JP On Gaming

Friday, November 30, 2012

JP is 5-star GM!

It's been a few months already since I reached the 150 run tables of Pathfinder Society (which I posted here). Tonight, after spending a nice evening with the kids watching a Christmas movie, I came down to the computer with the idea of playing DC Universe Online (and blowing off some steam after a long and rough week).

But instead my inbox had 138 new emails. I looked doubtfully at the browser as the emails loaded, wondering what was going on.

But OH JOY! I received an email from Mike Brock, one from Jacque Woods (Colorado VC) and from like a lot of people - in Colorado and abroad - congratulating me.

I didn't get there by myself. I got to play with a LOT of players - and GMs - to whom I am greatly thankful. I ran PFS games in: Online, California, Colorado, Idaho, Québec, and Washington with players from France to Australia. Really, Pathfinder Society has grown from a small local campaign to a true worldwide campaign.

A big thanks goes to Jacque for putting my name on this short list of super-elite GMs. Really lifts my spirits!

Mike and I have differences in views and opinions, but I know he and I both share the same end goal in mind: provide a great game experience to players and put forth a unique and fun campaign. From the first time he and I met at PF Changs (where I was about to leave when he arrived - long story, fun times).

I told local organizers I was boycotting GMing PFS as a form of protest. I still played, but did not GM. I wasn't making a big stink of it either. I focused on running NeoExodus and had a blast of it.

Now do go off thinking I'll only do PFS - no sir - I will keep focusing on NeoExodus, but local organizers are free to call on me to help them run events from time to time and have me say "sure I'll do it".

Again a big thanks to all who were involved in my getting to that level. I'm really happy. But the most important is that I will be seeing you around the gaming table. On either side of the screen, for NeoExodus Legacies or Pathfinder Society.

Now that this is done, let's move on to playing.

...and I can go to beating up players.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

When you least expected them: Inquisitions

One thing about running an organized play like NeoExodus Legacies is that you get into contact with aspects of the game you don't do much of. For example, I have yet to play an inquisitor. Simply because I keep coming up with concepts for other classes...

By my buddy Mike Wilson is thoroughly enamored with the class. One could say he's a living inquisitor...

As Mike was building his NeoExodus Legacies character, he emailed me asking me about which inquisitions related to which NeoExodus deity/Venerates. So while waiting for my turn during a near all-night adventure, I looked through the list of inquisitions in Ultimate Magic and came up with the following list.

So I'm talking the opportunity to put this up here and effectively give all of you a(nother) sample of the upcoming NeoExodus Player's Guide.

Cult of the DragonAnger, Persistence, Valor, Vengeance, Zeal
Cult of the EmissaryFervor, Heresy, Truth, Zeal
KhayneAnger, Damnation, Torture, Vengeance
Khayne (Brotherhood)Anger, Damnation, Imprisonment, Torture, Vengeance
Khayne (Unthara)Anger, Damnation, Possession, Torture, Vengeance
KagaBanishment, Fate, Illumination, Spellkiller
LawgiverConversion, Fervor, Heresy, Imprisonment, Order, Zeal
ShamanismFate, Possession
Var ShaalBanishment, Damnation, Torture
XonismOblivion, True Death
Sanguine Covenant 
Any VenerateFervor, Zeal
DhazvokAnger, Persistence, Tactics
KoliavJustice, Oblivion, True Death, Vengeance
LaitaConversion, Illumination, Justice, Order
MakashTruth, Valor
SvarogIllumination, Imprisonment, Spellkiller
Arman ProtectorateBlack Powder

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Funnies: Men vs. Women brains

Okay this is just funny.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Drawing Maps for NeoExodus

A quick post about maps I drew. If you didn't know I am writing an adventure for the backers of the Dreamscarred Press Kickstarter (here is a link). the adventure - unsurprisingly - uses psionics - and cavians! If you didn't know, Cavians are a race of psionic rat-men in NeoExodus. They are genuinely creepy!

The maps were hand-drawn and then tweaked with Paint Shop Pro. I used a technique I found on a number of websites and that I recently saw on my buddy Mike Azzolino's twitter feed (Mr. San-Fran VC). That is to use alternating lines to show areas where the walls were. I think it looks good.

I posted three in-progress pictures of the map. Nope I won't post the final version just yet. I might decide to change it all... But I think it fits my needs fairly well.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Inspiration: Secession, Part 1

I'm not about to go all political on you. However, something I heard about that really tickled my fancy. Not so much for the act itself - I think it's symbolic more than anything. I'm talking about the petition for secession that has gathered signatures in all fifty states. Don't believe me? Read it here. It's more than "a few" people... And from both sides of the aisle (some want to leave, and some want others to leave).

Yes, I chuckled too.

Though I'm fairly certain there are a few of you out there who believe in it, stop. It won't happen.

But that's not why I'm here. This blog is not about politics... Well not "real-world" politics at least. That's just too sad...

However, in a setting where politics play such an important role, like NeoExodus. What would a secessionist movement be like in NeoExodus and what how would they go about accomplishing their goals?

A little background on myself, I was born and raised in Montréal, in the Canadian province of Québec. Yes, the province that voted to secede from Canada in 1980 (60% no) and 1995 (50.5% no). I've been a supporter of the cause for many years (though recently, I cannot support the political party that promotes it - it is too radical). My interest in history has led me to study a number of similar attempts at breaking away from another nation.

So as you can see, I have a wider interest in this. And just my luck: NeoExodus allows me to engage in these "what ifs" - of course changing the situation and the actors - but still the exercise is there...

If you read the NeoExodus Campaign Setting, you will quickly realize that there is one group that is clearly set up as a separatist group, seeking a return of the Cardosian Kingdom independent of the Dominion, Protectorate and the Janus Horde.

Let's examine four major factor that would play big in the equation.


One can never overlook the economic factor. Becoming a sovereign nation requires means for the nation to sustain itself. This means maintaining roads, maintaining and expanding military installations, and maintaining order and public safety. Another factor is population. Population will affect revenues but also the amount of resources a new lord must obtain to maintain his control.


Military and public service is essential to any fledgling nation. Not only are nearby nation likely to try and test out the "new guy", but in a fantasy setting, there are threats that need to be handled. Adventurers can help (and it creates a lot of adventure possibilities), but they cannot be relied on to provide a permanent force.

Then one must factor the existing population, both as a basin of recruit for the army and public services. Protection is more difficult on a sparse, separated population than on dense, tightly packed population.


The leanings of the leaders matters little, what DOES matter is that there is a clearly identifiable leadership. Whether this is a bishop, king or general, the important thing is for the common folk to be able to put a face on the new leader. This has the disadvantage of giving the opposition a target, but can clearly serve as a catalyst for the movement.


Finally, there is always something Socio-cultural that must serve as a focus for the change. People don't change their lives, government and religion without some major impetuous.

The one common thread of all successful revolution is that they started when things went REALLY bad. The French Revolution, the Cuban Revolution all happens win time when things were not going well. Hope is a nice buzz word, but it means very little when you have nothing to feed your kids or when you're out of a job and the taxman comes. Successful revolutions all start from the ground-up (grassroots movements).

Next week, I'll move on to NeoExodus and why I started this thread... The original post was just too long, so I cut it into two.


Monday, November 12, 2012

MicroCon: A Dirty Joke Never Gets Old

If you missed it, last Saturday are Petrie's Family Games was Micro-Con. I am the last of the "Originals" who took part in every microcons as a GM. I ran a number of different games: Basic RPG, Call of Cthulhu, Doctor Who, and this year, I went with a different road: and I went with DC Universe.

After playing DC Universe Online for a while and playing in Bruce's game on the 13th, during the all-night game I got the Superhero bug and something of a leaning towards DC.

So the question was... What to do?

My son and I have been watching a number of episodes of Batman and Superman animated series from the 90s. So I used that as an inspiration. One of the villains I really like - and how can you not like him - is the Joker. To make things even more interesting, I wanted to fit in Harley Quinn, his insane lover.

The problem is. Since the game would be set in Gotham City, I had to find a way to get Batman out of the way... What if the Joker captured Bruce Wayne?

Now I had an idea I could work with!

I had 2 parts to do, so I had to do something for both parts - as I did not want to run the same event twice, but something of a two-parter.

Part 1: A Dirty Joke Never Gets Old

The first part had the Scarecrow taking over "Little Poland" in the Gotham docks. Seeing that Batman did not answer the Bat-signal, he contacted other heroes (which I'll described later) to investigate.

The heroes went to Little Poland (which led to a number of unsaid jokes, as a Canadian, I never found Polish jokes funny, we all know the Newfies are the real funny people) where the heroes discovered that one of the strip malls had been turned into a gas-filled horror land by the Scarecrow.

The fight with the cops-turned-insane lasted much longer than I expected with the scarecrow really doing well against the heroes... He did take down Booster Gold who - confidently - strode against the villain.

Finally, the heroes took the scarecrow down and he admitted that he and the Joker were the ones who captured Bruce Wayne and that the Joker was gonna do some nasty things unless Batman showed up soon.

Part 2: Late Night Open Mike

The next night, the heroes were called back by Commissioner Gordon and asked to find the Joker and save Bruce Wayne.

The heroes looked around Little Poland and narrowed their search down. Finally Harley Quinn left with a huge semi with blaring circus music. The heroes tried to stop the semi but fell prey to a number of the Jokers' trick. Batgirl discovered that the trailer container a huge robotic Joker!

Finally, the PCs tracked down the Joker to WGTU, a local radio station. The heroes discovered Bruce Wayne, with the Joker in a studio. Busting in to save Bruce, the PCs fought what they (later realized) was a Jokerbot. Then Harley Quinn slammed in building and used the Giant Jokerbot to protect her beloved "Mista' J".

Finally, the PCs beat up the Joker and Harley, saved Bruce Wayne. Both villains were sent back to Arkham Asylum and Gotham was safe for another night.

Who to use?

Although I own both the Heroes & Villains sourcebooks, one of the issues I had was that I needed to find super heroes the PCs could use and keep the same power level for all. So I looked through the books for a long time before deciding that I did not want to give the players - some of whom I was certain were not big into comics.

So I turned to Mutants and Masterminds 3e for my solution... The MnM3 hero's handbooks has a number of pre-built archetypes, all at a PL10. PERFECT!

Looking through the list, I chose the following 6 heroes (whom I also had as heroclix models):

  • Batgirl: Crimefighter archetype
  • Booster Gold: Battlesuit archetype
  • Black Canary: Energy Controller archetype
  • Blue Beetle: Gadgeteer archetype
  • Captain Marvel: Paragon archetype
  • Nightwing: Weapon Master archetype
  • Not perfect matches (as each character has a few unique perks the archetypes do not have, but they were close enough).

    How anal was I?

    Okay... a number of people talked over there (Neale) about my being anal... The fact that I did practice my Joker laugh for the previous week at work (mostly) and practiced Harley's high-pitched, New Englander accent for a few days had nothing to do with it!

    It's just called "good GMing".

    That's right.

    Don't a'gue.


    Thug (seeing Booster Gold):"Holy crap! It's Green Lantern!"

    Harley Quinn (seeing Booster Gold):"Hi Green Lantern!"

    Harley Quinn (driving a semi through the streets of Gotham):"This texting and driving is ha'd."

    Jokerbot (upon being destroyed):"Time to go out with a BANG!" (explosion)


    A big thanks to Shannon who organized Microcon again this year. Thanks to Cam & Petrie's for hosting and a big thanks to my players who tolerated my Joker-like antics... And all the dirty tricks I pulled on them!

    A big thanks to DC for creating such awesome characters... I had a blast!


    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Why Adam West Rocks

    Adam West is awesome. His roles in Family Guy and Batman are just awesome. And now this...

    You rock Adam.

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    October Commissions & Thanksgaming

    I know October is gone now, but these were started in (and in some case designed to be finished in October).

    The First Mini is a converted monk for my buddy Everett. His cavian Janissary in my NeoExodus home game is rather messed up (then again which cavian is not???). I replaced the head on the fellow with a skaven head. The result is pretty good. However, the hands on the model are... confusing.

    The Second is a cynean I'm preparing for a Xmas present. The third, the "bride of Frankenstein" is for my Pathfinder Society Viviana Alterborg. Finally, a dwarf that will also be a Christmas gift for a friend with whom I play Arcanis!

    A quick return on Thanksgaming and the miniatures I painted they were received and helped to gather a total in excess of 800$! Thanks to all who donated and gave some of their time. A big thanks to Total Escape Games and to Justin and his crew. That means 25+ families will receive a big basket of food for Christmas! Thanks to all who participated in making this such a successful event!

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    Sunday Funnies: GI Joe PSA

    I discovered these "GI Joe PSA" on you tube... they're hit or miss, but this one made me laugh. Some foul language.

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    NeoExodus Legacies Campaign Book Released!

    I've been talking about it since mid-August, well it's finally here! The NeoExodus Legacies Campaign Book (NLCB) is out for public consumption! I cannot say enough good things of the work D'Anne, Linda and Louis did to get this done. It was a massive, endeavor.

    A bit thanks goes out to the many people who provided us with thoughts, feedback and input that went into this document. These guys provided us with words of encouragement, warning, approval, opposition and support. It was not an easy task sifting through the feedback to take the best of all proposals. It's pretty clear that people who enjoy organized play are a diverse crowd. From those who enjoy the combat/crunch aspect to those who like the fluff/non-combat aspect. That's one of the great elements of organized play: the two styles come together.

    Also, a BIG thank you to Paizo for putting a great campaign together. Their product is great and we all enjoy it regularly. NeoExodus Legacies is very much a "thank you Paizo" campaign. We want people to play Pathfinder and expand how they play. The end result: we all get to play more.

    There are two ways you can get the file (both are free). You may get the Full Version, which is ideal for printing. But there is also a Lite version which is ideal for tablets & smart phones, get for free if you pay-with-a-tweet (tweet it and you get it for free). LPJ has additional information on his blog which I will not repeat, but I strongly recommend you check out (if you're still not decided about it).


    PS: There is great news also:

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    Thanksgaming Painted Minis

    If you did not know, I volunteered to run NeoExodus at the Thanksgaming charity game event at Total Escape Games in North Denver. If you plan to attend, I recommend that you register for it now.

    To help raise additional funds, I offered Justin (the organizer) to give him a number of miniatures to raffle. Looking at my collection, and at the other events at the game day and decided to paint up four miniatures for a Pulp/1920s era. I chose two men and two women. I wanted two to be rather combat-oriented - I called "Bonnie and Clyde" - and two to be "civilians". The civilians whom I referred to as "Mr and Agatha Christie". I like how they came out very much. Bonnie & Clyde are very action/combat minis and the other two are passive and observant.

    The final three are fantasy models. The first is a Germanic warlord, next is a samurai/ ninja and finally, a NeoExodus Cynean. The German is a rather simple mini (paint-wise) so I spent extra time on his fur cloak and hair/beard.

    I had originally planned on adding a female to the fantasy models - and I still might - but I've yet to find one I find acceptable as a giveaway. I know time is running out... And I still have writing to do!

    Miniatures are a mixture of Cobblestone, Foundry and Crocodile Games.