D&D Campaign from last year

In July and August of 2018 I ran a dungeons and dragons campaign on the internet over discord and roll20. Alas, it only lasted a few weeks, but I had fun running it regardless, and it should be commemorated.

The combination of the fast and easy voice chat of Discord and the character sheet and map models of Roll20 was awesome, but I think it is simply too easy for players to drop out or find something else to do. There’s no commitment. As time went on I wound up having only a couple people showing up to sessions, and the last two were one on one.

I think this is more of a human failing than anything else, though.

I’ve always favored the older editions of d&d; there are fewer rules, and more encouragement to wing things or agree to your own rules at the table. There’s more emphasis on randomness and a hard slog of playing rather than carefully calibrating every monster or having a vast epic story (not that there’s anything wrong with epic stories, but I’ve found it is too easy for players to not know what’s going on or get confused, leading to less fun)

The edition I ran was Swords&Wizardry by Frog God Games. It is a open-source clone (meaning the rules and monsters are quite similar, but just different enough to allow amateurs to create their own materiel without being sued for legal violations) of the White Box set of d&d that came out in 1974. However the module adventures I ran were James Raggi’s Tower of the Stargazer and TSR’s Horror on the Hill and Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, all of different editions and they required a little tinkering to work with Swords&Wizardry. But that was only the work of a few days and I enjoyed it. I pulled monsters and treasure from a Diablo/D&D crossover booklet that has been sitting in a trunk for… nearly 2 decades now. I also contemplated stealing this guy’s magic system, it simply looked so cool, but decided it should wait until I had a handful of players who were comfortable and playing regularly. Obviously that didn’t happen, but it’s nice to daydream about what could have been.

As best as I can remember and find from notes I’m going to write-up my short campaign here.

Read more "D&D Campaign from last year"

The Veil War

Start Reading This is a story I found on the interwebz of US Marines vs magic-wielding goblins, and it’s awesome. A short novelette of teenage d&d fueled fantasies that is short, well written, scratches that itch every kid has (What if X fought Y?) and tragically stops right when the good guys win their ticket […]

Read more "The Veil War"

Book Review: The Logic of Force

James Lafond’s book, The Logic of Force, is a first-hand, amateur sociology account of one man’s time spent in the east coast ghetto, participating in and observing street fights, boxing matches, and dealing with the ruffians of society. To a college educated, suburban intellectual such as myself it is an eye-opening account of how life […]

Read more "Book Review: The Logic of Force"

Picking a brain that’s already been beat to hell

[url=https://www.jameslafond.com/]James Lafond[/url] is a writer/boxing coach/crackpot/man’s man who writes about anything from forgotton history to boxing to the sad state of the world to fiction. He’s his own man, and definitely not for the faint-hearted. He’s also my inspiration for a thug-turned chieftain in the roleplaying game I run. I figure, insteadof trying to imagine […]

Read more "Picking a brain that’s already been beat to hell"

Warhammer 40k on the computer.

Over the course of a couple weekends I’ve spent some time playing two different games set in Games Workshop’s Grimdark Warhammer40k universe. The first is real-time, Dawn of War 2: And the second is turn-based from nearly two decades ago, Chaos Gate: Both pit the eponymous Space Marine super soldiers of the series against their […]

Read more "Warhammer 40k on the computer."

Meditations on Violence

It’s in the news every week and nearly every day. A man gets shot by the police. A suicide bomber blows up at the gate of a FOB, or in a village, or is stopped on a train. Someone drives their truck into a crowd. A cop is shot with his own gun. A man […]

Read more "Meditations on Violence"