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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hello, Computer

So I was thinking the other day about typing.  I have a device at work that is a touch-pad and allows for input by pressing on a flat space.  The issue is that there are no “home keys” on it, so I have to look at it to be sure I’m inputting the correct item.  Now, I never learned how to properly type, I use at most 4 fingers at a time, but I know my mother took typing classes in high school, and it really good at it.  Of course, most kids today type only using their thumbs, so there’s no chance of them even knowing what “home keys” are. 
The way my mind works I immediately jumped to Star Trek 4, where Scotty, a man from a time period where standard keyboards are obsolete, is able to type faster than anyone.  Why is that?  Shouldn’t he be the slowest typist, not the fastest?  Even if he does know how to use a keyboard, when’s the last time you saw a qwerty-style input device on Star Trek?
Yes, this is the kind of stuff that gets stuck in my head.  Aren’t you lucky that I can share it?  ;)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pendragon Materials

A question will often come up about what materials (read: books) are required to play Pendragon.  I am by no means an expert, but I have bought or seen pretty much all the available books out there and here is my take on it.  It depends.  Yeah, it sounds like a cop-out, but it really depends on the type of campaign that you and your players want to be a part of.

All Campaign Types:
·         King Arthur Pendragon – Core Rules.  The only “must have” book on this list to run the game.  Whether this is the most recent rules (version 5.1, as of this writing) or another set, a basic rule book is needed.  If you don’t already have one, I would recommend getting the latest one, as all the other books build on this.
·         The Great Pendragon Campaign: While not really necessary for all games, I would recommend getting this simply for the background information.  It won’t hurt you to not have it, but it certainly helps a great deal to have it.
·         Gamemaster Characters: Useful even without the GPC, since it gives you the stats of major NPC’s in the various game periods.  No, these stats are not in the main rulebook.
·         The Book of Knights and Ladies: Advanced character generation for all game periods.  There are also now new skills for each culture, which can be quite useful in game play.

Court Heavy Campaigns:
·         The Book of the Manor: Want to micro-manage your manor?  This is the book for you.  Not a necessity for all campaigns, but it does add nice flavor to the winter phase.  Beware; there is a decent amount of number crunching in the advanced rules, but worth the benefits, especially for the skill checks.
·         The Book of the Entourage: This will help you flesh out your player knight’s followers and how useful they are.  Worth it, in this author’s opinion, just for the random wife table. 

Battle Heavy Campaigns:
·         The Book of Battle: Want to run a large scale battle?  This is the book for you.  If you don’t want a lot of combat in your game, you can easily skip this.  Version 2 is fairly streamlined, but still has some crunching for everyone at the table.
·         The Book of Armies: A must if you buy BoB.  Many useful armies, even what battles they are used in.  I used this recently for the Roman Campaign and it proved its worth immediately. 

You will note that RPG Now has several bundles available, so if you haven’t gotten any of the books you should be able to save some cash.  Keep in mind, though, that there may be a newer version of a certain book in these bundles, so you’ll want to do your homework first.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

It’s Alive!

Yes, boys and girls, one of the most anticipated* Old School RPG projects is now out there and ready for purchase.  Of course, I’m talking about Adventures Dark and Deep, the system that answers the question “What might the world’s most popular role-playing game have looked like if Gary Gygax had been allowed to keep developing it?”  Developed by BRW Games’ founder Joseph Bloch, ADD has been thoroughly researched and play-tested over a number of years.  How do I know?  I am not only good friends with Joe, but I was part of his home playtest group.  While I have gotten more and more away from Class & Level games in my old age, I can say that Joe has done a bang up job on this one and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons, or any of the retro games out there that emulate it.  Well, what are you waiting for?  Follow the links and check it out!


* Most Anticipated by this author, at any rate.