Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Swordfish Islands, or "The best thing I discovered at NTRPG Con"

I've been having more fun with this than I can express. I think part of it is in the order in which I started reading the material: 1) Toxic Elven Smut (NTRPG release) - loved the map, the day/night encounter tables, and some of the monsters were born of fantasy-gone-horror. The system-neutral factor is a plus, as I'd mentioned. Not sure where (or how) I'll use the introductory story plates, but they should be used. Yeah, I'm hooked. 2) I read through the first couple of chapters of the Field Guide to Hot Springs Island. Brilliant stuff. The whole premise is that the chain of islands is discovered after a cataclysmic event, an unknown period of time after it was half-submerged by water...and other stuff. I got through the letters coming from the first people to stumble across Hot Springs Island (or, at least, the first whose notes survived), some correspondence to/from universities about studies made from these notes and personal accounts, as well as a couple of "alphabets" for languages cobbled together from said explorers' notes. Given what I'd already read in TES, some things started shifting into place in my brain.

I should preface this by explaining that this volume, a good-sized trade paperback, was sold as "something suitable for the players to read." Don't make the mistake of giving away any of this info without first digesting it yourself - or at least having a copy handy for your own reference. No stats are involved anywhere, but I feel the judge should understand the conclusion of "Oh, this must be where *this* happened" before players are given the clues to make that connection. For instance, Hot Springs Island was predominantly inhabited by elves prior to the cataclysm, but there's little to lead to this at first.

**NOTE TO JACOB: NEED THE FIELD GUIDE IN PDF FORMAT. SERIOUSLY. Being able to print off a single page (or portion thereof) to hand out would be *perfection*. 3) After an unwilling hiatus, I returned to the Field Guide today and picked up where I left off: Plant life. Some very cool stuff. Some had me cross-referencing Toxic Elven Smut, making some mental connections and leaps of logic, which got me flipping through ... 4) ... the "public" version of Toxic Elven Smut [2nd printing], which elaborates on some of the monsters with motivations and gives more info on the primary powers & influences of Hot Springs Island during its heyday. It had me flipping back & forth between the TES versions and the Field Guide, putting more things together.

5) Then there's the Lapis Observatory. Absolute genius. The whole thing is consistently presented in system-neutral format (so my DCC pals can see where I'm going with this). The observatory, one of the most easily-accessible areas from the main shores of Hot Springs Island, sheds a little light on the history of the island with the critters and artifacts. As for encounters: you can either roll to determine what kind of stuff is waiting on each floor, or compile it yourself -- and remember, while special attacks/qualities are noted, you get to stat them up to fit your needs.

After an hour or two of this fevered reading, cross-referencing, and reading some more, I feel energized (I want to run this for every one of our local groups NOW) and fully satisfied, as if I've just conquered a huge Cthonic mystery set forth by one of Bob's old CoC campaigns, with the levels of research and library use that my brain just went through. Damn if I don't want to start taking notes and flagging pertinent pages...but it'll need to percolate for a bit while I tackle some real-life adventures first.

Mind you, I'm barely halfway through the Field Guide. I still haven't hit the follow-up correspondence or known monsters [save for those appearing in the zines], or any number of other goodies.

My understanding is that Hot Springs Island is but one of many to be described in the upcoming compendium (likely a KS) for the Swordfish Islands. And I can't friggin' wait.

Friday, June 10, 2016

I miss my FLGS.

Just stopped into a comics & game shop in the area by our hotel.

Good points:
...Such a store exists!
...Shop Guy was more knowledgeable about RPGs than comics (the lady behind the counter was the comic guru - also a nice change.
...Shop Guy had nothing bad to say about Goodman, save for not having core books available for long stretches.

But then he went and said DCC was "too crunchy" ... and I may have gaped at him like a clubbed seal.

Hubby suggested helpfully that it may have been the spells. S.G. said he was the only one in his group (5E players, per previous convo) who could grasp it.

Then S.G. went on to rave about Dark Eye, and how it kind of has the same type of swingy spell results.

I ... uhh...

It is so hard leaving someone with a misconception about something I have a passion for. I would've offered to run it for him tomorrow (my last full day in town) if I had the day free, but I don't...and I don't know if I could summon the patience to weave a thread of logic through that, anyway.

If any readers find themselves in southwest Nevada, I'll pass on the quasi-FLGS info so you can tag in on the proselytizing!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rolling over the body of the blog

Oh wow. Just realized how long this poor thing has gone neglected...not by desire or design, of course, but that's how life goes sometimes. There are many things I've wanted to shout on the rooftops, but life gets in the way.

To parallel this, I've not run DCC RPG (or any other games) since Gary Con in early March due to an auto accident within a week of our return home...but I'm not here to dole out medical updates or whine for sympathy. Instead, I give you a list of seemingly disjointed thoughts:

...I noticed that Friday was a very popular day on this page. Is Wayne Con to blame?

...Gary Con was another first: I ran 4 sessions at a convention. It's nothing compared to +Brendan LaSalle's nine sessions, for a total of 36 hours... That man is a friggin' MACHINE. I avoided the brunt of the resultant con crud; he did not. I'm sensing a correlation.

...Dark Trails is something that must be experienced. (Who the hell dug this Baity guy up and brought him into the DCC community? He's top-notch.)

...I must admit deep sadness that I do not get to convert the printer's proof of the 4th printing leather cover into the Acolyte's Hymnal or Acolyte's Screen of Awesomeness.

...Gary Con currently holds my heart, but we're venturing out to NTRPG Con this year to check it out. I'll be running two slots, continuing the playtesting for one of +Harley Stroh's upcoming DCC projects, The Music of the Spheres (Is Chaos).

...The Dark Master has me editing some upcoming releases that I'm dying to run and/or put into use at my table. I'm stupidly excited to see the public response!

...I'll be running on Free RPG Day at the FLGS aka home base, Dungeon Games in Estero, FL. I haven't decided which module(s) or if I'll do a double-header or not, but tables start at 12:30pm and 6:00pm. If nobody shows up, I'll just grab one of each of the *5* (!!) covers of this year's Goodman Games release as a consolation prize. (I'm not even joking.)


...Our performing group has been confirmed by Gen Con, so we will be there! Yay! As per usual, our hotel and performance schedule have not yet been dispersed. Boo. Learning from prior years, we didn't even bother with event registration this time around, so we're banking on after-hours shenanigans. I've been toying with the idea of running Against the Atomic Overlord over a series of 3 nights...but not knowing if I'll be out of costume by 8pm makes planning difficult.

...We'll be performing in Peoria, Illinois, again this June - this time it'll be the weekend after Free RPG Day, thankfully! But I rarely travel out of state without my DCC tome, so if anyone's in the area that weekend and interested, I could perhaps be persuaded... For that matter, I may open this up to folks in the Chicago suburbs...say, Tuesday evening? I doubt we'll have the chance to swing through Cincinnati this time around (sorry, guys!) since we're looking at being home for a grand total of 9 days in the month of June. [Note to self: Revisit this. ASAP.]

To address a couple inquiries floating around the aether:

...Spellburn is not dead. It's just taking some time to recover from all the stat loss. (Remember, fellow casters: you can't recover stat points each day unless you refrain from spellburning that day.)

...Sanctum Secorum has scaled back to once a month for the foreseeable future. Prior to real life "getting in the way," we all decided it was unrealistic to continue the breakneck pace of every two weeks, considering the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to produce clean audio + a full companion PDF for every episode, after the reading assignment homework. So we're sticking with the first Friday of each month -- even if that coincides with conventions.

And last, but certainly and NEVER least ~~
Happy birfday to our very own Bacon Wizard, +David Baity!