II admit that I haven’t pushed or done much with my Patreon the last few months. And I know I’ve complained about the sales tax thing. But it’s time to get over myself and dive back in.
I’ve been looking at all sorts of alternatives to Patreon and just didn’t quite anything that I liked or felt 100% comfortable with. So let’s relaunch this bad boy.
So what the hell does that have to do with YARC? Well, I have been asked if I’m going to publish it and I thought about it. And the answer is Yes and No. Right now, we’re kicking the tires and play testing and tweaking ideas. But so much of it really isn’t hard, crunchy rules. Here’s what I’ve come up with. The big plan is to do a “Basic” version that’s very much the kissing cousin of the good Basic Editions of D&D and put that up on Drivethru. The more “advanced” and crazy bits will end up on Patreon.
This doesn’t mean that YARC will be the only thing on the Patreon. I’ve got crazy stuff that didn’t make the blog. Stuff that I’ve redone from the blog. That stuff will go there to.
I’m still going to play around on Locals too. While there differences, I might have to adjust a few things. We shall see.
And while I’m not sold on restarting the Playing It Wrong Podcast. I’ve thinking about doing the occasional video as well. For that, you really need to thank Joe the Lawyer.
Just like with Patreon. I looked for a good alternative. Nothing seemed to fit the bill. Now, I may use Odysee or Rumble as a back up, I don’t know. But I know I do need to reshoot an intro video. So we’ll see what happens on that.
So what do think guys? Start up doing videos again? Keep pounding the pavement with Patreon?
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At least that’s what I’m telling myself. We’re starting the new campaign tomorrow and I still haven’t gotten the initial “how this gang of murder hobos come together” done.
Sure, they are starting with Keep on the Borderlands. It’s a classic and very customizable module. I’ve already added/altered many of the Keep’s NPC’s. Moved around, added, and spruced up most of the encounter areas in the region. Now, I’m brainstorming on where and how the party comes together.
Sure they could just meet at the tavern, at the gate, or on the road. But I also want to start with something exciting sort of in media res. And I haven’t quite come up with an idea. Maybe bandits. Or maybe goblins. I just plain haven’t decided yet. Since the players haven’t generated characters yet any planning is going to be very vague. It’s going to be an interesting party. So far from pre-game discussions, the party is starting off with a cleric, druid, and magic-user. Not sure what the final player is considering.
This is also where I start to really kick the tires and see how well my ideas for YARC are going to work out. All the previous posts have been very high level, design theory stuff. But know it’s time for the dice to meet the table and put all that into practice and see what happens.
Don’t worry, folks. I’ll keep you up to date with what’s going on and some of the fun bits of the campaign.
We wrapped our last campaign this weekend. I was running a 5E game based on the Xoth rules changes. It was a lot fun. But I did rush the end because the players were excited the next game and we had a new player waiting in the wings.
The campaign wrapped up with PC’s exploring the ruins of Atlantis and facing down the big bad. Kalia the Avatar of Yig. My original idea was for the party to head back to where it all started a face her there but to speed things up, the showdown happened in the ruins. The PC’s got the crap beaten out of them and the faithful NPC that had been with them since the beginning got killed. The fun part was the one PC. Let’s face it the player didn’t roll badly at character generation. He just didn’t roll well. The character didn’t have any really good or bad stats. Just mostly average. So there were rare instances when the character got to stand out during the rest of the campaign.
Not so in the finale. He’s the one who scrambled up the carcass of the ancient dead snake monster and grabbed the mystical dagger which was the only thing that could kill the Avatar of Yig. He’s the one who spent two rounds sneaking into position to get every advantage he could. And he’s the one who rolled that Nat 20 on the killing blow against the major villain. I couldn’t have written it better. Now on to the next thing.
What’s up for the next campaign? Well, we’re going back to basics so to speak. For rules, it’s time to really kick the tires on my YARC ideas plus throw in a few tidbits. I’ve pulled in the influence of a lot of different games as well as some crazy ideas of my own. So we will see what happens when the dice finally meet the table.
I gave them a choice of three different starting areas with only a brief description of each. They chose a place called Border Keep. I know you’re smart. You get it. And I think only one of the players does. Sure I’ve ran it about half a dozen times and each time it was different. Now, it’s time to tweak it more and head back into the Caves of Chaos.
Yes, it’s a rare Saturday post. Why? It’s Caroline Munro’s birthday. The Queen of Hammer Horror. I think it’s odd for me to do two birthday posts in one week so I decided to do Carla from Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter as a character.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much about Carla in the movie but there’s a Captain Kronos comic where the character is much more developed. I admit that I haven’t read them but like Hollywood, I’m going to let not reading the source material stop me. The internet gives me enough.
Another thing I’m going to do here is roll the character and built her according to whatever the dice decide. I’m going to assume that she’s at a level where she’s had some training by Dr. Grost so I’m doing her as 3rd level. For a class, I decided on Rouge/Bard. Decent at combat and a flexible path to use knowledge and other tricks to win the fight and stay alive. So here we go.
Carla (3rd Level Human Rogue/Bard) Alignment: Neutral
I was sitting down, relaxing, and knocking a couple of brews when I started thinking about my overall gaming style. I don’t mean genre but rather the style and tone of a campaign regardless whether it’s in space, a dungeon, or the back alleys of some city.
I came up with “Gritty Cinematic”. Sure, now and then I like grimdark and other times over-the-top action. But what really gets me going is something in between. It’s the tone of most of my campaigns, what I enjoy playing, and it’s also the tone I’m trying to put into YARC.
So let me explain my thinking. We all know grimdark. You can’t swing a stick without hitting yet another grimdark game. The “lucky” characters die horribly. Combat and action are something that really should be avoided. And characters quickly learn that there are worse fates than death. While cinematic games usually have untouchable, superhero like characters that really don’t face grisly ends and bouncs around the battlefield with impunity.
Gritty cinematic tries to land somewhere between them. Combat is dangerous. Death is a real threat. But characters are still able to push boundaries and do some pretty outstanding and heroic stuff. Sure you just slayed the Demon Lich Dragon Pyrohalitus but after a night of drunken carousing you’re found dead in an alley after getting knifed by a starving beggar.
However, doing such a tone can difficult when it comes to game mechanics. Grimdark puts an amount of frailty and ability limitations on characters while cinematic, as I said previously, makes them superheroes. I guess there isn’t one single mechanic that does it. It’s a combination of crunchy bits, metagame currency, and understanding on the players’ parts for how the whole thing works without feeling like the DM suddenly pulled the rug out from underneath the heroes.
I know I’m not offering anything really solid in this post because it’s can be a difficult to tone to manage and define. Much of it is like food. Season to taste. Or as that old saying goes, “You’ll know it when you see it.”
Keep rolling dice. Keep imagining. And keep having fun.