Friday, July 25, 2014

I know my Soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own.

"I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders." 

In my mind, the best men i have known live by a creed. They dedicate their lives to the good of others simply because it is the right thing to do. A goodly number of them have been Non Commissioned Officers or as many of you know them Sergeants.

What they do is no easy job. Foremost in their minds are their troops and from before the crack of dawn till long after the sun goes down these men and women spend their time making sure the mission is fulfilled and that their Joes are in good stead. A good NCO is part Babysitter, part life coach, part nightmare creature and part adamant defender.

For most of them this way of thought carries them throughout the rest of their lives. They are expert team builders and often times experts in many fields that would surprise you. Today i want to introduce just such a man who spends his days insuring that my warfighter is well stocked for any mission and trained to win.

+matt jackson is a Sergeant First Class who watches the wall for us. He regularly puts in 18 hour days 7 days a week, and that's a slow week. He has loads of Joes who each act as integral parts of the puzzle that is world wide military operations during a time of war. That's quite a bit to do, and an average man would find it an all consuming act. But Sar'nt Jackson still finds time to not just take care of his joes, but to help cover down on his fellow vets who have left parts of themselves back at war and are trying to live a normal life here in their homeland.

I could go on about the lives of these men who are the blood and bone cost of warfare and it's effects on them and their families, but better men have put so much pen to paper on that topic i can only suggest that if you are interested search it out. Their tales are ones of sacrifice, love and idealism and i am always grateful to know so many of them.

But i digress. This was supposed to be about gaming.

Sar'nt Jackson's blog has become the starting point for an endeavor that does double duty.
The Maps For Heros Project not only backs up his battle buddy, but supplies the gaming community with some of the most incredible and inspiring locations for your gaming tables. So that while you are rolling your dice you can be assured that there is a deserving Veteran who is benefiting from each critical hit.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The world is a savage place because it's Savage Daddy's world.

The world of roleplaying games has come a long way since 1974.
A whole slew of games has exploded on the scene in the past 40 years and many of them have created new and interesting ways to tell the kind of stories that have made big splashes on the silver screen.

One of the biggest breaches in the walls of RPGdome is the ability to effectively play the rat pack in Ocean's Eleven.

The RPG market as a whole has attempted to fill this void in gaming in the past with various games that seemed to be carbon copies of past games with some heist flavor text on top. To me, that always seemed like putting whipped cream on a steak and calling it an apple pie. So these games while they inspired me to part with my dollars never inspired me to run a game. Nor did they entice me or inspire me to come up with a solution of my own so i happily continued playing the games i enjoyed knowing well that a good heist was just something that was never going to work well.

But hold the phone!

+Jerrod Gunning, having heard of my dilema bent to the task of fixing the issue. What he returned with has made me look at the concept again. With 23 pages he paints a picture of possibility that allows both DM and Player to get on the bandwagon of running a good heist.

With clearly written explanations and directions as to how best get your group robbing banks and knocking over casinos. The rules are simple, sweet and short. Allowing any savage worlds DM to pick up the supplement and get straight to prepping for a night of criminal masterminds in the time it takes to eat the aforementioned steak.

So if you have ever asked yourself how to run something like the Leverage TV shows or a good James Bond flick. Jerrod has that little bit of inspiration that can take your savage worlds games, dare i say any game you wish to play, into a place where good old Frank Sinatra would be right at home.

Best of all, he has done all of this out of the goodness of his heart and offers it to you, goodly gamer, at no cost whatsoever beyond your time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bedroom Wall Press. The best free games on the internet.

For those of you whom may have missed a few episodes.
I am a huge fan of +John Berry. His current endeavor seems to be giving away his works for free. So while i would argue that it was better to have picked his games up earlier, there it seems to be no time like the present if you missed the boat.

+Hulks and Horrors and +Arcana Rising are two incredibly well thought out and put together games. Both of them are easy to read, understand and play. Anybody with a passing familiarity to D&D can simply sit down at a table and start exploring the stars.

Hulks and Horrors
Each team of players is part of a Survey and Salvage crew exploring ancient ruins of a long dead race. Except they aren't all dead.

At the height of their galaxy spanning civilization, these aliens were set upon by a virus that destroyed all sentient life in the Milky Way. 3 million years later the players explore the deuterus of this once great civilization and find the wonders, horrors and weird science left behind on millions of worlds.

The Aliens in the setting are very interesting and unique. From Psychic Bearmen, Giant single cell organisms to Floating bags of Gas. Each of these aliens open up different avenues of play. With the powers of SCIENCE! and Psychic energy the game feels a great deal like +Bedroom Wall Press said it would. Hulks and Horrors is the game i would have desperately loved to play as a kid.


Long ago, magic left the world.
With it went the dragons and monsters of lore.
Powerful Wizards withered and died.
The world went into a long period where magic is only a thing of fairytales.
A Russian drilling team has struck an ancient enclosure and magic has once again started covering the Earth.

What i really enjoyed about reading this game was the new take on how magic would affect the modern world. Shortly after releasing AR, Bedroom Wall Press also released a Cyberpunk expansion for it called Welcome To NeuroCity and it further painted the effect on the world.

As with Hulks and Horrors, Arcana Rising has a wonderful DMing section with loads of great and well thought out tables. Everything is organized well and makes creating your very own campaign a great deal of fun.

So if you are in the market for two great games at the unbeatable price of FREE, i can suggest nothing more than i would suggest these. Both games have been a blast to play and to run. So download them today and let John know he's doing a great job.

P.S. A little birdy told me that John is also working on a digital version of Hulks and Horrors. You can check it out here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chthonic Codex Volume 1 Cryptic Creatures

Hey there sports fan!

Now, i don't know about you. But old school tomes of critters are some of the most fertile ground for adventure i have ever known. Each page describes a new and mostly unpleasant ways to die at the hands of some sort of shambling fantasy creature, followed with a drawing of said creature that you can spook your players with.

+Paolo Greco's first book of the Chthonic Codex is similar to many varied Monsters Manuals that any goodly gamer should be familiar with. And if you are looking to add some spice to your long standing OSR game this book is full of new horrors that go bump in the darkness and all the stats you need to get that TPK you have been dreaming about.

One of my personal favorites to be found in this book is the dreaded Bearowl. Born of magic the beast has thwarted current magical PTBs ability to recreate a flying bear. Yet in some sections of the world the skies are darkened by such critters and this beast will make quick work of an unwary party of adventures.

While this product is full of great ideas, the art leaves something to be desired in places while some of it looks so poor as to be on level with my personal lack of skill, yet i am still very much a fan of simple 1980's style found in old D&D books and modules. So while some of the art isn't wonderful, it is very evocative of "the good old days" for many gamers out there.

Finally, for all of this goodness the price tag sits at 6 bucks for the 64 page PDF and i hear tell that a print version is in the works for those of you out there like me who like to be able to kill spiders with your gaming material.