Bill Kirsch's page

406 posts. 6 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Put in for a decent chunk of change, especially since I don't have a lot of cavern pieces.

Great, great movie. The first one this year worthy of adding to my collection. Seen it twice so far.

Sadly, I DM much more than I get to play.

However, I will always remember Bruce, my first college DM. I had been at school about two weeks and was feeling pretty lonely, considering I was 1300 miles away from everybody that I knew. In a semi-desperate attempt to find some new friends, I began to search the various bulletin boards around campus.
I eventually found one looking for D&D players to start a campaign. Having played D&D in high school, I knew this would be right up my alley and called the number. Bruce answered and the next weekend I joined a game with him and three other guys.
I don't remember much about that particular adventure (something about a city filled with undead), but afterwards a few of us made our way back to our dorm laughing and joking sometime in the early AM hours. And for the first time, I felt I belonged at that school with people who were into the same stuff I was.
Bruce and two other members of that group became my college roommates for the remaining three years at the university and we spent 100's (if not 1000's) of hours gaming while we earned our degrees. I also did my fair share of DMing, although it was mostly Marvel Superheroes back then (circa 1990-93).
I have no idea how college would have turned out for me if Bruce hadn't posted that ad on that particular board in August of 1990 at the Student Union in the University of Miami, Florida. But I'm willing to bet I would have been the poorer for it.
Thanks, Bruce.

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I wouldn't do it. I don't think it's professional.

I was in high school.
Man, I'm getting old.

The Star Stone. Absolutely.

Happy Birthday, Father of All RPGs.
Been playing for 30 years.
And if the Deities are kind, I'll be playing for 30 more.

I feel like I've accomplishing something when I strip my fallen foes of their magical gear. I had to work to get those items.

But crafting can be pretty satisfying.

Right, somebody's has to have the original sourcebook.

And Vivianne, I primarily 3.5 to that particular site doesn't apply.


However, in high level games where you've got to roll 10d6 damage and the like, I can see where a program would be helpful.

It may not be fair, but I have the same rule. You can't use any abilities from a book you don't own, or at the very least, a book I don't own.

Otherwise, how am I supposed to make sure it's being used correctly?

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1) Lack of commitment to attending the campaign. If you can't make it a priority to show up regularly, don't join the game in the first place.
2) Tardiness. The game starts at seven, not 7:45.
3) Not being ready when your turn is up, especially during high level combats where you've had at least 20 minutes to prepare.
4) Cell phones/tech being used at the table for non-game purposes.
5) Playing the wife/girlfriend or husband/boyfriend card when your character has no particular reason to show such favoritism. The married couple in my game occasionally pulls this stunt and it irks me to no end.

Even if we aren't alone, you can't go faster than the speed of light, so we won't be crossing paths anytime soon.

I'd like to think there are others out there, but we probably won't ever know for sure. I'm kind of surprised nobody's mentioned the Drake equation yet.

My core group is 4 heterosexual white people, 3 male and 1 female. The female is married to one of the males. My secondary group is entirely heterosexual white males (most of whom are married).
In the past 10 years, I have played with 2 other white heterosexual females (one of which was my now ex-wife) and several other white males (most of whom either were straight or were most likely straight).
I haven't gamed with a minority since college (1 hispanic, 1 gay guy, and 1 black guy), but even then it was mostly straight white guys.
When I hit my LGS, there are almost entirely other white guys there, with the occasional white female (often the wife/girlfriend of said male gamer). So pretty much the stereotypical game group in my experience.
I am glad to see the hobby diversifying, even though I'm not seeing it occur in my neck of the woods all that much.

I am not a fan, but there are bigger things to worry about when I'm behind the screen. My main group is pretty good about not using their devices, but sadly it's part of the status quo these days.

The Saltmarsh 6 wrote:

Hi all just a quick survey about the type of gamers who are on this forum

1. How long have you been gaming

I started with the Red Box Basic D&D set and the original Monster Manual. Starting playing in the mid-80's (actually read the books/modules several years before I actually played).

2. First game system you played

AD&D was my first true game, although I read the Basic rules first.

3. What are your 3 favorite systems

3.5 D&D, Marvel Super Heroes, and 2nd edition D&D (I consider Pathfinder to be 3.5)

4. Fate of your first character

It's been so long that I can't remember. Plus, I mostly DMed.

5. Do you still game with any of your original group

My original group? No. But I still game with one of my high school buddies now and then.

And finally why do you visit these forums

The WOTC forums suck? Kind of a weird question.

Thanks all

It really depends on the rest of the table.
In one group, it's more of a beer and chips type game where we're just getting together to kill some monsters and shoot the fecal matter.
In my main group, it gets pretty serious. So serious, that I've gotten pretty uncomfortable when two "characters" were arguing with each other. Kinda creepy, but they seemed to be having a good time.

You will get the most detailed description of the planes from the various Planescape supplements. And even though it's 2nd edition, the fluff tends to outweight the crunch, so conversion is easier than you'd expect.

Plus, you know, Monte Cook.

I would have allowed it, and probably rewarded you with extra experience for good role-playing of your religion.
But sex is always tricky at the game table. What kind of rating does your DM have for his campaigns? If he keeps it at a PG-13 level, I could see why he'd probably punt.

I find that the following rule handles almost anything that comes up:

Never say no. Just assign difficulty.

Not a fan of mythic. Period.
So I kinda hope it's one and done.

Now and Then, Here and There.

The most depressing anime of all time.

Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:
I personally wouldn't. It's just TOO easy to get too close to one of the worlds existing monotheistic religions, and offend someone.


I don't think monotheism is compatible with RPG's, especially D&D and Pathfinder which are built upon there being dozens of gods.

People game at night mostly because they spent their day time working. Therefore they tend to stay up late (gaming takes time, baby). Ergo, most gamers aren't going to be willing to get up early in the morning unless they absolutely have to.

And gaming should be a "want to" not a "have to."

Legendarius wrote:
The handful of Planescape products I never picked up, in particular The Great Modron March and Dead Gods which are pretty pricey to get these days.

Pretty much this.

Plus a couple of the Planes books that came out around the same time.

That are very expensive now to find in print.

The original white box of D&D would also be nice to have as it was just a little bit before my time.

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So 2014 will be our year of Fluff?
I certainly hope so

Story trumps the rules. Almost always.
But it cuts both ways. I have fudged to save PC lives, but I have also fudged to save favored bad guys lives . . . To make their ultimate defeat all the more sweet for my players when they finally get the bastard.
Of course, then I bring him back as an even tougher undead. Heh.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
And if I just say 'Bob is over here fighting off these guards' as a handwave without bothering to roll for them, just using the success of the party to determine his success?

If you are the DM, your decision is law.

I am old school when it comes to that.

I feel that as long as the rules for how XP is earned are stated at the beginning of the campaign there isn't any problem. My core group knows that if they don't show up, they don't get paid (so to speak). As a player, I go along with whatever rules the DM follows.
I honestly haven't been in a campaign were you get the same as everybody else whether you show up or not.
Is this a recent thing? How old are you guys, if you don't mind me asking.

Ah, now, again, if somebody is running the character for you and they are contributing to the benefit of the party, then they should get some XP.
If they were left behind in the inn/tavern/rope trick, they get squat.

They are a reward for the effort of your character. If your character didn't do anything, why be rewarded?

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Yes. I did nothing to kill the dragon. Why should I,get anything?

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I have had that policy for 30 years of gaming, and I won't be changing it anytime soon.
Plus, in the dozens of campaigns I've played in, pretty much the same policy was in effect.
For example, I missed a crucial encounter with a dragon's hoard last year due to food poisoning. Missed out on dragon XP and some nice treasure. Did I expect any experience? Hell, no. If anything, I felt bad about not being able to help my party out.

If XP doesn't have to be earned in your games, why not just do away with it all together? If you just give it away for doing nothing, why even bother having it at all?

For doing nothing?

I don't think so.

Here is why it is unfair:

1000 XP is earned. Three people showed up, RPed, risked their characters, used consumables such as potions and wand charges. They earn 333 XP each for their effort.


1000 XP is earned. Three people showed up, one didn't. His character is on auto pilot and did nothing to help because they left him at the inn. They now earn 250 XP each instead to support the free loader.

That is unfair.

Now, if somebody is playing the absentee character during the adventure and thus the character is supporting the party in their efforts, then they should get some XP.

Rynjin wrote:
Bill Kirsch wrote:
If you don't show, why should you get any experience? That makes no sense.

Because sometimes s$~* happens and you can't make a game. Have to work that day. Family emergency. You're sick as a dog. Whatever.

It already sucks that you've missed a session of something you enjoy, and missed out on all the interactions with your friends and characters and all the events that happened in said session.

No reason to kick a man while he's down by also saying "Yeah your character is a level behind everyone else now".

And that is unfortunate. But giving them the same XP as the people who did show up is unfair to them. So you are a little behind now. Life is unfair sometimes. Suck it up, role-play harder and earn back the XP you lost. You will catch up again eventually.

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I hated Monty Python's Holy Grail.

Okay. I'm lying. I loved it, but it would get you shunned from the vast majority of gaming groups.

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If you don't show, why should you get any experience? That makes no sense.
That being said, I think bribing people who bring food with experience is bad form. XP are earned for in game activity, not meta activity.
However, if you have "rage quit" four groups, I would strongly suggest looking in the mirror for the primary source of your problem.
And perhaps consider a new hobby.

Elves and orcs, yes.
Dwarves, no.

Typically play male, but as a DM often end up playing female NPC party members to balance out the party (and give the sole female player/PC someone to share a room at the inn with). I also add a lot of female NPCs as potential love interests (as well as a few male ones for my female gamer) because although I hate to admit it, I'm a romantic at heart.
I have played female PCs now and then for the sheer RP challenge.
You've got to know your group, though. A lot of people are still uncomfortable with it.

For the most part, no. I know why I play the game. It is my primary creative outlet and it is incredibly fun most of the time.
That being said, I have become sick of it a few times in my life and quit for awhile. I think my record was just over a year, but that also had a "nobody to play with" component.

I have been gaming for roughly 30 years and I don't think I can come up with ten settings. I know what I like and tend to stick with it.
So here is my list:

1) Forgotten Realms (until fourth edition ruined it)
2) Ravenloft
3) Greyhawk/factory setting D&D
4) Pathfinder
5) Planescape

But FR is so far above the rest that it's pretty much 80% of my source material.

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Jacobs might have to move up a slot or two on my "DM's whose campaigns I wish I could play in" list. That was one hell of a sadistic move.
Well done, sir.

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

You ever notice that by the time a thread reaches about 150 posts, it has usually become a complete waste of time?

After a certain point the only people still posting are just venting their spleen at the few other people that are venting their spleen.
No one is really reading the other posts (at least not really trying to understand them) except to find a little snippet they can take out of context to try and make the other poster look foolish. Often they don’t even realize they are not even arguing on the same topic anymore.
If you don’t really want to communicate and aren’t going to even try to understand, why bother posting?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve reached the point where (even if it is a topic I am very interested in reading) I don’t even bother opening a thread if it has gotten fairly long. If I really want to discuss it I will start a new thread.
Even if I started the thread. Once it has gotten to more than a couple of pages (not that that happens too often), I will click the hide button to keep my blood pressure down.

That’s not even starting to talk about the folks that feel the need to import old off-topic arguments. I find that more than just a bit annoying.

Sometimes I really don’t understand people.

I'll let you know somewhere around post 151.

When my ranger lost his wolf animal companion, he took one of his paws and scarred his face with it so that whenever he saw his reflection he would always remember the animal's sacrifice on his behalf.
He also went through a grieving process, and was much more careful with how he utilized his next companion. The DM was so impressed that he allowed me to have a Snow Leopard!
Which we all know, is the coolest of all leopards!
So, no. I think you nailed it.

Everybody in my core group is north of 40 except one.
Everybody in my other group is between 34 and 44.
I haven't played with anybody in their 20's in quite some time.

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It's amazing what a little acceptance will do for people, especially introverts.

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36. They were coming out of the walls! Out of the g#~&~~ned walls! So I booked.

37. The talking dog and hippie burn out were really getting on my nerves.

Dwarves still suck.
Haven't played one in 20 years. Played one in a D&DNext playtest.
And guess what, he sucked.
And Dwarf Paladins?
Suck hard.

When they first start RPGing, probably.
I don't believe a lot of young people with sports talent and/or superior looks are picking up tabletop gaming because there are other, more socially acceptable (and widespread) avenues at which to build relationships and peer acceptance. Unfortunately, intelligence (raw or artistic or otherwise) is still undervalued in society, especially in the teen years (granted, I can only speak for America, I suspect it's very different in Asian cultures), so intelligent kids tend to migrate towards what are considered "geeky" pursuits like art, science, music (band/orchestra), drama, video games, and, if they happen to discover the hobby, RPGs. As a teacher, I see it everyday. Our football field always seemed to have money to replace lights that can cost thousands, while money for science club or band always seems to be getting cut. The football team (or basketball) and cheerleaders as usually at the top of the pyramid at most schools.
I do believe that it is getting better, and that there isn't as much of a stigma as there was in the early 80's when I started gaming.
I also believe, many gamers are late bloomers and overcome their social issues in college or grad school. By the time they are in their 30's, they pretty much have it together and probably have excellent or good jobs, because in the job market of the 21st century, intelligence and skill is probably the most desired trait. My gaming group consists of engineers, computer scientists, lab technicians, teachers, technology salesmen (i.e. sell technologies to companies), and so on. Everybody at my table has at least a Bachelors, and I'm in a state where less than 35% of the population does so.
To conclude, I'd say most RPGers are more intelligent than the typical person, and early in life intelligence often leads to social awkwardness.

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