Archive for January, 2015

PFBB Skald

January 26, 2015

Skald - HakonHere’s the Skald hybrid class conversion for Pathfinder Beginner Box.

Please let me know if you notice any errors or have any questions.  Cheers!

The Montporte Mega-Dungeon

January 22, 2015

I’ve been reading the session reports for Ken “Rusty” H’s Montporte mega-dungeon with interest of late.  Though I’m a fan of ‘old school’ gaming, I’ve never been a huge fan of old school mega-dungeons.  I’ve always imagined them to be rather monotonous slogs through bland dungeon environments, running into random assortments of monsters with little rhyme or reason.  The Montporte dungeon has disabused me of this notion.

This is level 1 after session 5.  C's and D's represent unexplored corridors and doors.

This is level 1 after session 5. C’s and D’s represent unexplored corridors and doors.

I recommend reading the session reports in order, for it will allow you to discover and explore the dungeon through the player’s eyes.  And this, in turn, gives a GM good insight into how you should actually go about designing a mega-dungeon.  I’ve found reading the Monteporte session reports to be a more useful guide on mega-dungeon design than reading a dozen or more ‘how-to’ articles on the subject.  It’s one thing to say your mega-dungeon should have a history, but quite another to see that history unfold as the players discover it.  Likewise with dungeon factions, as the party gradually discovers and interacts with the dungeon’s various factions.

This is level 1 after session 10.  It keeps going!  Btw, each square equals 5 feet.

This is level 1 after session 10. It keeps going! Btw, each square equals 5 feet.

One thing in particular I’ve noticed, is that the Monteporte dungeon doesn’t have all that many small rooms.  Rather than a mind-numbing warren of interconnected 10×10 rooms, we get vast, industrial-sized chambers.  Which perhaps is appropriate considering Monteporte’s staggering scale…it may be more accurate to call it a giga-dungeon.

And level 1 after session 15.  There are at least three more levels.  Montporte dungeon is huge!

And level 1 after session 15. There are at least three more levels. Montporte dungeon is huge!

Needless to say, I’m now excited about running a mega-dungeon campaign of my own.  Though I’m thinking something post-apocalyptic rather than fantasy.  Supposedly the Soviets built a number of self-contained, underground cities in the event of WW3, capable of housing tens of thousands of people.  Sounds like an interesting setting for a post-apoc mega-dungeon.  Guess I’ll just add it to the list of all the other types of games I’d like to run someday. 🙂


PFBB Shaman

January 12, 2015

Shaman - ShardraHere’s the Shaman class conversion for Pathfinder Beginner Box.  Let me know if you have any questions or notice any errors.  Cheers!

  • PFBB Shaman (typo corrected 4/9/2015, after 303 downloads)

FTL: Faster Than Light

January 8, 2015

ftlgameJust a quick post to highlight a game I recently discovered: FTL.  FTL is a rogue-like game of space exploration.  You start with a basic ship and a small crew, and you’re trying to carry vital information to the Federation fleet, staying one step ahead of the rebel fleet.  As you explore the randomly generated galaxy, you encounter other ships to fight, space spiders, asteroid fields, pirates, rebels, ships in distress, solar flares, plasma storms, nebulas and more.  You’ll acquire resources which you can use to upgrade your ship, hire new crewmembers and install new weapons and ship systems.

In battles you manage power systems, assign crew members to various stations, fight off boarders (or launch boarding actions of your own), repair damage, put out fires, target specific enemy systems and play with fun toys like mind control, teleporters, drones and the like.

For a fairly simple game, you have a lot of options.  If your ship catches fire, you can send crew members to put the fire out, or open the ships doors to vent the oxygen to space.  For that matter, you can suffocate enemy boarders, too.  Want to minimize damage to your ship?  Try targeting enemy weapon controls first.  Does the enemy have a lot of shields?  Try targeting your missiles at their shield control (missiles bypass shields).  Running short of missiles?  Just divert power from your launchers and finish off the enemy with lasers.  It sounds like a complicated game, but the controls are actually fairly intuitive.  You can also pause the action and any time to consider your options and plan accordingly.

As a rogue-like game, there is a high degree of randomness to it, which contributes to the game’s difficulty.  In fact, sometimes it can just seem downright unfair.  And it is a very difficult game, even on easy mode.  I’ve only finished FTL once, on easy; when I tried “normal” difficulty, the game was downright murderous.  So, if you’re not a fan of rogue-like games, FTL probably isn’t for you.

If you’re interested the game is available on Steam (there’s also an Ipad version).  If you’re patient, it frequently goes on sale on Steam (up to 80% off sometimes) so keep your eyes peeled.

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