Sunday, March 23, 2014

Shattered Star - Session 1

Session 1 - A Game Afoot in Magnimar

Characters: Cresium Algor (female eventual talented rogue) [DNPC], Radyx (undivided xesa cleric of Veiloaria) [Patrick], Asper White (male human ranger) [Mike], Gleeman (male elf bard) [Thomas], and Uighyo Derexhi (male dragonblood illuminatus).

Cresium Algor
Female eventual talented rogue
Written by Creasium
Aspiring Pathfinder Society members are summoned to the the Heidmarch Manor to discuss an opportunity with Sheila Hiedmarch, Venture-Captain of the newest Pathfinder Society Lodge. Mrs. Heidmarch was busy getting a report from another Pathfinder called Koriah Azmeren but she left us with a paradox box to try to solve.
   From what we were told, a paradox box was a Thassilonian in origin and each have their own methods of unlocking. I had a look at the device to see if there was a hidden catch or perhaps a trap built into its mechanism but could not find either. Mrs. Heidmarch indicated that Koriah had done some preliminary investigation and left some notes. Since I am unable to read the notes would have been meaningless to me. The others seem to ignore the notes as well and try to puzzle things out themselves. Asper contemplated cracking it open with his axe, but Gleeman seems to be a master of runes and symbols and pointed out that some of the strange symbols spelled CRUEL in Thassilonian but I'd have to take his word for it. Uighyo quickly realized that CRUEL could be rearranged to spell LUCRE and quickly set about to reorder the letters.
  With the box opened, two tiny dog-like monsters sprung free. It was at this point that luck seemed to turn against us. We managed to defeat the summoned monsters but not before burning Mrs. Heidmarch's table with acid and burning her curtains down. Thankfully, the Venture-Captain seemed more annoyed that she left us with such a dangerous object. We were able to keep the magical ring (Uighyo), silver dagger (Asper) and the garnets we found within the box.
  Once our first misadventure was out of the way we were tasked by the Venture-Captain to locate a missing informant and the item she may have recently acquired. Armed with only a name, we headed the west of Magnimar to Washer's Row to talk to a known associate of the Szcarni, The Amazing Zograthy. Our initial conversation did not go well because Gleeman and Uighyo kept talking over one another and keep asking Zograthy for different things confusing the whole situation. I thought we were about to get thrown out of there when Radyx took over the negotiations having had enough of the "monkey-babble" from Gleeman and Uighyo. The important thing is we didn't get stabbed or robbed.
   Next we followed our clues about the disappearance to dockside in an attempt to disrupt some slaver operations. We staked out the place and then we saw light inside the warehouse at midnight we sprung into action. The warehouse at first appeared to be empty except for some dancing lights. The door was suddenly locked and there was a burst of colour before I blacked out. I was later told that we were attacked by a sorcerer who was trying to sell Pathfinder Society members to the Aspis Consortium. Radyx keep asking if he could eat the sorcerer (carnivorous plant people are a little off-putting) but we convinced him we would go for supper after turning the sorcerer over to the watch.
   The watch was able to confirm that the whole "slavers" angle was a red reefclaw and that the informant we were looking for was "known to authorities". The watch captain was also able to point us toward Fenster the Blight in the Underbridge who had dealings with the Tower Girls (the Szcarni gang our informant used to run too). This discussion was painful to see as Gleeman repeatedly addressed the watch captain as if she were a man--which was the point that Radyx just lost it saying, "Listen monkey, even I can tell she is a female of your species. Its not that hard, she has a pistil, you have stamen, there are birds or bees involved in pollination I supposed that part was never clear." I laughed so hard we had to get out of there and take a break. The xesa seems to get a little anger when he hasn't eating. So we took off to a good inn for some rest and food. Fenster would need to wait until morning... our the xesa would likely eat him. It was a nice change from exploring the ruin of the world to bed down for the night in a private room and collect my thoughts.
  The next day we were back on mission, we found the location of the missing informant's lair from Fenster and defeated her initial guards with some difficulty. I think, Uighyo may have exhausted his card pulls for the day already and we hadn't even found the informant.

- More after session 2.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

World Tour Support (Kickstarter)

It should be no surprise to anyone that reads this blog that I have no interest in running a new kickstarter any time soon after completing the Deus ex Historica and Exploding Aces kickstarters for 4WFG. Still there are a lot of kickstarters that interest me as a gamer and several that interest me as a publisher. One of particular is the Dungeon Crawl Classics - World Tour 2014.


The World Tour program supports gamemasters running Dungeon Crawl Classics for others introducing them to the game. I believe Daniel J. Bishop, one of the many valued others we have worked with on our Dungeon Crawl Classics line has benefited from this program in the past and does everything he can to get more gamers around the table to play Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Anything that gets more gamers around the table and supports gamemasters is good for the Dungeon Crawl Classics line for Goodman Games and good for the publishers that produce compatible material. Dungeon Crawl Classics, its gamemasters, and its players have been very good to Purple Duck Games.

In order to support the World Tour campaign, I have decided to make the following PDF products available to Joseph Goodman as bonuses the campaign. He may choose to ad them to any funding level he wishes and I'm sure he will update the campaign tomorrow or later today to reflect this.

We are contributing the following PDF books to the campaign:
I would have included FT 0 - Prince Charming, Reanimator, our 0th level funnel of faerie tale madness,  but its already free!

In other exciting new, Pathways 36 has come out with Endzeitgeist's list of the Top 10 Pathfinder Compatible Products.

On this list we claimed the 8th spot for:
- Legendary Classes: Covenant Magic

A follow-up to this book just came out last month as well called More Covenant Magic.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Evolution of a Game - CJ Ruby's Exploding Aces

Guest Post: Robert Thomson

I met Exploding Aces creator CJ Ruby in April 2009 when I joined the Sandbaggers Game Club of Great Falls, Montana, the month after my wife, Connie, and I had founded 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming. CJ was a long-time member of the club, and had a reputation throughout Montana and regional cons as being a good storyteller and GM. He primarily ran original concept scenarios using modified old World of Darkness rules, often without the supernatural elements that oWoD was primarily known for. One of the first games of his I ever played in was set in the Old West and I had a blast, but CJ confessed that the oWoD rules – even modified the way he had done – didn’t really fit his concept of what he wanted to do in his game. I encouraged him to work up his own complete set of rules and do away with oWoD completely.

Over the next couple of years, CJ worked on his ruleset and we played more games, and had others playtest the rules. Exploding Aces started off as a d6-based mechanic, on the surface somewhat like a combination of West End Games’ old d6 system and oWoD rules and yet very different from either. As the playtest progressed, CJ remained unhappy with the system and a random conversation brought about the idea of ditching dice completely and going with a card-based system entirely.

This was perhaps not an entirely unique system, as I have since heard of a couple other card-based RPGs out there, but it is certainly different enough and rare enough that I thought this would really make Exploding Aces stand out. By late 2011 CJ and I were talking about 4FWF actually publishing Exploding Aces, and CJ put further effort into refining the system.

After our successfully funded Kickstarter for Deus ex Historica, a supplement for Green Ronin’s Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition, I thought that Kickstarter might be the way to go for funding Exploding Aces, and so in August of 2012 we launched our second Kickstarter and the next month it ended, successfully funded.

Unfortunately, it was also at his time that I began to see that I needed to get out of the publishing side of business, but I didn’t want Deus ex Historica or Exploding Aces to go belly up with the patrons not receiving their product for helping fund it. In December of that year I entered conversations with Mark Gedak of Purple Duck Games and by 1 February 2013, Mark had formally taken over all 4WFG products and projects, including the unfinished Deus ex Historica and Exploding Aces.

Mark finished up DeH and got it out to the backers, and then set about finishing up Exploding Aces. He managed to do it a lot better and a lot faster than I could have done had I not sold him 4WFG, and I am very grateful for that. Now the product is out there, the patrons we have heard from seem pleased with it, and it’s already gotten one 5-star review. I couldn’t have asked for more.