Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Making a Table Copy

My son's copy of the 5th Ed D&D Player's Handbook fell apart a while back. No big deal really, he read it all the time and carried it back and forth to school.  Mine, bought at the same time, is still in great shape.

A quick trip to Office Depot for plastic sheets and a binder and fixed it up quite nice.



We have added some printout from the Unearthed Arcana and other sources.




We swapped the blue binder for the larger black one to add more material.

So far it has worked out great as a table copy for all our different D&D 5 games.  Since it is in a binder it also lays flat on the table, making it perfect for looking up things in the middle of a game.

We were left with a cover that didn't have any book.  What to do about that?  Well, a few years back I picked up a rather piss-poor quality copy of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia. It didn't have a cover.



A little glue, some binder clips to hold it while it dried and I have a new-ish-er book.

Now I'll just get my son a new PHB to go with his set.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

White Plume Mountain at DriveThruRPG

One of the all-time greatest classic modules is now available at DriveThruRPG.

S2 White Plume Mountain


I had an absolute blast playing this with my kids.  They STILL talk about how they got Blackrazor.

DriveThru has a number of great files to go with this too.
White Plume Mountain Dungeon Tiles (lots of fun!)
White Plume Mountain Revised (3.5)

The PDF is the older mono-chrome cover, but I love this Jeff Dee one.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

On this day the Slave Lords have been defeated!

Over the weekend the boys escaped the Dungeons of the Slave Lords and started a revolt in the city of Sudderham to defeat the Slave Lords.  They managed to kill them all including the leader Stalman Klim.


I decided that Klim was not a cleric of the Earth Dragon cult, instead, I made a more tangible connection to the Elder Elemental Eye.  Yeah I could go all convoluted with the connections and cover cults and fronts, but really the boys have enough details to juggle.

On the Water Dragon on their way back to the Duchy of Urnst I hit them with the big plot point.  The Sun just went out.

In typical fashion, my youngest announces that someone is killing Sun Gods.

While they were unconscious in the Dungeons I told them they had a flash back to an adventure very early in their careers, and one they don't remember.

So for the next adventure, I am going make 0-level B/X Basic versions of their current 7th level D&D 5 characters and take them through T1 The Village of Hommlet.

I was going to do this using 4e, but a few things have happened recently that have made me really want to do this as Basic D&D.  Plus this is a flashback to when the characters were "younger" so a simpler system is really what I want to give it that right feel.

Any XP they get in Hommlet I am going to give to their 7th level characters.  Afterall, if they just now remembered the adventure that could not have had any advantages from the XP till now.

Also, the nice thing here is I am going to take advantage of D&D Basic's features as features (and not as I thought of them then as bugs).  So the sorcerer and the warlock are going to be Magic-Users. The elven ranger will be an Elf.  The Paladin will be a Fighter and so on.  The only sticking point is the Dragonborn.  I think he will be a Dragonborn.  Just like a Dwarven fighter would be a Dwarf. So yes I am going to use Race-as-Class for this.

I also got all my B/X GM's Screen stuff in the mail yesterday from +Richard LeBlanc so Basic is on my mind.  More on that though in another post.

The Sun is gone. The Order of the Platinum Dragon has a lost memory to recover.  And now they hear of giants coming down from the hills to brazenly attack villages...

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weekend Gaming: Against the Slave Lords!

The Order of the Platinum Dragon made it to the throne room of the slave lords and encountered the first five.


The battle was fierce with many HP lost on both sides.
I did notice that in some cases the Playtest version of Next has slightly different monster stats than the final version of 5e.  I have used both more or less interchangeably.

Sadly the heroes were all knocked unconscious and awoke in a deep, dark dungeon with no weapons, gear or armor.   Adventure A4 begins next!

Of course while they were unconscious they had more dreams.
I am using dream sequences and flashback to give them tidbits of information about what is going on in the world or the past.  I am going with the old adage that it is better to show and not tell.  Each different dream sequence or flashback I use a different version of *D&D.  The next one uses AD&D 1st Ed for a trip back 30+ years ago (natch).



I have used Basic already and even have one planned using 4th ed D&D.

I have my summer gaming mapped out.  This is going to be epic!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A to Z of Adventure! L is for Lendore Isles

L is for Lendore Isles (and Len Lakofka).

I was a fan of Len Lakofka way back in the day when I first discovered his work in Dragon Magazine.

I think it was his articles on the Gods and Goddesses of the Suel Empire that read first. Especially the one on Wee Jas.  Or it could have been his article on the Death Master NPC.

But in any case it was his L series, the Lendore Isles, that most people know his work.

Module L1, The Secret of Bone Hill, is a classic for a number of reasons. First it was Lakofka's first foray into module writing. There is was plenty of background detailed in this module as well, a lot for what amounts to an introductory module.

The typical hack-n-slash or kick in the door plot is given over to what really amounts to a mystery.   The adventure section itself is actually only a small part of the adventure.

I also think it was that Bill Willingham cover.  I made character based on that magic user.

I got the chance to run my kids through this at Gen Con 2014 and we had a great time with it.
I had planned to run L2 Assassin's Knot, which is a great follow-up to L1, but time did not allow it.  By the time I had calculated all the XP the characters were ready for something else anyway.  Which is too bad, there is a great murder mystery in L2 that my youngest would have loved.

L3 Deep Dwarven Delve was completed at the same time as the first two adventures, somewhere around 1979, however it would not see publication til 1999 for the D&D Silver Anniversay Edition set.  I have never actually owned or even read this one. A fact that was lost on me till I started working on this post!  In fact the game it was written and published for, 1st Edition AD&D, was no longer in print and 3rd edition was on the very near horizon. Even the company, TSR, was no more having been bought by Wizards of the Coast.
(eta I checked and I did buy it on PDF at some point)

You would think that 20 years is enough to keep a guy out of the gaming biz. Well Len then released the next installments of the Lendore Isles adventures on the old-school gaming forum Dragons's Foot.

The next adventures were L4 Devilspawn and L5 The Kroten Adventures.
Plus material to support these adventures.

I have ready through these other adventures and I can't help but feel that they might work great for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. They have the same feel to me and think they would compliment each other very nicely.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Order vs. the Slavers Stockade and introduction of the Drow

Over the weekend the Order of the Platinum Dragon completed the Secret of the Slavers Stockade.

The managed to kill all but one of the Slave Lords in the stockade, freed 140 slaves including a Tiefling Warlock name Crowley who is staying with the Order.
The Rogue discovered two short swords of sharpness and quickly named them 'Snicker' and 'Snack'.

The Order enters the torture room

The order was leading the slaves out when they encountered the brainwashed Markessa's double, whom they also saved.  As they were leaving a group of Drow leading 20 more slaves in.  In typical fashion my youngest made a called shot (I am aiming for her eyes) and rolled a natural 20.  Solid.

They are now spending some time returning some of the Slaves to their homes in the Duchy of Urnst.  They left Highport and are travelling by ship up the Wooly Bay following the river in.  This gives me a chance to get them used to this area of the world, including Greyhawk, AND a a chance for the Slavers to recover a bit more to be ready for them.

All in all a great time this weekend.  No one leveled up, but the treasure was nice.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Against the Slave Lords Reprint now in PDF

2016 starts out with a bang as WotC gives us the reprint of Against the Slave Lords in PDF.


I just grabbed it (since that is the adventure my kids are now going through) and it looks exactly like the print copy.

I has the A1 to A4 adventures and the introductory A0 adventure.  Sadly not the A5 adventure, The Last Slave Lord.

I can now print out maps and mark them up all I like!


Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Gaming

It's been busy time this Christmas.  So far I have gotten a lot of gaming in.
We went to my in-laws to see my wife's sister and her kids and my kids brought out D&D.  I got hit with some allergies and could not run, but my oldest decided to run some games.  He got both of my nephews to play some D&D 5.  They had a great time.  So great in fact that I went out got them some dice, minis, a Starter Set and the Basic Rules.


We went back out to visit and Liam ended up running Hoard of the Dragon Queen.  Instead of Tiamat he used his own creation, Aži Dahāka.  It went fantastic.  Really fantastic.




Even their other cousin and her boyfriend joined in for a couple of sessions.

They had such great time that the brand new Xbox One went largely ignored.  Not to bad really.

So I got 4 new people into gaming this holiday.  How did you do?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Kids vs. Krampus

Had a great time this weekend.
We went out to see my in-laws on Saturday. My wife's sister was in and she also has two boys close to the same ages as my boys. We took out Dungeon! a game they really love and on the advice of my wife took out some D&D 5th edition, some minis and the Krampus adventure I was going to run for my kids.

Once out there I didn't want to get right into playing; long drive and I wanted to visit first. So my oldest took it upon himself to help them roll up new characters and he started running them through some quick and simple adventures.  He was hesitant at first, but soon really got into a groove DM'ing his first game.  He was having fun doing the voices and playing all the npcs and really coming up with a cool little adventure on the fly.  I was very, very pleased with him.  The kids enjoyed it because they played they played till almost 1:00am; about 12 hours straight!  So now I need to pick up a D&D5 starter kit for the other two boys so they can play at home.

On Sunday I ran the Krampus adventure, "Twas the Night Before Krampusnacht". I had been working on one for a little bit but something was not quite right about it.  So I was reading through some adventures for another campaign and I came across +Pete Spahn's Stealer of Children.  It did 90% of what I wanted to do I just made some tweaks. The Grombel was now Krampus, the dryad Merrit was now La Befena the Christmas Witch, I even used the Burgomeister Meisterburger and Grimsley from Santa Claus is Coming to Town (though here they were good) and the village became more like Whoville.  The kids discovered that Father Christmas was also captured by Krampus and if he is killed on the eve of Krampusnact the entire area will be plunged into endless winter.   They were able to defeat Krampus, thanks to a potion cooked up by La Befana.



The boys are already talking about when they will play next and my oldest is considering running the Rise of Tiamat adventure for them on Christmas eve when we seen them next.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Kid's Games

I totally missed Friday Night Videos the other night.  Sorry. Insane day at work. I didn't even know about Paris till I got home Friday night.

OneBookshelf is running their annual "Teach your Kids to Game Week" with lots of sales on introductory material for kids.


While I totally applaud such efforts, I think back to how I learned and how I taught my own kids and we all started with D&D.

In fact my oldest son has been playing for close to 11 years now.  He is still playing his first character in our Dragonslayers game.  We began the game in early 2005 with "The Cave of the Stinky Goblin" and now have a host of epic-level bad asses.

This weekend we even took some time to play the children of the Dragonslayers, the Order of the Platinum Dragon in the next part of the Slaver's series.  The big "reveal" is coming soon and I can't wait to spring it on my players.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Halfway, Fortunes of Ravenloft and the Foreshadowing

Got in a lot of gaming this weekend!

Saturday the Order of the Platinum Dragon found themselves still stuck in the mists.  They stumbled on to Halfway.  Here they met the Dealer and had the Fortunes of Ravenloft read.  We are not going to play Ravenloft till Gen Con, but I have 5 nights to run it.



I used Tarot cards for the Fortunes (because why not).  I have done that in the past, but I also found this AD&D1st Ed to D&D5 conversion of Ravenloft that also used Tarot cards.
With the PDF out I can print both of these out and run it from those.

Sunday we went "back in time" to the Dragonslayers.  They finished up their exploration of the Barrier Peaks.  Here they encountered, for the very first time, the Illithids.  Something that was not lost on my kids.

The "Order of the Platinum Dragon" characters are all the children or grand children of the "Dragonslayers".   So I am setting up the Mind Flayer threat a generation early.

I know what I have in store for the Order, I just need to figure out what is next for the Dragonslayers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

President's Day Gaming - Converting to 5e from 3.x

Had yesterday off so wanted to spend the day doing some gaming.

My boys wanted to play our 5e game, but we were a player down, so I suggested we wrap up our 3e game.  That didn't go over as well to be honest.
Both boys said they were burned out on 3e and everything took so long compared to 5e.  I reminded them that their 3e characters are nearing Epic levels and all combats will take forever at that level.

So long story short, we all decided to convert the 3e game to something else.  I was pushing pretty hard for 1st Ed but the boys wanted 5th ed.  I cant say that I blame them really.

Converting adventures is easy. I do that on the fly 90% of the time anyway.  Converting characters is a bit more involved.  The group's wizard converted fine. For the paladin/dragon-rider we went with a straight paladin.  The rogue/ranger/sorcerer/arcane archer required me to get more creative. In 5e the character became a rogue (arcane trickster)/ranger (hunter).  I let him take spells from the sorcerer list or the druid list where appropriate for the character concept and what he had been able to do in the past.


My 3.e Witch GMPC was more difficult.  I started out by converting her to a Warlock with a pact of the Tome feature.  This gives me access to more spells.  I then took the Magic Initiate feat and the Ritual Caster feat to gain some extra spells.  I like it, but I am not 100% happy with it.

It occurs to me that that old 2nd Ed Witch Kit and the 4th Ed Witch "sub" class might be good starting points for what a 5th ed witch might look like using the wizard as a base.

I compared the Wizard and Warlock in form of Skylla for 5th a while back.  With her I Was happier with the Wizard build even though the Warlock build had some interesting things going for it.

It is worth a little extra research.  I am NOT in the market to build a 5e Witch class right now.  I still have other commitments to finish.  Plus I enjoy playing 5e and not necessarily having to play and play-test with the same game.

Besides I think I would like to see some other people's take on a witch class.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Checking in on my Plan

Over the years I have discussed my Plan.  The Plan is what adventures I am going to take my kids through.

For D&D 3.x I was content to take anything as it came, make stuff up and generally going towards a  stopping the cult of Tiamat plot.  It was/has been fun and we are nearing the end of that.

For the new adventures I was looking at 3rd, then 4th, then 1st and now 5th Edition as the primary game system.

http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-have-plan.html
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2012/02/lets-play-1st-ed-dad.html
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2012/07/my-kids-are-awesome.html

At the present here is where I am.
  • B1 Into the Unknown, levels 1-3
  • B2 Keep on the Borderlands, levels 1-3
  • L1 The Secret of Bone Hill, levels 2-4
  • X2 Castle Amber, levels 3-6 (where we are now!)
  • I6 Ravenloft, levels 5-7
  • A0-5 Slave Lords, levels 4-7
  • G123, Against the Giants, levels 8-12 (I also have the Stone Giant one from Dragonsfoot, just need to find it)
  • D12,3 Against the Drow, levels 8,9-14
  • Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits, 10-14
  • CM2 Death's Ride, levels 15-20. (Again, unless I use it in my current 3.x game which the boys want me to do)
If I don't do Death's Ride I am seriously considering the classic H series to go after Orcus.
  • H1 Bloodstone Pass, levels 15+
  • H2 The Mines of Bloodstone, levels 16-18
  • H3 The Bloodstone Wars, levels 17-20
  • H4 The Throne of Bloodstone, levels 18-100
But I would REALLY edit these since they have a lot of issues.  Truthfully my best plan is to just use H4 and add bits from H1-3 and maybe even some stuff from the 4th Ed E-Series.  But that is if I want to have Orcus as the big bad guy at the end.  It has appeal.

Also I have the mind flayer adventure A Darkness Gathering to work into the mix.

It has taken me a while to get through all this because I am alternating with my 3.x game, some AS&SH and other games.

So far the adventures have seemed random and the characters are wandering about.  But they are about to get some items in the X2/I6 series that will help them later on.  

Right now, with out their knowing about it the Drow, Vampires and Illithids have gathered together to put the final phase of their ultimate plan into motion.  The PCs will discover a little of this plan when they encounter the Slavers.  The slavers are all vampires now and they are not dealing in slaves, but human cattle.    After they have defeated them the last part of the bad guys plan comes into fruition.  

The sun goes completely out.  

There is panic. Everyone gathers in the Freecity of Greyhawk.  The Church of Pelor/Ixion is hardest hit, but also the loudest voice.  All the "big names" are there and they are trying to figure out what to do.
There is a plan to set the moon a flame, but the various clergy of the Moon Goddesses are against that.  Finally they agree to instead use a large asteroid to keep life going till they can re-ignite the sun.
While all the big names are trying to figure this out the PCs have to deal with some raids nearby of giants...

The PCs will then go through the GDQ series to discover the plan and that the drow are working with mind flayers.  After defeating Lolth in Q1 the PCs will have to deal with the vampires who have Pelor captured.  In order to re ignite the sun they will need to set him free from his prison in ..... and that is all I have.

Yeah it is kinda story-gamey.  It's my game, my house and my kids. They will eat this up.
I guess it is hard for me to get away from the idea of vampires as the big bads.

Those of you who have been reading this blog a long time might notice that there was a similar plot in my Buffy Season 7 game, Episode 12 No Other Troy.  Though that one the sun being blocked was a side effect. 

I am inclined to use Orcus as the big bad holding Pelor.  
I have a huge ass mini of him and a crap ton of material for him.

But I have also wanted to use Camazotz as the demon-god of Vampires in his abyssal plane of Xibalba.  Maybe I still can use him in some way.  It is possible he is something like a high priest to Orcus and his job is to sacrifice Pelor on a bloody altar.  Once that is done Orcus will suck up his godly powers and reign as the God of Death and Darkness.

And he would have gotten away with it too had it not been for those meddling PCs.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

On the Road to Averoigne

So over the weekend my D&D5 group completed the castle portion of Castle Amber and the adventurers have entered Averoigne.  They are currently taking a long rest before heading out to find the four items they need to return home.

So far this adventure has been fantastic.  I forgot how much fun X2 was, both as a player and as a DM.

I am still playing around with the 5e rules.  I might use the option that makes healing more like AD&D, but so far I still very happy with how things go.

Story wise I have been dropping hints of the "Oncoming Darkness" with both the ghouls and the Brain Collector/Neh-Thalggu mentioning it.   Once they complete their quest here typically they are brought back to their own world.  Instead I am going to have them go directly to Ravenloft via the mists and defeat Strahd.  In both adventures they get items necessary for them to survive the adventures to come.

I am going to try out this Ravenloft I6 D&D 5 conversion I found here.
Ravenloft is one of my favorite adventures and I am really looking forward to it.

I still need them to come up with a name for their group.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gamer Christmas 2014

Soon the fat man in the red suit will come to you house, eat your cookies and maybe leave something behind.  I am not talking about your weird uncle, I mean Santa Claus!

So what RPG item are you all hoping to get this year?

I am somewhat at a loss myself.  I really got into the new D&D 5 system this year, so I am just hoping to get some gaming in.  But nothing really on my Christmas list.

I did pick up an early Christmas/late Halloween present for myself, the old WEG d6 DC Universe Game.


My family are all bigger fans of DC than Marvel so this should be fun to try out.  My youngest wants to play an Arrow-like character (not "Green Arrow" but something closer to the Stephen Amell version).  I am going to suggest something like a DC-TVU version of Connor Hawke.
My oldest want to play a Green or Blue Lantern.

This is my first big dip into d6.  I had Ghostbusters and the Xena game, but I am planning on doing a bit more with this.

I am still a HUGE fan of the Green Ronin's DC Adventures game, so I am going to use their Universe book along with it.


Hopefully I will have more to say in the New Year.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Witch's Catalog

I got hit with a bad bout of flu this week. Well Thursday it got worse. So I have been asleep for about 34 of the last 48 hours.  I should be asleep now but I only woke up a few hours ago.

Anyway I saw something today to took me back to my youth.

When I was young, say 6 or maybe 7, I got a book from the Scholastic book club that I loved.

Norman Bridwell's The Witch's Catalog.


Uf you have never seen the the book there are some excerpts of it here and here.
Basically it was a catalog of all sorts of magical things you could get such as shrinking powder, dragons, invisibility suits and a witch's "Weather Balloon" that could change the weather underneath the balloon.

I can't say for certain if anything from this later ended up in a game of mine, but in my pre-D&D days this was the book for me. I do recall reading about "if you are not lucky enough to have a witch living near you".  I remember thinking how cool that would be.  I was 6.

Any way special thanks go out Dr. Theda's Crypt and YargCade Blog for turning up this wonderful childhood memory.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Teach Your Kids to Game Week

It is Teach Your Kids to Game week over at DriveThruRPG.

I love these sorts of games.  Sure I way beyond "learning to game" myself and so are my kids.  But back about 10 years ago my son wanted to play with my funny sided dice.
Back then I used D&D 3.0 to teach gaming to my boys and it worked nice.  In retrospect I might of done something a little different.  Maybe something like Basic D&D (a current fave) or even a streamlined version of AD&D.

So I really love seeing games like these and there are lot to choose from.
Here are a few of my favorites.

Little Wizards
If you have a kid that loves Harry Potter or Kiki's Delivery Service then this is the game to get. Quick, Easy and Fun could be the tag line for this game.  The stats are simple really. Three traits, some powers and of course a description of your wand and familiar.   I am disappointed I have not used this game more myself. It might be a "kids" game but it packs a lot of punch and frankly is one of the most clever little games I have seen in a long time.  The Character sheet is a treat too.

Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
I have a lot of love for this game. I was supposed to submit an adventure for it, the Cave of the Stinky Goblin, which is the very first adventure I ever ran for my own son.  A Goblin is washing his stinky clothes and garbage in the river and smelling up the town of West Haven.  This game, like many others here, use a simple d6 based mechanic. This is good since that is what most people have in their homes.  My kids were attracted to my multi-sided dice, butI see no reason why you could not just replace all the d6s in HK with d8s for example.
The rules are light and fast. There are plenty of character sheets for all four classes and blanks along with cutout minis. There are a lot of monsters too.
Calling "D&D lite" does not really do the game justice, but it is rather close.

Mermaid Adventures RPG
I don't know much about this one but I have heard nothing but very high praise for it.

Monsters and Other Childish Things: Completely Monstrous Edition
This is a game that works well as a "kids" game, but there is enough here for adults to have fun with it.  I have always wanted to use this as a "dark Pokemon" (and that is saying something) or even a very dark version of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.

Kids & Critters RPG Trilogy
An absolute steal at this price.
For under 3 bucks you get 3 complete games for kids.
Tales from the Wood where you play creatures from The Wood.  Think Watership Down.
Lashings of Ginger Beer is about playing a kid in Idyllic England, so it might actually work best for adults.  Most similar to kids adventure tales.
It's a Dog's LIfe is the best of the three where you play a Prairie Dog out on the American Plains with heavy American Indian/Native American influences.
All three games are simple to learn and easy to play.
These games require a bit more abstraction to play than some other kid games, but nothing a little kid with a great imagination couldn't handle.

Faery's Tale Deluxe
I reviewed this one a while back.

Toy War
Toy War takes very simple rules (and also teaches kids how to use a ruler) to bring their favorite toys to life. Each toy has a purpose and something it does well. In one session we brought in a baby harp seal (was cute), a toy Dalek (can shoot), a space ship and some D&D dragons. We came up with this idea to rescue some fish and we were off. The adventure is fast and fun. In the end we saved the fish, only to have them eaten by the baby seal.  The baby seal got away with it because he was cute.
Depending on your kids this could be a game of structured make believe or even an on-going saga. Or it can be a great diversion for a rain or snowy afternoon.
Worth every penny and then some.

DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
For older kids to be sure.  I have reviewed this one and it's Mutant & Masterminds parents a number of times here/

Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
Reviewed here and here.

Cavemaster RPG
Cavemaster might one of the biggest games here on my list (outside of DCA).   This is a "stonepunk" game where you play cavemen.  Some kids might love this idea, others might be turned off on it. For me I think it is an excellent concept and would work with a group generally smarter kids.  Kids that for example would understand our pre-history origins.
What makes this good for kids is that the system itself is so easy to use. In fact one of the conceits of the game is it is molded after the first RPGs played by cave men.  Well...not really...and Game Designer Jeff Dee knows this, but it is still fun.
The game is rich and detailed and really deserves a deeper look on my part.

Witch Girls Adventures: Director's Cut
Reviewed throughout my blog.
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/search/label/wga
I do wish that The Second Edition would come out.

Monster Slayers: The Heroes of Hesiod
This one IS actually D&D lite.  I reviewed it here, http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2010/04/d-4-kids-monster-slayers-heroes-of.html

Mutants & Marvels
From the OSR's own Tom Doolan this game is a mix of D&D & Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP), or rather OSR games and 4C.  Streamed down into just under 45 pages it makes it a great 1st supers game for kids or an on going game for the right group of adults.

Grab one of these.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Great Weekend!

What a great weekend that was!  I can't even feel bad for it being Monday cause I am still riding the high.

I got to watch some cool horror movies with my family. Got our Halloween decorations up (well, most of them) and We played some more Castle Amber Sunday night.

Had a moment of serious Deja Vu when running it too.  In the "White Room" in the East Wing there is a D&D Expert set monster hiding out, a Frost Salamander.  Now back in the day (much like today) we mixed and matched our D&D rules as we needed.  Well back when I was a player and we went through this room I didn't have my D&D Expert book on me. I had just bought the PHB and we were running it as "pure" AD&D.  Well AD&D doesn't have a Frost Salamander.  Neither does D&D 5.
So in both cases we substituted a Remorhaz for it.

I know not a big deal. But for a bit I was transported back in time to when I was my son's age and doing what he was doing.  It was very cool to me.

If you have not had a chance yet, head on over to Tenkar's Tavern to see exactly how not to act when someone is reviewing your kickstarter:



Very good example of what not to do.





Sunday, September 21, 2014

Another Great 5e Weekend

It is the the first weekend of Fall (more or less) and that means a lot of yard work for me including cleaning up my wife's garden.  I don't mind. I love getting all the fresh veggies.



But this weekend was also a great 5th Edition D&D weekend.

Began our time picking up a couple copies of the newest Monster Manual.



The new Monster Manual is a damn attractive book.  Like so much of D&D5 it reads like a "greatest hits" of D&D.  Yest there is still plenty of room for more books especially a Fiend Folio.

Tonight the family explored the temple in Castle Amber.  They might more of the crazy Ambers and manged to get one character turned to stone.  Fortunately for the paladin, the sorcerer still had a wand of negation that could undo one magical effect.  So our paladin was back.

But the dice were cold tonight and we stopped after a couple of hours.  Still, more fun to be had at Castle Amber.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Castle Amber by Candle Light

Running behind on posting (and reading).  We got slammed by a freak storm in Chicago and we were without power from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning.

Friday we went out in the hope that the power would be back soon.  No such luck.  So we spent the night reading by flashlight and candle light.  I grabbed my old 2e Ravenloft Boxed set to flip through.

Saturday was spent grilling everything in the fridge so we would not have to throw it all out.

Eggs, toast and bacon on the grill. I might never eat inside again.

We then spent the day preparing and playing one of my favorite modules X2 Castle Amber.

And trust me, nothing was quite as fun as playing it all by candle light.



We played it under 5th edition rules.  Unlike Bone Hill, I did not have 5e stats for all the monsters in this adventure.  But fortunately the conversion process was very easy and most I could do one the fly.

Yeah that is my 1st Ed. DMs screen.  I had my kids grab everything and they also got that.

So far 5e is still working very nice for us.
Castle Amber is also a great adventure to play and run.  The kids are having a blast.  They managed to get through the west wing and they even found an intelligent magical sword.  I am not sure what do with that one yet. I hand-waved it for now since I have not found any D&D5 rules about intelligent weapons yet.

My family is loving this adventure so far and I have to admit I was rather gleeful inside at scene where they have to run from the "Grey Mists" to get into the castle.

The nice thing is that even though this feels like a "monster of the week" adventure there is a great tie-in to the overall "Cult of Chaos" plot I have been weaving through all the adventures.  Yeah, yeah I have seen the posts that D&D isn't supposed to be "cinematic" or "storytelling".  Screw that. I do what my family and I enjoy.   My youngest spends his time playing looking for any clues that might help him understand more about the mystery and my oldest wants to read Lovecraft now.

So next time they will finish the central forest and hit the East Wing and then beyond.
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