Tag Archives: Roleplaying Games

Episode 31 – Fair Game

Well here we are once again witches and wolves! In Episode 31 of FMRPG that scurrilous bastard Ben peaces out on Brendan and gaming mastermind Jim Miller gets called in as a hired gun to help keep things in order. This week the Full Metal crew is joined by the homies Richard and Darryl of the Wrecking Crew and Podcast: the Wreckening. They talk about all manners of gaming and then there’s some talk about gaming cons, especially the upcoming Arizona Game Fair. Listen in and let us know how you like the show! Thanks for tuning in cultists!

We got art my Rich Nerdgore, Music by Legion, Wolves in the Throne room and Sepultura! Get at it!

How to be a Bad Ass DM

All right, listen up fools. I’m about to drop some truth into your head holes about how to be a bad ass dungeon master, hence forth referred to as Dungeon Mastuh or DM, ‘cuz that is how a bad ass talks. They don’t have time for proper pronunciation or sounding things out in full. We have better things to do. like sneering or conditioning our leather jackets. Yeah. That is a sweet lookin’ jacket.

First up: Candles. Candle the shit out of your play space, but not so many as to actually allow people to read what is on their sheet. If the player can’t read their sheet/dice, they can’t argue with you when you tell them than no, they actually failed that save and now they are a statue. A bad ass DM doesn’t take back talk from the players. You want your gaming area to look like a medieval tavern where the owner doesn’t have enough coin for torches, despite the fact you are actually at your kitchen table in the suburbs and have proper light sources that would actually allow you to see what is going on. Ambiance, suckas.

Second: Mirror shades. Wear ’em. “But Adam, with the low light from the candles I can’t see a thing!” First off, who told you that you could speak to me? Second, you don’t need to see anything if you have ‘tude. You are a bad ass. You are making this shit up as you go along. If the lighting is bad enough, it doesn’t matter. The players can’t see a damn thing either. If you really need to catch a peek at something, you can always stare down at your players in disgust from over the top of your shades. That is what cool guys do.

Third: Fingerless gloves. Wear ’em. Also, spike your hair. That is what cool people do. If you don’t look like the villain from an 1980’s vampire flick, you are doing it wrong. Try again. Got leather pants/skirt and a mesh shirt? Even better. “But Adam, now my legs are dumping sweat and my torso is freezing!” Deal with it, cry baby. Let your players learn to avert their eyes from your dagger like nipples.

Fourth: Random acts of violence. Hit your players. They deserve it. “But Adam, battery is illegal, besides, these are my friends!” WRONG. Players are the enemy. They deserve a smack. Light ’em up. They need to FEAR you.

Fifth: Music. Crank that shit. This plays into the candle thing. If it is loud enough, the players can’t argue that you said you rolled a 19 vs their AC rather than a 20, which would hit. Oh, you couldn’t hear me over Cradle of Filth? Boo hoo. Too bad. I guess your Gnome Enchanter is DEAD. Roll up a REAL character this time, like a wandering Drow outcast suffering from depression.

Sixth: Swords. Fucking. EVERYWHERE. Got a wall? Throw a sword up on there as decoration. Or an axe. Or a shield with two swords. Basically your house better look like a weapons museum. Got kids? Too bad. They’ll learn not be touching that stuff eventually. You know, once they bleed a few times or end up short a couple digits.

Seventh: Proper session prep and story. You don’t need ’em. You are flying by the seat of your (leather) pants. You can make something up. If they players don’t like it, pretend you said something else or they weren’t listening. Or hit them. You’ve got options, is my main point.

And that, friends, is how you be a bad ass DM. Of course, if you actually want to be a GOOD DM, then you can throw all this advice out the window, because it kind of sucks. Now if you will excuse me, I need to peel myself out of these stupid pants and hope I don’t accidentally walk into a wall along the way.

Gamma World Part Deux

We rejoined our intrepid heroes as they went ice skating at the Polar Ice. After a brief intermission, they reached level 2. Hooray!

They were rejoined by Sports Authority, the Mind Breaker/Telekinetic they had abandoned at The Junction.  The reunited party moved further into the ruins of Meesa, following along the US-60 by way of the canals running alongside it.

The trip ran afoul of a group of dragonflies and some mutated jumping cholla. A long and savage combat ensued. Much healing was spent. Powers were used.  Eventually the group triumphed over their foes, searching the area and finding a lighter and a ceiling fan, which they surmised was some manner of shield. Into the wagon the new junk went.

They reached an agreement to head to Ookmans, where they had heard the settlers there were having problems with a warlord named Baby Eater. They decided to skip Golfland/Sunsplash, as it was rumored a race of frog men ruled that blighted place.

Meeting the representative of the Ookmans settlers, a young lad named Aragorn, they began to bargain. Aragorn told them a tale of woe. How Baby Eater and his raiders had attacked their village, and the defenders sacrificed their lives to protect the walls made of comic book long boxes and stacks of books. He offered them many replica weapons to aid their quest, none of which seemed like they would withstand any real use. Eventually he offered a key to Ostco, we he promised many treasures awaited. Sports Authority grew annoyed dealing with Aragorn, but refrained from killing him.

The group left for Ostco, visions of treasures in their heads. Entering, they were beset by a pair of Pig men and their radioactive lizard mounts. Throwing caution to the wind, Sports Authority charged into battle. For his trouble, he was tag teamed by the pig men, who dropped him with startling efficiency. Mae Lin rushed to his aid, dropping one of the pig men in one blow, in a graphic and unsettling fashion. She saved Sports Authority from certain death, while Krunk Mayhem sent his doppleganger in to run interference. They bested their foes and searched the ruins of Ostco, finding Omega tech. Krunk Mayhem at last found a pair of binoculars, which he had been searching for. Then Sports Authority rolled a 1 on his search, dropping the binoculars on the floor and shattering them. The dice giveth, and the dice taketh away.

In this session we got a lot more use out of Alpha mutations, and saw some interesting critical rolls and critical fumbles. The game is really bizarre and out there, which is exactly what I had hoped for. We even had someone from another table come over and ask us about the game, and he was interested and amused by our antics. All in all, Gamma World is running exactly how I had hoped it would. It is weird and wonderful.

Episode 29 – A Small Padded Cell with Jim Miller

You thought you could lock the crazy IN, didn’t you, you naive fucks. But did you ever think about locking the crazy OUT? I didn’t think so. So here we are on Saturday night clutching our proverbial nuts and gritting our teeth through the electroshock therapy. Well guess what! It’s a new Episode! Jim Miller is back! Listen in on our lunatic ravings! Music by Legion, Ghost, and the Bay City Rollers

Episode 28 – Beneath – The Inverted Church Kickstarter Review

In this episode Brendan and Ben keep it short and sweet with an in depth discussion of what’s new with gaming followed by a review of Justin Sirois’ Beneath: The Inverted Church currently gathering pledges on Kickstarter. And homie, let me tell you, it’s a doozey! So check out the episode and consider hitting up Kickstarter and maybe grabbing yourself a copy. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll barf up chunks. Is this Wayne’s World? Did you read to the bottom? Congratulations! No listen to the episode.

Music by Legion and a couple tracks from the latest Ghost album. Enjoy, striplings!

FMRPG Presents: The Shadowsworn Radio Hour Episode 006 – Vampire. Cop.

Brendan and Adam finally reveal to the world the origin of their fixation on bad leather jackets and sunglasses after dark. We have more new shit on the World of Darkness here! Brendan and Adam discuss their take on the World of Darkness as a multimedia experience and they add a NEW FEATURE! That’s right kids, now once per episode your least favorite fang-banging, darkstalking daywalkers will be reviewing (in order) episodes from the seminal Vampire/Detective serial: FOREVER KNIGHT! I know you guys can’t wait, we sure couldn’t. Anyway, there are lots of spoilers so don’t be bashful, this shit has been off the air for over 20 years. I’d say get over it, but we sure haven’t! Listen on neonate swine!

Episode 27 – GMing Stylez of the Lich and Slaymous

Hail! Blasphemers! Brendan and Ben just returned from the long month of August, where they spend the final weeks deep in the bowels of the Shadow Fathoms eating psychotropic myconid children and tripping balls super hard with the dark elf shadowmancer Dripztt and Raistlington the dwarven mega-wizard. When they returned they found a raven had brought word from Archlictor Miseophant in California seeking some blackened homilies on the craft of gaming. So they rounded up that fucker Shadowsworn Adam from the slave galley he was pirating and summoned The Mysterious Jeff from the Cthonous Depths and here you have it bitches, four dudes talking about how they think it should be done.

Full Metal RPG – Episode 26 – Lamentations of the Heather Girlfriend

POST CAFFEINE REHAB Brendan digs into topics with Full Metal Ben, the Warlord Amanda and his sponsor, Dr. Drew. Lotta rambling diatribes in this episode, but eventually Brendan does manage to get around to talking about his Lamentations of the Flame Princess game. Heather comes on the show and off the air does a mic drop, puts both hands up in the air and proclaims “I DID AWESOME!” Brendan shakes his head a lot and tries to remember the days when doing a podcast about roleplaying games with all of his friends sounded like a GOOD idea. Are you still reading this? For chirstsake, listen to the show!

How much money have I wasted on this bullshit

As a thought exercise, I thought it might be fun/harrowing to take a stab at how much money I’ve thrown down the bottomless, money hungry pit of the gaming industry. I need to break it out by type for any real accounting:

Board Games – I fancied myself a board gamer for a good while. I was regularly dropping $50-100 on the things. I still have probably twenty or so I’ve never even played. I told myself I could play them with the kids when they get older, but if I’m being honest that will never happen. I’m a compulsive hoarder. Rough guess? $2500 dropped here.

Card Games:

  • Magic the Gathering – Like everyone else in the nineties I got sucked into the vortex that is Magic. It was like heroin. It was worse than heroin. At least heroin  has the decency to be the sort of thing you lie to people about. I told people I played Magic. Hell, I was kind of proud of it. Honestly, I probably would have ended up sucking just as much dick if I had known that was an option. $2500 easily. The only thing that kept me from spending more was being a broke ass high school student. Luckily I punched out at the right time and recouped some of my losses. Hahahahahaha just kidding. I sold my cards for next to nothing and counted myself luckily to get out without sucking a dick.
  • Vampire: The Eternal Struggle – When I wasn’t wasting time on Magic, it was Jyhad/Eternal Struggle. II was more practical here, buying complete boxes on ebay instead of feeding my addiction a booster at a time. I’ll call it $1000, though I think it was higher.
  • Rage – Yes, I played Rage. Both versions. Shut up. I got into Rage when it was cheap. I could get boxes for under $50. Consequently I bought a lot of them, because it was a such a deal! I’ll say another $500 here.

Dice and Junk – Everyone needs peripherals. $500.

RPG Books

  • Dungeons & Dragons – Look, I don’t even know. $1000? More? It feel like more. I compulsively collected 3, 3.5, and 4. I’m starting 5th edition because I can’t control myself. Don’t cry for me. I know I’m already lost.
  • Star Wars – $500 or so. Fortunately Star Wars was never super popular. I got most of the books at a discount thanks to Amazon, and the Saga Edition was no where near as comprehensive with books as it could have been. I have thus far managed to avoid the latest iteration with multiple core books. Hooray for small victories.
  • Classic World of Darkness – I don’t want to talk about. I don’t. Whatever it all cost, it was worth it. I have dozens of these books, and this is after getting rid of a bunch of them.  $2000? $3000? I don’t care. I’d do it again. I’ll probably re buy some of the books I no longer have. I’ll get the 20th anniversary editions. I’ll suck a dick. I’ll suck twenty. Fifty. Line them up. It doesn’t matter.
  • Chronicle of Darkness – I mostly stuck with CoD, Requiem, and Changeling here. It was still a lot of books. And now the second editions are coming it. I’ll call it $1500 and be done with it.
  • Misc (Shadowrun, Cyperpunk, Eclipse Phase, CthulhuTech, one offs) – Lets say $750.

Wargamming:

  • Warhammer Fantasy – I managed to limit myself to one army in this game. One big, expensive army. The core box alone with a couple hundred, Factor in multiple editions. $750 conservatively.
  • Warhammer 40,000 – Look, I did things. Things I’m not proud of. Things I don’t want to talk about. $2500, even though I know that is a lie. A damn lie. Because the truth is too hard to fathom. Games Workshop pimped my ass with this game, and at the time I loved it. I couldn’t get enough. I look back with shame. Yet I know the only thing that stopped me was not having enough time for it anymore.
  • Warmachine – For a while I thought Warmachine was the antidote to the Games Workshop poison. Oh ho, how naive. It is a different flavored fruit from the same twisted vine. I spent $1000 on my Menoth army, and I never really got around to playing it.
  • Misc (Anima, Starship Troopers, Reaper minis) – $500 probably. I don’t know. I still have most of these. Somewhere.
  • Paints – $500. Modeling paint is damn expensive. I swear they make it from mermaid blood or something.
  • Brushes – During my forays into miniature painting, I decided what was holding me back was brushes. Namely that I was using overpriced Games Workshop brushes, and not ludicrously expensive sable hair brushes with fucking unicorn horn handles or whatever bullshit they claimed. I dropped some cash on brushes and brush holders and brush conditioner and yak semen to give them sheen. My painting still sucks. Go figure. $1000.

If I’m being realistic it is probably close to $20,000. The price of a car. Not even a shitty a car. A decent car. The kind where the AC works and it doesn’t make that weird noise when you hit 60 miles per hour. A legit car.

I really shouldn’t have done this.

Days of yore

I first got started with table top gaming in the fifth grade. We started with Dungeons & Dragons. The blue box. A grade school chum of mine, whom I shall Dan because that was his name, introduced me to this strange world. Dan had two older brothers, and by older I mean we were 10 and they were 16 and 18. They had a good collection of rule books and games and we had nothing, because we were 10 and no one gives a shit about 10 year olds, especially in the 80s. Even a 10 year old scotch got pissed all over during that period. Hooray for the excesses of that era. I digress.

Dan’s brothers had a wonderful assortment of games. We spent hours digging through their collections and trying things out. The one thing I remember most from this time is the importance of rules. Dan and his siblings would drill into you how imperative it was that you played by the rules. That the rules were there for a reason and you were not to contradict them. The written word was sacrosanct. The intention of the game devs was as good as the word of God himself, handed down through the prophets and transcribed for us lowly mortals scratching in the dust and filth. As a Catholic, this resonated on deep level with me.

Dan’s brothers also used these games and rules to punish and torture our characters. Again, as a Catholic this resonated deeply with me. The scenarios they ran for us were brutal death traps for our low level characters. The world was naught but suffering and pain. Of course, their insanely leveled and richly rewarded characters breezed right through them. When it came time to dole out experience, they often passed our characters over because “they didn’t even do anything in that fight.” This capricious and arbitrary system of justice became a pattern during this time.

They also had Warhammer 40,000 and Battletech. When they allowed us to play those games with them, they became hilariously lopsided scenarios where their side was a wall of armor and I was commanding a handful of Space Marines trying to take out a Predator tank with a bolter. Battletech was a row of Atlas clan mechs against a similar number of light mechs with no modifications.

Interestingly, they refused to lay board games with us, I suspect because it would have forced a level playing field. It was months before I spent enough time with their books to figure out they had rigged the world against us. That while the rules were important, they also existed to ensure fairness, and they had been twisted to run counter to that intention. I recall a cold sort of anger at that realization, as the wheels turned in my tiny head. I would like to say I got my revenge on them. That I write this from a room in which their polished skulls gaze mournfully down upon me. The truth is less exciting. I simply stopped playing with them. For a gamer, not having people to play with can be the worst fate of all. Looking back, I really should have been asking the question why the fuck a 16 and an 18 year old wanted to hang out with a bunch of ten year olds. That is… really weird. Like… super weird.