Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wisconsin Prisons claim D&D promotes gang-related activity.

In a seemingly throw-back to the anti-D&D 1980s, the Wisconsin Prison System removed
Dungeon & Dragons books from an inmate's cell, claiming that the material presented within
them "promoted gang-related activities."
The inmate, Kevin T. Singer, serving a life in prison sentence for first-degree intentional homicide,
filed an appeal with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals against Wisconsin's Waupun Prison. The
court upheald that the prison's policy (initiated in 2004 to eradicate all D&D game materials) was reasonable,
and as such the prison will not allow Dungeons & Dragons material to be available within it's walls.
Now, we're the last inviduals to chime in on the topic of what should and should not be allowed
within the confines of a prison cell, but we are really alarmed by the reason given by the Waupun prison.
After extensive research by many great individuals into tabletop role-playing games, we can not find any
statistics to back up this claim by the prison system. Perhaps it is the fault of the pool of individuals surveyed,
as I do not believe that a proper study has been done on imprisioned players, so we're not going to say
that it may be outright false. However, we would love to hear the reasoning and events or actions by inmates
that led to the policy being enacted.
It is with this reason that we have copied the below contact information for the Warden of the prison in
question, taken directly from the correctional facility's website. Please give a call or send a quick
and polite email requesting the reasoning, or a letter to the address below.

Mr. Michael Thurmer, Warden
200 S. Madison St, PO Box 351
Waupun, WI 53963-0351
Phone: 920-324-5571
Fax: 920-324-7250

Ogres Out

Monday, January 18, 2010


Wow. This blog had a couple of posts nominated to be included in the Open Game Table Vol. II - a collection of significant blog posts that are bound together to make a great read. Take it from us, a bunch of midwest gamers (who are by no means studying in the writing fields, nor do we actually speak what most would call english) - its an honor.
We didn't even know people other than ourselves read this thing? That is rather rad, people. One karma point a piece.
Anyways, whether we "make the cut" or not, we're looking forward to seeing the final product!

Ogres Out

Friday, January 15, 2010

Playtesters Requested

Hi all. The chapter is looking for a few individuals interested in assisting us flesh out our augmented D20 System for use in D&D 3.5 Superhero games: Super or Sinister. The concept is fairly simple (we think), but will take some playtesting to get all the kinks out. First, we understand that many other systems do exist for playing Superheroes within the revised second edition, but after looking into each it seems like they augment the system too much for our taste. We're trying to develop a small augmentation that will make it easy for those already familiar and comfortable with the 3.5 mechanics to learn.

The Super or Sinister augmentation is based around the gaining of Feats, just like many current characters built within the bounds of the mechanics already available. At character creation, a player will select one "Origin Feat" - a feat that exemplifies one of the classic powers and/or abilities of Superheroes. Currently developed rules for Origin Feats include Super Speed, Strength, Flight, Size altering, Telekinesis, Telekinetic, and Amphibious anatomy.
Other than the Origin feat, the player creates their character like any normal game. So you could create a fighter with superstrength (Superman?), a ranger with superspeed (Flash?), or an amphibious, umm, amphibian (Aqua-f'n-man).
Now, as the character progresses in level, he/she may take on additional Super or Sinister feats in the form of "Honing Feats." The feats may augment or improve a Origin Feat, and will require the Origin Feat as a prerequisite, or they may be smaller or less-amazing superpowers that do not require one particular Origin Feat. These feats are available whenever a character would normally be granted a feat, so a fighter would have the ability to get more Honing feats (and lets face it, Superman would need every feat for all the ridiculous stuff DC lets him do).
Depending on the Dungeon Master's desired power level, the Super or Sinister feats may either be the only available feats (very powerful game) or used for every other feat (normal). For just slightly altered games, the DM may only allow the use of the single Origin Feat.
Anyways, enough with synopsis and bad writing, we need your help! It is actually a two part help request. First: think about some good Origin and Honing Feats that you don't see listed on those respective lists, and give feedback on the ones you do see. When it comes to Honing Feats, we've really just begun and there is an arguably-endless amount that we could create. A DM and player may always work together to create a new Super or Sinister feat when needed, but having them prepared before hand is always nice.
Secondly: we need playtesters. So, come forth merry traveler (read: die roller) and tell us what you think.

Other things to keep up on to playtest: Valgora and West Canaan Wizards.

Ogres Out

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Call for Help: Video Software

As many may be aware (many = 3 people in New Zealand), we started out on the web over at youtube where we have uploaded over 100 videos and excerpts, mostly humurous asides, of our gaming sessions. The most popular video seems to be "Absurd Moments in Dungeon & Dragons" and, well, we're trying to make an even better sequel and having some issues.
The issue we are having is that we've upgraded from the original Flip Videos (yeah, really amateur here) to the newest version and it saves into a MP4 file format that the free program we formally used, Windows Movie Maker (see above note on amateur-ness), will not read that format.
After exhausting all efforts and trying everything we read and were told to by other users, nothing works. So, what program is simple to use (not Avidemux) that doesn't crash every moment (read: Avidemux) that we can use?
Additionally, does anyone know of any software that can do any of the following: add news tickers and other nice graphic placements such as local news stations use, allow for automated streaming for when we're at our upcoming conventions, and thirdly freely gives us a professional video editor to do all the work for us. So, anyone out there who can help? Hit us up here and let us know!

Ogres Out

Friday, January 8, 2010

2010 First Quarter Events

Ah, a new year! And as such, time to prepare exactly how, when, and where we're going to get our geek on. Luckilly, we've got plenty of geek to go around and this year has plenty of opportunities for us to do so. We won't get too far ahead, but here is what the first quarter of 2010 currently holds for us:


It all starts early on later this month when the people behind Bazooka Magazine, Crash Comics, and Gamer's Paradise are preparing to put together what they're referring to as "Geekfest" to be held Friday, January 29th here in Paducah, KY at Gamer's Paradise on downtown Broadway. Our chapter of Ogres is planning to be present with all sorts of RPGs and board games, from the easy (to introduce newcomers who have never played) to the hard (cruncyfest for those with AD&D and Rift tattoos). More information on this event will be seen over at the Bazooka website, as we're just participants, so keep up to date over there.


Keeping things more close to home, our main event this month will be the Board of Directors meeting. Remember other chapters: this meeting will finalize the if/why/how of chapter dues (will we have them? / why are they necessary? how much and how will it be managed? ). Currently chapters do not have to abide by any dues, but may if they wish to help pay for any RPG materials, food, gaming locations, or the like. For example, our chapter dues is $5.00 per month per active member. For more information on the Dues Discussion and how to make your voice or chapter's voice heard, check out the Board of Directors page over at The Ogre Lair Wiki.


Other than some grand personal Ogre things going on (the Hooper family has their baby boy due early this month, a few birthdays, and the like), the month will be mostly quiet with the general gaming schedule for the chapter staying the same. Former chapter member and now Derby City Ogres Chapter Coordinator Charles Ringstaff is going to be doing a large scale recruitment process for the chapter out in Louisville and we will be helping him out with that process. Additionally we hope to have our layout finalized at this time for the upcoming Valgora Campaign Setting pdf utilizing the Quick Ass Game System (aka QAGS).

Later in Year....

As the snow melts and the sun stays present more, the year will kick in to high gear later on with many convention appearances and road trips that our chapter has on the books. Not to mention the slowly growing and crawling out of their caves other chapters in the area that are starting to be more active in their local communities. Anyways, 2010 looks to be the Year of the Ogres, and we just can't wait! Till next time...

Ogres Out

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Obligatory Top Five List

As you've no doubt have come across in abundance during the recent final few weeks of the decade, many individuals feel the need to "countdown" their Top X of Whatever for the world - and we Ogres are no different. However, we prefer to give you time to let the holiday season hecticness pass. In the spirit of extreme open-ended vagueness - this is our Quilt City Ogres Top Five RPG-Related Whatevers of the Decade. For the sake of convenience, you can just call it the Ten Ogremandents. It'll work.

5. Dungeons & Dragons Online
We hoped it would of been better, but was glad it came none the less. In our minds, setting it in Waterdeep would of been better, but beggars can't be choosers. It was amazing at first, but the small community of real D&D fans was overshadowed by the Crunchy WoW-esque Twinks that a special spot in hell should be reserved for.

4. Wil Wheaton

Geek's Shining Knight who came around and let us all know it was okay to dislike Wesley Crusher and play role-playing games. He was arguably the snowball that started the avalanche that leads us to....

3. Geek Chic
You know the guys who walk around talking about how they liked Metallica before they were mainstream, or how they dug The Daily Show before Jon Stewart took the reins. You know, the holier-than-thou always-better-than-you bros. Well, thanks to the past decade (which Cracked.com refers to as "the dorkade"), we are those bros. Its now cool to be a geek, and if you were a geek before it was cool, then you can cut line at the local comic store for the next issue of......well, if you were geeky before then there probably hasn't been a comic lately that was good enough for you to wait in line for (but on a similar note, Tony Stark is a dick).

You remember how it started? First a random Thunder Cats shirt is in the mall (and you know that kid buying wasn't there man, he never watched it. Closest he came was Beast Wars). Wil Wheaton started blogging. Everyone got the internet apparently because of Al Gore's series of tubes. Star Wars wrapped up. Star Trek went for the gold.

2. Dungeon & Dragons 3.x
After a rough start, 3.5 hit. Many individuals (read: us) will argue for years if it was the saving factor of the entire role-playing game industry, but when Dungeons & Dragons revamped itself and had a costume change and powdered its note - it stormed the stage and all remembered just who the boss was. The game was changed. Whether for the better or worse - the next generation of RPGs was here, and its been a crazy game ever since.

1. Each Other
Call us old fashioned, but the thing that makes the game worthwhile to us is each other. The fellowship of a gaming table and the memories that are made around it are for life, and no MMORPG will ever equal those moments. Basicaly, this made our decade.

Ogres Out