Dynasty Zero

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?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Happy Holidays and a Christmas Gift to Myself

Morgansfort, Heroes & Other Worlds Edition

Happy Holidays to all!

I purchased a couple of presents for myself and I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival.  I bought myself a hard-copy of Far Trek, C.R. Brandon's homage to a seminal t.v. series.  He's only made them available in print twice so I'm glad I managed to get it this time.  I also grabbed Mr. Brandon's conversion of Morgansfort for his HOW system.  I'm excited to have a playground and starting point for HOW.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Conan Inspiration (Non-Howard)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3a/Conan_of_the_Isles.jpgI haven't read Conan of the Isles in about 35 years.  And I believe I only read it the once.  Frankly, other than a very rough outline I've forgotten most of it.  Except one scene.  After abdicating the throne of Aquilonia in favor of his son Conan heads west with the goal of sailing across the ocean.  Why?  I can't really remember.  But he does.  Anyways, he's in a port city trying to raise a crew under his old nom de piracy, Amra, when a swordsman with a rapier attacks him using a fencing style.  Upon being attacked Conan whips out his broadsword and begins fencing too!  Parry and thrust with a broadsword!  The swordsman eventually begins to tire.  In desperation he draws a dagger and throws it at Conan.  Conan, without blinking an eye, catches it left handed!  Then throws it back, burying the blade in the swordsman's throat!  So badass!  This is one of those scenes that lives on in my imagination and inspires my love sword & sorcery.  
And hey, maybe someone can help me with this.  I seem to remember an illustration that shows Conan fighting with a broadsword that is so old and had been sharpened so many times that everything from the ricasso to the tip were significantly worn down.  I'm associating the illustration with this book.  Does it ring a bell?  Or is it just my faulty memory at work again.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Grit the Barbarian (Dragon Warriors)

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-i0WVLr5gyu8/Tw4DB6Yj8SI/AAAAAAAAAHk/eHXYjS4btJ4/s1600/Dragon+Warriors+combat.jpgLife on the Mercanian Coast is hard, particularly the winters.  Grith grew up with this reality.  The tall, blond warrior's childhood was spent helping his father scratch a living from poor soil of their small farm.  As well as teaching Grith how to farm, his father taught him how to fight.  From the start Grith was better at fighting.  Then, during Grith's 17th winter, disaster struck.  Folks called that winter the Frostburn.  It was the harshest winter in living memory.  It was also the winter that the Wasting Plague hit Grith's village and nearly wiped it out.  Grith's entire family died save for one younger sister.  Grith attempted to keep the farm going but not having the natural skill of his father, he failed.  Despairing, Grith arranged his sister's marriage to the local jarl's youngest son using the farm as dowry.  With her future assured, Grith took the only option left to the free man.  He joined the crew of a longboat on a raiding expedition.

Grith excelled at the life of an adventurer.  After a few raiding seasons he had amassed enough booty to buy a nice farm in Thuland.  The more fertile land and with hired workers, Grith was more successful this time.  However, the mundane life of a farmer bored him.  Adventure kept calling and he answered.  He rented the farm to his workers and took up raiding and adventuring again.


Strength 15
Reflexes 13
Intelligence 9
Psychic Talent 7
Looks 12

Attack 15 Defence 7
Magical Attack 0 Magical Defence 2
Armor Factor 3
Evasion 6
Stealth 13 Perception 5

Skills:  Track, Berserk, Ride Warhorse

Equipment:  Two-Handed Sword, Mail Armor

Health Points 11