JP On Gaming

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NeoExodus: The First Ones' Progress!

I have been hard at work trying to complete "The First Ones" for NeoExodus. The First Ones are the archetype of the villain. They seek to control the world, they are depraved and they are vile. A quick way to imagine them is to imagine a mixture of old-school drow (not the sissy, scimitar, angst-filled kind), the cenobytes (from Hellraiser), with the Mind Flayers, Yuan-Ti and big, hulking crocodile men!

So for the past few days, I have been trying to get this book done, and I regret to say I will likely turn this one in late. So far I have the history of the First Ones, each races’ history, personality, appearance, relation to others, and then an ever-growing section call "Using The X".

I have a number of extra creatures in there, fully statted already. Including some creatures that were lost among the 3.5 books: such as the talikus (aka Louis’s favorite). Others like the P’Tan Levies add flavor and low-level opponents for the GM.
What’s left? Stat-out all of the First Ones and provide some more system information for the GM.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Scene: I am standing on a high mountain, fist shaking in the air. I let out a mighty shout of anger "DAMN YOU LOUIS PORTER!!! DO NOT TOUCH MY STAT BLOCKS!!!" In clear defiance, I shake harder, increasing the menacing feel of the situation.

This was how I felt last night after my chat with Louis who is a known hater of italics. After the dismal reviews of Sanguine Covenant and Scythians due to editing issues, I had someone (Linda) look at my prose again to clean it up and make sure the document is clean and good. Next products will be much better, pride has been hurt and that demands a response.

One of the points the reviewer pointed out (which surprised me) was that there were "rogue uppercase "D"s throughout the spell lists". WTF I said, those were clearly placed in Superior case to mark them as Domain spells. I looked at my document, they seemed pretty obvious. I looked at the PDF. ARGH! NO! The reviewer was right! Now I look like a fool!

I grit my teeth and clench my fist as my blood pressure keeps rising. A barely audible growl leaves my throat.

I need to get Louis to accept italics and the formatting of Pathfinder stat blocks! But he's a tough nut to crack.

The echo returns the sound of my voice. My fist angrily shakes in the air as the echo slowly dies off, as if the echo itself was afraid of the waving fist.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Painting Update March 28 2011

I spent my Saturday at Gamers' Haven playing Warhammer Ancients, then Legends of the Old West, and finally I sat to watch a game of Ambush Alley. Two millenia of history in one day!

Sunday I did work on my painting. I managed to finish all eight of my Pathfinder goblins, minus the base (which I generally do when I have 10-20 minis and do a batch at a time). So I embarked on my samurai. I was in a bind, because although I expect those miniatures to be used in mostly fantasy setting, I planned to make them look as historical as possible. This meant research.

Research is a part I really like because I constantly learn a number of (mostly useless) facts. In this case, I spent a few hours browsing the web and going through old Osprey book and illustrations. After refreshing my memory on the exploits of samurai greats like Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu, I came up with a few design and notes on how I would paint my five samurai.

The first thing is that base warriors, tended to have a more uniform look while Samurai commanders and leaders wore wildly colorful outfits. This served many purpose, but mostly it allowed them to be recognizable from afar. Another element is that it allowed them to display wealth. I see my samurai characters as "adventurers" so they would not be of the more uniform type. Each would have to be unique.

Next came the choice: what color to paint them? Samurai wore a variety of color, although a dark, lacquered red (close to GW's Scab Red) color seemed to be quite common. Black, gold, yellow and white were also common. That's a pretty narrow palette... However, one I can handle and make something nice with. To supplement and add extra color to the models, I took extra inspiration from Legend of the Five Rings, which has also produced awesome samurai art. Not historical, but it would work.

An hour later, I had my hand covered with black, red, green and white. But my samurai were on the way (at least two of them).

That's today's update folks!


Friday, March 25, 2011

On the painting table

As I am waiting for my Warmachine and Doctor Who minis to come in, I have begun to work on a few miniatures I've been meaning to do for a while now. Among those, I have Crocodile Games' Goblin pyros, Reaper's Pathfinder Goblins, but also a few characters, which I hope to sell. These PCs include 5 Samurai (three from Reaper's Classic Samurai set and two remnants of my Clan War set), two pirate ladies and two spell casters.

I will be posting pictures here when done.

As of last night, the goblins received a first coat of paint and were dipped. Now I have to go over them a second time to add accent, put on finishing touches like eyes and other details. Should be good fun to complete!

The characters have some paint... mostly skin. I modeled some sashimonos on the Samurais just because... well sashimonos are cool!

I'll post some pics once the minis are dry and done.


The Doctor is finally in!

YEAH! I won a few Doctor Who miniatures that I can use in upcoming game days here in Colorado Springs. My collection includes: The First Doctor (Hartnell), the Second Doctor (Troughton) and the recently passed away Brigadier.

If you did not know, I have been re-watching the old Doctor's episodes from Hartnell through McCoy. I watched the early Pertwee and have found a source of Hartnell. Thus far, I think Hartnell is one of the top Doctors, his stories are very entertaining. I can't wait to watch more of them!

Now the question becomes... what do I do with the minis???

Okay painting them is a given. Now I need to come up with a fun adventure! hummm... There is a coming City-Wide Game Day coming in May. A few additional episodes of the Doctor might be... well... just what the doctor ordered! I also have four Daleks. Seems like an interesting story just waiting to unfold!



Farewell Brigadier
You will live on... as a mini

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Mini Guide to Editing Adventures, Part 2

My buddy Jay Babcock posted the following comment as a response to my earlier post about editing. Jay brings up good points, and I feel I should expand upon his points, clarifying my thoughts. I think we are both thinking about similar things, using different words.

I have to say, I truly disagree with two of your points:
> word tense

What if the PCs *don't* go to see Lord J. How you've revised that, it makes it sound like the players need to go see him to progress.
Personally, I would probably lean towards a bullet list or subsections (depending on bulk), for keeping it clear and efficient:

"The PCs may progress though several avenues:
* They may go see Lord J. He can tell them...
* They can talk to random beggars in the street..."

> Boxed Text

Yes, there is certainly a thing as too much boxed text, and too much unneeded detail... but your bit about 'use as little as possible, then cut it in half'? Ugh... it leads to boring, flat scenarios, that judges hate to run.

Even if you can find a score of judges that want to 'write your scenario for you' (as I call it), you're not going to be giving the players a uniform experience, especially when it's in the hands of a weaker judge.

Word tense:

The examples I used in my examples were especially short and to the point. He is right to point out that what I have seems to be very directive and cutting out “may”s really make the text seem hard and inflexible, when that’s not the case at all.

In a context where you have a finite number of words to write, "may" and "can" hurt you in the long run. In a context where you don’t have a word count constraint, they are less obtrusive. Writing any material for publication generally involve a word count – or so was my experience.

While they make a lot of sense in a grammatical and syntaxic perspective, they just make the narrative heavy for the DM. Now that said, there are cases where the use of “may”, “can” and the future tense cannot be avoided. There are. But those are generally few.

“The PCs have a few avenues open to them:
* Lord J know X.
* Asking random beggars yield Y.”

That’s 20 words vs. your 28. That’s 28% fewer word for the same information! Over a whole manuscript, this adds up. And it adds up fast! That said, I am 100% with you on the usage of lists and subsections. They make information easier to find and quick to reference. Using them is a BIG plus for the GM. Note of warning, don’t go and embolden everything! That just makes it worse.

A good use of bullet points and subsection often makes all of this redundant. A well laid-out manuscript stands on its own.

Boxed Text:

Boxed text is a necessary evil. A good GM is annoyed by it and a bad GM is bad regardless. Longer boxed texts are useful at the start and at the end of a scenario to link elements together into a cohesive story. They bring the story together and opens the topic at the end.

But in the middle, give the GM the information and let him work with that. Let him work the information into the adventure based on his players. A party composed of noble fops and a party composed of lowlifes would not gather the information the same way.

Something that happened to me (in LG IIRC): arriving in a new town, my Charisma/Gather Info tweaked character is ready to go and do his thing then boxed text tells me everything without a chance to shine. As it stood, I did very little during the adventure when I built myself up that my skills would give the party an advantage. It didn’t happen. Disappointment. Allowing the GM to handle this by himself would make my experience more fluid and gave me the impression that my investment really added something to the adventure as a whole.

There are elements in an adventure that HAVE to be resolved using boxed text. An gripping moment, a specific thing players need to be made aware of, those should be in boxed text. However, my warning is for prospective authors to not consider everything to be important.

I’ll take a recent adventure that I wrote as an example. (The Adventure is Amoran-01 Past Echoes). In the intro: A boxed text 4 paragraph long bring the PCs into the city, tell them what’s unique about the city (narrow, crowded streets, tall buildings and the need to adventure with a license) and even directs to a common place where they can gather. Encounter 1 The PCs go and meet with their prospective employer. A short boxed text describes the location and the particularities. A later 2-sentence paragraph describes the man they meet.(so on).

After play testing, one of the boxed text had to be expanded because some information that was judged important by the PCs was missing.

A GM who needs boxed text to run a good adventure is rare. Put the information in his hands and let him work his magic. You need SOME boxed text, but less boxed text leads to added fluidity in the adventure, which leads to involving the players more.

I guess a parting point, while some organized play campaigns are/were particularly interested in “offering the same game experience”, I don’t think that this is a idiom that is still holds true today. Campaigns like Living Arcanis have always encouraged their judge to play with the players. Others like LFR initially encouraged “DM Empowerment” before they stopped talking about that and that fell into obscurity. Campaign like Pathfinder Society are all about minimal boxed text.

Without going into a campaign-war, I think the way PFS does it is right: Less is more, allow the GM to shine and you’ve got a winning recipe right there. LFR had it right at the start (yes, this is not a jab, they got it right).


Writing the NeoExodus Adventure for PaizoCon

As of yesterday, I officially started to work on another painting and writing project. Recently I’ve been neglecting my painting (as proof, I offer the 4 dried paint pots I opened first, grumbled, then moved on to the next). While I had a few characters to paint, including female pirates, samurais, pathfinder goblins and the Plains Indians drying for months there already.

On Tuesday night, I was talking with Louis Porter. Louis had just secured his PaizoCon table and rooms. He was all excited about setting up a table and running a NeoExodus adventure. Of course, by the time Louis talked to me, his mind was already made up that I would run and write the adventure in question! I wonder why I was not surprised! As soon as I read his email that he would have a table to run things there, I knew, just KNEW, that he would ask me to run a NeoExodus adventure.

His initial thought was to run the yet-unpublished “Origin of Man” adventure I wrote for him a while ago. Although “Origin of Man” is a great introduction to NeoExodus, the adventure was definitely written to be played as a long, unfolding story, really a home-game adventure. Not great for convention play. So I had to go back to my drawing board.

I’ll admit I drew a blank.

An annoying blank.

I mean NeoExodus has SO many good plot elements. So many cool things to introduce. So many unique villains. So many great locations. I was the victim of too many good choices! I needed to narrow down my choices.

So I wrote the constraints and goals that I had:

  • It was to be run as a Convention adventure, so it had to fit into a 4-hour time slot.

  • It had to be an introduction to NeoExodus. Therefore I really should focus on 2.5-3 hours to allow me time to present the world, the particularity and the characters.

  • The adventure has to showcase how NeoExodus should be played (in our common vision).

  • I want the adventure to contain some action, but also some more story elements. I mean, the adventure has to showcase enough elements that make the setting unique without drowning a newcomer under a thousand pages of background and history.

  • Visual presentation is important. Having well-painted miniatures really add to the visual draw. How many times have you walked around a con and stop to look at a game/ book just because they had a cool piece of art OR they had a unique display OR a smoking-hot booth girl? I stopped. I looked. I asked questions. I even bought things I was not interested in! I can’t do art (to the level of a good artist). I am not a smoking-hot girl (only in my dreams). But I can write and paint minis.

  • Although the adventure is really targeted to be run at PaizoCon, the adventure will also be run other places. So it needs to be well-written. In other words, I don’t plan to simply put a few notes down on a sheet of paper and run the adventure off-the-cuff with just that.

  • With that in mind I am putting together some elements I think are particularly cool about the setting.

    Location: Find a location that is suitably interesting. After much thought, I went with the Protectorate/Janus Horde border. It’s got a lot of adventure potential and presents two very unique cultures of NeoExodus: the Vikings-turned-construct builders Armans and the civilization-rejecting Sametian. Two populations that had an opposite evolutions and who are currently in direct conflict with each other.

    Conflict: As if the location did not already put a lot of adventure potential, I had to think of a conflict that would get new players immediately involved.

    The new NeoExodus Campaign setting expands upon this location by introducing a new faction active in the area, the followers of the Emissary and an elite group known as the Phoenix Guard. Will the Guard appear? I don’t know yet, but their existence should be something that lurks just outside the adventure – if they are not directly involved in the adventure that is.

    NPCs: I love to see recurring NPCs. NeoExodus has few of them thus far… though Origin of Man has one or two I may use. I’ll have to research that.

    Miniatures: After a few trips to Ebay later and I became the proud owner of a collection of War Machine war jacks. Since I did not plan to use them for WM, I did not really care which faction they were. War jacks are, let’s be honest, the thing that first brought people to War Machine… Those big dreadnought-like things rumbling around the battle field just look good.

    Buy-in: The buy-in is what brings the PCs into the adventure, why they agree to put their lives on the line. That part I have not yet figure out.

    So this is what I now have to work with. This is a “total hobby project”. I have minis to paint. I have an adventure to write. A lot of work, but work I like doing, pressure is good. Since I have a few months, I can start at a slow pace and gather steam as work ramps up.



    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    JP on Twitter

    Last night I had a long chat with my good friend Doug Daulton. Chief among the topics was Akos, the current state of things, the future. Very informative (I cannot tell you much about it right now, stay tuned as).

    Doug, it is well-known, is a big fan of all things technology. He provided me a lot of great reasons for me to start a Twitter account specifically for my game design work. In the end, he convinced me to do it.

    Here is the url to my twitter feed: @JpOnGaming


    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    The Mini Guide to Editing Adventures

    Just this past week, I have been contacted by a few people asking for my advice about adventures they are looking to write. Feedback and honest feedback is generally harsh and difficult to obtain, so I try to provide a clear description of the problems I see. Here are the most common mistakes I address when editing or providing feedback.

    First off, the word tense; when writing an adventure, make sure you write in an affirmative fashion using the present-tense. The PCs go see Lord J who tells them. is simpler and quicker to reference that The PCs may decide to go see Lord J. If they do then Lord J will tell them. The first sentence is simple and concise and allows a GM scanning the paragraph for the information to quickly find the information. When sitting in front of 4-6 players, you can’t go off looking for some tidbit for 20 minutes. Simple = fast search = easy game flow.

    Second, Boxed Text... Ah! Some wannabe writers’ chance to shine and regale us with their application of the written word, and give us exquisite details about the exact shade of green one finds in the blades of grass... The truth: no one cares. If the color of the grass is not the most important thing in the story, it can be green and that’s good enough! Keep it to a minimum and then cut about half! Few players care to listen to a GM reading a long and never-ending story, no matter how well-written the endless blah blah goes on. Keep it short and let the GM do the rest.

    More on boxed text, never, ever tell the players how they should react/ feel/ think about anything in boxed text. Even worse is to base an adventure on such a premise. The players, saddened by little Timmy’s loss of his mother will decide to take him with them... No. Please don’t. I know too many little Timmy who will end up enslaved or offered to the dragon in return for the life of a few adventurers. A major aspect of role-playing is ROLE-playing. While some PCs are good folk working for the good of the world, many are only in it for their pockets or glory. Getting both of those to work together is for the GM and the PCs to decide, rarely the author. Let each table find its motivation to help little Timmy.

    A trick that is related to the previous two points and something that LFR proposed and enforced (at least when I was around). I have to say really like to get around the pitfalls presented above is to avoid the word You as the subject in any sentence in boxed text. This forces the author to build sentences that avoid directing the PCs one way or another. And I am not talking about finding ways around using You by changing the style of the sentence. Of a common accord, it is decided to take little Timmy with you.

    Please don’t do that.

    TMI! There is something to be said about providing too much information about a given NPC. Unless something is important about an NPC, then that should be mentioned. But there is no need to describe the dresses and hairstyle of every lady at the court. Similarly, simple adjective often accomplish the same thing. The Lady wears an elegant green dress with a silver tiara immediately gives the impression of a rich, well-dressed woman with a simple sentence.

    Use header! Although I champion the case of It is fine for the players to be confused, the GM must always know exactly where he is. A GM confused about what he is doing is rarely a good GM. When he follows the script, he needs to know how to direct the PCs and guide them through the challenges ahead. Whether a PC is confused, misguided, blinded or completely off the path, the GM has to know where the PCs are related to the whole. That way he can guide them through gentle and sometimes not-so-gentle ways. If the GM is lost, the PCs dig themselves deeper and deeper. Headers are simple and allow a GM to quickly find information rather than searching through enormous paragraph of text.

    Finally, this is the hardest part but one that often yields the most changes. Run each encounter through your mind with a variety of characters: the super-good guy, the sneaky git, the one who is in it for his pocket, the eternal backstabber and the guy who says NO to everything. Then, with what you have written in front of you, determine whether a GM has enough information to handle such a character. This is very tricky but has experience. COMPUTER PROGRAMMER ANALOGY: what you are doing is unit-testing each encounter. What if the PCs get here through some strange way? Can they proceed? Should they proceed? Any troubleshooting ideas or tips for the beleaguered DM? This final part is generally better done by someone else who gives a critical look at what is in the document, not what is implied. I am getter better at this, but still I like to have someone else go over my work and see if they can find issues.

    So there it is, a very short guide to editing adventure with some of the things I personally look for when doing these thing.


    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    The Scythians are out!

    It is with great pride and joy that I can report that LPJ Design has published my first book for their NeoExodus line, Monsters of NeoExodus: The Scythians. I posted about it the other day and I am really looking forward to some of the reviews for it.

    The new art is really cool! Can't wait for more products to come out.


    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Three stars for me

    It only took two years, but got it done. After this weekend’s PFS in CoS game day, I reached the exalted plateau of the 3-star GMs for Pathfinder Society! That means I have 60 recorded games in the system! From the first games I ran at 2009’s Adventure Day to today, I have seen a lot of faces: some old, some new, some that just tried it, some that fell in love with it.

    I have to say that overall, I see an increase in the play level of the local game. I strongly encourage people to play their character. Though initially I worried about jerks, this has not happened. Though there are characters I would strangle and animate as zombies! With oddball and unique characters that could only be banded together through something like the Pathfinder Society. Increasing level of play, adventures becoming more challenging and involved…

    The 4-star level is in another 40 adventures. I expect to get there by the end of the year. My June trip to PaizoCon, and Tacticon in September will help and other local events. Looking forward to reaching this next milestone!

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    What have I been doing?

    Some of you have asked me what I’ve been doing lately. Other than comment on 4e, that is. Actually I have my hands in many pies right now. Too many perhaps! Let’s see...


    When I first started talking about Akos this past fall, there was a lot of interest for it. A pretty unique world with a lot of intrigue, really built for Organized Play. At this time, you know about as much as I do, as the editor in chief has kept me in the dark as he works with a major publisher to make it into a big name. Much bigger than originally expected! That is pretty exciting even if the waiting is just killing me. I trust Doug and his managerial style to make it good.

    How will Akos come out of these discussions? Changed no doubt! The 150+ pages of content that I have for Amoran (my human empire) can still use more work. I have told Doug that if it didn’t fit anymore, I might pull it from Akos and offer something completely different for this new Akos. I want to contribute my best to this project but don’t want to have to re-write all that I have to fit into something completely different. Pulling out Amoran from Akos would also require some re-writing but it might leave Amoran closer to my vision.

    So Akos is currently on hold as far as I am concerned, but could kick up anytime.

    No, Louis, it did not get Razor Coast-ed...


    I have completed three books for LPJ Design that away release: the Scythians, the Sanguine Covenant and the Church/Order of Kaga. I am currently working on the First Ones - for which I have already re-written and expanded the Locari for Pathfinder.

    The Scythians is a monster book about a race of creatures that serve the evil First Ones. Now the thing that really makes them unique is that they can pull out their bones and use them as weapons. Pretty neat! I put a number of goodies in that book including Scythian- specific feats, magic items and I even came up with some new monsters that should make a lot of people shiver. I really think it will do well and I look forward to seeing your comments and reviews of this product.

    The Sanguine Covenant is the major religion of NeoExodus. Owen KC Stephens wrote the original book. I thought the original was a little dry on the aspect of GM-material. In other words, there was not as much meat as I wanted to answer my eternal question with reading an RPG document: "How do I use this practically in *MY* game?" So a lot of the work I did was to expand on the notions that were already in there with a focus on using a lot of it at the table. I worked two Prestige Classes into the document (the Daemon Slayer and the Purifier) and a lot of adventure seeds and ideas.

    When I first talked to Louis about the Covenant, he told me that he saw it as the Catholic Church: monolithic and oppressive. Being Catholic myself I did find a lot of humor in this! Still the analogy and the points he brought got my brain juices flowing. I am very interested in the Church’s dogma, particular on the weirdest aspects of the faith: the Giants of Genesis, Angels, etc. On the one hand, the faith has to offer people something they can identify and strive towards. On the other, it has to demand something from them. I thought about this duality previously while working on Amoran, and these reflections served me well in this case. The resulting Covenant is an interesting mixture of Buddy-Christ, the 15th century inquisition and the early Byzantine (aka orthodox) Church.

    While everyone officially worships the Sanguine Lord (saying his name out loud is heresy), the major envoys - called Venerates - answer the daily needs of the faithful. The Venerates are akin to archangels, serving as intermediaries between the Sanguine Lord and man.

    The Church/Order of Kaga is a "Church" that has no god and one of NeoExodus’ most interesting concepts. The Kaga is an arcane construct. A creature made from the union of thousands of minds. The original version of the Order of Kaga made it into a spy network, something which I did not really see the Kaga doing. The Kaga is more a seeker of knowledge, and one who does sociological experiments on mankind (he taught the Canean about feudalism and the Arman how to do siege craft).

    When I first started working with Louis on NeoExodus, he explained that the Kaga was an abstraction of the internet. Allowing people to search and query its twenty centuries of gathered knowledge. I liked the concept very much but ran into one question that really got to me. If this thing knows so much and is so open (I can Google whatever I want and find information in seconds). Chances are, it would know something about pretty much anything.

    Approaching the problem as an adventure writer this time I tried to create a mystique about the Kaga, altering the original concept of an internet man to something more secretive. Making the Kaga and his "priests" the owners of an edited internet... They know a lot, but only share small part of what they know seeking to expand their knowledge of the world and its own content. They need people to go out, discover things than then feed that information to the Kaga.

    The First Ones The perennial villains of NeoExodus, just thinking about these guys make me shudder. These guys are BAD, and I mean rotten to the core. The First Ones are not "just" masterminds and villains. They have their own twisted goals and seek to pursue those goals at the

    Like other NeoExodus books I have been involved with, the basics are already there, things need to be tightened up, and enhanced. Namely in the domain of their history, their relations, how to use them, what's the difference between them, and of course, my big pet project: adventure seeds. Make this something more than a "monster book" and really a reference into the dark underbelly of NeoExodus.

    Louis has been talking about making a "Book of Vile Darkness" for NeoExodus and this book should start this and add a lot of darkness to the setting.

    The NeoExodus Campaign Setting I have been working on and off on this book, adding elements from many 3.5 NeoExodus documents to consolidate everything into one. Every time I tell Louis how big and awesome this book will be, he cringes. Okay it won't be that bad, but it will still be significantly bigger than the other books. I am currently at around 100 pages, including dozens of spells and feats, magic items, poisons, races, some monsters, prestige class and they part that really got me started on this: the History of Exodus.

    The history document that was released is still the basis and mostly present in its current form. BUT. In addition, each nation is described individually with their history expanded so you can read about the Dominion's own history as part of its entry instead of having to search through the main document. Similarly locations on the map that did not get much attention in the previous version of the setting, such as the islands of Ablis, Gavea and Unthara now get detailed entries, with their history, important NPCs and geographical.

    I took an approach of creating immediate conflict everywhere. Every region has something for heroes to do. That's how I like my settings.

    Pathfinder Society

    The Society in the Denver area is going strong and something I really enjoy. I have been thinking about making RMPathfinder Custom Dice to sell locally, and try to have dice handy for GM rewards and the like. At this time I’m still looking into it.

    I am also looking at making a banner similar to those you can find at Gencon. Have a big logo that reads "Rocky Mountain Pathfinders" that we could display at events and game days. I have made some progress on that and am working with someone to get this done. I really want to complete this. It would really give us added visibility.

    So that people won’t come ask me for LFR muster!

    Really don’t.

    Please. There is only a finite number of saves I can make. My Will save is pretty low!


    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Mike Mearl's "call for unity" is BS!

    For a few days now, I have been thinking about how to react to Mike Mearls’ blog (see the full article here) where he calls for "gamer unity". The message is simple and concise: he wants people to play the game and unite by a love of D&D. But the more I think about your message, the more I think there is something not right about it. It feels wrong and sounds wrong at the second reading.

    Would he REALLY be trying to feed us that unity spiel if 4e was the leader and everyone played 4e? Did they post similar kind of messages during the 3e days? (Yes I realize Mike Mearls wasn't the head honcho in those days) Did anyone at WotC post any such "gamers, unite by your love of D&D" anytime before?


    I cannot escape thinking that what he saying is "4e and 5e are the only paths to the future. Everything else is a fad." He is calling for people to "play D&D". But many of us don't want to anymore. Many of us dislike what D&D has become. Since there is no turning back according to WotC (not just Mearls), I see no point in going back to a bad RPG. It reeks of the 90s era TSR, when TSR put out something and we'd swallow it up. We were so starved for new content that we'd buy whatever TSR would put out, and a lot of it was interesting and new. Today, this is no longer the case. I do not see the creativity today that TSR exhibited in the early 90s. Back when they were coming out with new Campaign Setting on a yearly basis. People are leaving the D&D boat for other boats in large numbers. The boat is sinking and calling people back to it won't work. The edition war is lost for WotC. 3.5 is winning by the day.

    I CALL BS on that call for unity!

    I do not consider myself strictly a D&D player, I am an addicted to role-playing games (I say it as the games as a whole, not because I'm a "role" snob, even though I kinda am a little). RPGs are my thing, whether Call of Cthulhu, Mutants & Mastermind, Marvel Super Heroes, Savage Worlds, Doctor Who, Pathfinder or any other game where I can sit down and take part in a story. It's like saying that I drive a Honda. No. I drive a car (which happens to be a Honda).

    In a previous interview, he tells us that "If you're unhappy with 4th Edition, I say take a look at Essentials and see where we're moving." Essentials - which according to some readers is not 4.5 - but according to Mike Essentials is not 4e. So which is it? It should be clear that many in the community have said "NO" to 4e. Re-branding (or 4.5ing it) is not going to bring back the people who turned their back

    Malibu Stacy can have a new hat... I STILL won't buy.

    If she were to move to move back to Denver, change her name back to Mary, stop dying her hair, throw away her hybrid car, her house, her slutty clothes, her dog and dump her metro-sexual boyfriend Ken. Oh wait. She could keep the clothes. Yes... Then, maybe I'd buy a "Denver Mary" doll again.

    But as long as she keeps getting a new 1983 red hat as a sales gimmick, she will remain on the shelf.

    Mike, how about this for gamer unity "Stop playing 4e and join the rest of us!" That's a call for unity I can get behind.

    I won't buy the new hat.