Friday, March 9, 2018

Slayers d20 RPG Campaign

Next campaign up is the Slayers d20 campaign. I've long been a fan of the anime series, "The Slayers" and was amused to see that there was a d20 supplement for it. I eventually picked up a copy when I found it on the discount shelf at my local game store. I ended up being pleasantly surprised by some of the ways the system changed things up from baseline D&D 3.5. I've now run the system twice, and have been pretty happy with how the game plays out.

I really wish I hadn't run out of creative steam for this campaign. We got to one of the major plot reveals and I really did not have a good plan for where I actually wanted to end up going. (something that does happen to me from time to time... I suspect it happens to many GMs) So, I ended up ending the game earlier than I would have prefered.

That being said, this game was a lot of fun. We had pretty amusing mix of player characters and we had several pretty darn memorable moments as we went along.

Anywho, here is the link to the playlist.

Or, you can start watching with the first episode here:

-Peter "MechaGM" Bowman

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Saturday Kung-Fu Theatre RPG Campaign

Next up is the short Feng Shui Action-Movie RPG campaign I ran for a while. This particular game was heavily inspired by the classic Hong-Kong wuxia films that used to be shown on UHF tv on Saturday afternoons here in the Boston Area when I was a kid. :)

I adore the Feng Shui system, and find it does a really nice job of simulating the madcap action of action movies, especially those made in Hong Kong.

Here is the playlist for the campaign.

Or you can just start with Episode One of the campaign:

-Peter "MechaGM" Bowman

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


So, today I am going to post up the playlists for the two podcasts I am actively involved with. The first one is the longest-running one I've been doing. I started The Surly Grognards podcast with my friend Jesse back in 2014. Jesse decided that doing the podcast just wasn't for him, so I asked one of my other friends, Eric, to pinch-hit for Jesse while I thought about whether I would keep doing the show. Eric had fun, and the shows we did were pretty darn fun, so we just kept doing the podcast.

We started out being entirely focused on tabletop gaming, especially tabletop roleplaying games, but over time, we've branched out into other realms of nerdery. We've talked about movies, tv shows, books, comics, video games... just a wide variety of nerd-culture topics. We do, however, tend to focus on tabletop gaming for the most part.

Much like the Star City campaign, I was unable to get all of the old episodes off of blip before they went away, so there are a large chunk in the middle that I've so far been unable to recover in any way. That said, the majority of our shows are up on youtube.

Here is the youtube playlist for the podcast.

Instead of linking the first episode on the playlist, I thought I'd share our most recent episode, which is part of a series in which Eric and I take a basic RPG campaign concept of some sort, and do a live brainstorming session to work it up to a more fleshed out campaign concept.

The other podcast I'm involved in, is one I do with Eric and our friend Gav (who is from England). The three of us had been watching anime series together online while we were on a skype call together. (we now use discord) Gav had the suggestion that we could do a show where we talked about the series we had just finished watching. Thus, "Three Men and an Anime" was born.

While we do sometimes run way too long on some episodes of the show (most notably with the episode we did on "Girls und Panzer"), we always have a lot of fun recording this show.

Here is the link to the playlist on youtube.

And here is the most recent episode we've recorded:

-Peter "MechaGM" Bowman

Monday, March 5, 2018

Star City Campaign

Next up is the Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition campaign I ran. This is the first game I ran where my good meatspace friend, Eric, joined in on the online RPG shenanigans. The group of players for this game changed over time, but as usual, it was a really solid group of players.

I adore superhero campaigns, and while this did end somewhat suddenly (I was kind of burnt out and had no good ideas of where to take the campaign), I am really happy with a lot of what happened in this campaign.

I think I came up with some excellent and memorable NPCs, and we had some genuinely fun adventures throughout the course of the campaign. My only "complaint" is that I do feel the fights would have been more fun and dynamic had we been using HERO system. If only because HERO actually has knockback built into the combat system, which, IMO, superhero combat just needs to feel right. (also, I generally prefer HERO to M&M, but M&M is a real solid system)

Unfortunately, I was unable to retrieve the recordings off of blip before it went down, so most, if not all, of the videos on youtube are uploads from my twitch highlights. Some of which have audio issues, and there are one or two episodes missing, sadly. That said, the vast majority of the campaign is on youtube now.

The campaign playlist can be found here.

Or, you can just watch part one of issue 1, here:

-Peter "MechaGM" Bowman

Friday, March 2, 2018

Shadowland Campaign

So, Shadowland was the first tabletop RPG campaign I ran on stream. The setting is one I came up with ages ago, back in the AD&D days, and I've been refining it and changing it for each edition of D&D since then. (haven't done it for 5th ed yet, since I've not gotten around to trying 5e yet)

This particular iteration went very well, right up until the final episode. But, I really do have to give most of the credit to the players in this game. (which is the case in basically every game I run) Chris, Gav, Liam, Nik and Scott (Sable too) were a great crew of players and I was really lucky to have them in this campaign.

We may not have gotten to the campaign finale I was thinking of, but we ended up with a pretty decent finale overall.

Anywho, I am going to link to the youtube playlist below. (I managed to recover most of this game from blip before it went away, something I was unable to do with all of the things I uploaded there)

Click here for the campaign playlist!

Or you can just watch part 1 of episode one here:

Peter "MechaGM" Bowman

Wait, I have a blog?!?!?!?

So, it's been a loooong while since I've updated the old blog here.

So, what I'm going to be doing on and off over the next week or two is posting up links and such to my various RPG campaigns and podcasts here, so they are easily viewable/listenable.

I also intend to get back to posting each new episode of the podcasts and rpg campaigns here. I will probably write occasional articles and such going forward as well.

Keep an eye on the blog for new content soon! :D

-Peter "MechaGM" Bowman

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mecha's Thoughts On Wrestlemania And Its Aftermath

This is not the sort of thing I normally post here, but I've been thinking a fair bit about last night's Wrestlemania and what I've seen from wrestling fans on the internet about it.

First off, overall, I rather enjoyed a lot of this year's Wrestlemania. There were parts I didn't like, but the end of the show was fucking gold. But I've been reading a fair bit of displeasure about the event and where the WWE is online.

What amazes me is how many wrestling fans forget where the WWE was a year+ ago, and how we got to where we are now.

While Reigns was clearly a rising star (and virtually everybody was cool with that), he was clearly not going to be in the title picture. Then the following happened.

1) Punk leaves/quits/retires/whatever you want to call it. 2) Bryan has neck surgery. 3) EVERYBODY is sick of Cena vs. Orton.

So, what does the WWE do? Well, first step, they can take advantage of Brock's contract. Give him the title, and the fact that he's not always around gives them time to figure out a few things.

So, who is going to be the guy? Punk's out. Bryan's hurt. Cena and Orton are stale. The fans would go crazy for Ziggler, but WWE is concerned about his ability to stay healthy. The bumps and risks he takes and the fact that he doesn't dial it back ever worry them given what happened to Bryan and the nasty concussion Ziggler had. (so, part of what endears him to his fans) Del Rio is gone. So, who does that leave? We need someone who's been around, but is relatively new.

1) Seth Rollins? It's happened, and it's been brilliant. He's a fabulous heel and relentlessly entertaining. And he's now the champ.
2) Dean Ambrose? Possible, but Seth's going to be our new top heel and Dean really isn't a face wrestler... I love the guy, but he's clearly a Piper/Pillman type.
3) Ryback? Bahahahhahahahaha... sorry, no.
4) Cesaro? ... Fuck, I'm just not sure why not. He's great. They even hooked him up with Heyman, which was a gold pairing. And then he proceeded to fall off a mountain. I honestly think he should have been the guy.
5) Bray Wyatt? Too ensconced as a heel. And he's FAR too good at it to move him face. That said, I don't get what they've done with him. He never gets to win important matches. But there is clearly some reason WWE doesn't want him at the very top right now. (even if it's a reason I simply cannot fathom)
6) Reigns... well he's not quite ready yet, but he's got off the charts athleticism, he's got "the look" (tm), and he's been getting better very quickly. His mic work needs to improve, let's give him a shot.

So, they went with Reigns. (eventually) And the fans, who *used* to like him... HATED the fuck out it. He wasn't supposed to be the guy yet. And I *think* most of the WWE brass would agree, but who else?

So, where are we now? Bryan won the ladder match and is now Intercontinental Champ, yet people are somehow upset about it. (Bryan's not the #1 guy! Ziggler was buried! Moan moan moan) Reigns isn't champ, Rollins is! (but he got to have a comeback against Lesnar! Rollins' win was awesome in the moment, but we know it won't last! Moan moan moan)

I may not be the happiest about where things are right now, but I'm just not sure what else WWE could do all things considered. They did a remakably good job considering that their two most popular guys either quit (Punk) or just came back from neck surgery (Bryan)... much like they did at last year's Wrestlemania.

-Peter "MechaGM" Bowman