20 June 2017

Some Good Guidelines For Players

This is quoted (except for changing defendable to defensible and adding emphasis to item #1) from a post by user Scott Anderson on The Ruins of Murkhill forum. I'm no longer a big fan of forums and am not a member, but if you like them this seems to be a good one.

1. Always ask, "how do we get the loot without putting ourselves in much danger?" Loot is how you level; combat is how you die.

2. Always have a larger plan. You might be able to afford to build a castle at level 8 but who's going to actually build it? Who will man it? What peasants will support it? A random castle in the wilderness is worse than useless. It's a huge mausoleum.

3. Build up the towns you visit through industry and military power. Make them remember you by leaving a mark on their town.

Industry: build a work house. Like maybe there's clay nearby. You can hire a master potter from the nearby city to show the hapless sods how to throw clay pots, and then build a pottery factory. Or maybe invest in some looms and start a rag maker's shop. Something to improve the lot of the least among the townsfolk.

Military: spend some time with the men showing them how to fight. Introduce them to your gods. Offer to take them out adventuring nearby. And when you leave, give them a way to call out to you if they ever need your help. This will build you an army and make sure the town is safe when you return.

Family: if you are a boy character, take up with a maiden and have a baby. That will tie you and the town together in a way no mere physical connection can. Given enough down time, a lady character could make a baby and leave it with the dad in the same way.

If you plan to stay a while, finance a palisade around the town or at least a bailey. That way you will have a defensible position and the beginning of a fort or castle in the future.

All of these tasks can be completed in several different towns in order to establish a real territory.

4. Clear areas systematically. You will be able to build new frontier out of wilderness piece by piece.

5. Spend treasure to buy legitimacy. Titles and political favors are as valuable as military might.

6. Have stuff your guy wants, and tell the Ref he wants it. Then a good Ref will give you opportunities to find or earn those things. It makes things go easier for him to get input.

7. One of the very important things that all of this requires is adequate down time between adventures! Down time requires a calendar and regular time keeping. So if you want to have a real campaign, offer to take care of time, seasons, and weather for the Ref so he doesn't have to.

05 June 2017

North Texas RPG Convention Summary

NTRPG Con 2017 After-Action Report

North Texas RPG Convention (NTRPG) ran from June 1st to June 4th this year at the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport Hotel. Herein follows a quick summary of the convention, from facilities to games.


  • Frank Mentzer running the auction, which included some pretty hard-to-find items and a few unique collectables. 
  • A good variety of games and settings. 
  • A well thought-out schedule. Though, obviously, one couldn't play in every game? It was easy to get a good variety of experiences in. 
  • Easy access to D/FW Airport for those traveling from distant points. 
  • The K&KA Social rocked
  • So did AustinJimm's homebrew suds. 
  • Frank Mentzer spilling the beans on his next KS, an expansion (with map and gazetteer) to a certain well-known setting compatible with and expanding on a certain predatory bird with plumage that is neither white nor black but somewhere between. Many (so-called) OSR notables from the Old Guard will be in on the project and, yes ... Darlene herself will be drawing the map (see note above about predatory bird). 
  • Special hotel menu items that were reasonably priced and delivered right to your gaming table by dedicated serving wenches. No beer, though; you had to go buy your own and bring it to the table yourself. 
  • The restaurant had a nice variety of food items and drinks.


  • Hotel was a bit on the pricey side, though I'll be the first to state their hospitality was commiserate with the price.
  • Not every room had a refrigerator, though I'm not clear why some did and others did not. 


  • One game I was in had switched venues from the location provided when I signed up and in the schedule booklet I was given when I checked in. The originally assigned table also had a copy of the sign up sheet in a stand up display, further telling me (and three others) this is where I was supposed to be. When we finally figured out what happened, the game was already in progress. I attempted to apologize to the Referee ... who cut me off and brusquely told me this change had been posted on the bulletin board so I should have known. Wait! So ... it's my fault? I didn't think an apology necessary for such a minor thing but I certainly neither expected nor appreciated the blame for something outside my control. 
  • In another game, one with only four player-characters signed up? Two of the players spent the whole time time complaining about their PC's "lack of combat skills" and refusing to take the even the slightest risk in attempting to complete the task we were given. The two also bickered incessantly with one another and eventually one got his knickers in a twist, packing up his gaming gear and storming off in a wee bit of a snit. Fortunately, the main objective had already been completed.
  • Young players. While I appreciate youthful enthusiasm? One young player had a strident voice with no "inside" volume setting. He also didn't understand the concept of waiting his turn. It made it difficult to hear the referee and, in turn, be heard when I tried to take an action. 

Tips For Future Attendees 

  • Dress in layers if you are touchy about ambient temperature. It varied from comfortable to a bit warm in one case to rather chilly in one other. It didn't bother me, but a few players were unhappy about it. 
  • If you're budget-minded but still want to attend? The Quality Inn next door or the Red Roof Inn across the street may be a bit more to your liking. Listed rates are approximately half of Westin's regular rate and well below even the convention pricing. Both are an easy walk away from Westin.
  • There is also a Denny's across the street, though the special $10 convention menu was a pretty good bargain; even compared to Denny's prices.
  • A convenience store is directly across the street with typical stock and a variety of soft and hard drinks.