5Feb/160

Justice City United 2015 Christmas Special – Crisis on Christmas

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What the heroes hope to be a peaceful holiday season turns decidedly strange when someone threatens the beliefs and hopes of children across the world, by holding Santa Claus hostage! If something isn’t done, the world may be denied the hope and joy of the Christmas season!

This is a pre-generated adventure that was modified for a special Christmas session of the game, out of regular continuity, featuring the regular players (some with their new characters) Jeremy (Cerberus), Robin (Blue Streak), Beth (Persephone), Rowan (Alexandria), and Noah (Hayate).

We've changed the lineup, as you can see, and when episode 35 posts soon, you'll get the full update as to what's happened in the campaign's long downtime.

4Feb/160

Confessions of a Movie Snob – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Confessions of a Movie Snob

It's baaaaaack!

Confessions of a Movie Snob began as the Red Phone Zone many years ago, and has been a friend of the show (what with me being a co-host on it almost since it's inception) for all that time. It's back now, slightly retooled, condensed, and ready to talk movies with my good friend Aaron Hoover.

It's also moved under the umbrella of the Gamer's Haven Podcast as more of a technicality, but will be supported through the main site here.

All the old episodes will be available for download on the site as soon as possible.

In this episode, Aaron and I talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a small movie made by a small company, Disney.

25Jan/160

Updates from the Crazy House

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Here's an update as to where we are ...

I have two episodes of Justice City in the bag that need editing, and two or three episodes of Confessions of a Movie Snob that will be posted ASAP.

I'm not sure the status of the other campaigns, especially the ones run by Andre. He's been very busy and has not got back with me on whether or not he will continue to post content on the Gamer's Haven Podcast.

As for the regular show, it's still on indefinite hiatus with some pretty serious real life concerns taking up the time of one of the hosts. I can't elaborate, but it's not me.

I'm also aware that none of our old feeds work in iTunes. Since Apple refuses to let me directly control our feeds and won't let me update them manually, we are not going to continue to wrestle with them. If you want to subscribe to the show, please do so with the links provided on the sidebar.

I'm also repairing the old posts as fast as I can, but it's going to be a slow process. They will be fixed, but it will take me a while to do it. Sorry for the delay.

1Dec/155

Looking for Contributors

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While life continues to consume Jeremy, Nathan, Noah, and I, we're hoping to get back to recording on a monthly schedule as soon as possible.

That being said, we are very much wanting more things to happen on the Gamer's Haven Podcast website.

We're looking for contributing writers, podcasters, and streamers to help contribute to the content on this website, whether it's in the form of reviews, new shows, more actual play - as long as it's associated with gaming in some variety or another, we'd like to offer you a platform with which to exercise your joy of the hobby.

There is no compensation here - this is completely on a volunteer basis. But, if you want to talk about games, we want this to be a place to do it.

Expect some things to shake up here at the Gamer's Haven Podcast, and expect us to be around for a long time (next year is, after all, our 10 year anniversary).

Anyway, let us know if you want to contribute to the Gamer's Haven Podcast!

1Dec/152

Update and Shakings

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As you can see, the website it being worked on ... again. We let our web hosting expire and have to upload everything (that's hundreds of gigabytes) back onto the website, and then we have to fix the URLs of each and every episode ...

So, that's over 1,000 posts that need attention. We (by "we," I mean me, Ethan) are working on it as fast as we can. As episodes become available, they'll reappear on the website and in the podcast feeds.

Speaking of podcast feeds, you can see to the left the subscription links are there for the main podcast and the main actual play feed. We're working on having another page with a comprehensive listing of the podcast with feed URLs, but that will take time.  Please be patient with us as we rebuild and reboot in the near future.

Thanks to everyone who keeps checking the site and checking to see if the show is still alive.  It is, but the usual excuses are why we have not been releasing episodes.  Again, thank you for your patience!

5Aug/1511

Not Dead …

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We're just pining for the fjords.

We haven't given up on the Gamer's Haven Podcast. As usual, life has made doing this show nigh impossible over the last five months. We've all been dealing with some serious life issues in one for or another.

We appreciate your patience and hope that you've stayed with us and will continue to stay with us.

What would you like to see from the Gamer's Haven?

5Dec/140

Digital Game-Based Learning: How video games can be utilized as learning tools

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Video games are often viewed merely as a form of entertainment and rarely have they been seen as instruments of learning. Yet, researchers and others alike have found a way to turn video games into platforms of positive change.

As times have progressed to the digital age, video game developers are constantly searching for ways to reach a wider audience. Whether it’s gaming behemoth Capcom teaming up with Gaikai in order to provide a streaming service to the latter’s affiliates, or UK-based gaming company Gaming Realms teaming up with Bear Group Ltd. in order to launch the Spin Genie site, technology is the future and no company can succeed without it, no matter what the business objectives are. Everyone understands that we have been fully submerged into a digital world, thus technology has undoubtedly become a vital part of our everyday lives. We spend so much of our time using various forms of technology, but rather than having it consume our time, it should be utilized as a strategy to enrich our living experiences.

Children, adults, and everyone in between all learn through real-life application, yet how much real life experience can a student receive when education is limited to textbooks? Marc Prensky explains that teachers, or what he calls “digital immigrants”, have to adapt to the learning strategies appropriate for the students, or the “digital natives”. This generation of learners has been immersed in technology much longer than the digital immigrants, and so they must implement learning acquisition methods for the most effective outcomes, particularly digital game-based learning.

Professor and Game Designer Katie Salen saw an opportunity for children to learn through unlikely methods like video games, which initiated her to build a New York public school surrounded by digital game-based learning called Quest 2 Learn. Just like any video game, the goals of the school are quest based. A fellow Quest 2 Learn educator explains that they’re “trying to prove that game design can help kids think deeper and more abstractly about everything else… it is this generation’s mode of discourse. It’s a fully mainstreamed form of art like cinema is. A hundred years ago you couldn’t study cinema in school. Now every school has a cinematography class”.

Although it is a relatively new phenomenon for teaching methodologies, this digital strategy is making headway in the education industry. Educators need to understand that video games can be used to simulate real-life problems, which will then teach students the necessary skills for critical thinking, and essentially prepare them for the real world.

29Sep/143

Post Wedding Survival

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Believe it or not, we survived the wedding. Attached are a few of the photos, which may not be as exciting as a new Actual Play for GHP but let me say it was a lot more work. I should be able to resume the normal weekly posts next week now that we have wrapped up both the wedding and mortgage in one week.

7Aug/140

Three (plus one) moons of Theyra!!!

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Theyra has three official moons and one hidden moon. The first three moons both exist on the Prime Material Plane as physical bodies and as separate heavenly domains that can be traveled to with high level magic or through the Astral Plane. The fourth hidden moon acts as both at the same time, traveling to the Prime Material Plane at certain times, where it becomes a physical body and then disappearing at other set times and only existing as a hellish domain.

Vanilaen

The first moon is called Vanilaen and is roughly the same size of planet Earth. Vanilaen has a breathable atmosphere and is covered by great forests, mountains, and oceans. Three main continents spread over the moon and are filled with a multitude of organisms. Because of Vanilaen’s orbit, the moon stays much warmer than one would assume and snow only exists in the poles and at the tops of some of the taller mountains.

Vanilaen is home to elves, a few tribes of nomadic and primitive humans, and dwarves. The dwarves mostly live in a great empire under the surface of Vanilaen, with the elves on the surface, so conflict is nearly nonexistent between the two races. The elves mostly ignore the primitive humans who are too few to pose any threat. The dwarves are ruled by Dweridish, the Great Thar of the Dwarves, while the elves are ruled by Ilestrish, the Moon Queen of Vanilaen. It is not known if the elves and dwarves of Vanilaen have had any contact with their fellows on Theyra.

Laniler

The second moon is called Laniler. Laniler is roughly the size of our planet Mars. The moon Laniler has a thin, yet breathable atmosphere.  It is also cold on the moon and anyone on the surface will want to be wearing winter clothes to protect themselves from frostbite. The temperatures can quickly get down in the negative 130 degrees Fahrenheit and never get above freezing. The moon of Laniler appears to be completely made of different shades of silver. When you walk across the surface of Laniler, you will kick up silver dust behind you and sometimes a slight wind will blow the silver dust across the landscape, creating small silvery sand dunes. The moon is a werewolf’s worse nightmare. Legends say that should a lycanthrope be brought to the moon, they can be cured of all their evil and their curse lifted.  Legends also say that a deserving being of faith in search of wisdom from the moon goddess Laniler, may find her hidden palace somewhere on her moon.

Beyond the craters, dust, dunes, and rocks, nothing seems to live on Laniler. The moon is silent, except for the strange soft sound of bells brought by the wind that occasionally blows across the surface, in a place that has no weather.

Tessil

Tessil is both the size of our Earth’s moon and has similar features, including low gravity, dust, and very extreme temperatures. The main difference is that Tessil does not only have no breathable atmosphere, the air that it produces is actively deadly to living organisms. Vents of poisonous and noxious vapors jet up through cracks and fissures in Tessil’s surface, covering the surface. The vapors have a slight greenish tint to them, giving the whole moon a greenish glow on certain nights. It is not known what is below the surface that causes the poisonous air as no one who has ventured into the moon has ever returned. When Tessil is full and the vapors are high, it is said a Poison or a Noxious Moon has risen. People normally stay in those nights for fear of snakes, witches and other dreadful creatures.

The Blood Moon

The last moon goes by various whispered names, but most people call it the Blood Moon. The Blood Moon appears three specific nights every month in Theyra’s sky. The moon appears first as waxing gibbous, then full, then moves to waning gibbous in those three days. In those three days evil lycanthrope and other evil creature attacks become common. Those three days are also good days for various horrible magical rituals and unholy rites. After the three days of freedom, the Blood Moon is then dragged from the Prime Material Plane, back into whatever prison it spends the rest of its time in. Every twelve years, the Blood Moon appears on the Prime Material Plane and stays for a whole week, with the first day in a waxing gibbous, then full for the majority of the week, and then finally going to a waning gibbous on the day before it finally disappears. Every 500 years, the Blood Moon enters the night sky for a full year, going through a full cycle each month. During this period strange and horrible monsters fly down from the Blood Moon and attack anyone and anything they can. The Blood Moon is said to be a prison and home of a blood god of vampires and lycanthropes.

8Jul/140

Step into Spiridon

Many years ago ... well more than a decade ago, really, I started running Dungeons & Dragons for some friends of mine. This, of course, led to the creation of a campaign world for my players to adventure in.

Jeremy has been blogging on and off about his setting, Theyra, and I've got some material that I'd like to work on and publish here as well, over time. This will cross-post on the Gamer's Haven Podcast website and the Why Not Write website.

I fully intend to collect this information into a PDF that will sell on RPGNow at some juncture, but all the data will be available here as well, just piecemeal.

What I want to start with is religion, or gods to be precise. Religion in D&D, or any fantasy setting, is highly important. Think about if the Pope could actually heal, or call down a flame-strike, and then imagine what that would do to religious organizations around the world - they'd be a heck of a lot more powerful seeing as there would concrete proof of divine beings.

It's something you have to heavily consider with a fantasy setting. If your world has gods, and those gods are real, and the layman can easily witness or know about healing magic and, therefore, evidence of divine beings actually existing ... well, there would be a lot more devout believers in the world.

The godly hierarchy of Spiridon is split into several different tiers.  The uppermost tier of the “Mortal Gods” is the Primal Gods, followed by the Elemental Gods, Racial Gods, Civilization Gods, and finally, the Secret Gods.  There is no dominant “King or Queen of the Gods”, but a mutual respect among the tiered deities.  Those below a certain station know they cannot challenge the power of a greater deity (without subterfuge) without serious repercussions.  The hierarchies are determined by worshippers and the nature of the world at large.

Centuries ago, The Godwar claimed many lives of the sacred deities, and new deities appeared to take their place.  They have since been assimilated into the realm.

Originally, I used the default deities in Dungeons & Dragons. Some of them remain, and some have evolved. You'll notice, for example, that Pelor is a deity, but is now a goddess rather than a god

You'll also notice that there are Dragon Gods, Forgotten Gods, and Lost Gods. In the cosmic heirarchy, the Dragon Gods were the first, created by Tiamat. They then created what would become the "Mortal Gods." Hardly anyone knows the Dragon Gods exist, and they're largely "hands-off" in regards to the mortals, not because of some all-knowing plan, but because they don't see the mortals as something they need to waste their time on.

Obviously, as this goes on, I'll elaborate on deities more and provide statistics if necessary.

Primal Gods

 

  • Fareed (God of Nature, The Sea, Fate, Pain, & Devils)
  • Jareth (God of Love)
  • Lijden (God of Life & Death)
  • Pelor (Goddess of the Sun, Light, & Fire)[1]
  • Telor (God of Magic, Secrets, & Commerce)[2]

 

Elemental Gods

  • Rudran (Goddess of The Sky)[3]
  • Tetonius (God of The Earth)

Racial Gods

 

  • Corellan Larethian (God of The Elves)
  • Dirrinka (Goddess of The Duergar)[4]
  • Gruumsh (God of The Orcs)
  • Moradin (God of Dwarves & Mountain Gnomes)[5]
  • Sideral (God of The Stars & The Halflings)[6]
  • Xammut (God of the Unknown & Kobolds)

 

Civilization Gods

 

  • Fharlanghn (Goddess of Travel)[7]
  • Heironeous (God of Chivalry & Pride)[8]
  • Kord (God of War, Strength, & Wrath)
  • St. Cuthbert (God of Justice)
  • Varazslatos (God of Medicine & Order)

 

Secret Gods

 

  • Cthulhu (God of Madness, Nightmares & The Underdark)[9]
  • Eyrthnul (God of Slaughter & The Moon) [10]
  • Olidammara (God of Trickery & Guile) [11]
  • Vecna (Goddess of Undeath & Greed) [12]

 

Dragon Gods

 

  • Adralion (Copper Dragon God of Warriors and Weather)
  • Ambrosius (Brass Dragon God of Mischief and Love)
  • Bahamut (Black Dragon God of Death, Destruction, & Magic)
  • Inaros (White Dragon God of Tyranny and Retribution)
  • Khron (Silver Dragon God of Life)
  • Maril (Colorless Dragon God of Neutrality)
  • Mourtos (Blue Dragon God of Oceans & Space)
  • Shuheng (Green Dragon God of Truth and Punishment)
  • Taro (Gold Dragon God of Wealth and Law)
  • Thanarat (Colorless Dragon God of Lesser Dragons)
  • Tiamat (The Great Creator)
  • Urizar (Bronze Dragon God of Justice and Peace)
  • Zoragh (Red Dragon God of War and Slaughter)

 

Dead Deities

 

  • Azazoth (God of the Underdark) k. by Cthulhu
  • Kurtulmak (God of Kobolds & Kuo-Toa) k. by Xammut
  • Blibdoolpoolp (Goddess of Kuo-Toa) k. by Kurtulmak
  • Calladuran Smoothhands (God of Deep Gnomes) k. by Moradin
  • Conscientis (Goddess of Knowledge and Greed) k. by Vecna
  • Duisteken (God of Darkness and Light) k. by Pelor
  • Great Mother (Goddess of Beholders) k. by Pelor
  • Pateran (Goddess of Fire) k. by Pelor
  • Envidiaress (Goddess of Punishment and Envy) k. by St. Cuthbert
  • Hamnasis (Goddess of Vengeance and Revenge) k. by St. Cuthbert
  • Forkolelsem (God of Water and Ice) k. by Fareed
  • Frodim (God of Water) k. by Fareed
    • Yeathan (God of Evil Depths) k. by Frodim
  • Patient One (God of Corruption & Fate) k. by Fareed
    • Calan (Goddess of Fate)  k. by The Patient One
  • Rallaster (God of Pain) k. by Fareed
  • Shub-Niggurath (God of Chaos & Creation) k. by Fareed
  • Langolva (God of Pride and Fire) k. by Heironeous
  • Lolth (Goddess of Drow) k. by Gruumsh
  • Nazaral (God of Humans) k. by Hextor
  • Nyrlathotep (God of Magic) k. by Boccob
  • Towenaar (God of Magic and Secrets) k. by Boccob
  • Vorax (Goddess of Gluttony and Commerce) k. by Boccob
  • Oorlog (God of War, Wrath, & Gnomes) k. by Kord
    • Garl Glittergold (God of Gnomes) k. by Oorlog
  • Scahrossak (Goddess of Hatred) k. by Olidammara
  • Selenius (God of the Moon) k. by Eyrthnul
  • Volutia (Goddess of Strength and Lust) k. by Jareth
  • Wee-Jas (Goddess of Death) k. by Lijden
    • Nerull (God of Death) k. by Wee-Jas
  • Yog-Sothoth (God of Planar Travel) k. by Fharlanghn
  • Yondalla (Goddess of Halflings) k. by Sideral
  • Obad-Hai (God of Nature) k. by Fareed
  • Elhonna (God of Nature) k. by Fareed

Lost Deities

  • Hextor (God of Tyranny)
  • Ueza (God of Weather)
  • Hastur (God of Entropy)

 

[1] Married to Moradin.

[2] Married to Vecna..

[3] Married to Sideral.

[4] Married to Cthulhu.

[5] Married to Pelor.

[6] Married to Rudran.

[7] Married to Heironeous.

[8] Married to Fharlanghn.

[9] Not worshipped openly.  Married to Dirrinka.

[10] Not worshipped openly.

[11] Not worshipped openly.

[12] Not worshipped openly.  Married to Telor.