Accio Webhost

No… I am the one who is supposed to stand in the middle, I am making it go.

Nicky please pass the mayo…. well how else are we supposed to grease the tubes? 

JOE! don’t touch that! The DNS gnomes get very angry if you get that out of alignment… 

Well how do I know if we were supped to have 1 sacrifice or two? Just put that old switch on the pike of computer hardware sacrifices…. the internets love the taste of linksys .

Ok… here we go, Nicky those sticks you are holding are very important, they let out new masters know that the proper amount of gold has been deposited in their vault. Joe your candles signify that we would like to partake of the unlimited bandwidth of our new blue masters…

 It has begun….

We are in the process of moving the website to a new host. Mostly you should notice no real changes or ill effects. But if you do please email us at 2gms1mic at gmail.com to let us know what has gone wrong.

Thanks,

R. Dragon

Posted in Technical Stuff | Tagged | 1 Comment

Episode Six: Plot Hooks and Misdirection

This episode is all about using plot hooks in play, as well as combining them with misdirection. We discuss what not to do as well as talking about some of our techniques for creating and maintaining plot hooks.

If you think we should add anything, or want us to clarify something shoot us an email, post it on the Forums, Facebook, or Twitter.

Episode 2-6

Favorite Games of the Week

Hael
The Lost City of Barakus
Macabre Tales

Currently Playing

We had an excellent session of Dresden Files RPG, as well as a fulfilling fight in Remnants. Both are excellent games, and going swimmingly!

Announcements

The support button is not working, and we don’t know why. There are big changes coming up on our end, and some cool stuff is in the works for you, too!

This is the first episode we have ever recorded that does not mention Shard.

Please “reccommend” us on RPGpodcasts!

Shoutouts!

Undocking Diction, this episode would not have happened without you!

Ed, You ROCK!

Saego! Thanks for posting in the Forums!

Joe has never, ever seen an episode of House.

JOSH! Super Excited for Dresden Files!

Lernu.net is an awesome resource for learning Espernato, also, Joe is a dork.

Music Section

“Roll the Dice, Make my Day [Stick Jones Remix]” (Stick Jones)
“Wings feat. Elzhi” (Union)
“Are You Gonna Waste My Time?” (Zeus)
“Physically Spiritually” (Junior Toots)

Games Mentioned

Dresden Files RPG
Scion
Ashen Stars
Ashen Stars: Terra Nova
Dungeons & Dragons
Al-Qadim
Dark Sun
Planescape
Remnants
Spycraft
Mage: The Ascension
Deadlands Classic
Ravenloft
d20
Castles & Crusades
Lamentations of the Flame Princess
Savage Worlds
Sorcery & Super Science!
Sundered Skies
Necropolis 2350
Totems of the Dead
Carcosa

Posted in Episodes | Tagged | 5 Comments

Joe Reviews: Background Noise

I have always loved random tables in my RPGs. I enjoy random games and random happenstance. Some of my favorite products are the random dungeon and character decks from Gamers Rule. I recommend you check them out if you also like random generators, but I’m mostly writing about a book I was recently directed to: Background Noise.

It is available as both a PDF and iPhone app, and although I have an iPad, I haven’t tried the app yet, although I imagine it’s awesome! The book itself is a series of random tables that determine a fairly detailed back story for a character. There are 40 tables in this thing, each cross referenced to one another. Some are used for every character, but many lead to other tables depending on result. If you’re born a slave, for instance, there’s a Slavery Event Table (Table X), but not everyone would roll on that one. All 40 tables are based on percentile, although some have as few as 6 entries. The ranges are not uniform though, so while you can use a d6 in the aforementioned table (Table B Family Wealth), you’d be much more likely to be born wealthy in that case.
I will give you an example of a character background generated using the tables, so you have an idea of what this book can give you. The author considers the work “…a springboard for your imagination,” and I think the following example illustrates that very well!

So, my unnamed character starts off rolling on the tables, and I come up with the following list of things:

  1. Family Satus: Middle Class
  2. Family Wealth: Want for Nothing
  3. From a sub-arctic cliffside city
  4. The Father was a candle-maker
  5. The character was basically raised in a Convent
  6. Born in his home
  7. Firstborn of two children (has a sister)
  8. Parents are respected and feared in the community for unknown reasons
  9. The Mother was a Cleric
  10. While cleaning out a back room of the church, as a lowly acolyte, the character discovered a previously unknown text that sheds light on some previously confusing passages. The find is heralded as the harbinger of great things to come for the character
  11. The father thinks the child belongs to someone else. His thoughts may or may not be correct.
  12. Character used to be infamous for some early mistake. He is forced to change his coat of arms (if any) and change his appearance to avoid recognition and ridicule
  13. Character is a hobbyist actor
  14. He’s a Liar

It took about 7 minutes to roll up that background, including typing it all onto the list. That’s pretty quick considering. Not everything will make sense when you roll, but that’s the nature of random tables. I really enjoy looking at some of the events, many of which can easily provide a nice character hook for GMs to use. Products like Background Noise are a springboard for creativity, something that can offer that little bit of needed inspiration for a player or GM. I plan on using this to create some Fantasy NPCs, and I would not be surprised if my players want to use it, too.

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Episode Five: GM Screens

This episode is about our favorite piece of GMing equipment: The GM Screen. Not everyone likes them, and we understand that, but we really like them. We detail what it is we like in a GM screen, what we don’t, and we discuss how to make your own GM Screen.

We’re sure you’ll want to tell us your feelings about GM Screens. Please email us, post on the Forums, “like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Here’s Episode 2-5, we hope you enjoy!

Favorite Games of the Week

Tales of Blades and Heroes
Mage: The Awakening
Lost Days of Memories and Madness

Currently Playing

Remnants couldn’t be played because of the holiday, but a few of our group got together to play some Battletech; but Remnants continues to be bad ass. Stay tuned for Dresden updates, since it was played after we recorded.

Announcements

We have a support button. Buy us a beer?

From what I can tell, the cusomizable screens are no longer in production.

Also, Joe’s Latin Sucks.

Shoutouts!

GIGANTIC Thank You from Joe for all of the wonderful birthday wishes!

Music Section

“Roll the Dice, Make my Day [Stick Jones Remix]” (Stick Jones)
“Benchwarmers” (Finn Riggins)
“Visions” (Philharmonic Wind Orchestra, Marc Reift)
“Fluid” (Warner Powers & Michael Paterson)

Games Mentioned

Hunter: The Vigil
Deadlands Classic
All Flesh Must Be Eaten
In Nomine
Demon: The Fallen
Castles & Crusades
GURPS 4th Edition
GURPS 3rd Edition Revised
Vampire: the Requiem
Vampire: The Masquerade
Wraith: The Oblivion
Shard
Qin: The Warring States
Classic Spycraft
Mage: The Ascension
Werewolf: The Apocalypse
Dresden Files RPG
World of Darkness
7th Sea
Scion
Savage Worlds
Pathfinder
Song of Blades and Heroes
The Shab-al-Hiri Roach
Exalted
Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition

Posted in Episodes | Tagged | 14 Comments

Episode Four: Character Creation as Play

In our games, we tend to use character creation as our first session. We all get together to sketch the setting, tone, and make the characters a cohesive group. This is because character creation is vitally important to RPGs, and it needs to be given the importance it deserves. In this episode, we talk about group cohesion, some bad ways of making characters, and some great ways to use character creation! In many ways, this episode is talking about what is awesome about making characters from a group perspective.

Joe also laments about some shelving problems, label problems, and is generally crotchety except when he pitches a “murder-hobo” game.

Please email us, or post on the Forums, join us on Facebook, or talk to (Nicky, pretty much) on Twitter!

Episode 2-4!

Favorite Games of the Week

Marvel Hero Basic Roleplaying Game, which has since been updated to facilitate character creation.
The Secrets of Tactical Archetypes II
Dresden Files RPG

Currently Playing

Announcements

Theron actually won the contest!

Servants of Gaius came out, and it’s awesome. Joe’s credited in it as a historian.

Joe was totally wrong about what was published when. InSpectres was published in 2002, My Life with Master was published in 2003, Dogs in the Vineyard was published in 2004, and Spirit of the Century in 2006.

The Building Better Characters column was from RPG.net published in 2006-7 by Greg Schneider. The three columns discussing the seven rules are in three parts: One, Two, Three. His methodology list can be found here.

Shoutouts!

Joe loves his Mom!

Shout out to Tony Miller, who was a player not a character!

Kevin the Epic is awesome, and is the reason we were Godcrusher!

Music Section

“Roll the Dice, Make my Day [Stick Jones Remix]” (Stick Jones)
“Happy Birthday [Controls OMGHAPPYBIRTHDAYVENGEANCE Remix]” (Controls)
“LIARS” (Just and Animal)
“Soul Hit Man (The Funk Hunters Remix)” (See-I)

Games Mentioned

Dresden Files RPG
Geist: The Sin Eaters
Vampire: the Requiem
Fate
Shard
My Life with Master
Dogs in the Vineyard
InSpectres
Spirit of the Century
Remnants
GURPS Flight 13
Scion
Qin: The Warring States
Star Wars D6
GURPS Vorskogian Saga
GURPS Space
Queen of the Spiders
7th Sea
The Shadow of Yesterday

Posted in Episodes | Tagged | 4 Comments

Joe Reviews The C&C Classic Monsters Manual

Castles & Crusades is a game that inspires nothing but warm feelings for me. Nicky and I have had many successful games of C&C, there has been much beer drunk and many inside jokes created with C&C as our basic reason for getting together with friends. So, when a new book comes out for C&C, I get it.

The newest book released came out just today: The Classic Monsters Manual. I am a sucker for monster books, especially OGL ones (mostly because if it’s OGL, I can convert it to Castles & Crusades pretty easily), and this one could not stay out of my hands.

In the beginning of the book is a very short article on running monsters with their own motivations and it succeeds rather well in a fairly short amount of space. In fact, I’d say that this primer is very much the heart and soul of the work. The monsters are meant to be a little different, and most certainly meant to be generally intelligent opposition. There’s a repeat of the “how to read the monster stat blocks” section in the Monsters and Treasure book, and then the monsters!

The Castles & Crusades Classic Monsters Manual has over 200 monsters, all of them with C&C statistics. About half of the monsters come from the Tome of Horrors by Necromancer Games, which in turn contains a bunch of monsters that had only shown up previously in modules (Vegepygmies, for example). I happen to own Tome of Horrors, and so I can tell you that this book is not a reprint of it. Not every monster in Tome of Horrors is in Classic Monsters, and many (at least half) of the monsters are original creations, or at least original to this book. Of course, the utility of this book is pretty much restricted to people who use Castles and Crusades.

However, if you are like me and enjoy seeing all sorts of monsters, and mining ideas of them for yourself, you’re in for a treat. Assuming you are not interested in the creatures that have appeared previously let me illuminate some of the cooler original monsters for you. The Bendith y Mamau is a fae type creature that resides in a house to protect it from evil. They are easily insulted and wreak havoc on people and places which do insult them, often require greater offerings to appease them. That is one hell of an adventure seed right there.

Another example is the Chawl Witch, a creature that is really entertaining to a polyglot like me. They are basically language masters, able to understand and comprehend languages after only a few hours with them. They are always female, but reproduce with a male of any humanoid species. They lay eggs, and the eggs and young are coveted by wizards who want a servant/slave. Once again, an adventure seed that is not to be sneered at.

There are some really cool werecreatures in the book: werefoxes, werespiders, and werehounds. Each is given a description which includes a solid adventure seed like in the previous examples. Having devoured this book, I can say with authority that every single creature listed has an adventure seed in the description in which an entire night’s play can be thought up by a competent GM. There are some really fantastic ideas in here for using unusual creatures in unusual adventuring circumstances, as well as just some cool stuff to fight.

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Episode Three: Combat Part Deux

In this episode, we revisit combat (having addressed it in Season One: Episode Eleven). In this redux of combat, we discuss how not to let the PCs walk all over their adversaries, as well as how to avoid Total Party Kills. We talk a little about character death and setting stakes for it, too. We also talk a little about turn-based combat, how to alleviate boredom and a bunch of other stuff!

We really, really want some feedback about this episode, so please take a few moments to write an email, post on the Forums, “like” us on Facebook, tweet us on Twitter, or leave a comment right here.

Episode 2-3!
And for reference, here’s Season One’s Episode Eleven.

Favorite Games of the Week

GURPS Mecha
Carcosa
Legendary Realms – Player’s Handbook

Currently Playing

We are currently playing Remnants! A fantastic game wherein we are to be the leaders of the resistance against the invaders from space!

However, we’re having some issues with the combat system, and if anyone wants to help us drop us a line!

We also played a Hunter: The Vigil one-shot on Nicky’s Birthday. It was awesome!

Announcements

Big thank you to everyone who wished Nicky a Happy Birthday!

RANDY! Nicky thanks you for GURPS Mecha!

Do you want to win ten dollars for DrivethruRPG? Guess which old-school module Joe is talking about around 12 minutes in. First person to email the correct answer wins a $10 gift certificate!

Shoutouts!

Bedrock Brennan and Rincewind1 started a spinoff of our thread at the RPGsite, and it can be found here.

Shoutout to Doug’s funny voice!

Joe mentions a great horror novel named Ghouls, by Edward Lee; and in his review of Carcosa he forgets the book A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay.

Music Section

“Roll the Dice, Make my Day [Stick Jones Remix]” (Stick Jones)
“Dina’s Mambo” (Bio Ritmo)
“Hang on Little Tomato” (Pink Martini)
“The Color of Industry” (Radiation City)

Games Mentioned

Star Wars d20
Shard
Dresden Files RPG
Castles & Crusades
The Cursed Chateau
Scion
d20
Savage Worlds
Deadlands: Reloaded
Fate
Strands of Fate
Dogs in the Vineyard
Brushfire
Vampire: the Requiem

Posted in Episodes | Tagged | 3 Comments