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Sci-2

Table Top RPG Stuff

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Figure this'll be a good thread for anyone who plays tabletop RPGs or remembers the settings.

It's funny, I probably haven't played much but I got into a lot of the settings - D&D settings, Mage The Ascension and The Awakening, Kult RPG, and several others.

If you liked Planescape, we're relatively active over at Planewalker.

If you're a 4e player, [edit: or just interested in D&D or fey], a friend and I are very slowly cobbling together our own take on the Fey in a [planned] Feywild book.

Edited by sciborg2

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I play in two online Pathfinder D&D games. Basically the games are set up in a message board/forum much like this one here at Westeros. We have a couple different threads going on depending on what all is happening in the game including the game thread, a thread of out of character planning and discussion, a party status thread, a map thread, etc.

All the players have their own individual forums where only they and the GM can see what is going on there. This is cool because it allows the different members of the party to split off and do their own thing or be given additional information that would only be known to their character.

As we progress through the story, the GM will open new chapter threads for ease of organization and story telling.

The way stuff actually happens is the GM will post the particulars of a scenario (ie combat, diplomacy, shopping, sneaking around, etc). Then each of the players can post their character's actions. The GM filters and processes all the actions then posts up an update. The GM does all the rolling behind the scenes and incorporates successful and failing rolls into the storytelling.

Obviously, it takes a long time to play this way but both games I am in have been going strong for 2+ years with up to 8 players in one of games at once. We have friends from all over the US and overseas all playing in one game.

I really do prefer this style of play to table top gaming for a number of reasons. #1 it is too hard to get everyone together in the same place for hours at a time like we could back in high school and college. 2) You can really put a lot more thought into what your character is doing if you have 5-10 minutes to organize your thoughts 3) there is a permanent record of all that goes on in the game so you can go back and find important information when it's needed.

I have an entire folder of bookmarks in my browser with posts that I think will be relevant later on.

Anyways, until one of my friends asked me to join his game almost 3 years ago, I hadn't played any D&D in almost a decade. As much as I enjoyed playing it as a kid, I just never found time to play once I had more adult responsibilities and hobbies. This way, I post in each game once or twice a day... I can take off on vacation for a week and allow the party to use my character as an NPC/Group-controlled PC... it really is the ideal way for me to play.

Edited by Reek

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I played RPGs all through college, and in fact pretty much got my first game designer job on the strength of the tabletop campaigns I'd run in school. I've still got a gaming group now, but because we're working adults and some of us have kids we game once a week, while in college I used to run or play in games something like four or five days a week on average. I've played in a fair number of different games -- D&D of course, a ton of White Wolf, some Cthulhu, Twilight 2000, Cyberpunk, even stuff like Kult and In Nomine.

My current group has frozen time and are playing White Wolf revised editions of Mage and Vampire (the stuff that came out around 2002) instead of the WoD reboot stuff they started up a couple of years ago. I bought the initial sourcebooks for the Mage and Vampire reboots but I just couldn't get into them. My introduction to tabletop gaming was through Vampire, and I guess the old clans and traditions are deeply rooted in my gaming consciousness. The new shit just doesn't stick.

Our last campaign was a Vampire game my friend ran that was set in the Wild West (a time and setting pretty much tailor made to the Gangrel I was playing). Despite all the trouble my character went through to get silver bullets for the presumed Lupine threat, our enemy throughout the game was really just a bunch of well-organized mortals, a couple of whom knew about vampires and had True Faith. Kinda refreshing to play a game where you really do worry about mortals, maintaining the Masquerade, and protecting your sleeping area during the daytime. I'm currently setting up a Mage game for this group, set in Los Angeles of 1997. The music and pop culture research alone has been a blast. ;)

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I had a great D&D gaming group from junior high through college. But, inevitably, everyone scattered to the four winds and job and family responsibilities took their toll (which is fine but...) I recently found out about Fantasy Grounds II and I'm intrigued. Here is a write-up/review about it. Anyone tried it or know anything about it?

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I've been trying to organize my closets lately... I've come to the conclusion I have a fuck ton of games and supplements.

Not a lot of TSR stuff, but...

Almost everything published by FASA, White Wolf, Steve Jackson, Alterac Entertainment during the 90's, TCG's, tons of miniatures and rules systems, plus all the examples of the games I have design or writing credits in. Mind you, most of the people in the industry when I was have huge collections, too, everybody used to trade product back and forth at the shows. So, I also have a lot of stuff from games like Cult, Castle Falkenstein

Oddly, it was our campaign settings and house rules that got me and my buddy our jobs with game companies, as well.

Actually, my avatar is one of my designs from Inferno, which was, basically Battletech in Hell.

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I have a substantial number of sourcebooks, boxed sets and rulebooks for D&D 2nd and 3rd Editions, and a fair amount of materials for other RPGs (including the d20 Babylon 5 and Judge Dredd games, the original edition of Deadlands and some Robotech Palladium stuff).

I have pondered selling it, as some of the 2nd Edition stuff is in quite good condition, but it appears that it's not worth as much as I'd hoped. I might just hang onto it and see if I can get some more games going in the future.

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I had a great D&D gaming group from junior high through college. But, inevitably, everyone scattered to the four winds and job and family responsibilities took their toll (which is fine but...) I recently found out about Fantasy Grounds II and I'm intrigued. Here is a write-up/review about it. Anyone tried it or know anything about it?

Heh, I've only heard about Fantasy Grounds I in passing. I've heard Hero Lab is really good for long distance RP-ing which I might consider.

Also, Kobold Quarterly has a new Open Design project here. Basically you pay to support the project and get creative input, possibly a contract if your pitch is chosen.

It's pretty interesting, I did their planar project which is in editing. This one is more specific to their own setting, but if you're interested in adventure design it should be an educational experience.

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haven't played AD&D in years - we're now using Savage Worlds as the basis for one game (post apoc/survivor/scrounge) and fantasy game we've had going for 9 years using GURPS.

started with D&D, moved to AD&D, then to Rolemaster, then a few Marvel Super Heros/some spy game, Rifts, another Palladium based game (worst system ever IMO), back to AD&D, then to GURPS for a long time. After this SW game we're going to be trying a system that sounds very similar in basis to Rolemaster but simplified a huge amount. Don't know the name of the system, just got an overview from the guy that is our GM.

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Holy shit.

Lol.

Cleaning and sorting the boxes from the closet, and....I find, seriously, another 15 pounds of miniatures. About 50 assorted Eldar troops, heavy weapons, war walkers, Harlequins, even the damned musicians; 50 or so Tzeentch figures, marines, champions, flamers, horrors...

Chaos Squats, Orcs, snotlings, squigs...

Assorted Mutant Chronicles, D&D, Pariah Press, limited edition figure based on a Brom cover, plus the master for my avatar (whoot!), and masters for some of my LoS figure designs.

Plus, WW TCG boosters, 5 sealed copies of Inferno, 3 Towers of Bel...

So, the known collection just increased by, oh, 5-10%.

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I'm in a 3.5e campaign at the moment. It's my first time playing pen and paper DnD. We've been going for about 6 months.

The model my DM picked is very interesting. it's definitely taking some cues from video games, and MMO's:

West Marches was a game I ran for a little over two years. It was designed to be pretty much the diametric opposite of the normal weekly game:

1) There was no regular time: every session was scheduled by the players on the fly.

2) There was no regular party: each game had different players drawn from a pool of around 10-14 people.

3) There was no regular plot: The players decided where to go and what to do. It was a sandbox game in the sense that’s now used to describe video games like Grand Theft Auto, minus the missions. There was no mysterious old man sending them on quests. No overarching plot, just an overarching environment.

My motivation in setting things up this way was to overcome player apathy and mindless “plot following” by putting the players in charge of both scheduling and what they did in-game.

A secondary goal was to make the schedule adapt to the complex lives of adults. Ad hoc scheduling and a flexible roster meant (ideally) people got to play when they could but didn’t hold up the game for everyone else if they couldn’t. If you can play once a week, that’s fine. If you can only play once a month, that’s fine too.

Letting the players decide where to go was also intended to nip DM procrastination (aka my procrastination) in the bud. Normally a DM just puts off running a game until he’s 100% ready (which is sometimes never), but with this arrangement if some players wanted to raid the Sunken Fort this weekend I had to hurry up and finish it. It was gaming on-demand, so the players created deadlines for me.

This has been pretty damn successful. You of course have people that play more than others. You have people that roll up a character and then can't come back for any other sessions. However the flexible nature, where you have that pool of players, makes it much easier to manage.

Anyway, if you are thinking of starting any kind of tabletop game, think about this strategy. It really does work.

If you are in the Philly area he's always looking for players, too. I can put you in touch. It's my board name at gmail.com. There is a dedicated wiki that really enhances the game. Email communication makes it much easier to organize games, as well.

Edited by Cocomaan

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Sounds pretty slick, Cocoa.

I think our GM used a very similar model, which occasionally bit him on the ass. Evidently he put a lot of work into some mini-dungeon encounter during his version of The Little Mermaid (the Disney version, if Disney had Deep Ones with advanced subs and the British Navy had Vulcan-Phalanx system, and some Scot smuggler had hooped Ariel's voice...) that I refused to let anybody take the bait on.

I mean, there was no real reason for us to check out Ry'leh (well, there really was), but placing a call to the Ghostbusters, and tricking Egon into saying a certain name so a certain god-like being wasn't home...

It was up there with getting a dragon to accept a puzzle in lieu of a riddle...and then ditching that damn Lament box I was so terrified of. I think that was the month he used Talisman to generate encounters.

Fuck the Mephistopholes card. Seriously.

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Nuke, that is hilarious.

The neat thing about running a game in this manner is that the DM can basically roll out in the open and near TPK everyone without feeling guilty, because it's up to the players to really survive.

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Hey passing this along, might be a good way for some of you to get some $$ (editing for font and junk):

AGE Authors Wanted!

Open Design wants to expand its coverage of the AGE System, to include a second adventure in Kobold Quarterly.

Query koboldquarter[email protected] (with [KQ AGE Query] in the email header) if you have a 2800-4000-word AGE adventure idea suitable for the magazine. Midgard adventures are welcome!

Additionally, Open Design needs designers skilled in converting Pathfinder RPG material to AGE. We have 3 adventures needing such attention. Query the email above and include [AGE Conversion] in your email header.

Edited by sciborg2

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First Issue of our Planescape fanzine is launched!

Just follow the link here, and definitely feel free to share and seed across varied filesharing platforms (will help us with bandwidth!)

Articles this time around:

Killing the Lady of Pain: Part 1

Log X: Adventuring on the Prime

Kobolds in Sigil

Planar Locations: Surcease and Dolor

Interview with Book of the Damned III author Todd Stewart

Feel free to offer suggestions to me directly at sciborg2(at)gmail.com, or head over to http://www.planewalker.com/ for more planar fun!

thanks,

Sciborg2

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I have pondered selling it, as some of the 2nd Edition stuff is in quite good condition, but it appears that it's not worth as much as I'd hoped. I might just hang onto it and see if I can get some more games going in the future.

I have a king's ransom in 2nd edition swag that my partner very wisely refused to let me discard five years ago.

My absolute favorite D&D thing is the Waterdeep module. I swoon over that boxed set.

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There's going to be a show for RPG art, some of you might be able to get pieces in:

http://www.chrispramas.com/2012/05/21/the-art-of-roleplaying-games-gallery-show-looking-for-submissions/

I don't think this is past the deadline, as I didn't see one. The show is for August 11th though so if you have a piece definitely check your publication rights and submit!

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I've had so many different RPG systems I think I've lost count. Only actually played some of them though (took me years before I found other gamers to play with, before that, I would just make up tons of characters and create cave systems/dungeons to run other characters through, all by my lonesome 12/13 year old self).

I've played AD&D 2nd Ed, D&D 3.0 and 3.5, White Wolf's Vampire the Masquerade (and also LARPed Vampire, Vampire Dark Ages, Mage, Werewolf, and Changling, though they were more Vamp games than anything else, just our Storyteller allowed a couple of non Vamp characters other than just ghouls and hunters), Palladium system games (Rifts, Heroes Unlimited, Ninjas and Superspies),TSR's Marvel Superheroes, Star Wars (West End Games version using d6), d20 Star Wars, d20 Wheel of Time (especially with the fan made stuff from the internet, they fixed many issues with WotC's original system), d20 Game of Thrones (from Guardians of Order; this is my favorite version EVER of d20 system, with nicely added mechanics for influences, social ranking and finance; the most politically capable d20 game I've seen yet, you could almost run a vampire game with those rules; so disappointed that GoO went out of business, was looking forward to seeing what they had planned for expanding the system to large scale combat and such).

One of the favorite games I've been involved in was one I ran using the d20 GoT book (from GoO) but set in the world of Midkemia (Raymond E Feist's Riftwar Saga's setting), specifically starting in Krondor with a group of low ranked members of the Mockers.

Some of the games I've owned the books to were just obtuse and complicated. This definitely includes Mage and Changling (I never really grokked the "magic" system for either) as well as Hero Games (nicknamed "roleplaying for accountants"), and Shadowrun (I would never try running that game, and definitley NOT with a decker in the party!). I actually kinda liked Gygax's Mythic Journey's system, but it took so damned long to make characters it was insane.

Of the (A)D&D settings out there, my favorite is by far the Al-Qadim (Zahkara) setting within the Forgotten Realms. After that, the general Forgotten Realms setting (WATERDEEP!!!!), and then Dark Sun. I never cared for Greyhawk, Maztica or Kara Tur (I especially don't like the Oriental Adventures changes they did with 3.0/3.5 mixing in Legend of the Five Rings stuff). Never did much at all with Planescape the settings they developed after that (like Bloodright or whatever its called).

Although I love the 3.0 and 3.5 versions of D&D, I still rather liked the 2nd Ed AD&D stuff (kits made the game more interesting IMO).

If I was to run a game today, it would be some sort of combination of Pathfinder (the best parts of 3.0/3.5) with elements from the d20 GoT system. I strongly believe that any good tabletop system should have some sort of Merit/Flaw system (like the "Defects" and "Bonus Points" in the d20 GoT system; each defect gave a certain number of Bonus Points, BPs could be spent as follows: 3 BPs can buy one Feat, or 1 BP can buy 3 skill points).

I've also noticed that I tend to use RPG systems to help me develope my characters for my writing. I'll create a character sheet for my story's characters (not creating them at level 1 unless the character is supposed to be that inexperienced), adding defects and such, using the character sheet as a guide for the character's background (at least the parts I don't already know) development. For me, it works. Might just come from the fact that I got good at creating a character sheet then writing up a really long background story explaining just about everything on the sheet; did this all the time for my Vampire the Masquerade LARP Storyteller).

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Some of the games I've owned the books to were just obtuse and complicated. This definitely includes Mage and Changling (I never really grokked the "magic" system for either)

The Mage system was awesome -- powerful, flexible, and left a lot to players' imaginations. It certainly was a lot of work, for both players and GMs (in order to preserve "paradigm" a lot of the time we just had to restrict the players to rotes and highly restricted their abilities to come up with effects on the fly) but it was almost always worth the effort. A Mage game with a GM who doesn't know what s/he is doing, or players who are all about raw power, is usually going to be a mess, but at its best it could be transcendent.

The Changeling system... Eh. The Realms were too restrictive and the Bunks were stupid and silly, but the powers themselves were pretty cool.

The only White Wolf magic system I couldn't grok was the Kindred of the East. I read through character generation repeatedly and just could not generate a PC to save my life. I just didn't know which things powered what or what some stats were based on...

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for last 10 years i've played d'n'd 3 with some minor tweaks and i like it well enough.

i did want to try game of thrones, both GoO and GR versions, but could never get my mates to do it.

also, there was a rather simple system called "the dark dungeon" (or something like that) that had 20-ish pages rulebook, and seemed great. no classes, no levels, no spells in a d'n'd sort of way, but just skills and abilities.

i wanted to try it out, but ran into the same problem of not being able to get my friends to switch.

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