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Showing posts from July, 2011

Learning from Star Trek

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I've been watching a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation lately. It had always been my personal favorite Trek series as it was the one I grew up watching the most. But I never realized how some of the lessons from the show could be used in roleplaying until now.

Don't believe me? Read on as I try to explain my line of reasoning.

#1: Conflict, not Combat.



Contrary to the picture of O'Brian up there, a large number of Next Generation episodes had little or no combat. Now, compare to 4e, which actively encourages all problems to be resolved through combat encounters. A good GM will avoid this problem and craft a good plot for his players to enjoy regardless, but often a poor GM will just fall back on using combat to handle any given situation.

Going to meet the king to discuss building a new drainage ditch in your hometown? Assassins jump out and ambush you. Going to the hairdressers to get a new coif? Assassins will jump out and ambush you. A plague is ravaging the land? Don&#…

Steal An Adventure Tonight

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Last Saturday night, my group wanted to play a game. Cool, I'm down with that. We had a little trouble deciding what to play. 4-Color Heroes? D6 Horror? Maybe some D&D? Most of the indecision came from me, the GM, because I didn't really have anything prepared. I had a simple 4C adventure, but no one seemed very enthused about that. I had nothing for D&D, but I would have been willing to wing it if everyone would have been willing to play old-school Basic or Labyrinth Lord. We had last left off on our homebrew horror game (which Joe Nelson tried out last week, too, check it out here), but I was really unprepared for that. I'm shitty at writing horror-survival-supernatural adventures at the best of times. Trying to run one ad-hoc would have have been a total train wreck.

I really, really wanted to put a picture of Amy Winehouse here, but at the last minute decided it would be too inappropriate. So here's a kitten instead.

Usually my horror games are ba…

Mini D6 Horror

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Horror games have never really been my bag. I prefer space operas or fantasy adventures, both to run and to play. But I do love me some Lovecraft. So when our own C.D. delivered a simple little horror mod for d6, I just knew I had to try it.

Finally, after numerous false starts, and some unexpected gaming interruption, I found the time last week to take the rules out and test drive them with a little game. We used the Mini Six rules variant because it's cute and trim.

I had three players and we'd all agreed that everyone would be members of an organization called Company Y, dedicated to confronting the paranormal and otherworldly evils that haunt the world. Think a little like the X Files but more like E Branch from Brian Lumley's Necroscope novels. Many of the operatives would have special abilities or supernatural powers.

We had a sun vampire, who required massive doses of vitamin D to survive in place of blood. It made night time excursions tough because all of his attribu…

RPG Blog Carnival: How to Make a Bad Ass RPG

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(This is my contribution to the July RPG Blog Carnival. Click on that link for more Bad Ass Gaming.)

How Do You Make a Bad Ass RPG?

Easy. You just need more bad asses.

It seems obvious, when you put it that way. But most games just don't contain enough ass, let alone "bad" asses. To find a game that contained enough bad asses, I had to go way back to the old Palladium Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness game. As I've bitched before, as a rule I hate anything Kevin Siembieda touches, but they did get some cool licenses from time to time (the other one of course being ROBOTECH), and to be fair, this one is actually by Eric Wujcik, not Siembieda.

Anyway, without further ado, allow me to demonstrate how to bad assify a game...

Many years ago, a kind man named Juan Sanchez ran a coffee plantation in Columbia. He was very generous to his employees, and loved them all like his family, though his most prized companions were his four young faithful donkey…

Saturday Sorcery: More Old Magic Spells

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Many moons ago, I shared with you some spells from an old AD&D 2nd Edition campaign (see here and here). Well, I keep finding more of those old spells that we designed in our misspent days of youth, so I thought I would share a few more with you.

These are Magic-User spells, researched and created by the wizard Scorpio (and inspired by the player Brad S.). Scorpio was a hard, blood-thirsty war wizard whose best friend was a surly dwarf. He liked practical, usually deadly spells with kick. Here are a few of his patented invocations:

Scorpio's Lesser Fireball
Evocation
Level: 2
Range: 5 yds. + 5 yds./level
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Instant
Casting Time: 5
Area of Effect: 5ft-radius
Saving Throw: ½

Scorpio hated goblins. Absolutely loathed them, and he loved nothing better than killing as many of them as possible. Too impatient to wait until 5th-level so he could learn fireball, he conconcted his own spell, specially designed to scatter (and hopefully incinerate) tightly-pack groups of …

Review: Fox Magic (Furries: The RPG)

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I am a sucker for self-published material. I cannot go to book fairs anymore, because I keep coming home with terrible self-published first novels that I will never read but bought because I wanted to support the author. Thus, when I went into my FLGS a few months ago and saw a sign proclaiming "New Game From Local Authors," I was compelled to buy it. That's how I came into possession of Fox Magic, the RPG from Fool's Moon Entertainment (also available as a PDF download at RPGNow).

What is Fox Magic? Here's the blurb from the company's (rather bland) website:
"Fox magic is a role playing game inspired by one of the most fascinating creatures in Japanese folklore: the Kitsune. Using a newly developed game mechanic called the Story Point System, Fool's Moon Entertainment Inc. introduces a new type of role playing game, where the players control more of the game, and the game master is not the god he used to be."

For reference, a Kitsune is an int…