Pages

100+ Followers(!)

38 comments
Dear Readers, I know this isn't technically a 'real' post, but I felt this milestone deserved a measure of recognition.

First and foremost, I'd like to thank myself (Ha!) for sticking to this blog and consistently providing what I consider to be quality reading material.

Secondly (or tied for first, rather), a large batch of gratitude goes out to my readers/Followers, and the attentive comments they've left over the course of this blog's lifespan. It goes without saying, but without your continual support and interest, I would've abandoned this project long ago (with a special thanks going out to 'Lhosreiff', whom I believe was my very first Follower).

Third, I would like to thank all of the various indirect influences, namely God for taking mercy on my internet connection and allowing me unimpeded (for now) access to said blog.

With all that business done and out of the way, I'd like to end this largely vacuous ritual of self-congratulation on a more constructive note. In order to better adhere to the communal standard of quality you all surely hold to this blog, I would like some feedback from you, the reader. If you all would be so kind as to leave some form of constructive criticism and/or request certain content you'd like to see in this space, I would greatly appreciate the gesture. Granted, I may not be able to comply with all of the requisitions submitted, but I can guarantee that I'll do my very best to abide by your recommendations, if only so that I may reciprocate a fraction of the pleasure that you've all given me.

Hopefully, we'll be doing this again, 100 followers from now.

With Much Gratitude,
-Alpha

The Donjon Generators

25 comments
As you can quite clearly tell, my connection difficulties have been resolved. However, the length of this rectification is unknown to my person, as this sort of thing occasionally has a tendency to come and go. So, I'd like to utilize this unknown span of functional time to provide you with an impressive collection of random content generators. I know, such programs are quite common in the realm of Hosting tools, but I feel this site warrants special attention for their extensive world-building programs and other assorted goodies (most available in varying genres, no less). The design of said website is quite spartan and lacking ornamentation, but one may estimate that this is due to the undoubtedly large amount of resources they devote to provide a wide range of variables to customize during NPC/dungeon/star system/loot/etc. generation.

donjon.bin.sh/world/

Downtime

11 comments
My home internet connection is having some difficulties, so I'm accessing a friend's network to inform you all of this temporary impediment.

Olfactory Aids?

19 comments
In the pursuit of enhanced player immersion, a variety of creative avenues have been explored. From custom play surfaces to the birth of LARP, this gradual escalation of escapism has yielded many imaginative creations that may not otherwise have seen the light of day. With such a collection of inventive energies abound, it's inevitable that certain products are more 'unique' than others.

http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/rpg.html
This is a line of those products.

For those (hopefully few) who spend their days pondering upon the particular scent of a 'Chaotic Good Orc Cleric', look no further than the various fragrances presented on that page. I'm not exactly sure who their intended market is, but their commitment to the genre is quite impressive, and I wholly respect their method of honoring the game.

How To Roleplay

11 comments
After a lengthy absence, I've returned to offer what I consider to be two of the finest and most concise instructional documents concerning role playing one can locate on the entirety of the internet. Constructed over the span of ten or so pages, the eminent Greg Stolze supplies the reader with a 'crash course' in the art of tabletop gaming etiquette through of a combination of informative text and hypothetical scenarios (no pictures, sorry). Said reader may find one or both of the documents to be of use, as they each address one of the two main roles of roleplaying: player and Host. With this approach, each unique consideration and pitfall of a specific role may be addressed and elaborated upon, giving a full (yet thankfully brief), set of guidelines for each party. In any case, I currently have the player-centered version on my 'required reading list' for those who wish to join a session.

For the Host: gregstolze.com/HowtoRun.zip

For the Player: gregstolze.com/HowtoPlay.zip

More on the Author: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Stolze

The Chart

33 comments
I had been quite content with the original content of this post; having elaborated upon the most grievous of mistakes a Host may commit with their group, when my wandering eye caught happened upon a most intriguing piece of information. So enraptured was I with this crucial document, my initial plans were swiftly abandoned, and I shelved the project in favor of this presentation. But first, some background, for the stage of this chance discovery must be properly set.

As possibly evidenced by my writing, my understanding of the tabletop gaming world in general may be considered somewhat 'shallow'. Though I do have a firm grasp on the crucial, basic guidelines of hosting a successful game, my experience with the variety of systems and themes available leaves much to be desired. This is due largely to my limited financial resources, leaving me quite cautious to branch out and experiment with a style that may possibly be ill-suited to my group, however open-minded they may be. A problem such as this, though daunting, is often remedied with a measure of accurate information. That is, if I knew what to expect from a foreign system, I could work with my players to ensure a successful transfer.

Unfortunately, the existence of a centralized and (most importantly) impartial collection of data on the various game types available for play had continuously eluded me...

...until now.

inkwellideas.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/rpgchart1.gif

Now, I know better than to foolishly rush in and assume this chart to be the ultimate summary of all things related to role play, but I've yet to find a credible source to properly assess this information and/or debunk it. If any of you, my readers, would like to share a personal thought, experience, or suggestion regarding this picture and its contents, please don't hesitate to do just that.

Maze #4

45 comments

Since offering the occasional maze and brain teaser, I've received a handful of queries concerning the exact method one should implement when completing said challenge. The best response I can supply for such a question is to simply leave it at your own personal discretion. Too challenging? Not puzzling enough? Try running through it in a different way; experiment with the various solution that may or may not be present. You may surprise yourself, or more importantly, your players.

Aural Aids: Part 2

22 comments

Given the abundance of 'sample material' I had to offer during my last elaboration on the topic of aural aids, I thought it most effective to give said material its own entry, so that I may divulge the entirety of the content available. The following suggestions, comprised mainly of songs/soundtracks (with a brief entry regarding sound effects), shall be categorized into the three most general campaign settings I could imagine, and presented with as little personal bias on my part as I can muster.

Enjoy


Setting: Past (Medieval Fantasy/Medieval Reality/Prehistoric/etc.)
-Chaos Legion (Soundtrack)
-E.S. Posthumus (Artist)
-Dead Can Dance (Artist)
-Ico (Soundtrack)

Setting: Present (Fantasy/Realism)

-DJ Amuro/Taka (Artist)
-Apocalyptica (Artist)

-Metal Gear: Solid Series (Soundtrack)

-John Williams (Artist)

-Banya (Artist)

-Viewtiful Joe (Soundtrack)


Setting: Future (Space-Faring/Apocalypse Planet/Dystopian Civilization)
-Phantom Dust (Soundtrack)
-Zone of the Enders (Soundtrack)
-Beatdrop (Artist)
-Toonami (Soundtrack)
-Armored Core Series (Soundtrack)

-Daft Punk (Artist)


Setting: Misc. (Selections don't fit a specific period/may be used in multiple settings)
-Zektbach (Artist)
-Adya Classic (Artist)
-The Big O Anime (Soundtrack)
-Yoko Kanno (Artist)

-Two Steps From Hell (Artist)

-Immediate Music (Artist)

-Hans Zimmer (Artist)


Additional Soundtracks
For those in need of additional material, I urge you to look no further than your favorite theme-appropriate form of entertainment. Whether it's a movie (Lord of the Rings), game (Call of Duty Series), or anime (anything by Hiyao Miyazaki really, you can't go wrong as far as music is concerned), chances are, an official soundtrack (OST) is available for your enjoyment and subsequent use in a later session.

If you found a particular time period to be meagerly represented or completely absent from this list, feel free to take the initiative and research the sort of music typical of said time (Big Band, Classic Jazz, Baroque, etc.).


Sound Effects
Due to the highly situational nature of these provisions, I find myself unable to supply an adequate suggestion for you, the reader. However, I can advise you to start your search with 'soundboards'; a collection of different phrases, voices, or other audible effects stored and centralized in one program or page. While they're most notorious for impersonating certain celebrity speech patterns, a search of reasonable depth can yield a variety of offerings at one's disposal.


Singles
Last, but certainly not least, a collection of specific songs that hold a certain amount of sentimentality to myself, which shall be elaborated upon per entry.



During one of my few Horror/Suspense games, I had used the repetitious mid-sections of the song to signify the appearance of a particularly horrendous monster. The volume would be raised or lowered, depending on how close it was to them. Great psychological weapon; the song really did live up to its name.


Used during a Sci-Fi campaign as an intro for an A.I.-gone-wild/cyborg boss battle.


One of the (very) few session-compatible Rap songs in existence.


A running joke, of sorts, in my group. No matter the campaign, whenever the PC's enter a bar/night club-esque environment, this song will always play on infinite repeat until they leave. : P


One of the first songs I've ever used in a session: impending battle + victory theme, all in one package.


Generic church/sacred ground music, at first...


...and when things hit the fan. The look of surprise on the faces of the PC's was priceless as they scrambled for their equipment in what they believed to be a 'safe' area.


...Just making sure you're still paying attention.


Some ballroom music, also doubles as 'peaceful city' music whenever I need to establish a calm, neutral mood.


A little modern music, for when I need to break up the monotony of 'medieval' music. It also worked well when the PC's looked upon a strange, exotic landscape (I skipped the intro vocals for that one).