Monday, September 30, 2013

What is my favorite RPG deity?  He comes originally from the Greyhawk setting of Dungeons and Dragons, appears as a core deity in 3rd and 3.5 D&D, carries a big mace, and smites the crap out of evildoers.  His name is Saint Cuthbert or Saint Cuthburt, and he is a badass.  He also happens to be partially based on an actual Catholic saint.  

I know I've shared this picture before, but it doesn't make it less bad ass.

My love of St. Cuthbert stems from some of my earliest forays into Dungeons and Dragons.  My druid had died to mummy rot, and the party needed a healer, and Clerics had remove disease on their spell list, and I was a paranoid 14 year old.  I also wanted to smash shit.  My Halfling Druid could only beat stuff for a few rounds if he cast Shillelagh, and his 3rd edition wolf animal companion wasn't much to write home about either. I had decided on playing a Cleric, but Pelor didn't command his Priests to whup some evildoer butt.  Heironeous was too zealous and Paladin-ey, and I figured if I wanted to worship him, I might as well just play a Paladin, and a Paladin wouldn't get along well with my brother's Rogue.  I'd previously ignored the entry in the 3.0 Player's Handbook deity list with a metallic, ruby studded cross in a circle.  

This is fun to brandish, and it's easy to work into brooches, tabards, mace heads, and indentations in your enemies' foreheads.  

The entry detailed Saint Cuthbert, a Lawful Neutral (and thus more thief friendly) deity of justice, dedication, and wisdom.  Heavy on the justice.  He was also detailed as a martial deity, and big maces are awesome (and did a whole D8 of damage).  I can't remember much about my Human Cleric of St. Cuthbert, but I remember it being awesome, and when in doubt of character concept from then on, I just rolled up another Cleric of the good saint.  

There's even a mini, which I bought.  Of course.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 5: My Favorite Dice

I am a dice whore.  I love them.  I have several hundred dice in tins and bags and ice cream containers in my room, plus my dice bag, plus floaters.  I buy them all the time.   I mostly have a bunch of the standard polyhedrals (d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, and  d4), but I also have some weirder dice like my d30, d5, and d7.  The dice I take with me on a regular basis include my second favorite set: my brown and yellow steampunk dice from Q-Workshop that Spooney from Countermonkeybard would loathe, because they're almost unreadable.  They're awesome, but not my favorite, because they hate me and roll beyond poorly for me.  Also, apologies for the lack of actual pics.  Once I get a working camera again, I might just show some of my dice for real.

Bask in their glory!

I also do love Gamescience dice.  I have several sets, and I love to ink them myself.  Out of all my dice, they roll at least decently for me.  They're a little light, though, and don't clatter as satisfyingly as Chessex sets, and they have the little annoying sprue marks where they broke off the mold.  Still, I do like them, but they aren't my favorite.

I carry around the glow and purple Gamescience dice to most of my games.

I mentioned the satisfying clatter of Chessex sets.  They're heavier (especially the speckled sets) than Crystal Caste or Gamescience or Q-Workshop, and I like the heft in my hand.  Most of my dice are Chessex, and my favorite set is Chessex as well.   

I carry these around too.  Simple, but nifty.

But now on to the favorites: Pink Borealis Chessex.  I have the seven dice set plus a pipped d6 that are my go to set of dice.  Why?  They are pink and sparkly and do not hate my guts.  They roll well and accept me for who I am.  They make a statement when they roll out of the bag.  And I love making statements. 

Plus I love having dice that look like they were crapped out by a unicorn.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Other Worlds: Day 4

The day 4 question on the challenge is: What is your favorite game world?  Now, I'm gonna play fair and not include my real favorite game worlds.  They are the game world that I created and the one my friend, Jacob, created.  Both have way too much information to sufficiently blog about, are not able to be adequately explained, and really are places you'd have to play in to really understand.  Thus I am going to select from published game worlds.  My selection is the Classic World of Darkness, the setting of games such as Vampire: the Masquerade, Werewolf: the Apocalypse, and Changeling: the Dreaming.

The good old U.S.A. according to faeries.

Why do I like the World of Darkness so much?  Even though Vampire: the Masquerade wasn't the first RPG I ever played (the honor goes to D20 Star Wars), it was the first taste of true roleplaying that I had.  It was the first of our games that was not a series of missions or an endless dungeon crawl.  It had plot, intrigue, politics, power plays, dark secrets, and schemes.  We feared sudden death even when we weren't in combat.  Every word to our Elders could land us in deep shit or glorify us to the top of the Elysium pecking order.  All that, and I got to play a vampire (Dracula was, and still is, one of my favorite books since junior high) and got awesome super powers.

Salubri antitribu for life.

While Vampire opened my eyes and irrevocably sucked me into roleplaying, when my GM, Mike, got Werewolf: the Apocalypse, I saw yet another side of the magic of the World of Darkness.  Yes, we turned into giant, psycho rage monsters, but we were doing so to defend and succor the earth.  Making pacts with spirits was just as important as killing the creatures of the Wyrm, and we got just as much mileage out of inter-pack dynamics as going toe to toe with Black Spiral Dancers.

I love me some Bone Gnawers.

Werewolf was only a brief detour from Vampire, Vampire, Dark Ages Vampire, and more Vampire during my high school years.  It wasn't until college when I played a different White Wolf game.  Joe, my new GM, was a White Wolf fanatic, and he decided to run Hunter: the Reckoning for our cobbled together college group.  I was immediately hooked.  Werewolf and Vampire both had horror aspects, but despite the fact that there were bigger badder things in the night, you still played one of the things that went bump.  In Hunter, you just got bumped.  The odds were stacked against us, we had nowhere to turn, there wasn't anyone to help us, and our own kind was as liable to hunt us as help us (goddam Waywards).  On top of that, we got to brush the rich mythos of all the different supernatural factions, and, since most of the people in the group weren't White Wolf savants, we got to experience the same sense of horror and discovery as our characters when faced with things like Baali vampires and their Satanic flesh pits.  

As characters died, Joe let me play a Mummy from Mummy: the Resurrection, and it was awesome being essentially unable to die.  Plus I'm a huge fan of ancient Egypt.  It was cool.  Out of that group, I met my good friend, Jacob, and he ran a few sessions of Mage: the Ascension for us too, although I will admit that I am horribly unversed in that game line.  However, the Technocracy as a secret Men In Black organization of super science is an awesome angle to augment the old world horror of the rest of the World of Darkness.  I've read enough of the other game lines such as Changeling, Demon, and Wraith to get a good view of what they all bring to the table as well, and, quite honestly, I still compulsively buy World of Darkness books even though most of my new gaming friends won't play those game just so I can read them and drink in the stories.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Down With The Bourgeois, or What Is My Favorite Class?

Day three of the 30 day challenge.  What is my favorite class?  This is possibly the easiest question on the list except for the fact that damn Paizo released a sorta kinda variant that I arguably like more.  In all technicality, my favorite class is Cleric (or Priest to you old folks).  I'm still in the weird phase where I'm not sure if I favor the Pathfinder Oracle even more, but it is essentially a variant class, so I'll stick with Cleric.

Plus having oracular abilities evidently gives you a great rack.

My background on the God Squad started with my first taste of roleplaying ever.  My very first character was a Jedi Consular in D20 Star Wars.  That was because they had healing abilities.  See, my buddy, Mike, who started me on the whole roleplaying thing was notorious for being...overzealous...with challenges.  Think level 8 Sith vs three level 1 Jedi.  Someone had to keep everyone alive, and I was fine sitting back and providing extra hit points to everyone.  That continued when we started playing D&D, although to be fair, my first character in D&D was a Druid.  I got a wolf and healing spells.  It was fun.  However, I quickly found that I needed more healing spells, and when my second level Druid died to Mummy Rot (we killed the first two mummies, but the third got me), I rolled up a Cleric of St. Cuthbert, and fell into my most played roll.

St. Cuthbert, the god of law, order, and smashing evildoer in the head with a mace.

Over time, I grew overly comfortable with my heavy mace, heavy wooden shield, scale mail, and holy symbol.  I had a weird stage where I played Bards a lot (they still had healing spells), but when I was playing at the local comic store, everyone was extremely happy to see someone who spontaneously cast healing spells.  I also got very good at playing Clerics, so I knew how to powergame them, meaning that I was owning just about everything, since D&D 3.5 Clerics could basically do anything after a good night of rest.  I also am a fan of using religion to define character, and love having reasons for my character to just blindly hate groups of people ("we shall smite the foul followers of Hextor!").  Plus, refusing healing is the best way to convince the party to do what you want...

I just need to play a Cleric of Popeney now.

Cleric is also a broad heading underneath which one can play a broad variety of characters.  Front line combatant?  Check.  Party band-aid?  Got it in spades.  Blasty caster?  Pick the right domains, and you got it.  Skill monkey?  Between Cloistered Cleric variants and some cool domain and spell interactions, you can do just about anything a Rogue can do.  All of this, plus you can wear good armor, get backup from your local church, and everyone in the party, by necessity, is your best friend.  It is (arguably) the most flexible class.  I am indecisive.  It is a match made in Heaven.  Plus, I'm not a player that needs to be in the spotlight and leading the charge.  I'm perfectly fine to turtle in the back of the party and buff my friends to victory.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Favorite Playable Race: Day 2

I started writing my previous post yesterday.  It counts.  Question two on the 30 day challenge is what is your favorite playable race.  I don't have one.  I have two.  Thankfully, they are basically two sides of the same coin, so they are easy to lump together.  They are Aasimars and Tieflings.

Here's some Order of the Stick action.

I love Aasimars because I like good things.  Angels, Daevas, Archons, and similar good outsiders are super cool to me.  Being the descendant of one of them is similarly awesome.  I happen to love paladins and clerics, and they make awesome paladins and clerics, they're powerful in the ways of racial abilities (especially in Pathfinder which is my Sword and Sorcery poison at the moment), and there's some impact when you can manifest a glowing halo.  

Oh TSR.  You somehow make striped/polka dot tights cool...

Tieflings are the descendants of fiends.  I love demons and devils and daemons even more than I love good stuff.  They also have horns, and I love people with horns (one of the reasons I love Changeling: the Dreaming so much is because Satyrs are one of the kiths).  They also, depending on edition, get prehensile tails, bite and/or claw attacks, fire resistance (there is not enough to be said about how awesome it is to stick your hand into a torch to freak people out), and can cast cool spells like Darkness.  I also love playing antiheroes or heroes with the odds stacked against them or that people would assume to be monsters before getting to know them.  Tieflings fit the bill perfectly.  

I'm basically playing this as a Ranger in the current game I'm in.

Back Into the Fray

So, it's been a long time.  I have been busy.  Unfortunately, I have not been busy playing games.  There's been a little playing here and there, but nothing overly quality.  I have, however, gotten new dice (lots of them), and figured out Skype, which, if you knew me, is a miracle.  Anyway, as a way of getting me back into blogging, I have decided to take the 30 days of D&D challenge.  I have no clue if it's current or cool or whatever, but it will get me writing which is all that counts.

This is the challenge.

 So, how did I get started?

It was simple; I had a friend.  His name was Mike, and we played the Star Wars collectible card game at a local gaming shop on Saturdays.  We both were 13 and we were both awful at it, but we met up to practice and hang out and play Worms: Armageddon and got to be pretty good friends.  One of his middle school friends had a dad who had played Dungeons and Dragons with them a few times, so he knew what roleplaying was.  One day, he came over to my place to hang out with the Star Wars RPG (the D20 one), and my brother and I rolled up characters and started playing.  It was very fun.  We were hooked.  Mike was a passable GM, and we roped my friend, Chris, into playing with us.  Eventually we strayed off to Dungeons and Dragons (3rd Edition and eventually 3.5) and Vampire: the Masquerade, but we kept coming back to Star Wars, especially when the Revised rules came out.  D&D 3.5 was my go to game elsewhere, but Star Wars always reminds me of those early days when we had no clue what we were doing, only had seven funny shaped dice to pass around the table, and wrote our characters on notebook paper.

This was my gateway drug.