JP On Gaming

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

New Fiction on the FOE Patreon

Just so you know, I have been writing short mini-chapters of a big story set in Saggakar on the FOE Patreon. They are currently grouped into three sub-stories that each introduce different characters.

Welcome to Saggakar brings in people through the Mists into the savage horror that is Saggakar.

Into the Light is set in the brutal training gladiatorial pits of Spiderfen.

At the Arena takes you into the stands of the grand arena on a day of games.

Standing in the light introduces someone who arrives in Saggakar with the means NOT to be a slave.

These short story parts form a greater tapestry of a story I have been thinking about for quite a while and patrons get to read it all from the start, in short installments as the story grows.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

FOE artist at Merida Comic Con in the Yucatan

Just a quick word to you all... One of the regular artist working on FOE products is out there, you can meet the inimitable Britishark at Merida Comic Con in Merida, Yucatan in Mexico on the 13 and 14th of July! Man, I would LOVE to attend in the jungles of Yucatan... Another place on my bucket list!

I think this is pretty cool and I wanted to boost the signal for someone who has been doing awesome work for the past few months. Illustrated a number of new characters for the coming books. You can get full details on the Tsunami Medida website. Stop by and say hello! You can find Britishark in the artist alley over there.

Okay, as a total nerd, I put in the address of the Convention in Google Maps and I might make the beginning of the con if I left right now. It is a "mere" 43h's drive from Nashville and 10h of flying. If I'd known I would've loved to have attempted... practiced my Spanish! That would've been terrible for the attendee.

Hola! Si, escribo mucho pero no en español. Juegamos a Akhamet. Es como Egipcia pero fantastica. Hay muchos zombies... Muhahaha.

That would be horrible for those who paid good money to attend. Instead go see Britishark, you will not regret it. He's got some great work for sale.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Hypericon 2009 After Action Report Part 2

Part 1

Good

Despite my initial worries, there were a lot of great things, many of which turned out to be awesome.

- The Location is awesome for me. I loved playing and being home 15 minutes later. For those who do not live in the 'Boro, the hotel is just off I-24.

- On-Site location, the gaming area was on an overlook that was literally at the center of the con, which no doubt helped traffic. Good thing.

- Access to food is great, you can walk to many places in less than 10 minutes. True, many of these places are junk food, but still. Close availability of food is a great thing.

- The participants were very interested in playing and taking part in what was happening. It was great to see people want to participate return to the game table over and over.

- I was really worried about it, but nearly all the table happened with many times we had two tables with 5-6 players every time. I did not expect that and was one of the best part of the con. It's always good to see games happening and the gaming area of a con growing.

Improvable

A few things could be improved:

- No ramp to the overlook. We had a great location, but it was not very accessible as there were stairs but no ramp.

- There was a con suite which was cool. However, it seemed to me that it was closed most of the time. Improvable.

- My Badge did not survive through Sunday. By then, it was two leaf of plastic and a paper on my lanyard. Minor, but annoying.

Next Time

For next time:

- I plan to update the Akhamet Iconics to be single-classed characters. Tetsora will be a rogue and Osaphis a fighter. This will make it easier for people to hop in.

- I have to plan more panels/workshops. There seems to be a thirst for gaming-oriented content.

Final Thoughts

Okay, so there should be no surprised that I was greatly impressed and I loved my time at Hypericon. I will definitely be back next year, make this con better. It is, after all, the one that is my Home Con and I want it to become even bigger and better.

I got to meet and chat with a lot of great people. Some friends I hadn't seen in forever: Buddy-B, Kveld-B, and Jacob. I met a lot of new cool people and talked a lot about Akhamet, 5e, and gaming in general.

Yiiiiiiiiiiiiii! I met Glenn Cook! Yiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Hypericon 2019 After Action Report Part 1

Part 2

This past weekend, was Hypericon in my home town of Murfreesboro, TN. Last year, I took Jojo and ActionMan, and they had a real blast of it all. Read all about Hypericon 2018 Part 1 and Part 2.

2019 was going to be very different: the kids are in Canada so I would head out to the con by myself.

There were a few things to be concerned about:

- The move moved from the Nashville airport area to Murfreesboro, I know, it is "only" 20 miles down the road, but you never know. Murfreesboro is the sixth biggest city in Tennessee, and growing like CRAZY.

- Last year's participation in the gaming was uneven. I worried that I would sit by myself a lot working on my social skills.

- I was worried.

But then, a week before the con, I got my finalized schedule and my fear evaporated for the most part. I was really stoked to see there were two GMs who would be running D&D. Kathleen and I, this would make for a constant flow of people coming in. This would ensure there would be games starting every hour. The problem with that is that there is no or limited cross-polinating of the players.

Friday came around and after a great day involving a lot of writing and lunch with my friend Bojan at Big Shakes (love them chicken tacos!) I debated whether I should have steak and decided not to. Mistake. I should have.

I came into the Clarion Inn and quickly got myself oriented, got my badge and then ran into the first snag... The gaming was on the overlook, a nice, open area next to the con suite. The problem? It had no ramps and no direct elevator access to it. Well, I picked up my box and my trolley and powered through. I was all set up for my 7pm game.

I ran an Akhamet short featuring a lost tomb with traps and illusions. I play-tested two traps I had thought of but never placed in an adventure. It is a good one I will have to add... Two short hours later and many players stepped out to other pastures. That left me with no one for my late slot, so I got to head on home early. Not a loss. I got to put together some more writing in.

Saturday, my con day started at noon. I spent the morning watching TV and writing some more and painting minis.

I got there a little early, brought all my stuff up the stairs and got ready to give my workshop: creating an adventure. I was really excited about it, and I had seven very curious participants as we talked about how to break down an adventure, how to determine the antagonist, and how to make it exciting. There was so much I could've said, but I kept it short, flowing, and interesting if I do say so myself. My buddy Kveld joined the workshop, which was cool.

I had time before dinner so I hit the dealer hall. It was smaller than last year. I stopped by a table covered with books. "Oh wow! This guy has a lot of Glenn Cook books" I thought. Then I looked at the gentleman sitting behind the table and his badge read... Glenn Cook. Wow! I got to meet the man.

Glenn is a man of few words who gave short yes/no questions to my queries. I told him how I loved his works and the many I read, which I was sure he did not really care, but by then I was in full fangirl mode, so I did not care. I had to tell him.

I got to talk to Glenn Cook... Yiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Today, I had my giant pyramid, which is an adventure in itself. It is not a strong story, but you get to move and explore a large dungeon. I then had slots at 2, 4, 7, and 9. One of the the fun things about running this is that you see the different group dynamics when faced with the same decision points.

Again, my 9pm did not run, so I decided to hop on Kathleen's 10pm game where I played Grim the Brown, dwarven fighter as we relived a D&D version of the Hangover. Many laughs later, I was back home, sleeping.

Sunday my first slot was at 10AM, so I showed up a early to a mostly empty room. "This day will suck" I try to keep out my mind when my early slot did not happen. Still, the gaming area filled up with people playing board games.

During that time, I returned to the dealer hall where I purchased a book from Glenn Cook himself - and got it signed! FULL FANGIRL MODE!!! I also bought a collection of short stories from a local author, Matt Hall. Okay, I used the "Last Day Sale" to buy it.

At noon, I ran a short pirate-themed game where the fight ran longer. Combat and talking... We had to cut it short, but it was fun.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Where to go in Nashville after 4th of July

Just a quick note, if you are in the Nashville area for the weekend after Fourth of July.

Why? Because it's Hypericon!

I really liked it last year and this year, I'm coming back. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was in my backyard, the Clarion Inn on Old Fort here in Murfreesboro! I will be running Akhamet adventures throughout the con and give a panel on how to build an adventure, Saturday at noon.

Come say hello, there will be a lot of time to play some D&D!

Check out the full details on the Hypericon Website.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

[Origins 2018] Origins After Action Report Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2

Highs and Lows

So... what was good and what can be improved of Origins 2019?

Good

- One of the best things about this year was the attendance numbers for my games. With quite a few repeat customers from previous years. I always thought of Origins as a convention where people attend specific events year in year out. Building a following is something I want to see more of.

- Last year, I posted that I did not enjoy one of the Arcanis adventures. It was not the case this year. I enjoyed myself at all the tables I played (all 5 slots). Some stories pleased me more than others but overall, it was a good.

- Seeing my kids at Origins was a high point. Maybe in the future, I don't think the girls will want to come, especially not for 5 days. ActionMan on the other hand will want to come. Five, ten, forty day...

- Friends. I have so many of them I get to meet at the con.

      My Arcanis buddies: Sean-E, Paul & Nicole-G and the kids, Dave-M, Jacquie, and the PCI gang: Henry, Jimmy, Pedro.

      Dave-M, Matt-M from Rogue Cthulhu,

I'm forgetting a lot of people here.

Bad

- Well... The biggest disappointment was that neither of my Wednesday games went off. Oh well. Maybe next time. Then again, Wednesday is slow all around the convention.

- I was shocked, and unhappily so, by the price increase of Shadowrun games. Eight bucks for 4 hours at a table of 8. NOPE. If the experience was good, I could console myself. But it was not. What happened was that everyone had a backup and a backup to the backup: four faces, two hackers, three adepts, four gun-totting goons. Surprisingly, I was the only one who was a magic infiltrator. Large tables and price hikes mean that I am OUT from future Shadowrun events at Origins.

- When people complain to the head of a department, as I did to the RPG HQ, I don't want to hear that "we can't do anything because of [politics]". That's lame. Take it seriously.

- Again, their website is just plain crap. People claimed issues with it - which I lucked out and did not experience myself. One problem I have is with the difficulty in getting to important things: number of tickets available, access to what to see. I showed my wife and even she thought it was pretty craptacular. I have little hope by now that they will change this.

Improvable

- I already complained about this and people spoke to me about it. With the spread of the convention, generic tickets should be easily available. If you have an RPG HQ, they should sell generics. They do at Gencon. I don't care about your inner politics: make it easy for me, the attendee. This is something that can be improved easily.

Conclusion

This year's Origins left me thinking and seriously re-think whether I wanted to attend again. Perhaps bring ActionMan...

I will be debating it some more. However, there were a lot of good things this year that makes me think I want to return: That most of my games went off mostly.

As a bonus, the Arcanis games were great, with my character being oddly effective in combat situation for once. I was still a face that serves as a morale office.

More than a week after Origins, I am leaning towards going back next year. With most of my tables happening AND my fun time playing Arcanis, I think I'm going back next year. Whether I will plan a full schedule like this year remains to be seen.

I'm going back!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

[Origins 2018] Origins After Action Report Part 2

Part 1 Part 3

Friday

Friday morning, was another run of Battle of Farelis, Part 1. I am really digging this story more and more. I can't wait to run the Gencon element.

That was the last of my running slots until Sunday. Next up: PLAY.

I had tickets to play Arcanis, leading up to the big battle interactive on Saturday. My character, Kermina Gallia val'Borda who is an oracular nun. I will not go into details of the adventures but I will say that my character, after a retool two years ago, is now effective at more than using her tongue. Because she is a face character, at least she was but with time, she became much more of a caster. And now she can tweak Fate. This was a flavor character that is now surprisingly effective. She is fun to play because she is a devoted to her goddess who is also promiscuous.

She now says classic lines like "Can't spell housewife without hoe!" or that she prays hard and fervently on her knees, every night. I keep it PG-13 but nearly everything I say has a racy connotation.

I will commend my GM who allowed me to use my gift of sight during the adventure to make them special to me... Since we players so rarely have divination power, getting to use them is awesome.

Saturday

This was the big day. One last Arcanis Hard Point adventure. This one led us straight into the Big Battle Interactive. Again, I got to see things which gave me some insight. Fun stuff.

Before the game, I walk the mile-or-so to go to Tim Horton's to get my coffee. It was everything I wanted. It was good. Now for those who do not know what Tim Horton's is, I can tell that you are 1- not from Canada and 2- you do not know what the best donut shop coffee is. TH is a Canadian coffee/donut shop that focuses on making the best coffee. Not only that but not selling it at the extortion price Starbucks sell their burnt sewer water. Yes, Tim was a hockey player who is best known for his coffee!

So the first game had an interesting "time travel/dream" quality to it. When I took this picture, I wondered one thing: "WHAT ARE THOSE!?" A meme my children are very fond of.

This year, we got to participate in a silent auction where they offered a few items from the Forged in Magic book. I participated and, thank to my future in-game husband, Sestius/Comma/Tom (remember the joke about the Hoe in every housewife?) By getting some of his money, I won the bidding for the Sacred Holy Symbol of the Larissa the Harlot. I will need to get something to represent it.

The Battle Interactive was the big event of the Saturday... 10 hours of awesome. This year, I again was sat with Nicole and her boys. Completing our wacky team, was Paul's niece and Amanda-C. This meant that my Kermina had her two BFFs at the table: Magda (played by Amanda) and Tessa (played by Nicole). There was not a lot of time for us to gossip and blab, even though I'm pretty sure there were.

Kermina's new power as a caster really shined during this battle. I was able to do some battlefield control using my enveloping ward (the Arcanis version of Otiluke's Resilient Sphere). I was pleased with my performance. One thing I can do now that is pretty good is the summoning of Stig, my celestial belly dancer! A minor angel that served us as both a live-in girlfriend.

The best thing we did was a dance party when we survived one of the scene. Woop Woop! Go go Larissa!

One very odd thing I received this year: compliments for my outfit. Huh... okay... That's new. I thought I was inflicting massive Cthulhu-type horror on the world, but people complimented me! I guess my ear dangles (I'm not gonna pierce my ears), my pink sword or my head covering is making me look good. Yeah! FA-BU-LOUS!

Sunday

Sundays morning slots are always interesting and something of a roll of the dice. I showed up ready to roll and I was very pleased to have five players to play in Akhamet's Desert Pearls. That adventure is a sharp contrast to the "Tomb" which I ran earlier in the con. Desert Pearls is more of a story-based adventure. It is better IMO to run on our sleep-deprived Sunday brains.

I then drove back to Tennessee where an empty house waited for me...

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

[Origins 2018] Origins After Action Report Part 1

Part 2 Part 3

Another year, another Origins. As every year, it is a roller coaster of highs and lows. Of great and suck. So let's take a trip down memory lane...

Before Origins

For a few months now, I have been writing, thinking, tweaking, and reviewing the adventures I wanted to run. This year, I would run Akhamet and Saggakar - I chose not to run Rhym in order to focus and force myself to put my time on specific locations.

Getting there and Wednesday

After a long day of work on Tuesday, where I touched a bunch of things and loaded everything upon my good friend in the QA department. My hope was that something would pass review and testing so that when I came back, they would roll out.

I got on the road shortly around 3pm. Traffic in Nashville is much different at that time, as it would get much worse a mere 30 minutes later. The trip was uneventful. The road was clear, traffic light, and in good time, I was at my hotel north of Cincinnati. Sleep was good.

I woke up late (around 8AM), showered and headed out.

I stopped at Meijer to get food for the con: ham, cheese, drinks, pickles, and cookies. Nothing very exciting and it would lower my costs, allowing me to buy more goodies.

The sacrifices...

One of the big changes this year, was the moving of the registration from the middle of the convention center to the north side. For me, that meant close to a mile walk from the south side. That is not a big problem, I need the exercise. My complaint with that is that they did not have a station for Generic Tokens anywhere else. "Buy a bunch of them" I was told.

Then they only take cash, but there is no ATM machine anywhere near there, and no indication it was cash only until you made it around the corner and was face to face with the booth. Not convenient for sure.

I won't complain about the lines, it's day one of the con, at the start of the con, it will be long. Having said that, the line went really fast.

For my first slot, I found myself alone. No tickets sold. Unable to get a table of Arcanis (as it was sold out), I made my way around the place. I made my way to one of the small-type groups and sat at a table of Mutants and Masterminds. It was an interesting game, set on Guam in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

My biggest issue with the game had to do with the setup that took a very long time. About 1h in a 2h game. The story was cool: something happened to the Maryanne Trench and we had to investigate. I expected something Cthulhu-related, but nope. It was a happy deception. Most of a mystical solution.

The evening slot, my table again had no tickets sold so I managed to get onto a Shadowrun table. I had been looking forward to playing that game again. With the new edition coming out at Gencon, it might be something I could get ActionMan into.

Now I will say this was the last time I would go to Shadowrun during Origins. Just having larger and larger tables does not make for a better game experience. Quite the opposite, it slows down the game and it just means you get to do less. Tables of 4 through 6 provide the best experience. Tables of 7 are not good, and tables of 8 suck.

Yes, it turned out to be a table of 8. No wonder the guy wanted to sell his ticket. Wise man.

For that, I must give the people at Baldman Games who run the Adventure League a big kudos. They limit their tables - as do I - to a hard limit of 6. This means everyone gets some GM-time and have the opportunity to shine and provide something unique to the party. Good job, BMG.

The game over, I headed to the hotel and tried to sleep. It was difficult to find sleep because I was kept worrying about whether my games would go off or not.

Thursday

Thursday was a day I was looking forward to. Before the con, I had a few tickets sold, but I was really worried about it. A quick breakfast with my good friend Dave-M.

Trip to the car, which was conveniently parked just under the Delaware rooms. I was surprised by light my game box was. It had grown so heavy as I ran Curse of Strahd, having like a million things in there.

My first game was Battle of Farelis, Part 1 set in my Tyrants of Saggakar setting. As I posted, this adventure is part of a bigger storyline that will culminate at Gencon. I had a really good time running it, even if the final scene came off as a little abrupt. Okay. A LOT.

It has been a while since I wrote a module set in Saggakar. A year I guess? The Mad Despot of Hellsmere was the last Saggakar release for Gencon last year.

For my next two slots, I ran "The Tomb of Prince Tsubeteb" set in the Akhamet setting. This is an adventure that is really fun to watch and does presents some unique challenges for the players. It reminds me a little of the Lost Pyramid of Neferheket which I published last year.

It is very fun to see what different groups do with the same information.

Both feature tombs but they play out completely differently because of the story around the plot. And the layout is also different...

The highlight of the day was when my wife and kids showed up to for a short time. They showered me with Father's Day gifts. I could see ActionMan's eyes go to the table as he has yet to play either of these adventures... And he wants to play them... And he will... Just not now.

Why would they drop by you ask? They were on their way to Canada for a month's trip where they spent time with family and practice their French. There was a bit of paperwork to do and lucky for us, Columbus is on the way between Nashville and Montreal! I think next year I may have ActionMan come with me.

Heck! He's already asking me "at what age can I GM for you at Gencon?" Nice... Guess who will beat you up in a few years?

Monday, June 24, 2019

[Patreon] Welcome to Saggakar Part 2

It's been a while since I posted to my Patreon... but here it is, a continuation of my short story "Welcome to Saggakar".

Patreon Post

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

[Review] Kendal Santor's Treatise on the Mournland

I was on one of the many 5e Facebook group lurking and killing time when I happened on a post asking for reviews. On a whim, I replied and Alan-T sent me a copy to review.

The product is Kendal Santor's Treatise on the Mournland by Alan Tucker and [friends] (there are a lot of people on this project).

Full disclosure, I am not a fan of Eberron. That campaign setting does nothing for me. It leaves me completely indifferent. High-Tech in my fantasy is something I like in small doses. If I want to play Sci-fi, then I would play a Sci-fi game. With this know, let's go over the document...

The document is 78 pages long, including a cover page, a page for credit and foreword, a page for table of contents, and a page of ads/links at the end. Meaning you get 74 pages of content, for 12.95, that's not bad. A tad pricey, but let's see what we get for that price.

The first section, environment presents some environmental challenges you encounter when playing in the Mournlands. This section is one of the surprise highlights for me. The presentation is concise, and clear. My favorite section was the one about spellcasting. In short, every time you cast a spell, any spell, you roll a d20. On a 20, the effects are doubled; and on a 1, the spell has no effects and the slot is wasted.

The best part of this section is that everything is in a sidebar/ textbox. This makes accessing them when you have players bombarding you with questions easy to find.

Next is the Map which looks very good. It is attractive and clear to read. Even in black and white, it is clear to read.

Next, is the Geography section which presents the locations within the Mournlands. They are short but interesting. If I have one thing that irked me here: alphabetize. The "random" or "map order" makes it difficult to find during a game. While not explicitly detailed, I find tidbits of adventure idea in every entry, a few of which I will most definitely use in my own games.

The Personalities section is well-made, but for me, something of less useful. This section is well-made and the characters have definite personalities. Including Ikar the Black, a half-orc treasure-hunter who wrote comments throughout the book, adding great flavor.

The too-short What caused the Mourning? accomplished exactly what it needs: it gave me a few possibilities without a definitive answer. The GM can decide and use the one he wants for his campaign. What created this massive scar is one of the mystery of the world that makes it interesting for us players to explore and find out what the DM thinks.

The final section, and the largest in the book, is the Bestiary. This one has a lot of interesting horrors. We have two templates: warped, and living spells. The rest of the monsters offer a variety of beasties: from the low CRs to the high CRs. There is a lot of variety: aberrations, monstrosities, constructs, plants, and beasts. They are presented in a format similar to the Monster Manual.

Good

- Perhaps one of the most random elements I found myself looking forward to read on every page were Ikar's personal notes. They made me think of a PC's own notes. The one on the Cthulhu-like Droxa which is featured on the cover reads: Blood and soul, this thing’s a story. It better be a story. I hope it’s a story. - Ikar A definite highlight

- The writing is good and well-edited. I found it clear and concise, not using overly complex prose.

- The art is effective and gives the Mournland a good impression.

- The Rule elements and sidebars are well-used and draw attention where due.

- The biggest value and most likely to find reuse for the GM is the Bestiary. The variety of both creature types and challenges means your party will have a lot of challenges. So you are not just fighting orcs or warforged.

Improvable

Okay, I had to work hard to nitpick this one... Almost everything was good. So these are really minor and personal preference.

- The art is a mix of CGI and art. I am not a fan of the CGI stuff, but it is well done and the composition are good.

- I would greatly appreciate if the locations were alphabetized

Rating

Well this one was easy to rate. I could not find anything really wrong with it! That means a solid 5/5. If you are not into Eberron, I may drop it to a high 4.5, which again rounds back up to 5/5.

This is a great product! Check it out!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Origins and Gencon: Two Specials Completed

I was beginning to wonder myself when I would finally dig myself out the massive hole of writing I dug myself in with Origins and Gencon. I spent March and April in a writing funk but today, I can breathe a lot easier for I finished not one, but TWO of the special adventures, called Battle of Farelis, parts 1 and 2.

Part 1 is set in the Tyrants of Saggakar setting and opens the story in a kinda set up for what is to come. In many ways, Part 1 explains what is happening and allows the players to experience how things god that bad... Because yes, they are bad...

It has been a while since I wrote for the Tyrants of Saggakar, which I took to like a fish in water. I really like this setting because it has everything I would love to play in a setting: bad guys with motivations, the potential for good deeds, and endless possibility for adventure.

Part 2 is not a sequel, at least not for the characters. In part 2, adventurers from a variety of game world deal with what happened in Part 1. I do not want to explain too much at this time but it is pretty cool, I think.

So in the weeks after Origins, I will be running all these adventures as Slot Zeroes for my GMs (Will, Florent, Florence, and Randy), and it is very likely I will post a few additional seats if you are interested/available.

The format idea was something I envisioned way back when I started FOE and began to lay the groundwork for Saggakar.

I thought I would post the covers here as an added teaser.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

First Love: Ravenloft

This past weekend, I jumped back into the pool of GMing by running the first part of the 5e Epic Curse of Strahd.

This adventure, which I played back in '86 with Louis-G as the GM. At the time we played during our lunch hour, squeezing however long we could out of a quick hour. Louis-G was the one of us who spoke the best English and he bought this classic. I6 Ravenloft was us twelve and thirteen year old boy wanting to beat the crap out of a vampire. Pfff Strahd had nothing on us.

To make things worse, we each had two or three characters. I had two myself: Ibut the Gnome who was a fighter/illusionist (level 1/1) and Sir Parish (Paladin 3 or 4). Now Ibut was the first character I built when I first bought my PHB, back in 1986...

Here are a number of high points (it has been 35 years...)

- Ibut was killed by worgs, which Louis-G kept referring to as "worg wolves" (with a thick accent) that I kept hearing "werewolf". It took me years to get what a worg was.

- Sir Parish had a romance with Ireena.

- J-M-Scaz played a druid who decided to "get it on" with the old gypsy lady, and caught an STD that forced us to get him some magical healing for his "lower body".

- This led to the events I spoke of in another post.

- Perhaps, the best part was the ending, when after we threw everything we had at Strahd: every spell, every ability, and then he opens a portal and jumps through. Of course, without thinking we charge through, intent on slaying the vile beast.

- The next scene has us wake up in comfortable beds without weapons or armor as a warm sun filters through the window. An old maid jumps up "Oh! You are awake! Wait here" and she walks out. A moment later, a charming blonde man enters the room. "Good to see you are awake. Welcome to my home, I am Count Strahd von Zarovich!" Mike drop. (It was the start of Ravenloft II)

That was one of the times that made me fall in love with gaming. It was one of the moment when the dopamine high got me going through years of less-than-stellar gaming as I discovered what I wanted out of the game itself.

Over thirty years ago... Wow... We were all kids. Good times.

Now get off my lawn!

JP

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

[WTF Gaming Moment] Balance Sucks

For the first installment of this series, I must return to either 1986 or 87. It was a time when I got to play D&D only during that precious lunch hour, when monsters were slain by a cadre of 8 to 9 guys all wanting to roll damage on things, and our hormones made us what to "get it on" with whatever female NPC we encountered. We were all between twelve and thirteen years old...

We were playing the hallowed - or is it unhallowed? - I6 Ravenloft adventure. It was a time before Ravenloft was a setting. A time before Strahd had a full series of novels.

It was the year when Strahd was that vampire dude you came in and kicked his rear end.

One of our player, JM-S played a druid. During the final confrontation with the Big Man, he suddenly decides to turn on us and join Strahd because the "Balance" was affected. So he needed to side with evil, join Strahd and fight us.

With Strahd cornered in the Grand Stairwell of Castle Ravenloft, he ran up the stairs and had the following exchange while we were at the bottom, flabbergasted and unable to understand.

- Hey Strahd, I want to join you. - What? Why? - These guys have been turning things to good too much. I must keep the Balance. - Well... go and kill them. - Okay

What followed was a big fight. First as we took on our druid friend, and we wasted a number of our spells and abilities making him go splat! All the while, Strahd at the top of the stairs, smirking down at us, waiting to take on the winner...

JM-S never played with us again, as he raged that we destroyed his

From that day forth, I have never been a fan of "Balance" as an active force in the universe.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Gencon almost sold out

A quick post to let everyone know that Gencon tickets are finally available. For another year, our tickets have sold really well. After just over twenty four hours, we have seven sold out tables already! There are currently 7 tickets left.

As there is always a little a bit of movement in the tickets as people change, so you may luck out. But do not wait, get your tickets now!

For your convenience, here is a link to FOE Events at Gencon

As usual, I am touched and very appreciative of people interest in FOE products and events.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Battle of Farelis: Origins and Gencon

Last week I posted how I really advanced my work on the Gencon special by talking with my GMing team. Well, not only have I been able to make a lot of good work on that adventure, but by advancing the final part, the first part - which will premiere at Origins. Has also cleared up from my writer's block.

All because the second part took shape!

Now Part 1 of the Battle of Farelis is an adventure with a lot of story. There is much plot to be extirpated from it. Many significant NPCs with goals...

As this is the first of the Saggakar Year Four adventure, I had to advance the story from last year's. With all my work on Akhamet and Rhym, I barely did any work on Saggakar in a year! It really was like reuniting with the old gang as the story and the plot I have been working towards for the first three years are now ready to come to fruition and the situation ready to explode!

I am really pumped with this as I have been blasting encounters after encounters with like a million mini encounters in-between. This means I will have to cut and maybe push that into its own adventure... Still this one is really action-packed with main characters coming in and featuring the return of a fan-favorite...

Now what is the link between Origins and Gencon, both of which have the same adventure... well not quite anymore... Origins will have the "Part 1" and Gencon will have the one-shot multi-table event "Part 2". With the way Saggakar is built, it can easily support that. I can't wait to see what the PCs will decide to do and how this will affect Saggakar, and the rest of the FOEniverse...