Monday, 29 October 2012

Diet bet starts here.

Today I weigh 13st and 13lbs (I had a triple feast day at the weekend) I have already done my exercises for the day and the diet bet begins.

We currently have 5 players for the diet bet. I’ll keep updating here as to how it is going and if we get more people involved.

Also on Thursday I start writing my Nano project so I'll probably post some extracts from that as well.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Diet Bet

Proper Diet update and post coming tomorrow

I have been struggling with my motivation for the last couple of weeks but this post from Tim Ferris has re inspired me:

I have downloaded the app he recommends and now inspired by his optional step 2 I am arranging my own Diet Bet. Starting with K8 and Nat’s and a couple of guys at work. Each of us puts £10 in the pot and makes a bet.

Mine is Stick to the 4 Hour Body Diet for 4 weeks and lose 2lbs a week.
One of the guys at work is betting that he can lose the greatest percentage of Starting body weight of the three of us.
K8’s is to do her weekly exercises and stick to her diet.

The bets begin on monday then, in 4 weeks time, everyone that succeeds at their bet splits the pot evenly between them.

Do you have a habit you want to start? Want in on the Diet bet? If you want to join in email me your bet before monday and we will go from there...

Friday, 19 October 2012

Epic level play and Diet update.

This week I weigh 13 Stone and 8lbs. I am down 5 lbs since Monday.

Inspired by some of the games we played in Scotland I want to put down some of my thoughts on epic level play.

The most interesting thing for me about Epic Level Play is it’s scope and the things that characters are capable of. High and Epic level Characters (at least in D&D) can Teleport, Raise the Dead, Travel to other Planes, Heal and Deal vast amounts of Damage along with a host of other capabilities.

One of the downsides to High level play is that the variety of options available to Players and Monsters can bog down combat. For my Pathfinder Game I added some additional House rules to make it go faster. I had extra attacks all have the same (the highest Attack modifier) to speed things up and make them more relevant. I also re wrote a lot of the monsters and opponents to only include relevant information, (making them look a lot like 4th edition Monsters)

I think the most telling part about running Epic Level Games is the mental gear change it requires. As was reflected in early editions of D&D as you began to reach High and epic levels the rules granted players the opportunity to create Fortresses, gain followers and start organisations, changing the game from the immediate environs of the players to one where they work towards a civilising goal.

Recently I played a spin off game where a character from our main campaign run by Gavin Smith wanted to undertake a crazy Viking plan invovling gloriously dying, planes travel, death, undeath, the collection of an equally crazy crew to help him out and in the end a suitably epic ending. I am being vague on purpose to avoid spoilers for those who are still in the long running campaign.

I also find it interesting the different ways games handle it. In Exalted you essentially start in an Epic Levels environment, even if your freshly awakened Exalted isn't ready for the things he has to deal with. In the first session of The Exalted game that Rob ran for us we were given a City, but told that in getting it we had annoyed a bunch of people who were coming with an army to take it back, so we should get to work finding allies and Magics to help us protect our city.

Whereas in Savage Worlds, Characters become more capable but just as fragile as they advance.

What counts as Epic is another interesting Question E6 suggests a fantasy world where the level cap is 6. Making 6th level effectively Epic limits the resources of the Characters but does make for a much more gritty game. Inspired by a suggestion that as you go up in levels the tone of the game changes, often Epic level play feels like playing fantasy Superheroes, and a just as interesting but very different game could be had by expecting your players to deal with the same type of things with the limited resources of a lower level cap or lower magic game.

A lot of my inspiration for High level play comes from these two Story Hours on EN World:

Sagiro’s Story Hour has been going for years and has some spectacular examples of High level play:
While Sepulcherave’s campaign is very different in tone. (EN world is down as I write this so I will link to this blog post is from another fan of The story hour and has loads of links as well as PDF’s he made of them.)

What is your favorite Game for Epic Level play?

Monday, 15 October 2012

Starting Again and Nanowrimo

I have not managed to stick to my diet since I got back from Scotland and I currently am back up to 13St 13lbs. I have however managed to increase my exercise. I’m now doing Pilates, Swimming and Tai Chi in addition to my exercises and my Vibram 5 fingers shoes have arrived so I will soon re start running as well.

Today however that all changed, K8 and I are both back on Diet. I am re-reading 4 hour body to reinspire me.

Gaming wise we have not done a great deal this last week, but we have 2 sessions planned for this week: Lyrium Dreams on Tuesday and This is Thracia on Friday.

Unlike Ceri (Who’s new Blog I think is worth looking at) I am going to try Nanowrimo this year, inspired by Nataraptor and Charles’ successes last year. However  I don’t really have a good idea for a novel so I am going  write something for Gaming. Maybe a hexcrawl or adventure path type thing.  

Perhaps a 13th Age Sandbox/Armatige Files crossover.

What gaming book or novel are you waiting for an excuse to write?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Gaming in Scotland

I spent the last week on the banks of Loch Katrine in Scotland, Relaxing and playing a lot of games.

I had a really nice time. We played the penultimate session of Gav’s Dnd 3.5 Game.  the inspiration for setting This is Thracia in a  version of the real world.

K8 and I joined the game over a year ago when it had reached 11th level and this 2nd to last session takes us to 22nd level. This session had us fight an Epic White Dragon. There are some interesting changes to game play at that level that I intend to talk about in a future post. In the fight I cast over 40 spells about 50/50 buffs and heals and offensive spells and, having defeated the Dragon at the last moment, we ended up fleeing from a more powerful foe.

I also ran an improvised session of 13th Age which went tremendously well. I improvised the session based on the backgrounds and one unique thing of each of the players. They ended up searching a great forest for a Dragon Orb so one of the players could gain her Dragon Mount and return to her role as the Emperors Dragonriding bodyguard having expunged her shame at losing her last Dragon Mount. The players fought Agents of the Lich king, Owlbears and finally a Gold Dragon to the point where it could be subdued by the Orb.

Finally we played the first session of the campaign that will replace Gav’s as our monthly game. Run by Mark this was a Swashbuckling Adventures game set in a low magic mid fantasy version of 1665 all of the players boarded ship for the new colonies in Virginia and ended up investigating a series of grisly murders aboard ship until as a cliffhanger a Spanish Galleon was sighted and the ship came under attack.

We also visited Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle (as we had visited it in the game), took a Steamship to the far side of Loch Katrine and walked the 12 mile death march back, had a lot of nice food and excellent company.