Discussion in 'Traditional Non-Video Gaming Gaming' started by Rorschach, Jan 4, 2012.
It has a song and everything.
You don't have a spot for codpieces? They're totally legit.
Ah yes, the secret third "ring" slot! For the min-maxer in everyone.
It's hard to find many items for the Prince Albert slot though, not many choices... so who cares if Vecna's Baculum never comes off -- what else were you going to slot there anyway, a Codpiece of Easy Access +5?
Did you think the Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity was an actual girdle? Surely, it's part strap-on, part.. uh ... 'strap-down'?
Is anyone kickstarting Monte Cook's Numenera? He's a got a pretty solid track record in RPGs (obviously!) and has also done a previous Kickstarter-like project with Ptolus: City by the Spire.
A more interesting take on a future setting, the way I see it, though I suppose that long into the future it's more like fantasy with tech-elements.
With Monte Cook's reputation, I suppose it's no surprise it's about 5x its funding goal with a month to go.
Here's another Kickstarter trying to tackle the online gametable.
Looks like it has some ex-Blizzard guys on board, but the crucial guy (the developer) is not. Still, it looks cool.
There needs to be some sort of anti-Kickstarter. Something like "Donate to help kill this project!".
For fuck's sake, you're Monte goddamn Cook. If you can't get a major publisher to fund your project, it doesn't need to be made.
Monte Cook is only big in the small-pond world of pen and paper roleplaying games. My guess is that this project will make less profit than some fairly humble computer games. So maybe the Kickstarter model makes some sense for any Roleplaying project short of DnD scale.
You mean you want him to give over most of the money generated by his work to a publisher, who will then own it, when the ability to self-publish and distribute, especially digitally, is greater than ever?
What does he get from the publisher that is worth giving up such a large percentage and ownership? Advertising and marketing? Those moneys will be deducted from the revenue before he gets royalties. Distribution? Internet wins.
Big Publisher publishing of any RPG gaming stuff isn't actually much of a business model. The only thing that generates Big Publisher-worthy profits are Players Handbooks and novels.
Yeah, but you also have the stigma of "eeeeeeew, Internet."
Print > internet, when it comes to legitimacy and the mass market. Everything else is fly-by-night with no accountability or quality control.
I'm pretty sure using the terms "legitimacy", "accountability", and "quality control" in this context means you failed a saving throw somewhere, perhaps against Disillusionment? (I'm making that at thing now: Save vs. Disillusionment).
Over it's span to date, the RPG 'business' has mostly been a bunch of old farts makin' shit up, realizing people love it, and making more. Of course, there have been periods of "maximize quarterly profits", splat-book spamming, kill-market-competitors attitude, and the like, haltingly at first (the people who got control of TSR and squeezed out Gygax, Dancey's desire to have only 3 game systems in the market, quadrennial core system revisions 3E, 3.5E, 4E, 5E from the market leader, etc.). And that 'bidness' aspect is certainly persistent now. But there is also so much cool stuff out there, that people are doing because they love it, more every day.
If I was working for a major RPG game company, I'd be very, very worried about the long-term viability of that industry. (I'd also think how totally awesome and pretty ridiculous it was that I was every able to make a living from RPGs at all).
I co-wrote a GURPS Traveller supplement (Far Trader*) in 1999. SJG treats their authors very well, especially in this 'industry' (I still get royalties when sales justify it) but the realities of the market are that we didn't make squat (beer and pizza money, yes). I had a contract with another RPG company to convert a module that wouldn't even have approached squat, not even beer or pizza but "credit", I had the desire to do it for whatever reason. Unfortunately, the desire wasn't enough to keep going once the hours started to add up (and I realized that it was going to suck) and we called it off - they couldn't offer a more lucrative deal because they also would not have made squat; I think it would have been break-even for them, but still have some value as supporting the exist brand, which was about Selling Player Handbooks (and splat books).
* Holy crap, don't buy that on amazon. $31 used, $165 new?! I have copies to spare.
This thread is still going!
No one in the kickstarter thread likes 13th Age.. has no one here heard of it, either?
Hadn't heard of it and to be honest, got too bored with the video to watch it completely.
So I just realized that I have a quarter-century of tabletop gaming under my belt now (I know that a few grognards will laugh and go "Ha ha, newbie!" but hey...) starting with my mother picking up the Marvel Super Heroes RPG (Basic Set) for me because, and I kid you not, she thought it was a Shrinky Dinks set and she knew I liked super heroes. It's weird to look back on the good (a four-year Champions campaign that survived a four-year hiatus while I was off in the Army and then returned to finish it up in epic fashion), the bad (ha ha ha Top Secret SI was so horrible) and the ugly (LARPing White Wolf circa 1994. It was as horrible as you'd think.) and realize that I've been at this for twenty-five years.
And then I look at
BaconTastesGood 's eBay thread and realize that compared to some, I am a complete piker when it comes to gaming.
And in said thread, someone brought up Cthulhupunk - which I actually had the GURPS supplement for! Sort of William Gibson meets August Derleth stuff. But it reminded me of weekend one-shots where we'd play what we liked to call GURPS Blender where one person would take the GM role and we'd randomly select which supplements we were using, give them about 30 minutes to prep, 30 minutes for character building, and then we'd have an afternoon of gaming ahead. Some of the great chaotic messes that resulted:
- Supers + Alternate Earths = a campy superhero game set in a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. Notable for featuring Captain Napalm, the go-go dancing pyrokinetic, and Dr. Caligula, psychic beat poet.
- Conspiracy X + In Nomine + Horror = sort of like X-Files where the government has been covering up the existence of honest-to-God angels who have been slowly taking over Earth to bring about the end times.
- Autoduel + Fantasy Folk = Cannonball Run with magic. This was awesome and we wanted this to become an official Car Wars expansion.
You poor, poor bastard.
Reminds me of the time I went to a Warbirds con in Dallas. 150 fake fighter pilots, with a fair number of actual fighter pilots and a lot of current and ex-military guys, all hard-drinking, hard-core sim nerds at the same hotel as a Vampire LARP weekend.
This is not a good mix if you're one of the vampire players and not a girl. And it gets worse if you reserve the only pool table in the hotel for most of the weekend preventing the sim guys from playing crud. "Pool table? Oh yeah, that huge awesome table, that looks nice. Where is it? I don't know. It's gone? Who could do that? That thing must weigh a ton."
It's the quality, not the chronology.
I was lucky enough to playtest GURPS at some cons way back when - I was in Oklahoma and the SJG guys always came up for our cons. Once, Evil Stevie himself was running the game. But the first time, one of the SJG guys, I can't recall his name, explained that in their internal games, they often played with all the rules at once (and he saved the party once because his character was the only character that didn't specialize in combat and took a fair amount of Law).
Nice! I want to play all of these!
So I'm thinking of running a game of Dread at the end of the month. I've never DM'd before, and the Pathfinder campaign set in Westeros that's bubbling in my brain needs to wait a while. Dread, though, looks like an easy-to-run, easy-to-play, intense single-session game. Sounds awesome. :D
Does anyone here have any experience with this particular system, or know where I can find a copy? I was all set to download a PDF of the basic rules sometime last week, but then my laptop restarted itself and now I can't find it. >.>
Matt Bowyer is starting to base characters in our FF-themed d20 game off of Hakuoki's Shinsengumi! The man is mad, I tell you! And obsessed with Beautiful Men.
To explain that -- I did an LP of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, a visual novel/dating game played by a happily married heterosexual 30-year-old guy, and I liked it a great deal for its portrayal of Meiji-era Japan, plus a bunch of other stuff. I also run a Final Fantasy d20 game, as mentioned here before.
I've drawn inspiration from Hakuoki for a plotline in Final Fantasy Omega, where an NPC ally of the party has infiltrated a mob-like organization to feed our heroes information. There are six people within this organization that are regularly interacting with this NPC, and I'm writing up her adventures within them as a collection of short story chapters, with choices at the end of each one that
Nate is choosing between, and thus determining the future of the NPC and all of these people.
Monday night he discovered that they're all inspired by characters from Hakuoki, and he's basically playing Final Fantasy: Summoner Of The Fleeting Blossom.
And it's all going to end in tears.
I challenge myself a lot when running a game -- interactive short stories, custom music (including singing and the like!) for dramatic scenes, professional wrestling-style introductions for an arena battle, I try to do a lot of stuff that isn't just writing a session and rolling dice. It's a ridiculous amount of work, but it's also really fun, and I know they all appreciate it.
Looks like we have an opening in the player roster!
(completely joking, of course)
I mentioned it over in the Pathfinder thread, but I've been looking to dabble in that game as an RPG to play with my kids, but all the numbers are leaving them cold. So a bit of searching today led me to discover the relatively recent Barebones Fantasy system. Anyone try it? I bought the PDF immediately but haven't had a chance to read it yet. It looks like it concentrates all the stuff I like about fantasy RPGs into a really manageable package. Here's the review that made me drop $10 on it.
Oh, the fun of DMing when you've had a wracking cough for two weeks and are alternating between wheezy and gravelly.
"Is there a reason every commoner in this town is voiced by Michael Wincott?"
So our intrepid band of heroes has managed to continue their path of economic destabilization by surprise-ambushing a trio of Judges (sort of like travelling law-enforcement + clerics + facilitators of state-mandated human sacrifice) in an attempt to free a border town from the influence of Iuz the Wicked. They managed this ambush in broad daylight by... *sigh* okay, this takes some explaining.
When they all rolled up their characters, I encouraged them to have little quirks, personal hobbies, items they'd carry that wouldn't have any combat or adventuring value but that they'd have anyway. And four out of five players all had musical instruments listed on their sheets. "Congratulations, you are now a traveling skiffle band and the fighter is your roadie."
So there's a festival in the town of Balor's Bane for when these Judges show up for their twice-yearly visit, town has a big party, someone gets drawn by lottery to be sacrificed to Iuz, marriages and abyssal blessings are conducted - you know, your basic small town hoedown. And our heroes, who have previously stolen the sacrificial dagger from the mayor that's supposed to be used in the ceremony, have scammed their way into being the band for this festival. Gazebo and everything.
The Judges are unhappy that the mayor has lost his dagger, and one of them begins a divination ritual to locate it. Note that it is currently strapped to the leg of the halfling thief-slash-flute-player. Who manages to sidle behind the mayor, succeed in a temporary Stealth check, drops his flute, draws the dagger, then leapfrogs over the mayor to bury the dagger in the Judge's neck.
"Well, that's one way to open discussions."
The wizard hops off the stage to where the party's secreted their gear underneath and begins throwing weapons up to them. No one has their armor for this because they all declared they were coming dressed in their nobles' finery. It turned into a bloodbath in a gazebo and ended with the heroes victorious and giving a "You don't need their protection! You can leave with us and come work our newly-acquired lands up in Blackmoor!"
They convince about seventy-five peasants to abandon their town and follow the heroes in a wagon train as they trek up to their new lands in Blackmoor. Which, if you can't tell by the name, is not exactly farmland. In fact, unbeknownst to our heroes, they communally will be lording over about twenty acres of a county known as Skit'Trask. Or "Shit Swamp".
This is going to be epic when they finally get there expecting fanfare and trumpets and cake.
I want to play!
You gotta watch out for those bloody gazebos.
I played the Pathfinder Beginner Box starter adventure with the kids over the weekend and although we all had a blast I don't think this system is going to work over the long haul. One of the boys insists on being a wizard and was let down that his spells did so little damage, were so limited, and that he spent most of the game shooting a crossbow at stuff. By the time the wizard gets fun the game will have reached a level of complexity that the kids probably can't handle, and I'm already getting sick of keeping track of all the pluses and minuses the get on every roll.
Those cardboard minis that come in the Beginner and Bestiary boxes are simply phenomenal in practice. I have them all alphabetized, and its so easy to prep them before each combat and break them down and put them in storage after. They just added so much to the feel of the game without being a hassle at all.
So I'll keep using the minis, but will likely switch to a different system. I looked into Hackmaster, which has production values up the wazoo and probably the best bestiary ever written, but it's still too fiddly to play with the kids. What a labor of love, though. Where the hell were those books when I was in high school? They have a free set of beginner rules available if anyone wants to look into it.
Then I read the Barebones Fantasy system rules mentioned upthread, and I really liked what I saw. Everything seems intuitive, and the magic system will likely satisfy my son. It has potential.
Then I found RPG Kids and Hero Kids, but both of those seem way too basic to keep them (or me) interested for long, so I looked into something closer to the old D&D rules I played growing up and ran across Swords And Wizardry. It's a free and legal clone of the original 1974 D&D rules, and it led me to OSRIC (a free clone of the 1978 1st Edition Rules) and Labyrinth Lord (a free clone of the 1981 Beginner's Edition). Lots to read through there, but these will likely work much better than Pathfinder for us.
Then I found Dungeon Squad, which is free and extremely barebones (five pages of rules), but would let the kids do what they want to do (kill stuff) without forcing the wizard to use a crossbow or me to juggle a ton of numbers. Like RPG Kids and Hero Kids it's probably too light, but there's an Alternate Dungeon Squad (free; 13 pages) and Advanced Dungeon Squad (free; 42 pages) to add some meat and spice.
Finally, there's The One Ring, which is the latest stab at a Middle Earth RPG. This looks like a terrific system, and the timing of it is perfect as I'm just finished reading The Hobbit to them and my oldest is about a third of the way through The Lord of the Rings. The main problem with it is that the characters will likely seem lame to them. They'll want to play Gandalf and Legolas and will likely be bored when they find out there are really no magic users and their ranger is a pale imitation of Everyone's Favorite Elf. But they know and love the setting, and will likely have a great time travelling through all the places Bilbo and Thorin and the gang did in The Hobbit, so I'll have to see what they think.
If anyone knows anything about these systems I'd be grateful for whatever feedback you can give.
Sounds like he might want to be a Sorceror if he's looking for lots of direct spell damage. It also doesn't get quite as complicated at higher levels.
But yeah, overall D&D is pretty complex, and not my first choice of gaming system. That said, my boys (9 and 12) do like it, helped out mostly by their exposure to CRPGs.
Haven't tried any of the systems you mention so can't comment. D6 Fantasy might work, and is certainly more straightforward than D&D; I've only used D6 for Star Wars and sci-fi games though so am not quite sure how magic works.
We finally wrapped up Curse of the Crimson Throne last night, after over a year of bi-weekly games, and the denouement was... enhanced... by the party going full retard with a Harrow Deck of Many Things right before the final battle.
I can get into the details but it would probably be a candidate for Nanowrimo. I'll likely post more later.
Well, after searching and searching for a system that will be satisfying to all, I stumbled across the recently-released Dungeon World and think I may have a winner. Its goal is to provide an old-school D&D experience with modern rules, and from what I've read, it succeeded. The classes are straightforward, the DM never rolls any dice, and it seems to be a great hybrid of roll playing (by the players) and role playing (by everyone). The combat system is a lot like what I came up with on my own when trying to streamline that Pathfinder adventure for the kids, and it will be nice to have full system support for it. Most of the monsters in the bestiary also have Pathfinder analogues so I can easily use my cardboard minis, and there's a great monster creation system for coming up with other beasties. This one just looks like loads of fun, and the 400+ page core rules are available for $10.
I'm finally getting serious about prepping that Paranoia campaign. I've read through the sourcebook a couple of times now. I've never GMed anything or played Paranoia at all before. Help.
My previous experience includes AD&D 2nd Edition and Deadlands mostly. I was briefly in Bunny's Trail of Cthulhu game but then that game stopped happening because people didn't show up.
My plan was to run an original campaign. I have a solid plan for the campaign and I have the broad outlines fleshed out. I have no idea how to write the details. Any advice?
Since I've never GMed before, would it be better to run one of the starter campaigns in the sourcebook before I try to run an original one?
Seriously, I've never GMed anything. Helpppppppppp. Could use advice, tips, resources for what makes a good GM.
Unrelated: I love the shit out of cyberpunk and the Shadowrun setting but have only ever played electronic versions of the system (SNES, Genesis. Technically Xbox 360 but that isn't an RPG). I would kind of like to try the pen and paper version. Is this a terrible idea, is the system well regarded? Is there one main book to buy?
Gnome Stew is a great resource. They have all kinds of articles for GMs like this guide to plot design.
Running starter campaigns is often wise because they are designed to ease the players into each of the game's main mechanisms, and to bring the GM up to speed gradually. I don't think I'd kick off a homebrew campaign until I knew the system stone cold, and you can always hook the starter adventures into your grand campaign. Plus, it might turn out that your players hate the system and won't play it, and it would suck to do a ton of work on an original campaign only to have them declare they're switching to Pathfinder or whatever.
Golden Geek awards was just posted and Dungeon World won best RPG. Totally deserving, too. The perfect rules-light, story-heavy D&D analog.
(Also, Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff got best podcast... Have I posted about them enough times yet? I think that's only the fourth time)
I finally finished reading the full rules and it's such a refreshing system. I can't wait to try it for real.
Is Dungeon World based on Apocalypse World?
Thanks. I picked it up. Earlier this year, I played in a version a friend worked up without classes or levels but was pretty damn nice (set during the Hundred Years War).
There's a really nice guide some dudes on SA wrote here:
I'm 90% sure I've already mentioned this guide, but it's really quite good, especially for GMs.
Yeah, I think you recommended that guide before and it's a great resource. DW is fairly straightforward, but is much more so if you read that guide before diving into the full rules.
Reading over that guide makes me really want to try Dungeon World. Refreshing sounding mechanics, built around telling an interactive story and seemingly less on twinking out your mega feats/perks specialized class character for hex based combat. Someday we need to find a BFer who'd be willing to DM a game here via Skype or a Google Hangout. This, or Pathfinder or whatever struck their fancy. I'd love to get involved!
I was going through some boxes last night and found my original Planescape boxed set. The box is a bit dinged up, but everything inside (including a tie-in issue of Dragon magazine from 1995) is in near-mint condition. And it was great to just skim through it again and remember how much obvious creativity and passion for gaming went into designing and producing the setting. I have half a mind to find out who I need to kill/cajole/threaten to get Tony DiTerlizzi back doing art for mainstream gaming again, because that was half of the appeal of the setting, the weird otherworldly quality to the monster and NPC design.
The other great thing was reading through the issue of Dragon and seeing reviews for other games like Wraith: The Oblivion (4/6) and Space Hulk (1.5/6), and ads for Warhammer 40K boxed kits for under $15. I think $15 gets you an orc footsoldier miniature now. Seeing ads for Wargames West made me remember how HUGE they were in the 90s (they closed their doors in 2001), and it's a great laugh to find at the bottom of the box a flyer for RPGA membership ($25 a year for US and Canada!).
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