neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
I have another D&D memory to follow up on the previous one.  Again, it was inspired by a prompt over at One Piece: Grand Line 3 Point 5: Share a story about a player character who wanted to take over an entire town or city.

In an earlier campaign than the one with the evil cleric, One of my friend's low-level paladins became the prophesied True King for a city-state that hadn't had a legitimate ruler in a long time. Instead, it was governed by a warlord with his higher level henchmen as a junta.

When the paladin reached 9th level, I had the word spread in the city that the rightful king had returned. The citizens revolted and chased the junta out of the city. The paladin then had to defend himself against the old head of the thieves guild, an evil patriarch, and an evil sorcerer, before he could face the warlord. He killed them all in single combat in their jungle lair. Good thing he had more hit points than all but the warlord, was resistant to magic because he had a holy sword, and had a better AC.

Once that was done, he was able to rule his city-state in relative peace.

neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Over at One Piece: Grand Line 3 Point 5, the campaign webcomic about One Piece, there is the most comprehensive page of links to other campaign webcomics I've ever seen.  If any of you are or were tabletop gamers, there is something for almost every taste, from Star Wars to Harry Potter to Pirates of the Caribbean in movies to anime and American Animation.  Go ahead and waste your time, if you dare.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
I've been reading two more campaign comics in addition to Darths and Droids over winter break,  One Piece: Grand Line 3.5 and Friendship is Dragons.  The writer of the One Piece comic leaves prompts in the comments for some of his strips, which got me to write some incidents from the campaign I described in Dungeons and Dragons memories almost five years ago.

The first came on page 246, where the artist requested that the readers "share a story about a flaw that... turned into an advantage of sorts."  Here's my response.

I have a story from the days before there were official flaws in D&D,* back when some people were still playing out of the original three softbound booklets plus Greyhawk and Blackmoor.

I was the DM for low-level group who was exploring a stronghold full of martial arts monks. The defenders were too much for the group, which was about to suffer a whole party wipe when one of the clerics prayed for divine intervention. I rolled the dice and the deity intervened. Unfortunately, the cleric was evil and so was his deity.

After killing the mob, the diety turned to the cleric, sent him on a quest to capture a high-level good cleric, then cursed him with a permanent stinking cloud, not to be lifted until the cleric was captured. The good news was that anything within 15 feet that could smell had to save against poison or collapse from disgust. The bad news was that this included the player characters. This eventually turned into an advantage when the party eventually all saved, which meant that only the monsters would suffer from the ill effects.

The party eventually was strong enough to go to Hell, defeat a couple of pit fiends, and capture the good cleric, who had been taken there by an arch-devil. It seems the cleric's deity wanted him for itself.


*Chaosium's games had them at the time, but not TSR's.

His second prompt was "Tell a story about how your GM or DM implemented a seemingly weird or out of place idea that a player introduced just for the hell of it" on page 256.  My response:

In the same campaign where the evil cleric called on his deity and was cursed and sent on a quest for his trouble, the other cleric in the party decided that he didn't like the leader. It was good role-playing, as the clerics served different divinities and were of different alignments, but he decided to do something about it.

He convinced me to let him contact the local thieves guild and recruit some guides for the party. He did, but he also paid them extra to backstab the leader when it the time was right. The rebel cleric also recruited a bunch of horse barbarians to ambush the party on the trail. The idea was that the guides would assassinate the leader during the ambush. He forgot one thing; he never actually role-played telling the guides about the ambush.

So when it happened, they hung back, until the horse barbarians were starting to lose, then launched their attack. I justified it by saying that they didn't want to share credit with anyone else. They didn't kill the leader, but they escaped to harass the party all the way to the end of the campaign, even following the party into Hell. That was something I would never have thought of myself.


Ah, memories.

neonvincent: From an icon made by the artists themselves (Bang)
The end notes for Episode 634
Books are important resources for gaming. You can get a game idea out of almost any book you care to name. Fiction books are pretty straightforward - you just take elements of the story, tweak them a bit to obfuscate the source, and integrate them into your game plot. But non-fiction can be equally as inspiring. Some books are fairly straightforward, while others require some imaginative interpretation:
  • Krakatoa, by Simon Winchester. Your band of pirates is preying on ships in the East Indies when a nearby island explodes!
  • Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945, by Leo Marks. You are an elite team of cryptographers in the Second World War. In between making and breaking codes, you have to run field missions to brief soldiers in new code techniques, often behind enemy lines!
  • PC Technician Street Smarts: A Real World Guide to CompTIA A+ Skills, by James Pyles. You run a small business on the streets of Tokyo, troubleshooting for desperate netrunners whose hardware develops dangerous malfunctions due to running into insidious corporate black ice in cyberspace!
  • The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White. You work for a cutting edge design firm using exotic matter to terraform asteroids into artistic statements for the gigawealthy and must face the sabotage and plots of rival designers, not to mention maintain your own media presence!
  • Victoria's Secret Catalogue, by Victoria's Secret. Your group of steampunk adventurers stumbles across a mind-blowing conspiracy in a seamy underworld bordello of shameless ankle-exposing clockwork courtesans that might destroy the very fabric of the British Empire... if you live long enough to tell it!
(And yes, be sure to end the description of your campaign idea with an exclamation mark. Research shows campaign descriptions ending with an exclamation mark are 68% more likely to excite prospective players!)
*Snork!*
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)

Original here

PhysOrg: PHD Comics hits the big screen
by Deborah Braconnier
September 16, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- If you are a graduate student, you are more than likely aware of the popular Piled Higher and Deeper, or PHD, Comics created by Jorge Cham. These comics cover the everyday struggles that scientists face while in grad school in a humorous and accurate depiction.

For the last year, grad students around the world have found themselves missing their regular comics, it now appears that creator Jorge Cham had a very good reason for the comic going MIA. He has been working with a team of grad students from California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, to create a live-action film where the characters of his comic strip come alive.
More, including a trailer, at the link.

Crossposted to [community profile] scans_daily  and random_lounge on JournalFen.

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