Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Let's Make Something Challenging Together

The more that I've thought about creating a 30 Day Challenge list the more that I've become serious about actually doing it; and after my little rant yesterday a few friends stopped by the blog, got me on twitter, and on Google + to tell me that they'd like to help make this project a reality. That's pretty excellent of you guys and I'm going to be taking you up on the offer.

This evening I will be creating a private Google + Community where we can workshop this shit and create some challenges that will get our creativity firing on all cylinders. I want to give all of us the opportunity to refine our ideas into something that pushes the right buttons and makes this a challenge that people are both excited to try and a bit intimidated by because that's the sort of thing that I need in my life - and with the people who have contacted me so far coming from some pretty diverse perspectives on the game I think we've got a good chance of doing just that.

If this sounds like something that you would like to be a part of this is your open call. Drop me a comment below with your Google + info and I'll add you to the community. Don't have a Google +? That's fine too. Send me an e-mail and I'll copy and paste you the conversations that we're working on so that you can help in the process.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I'm Tired of the Way We do the 30 Day RPG Challenges Every Year.

So the current fad going through my role-playing social media accounts is this year's version of the 30 Day RPG Challenge and while I know the people who made it worked hard on creating something fun, I'm just not feeling these sorts of things anymore. I don't want a challenge that feels more like a survey to get to know me and my role-playing history. That doesn't feel challenging these days.

Instead I want something that would require me to think about my answers and that would force me to test my abilities as a Game Master and player. I want questions like, You must create an encounter that will challenge your players critical thinking skills and that incorporates the following elements: a sprung trap, a kobold, and an iron statue of your choosing. 

That's the sort of thing that I want to see!

I want to see a challenge that makes me excited to attempt it and that makes me curious to see how others solve the situation. I want to see people like +Kelvin Green+Douglas Cole+Mark Van Vlack+Jens D., and +Chirine ba Kal come at a problem from each their unique perspectives. I want to see +Chris Tamm and +Arnold K. take the challenge in directions that no one else saw it going. I want to see the community doing something interesting that gets all of us moving in a creative direction and not just getting to know each other like we do every year with these sorts of challenges.

You know what?

I need to stop complaining and start working on doing this. If you want to help jump in. Lord knows I could use it.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Dragon Warriors Delayed One Week

Just wanted to let everyone know that Dragon Warriors will be delayed until next Monday. We've had too much going on this weekend and I wasn't able to devote any time to it. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hirelings in D&D 5e According to the DMG

Last night I was contemplating the uselessness of the hireling in Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. In this Edition, more so than in any previous edition, they're the faceless drones of our fantasy worlds carrying out the mundane tasks that our players find too trivial to do themselves. The Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG) even goes so far as to describe them in the following way:

". . . Hireling NPCs rarely become important in an adventure, and most require little development. When adventurers hire a coach to carry them across town or need a letter delivered the driver or messenger is a hireling, and the adventures might never even converse with that NPC or learn his or her name. A ship captain carrying the adventures across the sea is also a hireling, but such a character has the potential to turn into an ally, a patron, or even an enemy as the adventure unfolds . . . (94)

Essentially what the DMG is arguing is that your average hireling, much like you average person behind the counter of a fast food restaurant, is a vapid memory that barely registers for your players. They are a means to an end and their fictional lives have no meaningful impact on your players. So what benefit is there to using a hireling in your game? A sense of the world's lack of technology? Tradition? Because you think your game should have them? 

Works Cited
Mearls, Mike and Jeremy Crawford. Dungeon Master's Guide Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast, USA. 2014. PRINT

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Today is the First Day

Today is the first day of school for my son. He's five and every day this summer he has asked me if tomorrow is the day he'll go to Kindergarten. 

Today is that day. 

I've taken off work so that I can be there with him and last night he picked out his outfit and helped me make his lunch. He won't be eating it there, but we made it all the same because he was excited and could hardly stop running about the house. If I'm honest with you all I'm excited too. I look at the way that he deals with other kids, the way that he stands up for himself already on the playground, and I know that he's going to be alright. He's smart and I'm so proud of him. 

Today is the first day and there will be hard days ahead where he struggles to get things, and easy days where it comes second nature to him. I am so excited for him and he can barely contain himself waiting for me to finish writing this because today is the day he goes to Kindergarten. 

Life is coming fast in the Akins household. Let's run with it.

Dragon Warriors RPG PDF Currently is FREE!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you've liked the start of my Dragon Warriors series and have been thinking to yourself, "Man, this thing sounds neat but I'm not sure that I want to spend some money on it yet." then have I got a great option available to you! Right now, on Drive Thru RPG, you can pick up the PDF of Dragon Warriors for FREE! 

Go out there and download the book! It's fantastic and if you're like me then you'll find yourself picking up a hard copy of it too! So go check it out already!

Thanks to +Andy Bartlett for the heads up on this fantastic deal! Three cheers for Andy!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Things that Shouldn't Need to Be Said, Part 1: Gaming Inclusiveness

Of late I've noticed this trend going through my social media circles where role-playing enthusiasts feel the need to make statements like, "Gaming should be inclusive," as though such a statement were some monumental comment that took a lot of courage to make.

It isn't.

Gaming absolutely should be inclusive. You should game with all kinds of groovy people whether they like boys kissing boys or big, burly men dressing up with tiaras and high heels. The only thing that should matter at your table is that the people there are good to each other and that everyone is willing to have a good time.

"But Charlie," I hear my fictive, counter-argumentative friend say, "but there are people out there who are shitty and that believe women, trans-people, and people of color shouldn't be at the table! We have to make a stand!"

Yeah, you ain't standing for shit when you're saying that on social media. What you're doing is asking for people to tell you that you're a good person for telling the world that everyone should be invited. Fuck that noise. Instead of wanting that feeling through platitudes, fucking do the thing. Invite the trans-kids you know to play. Call your friends of all shades to the table and let them beat the shit out of some imaginary creatures for a few hours while telling terrible jokes and drinking beer. Get your gay buddies to come over with their blinged out notebooks to show you how it's fucking done. Call on all the cool kids you hang out with every day to come and play with you.

Stop talking, and start doing.

Bring the people you want in this hobby to the table and help teach the next generation of players not to be a bunch of fedora wearing, misogynistic, fuck-faced, douche bags. Start a gaming group for kids at your local library. Invite everyone you know that likes Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones. Fucking be the change you keep saying you want to see in our hobby.

"But Charlie," I again hear my fictive, counter-argumentative friend say, "what about when I see someone being shitty to a woman, trans-person, or person of color on social media. Shouldn't I say something about that noise?"

Fuck yes you should! Call that shitty bastard out. Tell them to stop being a fuck head and send your buddy a word of support. Don't make that shit about you with some meaningless platitude. You're not the important one in that situation so stop worrying about your feelings and worry about your buddy's instead.

Right, enough of this soapbox.

I'm going back to planning a raid into the Far Realms on leaky ship, laden with high explosives and my black heart of hate. I fucking love Roll 20.

Let's Make Something Challenging Together

The more that I've thought about creating a 30 Day Challenge list the more that I've become serious about actually doing it; and a...