Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How to Raggify an Adventure

 Over at the blog for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess game (which is a totally awesome re-imagining of classic D&D, with a really nice horror veneer put on top of it), there is a posting titled:

"How to Raggify an Adventure"

These are ways to totally AWESOME-IZE an adventure.

I post the author's list below, and if you are either a player or a GM of table top RPGs, you'll realize how hilarious this list is.

[by the way, for details on how to get Lamentations of the Flame Princess, visit the author's web store here.]

12 ways to creep up some random moldy old module. i.e. roll on this chart to make any adventure more Raggian.
  1. Put a Deck of Many Things in the first encounter area.
  2. Randomly select an encounter area. Simply replace it with another randomly selected encounter area from a randomly selected other adventure in your collection.
  3. Reverse the hit point totals of everything in the adventure (12hp becomes 21, 40hp becomes 4, etc).
  4. Randomly select a page in the adventure and begin reading. The next mention of any sort of liquid in the adventure, change it to "semen."
  5. Select one monster in the adventure randomly and multiply its hit points by 10. You're not supposed to be able to defeat everything, you know.
  6. Replace all of the magic items in the adventure with cursed counterparts.
  7. Put so many goddamn warning signs and spooky buildup to the dungeon that the players actually get freaked out and consider just quitting instead of playing the damn game. "Gorfar the Barbarian will settle for a farming life after all if adventuring means going in places like *that*."
  8. Insert an old crotchety and harmless NPC into some room (maybe as a prisoner if it's a dungeon adventure) who has no purpose other than telling the PCs how much they suck at adventuring.
  9. Go to Hit "Random Band." The first song title of the first item of the discography is the new name of the most important enemy/monster/NPC in the adventure.
  10. The next halfling the PCs encounter in the adventure should be replaced with Elijah Wood's Kevin from Sin City.
  11. Turn on the TV right now. The first person you see on the screen? That person is the first NPC you present to the PCs.
  12. Everything that's supposed to be hostile in the adventure runs away from the party. When they get to the end of the dungeon, they find it's just been solved/looted by their higher-level future selves who have time traveled back to solve this adventure. They tell the PCs "Sorry about this, I remember when this happened and it really sucked, but nothing to be done about it. Cheerio!" and they disappear. All those enemies that ran away have returned to their posts, and this time they won't run.

(by the way, I have employed some of these techniques in my game over the years.  If you have played in them, see if you can guess which ones)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Strange Adventures afoot over at Valley of the Old Ones

So, I am in the middle of a "Week of Adventure Locations" over at my fantasy roleplaying blog, Valley of the Old Ones.

I had been working on an area of my setting that is peopled by a group of viking-like warriors, viewed by the main strain of Humanity as being somewhat barbaric, known as the Storm King tribes (the Storm King is their chief Diety, not at all unlike a mixture of Odin and Thor). A part of the setting that these tribes inhabit is a great river valley, and they have a number of settlements there, called (collectively) the eight Steadings of the River Jarls.

In writing up settings, while I like coming up with an interesting back story, and interesting encounters and characters to populate the setting, I never like to pass up the chance to deposit an adventure location that the players might seek out in the game. Something that will lead to a more traditional dungeon or other adventure setting, but one that fits in with the background of the area.

So, I set for myself the goal of writing up the eight Steadings of the River Jarls within a week, and along with the description of each of the Steadings, I am including an "Adventure Location".

So far, the first few are finished and the adventure locations are these:

  • The Dungeons of Igo Umblar, half buried under the Ice Father glacier.
  • The thorny portal, a curious open doorway to the Unseely Court, guarded by an unaging elfin maid known as the Princess of Roses.
  • The desolate and abandoned Gnome dungeons under the Tower of Ontigar, at the center of the jewel strewn lifeless lands known as the Scorch. 

Fair warning, however, if you go to check out the articles, most of them have to do with the setting (the description of the Steading of the Jarl in question), with the adventure location being the last few paragraphs in the article linked to.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

300th Posting: Geek and Sundry

Here it is - the legendary and much anticipated 300th post on Gaming with Chuck.

All of the cats at GwC headquarters are dancing and honing their 7 Wonders skills in honor of this prestigious event.

The posting this time is in honor of a great online independent Geek Culture video blog (vlog?) collection called Geek and Sundry. Loads of great stuff, including the Table Top set of videos by Wil Wheaton. All surprisingly good (and even better if you already like The Guild). (and who doesn't?)

(here is the list to just the Table Top videos - but really, if you have any Geek street cred, you'll wanna watch all of the video series from Geek and Sundry)

By the way, this is the 300th posting, so the homage to Miller and Varney's excellent comic up above.  But that also reminds me - the Spartans expansion to Command & Colors is out.  WooHoo!  Something else on the "must have" list for GwC staff.

2 player board game suggestions

Okay - so here it is - an incomplete, imperfect list of two player games that Anita (Mistress of Operations, at Gaming with Chuck headquarters) and I find quite enjoyable. Minor comments are included, ask about any you find interesting in the comments, and there are links to Boardgamegeek listings for these, so you can read reviews, etc.

I purposefully left off any titles that are strictly wargames, although almost all of those are specifically for 2 players. Here is the list - in no particular order. I would have listed Ticket to Ride or Lost Cities first, if I was doing them in order that I would recommend.

Agricola - yes, latin for Farmer. Great game.

Carcassonne - tons of add-ons and variants, the basic game is great

Settlers of Catan - very good. The regular version is only okay for two (I think it is 3 or 4 players, normally) - but there are two versions of card games that are good. The dice game is also awesome, and travels well.

The Rivals for Catan (2 player card game - good)

Catan dice game - huge fun, easy to play, and who doesn't like weird score sheets, and dice with sheep on them?

Tikal - cool exploration game, there is a new version (Tikal II) that supposedly plays faster.

TransAmerica - fun, fast. Play several times in an evening. There is also a Europe (TransEuropa) version.

Lost Cities - best game for couples, ever.

Saint Petersburg - Good. Not as much as some others, but some interesting strategies.

Hansa - great game, and fun. The Author (Michael Schacht) has a great website, with some variants (free to print) available.

Web of Power- from same author as Hansa - I like the medieval version, it is out of print (but free on his website) - but available as "China" - different theme, different board.

Attika - excellent game. Can be a little competitive, but still fun.

Caylus - interesting medieval theme. Collect resources, and place workers, to builds a village around a castle.

Pillars of the Earth - worker placement game (similar to Caylus, above, and Stone Age, below). Lots of references to the Ken Follett novel.

Stone Age - fun worker placement game. All three of these (Caylus, Pillars, and Stone Age) play different enough to each be fun.

El Grande - very strategic. Gives some people a headache to play, but I like it. Not bad with 2 (rules variation) best with 4 or 5.

Terra Nova - fun. Also fun with three players. A little more strategic than some others.

Pandemic - cooperative game. Hard to win. I love it. Anita hates it. Enough said.

Through the Desert - build networks of plastic colored camels. Much more fun than it sounds, and the camels look like pastel candies. Good for 2,3,4 or 5 players.

Ticket to Ride - best intro game to Euro strategy games (all of those listed here). Lots of variants. Either USA or Europe are the best place to start. Nordic Countries is good for 2 players, but so are the others, and Nordic Countries has some weird strategies.

Small World - fun fantasy "wargame" - super light weight, but lots of interesting combinations.

There are others. For instance, I really LOVE Power Grid - but it is a super analytical game (then again, so is El Grande). But I didn't include it because it can be a bit unforgiving. That isn't so much fun in a couples game.