Category Archives: Adventures in Gaming

Sometimes we get together and play an RPG.

2022: The Year That Was. 2023: Hang On To Your Dice

Like everybody else, it’s time to do that retrospective and dream about plans for the New Year.

2022: The Year That Was

There’s a lot that went on behind scenes here. First and foremost the blog had great year. About half way through the year, I stopped posting to RPG Facebook Groups just to see what would happen. Basically, I learned that it was pointless. Not only did the traffic here not decrease. It actually increased. The blog ended up with twice the traffic in 2022 than it had in 2021. I still do cross post to the blog’s Facebook page and you can follow it of there if you wish.

And speaking of social media, I deactivated my old Twitter account because the place pretty much turned into a cesspool and like Facebook, it really wasn’t doing anything other than taking up time. But then with the change in management and gut instinct that maybe things could start going better in RPG sphere’s, I want ahead and created a new account. So it’s time to rebuild that network from the ground up. And I guess we’ll see how that goes. And you follow me on Twitter over here.

So now let me talk about the “bad”. I didn’t publish a single thing last year. Nothing. Nada. Nope. I have a long list of projects there I started but never finished. And there’s no one to blame other than myself.

And on the gaming front, that went well too. While I haven’t managed to make the time or locate a good gaming group in meat space, I have had a great running a game virtually with some folks of my pre-pandemic group. Folks moved away when things got crazy but it’s good to get back in touch.

2023: Best Laid Plans

So what’s up for 2023? Lots. Hopefully not too much.

The blog is going to keep on going the way it is. My Patreon is still going to be available if you want to support the blog in a small way. I set up as sort of revolving tip jar. If enough folks demand it then I might do more but for next year I’m going to focus on building the the Locals community. I have more options than with Patreon and it’s free join in for community members. I haven’t put stuff behind the paywall yet but I might starting the really juicy bits there eventually.

Maybe return to doing some videos. Part of me hates doing it but part of me enjoys it. Of course, I’m still debating on platform. Sure, Youtube is the most popular but I’ll have a heck of hill climb with algorithms and an ever shifting content moderation and pretty much very little chance of making some beer and pizza money. Maybe Rumble. They do own Locals now so there’s some easy integration. Monetization is easier but from what I can tell there ain’t a bit of RPG content over there. But then I might do both. I dunno.

I really need to get off my ass and get some of those gaming projects done and on the street. And part of getting stuff, I still to do over to Big Geek Emporium and get started with some over there.

And finally, it’s a New Year and that means I’m starting a new campaign shortly. It’s going to be a wild ride for my players. Mash up of Hammer Horror/Warhammer Fantasy with some good old other weirdness thrown in. I’ll be kitbashing the Deathbringer rules and ICRPG. And there’s a good chance that I’ll actually get to play too. But that’s a 5E game but at least no DMing. And I have a real urge to start messing around with Lamentations of the Flame Princess again.

And with all that. Let’s get the ball rolling on this New Year.

People Skills Vs Social Skills

Ok, yeah. I know. This topic has been probably beaten to death. But I feel like taking another swing at it and throwing a couple of ideas out into the ether. Generally, when you start talking about social skills in RPG’ there are two camps. One, you must role play it out. And the other, just roll.

I’m a weirdo. I sort of fall some where in the middle. I want the player to role play it out and well say the things that the character is saying. If it’s creative enough or right no the spot then there isn’t a need to roll or they get a bonus. And sure there are times when they roll but it’s not just “I roll Persuasion.” They still have to do something. Yes, player skill. The roll and the character skill come in for those things that are hard to simulate at the table. Whether it be body language, intonation, timing, or possibly even eye contact.

And let’s face it. Gamers have reputation of not having the best people skills. Heck, you can see in that most online RPG Groups. But what about that low Charisma player with a high Charisma character. Well, those same ideas above still apply. Sure the way the player says it, it sounds don’t right creepy but the character may be a smooth talker. I view it as way to strike that happy medium between player skills and abilities and character skills and abilities.

This isn’t a super crunchy rules because it can basically work with any game system. But a down side may be what if the GM is totally lacking in people skills? Yeah, there’s a chance for that too. But if the GM lacks those skills then chances are the gaming group is going to have bigger problems than how to run social encounters.

Like this post or others? Want to see more behind the scenes rants and stuff. Want to support the blog? Check out the RPG Pig Pen on Locals or the Patreon.

And take the time to check out the video. A pretty fun song.

White Box Wednesday: You Meet In A Tavern

Yes, I know. It’s a cliche. But it works and does make a little sense. So hear me out.

The tavern of a village is going to be social and political hub of the place. It’s where the locals hang out, gossip, and bitch about the local lord or the weather. It’s where travelers like the player characters hang out. So it’s where things are happening and everyone is talking about things that already happened and things that might happen.

Whole books have written on making taverns and inns for your campaign and such detail is beyond the scope of this post but I do want to lay the seeds for some inspiration and throw an example from my current campaign.

First, what makes a tavern cool? It’s the people and off the top it should the proprietor and staff. These are folks that the PC’s will probably interact with most. So the party feels about them and vice versa is going to foretell what happens in the future. After that there’s the regulars who most locals and they’ll be other contacts for the player characters. And there’s the random rabble and hirelings. Secondly, you need a cool name. Because if you don’t the players will give it a silly nickname. Trust me. So let’s make this tavern.

Name: Pinky’s Fingers.

Proprietor: Pinky. A retired adventurer. He’s missing an eye and a few fingers. But he keeps those fingers in a pickle jar on the bar. The jar has a large label reading “DON”T EAT THE FINGERS!” Rumor is that if eat a finger in drunken bout of the munchies then you’ll have to contribute one to the jar. He displays a won long sword over the bar (It may or may not be magical) and keeps a club under the bar for less lethal solutions to drunken brawls.

Pinky: Level 5 Human Fighter (+3 Atk, SV: 10 AC: 12, HP: 15)

Primary Staff: Rosie (Pinky’s adopted daughter). Sure she wants a more exciting life than waiting on tables and working in the kitchen but she’s seen too many adventurers seek fame and fortune never to return.

Locals: Agatha: The local apothecary and healer. Close friends with Pinky.

Hirelings: Merle The Dwarf: Lean, mean and looking for a fight and to earn some gold. (0 Level Fighter).

Yes, I know these are the bares bones of characters but wait there’s two more things that you need in a tavern.

The Quest Board: It’s another staple so you might as well let it do some of the heavy lifting. Farmer is missing sheep. A bounty on bandits. Missing children. Whatever kind of trouble that you as the GM have up your sleeve.

Rumors: While the quest board is sort of the “official” adventure hooks. Rumors are adventure bait. A way to find out what interests the players. Lay the ground work for future adventures. And maybe give the players an idea about the general attitudes of the local villagers.

Like I said, it’s beyond the scope of a single post but here’s hopefully some inspiration for you.

Like this post or others? Want to see more behind the scenes rants and stuff. Want to support the blog? Check out the RPG Pig Pen on Locals or the Patreon.

White Box Wednesday: Magic, Mayhem & Murder

This one has bouncing around my brain for a while. So why not throw it out there with a little bit plan. I’ve had an idea to do some ultra-hack opus. Something fun, simple but still having enough crunch to make it have some personality. Yeah, I know. I already have plenty of projects. Heck, there’s some that I haven’t blogged about.

I know I just used that pic but it came out cool. Anyway, the working title is Magic, Mayhem, & Murder. What is it? Well, I’m going to build on the White Box chassis for rules. After that I’m going crazy. Turn off that internal censor and go nuts. I’m talking delving in dungeons, murder hoboes, chain mail bikinis, corrupted sorcerers, and crazy ass stuff. Characters life fast, and die fast. It’s all about the over the top action.

The goal is also to make this pretty much compatible with most old school adventures and supplements. Of course, what folks choose to use will determine how much of job that will be for them.

Do I have a time table? Heck no. But I do have a bit of plan. Sure over here there blog there will be the rare update. But as far design diaries and sneak peaks. Well, I’m going to put those up in the RPG Pig Pen. If you’re interested head on over there and join up for free. And, of course, you can tip and subscribe if you wish. Thanks.

Join The RPG Pig Pen!

Let’s get this party started. I finally did that Intro Video that everyone tells you to do. So just head on over and check it out. I know. Things will get better in the future.

Remember it’s free to join up. A place to kick back and have fun. Behind the scenes rants. Early announcements. Super secret house rules. Maybe a Live Stream. A may dust off a version of the podcast again. The more folks that join up, the more bandwidth for all that stuff. So I can post more stuff over there. And that means more fun.

And it’s an easy way to support the blog. I’m not to get rich. This ain’t the next Critical Role. It’s the Pig Pen. Things are down and dirty. And fun.

Roll dice. Kill Monsters. Take Their Shit. And Have Fun.