Game Design

Affordable Arcana - Magic Rods (PFRPG)

New RPG Product Reviews - 20 December 2017 - 7:38am
Publisher: d20pfsrd.com
Rating: 5
Affordable Arcana: Magic Rods is a sourcebook that adds some flavor to Pathfinder games. The book is simply a list of low-powered magical rods that can be integrated into just about any Pathfinder campaign. For dungeon masters, this is a great tool at many points in the campaign in that it’s a great way to provide your players with useful, yet not over-powering magical items at lower levels in the campaign. Many of the items give a low-level bonus (+1, +2, or +3) to skill checks. Much of the items in the book are of this nature, giving you some very nice options that add a lot of flavor to your game in lieu of giving your players the same old low-level items that they are used to getting in a standard campaign setting.

Some items are a great help if you’re a DM running a low-magic campaign or if you’re just not willing to give your players +1 magical items yet. One such item is the Rod of Tyranny act as a great replacement for a +1 magical weapon. This rod acts as a masterwork mace that gives a +1 to intimidate checks and penalizes opponents by -1 on the same check, but gives no magical bonus to hit or damage. Or if you’re a DM who is just trying to help your players make it out of the lower levels, the Rod of Battle Casting can be a big help to inexperienced casters with a +2 to their combat casting checks.

Later in a campaign, this book provides options for treasure that is still useful in some situations. Items, such as the Rod of the Climbing Claw can be useful in mid-to-higher levels of a campaign, since it acts as a magical grappling hook that never misses its mark. The Rod of the Blacksmith repairs 2d4+2 points of damage to arms and armor per day. That can deal with the pesky problem of occasionally needing to repair weapons or armor, which every player faces at every level. Casters of any level will find it useful to keep around a Short-Ranged Rod to add 10 feet to spells with a 25’ range up to 3 times per day.

We recommend this book for DMs looking for magic items that provide something new and fresh, something to limit the magic level, or something to help your players survive. Players have plenty of reason to check out this book as well. If your caster character just took the “craft rod” feat, this book provides more options at very low cost that can make your character more versatile.

- Reviewed by William Paprocki (GeeksAGogo.com)
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Anthro-Adventures 5th Edition Campaign Setting Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 20 December 2017 - 7:00am
While the various D20 systems have a decent bit in common, and stats can certainly be shifted around between them, it’s much easier to just have a book that gives you right what you need. Well, if your group had been playing Pathfinder and using the Anthro-Adventures rules, but are now playing 5th Edition, you’re […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to get a job in the (Dutch) game industry - part 1 - by Eline Muijres

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 20 December 2017 - 6:09am
If you're looking for a job or internship in the Dutch game industry, there are several ways to increase your chances of success. In this article, Eline Muijres provides you with some tips and advice to help you on your way.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Key to Esports Success - by Tyler Main

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 20 December 2017 - 6:06am
Evaluations of esports focusing on the quality of their design may be missing the mark.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Story Time Cards Collaborative Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 20 December 2017 - 6:00am
Everyone loves a good story. But it can sometimes be hard to come up with a whole story arc on your own. Even when you’ve got a group, it might not be easy to come up with something. That’s where Story Time Cards come in. It’s a collaborative storytelling game that’s up on Kickstarter now. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Analysis Of PolyHero Wizard Dice

Gnome Stew - 20 December 2017 - 3:00am

I’m a big fan of dice especially unusual dice, so back when it was open I backed PolyHero’s wizard dice kickstarter (Thanks Patreon supporters!). If you’d like to grab your own set, they’re available for purchase  at PolyHero’s web site. These are amazing looking dice, and I can see them being a lot of fun to toss around while playing a wizard. I can especially see it being a blast throwing out a handful of the d6 fireball shaped dice to determine your spell damage! I got the Heartwood and Moonsilver set pictured above, but they come in a variety of other colors. As a kickstarter backer, I also got two d2 spellbook dice as stretch goals, one in  Heartwood and one in electrum. It doesn’t look like these are available for sale at this time, which is a shame because they easily have the most detailed sculpt of the set. From a kickstarter standpoint, everything was fulfilled quickly and painlessly. I would back the next PolyHero dice kickstarter.

I only have two very small complaints about these dice. First, they are large and most are long and thin. This makes getting them rolling in your hand difficult (and I have pretty big hands). You may have to shake them with an open hand or two-handed to get a good “shake feel” out of them, or toss them where they can get a good roll going. Second, the stylized font used on the dice can make them a little harder to read than other dice (6s and 9s are very similar and only the 6s are underlined, fives two and threes all look pretty similar), and the steep angle of the d10 potion bottles can make them hard to read if they land angled away from you. These are very minor issues though and at most are an argument for ample space to roll and good lighting in your game space and careful reading  until you’re familiar with the font.

As I often do with oddly shaped dice, I ran a set of chi-square goodness of fit tests to see if their shape impacted the distribution of their results at all. For each I used either the minimum rolls required for the chi-square test, or 50 rolls, whichever was larger. As usual, we’re not testing these dice to see if they actually match an ideal uniform distribution (no dice, not even precision milled casino dice do), but rather if they appear to get reasonably close to that distribution within a number of rolls you might expect to see within a session.

The results of the chi-squares were mixed. Most of the dice look good, but my d12 had spectacularly poor results (p-value of .005) and a second test gave better, but not great results. This could have just been two bad tests in a row (it happens) or it could just be my die. (we expect dice within a manufacturing batch to have some variance and my d12 seems to have a slight curve to it that could easily explain the poor results) So, I contacted PolyHero and explained my problem. They got back to me within a day and offered to replace my die, but more importantly, grabbed a dozen of their dice of various colors and rolled them each 10 times for me to give me a data set from a larger sample of dice that could give a more typical result across most dice instead of from a single die. Of course 12 dice rolled 10 times each isn’t exactly comprehensive, but it’s a lot better than a sample from just one. This sample turned out much better, so I see no reason to believe there’s any systematic issue with the dice, and as a bonus I also have solid evidence that PolyHero’s staff are quick to respond when someone has an issue with their product.

Update: head gnome John Arcadian also backed this kickstarter for two sets of dice (the black and the green) and got his dice just before this article went live and rolled me 60 results from each. One of them passed with better results than any of my previous tests (.957), the other passed, but not by much(.058). I’m willing to call this one “tentatively fine, further study needed” so if anyone out there wants to run a test on their PolyHero Wizard dice, let us know the results!

English summary result: The results looked very good. Most of the dice easily passed a goodness of fit test at any reasonable criteria. While the initial d12 results weren’t promising, the larger sample from the manufacturer was much better.

Stat summary result: p-values for H0: results are from an appropriate uniform distribution vs a .05 critical value ranged from .29 to .83. Only the initial d12 test rejected H0 with a p-value of .005.

Long form results:

  • Notation:
  • df – degrees of freedom, which particular chi square curve we’re comparing against. Depends on the number of sides the die has.
  • Chi .05 crit val – the value, for the particular chi square curve we’re looking at, that separates the rarest 5% of groups of rolls from the rest. If the Chi Test Stat exceeds this value, we say the die is not fair. There are other critical values for other tolerances.
  • Chi Test Stat – the value we calculated from our rolls. Compared to the critical value.
  • p-val – how common the results we observed were. p-values fall between 1 and 0. Closer to 1 is better. Lower than .1, .05, or .01 are usual ground for declaring a deviation from the ideal standard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Sandy's Soapbox: Last Minute Gift Panic Solution

RPGNet - 20 December 2017 - 12:00am
Choose-your-own-gift-adventures.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Horus Heresy Rulebook Due Out This Year

Tabletop Gaming News - 19 December 2017 - 3:00pm
The Warhammer 40k universe has quite an expansive history. Much of it focuses around the pivotal moment of the Horus Heresy. The Emperor’s greatest creation, Horus, turns against him, having listened to the call of the gods of Chaos. A massive civil war ensues, the ripples of still being readily felt some 10 thousand years […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kitty Quest Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 19 December 2017 - 2:00pm
What we have here is another of those success stories of a Kickstarter that funded and is now available for general release. This time around, it’s Kitty Quest. You must guide your little cats back home. But how will you get there? Kitty Quest is a game where you make the board as you play, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Supergame 3rd Edition Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 19 December 2017 - 1:00pm
Superheroes are a pretty big thing right now. Beings of power much greater than your average human are punching their way through all manner of villains on the big and little screens, having leapt off the comic pages. But what about when you want to join in with them on their adventures? That’s where Supergame […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

WizKids Previews New Star Trek Attack Wing Starter Set

Tabletop Gaming News - 19 December 2017 - 12:00pm
The 2-player starter is one of the best ways to get into a new game, if you ask me. With one purchase, you’ve got two starter forces so you and a friend can get playing as soon as possible. Well, in just a week or so, players will have access to a new Star Trek: […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Podcast Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 19 December 2017 - 11:00am
The work week is well underway. I know a lot of people want this week to go by as fast as possible, since it’s the last one before Christmas. If nothing else, it might mean a long weekend for you. And, of course, the possibility of presents. Who doesn’t love getting presents? Ok, I don’t […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Archon Studio Running Chronicle X Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 19 December 2017 - 10:00am
The aliens are invading! Earth is being besieged by a fleet of flying saucers, and only the elite soldiers of Chronicle X have the gear, skills, and knowhow to defeat them. It’s not going to be easy, though. The alien Overmind is cunning, and will be looking to stay one step ahead in their plan […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Blood and Bone Available For Free For a Limited Time

Tabletop Gaming News - 19 December 2017 - 9:00am
‘Tis the season of giving. And Arcana Games is giving everyone a gift. They’ve reduced the price of their Blood and Bone campaign book to nothing! Have you wanted to check out this gritty world, without capricious gods or meddling wizards, now’s your chance to get it for free. Just head over and download a […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dragon+ Issue 17 is Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 19 December 2017 - 8:00am
You know I love to fill my time with as much gaming information as possible. I’m also always looking for ideas for the RPG I’m running. A good GM can find inspiration in a lot of places, even if the system you’re reading about isn’t the one you’re using. Well, whether you’re playing a WotC-based […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Are Casual Games Maturing? Lessons from Angry Birds 2 - by Om Tandon

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 19 December 2017 - 7:46am
Why are casual games pivoting towards mid-core features? What differentiates Angry Birds 2 from previous Angry Birds games? For the first time a close chat with team at Rovio that built Angry Birds 2 and what led them to make those bold design decisions!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

​Player’s Journey in War Robots - by Vadim Bulatov

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 19 December 2017 - 7:30am
Why does War Robots attract players so much? Judging by its dynamics, War Robots is the only adequate game in the genre niche of slow shooters, which is dominated by World of Tanks (WoT)
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Growth of Online Gaming in India – A Walkthrough - by Ajeet Singh

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 19 December 2017 - 7:30am
Online gaming market in India is currently in the limelight as the country is moving in the right direction with steady growth in consumption volumes.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

On the bottom of gamedev - by Stas Shostak

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 19 December 2017 - 7:29am
I’ll try to describe what it’s like to be a self-taught indie developer without a hit. It is not that kind of story you can see in Indie Game: The Movie or Noclip documentaries or from the GDC scene.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Z-Man Games Posts Rulebook for Pandemic: Rising Tide

Tabletop Gaming News - 19 December 2017 - 7:00am
Being an informed consumer is important. You don’t want to know what you’re getting when you buy something. That’s why I love when companies put their rulebooks up online. Pandemic: Rising Tide is a whole new twist on the Pandemic theme. You’re not trying to stop various diseases from spreading. You’re trying to make sure […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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