Friday, December 28, 2012

7 RPGs Meme

Ok, here goes....I don't usually participate in these things but I think it's interesting to read about what games other people play and hope you do too.

Basically the idea is to post the top seven RPGs you've played or refereed. These are mine.

Dungeons & Dragons (B/X and 1e)

Star Wars (WEG)

Marvel Superheroes (TSR - also Advanced Game)


Middle Earth Roleplaying (MERP - I.C.E.)

Conan (TSR)

Ghostbusters (WEG/Chaosium)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

JimCon II

Ok so a lot has been happening since my last post.

JimCon II
I ran three games at what is becoming Winnipeg's best gaming convention.

Friday evening was Battle Tech. Me and Ray (who writes Shadowrun stuff for Catalyst Game Labs) played a game of my own invention where his mech lance (House Steiner) was attempting to beat rival factions to a drop ship lost for over 200 years. In the way was a lance of Com Star mechs blocking any transmissions allowing for the request of reinforcements. Ray was able to aquire the signal jamming trasmitter, winning the scenario. I had a couple of other scenarios planned that led to the drop ship and its cargo but Ray had to check out some other tables. It was a great game. We used the Total Warfare rulebook, which I find is very much the same rules as the original boxed set that I brought along with me.

Saturday was Castles & Crusades.
What a downer – nobody signed up to play. I had a couple of people look over the rule books and a few were even interested in playing until a Pathfinder table opend up for them.  I did an interview for TV and rescued a dog wandering around in the parking lot. Thanks JimCon volunteers for helping me out!

Sunday was Gamma World (2nd Edition)
We played an adventure of my own divising that took place around the "Free Town of Pinawa".
Turns out that one of the players was actually from Pinawa, Manitoba.
I wasn't quite prepared for all the charts in this game but it seemed like everyone had as much fun as I did. I really found the system refreshing to run in its uncomplicated rules set. Everything was there in that ancient box.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Super Heroic

   I wish I had more time and a group of players that were
interested in a variety of games.

Recently I acquired a copy of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.
This game is very cool. Its all about collective storytelling and dramatic tension.

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game

I adore the initiative in this game. The first person to react usually goes first. Its really isn't that important as that person chooses who goes next and so forth. Don't get caught with letting all the bad guys go last!

Players essentially build dice pools based on their powers (and other stats) in combination with their description of the action(s) they are describing. Dice pools are made up of d4 to d12. Stats are described as having a die value. Ones are discarded and the two (or more if you spend plot points) highest (usually) dice are totalled up. You choose your effect die from any left over. Its not the number on the die that counts toward effect but the size of the die.

I haven't played a game yet but it looks interesting. I'd like to give it a whirl at/on ConstantCon sometime.

I understand that this game is based on the Cortex System also by Margaret Weiss Productions. This rules set looks like a universal system to build whatever type of game you want around it.  I might have to take a look at this sometime and build some kind of warped fantasy thing out of it.

Cortex System Role Playing Game

The supers thing has made me take a look back at the old TSR Marvel Super Heroes game. I still think this game holds up, however I do think that Marvel Heroic suits my tastes as an experienced and adult player much more than the older system. If your never had a chance to play MSH (FASERIP) or you don't have your old edition anymore you can get the 4C System (Four Colors System) here for free.

At the time Marvel Super Heroes was excellent. The universal table was a great way to express the powers of the heroes being played. I don't think that translated into 3rd edition Gamma World very well and wasn't quite what was required for Adventures of Indiana Jones. TSR Conan somehow worked well with this though I'm not sure why.

I also looked into the BASH Superhero RPG this looks like something in between Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel Heroic.

Marvel heroic is $19.99 Print – $12.99 PDF
4C System is $6.30 Print – FREE PDF both at Lulu
BASH Ultimate Edition is £23.99 at Cubicle Seven  
$9.99 PDF at RPGNow

Mostly all a great value. I'm especially fond of Marvel Heroic being a new game at a great price. Its even printed like a comic book graphic novel collection.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I've been really busy creating this OSR Manitoba group lately as well as playing Pathfinder Society Organized Play games (my character was killed by JuJu Zombies tonight).

The idea of running classics RPGs seems to be fairly popular but I haven't run or played in any games yet. I'm hoping to get something going on July 29 (the day in the year opposite my birthday).

I guess the main theme here is that although I haven't been working on RPG projects - including blogging - I've been playing. With playing has come a lot of new friends and a network of players and GMs. Its a great source of inspiration. I really enjoy the different play styles and seeing what is important to a person's game.

I've also become quite interested in Google+ games in hangouts. I haven't tried one yet but I'm going to host one soon and maybe jump into one via ConstantCon. Also wanting to try out Tabletop Forge.

Monday, May 28, 2012

In my attempt to find more players in my community to play my favourite RPGs I've started a new group.

OSR Manitoba

Good things seem to be happening around here with JimCon and the Manitoba Pathfinder Lodge and I am hoping that a lot of this momentum will bring out the players that are interested in playing the same kind of games as I am. First step is creating awareness and assembling players.

After a bit of a slump, gaming has returned in a significant way to Keycon in no small measure due to the groups mentioned above.

Next stop is hopefully PrairieCon in Brandon, Manitoba

Friday, March 9, 2012

Warlord of a Red Planet

Disney and Andrew Stanton's film version of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter opens in theatres today.  

It is well known that Burroughs' Martian stories were a significant influence on the feel of early Dungeons & Dragons. In 1974 TSR even published a set of rules compatible with, but not officially a part of, the D&D game called Warriors of Mars. This book was in publication for only a finite time due to a cease and desist order form the Burroughs estate shortly after being released. This copyright dispute is likely the reason why the Sword & Planet aspects of pulp fantasy account for such as small part of the tabletop roleplaying material published to date. 

If only the following quote from Gygax had made it from the first edition of D&D into AD&D and the massively popular D&D Basic boxed sets and their successors.

"Those wargamers who lack imagination, those who don't care for Burroughs' Martian adventures where John Carter is groping through black pits.. will not be likely to find DUNGEONS and DRAGONS to their taste."

So its no wonder, though no one has seemed to notice as far as I can tell, that Paizo has decided to release its new Campaign Setting supplement "Distant Worlds" just in time to coincide with the release of John Carter in Theatres. In Paizo's "Inner Sea World Guide" the section on other worlds, that describe the solar system that the Pathfinder setting's world of Golarion rests in, makes mention of a world called Akiton the Red that "is a planet of immense deserts, tortuous mountains, and rugged badlands. The denizens of Akiton are known primarily for their violence." 
In the product description at Paizo's online store you are invited to "fight beside the four-armed giants of Akiton".

The World Guide description of Akiton was enough to get the idea of where they were going with this world and where its influence came from but the Distant Worlds description and cover art pretty much dispel any confusion as to what that influence is. If you are a Pathfinder fan and a fan of Burroughs' martian stories it looks like Paizo has your book.

If OD&D is your game or some other OSR type version of D&D you might be interested in Warriors of Mars by "Doc". This appears to be a set of house rules inspired by the TSR game mentioned above but made more compatible with OD&D.

Whatever your taste, it looks like John Carter's star, or planet if you prefer, is on the rise once more. Pretty good for a story originally published, almost exactly one-hundred years ago under the pen name of Norman Bean, as Under the Moons of Mars.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

d12 and Initiative

So I find myself for the most part creating all my random lists in my RPG writing based on a selection of twelve in order to make use of the d12. I find it strange that twelve seems to be a very common number in our culture and society (especially in pre-metric times and places) and yet the d12 in RPGs is underutilized.

My own observation is that twelve is commonly used by people to understand and quantify the world. It is used to create separations that describe the cosmos and the passage of time. These things occur at a regular interval or are otherwise fixed, standardized or sacred. There really isn't much call to randomize these things in an imagined world.

One area that comes to mind here that I think is being overlooked and makes complete sense to me when considering the paragraph above it that of the combat round. In the games I currently play Castles & Crusades and Pathfinder the combat round is 10 seconds and 6 seconds respectively. In Basic D&D its 10 seconds and in AD&D its 60 seconds (a whole minute)!

I am suggesting that in systems that use a d6 (D&D, AD&D) or d10 roll (C&C) use a d12 instead. In the Castle Keepers Guide it suggests that the use of a d10 is preferred over d6 as each value represents the segment that action occurs in. Looking at it like that I feel that it would make sense to divide the time into twelve segments, like the numbers on a clock or the months of a year. In any case the d12 would have a new lease on life.