Thursday, September 27, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Doctor Who has sucked this year. I don't normally want to bog this blog down with reviews, but having emptied my DVR of a few past episodes over the weekend, including the truly unwatchable 'The Power of Three', I have to wonder if the stink of complacency and rotting cheese will linger over the rest of Matt Smith's time in the Big Blue Box.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
The eater of cars.
The digger of holes
Oh yes we are
Then an eat without a body
We of the wind must rejoice and speak
I'm an indigo man
I love the golden cat
From the skin of our lord
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
And the idea for Munchkin Talisman was born.
Errata (Already)!: Having an Elf follower allows you to evade enemies in the Woods and you are always safe in the Forest. It no longer grants the + to Craft.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
D&D has never been very funny, which is a little bizarre given the underlying concept. I suppose roleplayers have been too busy enduring the taunts from the mainstream to bother ridiculing it themselves.
There were a few attempts in the early going; the occasional humorous illustration or magical object, and some very funny cartoons in the old Dragon Magazines. But most deliberate attempts to be funny were at best a little limp, or at worse, puns. I can even remember a Dragon Magazine article that presented the Jester as a possible character class and went on to outline the D&D rules for a joke fight, because nothing says funny like rolling percentile dice.
But it really isn't hard to see why they avoided the issue. The main reason would be that that comedy is highly subjective. What one person might find screamingly funny might (
inspire murderous rage) be seriously off-putting to everyone else. The second is a tendency for yuks to take over a game; an SCA friend of mine once told me that his group had outlawed camp behaviour in all group events because once it starts, nothing else gets done.
But there have been some very good, and very funny RPGs: TOON, Ghostbusters, Kobolds Ate my Baby, Paranoia! (among others). So why no funny D&D clone? Or even a truly amusing supplement, adventure module?
It is not that there aren't some great examples to draw on, probably officially kicking off (in modern form) with Bored of the Rings, then to Holy Grail, Discworld and up to the gay panic fervour of Your Highness. I am not even counting the few excellent, the many good and the countless awful, on-line spoofs and parodies.
The way I see it there are three main points to stress before embarking on such an endeavour:
1 A little funny goes a long way. Not every trap has to be a black pudding pie in the face.
2 Play the characters straight. Nothing destroys funny more than a character that thinks he is being funny. Just look at the decay of 'The Big Bang Theory' from being a solid sitcom with some genuinely likeable characters, to a smug, hammy yuk-fest.
You can have a bunch of silly knights pretending that coconuts are horses; or a seven foot dwarf that joins the city watch; or an immortal god of time who flies around in a box that is bigger on the inside. The point is that no matter how absurd the situation, to the character, that is the normal.
The one straight man reacting to the absurdity works (Dick Louden in Newhard, Jeff Winger in Community), but you can't have every character pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes, cause then he's just some naked royal dude.
3 The stakes have to be real. To borrow from a film that illustrates the point perfectly, death is on the line. The Princess Bride, The Goonies, Ghostbusters and even the Holy Grail all have a basic plot that wouldn't be out of place in the most serious of films. If the characters fail, they loose their soul-mate, they loose their homes, they face Armageddon or they fail in a divinely appointed quest.
Still, you might write the funniest thing since Hamlet 2 and still not find an audience. Anyone who has ever spent any time in a forum realizes that some people take this shit way to seriously.
Any good supplements/adventures/games that I'm missing? I have read Portable Hole Full of Beer (and if you haven't, I do recommend having a look).
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Saturday, September 1, 2012
"The Hero is instantly teleported back to the center of town. All his equipment and clothing arrive ten minutes later; clean, pressed and repaired, with a bill from Xythabooluth’s Intradimensional Dry-cleaning for 2,000 shabool crystals or the souls of ten virgin Succubae."