Comic Books Part II: Characters



Comic Books, Part II: Characters

So, on my last part of this series I discussed story arcs and why they were so important to what comics I read, and what ones I love. This time I am going to cover the ground of good characters. This might be a tad touchy, but in reality this is like anything else we do here at Legacy (it’s our opinion).

Characters can ruin a story that is compelling simply because the characters are flat or boring. Worse yet, they can be being used as a prop to advance an agenda or make some point. Those characters tend to be very one dimensional. So, what do I think makes a good character? Well, I am glad that question gets asked, because here is the three things:

1. Characters must be compelling. That means they can’t be a stereotype or one dimensional. Characters that are predictable are boring and they don’t accomplish the goal of furthering the story. Most characters like that are there for one thing: filler. They don’t really feel like part of the team, or a real villain. A good example of this type of character for me is Cyclops through most of the 1990s.
2. Characters must have a decent background. A character without a background is just shallow. Who cares about a character who doesn’t have an explanation for why they do things? Gambit would have been boring as a character had they never developed his background with the Thieves in Louisiana. You can look at early comic development to see how to master this. The First Appearance of the Juggernaut is a great example of development of a background (Professor X).
3. Characters need to have purpose. Characters that do things with no real goal drive me nuts. When you find yourself reading a story and the characters don’t seem to accomplish anything it makes me quit. So many comic book characters find themselves in story arcs that don’t really fit them. You saw it in Secret Wars and the Infinity Gauntlet. Some of the characters felt forced into the events. Civil War was the same way.

So, what drives you to particular characters? As always follow the rules guys!

Great Modules for RPGs

Hey guys (any gals listening!). We have been through a few rough months (surgery is a bitch!) Now we have our chance to come back with a bang! We are going to discuss pre-made modules and give out a few suggestions from different systems. So sit back, grab the popcorn and see what you think!


Harlequin Adventure Series 





“Imagine a hatred that has endured for 5000 years….”

The shadowrunners are sent on a string of missions, collecting obscure items, all seemingly unrelated… or are there? From the streets of Seattle to the frigid heights of the Bavarian Alps, from the magical mayhem of Columbia, Missouri to the headwaters of the Amazon, the adventure unfolds.

Who would go to all this trouble to destroy one man… and why?

  • A datafile
  • An ancient magic tome
  • A Flower
  • A collection of Elven ears
  • The manuscript of a soon-to-be-released bestseller
  • A young woman of mysterious heritage
  • A world-famous Elven social theorist

All are pieces to the puzzle.

Finding them is one thing.

Putting it all together is another!


Harlequin’s Back: 

Harlequin’s Back…
…and the world may never be the same!
It’s long been said that trouble follows Harlequin around like a loyal dog, but this time he’s taking the lead and dragging some shadowrunners along on his waking nightmare. It’s clear that the level of magic is rising in the Sixth World, and bigger magic makes the world a more dangerous place. But the particular danger Harlequin’s worried about isn’t supposed to be a problem for another two thousand years…

My Thoughts:

So, these two adventures are considered to be some of the best modules ever written. Even if you are not a fan of Shadowrun, these adventures are what Shadowrunning is about. As you can from the above descriptions, these adventures are designed to test you in every way (Matrix, combat, social, and knowledge. They even threw in some magic).

Dark*Matter: The Killing Jar




This first stand-alone adventure for the DarkMatter campaign setting reveals a disturbing reality beneath the blissful ignorance of everyday life. A case of grand theft auto quickly escalates into a more serious investigation, leading heroes to a sinister forensics lab, a forgotten burial mound, and into a conspiracy of lies best left buried.

My Thoughts:  This is one of the best modules that TSR put out in the 1990s. It was deep and took quite a bit of quick thinking for the players to get to the bottom of it. This module is a great introduction in the world of Dark*Matter!


The Darkening of Mirkwood



The Necromancer may have been cast out of Dol Guldur, but a lingering darkness remains over Mirkwood, a shadow that will grow ever longer as the years draw on – unless a fellowship of heroes step forward and hold back the gloom.

The Darkening of Mirkwood is a complete campaign for The One Ring, set in Mirkwood over the course of three decades. It allows you to tell your own epic saga, following your heroes in their quest as the tale of years unfolds before them.

This supplement includes enough adventure material to keep you playing for months or even years, as well as new rules that give your heroes a real stake in what happens to the world around them. Rules for Holdings allow them to carve out their own corner of Middle-earth, whilst new options for the Fellowship Phase and Undertakings to achieve allow them to chart their own path.

Visit the Parliament of Spiders, do battle with the Nazgûl, meddle in the affairs of Wizards and enter the Halls of King Thranduil. Stand firm against the Shadow and maybe the Darkening of Mirkwood can be averted. Falter for even a moment and all that you know and love will be lost.

My Thoughts: This module is freaking beautiful! It takes place over the 40 years after the Necromancer was banished. The system gets a ton of play in it (there are plenty of modules that don’t do it) and it feels like you are playing around in the books.


DCCRPG: Frozen in Time



Eons-old secrets slumber beneath the forbidden Ghost Ice. Since the time of the Elders, the local tribes have shunned the crawling glacier, knowing it as taboo land that slays all who tread its frigid expanse. Now, the Ghost Ice has shattered, revealing hints at deeper mysteries entombed within its icy grasp. Strange machines and wonderful horrors stir beneath the ice…

My Thoughts: This module is perfect for running a funnel (even though it is rated for 1st Level Characters). Think “Barrier Peaks” without all the nonsense. The game is about exploration as much as it is about combat. It is super deadly (like most DCC modules) and plays well every time.


Comic Books Part I: Story Arcs

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Comic Books, Part I: Story Arcs

If you are anything like me, you love comic books. Everything about them makes you happy. The heroes, the villains, the regular folks, and even the (or more importantly) stories. So I decided to talk about what draws me to certain comic books or comic lines. We are going to start with this part discussing Story Arcs.

Story arcs are the most important part of the comic for me. The characters can be great, and the villains can be compelling, but if the story sucks, then *yawn*. That is why I find so much of modern comics boring. They don’t seem to have the same flair as the stuff I grew up with. Not that there are not good stories out there (Court of Owls comes to mind), but most of it is just middling.

Some of the best stories that I grew up with came from Marvel in the mid-1990s. Phalanx Covenant, X-Cutioner’s Song, Age of Apocalypse, The Infinity Gauntlet, Fatal Attractions, and Infinity War all come to mind (and yes, most of these were X-Men events!). As you can also see, I was heavily influenced by the X-Men TV series from 1993 (who wasn’t!?). But what made these so cool to me?

Well there are three things:

  1. Compelling Heroes and Villains–  The Heroes and Villains were very well defined and furthered the story line. None of the people involved felt forced or felt like there was no reason for them to be there.  As stated above, compelling heroes and villains don’t make good stories, but they sure as hell can make a better one.
  2. Detailed stories– The stories don’t feel shallow or short. Many of them are what are called “cross-over events” that involve several different teams or heroes. Take the Infinity Gauntlet, it wound up taking three cross-over events to settle that in totality. A lot of the newer cross-overs take way too little to tell the story (the new Secret Wars being the exception).
  3. No agenda behind them– There is no agenda behind much of the 1990s stories that caused me to fall in love with comics. Nobody wants to read a comic telling them what to think (or most anyways). Comics are designed to help escape and be entertaining. Even the few that had a message were not ideologically driven. They told their stories and messages with a touch that didn’t exclude people nor make anyone feel like the publisher didn’t like them. Some of the newer cross-overs have turned into political talking points, and they have demonized people with whom they disagreed with. I mean, having Kitty Pride attack a thinly veiled head of the Heritage Foundation was kinda crappy.

All of that being said, everyone will have different reasons for reading a story. You may disagree with point #3, and that is fine. You don’t have to agree. I am simply stating why I love comics and what drew me to them in the first place. We welcome comments on why you first came into comics and in particular the story lines. As always guys follow the three rules:

No Ad Hominem Attacks
No making fun of someone else’s race/religion/creed/ect

No being a dick

Using Time in an RPG



Time is an important part of gaming. It is so important that it is often divided into several different types. For example, Dungeons and Dragons uses Rounds, Actions, Down Time, and even general Time. What is the difference and why does it matter? Well, simply put, the issue of time can be vital because of how it impacts the story.

How do you use time in an RPG to advance a story? Well, if you are me (and you are asking me, or at least reading my opinion) you do it in four major ways:

1. Time is a pressure to keep the players moving and acting.

The concept of time, for me, is best used to ensure that the players (or rather characters) don’t dawdle.  Making them move along or getting them to understand that something will happen in “48 hours” or “the guards will be here in sixty seconds” is the primary driver. You can’t spend forever at a door deciding to enter it if you only have sixty seconds. You also can’t waste time if you get a note saying that they will kill the princess in two days. Time becomes a valuable asset in those cases.

2. Time is a measure of success 

How fast can you get to the princess? How much damage can be done by the opposing army if you take your time? These questions deserve answers. Not only do you need to know how much time you have, there are things that happen in the background. The Evil Overlord isn’t sitting on his thumb and spinning while you come to attack his tower. You must be able to determine what happens during the passage of time.

3. Time is a tool for tracking

Time is not only good for knowing what is going on when. It is also a great tool for tracking. How many days ago did you get that note? When did that poison get into your system? Time is how you track that. I got Mummy Rot three days ago (or 36 hours), so that would be 4 checks (going on 5). They said 48 hours to get the money to them, and we have been on the move for 21. That leaves us 27 hours to accomplish the mission. Tracking what you are doing is vital to the game.

4. Time is a great equalizer 

Not only can you use time to track, measure success, and move the story along, but you can also equalize things with it. If you want to know how to do this, it is simple enough. Time can run out. You fail to save the princess. You die of a disease. The BBEG gets his plan rolled out. Don’t be afraid to do this. Make the players suffer for their mistakes, and for dragging their feet.

Old Modules!



So, here we are again. The blog keeps refusing to die! Okay, not really, but it does get treated like the dog that only shows up when you leave trash on the front porch. That being said, I am back for this limited time engagement. So what is this all about? Old modules, of course!

Old modules have a great place in our hobby. Everything from OD&D modules to the newest modules have brought a great set of story lines to our hobby, and often they bring it with a sense of wonderment. So, why am I focusing on older modules? For the following reasons:

1. Old modules are some of the best materials I have ever fooled around with. Take the above picture. The DL modules led to the creation (or at least aided in) of one of the best novel series (in my opinion) of all time. They give us some great stories, villains, heroes (for those with pre-generated characters), and even locations. Hommelt is classic, and it all started with Temple of Elemental Evil. Venca is a dirty bastard because he is who he is (thanks to Bruce Cordell for that!). The Hickmans brought us Strahd. So often we think of modules as something that is not creative. It can be the opposite a lot of the times.

2. Old modules bring about a ton of nostalgia. There is nothing wrong with going back and experiencing what made you fall in love with gaming in the first place.

3. Old modules seem to be better put together than modern ones. While I have a lot of love for some modern modules (looking at Beyond the Rim here!), I have seen what a master writer can do when he is given the reins. Cordell, “Zeb” Cook, Monte Cook, Bill Slavicsek, and others have made sure that some things are burned into our minds. For that matter, they have created some down right evil things.


So what modules  do I suggest? Here is a short list:

–Dragons of… (The DL Series)

–Paladin in Hell

–Dead Gods

–Klick Klack (Alternity)

–The Killing Jar (Alternity)

–Mask of Nyarlthrotep (CoC)

–Horror on the Orient Express (CoC)

–D1-Q1 (AKA Queen of the Spiders)

–Giovanni Chronicles (V:tM)

–River Running (MERP)

–A Fragile Peace (LUG Trek)


Feel free to tell me your favorite old module, and if you feel up to it, why! As always don’t be a jerk about it, and respect one another (as best as you can!). We hope to see you around the game table.




Alas, after a much too long hiatus we are back! Amazing what happens when life gets hectic and unable to be contained. School is done (yay, a BS in Justice Studies with a Concentration in Law & Process) and we are ready to get back to doing gaming stuff. In fact, we already have one game getting ready to start up in March. We are also starting the process of associating with The Society of Extraordinary Gamers (

We are also doing four events at MACE West ( We will be doing an Edge of the Empire game and a Star Wars Armada demo on Friday; Saturday will be Dark*Matter, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and Call of Cthulhu 7th edition; Sunday will be Edge of the Empire (run by yours truly) and Numenera (red is our events).

We also will be redoing the Podcast, and placing it on SoundCloud. More information will be available as we get it done. We hope that you stay with us, and we hope to bring you plenty to think about as we go forward!

Cultures in Gaming



Okay, this is straight click-bait headlining! First, sorry for the long delay in our posting. In between school, recording videos, and running games we have been busy (check out our Youtube for more!). Second, we have been developing a few new things (mostly some shop work on our already made property). Last, we are getting back, so get used to it!.

First things first, this is not meant to be take-down on culture. With that being said, here we go:

Cultures impact on gaming–

Cultures impact gaming in a three-fold way. While this may seem over-simplistic, it is correct on a meta-level. So, what are these folds? Simple:

1. Grows the feel of the game: Having different cultures can make a game feel more real. It gets real boring if every culture in the game feels like stock fantasy. Take, for example, dwarves. If everyone of them feels like Gimli from Lord of the Rings then no one will care about the rest of your meta. They will assume that they are simple. Instead you should create a rich background and healthy world-view for them. Give them life, and it can make people take a second chance on your game world.

2.Grows the meta: Cultural differences can make the meta feel like a real world. Take the Forgotten Realms. The Dwarves have a super deep lore. So do the Elves, Drow, and other races. It sucks you into the world itself. The events, the characters, and the Pantheon become much more important when the cultures have true differences.

3.Grows the feel of play: Cultures can make your play experience different and more lively. Take games like 7th Sea. If you dig into the cultures then you see how they should be played. They feel different, and play different. A Vodacce is much different from an Avalonian.

As always guys and gals, tell us what you think. Just don’t be a dick about it!

#RPGaDay 2016 is coming



Hi ladies and gents! Been a while since I have had anything to say, but I am back! We are going to do #RPGaDay again this year (check our archives for last year’s). It starts in a scant 11 days, so we will be doing videos and blog postings about it. Hope you guys are getting ready. I hope that some of you are going to participate this year as well. Feel free to grab the image from above to see what the questions are.

A Christian Gamer’s Perspective (or How to be Religious, and still a gamer)


Hi guys and gals,

Today I wanted to bring up a five point defense of how Christian (or other religious) gamers feel in the tabletop community. As anyone can tell you, the growth of atheism or agnosticism has pushed (or at least made it feel that way!) religious gamers to the margins of gaming. Knowing that, in reality, gaming is a vast, complex, and diverse community, I feel the need to discuss how being religious can be challenging, and how the religious gamer can feel right at home:

(1). Ignore attacks or jokes

Ignore anyone who tries to attack your faith. I have been in Google Hangouts, games, or even at my FLGS when the jokes and hate start. “Christians (or the religious) are stupid! Let’s all laugh at them!”

This is hard to ignore, because how you worship is a personal issue. What you believe doesn’t have any (or rather, shouldn’t have) effect on your ability to game. Don’t get me wrong, there are things I avoid (as I have discussed before), but I don’t ever try to force that on others.

On the same side of this, don’t ever make attacks or jokes against another religion. If that would make you feel uncomfortable, then it is likely that it would do the same to others. Play by the rule: “Don’t do something to someone that you wouldn’t want done to you.”

(2). Be aware of what makes you uncomfortable

So, what makes a Christian uncomfortable? Well, in truth it varies from person to person. I, for example, will not play games like Nephilim or Demon: The Fallen. I have personal foibles with invoking demons. If you can do so, don’t let me stop you.

Being aware of what makes you uncomfortable makes it easier to discuss it with your table. It makes it easier to walk away from a table to is making you so. No one has to live by your standards (and you shouldn’t expect them to), but you should stick by your principles.

(3). Stand your ground

Do not let others chase you off of your hobby. If they want to attack or joke (with the intent to hurt or make you uncomfortable), then stand your ground. Know what you believe, and then defend it. If others can’t handle that, then you don’t need them in your life. There are plenty of gamers out there who will respect you no matter what.

(4). Find a Table that Respects you

This goes right together with the previous statement. Don’t stay at a table or in a group that hates you for being religious. They can make your life toxic, and can make you doubt things that they have no reason to doubt. Why does it matter to them if you follow the Flying Spaghetti Monster? People who respect you will give you a much better gaming experience.

(5). Be who and what you are!

Never stop being who you are. If you believe in God, then do so. If you don’t, then the same goes for you. Don’t stop being a Christian (or other religious person) because you feel it is the only way you will feel at home. Keep your principles at the front and center of your life. If someone demands that you change to meet their standards, they aren’t worth being around.

Guys, we welcome your comments. In this case, we will delete any comments that are directed at ANY faith or belief structure. These guidelines apply to other circumstances, but in the case of religious players, they apply double time. It does feel that many gamers are not religious. This is fine, and in fact I will never ask that you change (not that you should care what I think). With the onslaught of (or rise of) non-religion in our culture I felt this was important so that those who do believe in a God (or gods, or nothing) had a voice. They deserve to know that someone out there understands the issue. As always guys, don’t be a dick!