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12 to Midnight, Family and Friends

Rita

09.22.05 | 4 Comments

First, the big news. It appears that hurricane Rita is heading right for us. Fortunately, I’m a little more inland than Jerry. He and the kids left this morning and will be riding out the storm with me. The Houston/Galveston evacuation is the largest ever conducted in Texas. Millions of people are fleeing. Jerry is stuck in traffic but will hopefully make it here okay. We still have today and most of tomorrow to prepare for the storm. I don’t think we have worry about water here so much as the wind damage. If we lose power and it looks like it won’t be on for a while, we may load and and go to my parents’ ranch, which is further inland and south of the storm’s projected path.

And I just heard from Ed. He and his family coming into town to ride out the storm with another friend. He’s planning on coming by on Friday to spend the day. Sounds like the makings of a game!

Brainwashed got its first review the other day. It was pretty picky and not as glowing as I would have liked, but I’m not remotely upset with it. Not the way I was with that other review. The only thing that bugged me was the dissection of the monster’s stats. The reviewer came across as a very “by the book” gamer, and that’s just not us. To me, the rules for creating new creatures are guides, not gods. If I want my monster to have hit points that are higher than the average for its hit dice, then by golly that’s what it has. The creator can do no wrong, because he’s the creator. He may not create an effective creature, but if that’s the way creator says it is then that’s the way it is. Now, that’s not to say that there weren’t a couple of errors (particularly, the grapple bonus), but I think overall the creatures are fine. I understand that some people do obsess over the finest details of creature stats. I’ve gamed with those people. But I’m not one of them. I’m more interested in crafting a fun, exciting adventure. If that means bending the so-called “rules”, then I’ll do it every time. The rules should always serve the game, not the other way around. It seems like many d20 folks don’t feel that way, though, and it makes me fear for the acceptance of our future plot point book.

I’m down to less than 100 pages on Kavelier & Clay. We’re about to hit the Senate hearing on comic books that happened back in the 50s. It was an era of witchhunts. I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

We had tubes put in Ben’s ears on Tuesday morning. Hopefully this will end or greatly decrease the ear infections. By Tuesday afternoon he seemed back to his old self. Now the trick is just keeping water out of his ears. He’s not so keen on the ear plugs yet.

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4 Comments

Comment by Mark Gedak
2005-09-22 17:57:30

Hi. I agree. I’m picky. I do playtesting for a number of companies and it has become important for me to be tight on monster mechanics.

That said, you have some good points about hit points. I can understand a writer want a monster for a particular encounter to have a different amount of hit points. Since the monsters were in the appendix I took the monsters as a MM entry, but from your comments it would seem the monsters were more representative of Monster Characters for a module.

In the regards to “bending the rules”, I’m fine with that that as long as I’m told that’s whats happening. Like a design note. One of the 12 to Midnight guides could have said, “these monsters do not represent an average member of thier species nor do they precisely conform to the d20 modern rules. In playtest we found that they provided an appropriate challenge for the levels we suggest.” If I had read that I wouldn’t have looked for errors, I just would have rolled with it.

I did enjoy the product though and picked up three of the 12 to Midnight’s Modern Dispatches and will consider future releases because its clear that 12 to Midnight understands and loves the horror genre. Doing that review has moved 12 to Midnight onto the pile of companies that I will continue to support with my gaming dollar.

Question – Was the information about the plot too much? I tend to be very detailed.

If you want someone to check stats for compliance with the rules I would help with that. There is a trend for people to focus mainly on mechanics. I look at the review John Cooper did on MGP’s Monster Encyclopeadia II and though it has the same # of errors as WOTC it was rated lower and the boards rang out with shouts of “not buying”.

I should not have listed as many points, I probably should have just said I thought there were some errors in the two monsters and give one or two examples. I’m thinking these itemized lists of errors are not helping anyone. So many things to think about before going back to reviews.

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Comment by Prest0
2005-09-23 08:56:02

It’s your first review out of the gate. I do appreciate your taking the time to review it so thoroughly, and I’m glad you liked what you saw enough to try out more of our work. I cringed a bit when I started reading your plot description because it seemed like it would almost be enough to run the adventure (making up your own stats) with just the summary. However, it got less specific as you went along so I think we’re alright. It’s out there at any rate, so there’s no point in worrying about it now. :)

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Comment by Prest0
2005-09-24 01:10:31

Jerry posting as Prest0:
I worked on the monster stats and this will make me go back and see what I did wrong. Really try to provide good stats for the GMs to use and have available for other games.

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Comment by Mark Gedak
2005-09-25 09:02:20

Jerry, if you want to compare notes let me know. I nver when through the monster’s line by line but I do that for a number of people.

Volunteerlancing credits:
http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=mark_gedak

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