All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG and RPGnow. Bring these games to your table!
You gotta love Venger Satanis and his Kortthalis Publishing.
He is out there doing his own thing. Doing to make the stuff he wanted to play with back in the day and if we want to come along, well great. While he takes himself far less seriously than other publishers, he takes his games and books very seriously. And it shows in his production values.
Out now is Venger's latest in his "Like a Fucking Boss" series.
Venger is a man after my own heart, and PHB-LAFB takes many nods and cues from Basic-era D and D, or at least his reading of it which is just as good.
PHB-LAFB is not a rule book or an adventure, but a collection of various tips, tricks and odds and ends to help your game along. There are some very obvious nods to classic/Basic/OSR style play and there are nods to more modern/D and D5 style mechanics and design. The bottom line here (and a big one for me when reading this) is I can use it with just about any game I play.
In truest old-school fashion there are plenty of tables. "Stranger Things" gives us a table of various odds and ends, emphasis on the odd. "Honor and Fame" and "Dishonor and Infamy" are also very useful tables for rewards that reminds me of some the rules I have seen in AGE and Blue Rose; again a natural idea given Venger's own twist.
There is a lot of great character building ideas too. Tables, checklists, backgrounds. It's all here.
For $5.00 and 33 full-color pages, it is quite worth it.
I am not quite sure if it is up to the level of awesomeness that is How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss but it is also more focused on players and characters and is half the price too.
Open loops and progression trees in freemium game - Don t kill the golden egg chicken! - by Pascal Luban
Open loops and progression trees in freemium game - Dont kill the golden egg chicken! - by Pascal Luban
&quot;The power of the Audience how can Developers, Publishers & Audiences listen to each other more effectively whilst making video games?&quot; - by Zuby Ahmed
What’s in your pocket?
It’s winter break. The temperature outside is a minus 12 degrees below zero. Don’t blame me if my gaming thoughts are tad disjointed. I’ve got cabin fever.
I keep waiting for an adventuring player character to ask the question of the next goblin (i.e. game master) they encounter: Why does each goblin carry 2d10 silver pieces?
I mean, it’s not like there are vending machines in the dungeon. (Two silver pieces will get you an ice cold Sword Coast Cola or an Morgur’s Mound chocolate bar.)
They aren’t minting coins for themselves. So it’s unlikely they exchange coins as currency. Nope. they’re just chugging along with a half dozen coins jingling in their pocket … and waiting, for what, exactly, we’ll never know.
I mean, the goblin will probably say it’s because “They’re shiny!” or, even better, “They’re precious!”
Probably their answer will come in the form of spear thrust, followed by “None of your business, you puny human home invader!”
Maybe they are just hopeless numismatics.Voice to reason
Until recently, I have not been able to “get into” the exploits of Vox Machina at Critical Role — or any of the other fine live stream play groups that have been recommended to me. And, hey, I’ve tried. I’m certainly not blind to the potential — some of which is being realized — of having people play rpgs in front of an audience. It’s what I’ve always wanted, being able to point at something and go: “This is what we do!” But sitting on a couch to watch has been an exercise in futility. I’ve wanted to be engaged/entertained/instructed by it all. But my interest just wanes. There’s too much to focus in on.
That was all true, until Critical Role started offering episodes as audio podcasts. Removing all the distraction from a stream — people sitting around cluttered tables — was exactly what I needed to enjoy an rpg play podcast. Certainly, it plays to the participants’ strengths. Being actors, and voice actors to boot, means that the aspect of performance they are most accomplished at is pushed forward. It’s very much like an audio drama. Now, I listen with the podcast piped through the car speakers during my hour-long commute. When Vox Machina takes a trip to the Underdark to rescue a paladin of Bahamut and befriend a mind flayer, it resonates and holds my attention in a way the video does not.
Mostly, this confirms that the strength of rpgs is in the shared storytelling and unbridled imagination of its players. Take away most of the the visual elements and the game still engages, still fires the imagination.
If you find this intriguing, I would recommend you give an episode a listen and judge for yourself.Bring it on
I’m only 18 years late to the party on this one, but hey, I’ve been biz-seeeee being an adult — well most of that time, anyway. It wasn’t until recently that I saw the film’s training montage of Ian Roberts portraying crazed choreographer Sparky Polastri in the 2000 cheerleading move “Bring it On!” starring Kirsten Dunst.
The funniest part, of course, is when Sparky starts demanding the cheerleaders showing better “spirit fingers.” Lifeless fingers aren’t spirit fingers; no, twirling, flashing digits are “spirit fingers.” Yep, it’s the equivalent of dancers showing active “jazz hands.”
Well, that’s a funny scene. Now, ordinarily, pantomine at the gaming table is really an optional thing. But really, if players with spellcasting characters were to begin demonstrating gestures — “wizard fingers” — or point pencils as wands as a way to get into their characters, I’d be all for it. Show me those wizard fingers! All the way to national championships — or the next dimensional space.Shed a little light on it
I’ve been running the D&D module Sunless Citadel, using the fifth edition conversion from Tales from the Yawning Portal. This is a module I’ve run before, albeit for the third edition of the rules.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised how strong the adaptation is — to the point that the module may be stronger in its fifth edition version.
The story remains unchanged, of course, and that is its strength. Though part of what makes it compelling is the rather fatalistic ending, which is intact in order to also retain a strong boss fight in the finale. They resisted the urge to tinker with that — which would have been easy enough.
Thankfully, whether it was for nostalgia or respect for the module Bruce Cordell designed, they kept these elements, though it runs somewhat counter to what I perceive to be the sensibilities of the current D&D audience.