31 Dec

D.I.Y. D&D

As I mentioned in my last post, our group has started to use a homebrew D&D that has four inspirations/motivations behind it: 1) a pretty simple system where the rules are not burdensome or even all that important (more rulings than rules and a system that I would be comfortable completing winging it with); 2) a system that incorporates my experiences with D&D CharacterSheet(particularly my experiences from “back in the day”); 3) a system that fits my particular group of ratlings, er, players (most of whom didn’t start playing until the d20 version of D&D); and, 4) a system that lets us use a character sheet as simple as the one to the right (based on the Notebook character sheet for Basic Fantasy RPG). To be honest, it was this last one that was the initial impetus for all this.

The result is a set of three little 5.5″ by 8.5″ booklets…did I mention that an homage to the roots of this little hobby as a motivation? No, well, it is just a bit of an added bonus. The first booklet, Rats & Ratlings, is 23 pages and contains all the core rules including classes, races, equipment, combat, and exploration. The second, Gods & Gophers, has the divine spells used by clerics (clocking in at 19 pages). The third, Mice & Magic, has–as you might have guessed–the arcane spells used by magi (clocking in at a whopping 36 pages). And yes, we got cute with the names of the booklets, alliteration, and the rodent motif for out gaming group.

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30 Dec

Death is not the end, my friend

Death of a campaign, that is. Yep, death is not the end, again. (Apologies to Filthy Thieving Bastards)

Throughout the months of June and July we had various scheduling issues where we did not have everyone at the table for five or six weeks in a row. None of us really wanted to continue our Savage Worlds Known World campaign without the full crew. So we started playing an alternating series of short adventures depending on who was available what night. Rachel and Todd composed one group and Bridgett, Rachel, and RJ composed the other. By the time we got to where everyone would start to be available again at the same time, the players all decided that they wanted to move on to something new instead of trying to pickup with the Known World campaign. That decision was a little disappointing…okay, maybe a bit more than a little disappointing. The Known World campaign had been going so well and had turned into a rather cool little bit of alternative fantasy…shipwrecks, dinosaurs, pteranomen, and some nasty evil baddie lurking around the edges of it all…but it was probably going to be difficult for the players to continue that campaign with the same vigor and enthusiasm after being away so long. And so, sadly, we lay to rest our Savage Worlds Known World campaign.

We also started to move away from Savage Worlds at this time. We did a little Dungeon World since I was curious about it but quickly moved to some good old-fashioned D&D…sort of. I ended up putting together my own little Old School Renaissance (OSR) set of rules that harken back to MY experiences with D&D back in the 70s and 80s, is a little more tailored to the playing styles of our current gaming group, and–so far at least–has been pretty easy to convert material from most versions of D&D. I also have shamelessly “borrowed” things from some of our other favorite systems like Savage Worlds (e.g., cards for initiative…which we all find fast and easy) and even some ideas that have been around for awhile in lots of games but were nicely formalized in Dungeon World (e.g., “tags” and the idea of success, failure, and success with complications).

So far, it has been working pretty well for us…which is all that really matters, right?