Thursday, March 27, 2008

Room Tiles, WEGS, and some random musings...

So, WittCon V brought about the second draft of Dungeon Slam!...sort of.

I say 'sort of', because so far, I reformatted the encounters, the loot, the character cards and the board....but not the room tiles. That's been my project over the last few days.

If it's one major failing that I messed up with, which I absolutely did not want to do, was to fall into the room syndrome that Order of the Stick falls into. In OotS, rooms have almost no bearing on the game. Nearly every room you encounter is "Just Another Dungeon Corridor"...which bores me to tears.

Just like in a D&D dungeon, rooms are supposed to be exciting and challenging--they add to an encounter just as much as the enemies you're fighting. What's more exciting to you--a fight with orcs in a 40'x40' stone room, or the same fight over a lava waterfall? Obviously, the lava.

In OotS, there's no lava. Ever. It's boring. It's one of the reasons that we haven't played this game in nearly a year.
In Dungeon Slam!--draft 1, that is--waterfalls were incredibly rare. Some rooms were cool, but most were either boring or predictable.

However, in draft 2? HA! The problem has been addressed. Every room has at least something going on with it--either there's added loot, a more difficult or different challenge, or the possibility of some real weirdness.
While I think this tends to make the game slightly more difficult--you've got to plan which Blue tile you want, not just that you want a Blue tile--it simultaneously makes the game more speedy. Loot is given out much more freely, which allows for faster advancement. This, in turn, lets people take on tougher encounters more quickly.

So, hopefully this weekend, I'll be demoing the new room tiles at Witt's Game Day, and life will be good. On top of this, Ebbs and I are prepping a WEGS scenario for Wright State's GloryCon. I'd give you more details, but...well, then I'd have to send you Off to the Spheres! Well, I can't say that...there is one thing:

I'm itching to use the Astral Spider minis I picked up at Bell, Book and Comic. :D

And now, some more WittCon V pictures!

Here's Karl, in front of the ad I hung for Dungeon Slam!

Here's Willy the 2 (Wt2) and Josh, hanging out in the midst of some PvP mayhem:

After no one showed for the beginning role-play session, Lionel and Co. kicked back with a friendly game of "Venus Needs Men!"

And, finally, some WEGS--Emily, Ebbs, and Rachel try to keep the 88s at bay in "Dungeons OR Dragons"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

WEGS 'n' WittCon V Wrap-Up

My apologies on the delay, ye loyal few readers--the funeral in Pennsylvania for my grandfather was somewhat delayed, which led to a slight inability to blog. However, the Warlock is back in action and ready to give you the rundown.

Here's our geekdom hero, El Willy, arriving at Krystal Keep. Krystal Keep is the virtual successor to Wexford Hills Hobbies (boo! hiss!), which is a great improvement over the earlier incarnation. El Willy arrived with his resident Minion Master, Willy the 2 (known here, and in the Tale Wegziotic as Wt2), but neither had any readiness for the chaos we were about to inflict upon them...

...mainly because the vast majority of our gaming group came out for the festivities! While El Willy and his compadre were more used to running game for 5-6 people, we started the WEGS demo with no less than 9 sitting around the table, with more joining the fray!

The pic above is of the whole group of players at Krystal Keep! Needless to say, a massive amount. Even those who weren't playing got a whole earful of WEGS throughout the night--a great thing for El Willy's publicity and the sales at the Keep.

The game itself was a series of encounters, linked around a "Dungeon-crawling" theme, but ended in a massive PvP fracas. I bowed out approximately half-way through the dungeon-crawl to focus on getting the photos, and to let a newcomer play, taking over my Humz mage. However, this gave me the chance to act as an "assistant Minion Master" with El Willy and Wt2, running a Level 8 Ranger Minion, sniping out poor Will's Warrior, who laid on the ground in Lost Action Phase.

However, that was only the beginning of the festivities as Saturday brought about WittCon V--"Alea Iacta Est". This was an exciting con for me, as it brought about the first chance to premier Dungeon Slam!

While I only had 8 total takers for Dungeon Slam! the players really seemed to catch on fast, and enjoy the game itself. I really got quite a few solid responses, as well as some great ideas to enhance the game from Wt2, who sat in on the second session.

Here's a picture of the full-game set-up, as it is now:

While I did not end up running the Cthulhu Dark Ages game I had originally planned, this gave me the chance to partake of some extra WEGS-ing!
El Willy, Ebbs, and Wt2 teamed up, using the "Fist Full o' Boomstick!" varient WEGS-rules to provide us with a Cthulified WEGS scenario. With their creative genius on the run, we faced down the horrors of the Column-Golem, and then a massive creature bearing a significant resemblance to a certain tentacled horror-from-beyond...

All told, this year's WittCon left me a little conflicted. While we had a ton of great events----the debuts of both Dungeon Slam! and MOE--The Boardgame, the arrival of El Willy and full slate of WEGS games, a Reaper-Minis paint-and-take event, The Light Trading Company selling dice----attendance was pitifully low. Very few Guilders came out, and much of the Con was made up of community members and people running events. Needless to say, this is frustrating, particularly when even the president of the guild was only in attendance for an incredibly short time. One hopes that this is a fluke, but it is particularly worrisome.

That said, life goes on, and the games go with it. Currently, Ebbs and I are getting ready to evangelize some WEGS over at Wright State's "Glory Con" two weekends hence.

Hell, we even have our own nickname: the Witt-Weggers!

I'm sure I'm missing a whole lot in terms of the Con, but that's life. If you'd like to see more pictures--I have nearly 100!--drop a line in the comments and let me know!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

WittCon V Wrap-Up....well, not yet.

I'd normally be giving you the run-down on WittCon V, but right now, I'm blogging from Pennsylvania, due to my grandfather's pending funeral.

Expect more news coming, this weekend, as to how the Con went, as well as some WEGS-o-riffic news...

Saturday, March 15, 2008


So, the Warlock and his beautiful fiancee have noticed a significant thing: for each of the next months, we have a major gaming event, until June.

March: this weekend--WittCon V.
April: first weekend--Wright State's Con
May: Memorial Day--TopaCon at Bookery Fantasy
June: First weekend, D&D 4e comes out. Third weekend (my birthday!)--Free RPG Day. The next weekend? Origins!

As for tonight, friend to all gamers and friend to us Witt-Wegshogz, El Willy rolled into town, ready to run demos at Krystal Keep. I don't think he and his Minion Master were ready to run for 11 of us at once, though!

I'll have more details on the weekend as it progresses. Dungeon Slam! will be facing its public debut tomorrow, so there's all kinds of excitement from that! If you're in the neighboorhood, come see us at WittCon V!!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

In Which the Warlock Pours 4d6 Ounces on the Curb...

This past Tuesday, the father of gaming--E. Gary Gygax--passed away from complications surrounding an abdominal aneurysm.

Regardless of your feelings on D&D, this man nearly single-handedly made western fantasy into an acceptable genre. Without him, Lord of the Rings goes down as a footnote in literature, role-playing as a hobby does not exist, and the monolithic industry of MMORPGs fades to black.

Gary, enjoy whichever of your various Heavens corresponds to your alignment. You gave us all a wonderful gift--I only wish I could have met you in person to thank you for it.