**Disclaimer** The following blog is a parody. For avoidance of doubt, Otto von Quarzis is NOT a prophet and his former Rules Firm is NOT a law firm, does not provide legal advice, and, you know... isn't real. Carry on.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Announcing the Grand Opening of the Rules Firm of Otto von Quarzis

 The Rules Firm of Otto von Quarzis, S.G.E.

Welcome to the new blog and home of Otto von Quarzis, S.G.E., ruleslawyer.  For those of you following this blog, you have probably notice the purpose waver and change over the past couple years.  After a couple of good rules discussions with my good friend, Mark, over at Dust Pan Games (a fantastic blog, which you really should sign-up to read), I realized that I love to argue - and, more importantly, I love to argue about rules.

So, that is what this blog is going to be about. I will take various rules and provide my reasoned and researched interpretation.  I will try and scour the Net for other's takes and thoughts and bring it together in a collection that I hope will be helpful to fellow game masters. As I do so, I welcome everyone's comments, feedback and thoughts.  If you have a rule you have been struggling with, please share it.  If you have your own rules interpretation you think is the bees' knees, please share that as well.   

Rules Lawyers - Fight - The Alertness Feat

Welcome to a new segment on the Quarzis Games' blog.  This segment, I am tentatively titling "Rules Lawyers - Fight"; at least until my counterparty disagrees with me and thinks of something more clever to title it.  The gist of this segment is that I and my good friend, Mark, at Dustpan Games will take a topic of contention in the D&D (and possibly other games) universe and battle it out. The Dustpan Games cross-post can be found here.

This episode - the "alertness feat" in 5th Edition D&D. A player in my 5e campaign took this feat... and it has made my life a living hell, as a DM, ever since.  Now, let me take a step back - it really isn't that bad.  I just kept forgetting he had it - and so my carefully planned ambushes... well, they didn't work out so well.  The question arose - how can anything ever allow a character to "never be surprised"?  The answer that I hope to argue is - this isn't the right question to ask.  As I will illustrate - I f''ed up.  I didn't adjudicate the situation correctly.  I'll explain why below the jump.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The leaderboard project - Measurements

First, a brief progress report on where I am with this little RPG leaderboard project. I setup a free hosting provider account this weekend and began investigating php based social networking platforms to use as a base.  I then ran into issues installing the tools I needed to access said hosting provider. I hope to have that corrected this week, and plan to put up a mockup of the leaderboard by the weekend.

Now, into the meat and potatoes of this post.  Last post, I introduced the concept I was going for.  This post I want to focus on measurements.  Computer games are natural fits for leaderboards, because the things that these measure (k/d ratios, points, kills, deaths, etc.) are objective criteria.  In a table-top RPG, what
constitutes heroic or legendary actions (or even alignment actions) is by the very nature of the game - subjective.  This creates issues when trying to put a subjective set of criteria into an objective

Friday, July 24, 2015

A new direction (and crazy idea)

So, I have been quiet as of late. I was anticipating shutting this blog down. I just couldn't think of something that I could contribute to the RPG community that others couldn't do ten times better.
However, as my mind wandered I remembered something that I love to do - I love organizing things.  I love processes, systems, rules and all things structure - not necessarily in that order.  So, i thought of a project that (perhaps others could still do ten times better than I could, but something that) I would love to work on.  I want to create a social network for table top role-playing gamers.

Now, before you start commenting below (all three of you) that "hey, dumb-@@@! That has been done a thousand times before. Check out [insert site here]."  Let me explain what I mean.  I am not talking about THE social network for table top role-playing gamers.  I'm not trying to create the next facebook, or google+, or Enworld, or Wizards of the Coast community, or [insert your favorite here].  I want to create a website, which for the lack of a better term, I will refer to as a social network. I think the reason I call it that will become apparent as I elaborate. (so far so good, managed to write two paragraphs while giving zero useful information... back in the day when writers got paid by the word... I would have been rich!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Why I love Castles & Crusades

My love of Castles & Crusades(R)1 (C&C) is a quite recent phenomenon. The game itself was only created in 2004. Yet, one of the reasons I love it so much is that it feels much older - It reminds me of when I first discovered role-playing games.

First though, I want to set out expectations for this article. This article is not the definitive guide to C&C. I will mention certain aspects that are what I really love about the game - but C&C is so much more. My goal in writing this article is to expose people to the game. Hopefully, if any of this resonates with you, you’ll check the game out. I believe you won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


This is the first, last and only thing I will say about the subject of politics.  Please keep politics out of the gaming community - unless it is specifically about some organization/government/etc. trying to restrict our rights as gamers (like passing laws saying you have to be 21 to play D&D... that would be completely legit topic for a gaming blog).

I get it - you all have very deep held convictions and opinions.  I am happy for you.  It makes you a good person.  I'm not saying you're wrong, or that you shouldn't have the views you have.  I am just saying - it has no place in the gaming community.

Monday, March 23, 2015

April 11th - Tabletop Day

So, April 11th is Tabletop Day.  

While I am guessing anyone that is reading this blog is already aware that April 11th is Tabletop Day, I am posting this anyway - because if I remind just one person - it has been worth it.  I will also be posting my impressions and take-aways afterwards.  So, there is that.