Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Random Musings that Keep Me Awake at Night

Why do we drive on the Parkway and park in the driveway?

Why is it called cargo when it ships by plane, ship, or truck?

Why does it seem like the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers only ever used one script?

Would Firefly had done better if it had used the word Star in it’s title?

Why does the death of a Super Hero last less than 12 issues?

Have you ever read the signs hotels post to entice you stay? I’d really to try the Free HBO-Sauna-Pool with Continental Breakfast.

Why is it the older I get the smarter my father becomes and the same decisions my son is making when I was his age seem woefully naive?

Am I the only person who thinks that my favorite TV shows growing up do not necessarily make good ideas for movies but then I still go see them anyway?

Why do they need a professional driver on a closed course for a car that’s being driven into a parking space?

Can we all just agree to skip the next thing after Blu Ray? It gets expensive to keep re-buying my collection.

Do soda manufacturers really think that I belive my drink is colder because it comes in a blue can?

Why do male enhancement products, free credit reports, or auto insurance seem to be the only things advertised on TV?

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September 25, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield | , , | Leave a comment

Demotivational Posters: Curiosity

Curiosity killed the cat, the cleric, the ranger, the warrior, the wizard….

April 22, 2010 Posted by | Demotivational Posters, Fluff/Inspiration, RPG | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Order of the D30: Saints for your Cleric to Invoke

orderd30Another article in my Order of the D30 series.  Rescued from the draft heap.

Inspired by Jeff Rients’ Book Miscellaneum of Cinder and this article from Grognardia.

In our AD&D game on Sunday afternoons I play a Gnome Cleric named Nevets Belin.  A follower the Lawful/Good Diety, Jahwei.  For some reason, Nevets has been picking up his own followers left and right.  Due to this upsurge in followers I have been contemplating Saints in the Jahwei hierarchy to flesh out the faith for better RP.  So today I caught the article and book (Book Review coming), and suddenly I had my inspiration.  Not all of these Saints are going to be in Jahwei’s hierarchy as He is Lawful/Good and would never condone criminal activity.  But I present them here anyway.

1. St. Spiner, patron saint of technology (By Spiner’s gold-plated epidermis)
2. St. Donatrum, patron saint of shop owners and merchants (By Donatrum’s bank accounts)
3. St. Benji, patron saint of canines and their handlers (By Benji’s studded collar)
4. St. Diznee, patron saint of good wizards and magical abilities (By Diznee’s Dominant Domain)
5. St. Orlando, patron saint of archers (By Orlando’s Onery Arrows)
6. St. Goolianni, patron saint of civilization, the protector of cities (By Goolianni’s Galvanized Gantries)
7. St. Algore, patron saint of the wilderness (By Algore’s Spotted Owl)
8. St. Castle, one-eyed, patron saint of Warriors dedicated to the eradication of demons and evil (By Castle’s good eye)
9. St. Michellein, patron saint of travellers. (By Michelein’s Mighty Movements)
10. St. Perkins, patron saint of animals (By Mutual of Omaha)
11. St. Bilgayts, patron saint of information (By Bilgayts Burnished Baubles)
12. St. Yankovich, patron saint of Bards (By Yankovich’s Pearly Squeeze-box)
13. St. Jonnidepp, patron saint of bandits and pickpockets. (By John’s Jolly Joybox)
14. St. Wapner, patron saint of judges and arbiters of the law. (By Wapner’s Glorified Gavel)
15. St. Anhauser, patron saint of taverns. (By Anhauser’s Awesome Ale)
16. St. Hawking, patron saint of knowledge and students. (By Hawking’s silver chair)
17. St. Jonnideere, patron saint of farmers and herdsman.  (By Jonnideere’s Furrowed Fields)
18. St. Valdeez, patron saint of sailors and ships. (By Valdeez’s Black Wake)
19. St. DeeAhn patron saint of wanderers. (By DeeAhn’s devilish Dulcimer)
20. St. Oprah patron saint of town criers. (By Oprah’s Obvious Announcements)
21. St. Mikey patron saint of life. (By Mikey’s Mirthful Mouth)
22. St. Cialis patron saint of male virility. (By Cialis’ Enlarged Epidermis)
23. St. Shatner patron saint of travelers. (By Shatner’s Shift Shirt)
24. St. Kinsman, patron saint of Royalty (By Kinsman’s Uncle Bear)
25. St. Stark, patron saint of armorers. (By Stark’s Crimson Armor)
26. St. Checkmate patron saint of weaponsmiths. (By Checkmate’s Cheeky Chunks)
27. St. Brunzeneggar patron saint of barbarians (By Brunzeneggar’s Burly Biceps)
28. St. Roker, patron saint of predictors of the weather. (By Roker’s Randy Raingauge)
29. St. Harwell patron saint of seekers of the truth (By Harwell’s Holy Handgrenade)
30. St. Hwinykw patron saint of evil wizards (By Voldemort’s Nameless Ancestry)

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Legacy D&D, Order of the D30, RPG | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dungeon Dramas: A Guest Spot from Bob @ The Dice Bag

rsc01Welcome back to Dungeon Dramas, my ongoing series of plot hooks as developed by the random roll of my Story Cubes. Today’s Dungeon Drama is guest written by Bob from The Dice Bag.

Believe it or not, Bob and I concocted this little guest spot last year.  Many things happened including more hours at work for me.  Bob forgetting to actually send his play, my mis-filing the response because of PIT #1’s graduation from Basic.

Bob I’m sorry it took so long but here at long last is your guest spot.

Bob’s roll: a person sleeping, a hand, a tree, a bemused face, a parachutist, a question mark, a crescent moon, a magnet, and a cane

Strange things have been happening in a local village. People have been disappearing during the night never to be heard form again. Objects are going missing and pets and livestock are being slaughtered or disappearing. He had been sleepwalking and when woken had no idea where he was or what he was doing. He insisted the dream made him do it. When questioned about his dream all he could remember about it was a ghostly hand guiding him through the town, showing him what to do. He felt as though he was falling the entire time and kept getting glimpses of an ancient tree sitting in the middle of a meadow.
 
The local wise man recognised this horrible dream and sent out for a group of adventurers to track down this tree that was pulling these people to it in their sleep. They must find the tree before the next new moon when it is a crescent high in the sky. It and it’s servants must be destroyed and with the staff of the local holy man they must show the fallen villagers the light.

Do you want a shot at a Dungeon Drama?  I finally got my action cubes in the mail.  Drop me an e-mail or leave a comment.

March 12, 2010 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Legacy D&D, Plot Hooks from..., RPG | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How to Host a Dungeon: a Review

promo_small

Planet Thirteen’s How to Host a Dungeon is a quick entertaining diversion designed for one person.  As a game it’s enjoyment level ranks right up there with an actual gaming session.  However, I’ve discovered that it can also become an essential part of your DM toolbox. 

As I have stated many times, my creative streak seems to work best with SOME kind of inspiration.  I’m always on the lookout for something that will jump start my creative synapses.  How to Host a Dungeon, does just that.

Let me start by saying this game is a lot of fun.  I started off playing this solo and had to improvise rules for two more players before I finished my first dungeon.  PIT #2 & #3 saw how much fun I was having and DEMANDED to play along.  We had a blast building the first few dungeons.  We laughed uproariously as we named the various monsters, humanoids, and the arch-villains.  We’re averaging about 3 hours per dungeon, so it’s not necessarily a quick random dungeon.  Though I will admit a good portion of our time was spent laughing over the names we invented for the various inhabitants.

You will need a standard set of dice to play this game (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, & d20).  You will also need pencils, paper, pens and small beads or tokens (we used little necklace beads from Hobby Lobby), standard fare for a self-published game.

sc0004d7cdThe dungeon pictured was the first one we built.  It was built for our ongoing Quest for the Staff of Genesis campaign.  So we did not play that build out to the end as we needed monsters for the party to hunt, treasure to find, and a villain to defeat.   I also had to shoehorn established points from our campaign into the dungeon design.  This was easily handled as the this game is designed to be multi-system compatible.

I had two small quibbles with the game.  The first is an acknowledged typo contained throughout the game.  The rules are constantly stating to roll a d6 against tables that are obviously larger than six items.  When you play amend that rule to read roll a dX (where X = the size of the table being rolled against).  The second minor quibble was rules for battles involving wandering monsters and adventurers are printed a different page than the rest of the adventurer and wandering monster rules.  These complaints are minor considering the overall fun of this game.  Both of these complaints are easily fixable in subsequent printings.

Overall I was impressed with the ease and simplicity of the game.  $19.00 for both a print and .pdf version is a very good value.  PIT#3 likes the game but would like to see bats added as permanent part of the rule set.  PIT #2 found the game to be incredibly fun.  I recommend getting the print version as the constant shuffle of pages during the age of Monsters can get to be a hassle using .pdf.

4.95 pointed ears out of 6 – Recommended

July 2, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Legacy D&D, News, Reviews and Culture, RPG | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Entertainment Properties that are Begging for an RPG

I’m sitting here looking at my RPG shelf which contains many rulebooks for games that I’d love to play and/or run.  If I listened to my kids, I’d quit my job and we’d spend the summer playing RPGs.  I’ve got rules for Stargate, Star Trek, Serenity, more D&D than I thought I’d ever own, and my nearly reconstructed set of Car Wars stuff, to name a few.

I know that I’ll never have the time to run, let alone play all these games.  There are many RPGs out the for entertainment properties that I’d love to own, Marvel Superheroes, Star Wars, James Bond.  However, I can’t help but think of some Entertainment properties that are rife with RPG possibilities.  I’ve listed some below.

van-helsingVan Helsing:A secret operative for the Church in Rome, Van Helsing has access to more gadgets than James Bond.  Van Helsing as an RPG could use any monster ever seen on film as a potential villain for the game.  PCs would be able to play as operatives of the Church going after “abominations” against nature.  Granted this could all be gamed out using Ravenloft and D&D.  However I would love to see actual stats for classic movie monsters in a unified system.

alia-castAlias: The PCs are recruited by what they believe is a top secret sub-section of the government’s spy agency.  However the secret sub-section is really a front for the opposition that every operative thinks they are actually fighting.  Intrigue, plots, counter-plots.  Are the NPCs really on our side?  Who really knows the truth?  This would be a fun scenario to play out.

Lost:Lost  The PCs are dropped on an island with lots of strange mysterious goings on.  Death does not seem to be permanent.  Are your fellow passengers who they claim to be?  Every player is out for his own self interest.  However the players do need to work together to solve the puzzles.  Is the setting what it seems to be?  Who can be trusted?  Will you make it off the island?

munsters-castMunsters: Playing monsters in the real world.  Now there’s a fun concept.  The Munsters did not see themselves as abnormal and neither should you.  Adventures come about from trying to convince the butcher that your pale green skin is perfectly normal or trying to get the vet to take care of your pet dragon.

Gilligan’s Island: cast-of-gilligans-island You’re not exploring the dungeon, you’re trapped in it.  Unbeknownst to the rest of the party, one of the PCs is unwittingly sabotaging their efforts.  Maybe there isn’t enough fodder here for a full-blown game, but there’s certainly enough for a campaign in your universe.

riddickChronicles of Riddick: The universe hinted at in the films and games certainly looks like a lot fun to play.  Trying successfully to break out of a slam.  Or alternatively, trying to capture those who have escaped.  Breaking out of a slam would be a very cool dungeon crawl.  Recapturing an escaped con would be an interesting campaign.

These are the ones that I’d love to see.  Do you have another?

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, RPG | , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Which D&D Metallic Dragon are you?

I found this interesting quiz the other day.

golddragonCool, I’m a Gold Dragon:

GOLD DRAGON
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Any
FREQUENCY: Very rare
ORGANIZATION: Solitary or clan
ACTIVE TIME: Any
INTELLIGENCE: Genius (17-18)
ALIGNMENT: Lawful good
Gold dragons are wise, judicious, and benevolent. They often embark on self appointed quests to promote goodness, and are not easily distracted from them. They hate injustice and foul play. A bold dragon frequently assumes human or animal guise and usually will be encountered disguised. At birth, a gold dragons scales are dark yellow with golden metallic flecks. The flecks get larger as the dragons mature until, at the adult stage, the scales grow completely golden. Gold dragons speak their own tongue, a tongue common to all good dragons. Gold dragons usually parley before combat. A gold dragon has two breath weapons: a cone of fire 90 long, 5 wide at the dragons mouth, and 30 wide at the end or a cloud of potent chlorine gas 50long, 40 wide, and 30 high. At birth, gold dragons have water breathing ability, can speak with animals freely, and are immune to fire and gas. They can also polymorph. Gold dragons can eat almost anything, however, they usually sustain themselves on pearls or small gems. Gold dragons who receive pearls and gems from good or neutral creatures will usually be favorably inclined toward the gift bringers, as long as the gift is not presented as a crass bribe. In the latter case, the dragon will accept the gift, but react cynically to any requests the giver makes. Gold dragons can live anywhere. Their lairs are secluded and always made of solid stone, either caves or castles. These usually have loyal guards: either animals appropriate to the terrain, or storm or good cloud giants. The giants usually serve as guards though a mutual defensive agreement. Advanced Dungeons&Dragons 2nd Addition Monstrous Manual

Brave Adventurer, what be you?

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Legacy D&D, RPG | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Dungeons & Dragons: Ye Olde Shoppe of Magicks, June 2009

I make no bones about it.  I’m fascinated with magical items in any setting.  I like making up curses to place on magical items.  Once a month, Ye Olde Shoppe of Magick is going to gather together ten of the best magic items we can find on the blogsphere and offer them to you.

From All Geek Out: The Twitter Bird – an enchanted avian that allows you to keep tabs on people.

From Gentian over At Will: An assortment of magical rings, my favorite is the Memory Loop.

From Mike’s Mind: The Resurrection Gauntlet – a gauntlet that allows you to speak with or raise the dead.

From A Hamsterish Hoard of Dungeons and Dragons: Blind Reflection – A Fey enchanted spear

From right here at the Database: The Infinity Rings – They sound good but were made by a wizard with a sense of humour.

From RPG Dumping Ground: The Shrieking Helm – An enchanted helmet that provides protection against magic.

From A Character for Every Game: The Black Swords of Kale – A family of enchanted swords, Blackrazor being the most famous of the lot.

Not really a magical item but useful none-the-less
From Inkwell Ideas: The Random Inventory Generator for your Magical Shop – just what it says.

From Troll and Flame: Three Magical Locks – Locks designed to foil Magic users

From Chgowiz’s Old Guy RPG: Three More Magical Locks  – More magical locks.

There you go ten magical items.  Ye Olde Shoppe of Magicks will gather together another ten in July.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Legacy D&D, RPG | , , , , | Leave a comment

Dungeon Dramas: Three More Randomly Generated Hooks.

rsc01Welcome back to Dungeon Dramas, my ongoing series of plot hooks as developed by the random roll of my Story Cubes.

Today’s roll: a word balloon, flames, a hand, a bee, a fountain, a tree, a flower, a lightning bolt, and Earth.

VS: The war of the gods has breached the heavenly planes and threatens the entire planet.  Enchanted lighting falls from the skies and burns everything it strikes, flora and fauna alike,  The PCs are warned in a dream from their patron Deity that the only way for them to quench the magical flames is to get water from the fountain of life.

PIT #3: Picking flowers on Earth, a sudden storm brews.  Trees are uprooted, the PCs discover that one of the trees was a guardian to a dimensional portal.  Investigating the portal, the PCs are sucked though the portal to a land of sentient bees who breath flames.

PIT#2: Lightning strikes and sets fire to a forest.  The Golden Bee comes to pollinate flowers in the forest.  Discovering his forest gone, the Bee consorts with the dark forces to destroy everything else.  It’s up to the PCs to stop the Bee.

June 27, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Legacy D&D, Plot Hooks from..., RPG | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Order of the D30: 30 cliches turned into magical items

orderd30Another article in my Order of the D30 series.

Inspired by The Book of Marvelous Magic by Frank Mentzer and Gary Gygax

This list inspired by page 14.  The honest to goodness “Barrel of Monkeys”,  I list it here as number one.  I have tried to balance the list out with good and bad items.

1. Barrel of Monkeys, when opened PC must save vs. spell or be turned into a white ape.  Regardless of the save vs. roll on white per turn climbs out of the barrel until remove curse is applied to the barrel.

2. Ton of Bricks, single brick that can be carried by hand.  However when used as a weapon and thrown, victim his hit by the apparent force of 2000lbs of bricks.

3. Ace Up Your Sleeve, an enchanted playing card that alters probability in the PCs favor.  This card must be kept secure in the PCs sleeve for the affect to work.

4. An Apple a Day, an enchanted miniature tree that grows one apple every day.  The PC who consumes the apple is immune to all disease, poison, and other physical ailments for 24 hours.

5. An Axe to Grind, this axe is always dull.  Attempts to sharpen it do not work.  However the PCs nemesis suffers 2d10 psychic damage when the axe is sharpened.

6. Sword Beaten into a Ploughshare, this seemingly innocuous ploughshare was actually once a warforged sword.  When in the PC’s possession enemies will seek a peaceful solution to the problem if not attacked first.

7. Candle Burnt at Both Ends, a two wick’d candle.  When lit from both ends the PC has a burst of energy and does not need rest.  Effect lasts until the candle is gone.

8. Midnight Oil, special oil for your lamp that actually grants energy to the whole party when burned in one of the party’s lamps.

9. A Can of Worms, when opened the PC has unleashed the absolute worst the dungeon can throw at the party.  There is no avoiding anything.  They WILL find every monster or be found.

10. The Cat that Got Your Tougne, petting this cursed feline statue requires a save vs. spell, failure means you’ve lost your voice.

11. Cat Nap, petting this cursed feline statue requires a save vs. spell, failure and the pc falls asleep for 1d6 rounds.  Upon awakening, however PC has regained the same number of HP.

12. Bag of Hammers, The PC is dumber than this bag (no matter how high the INT score).  Ask this bag any question (only once) and you will get the correct answer.  For fun the DM can chose to answer a really innocuous question to reveal its existence.

13. Dry Bone, throwing this bone at any body of water will cause the body of water to dry up long enough for the PC to get across.

14. The Silver Lining, the actual silver lining of a cloud.  If kept the PC will have incredibly good luck, but lousy weather will follow the party.  The weather will worsen to the point the PCs will WANT to return the silver lining.  However, they’ll have to put it back into the cloud.

15. Eye and Tooth Amulet, this charmed amulet with an embossed eye and tooth will cause any wound given to the PC to appear on the attacker as well.

16. Fly by the Seat of Your Pants, enchanted knickers that will allow the PC to levitate.

17. Fly on the Wall, this enchanted statue will allow the PC to see through the eyes of any fly in any room of the dungeon the PC has already visited.

18. The Frog in My Throat, picking up this statue needs a save vs. spell. Failure causes one frog per round to emerge from the PCs mouth until someone cast remove curse.

19. The Glimmer of Hope, when all seems lost this amulet will cause a faint glow to appear around the clue the PC needs to solve the dilemma.

20. Glasses of 20/20 Hindsight, when wearing these glasses the solution to the problem will become clear after failing once.

21. Hit of the Book, when smacked upside the head with this tome, the Knowledge contained within is transferred to the PC.  It only work if someone else smacks the PC with the book.

22. It’s in the Cards.  This RARE magical item is a D&D deck of Gambling with NO black cards.  Each member of the party pulls one card and then the deck vanishes.

23. It’s in the Cards 2.  The other half of the deck.  same rules.

24. Jack’s Toolbelt, you know Jack, he’s good at everything.  Well there was a reason why he had this magical toolbelt that gave better chances at success on ANY project.  He lost the belt and you’ve found it.

25. The Unturned Stone, this looks like a normal smooth skipping stone with the exception of a mystical rune carved on one side.  Turning this stone over will reveal any treasure (unless concealed by a wizard of a higher level than the PC) in the current room.

26. The Pot from the Land of Milk and Honey, this pot always contains just enough sustenance to ward off starvation.

27. Elephant Memory Charm, this amulet with an inscribed pachyderm will allow the PC to remember (even if the player doesn’t) any clue dropped by the DM.  The DM should remind the PC of the clue when needed but tell how the clue solves the puzzle.

28. The Bad Apple. picking up this peice of cursed fruit spoils ALL foodstuffs in the party’s stores.

29. One Man’s Garbage, this seeming pile of trash is really on closer examination a pile of treasure.

30. The Needle in The Haystack, finding this needle in the haystack is an accomplishment.  The runes inscribed on this needle grant the PC the increased ability to find secret doors.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Legacy D&D, Order of the D30, RPG | , , , , , | 3 Comments