Showing posts with label #RPGaDAY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #RPGaDAY. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Other Side, A Look Forward

Trying to organize some thoughts here on what I want to do next on the old Other Side blog, figure you all might want to help me!  Or at least listen to my ramblings.

I am prepping for Gen Con now and trying to get another book done in time for Lughnasadh/Lammas so my posting here is going to be a little sparse.

Dave Chapman will be doing (I think) his annual #RPGaDAY in August.  I am not sure what the questions will be, but I do like to participate.  Plus my Twitter followers have really increased this past year, so that might be nice to share.

The Other Side Rewind
Still plugging away at this! June was my Facebook experiment month, while July had been my month to try some other tools.  I am hoping to kick it off full steam in August or September.  Again, if you are reading here then you won't really notice anything at all.

One Man's God
While this one has been great fun, it was not designed to go on forever.  I am going to do the Celts (part 2) and the Chinese and Japanese, though I admit I know very, very little about these.  I am going to do the Demi-humans and do a special on the Cthulhu and Melibone mythos. But once I am done with those then the series will end save for some special editions.  Though this will lead to my next thing...

The Usual Suspects
I am going to spend some time, maybe a lot of time, going over all the various demon books I own and some I don't yet and talk about how to use them in your games.  I really love demons and demonic lore.  The title of this series "The Usual Suspects" comes not only from the notion that all evil in the worlds can be traced back to the machinations of demons (and devils) but every OGL book on the market today has the same half-dozen or so demons and a similar number of devils in every book; aka The Usual Suspects.  I think this will be fun, to be honest.

This Old Dragon
I still have some left and I want to get back to them.

Class Struggles
I have been too long away from this one. I have started writeups on the Alchemist and the Bard.  Been playing a couple Bard variants to get a good feel for the differences.  Sometimes there are more differences between two different bards than there are between most fighters and rangers!

So. Let's get to it!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 DAY 18: Art that inspires your game.

Day 18, Second Weekend.

DAY 18: Art that inspires your game.

There is a lot of art out there that inspires what I do.

For starters, I LOVE old woodcut artwork and early prints dating from the witch craze.

Something about them really transports me back in time.  Yeah it's the junk-art of it's day but something really grabs about it.

I also love the 1970's Occult Revival. While most of that are photographs, but there is still look here I want to capture in my own games.

 Among the "names" of this time is Rosaleen Norton, the Witch of King's Cross.

And at last.   The 80s with Larry Elmore.

Friday, August 17, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 DAY 17: Describe the best compliment you've had gaming.

What do we have today?

DAY 17: Describe the best compliment you've had gaming.

I have had some FANTASTIC experiences while playing games.

I used to run Ghosts of Albion games at Gen Con a lot.  Every year I would get the same group playing my games.  They told me, and others have as well, that would play ANY game I would run.
I thought that was a nice compliment.  These guys came from thousands of miles it was my games they enjoyed the most.

Interestingly enough, after I stopped running Ghosts (to enjoy the con more with my family) I played in a Buffy/Supernatural game.  The same guys were that too.
In that game, I got praise from the GM for playing the best Piper she ever had.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 DAY 16: Describe your plans for your next game.

What do we have today?

DAY 16: Describe your plans for your next game.

The Order of the Platinum Dragon are going to be split up in the Abyss and need to work to get back to each other.   One of the characters, the Dragonborn Paladin will actually be sent back in time to Abier the lost world of the Forgotten Realms to fight the Dragon lords.  It should be a lot of fun.

I am working with the players now to figure out where each of their characters go. Someplace nasty to be sure!

Can't wait to do my Year in the Abyss!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 DAY 15: Describe a Tricky RPG experience you enjoyed.

Here we are, the half-way mark!

DAY 15: Describe a Tricky RPG experience you enjoyed.

Back in my later college days, my old High School DM had moved down to my own.  We were not gaming together at this point; I was working on getting into grad school and he had a new girlfriend if I remember right.
But anyway he invited me over to help him run the "Nightmares of Barovia" adventure option found in I10: Ravenloft II House on Gryphon Hill.

He introduced me to his group and we began.  I ran Ravenloft II and everytime they characters fell asleep he would pick up with the same characters in Ravenloft I6.

We had to keep track of various things that players were totally oblivious too.

We played it at a marathon session over a Halloween Weekend.  This was back when my school (SIU) through some pretty notorious Halloween parties, but the city had shut it all down the university was send everyone home.

The adventures were great, individually.  Together...welll I don't think anyone at TSR actually ran the "Nightmare" option.   But it was great.  Though by hour 36-38 I was done.

Still it was hard, lots of juggling and so, so much fun as a DM.  I would do it again in the drop of a hat, but I'dd need someone that whose style would be a good match for this.  Plus we would need to meet ahead to discuss how to handle things not covered in the two adventures.

I'd also need a group of players that know of Strahd, but never played anything with him in it.  Or at least never played I6 or I10.

It would be fantastic!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 DAY 14: Describe a failure that became amazing!

Day 14, We are at the two-week mark!

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Today is day 14 and the question is Describe a failure that became amazing!

Hmm. That's a cool question really.

We have all had failures and some of mine have been spectacular failures!

One of mine was this old combat simulator we were working on for the Tandy Color Computer in BASIC.   The first big run a black dragon attacked my ninja, basically pulping him in the first attack and then spending the next 400 hp of damage in attacks on my poor dead ninja!

It was quite amusing to watch.

Another great failure was the first magic system of Ghosts of Albion.  I had been challenged with improving on the already great magic system from the Buffy game.  Version 1.0 was not it.  Version 1.0 had some additional rolls and other effects but it was all noise.  More to the point in the playing these extra fiddly bits slowed down play to a breaking point.
My playtesters were gleeful.  But, I did tell them to break it, and they did.

I went home with the tattered bits of my game and my pride and sat in front of my monitor, clueless about what to do next. When it hit me it was like lightning!  I trimmed it down and made it faster. And now the magic system is the jewel in the crown of Ghosts!

Monday, August 13, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 DAY 13: Describe how your play has evolved

Lucky Day 13!

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My play has evolved?

Well for starters as a GM I no longer try to memorize rules.  Instead, I go for ease of play and general rulings.  For modern games that is pretty easy to do. D20 systems are all d20 + mods compare to a TN.  Unisystem is similar.

So I try to be more relaxed and let the game flow.  If that also means that the game goes in interesting places I had not planned, cool! Let's see where we are going.

I guess too I work more with the players than against them

Sunday, August 12, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 DAY 12: Wildest Character Concept

Day 12!

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So for wildest Character concept.  Hmm.

Wild is relative I think.  But the oddest mix is one of my current characters, Rowan.  She is a dual classed Warlock and Paladin.  Now you might not think those work together, but they do in the Old Faith.  Her paladin part is a Paladin of the Old Faith. Her warlock pact is a fey Pact of the sword.
She is like a witch guardian or a green knight.

So far she is working out great!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 11: Wildest Character Name

Day 11!

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So for wildest Characters name.  Hmm, hard to judge what "wildest" means here or for anyone else

But the odd name I like the best belongs to my youngest son's gnome bard "Erky Timbers".
Great name for a great character.

Friday, August 10, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 10: How has gaming changed you?

Day 10 and I see we are not going light on the questions.

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The question today is, How has gaming changed you?

Wow. Where to even start on this one.  There are friends I have made over the years, many life-long good friends.  There are the skills I have picked up and then later perfected; degree in statistics, a job in instructional design that is not all that different than game design.

RPGs have helped me improve my writing, my math skills (or at least keep them from withering away) and my online social skills.  I used to be pretty introverted.

I have been playing for so long that it would be difficult to extract a non-RPG-player version of me from myself.

One thing is for sure I do think I am better off with RPGs in mylife.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 9: How has a game surprised you?

Today is Day 9 and the question is How has a game surprised you?

I don't get too many surprises anymore, but occasionally something happens.

I am usually surprised when a system or game can capture the feel of a setting well. Like Call of Cthulhu or Dark Places and Demogorgons.

It's the little things I guess I look for,

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 8: How can we get more people playing?

Today is Day 8 and the questions is How can we get more people playing?

Big question really.
I just got back from Gen Con.  I saw a lot of families bringing in the next generation of gamers. But that is largely the current generation bring their kids.  So unless you are having kids, you are not helping this particular issue.

I saw an absolute ton of new gamers that appear to be attracted to RPGs from "Critical Role".  I can't tell how many times I heard "is this the game they use on Critical Role?" and then watching the same people drop $250+ on a game.  They are young, they have some disposable cash and are willing to learn.

The biggest way through is this.

We need to stop being a bunch of Gate-keeping dicks.

Seriously.  Everything from pointless edition wars to telling people they are playing "wrong" to telling fans of the game they are not really apart of the game.

Look. I get it, there is a badge of honor to be able to say "I played when the Satanic Panic was at it's height" or whatever.  I even do it.  But looking down on people that started after you or *gasp* don't give a fuck what you do should not be derided.  Don't like Dragonborn? Fine, don't play one.  But don't tell me or others they are somehow "doing D&D wrong" because they do. 

I have seen a lot of people come into this hobby.  And I have seen a lot leave because the gamers around them couldn't stop being dicks for ten minutes.  I saw it this last Gen Con in fact.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 7: How can a GM make the stakes important?

Welcome back to the #RPGaDAY for 2018.

This is hosted every year by Dave Chapman over at his blog AUTOCRATIK.

Today is Day 7 and How can a GM make the stakes important?

For me the GM can make the stakes important by getting player and character buy-in early on.  While the normal carrot for adventurers is the gold, that might not be enough for some groups.

In my "Come Endless Darkness" games there is over-riding issue that the sun is out and the sun gods are all dead.  The characters are invested because their world is in danger.  The players want to keep playing in this world so they are working hard, even doing things they would not do if gold was the only motivator. 

Of couse, if the stakes are important, then the rewards need to be equally important.  One of my players is even asking what it takes to become a god now!

External motivation is good, but internal motivation will help get worlds built.

Monday, August 6, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 6: How can Players make a world seem real?

It's Monday and my first "live" posting of #RPGaDAY2018 since it started. So let's do it!

This week starts the "HOW" questions with How can Players make a world seem real?

There is actually a lot that players can do to be honest, but I find a couple of things really help the most.  Invest one on who your character is and what he/she was "before" this adventuring life and what they plan to do afterward.  Make their character into a whole person.

Also, players can interact with the world at a level the DM can't. They interact with all the NPCs, monsters and these interactions can help make the world seem more real.  The DM can build the world and fill it with all sorts, but the players provide the needed glue to make it feel like a whole.

DMs and Players working together.  Sounds great to me.

Reminds me of the this Professor Elemental song.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 5: Favorite recurring NPC?

Finishing up our first week of #RPGaDAY2018

Let wrap up week 1 with Favorite recurring NPC

Currently, my favorite is in my Order of the Platinum Dragon game.  She is an elven princess turned thief name Evelyn, or as she known in court, Lady Nightshade, heir to the House Nightshade and the Summer Throne.  She has shown up, usually captured, in adventures going all the way back to my running of B2 Keep on the Borderlands.

She will reveal who she is if the players find the Deep Gnome encampment in D2, maybe even this weekend!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 4: Most Memorable NPC

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 4. Moving right along!

Today is Most memorable NPC

So many over the years.  There was the annoying assassin Kirkroy that plagued my characters for years.  I have used a vampire, Mal Havoc, to do the same to others.

I think my most memorable one had been the evil necromancer Magnus.  He was the big bad of my 1st ed games, constantly appearing to either taunt or try to kill the PCs.  He also, at times would help them, if it also helped himself.

I have been dying to bring him back someway. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 3: What Gives a Game Staying Power?

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 3 let's do this!

What Gives a Game Staying Power?

For me at least, it how many times can I go back to it and tell new stories.

Dungeons & Dragons has staying power.  WitchCraft has tons of staying power.
I mean seriously, how many times can I go to the Keep on the Borderlands?  Well, at last count at least 8-9 times.

After nearly 40 years of doing this I can get a lot of mileage out of most games.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 2: What is the first thing you look for in an RPG?

Here we are, #RPGaDAY2018 Day 2!

What is the first thing you look for in an RPG?

While my introduction to RPGs was a book of monsters, my first love is Magic.

I always look at the magic system first.  I love new and different magic systems and I love to try them out. Whether the system is fantasy, modern or horror, it's what I look for.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 Day 1: What do you love about RPGs?

To get my posting muscles working aging I thought I would participate in Dave Chapman's annual #PRGaDAY for 2018.

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Today's topic is What do you love about RPGs?

For me, I think it is the endless possibilities of worlds unexplored. Of stories yet untold.  And it's also about sitting around the table with friends having a good time.

I have great RPG-related memories.  Some of those are the actions of real people, others are the actions on in our minds. And even more deal with the actions in and around the table that had nothing to do with RPGs directly.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

RPGaDAY2016: Day 31

What is the best piece of advice you were ever given for your game of choice?

I am not sure who told me this, but I remember is was early into high school.
At the time I was learning to game it was more important for us to have fun than it was was to play by the rules.  Then I went through a period where I only played by the letter of the rules. I used weapon speeds and every little encumbrance rule I knew of.   If it was not in the books, or our specially sanctioned set of house rules, then we didn't do it.

I was talking with a friend (or maybe it was the older brother of another friend) and I was told this.

Don't memorize rules. You can't memorize them all anyway.  Focus on the basics and having fun. Everything else can be looked up.

Turned out to be good advice. It's also the same advice I give.

I tend to make the rules an abstraction.  Like in most newer editions of D&D it's "roll a d20 vs. a specified number. If the number is not specified use 10, 15 or 20."  In Unisystem it's "roll a d10, add skills and abilities and see how much higher than 9 it is."  Everything else will flow from that.

We are here to have fun, not defend a dissertation that someone else wrote.

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