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Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design

A FIVE BOG TROLL HEAD RATING!

The Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design is an intimidating and healthy 244 pages of collected musings, thoughts, insights and essays from a collection of industry names that should prove familiar to most gamers or would be designers looking to sit down and read through this book. At first glance, and yes by the assumption made from the books title, it would appear this book is strictly for the designers out there, a how to guide if you will, on how to make a successful game and thereby put your name on the map when it comes to the gaming industry. But looking through the chapters and essays contained within one discovers very quickly there is so much more to this book then first impressions. Written largely by Wolgang Baur, you will be treated to his insight on everything from borrowing concepts from throughout all of media and history, why MtG worked as a game, how one actually defines design, to nurturing one’s own creativity. Wolfgang spends a great many chapters walking the reader through the many different aspects behind what makes a great designer, as well as why many will fall flat on their faces. He takes an unblinking look at the industry, and then reflects that here for the readers, which I have to admit, was refreshing. Far too many people are convinced they have the next great idea, and find themselves at a total loss when the whole o f the world doesn’t agree with them. He even voices his opinion on Magic Item Creation ala RPG Superstar, he has judged twice now, and is well established to detail what works, and what doesn’t. I can’t help but think every gamer/designer who’s ever considered publishing or submitting would do themselves a great service to spend some time reading at the very least the first section of this book, if not all of it.

Section 2 takes us into what I thought of as the reason gamers would want this book, not that the material and thoughts of the first section were not excellent, but they were aimed more towards designers looking to publish, as opposed to GM’s (who in their own right are designers, whether they realize it or not). Here is where this book really starts to attack the concept of how to improve one’s game from the ground up. Chapters dealing with topics like plot design, handling city adventures, the underdark and what one can really do with it as an ecological setting as well as a built in monster infested killing field. Hordes, humor, mystery and hardboiled adventures, this section tackles several different topics I can honestly say I wasn’t aware I had problems in until I found myself reading through these and realizing that I saw parts of my game in what they were addressing. Again, any GM worth his player’s time should spend some time with this section.

Section 3 takes us back to the business side of it again, with Writing, Pitching and Publishing. And again, we find that unblinking eye, which is what is needed in a product of this nature. After all, if you are going to buy a book that is largely a collection of advice and insight on how to succeed, would you want it to be sugercoated? No, you would want exactly what is delivered here, a fantastic collection of industry veterans not only telling you how you can improve your design and game, but how they themselves have improved their own games and designs. And just who are we talking about there when I say industry veterans, take a look:

Colin McComb‚Äď Extensive writing credits with TSR, Malhavoc Press, Paizo, and Open Design.

Rob Heinsoo ‚Äď lead designer for D&D 4e as well as an extensive list of RPG, tabletop roleplaying, board, miniature and card games.

Michael A. Stackpole ‚Äď Author, Game Designer both within the computer world and RPG industry

Ed Greenwood ‚Äď The creator of the Forgotten Realms and successful author

Bill Collins – ENnie award winning designer (Tales of Zobeck)

[b]Nicolas Logue ‚Äď WOTC Voyage of the Golden Dragon, Several credits with Paizo

Ben McFarland ‚Äď credits on several Open Design projects, contributor to Kobold Quarterly, and The Breaking of Forstor Nagar

Willie Walsh ‚Äď Longtime contributor to Dungeon Magazine, AD&D Road to Danger & Dungeons of Despair, Member of the Werecabbage Freelancers Creative Guild, 0one Games

Monte Cook ‚Äď 1/3 of the design team for D&D 3e, Malhavoc Press, Arcana Unearthed, Ptolus, Iron Heroes, World of Darkness

Wolfgang Bauer ‚Äď TSR, ICE, Open Design, just to name a few companies he has worked with. Won the eighth annual Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming in 2008.

So, 244 pages looking behind the curtain with some industry insiders. Very very few errors in editing, and by very few, I mean I think I found one. A must have book for both those looking to get into this industry, and those who merely want to play. I will admit, I did not know what to expect than I first saw this book, but by the end I was very happy that I turned the first page and kept reading, and I think you will be also.
I think my biggest fear in tackling this book was page hypnosis, and since it was a fear of mine, I would like to address it. Page hypnosis, as I call it, is that trance state you hit when reading textbook material type writing for hours on end, where you’re not really absorbing anything so much as you’re just staring at it because it’s so boring. Why would I be afraid of that? Because every guide on getting into the industry I’ve ever seen before this one essentially ended up being one of the most boring reads I ever tried to get through. The Kobold’s Complete Guide handles this with a very subtle method, that I think shows a great deal of intelligence on Wolfgang’s part. No matter how interesting someone is, when they are teaching the human brain will attempt to go on autopilot eventually, so this book breaks up Wolfgang’s writing style by interspersing essays from the other game designers throughout, giving you multiple writing styles to keep it fresh constantly. Now, am I saying that any of the material is boring? No, I am saying that the format of having multiple writing styles, and therefore multiple ‚Äúvoices‚ÄĚ in this conversation proactively help to keep the book fresh throughout the entire read.

As I believe every GM and designer should have a copy of this in their library, I am going with a solid 5 star rating, but am adding the clarification, this is a collection of text. There is no pretty artwork breaking up the text, no game mechanics per say. This is a collection of insight into how to make the games we play that much better, and well worth the read, as long as when sitting down to read it, one understands that that is what they are sitting down to read.


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Win this Treasure Trove!

 



 
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D&D NEXT has a new home on Wizards.com!

Wizards of the Coast has just launched a brand new hub of information for D&D Next, the ‚Äúnext‚ÄĚ iteration of the game, at¬†http://www.wizards.com/DnD/DnDNext.aspx. The new page features all the latest and greatest on D&D Next including articles from Wizards, discussions about the future of the game, and seminar transcripts from the recent D&D Experience event. It will also soon house features like Live Chats, a calendar of upcoming events and, once playtesting begins, materials will be available for download through this page.¬†(Please note that this new site¬†does not¬†signify the start of playtesting ‚Äď we will, of course, let you know once that begins!)

Also, as you may have noticed, the D&D site has been redesigned with a spiffy new look which went live this week at http://www.wizards.com/dnd.

Check out the new pages and, as always, let me know if you have any questions. In the meantime, check out the site and sign-up for the playtest if you haven’t already done so!

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RPTools: Open Source Tools for Pen & Paper RPGs

RPTools is an open source tool set for PC designed to enhance pen and paper role-playing games. ¬†If you’re a RPG fanatic you are probably already aware of these tools or at least heard of them from your fellow gamers. ¬†After experimenting with the tools in my own Pathfinder and D&D games I decided to dig a little deeper and obtain an interview with the folks who have made these tools openly available to the general public!

NERD TREK interview with Frank Edwards & Keith Athey of RPTools.

 

Jonathan Nerdtrek:  Hello Keith!  Please tell our readers a bit about your RPTools programs and your role within the company.

Keith Athey:  RPTools is a community devoted to producing open source software for the online gamer. By online we mean folks playing together from across the globe or those with projectors or networked laptops who use RPTools to speed game play.  MapTool is by far the most used product but we have others including DiceTool, CharacterTool, InitiativeTool, and TokenTool.   My role within the community is that of Bard.  I do my best to spread the word about RPTools and try to bring even more people into our community of users.

Jonathan Nerdtrek: I have been checking out your RPTools programs and find them very impressive.  Watching this tutorial video for MapTool has blown me away.  Your attention to detail is astounding- love that you can click on an item to see its contents, open and close doors, and obtain a light source for each character on the battlemap.

Frank Edwards: I can’t take credit for most of the code — that belongs to the RPTools founder, Trevor Croft. ¬†However, real life has become much more real for him lately and he has left the product development in the hands of myself and Craig Wisniewski. ¬†We are attempting to carry the banner forward!

Jonathan Nerdtrek:¬†My business partner Todd Gamble (D&D 3.5 Core, Forgotten Realms 3.5, 3x Ennie Award Winner) and I have built a website called Adventureaweek.com. ¬†This website is under beta testing and launches in 2012. ¬†I was curious if you had any ideas of how we could work together to benefit your tools and our game. ¬†We will have a lot of people who would probably like to play online with their friends. ¬†I think it’s quite amazing that you ask for nothing in return for your tools which in itself lends great credibility to your product.

Frank Edwards:¬†You may be familiar with the name Jonathan Roberts of Fantastic Maps? ¬†He and Rite Publishing have produced the first commercial adventure (that I know of) that includes a MapTool campaign file as part of their module. ¬†We worked with Jonathan over the past couple of months to ensure that any tweaks we made to MapTool weren’t going to cause him any headaches for his campaign macros. ¬†If you haven’t seen¬†The Breaking of Forstor Naga¬†then you should check it out. ¬†He has a product entry on Paizo’s web site (the module is generic enough to run in any game system, but the campaign file is primarily for PF) that links to a¬†YouTube video¬†that shows how he has configured MapTool. ¬†I will warn you: ¬†he has set the bar pretty high IMO!

Jonathan Nerdtrek:  Thank you Frank!  I checked out the module you mentioned.  It looks great!  Are the Pathfinder statistics that are worked into that adventure generally available on RPTools programs, or are those custom stats that Jonathan Roberts worked in on his own?

Frank Edwards:¬†Jonathan created his own “framework”, i.e. his own set of macros and game statistics. ¬†There are also user-contributed frameworks (on our forum under¬†User Creations > Campaign Frameworks) that cover various game systems such as D&D3.5/PF, D&D4e, ShadowRun, GURPS, and so forth. ¬†I believe he created his own so that changes in the community version wouldn’t affect the functionality of his project, although he could have included the existing framework as part of his product (there are no royalties or similar issues with frameworks; most are covered by a Creative Commons license). ¬†I suppose you’d need to ask him that question. ¬†If you register on our forum at¬†forums.rptools.net, he goes by the username¬†torstan.

Jonathan Nerdtrek: Can you please tell us more about these tools and what each one does?

Keith Athey:  MapTool is RPTools primary product. It allows online players to share maps, tokens, and chat across the internet. It allows for customization for whatever game system you use but can be used with almost any game system.  DiceTool is a computer dice roller that allows for complex dice expressions. This code was folded into MapTool proper as time wore on but it still functions as a stand alone product.  TokenTool allows you to rip images from the web or your local machine to quickly create tokens for use in MapTool or other VTTs.  InitiativeTool was created to keep track and roll game initiative. MapTool has absorbed much of this functionality as well.  CharacterTool is used to create custom character sheets for differing game systems.  All the Tools are cross-platform, meaning they run on Windows, Mac, or Linux, and game system agnostic. All the software is free and game system agnostic. You can even download the source code, if you like.

 Jonathan Nerdtrek: Keith and Frank, thank you for talking with NERD TREK.

 

If you are interested in checking out the 100% free and open source RPTools simply visit RPTools.net and click the download link!

 

 

Join the Forum discussion on this post

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Pathfinder Beginner Box – Kids GMing for Parents or “How I got my wife to play RPGs!”

I know, you are all wringing your hands waiting for the first installment of the Pathfinder Beginner Box through the eyes of my son and his friends. ¬†I swear to you it is coming so please don’t locate me using Google Earth and pound on my door and windows like the mob of angry zombies that attacked while waiting for my latest SKYRIM article! ¬†If you missed that article you can jump back and read my son’s reactions to the Pathfinder Beginner Box here!

This article will still whet your taste buds in preparation for additional Pathfinder articles to come.  This is the story of Kids GMing for Parents or how I got my wife to play role-playing games!

My son Justice has been very excited about role-playing games ever since he saw some friends and I gather around the table with small painted miniatures, funny yet colorful looking dice, and beautiful model scenery and maps.  From the age of 5 he was asking me when he would have the chance to play.  I told him that his time would come, he just needed to wait a few more years until he could understand the basics.  That time finally came, and for the past three nights, Justice has sat behind the GM screen running Pathfinder games! (Actually he paces around the room with the adventure module in hand!)

I’ll start at the beginning. ¬†During Justice’s first game with his friends he was GM. ¬†My wife was in the kitchen baking up one of her delicious concoctions (she really should start her own bakery) and overheard the entire adventure. ¬†Her post-adventure comment to me: “I like the way they play!” ¬†“How do you mean?” I said. ¬†“The players say what they want to do and Justice lets them do it!” ¬†My wife let loose a devilish grin revealing a starved role-player hiding inside. ¬†Although I always encourage exploration and pushing the limits in my games there are limitations to characters abilities. For example a plain old fighter doesn’t know how to use a magic wand without a special skill and that’s just how it is… or is it? ¬†The old seers who crafted the first couple editions of AD&D always prefaced the Players Handbook and Dungeon Masters guide with something important and meaningful. ¬†I think Zeb Cook’s preface to the AD&D 2nd edition Dungeon Master’s guide sums up how I feel about RPGs and the way they are meant to be played:

Let’s assume that since you’re reading this, your are, or plan to be, a Dungeon Master. ¬†By now, you should be familiar with the rules in the Player’s Handbook. You’ve probably¬†already noticed things you like or things you would have done differently. If you have,¬†congratulations. You’ve got the spirit every Dungeon Master needs. As you go through¬†this rule book, I encourage you to continue to make these choices.

Choice is what the AD&D game is all about. We’ve tried to offer you what we think¬†are the best choices for your AD&D campaign, but each of us has different likes and¬†dislikes. The game that I enjoy may be quite different from your own campaign. But it is¬†not for me to say what is right or wrong for your game. True, I and everyone working on¬†the AD&D game have had to make fundamental decisions, but we’ve tried to avoid being¬†dogmatic and inflexible. The AD&D game is yours, it’s mine, it’s every player’s game.

So is there an “official” AD&D game? Yes, but only when there needs to be. Although¬†I don’t have a crystal ball, it’s likely that tournaments and other official events will use all¬†of the core rules in these books. Optional rules may or may not be used, but it’s fair to say¬†that all players need to know about them even if they don’t have them memorized.¬†The Player’s Handbook and the Dungeon Master Guide give you what you’re expectedto know, but that doesn’t mean the game begins and ends there. Your game will go in¬†directions not yet explored and your players will try things others think strange.¬†Sometimes these strange things will work; sometimes they won’t. Just accept this, be¬†ready for it, and enjoy it.

Take the time to have fun with the AD&D rules. Add, create, expand, and extrapolate.¬†Don’t just let the game sit there, and don’t become a rules lawyer worrying about each¬†piddly little detail. If you can’t figure out the answer, MAKE IT UP! And whatever you¬†do, don’t fall into the trap of believing these rules are complete. They are not. You cannot¬†sit back and let the rule book do everything for you. Take the time and effort to become¬†not just a good DM, but a brilliant one.

At conventions, in letters, and over the phone I’m often asked for the instant answer to¬†a fine point of the game rules. More often than not, I come back with a question‚ÄĒwhat¬†do you feel is right? And the people asking the questions discover that not only can they¬†create an answer, but that their answer is as good as anyone else’s. The rules are only¬†guidelines.

At the beginning of the first Dungeon Master Guide, Gary Gygax stressed that each of¬†us, working from a common base, would make the AD&D game grow in a variety of¬†different directions. That is more true today than ever. Don’t be afraid of experimentation,¬†but do be careful. As a Dungeon Master, you have great power, and “with great power¬†comes great responsibility.” Use it wisely.

David “Zeb” Cook
(Preface to the AD&D 2nd edition Dungeon Masters Guide)
2/9/1989

Notice the bold underlined text above? ¬†“The rules are only guidelines.” ¬†I realized with great sadness that this ethos had begun to slip away from me as time had gone by. ¬†Players who constantly reference their PHB, rule lawyers, and perfectionism have pushed me away from all that I hold dear in the game. ¬†The freedom to do whatever you want? ¬†I want my fantasy back!

So, coming back to my wife and I talking… she had mentioned that the kids were doing whatever they wanted in the game. ¬†If they didn’t understand a rule they threw it away or made up their own. ¬†In the end they had an AMAZING time! ¬†My wife had such a great time listening to them play I realized this was my chance. ¬†The chance to finally convince my wife she needs to play role-playing games. ¬†(If you ever get this chance don’t let it slip away, they come only once a decade!) ¬†How was I to get the entire family involved in a way which would promote healthy exploration and complete and utter freedom and creativity? ¬†Ah ha! ¬†Instead of my experienced hand and mind behind the GM screen I would let Justice run the game. ¬†My wife and I would play a couple characters in the Pathfinder Beginner Box and run through the dungeon.

In the past my wife would take a week just rolling up a character. ¬†She spent hours writing every detail down with perfect penmanship and absolute purpose. ¬†By the time she was done she didn’t want to play her character lest she die! Realizing this I grabbed the pre-made characters that come with the Pathfinder Beginner Box, golden! ¬†I asked her if she wanted the female cleric that looked like a man or the slender and attractive elvish rogue. ¬†She of course went with the rogue. ¬†I handed her the sheet, we put our 2 dimensional cardboard avatars upon the flipmat and Justice opened his adventure module. ¬†He read the intro to the adventure which I won’t display here since I hate spoilers as much as you do! ¬†We were whisked away into a fantasy world just like that! ¬†No need to spend hours rolling up characters or arguing over mundane details (this is NOT a mundane detail MICHAEL!! sorry, random Office Space reference…) ¬†

Oh yes, my choice? ¬†I went with the warrior. ¬†I prefer to play wizards, but I knew since our party numbered only two that I would have to play the tank. ¬†Plus, if my wife died in the first adventure she may never try playing again. ¬†This was one of the most purposeful adventures I had ever been on! ¬†The fate of my family’s ability to play role-playing games hung in a¬†precarious¬†balance. ¬†We were attempting to take on an adventure meant for 4 players with only 2 and my son GMing. ¬†I hoped he would go easy, at least on my wife.

Our first encounter with a couple goblins went brilliantly! ¬†My wife used stealth to sneak up behind the first goblin and slayed him with a sneak attack outright. ¬†That put a smile on her face! ¬†I charged into battle swinging my trusty longsword prepared to decapitate the last goblin.. and missed! ¬†The goblin attacked me and rolled high, he hit. ¬†Next my wife attacked and hit again, rolling another high damage roll and killed the other goblin as well. ¬†I stood there looking like a big dumb brute. ¬†“Uh, nice work beautiful. ¬†Perhaps I should relinquish party leadership to you seeing as you best me at both combat and skill.” ¬†She gladly accepted (what wife doesn’t like having power over her husband’s player character?) and we moved into the next room.

Justice thoroughly enjoyed playing the role of GM and although he has a ways to go, he reminds me of myself at his age. ¬†Except this time, the parents are encouraging the child to get lost in a fantasy world. ¬†Throughout the adventure he made mistakes and said “Whoops, oh no! ¬†I messed up!” ¬†I gave him my sagely wisdom that I have learned from years of GMing. ¬†“Son, don’t tell the players when you mess up. ¬†Trust me, they will never ever know. ¬†Plus, there are no mistakes- there are just chances to use your imagination!” ¬†He smiled and nodded and we kept playing.

We have played 2 short sessions since that initial game.  Now we keep our Pathfinder Beginner Box game sitting on the coffee table.  Now each night instead of sneaking off to work on my website or watching Star Trek- the Next Generation, we spend time as a family adventuring through a dungeon while my son GMs!

When Justice walks upstairs he sees my towering bookshelves lined with the entire Forgotten Realms catalog from 1st edition, all of 2nd, and every book (save 1) from Forgotten Realms 3.5. ¬†I also have the healthy beginning of a Pathfinder RPG library (the core books and Advanced Players book). ¬†Oh yeah, don’t forget all the old issues of Dragon magazine dating back as far as the late 70’s all missing covers! ¬†ūüėõ ¬†I try to imagine having access to such a library at his age and I just can’t do it. ¬†Is it overwhelming? ¬†Exciting? ¬†In time I’m sure he will pull a few of the old RPG tomes off that shelf, dust them off, and ask “Dad, what’s ADVANCED Dungeons & Dragons?” ¬†I will smile proudly and sit him down to roll up a character while I try my hand at DMing for HIM!

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D&D the Good Old Days: Share your Stories

Take a short pause in your day to reflect on your D&D legacy, the RPG games that you used to play with friends when there were no limits on time and anything was possible.  Take a moment and share those memories with us today in the comments section below, and if you have the time read this article where I lament over the death of my youth and subsequent loss of free time.

When I was a teenager in school, without a job, and spending summers with my friends we used to game like there was no tomorrow.  Our game of choice was AD&D 2nd edition and we played in all the campaign settings.  Our favorites were Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, and Dragonlance but we loved it all.  We had sessions that sometimes lasted from when we awoke on a Saturday morning late into that night and then continued the following day until the weekend was gone.  Those sessions are the stuff of legends, I remember them so fondly and recall how we used to game without a care in the world.  No appointments, jobs, husbands or wives, or children- just good old Dungeons and Dragons!

In the good old days we didn’t dig through the Players Handbook looking for rules violations or making sure we knew exactly how this or that spell worked.¬† We just enjoyed the fantasy and let it flow naturally, most of the time I didn’t write any adventure aside form some notes scrawled on a sheet of notebook paper behind the DM screen.¬† We would take time out to draw maps, talk about NPCs and the future of the characters involved.¬† Speaking of involved, my god- everyone was SO involved in each game.¬† It wasn’t just a game, it was our world!¬† The tales we told and the incredible journeys the Players made will be remembered forever.¬† Once I put it this way to my best friend- “The characters and ideas we have crafted take physical manifestation in the form of cells in our mind so in a way- they are real.”¬† Somewhere Taku Okamiya really exists, as does Derris Strongsword, Darsell Rathar, Iendelle Greenbottle, Laura Drandella, Gin, Phidel Cruze, and Alin Durqua.

The tales we spun were our own and we tended to stay away from the pre-made modules as they just felt forced.  We preferred to keep it real and enjoy our own game and use the rules and campaign settings as a guide to help us along when we had need of their services.

I miss those days and now that I am older we only get together with our gaming group about once per month and 12 games a year just doesn’t feel right.¬† Although there’s no way I can squeeze in one more thing due to my 5 jobs and playing in a band I sorely miss those days and hope they will come again soon.¬† Perhaps you will support me so fully with NERD TREK that you and I will have a chance to game sometime for days at a time!

I would like to share some of the most memorable characters and a very brief description of each.  I was always the DM yet even I enjoyed all of these unique and memorable characters.

Taku Okamiya (1998-2006) – Forgotten Realms – Hailing from the far east in Kara-Tur, Taku Okamiya ended his career with the following title: Lord Taku Okamiya, Ruler of Nesme, Guardian of the Confederation of Luruar, High Priest of Helm.

Derris Strongsword (mid-90’s) – Forgotten Realms & Planescape – Derris Strongsword was a gruff warrior who although distrusted magic eventually came to embrace it and carried all manner of magical devices which eventually led him into the planes and great quests through lava lakes and demon hordes.

Darsell Rathar (mid 90’s) – Dark Sun – Darsell Rathar was a brutal Mul (Human/Dwarf) with bulging muscles and a hot temper.¬† Wielding two impalers and with a taste for exotic mind altering herbs found in the High Forest, Darsell slayed more NPCs and enemies than every character combined in any campaign DMed to date.¬† He did whatever he wanted and killed whoever he wanted and his skills at wilderness survival and evading pursuing enemies and then killing them were the only reason he lived for so long.

Iendelle Greenbottle (2009-current) – Forgoten Realms – A carefree halfling rogue from Luiren, Iendelle recently discovered that she is actually a Doppleganger.¬† When she was a child she so wished to exit the forest and join the carefree halfling she saw daily picking flowers and dancing in the fields.¬† One day despite her mother’s pleas she spoke to the girl who was at first afraid.¬† Over many years the two girls became friends and always met in the field near the forest.¬† One day while walking the breathtaking cliffs near Beluir, Iendelle the halfling slipped and fell- the Doppleganger in her natural form caught her but could not hold on.¬† She slipped from her grasp and plummeted to the rock below, but not before the Doppleganger absorbed all of her thoughts.¬† Iendelle (who now believed she was one and the same) returned to her halfling home and unknowingly lived out the rest of her childhood there.¬† It wasn’t until recently that the halfling found out her true past while on a mission to save the realms from Vaprak the Destroyer.

Laura Drandella (early 90’s) – Forgotten Realms – A sexy female half-elf bard who was one of the first players to discover and explore Myth-Drannor- and live to tell about it!¬† She was a fiery broad and although many men were turned on by her, many more lost their coin purse and woke up without even a loin cloth to their name.

Gin (2008-2009) – Forgotten Realms – An elf raised by a human dictator and trained as a thief and assassin.¬† When the truth emerged that the dictator was in league with demons and the murderer of Gin’s parents, Gin’s life was turned upside down.¬† Now Gin lives with a life long enemy and many dangerous adversaries that pursue him to the edges of the world.

Phidel Cruze – (late 80’s/early 90’s) – Goldenhorn (custom world) – A dragon rider who was the only PC ever to own a ring of wishing, this game was wildly unbalanced, full of powerful magical items, and fun as hell!

Alin Durqua – (late 80’s/early 90’s) – Forgotten Realms – Alin Durqua discovered a magical stone in an ancient cave which was later revealed to have belonged to a now dead god.¬† This stone offered great power with a price.¬† You were able to open portals anywhere in the realms but one must drain the life from a soul in order to use this power.¬† Over the course of Alin Durqua’s life he saw much of the realms, soul trapped many poor souls, changed history and thus the future of the realms, was decapitated by an overzealous necklace of strangulation, and finally resurrected as a beastman who went insane and formed a cult worshiping the new evil god Cyric at which point the player turned over his character sheet to the DM (me).¬† He was one of the most unique characters and when originally rolled up I watched the player roll his stats STRAIGHT DOWN the line: 18, 18, 18, 17, 17, 17 and this was with regular dice- I checked them after he rolled.¬† Insane.

There you have it, I have shared some of our favorite characters and stories.¬† Although I gave you the incredibly brief version, I would like to hear yours now!¬† Please share your RPG stories below, whether you are a player or DM let us enjoy our memories of the “good old days” together!