#RPGaDay Day 28: What film/series is the most quoted in your group?

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Day 28: What film/series is the most quoted in your group?

This might just be my favorite question of the month.

As I suspect is true of most gaming groups, the Oak Hill Dungeons & Dragons Club mines pop culture frequently and quotes (sometimes lengthy ones) can occur at almost any moment within the game. Picking the most frequently quoted source is a difficult one, because they are so many and varied.

Seinfeld is a common source — “Newman!”, “And you want to be my latex salesman”, “Now I’m driving the bus”, et cetera, ad nauseum.

There’s also plenty of Star Wars and Indiana Jones references.

And, of course, Lost still gets plenty of love at the table.

But I think, the film that tips the scales has got to be Tombstone —

Honorable Mention? While it’s not quoted from as much these days, back in the early years of our gaming we quoted the hell out of a particular film. A bit of a cliché, but true just the same.

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#RPGaDay Day 27: What are your essential tools for good gaming?

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Day 27: What are your essential tools for good gaming?

When I first thought about this question, my focus was on physical items, and I will address a few of these, but Runeslinger’s Day 27 blog entry helped broaden my perspective.

So, here’s my top three tools for good gaming —

The number one tool I bring to the table is creating rich, textured and immersive narratives. I populate my games with layered sub-plots and a huge cast of non-player characters.

dmbob

On the physical side of things, my homebrewed game menu has become a must-have for me. It’s a three-fold restaurant menu that I’ve populated with tables and charts of poisons, traps, tavern menus, skill check modifiers, and the like. You can pick them up used for next to nothing, or new for less than $20.

The third item is a customized initiative tracker that hangs on my DM screen. In addition to the player’s order of play, I include their passive perception, armour class, and a few other useful stats. It really helps keep the narrative flow going, especially in combat situations.

So, that’s my quick answer for today. In closing, I’ll share with you a game hack that will help improve your game. I recommend purchasing a Tally Counter. They’re cheap (less than $10) and a great way to keep track of rounds for spell effects and such.

#RPGaDay Day 26: Which RPG provides the most useful resources?

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Day 26: Which RPG provides the most useful resources?

These days, with the exception of those games we have in development, I am all but exclusively a Dungeons & Dragons guy. It’s what my friends prefer, and while I’d be more than happy to play other genres, I love D&D and its 5th Edition rule-set.

My primary beef with Wizards of the Coast is their cautious approach. A company that I feel is a model for how a game company should be, aggressive and ambitious, is Paizo. Now they don’t always make the best choices, in my opinion, but they have a clear, branded message and veritable mountain of merchandise and resources to delve into.

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I do not play Pathfinder, but I sure do buy my fair share of their stuff. In my gaming arsenal I have a ton of Pathfinder minis (especially Pathfinder goblins), pawns, map packs, and flip-maps.

I own the corebook, bestiaries, and several of their adventure paths, modules, and campaign settings.

I read their comics (while avoiding the recent D&D books), have read a few of their novels, and have decks of cards and other useful odds and ends.

They have apps, an active web presences, and online resources that are above and beyond.

It’s really a shame I can’t stand the overly bogged down bloat of the 3.5 Edition rules, but they get plenty of my money because they’re giving me what, I think, Wizards should — stuff, stuff, and more stuff.

Wizards is seemingly coming around. The thing is, they seem just a little bit too greedy. I’m looking at you D&D Beyond.

So, yeah, Paizo seems to be the best at providing what players want and need. Hopefully, Wizards is getting the hint.

#RPGaDay Day 25: What is the best way to thank your DM?

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Day 25: What is the best way to thank your DM?

I have been a Dungeon Master for just shy of 40 years, as such I do have a few thoughts on this. Oh, I’m sure there will be quite a few gamers out there whose answers entail a plethora of physical items, especially of the food and beverage variety. Some will laud the gifts of miniatures and maps, even rulebooks, or simply cold hard cash.

While I am not averse to accepting any and all such treasures, I think there are more valuable, and less tangible, gifts that can be bestowed upon a hardworking storyteller.

The best ways to thank a DM are found in simple rules of courtesy:

  • Be on time.
  • Be prepared.
  • Know your character, inside and out.
  • Be present, meaning don’t have one eye on the gaming table and the other on your phone.
  • Be honest. No rule or dice fudging.

I love DMing and I have had no shortage of great players who have made my job easier. I appreciate each and every one. So, this DM would like to thank them all, especially my current players — Connor, Doug, Joe, Kasey, Mike, Shaun, and Steve.

You’ve all help makes this so much more than a game.

dmbob

 

#RPGaDay Day 24: Share a PWYW Publisher who should be charging more

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Day 24: Share a PWYW Publisher who
should be charging more…

I’m a big fan of the map work found at Dyson’s Dodecahedron . You can find Dyson’s art on DriveThruRPG or by simply doing a google image search, but the blog is a worthwhile starting point and generally everything’s a gift to gamers.

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I like Dyson’s style and whenever I’m in a pinch for a map when I get called upon to DM an impromptu game, that’s my go to source.

 

#RPGaDay Day 23: Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

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Day 23: Which RPG has the most jaw-dropping layout?

There are a lot of beautiful RPGs out there and many whose layout and design have made me drool, but without a doubt, at the top of the heap, are the books coming out of Modiphius for Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of.

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Clean, readable font choices, cool inserts and borders, spectacular art, and immersive content — Conan is an RPGers dream. While I may not be entirely sold on the system itself, the books are true works of art backed up by flawless design.

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Everything about these books is attractive, from legibility to illustration, and the tables are distinct and pop off the page.

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Modiphius have really gone above and beyond. Each book released so far have been tremendous works of art, but more importantly, well planned, laid out, and articulated.

If if you choose to not play the game, the books themselves are more than worth the investment.