JP On Gaming

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Legacies Updates before Gencon

With Gencon, one of the things I need to complete is the Legacies Campaign Guide. Let me discuss a few of the high points.

Are there any additional changes you would like to see in the campaign? Comment away!

New Theme

With the new theme of this year, Pillars of Oblivion, I updated the cover (to feature ArchDespot Hellebora and the year's logo). The theme is going to take the overall plot in directions I wasn't too sure when I put it in the choices, but now I have a really good idea for it. Already elements of it will be present at Gencon in the adventures...

I am getting really into this.

5e

I am planning to create products and adventures for 5e. This Campaign Guide will include some of the rules to create and play using 5th edition rules. As proof, I will have a few copies of the ToS: Player's Guide for 5e.

One of the adventures at Gencon, Fogs of Days Past will be published for both game system. I still have a bit of work for the 5e version (game balance and the like) before Gencon.

New Master

Hey! There is a new master that will appear. A few people had her already... ArchDespot Hellebora! The ArchDespot is not someone you can select at character creation, but there are a few opportunities already. Serving the ArchDespot allows you, if she has no special entries, to select any of the un-represented houses. So if the table has no representative of House Tioten, then you can select to serve House Tioten, as a special assignment.

The ArchDespot will not always have missions for her slaves, and if this is not the case, they are considered to belong to House Ougozar.

Changes to Unmarked

Perhaps one of the biggest changes brought about by Lady Hellebora is the lowering of the taxes that led to the demise of her husband. So as of now, unmarked characters only have to pay one-quarter of their earnings. So they get to keep a full 75% of their earnings instead of 50%!

Iconics

The Iconics were updated with a new look, using their color images. They will be available for both 5e and Pathfinder.

JP

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Finalized Gencon 2016 Schedule

I have my schedule completed and ready to roll! A few people have asked me where I will be, so here it is, posted for the world to know!

I will be running a game on Sunday morning, this time it will be the special that follows last year's adventure. If you can get out of bed, you need to play this one... Again, there will be some unique rewards for those who play. I am thinking of even allowing a one-time special race creation reward. It will be a race people know...

Again this year, I will not be spending any time playing Pathfinder Society, as a conscious and active decision. Anything I can play there, I can play with the kids at home or with a pre-gathered table in a more relaxed setting than the madness and hustle of Gencon.

Saturday is going to be my free, off day. I will be doing the Rokugan stuff... I was initially considering playing Shadowrun Missions or something else, but I simply could not find anything that drew my fancy. Nothing that still had tickets availabe for it anyway. Rokugan is not one of my "consolation choices", well... it is and it is not. I have not been able to play any of this new story arc and will be going into the finale of the arc with... well... brand new. So I created a character that was prefect for that...

A HIDA CRAB BUSHI with no talent for social situations and interaction going into a Larp-esque event!!! It will be such a change after playing a polite Crane courtier-style bushi in my regular Friday night game! Can't wait.

Thursday 9-2 Tyrants of Saggakar: Fogs of Days Past D&D 5e
Thursday 2-7 Tyrants of Saggakar: Service and Rewards Pathfinder
Thursday 7-12 Tyrants of Saggakar: Fate of Zealots Pathfinder
Friday 9-2 Tyrants of Saggakar: Fogs of Days Past D&D 5e
Friday 2-7 Tyrants of Saggakar: Fate of Zealots Pathfinder
Friday 7-12 Tyrants of Saggakar: Service and Rewards Pathfinder
Saturday 9-2 Heroes of Rokugan: The Nightmare Ends L5R
Saturday 2-7 Heroes of Rokugan: Waking From the Dream L5R
Saturday 9-1 CORE 2-1 Tales of Good & Evil D&D 5e
Sunday 9-2 Tyrants of Saggakar: Dreams of Dust Pathfinder

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Just in time for Gencon

Just in time for Gencon, I have completed the first version of the 5th edition version of Tyrants of Saggakar. Based on a few successful play-tests, this book has the same content as the one for Pathfinder, updated for fifth edition.

A new version deserves a new cover! This cover depicts ArchDespot Hellebora in a dark forest. It is not yet available for sale (should be shortly though). If you are interested in getting one at Gencon, get in touch with me ASAP.

JP

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Gencon! We're going to Gencon! Full schedule!

GENCON!!!

My event finally have gone live!!! FINALLY!!! Search for "Saggakar" and you will find all of the events. Themy Sunday slot with the special is almost sold out at this time.

I have been worried sick (and still do to be honest) about selling out the events. Come on by, I have great new adventures to run, two slots of them using 5e and the rest using Pathfinder!

JP

Back to PFS, Back to Kentucky

I have not been talking much about PFS in the past months. Not only have I been playing less, but I find the quality of many games to be lackluster and out right boring. Following a local conflict, I stopped attending local events for it with my children, slowly seeing these events wither from lack of attendance.

I did play a game or two at Lexicon with Chad, Holly and Randy at the table and had a lot of fun with it. I played online with various quality games, but I nevertheless always try to bring in characters that are interesting and that bring a different approach to the game, and raise up everyone's enjoyment along with my own. I often complained about the number of people playing cardboard character who told me everything I needed to know about them with "I'm a 3rd level elf fighter".

Well this coming weekend, the whole family: myself, the three monsters and my nephew Jocelyn will be traveling north to Lexington KY to play one of the PFS specials. A table of 5 ready to take on pretty much whatever! I believe the last time we played PFS together was September or October of last year. We have since played a number of 5e games together and have enjoyed it. My heart, tho, is and always has been in Pathfinder RPG so this event will be a fun occasion to see people we've played with in the past.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and participating in a big event again.

JP

Monday, July 11, 2016

New Art!

What a great start to the week. I woke up this morning to find Irene has sent me two more pieces of art. These are Princes Larome and Princess Mehryeh, the eldest son and daughter of ArchDespot Gaztokel.

Prince Larome is an arrogant, petulant little snot. While his older sister, Princess Mehryeh is a mage in training who is very shy and withdrawn.

Love her work

JP

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Oblivion for all of you!

I ran a short survey on the Legacies Facebook Group and asked you, the players, what would be the theme for this year, that of 786IC. There were four choice, each based on an idea I had about how to drive the plot... The choices were:

- Conquest

- Death

- Oblivion

- Tyranny

I was a close affair for the longest time, but today finally Oblivion pulled ahead. This is going to be a very fun story line, one that takes builds naturally upon the plot from last year, in ways I hope will be creative, interesting and unique.

I added the new year's logo.

So with Gencon approaching, I think it is a good time to provide you with the blurbs of the adventures I am bringing with me.

TOS-2-01 Fate of Zealots by Randy Price An assassin loose in the city of Onero is nothing special. Someone is willing to share information in return for a share of the bounty. But in the city of sins, nothing is ever secret and offers come from all directions.

TOS-2-02 Fogs of Days Past by JP Chapleau A new ArchDespot now sits on the throne of Faremh. Her rule is far from unanimous, however. She needs people to retrieve the ancient crown to prove her worth.

TOS-2-04 The Sorrowful Lady by JP Chapleau The Spiderfen Forest is the premiere source of lumber in the ArchDespotate and one of House Faremhi's greatest resource. The Church of Soffro, the Merchant Lord has called upon the Great Houses to investigate a unique grove spotted in the forest.

TOS-2-0I01 Dreams of Dust by JP Chapleau Last year, adventurers recovered an icy slab from Yorix's island. The slab was locked away in the under bowels of the palace. But it did not lay dormant, but has been dreaming, dreams of dust beyond the Mists.

JP

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Farewell Steven Russell

It is not a good time when I have to put up two similar posts in what? A week's time? Sheesh.

Last night, I came home early, under a sky heavy with thunder and lightning blasting across Middle Tennessee. I had a nice dinner with the family where we all had fun and I ignored a few emails and spent the evening painting miniatures (I have a huge stash of Victorian/Pulp miniatures to finish, so if anyone is interested in obtaining one or more, let me know, my prices are very low). I watched a horror movie with my eleven year old. Then I sat at my computer and played Star Wars: The Old Republic. After that, I put on another movie and did a little bit of writing.

In short, an evening for me, tuning out the world.

Then around 11:30, I opened Facebook and poked around a little. It wasn't long before I learned that Steven D Russell, the man behind Rite Publishing had passed away.

What? When? How? Who? Really?

I poked LPJ to see if he had any more information. Then I went to bed unable to find rest.

I will not claim that Steve was my best friend, but he was someone with whom I talked regularly about publishing, about meeting at an upcoming event, about potential work together, usually with me asking him all kinds of noob questions about this new role of mine. He was always extremely welcoming and answered my questions patiently and thoroughly, which made him so endearing. I don't know the details of the car crash (See the post by WHIO) but read on in horror.

Farewell Steve, we'll roll dice together some day.

Our prayers go with your family.

We'll miss you.

JP

Monday, July 4, 2016

New Template for Legacies

Today being a holiday here in the USA (Happy Birthday, America!) I got to spend some time not only catching up with my classes, but I also took some time to work on a new template for Legacies adventures.

Using the experience of last year's publication, I created a new template for the adventures. This template includes the black lion of the ArchDespot, but also the shields of the three Great Houses of Faremh and a skull. The bottom section has the FOE logo.

I like the final look of it all, new and exciting! Now to actually go and finish the adventures (you can see something that's missing in this one...)

JP

Saturday, July 2, 2016

New year, new theme, new poll

Another year of Legacies, another theme. As I am ramping up the work on the second year in Saggakar, I need to have a theme... something to guide me into the many bad things I plan on doing to people, starting at Gencon.

I have a number of issues and ideas but leave things up to you. After last year's "Seeds of Rebellion", I now offer four choices: Oblivion, Conquest, Tyranny and Death. I thought about adding "loving unicorns" but that will be for next year (maybe). The poll is held on our Facebook group (click the link to go there directly). It will affect things on every one of the mods I am working on, so the poll is something I need before putting the final touches on the adventures.

Year 2, it's coming. It's (almost) here. Gencon is where it will start.

Vote early, vote often!

JP

Friday, July 1, 2016

Rhym: Upcoming FOE product line

I have a little secret I'd like to share. I have been working behind the scene for the past few weeks on Rhym, a new product by FOE thought and designed for 5e.

I'm not saying any more at this time. Because I am such a tease!

JP

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Musings and wonderings

I firmly believe that variety is the spice of life, and try to apply this to every level of my life. I currently take classes in archaeology, history, writing, along with technical programs on new Visual Studio methods, Scrum methodology, and cloud technologies. As you all know, I am always evaluating and looking into the world of gaming and organized play in particular, seeking to make my own play experience better, more exciting. I play the following games more-less regularly: Arcanis, D&D 5e, Legend of the Five Rings, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds (Space 1889), Shadowrun, and WitchHunter. I GM Pathfinder mostly.

What I take away from this is the firm belief that playing more than one system makes me a better GM, and more importantly, a better writer. Just as playing in various games system makes me understand the RP-gaming industry better because I not only get in touch with more and different styles of play. It allows me to think of the products I write in a different light.

I'm not talking about knowing the rules perfectly for all of these system. To be honest, I am terrible at knowing the rules for Shadowrun, in spite of having played the same character for over 6 years... How magic works for summoning is still somewhat nebulous to me. So I don't do too much of it.

This post was prompted by my running of Arcanis adventures at Origins. When I received them, I waited a few days to read them (life and all). When I did, I was surprised and could not stop laughing. You will remember this post where I posted how not to write adventures... Well Henry transgressed a few of the points I made. Not to say that he's wrong but it made me think back on my own evaluations and my points.

First off, Henry is much more successful than I am (based on the number of players playing Arcanis vs. Tyrants of Saggakar). Next he has much more experience than I (as a writer). So... how can I make myself more successful using the lessons learned from Arcanis? I have a lot of soul-searching to do to make my products better and reaching out to more people. Lucky for me, I do have a number of friends I can reach out to, including Henry, LPJ, Steve, and the guys who work with me on FOE (James, Randy and JD) to pick their brains. But also to my players whose minds I constantly raid for ideas.

Yeah, I have a lot to think about.

Improve my product. Improve my writing. Improve myself. That's my 2016 goal...

JP

Monday, June 27, 2016

Farewell, Neale

It is with a heavy heart that I learned the passing of my good friend Neale Davidson. He and I hit it off from the moment we first sat at a gaming table together. He was cynical and creative, but also very much a free thinker who thought about stuff. If you have not had an argument with Neale over one thing or another, you haven't met him. One of the things he did for me was to constantly force me to re-evaluate my positions on things.

He was always a supporter of my own works especially when I was a starting author, writing stuff for LPJ. He encouraged me to be better and to come up with wackier and zanier things.

Oddly enough, I worked with Neale's wife, Shayna for years before I knew they were together! Small world indeed. There is a Go Fund me page to help with the expenses.

Fourty-four.

RIP brother, we'll read your comments on the great social media site in Heaven!

JP

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Origins 2016: After Action Report Part 2

Continuing my AAR from Part 1.

Saturday

This was the big day...

I first went to play Shadowrun in the morning. I am not naturally a fan of Shadowrun, but I've been enjoying playing the organized play with my character, Ralf Boogerman. He's a complete street bum who is not much of a direct combat monkey (which I rarely do anyway). This mission was one of the most interesting I ever saw in Shadowrun: do not kill the target or seriously incapacitate him, do not cause massive damage, but make this guy's life hell. I laughed so hard throughout most of the slot. I used only a single summon spell myself to get my part of the job done (and succeed I did).

I then spent some time shopping and unsurprisingly spending too much money for me. Got my Hordes v3 goodies but I also bought some ships for a project I've been thinking about for years. So I need to get things together... another this to add to my list of things to do.

The rest of the day, I spent beating up old friends from Colorado: Bill, Michelle, Ryan, Matt, Gregg, and Jim. It was good to play with them again, as most of them (except Michelle and Matt) beat up my own character, Kermina in the past. For ten or so hours, I beat them and battered them. They were troopers and tolerated my attempts (occasionally successful) at hurting them. This was the final element story of the Coming of the Destroyer story arc as we move on into the future.

I liked the plot, and I was quite happy to run this as I would've gotten my rear end SERIOUSLY beaten up.

After that, my Origins was coming to an end. No longer would I need to GM. I decided I would attempt to find a seat for more Shadowrun.

But then I went back to my room where I yakked and yakked with Ken and Heather until the wee hour of the night. It was great to talk to someone who had so much experience in organized play.

Sunday

I threw myself out of bed early in the morning, showered and headed for breakfast. Packed up the car and off to the Union room hoping to find a game.

Turns out I got me a seat at a table ran by none other than my buddy Ed, from Throat Punch Games. A fun rump where we got involved in heavy fighting. Good 'run.

That concluded my time in Columbus for this year.

Next time: what did I learn at Origins?

JP

Monday, June 20, 2016

Origins 2016: After Action Report

Origins this year would definitely be very different. I was at the same time excited and leery about it for a number of reasons (which I will explain/explore here).

After last year's rather underwhelming showing of and ticket sales, I initially planned on simply attending and playing. So I did not submit any events for the con. No worries.

However, real life has a tendency to play tricks on you... I had a few surprises (thanks Uncle Sam) that meant I could not simply cover the costs of attending and playing full time. I considered for the longest time simply not attending, but that would make mean missing out on the Arcanis finale of the current story arc.

So I thought to myself "what the heck, I'll just GM it." So I got on Facebook, contacted Henry from PCI and within a few emails, I was going to run Arcanis! Hence my worry and excitement.

Now I have said on this blog many times, that I really love playing Arcanis because of Henry's storytelling skills. These adventures were no exceptions! I won't spoil them here..

The Trip

My trip was done in two phases. After leaving work at 5pm, I came home and had dinner with the family.

Leaving home, I first drove to Louisville, KY to stop at a local Wal-mart where I stocked up on supplies: cheese, meat, bread, and mustard. Not great tasting, but spending 30$ for a weekend of gaming would be a great booster to my (tight) budget. From Louisville, I stopped for an overnight stay in Florence, KY. It was already late and a clean bed was all I ready cared for.

I made my way to Columbus in the morning, fighting through the traffic in Cincinnati, but otherwise no issues. My first game started at 1pm, so I had ample time.

Wednesday & Thursday

Seated and ready to run, I ran - with a few mistakes, I must add - Night of a Thousand Scream and later - with less issues - The Chosen. Of the two, I much prefered the Chosen because it has a very classic D&D feel, yet with a very Arcanis twist to it. Before you ask, "Night" is a very Arcanis adventure, one that called less to me because of its subject. (It's about the Elorii, a race I don't care about myself).

Thursday morning, I got to sit at Tony-N's table and play "Night" myself (and realize that my character is not well-built to take on the monsters therein). I really like Tony's style of GMing and thought he definitely did a great job. The table had Peter-P's Armand character who is a male version of my own bimbo character, though we branched out in different direction with regards to our advancements. Dirty jokes and innuendoes gallore. No, they were no longer innuendoes, we talked dirty. Plain and simple.

Friday

I was originally scheduled to run one of the 5th edition Arcanis. I had two adventures prep'd (one moreso than the other) and was ready to go. However, no player showed up during the slot. So I got to play WitchHunter for the first time since Gencon 2014.

Yup...

Almost two years without playing this game! *sigh*

The shape of the campaign has changed quite a lot... I am definitely anxious in seeing more of it and how it will evolve. The adventure I got to play was really challenging with the difficulty level definitely higher than it used to be.

But from the afternoon through the evening, was the first of two Arcanis special events. This one was part LARP, part battle interactive. Did someone say LARP??? This meant I had to paint my nails, don my dress, put on my wig and be ready for adventure!

I make no apology for the horrors I unleashed upon the players. Henry's fragile mind was further shattered...

Funny story, a little girl (of about 5 or 6) took a liking to me and we danced a few times together... She was really cute and I had a good time.

But wait, dear readers. Wait.

Someone took me for a woman!

Yes, they thought I was a lady!

Okay, okay, they did not have their glasses on. I was across a hall, so he simply waved back politely, not knowing who it was was waved to him.

But that's NOT important. My dressing up skills are increasing!


Next time: Saturday and Sunday

JP