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

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

116 Gygax 75 Challenge Week 3

Listen to episode 116

This is the blog where I discovered the challenge. I think I mistakenly called it Dragons are Real, which is the name of a cool podcast (link of the right).

Beyond the Gates of Cygnus (JJ's blog)

Viridian Scroll (Ray's blog)
Where you can pick up the Gygax 75 Challenge "workzine."

Plundergrounds theme by Logan Howard

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Monday, December 2, 2019

114 Fighting Fantasy Summary


FF In a Nutshell:

  • Stamina 12+d6, Luck 6+d6, and SKILL 6+d6
  • d6s only, scaled damage tables
  • Roll checks under Skill
  • Luck tests
  • Roll + Skill for Opposed
  • Classless: Special Skills
  • Magic - reduces Skill, 1:3, Stamina cost per spell
  • Use of IRL clock, Oops table
  • Readings from Dungeoneer 213 - 226

Other casts on FF:

Friday, November 22, 2019

113 Into the Earth (Again), Wm Blake, Callins

  • Into the Earth, my ...
    • Land of the Lost hack of... 
    • Into the Odd
    • Equipment mechanics
  • Rusty Swords & "competence porn
  • Things too scary for kids & Monsters inside of monsters
  • D&D 4th edition, remakes & Planet of the Apes
    • Games mentioned: Old School Essentials, Labyrinth Lord, Basic Fantasy, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, OSRIC, Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea, The Black Hack, The Rad Hack, Stay Frosty, Mothership, Metamorphica, Polyhedron Mag: Omega World
  • Into the Earth Part 2...
    • Sleestaks
    • The session/season ending mechanic
  • William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

112 Into the Earth, B/X vs. AD&D

Other topics
  • Perfect is the Enemy of Done
  • Gary Gygax and the Gygax 75 Challenge
  • AD&D vs. B/X (why people like B/X)

Monday, October 28, 2019

109 Why Games Go Funny

Listen to episode 109 online.

The tendency for RPG sessions to "devolve" into humor and zaniness, even when a different tone is the goal.

  • Fun-time. It's a game you play for fun in your leisure time. Often you are tired and/or punchy. Guarding yourself is something you do all day and when you are among friends you may tend to "let down."
  • Nerves. Roleplaying is like skinny dipping; it's not a spectator sport. Role playing requires that you concentrate on playing "through" your imagination. This puts you in a liminal space that exposes you and means you may have less of a filter on what enters your mind and/or comes out in the moment. Nervousness about being thus exposed can cause people to distance themselves by joking or tittering out as a knee-jerk reaction.
  • Tropes. We often draw on images from literature, movies, videogames etc. These associations are powerful but can lead to further associations. A seriously toned "space knight" game can remind someone of Star Wars, and then Space Balls, and then "I see your schwartz is as big as mine!" comes out of their mouth.
  • Get people relaxed and comfortable with the tone, goals, session.
  • Foreground your source material.
  • Try to make the meta situation approximate the in-game fiction.