Dynasty Zero

Friday, April 8, 2016


We saw Batman v Superman today.  I really enjoyed it as did my boys.  The references and similarities to The Dark Knight Returns made me enjoy it even more.  Oh, and spoiler, I really enjoyed seeing Batman kick Superman's ass.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


I had to chuckle.  I've been reading the Five Year Mission supplement for White Star.  This book allows the GM to modify their campaign to emulate Star Trek.  One of the new classes included is Expendables.  Oh, those poor, poor red shirts.  The thing that made me laugh is that one of the class abilities is Noble Sacrifice.  If the expendable is within full  movement distance from a character they can throw themselves in front of that character and absorb any damage dealt.  But the Expendable takes double damage.  Fortunately, the player controls multiple Expendables and has a large supply in reserve.

Long Live the Expendable!  Oops.  Long Live the Next Expendable!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Future and the Past

I've bought two PDFs over the past several weeks.

The Future:

White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying

Yep, I did it.  Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens got me in the mood for some good old fashioned SF roleplaying.  Never mind the fact that I own WEG Star Wars (1st and 2nd edition as well as a pdf copy of REUP), Traveller, BASH! Sci Fi Edition, Thousand Suns, Tales of the Space Princess, Stars Without Number, Rogue Space, Cosmic Patrol, HardNova 2 and Star Ace.  Plus more generic games such as D6 Space and Mini Six, amongst other, even more generic games.  Nope, I needed a new game and what do you know, DriveThru was having a gm's day sale.  I've given it a read-thru and I like what I see.  It is definitely old-school with its class based, Vancian magic d20 system.  However it is open and flexible in that way that I like.  The classes have been tweaked to fit SF.  Various SF sub-genres are covered briefly with suggestions on how to modify it to better fit each sub-genre, including what classes to leave out.  It appeals to me in the same way the B/X does.  Simple, yet with many possibilities.

The Past:

Blood & Bronze

Oh, I was excited about this one.  An RPG set in a fantasy bronze age version of Mesopotamia.  So, cool! I have been thinking about getting Valley of the Pharaohs but haven't pulled the trigger yet.  And I thought this would be cooler.  Well, I'm disappointed.  The book has evocative art but let me down in other ways.  First, the way the material was presented seemed a illogical and confusing to me.  Concepts were referred to but not explained until later and then sometimes not very clearly.  The system itself seems ok.  It relies on d6s, count successes, for combat and skill checks and a d20 for saving throws.  It also has a simple skill system with each skilled based on one of the six attributes, which go no higher than 12 for most characters.  It has a setting section that was interesting but seemed really sparse to me.  And no included adventures.  Overall, where White Star sparked my imagination, Blood & Bronze just let my sit there listlessly.  Which is a shame for an ancient history guy like me because I was so looking forward to a pseudo-historical game tailored specifically for the Bronze Age.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Belated Thank You

I have been very remiss.  In January I received a package in the mail that contained a copy of the outstanding  Creature Compendium by +Richard LeBlanc, published by New Big Dragon Games.  You see, I had entered a Christmas drawing at Richard's blog Save Vs. Dragon.  And because I never win anything, I had completely forgotten about it.  Well, Richard contacted me to make sure I knew that I had won.  I was pretty excited.  A few weeks later, I had the book in my hands.  And it is a pretty cool book.  It contains a large variety of new and strange creatures for your old school campaigns.  The best part is that he included stats for both Oe/1e and my preferred BX.

So, thank you Richard.  Though I am late I much appreciate the prize.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I finally got to see it.  And in a word:  Excellent.

Slightly predictable, action filled and filled me with an incredible sense of nostalgia.  I won't spoil anything for the two of you out there who haven't seen.  The movie rushed along with the same pace as the original and I appreciated that and the sense of wonder it invoked.  Also, as I explained to my son, I have known these characters since I was 9 years old.  I grew up with them and even when they weren't in the forefront of my psyche they were always there.  I think this movie did justice to them and stayed true to their essence.  The new characters grew on me quickly and I began to care about them before long, too.  To me it was an excellent movie going experience.  One that took me back to my youth yet moved me forward at the same time.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Goodie

I received, much to my delight, a hardcopy of Beasts & Barbarians for Christmas.  I like!  I hope I get to put it to use soon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Would You Like a Little Salt With That?

An unfortunate truth is that I rarely play the games that I love, or any others.  There is always something going on.  I'm tired from work or I get off to late.  I don't have a day off.  My gaming group (i.e. my two boys) has homework to do or they are playing video games.  Video games are actually a biggie.  It's hard to compete with video games.  So, I was thinking of ways to actually get them to play as well as minimize prep time for me.  I have also been looking at Mazes & Minotaurs again lately.  The Bronze Age calls to me.  So, I had an idea.....

It's not a new idea for me but I like it.  I think I will run a saltbox campaign.  Here's the setup.  (Though I originally thought of this for Mazes & Minotaurs, I may end up changing systems.)

Ten years ago the king of Thena established a colony across the wine-dark sea.  He chose a leader who founded it on the northern coast of the Umbrian Sea to the east of Umbria.  Though the colony is politically independent, it has maintained ties, particularly commercial ties, to Thena and the king.  However, no ships arrived during last year's sailing season and the king is concerned.  So he decides to send one of his trusted nobles to investigate.  The characters are part of the noble's party.  What role they play depends on the class they pick.  A spearman could be one of the ten soldiers the king sent for the leader to command.  A noble could be the companion and assistant to the leader.  A barbarian noble would be the noble's bodyguard.  A priest or sorcerer could be the nobles secretary and be used as a supernatural assistance.  And I don't think either of the boys would choose a nymph to play.  The noble is also given the use of a pentekonter and its crew.  Interesting NPCs could include the captain and first mate, certain crew members of dubious worth, etc.

Minoan Town Fresco, Akrotiri, Thera.After they set off on their voyage they are soon struck by a vicious storm.  (What caused the storm?  Was it completely natural or has the expedition somehow offended a god?  Perhaps someone skimped on the sacrafices?  They survive the two day storm intact but now have no idea of their position.  The will soon stop at an island, either by choice or because of short supplies.  And the adventure begins.  Each session could consist of a different island and a different challenge.  If I run out of inspiration I can always use the random island generator in M&M or the one in Agon.  Then, after several adventures or sooner if they lose interest they can finally reach their destination and have to deal with what ever is going on there.  Perhaps the Umbrians took umbrage at the colony's presence.  Or a roving band of northern barbarians are attacking the city.  Or some supernatural force is affecting them.  Or stasis has taken hold because of feuding factions.  There are any number of possibilities.

What do you think?  Any suggestions or criticisms?