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My New Obsession: Critical Role

100UnfinishedBusinessSo, I’m a bit late to the game (as per usual), but ever since I discovered it, I’ve been obsessively watching episodes of the web-stream series Critical Role. Better nate than lever, and all that jazz…

If you haven’t seen it, it’s essentially a stream of the weekly D&D 5e game of a group of voice actors led by Matthew Mercer–a voice actor and DM-Extraordinaire. His group of 7 players (known as “Vox Machina”), with the occasional guest, adventure in the world of Exandria, primarily on the continent of Tal’Dorei, saving the world and causing mayhem wherever they go.

There is drama, pathos, adventure, comedy, and, most of all, lots of heart. Mercer has put together an unforgettable campaign and manages the proceedings like a pro. While the voice acting chops help, it’s his gift for storytelling that really makes the campaign come to the life. Just watching the show for as short a time as I have, I have picked up several tips for upping my GM game. Plus, it inspires me to aspire to have a great a time as he clearly is behind the screens.

But the group is just as great. They really get into their characters and roleplay well. You can tell that they, and their characters, are good friends and work together to have a good time. They let each other have their “special moments” and really gel as a unit. The relationship displayed between player and DM is ideal and shows what a great group can do with the game. Vox Machina is a strong because of the bonds forged in fire by the players (Liam O’Brien, Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Sam Riegel, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, and Marisha Ray).*

Currently, there are 115 “canon” episodes of the first campaign. They will be starting a new campaign in the new year. Each episode is anywhere from 3-4 hours of game play (it’s literally just a stream of their session, largely unedited). I’m currently on episode 68 and slowly making my way to the end so I can start fresh in the new year (I probably won’t make it, but I’m going to love getting there). The episodes can be found on Geek & Sundry, YouTube, Twitch, and on Alpha.

So, in the words of Grog Strongjaw (Travis Willingham): “Vox Machina! Fuck. Shit. Up!”

* Orion Acaba was originally part of the cast for the first 30 or so episodes, but then left the show for personal reasons. He was also a lot of fun in his episodes as well.
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Extra Life Marathon This Weekend

extralifeThis weekend (November 4-5), I will be participating in an 18-hour gaming marathon to benefit Extra Life (which benefits the Children’s Miracle Network). I will be running a 7th Sea adventure as well as a Deadlands adventure. There will also be someone running Pathfinder, I believe someone running Vampire: The Masquerade, and we will be playing in our regular Dresden Files RPG that night as well.

The event is being held in partnership with Extra Life by the Lawton Activity Club, the Lawton Gamers Without Group. It is being hosted by All Things Entertaining, a gaming/hobby shop in Lawton, OK.

For 18 hours we will play board games, card games, video games, and RPGs (with food and door prizes in the mix) while raising money for Oklahoma kids in need.

All Things Entertainment at 1901 NW Sheridan Rd have opened their doors to us for this event starting at 11am Saturday and running until 5am Sunday Morning. Numerous video game consoles, plenty of tables for board games and card games, and two rooms of roleplaying games.

Donations will be collected inside the door. A minimum donation of $20 is requested to enter and play all night (Stay for the whole event or come and go as you please!). Game Master’s minimum donation / pledge is $50.

Players may pick up Pledge sheets at All Things Entertainment or print one here (http://reddirtroleplayers.weebly.com/…/283…/pledge-sheet.pdf) and ask friends, family, co-workers to sponsor you. 100% of ALL proceeds go to the Children’s Miracle Network. This is a charity event, so please ask even those who do not game to sponsor you.

Door Prizes to be awarded throughout the night. You must be present to win.

So if you’re in the Lawton, OK area this weekend, be sure and come by, play some games with us, and support a great cause!

Edge of Darkness–A Fate Core Adaptation of Call of Cthulhu

CthulhuFor our Halloween session this year, I adapted an old Call of Cthulhu scenario called Edge of Darkness to Fate Core rules. I thought, “Insanity = Mental Stress FTW.” It worked pretty well (at least until the characters went a little off the rails). So I thought I’d share what I did.

Disclaimer:

Edge of Darkness is a Fate Core adaptation of the original scenario Edge of Darkness published in Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition, a Chaosium publication [Call of Cthulhu (6th edition) is copyright ©1981, 1983, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 by Chaosium Inc.; all rights reserved.]. This adaptation and its supplements and characters are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The Scenario and Supplements

Edge of Darkness

Latin Chants

On De Vermis Mysteriis

Player Aid 1

Player Aid 2

Player Aid 3

Player Aid 4

Ritual Notes

Pre-Generated Characters

Duane Page

Genie Radcliff

Jewel Porcher

Jocelin Hambleton

Malcolm Garland

Mildred Scrivens

Roderick Merriweather

Tyson Hutson

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Extra Life: Updated

extralifeI will be participating in this event in Lawton on the weekend of November 4-5. I will be running a 7th Sea adventure as well as a Deadlands adventure. There will also be someone running Pathfinder, I believe someone running Vampire: The Masquerade, and we will be playing in our regular Dresden Files RPG that night as well.

In partnership with “Extra Life” ( https://www.extra-life.org ) the Lawton Activity Club, the Lawton Gamers Without Group, and All Things Entertaining is hosting its first annual 18 hour Gaming Marathon.

We are very excited to kick off our first Extra Life fundraising event for the Children’s Miracle Network! For 18 hours we will play board games, card games, video games, and RPGs (with food and door prizes in the mix) while raising money for Oklahoma kids in need.

All Things Entertainment at 1901 NW Sheridan Rd have opened their doors to us for this event starting at 11am Saturday and running until 5am Sunday Morning. Numerous video game consoles, plenty of tables for board games and card games, and two rooms of roleplaying games.

Donations will be collected inside the door. A minimum donation of $20 is requested to enter and play all night (Stay for the whole event or come and go as you please!). Game Master’s minimum donation / pledge is $50 and you must let me know quickly if you wish to Game Master a roleplaying game as those slots are filling up fast.

Players may pick up Pledge sheets at All Things Entertainment or print one here (http://reddirtroleplayers.weebly.com/…/283…/pledge-sheet.pdf) and ask friends, family, co-workers to sponsor you. 100% of ALL proceeds go to the Children’s Miracle Network. This is a charity event, so please ask those who do not game to sponsor you.

Door Prizes to be awarded throughout the night. You must be present to win.

So. Many. Games.

Right now, I am living the good life for an RPG enthusiast. I am running a metric butt-load* of games and playing in a few as well. Here’s a listing of what I’m doing these days.

7thSea7th Sea (Second Edition): I’ve just started a campaign of this one with a small group of friends. It’s a gem of a game with a truly unique set of mechanics aimed squarely at Rule Zero. It’s a swashbuckling game of bigger-than-life Heroes performing feats of derring-do in a world not unlike our own 17th Century Europe (though a new Kickstarter is introducing rules for an Asian-style setting as well). The campaign is called “Velvet & Steel” and features a Castillian duelist/relic hunter seeking knowledge and glory, a Vesten battle blacksmith seeking revenge, a woman of the Highland Marches, posing as a Castillian, who seeks safety and respite from the loss of love, and a Vodacce aristocrat who seeks personal freedom.

DeadlandsDeadlands (Classic): I’ve been running my wife through a Deadlands campaign set in the little town of Paiute Springs, Nevada. We’ve been having a ball. She is playing a Mad Scientist with a stubborn-streak and has been getting into all kinds of trouble. This game, set in an alternate-history “Weird West” setting in which the Civil War carries on into the 1870s, California has dropped off into the sea, and the newly-discovered element of “ghost rock” powers all manner of odd mechanical devices, is just awesome. It uses a great mechanic using playing cards to resolve various actions that makes it immersive into a setting in which card-sharp Hucksters can cast magical spells with a cut of the deck.

Dresden-Files-RPG-V1-V2The Dresden Files Roleplaying Game: I’ve also been running my wife through her own story in this awesome proto-Fate RPG based on the world of the best-selling novels by Jim Butcher. I love the storytelling aspects of the game and the use of Aspects to spur your character to action. She is playing a White Court Vampire whose powers are based on rage. It is set in Portland, OR–things just keep getting weirder there.

I am also playing in a DFRPG game in (relatively) nearby Lawton, OK. Only this group has incorporated Fate Core rules to the game. It’s also sort of a LARP/Tabletop hybrid group. It is a lot of fun and they are a great bunch of folks to play with. It get to play Dr. Charles Martin (aka “The Wandering Jew“).

Pathfinder_RPG_Core_Rulebook_coverPathfinder: I am currently running three Pathfinder campaigns and playing in one. I run one campaign for my wife, who is playing a half-elf bard by the name of Azuredee Silverthistle who wanders the world, singing songs and having adventures with her human cousin, Alys Mournbow, a Cavalier of the Shield. I also run two other campaigns for my regular gaming group (both in my home-brew world). In one, “Shadows of the Rift”, the party is a group of outcasts who have banded together as a “family” to face the world and collect fame and fortune. The other, “Rage and Raven”, a barbarian and a cleric of Imtiau (whose aspect is the raven) have banded together to seek their fortunes. That smaller group has grown to include a halfling relic hunter, a surly dwarf magus, a swashbuckler, and a summoner.

I am playing in a campaign called “It’s War!” in which I am Belamdil Greymorn, a half-elf cleric of Faeramriel, an elven goddess of mysteries, illusions, and the night-sky. I travel with my sister, Tansy (a bigger-than-life rogue), and a paladin of Glo’ir by the name of Reeve Steeltalon, trying to thwart the machinations of the Baroness (now Queen) Kricerys Vale.  It’s a blast as well.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. What about you? What are you playing? Feel free to drop a line in the comments!

*I converted to the metric system for measuring butt-loads, as opposed to the Imperial system, back in the 1990s.