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NEW ELF LAIR GAMES RELEASE: Chutzpah! A Certain Je ne Sais Quoi

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Chutzpah! is the bare-bones role playing game with a certain je ne sais quoi! It's a firmly tongue-in-cheek game that nevertheless can handle any kind of game you wish to run, no matter how serious. From one-shot over-the-top lunacy to long-term deadly-serious campaigns, this game has the gumption to make it happen. With stats like Cut of My Jib, Childlike Wonder and yes, a Certain Je ne Sais Quoi, you'll be able to take your character building to the next level. 
It's a simple stat and skill die pool system using d8s. Why d8s? I just decided on d8s. There's literally no other reason. You'll throw your dice and count Fist Bumps to succeed at tasks. Included in this simple, 44-page book is everything you need to play a game, including:
Complete character generationRules for combat, skills, vehicles, magic, psionics and moreRules for building weapons, vehicles, equipment and monstersRules for fear, terror, horror, and madnessBenefits and Bugs to customize your charact…

How to Tell if You're a Toxic Fan

We've all encountered them: those so-called "fans" who never, ever praise the things they love, but instead have only hate and vitriol to spew, and spew it they will, given any chance, any excuse, any outlet. They'll insinuate themselves into conversations celebrating the latest installment of a franchise, only to eventually chime in with, "Let me tell you what the problem was." This is toxic fandom, and it's becoming a major problem that will eventually cause a critical mass of collapse in many of the things we all love so dearly.

The worst part about these people is that most of them absolutely refuse to believe that they are, in fact, toxic fans. After all, don't they have the right to their opinion, too? Who are you to tell them they're not fans? How dare you call them toxic? You're the loser who just blindly follows everything and can't see the clear flaws in front of you. Are you that fragile and shallow that you can't handle a…

Game of Thrones Fans Are Angry about Being Game of Thrones Fans

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Game of Thrones Fans Are Angry about Being Game of Thrones Fans By Jason Vey April 29, 2019
After last night's brutal and epic Battle of Winterfell episode of Game of Thrones, fans of the series are up in arms...apparently just generally about being fans of the show. The latest whining comes from insistence that the episode was too dark to see what was going on. 
"I really had to search to find a problem with this episode," says Bucky LaRoue of Lafayette, LA. "So I just decided on the actual brightness of the image. I turned the brightness on my TV all the way down, and decided it was the writers' fault that I couldn't see when my favorite character got stabbed in the eye." 
Says Jim Harbour of Seattle, WA, "I bought this TV last year. It's totally a 4k, but I only paid like $300 for it, so naturally when the picture was dark it had to be the fault of the producers. It's okay, though. I mean, I could buy a better television, but why bother…

Reading Original Dungeons & Dragons Part 2: Monsters & Treasure

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In my last post, I discussed seeming rules inconsistencies in Original Dungeons & Dragons, and the reactions someone just opening those books for the first time in 1974 might have had from reading through. Now let's move onto the second volume, Monsters & Treasure. Remember, the conceit here is that we don't have 40 years of scholarship and play experience upon which to draw, without the benefit of the Internet, and without the benefit of having gamed with Messrs. Gygax and Arneson. Rather, this is someone opening a second or third-print woodgrain box (with all its early textual differences from later white box versions) and how they might have been driven to run the game.

Again, remember that I'm working from a third printing woodgrain box, and the books have different text than the later fourth through sixth print white boxes, so textual references may differ for those who have white boxes. Also remember that this is a thought experiement and nothing more; it'…

The Elegance of Non-Unified Mechanics

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Like a great deal of gamers in this day and age, I have long been enamored of the idea of a so-called "unified mechanic," that is, a single die roll approach to resolve most, if not all, issues in a game. Current versions of D&D, for example, use a d20 ability check approach for everything--even combat is a Strength or Dexterity check. The only things that don't use the d20 are random probability rolls (which use straight percentile) and damage.

The Unisystem is another universal mechanic system, using d10 + attribute + skill vs. a target number of 9, and the cinematic version uses this for everything; there aren't even damage rolls, as damage is a flat number.

Even my own Spellcraft & Swordplay original ORCS system used 2d6 for everything, with damage rolls using xd6.


The Elegance of Non-Unified Mechanics
There's a certain ease and straightforward-ness to this approach that's easy to appreciate. Recently, however, I've come around to a new apprec…

D&D Monster Cards from Gale Force 9: Don't Bother

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At Gary Con, I licked up the Monster Cards from Gale Force 9. I usually try to avoid negative reviews of a product, but in this case I'm going to make an exception. This is, hands down, the WORST D&D 5 purchase I've made yet. I legit feel cheated.

I bought both the 0-5 and 6-15 challenge sets. I was quite excited at the prospect of not needing to cart my Monster Manual with me when I run games; rather I can just grab the cards I need and have the stat blocks right in front of me. And with these cards, that's true...sometimes.

Here's the problem. This is a company that has the license to produce D&D 5 materials. It's NOT unreasonable to expect that the entire Manual would be represented. Not only is the MM not represented, there are some core, basic monsters which are in the SRD, but are not represented in these cards. The vampire, for example. How do you put out a set of D&D monster cards AND NOT INCLUDE THE VAMPIRE???

What about dragons? It's Dung…

Gary Con post-con report

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So last week was Gary Con, and it was, as always, a blast. It's really become in just the two years I've been going, my favorite con of all time. Some highlights of this year:

I got my first-printing Deities & Demigods, and my OD&D Gods, Demi-Gods, and Heroes signed by Jim Ward, who I maintain today is just one of the most wonderful people in gaming. He's a genuinely caring, kind man who I feel honored to interact with on social media and get the chance to briefly talk with every year at GC.

I ran a preview of the 5e Role Playing version of Amazing Adventures, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, to the tune of, "When can we get this?" and "How can we get on the mailing list for the Kickstarter?" It was very positive feedback.

Fun was had by my other two groups as well (a D&D 5e game highlighting our Aihrde campaign setting, and a classic AA game).

Sales were great and TLG made some awesome contacts in and around the industry.

I got…