can find Chuck Whelon's blog, where he publishes the cartoons that are to be included in DCC RPG, here.

I'm glad the Goodman Games has decided to include some cartoon humor in their DCC rulebook.

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Magic Cards

About four months ago, Sully of A Pack Of Gnolls posted this sample DnD spell card. I thought, and still think, that cards for magic spells is a great idea.

Fast forward to June 2011, and the beta release of Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. The magic system in DCC RPG just begs for a spell card system, with the name, an illustration and effects of each spell printed on the front of a card. The spell card can be flipped face-down when the magic user fails her casting roll, signifying that the spell is no longer available.

My suggestion to Goodman Games is that they reduce and tighten up the range of spell effects so that each spell description and effects can be printed on the front of the card.

Perhaps the initial offering of magic cards can be for first to third level spells, and the range of results be limited to results between 12 and 25 (since a roll of one to eleven means failure, we don't need that range printed on each of the cards).

Dungeon Adventure Workbooks: Inspirational Reading

The following comments on the ODnD Boards were sufficiently inspirational that I thought it worthwhile re-producing them here. A good start to understanding what I mean by workbook design. This post is by korgoth, of Leander, TX. Anyone in the osr-sphere know more about this astute fellow?

Re: How do you go about designing your MegaDungeon
« Reply #14 on Dec 3, 2007, 11:59am »

I'm a first-timer to the Megadungeon thing, so I may be making a ton of mistakes. Fortunately, I have read the great stuff that Philotomy linked to above, so I'm at least approaching the task with a respectable level of education.

Since I'm using an original world, I first figured out what that world was like, and more specifically what the starting region was like (not even mapped yet, but I have developed it conceptually and know broad strokes of the timeline). Then I needed to decide on the specific location. I was originally going to put it under a ruined wizard's tower, but I changed my mind and decided to put it underneath the main city of the campaign (since humanity is going extinct in this world, and it is very arid, and the city itself is a ruined pile of different styles and cultures, my primary visual inspiration is pre-liberation Kabul).

That being decided, I felt the need to establish the "why" of the place (I'm a philosopher, sue me!). I can't work without the "why", without some inkling of the causes. I decided that the megadungeon incorporates a number of different delvings which had a number of different purposes, including catacombs, a necropolis, a dwarven colony, an underground human community, an outpost of the Ancients, and several much weirder projects. As legends of these places are uncovered, each distinct area of the Megadungeon can become a destination in itself: if the players find out that the Ancients had a presence down there, they may deliberately seek it out in order to plunder it (that may or may not be a wise decision... depends on how much you know about the Ancients!). This way the Megadungeon contains some meta-puzzles: where is the Crypt of Resplendent Decay? Is the Upper Oubliette really an oubliette? How do we find the Place of the Ancient Ones? I'm calling these "meta-puzzles" because they're not puzzles in the dungeon, but puzzles about it. It also lets me develop legends of the place that the players can learn.

In view of this, I made up a master plan of the levels and sub-levels. I basically just represented each level as a square, determined how many there would be, and divided the squares in such a way as to locate my distinct areas and sub-levels. The way I worked it out, there really aren't any "main levels" - each level of physical depth is a collection of sub-levels. Many of them are interconnected, and many are not. There are places where you will have to go down for a long time before you can go very far West, for example.

Now I am in the middle of drawing these levels. This might be a mistake, because as I draw places I have some good ideas about what can go in a given place. I might forget some of these ideas... fortunately, I am more focused on just making the maps that it isn't too important. Of the good ideas that I have had, the ones that are most memorable will still be in my mind when I revist the upper levels in the next phase. Or so goes my plan. I am currently planning on completing all the maps through level 6 (a little over half way, and a pivotal depth in my master plan) before moving to the next phase.

The next phase will be detailing and stocking. I want to come up with good physical descriptions of the various areas, because there will be distinct architectural styles as well as the general variations in sights, sounds and smells that I want to pay attention to. I try to make my DMing very 'sense-evocative' (I avoid the term "sensual" so that there aren't any misunderstandings!) so I need to have good notes about how things look, smell, etc. And I need to stock those rooms! This will be a fun phase because of all the weird stuff I hope to accomplish.

The last phase will be filling in things like wandering monster tables for the levels (some will have such things, some may not) and maybe some general tables like an "empty room dressing table" where incidental, weird or even unique (and desirable or terrible!) things can populate those rooms I will designate as "empty". I can then amend the entries for those rooms on the fly, rather than having to note "there are small piles of mustard seeds and scraps of leather on the floor here"... that is something that could be random in placement. Of course, there are some levels that are so strange or out of the way that they will need their own tables for such things.

After I do all of that, I'll repeat the last phases (mapping, stocking and detailing) for levels 7+.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Why Word Walls Won't Work

I was tempted to entitle this post "In Praise Of Workbooks," but I'm a sucker for alliteration, amongst the most annoying of all forms of verse.

One of the game-changing innovations of the old-school renaissance is the one-page dungeon. The one-page dungeon is a marvellous invention, freeing the Dungeon Master from the fetters of the word-wall, something high on my list of objectionable features of new-school adventure design. The one-page dungeon need not be a dungeon: it can be a cityscape, wilderness or other adventuring environment. The crucial point is that all the information the DM needs to run the adventure appears on the page before her (or pages, in the case of the two-page dungeon).

If you pick up any new-school adventure, you are likely to be assaulted by the word-wall. The word-wall is page after interminable page of background and descriptive text, all of which the Dungeon Master is expected to read, digest, and belch forth at the appointed time during a game session. While maps and illustrations are included in word-wall adventures, those graphics must be interpreted in conjunction with the word-wall. The word-wall invariably stretches over several pages, causing the DM to flip between the page with the descriptive text and the page that contains the graphic.

Looking back at the oldest of the old-school adventures, you will find but scant traces of word-wall DNA. Some explanation of the environment was provided, but it was a pretty limited affair. The inclusion of a separate cover, that served double-duty as screen and DM's map, kept the page-flipping to a minimum. Many of those modules were only 16, 24 or 32 pages long. Today, you find few adventures -- perfect-bound to prevent the separation of the maps from the text -- of less than 64 pages, and most new-school adventures are anywhere from 128 to 256 pages long.

I will not dwell on the causes and purposes of the word-wall. Nor will I linger on its effects, as that will likely result in an anti-4E screed. Instead, let's talk about the natural off-spring of the one-page dungeon: the workbook.

The one-page dungeon is a marvellous invention, as far as it goes. The workbook is the natural off-spring of the one-page dungeon, because it takes the one-page dungeon to the next level of design. Where the one-page dungeon restores some semblance of balance between graphic and text, the workbook pushes the balance further to the extreme, liberating the map from the text, and creating a fluid relationship between them. The workbook essentially transfers responsibility for fine-tuning the adventure from the adventure author to the user.

Perhaps some definition and examples will help here. By adventure workbook, I mean a set of instructions, and basic tools, that are used to record the development of a role-playing environment.

For example, a workbook might contain the barest outline of the adventure, along with instructions on how to approach its delivery. It could include ready-made maps, and adventure hooks, along with level-appropriate encounter tables designed specifically for the adventure, treasure tables, room description tables, adjective and other descriptive word tables, sounds and scents tables, bare-bones NPC descriptions and other related tools. It might include stickers, to be placed on the map, signifying particular events or important locations.

The adventure included in the workbook would be customizable by the DM, and the workbook would be designed to be written in and upon. Either through the placement of numbers and letters on the map, linked back to the random events / encounters / treasures / descriptive word tables, or through color coding, stickers, or perhaps one or two word mnemonic devices, the adventure would become customized to the needs and desires of the DM and her group.

The encounters need not be entirely random. There may be certain encounters or features that are pre-placed by the author. But the workbook would need to include elements that are placed by the user, in order to justify the workbook design.

I have yet to see this form of adventure. The closest might be Zak's Vornheim, since it contains some of the elements of randomness and user empowerment. To truly release the potential of old-school gaming, I think the workbook form needs to be embraced. Word-walls constrain creativity, since they force the DM to run the adventure as-written. Only by taking the adventures to the next level, by decoupling the map and the text, and giving the DM the bare minimum of necessary background and tools, while embracing and fostering freedom, customization and improvisation, can the true spirit of old-school gaming be released.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Banned In Germany And The Montreal Massacre

Metagaming's Hitler's War is a fast-playing World War II simulation. You can play the entire second World War in about four hours.

It's not a bad little game, if you are into the genre. It has the unfortunate distinction of displaying several swastikas on the front cover, artwork which essentially results in it being banned in Germany.

It doesn't help that Hitler, himself, is displayed prominently on the box, with his signature salute. That salute is also illegal in Germany.


The Montreal Massacre occurred on December 6, 1989.

Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lépine, armed with a legally obtained rifle, entered a classroom where he separated the male and female students. After claiming that he was "fighting feminism", he shot all nine women in the room, killing six.

He then moved through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, specifically targeting women to shoot.

Overall, he killed fourteen women before turning the gun on himself. His suicide note claimed political motives and blamed feminists for ruining his life. The note included a list of nineteen Quebec women whom Lépine considered to be feminists and apparently wished to kill.

As a result of the Montreal Massacre, Canada instituted a national gun registry.

Why Old School Rocks

And this just scratches the surface. Throw in your own reasons why Old School rocks.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Canadiana: Saga and FM

This was supposed to have been a post about Nash the Slash, a Canadian musician "famous" for having done a cover of Grand Funk Railroad's "We're an American Band". The irony, of course, is that Nash is neither American nor a band, being a solo artist at the time.

Sadly, for you, I can neither find a video of Nash's GFR cover, "I'm an American Band," nor can I find another Nash the Slash classic, "Dance After Curfew."

For those of you Canadians who enjoyed CityTV's "The New Music" show in the late 70's and early 80's, you'll remember JD Roberts (now John Roberts of Fox News) regularly featuring some of the best alternative music of the day. How I miss those weekly broadcasts (although I don't miss Jeannie Becker, who later went on to do Fashion TV).

Since i'm unable to share Nash the Slash with you, here's the next best thing: two other Canadian progressive rock bands, similar to Rush. One is Saga, which likely received some airplay in the USA and Europe. The other is FM, which Nash the Slash was an off-again, on-again member. FM is also considered a "space rock" band, as many of their early music featured space travel and other science fiction themes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Weapon Damage: Improbabilities

One way to vary damage by weapon type is to classify weapons as either light, medium or heavy, then roll two six-sided dice, and select the lower or higher of the two values rolled depending on the classification. This approach changes the probabilities of rolling above or below the average roll.

For light weapons, you can roll two six-sided dice, and take the lower of the two values. The result is that you score a four to six 25% of the time, and a six 3% of the time.

For medium damage, you can roll one six-sided die. The result is that you score a four to six 50% of the time, and a six 17% of the time.

For heavy damage, you can roll two six-sided dice, and take the higher of the two values. The result is that you score a four to six 75% of the time, and a six 31% of the time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Those Wacky Popes

Such a fun little set of papal assassination stories, I just had to share one of them...

Pope Stephen VI

"Pope Stephen VI was the leader of the Catholic church from May 896 to August 897, barely over a year. He was insane and mad with hate over his predecessor, Pope Formosus. After ordering the body of Formosus exhumed and put on a mock trial for being a false pope, Stephen VI was thrown in jail for sacrilege when he forced many church officials and priests to resign after they were ordained by Pope Formosus. Pope Stephen VI was strangled to death while he was in jail."

Canadiana: Streetheart

What Kind Of Love Is This

One More Time

Under My Thumb

Look In Your Eyes

Tin Soldier


Here Comes the Night

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Made In America: Voluntary Taxation

Good news everyone! We've figured out a way to pay for all those much-needed public services without resorting to theft -- aka taxation!

"There's absolutely no need to steal from people in order to have fire protection, security services, libraries, etc. Like you and like the vast majority of people, I'm glad to pay for them. I just don't want to have a gun put to my head to support the legally-mandated only game in town."


Oh, wait ...

And before you reply, please visit this page.

Dungeon Design Elements: Spices As Treasure

According to a recent news report, the price of black pepper is expected to rise as a result of bad weather. To give you some perspective on the modern value of black pepper, the price of wheat is reported at $250/tonne, compared to black pepper, which is valued at $4,000/tonne. In ancient and medieval times, black pepper is even more valuable.

I started working on this spices treasure table, as a way to spice things up during treasure distribution, but have not yet completed it. I'm intending to add comments on the scents of each, so as not reveal what the actual spice is. I was also going to add a related monetary value and the form that it takes. Feel free to steal this and update it to your liking.

Spices Treasure Table (roll two different coloured d6's; designate one as the "tens" digit, the other as the "ones" digit):

11 - Anise (smells like licorice)
12 - Cumin (smells musky, like body odor)
13 - Horseradish
14 - Marshmallow
15 - Parsley
16 - Sage
21 - Basil
22 - Dill Seed
23 - Jasmine
24 - Spearmint
25 - Pepper
26 - Salt
31 - Cardamom
32 - Fennel
33 - Juniper (smells like evergreen forests)
34 - Mustard
35 - Peppermint
36 - Savory
41 - Cinnamon
42 - Garlic
43 - Lavender
44 - Nutmeg
45 - Quassia
46 - Spikenard
51 - Cloves
52 - Ginger
53 - Licorice
54 - Oregano
55 - Rosemary
56 - Thyme
61 - Coriander
62 - Hops
63 - Marjoram
64 - Paprika
65 - Saffron
66 - Vanilla

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Character Generator

Several others have already posted this awesome Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game character generator. I'm posting it here again simply because it will be easier for me to find later on.

This is a great little tool to use to generate random characters for DCC RPG. I will probably allow the players to designate one of the four characters so generated to be their character, with the other three acting as henchmen.

Now, I just need to finish my "henchmen shall be splintered!" rules to accompany DCC RPG and i'll be good to give this game a spin!

Why Length Doesn't Matter

There are several old-school Dungeons and Dragons combat rules that have become redundant.

Initiative. Weapon vs. Armor tables. Cavalry rules. Weapon speed. Weapon length.

All were integral features of early DnD. And all was jettisoned or rendered essentially meaningless as newer versions of DnD were published.

The elimination of weapon length rules seems particularly obscene, considering that superior weapon length provided a palpable advantage to those who possessed it. There is a good reason why spears, pikes and other polearms were employed in ancient and medieval combats: the man with a spear was more likely to inflict the first wound, when faced with an opponent weilding a sword or dagger. And the first wound was often fatal, or at least eliminated that opponent as a serious threat.

Unsurprisingly, considering that the original DnD designers and players were wargamers, OD&D -- employing the Chainmail combat rules -- provided first-round combat advantage to the opponent with the longer weapon. All things being equal, the spear attacked before the sword, which attacked before the mace.

Weapon length was particularly important where your opponent could be eliminated with a single blow. Not only could you eliminate your opponent, but you avoided being wounded yourself. Therefore, that first-round weapon length combat advantage became significant. In OD&D combat rounds after the first, weapon speed became more important than weapon length, so it was critical for those employing longer, slower weapons, that they make their first attack count.

But now, in new versions of DnD length no longer matters. Length, speed, initiative, high ground, formations, battle tactics, manueverability, planning ... all are replaced with artificial powerz and player-to-player synergies. Weapon length no longer matters because today's game designers have decreed that we need system-imposed cinematics. We need endless combats and hit-point attrition that simulates the resource management design of the latest video games.

Should weapon length matter in our tabletop roleplaying games? Of course. The historical development of weaponry is in large part the story of extending one's combat reach and lethality. Daggers to swords. Swords to spears. Spears to Bows. Bows to rifles. Rifles to missiles. But you'd never know that, based on the role-playing games i've seen lately.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Canadiana: Nickelback

Just to be clear, i'm not just obsessed with old-school Canadian rock bands. I like new ones too. Here's a Canadian band that may be passingly familiar to those of you beyond the great white north. And they're a band from Hanna, Alberta to boot -- a town north and east of Calgary.

"If everyone cared and nobody cried, if everyone loved and nobody lied, if everyone shared and swallowed their pride, then we'd see the day where nobody died."


"They say a hero can save us, i'm not going to stand here and wait."

Saving Me

Far Away




Sunday, June 12, 2011

Reading Or Posting

Sometimes I feel like I can either read other people's blogs, or write my own posts, but not both.

Canadiana: April Wine ... Needs More Cowbell!

Blue Oyster Cult is well-known for having a song with lots of cowbell. April Wine, an oldschool Canadian supergroup, has its own cowbell song, Oooh What A Night. April Wine was huge in Canada. I can't say that April Wine was as big elsewhere, which, like Red Rose Tea's exclusivity, is a pity.



April Wine - Just Between You And Me

April Wine - I Wouldn't Want To Lose Your Love

April Wine - Say Hello

April Wine - Sign Of The Gypsy Queen

April Wine - Tonight Is A Wonderful Time

April Wine - You Won't Dance With Me

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dexterity As Armor Class

I'm regularly baffled at the disinterest afforded to the prime attributes in Dungeons and Dragons. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of Dexterity.

With the switch (for many) to ascending AC, Dexterity acts as a perfect stand-in for Armor Class, for those players who want to play a swashbuckling character. DMs could allow players to use the higher of their character's Dexterity score or the AC provided by the character's armor.