Archive for Dungeons & Dragons

Gaming Stories: The Ignominious Death of Machiavelli

Posted in Gaming Stories, Rants, RPG Rants, Uncategorized with tags on May 24, 2017 by Charlie Brooks

Carriage ChaseThis is a story about chaos and mismanaged expectations. It involves the death of a PC whose player had only started gaming two sessions ago. Somehow, my botched GMing didn’t drive him away from the tabletop for good and in fact became a tale that many who were there recall fondly.

The poor unfortunate PC was an elf named Machiavelli. I remember very little of the character himself, save for the fact that he had a Dexterity of 20, which will become relevant later. This game took place right at the start of 3rd edition D&D, so the fact that a 1st-level character could have a 20 in anything seemed amazing at the time.

The story doesn’t begin with Machiavelli, though. It begins with his adventuring companion Penelope. The same Penelope who killed a dryad and called it an evil tree spirit, who loves drawing from the deck of many things, and who turned into a magic sword. She’s been a constant agent of chaos in my setting for 17 years now. For her 18th birthday, I might buy the character sheet some lottery tickets and porn.

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Delving into the Book of Erotic Fantasy: Wear Protection

Posted in Rants, Role-Playing Games, RPG Rants with tags , on November 15, 2016 by Charlie Brooks

Book of Erotic FantasyOriginally posted on Sidekickcast.com

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition introduced the Open Gaming License, which made huge chunks of the D&D rules open to third parties. It created thriving adventure lines, such as Dungeon Crawl Classics and even allowed the creation of competing games, such as Pathfinder. But by far one of the most simultaneously awesome and horrible products that emerged as a result of this license is the Book of Erotic Fantasy.

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D&D and Pathfinder: What’s the Difference?

Posted in Pathfinder, Rants, Role-Playing Games, RPG Rants with tags , on October 11, 2016 by Charlie Brooks

Pathfinder Dragon

Originally published on Sidekickcast.com

I tend to use Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder interchangeably. In a lot of ways, they’re the same game – after all, Pathfinder is directly derived from the 3rd edition D&D rules. At the same time, both games have evolved in different directions and provide a distinctly different feel at this point. If you’re looking to start a game using one of these systems, which do you choose?

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Weird Magic Items I Wish I’d Used

Posted in Pathfinder, Rants, Role-Playing Games, RPG Rants, Uncategorized with tags , on September 27, 2016 by Charlie Brooks

LiddaOriginally posted on Sidekickcast.com

Thanks to whatever weirdness inhabited the heads of Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, fantasy gaming has some really bizarre stuff baked into its history. I’ve gamed long enough to use a lot of that weirdness (including my personal favorite, the deck of many things), but there’s still so much more out there. Here’s a quick list of some of the fun items in Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder that I’ve always wanted to slip into an adventure but have never quite been able to make fit. Continue reading

The Awesome Silliness of Fantasy RPGs

Posted in Humor, Pathfinder, Rants, RPG Rants with tags on September 6, 2016 by Charlie Brooks

Flumph and GoblinsOriginally posted on Sidekickcast.com

If you’re a fan of role-playing games, you probably got introduced to the game through a little thing called Dungeons & Dragons. It may have come by a different name back then, such as Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, but the general gist remains the same. In my unscientific study, about 99% of gamers were found to have come into the hobby via some iteration of D&D.

I’ve hopped around a lot in the RPG hobby, and while I got off the D&D train, my current game of choice, Pathfinder, is an extremely close cousin of the world’s first role-playing game. While there are a lot of reasons I tend to stick close to the D&D tradition, one of the major ones is the oddball humor that the game’s history is steeped in.

I like a good beer and pretzels game, where the play is fairly casual and the jokes are frequent. And when it comes to D&D-style fantasy, the jokes have been baked into the game for decades now.

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The Siege of Dragonguard Keep

Posted in Gaming Stories, Pathfinder, Random Blogness, Role-Playing Games, RPG Rants with tags on March 19, 2015 by Charlie Brooks

Umber HulkAfter a six month layoff, my Night Below game which has since become a bastardized version of the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path got rolling again. The assault on Dragonguard Keep gained some momentum, and our heroes came one step closer to breaking up one of the bases of power of Derrezen the dragon-god.

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Where Memory Lane and Rejection Road Meet

Posted in Random Blogness with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2015 by Charlie Brooks

My house has too much stuff in it. I’ve been going through my possessions and deciding what needs to go. Finally, I came across my Big Box o’ Rejections:

Rejection Box

Hello, old friend.

When I first started writing, I decided to save all my rejection letters as a way to keep myself motivated. But now that rejections come electronically and are almost exclusively form letters – and now that I have a lengthy publications list – I don’t feel that I need it anymore. So this box has got to go.

The box itself contains rejections, old drafts of stories from writing workshops, and a few magazines and newspapers where I got my first publishing credits. As I sorted through old letters, I got the most enjoyment out of reading some old rejection letters from my high school days, when I wrote articles for Dragon Magazine.

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