Friday, June 4, 2010


Well I'm back on my war gaming kick. Time to take my crusaders to a full 800 points.
I decided to do a Warlord only blog for this.

Although I think there is a lot of good mini games out there I am a huge reaper Fan. Both warlord and CAV.

If you like Wargames and/or warlord come over to Ronin-Warlord Blog and check it out.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Retro clones and classic games.

I have been reading OSRIC, Swords and Wizardry, And a few other retro clones. Beings that I started playing with 1e AD&D I really enjoyed seeing OSRIC in print. Swords and Wizardry is a retro clone of Basic D&D or what is often referred to as 0e. While I never played or ran basic I did own a set of the box sets. While I love the nostalgia of reading them. I just don't have a desire to play them. I really am not some one who needs the new shinny game. And my tastes really are more inline with simpler and lighter rule systems now more than at any other time. Gone are the days when I used to love Complex systems and number crunching.

The problem is I think is since the days of my AD&D dungeon crawls and dragon slaying a lot has changed in gaming. With so many systems based on this system. Adding feats, Skills, and so many other options looking back on AD&D now just feels like driving a car made of just a frame, no body panels, no doors, and no windows.

But then I started thinking about the changes some of these retro clones changed, like different rules for hit points. Different options for saving throws, or adding ascending armor class. There is a lot of different takes on old school gaming out there.

Now enter Dragon Age rpg. This game has a simple mechanic that is pretty close to AD&D. Instead of a d20 you roll 3D6. Defense in the place of AC. And armor reduces damage taken rather than adding to Defense.
But the feel of it is very much like old D&D. A slick stunt system is added based on your to hit roll. It also has a proficiency system that is close to a skill system with out being complex.

This really got my brain going in its hamster wheel. Take a retro clone and bring some of then new innovations to it. What about adding ascending AC, A bell curve replacing a d20, or even making saves defenses like 4E?
Would it be old school? Would it be New? Would it be some kind of a hybrid?

I may just have to give this some more thought.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dungeons and Dragons 4E

Fourth Edition D&D was another game that at first glance turned me off. All I saw in it was a tactical miniatures game and it had so much influence from MMOs that I just didn't want anything to do with it. So for the longest time I have avoided it like the plague.

A few months ago now I started reading around a little about it. And I got thinking. Our group are all ex-MMO players (some still play them) and love tactical miniature games. Maybe if Wizards had not called it D&D but called it D&D tactics we would have tried it. So I figured it is worth giving it a fair shake for what it is, not what it isn't.

To my surprise the game is a hit with us. We are well into a long term game and this is our current game at the moment. No this game is not 3rd edition, no its not an in depth story telling system. What it is is action and adventure. I really must say as a GM it really is less of a chore to run than other systems. No matter how you slice it 4E fits our casual play style just fine. For us at least the fun factor is there.

Shadowrun 4E

Shadowrun is one of those games to me, that its system is as much a part of the game as the fluff. It was the third system I ever ran as a GM. One of the only games I never converted to other systems (until now). Because if you were going to play shadowrun and removed it from the system it just didn't feel like shadowrun any more. First edition was the edition I stared with. Second edition came and was used and welcomed it for its changes. While I picked up a lot of third edition books I never played it, It was mostly a reworking of second, expanding and revising it.

But now there is a 4th edition. When I was first introduced to it I really didn't like what I saw. Gone was the die pools and Gone is the weapon damage codes. I felt they just wholesale copied the new world of darkness system for a d6. which I am not a huge fan of. It just didn't have that feel to me that made shadowrun so unique. So my first impression is if im going to play it ill play with 3rd or ill convert it to another system since with 4th I would be doing that any way.

Now after a few months of going over it and playing with the system a little I can appreciate it more now. Dont get me wrong, I see the system in a bit of a different light now. It needs a little house ruling, It has glass ceilings all over the place, and has its quarks. But it seems to work pretty well. The unified system really makes some aspect of the system a lot simpler. But also makes it too simple in some places. Like adding modifiers to a task. Since there is now a set target number for die the only way you can adjust the difficulty of a task is add or subtract the number of die in the pool. Making it the only modifier. This can lead to trouble fast with die pools getting huge since every bonus you get it so the single die pool.

Besides its quarks and short comings I think the new edition is definitely shadowrun. Its fast playing, Most the game system is unified now (I still feel the net is a different system). And most of all its fun.