Wednesday, April 1, 2020

127 El Cid with Aonghais of Kirby's Kids

Listen to the show!

El Cid is a Spanish folk hero and a great comic by writer Budd Lewis and artist Gonzalo Mayo. It appeared in Eerie magazine.

Aonghais put up great show notes and a few visuals here:

Thursday, March 19, 2020

126 High, Low, I Don't Know!

Listen to the show.

  • More High / Low Fantasy in response to a call-in from Joe Richter of Hindsightless
  • Barney from Loco Ludus
  • I ramble about style, semiotics, and other shit. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

125 A Veritable Grab Bag

Listen to episode 125

Roll20 Macros:
  • When in the Roll20 game environment look for the macros tab (right top, 2nd from right icon). 
  • Add one and name it something simple. Make sure your bottom menu bar for macros is turned on and that you check the box so that your macro shows there. 
  • Let's start with a simple one called #hammer. (The hashtag is added automatically to the name of the macro). I'm putting the actual macro you type in italics.
  • Anaxagoras swings his war hammer, to hit [[(1d20+1)]], dealing [[1d6+1]] damage. This means whenever you tap hammer you get something like "Anaxagoras swings his war hammer, to-hit [17], dealing [4] damage. (The numbers show up in little boxes, which is why I put in the brackets. Also, critical rolls are bordered green while rolls of a nat 1 are bordered red.)
  • Now, let's say we want to give ourselves the option to input different attribute bonuses (say it's a dagger and it matters whether we throw it – DEX – or stab with it – STR). We could write the macro to ask for input via a dialogue box like this: Anaxagoras attacks with his dagger, to hit [[(1d20+?{ATTR|1})]], dealing  [[1d6+?{ATTR|1}]] damage. The ?{ATTR|1} code works like this. The ? means ask for input. The input is a variable called ATTR (for attribute). The name of the variable won't be printed. The |1 sets the default to 1. So when the dialogue pops up, there will be a 1 already in the box. If you don't need to change it, you can just hit submit. For my own taste, too much input feels like it destroys the efficiency of the macro. I'd be more likely to make two macros: #dag-stab and #dag-throw and just hard code in the bonuses. 
  • Now let's do something fancy. Let's say we are playing 5e and our bonus to melee attack is +5 and the damage is +2. Anaxagoras swings his war hammer, hitting AC [[1d20+5]], dealing  [[1d6+2]] damage. See the difference? Instead of reporting the roll, I'm saying what AC I hit. Like "Anaxagoras swings his war hammer, hitting AC [17], dealing [5] damage."
  • Descending AC "THAC0" games are a little tougher, in that the math is weirder and the input box (for whatever reason) can't take negative modifiers. But the same attack (different bonuses of +1 to attack and damage) for Labyrinth Lord might look like: Anaxagoras swings his war hammer, hitting AC: [[(19-(1d20+1)]] and dealing [[1d6+1]] damage. 
  • Remember what I said about the input box? This more fancy code only works when the input attributes are positive. Anaxagoras swings his war hammer, hitting AC: [[(19-?{ATTR|1}) - (1d20+?{Bonus|0})]] and dealing [[1d6+1]] damage. This code asks for attribute input and roll modifier input. You can put a 1 (+1) in, but you can't put -1 in. So ... not that helpful. But cool. 

124 Supers

Thursday, February 20, 2020

123 Awful Green Things from Outer Space

Listen to the show.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Friday, January 24, 2020

120 Calls - Into the Earth, Red Planet, Crawl Solo

Listen to the show!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

119 Craw Solo Part 1

  • CRAWL SOLO. This is possibly my new nickname. Certainly the name of my next and very first Star Wars character, but I'll spell it Krall. 
  • SOLO DUNGEON CRAWL TOUCHSTONES. Part 1 of a loose series. I've been playing DeathMaze and Citadel of Blood as research for my own tile-laying dungeon game, as previewed on Viridian Scroll.
  • 1970-76The Adventures of You on Sugar Cane Island" by Edward Packard. Interactive Fiction (IF).
    • Manuscript submitted in1970 based on stories he told his children.
    • Published in 1976. 1st edition going for >$900. 
    • Later (1979) became Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA).
  • 1971 — The earliest (seriously) suggested date for Arneson's conceptual invention of "dungeon crawling."
  • 1975 — Gary Gygax’s (?) solo/random dungeon generator (pretty much as it appears in the AD&D DMG) from Strategic Review 1 Spring 1975Tables, solo D&D, mapping, wargaming tradition of solitaire (teaching, practice, fun, and referee prep).
  • 1975-77The Colossal Cave Adventure computer game. (Zork I released in 77.) 
    • "SPECIAL FIRST ISSUE FEATURE! SOLO DUNGEON ADVENTURES" – the all caps heading of the article that takes up half of the circular. "
    • By Gary Gygax, with special thanks to George A. Lord. Testing by Rob K and Ernie. Knowing GG's style, how much did Lord design, do you think?
    • "Through the following series of tables (and considerable dice rolling) it is now possible to adventure alone through endless series of dungeonmazes (sic)! After a time I am certain that there will be some sameness to this however, and for this reason a system of exchange of sealed envelopes for special rooms and tricks/traps is urged. These envelopes can come from any other player and contain monsters and treasure, a whole complex of rooms (unfolded a bit at a time), ancient artifacts, and so forth. All the envelope should say is for what level the contents are for and for what location, i.e. a chamber, room, 20 wide corridor, etc. Now break out your copy of D & D, your dice, and plenty of graph paper and have fun." 
    • About a column of text, and 2 pages of tables. Is it role-playing? 
  • 1976Buffalo Castle by Rick Loomis, 1976, for Tunnels & Trolls, 5.79 RPGG*. First dice-based CYOA. 
  • Distinctions. Infinite (generated) vs. Finite (mappable). Game like vs. Text-like. Probably related.
  • 1978Death Test 1, (US) Steve Jackson, 1978 (DT2 in 1980). 1-5 players, 30m, 6.8 BGG*. Melee/Wizard/Fantasy Trip. Counter and hexmap, Not based on RPG Mechanics, initially. Note, linked on both BGG and RPGG, scored a little higher on the latter. 
  • 1979DeathMaze, Greg Costikyan, 1979. BGG: 1-6 players, 90 min., 5.9 BGG. Tile-laying. Followed by Citadel of Blood 1980, 1-6 players, 120 min., 6.4 BGG. 
  • 1982The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, (UK) Steve Jackson & Ian Livingston, 1982. 7.25 RPGG. Popularity among non-RPG crowd. A gateway drug?
  • 1989Space Hulk, BGG: 2-4 players, 45min, 7.5 BGG. Not-solo, SF theme, miniatures driven. (Inspired games from Warhammer Quest to Descent.) 
  • 2008How to Host a Dungeon, Tony Dowler, 2008. BGG: 1 player, 60 min, 7.0 BGG. Doesn’t really fit … but solo play, about a dungeon, randomly created dungeon. Story driven, non-PC viewpoint, "artistic"/drawing exercise. Revised edition now on
  • 2016 —  Four Against Darkness, Andrea Sfiligoi, 2016. BGG: 1 player, 45-75 min, 7.6 BGG. Modern example.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

118 The Angry Red Method

Tags: Science Fiction, Movie, Mars, Monsters, Martians, Session Design, Dungeon Crawl Classics

Sunday, December 29, 2019

117 The Hidden Shrine of Space 1999