Five for Friday 31: New-To-Me Games in 2014

I had a groovy gaming year in 2014. With the exception of a rough patch at the end of the summer when work kept me from gaming, it was an outstanding year. The best part were the friends in our Monday Night Über Gaming Group gathering on Monday nights and, as a group, at Con on the Cob. Happily, at least for the purposes of this edition of Five for Friday, I had a chance to play five new games (not counting playtesting for +Tim Shorts and +Rob Conley).
  • Cryptworld: I had a chance to play this at Con on the Cob, with +Tim Snider as our Crypt Master. I fell in love with the system (and hope to use it with our in-house gaming group in 2015). The session itself was a blast and I hope to see some of the same men and women at Con on the Cob next year.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 5e+Rob Conley ran our Monday Night group through The Lost Mine of Phandelver, with Rob being his excellent DM self. We are just starting to use D&D 5e in the Montporte Dungeon campaign, which I am running.
  • Dungeon Crawl Classics: Another Con on the Cob session, completely taken over by the Monday Night boys. +Roy Snyder gave us all a good time. I could see use DCC to run a wild and woolly mini-campaign in the Montporte Dungeon.
  • The Esoterrorists+Tim Shorts ran this as a side session for the Monday Night boys at Con on the Cob. I really enjoyed the Gumshoe system...I had a set of really elaborate color-coded notes by the end of our session. I am hoping that Tim will finish on some Monday nights what we started at the Con (hint hint).
  • Labyrinth Lord: Okay. I have played Holmes D&D, AD&D 1e, and Swords & Wizardry, so I have come close. But the B/X version of D&D came out when I was in college and my time and money spent on gaming was waning (so no B/X and, much later, no LL). At Con on the Cob, I finally had a chance to play LL, in a well-run session by +Jim Yoder.
Sadly, there was no GURPS for me in 2014, so I haven't a chance to stretch my GURPS newbie wings. There are some other games where my hopes to play never came to fruition (Dead Inside, Don't Rest Your Head, and Trail of Cthulu, to name a few).


World of Montporte

After 40 sessions of play in the Montporte Dungeon campaign, I finally have made a very simple handwaving map of the world around Montporte.
Scale: The Qawana Forest Is About 750 Miles Across
Montporte is a small isolated town on a lightly used trade route that enters the Wild Land via a dangerous mountain pass. The region is cold, being located in the higher latitudes of the southern hemisphere. The climate of the Western Kingdoms is tempered by the presence of the sea, which I didn't include on the map above.

Here is the Montporte locale:

And here is the map of the town of Montporte:

Additional geographical information:
The Montporte Region: History and Geography
The Town of Montporte


Our D&D 5e Characters for the Montporte Dungeon Campaign

Our player character conversion to D&D 5e is just about complete and we have added two new players to the Montporte Dungeon campaign, Joshua and Douglas (Joshua joined several months ago, but just recently created his Montporte character, as we have been playing some other campaigns). The active player character roster for the Montporte Dungeon campaign now looks like this:

At this point, we are basically using the 5e races and classes in the Player's Handbook as is with the following clarifications: Yes to Feats, No to Dual/Multi-class characters, and No to Inspiration.


Monday Moodsetter 59

"Three Giants" by IBreslav
RPG Rorschach: What's the first gaming thought that pops into your head?


Social Skills (or Lack Thereof)

I was explaining the similarity between my rock band and my Monday Night Gaming Group: In both cases it is just a group of guys with no social skills trying to accomplish something together.


Cryptworld for Our In-House Gaming Group

Several months ago, I wrote a post about restarting our in-house gaming group. Not much has happened on that front since the post, mainly because of my work and surprisingly busy weekend music performance schedule. However, my one goal for gaming in 2015 is to restart our group and, after my experience at Con on the Cob, Cryptworld will be the game that I recommend to the group. I think I could run it with very little prep and I think the players would quickly grasp the Pacesetter system.

Something to work on when 2015 rolls around.


Five for Friday 30: Even More World War 2 Books

It has been awhile since I have posted any of my World War 2 reads. Here are some of my more recent World War 2 reads (I will post more next week).

  • The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert Edsel and Bret Witter--The book on which the recent movie was based (I have not seen the movie). I read this book after ordering for my wife (her book club read it). It was interesting, as it was part of WW2 that I was not familiar, but the book jumped around a bit. My wife struggled a bit with it, as well, for the same reason.
  • The Secret in Building 26: The Untold Story of How America Broke the Final U-boat Enigma Code by Jim DeBrosse and Colin Burke--Another interesting book, again because I was unfamiliar with the story. I was more familiar with the British side of things, which is barely mentioned in this book (a glaring weakness). Even so, it was a fun read.
  • Target Tokyo: The Story of the Sorge Spy Ring by Gordon Prange, Katherine Dillon, and Donald Goldstein--Prange's books on the attack of Pearl Harbor and the battle of Midway are well-written and balanced. They offer a lot of detail, based on Prange's extensive research. This book is very similar. It was finished posthumously by Dillon and Goldstein. I really enjoyed this book a lot and list it among my favorite WW2 reads.
  • Why the Allies Won by Richard Overy--The is a solid, thorough book by a historian who has written extensively on the Eastern Front. I wasn't surprised by his conclusions, as most WW2 history buffs are familiar with them. However, his underlying reasoning made for good reading.
  • Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure by Donald Kladstrup and Petie Kladstrup--This is a breezy book that, like some other books on this list, addressed a topic unfamiliar to me. It wasn't a bad read, but it left me wanting a bit at the end.

Previous posts about World War 2 books:
My Favorite World War 2 Books
My Latest World War 2 Reads
More World War 2 Books