Friday, 20 April 2012

Go Vote for Someone .. Anyone ... at Site of the Year

Stuffer Shack is holding their annual Site of the Year contest. This is a great opportunity to visit Stuffer Shack, (go for the vote, stay for the awesome!) but there are 30+ blogs up for this award and they have some fantastic content to check out.

Click the badge here and check out today's featured blogs and their "good read" articles showcasing some of their best work. It's worth the trip right there. And after that, throw some votes out there and show your support to me or anyone you deem worthy.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Abuse the Rules

The best way to play Dungeons and Dragons is to abuse the rules. Min/max. Be a rules lawyer. There, I've said it. We're all thinking it, but no one wants to tell the truth. I mean, sure, you could spend your time "role playing", or you could kick someone's butt. The only thing good roleplaying did was let you perform an eloquent soliloquy when that frost giant turned you into a bard-sicle. Ok, well that was sort of fun. True fact- there was a 2E bard kit that gave you the special "ability" to perform a minute long monologue when you reached 0 hit points:
This mad beast escaped from a wizard's zoo.
Oh, Purple Worm, what did I do to you?
You thought'd be droll,
you swallowed me whole.
Now I'm reincarnated as your poo.

Back in the old days, when adventurers were true men and women and the life aspiration of an orc was protecting the sacred boundaries of their 10' x 10' room, we were all min-maxers. And that's how we liked it. And you should, too.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Rising Tensions (Part 4) - Settlers of Catan

OK, wow. That was a vacation away from the blog much longer than I expected. But now, I'm finally through the first four books of Game of Thrones (with a little detour to read Divergent) and my new Dragon Age campaign is well underway. So I'll take a break from burst reading to deal with the rest of life. So for all my hundreds of fans  all my dozens of fans  my fan, (hi Mom!) let's get back to what's really important- games about make believe.

Alright, what was I writing about - oh yeah. Building tension. Look at that- it's right in the title and everything. So far, we can build a good encounter to build up tension, but over the course of the adventure, we're still stuck with just a string of encounters. If we're lucky, the last one will be exciting if everyone's resources are exactly where I expect them to be.

So this week, I'm looking at Settlers of Catan and what I can use to make my adventures as a whole better. Settlers of Catan is the go-to game for anyone starting to dabble with board games outside of Risk, Monopoly and Candyland. It's the poster boy for euro games. Going on nearly 20 years of popularity, Settlers of Catan is responsible for many of the current day board game enthusiasts.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Rising Tensions (Part 3) - Fluxx

Many RPGs depend on resource depletion as a method for setting difficulty and increasing tension in the game. In Dungeons and Dragons, this has long been true and the latest editions have made resource depletion a core element of the game. Healing surges, action points, milestones and daily powers are all methods of handling resources in your game.

As your adventure progresses, the combats are meant to wear down the party to the point where the final battle will be more challenging. The issue here, as pointed out in part 1 of this series, is that earlier encounters are often less challenging because of this. If the earlier encounter is too difficult, more resources are used and it makes the final encounter tougher than expected . If the earlier encounter is too easy, then that earlier encounter does not provide a challenge and the players don't have as much fun.

In times like these, we need to pull out a little card game called Fluxx.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Rising Tensions (Part 2) - Hangman

For those truly exciting moments in your game, a healthy dose of tension is required. That racing heart, sweaty palms and holding your breath tension as you send your d20 skidding across the table hoping for that magical roll to save your character's life.

And when the d20 stops and the groans or the cheers rise up from the table, the DMs job is not done.The end is near. So very near.  But how you tackle the end is as important as everything else you've done so far.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Who? Me?

After needing most of the last month off to deal with the non-stop partying, gift buying, relative visiting extravaganza, Quirky DM is now ready to keep going in 2012. And what a way to start off the year. Look over to your right. I mean, on the computer screen, not in your house. There's a nifty little badge over there from Stuffer Shack, a blog I follow and highly recommend. For January, Stuffer Shack has named Quirky DM as the Favorite Site of the Month!

There's a post here talking all about it. This blog entry is just me being extremely giddy about being included in the Favorite Site of the Month club, as the other favorite sites over the the past months have been pretty great. Tomorrow, I'll be back to a regular schedule again and see if I can live up to the expectations Tourq has placed on me. :)

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Rising Tensions (Part 1) - Jenga

The Alexadrian was talking about Dread, a horror RPG with a unique mechanic. The resolution system is a Jenga tower. You want to do something tough, you pull out a brick. The tougher the action, the more bricks you need to pull out to succeed. As the game went on, the tension steadily increased as the Jenga tower became more unstable and every pull became more difficult. If the tower fell, you failed; this usually resulted in your character dying a particularly horrible death. For an analogy to a horror movie, that's great.

The game had issues, though, after the tower fell. In the case of Dread, the tower is reset to its starting position. The tension is reset to 0 and it takes a long time before the game starts making your heart race again.

While I can't speak authoritatively on Dread, tension and pacing are factors to be concerned about in your typical D&D game. And in 4E, you need to worry about those more than ever before.