Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dungeon Crawl Classics (Gamers Wanted)! Tonight!


Dungeon Crawl Classics is a new game that is inspired by Pulp-era Fantasy and Sword & Sorcery. It's a Fantasy Roleplaying, like Dungeons & Dragons, but truer to its roots. It plays like 70's era OD&D, but uses a streamlined version of 3e D&D.

My weekly group is going to play-test the recently released BETA rules TONIGHT. Unfortunately a few players can't make it, so there are a couple seats for tonight's game if anyone is interested. 

Our weekly group meets every Thursday, from 7pm to 10:30-ish.

This game is for you if:

You're new and interested in D&D in general.
A fan of Moorcock, Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, R.E. Howard or Lovecraft.
If you prefer Sword & Sorcery over High Fantasy.

Contact me directly or reply to this if you're interested.

rev. dak

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What's Old-School Roleplaying?


What's Old-School Roleplaying?

The answer is, "It depends." Let me start by acknowledging that there is a difference between OSR (Old-School Renaissance) and Old-school Roleplaying. What I'm going to talk about is the style of role-playing, not specifically the resurgence of old-school games. 

This is about what I consider old-school roleplaying. Basically the GM has more authority. Player knowledge is limited and they can only do what the GM says they can do. The only authority a player has is what they think their character can do based on their character. They can try and do things, and the GM says whether they succeed or fail. Sometimes the GM will ask them to roll some dice. And maybe add or subtract a modifier. Knowing thy character helps. Knowing the rules, not so much. What makes this work is that the unspoken pact between Player and GM. A pact based on trust that says the that GM will adjucate the rules fairly, responsibly and objectively.

"Modern" gaming is different. The games are so complicated that you're expected to know the rules. If you don't, other players get impatient, and it slows the game down considerably. Over the past few years, playing all kinds of games as GM and player, I noticed this trend. Players were "expected" to know the rules, therefore they "know" the rules. When they "know" the rules, they're more inclined to question the GM's authority over the rules. The number one cause of conflict at a gaming table are arguing over the rules. Oh the irony.

I'm familiar with this because I was a shitty player. I was a shitty player not only because I am poor at strategy and tactics, but because I considered myself a good GM. A good GM has to know the rules. So I could tell a GM wasn't playing "right". I was that guy. See where I'm going with this? Mr. Know-It-All, the rules lawyer. I learned, after having enough shitty players telling me how to GM, how NOT to be a shitty player. I didn't want to be that guy. So from then on what the GM says are the rules! Period.

That's what Old-school means to me. It doesn't matter when the rules were written. It's matters on how it's played. Plain and simple. It just happens that some games lend to this better than others. Those are the games I prefer.

So what makes a game Old-school? Basically the game should be simple enough that players don't really have to know every rule. That's what I think, anyway. I'm sure Old-school means something entirely different to others. 

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Old School at Pasadena D&D Meetup Returns...

...July 2, 2011!

If you're part of my weekly home-game or a member of the S&W Creative Guild, please contact me directly if you want me to save you a seat. 

0e: Swords & Wizardry--Old-School Dungeon Crawl (Original D&D)
DM: The Reverend Dak
Level: 1 (Continuing Adventure)
Start Time: 2:30PM
Length: 4 hours
Players: Guild Member, Guild Member
Open seats: 4

A day's travel outside of the town of Torches are the punished remains of a monastery. Several months ago the skies over the temple were filled with the wrath of a god. All the building were destroyed by hundreds of bolts of lightening. The peasants believe the Iron God destroyed his own monks as punishment for their greed. Rumors are that heretical monks have accumulated great treasures in their catacombs instead of living the frugal life required by their god. 

The monk's ill-gotten treasures must still be there!

A few weeks ago a small group of adventures returned from the first known foray. One member was dead, and another caught in a hypnotic trance. After some recovery, the members of this group are ready to return to the Tomb of the Iron God!


Using the Swords & Wizardry Complete Rules. Bring your own characters, or request a pre-gen. The adventure continues from the May meet-up.  For more info see these pages:

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Magical Calender Thingie

The Magical Calendar is inspired by the dates referenced in Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar series and Zak S's amazing Vornheim-The Complete City Kit. This is my attempt at a hack some of these ideas and make a random calendar date generator. (In fact I'm entering it in Zak's Hack Vornheim Contest.)

Click the above PNG or get the PDF.

Yes, the calendar has 45 possible days, but you don't have to use every "day". The goal is to produce a random day with a fantasy theme. The animals can also represent weeks, while the rows and columns can represent gods, decades or eras (i.e. ages).

How to use: Roll a d4 on the chart (a physical printed copy, if it isn't obvious!) Re-roll anything you don't like.
  • The die value determines the time of day and season (or both.) This sub-chart is also located in the corners of the main chart (i.e 1=Summer/Day, 2=Autumn/Dusk.)
  • Where the die lands determines the Day or Week (represented by an animal.) 
  • If the die is high (3 or 4) look up to determine the Month or Year, etc.
  • If the die is low (1 or 2) look down to determine the Month or Year, etc.
  • If the die is odd (1 or 3) look left to determine the Week or Month, etc.
  • If the die is even (2 or 4) look right to determine the Week or Month, etc.
For example, a roll of 3 landing on the Spider could be The Year of Tyranny, the Month of the Giant, the Day of the Spider, on a Winter's Night. Or, a 2 landing on the Snail could be the The Year of God of War in the Age of Dragons, at Dusk in Autumn. To determine the next day, don't completely re-roll, just pick the next animal on the chart (keeping the same month, year, etc.) or just re-roll the animal. You don't need me, or this chart, to determine how many days in a week, or months in a year-make it up, roll some dice or use the conventional 30-ish days, 12 months (or moons!) a year.

If you like your days numbered (although I don't see the point) roll a d30 instead (if you don't have one of these old dice, then you can roll a d6 divide by 2 and a d10 like you're rolling d100) and the animal it lands on can be the week or month, etc., using the same as results as above. For the time of day or season it is basically the same; Odd/Low=Summer/Day, Odd/High=Winter/Night, Even/High=Dawn/Spring, Even/Low=Autumn/Dusk. Again re-roll anything you don't like.

The animal silhouettes are from Arthur's Clip art:

The font is Requiem, free: