Monday, March 31, 2008

Don't party with us.

If I was an adventurer and my group of PCs asked me to party with them, I would have to turn them down.

Why you ask?

First off, its not the players I am talking about. They are amazing players and I would not trade them for anybody. However, their PCs have been having some bad luck with people they hire on into their party. I think they are up to a 5 deaths in 5 games.

First it was a fighter and a wizard, however that is not truly the parties, the players running those characters didn't mesh with the group and we all parted ways. To make the story work they were bumped off.

Next they got help from a Gnome sorcerer, who met his end at the hands of a dwarf skeleton and then had his body thrown down a chasm by the PCs so they did not have to lug him around and a bunch of treasure.

I think the next game was death free, however, Royo the Rogue was dropped to -2 by a half troll by the name of Dematrillus. If my memory serves me correctly he failed his checks to become stable all the way -9 and to make the case worse Pez the cleric was also dropped. Leaving Elias the fighter to finish the job, which he did, losing his arm in the process. Lucky he had a potion he shoved down Pez's windpipe and Pez healed Royo before he fell below -10.

Game 1 of the sons of Gruumish game the party hired on a sorceress named Goldmoon and a half-orc Barbarian/ranger named Zoloft Shaker, who was a old friend of Royo's. Zoloft met her end at the hands of a Ogre zombie, that Pez forgot his healing spells would harm. Game 2 Goldmoon was dropped by a Dire boar and coup de gra'd by a Orc. (Which caused the person who is running her to hate me.) My party forgets that they can try to get these people res'd, but they are too cheap for such a grand procedure.

Like I said, they are developing a great reputation for killing monsters and hunting bounties, but they are also developing a reputation that if you join their party the odds are against you.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Game ideas Part II.

Feel free to take this story starters and work them into your game:
Yesterday morning I was reading a book of stories to my little daughter and it hit me, a great place to draw ideas for a D&D game are fairy tales. They are set in a "D&D" type of world with magic, dragons, knights and castles. Our first concept:

Jack and the beanstalk.

This story would work great for a D&D game.. It has it all:

Magical Treasure: The golden goose, the magical harp and tons of gold and other loot.

Castle: The entire adventure would take place in a Cloud Giant's castle. Wow.

Giant: The main villain would be a Cloud Giant, plus I am sure this guy would have some pretty wicked minions working for him.

Getting Started:

First things first, magic beans. If you have a PC with a low INT you could easily have someone trade him some gear or gold for the beans, or if you have a sticky fingered Halfling in the group put them in a place where he or she will see them and they won't be able to resist the chance to snatch them.

Of course other ideas work great, such as the beanstalk already exists in some hamlet and a group of brave adventures went up the stalk years ago and never returned and the villagers are to scared to go up after them.

A wizards or a druids spell went horribly wrong resulting in the massive beanstalk.

Gygax wrote an adventure that was a take on Alice and Wonderland, even though I personally have never played it or ran it, I read it over and it looks amazing. If you have kids and are looking for ideas for a D&D game look no further than their bookshelf.

Do you have any story book ideas for a game? Or, any ideas for a "Jack" and the beanstalk themed game?

Friday, March 28, 2008

New Poll!

Which color of the chromatic dragons is the best? Vote now, polls are open for 1 week.

More ideas than time.

One of the biggest problems I face is the lack of time to run D&D games and the amount of ideas I have for the game. If I were to compare the amount of time I have to prepare for games, to actually run a game that all of my players can come to, the time it takes away from the family; to how many new ideas I would like to try and have, it would be like comparing one of 10,000 lakes of Minnesota to the Pacific Ocean.

Here are a few of the ideas I have been kicking around:

ArrrrgGG, who doesn't love pirates, and ever since those pirate movies with Johnny Depp came out everybody loves a good buccaneer! I think the first movie would make a great D&D game. A little reworking, but it would be a blast.

I never played in a Dark Sun campaign but a sand game with pyramids, mummies, evil sand monsters and a blazing hot sun would be fun to run.

I have never ran an entire undead game before. I started to write one and ran it for a few weeks but we moved on to other things before we got to the meat and potatoes. Zombies, wights, and litches are great monsters.

Son of a god.
You might know where I am going with this. I sit in church every week and I think about D&D because our weekly D&D game is on Saturday nights and normally wraps up about 4 hours before I go to church on Sunday morning. I always thought the story of some gods son coming to the realm to shake things up would be great. (Actually, there are tons of great ideas for D&D games found in the Christian bible.)

More ideas coming soon.

Till next time....

What ideas do you have for a "great" game? What makes for a good location?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why do we DM?

I wonder sometimes, why do I DM? I enjoy playing D&D, a lot. However, my best gaming experiences are when I am the helm of the ship. I am by no means an ego manic, matter of fact, I am completely the opposite. I am unsure, self doubting, and have an awful case of low self esteem. I always question of my group is truly having fun playing, or if they are hating every minute of my games. For a long time this caused me undue stress which lead me to step away from the game for a good year. (This is not only reason I stepped away, that was the same year my daughter was born and I did not want to miss a minute away from here.)

Eventually I overcame a lot of these feelings and was able to move forward and got the group back together. Sure, I still get a awful case of butterflies before each game, but now I realize they are having fun and they keep coming back for more. I am sure I am not the only person that feels this way.

I digress. Why do we put ourselves through this? Why are DMs? What sets as a part from the group?

My theories:

I've been there, done that:
DMs are the guys who have played the longest and no longer get a thrill from the game and chose to take their past experiences and apply to their own game.

God like powers:
Some people are attracted to god like powers. When you DM you do have the ultimate power to decided what is going to happen to your PCs. Sure, you may have dice rolls to determine an outcome of any random event, but if you DM you know there are times where you flub a roll to advance the story. With that being said, if you abuse said god like powers, you run the risk of becoming a power-monger and turning the game into a bad experience for your players.

Creative outlet:
I think I fit this one the most:
You love fantasy adventures, read the books and comics see the movies, and you want to translate these things into your own game world. You have more ideas than time for games, you are always thinking of new things to bring to the game or ways to increase game play through props and voices.

Why do you DM? Or Why do you think your DM does it?

Recap: Sons of Gruumish game 1

A few weeks ago I started to run the "Sons of Gruumish" adventure for WoTC.

See it here.

I like what I see so far. I have added a few things to the adventure to make it fit my party a little better.

My PCs are:
Royo: Halfling Rogue 3
Elias: Gold Dwarf Fighter 3
Pezula: Gold Dwarf Cleric 3

NPCs in their party
Zoloft Shaker: Half Orc Barbarian 1/Ranger 3
Goldmoon Blackburn Human Sorceress 4

The adventure starts in Suzail with a scroll delivered to Pez. The scroll is from his "uncle" Dorn Crownshield, who is currently living in the town of Melvaunt in the Moonsea. He askes Pez and his brother to join him in Melvaunt for adventures in the Thar. However, the note took an incredible amount of time to get to Pez, and unknow to Pez Dorn his found some others to adventure with him.

Royo and Zoloft Shaker head to the seedy part of Suzail, the docks ran by the Kao-Toa Pirate Lomar. Lomar was not there, but Royo deed meet with a guild master telling him to bring a Wyvern stinger to him and they will take about Royo's future in the guild.

Elias is being healed in the temple of Mordin. He has been secretly feeding the dragon, he stashed in the temple basement.

The team hired a sorceress by the name of Goldmoon. She has little to say but is more than willing to accept her cut of the loot.

Pez, Royo, Zoloft, and Goldmoon come up with a plan to get the dragon from the temple basement into the woods. Shortly after Pez receives another message this time by a wizard by the name of Cavallas asking Pez to bring the dragon to Melvaunt to sell it to him.

Elias heals, Goldmoon gets seduced, and Royo makes snoof-snoof.

The groups coughs up some gold for a portal to Melvuant, but owes a wizards guild a future favor.

The adventures arrive just outside of Melvuant and are met by several drunkards wandering the streets looking for Oreal Nanther. However, the companions are more concerend with filling their pockets then helping a unknown noble they make haste towards the Crows Nest where they are greeted by the bars owner, Pultary Crow.

He tells them he has not seen Dorn is days but knows he had recently found a group of young adventures looking for a mentor. If Dorn is around town he spends most of his time at the Frothy Beard, a dwarven bar. Also, the wizard you seek is renting a room at the Crows Nest.

Royo, Pez, and Elias meet up with Malachi, the Wizard Cavallas' apprentice, where he tells them he seeks what you have and offers you a very good fee for the dragon. Royo stays behind as Pez and Elias go and retrieve the dragon to show good face. The wizard, who does not speak good common asks Royo through his apprentice Malachi if he uses the art

Royo explains he knows of very little of the art, but admires it. Malachi tells him he is from a place called Ridgecrest, a island off the coast of Faerun. He studied under an Wizard named Alamozes, but he was unable to help Malachi reach his full potential and that is where he met Cavallas, and despite the fact he is a dark elf, he is just misunderstood.

Later on the group travels to another local bar, the Frothy Beard. The guard will not allow Zoloft in to the bar due to her Orc heritage.

The party meets the bartender named Hraf, a dwarf missing his left eye and left foot. He talks with Pez about his uncle and his recent claims of owning a treasure map that leads to a treasure hidden below the Orc ruins two days north of Melvuant.

Royo and Elias get roped into playing cards with a couple of shady dwarfs. The gods seem to be on the side of the adventures till all the sudden some who the dwarfs seem to win a hand of cards and the friends lose a good chunk of gold.

While the adventures drink warm ale and sulk after loosing at cards they over hear that a local ruler named Lord Nanther is looking for his missing son and is willing to pay 1000pp to who ever returns him. Never missing a chance to make some money Elias suggest since you are in Melvuant already and Dorn is no where to be found why pass up a chance to make some plat.

The companions meet with Lord Nanther on a cold and rainy night in his large manor. Nanther explains his son Oreal is a good boy, a grown man in a matter of fact, but is too trusting and naive. He believes his arch nemesis Lord Leiyraghon, or Leghorn as the drunkards call him, has something to do with Oreal's disappearance. He also tells you the other noble scions of Melvaunt are missing as well, all except young master Natali.

You meet with Vance Bruil, another local leader who has a missing son and tells you pretty much the same thing as Nanther. A chamber maid working for Bruil tells you that his grandson Argens has undergone Paladin training and has been leaving home one a month for roughly a week and each time returns with injuries and blood stains on his clothes.

You attempt to meet up with Leghorn, but he refuses to speak with you.

After exploring town a wee bit you find out that Old Tom was selling maps of a treasure hidden in the Orc ruins in Thar. However, Old Tom left town and abanonded his store.

Also, you found the other missing youths are named:
Argens Bruil: Ranger
Kalman Leiyraghon (Leghorn) Pally
Elaint Marsk Cleric
Kara Calaudra. Sorceress with a raven familiar.

Putting two and two together you figure out that Dorn had been sneaking around with the missing youths as of recently and they were the group of adventures seeking a mentor. However, they did not tell their families due to bitterness between their fathers.

Deciding on looking for Dorn who hasnt been heard from in some time, you head into the Thar looking for him.

However on your way out of town 5 thugs jump you. However two Gold Dwarves help you fend them off and tell you they are hired goons from the house of Leiygaghon.

After a short time in the Thar you realize why no man lives their as you come across two vicious Mt. Orcs fishing. Battle breaks out, but the loud noises awaken a Ogre Zombie and he joins in on the Melee.

A fierce battle breaks out resulting in the loss of life of Zoloft Shaker the half-Orc barbarian ranger. Almost everyone in the party was injured pretty badly cause the friend to retreat back into Melvaunt with their tails between their legs.

Important Names:
House of Nanther
House of Leghorn
House of Bruil
House of Calaudra
House of Marsk
Oreal Nanther: father will pay you 1000 pp if you find and return him
Argen Bruil: missing
Kalaman Leiyraghon: missing
Elaint Marsk: missing
Kara Calaudra: missing
Dorn Crownshield.: "uncle" of Pez and Elias also missing
Malachi and Cavallas: two wizard who you suspect are up to no good, however have no reason to distrust them at this point. (Give it 60 years)
Hraf: disfigured bartender that started it all
Zoloft Shaker:Snoof Snoofer. RIP.


Melvaunt: city you are in.
Moonsea: Country you are in
Thar: The Great Gray Land, full of savage beasts and ruins of old Orc Kingdoms. Recent Orc activity has increased in Thar.
Glister; The only human settlement in Thar.

Find Dorn
Find Oreal
figure out what and who is in the Orc Ruins 2 days north of Melvaunt.
Find a replacement for your dead party member.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kung-Fu Kobold

Welcome to the Kung Fu Kobold. I am Run, a life time gamer and DM. I am looking for a venue to voice my thoughts, ideas, and concerns with gaming, mostly but not limited to table top gaming or D&D.

My name is Ryan. But, when I write I use my alias Run, my first D&D Character a Half-Orc Barbarian. I live in the biggest small town in the midwest. I am an Iowa boy born and raised, however I would love to move out of the heartland and live a coastal lifestyle.

I have been playing D&D for over 10 years. I was first turned on to the game through my older brother. However, instead of the pen and paper version I play now, I started out on a MUD. (Multi user Dungeon,) Mud's are the grandparents of todays MMORPG. Sad to say, unlike today's graphical games like WOW and Everquest, MUD's started out as text based games. The game is named "After Hours." It is still active today, however nobody plays there anymore. The game used AD&D rules and was pretty close to the table top game, more than most MMORPG's are.

I started this blog because I have a game I run for 3 of my best friends twice a month and I always am looking for new material or information about what other DMs are doing in their games. I decided that if I am looking for these things, a blog about D&D, others must be as well.

I hope I can post some great stuff about our game, my thoughts on the game in the digital age, and anything else that comes to my mind.

Happy Blogging!