Stephen Glicker, Author at Roll For Combat: A Starfinder Actual Play Podcast - Page 5 of 8

Talking Combat 014: Use Caution When Opening

the-crate-roll-for-combat

Jason recaps the events from Roll For Combat, Episode 014: Crate Expectations.

After two straight sessions of dealing with space dogs, it’s refreshing to get back into explore mode. But we start with a lively debate about what to do about the mysterious crate.

Full disclosure: either that debate went on a lot longer and Steve edited it down, or it just felt like it went on a lot longer at the time – I have this recollection of it going on long enough that I had to get a new soda halfway through.

I won’t rehash the arguments in their entirety, but the choice boils down to: do we hide behind plausible deniability, deliver what we were asked to deliver, and let the consequences flow downstream; or do we take some responsibility and open the box, even if that might risk losing our pay and/or making our current benefactor mad with us? Are we by-the-book professionals (“You are fully licensed and bonded by the city, aren’t you, Mister Plow?”) or follow our ethical compass, perhaps in the name of serving a greater good, but perhaps torching a perfectly good gig?

Partly as a personal choice, part as a roleplaying call on Tuttle’s part, I’m currently on the side of “FedEx or UPS wouldn’t open up your package; why would we?” Tuttle wouldn’t want some random person looking through his research, so he’d probably come down on the side of doing the job he was asked to do. (Falling back on alignments, upholding a morally ambiguous contract sounds like a pretty Lawful Neutral take.) Having said that, I still acknowledge there’s something shady about having us smuggle a package off a ship under quarantine that doesn’t sit right. I don’t get a sense that Gevalarsk Nor is Evil-with-a-capital-E, so I’m not really worried him trying to wipe out Absalom with space plague, but I’ll concede that Rusty and Mo’s concern is at least generally valid.

I totally didn’t expect Hirogi to be the one to side with me, though – Chris tends to be all about exploring anything that might be a source of loot, so I assumed he’d want to dive right into the crate. I would’ve thought he would have been the advocate for “lock CamBot in a closet, bust the crate open, steal the contents, and then claim it was empty.” One of life’s little surprises that he’s on my side.

The exploration reveals no further akatas (thank goodness) but still plenty of signs of their presence. And… we find the flamethrower. Don’t worry, people; I’m going to be lobbying hard for CHDRR to get the flamethrower at some future date. It makes tactical sense since he’s usually near the front of the fight, but let’s be honest… “CHDRR With A Flamethrower” is one of those phrases like “Hobo With A Shotgun” that just has to be willed into reality. I’m not worried about it right this second because our primary foe is flame-resistant and it only has enough ammo for two shots, but long-term… it’s gonna happen, even if I have to get petulant and buy a second flamethrower to make it happen. (“I’ll make my own flamethrowing drone… with blackjack and hookers!”)

Somewhat overshadowed by Dog Metal Nuggets and dreams of flamethrowing drones, we also find our first concrete signs that we may not be the only humanoids left on the ship: locked doors, signs that some of the other cabins have already been searched. Is that a rival crew scavenging or looking for answers? Survivors who managed to lock themselves up somewhere to wait for help?

Annnnnnd then Mo takes a laser to the face. A crit, no less. If there is a survivor, apparently it’s the kid from Home Alone.

I think this was a twofold failure. First, I think the idea that there were survivors kind of took over and we got a little too eager to be heroic rescuers and should have been a little more cautious about the first closed door we encountered on the entire ship. But also, we haven’t really run into a trap yet, so I think we kind of underestimated that as a possibility. In the fantasy setting, you tend to see certain situations as potential trap locations. In a sci-fi setting, maybe we’re not quite as familiar with the warning signs yet. Also, it doesn’t fit as easily into the genre – you can’t exactly build the traditional 10-foot spiked pit into a spaceship. Well… not easily, anyway.

So Mo survives (just barely), and to add insult to injury, no actual people to interact with, and the stuff the trap was protecting wasn’t even that useful. A couple healing serums that don’t even make up for the damage Mo took, med patches that might help with Rusty’s disease, and we get our introduction to fusion seals… through a fusion seal that… only works on one weapon in the entire galaxy, which we don’t have anyway? Are we reading that right?

I will say the system itself seems pretty cool. I think the idea of doing away with plus-es in favor of special abilities is pretty neat and I LOVE the idea that you can move your seals from one piece of gear to another if you find one you really like. But the idea that a seal only works on a narrow range of weapon levels – I get the concept (I suppose it’s not that different from gem slots in WoW), but I worry it might lead to too many situations like this one where you can’t find the right combination of seals and weapons, and you might end up with too much stuff you can’t use. But maybe this will be the exception, not the rule, and future seals will be more useful.

And that’s where we have to leave it for this session. Rusty is still stuck with space rabies, and Mo is covered with soot and grill marks. We’ve still got one more closed door to deal with before heading toward the bridge. Will we find survivors? New enemies? Will Rusty succumb to space rabies, forcing us to take him behind the barn and shoot him? Stay tuned to find out.

As always feel free to join us on social media and join the conversation? What do you think we should do about the Eoxian crate? What do you think of the fusion seal system? Who (or what) should CHDRR light on fire first? Drop us a line and let us know your thoughts; and as always, thanks for listening.

014: Crate Expectations

the crate

The team discusses the pros and cons of opening a huge box on a quarantined spaceship filled with rabid space dogs, they slowly explore the rest of the Acreon, and somebody learns a painful lesson on checking for traps.

Also this week, GM Stephen discusses the awesome responsibility of a GM and how their power as the narrator can shape the game, and how PCs must also be responsible for their role in the story.

Plus new contest information! And don’t forget to become a supporter of the podcast at our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

013: Hair of the Dog

Dead Suns Akatas

The team tests the theory that the best cure for space rabies is fighting more space dogs. Rusty and Hirogi haggle over gun rental rates, Tuttle fakes his way through Grenades 101, and Mo tries to come up with an appropriately heroic name for his weapon.

Also this week, GM Stephen discusses “taking it easy” on PCs when starting a new gaming system and is it better to kill a PC outright or just horribly maim them for life?

Plus more contest information! And don’t forget to become a supporter of the podcast at our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

Help Roll For Combat Name Their Skittermander!

roll-for-combat-skittermander

The guys at Roll For Combat are about to start playing some Starfinder Society and we managed to get our hands on a Skittermander boon (listen to future shows to learn how you can get a Skittermander SFS of your own!). We need your help in naming our Skittermander character.

Check him out! Isn’t he cute! Wouldn’t you like to hear a rough voice of one of our regulars playing a cute little Skittermander?

If you have an idea for a name for our Skittermander, please send your Skittermander name to:
contact@rollforcombat.com
. You can also enter your Skittermander name here as well. If you name is chosen, we’ll send you a custom Roll For Combat t-shirt and use your name on the show! Good luck!

012: Who Let the Dogs Out?

Akata Battle

The team boards the Arceon and gets a rude welcome from the new inhabitants, a pack of what can loosely be described as space dogs. Rusty’s ability to stay out of the thick of the fight finally runs out, and the team has their first encounter with Starfinder’s new disease system. That’s right… space rabies!

Also this week, GM Stephen discusses how to best prepare for large encounters with multiple creatures with unique abilities.

Plus this week we announce the start of a brand new contest! And don’t forget to become a supporter of the podcast at our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

011: Spaceship!

Starfinder Space Combat

The boys board the Hippocampus and leave the safety of Absalom Station for open space. At first, the biggest danger confronting the team is Rusty’s heavy-handed leadership style might cause a mutiny. But then, actual danger appears in the form of a one-man enemy fighter. Lock phasers on target, charge techno-babble emitters – it’s time to kick the tires on Starfinder’s spaceship combat!

Join the Roll For Combat crew as they stumble their way through life and death with a Starfinder starship combat tutorial. Will they live, die, or will Rusty get thrown out an airlock? Find out this week!

Also this week, GM Stephen discusses how far one should “dumb down” powerful bad guys – should every combat be an epic life and death battle, or can some of them just be a simple shootout?

Plus, this is the week we announce the grand prize winners for the $1000 “Big Podcast Launch Giveaway”! Listen to find out if you won… and even if you didn’t we’ll have a brand new contest starting next week! And don’t forget to become a supporter of the podcast at our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

010: Quid Pro Cronut

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On the heels of accepting the job investigating the Acreon, both Astral Extractions and the Hardscrabble Collective reach out to the team to make their cases. Mo proves to be surprisingly receptive to a tasty donut and a compelling PowerPoint presentation, while a hot cup of coffee brings out Rusty’s fondness for the working man. Meanwhile, Tuttle never met a well-worded contract he didn’t like, and Hirogi looks for an opportunity to squeeze a few extra credits out of the situation.

We also continue our interview with Erik Mona, author, editor, and Publisher of Paizo Inc., creators of the Pathfinder and Starfinder Roleplaying Games. In part two of our interview, we discuss Erik’s time as editor-in-chief of Dragon and Dungeon magazines, Erik’s best prison stories, and the history behind creating the greatest adventure path of all time… The Age of Worms!

Also this week, GM Stephen discusses the term “bleeding encounters” and what does it mean? (It turns out most people didn’t seem to know the meaning of the term … sorry about that.)

Also, make sure to check out the “Big Podcast Launch Giveaway” with over $1000 in prizes, and we announce another weekly winner! And don’t forget to become a supporter of the podcast at our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

009: Dead Man’s Party

erik-mona-interview-part-1

ATTENTION NEW LISTENERS: We here at Roll For Combat recognize that jumping into an existing podcast can be a daunting task, especially one like this that involves an unfolding story. To help newer listeners out, we’ve prepared a brief synopsis at the start of this Episode that will catch you up to the story so far. Give it a listen, and you’ll be ready to join us, all caught up ready to jump right into the podcast. Enjoy the show!

After wrapping up business with the Downside Kings, the boys enjoy a little rest, relaxation, the fruits of their labors – full membership in the Starfinder Society, leveling, and shopping. Soon after, a new lead emerges from an unexpected source – an undead ambassador to Absalom Station offers the group work as investigators in the mediation between Astral Extractions and the Hardscrabble Collective. Both sides want the Acreon and the Drift Rock, and our team must sort out this mess. All that’s required is a trip to a quarantined ship where everyone died….

We also have a special guest join us on this episode. Erik Mona, author, editor, and currently serving as Publisher of Paizo Inc., creators of the Pathfinder and Starfinder Roleplaying Games, joins us on the show. In part 1 of our interview, we discuss the decision behind the creation of Starfinder, the future of Starfinder, and unleash gaming stories from his past.

Also, make sure to check out the “Big Podcast Launch Giveaway” with over $1000 in prizes, and we announce another weekly winner! And don’t forget to become a supporter of the podcast at our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

Dungeons & Dragons – Stranger Things Style, Part 3

If you enjoyed this post make sure to check out our weekly podcast, Roll For Combat, where a group of old-school gamers play Paizo’s new Starfinder RPG.

Also, make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

When we explored my Dungeons & Dragons treasures from a few weeks ago there was one item in my 1980 Trapper Keeper that I didn’t show – the 1981 TSR Hobbies Gateway To Adventure catalog! This catalog was released in 1980 by TSR and featured all of their new releases for the upcoming year.

My catalog was in poor shape but I wanted to show it in full as the treasures found in that book contain a dragon’s horde of awesomeness.

Luckily I was able to find a more detailed scan of this same book (in full color), so without further adieu, I present to you the “1981 TSR Hobbies Gateway To Adventure”. Enjoy!

Look at that graphic! It’s just begging you to open this catalog and delve into its pages! Today everything is so slick and professional. Back then you really needed to go that extra mile to ignite the imagination … I miss those days.

 

Let this sink in for a second … this 16-page catalog contained the entirety of the world of Dungeons & Dragons and TSR. Everything in the world of RPG at that time could be contained in these few pages. Look how far we have come!

 

This was the time when D&D was starting to enter the mainstream and TSR was getting more professional with its presentation. Both covers were created by the illustration god Erol Otus … I would dare say that without the Otus illustrations D&D might not be where it is today. One could spend hours looking at his fantastical illustrations, always finding something new, further drawing you in. His illustration of the Basic Set is legendary, but I always loved the Expert Set illustration which clearly conveyed that the Expert Set was an expansion of the Basic Set in the artwork alone.

 

Look at all those modules! All … four of them!

 

Here we go, the “Core Four”. You had/have these books, everyone you knew had/have these books, without these books there would be no D&D. The only question was did you have the original Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia with the Cthulhu and Melnibonéan sections … or the lame later editions which had these section cut? Only the cool kids had the original edition, and you were cool … weren’t you?

 

I original DM screen I still see people using at conventions from time to time. I wish I still had mine. It must be around here somewhere…

 

Here we go, the list of the “Advanced D&D Modules”. Back then there was so little D&D content I think everyone had nearly every module, even if you weren’t a DM. Just having them and reading them was fun … and is still is!

 

You don’t hear nearly as much about the TSR board games, but they were classics in their own right. Dungeon! was THE original dungeon crawl boardgame (it’s right there in the name!) and I probably played this game a good 100 times when I was a kid. I have heard endless stories about how great Divine Right was, however even though I own two mint copies I have yet to play it. One day…

 

In addition to D&D, TRS also published other role-playing games back then. Gamma World was probably the most popular of the bunch as it was basically D&D in a sci-fi setting. I played Top Secret and Boot Hill a few times, but they never managed to have the same hold on me as D&D. I never played Fight in the Skies, nor knew anyone who played it. I would be curious to know it was any good.

 

These are some of the more famous TSR boardgames. Snit’s Revenge! I never managed to find anyone to play with for some reason. The Awful Green Things From Outer Space on the other hand, is still in print today … and perhaps the hardest most random game in history. I love that game, but holy crap that game is hard if you play the crew. I never played 4th Dimension so I can’t speak to that game, but the art was always trippy.

 

The minigames were pretty popular back in the day and they were just that … boardgames that could fit inside a ziplock bag. For a few bucks, you could get an entire game – the rules were a small black & white booklet, the game board was a color piece of paper, a simple color board of unpunched cardboard consisted of the game pieces, and it also included a set of dice. Although I have all of the games listed, I never played them. They were so cheap that it was hard to actually play with the little cardboard pieces and the game board would never stay flat. I guess you get what you pay for.

 

Back in 1980 “random number generation, multi-sided dice” were still fairly rare. TSR had their own version “Dragon Dice” … and they were single-handedly the worst dice ever released. The dice were that terrible baby blue color, you had to color them in with a crayon, and the dice themselves were so brittle they would start to lose their shape after a few uses. What a piece of crap! I loved them!!!

 

Ah, Dragon Magazine. Perhaps my favorite magazine of all time. The covers had some of the best fantasy artwork found anywhere, the content was a treasure trove of D&D and role-playing articles. the cartoons were legendary, even the ads were awesome. When Dragon (and Dungeon) Magazine were canceled years ago I was emotionally crushed for months afterward. I still go through my old magazines to this day, I think everyone loved Dragon Magazine.

 

Holy crap, am I just learning NOW that GENCON had a sister convention GECON EAST in Cherry Hill, New Jersey?!? That was just a few hours from my house! As a kid, there was zero chance I could get to Lake Geneva, but I could have easily gotten to New Jersey! Crap!!! I wonder what I missed?

 

Look at those t-shirts! T-shirts from the 80s did not age well, even back then they looked like crap, but that is all we had so how did we know? Of course, nowadays you can get an exact replicate 80s t-shirt … for a mere $40!

 

Holy crap, those t-shirts were only $6 each? Plus shipping? Damn, get me that Fight in the Skies t-shirt right away!

If you have some D&D treasures from your childhood please send them along! We love unearthing these classic treasures when D&D was mysterious and only shared with friends at school.

If you enjoyed this post make sure to check out our weekly podcast, Roll For Combat, where a group of old-school gamers play Paizo’s new Starfinder RPG.

Also, make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

008: Payin’ The Cost To Beat The Boss

Vrokilayo Hatchbuster and Ferani Nadaz

The Downside Kings’ cannon fodder has been disposed of, setting the stage for the first real boss battle of the campaign. With Mo and Hirogi already dinged up from the previous fights, the tag-team of Hatchbuster and Ferani presents a formidable challenge for the team. Vesk against vesk! Grenade-throwing coward against grenade-throwing coward! Rusty actually fires his weapon! Will the RFC team walk away in one piece? You’ll just have to listen to find out.

Also this week, GM Stephen discusses how he organizes his notes and manages inventory for all PCs.

Also, make sure to check out the “Big Podcast Launch Giveaway” with over $1000 in prizes, and we announce another weekly winner! And don’t forget to become a supporter of the podcast at our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!