RPGG News

A team of hard-hitting investigative reporters brings you the news when it happens, as it happens at the time it happens. Or maybe a little later.

Archive for The Thursday Thing

1 , 2  Next »  

Recommend
23 
 Thumb up
15.00
 tip
 Hide

The Thursday Thing #16, October 14, 2021

Bifford "Bring Ernie back" (Sam)
England
Melksham
Wiltshire
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
http://www.seaxeandsorcery.co.uk
badge
Bifford the Youngest
Avatar
Microbadge: Golden CamelMicrobadge: The Geek Citizenship Recognition Program Rolls On!Microbadge: 2020 Silver SupporterMicrobadge: The Geek Die Roller has a vendetta against me!Microbadge: Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game fan
From gallery of sdonohue

The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

[REMINDER] - In the temporary absence of Steve this Geek Production is being compiled by Sam/Bifford, so please send any ideas, In My Own Words or complaints to him.


In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On Screaming Into The Void
by Hida Mann

Up until comparatively recently (and acknowledging that on a cosmic scale, anything I do is recent), I worried about about seeing evidence that people are reading what I write and engaging with it. A few weeks ago, right here, I wrote about the fact that I was doing this column as a way to keep myself writing regularly and practice the craft of wordsmithery, and doing so triggered a realisation in me that while engagement is nice, there is often value in creating something for a limited - or even a unique - audience.

Being able to gauge the size of your audience *feels* important - we weigh it against our perceptions of what our reach *should* be. I published a module recently for 7th Sea on Drive Thru RPG and I can tell you exactly how many people purchased it. I can also tell you that the only commenter on the module accused me of being too woke, for having a woman leading a pirate crew and pregenerated characters with no gender on them. I'll be scratching my head over that one for some time to come.

In last week's column, I specifically asked for responses from people who had worked on representing diversity in their RPGs, but got not a peep back. The thought flashed through my mind - does this mean no-one is reading it? Does that in turn mean I shouldn't bother writing anymore?

Nah.

You could accuse me of liking the sound of my own voice too much - and you wouldn't be wrong - but In My Own Words isn't the Hida Mann blog - anyone can write this stuff - and it isn't about being provocative or sparking a reaction from you, dear reader. I like writing. It's part of a process of self-reflection that I feel, in some small way, helps me understand and codify my corner of the universe.

Feedback, discussion and intercourse over a topic are enjoyable - I do like to hear others' opinions; that's how mine grow and change over time. But there's another way that could happen - maybe one of you wants to write for In My Own Words? It's pretty easy - pick a topic and start typing, then send the result to Bifford (Sorry Bifford!).

In the end, each of us does leisurely things such as writing or roleplaying in life for our own enjoyment, and that of our friends. If you're not getting that enjoyment, or if the enjoyment is tied to feedback you're not getting, make a change! For me? I'm content to keep writing until I'm told to stop. 


From gallery of sdonohue

It's time for the 2021 RPG Geek 24 hour RPG contest! Send in your entry by November 16th, with details here:
Announcing the 2021 24 Hour RPG Contest

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Michael Taylor provides his thoughts on Crusaders of Sarillon
Not quite a review, but a definite recommendation

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Purely for the Spoiler awareness disclaimer at the start!
Raven's Purge Campaign - Session #: Unleash the Hounds of War


In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD OCT 11: If you were writing an RPG about James Bond for a modern audience, what would it look like?
(With the Daniel Craig 007 era coming to an end this is a fitting and good conversation to be had!)

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Saturday is Free RPG Day. Find a thread about it, with info and links here:
Free RPG Day 2021


BONUS!!!!
The 2021 Cthanta Claus (Secret Santa) Gift Exchange is open for registration!
The 13th (2021) Cthanta Claus (RPG Secret Santa) Gift Exchange - Open for registration


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
28 
 Thumb up
11.00
 tip
 Hide

The Thursday Thing #15, October 7, 2021 [Special Friday Edition!]

Bifford "Bring Ernie back" (Sam)
England
Melksham
Wiltshire
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
http://www.seaxeandsorcery.co.uk
badge
Bifford the Youngest
Avatar
Microbadge: Golden CamelMicrobadge: The Geek Citizenship Recognition Program Rolls On!Microbadge: 2020 Silver SupporterMicrobadge: The Geek Die Roller has a vendetta against me!Microbadge: Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game fan
SPECIAL FRIDAY EDITION!
Due to moving house I don't yet have broadband. Last week I cobbled the Thursday Thing together on my phone. This week I was busy with work and tired so totally forgot it was Thursday until today. So here is a special Friday edition of the Thursday Thing!


From gallery of sdonohue

The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

[REMINDER] - In the temporary absence of Steve this Geek Production is being compiled by Sam/Bifford, so please send any ideas, In My Own Words or complaints to him.


In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On Variety
by Hida Mann

Games Workshop, whose products I very much enjoy, have created (off the top of my head) 10 different types of Elves between Fantasy and 40K.
In Pathfinder, I'm currently playing a Suli, which is a sort of elemental Djinn.
I have at least 10 different board games on my shelves which depict the Ancient Egyptian gods, with no two being identical.

They say that variety is the spice of life, but let's drill a little deeper - why do we desire that variety so? What do we gain when we create it?

I was brought up during an era of Australian Politics that focussed on multiculturalism - the government threw open the gates of immigration and invested money in having its citizens celebrate diversity and difference. Looking back, it was really phenomenal and a progressive policy for the 1980s. Growing up with that is probably one of the reasons I react very poorly to bigotry or exclusion in any form.

Thus, it's always been a little odd to me that the majority of written modules and roleplaying worlds I've seen are segregated; over there is the land of the dwarves, mountainous and challenging. Here is the abode of the Avian people, who are so rarely seen in the cities of humanity. To the North lays the frozen home of the barbarous yet noble wild tribes... and so forth. This 'standard' outline for a world offers us two key insights - firstly, that there is a perception that audiences can't or won't accept a multicultural setting and second, that despite this, audiences are interested in a diverse range of options for characters. (I can already hear the shouts from those of you who want to point out settings that do things differently to this stereotype and I have no doubt that they exist and I can think of a few myself, but stay with me for a moment).

There's obviously mechanical concerns in a game, which different races can satisfy. To go back to Games Workshop for a moment, the Age of Sigmar setting gives us Magic Elves (The Lumineth), Agile Elves (The Daughters of Khaine), Resilient Elves (The Sylvaneth), Agressive Elves (The Idoneth Deepkin) and subsets of those like animalistic Elves and Pirate Elves. Each of these has different lore, but there is a definite sensation that they are built from the mechanics up - how can we make these factions play differently on the table? Let's put those aside for a moment.

There's a big political discussion to be had around simple questions like 'why don't some of the avian people buy a house in the city', but that's not where I'm going with this. If we take it as granted that people want some diversity in their roleplaying (and other gaming), what can we do, as players and GMs, to satisfy that desire in dramatically positive ways? Legit question, post some answers, I want to hear them!


From gallery of sdonohue

From gallery of Aldie

The Geek hit 100 million thumbs thumbsup recently. A commemorative microbadge will drop soon.
100 Million Thumbs!

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Short and sweet! Solo gaming comic, Mud: A Golem Memoir, gets a review by Jonas.
A Gem of Clay: Short, well-crafted solo game comic

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Clark runs through a Pulp-tastic robot nazis scenario on the Orient Express with Patches, Philip the Magnificent and Dr. Merriwether. What's not to like?
Pulpy goodness - but we botched the pacing


In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD OCT 6: Do you financially support any RPG-related creator on Patreon?

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

We try to make the Geek, and especially RPG Geek, as welcoming as possible. While the "Geek of the Week" has elongated into "Geek of the Month" it is still a very worthwhile community asset. Show the newest GotW/GotM some love at:
RPG Geek of the Week/Month October 2021 #457 Inge (Urban jungle)


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Fri Oct 8, 2021 10:17 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
30 
 Thumb up
42.00
 tip
 Hide

The Thursday Thing #14, September 30, 2021

Bifford "Bring Ernie back" (Sam)
England
Melksham
Wiltshire
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
http://www.seaxeandsorcery.co.uk
badge
Bifford the Youngest
Avatar
Microbadge: Golden CamelMicrobadge: The Geek Citizenship Recognition Program Rolls On!Microbadge: 2020 Silver SupporterMicrobadge: The Geek Die Roller has a vendetta against me!Microbadge: Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game fan
From gallery of sdonohue

The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

[REMINDER] - In the temporary absence of Steve this Geek Production is being compiled by Sam/Bifford, so please send any ideas, In My Own Words or complaints to him.


In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On Adjacency
by Hida Mann

My gaming life began a long time ago, with Masters of the Universe: The Power Sword Conquest. From there, things grew exponentially, and I thought it might be interesting to trace how one 'hobby', which at the time would probably be better described as a pastime, has grown into a range of interconnected subhobbies, where I now find myself. I suspect it is a tale that many of you will find familiar...

Discovering that I liked He-Man so much, my parents supposed that other fantasy Barbarians, like Conan and Lone Wolf, might appeal. Recognising that the original novels might be a little much for me at 5 years old, they instead got me a couple of Fighting Fantasy books. LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. I was already big into reading, but suddenly there was interactive reading. Hot damn.

So, there I was at school a few years later, reading the latest Fighting Fantasy book, and another couple of kids come up. They are holding Hero Quest and tell me about it. I'm in. We play, we love it. We discover that there's a step up from Hero Quest, it's called Talisman. Hot Damn again. Then one of my friends shows up with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. HE describes it as Hero Quest, but with no board and dozens of character classes. I play a gravedigger. I level up for the first time and become a Demonologist.

HOT DAMN.

During a long and boring school holiday, I take out my copy of Heroquest and find some old acrylic paints in the shed. To this day, I have no idea why we owned them, but I grab a brush and put them to use. My minis look awful, but I'm kinda proud anyway. I discover the existence of Warhammer as a wargame and buy some Dark Elves. I decide a whole army is expensive and too time consuming and wow, am I not good at painting.

Next year at school, Hero Quest kid comes in with a new game. It's called Blood Bowl and it is hilairous.

Needless to say, Hot Damn.

I hit High School and find some guys in the library playing D&D. I listen in, but it isn't for me - I've discovered already by this point that my tastes run a bit darker than generic fantasy. One of my friends shows me Civilization - I've played plenty of computer games up to now, but holy forking shirtballs, this leaves them all for dead. I fall in further in love with history and literature because of this game.

Late in school, one of my friends pulls out some cards and teached me to play a game. I have a disposable income at this point and I immediately dispose of it all on this amazing new game, Magic the Gathering. I have a circle of friends who play. Together, we go to a local game club where they run little tournaments. We go to a release event (because they didn't have prereleases yet). I am thoroughly hooked.

Flash forward to the end of school; the day after my final exams, I head into my favourite game store, hand them my resume and tell them I'll work for peanuts. I get the job that hadn't previously existed. I work hard and honestly, just put every cent I make back into that store. While I'm there, I discover everything from Vampire the Masquerade to Battletech to Call of Cthulhu.

Now out of school, I start going to roleplaying conventions with some of my friends. I make friends with the people running them. I start running them. I get approached by people running RPGs, Card Games, LAN setups, board games, the whole shebang. I say yes to all of it. I am swimming in gaming.

H O T D A M N.

Obviously, it's a slippery slope, but what fascinates me is that it just goes deeper and deeper. If you like Fighting Fantasy, roleplaying is a natural evolution. Once you're roleplaying, using minis becomes cool, so now you're modelling. When you're not roleplaying, maybe you still want to immerse yourself in a narrative, so now computer games are an option. Maybe you prefer the social element, so now you're board gaming.

At the start of the pandemic, I decided to stop just painting bits and pieces of models here and there and actually commit to the hobby. I did so in the form of painting my way through the entirety of Cthulhu: Death May Die. Last week, I picked up a bunch of special varnishes and textured paints so I could improve the bases of my minis - this is way further down the rabbit hole than I planned. In fact, having gotten a taste for being crafty, I took another plunge and ordered some resin to make chopping boards and maybe even a table with. Carpentry, borne ultimately of the He-Man board game. Hot damn.


From gallery of sdonohue

A "new" version of D&D has been announced. But is it new new, or just, ya-know, new? Make your comments here:
WotC Announces "New Evolution" of D&D in 2024

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

A review of a GM/Storyteller screen? Maybe not. Read on to find out!
4 Bits of Cardboard and a Cracking Night's Play - A Review of the Conspiracy X 1st Edition Game Master's Screen

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

It's been a quiet week for session reports, so I give you a two parter:
Pt 1. Getting out of Bogenhofen
Part 2. Altdorf again

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD SEP 29: Which game has your favorite worldbuilding process?

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Should you find yourself with spare change, burning a hole in your pocket, then look no further than this Crowdfunding thread:
Table Top RPG Kickstarter/Crowd-funding Announcement Thread - 2021 Edition


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!



Sorry it's late. I moved home yesterday, have no internet; the PC is still packed away; I had to do all of this on my phone. FUN!
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Thu Sep 30, 2021 10:20 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
34 
 Thumb up
9.00
 tip
 Hide

The Thursday Thing #13, September 23, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
That's probaby some crap over there.
Avatar
Microbadge: I Collected more than 50,000 GeekGoldMicrobadge: Herculean Image UploaderMicrobadge: Herculean ReviewerMicrobadge: Herculean RPG CollectorMicrobadge: Herculean RPG Uploader
From gallery of sdonohue

The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

[REMINDER] - In the temporary absence of Steve this Geek Production is being compiled by Sam/Bifford, so please send any ideas, In My Own Words or complaints to him.


In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On Habits
by Hida Mann

I'm trying to write an "In My Own Words" each week. But that's just part of a bigger plan - trying to write something each day, with a view to actually putting some of it out there in the long run.

At the same time, I've been trying to lose weight - more specifically, trying to cut out snacks between meals (and by extension, a lot of junk food).

One of these projects is going much better than the other, but both are really, really hard.

Why? Habit.

It's not my habit to write daily. It is my habit to snack. Going against my grain, even if I know it's learned behaviour, is a big challenge. Even stranger? I really like writing, and I feel good about myself when I get through a day without junk food. If I can find positive reinforcements like that, why is it challenging to stick with these things?

Internally, I've always just accepted that I'm not a person with a lot of willpower, but if I step back and think for a moment, I'm stubborn as #@$! when I have something to defend. Why the dichotomy? Again, it's habit. I've had to fight for things tenaciously before, but making myself stick to a regimen and changing myself? That's the edge of my map.

Let's bring it back to something we share around here; roleplaying. I try to make every character I play different. I try to distinguish my NPCs when I GM, through voice or manner or diction or cadence. I try to create plots that are different from what has come before. but I know that inevitably, I'm drawn back to the tropes I find fascinating - as a player, I seriously don't know how to build a character who doesn't have a political axe to grind and a chip on their shoulder. As a GM, my players know they will be facing a godlike entity at some point, and they are always looking for the clever loophole I will inevitably offer them that allows them to win the day. They also know that they will encounter NPCs with Russian, English, Scottish and Irish accents, inescapably.

That's how it was for years, until I found Call of Cthulhu. The first adventure I ran was set in Indiana and I didn't use any of my standard accents. The second, I had an explosion tear my brother in half, straight up killing him. In the third, the PCs all died to close a rift in reality. Have these things become habits? No, but they have become items in my toolkit as a GM and through exposure to them, I've grown.

I might never be slim, or a writer of any great note, but every day that I succeed at not snacking is a day better I am at managing myself. Every piece I put to paper (as it were) is a few more words I've put out there in the search for something profound. Changing habits is hard, but like so many things, it's a matter of perspective and subtle advancement. Take a moment to zoom out and enjoy gradual change, my friends.

From gallery of sdonohue

The latest "Behind the Screen" article is by Stu Denison, who delves in to World-Creation and Performativity in Sessions 0-1. Potentially a huge topic, I feel it deserves being discussed, and there is a grand start of such at:
Behind the Screen #77: Something about a World and a Stage; World-Creation and Performativity from Sessions 0-1

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Love him, or hate him, Bryce says it as it is (in his mind at least). It is not often that he gives praise to an RPG item, so when he does I feel it is worth looking into further. He has written a review of The Sepulchre of Seven, and while there are things that can be improved with it, on the whole he fair glows in his review and is like a proud father. Check it out at:
(The Sepulchre of Seven) First Effort. Great Effort.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

I may be a little biassed on this one as I played Krystal during these sessions, but other people were there too, not least of which is Leonie. It was an interesting investigation, with angels and demons cooperating in the same town to take souls. They needed to be stopped. Read the adventure (or part, thereof) here:
Monster of the Week (Revised) - Summoning symbols all over town - Play by VoIP

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD SEP 19: Do you think character death through bad rolls/bad luck is acceptable?

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

There are a lot of podcasts being made. With COVID-19 and lockdown I know a lot of new pods sprang up (I will be on the next episode by DoubleDM, which started in lockdown!) Find the full list here:
/browse/rpgpodcast

With the latest episodes listed at:
/browse/rpgpodcastepisode


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
37 
 Thumb up
15.50
 tip
 Hide

The Thursday Thing #12, September 16, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
That's probaby some crap over there.
Avatar
Microbadge: I Collected more than 50,000 GeekGoldMicrobadge: Herculean Image UploaderMicrobadge: Herculean ReviewerMicrobadge: Herculean RPG CollectorMicrobadge: Herculean RPG Uploader
From gallery of sdonohue

The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On Mechanics
by Hida Mann

So, my car was making this funny noise the other day...

What? Oh, right. Sorry about that.

>AHEM<

Why are some systems crunchier than others? Apart from the obvious answer "because we all like different things'?

On the Board Game side of things, people often use an imaginary scale like this to 'measure' board games:

Theme ----------------------------------------- Mechanics

It's not too hard to recognise that a binary system like this is flawed and fails to account for a lot of people (subtle political metaphor). The easiest way to prove this on the scale above is to ask about interaction between the players - you could argue that it's an aspect of mechanics, or that it's a symbol of successful theming, but the truth is that it's a third tier of measurement. We do have to be careful, because this way lies madness - we could make anything a unit of measure for a game. How blue is it? How sour? How good is it for playing on a speedboat?

But the basic problem of dichotomous measurement is apparent; a game can have great theme and great mechanics, but not be super fun for people to play, which defeats the purpose of it being a game.

Back to roleplaying. Why can't we just re-theme games over any set of mechanics we like? Boiled down, the challenges in an RPG are the same, right? an action that isn't certain needs to be overcome through some form of random element, action economy or resource expenditure.

Side note - yes, of course generic systems exist. My favourite of them is Fiasco and my least favourite is GURPS - but my question here is a little bit bigger than choice of system and deserves a bigger answer than 'you can re-theme games over any set of mechanics you like'

Personally, I have two answers I'll offer you. Agree with me, disagree with me, just put more traffic on Steve's post and pump those metrics, baby!

Firstly, 'Crunch' and 'Narrative' tickle different pleasure centres in my brain. I like playing Pathfinder because it challenges me to create, build and develop a character in interesting ways. It asks me to play in a tactical fashion, making the best combat choices and skill choices, and do so as part of a group. I like playing 7th Sea7th Sea because it tells me I can do anything I like for an action, while inviting me to say 'yes, and' when other players do the same. Moreover, I like it because it puts the focus on me and my friends being swashbuckling adventurers, achieving outrageous feats of derring-do without worrying about having a +2 bonus from a feat at any point.

The mechanics for these two games are utterly different and virtually incomparable.

This brings me to my second answer - there's a magical place where mechanics and narrative meet. Probably the best example of it, for me, is the chase mechanics from SpycraftSpycraft. Parties involved in a chase choose a manoeuvre, roll to see if they succeed at it and then compare their results to figure out what happens. Both can succeed. Both can fail. Things happen either way and the narrative to explain that is endlessly fascinating to me.

There are absolutely other truths about narrative, mechanics, dichotomies and why people play games - I'd love to hear some of them!

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

2021 24 Hour Cartography Challenge - RESULTS
The 2021 24 Hour Cartography Challenge results are in. Come join the conversation and praise!


In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Legacy of Dragonholt - A Positive Review
The Legacy of Dragonholt crosses the divide between board games, RPGs and solo RPGs. August Stapput provides us with an eloquent review. Please go and add comments!


In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

21st Century XDM Man
Join a crew on an interesting journey.
ctimmins wrote:
"As it develops, the page-ripping incident is worse that death."
ctimmins wrote:
"I fully expect to see a notary hobgoblin sitting at a desk. I fully am disappointed."

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD: QOTD SEP 3: How do you learn a new RPG?


In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Everyone needs a little help every now and then. Steve has a lot on his plate currently and real life has taken hold. The keen eyed of you saw this getting populated a bit at a time tonight. I (Bifford) will try to do this each week, but I'll need to wait for the auto-post to kick in before I can do so! Please be patient each week till Steve can resume his position as awesome dude of the Thursday Thing. Oh, and send me your Thursday THing article instead of Steve for now.


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
28 
 Thumb up
17.00
 tip
 Hide

The Thursday Thing #11, September 9, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
That's probaby some crap over there.
Avatar
Microbadge: I Collected more than 50,000 GeekGoldMicrobadge: Herculean Image UploaderMicrobadge: Herculean ReviewerMicrobadge: Herculean RPG CollectorMicrobadge: Herculean RPG Uploader
From gallery of sdonohue

The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On 'The Industry'
Hida Mann

I'm not sure if understanding has grown or not over time, but no-one gets into making games for the money. The best and worst thing about the game industry is the passion that everyone brings to it.

In 2012, I was a very active member of the RPGG community (and BGG, and VGG, for that matter). Then I quit my job teaching literature and history and opened a game store and all my spare time just vanished. On paper, running a store and teaching take about the same amount of time; both have a core 5 days a week, both have take home work which adds invisibly to the time spent on work each week. But with a store, every spare second you have has to be reinvested into the community. The first year completely burnt me out - on reflection, I think I had a serious mental episode that took me years to bounce back from. My hobbies vanished from my life in service to the time needed to do those extra promotions, demos, planning, learn new skills about business and marketing...

And in some ways, it paid off. In 2016, I was offered a job as the brand manager for a chain of stores, helping them all to replicate the successes I found in mine. This was very good for me, as I was getting a salary, had more consistent hours and the bargaining power of 25 stores behind me, where previously I was trying to do it all alone. There were challenges, to be sure, but things slowly returned to normal on a personal level. Bridges were mended and I was able to approach normality again, but I still didn't find much time to come hang out on the 'Geek, because the expectations of my new role were 25 times bigger than they had been, and I had to work around the schedules of 25 other people.

In 2019, I was offered another job in the industry, working for someone who I was friends with, who offered me pay equal to the time I put into my work and opportunities beyond that which I'd ever had a store, or representative of many stores. He also told me not to keep working after I'd put in a full week and encouraged me to find some time for myself and my family. The business is international, so I could keep my own hours as well, knowing that I'd be able to get work done late or early or anywhere inbetween. This was all quite a revelation. I now have time to write these columns for Steve (most weeks) and do more than look up the hotness or promote something I'm working on. Feels good. I doubt I'll ever get back to being as deep in the community as I was way back when, but I'm feeling a lot more connected now than I have in years.

Passion drives us to our highest highs and our lowest lows. This industry, the games we love, it's all built on passion and love. Next time you watch a stream, or go to a con, or even visit your FLGS (especially when you visit your FLGS), buy the people making/running doing that thing a coffee and give them a smile. Trust me, they're working for it.

From gallery of sdonohue

AlbaCon 2021 - An online, charity focused RPG Convention.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Bryce gives us a review of s self-published adventure by fellow user Merric
A solid concept stumbling on delivery ... as is usual, it seems.
PS: I don't speak French, but if you do, Vermer is writing a lot of reviews in French lately.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Moscamye brings us a session of 1000 Year Old Vampire: My Favourite Vampire - Radminka - who became a pacifist and a god of blood


In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD SEP 8: What is the most number of different RPGs that you have played over a weekend (Fri-Sun)? What is the most number of different RPGs that you have played during a game convention?


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Thu Sep 9, 2021 6:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
36 
 Thumb up
15.00
 tip
 Hide

The Thursday Thing #10, September 2, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
That's probaby some crap over there.
Avatar
Microbadge: I Collected more than 50,000 GeekGoldMicrobadge: Herculean Image UploaderMicrobadge: Herculean ReviewerMicrobadge: Herculean RPG CollectorMicrobadge: Herculean RPG Uploader
From gallery of sdonohue

The Thursday Thing might be a new feature depending on how people feel about it. The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

From gallery of sdonohue

A new month brings a new geek of the week/month; let the interrogation begin!
RPG Geek of the Week/Month September 2021 #456 Jim P (MightyJim83)

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Jodokast checks in with something we don't see very often; a positive review of an adventure!
Jodokast's review after running this Amazing Adventure

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

FullTinCan offers a different approach to a session report
Letter from Viscount Nentrys Rhydulf to Count Rhydulf

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD AUG 30: How does your role playing change during a session when you have strangers at the table?

From gallery of sdonohue

This is the last week to vote for the 2021 24 Hour RPG Cartography Contest - VOTING CLOSED


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Thu Sep 2, 2021 6:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
41 
 Thumb up
20.00
 tip
 Hide

The Thursday Thing #9, August 26, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
That's probaby some crap over there.
Avatar
Microbadge: I Collected more than 50,000 GeekGoldMicrobadge: Herculean Image UploaderMicrobadge: Herculean ReviewerMicrobadge: Herculean RPG CollectorMicrobadge: Herculean RPG Uploader
From gallery of sdonohue

The Thursday Thing might be a new feature depending on how people feel about it. The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On Vision
by Hida Mann

So, this week, I picked up Dune: Adventures in the Imperium.

RPG Item: Dune: Adventures in the Imperium Core Rulebook


I'm a big Dune fan and already have a group of interested players. I really just needed to get my hands on the rules and figure out how to marry them with the campaign I already have in mind, which looks like this:

The players are a criminal group on Caladan, running minor scams, small time smuggling, a couple of heists - nothing big enough to have anyone bandy about the term 'organised crime'. They run a bar, they do some dodgy deals, but no-one except the corporations gets hurt.
But when House Atreides falls and the Harkonnen move in to take over Caladan, not only is their livelihood in danger, but they find the community turning to them for help. Can the players overcome their baser natures, or embrace them in a way that means they might turn a profit at the Harkonnen's expense? When someone much bigger and meaner takes control, can these low-level bad guys become something more - perhaps even heroes?

So, there I am, ready to start writing, when I discover that this is absolutely not a system designed to support this adventure (insert asterisk here to prevent immediate rage from anyone who thinks I'm not coming to modifying things and making it work). Part of character creation is the PCs creating their own house and part of the game is overseeing the high-level politics of that house. That's an awesome conceit and fits the universe well, but also, what happens to my small-time tale of people on the fringe of the Duniverse?

Obviously, I can hack it and make it fit - and I'm going to have a great time doing so. But what's interesting about the situation is that initial gut-punch moment when you have a grand idea for a game, then discover an obstacle. In this case, it's the system, in others, it could be a PC that doesn't fit well, or a player who can't commit, or writer's block, or making the decision to break with 'canon' - there's a million ways to die in the proverbial west.

I think it's really important to recognise that your vision for a game should be both flexible and paramount; The Rules should never stop you from exploring and expressing an idea that you want in your game - that's the soul of the 'Golden Rule' so oft-quoted in core books of all systems. But in the end, we make entertainments for our friends in these game worlds and systems and that always requires a certain amount of negotiation and compromise to make things fit. Maybe the real vision isn't about the plot at all, but that mental picture of your friends, seated around the table, telling a cool story with you - make that happen one way or another and you're winning.

From gallery of sdonohue

Well, the post is new, but not the topic; Lowell Kempf take a look at Grimtooth's Traps.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Duty's Fist takes a look at 13th Age with The saddest review I've ever written.

From gallery of sdonohue

It's been a year since the last time we had a session report on Star Trek Adventures but this one was worth the wait: Star Trek Adventures - Season 1, Episode 1: "Calm Seas" (Pt. 1/3)

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD AUG 22: What should (or shouldn't) be included in the PDF preview for an RPG rulebook?

From gallery of sdonohue

Ever thought about creating your own microbadge? This list will help!
Creating Microbadges - Hints, Help, and How to avoid common mistakes

From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
7 Comments
Thu Aug 26, 2021 6:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
36 
 Thumb up
17.00
 tip
 Hide

The Thursday Thing #8, August 19, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
That's probaby some crap over there.
Avatar
Microbadge: I Collected more than 50,000 GeekGoldMicrobadge: Herculean Image UploaderMicrobadge: Herculean ReviewerMicrobadge: Herculean RPG CollectorMicrobadge: Herculean RPG Uploader
From gallery of sdonohue

The Thursday Thing might be a new feature depending on how people feel about it. The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Obviously, the banners and The Thursday Thing are still evolving, but I think the banners are getting better every week as we replace my "art" with Patrick's.

Suggestions are still welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

On Inspiration...
By Hida Mann

I GM a lot more than I play. I love both ways to contribute to a game, but there's undeniably more work that goes into writing and running a game. One of the most important skills I've learned as a GM is to always have a small portion of my brain working on session planning (side note: the next best trick is getting that portion to stay small and not let it take over everything).

You've probably heard that there are only 7 basic plots (this ranges up to 16 and as low as 5, depending which writerbait you click on) out there, so shaking things up in your game is important. Without writing a treatise, the thing I value most at my table is the moments of total immersion, where player and character meld seamlessly and for a brief instant, everyone is living the adventure. To get there, you need more than stats and monsters and a shiny, shiny macguffin item - you need inspiration.

This is where that small, constantly active portion of the brain comes in - all media I consume is filtered for potential gems that I can bring to the table. Honestly? I'm not even all that good at it, compared with professional writers, film directors and whoever dreamed up this video clip:



Seriously. So much going on there in just a few minutes, with no dialogue. I want to play at that guy's table.

So I'm a thief of art - so what? Shakespeare did it. Homer did it. Both of them. I'm in good company. The trick is just to recombine things - grab a romance/murder subplot from Death in Paradise, slam it into 'how the fey work' from the Dresden Files, change the names out for the surnames of members of the band Blues Traveler and set it in that cool establishing shot from Blade Runner, as a corporation and you've got the makings of a cyberpunk game for the ages. It gets even better when the players bring their own ideas to the table as well, turning your montage of ideas into something truly unique and new, all its own.

Everything you see, hear and read is a game in the making. Don't hesitate to take great ideas and adapt them into your story. That's what inspiration really is, in the end - an idea someone else had that sparks one in you.

From gallery of sdonohue

The latest round of Behind the Screen is about intra-party conflict (sort of).
Behind the Screen #76: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Normally I'd exclude myself from this contest, but this week is a little different. I finally finished reviewing all 96 books in the Pathfinder Player Companion series and reviewed the series as a whole here:
The Short Version? The Pathfinder Player Companion series has a lot of bloat to answer for.

From gallery of sdonohue

More on the Raven's Purge campaign this week:
Raven's Purge Campaign - Session #18: Prophets and Princesses

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a new Question of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD AUG 13: What was the first RPG you played? How has that game influenced your play style and preferences?

From gallery of sdonohue

RPG Geek mostly discourages trash talk, except in designated areas:
Tavern Trash Talk Game, in this thread you post something about the user or post above you
The Dark Brotherhood of the Trash Talk - Memberlist


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
Geek of the Week Month is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
5 Comments
Thu Aug 19, 2021 6:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
31 
 Thumb up
16.00
 tip
 Hide

The Thursday Thing #7, August 12, 2021

Steve
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
That's probaby some crap over there.
Avatar
Microbadge: I Collected more than 50,000 GeekGoldMicrobadge: Herculean Image UploaderMicrobadge: Herculean ReviewerMicrobadge: Herculean RPG CollectorMicrobadge: Herculean RPG Uploader
From gallery of sdonohue

The Thursday Thing might be a new feature depending on how people feel about it. The goal of The Thing is to highlight contests and other interesting things on RPG Geek.

Suggestions for specific topics or new topics are welcome.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Secret Cthanta
by Bifford

When RPGGeek sprung into being in 2009 from out of the depths of BGGeek they also pulled across the Christmas Gift Exchange. Marqos started things running and within 3 (of 5) pages it was given its own identity, the persona "Cthanta Claus" was born, with Cthanta Claus being the sock-puppet account one could use to taunt others with. There has been a loose pulp horror theme ever since, with Cthanta, his cultists and minions taunting users each year, but no one is forced to don that persona.

BTW: Cthanta's very first (public) words were......."You too cutie." hahaha (Auntie Olive would turn in her....nest....)

Marqos ran the Cthanta exchange from 2009 to 2014, and did a great job. He decided to step down, and I stepped up. It's had its hickups, with selfish users taking gifts while not giving. Thankfully RPGGeek has a beautiful set of users, some of whom step up each year as 'Dread Angels', to give that little bit extra and provide extra gifts for those found unworthy by the great Cthanta (let down by their appointed giver). My logistical process of vetting, stalking and messaging users to ensure trustworthiness, as well as noting who has sent and received, has improved year on year and has made things easier to track and therefore less stressful.

For the past few years I've thought about hanging up my tentacles and passing the baton onto another, but each year I come back and decided "maybe just once more". While it takes up to 4 or 5 hours to set up each year (and that after spending 3 or 4 hours on an updated banner image) it is worth it to see users give and receive plus enjoy the giving as much as the receiving.

For me, the best part is dishing out GG to the posts on the "Look What Cthanta Claus Sent Me" Geeklist, as well as compiling the data into a "Gift List", showing which items are the most popular in each year.

We have never cracked the 50 user mark in the Cthanta Exchange. Maybe this year?


From gallery of sdonohue

This week saw the end of the 24 Hour Cartography Contest and now it's time to vote. This might be the easiest 24 hour contest vote you'll ever cast -- there are 9 maps on 1 page each, so reading isn't the chore it sometimes is. To make your voice heard and see all the entries, check out: 2021 24 Hour RPG Cartography Contest - VOTING CLOSED.

A double dose of new this week as the 2019 (no, that's right) Memorial Random Table project has shifted from choosing a theme to populating the table. If you've got some ideas (at least one, not more than three) for Random Thing Raised from the Dead!, please go here and suggest them: The Great 2019 Memorial Random Table Project (Happening now - August 2021!). All ideas accepted.

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

The only thing better than a Panzer-Attack session report might be one of his reviews. Check out this review of a hybrid item:
Rangers of Shadow Deep. Not an RPG But Still A Good Time.

From gallery of sdonohue

The pickings were a little slim for session reports this week (which is to say, everyone should write more!) This one by alhazared was fun to read.
Trouble in Somerlisse: Part 9 - The Denizens of Denecar Bog

In guild RPG Newscasters Guild

Every day there's a newQuestion of the Day. Most of them are game-related but once in a while we get one that'a more geek-related like favorite movies or books. The question changes every day and you can even suggest a QOTD. When you check out this week's Question of the Week, you can see a link to all the old questions and the chance to suggest a question of your own. Here's this week's QOTD:
QOTD AUG 6: What was the kindest act you witness a PC perform during a session? Why did they do what they did?
(I confess to being a sucker for stories of kindness)


From gallery of sdonohue

This geeklist tends to get traffic in waves, but it's still a fun one to check in on once in a while even if it is almost 9 years old.
The Many Names of Gamemasters


From gallery of sdonohue

Here are some other things you might want to check out.
Behind the Screen is an archive of advice by and for GMs written by members of our community.
RPG Geek of the Week/Month August 2021 #455 Zac Jensen (zjensen3) is a chance to learn more about our community members.
Contest Subscription Thread os where we go to find contests on the RPG side.
US RPG Chain of Generosity 2021 is where people in the US swap things they don't want for things they do.
Kickstarter RPG Game Books - 2021 is updated with all the latest RPG offerings.
RPG Spotlight Event Tracker is a focus on different games with questions and ideas. It's new, but gaining steam!
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Thu Aug 12, 2021 6:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2  Next »