Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Break Gaming

My children were out from school this week, and I also got to watch over my godchildren during this time to allow their parents to work without getting extra babysitting.  So, we put together a little game.

Our little party consisted of my children's two characters (Faun Fighter named Russel played by 6year old boy, and Phaerim MU named Jessica played by 7year old girl).  Adding to that were the new recruits, another Phaerim but this time as a Druid played by 8year old girl, and a Bisren Ranger played by a 10year old boy.  All characters were still 1st level.  I utilized supplements to help round out the party (in the skill sense) because the newcomers wanted essentially the same sorts of characters that were already in play.  Using a Druid, explaining that they were sort of nature oriented spell casters worked great for a little girl to want to play.  The older child was very excited about being big and tough as a Bisren (races taken from the supplement called "New Races" which by the way was written by me).

There was a little hesitancy to get the game going, and character creation was a tad slow.  I kept having to say "almost ready".  It helped later when I was explaining that the game involved all these aspects of play... making characters, organizing, and simply just sitting around the table to enjoy each other's company and talk about this sort of stuff.  Basically explaining that this is a social game... not just about the rolling of the dice.  Of course, the excitement level jumped when we did a little combat.

The combat began as the two warrior types entered a spooky dungeon chamber filled with bones.  The two heard noises as the skeletons, which were in pieces around the room began to shift and assemble themselves into the proper form.  The two warriors dealt with them quickly.  The spell casting girls came in later after the fight was basically over.  The next chamber had additional skeletons to deal with, including one that was an amalgamation of several skeletons.  Combat was a little more harrowing as Russel went down (I use a death's door -10hp = death mechanic - kids here after all).  Anyhow, the kids used their resources well without much prompting, moving in to save characters who were wounded and being cognizant that each had particular strengths (and overall weakness for the MU of the group).

After passing through a teleporting archway (effectively committing the characters to the further exploration of the dungeon), the group comes upon a ghost-like being.  Instead of assaulting the already battered group directly, the apparition instead summoned rats and bats (giant varieties) to attack.  It took just a little prompting, but the druid of the group quickly realized that she had an ability to utilize here (Animal Affinity, like clerical turning).  She was unsuccessful in her die roll, but it was clear that they were processing stuff about their characters and what each could do well.  A sleep spell by the MU took out the bulk of the rats/bats and the group dispatched them.  The ghostly apparition passed down into the floor to disappear (their first BBEG, big bad evil guy), which will set them up for a recurring appearance.

That wrapped up our time, and we had appointments to deal with, but I am pretty sure that little game sucked in a couple more players.  The kids just chatted away about the game and their characters... and they did not want to go home, asking to come back Friday for more (which was not on the parent's agenda).

AND... after I got home later, right after dropping off our two guests, I find a box from Lulu containing my 2 coil-bound copies of BFRPG rules!! I wish I could have had them available for the kids to browse through, but I think it will help next time around.  If I have another session of gaming and find the excitement level continues, then I think I know what Xmas gifts will be this time around.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

School Begins Again

School has begun once again, and once again we must figure out when some short sessions will be possible.  M daughter is now in second grade, and she reads avidly.  She really likes a series of books called Rainbow Magic by Daisy Meadows.  This summer she has already read portions of "The Hobbit" and another book called something like "City of Ember" which was also a movie some time ago.

My son begun Kindergarten today, and because the school he attends has an accelerated curriculum, I fully expect him to be reading moderately well by year's end.  I really believe this will make gaming this coming year much more enjoyable for all, because the rules will begin to be something they can learn on their own instead of having to be explained by me in each instance.

Anyhow, busy last few weeks otherwise as we squeezed in a visit to Las Vegas to meet with grandparents and aunts and uncles.  The kids did so well on drive to and from vacation (15 hours each way), and we had a lot of fun.  I even got a chance to see Penn & Teller at the Rio... my first Vegas Show.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Afternoon Adventure

My children and I played a little while this afternoon. Our intrepid duo made their way to a known dungeon in the nearby woods. Climbing down into the darkness, they had to decide whether to rely on the Faun's natural darkvision (30ft) or light torch. In the end they did the torch. After entering the first chamber (which I described as very scary with dripping water, spider webs, crawling bugs, and such), the pair come across their first really scary monster... a ghoul.

Anyhow, it was difficult describing the concept of undead... but they understood Zombies, so I said they were a lot like that. I made scary hiss noises and displayed my hands like claws. There were bad rolls all around, so combat lasted several rounds. On their own accord, they thought to use oil, but the bad rolls kept them from getting the ghoul lit... I applaud their thinking nonetheless. During the fight, I had to remind my daughter of her flight ability to keep out of reach... I am guessing the idea of 3rd dimension might be a little difficult for a child of 7.

Anyhow, we had fun, laughed a lot, and felt the thrill of winning against something rather tough for 1st level characters.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Schools Out, part 2

Our little adventurers resume their investigation:

Traveling further down the path, they come across a dog fighting with a large black bird. They could have helped either side, subsequently acquiring the assistance of the creature that they helped... they helped the dog. My daughter named the dog, "Brownie".

After that battle (with my daughter's MU taking 2 points of damage), they came across a young gypsy girl at her campsite. The youth sold the adventurers a lesser healing potion (1d4+1 healed per dosage). They rested at the campsite (for a little healing) and headed out again.

They had to cross a wide stream. My daughter needed a little guidance to remember that she could do short flights (a Phaerim ability), but once she realized, she quickly flew across with rope that Russel the Fighter carried. Russel could then safely swim across with the dog.

After solving that problem, the two found the location named by their town elder. A sickly dryad was there. She exclaimed that something was hurting her roots, and directed them to a small door and passage leading underground below the dryad's tree. Heading underground, the pair find a small group of giant rats that were gnawing on the dryad's roots. This was happening in the chamber where a magic ring was hidden among thousands of other rings. The battle was difficult, Brownie the dog fell after a few hits; then Jessica the Phaerim fell unconscious too. Russel finally finished off the giant rats, but he was left with a problem... he had only one healing dosage, but 2 wounded to consider. I wondered what he would do (being a 5 year old)... and he decided that he should help his friend before considering the animal. So, Brownie the dog lived a short life. My kids were a little bit sad, but understood that it was only a game and that these sort of things would occur sometimes.

Jessica the phaerim (fairy) cast her detect magic spell (that was her choice from very early on) and quickly found the correct ring among all the others. They headed back to their village where they were rewarded for their bravery. Jessica received a magic hair brush of color, that can change the color of hair brushed with command words (German words for various colors - so she will have to do some research). Russel got a magic water bottle that refills each time the stopper is replaced... minor stuff, but fun.

Very good first adventure... exploring the rules, how things like combat work, what dice to use for various things, and where to look on character sheets for bits of information. What we need to work on is remembering our abilities... and I must work on where to locate different rules within the BFRPG book itself. We go slow, often making my daughter read the rules as we come across stuff to look up.

Cheers... I am looking forward to another thrilling adventure.

News - Dark Dungeons

Head over to the Dark Dungeons website to download your copy of the Rules Compendium (BECMI) clone game, Dark Dungeons. There are also links to Lulu where print copies can be acquired.

The edition is a detailed re-working of the Dungeon & Dragons rules as presented in the various box sets from the eighties (Basic, Expert, Companion, Masters, Immortals). Best part, its free. Even the print edition is presented without any profit or commission for the author. Cheers on that.

I will still utilize my favorite Basic Fantasy Role Playing Game rules, but given the similarities, I will probably use much material from this tome as well. Nice stuff!!!

Schools Out - A little role-play this morning

I took a little time this morning to go over some character creation with my two eldest children. My daughter (7) is really on top of the role-play aspect of the game; not so sure my son (5) understands the separation yet. After choosing characters (Jessica the Phaerim MU and Russel the Faun Fighter), we did a little scenario.

While wandering about their forest village, the pair come across a goblin. The goblin seems OK and offers them a discount to purchase a silver dagger. Jessica and Russel pool their funds to purchase the dagger which neither could purchase by themselves. The goblin departs. The pair hears the town bells going off (calling all to a town meeting), and they head to the community meeting place. The Elven matriarch notifies the inhabitants of the disappearance of two individuals that she sent on an errand to retrieve a magical ring from a sacred place in the forest. Of course our intrepid pair volunteer to investigate. They are given a small map with directions.

Upon heading out of the village, the pair is surprised (by roll) and have to deal with arrows flying in their direction. That pesky goblin 'merchant' is trying to ambush them to steal back the silver dagger in order to resell it again in another village. Lucky bad rolls by the goblin keep him missing (both characters having decent dexterity/AC). Our fairy girl hides in the trees for cover, and Russel the faun starts shooting back with his light crossbow. A few misses, then a strong hit... the goblin is down, gives a last minute monologue about his intent to re-sell the dagger, then passes. My children too it in stride; I guess seeing enough parts of Lord of the Ring makes it OK for Goblins. They retrieve their original funds and make a little silver as well.

The game will resume later after some errands and piano practice.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Work Issues - continued

While my time for playing has diminished with the disappearance of my weekends, I have still been developing the odd bits here and there.

Look for the second release of the Grave Master class in the near future. Mr. Gonnerman (BFRPG originator) seems to be hard at work developing the next release of the Ye Olde Dungeoneer's Almanack... I sent him updated and more complete classes to include. I always hated the abbreviated versions found in the supplements, so I have been slowly re-writing the classes so that they can stand alone without cross referencing constantly. I submitted the update for the Druid, the Illusionist, and I intend to rewrite the Assassin, Jester, Ranger (although I prefer my version anyhow), Paladin, Barbarian. I also humbly submitted my Knight class (a version of the Cavalier) as a good addition to that tome.

Feel free to prod Chris to keep his motivation to do the projects going.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Work Issues

I have been working hard at my new job... weekends 16hrs Saturday, then again 16hrs Sunday. Nice to get full time benefits in 2 days of work, but it blows out my weekends completely.

Now I am just finishing updating my resume, and beginning to search anew for work to fill the weekdays. Tough finding work these days, even in health care. Hopefully my new licenses and having some real experience to note on applications and resume will speed the process up. If only this nearby Hospital would open up a few positions so I could get my foot in the door with them... as I could walk to work there or at least ride a bicycle instead to save on car expenses.

Anyhow, game still suffers until finances are under better control. Gotta pay the mortgage and eat first.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Official - Supplement

The races I designed for my campaign (for my children) have become an official supplement for Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. The 'official' download (if one can call such clone material official) can be located here:

In addition, a class supplement I was working on is also available. It contains an alternate Ranger, a Knight class, and a new take on some others via what I called Quasi-classes (archer, barbaric, and holy). The quasi classes are something of an add-on to the standard classes, allowing one to create things such as Archer-Fighters, Barbaric-Fighters, Holy-Fighters, as well as more unique Barbaric-Magic Users, Holy-Clerics, Archer-Thief, and more.
Open Office:

There are other fine offerings that have recently made appearances on the BFRPG site. Go to