Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mensis Seeking

Hi there inter-ether, perhaps it's just the randomness of real life but here's the question for December:
What's the most random event in any game, what impact did it have and did it become important to the game at any stage after that?

I'm going to start the ball rolling with one event that had huge major impact on a game.  During the first session of a 1st AD&D game in late 88 I randomly rolled an encounter with a White Dragon for a group of 4th level characters.  On the spot I made up the story that an evil magician had sent this beast out to slaughter all other magicians and issue a warning to all others not to oppose said villain.  The creature, true to its mission eliminated the group magician and then flew off.  The impact this random encounter had - created my longest running game- Barra- and set the scene for some very incredible story telling and game play for 24 years as well as practically writing the rest of the story/game for me for!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hmmmmm ....Bugger!

Hi there all, I hope your preparations for the festive season are well underway and it all looks good.  Didn't have much to post recently (obviously)  but thought I'd post an excerpt from a recent e-mail I sent to a group of players in one of my games;

Hi there guys, just received the final information I needed to ascertain the level of impact on Barra from the blast in Mu.  We will be starting another game in the new year.  From the data I have gathered the resultant 'nuclear' or impact' winter will cover the globe within 60 days, plummeting temperatures by up to 35 degrees Celsius from their norm.  This effectively moves the planet into an Ice Age ( actually the last Earths ice age only had a reduction of 5 degrees) which will last for decades.  The winter also affects the hydro cycle and will reduce rainfall by up to45% in some areas. This knock on effect then pushes the time out to when the planet can recover by several more decades as the soot and particulate matter can not be moved from the 'dry deposition' to the 'wet deposition' easily therefore remaining in the upper layers for longer.  Aint science grand! 

Reminds me of this poster:

Lol Enjoy!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An t-Samhain 

  The start of the southern summer.  So whats been happening?  Well life has been getting in the way of gaming but as every gamer knows that's nothing new.  The groups I play in have expanded a little and the different stories and games have contracted.  The Sunday Skype group welcome a new group member while fare-welling the Stars Without Number game and the Mystery Men game.  Now we are focusing on two games, the Castles and Crusades Keryl and the Infinite Powers supers game Sentinels AD which is a continuation of the original supers Sentinels game set in the fore-mentioned Mystery Men rule set. The Monday Skype game continues in Barra under the AD&D first edition rules with another player added while the Wednesday face to face group continue their AD&D first edition game in Greyhawk.  
   This last group, comprising of 4 players and 9 characters will split up and head off in different directions and with different challenges, bringing each group in the setting to 4 characters, the days of schizophrenia are over! lol.  One group heads off to track down parts of a relic, stumbling across the first part in their last 'evil temple' dungeon crawl, a second will be given the job of helping with protecting the Wild Coast from the depredations of the evils that lie in the Pomarj, while the third group will be heading off in an unexpected direction.
  The Barra group continue to develop the story, last session we left off with the group, some town folk and nobles atop a hill celebrating the summer solstice in an ancient druidic circle and being attacked by something big and dark in the night sky with a meteor swarm about to hit the group. 
  The Keryl group are heading off into the far west on a mercantile trip that's 'a sure thing' (snort, chuckle).  Here the terrain and culture change dramatically and they will start to dabble in the 'big powers' machinations. 
Lastly the supers game will just be in part 2 of the first game session tomorrow night, rescuing some guy that seems to know them better than they now each other, from some sort of 'robots'.  The game (Sentinels AD) is set in three time periods, 1995, 2015, 3015, in New Zealand. 

  Well thats its for now, seems its gonna take a little more to get the players to come on board and start adding to the blog - well til then - Game On! and as Westley said to Fezzik- 'rest well and dream of large women'

Mensis Seeking #

Thinking about all of  'how or where the group met' stories for any of your characters, which was the most fun/innovative/unusual?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Numero Three

Hi there so without any further ado...
Mensis Seeking #3
Who was, in game, the most annoying or worthy foe / villain / pain-in-the-arse and what was it that they  did that makes you say so?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

And the winnah is....!

Hi all.  Well October is coming to a close fast and I haven't hauled arse to get anything down on here.  Well with a week off work I intend to change that a little.  So a little out of order I'm gonna talk about a great day spent with friends yesterday.  This weekend is our Labour Day Weekend.  So with that in mind a message was sent out to all interested and available to turn up for 12 hours of face to face games.  Those proposed were; Car Wars, Dungeonslayer, 5 by 5, the Barroom brawl from White Dwarf #11 and The Elixir Of Life, a tournament adventure from 1st ed days.

So we got off to a slow start but by 10am we were about to start the first game, Car Wars.  It was in a basic form, the Mini Car Wars set.  We used the Double Drum arena.
The Drivers;
Dan 1 and Dan 2, The Sheik and Muhammad, God and Jesus, Mike, Andy, Lincoln, Darth Vader and the Unknown Car Wreck.  Several bikes in the mix, some Killer Karts and variants of Mini Sherman's and then Go!
The rules were easy and the goal - last man standing.  The group started off with alliances ( Dan of Dan 1 and Dan 2 fame managed 4 alliances, Lincoln, on the other hand, had none.).  When you chose to dump the alliance was up to each player, amazingly most stood to the end!
First fatality was Muhammad who got nailed by an errant Heavy Rocket that was aimed at Jesus (Jesus Saves!), while still entering the arena (there was a pile up of randomly sorted gates through which each participant could enter), his vehicle at 10 mph moving randomly across the arena, to be finally destroyed by his team mate, the Sheik.
 Next great moment was Mike and his car getting stuck in between two of the doors that open and close for most of the game (he exited with about 3 rounds left to play).
Most pointless death had to be given to the Unknown Car Wreck.  In a Killer Kart lost control trying to maneuver to come up the rear of Mike and take him out but managed a crash and burn result on the maneuver table, without firing a single shot! But his corpse in the burning chassis did take out the TV tower - crowd roared their approval! Darth Vader didn't do to well either, after two suicide attempts he managed to crash headlong into God, but God being God survived while pieces of Darth and his Killer Kart ( 100 mph collision) drifted by (made a pretty cloud).
 The end in sight it was evident that those left needed to get out of their wrecks and start to try and take each other with pistols.  End result: Mike had least damage but due to him having to leave for work for a while (he had an alliance with Dan and Dan took control of the car) Dan was next with 20 some points of armour more than God.  As a side note Jesus didn't make the final save. See ya next resurrection big J!
 Looking at the time we needed to cut one game so Dungeonslayers bit the dust this time.
Next up was 5 by 5.  Its a free game by a guy called Jeff Moore.   You can find it here:
Its described as a toolkit RPG to fit the rules in any setting you want.  So far we have played it in a space opera setting and a zombie apocalypse.  So this time round, what with the end of the world coming on in December the group played in - MONSTA!
The setting is after the supposed end -of-the-world-as-we-know-it.  So what happened?  Not a lot.  'Things' started to creep into our world, through the cracks, in shadows and under beds.  Then comes along this group of people who are out there to fight them.
This group was led by one Big Willy, a Jamaican DJ who drives a 72 Holden station wagon (I'm hoping the players will all stat themselves out with description etc later).  Anyway one thing Big Willy loves is his Little Willy.  Ahem, yes okay.  This Little Willy is his gun, a blinged out pistol.  Funny thing is while there were many in game jokes Little Willy was never whipped out.  Along with Big Willy was Rangi, an errant young man whose mantra was 'take the easiest way through' - usually with his 2 foot spanner.  Next was an out of work grave digger, called Skull, who was under the impression that he had been given Death's job so that Death could go on holiday for a while.  He dressed appropriately and carried a scythe.  Next was Jimbo Jones, an athlete who competed in sprinting, his claim to fame in this game was that by the third round he was knocked unconscious and captured by the monsters and took the rest of the game trying to become conscious to escape. After Jimbo was a Chinese Acupuncturist, Chu Sum Fatt.  He and Willy were responsible for getting most of the group out alive. Next was a homeless guy who was ex military who was in possession of his father's haunted pistol, if I am not mistaken his name was never mentioned in play.  Lastly was a guy who was a 'performance specialist'.  He traveled the world with Renaissance Fairs and displayed the Knightly arts of swordsmanship etc in full armour.  So the group traveled to a town in the South Island called Gore and were investigating some sort of Squid like creatures that appeared to walk on land.  The game ended with the group increasing the monsta's population seven fold, leaving two party members in the sexual clutches of these creatures, Skull burning down several historic houses and to Big Willy's dismay his Holden was damaged in an altercation between the group and these sexually frustrated creatures.  Happy Memories.
The third game, a bar room brawl run in basic D&D was another exercise in chaos, but then it was supposed to be that way, unlike the previous game.
If anyone has ever run this I'd be very interested to see how it went for you and your group.  The characters that were in play ( we did not use all of the PC's.) were; A female wererat, a goodly priest, a ranger hunting for the wererat, an evil monk out to kill paladins, rangers and goodly priests, an elf magic user hungry for magic, a female magic user out to make  the innkeeper pay for past deeds, a druid, and the innkeeper.  The npc's used were the ogre, minstrel, the innkeepers wife (who was having PMS at the time) and his daughter, and a traveling merchant.  We didn't get to finish this game as we needed to move onto the last game, The Elixir for Life Round #3.
 So when 'time' was called the female magic user had managed to kill her half sister, the ogre had been taken out by the priest, the monk had revealed that he was happy to kill ( he had two of his arrows in the ogres back as well as shooting at the ranger), the elf magic user had located the magic but was also accused of killing the innkeepers daughter and accused the wererat lying about being a peasant girl (having seen the backstab attempts), the minstrel had attacked the wererat for a mug thrown her way, the ogre had been trying to take the wererat out as well due to being accused of murdering her entire village, the wererat had manged to try and miss backstabbing the priest twice while previously convincing him she was in need of his protection.  The ranger was about to take on the monk (he had also landed an arrow on the ogre).  The innkeeper was trying to manage his PMS wife back into the kitchen, deal with the fight and finally sprint up the stair to try and save his daughter. Apart from getting the evil female magic user's dog to run off, the Druid spent most of his time enjoying a good drink at the bar.  Just another night at the Rover's Return aye!
Lastly the group convened to play in the tourny adventure.  9 players took on the story. So as not to ruin the the fun for any one else who might want to play it (yeah I know its been around for a long time but still...) I wont go into the details.  The group had been given the job of retrieving several important items from a large nest of bugbears .  They did really well until the end.  Then chaos broke out and two players started talking about fireballs, who could survive, 'I have a fire resistance spell', 'I have a potion of fire resistance' etc when surrounded by bugbears and more on the way.  As it was one other magic user let off a lightning bolt from her wand and fried several monsters but also several party members.  So with 45 minutes left to play we stopped there.  So , for those who were at the game, what you have been waiting for- The Results!

The Winah is...
The group scored 27 out of 46.  Of the '46' 16 is the deepest into completion the group could go - you guys got to '3'.  So out of all the other measured qualities - Rules, Innovation, Strategy, Role Playing Co-operation/Teamwork and overall performance to stated goal you got 24 out of a possible 30.
Special mentions (you needed to have the majority vote for you - in this case 5 or more) for Rules went to Andy, Leadership went to Mark, Innovation to Lincoln and Dave tying , and finally for Role Playing went to Dave. There wasn't a clear winner for Strategic Thinking ( I guess that's the whole 'fireball' incident coming to haunt the group), or for Team player category.
Now on to the last rankings.  Those that were voted best players of the game.  If you want to know where you came if your name isn't mentioned e-mail me.  Just one thing.  I reckon you guys did well ( well until the whole fireball thing started happening lol) and it showed in how every single person received a score for something, so to me everyone must have contributed in a meaningful way to be recognised by the team.
Drum roll...

In Fourth place...


In Third place...


In Second place...


In First place...


Your prize Andy is to provide a round of drinks for our next big face to face gathering lol!

Oh yeah, the players got to rate the DM (yours truly) so how'd that go?
Well the score could have been rated out of 270 but one player did not turn in a rating for me so based out of 240 this DM got 200 out of 240 or 200 out of 270, whatever way you want to look at it. If any of the players want a better break down e-mail me.

Next time... more on the games we've been playing and the stories so far, along with the characters (again hoping the players of said characters will take an interest and stat them up and enter some from-my-perspectve stuff).
Stay safe - remember carry rope! Lol
Happy Gaming!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Au revoir!

Well there goes the last of September and the first month of spring as well as the first month of blogging about gaming.  I hope, next month, to keep more up to date with the sessions we play here and encourage more of my gamers to take part in the PHB blog as well as more info about the various games, their settings and background and inspirations.  That's it short and sweet

ps - hope nobody (read: anyone who actually reads this) didn't think I was giving up already!
 Sleep well and keep adventuring!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Its time again ...

Hi there, almost the end of September so here's the monthly question-
Mensis Seeking #2:
What was the most important piece of equipment (magical or otherwise) your character found/was given/ bought/won/stole? What was special about it?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All Timey Whimey

Hey there, almost the end of September huh?  Lot happens in a short space of time.
So , originally this was a place to create a discourse about some of the games we play down here and some of our previous experiences.  Well I guess I sort of have done some of the latter so its about time I wrote about the former.
Well the big game, Barra, in 1st ed AD&D  has gotten under way to a good start.  The group have managed to weather the worst winter in Skagin and deal with a Wendigo to boot.  Of course the hints were there - DON'T GO OUTSIDE!, but hey adventurers do what adventurers do - in other words they went out.  So whether by luck or design (the Magic User and Group Leader chucked what the Wendigo wanted at the beast, placating it)  they manged, after getting attacked by the beast and getting dealt a severe blow to collected egos, to resolve the challenge.  Great really considering the body count from the civilians involved got up to four before the group finished this arc of the story.

The other games have been on hold  as we are exploring some of the other players games they wanted to run.  Our friend from Finland is playing out his ad hoc wargaming story, Nuriel Stormchaser (over there in Members, hint hint!!) has started the Shadowrun game and , although some one hogged most of the action ( why are you all looking at me!?!?) I think we all enjoyed where it's going.

On the horizon is a new extension to the superhero game, Sentinels, based in 1995, 2015 and then 3015 AD.  This time we'll be trying out a new system which I purchased when I was in Melbourne, Oz from Milsims ( great gaming store by the way) this year called Infinite Power.  I will put down some thoughts on the system over on P.H.B. (along with a stat out of the Wendigo from above if anyone would like to use it).  Anyway the system seems to support almost any concept easily, which at times, in some systems,  say the same, requires a lot of pokery jiggery. 
Recently on Skype I meet another player, from Brisbane, Oz who was interested in playing with the group who also wanted to play in a game of Pathfinder, which I have called Shad'RaHar.  So thats on the list this Thursday night and then Sunday its back to the sci fi Outland game.  More on the progress of each game later.  Have fun, adventure boldly and be well

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

And so it goes...

Hi there once again.  Well due to the overwhelming response.. er.. hmm, well yes.  I hope at sometime, somewhere, in some dimension this is read beyond the small group that have been so kind to indulge me thus far.
So on to it.
Well reports on my various gaming groups are slow in coming, due mainly in part to the groups being a little disjointed of late, and also in my own slackness.  Once we get back into things I hope we can start posting about the goings on of each story.  I guess a brief idea of what each is doing etc could prove useful.
One group plays via Skype and plays three main games ;

          1: Keryl, which is a fantasy based game, home-brew world that is a combination of Swords &Sorcery/Sci-fi (well there goes a little bit of hidden info for the players)/Lovecraftian/Pulp styles.  It is played in Castle and Crusades 4th Ed with some house rules around class and races.  It is hoped that the group will eventually be able to travel the whole world and experience the three main 'cultural attitudes', along with the various monsters , tricks and trap (may even be a little magic thrown in for good measure)
           2: Outlander, a sci fi game reminiscent of Blade Runner, Outland (Connery) and Total Recall (Arnie's version), with a touch of old school Traveler feel, played in the excellent Stars without Numbers system by Kevin Crawford from Sine Nomine Publishing.  They have 8 sectors to travel through and explore.  Their starting point was to steal their previous boss's ship ( they were couriers) after he was 'mysteriously killed' and his corporation was taken over.
           3: Lastly they are playing a super hero based game called the Sentinels ( although that isn't the name of their group) set roughly in an alternative late 50's setting.  We are using another excellent system called Mystery Men, created by John Stater of Land of Nod fame.

We play several other games, one player referees Dungeonslayers while we will be playing a Shadowrun 1st Ed game very soon refereed by a different player.  We also have a new-to-the-world of gaming player who is trying out his own system.

A second group (composed of some players from the first group and some others) are playing in an old gaming world of my design called Barra.  Its been around since 1988, has gone through 1st, 2nd, 3.5, Osric and Castles and Crusades systems.  We have gone full circle and this incarnation is played in 1st Ed AD&D. Because of the age of this world the various groups and players over the intervening 24+ years have played in almost every corner of this world.  At present we have returned to focus on the goings on on a small island in the far north with a basic Norse/Finnish/Celtic feel.  Its mainly gritty with the odd bit of high fantasy thrown in to spice things up a little.

Lastly I have a small face to face group of three that play in Greyhawk, again in 1st Ed AD&D.  The setting is in the Wild Coast and is played out a few years before the Battle of Emridy Meadows . They play multiple characters (a total of 7 adventurers at present so the schizophrenia that is evident at times is very entertaining.)

So you can see I favour the older systems a lot and enjoy their particular challenges and style over more current systems (although we have had a good share of those too!)

Well that's about it for now.  Next time I hope to test your patience a little more with some further background about some of the games and experiences myself and players have  had through the eighties.

Cheers for now

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hello..hello? Is anyone out there?

Well I guess like many things, birthing a blog can be difficult.  So I was wondering about the folk that have visited the blog so far  ( yeah I'm turning into a Blog obsessed creature and seeing where the audience is coming in from) what their thoughts are, or if they have no thoughts or critiques,  any ideas what they might like to see included in these pages?  Open to all relevant suggestions here.  Of course people who are acting in a 'seagull' manner (where someone flies in, dumps a load of crap on the blog then flies off) will be ignored until they can assume nominal human social interaction protocols. So... please .. ideas gratefully accepted.

Friday, August 24, 2012

While we adjust the vertical...

Hi there, just thought I'd start up a monthly question sort of thing .  So here goes the first one:
Mensis Seeking #1
What was the most enjoyable death of one of your player characters and why?

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Hi there, kia ora and welcome to another blog about gaming.  What's this about?  Well I have been watching and reading many blogs about role playing, Dungeons and Dragons in particular and the OSR if we are gonna get all technical to be precise.  I thought, well I don't see many blogs from this part of the planet and perhaps our place in the world could offer a unique perspective on gaming, or - maybe not - I guess we'll see where this goes.
I hope to use this and two other blogs to organise and present some  of the experiences, thoughts and  (most importantly) games that have occurred over the 31 odd years I have played and  (mostly) DM'd.  DMG I hope to use as a vehicle to record our ongoing games and some of the folk lore surrounding our older games.  On PHB I hope, with the help of the other gamers in my group, to offer up some of our ideas on houserules and such that have impacted on the various games we have played.  Lastly on MM I hope to look at the current gaming scene  ( probably just look as we kiwi's aren't known for our outspoken-ness) and throw in the odd rant, rave or idea about whats happening.  Of course this could all go down the gurgler within weeks or days but hey, I'm here now so lets get going...

So I started playing Dungeons and Dragons in late 81 with the Moldvey set and the wonderful Keep on the Borderlands.  I was 20 at the time and started off with 3 people I managed to rope into a game, Mark, Dave and Julie ( yeah a girl in the first group!).  They were all around 15-16 so off we started with on our first adventure which for me hasn't really stopped since.  The first game was a lot of fun and we had some ( I guess you had to be there) hilarious moments.  First time out of the gate I got caught up and flustered in the text and tried to get all storytelly and proceeded to pronounce to the group a  'set of decorations' (directions) next thing they knew there was a 'flock of raisin' (Ravens) about them.  Great start!
That group lasted until just before the end of our summer holidays and by that time Julie had gone through three 'Evality's' to pay back the two boys for fighting over treasure and letting her die defending against an orc.  Each Evality tried and failed to take out the boys characters.  So Julie left our group.  It was also a time where (through misreading the book)  the elves had to get out of their armour to cast their spell(s), thereby making easy picking for a nearby owlbear. It was about 3 years before the next female graced our gaming table.  Also by the end of summer I had purchased the Players Handbook for this thing called 'Advanced'.  It had the players very interested , especially in the Assassin, Monk and this thing called Psionics.

Well that'll do for now, more on the back history next time (if I don't hear too many groans).  So watch out , once we get our collective arses in action, for some ,hopefully,  helpful ideas over on PHB.
Cheers for now