Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So behind on reviews

I am woefully behind on my reviews.

I am going to try to get some up here soon, but this is a rather busy time of year for me.  Hope to have something up later.

White Dwarf Wednesday #30

White Dwarf #30 covers the months of April and May 1982.

Cool cover art this issue with some weird bat-like creature.

This issues' Ian Livingstone editorial talks about the new Dungeons & Dragons electronic labyrinth game from Mattel and the Intellivison video game.  I had the post of the dragon from the electronic board game (till my ass college roommate ripped it up) but I never owned the game itself till a few years back.

Roger E. Moore gives us another of what I consider the "Classic" Traveller articles for me.  That is, this one of the ones that we had access too as a big xeroxed packet.  Androids in Traveller tells us all about artifical humans, replicants and your plastic pal that's fun to be with.

Designing a Quasi-Medieval Society for D&D is back.  Paul Vernon presents Part 2: The Economy Mercenaries and Resource Owners.  Again, this is quite in-depth (for a gaming magazine) and has a lot of useful information.  What is most useful though were the presented incomes of NPCs.  In our age and in 1982 I think it was hard for everyone just to understand how little people lived on. A group of adventures coming in to town after slaying a dragon is likely to throw the local economy totally out of whack.

E. Varley writes about Unarmed Combat in RuneQuest.

Open Box has some items that gamers today still love.  First up is Thieve World from Chaosium.  It gets a 10/10 for very good reason.  I was a huge TW fan back then and I still have my copy of this.  Champions from Hero games makes it first appearance here along with a scenario/adventure The Island of Doctor Destroyer.  Dave Morris likes the game, but doubts anyone will run a Champions campaign.  He gives it 7/10 and 8/10 for game and adventure.  Adventurer from Yaquinto Publications gets a solid 8/10.  Anf finally another Traveller board game that convinced me I'll never understand Traveller, Invasion: Earth gets 8/10 from Andy Slack.

"Griselda Gets Her Men" is the sequel to Lucky Eddi from last issue.  I have been told they are worth the. Maybe I'll give them a try.  After all it is only a page long.

Letters follow next.

Phil Masters presents The Curse of the Wildland, a cool looking adventure for 4-7 characters of 1-2 level in AD&D.   A couple of pages long and featuring a new monster, the Hsiao.

Starbase looks far a field for more ideas for Traveller Referees.

In what was/is one of the more interesting articles from the time we had "The Apocrypha According to St. Andre" by Ken St. Andre himself.  He explains a bit about himself and his game Tunnels & Trolls.  A very interesting read about one of the early pioneers of the gaming world.

Fiend Factor is back again.  This issue's theme are creatures that are often found with other creatures.   The Stirge Demon, found with Stirges has no treause but his Stirge Summoning necklace.   There is also the Weresnake.  The Muryans are giant ants that walk around on their hind legs.   The next page the monsters improve significantly.  The Sprite Knight is a larger sprite that protects other sprites.  The Vampire Wolf (or Coacula) is an undead wolf that serves a vampire.  Other wolves are mentioned, but not detailed.  Finally the Minidrag is a minature dragon like creature.

Treasure Chest has a collection of spells.

We come next to 10 pages of ads and the back cover.
Again, not a stand out issue, but certainly a fun one.  The Ken St. Andre article is a great highlight and the AD&D adventure is a good one too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pathfinder Witch

Witch by cromaticresponses
It looks like I am *finally* getting a chance to play Pathfinder style witch in a game.

I don't have many details yet, except I am excited about the prospect since I haven't got a chance to play one yet.  My son wants to run a game sometime with "Alternate-reality" versions of the Dragonslayers.  All the same classes and everything, just in a Pathfinder world.

I also quite pleased to see there is so much good stuff online for this witch, in addition to all the products I keep buying, but hardly ever use.

It will be interesting to see how she differs from the Liber Mysterium witch I have been playing all these years.
Hexes seem a little like my Occult Powers, save that the PF witch gets 11 of them vs the 3 (or 4 if you count the talisman feat) occult powers.  But the LM witch gets more spells; usually an additional 2 per level.  So it feels roughly similar.

But reading over all the Pathfinder material yesterday and today reinforced the idea I had a while back. There are not enough witch-like Prestige classes out there.
I am going to have to come up with some more I think.

Prestige Class: Queen of Witches
Prestige Class: Witch Priestess
Witch Books, Part 3. Pathfinder

Pathfinder SRD
Witch Spell list

Sunday, September 2, 2012

So Long City of Heroes

It has been announced that City of Heroes, the Supers MMORPG is closing up shop.

I never played CoH, but I did playtest the RPG version that Eden was working on back in the day.
Of course I stated up some characters.

What can I say? This was at the height of my involvement with The Dragon and the Phoenix.
I have to admit I liked how these turned out.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Zatannurday: Hero Clix!

I really enjoy my minis for Fantasy RPGs.

I also enjoy them for Supers games, I just don't have as many.
I do have some HeroClix.  Ok, I have (or rather had) 2.

I stopped by my favorite local game store and saw they had some new ones, so I bought one.
Guess what I got?

A Justice League Dark Zatanna!  I was hoping for this but really did not expect it.

She looks cool next to my classic Zatanna.

And Raven. That is all three of the HeroClix I own.  I just need the other Zatanna one.

They look pretty cool next to my Little Witches and Lego Witch.

Friday, August 31, 2012

D&D Zombies vs. The Walking/Running Dead

"Zombies are the new Vampires" - True Blood

Zombies are a great threat for lower level characters in any version of D&D.  They can be deadly in groups, but are slow.  They are affected by all the same magics other undead are, so Clerical turning or Radiant Powers really get to

The trouble is that D&D-style zombies are stuck in in a old modality of just being undead shamblers. Think Shaggy from Scooby-Doo only more dead.

Zombies in the game All Flesh Must Be Eaten by Eden Studios are much more deadly and their bite is lethal, just not right away.  Plus there are all sorts of Zombies in AFMBE including what we now call "quick"  or ""fast" zombies.

Of course the question has been and will be asked again, "why not just use Ghouls?".  Well simply put Ghouls are eaters of the dead.  If thought about I'd add subtle demonic influences to them as well to reflect the Ghoul/Ghul  relationship.

Improved Zombies
Let's take a page from modern interpretations via AFMBE and define a few new zombies.  Instead of full blown stat blocks, I'll just talk about how to make changes to your current game's Zombie.  Let's assume a couple of basics.  First, Zombies have no intelligence, they are slow, attack last in any round and had HD roughly equal to twice a normal human (so 2 HD in older games). XP awarded for these needs to recalulated up.

The Hungry Dead
This zombies appear to be most like Ghouls.  Their stats are the same as a regular zombie but once they kill a victim they begin to eat it.  They turn as if they were one slot higher ("Ghoul" for older games).

Plague Zombies
These might be the scariest of all. They do not appear to be any different than a regular Zombie until they bite a victim.  Then the differences are more apparent.  They look and act like The Hungry Dead, but their bite spreads the zombie infection. Anyone that is bitten (a roll of a Natural 20) becomes infected and will become a mindless zombie in 1d6 rounds.  They can be healed by a cure disease, but once dead they are dead forever. These zombies typically have twice the HD as their counterparts.

The Fast Dead
These zombies also appear as normal, until the move.  These are no shamblers, these zombies know the value of running.  They have an effective Dexterity of 16 and can attack normally (not last).

Alchemical Zombie
Stats-wise this is the same as any other zombie. The difference lie in how the zombie was made.  The alchemical zombie comes for a vat of foul smelling liquids produced by an alchemist and not a necromancer.  These zombies can not be turned.

These types can also be combined, so a Fast Plauge Zombie or a Hungry Alchemical zombie is possible.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Hate Myself for Loving You

Interesting article up on the whole Graz'zt/Iggwilv love affair.

Rule specific material is minor and can be adapted to any version of the game.  I am going to use this with my 1st ed game in fact.

As can be expected I like Iggwilv.  To my knowledge no one has ever penned her "biography" in full, but it would make for a good read I think.  Raised by Baba Yaga, infiltrating the Circle of Eight, her years with Graz'zt as master, lover, prisoner and bitter rival.  The authoring of the Demonomicon.  The Rise and Fall of the Witch Queen.

Iggwilv is a great villain not because she is evil (though she is that) it is because she lack any moral compass whatsoever.  If she needs a tome of magic and entire village stands between her then she had no issues burning it down to the ground.  It isn't because she doesn't care, it because she has no concept that anyone other than herself matters.

I am sure she is going to play some role in my 3.x and 1st ed games.
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