Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hair VS. Lionheart


* = WARNING, GAMING INTENSIVE!

I know, I know another Blog? Well I find my brain afire with ideas, so let me attack these in a way that I can later come back to them for perusal and get some possible feedback from the few, the proud, the bored, those that read this crap.

So I’ve been thinking about Wrath Of Ashardalon/Castle Ravenloft since the new game hits shelves in less than a month, in fact in like 19 days. There was an ‘unboxing’ last night on Critical Hits which has done nothing but add fuel to my fire to get my grubby paws on this extension to C.R.
- Unboxing - http://critical-hits.com/2011/01/26/unboxing-wrath-of-ashardalon-dd-board-game/
See I do have those three modules I worked up for my D&D Crawl game that would be sort of easy to ‘port’ to the C.R. System, but they also have enough detail that I could easily use them for the new D&D Campaign. So I’m a tad torn on what to do there. In addition it’s not a secret that I think I have something good in the Domains Of Dread: Lamordia thing I’ve been messing with that I posted yesterday. Last, but certainly not least, I have a high amount of reverence and love for some of the older modules, especially the tremendous Expedition To The Barrier Peaks! So I’m really just trying to figure out how and what I’d like to do with this lovely toolbox WoTC has dropped in our laps.

I think I might be a bit of an impasse because I need some assistance. I need a cohort, a co-conspirator, a creative ally. Currently I don’t have one. It’s strange to realize you need someone to edit you ideas so they don’t become this living, breathing entity that overrides any restraint of creativity. I need that, because otherwise it’s the inmates running my imaginary asylum.

Speaking of which Saturday is Issue #2 of the Twin Cities Marvel SAGA Campaign and the roll call has the chance to be significantly different. I know that barring an act of Gawd Joe K, aka Work Joe, will be there. Woody has threatened to attend. And Mighty Mike has at least one friend who is very interested. That means the group size could effectively double. I’ve had a lot of time to think about the direction I want to steer the group towards, but I’m not internally debating some villain options, so how about I throw out some names, both real Marvel characters & one’s that have been created for the campaign, and anyone reading this should vote for who they would like to see battle The Protectors;
o Dr. Hemorrhage
o Madman
o The Undead Don, Frank E. Stein
o Compu-Mobster 2000
o The Circus Of Crime
o 8Ball
o Madcap
o Tyrantosaurus X
o Xmnu, The Titan
o The Mole Man
o Killer Shrike
o The Peacenick
o The World Crime League
I think there are some fun choices there, so if you think one or more sounds like a ‘solid’ pick please let me know. I’m also debating about how intrusive the Marvel Civil War event will be on the characters. I’m thinking about keeping them on the peripheral, but at the same time emphasizing the drastic changes to the status quo by having secondary Marvel characters play a larger role in The Protector’s lives. I want there to be a moral question about Super Hero Registration. Unfortunately I feel like that’s where the story itself failed, and with Mark Millar at the helm it wasn’t a surprise. It was too much of whose side are you on; Cap or Iron Man. There wasn’t enough of an equal viewpoint. Marvel hung Tony Stark out to dry as a jack booted fascist thug hiding behind the fa├žade of a ‘futurist’. All the while Steve Rogers was simply the American Icon standing up for personal freedom. The actual issue isn’t as black and white as that, and I’m hoping to tap into that. Additionally, Annihilation (Infinite *’s out of 5) is one of my favorite Marvel stories of the last five to ten years SO I’m trying to find an effective way to have the characters become embroiled in that without forcing them. I have a wisp of an idea, but it has yet to germinate and grow into anything more.

The fun has been in building the mythology for the characters to barrel through. Saturday night will be the first real test if I can get that to stand up to scrutiny. I know the players are invested in their back stories, now I just need to find a way to get them invested in some enemies, to a personal calling, while pressing the agenda that they are characters that ‘Should Not Exist’. I know the big broad strokes, now I need to concentrate on the small adventure orientated ones, Saturday will be a good barometer of how it’s going.

Which brings us to the next thing on my gaming horizon, the D&D Campaign relaunch in March. I liked the world that was built during the last campaign; in fact I like it SO much that I don’t want to be rid of it. All that being said, I don’t want to bog the players down into a quagmire of information, which is what I did, in my opinion, last game.

I’ve decided to keep the world. After careful consideration though I’m moving the timeline up 100 years. The former players have the option of playing decedents of their original characters, or they can ignore them. I think having a thread to the past could be cool for say Cassandra who really liked her character but for Joe K., he only played his Halfling Warden once, might not have that sort of investment. The other thing to keep in mind is the characters did NOT get to their big goal of confronting Pasha Bathes-In-Blood from pulling the Sea Of Sand into Yeenoghu portion of the Abyss. So there should be, and will be drastic consequences for that. I’m thinking that the Empire Of Erom is gone; it’s been pulled into the Abyss. The continent shattered and now the Empire of Eton is a separate continent, and the Jade Lands to the East were shattered into hundreds of tiny island states in a vast sea leading to the Eastern Ocean. The Teeth Of Gruumsh Mountains have expanded now in the geological upheaval through the Midlands, separating it from the North.

My idea is to have the characters starting at a young age, 14 to 16, in a smaller and isolated village at the steppes of the mountain range. The further you ascend into the range the more it becomes difficult terrain and unforgiving weather. In these upper regions you have Savage Orcs, raiding groups of Gnolls, and maybe a dragon. Just south of the village, just south of the range itself is a teeming jungle. The Jungle would be a ‘Lost World’ environment with Lizardmen at war with the Yuan-Ti. While to the west there is still the marsh, home to Aberrations galore along with the three hags and their son. The of course is the Chaos Scar and all that entails, and finally, the Bleak Tower and the Iron Mage within. That is MORE than enough for a campaign since it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what I want to do with the Shadowfell, the Feywild, The Far Realm, and the Underdark.

None of this even touches the various cult activities, the use of those gorgeous Confrontation Wolf men, and the various evils of men I want to employ. In fact there is a high chance that some of the nastiest enemies I’ll use will be human.

In a series of e-mails with some D&D pals I’ve been discussing the tone of the setting. I think in my last campaign I did a poor job illustrating the difference, the alien nature of non-humans. I need to crank that up. I need Orc and Goblinoid tribes to behave differently from not only each other, but also the demon worshipping Gnolls. When characters descend into the Underdark they should be terrified. Dying there is maybe the best option next to escape. Becoming food or a thrall to an Illithid is a fate worse than death, not to mention what would happen if a character fell into the clutches of the Derro, Duergar, or the Drow. When it comes to undead I need to crank up the fear factor, maybe making a Saving Throw necessary when dealing with say Zombies. Oh, and yes Heidi there WILL BE ZOMBIES! When the Ghouls show up I need to concentrate on their speed and all consuming hunger. I have to personalize the beasts, give them personality and flair.

The initial idea is to have the characters deal with some issues in their general vicinity affecting their village, their peers, their family, etc. I can easily put the three ‘modules’ from the D&D Crawl into this timeframe. The Pig Faced Orc push out of the Teeth Of Gruumsh, the Asylum in the south could be a destination, and castle in the Shadowfell still holds Bareal’s Blade. They all still work. I’m also really inspired by Zak from the Playing D&D with Pornstars blog & James from Grognardia to use some more bizarre elements. Maybe the potential planetary travel, crashed ships, lost technology, etc. I just haven’t figured that out yet, I haven’t figured how far from the centrist D&D approach I want to veer.

I’m sure by now your bored so how ‘bout some

RANDOM CRAP!

- I’m really looking forward to Sean’s 4 Bean Chili. In fact I’m contemplating making two batches. One for the gaming, and one for later.
- World Works Games Terraclips sets are now close to being released. I need to find $150.00 post haste to spend.
- I’m thinking of throwing together a random dungeon tile table to use in C.R. so I can then incorporate all my random D&D Tiles. I’d just need to settle on a set to use for an adventure, get a set amount of tiles, & then put together the table. Sounds easy enough.
- I know this is gaming heavy, but I also need to start gluing again soon. I was doing well last week, and now I’ve backed off.
- Speaking of backing off I also need to start painting again.

I think I’ve done enough damage to the Interwebs for today…

“I got bitten by a radioactive bug
I tried an experimental drug
I went out for a stroll on a gamma testing range
I found an enchanted Uru cane

I made a serum that made me small
I modified the serum so it would make me tall
I got radioactive isotope in my eye
A dying alien helped me accessorize

I gained the proportionate strength of a spider
Now I'm invincible and I can fly
I lost my sight and my other
senses were heightened
I'm gonna put on my pajamas and go fight crime

Now I'm a super hero (now I am a)
I'm a super hero now (super hero)
Now I'm a super hero (I'm a super)
I got my super powers (hero now)

My best friend and my
girlfriend (and her brother) went into space
Who'da thought we'd get bombarded by cosmic rays
It turns out I'm the last of a powerful alien race
My mother formed me from a lump of magic clay
I'm given super powers by a yellow sun
I studied under the Ancient One

I got an adamantium skeleton
Some grizzled old wizard
taught me a magic acronym
Now I got the wisdom of Solomon
And the Strength of Hercules
I have memorized what "AZAM" was
But I still fight evil in my red pajamas

Now I'm a super hero (now I am a)
I'm a super hero now (super hero)
Now I'm a super hero (I'm a super)
I got my super powers (hero now)

I gotta get me a helicopter
And you can get a jet plane
We'll take out their surveillance tower
We can make up code names

And when you get home at the end of your day
I'll pack your parachute and put away
Your utility belt and gas grenades
You were never meant to see

I showed you my secret identity
I suppose that I could always hypnotize you
If I wanted to
But I propose another thing
You can wear my decoder ring
We can have matching hovercraft
We can go undercover

After all we might just fall
like stars from the sky
You know too but I know you
you won't be happy til you try
Super hero team-up

Cowboy secret space detective true love

Super villain two-in-one
The bad guys have taken over Washington
Don't be scared cause I'm prepared
There's an emergency but I'm ready
Cause fortunately I'm a super hero too
I got super powers just like you

Now I'm a super hero
Now I'm a super hero
Now I'm a super hero
I got my...”



* = See! Wouldn't you want to save this from the Anihilation Wave?

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