Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday Crowdfunding Roundup - Tiny Epic Kingdoms, Poster Maps, & Magnetic Dice Towers

Three from Kickstarter this week with the first being "Tiny Epic Kingdoms Heroes' Call & TEK 2nd Edition" by Gamelyn Games here.  The popularity of this game, as shown by the funding so far, is not tiny at all.

Also, check out "Poster Maps of the Forsaken Lands: III, IV, and More!" by Christopher West here.  Top notch maps from a top notch cartographer.

Finally, have a look at "Wyrmwood Magnetic Dice Tower System" by Wyrmwood Gaming here.  Pretty damned nifty if you want to move away from dice bags.

Keeping an eye on those Kickstarter & IndieGoGo
projects plus other crowdfunding efforts.
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Friday, July 3, 2015

The Friday Grab Bag - Diana Jones, Ennies Noms, & Famous D&Ders

Over on, the 2015 short list has been announced here.

Also, on, the 2015 ENnie Award Nominees and Spotlight Winners can be found here.

Finally, on, check out "12 Famous People Who Play D&D" here.

The Friday Grab Bag on 
Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics not covered
elsewhere or needing a particular focus.
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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Throwback Thursday - 1980s RPG Ads Plus Bakshi's Wizards

Over on Facebook, Phil Bolton has started an event to gather folks for a screening at The Crown Theater (1910 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218) of Ralph Bakshi's Wizards (1977) on Sunday, July 5th.  Details can be found here.

Also, on, check out "TSR's D&D Adventure Ads" from Marvel Comics in the 1980s here.

Finally, on the The Museum of Classic Chicago Television YouTube channel, have a look at the "Dungeons & Dragons - 'Products Of Your Imagination'" television commercial from 1983.  Enjoy!

A look back at early tabletop hobby gaming
 or gaming-adjacent topics of the past.
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Events & Play Wednesday - Nexus Game Fair 2015 Photos

In case folks haven't seen them yet, allow me to take this post to point out the photos I took at the Nexus Game Fair 2015.  As a quick recap of the action I personally saw, I managed some wargaming, some RPGing, and lots of boardgaming too, as well as a quick couple of card games.

To that end, I played some D&D (3E [with Skip Williams] and 1E [with Harold Johnson]), Hackmaster, Metamorphosis Alpha [with Jim Ward], half dozen board games (Pillars of the Earth [with expansion], Francis Drake, Lancaster, Bruges, Ticket to Ride: Europe [with Frank Mentzer], and Settlers of Catan), and the Coloretto card game (played three times in a row!).  I also played War of the Ring but in a mega-sized version with Steve Fratt of the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society Midwest HMGS!

Check out all of the photos and please do help with the Tagging and Sharing!

Thursday photos - here on Facebook and on Google Photos here

Friday photos - here on Facebook and on Google Photos here

Saturday photos - here on Facebook and on Google Photos here

Sunday photos - here on Facebook and on Google Photos here

News of Conventions and Gamedays as well as pictures
from those I have attended and games I have played.
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CMG Extra - "Best Playing/DMing Experience" Day 30 of The D&D Thirty-Day Challenge!

Day 30 - Best Playing/DMing Experience

I cannot never pick just one and my best is almost always my most recent, so allow me to discuss a a few of the fine times I had at the Nexus Game Fair this last weekend.  In fact, let's just call the Nexus Game Fair my best, most recent playing experience and that covers things nicely.

First up, a blast from the not-so-distant past as Skip Williams was running a 3.XE D&D game.  I toted my 3.5 PHB to the show with me so I'd be prepared.  As the early players were sorting through pre-gen PCs, I flipped open my book to check on some detail and out of the front cover slid a character I used last year in Skip's game, and it was the same as one of the ones available.  I hadn't realized that this scenario was a potential continuation from last year's adventure!  This topped off the opening day of the convention with triple goodness for me: playing in a Skip's game, playing the same character from a previous game with Skip, and continuing the story line for that character.  We had a heck of a good time exploring unknown areas of the lower caverns from last year, following leads only to discover some information we got the previous year was less than reliable, and expanding our group's sphere of influence in the area.  Truly, a fun way to connect conventions with a sort of mini-campaign.

Skip Williams sets the stage for an encounter

The next morning, Friday, I had an early start (if 9 am can be considered early).  I was signed up for Jim Ward's Metamorphosis Alpha game.  When asked about survival rates in Jim's game, I quickly mentioned that I had never died by his bloodthirsty GMing hands.  True, on its face, but I have only played once at Jim's table despite knowing Jim for quite some time and being in places where his games were played since the 1970s.  How this situation has transpired is unintentional and odd, to say the least.  I tried once to get into his all-females game at Gary Con but the dress and wig borrowed from Michael Brown fooled no one.  I did have a beard at the time.

Sadly, toward the end of the Metamorphosis Alpha adventure, I received an emergency call from my family that needed to be taken (things are fine for now) and had to step away from the table.  Since I do not recognize the authority of a GM to kill a player character in player-absentia, I maintain my streak of surviving his games.  I was just fine when I stepped away and spoke to Jim right after the game to ensure he understood my position.  He has since mentioned that my character cannot have died under such circumstances.  He is wise in such matters and I will take him at his word.  We had great fun while playing, though, and I will be sure to avoid all spore-like creatures in the future.

Frank Mentzer admonishes Jim Ward, Harold Johnson, and Skip Williams
for even thinking about killing off a Mark CMG player character

Friday night, after the TSR "Secrets" panel that was convened in the above photo (no real discussion of my characters took place, to the best of my knowledge), I joined Harold Johnson for a 1E AD&D game in the lower depths of Tamoachan.  It was a real race against the clock in a level where excessive burrowing worm activity had undermined the entire complex.  Those who tried to carry out too many of the gold bars we had discovered were nearly killed for their greed and hubris.  The rest of us managed to escape with only some difficulty.  There's a lot more to explore under there and I hope to have another chance to check things out further at a future convention or gameday.

On a meta-note regarding this series, I have enjoyed writing these D&D Thirty-Day Challenge posts and I hope many others will do so as well.  I may have to come up with another such challenge for percentile dice that requires writing something twice weekly and allows for two weeks of vacation.  I think it might be fun to roll those randomly and cross them off as they are accomplished.  It might also be prudent to open up the theme to all RPGing or even all gaming to allow for a broader array of blog topics.  More on that after a bit more pondering . . .
The original D&D 30-Day Challenge meme had a duplication and was a bit more edition-specific than I thought was useful for my purposes, so I made some adjustments and had some folks on the Internet give it the once-over.  Here's the result and what I will be doing through the month of June as "CMG Extras."

Tech Tuesday - Holograms, Light Combing, & Nano-Skin

Over on The Nerdist they suggest "The Future of Holograms are 3D Plasma Displays You can Touch."  Learn more here.

Also, on, we find out ""Combing" Through Light May Give Us Faster, More Powerful Internet."  Get the details here.

Finally, on, check out the information on the "World's first full-color, flexible, skin-like display developed" here.

News focused on Technology
as it might interest gamers.
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Monday, June 29, 2015

CMG Extra - "Most Frequently Rolled # on a d20" Day 29 of The D&D Thirty-Day Challenge!

Day 29 - Most Frequently Rolled # on a d20

When I was revising this list the week before June, I probably should have replaced this question.  Folks that roll a particular number more than average, in this case more than 5% of the time on a d20, either have a faulty die, a selective memory, or simply very odd luck.  I can't imagine that many stories that come from this question are in the majority.  But just so that I can say that I answered all of the 30-Day Challenges, I will say "three."  I will then listen to the holy words of Brother Maynard, "Skip a bit brother," and proceed to simply discuss my dice in general.

I have two dice bags and a bunch of dice for other types of non-D&D gaming that I won't go into for this blog post.  The first, pictured above, I carry when I know I am going to be a player.  I took it to Nexus with me this weekend and had a blast!  I survived (as far as I know) Jim Ward's Metamorphosis Alpha scenario and continued a 3.XE crawl that began last year with Skip Williams at the helm.  I've had other dice in the past, of course, but this is my current player's bag.  It has three sets of Jumbo Dice from Koplow in green, blue, and purple.  I keep them in a black Crown Royal bag I picked up at an EN World Chicago Gameday (held at Games Plus in Mount Prospect, IL).  They hold three of those gamedays a year and, this one time (not at band camp), "Nev the Deranged" brought a pile of these bags as freebies for anyone who wanted one.  Very kind, Nev!

The bag I carry when I am going to DM was also a gift I got at one of the aforementioned gamedays, this time on GM's Day from my buddy Kent Wayson (of the Milwaukee "Kent Waysons").  "Paladin" and "Paladin Wife" of EN World had been making dice bags about a dozen years ago and Kent ordered one of them for me.  Thank you again, Kent!  It has served me well.  In it I also keep three sets of Jumbo Dice from Koplow, this time in black, red, and white, though I have a few exta of the red and white d4s, and a supplemental red d12.  I don't recall the circumstances that prompted those additions; maybe for Magic Missiles? Rounding out the main sets are an extra large black d20 with red numbering and a very large d30 to use with my many d30 tables (including some published in "30 Things Can Happen!").  I've also got some unusual dice and a few extra other dice such as a "month of the year" d12 and a "hit location" d12.  I've got a d24 and d16, the first to generate the hour of a day easily and the latter because it happened to be in a bin next to the d24.  I've got a "compass directions" die and a couple of Nexus d6s, as well as a d6 that my fiend Edwin gave me and a plain one in a swell blue color.  These dice seem to cover my DMing needs nicely.
The original D&D 30-Day Challenge meme had a duplication and was a bit more edition-specific than I thought was useful for my purposes, so I made some adjustments and had some folks on the Internet give it the once-over.  Here's the result and what I will be doing through the month of June as "CMG Extras."