John-Michael Gariepy

Archive for the month “November, 2011”

Dungeons and Dragons Random Encounters: Level 6

For an explanation and introduction to Random Encounters, go to Why would anyone make a giant chart of Random Encounters?

Roll once for each adventurer in your party.  Whenever you roll a Brute, or a Soldier, add two of that creature and roll one less time total.  If the last creature you roll is a brute, or a soldier, your players will have to suck it up.  There will be more experience for them anyway.  Whenever Minions are rolled, add the number of minions shown to the encounter and count them as one creature for the purposes of generating an encounter.  Whenever an Elite creature is rolled, count it as two separate creatures for the purpose of generating an encounter.  When a Solo creature is a, stop rolling, since a solo monster by itself is a good challenge for characters of that level.  If you’ve already rolled up three creatures before the solo joined the party, you may want to indicate to your players that now would be a good time to run…

01- 05 Roll again in the Level 5 Random Encounter Chart.

06 – 10 Roll on the Random Hindrances Chart.

11-13 (Artillery)  Tiefling Heretic

14 (Solo Artillery)  Young Blue Dragon

Read more…

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Individuality, or

That Strange Problem with the Subway’s Guy, or

John-Michael Gariepy and the Never-Ending Chain of Mirrors

I like variety.  I’m on a constant quest for that which is new or different.  And while I can’t say that I’m a daring man, when given a set number of choices, I jump at the toy that everyone else is ignoring, and pick it up.

I want to learn something.  I hate retreading old patterns.  When reading history, I aim for oddball topics, like the Indian Mughal Empire, or the details of The XYZ Affair.  When I’m wandering through the woods, and two roads diverge, I ignore both the road more traveled, and the road less traveled, and head for the treeline.  When I sit down at a restaurant I pour through the menu, like it’s a best-selling mystery novel, with the hope that I can find something that I’ve never tried before, or, failing that, a combination of foods that I find intriguing.  There are foods I don’t like, of course – I’m not a fan of olives, for example – but if I don’t know if I will like something or not, that’s what I order.

This leads me to be very agreeable, since I’m willing to be experimental, and there are many people who are not.  You want to get some Moussaka?  I’m all over that.  Want to watch a movie?  As long as I haven’t seen it before, I’m happy.  Got a new game you want to try out?  Let’s pull out the rules.

These two personality traits complement each other well.  Except at the Subway in Bradford, Massachusetts.

You see, at this one Subway, there’s a guy behind the counter who is very friendly.  While I’m scouring a menu that I’ve read hundreds of times before in search of that one combination of things I haven’t had, the guy behind the counter starts chatting it up.  Eventually, he asks a question:  Do you want Wheat Bread?

“Sure,” I say. “Wheat sounds good.”

One week later, I’m back at that same Subways.  It’s not my fault… I eat out a lot, and there aren’t enough restaurants in the local area to support my adventurous spirit.  The guy behind the counter recognizes me, and says “Wheat Bread, right?
“Um.  Sure.”
“You get Roast Beef, don’t you?”

He’s a good employee.  He recognizes me every time I walk into that Subway.  And, slowly, he’s built up the order that he thinks I like.  Wheat Bread, Roast Beef, Swiss, Lettuce, Spinach, Onion, Tomato, Pickle, Brown Mustard.  I’ve never asked for any of these things.  He’s suggested things and settled on the meal he thinks I would want.  He wants to be helpful, so he’s holding up a mirror so that I can see what I want to see.  Unfortunately, I’m also holding a mirror up, so he sees his mirror, which sees my mirror, which sees his mirror.  And in the center of all these mirror images sits a Roast Beef on Wheat, Brown Mustard.

I thank him as I pay.  He gives me my change, smiles and slides my Subway card.  As he hands me my change he says, “You always get the same thing.  I couldn’t do that.  I like a lot of variety.”

Random Hindrances for 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

For an explanation of Random Encounters, see Why would anyone make a giant chart of Random Encounters?  If you’d instead prefer to jump straight in, go to Random Encounters, Level 1.

Roll 1d100, then consult the chart.  The “Common Hindrances”, “Uncommon Hindrances” and “Rare Hindrances” sections all belong to the same chart, and are only here to show disparity between the most minor things on this chart, to the most condemning.  The next creature you roll up in your in your Random Encounter will have the following hindrance.  If your next roll in your random encounter happens to be multiple creatures, feel free to give the hindrance to only one creature, or to all of them, depending on your tastes.  Rolling on the Random Hindrance Chart does not count toward the number of creatures in an encounter.

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Confusion in the Ranks!

I’m a bit late in announcing this one, but Jeffrey Norman Bourbeau and I put together a two person podcast for the Myriad Games Podcast.  It’s a Session Impression featuring “Confusion: Espionage and Confusion in the Cold War”, a two player board game with elements of Stratego and Battleship, while still maintaining it’s own distinct identity.  Jeff and I have been getting some good feedback on it, and we’re planning on making some more podcasts, probably with back up singer Brian Tully without the parents (Dan and Sara) around.  It should be fun, so look out for that.  For now, though, you can click on this link to check out the cloak and dagger action.

Dungeons and Dragons Random Encounters: Level 5

For an explanation and introduction to Random Encounters, go to Why would anyone make a giant chart of Random Encounters?.

Roll once for each adventurer in your party.  Whenever you roll a Brute, or a Soldier, add two of that creature and roll one less time total.  If the last creature you roll is a brute, or a soldier, your players will have to suck it up.  There will be more experience for them anyway.  Whenever Minions are rolled, add the number of minions shown to the encounter and count them as one creature for the purposes of generating an encounter.  Whenever an Elite creature is rolled, count it as two separate creatures for the purpose of generating an encounter.  When a Solo creature is a, stop rolling, since a solo monster by itself is a good challenge for characters of that level.  If you’ve already rolled up three creatures before the solo joined the party, you may want to indicate to your players that now would be a good time to run…

01- 05 Roll again in the Level 4 Random Encounter Chart.

06 – 10 Roll on the Random Hindrances Chart.

11-13 (Artillery)  Blazing Skeleton

14 – 16 (Artillery)  Gnoll Huntmaster

Read more…

Dungeons and Dragons Random Encounters: Level 4

For an explanation and introduction to Random Encounters, go to Why would anyone make a giant chart of Random Encounters?.

Roll once for each adventurer in your party.  Whenever you roll a Brute, or a Soldier, add two of that creature and roll one less time total.  If the last creature you roll is a brute, or a soldier, your players will have to suck it up.  There will be more experience for them anyway.  Whenever Minions are rolled, add the number of minions shown to the encounter and count them as one creature for the purposes of generating an encounter.  Whenever an Elite creature is rolled, count it as two separate creatures for the purpose of generating an encounter.  When a Solo creature is a, stop rolling, since a solo monster by itself is a good challenge for characters of that level.  If you’ve already rolled up three creatures before the solo joined the party, you may want to indicate to your players that now would be a good time to run…

01- 05 Roll again in the Level 3 Random Encounter Chart.

06 – 10 Roll on the Random Hindrances Chart.

11-13 (Artillery)  Corruption Corpse (Zombie)

Read more…

Dungeons and Dragons Random Encounters: Level 3

For an explanation and introduction to Random Encounters, go to Why would anyone make a giant chart of Random Encounters?.

Roll once for each adventurer in your party.  Whenever you roll a Brute, or a Soldier, add two of that creature and roll one less time total.  If the last creature you roll is a brute, or a soldier, your players will have to suck it up.  There will be more experience for them anyway.  Whenever Minions are rolled, add the number of minions shown to the encounter and count them as one creature for the purposes of generating an encounter.  Whenever an Elite creature is rolled, count it as two separate creatures for the purpose of generating an encounter.  When a Solo creature is a, stop rolling, since a solo monster by itself is a good challenge for characters of that level.  If you’ve already rolled up three creatures before the solo joined the party, you may want to indicate to your players that now would be a good time to run…

01- 05 Roll again on the Level 2 Random Encounter Chart.

06 – 10 Roll on the Random Hindrances Chart.

11-14 (Artillery)  Hobgoblin Archer (Goblin)

15 – 17 (Artillery)  Kobold Wyrmpriest (L)

Read more…

Dungeons and Dragons Random Encounters: Level 2

For an explanation and introduction to Random Encounters, go to Why would anyone make a chart of Random Encounters?

Roll once for each adventurer in your party.  Whenever you roll a Brute, or a Soldier, add two of that creature and roll one less time total.  If the last creature you roll is a brute, or a soldier, your players will have to suck it up.  There will be more experience for them anyway.  Whenever Minions are rolled, add the number of minions shown to the encounter and count them as one creature for the purposes of generating an encounter.

01- 05 Roll again in the Level 1 Encounter List.

06 – 10 Roll on the Random Hindrances Chart.

11-14 (Artillery)  Elf Archer

Read more…

RockBand Reviews – Yes, Track Pack 1

Another Groovy Rockband Review just dropped at MusicNotion.com, written by yours truly.  Feel free to check it out by clicking on this link.

Random Encounters for 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

Or, why would anyone make a giant chart of Random Encounters?

The simple explanation is, because it’s fun to let randomness dictate how the adventure is going to play out.  But why is that fun?  Ah, yes.  Good show.

Random encounters are fun because they add a bit of mystery and exploration for the player in a game of Dungeons and Dragons who knows everything else that’s going to happen in his game:  The Dungeon Master.  This sense of confusion and wonder spills over to the players as well.  If the Dungeon Master doesn’t know what will happen next, then anything is possible.  Your game will feel fresh, and alive, and the possibilities in your campaign will widen.

Random Encounters are also useful because they can fill in gaps for when you don’t know what happens next.  Instead of stilted conversations, or another tedious fight with the guards, a random encounter can let you borrow something from someone else’s playbook for a while, before getting back on track.

There will always be criticism when playing like this, of course.  Some people will maintain that true creativity can’t come from a Read more…

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