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

Finally, on phys.org, 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."

Media News Monday - X-Files, Ant-Man, & Star Wars

Three from Entertainment Weekly this time with the first being "'X-Files' returns: New EW exclusive photos" here.

Also, they have the new "'Ant-Man': 7 EW Exclusive New Character Posters" here.

Finally, as if we needed the reassurance, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor assures: 'It’s gonna be incredible'" here.

News for Movies, Television, and more
of gamer-relevant Media.
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Sunday, June 28, 2015

CMG Extra - "PCs you have sworn off playing" Day 28 of The D&D Thirty-Day Challenge!

Day 28 - PCs you have sworn off playing

This one is kinda easy but has a few answers.  Firstly, I don't play "Evil" characters when I am a player.  I feel "Evil" is for the DM to utilize for villains and monsters when I DM, so I keep to the same philosophy as a player.  I also don't play cross-gender.  While I do so when I DM, as it is necessary, I feel the pitfalls of playing a character that is not the same gender as the player typically leads to cliches and stereotyping, so I avoid it.

Black Hand Witch Artist - Tamás Baranya

I also don't play monks.  I prefer Western European Medieval Fantasy and Monks just don't fit, in my own opinion.  Assassin might be used in Western European settings, but since they are "Evil" I still don't play those either.  It's not really a huge list and to those that don't agree, that's your call of course.

Black Hand Assassin Artist - Tamás Baranya
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."

Sunday Funnies - Fencing, Thrones, & Predators

Over on imgur, someone has posted an image of "Fencing Don'ts" here.

Also, on sadanduseless.com, they have a collection of "Houses That Look Like Game of Thrones Characters" here.

Finally on the College Humor YouTube channel, check out the video of "Predator's Teenage Son."  Enjoy!

Humor, often gaming-related,
to start the week with a chuckle.
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Saturday, June 27, 2015

CMG Extra - "Favorite Curse of Cursed Item" Day 27 of The D&D Thirty-Day Challenge!

Day 27 - Favorite Curse of Cursed Item

I've blogged before about the cursed sword that altered reality for the PC party and they could fight against it by trying to replace the sword whence it came or accept the new reality as their own.  Either way, their collective memories of the original reality would slowly fade over time.  I've also pointed out the Superstitions Sourcebook which as a lot of useful items for a GM to introduce to a game including some not so useful to the player character party.  Check that out if you get the chance.

But I think one of my all time favorite cursed items is more of a McGuffin from The Whispering Woodwind adventure.  It is stolen by a bard named Cam who owes money around town and the low-level PCs are given the chance to chase after him and retrieve him and his "valuable" flute.  Naturally, there is more to this flute and the story than at first is known but let's just say that finding the flute and the bard can be troublesome in the long run.  Great fun!

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."

Saturday Crowdfunding Roundup - Paint Racks, RPG Folio, & Modular Terrain

Three from Kickstarter this week with the first being "TGJ Hobbies - Hobby and Craft Paint Rack System" by Tim, Gabe & Jonathan.  I had thought these guys were being a bit quiet recently, considering they have a KS in full swing, when I found out these guys are in Texas and have been weathering some of the toughest storms and flooding they have ever had there.  Their Internet access over these last few weeks has had to have been spotty at the best of times, not to mention having their hands full making sure non-KS life is held together.  I took a closer look at their bios page and that's when I saw this: "We are a 100% USA made, veteran owned manufacturer. We pride ourselves on customization and customer satisfaction, we love what we do, and we feel it shows."  Help me spread the word on this one and take a closer look at the whole project right here.

Also, looks like the third Folio is funded but there's still time to get on board.  Check out "The Folio #3, 1E/5E format, Adventure Module!" by Scott Taylor here.

Finally, there is a new modular terrain project from a GW model maker using hard plastic.  Have a look at the "Modular Underground Project" by MAKI - Games here.

Keeping an eye on those Kickstarter & IndieGoGo
projects plus other crowdfunding efforts.
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Friday, June 26, 2015

CMG Extra - "Favorite Mundane Item" Day 26 of The D&D Thirty-Day Challenge!

Day 26 - Favorite Mundane Item

I'm not going to say that I love the ten-foot pole.  It's useful but it can also be awkward in a lot of situations and rarely gets DMed well.  Ask any DM to be honest and you'd fine that if properly adjudicated, most ten-foot poles would get broken or lost very quickly!  The same thing goes for the mule, but since that is an animal and not a piece of mundane equipment we can set that argument to the side for this day.  A backpack is the quintessential piece of adventurer gear but it's almost too mundane.  Perhaps thieves tools is the answer I should give.  They have some flair and a group that doesn't have them has to make a lot of tough choices about making noise and spell slots.

Artist - Rick Hershey

However, I am a DM mostly and I don't need to restrict myself to what might or might not be useful to adventurers as a favorite, not that a player taking this poll necessarily has to either.  I choose the chest.  More specifically, I choose the treasure chest, or even its smaller version the treasure box.  Yup, let's say "treasure box" because that covers all sizes of this fine, mundane item.  One of these can be a minor annoyance or an adventure unto themselves.  You don't even need to decide that in advance.  It is totally up to the players if they wish to spend much time on it.  How paranoid are they?  Will they rush to open it, regardless of potential traps?  Will they search it thoroughly for false bottoms and hidden compartments?  All sorts of possibilities with a treasure box, so I choose it as my favorite!

Artist - Rick Hershey
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."

The Friday Grab Bag - Safe House, Adventure Building Workshop, & Disney Dream

Over on milwaukeerecord.com, in the wake of the famous Safe House bar in Milwaukee being sold to the Marcus Group, Rob Wieland shares "Tracklist: 6 Safe House improvements we’d like to see" here.

Also, on roleplayingtips.com, check out "Learn 18 Key Concepts in Adventure Design in this Preview Video for the Online Adventure Building Workshop" here.

Finally, on disneyparks.disney.go.com, "New Experiences Coming to the Disney Dream When Transformed Spaces Debut This Fall" here.

The Friday Grab Bag on CreativeMountainGames.com 
Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics not covered
elsewhere or needing a particular focus.
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Thursday, June 25, 2015

CMG Extra - "Favorite Magic Item" Day 25 of The D&D Thirty-Day Challenge!

Day 25 - Favorite Magic Item

If I could pick a category, I'd go with Potions.  They seem to be the most useful to all PCs at all levels.  Sure, they have a single use, for the most part, and the effects don't necessarily last all that long in a lot of cases, but many are essential to survival.  Any healing potion in any edition is a staple.  If you asked someone whether they'd want a healing potion or one other item of equal value, I'd bet most would choose the healing potion.  Anything else might or might not come into play but taking damage at some point in almost any game is just about guaranteed.

Artist - Rick Hershey

One of my favorites that was devised for the Potent Portals offering (available here at RPGNow.com) are the Shutters of Gruesome Grappling.  I loved them so much, I put them on the cover!  These nasty window coverings would protect against intruders by having tentacles spring forth, grapple, and constrict anyone trying to gain access without the password.  I've had a lot of fun springing this one on players and employing it as a player when I fortified a small household in a town.

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."

Throwback Thursday - Old Patents, AD&D Visor Glasses, & Starfleet Command Gold

Over on The Telegraph, they have a couple dozen old Patents for very odd equipment on display here.

Also, on 2 Warps to Neptune, they features "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Visor Glasses (Larami, 1983)" here.

Finally, on gog.com they have made available Star Trek™: Starfleet Command Gold Edition based on the old tabletop game Starfleet Battles.  See more here.

A look back at early tabletop hobby gaming
 or gaming-adjacent topics of the past.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

CMG Extra - "Favorite Spell" Day 24 of The D&D Thirty-Day Challenge!

Day 24 - Favorite Spell

This is pretty tough because there are so many and unlike the monster questions on this list, I cannot fob off a second place answer to a different question on a different day (except maybe through curses and magic items!).  I am a fan of many of the "fire" spells but the fact that there are so many dilutes my love for any single one of them.  And once we've eliminated those as potential favorites, can I really go with any energy-based spell: cold, electricity, etc.?

Artist - Rackham, Arthur (illus) (1910) The Rhinegold & the Valkyrie

For the Superstitions Sourcebook I produced some years back in Era 3.5E, I included lots of Magic Items but also about two dozen new spells that I really enjoyed writing.  Dolphin Soul, for instance, allowed a caster to inhabit a dolphin for a time, though it left the caster's lifeless corpse behind for the duration at the tender mercies of his adventuring buddies.  Not always a good idea.  Locate Familiar's Owner is self-explanatory but of limited use.  Still, a fun one when it does come into play.  Another fun one was Pig of Himself which can cause someone to gorge themselves until they die.  But my favorite was a simple one that filled a need for Necromancers as follows:

Friend of Vultures
Transmutation [Earth]
Level: Clr 6, Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: See text
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Area: Dirt in an area up to 750 ft. square and up to 10 ft. deep (S)
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
     This spell is often used as a preparatory spell before creating undead. Friend of vultures moves dirt (clay, loam, sand), possibly collapsing embankments,moving hillocks, shifting dunes, and so forth to uncover any dead bodies or skeletons in an area suitable for use in a create undead spell.
     However, in no event can rock formations or buildings be collapsed or moved, though tombstones will be displaced and jumbled in the process. The area to be affected determines the casting time. For every 150-foot square (up to 10 feet deep), casting takes 10 minutes. The maximum area, 750 feet by 750 feet, takes 4 hours and 10 minutes to move.
     This spell non-violently breaks the surface of the ground causing any pockets that hold the dead to belch them forth to the surface. Trees, structures, rock formations, and such are mostly unaffected except for changes in elevation and relative topography.  The spell cannot be used for tunneling and is generally too slow to trap or bury creatures. This spell has no effect on earth creatures.
     Material Component: A mixture of soils in a small bag and a spade made of a vulture bone.

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."

Events & Play Wednesday - Cons & Gamedays for July

With the last Wednesday of the month falling six days prior to the actual month-end, it gives me the chance to make mention of a couple of things that take place in late June.  In particular, the big convention locally for those in Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois is the Nexus Game Fair.  It takes place June 25th to 28th at the Crowne Plaza near the Milwaukee Airport.  Event registration is still open and some great games have seats available for those who'd like to be a part of this fun time!  I attended last year and will be there again.  Learn more here.

As always, the third Saturday and Sunday this month feature the Burlington Gameday on Saturday, July 18th, which sets up events through the Burlington UCC Game Day group on Facebook here and A Gathering of Gamers on Sunday, July 19th, set up by the South Lakes Area Gamers here.  The former is in Burlington, WI at the Plymouth UCC space and is free taking place from approximately 11 am to 5 pm.  The latter takes place at the Pizza Ranch in Elkhorn, WI, and requires a $12 fee for the all you can eat pizza and fried chicken buffet (salad bar, soft-serve ice cream machine, etc.) plus unlimited soft drinks and coffee from 11 am to 8 pm.

Also, esteemed gamer and teacher of games, Ken Lewandowski, will be in attendance at an event called "Ken Con" Yuo, that's why!) on Saturday, July 11th, hosted by Nathan Lewandowski.  It takes place beginning at 2 pm at Northminster Presbyterian Church of Evanston 2515 Central Park Ave, Evanston, Illinois 60201.  Check on on the Facebook event page here.

Finally, check out the EN World thread detailing the EN World Chicago Gameday 41 here.  They always have an eclectic lineup of RPGs in the offing and this time is no exception.  It all takes place at Game Plus in Mount Prospect, IL, and some of the games include: Savage Worlds, Translucent University, HiBRiD/Ite' Gamine Engine v2.2, Apocalypse World, Fate, Supernatural, Pentra, I Was A Teenage Creature, Swords Without Master, Feng Shui 2, Monsterhearts, Mice & Mystics, and Earthdawn 4th Edition.  It's almost too good to be true!

Further from my locale . . .

This weekend, in fact beginning today and running through Sunday, if you're in the Orlando, FL, area, you might do worse than popping in to Dice Tower Gaming Con.  They are at the Doubletree SeaWorld Resort 10100 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821 (entrance on Westwood Blvd).  Tons of games, wonderful guests, fabulous prizes, so go and see for yourself!  Learn more here.

Plus, check out Sooner Con 24 here which takes place this weekend in OK, June 26-28 at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City.  Quite a bit of gaming on the schedule.

Once we get into July, check out the Milwaukee Summer Revel which takes place from July 10th-12th at Olympia Resort Hotel, Spa, & Conference Center (1350 Royale Mile Rd., Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066).  More on that here.  How about "the Mother of all wargaming conventions" known as Historicon?  It runs from July 16-19 at the Fredericksburg Expo & Convention Center, 2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 with more info here.  There's a Facebook page set up for Captaincon here and their home page here which goes from July 17-19 at the Holiday Inn, Taunton in Taunton, MA.  Also, Wargames Foundry says to Bring Out Your Lead for the 31st of July, on through the 2nd of August in the UK with more details here and here.  Since it comes right at the end of July and some folks seem to be going, Gen Con (the Best Four Days in Gaming!) takes place from July 30th to August 2nd in Indianapolis, IN, with lots of information here.

You can also find a whole list of gaming events all around the country and beyond on Warhorn.net here.  Some coming up this weekend as May ends and on through June include:

End of June:

Jun 24-28 Dice Tower IV Orlando, FL
Jun 25-28 FLORIDA SUPERCON (Miami Beach) Miami Beach, FL
Jun 26-28 RAGECON 2015 Reno/Sparks, NV
Jun 26-28 Storm-Con 2015 Charleston, SC
Jun 27 June 27th DDAL Game Day at Giga-Bites Marietta, GA
Jun 27 WombatCon: Mortal Wombat Broomfield, CO

And into July:

Jul 1-5 Dexcon 18 Morristown, NJ
Jul 5 Phoenix Comics & Games Seattle, WA
Jul 8-12 Gam3rcon San Diego, CA
Jul 9-12 Play On Con 8 Birmingham, AL
Jul 9-12 San Diego Comic-Con Intl 15 San Diego, CA
Jul 10-12 Paizocon UK 2015 Birmingham, BIR, GB
Jul 11 DDAL Game Day at Giga-Bites Marietta, GA
Jul 11-12 Magic Origins Pre-release Weekend Carbondale, IL
Jul 17-18 HaitiCon SF San Francisco, CA
Jul 17-19 Ancient City Con 15 Jacksonville, FL
Jul 17-19 AVCon 15 Adelaide, SA, AU
Jul 17-19 Geeks Games and Gadgets 15 Nacogdoches, TX
Jul 17-19 Quincon XXX Quincy, IL
Jul 23-26 MonsterCon 15 Gaffney, SC
Jul 24-26 Con Bravo Hamilton, ON, CA
Jul 24-26 HarnCon 15 Kansas City, KS
Jul 24-26 KantCon 15 Overland Park, KS
Jul 24-26 Magic City Con Birmingham, AL
Jul 24-26 Space City Comic Con Houston, TX
Jul 25 Capcon Springfield, IL
Jul 25 Clearwater Con Eau Claire, WI
Jul 25-26 Fantasy Gamer's Conclave 15 Cary, NC
Jul 26 D&D Expeditions At New Wave Comics Skippack, PA
Jul 29 Pre-Gen Con PF Society Play Indy, IN

Some of this information (and more can be had) is from the excellent lists on upcomingcons.com/gaming-conventionsGameConventionCentral.comHMGS (the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society), and  as well as many, many gamers on Facebook and Google Plus, to whom I am grateful for the help in this compilation.  Thanks so much and have a great game!

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 23, 2015

CMG Extra - "Least Favorite Monster Overall" Day 23 of The D&D Thirty-Day Challenge!

Day 23 - Least Favorite Monster Overall

I don't like Tieflings.  I don't like their name.  I don't like their concept.  I don't like their very soul.  Okay, that is way over the top.  Truth is, I don't care for them for my own games but don't give a monkey's butt if someone else uses them in their setting.  "Least Favorite Monster" doesn't mean I have to hate my choice.  It merely has to rank lowest if I were to stack up all of the monsters.  If you look at my monster stack, that arm sticking out of the bottom and grasping for a lifeline is a Tiefling.

Artist - Malcolm McClinton

So, why are Tieflings something that ranks low for me?  I don't use them.  I don't generally use planes, except insofar as planes being places where some DM-run creatures reside or have their origins.  But those places are utterly and bizarrely foreign to PCs and civilized NPCs in my setting, those that have even heard of such places.  When I have used planes, it has been more like a twilight zone episode where one or more characters have passed through a portal and did everything they could to simply cross back over for fear of being forever trapped upon the other side, this when they've been lucky enough to wind up on a plane where survival was even possible (air to breathe, temperature not causing someone to burst immediately into flames, etc.).  For my settings, they aren't simply travel destinations or new frontiers for exploration, they are whole other alien worlds of mystery far beyond the understanding of mortal, terrestrial beings.  So, having a PC race with a background as being from another plane makes Tieflings a non-starter for me.  No offence, Wolfie.

Artist - Malcolm McClinton
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 - Catan Socks, Graphene Light, & Surprise Chair

Over on catanshop.com, check out the nifty "Socks of Catan" here.

Also, on nationalgeographic.com, they herald the "World’s ‘Thinnest’ Light Bulb, Made From Graphene" here.

Finally, from steampunktendencies.com comes some pictures of "The Gentleman’s Surprise Chair (Circa 1880)" here.  I don't know if this is an authentic antique but it sure is cool.

News focused on Technology
as it might interest gamers.
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Monday, June 22, 2015

CMG Extra - "Favorite Monster Overall" Day 22 of The D&D Thirty-Day Challenge!

Day 22 - Favorite Monster Overall

This one is easy for me because I have a personal stake in this creature, the Griffin.  Although it can be spelled in a number of ways (griffin, griffon, or gryphon), I prefer using two F's and two I's.  They fly, they tear, they rend, they are animalistic and yet noble.  They make for some ferocious mounts as well.  They have been rendered artistically in many ways over the years, and a wiki page on them shows their great lineage.

Artist - Bruno Balixa

For the logo I created for Griffins & Grottos, an RPG system I have been developing for years (and, yes, the name is a homage to the top game in the field and many of it's other homages), I chose a more traditional image.  It's simple and clean and, I think, evokes a classical period of gaming (Old School?) that I like.  What do you think?

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."