Pathfinder Beta – Quick (and belated) update

Just a short note from my side, when I returned from my vacation – it was a pleasure to find on the paizo RSS feed the release note of Pathfinder Beta – as you might have noticed already I’m quite fond of the system and recommend it in case you’re not completely satisfied with 3.5 or already tired of 4.0 of Dungeons & Dragons.

Additionally they have reworked and created much more content than they could fit into the >400pages book and have already released the first Web Enhancement – expanding and fixing a few issues with spells and magic items in the past. I’ll try to screen, scan and read the stuff in the coming days and post a more extensive review here.

TPK – lost to evil

General RPG


Good morning,
I had the pleasure of dungeon mastering my current Ptolus campaign and yesterday was one partial end of the story but everything came a bit different than it was planned…

As a sidenote, when we started the campaign we started with seven players, with the latest two adventures we only saw three players – so a few adjustments were made and the lethality of the campaign grew due the general path on which it is set.  So I’ll split this posting in two parts – one will deal with the adventure yesterday, the second will deal with TPK (total player kill) in general. Continue reading TPK – lost to evil

Cold Turkey

There were only two titles coming to my mind this morning. First one was Vacation upcoming, the second one was Cold Turkey…

If you enjoyed reading my blog so far, you might still understand that I am not someone with too much spare time and I hardly manage to get my postings done in time – so I was not able to prepare 10 postings for everyday when I’m gone. Besides with the new online I guess you all will find enough material to read everyday. On the other hand, I have a few recommendations of great blogs that I think are not as famous as E’s, Chatty’s or Dave’s and are more than worth reading.

A few blog recommendations (or my list of recent must-reads):

Vacation is always two sides of a story. Currently most parts of my regular group is on vacation – taking a sailing-turn on the Mondsee (Moon lake) in Salzburg, Austria. So last and this weekend I’m already having the shakes when I think about role-playing games – it has to be very similiar to cold-turkey indeed. Next possible date is the 17th, when I will have the pleasure to guide my group as dungeon master further into the secrets of a mysteriously crashed metroid and the direct consequences of this onto the world of Ptolus. 

We’ll hopefully enjoy a motorbike tour from here (Northwest of Vienna, Austria) to Lago di Garda (Garda Lake) in Italy. We’ll have a few stops inbetween, the first one on the famous southern wine-street in Styria (Austria) – we will continue to the eastern region of the Weissensee on Monday and will hopefully arrive in Riva del Gardo on the northern-most part of the Garda Lake on Tuesday. We’ll stay there for 2 nights and will travel back to Austria on Thursday morning – expected arrival Saturday… Have a good time dear readers.

Temptations of Evil – Part Two: Evil in Group(s)

Evil in a Group

Probably one of the strongest and (in my humble opinion) most tempting designs for a character not only you will remember is an evil one. I’ve played a few of them, (since my personal hero-playing behaviour is predominant), but always enjoyed them. The basic for a great (not only good) evil design in a group of good guys is usually not to make him extraordinarily powerful or scheming. As a player it should be your focus to find your personal niché – to adapt and expand your groups portfolio and flair by your character’s concept. (Actually I think this should be the key to virtually every character design and I would really love to have my players always keep this in regard before any other things).


So what does really work good for an evil character in a good group? (I’m really relating this on the black & white good/evil thingy here)
I think disguises are an extraordinary way to play an evil character in a good group. I remember one of my very best appearances as actually three characters. Victanys, Kryscarin and Cairoa in during a few sessions and the best was – they were all just one. Let me explain: Continue reading Temptations of Evil – Part Two: Evil in Group(s)

Pathfinder Beta shipping date

Bonefinder over at the bone scroll posted a nice little update (for me) on the supposed or expected shipping date of Pathfinder beta. Honestly – I hardly can wait to hold the book in my hands. I’ve preordered it at Planetharry – the dealer of my choice – in Vienna. As Bonefinder reports, it’s quite likely that we find a few old skills and other typos from paste & copy errors that they made when integrating the SRD into this document. On the other hands, it’s a beta version and the game-system itself was very promising so far, it does hold a few expectations of mine for the future.

And yes, it’s really one of the hottest topics for me, so I had to dedicate that article to it. I hope a lot of you feel the same way and – will enjoy the Pathfinder beta when it’s out. (I hope the PDF version goes online soon – since shipping to Austria will take until beginning of September I fear.)

The Temptations of Evil Part One: Seven Sins

Inspiration is everything. And as blog-network is a great resource for inspiration it seems. With the feed online only a few hours, the mere stumbling through it – … – ah you better see it yourself.

Over at Gnome-Stew, Walt posted an interesting question in his latest posting – Hot Button: A Touch of Evil. And I have to admit, I thought about writing a mere comment on it, but then again it is a topic that accompanies me ever since I’ve switched (for a time) from D&D and other “hero” rpgs to the old World of Darkness – Vampire the Masquerade, Werewolf the Apocalypse,… (You probably know these games).

Back then it was the ultimate and absolute feeling of power – playing someone from the other side. But we all played characters that in the d20 alignment system would have been defined as “Chaotic Evil“. So we were pretty selfish and roleplaying was getting more of a competition than actual gaming together. It is a time now that I look back at with mixed feelings. A part of my rpg experience I do not want to have missed, but I’m really glad that I got back on track.

But enough on the introduction – let’s get on with the Temptations of Evil. Continue reading The Temptations of Evil Part One: Seven Sins

Quick Gaming Update

After a nice Shadowrun Session this weekend was not very gaming heavy for me, luckily there were a few updates on other sites.

E from Geeksdreamgirl has put up a nice interview with Phil the ChattyDM over here

Looks like all the guys from over-the-great-sea are caught by the GenCon hype. I have to admit, I’m not so sure if I would really enjoy a convention like that, it’s probably something every rpg gamer should dream of, and probably it’s worth attending – but the fascination has (luckily) not caught me – yet.

Speaking of GenCon, I totally missed that the company behind GenCon was months ago issuing a Chapter 11, Title 11 (bankrupcy) which was reported by livingdice and purplepawn back then. I think that is what I really like about the internet even if you missed the “headlines” one day, you can catch up easily months later.

A lot of articles are coming up on the recent Gleemax failure and I start wondering if the new initiative of rpg-bloggers will be similiar to a social network and (hopefully) more successful. I’m currently thinking about joining the network – actually it will hardly do any harm and I’m definitely in for a few good reads.

Shadowrun Cyberpunk Imaginations

Another step to one side from d20 systems (it is getting a bit repeating – the 3e vs. 4e discussions everywhere) so I can take a timeout to give a short overview on the upcoming afternoon today.

Thomas is once again pushing us into the not-so-far future, where corporations rule most of the world, it’s a not-so-unlikely scenario for the future, that was (as most of you will know) first addressed by William Gibson in his Cyberpunk Trilogy ( imho a must read for science-fiction fans ). When they created Shadowrun they took a fair share of fantasy & magic and mixed this setting to Cyberpunk – back then they just added a few years to the time (and I would really like to know how many Shadowrun fans waited for the great Awakening)…

We – are in a slightly different world than the core-books introduce, it is no hardcore SR party, but a campaign focussing on the dark aspects of the world. Currently we’re working in New Orleans and Pensacola and will probably infiltrate one of the CAS troop-posts over there this afternoon. We is referring to Jenny’s Nuyin – a chinese cosim fan & chocolate junkie, Andrea’s Pallas – a former con girl, Roman’s “we will see” (as he wasn’t really happy with his character last time and has called for a possible change) and my little rigger, Katinka.

Our last run in New Orleans lead us into Ares area to take a few samples of water and soil, which we accomplished pretty well and without a firefight. The next one in Pensacola will probably be a lot harder and we’ll need a lot of luck to make sure we will not be facing armed resistance there. I’ll try to put things together for another posting to summarize the events this afternoon.

A thought on licensing (updated)

… Licenses …

Thanks to Jonathan of The Core Mechanic I read a nice link to an article of stating that Kenzer (Producer of Kingdom of Kalamar) is launching a frontal ass

ault at the GSL (license of the 4th edition D&D). With a copyright lawyer in the real world as president, I keep my fingers crossed that the GSL will fall before it causes any serious harm.

Besides of all things that I like and don’t like with the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons, their new license was one of the things that just make me shrug and shake-head… Honestly, I think one of the main keys to success of the 3rd edition was their open policy – the open readable SRD enabled everyone to take a look at the rules and more importantly the OGL enabled dozens of other companies to release products for the d20 system.

Maybe there is someone among you, that knows why they changed this open and (journalists would probably call it Web 2.0 approaches) friendly license to the GSL type of license that bans almost everyone from releasing new material in this regard, unless they wait for quite some time.

I really don’t get the point of this – maybe you can help me.

Update: Looks like I’m not the only one thinking about the licensing of the 4th edition lately. A few hours before this posting was online, Critical Hits put their own comprehensive posting on different companies and their licensing strategy online. It gives a general overview on different companies, whether they stay with the OGL (3rd edition), go for the 4th edition GSL or try a fair-use copyright approach – but have a read yourself.