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New Developments

New Developments

things though Moving slowly have been at least moving a little bit.  Here is the first design for the Heroic Tourney Judging and Reference sheet.


Basically an observer would fill out the sheet while a GM or Module builder would check off to make certain there were built in opportunities before and during play if need be.

Also could be useful if Someone needs a reminder or if I need to double check the results later on or while filming.





initial observation did the player make adjustments? did the player improve?
Player: Round one Part two Denumont Questions to consider asking During play
Roleplaying (play, Immersion) Getting into and expressing being someone else both in thought and deed, action and reaction. How rapidly did the player get into character? How effective was s/he in character? Did the other players interact with the player as the character name referencing his positions or titles so on so forth?
Minds Eye (Imagination and story support) This is not only keeping track of things such as relative positions but comprehending the other characters and the GM’s creation. Is a player treating theGM’s world and Creations as something to be valued and  interacted with or more to be used up and tossed away?
Teamwork (group/party support and cooperation) A top notch gamer can provide support no matter the position to both the GM and their fellow players. Did the player support other people at risk or cost to himself?  Did the player cooperate with others at risk or cost to himself?
Style (presentation and humor) Different than needless drama other phrases include panache and delivery.  Making the game more exciting by using dramatic skills as well as influencing fellow players. Did the player while in character cause others to chuckle in character with something the character might say?  did the player have the character try and do something dramatic that would move the story along as well as give more agency in power to the players?
Problem Solving (Resource Management) Moreso than supply mastery, this incorporates tactical utility and puzzle solving. This doesn’t just incorporate solo management of resources including hit points, items, single shot constructs etc… it also incorporates group use and suggesting advising other people although sometimes it could be gatekeeping if done poorly.
NOTES: Keep in mind when building a module for the TV show, Gming or Judging there will be a need to have three or four breaks depending upon how the set up is for filming.  The Show design is also going to need for the GM to provide each character one opportunity at least at every single one of the five categories.  That means for example each character is going to have to have five different shots.  That could be NPC interactions that could be something off the character sheet perhaps called to attention by the GM There are other options for the items to be basically levers for the player characters as pull that they can have some (observable by the judges) success or failure in the five categories.   Have questions for the Players and suggestions/ideas for positive interactions here:


a Facebook acquaintance asked me what made him “perfect” for my show…

It threw me for a loop, I had to think about it for a while and didn’t really have an answer for a while.

The heroic tourney RPG

Since he is a Movie Director, he has a real reason to ask that question of everyone who wants to be involved in his movie. I have different needs and thusly different answers…
The real answer is both nobody who games is perfect and everybody who games is perfect for my show.
I want the perfect imperfection because that is honestly what gaming is. Having critically succeeded and critically fumbled in games and my dice have not been at the best…

Yet some of those times have been the best fun even more than the good results. Certainly much better than the average results.

So this perhaps falls under new ideas to try.  Do you think you would be perfect for Heroic Tourney?  If not you then who?


More of the Iceberg

More of the Iceberg

Meet: Allis Warfruend

Str 15,  Int 13, Wis 9, Dex 10, Con 14, Cha 12, Ac 5/3 Hp 28

As a 5th level Fighter Allis can wear any armor and use any weapon. Fighters  can choose to specialize in any single weapon.

Neutral Good In alignment

He just lost his best friend a human Mage and carries his Spellbook as a reminder of his friends both prowess and a way to memorialize his last work. Any magi that copies from his spellbook must re-title the Spells as “Lorenzo’s spell of ……” and write a small note, paen or poem of thanks to Lorenzo in the new spellbook. He often uses vials and bags of various items in combat

A Heroes Monument

As a Gnome he has the standard racial abilities (+1 per 3 1/2 points of Con to saves vs magic and poison, speak the 8 gnomish languages, Infra vision 60′, detect grade or slope 80%, detect unsafe surfaces 70%, Determine depth underground 60%, determine direction 50%, if concentrating, +1 to hit kobolds or goblins, -4 to be hit by giant class creatures), And from his life and class he has some knowledge of fencing goods (fence occupation, a random result from secondary skills ideas). Specialist in Short-bow, skilled in: long-sword, Daggers and thrown objects, Fishing, Survival, Swimming Proficiencies from Oriental Adventures.


For Equipment he has: Banded armor, long-sword and sheath, Dagger and sheath, short-bow, quiver, 7 cloth wrapped arrows, 12 normal arrows, Arrow, silver, single, bag of marbles, 2 bags of caltrops, 5 short-bow strings, 3 pouches, 6 flasks oil, 4 gold lions, 3 coppers 6 boars, 6 pins, torch, tinderbox, notes from F, N G, will to Breton Smith, belt, backpack, tabbard, shirt, boots, 1 week iron rations, spellbook (Tunnel Transcender, Shadowcloak, Invisibility, Magic Missile, Read Magic, Detect Magic, Fire Veils, Identify, Fireball, and Lightning Bolt), 50 ft rope grapple hook, and a water-skin.

His additional abilities, the why he was built, in essence: this is how a character might look as having an additional set of randomized abilities like a psionicist are below

Ambidextrous: (2 minor 1 major) Warfruend is fortunate enough to be able to use tools, including weapons, with either hand at no penalties (but still suffers some penalties as anyone else using two weapons in a fight). Through training to grant additional advantages such as reduced two weapon combat penalties Allis studies results in gains of +1 to his dex per level to determine what his trained dexterity for the purposes of two weapon combat is (no other benefits). Both hands by default are considered primary.

This ability increased the variety of hand to hand weapons usable in two weapon combinations tracking to his training in weaponry. Allis at 3rd added short swords to his off hand weaponry. His dex for determining off hand penalties was 13 at this point.

Allis masters the addition of one handed missile weapons (other than the hand axe which is included) to the arsenal of tricks available to the bilaterally weapon skilled character. As such he adds thrown objects (those items that are universally shaped, such as rocks, bags, vials and flasks) to his off hand repitiore as well as noting his Dex is valued at 15 for off hand weapon combat. Because this is a major ability it unlocks the ability to use the modified dex 50% of the time for other situations, Allis also has -2 Ac when wielding two weapons.

Should Allis have rolled for more major and minor abilities to develop there are many other ideas to use. Concepts like adding a ma-du or main gauche to his off hand allowing parrying attempts as well as further reducing his Ac. Another major idea could be using his off hand to deny/reduce the ability of opponents to make effective attacks. Essentially parrying with the off hand weapon instead of garnering more attacks. In addition other major concepts could allow the character to attack as if the left hand was of an equal level to the levels of fighter currently possessed.


Dice Rolls

Dice Rolls

I asked a contact if he was interested in being on my show and he told me his dice rolls were not good enough. If that was a true metric _I_ wouldn’t be on the show because my dice rolls can be that bad.  In fact just a few weeks ago I rolled a 111… triple critical fumble in my friends new game….  Owww, the dice gods were not liking me that night.

As far as the show is concerned, your dice rolls, luck, what have you, don’t matter for the metagame.  There is no judging category for “luck”. Maybe if you squint really hard you could argue that Style has presentation… and if someone does not roll well then they cannot ‘present’ their character in a good light, perhaps creating a negative/poor impression.

In fact having a bad roll, even a phenomenally terrible bad no good roll… could be the thing that springboards you ahead of the pack.  because the other half of Style is humor, and being able to let others laugh at the characters antics isn’t a bad thing.  Failure is a dramatic thing.  In addition Role playing has a tie in here in finding out how a character deals with failure, or the experience of failure, like the Iconic story in Star Trek: Kobiashi Maru.



What if Psionics was just the tip of the iceberg?

What if Psionics was just the tip of the iceberg?

I have been thinking about AD&D.

Essentially I was thinking that Psionics are similar to a randomized superhuman feat tree added onto AD&D 1E characters. This event happened something like 10% of the time if the DM even allows them to exist in the campaign.  Now then I know the probabilities by the book try to state differently (trying to get the odds correct can feel to newbies like walking through it the first time like being called to the front of the class to solve an Algebraic problem on the blackboard after napping through the first two thirds of the semester). Realistically, every Paladin has a 2% chance just because of the minimum stats is an example of how skewed the calculations can be.

This luck based check can be horribly unfair to the other players if the characters get continually overshadowed mechanically by the psionics rules.  So most people dump them.  While Gary Gygax himself would never include them in the rules if he was writing them before his untimely death that doesn’t mean they are not fun.

What if there was another path?

What if every character had abilities that kicked in at the same rate as Psionic Characters making the characters feel more equally aligned with each other?

Essentially this makes it more of yes to those who value psionics whether as a fan of the Deryeni, Valdemar, or the more recent magical but not-magic fans.

So here is what I will try to do.  Work up an idea a month that expresses how that might function in a game.  Unfortunately it won’t be as large or randomized as the Psionics chart.  But there is plenty that can be utilized from there too.