Monday, January 14, 2013


It has been a while since I last posted to this blog and many things have prevented me from doing so.  that being said, I hope to have reached a period of stability in my life that will allow me to post more frequently.

Since my last post, I have discovered Google Plus (  and the Google + Communities located there.  If you haven't checked uot Google + lately, you really should!  They have made many changes that make it much more pleasant to use than Facebook.  Some of the communities that I have discovered there are:
  • Swords and Wizardry Discussion
  • AD&D
  • Fans of Frog God Games
  • Savage Worlds
  • GT Tabletop group
  • OSR
  • Pen & Paper Bloggers
I posted to the Pen and Paper Bloggers community that I was initially hesitant in starting this blog, due to the fact that I was self conscious about posting my writing.  I have read many other blogs and am impressed with their writing skills.  I decided to continue on and create one to help open a creative avenue in my life.  I feel that I am not very creative and am more of a technically minded.  I hope to be able to become more creative and a better writier at the same time.

I have also discovered several RPG podcasts, especially Roll for Inititive.  They focus solely on First Edition AD&D and is quite and interesting.  I would recommend any and all to listen to their show.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Appendix N & the OSR Revolution, Part 1

I remember hearing of a story about a father who said that if he wanted grass on his grave,then he might as well be buried in a field. He died in an automobile accident and his son took those words to heart. For many years he tended his father’s grave site and meticulously removed all traces of grass, and did so until he was too weak to continue. I wonder if his father actually wished to have his son do this for 50+ years, or if it was just an off the cuff remark? I wonder what words I have said or will say to my kids that might carry as much weight was the ones mentioned earlier.

Goodman Games has crafted and entire RPG (Dungeon Crawl Classics) around the words that Gary Gygax wrote in Appendix N of his First Edition Dungeon Masters Guide (DMG). Gary Gygax stated that he utilized multiple books as a background for Dungeons and Dragons and lists them in Appendix N. I would say that a majority of these books follow the sword and sorcery or low fantasy genre, even though The Lord of The Rings is listed as a source, which I consider high fantasy. I have not read many of the books on this list and most likely never will.

I saw on the Goodman Games forum a listing of people who are trying to get every book listed in Appendix N and are even posting pictures of their collections, much to the envy of other readers. There’s even a new line of adventure modules called, Appendix N Adventures. I have read the Dungeon Crawl Classics beta rules and think that the game would be fun to play, but I wonder if Gary Gygax realized just how much weight his written words would have on the world almost 34 years later?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Water bears

I am learning as much as I can about wastewater microbiology in preperation for State of Maine Class 5 wastewater exam.  I am preparing for this test, even though I have at least a year and a half before I can even sit for it.  Most people fail this test at least once, some fail it multiple times before they finally pass it.  I want to be able to say that I passed it the first time (did I just jinx myself?). 

The water bear is one of the higher forms of life that can be observed during a microscope examination of mixed liquor in an activated sludge plant.  I am intrigued by this little bugger, as are my kids.  I saw this neat poster by Alex Chitty on the blog the small science collective and wanted to post it here.  Here's the web address for the blog and post. 

Titles of posts

I was thinking of having titles for the different types of post that I plan on creating.  Topics would cover everything from RPGs, to waste or drinking water, and even some personal stuff.  Here's a list of 10 different types of posts that I would want to have. 
  1. Character corner
  2. Torn from the rules
  3. From the pages of Dragon magazine
  4. Notable Notions (from other blogs) Pragmatic plagiarism
  5. Featured creatures
  6. RPGs in the spotlight
  7. Smells like sludge, tastes like shit
  8. Adventure adoration
  9. Miscellaneous mumblings
  10. My house rules!
What do you think of this type of format?

Monsters as player characters

One of the things that intrigued me with 3.5 were the rules dealing with PC's being able to play races other than the standard vanilla ones. You wanna play a Kobold Magic User, O.K.. How about a Hobgoblin Ranger or an Orcish Thief, no problem. I thought that this was the first time that the idea of monster races as PCs had been presented in an official, canonic way, via a rulebook: I was wrong.

Page 21 of the First Edition Dungeon Masters Guide has a section titled The monster as a player character. Gary Gygax stated that Dungeon Masters were “on their own” with regards to monsters as player characters. He thought that there was the impossibility of any lasting success for a monster PC. He thought that it was most logical to play a humanocentric as we were human and would be “most desirous and capable of identifying with”. He thought that most upper level leaders would be human, as they have no upper level limits. Also men would want to bring ruin upon monster PCs. I suppose it is true that if a Kobold was walking around a town, especially a frontier town, dressed in armor and carrying weapons, that he would most likely be attacked by the town militia. In any campaign that I have ever ran or played, a Gnome would be as close to a monster that a PC could play. Here's some text from the d20 SRD explaining how 3.5 deals with this topic.

“While every monster has the statistics that a player would need to play the creature as a character, most monsters are not suitable as PCs. Creatures who have an Intelligence score of 2 or lower, who have no way to communicate, or who are so different from other PCs that they disrupt the campaign should not be used. Some creatures have strange innate abilities or great physical power, and thus are questionable at best as characters (except in high-level campaigns). Monsters suitable for play have a level adjustment given in their statistics. Add a monster’s level adjustment to its Humanoids and Class Levels to get the creature’s effective character level, or ECL. Effectively, monsters with a level adjustment become multiclass character when they take class levels. A creature’s “monster class” is always a favored class, and the creature never takes XP penalties for having it”.

Other games such as GURPS Fantasy Folk have rules for playing 24 races other than human. Some of these races are quite monstrous, like Centaurs or Fishmen, but a majority of the races described are the standard fantasy genre types like dwarves and haflings. There is a very nice section dealing with creating your own monstrous PC races, which makes this supplement worth picking up.

I hope to continue to find other interesting topics as I re-read the First Edition rulebooks.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I am still here

I am still here and haven't quit!  This month has been crazy with 4 birthdays, sick kids, and I have had to work 14 days straight.  I am working on new material to post and hope to be able to do it next week.