Played some #dnd 5e yesterday with Jenn Martin, Dave Michalak, Geoff Raye, and our inestimable DM MadJay Brown! Half our intrepid band were tasked with recovering the person and/or remains of the Archon of Istus, the other half searching for the Dark Mirror of Summoning Bad Things (and loot). Luckily, both missions involve delving into the same volcanic ruins!

The big highlight for me was managing to totally avoid a fight with a salamander via judicious use of parley; Geoff’s warloc’sk ability to basically know all languages saved us lots of trouble!

Later I got be the meatiest of meat shields by soaking up most of the attacks from a group of fire mephitis.

Gotta say, still really liking this edition. Sure, Jay is kicking ass and taking names as a DM, and this group is awesome in general, but things just seem to work in 5e.


Favourite non-RPG thing to come out of RPG’ing

I’m going to say friends

Stop cringing.

Since the topic says “RPG’ing”, I take it that we’re talking about the act of engaging in the hobby, as opposed to RPGs as a medium.

My oldest friend in the world and I did not meet though RPG’ing — we met each other in 4th grade (about nine years old for you non-US-icans). Then we went to different middle schools and drifted apart. After that, we ended up at the same high school — one with a student body of around 2,000 kids (3,000 now!), so the odds of us bumping into each other were pretty negligible.

One day towards the end of Freshman year I get a call. My 4th-grade friend has found my phone number and wants to know if I play D&D, because he needs players. I go over to his house, play through the first Dragonlance module in a marathon eight-hour session. He and the two other players become my closest friends for the next four years. Years later, we’re in each other’s weddings. Just last month, my friend is hanging out at my house.

Decades later, the same phenomenon happens when 3e brings me back into the hobby. I meet people who become close friends, see them wed, divorce, become parents — their highs and lows. I travel to conventions and game with people who I later communicate with constantly via the Interwebs.

RPG’ing has been a primary social outlet for big chunks of my life. The bonds I form, even if for a brief time, while at the game table have been the source of so much enjoyment for me. The stereotype of the lonely nerds in the basement has never really made sense to me; my actual experience has never matched that. We were in the basement because it was the best way to keep our loud boisterousness from waking up the rest of the house (and that’s were the ping-pong table was).

Runner-up for this category is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My wife bought me a copy of the EDEN Buffy RPG after I expressed some interest in an episode we’d watched (S2E19, “I Only Have Eyes For You”). The game prompted me to borrow season one from a friend (who’d I’d met via my D&D group). Cut to years later and I’m naming my first-born son after Joss Whedon.

Favourite RPG playing celebrity


Seriously, I had to Google around to come up with anyone beyond Vin Diesel or Wil Wheaton.

Sure, it’d be low-hanging fruit to pick someone like Stephen Colbert or Joss Whedon, but I don’t know that they actively play any more. And the only celebs with hard evidence of current activity are folks like Will Wheaton, and honestly I haven’t even been able to bring myself to watch his current show. I mean, I like the guy, and he does great “nerd outreach” or whatever, but a favorite? Meh.

To be honest, I’m not sure I care any more about whether celebrities play tabletop RPGs or not. Call me cynical, but I don’t need that kind of validation in order to enjoy this hobby. (And I think there’s already one “celebrity” that’s done more than his fair share of damage here.)

Oh, and here’s Putin riding a shark, cause I got nothin’.

What the heck should I run for #chicagogameday42 ?

Given my limited time, I don’t know if I should try running something new to me (looking at Silent Legions or Monster of the Week or a combo of both) or else something I already am familiar with and may need to bone up on since I’m likely playing it in the future (Burning Wheel, D&D 5e, and possibly Champions 3rd ed.).

I was even looking sideways at Usagi Yojimbo or Myriad Song.

Admittedly this is not a bad problem to have, but I really want to avoid waiting too long and then having to scramble at the last minute, or bail entirely.

Favourite RPG website/blog

Honestly, Google+ is my favorite right now. This is where I spend most of my time online, and this where I’m having some of the best RPG discussion I’ve ever had. It’s also pointed me to more games — mostly via Kickstarter — than any other site, save maybe ENWorld back during the d20 boom.

The runner-up would be Chris Chinn ‘s “Deeper in the Game”, as it’s maybe the only RPG blog I follow now.

Special mention would go to Ron Edwards’s fantastic Doctor Xaos blog, but it’s not strictly about gaming.

Favourite game you no longer play

Wow. Uh, all of them? Welcome to fatherhood + full-time employment.

I also wonder what is meant here by “no longer play”. Sure, one can lack time to play, but would there be a reason one would actively avoid playing a favorite game? Besides an inability to find others willing to play?

Favourite inspiration for your game

By “your game”, I’m assuming this topic means “your current campaign”. Seeing as I don’t really have one, I have a feeling this isn’t going to garner as many plusses army last post.

In general, games inspire me to build campaigns around them more often than something inspires me to choose a game and build a campaign (or a session). It’s been pretty common for me to find an RPG that then spurs me on to look into its source material. E.g., Eden’s Buffy RPG got me to start watching the show, and Evil Hat’s Dresden Files RPG got me reading Butcher’s books.

That said… does anyone remember John Coyne’s novel Hobgoblin?

It was one of the “D&D drives a kid crazy” novels that appeared during the Satanic Panic. IMO, unlike Rona Jaffe’s Mazes & Monsters, it was actually a decent read, more of a horror/suspense story that happened to use roleplaying as a hook rather than a treatise on the evils of gaming.

In the book, the main character plays “Hobgoblin,” a fantasy RPG set in mythic Ireland. It uses a custom deck of cards with weird art and crazy dice combos, like using d1000s (and somehow generating decimal points) and other stuff that shows the write didn’t really grok how D&D worked. However, to 11-year-old me, the game was fascinating. The Irish mythology was awesome and the cards sounded like the coolest thing ever. Plus, the book describes them using the cards in chargen, and producing characters of all kinds, not just the standard D&D tropes (one being a minor noble girl who then goes on an adventure that feels like a gothic novel). Honestly, it was like cards plus lifepaths from BW or careers from WFRP.

For na very long time, I wanted to try and find that game. I went through a lot of fantasy RPGs, tried to integrate cards (mostly tarot) into my games, and named multiple characters “Brian Ború”, the legendary Irish king (and the paladin played by the main character in the novel). The book also fired off my obsession with all things celtic, and why Dark Ages settings are like crack to me.

I’m tempted to go back and re-read the book, but I feel like that could taint my fond childhood memories.

Chicago Gameday 42 event planning has begun

Gameday 42 will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015 starting at 9:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. if you join us for breakfast). Yesterday we started the event planning process.

If you’d like to run an event for us, head over to our planning thread on ENWorld and post your idea. We’re looking for events that can host yourself plus 4 or more people and keep them occupied for 4-5 hours. We have both a morning roster and an afternoon roster. More details are in the first post of the tread.

#chicagogameday   #chicagogameday42