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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

#RPGaDAY: Which RPGs Are The Easiest For You To Run?


As should be becoming obvious from my #RPGaDAY answers this month, my default setting for running games - like so many people - is fantasy and the lingua franca of fantasy gaming is, of course, Dungeons & Dragons.

As long as I'm working in a pre-Third Edition universe, I can stat monsters on the fly in my head and get through 90 per cent of a game session without needing to crack open the rule book.

These days I prefer my armour class to be ascending, but all the time there's a spread of active polyhedrals in front of me I'm a happy Dungeon Master.


[ #RPG ] Giving Ghosts New Life...


How do you make ghosts interesting in your roleplaying games? Are you interested in making them more than just 'another monster'? Do you add pathos and motivation? How do their powers manifest in your games?

Following on from yesterday's piece about different ways of using ghostsStacey Lemmon aka Dr Theda commented: "They can be 'provoked' into using a 'burst' of energy (often leaving their own energy levels drained for a while), more commonly they draw their negative energies from the people around them (or from their surroundings, thus 'cold spots')."

Percy Hodge shared his own idea on the HeroPress Facebook page:
"I think one of the best plot devices for ghosts, that would work in just about any system, are those scenarios where people are driven to do things by ghosts.

Either through direct possession or just by someone being pushed by ghostly voices or threats, or just someone being driven mad by the constant influence of a ghostly spirit.

For one thing, the physical opposition you are facing is more or less an innocent pawn.

Plus, just getting rid of THEM is a short-term solution as a ghost has all the time in the world to wait until another victim comes along to be cultivated.
"
John Caliber added: "Or people could be reacting to hallucinations they believe are ghosts."

To which Percy followed up with: "Or 'something else' that they believe are ghosts."

What are your thoughts on using ghosts in your games - regardless of genre and rules - and how do you make them more than just a 'person under a sheet'?

WEEKLY WORLD NEWS: A Grab Bag Of Gameable Goodness...


This week's selection of Weekly World News stories is a random slice of faux reality that can serve as plot hooks across a range of genres, from superhero games to urban fantasy, conspiracy theory investigation to all-out monster hunting.

[ #RPG ] For Tonight We Game...


It seems like an age since the last meeting of the Tuesday Knights, but this evening we gather round the dining room table to continue our adventures in Pete's Top Secret campaign.

All being well, we'll discover what the evil WEB is doing in its underground lair beneath the Grand Canyon... and save the world without any of our characters being hideously mangled or murdered!

A Mostly Accurate Norse God Family Tree...

click to embiggen - and read!

Because why not?

Monday, 21 August 2017

#RPGaDAY: Which RPG Does The Most With The Least Words?


Another easy answer: the 1977 blue book edition of the original Dungeons & Dragons (pictured above), by John Eric Holmes.

This is the book that introduced me to Dungeons & Dragons, and gave me all the rules I needed in a few pages.

Brevity was the order of the day, allowing players and Dungeon Masters to get to actual gaming as soon as possible.

The book wasn't bogged down in overwritten legalese or painful fan-fiction masquerading as 'essential mood-setting'.

[ #RPG ] Random Thought On Ghosts...


This is a repost from 2011; I don't know if the issue has been addressed in more current games but I'm interested in hearing your take on this and how you would model it at your table...

A random thought I had about 'ghosts' in roleplaying games the other day while watching Ghost Whisperer (which I'm really getting into at the moment): ghosts get stronger, more powerful, the angrier they get.

Is there a way to translate this into game terms? Is this old news anyway? Does this happen in games already and I just don't know about it?

Not thinking system specific, although clearly this is in the field of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Unisystem etc but I guess it's just as valid a thought for old school Dungeons & Dragons-style gaming or even superhero shenanigans in Villains & Vigilantes.

Thoughts welcome...

#RPGaDAY: Adventurers Wanted! (Special Game Of Thrones Edition)


With the current season of Game Of Thrones racing towards its climax, it's time to bring back my Adventurers Wanted! feature from 2013, but with a definite Westerosi vibe to it.

Previous posts, depicting sundry adventuring parties from film and TV, can be found here, here, here, and here.

click to embiggen - and read!

Torn From The Headlines: Putting Other Monsters In The Shade...

Sköll and Hati

It's total solar eclipse day, so let's mark the occasion by examining a handful of mythical creatures believed to have been responsible for such events in the past.

From plague gods and sun-devouring wolves to fairy folk and monstrous snakes, this list on Atlas Obscura is full of meaty inspiration for gamesmasters looking to run a themed adventure today.

#RPGaDAY Musical Monday: Keraptis (Bards Of Greyhawk)


"Bards of Greyhawk is ground breaking Medieval Fantasy Folklore Rock with songs about classic Dungeons and Dragons adventures in the campaign setting of Greyhawk.

Each song, tells a tale about an adventure in order to convey the fun, magic and creativity behind classic D&D adventures for a new generation."

Sunday, 20 August 2017

#RPGaDAY: What Is The Best Source For Out-Of-Print RPGs?


Before international postage costs went completely insane, I was a regular(ish) costumer of Noble Knight Games, but generally the best source for old games has always been eBay... aided by a well-worded search alert and a lot of patience.

If you wait long enough, everything eventually pops up on eBay.


The Defenders: The Final Act (Episodes Six, Seven, And Eight)


SPOILER ALERT: When commentating on the end of this eight-hour epic movie, it's inevitable that some plot details will be given away. I'll try and remain vague, but somethings will need to be said!

Catch up on my thoughts on the previous two episodes here.

The end of the sixth episode, when things look worst for our four heroes, is the turning point of the second act, signalling the start of the final phase of the story.

While Danny is held prisoner by the others for his own protection, the in-fighting within The Hand reaches a shocking conclusion.

There's plenty of comic book Easter eggs sprinkled throughout this show, and here we see Danny and Luke (future "Heroes For Hire") bonding, as well as a key moment in Misty Knight's transformation into her comic book incarnation, and I'm pretty sure that's not just a random name spoken at the end of the last episode.

As matters come to a head, our heroes realise everything can be traced back to Midland Circle, The Hand's corporate headquarters, which sits on top of the excavation that Daredevil discovered at the end of the second season of his own show.

Even with the inevitable optimistic coda, the story wraps up very satisfactorily, but still with enough questions left on the table for future exploration (I'm holding out for an Asgardian or Inhuman connection between the source of the "substance" that The Hand was mining to create their immortality potions... either that or it's a cross-dimensional Lazarus Pit from the DCU).

The climactic underground fight sequence feels a bit protracted on occasion, because (a) the lighting - or lack thereof - makes the action hard to follow and (b) the sudden injection of hip-hop music, while it's worked in other series, seems totally discordant here and out of sync with the fighting.

But if that's my only gripe in almost eight hours of continual storytelling, then I think it's safe to say The Defenders is a job well done.

I'll be honest and admit that I was braced for disappointment. The trajectory of excitement through this series had been a steady journey upwards and I was expecting it to veer off as it reached its climax.

But it stayed true to its story, concentrating on character development first and foremost but still delivering a solid wrap-up to the plotline that began with the first season of Daredevil.

Personally, I'm very pleased with the way the street-level Netflix superhero shows are going and am looking forward to whatever comes next...

Face It, Tiger, There's Only One MJ...


As before, massive hat tip to Cal at Calvin's Canadian Cave Of Cool for bringing back his Mondays With MJ feature.

A Glimpse Inside My Head...

Sunday Specials...

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