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General Discussion » Leveling Up as a GM » 2/12/2016 4:35 pm

finarvyn
Replies: 20

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As others have suggested, mood and inspirational material is always my starting point. I figure that I can "wing it" and throw players into interesting situations without a lot of prep, and then I react to what they want to do, but the feel of the campaign requires me to be in a certain mood. My rule of thumb is that I let players do what they want, but I try to toss obstacles and challenges their way to keep them hooked on the action.

Literary Inspirations » Robert E. Howard » 12/23/2014 10:12 am

finarvyn
Replies: 45

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As far as non-Conan goes, I like a lot of it. SOLOMON KANE is a pretty kickass dark paladin type, EL BORAK is an adventurer in "modern" (e.g. 1930's) day. THere are some detective stories featuring Steve Harrison and some weird west stories that are pretty good. I'm not into boxing stories much, but anything else by REH tends to be fantastic.

Literary Inspirations » Edgar Rice Burroughs » 12/23/2014 10:09 am

finarvyn
Replies: 10

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Yora wrote:

I just read A Princess of Mars. And now I know where George Lucas got all his ideas for Star Wars.

Even freaking speederbikes, in a book from 1911!
And all the character names wouldn't look out of place in Star Wars either.

And keep in mind that Barsoom has a giant insect creature called a "sith."  http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png

 

Literary Inspirations » Edgar Rice Burroughs » 7/11/2014 7:34 am

finarvyn
Replies: 10

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Ghul wrote:

I thought Christopher Lambert did a fantastic job, but it's been decades. For all I know, if I saw it today, I might cringe.

All I remember about that movie was when Tarzan learning to speak. A guy was showing him to shave. "Ray-zor."

And I think I heard somewhere that Andie McDowell's voice was so bad at that point in her career that they had to use someone else as a voice-over. Not sure where I got that.

Literary Inspirations » Robert E. Howard » 7/11/2014 7:29 am

finarvyn
Replies: 45

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It's amazing to me how much cool stuff he wrote in so few years. He died in his 30's.

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » An Argument for 3d6 In Order » 7/11/2014 7:26 am

finarvyn
Replies: 15

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What I've found is that if characters live short and die fast it's fine to use 3d6 in order, but when characters are expected to survive a lot longer then players like it better when they get more control over what they can be as characters.

My "early days" group in high school had no problem with 3d6 in order and if someone's character died they gladly rolled up a new one ASAP to get back into play. My current group has a very different mindset and wants to put more time and energy into character development and they don't like to start over so often, so they aren't fans of 3d6 in order.

I think it all comes down to the players and their style.

General Discussion » D&D N̶e̶x̶t̶ Not » 6/08/2014 5:55 am

finarvyn
Replies: 36

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I've been a player in some playtest sessions of Next for around a year and a half now, and have run a couple sessions using the rules. Overall, it seems to be a solid rules set with options to go minimal or to go extreme. In my home game the rule is that the GM gets to decide what to run, and this is pretty much the only way I can see Next working for a lot of groups.

One problem I have found in discussing D&D Next is that Next has been changing along the line based on playtest feedback, so when a person says "I played it and hated XX" it's possible that XX has been tweaked or deleted since then. The designers have adjusted monster hit points and AC values several times, adjusted spell damage and effects several times (even adding and deleting spells), tried using extra skill dice and removing them, and other features of the game that aren't coming to mind at the moment. Our GM was very careful most of the time to use the most recent playtest packets and we constantly had to go re-work our characters to fit the current rules. And I'll say that many of our playtests were done using classic AD&D modules and there seemed to be minimal conversion needed overall.

In short, I have high hopes for 5E. My friend who owns a game store says he's tired of Pathfinder being the only "big company" option when new players ask about "Dungeons and Dragons." I think that WotC's biggest blunder is actually the timing of the release -- it should have been early in the summer so that kids could play it over vacation, and there should have been some sort of "Free RPG Day" thing to help draw attention to the product.

Literary Inspirations » The Star wars Icelandic Saga » 5/19/2014 5:35 am

finarvyn
Replies: 7

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It seems a little strange to me. I'm not even sure how to react to it. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/normal.png

General Discussion » Low combat campaign » 5/08/2014 5:44 am

finarvyn
Replies: 15

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mabon5127 wrote:

RedJowel wrote:

Now I like the idea of a knowledge driven, role-play heavy campaign, and I'm up to the challenge, but cutting down on combat is a very serious challenge to me.  I'm going to have to think less Conan and more Call of Ktulu,  and devise ways to challenge the players outside of combat, or at least give them interesting things to do once they inevitably get captured by combatants.

Back in the old days when OD&D was it we managed to have mysteries and quests without combat.  I don't think its a fools errand particularly since both players desire that type of thing. Balancing a group of players with a mix of desires / agendas is tougher, I think, so no one feels bored.

Keep in mind that the whole "non combat" campaign has to be a choice of both players and GM, so it's not entirely your burden to come up with things for the players to do. They ought to be generating many of these ideas as well.

Mabon is correct about early OD&D -- while our group had its share of dungeon crawls and barroom brawls, we also did a lot of investigation stuff and "rescue the princess" adventures where the goal was to get in and out without getting ourselves killed. You can steal a page from the "Call of Cthulhu" RPG and have some big nasties that the players might want to destroy through ritual rather than fight. You can have them run errands for sorcerers who are in need of spell components. You can center a campaign in a city full of intrigue, where killing someone will get you run out of town or worse. There are many options you can pursue that don't involve combat on a regular basis, but you need to be sure that the players are interested in that style of play as well.

Fundamentally I don't see that you have to switch game systems at all, only keep in mind that you will probably have to "wing it" through stat checks and the like occasionally. Heck, I do that all the time and prefer it to a rules set which gets too intense in terms of

Music » Music in the Background » 5/04/2014 6:45 am

finarvyn
Replies: 16

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I love movie soundtracks and they are nice in games if kept low. I use Conan, of course as well as Lord f the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean sometimes and VanHelsing. The Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (kevin costner) soundtrack is decent enough, particularly the early part of the soundtrack.

General Discussion » 1st Level Mortality Rate » 4/27/2014 10:25 am

finarvyn
Replies: 7

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I think that character lethality has to go hand-in-hand with the type of players involved. Back in high school we had pretty standard character types and I felt like I could kill off characters and my players would just shrug it off and start new ones. My current group, however, spends a lot more time angsting over "persona" and the like and really doesn't deal with character death well at all. Different times, different players, different philosophy.

Rules Discussion » AS&SH And Arduin » 4/25/2014 7:09 pm

finarvyn
Replies: 4

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The thing for me is that I must be a really boring person because I don't tend to think in a wacky gonzo way, so when I read Arduin I think "huh, well I would never have done it that way" but I marvel at the creativity that led him to come up with that stuff. Arduin was very creative.

General Discussion » Alignment in your game » 4/25/2014 7:06 pm

finarvyn
Replies: 26

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I tend to see a gaming world in terms of black and white -- typically "Law" versus "Chaos" where law is the good guys and chaos the bad guys. This shakes out in my game in the form of a party of characters who pick either law or neutral, depending upon whether or not they are actively battling chaos or not. Some of my players tend to view the game as "there's a bad guy ... get him!" and pick law. Others tend to view the game as "I don't like chaos, but often I do whatever works best for me" and pick neutral. I really discourage folks from being chaos in my campaigns.

Just my two coppers.

General Discussion » The Spider-God’s Bride and Other Tales of Sword & Sorcery » 4/23/2014 6:33 pm

finarvyn
Replies: 4

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NAJones wrote:

In your review you make a major point about the differences between you and the author when it comes to defining , but I'm not sure I understand what that difference actually is.

There's another thread that has some great "running games Sword & Sorcery style" discussion. If you haven't seen it, check it out!

http://hyperborea.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=130

Comic Books and Graphic Novels » Heavy Metal magazine and the horseclans » 4/21/2014 4:54 pm

finarvyn
Replies: 0

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I'm starting a thread here because of the mention of the HEAVY METAL movie in the other section. This question is actually about the magazine, but I thought maybe there would be some crossover in folks who read the magazine and watched the movie.

On the Blackmoor forum there is a discussion about Robert Adams' horseclans series and someone mentioned that he thought that some horseclans stories were serialized in HEAVY METAL magazine before they became books.

Anyone here familar enough with Heavy Metal to confirm this? Any informtion would be appreciated.

Announcements » Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess » 4/21/2014 4:48 pm

finarvyn
Replies: 47

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joseph wrote:

Inspiration is drawn from the "lost world" tales of Burroughs, Doyle and Merritt, as well as theospohical writing from the late 19th-early 20th centuries. I also felt like we need some jungles, dinosaurs and an area with Asian inspiration!

You had me at "lost world" and Burroughs. ERB is one of my all-time favorite authors. 

joseph wrote:

Having just dived into Lin Carter's Thongor/Lemuria stories for the first time, about a week ago, I have to say my interest is piqued. 

I'm not as impressed with Carter as I am with some of the others. Seems like he doesn't do ERB as well as ERB, and that he doesn't do Howard as well as Howard. I picked up a bunch of Carter's "World's End" books and found them to be less than inspiring for me, which is sad because they've been highly recommended to me by several folks whose opinions I otherwise value.

General Discussion » Running games Sword & Sorcery style » 4/21/2014 5:45 am

finarvyn
Replies: 67

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Odysseus wrote:

As I've kept thinking about it, I wonder if He-Man, Conan (and the Young Warriors) and Xena wouldn't be some good inspirations. 

I think they would be, although both Hercules and Xena sometimes found themselves in situations which were more adult than you might expect. On the other hand, both of those shows were tame enough to be shown on regular TV so I don't see a problem with them. Heck, if you watch Disney animations they have several layers of stuff in them -- some things that kids get and another layer for the parents.

You mentioned Atlantis -- recall that there is a Disney movie about that which could be fun. John Carter is a fun action show without any real adult themes. Frozen was good. Treasure Planet has neat flying ships. Disney also did Hercules and Alladin and I'm sure others that kids would love. Remember that often the hope is to inspire creativity in the kids, not to have them role-play an actual setting.

General Discussion (Off-Topic) » Hey, I'm a Sorcerer! » 4/19/2014 2:38 pm

finarvyn
Replies: 23

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So cool that you can select Swordsman or Sorcerer at 300 posts. My "OD&D Discussion" boards won't allow that kind of option. I had to pre-determine all of the level titles without choices.

General Discussion » AS&SH 2nd Print? » 4/19/2014 2:35 pm

finarvyn
Replies: 340

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I think that the fact that we're even having a conversation about a 2nd edition (or printing or whatever) in itself is really cool. It shows what an impact the game is having out there in the gamer community.

Think about how many games never reach enough fans to warrent another print run.... http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

General Discussion » Running games Sword & Sorcery style » 4/18/2014 6:31 am

finarvyn
Replies: 67

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Just wanted to chime in to say that the lists of Yora & Chainsaw earlier in this thread are awesome and really capture the feel of S&S. I's gonna copy-paste the list so I can keep a copy handy for my next campaign.

I like your contribution too, Odysseus, but only in the "good old days" of my gaming life. Back in high school we thoughts wenches were awesome, but now that I play a more family-oriented G-rated game (with wife and kids) the focus seems to have drifted away from wenches. Go figure. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png

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