The Red Box Blog

Ramblings about D&D.

Gaming Resolutions 2011

Its that time of year when people love to make resolutions. I am a person who for many years, poo-pooed resolutions and people who chose to make them. But in recent years I have been able to enact a number of positive changes in my own life via resolutions. So here are some of my own for this year that pertain to gaming.

1. Bring Healthier Snacks

There was a time years ago where my group brought a wide diversity of snacks, but somehow, over the years we have degraded into a group who exists almost solely on potato chips (though once in a while someone brings candy).

I am going to lead by example and hope others follow. My plan is start bring a veggie tray, with the hope that not gorging on chips every week will help us life a little healthier and game a little longer.

2. Drink Healthier Drinks

While our snacks are communal, we for the most part bring our own drinks to game night. I resolved a couple of years ago that I was going to stop ingesting so much sugar at game night, and so switched from drinking Coke to drinking Diet Coke. While that was a positive change, I don’t think it went far enough. I am always awake for hours after gaming, and its hard not to suspect that the large amount of caffeine I am ingesting is to blame. So next year I am going to cut out caffeinated drinks too.

3. Maximize Play Time

One of my group’s biggest problems is that we can’t find enough hours to play. But I make this problem far worse by allowing us to start late and end early. This year we are going to start on time, and we are going to play to the end.

4. No Frivolous Campaign Switching

As I have mentioned in this blog before, I am somewhat prone to ending games prematurely and starting new ones because some new idea has caught my fancy, and I desparately want to build a campaign around said new idea. No more. This year we are going to stick with the game we have unless it reaches its natural end, or other group members express a desire to end it.

Have an opinion about this article? I love comments. Please feel welcome to leave your thoughts.

December 31, 2010 Posted by | Dungeons and Dragons, Featured Site, RPGs | , , , | 3 Comments

Featured Site – TV Tropes

Definition of TROPE

1b : a common or overused theme or device : cliché

Sometimes one can find inspiration for gaming where one least expects it, and such is the case with TV Tropes. I stumbled upon it one day, spent weeks just enjoying reading the great information contained therein, before waking up one day and asking “why aren’t I using this for games?”

The site is an unbelievable wealth of information on the tropes that permeate our culture, and where to go to find examples of said tropes (despite the name, it deals with far more than tv). The site can be a great source of inspiration – for coming up with new ideas for your character or your game – and also a great reference – to find other instances of a trope you are planning on using.

If the site has a flaw its that its hard to know where to start and its its impossible to appreciate the breath of information contained therein without spending hours exploring. When I go there without any idea of what I am looking for I often start by clicking on the random button in the upper right hand corner. Sometimes this takes me to something useful, and sometimes I just look in the page that comes up for an interesting link; very rarely I hit the random a second time.

But in the interest of making the site more useful to my readers, here are some links that are widely pertainent to D&D.

Have an opinion about this article? I love comments. Please feel welcome to leave your thoughts.

December 5, 2010 Posted by | Dungeons and Dragons, Featured Site, RPGs | Leave a comment

Featured Site – The Vaults of Pandius

I was actually hesitant to write up The Vaults of Pandius, because with nearly half a million visitors, one has to wonder if anyone who needs it still doesn't know about it. But I'll put that aside and hope this is helpful to someone (certainly there was a time I didn't know about it).

The Vaults of Pandius bills itself as The Official Mystara homepage. I don’t know how “official” that title really is, but it doesn’t really matter; there is no better place online or off to get information about Mystara.

I don’t think I could properly describe everything that is done well on this page, but just to give it a shot:

  • It has a huge atlas of recreated maps, including fixing the discrepancies between the many maps that TSR produced.
  • It has enormous information on every corner of Mystara, so much it even puts the Gazetteers to shame.
  • It has all kinds of creative and interesting optional rules, for both Mystara and Basic D&D.
  • There are all kinds of adventures and campaign ideas for the Mystara setting.
  • There is a huge collection of stories about Mystara (many ripe for a DM to pick through).

If there was any fault to be found in the site it would be that it is an old site and it shows; in particular the external links it provides are mostly dead. But if you play Basic D&D or want to play a campaign of any edition in Mystara, the Vaults of Pandius can be an invaluable resource for you.

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Basic, Dungeons and Dragons, Featured Site, RPGs | , , | Leave a comment