Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Extra Life 2017



What is Extra Life? The simple answer is that it’s a charity organization that raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The long answer to what it is and how they got started is best told by them, here.
What does this have to do with me? This takes more time. A few years ago, I had a class assignment to do something that had a social impact. There were a lot of really fun and interesting projects. I chose to take part in the Extra Life Charity marathon. I don’t know if it was expected that we would keep doing the projects well past the end of the class, I’m fairly certain it was not. However, I find the act of helping and supporting the other people who are a part of this group deeply rewarding. That’s why I’ve continued to take part every year. It just feels so damned good. It’s selfish, I know, but that’s why I do it.
This will be the fifth year I’ve taken part in the event. All the money I raise will go to the Dayton Children’s Hospital. I personally haven’t needed the hospital for a couple of decades now, but there are plenty of people who do and I’m happy to offer as much help as I can. The first year I did this was 2012, and in that time I’ve managed to raise $1710. Last year was the best, I raised $665, cut and died my hair and shaved my beard. Shaving my beard incidentally was awful. I hated it. It scratched and burned, and itched like hell. I’m willing to do it all again and I honestly didn’t think I would.

Here’s where I ask for your help. I’m asking for folks to support me through the marathon by donating $1 here for each hour I play, in other words $25 per person. However, any amount you can give, would be amazing. Once I’ve hit my goal I start offering things for further amounts. My current goal is $500. When I hit that, I’ll include one randomly chosen donor in the annual Christmas Story I post to my blog. After that I start offering other “stretch goals” like the fore mentioned haircut and dye job. My niece has suggested I record a music video for my YouTube channel, at this point, that is a long way off, we’re looking at a ridiculous amount of money, $10,000 at the least. (If you donate all of it, I’ll let you pick the song.) Those goals come later though, for now let’s all just focus on the $500.
I’m once again taking part in the large gaming marathon that happens near the end of every year. Once again, I’ll be taking part in the annual marathon, a twenty five hour, gaming extravaganza. This year I’m having some guests at my marathon.
Typically, some of my friends and I gather at my house and play games from noon to noon. This year, to allow for more people, I’m starting differently. The first four hours of my party will be open to kids. We’re going to be playing children’s games and I’m asking all of my friends with children to bring them over to play. I’ve got Super Rhino, King of Tokyo, Fantasy Forest, and the original Fireball Island. I’m thinking of getting out the Family rules for Flash Point, Jenga, and possibly Tumbling Dice. Maybe even my Extra-Life reserved copy of Risk Legacy that I only use during the Marathon and everyone has to play at least once, so their name goes on the board.
After that, I’m going to break out the more advanced games. That’s when the adults and children whose parents don’t mind them learning that kind of language. Beyond that, I know it’s going to be fun as hell and exhausting. I’ll post photos to Instagram and Twitter. I’ll post some video to Periscope. I did last year and it was a bunch of fun.
Beyond that, I know the Dayton Extra Life Guild has some events planned. There’s a meetup in October at Epic Loot in Centerville that I will be attending. I hope to see some of you there.

That’s all for now. I’ll check back in regularly to see how we’re all doing and leave some thoughts on what’s going on. Thanks for helping out.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

RPG a Day 2017 Question 31

What is RPGaDay2017?

I’ll link here to the actual group. Basically, it’s a series of questions that you can answer. There are 31 questions that you can answer to help shine a light on the different reasons people play role-play games. This is my answer to the final question. For my full list of answers check here.

Question #31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?
We have reached the end; the final question. And my, what a question it is. For 2018 I have a very specific hope. I recently applied to a posting for writers at an RPG publisher. They have asked me for writing samples in a follow up email. I’ll be honest it’s been a while and I’m starting to give up the hope that this will come to pass, but something has occurred recently to give me a bit more hope, at least for a little while. I know that the odds are long and I’m unlikely to get the position at this point, but in my quiet moments I can’t help but hope. After all, isn’t that the dream for all of us?
Beyond that, I want to play more. I’d like to get the chance to run a regular campaign. I’d like to try streaming a RPG on my YouTube channel. I think that could be fun. Get some friends together and stream an RPG. Heck there are some people who have moved away and I don’t get to see anymore so maybe just running a Skype RPG is just the thing we need to try. I’ve considered Roll20.net for this sort of thing, but haven’t ever used it. I’m not sure if there are any other places you can go for that sort of thing.
I’d also like to go to a convention again. Of course that will require a bit of a job and some money. If I get the second things I do want to do the first. I’m not sure which convention I’d go to. I’ve found a love of smaller cons in the last year or so, however, I do miss GenCon.

Anyway, I think that’s it for now. I hope these posts were fun for you, and I want to thank everyone who joined me along the way. Hope to see you at a con sometime. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

RPG a Day 2017 Question 30

What is RPGaDay2017?

I’ll link here to the actual group. Basically, it’s a series of questions that you can answer. There are 31 questions that you can answer to help shine a light on the different reasons people play role-play games. This is my answer to the 30th question. For my full list of answers check here.

Question #30: What is an RPG genre-mashup you would most like to see?
This is a really hard one. I’m pretty sure most every genre mashup already exists and with systems like FATE you can make anything you want. What’s left? I’ve had this idea bubbling in the back of my mind for a few years now. What if you had a medieval, not fantasy, setting with superheroes and villains. I don’t know if it would work, but then I didn’t think post-apocalyptic fantasy would work and yet, Adventure Time is a thing.
Anyway, I think the basic idea would be to have characters with minor superpowers, not on a Superman level, but possibly Heroes for Hire or other street level heroes set in and around the crusades. We sort of have the basic DNA for this with Robin Hood and the Three Musketeers, just do that but amp it up a bit with some flight, eye beams, steampunk, magic, and maybe even an occasional extra-terrestrial. Throw in some psychotic villains bent on European domination.
I think the biggest challenge for something like this would be to create a world that people could roll into and get behind. I’d want to avoid people just making standard fantasy heroes or Batman in plate mail. I’d love to see someone like, Templar, a noble visage of righteousness. Stout, powerful, and nigh invulnerable, arrows bounce off of him. He wears all white leather with a ten foot cape that never touches the ground because it’s always billowing slightly in the wind. Granted his powers by the divine form of Joan De’Arc.

I think masks and secret identities would be important because many people at that time would just assume witchcraft and being in league with the devil putting our heroes and their loved ones at risk. This is where the game/setting gets tricky. You want to show the superstition of the times but you don’t want to just religion bash either. This may be why it’s a hard sell. Or maybe, no one else is crazy enough to come up with this.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

RPG a Day 2017 Question 29

What is RPGaDay2017?

I’ll link here to the actual group. Basically, it’s a series of questions that you can answer. There are 31 questions that you can answer to help shine a light on the different reasons people play role-play games. This is my answer to the 29th question. For my full list of answers check here.

Question #29: What has been the best-run RPG Kickstarter you have backed?


I’ve been a part of a couple of RPG’s on Kickstarter, the best one was X-Crawl run by Goodman Games. There are a lot of mistakes that get made by RPG’s on KS. X-Crawl avoided them all. The books came out close to on time, the promised PDF’s were quickly available, and the team communicated with the backers on a regular basis. The avoided the biggest mistake I see KS’s make and that was X-Crawl’s stretch goals that provided extra content were all new books beyond the core rule book. The only things they did to the core rule book were cosmetic; full color art, hard cover, and those sort of things. The core rules were promised on a set day, everything else was released and sent in a second wave.

The biggest mistake I see, the one X-Crawl avoided, was a lot of RPG’s make stretch goals that add pages and content to the main book. They don’t think about how much of a delay this is going to cause. They have to write the new content, edit, play test, go through layout, and add art. This invariably pushes the publishing back and causes huge delays. The ones that work the best, X-Crawl and a couple of others all sent out the core rules in wave one near when they said they’d go out and then sent everything else as supplemental material. It’s gotten to the point that when I see a KS for a new RPG if they’re delivering everything at once I try and figure out how late they’ll be.

Monday, August 28, 2017

RPG a Day 2017 Question 28

What is RPGaDay2017?

I’ll link here to the actual group. Basically, it’s a series of questions that you can answer. There are 31 questions that you can answer to help shine a light on the different reasons people play role-play games. This is my answer to the 28th question. For my full list of answers check here.

Question #28: What film/series is the biggest source of quotes in your group?


This is easy, Star Wars. We quote the hell out of Star Wars. We quote the prequel trilogy. We’re all fans of Star Wars to varying degrees, with two of us being stand outs for huge Star Wars fans. They’re more than that actually, they’re gear head Star Wars fans. They know the ships, the histories behind them, and so much beyond that. We cue up Star Wars music on our phones for other games. In a D&D campaign in Dark Sun we we’re captured by the cannibal halflings and as they celebrated the upcoming feast, we pulled up the yub yub song.
Beyond that we hit the regular places Princess Bride, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek, Thundarr the Barbarian, Top Gear, and I personally use a lot of Leverage.

What about you?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

RPG a Day 2017 Question 27

What is RPGaDay2017?

I’ll link here to the actual group. Basically, it’s a series of questions that you can answer. There are 31 questions that you can answer to help shine a light on the different reasons people play role-play games. This is my answer to the 27th question. For my full list of answers check here.

Question #27: What are your essential tools for good gaming?
Notes, lots of notes. If I’m running something I want to make sure I have a lot of notes for things that may be coming up. I may not use most of them, but I like to have them. I also like to make notes when the players say something that they think is a throwaway line about their character. I love bringing those back.
As a player, notes, lots of good dice. You can never have too many good dice. I also like themed dice. I play miniatures games and I had a set of vomit colored dice I used with my Nurgle 40k army. I enjoy having things like that.
For conventions, I have blood sugar issues, I need trail mix. It helps me keep focused and able to pay attention, prevents me from passing out. I’ve lived with the condition for a long time and I’ve gotten a handle on how to deal with it but I still have moments, especially at conventions where I don’t have access to regualr exercise and healthy food. I’m also a big guy, and thus my con bag includes deodorant. If you are also a big person and your con bag doesn’t include deodorant, it really should. Hell, if you sweat a lot, get some.

Beyond that, it depends on the game. I like Alea tools for games with minis and status effects. I like transparent card sleeves for games where I need to write notes on things of appropriate sizes. That’s pretty much it.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

RPG a Day 2017 Question 26

What is RPGaDay2017?

I’ll link here to the actual group. Basically, it’s a series of questions that you can answer. There are 31 questions that you can answer to help shine a light on the different reasons people play role-play games. This is my answer to the 26th question. For my full list of answers check here.

Question #26: Which RPG provides the most useful resources?
Has to be Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition. They had a reference program you could download as part of the Insider program that was amazing. It had everything you needed to roll up characters using any of the optional methods. You could then print out a magnificent character sheet that worked anywhere. It was such a good program that if you were taking part in their living campaign and had your character printed from there they just accepted it was right.
They had a second program that was for Dungeon Masters. It had every magic item ever. The system was set with multiple was to look things up, how many hands it takes, what classes can use it, specific bonuses, and special effects. They had a monster generator that would pull up any monster and let you alter its level, add character class levels, edit names, and give it bonus abilities from other monsters. You could take a level twenty storm giant, make him second level, give him four levels of druid, and a dragons fire breath.
It also told you were everything originated. The first module, adventure, expansion, or Dragon Magazine article it appeared in. If you wanted to go and find that specific adventure that introduced the Holy Avenger Sword, you could. At least, you knew what t look for.

I have been told, that the program is still active and you can download it and use it now. That it will still give you everything you need to run and manipulate a 4th edition game. In case you’re interested in that sort of thing.