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    Points to ponder
    Getting ready for the weekly GH game and noticed that treasure is the last thing I think of. I mean I stat the monsters, check the traps, get the notes for NPC's in a row and balance out the magic items. All looks well but wheres the treasure? Hmm a few shiny things and coins can be quickly come up with but it lacks the appeal of the treasures of legend and of literature. Thats a shame, because the treasure grab, other than magic items is a part of the game. In part this is due to the power of magic items, the fact that many monsters have treasure and riches, as well as the general stinginess of players contributes to the lack of greed at times. Despite taxes, tarrifs, tolls, levies, tithes and other money sapping tricks it is hard to motivate the sheer white knuckled greed that sent Conan, Fafhard and Grey Mouser into desparate gambits that risked much to gain outrageous fortunes. The motivator in most of those stories is poverty or dwindling funds and turn of fortune making such gambles seem less risky when faced with the consequences, again it is story and background that helps forge adventurous endevours of these types and with a little study into the lore of GH allows many things besides just the magical items and shiny piles of coins that heap up inside too many adventures. Books on the lost Suloise magics carved on platinum plates, rare cut diamonds carved with tiny runes detailing the deeds of long past dwarven thanes rule, a goblet when blessed to a deity and filled reveals strange vistas, a carved jade serpent that has several spells engraved on its scales, rare coins from an cursed line of the Aerdi..the list can go on. But making treasure unique and an adventure in and of itself is the best reward for any player or DM.
    Posted: 09-24-2004 09:24 pm
    What color is the sky in your world?
    The move is mostly over, and I found the Greyhawk '80 folio maps. You know the Darlene Pekul ones...not to speak ill of the new mapsets, but there is something about these maps, perhaps its the color of the maps or the script or maybe the sheer size, so much potential in those old hexes. It was always a big production to lay them out on a table. Or maybe the infamosus hex coordinate system, or the way you had to line them up just so. Obscura to be sure, but its part of the charm..many maps have had better scaling, defined borders, climate zones and what have you but a map defines the world and that is the framework and sets the tone for the whole gameworld. Perhaps I am locked into a time when big flowing maps marked my love of games and by their maps I judged each ones potential to that Darlene map.
    Posted: 09-23-2004 06:50 pm
    Defining Dethand
    Its a new day and new begining, life throws you lemons and I'm in the lemonade business all of a sudden! It began with a love of AD&D, sidelining now and then with Top Secret, Star Frontiers, Traveller, Villians&Vigilantes, Aftermath, Gamma World (which at the time wasnt such a unforseeable outcome), I had lots of games and good times during Jr. High and High School in SW lower Michigan, some of those freinds I still game with today. Then in winter of '83 a house fire sundered my life, then a stint in the Marine Corps in '85. I had a lot of experiences to which made me into a man, and lots and lots of gaming. Some sessions lasting days, Dice and notes were packed in my ALICE gear carefully along with first aid kits and extra clips. When I emerged from the Corps, my world had changed, and I found my way into gaming with some new names, Shadowrun, Vampire and Werewolf! and yeah AD&D second edition. It lacked assassins, monks and demons..but was still about Greyhawk, no matter were I went it was Greyhawk in the Marines, and the From the Ashes boxed set and the Greyhawk Adventures hardback had fueled my GH lusts during the dark days of the USMC military duty stations in far off and hostile lands. Now that I was a civilian again and armed with a pension, I ventured into college..a world that was more dismal and dark than any jungle or desert night. Political Correctness was the order of the day enforced by jackbooted blackshirts, and a red,white and blue loving Marine had little place in it, so over come and gaming knew few boundries as I incorporated all sorts of mayhem and mischeif of the type that only the USMC could teach me into those games. Cyberpunk and Shadowrun loomed large...and my GH love still there dimmed as Cybermercs and Gunmages loomed over the landscapes of my imaginations. AD&D 2e seemed trite at the time and I would look back at some of the books on the shelf and moved them into a storage facility. "Nope wont need these anymore", I said as I moved my growing Shadowrun collection onto the shelves, next to my Star Wars RPG books. Games were about stories now not rules, and that was never truer when I was a younger gamer than now, clad in the colors of a Roleplayer I delighted in blowing up things with manaballs and SMG's in Shadowrun or dogfighting with the Empire over airless moons in the modified YT-1300 freighters and engaging my wargaming habits with Harpoon and GDW wargames in scenarios of what I thought would have come to pass by now, the world seemed saner but strangely out of balance..lacking something. As my grandfathers health worsened and my stress with the PC thought police grew..I made a fateful decision to return home quit college and take care of the family farm. My fiancee was not about to have that..and although a gothy gamey chica, was not about to moveto the country. A sundered cord of a past life came again..and my time was spent putting my grandparents house in order. And during a dark period my thoughts wandered towards a new vista..Greyhawk again loomed large and unbidden as I looked over a collection of painted miniatures that survived the house fire..memories of them, freinds and lands once familiar overpowered my Cyberfantasies. But gaming AD&D was not popular..where to look, first to an old freind down the road, then a few gamers in and out of the LARP, and Vampire games. Showing them the true ways of gaming..yes..dice..classes..levels..Onto Castle Greyhawk ! ..and thus the core group that reigns today was born..From the Ashes..turing slowly full circle. Greyhawk was now more serious, carefully studied, historically applied and thought out. Things began to develop in my professional life and family, my grandfathers passing and caring after my grandmother was still large, but gaming was as ever a hobby and craft but 2e edition wsa waning to a close, and the dread 3e was looming, I was not sure where it would lead. Then the release and the changes, so hated from 1e to 2e now seemed minor in comparison, but change is ever happening..and I overcame and adapted, with the old group and new faces rallying, with the D20 we played GH, Spycraft, Gamma World and so many old faces with new names and looks. it is at this time I find my Grey-fu enriched by a onlne community, #greytalk and Canonfire!. The elders there have many issues and not all GH related, but like the earlier PC mindcontrol thugs, I pragmatically endure and adapt, finding that if one is patient much can be learned. My home game is better than ever and my life is headed in a clearer course, but again a sundering, my Grandmother who raised me as her own child, passed away Nov. 27 '02. The Circle renews and follows, and a new edition with its bumps and bruises emerges into 3.5 and I find that many of the changes we made are already in place, with a smile I give away my 3.0 books to oversea troops as our world becomes darker and uncertain again. I am now with a wonderful gamer lass Darlene who makes my life full again and with love of gaming second to none leads me into a new begining from a familar spot in time long ago...strange that. Lets see what in store.
    Posted: 09-22-2004 04:19 pm