Friday, December 21, 2012

Death Metal for Breakfast...

...well actually free-range, dumpster-pizza-fed, chicken eggs and veggie sausages while I listen to Death.FM and drink a Black Butte Porter. I am particularily motivated today. I don't know why, could it be the solar New Year, or the "End of the World" as we know it...? (I feel fine, how about you?) I woke excited, motivated as I've mentioned. I have a lot to do, and don't know where to start. But Fred Hicks, of Evil Hat Productions, whose Fate Core Kickstarter is kicking ass, sent a message to all (not just backers) to Play Out Loud! He wants folks to be open about their playtesting of the new Fate Core rules. I think this a good thing. Which got me thinking about communicating in general with my readers. I don't do that much, I don't communicate very well, and I should. I haven't posted here since mid-November! That's not good. It should be known that I'm a very private person, but I subscribe to the principles of transparency. I haven't been very open with what I'm working on, or doing in general. I should. So I'll start with my weekly "D&D" game. My weekly group continued with People of the Pit, and they're considerably over powering it. Even when I double the "good" guys, combat lasts a round, two at most. Since there are some 0-level characters and a only one 3rd-level Dwarf. The rest are 1st or 2nd, so they shouldn't be dominating as much as they are, but it could be because I'm running a 1st-level adventure, and a draft version of it at that. DCC RPG is really swingy, so maybe the pendulum will head back the other way.

So let's talk about the zine, Crawl! It's late. I took too long to get art requests in, so that's part of the delay, and I haven't even started layout, and it should have been on sale by now. Since we're smack in the middle of holidays, it's not very realistic (or particularily fair) for me to rush the artists. So it doesn't look like Crawl!#6 will come out this month. I'm sorry, and feel crappy about it. The writing is done, all is left is the art, then the layout. But it's coming, I promise. 

While on the topic of Crawl! and Play Out Loud, I have a few ideas brewing for upcoming issues. I'm going to share them here and on the Goodman Games Forums, for input, ideas and suggestions. The next issue, following #6, is themed or focused on Judges-Tips, Tricks and Traps for DCC RPG Judges. I think I have all the articles I need, but I may need more. So if you have something that fits, send it my way. If you're an artist, and want to get some of your work out there, and want to help a micro-publisher (me) create good looking books, let me know. I'm always looking for new artists. I think #6 can use a couple more pieces, so hit me up if you can spare a moment and draw some old-school "D&D" style art. 

Speaking of drawing, I used to draw really well when I was a kid. So I went to art school, but it ruined me. It taught me how NOT to draw, and that bums me out. I have a little degree in Design, but my work experience is mostly selling books and a few years doing IT for dot-coms. I want to draw again, and write more. And the games industry seems to fit what I want to do with my life. So that's my New Year's Resolution, draw more and write harder! 

Which comes to the last thing I want to share. I've been stubborn about PDFs. But I have to admit, as a [Nook] tablet owner, having hundreds of books in a portable unit is very convenient. The printed versions are just so much more practical at the table. And the physical process and final physical product is what got me into this in the first place. I'm going to start offering PDF versions of the zine. Offering them is just realistic. I have to figure a few things out first, but they should be made available next year, hopefully the same time number 6 goes on sale! But don't fret, the printed version will remain my priority. I'm considering following Evil Hat Productions and Bits and Mortar and offer the PDF for free with the purchase of the printed, stapled, folded and enveloped version! How does that sound? 

Questions and comments? I want to hear them! 

(Oh, yeah. Circle me on Google+)

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stuff Update

What have I been doing?

On the tech side, playing with Debian on a netbook and a pogoplug. Android on a hacked Nook Tablet, a cheap "smart" phone and a Logitech Revue Google TV box (We were having streaming problems that were fixed with a Factory Reset.) I have Windows 8 on order because, well, I'm not so stubborn that I won't "play" with the latest gaming OS...yes, a Windows PC is still the only real viable gaming platform. But Steam's move into Linux and MacOS is changing that... slowely. Until then, Windows is still the OS to beat, because a platform (like Windows) is only as good as its applications (in my case GAMES.) 

On the RPG side, I've been spending most of my time playing and developing for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. It's the coolest fucking RPG right now, and it has the best community of gamers. I've been publishing a little zine since the game was officially released, but I've been playing the game for over a year now. I'm still deep in the OSR scene, and I've bought a ton of things and read them all. The best is that the OSR is compatible with DCC RPG in so may ways... most of the adventures I've ran were were written for OLD versions of D&D. 

In the bike world, shit's been the same. I've been riding my 10-speed more often. I've been on a few trips, but they tend to be with the bike cult. Burning Man was more of a personal thing this year than a bike thing... which was nice... but I did miss the bike cult aspect. I have a new years thing planned... we'll see how that goes.



Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Public PGP/GPG Key

dak.ultimak.asc Download this file
In lieu of the next World War, it's time to share my public key so you can send me encrypted messages, or verify if a message sent my from me is legit. 

It also helps if you share your public key with me, or at least have it up on a key server.

To learn about PGP encryption, and why privacy and electronic security is so important, read this:

More info can be found here:

And my old post on cryptography:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dirt Rave...

It's that time of year again, it's Burnie Man. And the man burns in 3 days!

I'm usually there by now, but not this time. But my late departure is for a good reason. Mainly so Joe Borfo can go!

It'll be my 10th straight burning man... I can't believe it. But it's true. 

I leave in a few hours.

You can find me at 
  1. Gigsville
  2. Voted Best Camp
  3. Fandango

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Monday, August 13, 2012

Crawl! fanzine at Gen Con... (kinda)

Harley Stroh, writer and lead adventure coordinator for DCC RPG, has offered to lug a box full of Crawl! zines around Gen Con! So what does that mean? It means you can purchase copies from him or if you're daring, you can try and win a copy! All three current issues will be available, as will a few printed copies of Jeremy Deram's DCC RPG Reference Sheets (with the cover I threw together for it, hand stapled by me.)

Here's the deal. You have to find him. He'll be running several adventures during the Gen Con, and he'll also be found hanging out with Doug Kovaks at his booth in Artists Alley. At these spots, he'll "giving away" a few products, including a limited amount of Crawl! zines and T-shirts from Purple Sorcerer Games. And by "giving away", it means you'll have to battle in The Great Gen Con Dice Off! But you don't have to take any chances, he'll be selling copies of Crawl! for me. As a bonus, you can get all three available issues as a bundle, and get a copy of the Reference Sheets risk free.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Creative People Are Creative (Go #LAKings !)

I showed you Monster Cake... check out this lovely piece of commentary shared by Loviatar guy.

...and now for some ironic hipster-picture-matic shit...


...used Pixlr-O-matic (Instagram/Eff-book can eat poop.) Permission granted to use as your Android(tm) device wallpaper. Permission denied to use on your Apple(R) iOS crap.

Friday, May 18, 2012

...and Redundant post.

Sorry, redundant posts. I thought the original posts didn't go through, they were just stuck in the ether and only showed up now.

Damn technology.

More teasers to hold you off until Monday.


A box of Crawl! fanzines. Get your order in!

A box of Reference Sheets. Do these yourself.

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

DCC RPG at GAMEX (Strategicon) 2012

I'll be running two 0-level games at Strategicon's Gamex 2012, Memorial Weekend, in Los Angeles if anyone wants to play. I'll be running The Portal Under The Stars on Friday night and Sailors On The Starless Sea Saturday night. I'll also have copies of Crawl! No.1 on hand. If you're going to be there please join the game, or say Hi!

My games start at 8PM each night, I'll probably be running around the exhibitor or open-gaming halls all day before that. If anyone wants to coordinate a meet-up during the day, email me: [rev d.t dak @t straycouches d.t com] I might be found at the bar on occassion.


My schedule:

Friday May 25, 8PM

 DCC RPG: The Portal Under The Stars

Introductory 0-level adventure. An introduction to DCC RPG, 0-level character creation and short adventure. All materials provided.

Seeking wealth and escape from their peasant lives, the characters investigate a supernatural portal that appears only once every half-century when the stars are right.

Return to the glory days of fantasy with the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game. Adventure as 1974 intended you to, with modern rules grounded in the origins of sword & sorcery. Fast play, cryptic secrets, and a mysterious past awaits.

7 players
Ages 13+


Saturday May 26, 8PM

DCC RPG: Sailors On The Starless Sea

Introductory 0-level adventure. An introduction to DCC RPG, 0-level character creation and short adventure. All materials provided.

Beastmen howl in the night and your fellow villagers are snatched from their beds. With no heroes to defend you, who will rise to stand against the encircling darkness? The secrets of Chaos are yours to unearth, but at what cost to sanity or soul?

Return to the glory days of fantasy with the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game. Adventure as 1974 intended you to, with modern rules grounded in the origins of sword & sorcery. Fast play, cryptic secrets, and a mysterious past awaits.

7 players
Ages 13+

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Guess what? The official release date is one week away! That means in just over a week everyone will have their delicate fingers smashed by the puppy killer that is the DCC RPG Core Book. This also means I'll be able to ship the pre-orders of Crawl! fanzine no.1! I have surprise for all pre-orders, but I don't want to say what it is. It was inspired by a little joke that I took as a challenge, and you saw what happened the last time I felt challenged. I step it up. So here's a hint: 


The next couple days are going to be spent folding, stapling, enveloping, labeling and stamping. Then I go on a quick trip to the desert for the weekend, then Monday will be a trip to the post office. So expect your copy of the zine sometime in the next week or two! 

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Aplus's DCC RPG Reference Sheets (and a cover I made.)

This is awesome. Jeremy Deram, or Aplus, of People them with monsters (blog) has compiled some of the frequently used tables from DCC RPG into a digest sized document that can be printed as signatures, folded and stapled into a zine-like booklet. It's awesome, and you can download it from here:

He has even shared the cover he used for his personal copy:

I've decided to make my own and include a cheat sheet for PC creation. You can see it here:


and download it from my

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Yesterday at the LA Festival of Books I came across this!


You can get the print here, or $25 at the Book Fest. I know how some people feel about the "cutsy-fying" of D&D and Cthulhu, but I really like his stuff. Yes, he also does Cthulhu, so he's obviously a gamer. When I was looking at his art, he was explaining to someone what an Owlbear was. I wish I stuck around to see what he was drawing. Any way, good stuff.

I also met Zak S and Mandy Morbid of DnD with Porn Stars. They signed my copy of Vornheim and I was talked into buying one of his books. I decided with Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow. (Now I feel obligated to read the book.) He's as nutty as he is online, but just as well spoken and funny-looking, and totally not a douche.  He's super cool. It was rad to meet them both.


Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This guy started it: I decided to take on the challenge and not just stop at a cover, but make a full on zine using the last several posts from my D&D Blog (which is found here: All articles appeared there first.)

Some of the posts were plugs for Crawl!, so I thought I'd get clever and make them ads. I also took a plug for the DCC RPG PDF and made that an ad too. It took me few hours, most of it spent formatting text and re-doing some art so it matches a style that I like. I highly recommend comparing the original posts with the ones found in the zine. No way was I perfect, but the analog version was fun to figure out. As a special bonus, it features new art from Crawl! fanzine and an early version of an article that will be appearing in Crawl! No.2! Best of all, I'm making this available free as a PDF, in both a readable and printable format. I might also release it as an epub ebook, we'll see. 

Any way, I present to you REV. DAK D.M., zine no. 8: 

PDF for reading

PDF for printing The "for printing" version is formatted (impossed) for double-sided (duplex) printing on Letter sized paper (A4 should work fine, too.) Just print double-sided, fold & staple!

If someone wants me to send them a printed version, I can do that! Dwolla, Paypal or Google Wallet $2 ($3 if you're in Canada, and $3.50 overseas) to or just email me. Make sure you let me know what you're buying (DAK, D.M. No.8). Keep in mind that this won't be the highest quality paper (Crawl! will be printed on premium paper.) This will be cheap, but cool. Also note that there aren't any back issues. Issues 1 through 7 don't exist!

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sorry for that last post. My phone was borkd, and it only sent now!

My phone was locked sometime after I took that pic, and it only sent now after I fixed it. I locked my phone recently because of paranoia, and I somehow butt-locked the SIM card, so I couldn't use it this whole weekend. I only unlocked it now. And I guess it was in the middle of an out-going message.

Alt/Anti-Coachella Shows in the desert are the new SXSW!

I went to Burger Records's show at Dillon's Roadhouse, Desert Hot Springs, on Friday, and Experimental Noise Fest at The Palms, Wonder Valley, on Saturday.

Desert Daze is happening ALL WEEK.

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Dillan's Roadhouse, now playing...


... in Desert Hot Springs.

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Help @lastbookstorela expand their $1 book section!

The Last Bookstore is an awesome New & Used bookstore in Downtown Los Angeles. I find tons of Appendix N books there for $1 and I can't help but come out of that store buying something. They have access to the 2nd floor of this ancient building in the old bank district, and they want to expand and create more shelves so they can show and sell even more used books. Over 100,000 of them, and they're calling it the Labyrinth above the Last Bookstore! 

They're funding this on Indiegogo, and the "rewards" are things like $30 credit for $20 donation! Whut?! Riight?! So a $20 donation can get you $30 of books (or CDs or Records?)

Do it:

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Friday, April 6, 2012

DCC RPG PDF for Pre-Orders is out!

If you pre-ordered a copy of DCC RPG before April 1st, you would have recieved an email to download the full copy of DCC RPG PDF!

I have to say, it is beautiful. Full color covers and end papers are included, and they're amazing.

This also means the game has been approved for PRINT! Can you smell it? I can't wait to lay my hands on this Mighty Tome.

The general release of the PDF should be soon. Unfortunately I still can't send Crawl! No.1 until the book gets released.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Zine! From StrayCouches, on sale now!

Sorry, not DCC or D&D related.

Karaoke Hell by Joe Borfo

This is the unauthorized publication of a story from the future-tomorrow, April 4, to be exact. This story, told by Joe Borfo, takes place in the early days of the Karaoke Champion of the World.

We’re in perpetual war. Korea has taken over the North West, while every-day people try to make the best of the world around them. This is the story of a distraught man who discovers Karaoke.

To order, visit

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reverend's Show live Now!

Crawl! fanzine, pre-order now!

Straycouches Press's first zine is now available for pre-order. This is a zine dedicated to the DCC RPG, and it's what I'll refer to as a "D&D" zine. 

The next zine, which isn't a D&D zine, will be announced today or tomorrow. It's a top secret production, totally un-authorized, and you'll love it. Well, some one might not... hehe. It'll be ready to ship ASAP.

Happy Birthday Borfo!

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I've decided to create an imprint to publish all my crap. It'll be STRAYCOUCHES PRESS. Yes, it's awkward to say, stranger to spell, but I've been using straycouches as my domain for a while, and it feels right to me. I'll be using the same website,, as the website as well.

It's hard to believe that I'll be using using the skills that I learned at school for something productive. I have no plans on getting rich doing this, but I want to publish books, zines and other printed arts outside of the boring internet. I have several books lined up. The first will be outside of the Straycouches Press Imprint for a while, but it is by all means a Straycouches publication. It's called Crawl! Fanzine. It's a zine dedicated to the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. Next up is top secret. It will likely not be authorized by its actual contributers, but I figure that it should be shared, and that's my goal and reasoning for publishing it. I expect trouble. 

I also plan to publish some books on security culture and online security. Online security? Ironic, I know, but if it's analog, it's harder to be censored.

These first publications will be zines. Analog, laser printed, hand-folded & stapled zines. The analog nature of zines is what I'm interested in doing. Later on I'll publish actual books. Which isn't much different than printing zines, only more expensive. Costs are a huge factor considering I'm broke. I'll also consider publishing ebooks. Likely in the epub format first, possibly later in mobi/kindle and pdf. But I'm not too interested in those formats, yet. (Also ironically, all the books will created as PDF for print. I just don't plan to release them as suck.)

All the software I will be using will be open-source, or availably freely. I'll be using Scribus for desktop publishing, Inkscape for logos and designs, and gimp and Paint.NET for raster graphics. Paint.NET, although not OpenSource, is freely available for Windows and does 99% of the image modifications I need quickly and easily. But Inkscape & Scribus is where all the real work is done.

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Hunger Games, review

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm impressed. This was my first young adult fiction title. Decent writing style, excellent action scenes and a well paced plot. I really enjoyed this book and poured through it in 2 days. Ive never seen so many people reading the same book at one time, but I was probably one of many impressed by the movie trailers. I know I'm not the only one who wants to read the book before seeing the film. Now I'm really anxious about the film and really nervous about some of the casting choices. Like Lenny Kravitz as Cinna? Ugh, not sure about that one. His pep speech during the teaser trailer made me cringe. But this should be about the book, which is excellent, and not the trailers for the films, which are definitely intriguing.

UPDATE1: There were some really intense moments for what is supposedly a YA novel. The violence will stun you and the depressing moments will make your heart ache. The book is told through the eyes of the main character, Katniss Everdeen, and it does a pretty good job making you feel her pain, sadness and anxieties. While driving you through a whole range of emotions, the book also makes you think. The only telling feature, that reminds you that you're reading a YA book, is the 6th grade vocabulary and the lack of 'dirty words' or sex. The violence is there in force as it must also be in the film, definitely rated PG-13. "Watching" children kill each other for fun is sick, but not what the book is about. The book is really a commentary on how disgusting the world is getting, or can get when powers that be go unchecked. There are subversive undertones in the book that the shallow may miss if they fixate on the killing. This book focuses on this sickness, children killing children for sport, while touching on the problems of the world such as world hunger and general cruelty, like the death sentence for stealing in a world where the few have abundance and the rest have little, sound familiar?

It's a good book that makes you think. The fact that this is marketed to kids is impressive, and if these kids get the overall message, it gives me hope. If it inspires more kids to read, awesome. But if it manages to get some of these kids to question "The Capitol", even better. The mocking-jay has potential to be the next generation's Guy Fawkes mask.

UPDATE2: This book is also about food. It's aptly titled, because it goes through the effects of hunger and touches upon the dangers of eating too much when you haven't had much to eat for a long period of time. The way Katniss engorges herself before the games, her almost silly-but cute-focus on Lamb stew and the struggles that the poor have just to eat, while those in the Capitol can press a button and have anything they desire within seconds. Reading this book makes you hungry. It's probably intentional, and almost cheesy. But it works. I'm getting hungry now.

View all my reviews

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Over at the Goodman Games Forums, we're sharing our Appendix N


This is my humble collection. I threw in some Flashing Swords for kicks, since most of the authors in those collections were Appendix N. While Swords & Dark Magic is a more contemporary book, it features new Cugal & Elric adventures. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

20 Campaign Questions

20 questions from this site,, as they pertain to my current campaign.
  1. Ability scores generation method? 3d6 in order.
  2. How are death and dying handled? Zero HP, make a DC 15 Fort Save , three fails you die.
  3. What about raising the dead? No one has tried. But there would probably be a quest involved, and lots of blood spilled.
  4. How are replacement PCs handled? Role 3 zero leveled guys, level the best to the same as the lowest level PC in the party.
  5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else? Individual, d20 style.
  6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work? Yes, DCC rules as written.
  7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet? Not yet! But I've heard some good ideas. Will probably do something like this: Helmet will be -1 on "perception" type checks, but protect you from one CRIT per session or encounter.
  8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly? Yes. DCC RAW. 50% to hit an adjacent creature if you miss your target.
  9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything? Run.
  10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no? No. Permanent stat drain, yes.
  11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death? Yes.
  12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked? Story dependent. 
  13. What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?  Gold can be spent for XP as training.Spells found, from scrolls or books, can be usable when leveling permits. PCs can level after being issued XP. 
  14. What do I get experience for? Whenever I give em, typically after fights or other challenges.
  15. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination? Logical combination of the two.
  16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work? Retainers, yes. They're basically 0-level characters, that can level and become full fledged characters if their master wants. Morale is a Will save.
  17. How do I identify magic items? With a spell, research, usage or finding an expert. There aren't many, so when they get one, the Wizard or Elf can try and identify it.
  18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions? No, no.
  19. Can I create magic items? When and how? When you get a spell that allows you to.
  20. What about splitting the party? Be my guest. Players are welcome to do whatever they want, but the more experienced ones tend to live by the code, "Never split the party."

Crawl! A fanzine for DCC RPG


It's happening. I'm making a zine for DCC RPG. It's fully licensed to be compatible with DCC RPG and the first issue is being proofed and drafted right now.

What is Crawl!? It's a fanzine. It'll be produced as a short, digest sized pamphlet. It'll be hand-made and stapled. It'll be just like your punk-rock anarchist zine. But instead of tape and clue, it'll be lay-out using state-of-the-art Desktop Publishing software... not really. I'm using Scribus, which is Open Source Software. It will be folded and stapled by hand, probably by me. It will be available exclusively in this zine format. Which is perfect to use at your table.

It'll have some good shit, I promise. The art is awesome and original and by members of my weekly DCC campaign. The articles will be written by me and hopefully YOU!

Open submissions will start in March. The first issue will be out in April. And I'm really excited about it.

Check out the website at for updates, teasers and pre-order info. 

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why a good set of Core Rules are important.

The game I play is what I like to call My D&D. It's my version of D&D which is a hodge-podge frankenSystem of rules. But the thing that keeps it My D&D is what happens behind the DM screen. Most of the house rules, exceptions and changes are completely invisible to the players. Anything I add to character generation has to be in addition to the core rules. My current set of core rules are the Dungeon Crawl Classics BETA rules. PCs are built using the rules as written, and any house rules are compatible with and "plug-in" to those rules. This allows someone to make a character, using the rules, and bring it to my game. So for a players purposes, they'll make a DCC RPG character. For about 6 months before DCC, it was Swords & Wizardry.

This is why Classic & Advanced D&D were the best version of D&D to me. The core rules were designed to be core rules, and any additional things you want to add, like Non-weapon Proficiencies or Skills, or psionics, etc, were optional. That's what makes a good core system. 3e went overboard. They made things that I wasn't interested in, part of the core rules. Feats are not how I want to do fancy tricks. I never used non-weapon proficiencies in Unearthed Arcana or whatever they were called in 2nd Edition, so why would I want to use skills now? If I wanted a skill system I'd play another system. Classes are shorthand for what your character can do, races & background are factors that bring depth to those classes. That's all I needed to figure out if someone can climb a cliff, pick a lock, or hunt some deer.

D&D Next has the opportunity to become my core-rules. So far they've promised HP, HD, AC, To-hit, Classes, Levels and Ability Scores--awesome. But will it be compatible with my what I'm using now?

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Goodman Games is giving away a free poster for their upcoming game, Dungeon Crawl Classics.

You can get it here:

DCC RPG, if you don't know, is a Sword & Sorcery RPG with Old-School roots with some bits of modern mechanics. I've been using the BETA rules [] as the core rules for my current "Sword & Sorcery" campaign, and I'm very happy about it. It has the right amount of rules and charts, and the aesthetics and fluff are right on the money for the kind of "D&D" I like to play. It's compatible with d20 and older versions of D&D but has it's own twists and flavor. It's also very random, which I love.

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GM Questionaire

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?

I haven’t been very innovative, apparently. Most of the things I thought I came up with were “been there, done that.” Maybe this: I don’t use a DM screen, so I roll multiple dice and never tell anyone which is the one that matters.

2. When was the last time you GMed?

Last Thursday

3. When was the last time you played?

About a year ago.

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.

The adventurers get ship-wrecked on a mysterious it going to be Gilligan's Island? or LOST?

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?

Get another beer, pee, or eat.

6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?

Whatever junk-food my players bring to the game, or dinner I make myself.

7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?

Not really. I’m pretty amped when I GM. Does this mean I can GM harder?

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?

Me, and a couple other characters, destroyed an artifact we were actually supposed to retrieve. Um, basically doing the job for the bad-guys, destroying the world--seriously.

9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?

Nah, I GM a pretty gonzo game, but no one has tried to break it.. I stick to Sword & Sorcery tropes and try to keep things scary, they seem to really enjoy it. There are some stupid PC names, but I tend to make stupid names myself.

10. What do you do with goblins?

I re-skinned them as little peon lizard-like people. I don’t give my monsters proper names, I let the party name them.

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?

Oh, I do this with all kinds of movies. The last movie I ripped off was Rare Exports (dude, check it out.) It features hordes of naked santas and a giant horned end-monster. It was my X-mas/New Years adventure special.

12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?

A halfling forgot about a trap, and sprung it, getting himself teleported across the house into a death-trap, all while the naked santas were invading their stronghold. Someone had to run across the house to let him out or he’d die from some poisonous gas.

13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?

Isle of the Unknown from LotFP/McKinney, I’m thinking of having the adventurers get ship-wrecked on this island.

14. Who's your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator?

Bill Sienkiewicz, I wish he’d do RPG art..

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?

I’d like to think so. I really don’t know. I do try and get players invested in their characters, and try to kill them.

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)

The past year has been a blast, and it’s been mostly pre-written mods. I hack a bit. My players aren’t afraid of breaking modules, and I encourage it. They broke my X-mas adventure. They never went to the dungeon, so I brought the monsters to them.

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?

On a hill, over-looking a desert. Or in the middle of a dry lake bed.

18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be?

Drinking UNO & Video Games

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?

80’s adventure movies (Buckaroo Banzai & Big Trouble in Little China) and Glen Cook/Black Company novels.

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?

I like newbies that are just learning the game, they don’t have any expectations. Experienced players that respect and enjoy “different” GM styles are awesome too.

21. What's a real life experience you've translated into game terms?

Sports, specifically hockey. Skating & shooting pucks, defending, etc. I don’t think I even wrote it down though.

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?

Real healing potions, is this what you mean? An electronic dice roller that doesn’t suck would be awesome.

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?

My GF, she kind of gets it, is sort of interested, but intimidated. That’s mostly my fault because sometimes I assume that some tropes are universally known. She’s highly educated, and I’m assuming again, so she thinks role-playing belongs in a classroom as a school exercise of some sort, instead of a game or lets pretend. This is where the assumed tropes cause problems. She's mostly shy.

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This interruption is brought to you by #SOPA & #PIPA #STRIKETOOLS #J18 #SOPABlackout


My sites will be BLACKED OUT tomorrow in solidarity with the ANTI-SOPA & ANTI-PIPA actions that will be happening all over the Internet tomorrow.

I hear Google (and Youtube) will be doing something in solidarity. I doubt they'll black-out their site, but whatever they do will probably reach more people than before. So there is hope. I don't have much hope for Twitter though, they're notorious for ignoring hash-tags that don't deal with some pop celebrity or some stupid commercial venture. Burger King is in the TOP TEN?

I'm curious about how many people in the US don't know what this SOPA/PIPA business is all about. Well if this campaign does what it plans to do, congress will be getting a lot of calls from angry consumers. 

Is this the first real internet strike? This should be interesting.

Join in the fun! Here's some links to get you started:

Information and detailed analysis on SOPA & PIPA, a must read to understand the bills and know why they're BAD:

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A View on the New Edition of D&D #DNDNEXT

A new edition of D&D was inevitable. Currently being dubbed the "next edition", the 40th Anniversary of the game is in 2 years. Ample time for 4e fanboys to finish their campaigns, and plenty of time for WotC to play-test and finalize what may possibly be the Ne Plus Ultra edition of the game. I'm looking forward to it.

I love D&D, I call my game D&D, but it's basically the BETA rules of DCC RPG with a couple rules from various OSR games such as LotFP & S&W, which means it is essentially a bit of 3e and 0e with some house rules, made up, forgotten and used on the fly. That's how I roll, and how I plan to run my home campaign for now on. There is nothing wrong with that, and Mike Mearl's statement validates it (not that we need it):

"We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game. In short, we want a game that is as simple or complex as you please, its action focused on combat, intrigue, and exploration as you desire. We want a game that is unmistakably D&D, but one that can easily become your D&D, the game that you want to run and play."

D&D wasn't my only game. When 3.0 first came out, it only marked my return to the hobby. (I started playing D&D with the Holmes edition in 1979.) These new rules were so robust and complete, I didn't want to learn another game, so I stuck to just d20 varients to get my super-spy, sci-fi, horror & super-heroes in. It worked fine. Then I started to play games other than d20. While I whole-heartedly adopted 4e, ran some RPGA "Living" campaigns and Encounters, and honestly enjoyed 4e for a couple years. This helped me refine what I wanted in an RPG. I felt something was wrong with 4e, something that I've never been able to pin-point, much-less explain in a blog post. Then Essentials came out, it changed the rules and made previous books obsolete, emphasised the web-based materials and basically forced me to look elsewhere to get "my D&D." Then I discovered that Older Editions (OSR) were not only being played, but being supported through un-official channels and retro-clones. I fell in love with the game, all over again. For the past year I've been playing the D&D I want to play, and it ain't 4e, it ain't even really 3e. My previous obsession with "official" rules were gone, my obsession became playing the game I wanted to play, and access to Older Editions (official and their simulacra) gave me a robust toolbox to do this. 4e basically forced you to play one way.

The Next Edition promises another set of these tools. To officially use as I see fit. And I'm stoked.

You can cool it now...

Posted via email from Dak, D.M.