tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
This petition, an initiative of the RPG Review Cooperative. It's about granting 4th Edition D&D the same sort of Open Game License as 3rd and 5th editions.

Even if you're not a huge fan of 4th edition please spend the minute or so that it takes to sign the petition. Thanks!
deird1: Darla and Drusilla, with text "old world" (Darla Dru old world)
[personal profile] deird1
I’m running a game set in the Victorian era, and have come up with a new way to construct a whole crowd of NPCs for background flavour. (None of them are directly involved in the plot as yet, but they’re the people the PCs are most likely to interact with, and their stories might collide sometime soon.)

Firstly – it’s the Victorian era, so they’ve got lower class, middle class, and upper class people.

For each class, there are two people who are actively benevolent. Let’s call them B1 (mildly benevolent) and B2 (intentionally benevolent).
There are another two people who are actively malevolent: M1 (mildly malevolent) and M2 (intentionally malevolent).
Then there are another four who are primarily self-interested. They are each driven by a different desire: love, money, fun, and safety.

So, wherever the PCs are, I know that I’ve got eight ready-made templates they could interact with, and I have a pretty good idea how each templates is likely to react to what the PCs do.

…and then I just fill in the details.
rockwood: (Default)
[personal profile] rockwood
I've got another post up on using games as literature, and this one is much more focused on games specifically, so hopefully people here might find it worthwhile!

As before, any thoughts, comments, or critiques are welcome!
rockwood: (Default)
[personal profile] rockwood
 Hi, folks; I'm a game designer/publisher and also a teacher of high school English and Game Design, and I'm working on using games (video games and tabletop RPGs) in my English classes, along with the usual books. While the class I teach is more about video games, all my own writing and publishing is in the tabletop sphere.

I'm interested in hearing thoughts and feedback on the idea of using RPGs and video games as texts in class; my first blog post in a series on this subject is about considering what 'literature' means in this context, and I'm happy to have disagreement or discussion on that, but the later posts will be more specifically about the use of games. What makes them a good fit, what problems they have, and so on.

So, if you are interested in the idea, have negative or positive feedback, or even experience to share on the subject, I'd love to hear it! I'm especially interested in recommendations for games that might be used in a classroom, as my later posts will start to include critiques of such things.

~Nathan Rockwood
deird1: Faith and Wesley, with text "rogue demon hunters" (Faith Wesley rogue demon hunters)
[personal profile] deird1
I've always run games with the first session being purely character creation. You spend hours looking over the corebook, going back and forth on benefits, drawbacks, skills, and backstory, all while the GM scurries round monitoring, frantically hoping the group will end up balanced.

You know what? I think I've decided that pre-made, GM-created characters are almost always a better idea.

You can end up with a balanced party, that fits the type of plot, and, as a bonus, it takes all of five minutes for everyone to get to know the characters, before you actually get to start roleplaying! Yay!

I know some people hate playing characters they didn't create, but I really think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
A wandering monster enters the very quiet community hall and says...

"Hi, I edit an obviously free online quarterly 'zine called RPG Review. We've just released our eighteenth issue, which has lots of articles related to the Cthulhu Mythos. You can get a copy at this URL:

And you can join our low-volume announce list here:"
snowynight: Kino in a suit with brown background (Default)
[personal profile] snowynight
Hi! One thing I like about this hobby is that many talented people devote their time and ability to share with the bigger community.

Some of my favourite:
Wandering Monster High School: I really like its style, the easy system, and you can really go wild with the type of character you can think of. The potential for dark comedy is just high.

Cursed Life: I love the detailed life path char gen and the solid setting.

Cog Wars: I love the steampunk setting, the clever system and I can play as a steampunk Robin Hood

Lady Blackbird: Thirteen page of exceptional goodness.

What things do you like?

doc_lemming: Punctuation Saves Lives (Default)
[personal profile] doc_lemming
I have a set of RPGs which I have read but never run. (Sometimes I haven't even read all of them; heck, even after years of running Mutants & Masterminds 2e, I keep finding new things that I should have seen before.)

Anyway. One of them this year is the Laundry RPG. (Based on Charles Stross' Laundry novels.) Has anyone run this? It's clearly derived from Call of Cthulhu--even uses BRP--but there are elements that I think would make it quite different from CoC.

So has anyone run it? Impressions?

(And hi.)
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Dang, it's been quiet here.

OK, I edit a 'zine called RPG Review. It's a labour of love, non-professional, and all depends on RPG fans submitting things to get published. I would like you to read, subscribe (it's free) and submit an article or two. Because it's actually a enjoyable activity to participate in and - unlike an Internet forum - there is a sense of it being a permanent document - which I think is a key difference between 'zines and forums.

The Seventh Issue has been released. It is a Horror genre special with an interview with Russell Bailey, co-author of a number of White Wolf games in recent years. Also included an overview of fear, horror and madness in various game systems (Call of Cthulhu, Chill, GURPS, Kult, Little Fears, Trail of Cthulhu), a My Life With Master scenario, a Rolemaster/SpaceMaster story. In addition there's designer's notes for a teaching RPG, a fantasy NPC halfling who is fond of rabbits. Minsghi provides the industry news and Andrew Moshos reviews Avatar. Jensen provides artwork and Steve Saunders helps out our Lord Orcus.
rockwood: (Smile)
[personal profile] rockwood
An interview by Game Banshee with Green Ronin's Chris Pramas gives some insight into the upcoming tabletop RPG based on Bioware's computer game, Dragon Age: Origins.

The game looks like it will be very much an old-fashioned D&D-esque game (class and level based, the three classes being Warrior, Mage, and Rogue), but with some new twists (3d6 + one ability score for all tests, spell point system instead of Vancian magic, and no alignment system). It's slated to be released in chunks rather than in a preview--> whole big book format, so the first release is a $29.99 boxed set with a player's guide, GM's guide, a world map, and 3d6, which covers levels 1-5, with later releases covering 6-10, 11-15, and 16-20. With no intention to compile them into a single book, or at least no intention at this point; what you buy in the basic set IS really the complete game, with the full rules, just limited to one set of levels.

It's an interesting departure from most current release models, but I have to say that I kind of like it. Rather than paying $35 each for three books (Player's, GM's, Monster Manual) that I will only use part of from each at first (getting the full low-to-high level scale of everything in one book), I get to pay for what I'm about to use in the game.

Also, I admit that I like the idea of a Bioware-based tabletop RPG. I have great faith in their ability to craft an interesting world, and having a game drawn from that which wasn't hobbled by a D&D license on either Bioware's writing or Green Ronin's game design sounds epic!

But I also realize that others may disagree with me. Any thoughts? Anybody else interested?

Blessed be,
rockwood: (Default)
[personal profile] rockwood
A recent discussion on makes me curious to ask here: how is/was gaming handled at your high school, or any high schools you have first-hand experience with? Was there a gaming club, perhaps that met after school or on weekends? Did the faculty approve or disapprove of it? Was it banned because it was violent/satanic/involved Cheetos?

This applies primarily in the USA, but you can translate that to any schooling experience at any age group in any country and ask the same questions; I'd be interested to hear how different countries feel about gaming in schools.

My experiences with it can be summed up by my post from

While I'm sure there are a few places it would still be frowned upon, the past 5-10 years have brought about huge changes in the how the media--and parents--perceive roleplaying. Even fundamental religious groups have mostly gotten beyond the Jack Chick level, especially since D&D is no longer the only RPG in public consciousness, and you can find games that actively promote religious faith (or, at least, aren't about demons and magic).

The even higher visibility of computer gaming and video gaming has also helped tabletop RPGs, since the 'questionable content' of most tabletop games pale in comparison to console shooters, let alone computerized RPGs. Many school districts are experimenting with the incorporation of "virtual environments" (ie, Second Life) into their classrooms, and I've just this morning been researching using RPGs and MMORPGs in classrooms as teaching tools--I'm planning a 'departmental paper'/thesis on the subject, and there's plenty of first-hand research available.

Given those shifts, the vast majority of the population of the US is more likely to be comfortable with RPGs than they were even five years ago. There'll always be people who object, but school districts aren't so likely to bow down and eject a voluntary activity; just as many school districts have a GLBT/allies support group or club, the parents who object can keep their OWN kids out of the group, but can't usually keep the group out of the school.

In short, current research* suggests that the trend is no longer that parents try to ban D&D, and further, that even when they do, the school districts, etc are less likely to listen. Some people do still object to RPGs, Tolkein, and Harry Potter, but fewer than ever.

Blessed be,

*Based on the papers/documents/magazine articles I've been finding, largely from 2006-Feb 2009, and speaking with teachers from Maine, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, and Indiana.

Quoted from thread at:
bryant: (Default)
[personal profile] bryant
So I'm one of those relatively rare birds who loves both sports and gaming. Note: loves. It's not just that I don't mind watching a game if someone else wants to watch one; I'm passionate about them. I was up till 3 AM last year around this time when my Celtics won the NBA Finals before I could finally fall asleep.

Am I a rare enough bird so that there'll never be an RPG with a heavy sports component? I guess pro wrestling is the one exception, but pro wrestling isn't a sport per se. There happens to be enough serious pro wrestling fans among the ranks of RPG creators that every now and again, someone pumps one out... I actually wrote part of the wrestling sourcebook for Eden's All Flesh Must Be Eaten. But that's apparently the exception.

And what would a sports RPG look like, anyhow?
rockwood: (Default)
[personal profile] rockwood
In the interests of getting some discussion going on this community...

What are your thoughts on diceless roleplaying games? A good idea, a bad one?

Amber Diceless and Everway are two of the more common diceless games, but there are more than a few others out there.

If you're not familiar with them, diceless games tend to rely mechanically on comparing your stats to the difficulty or enemy directly; other than situational modifiers, there's no roll involved. Some dicless games do involve a randomizer of some kind, like Everway's Fate deck (basically a deck of tarot-style cards the GM interprets), but others use a 'currency' system, where you can spend a few Karma Points or similar to boost your abilities temporarily.

All this tends towards a much more descriptive game; both the players and the GM have to be willing to talk things out a lot more than in, say, D&D. It can be very tactical in some ways, as you still maneuver for the advantage in each situation, but it's a step further away from miniatures wargames and closer to group storytelling.

So... have you ever played anything like that? Would you, given the chance?

Blessed be,
rockwood: (Default)
[personal profile] rockwood
Greetings! I'm Nathan Rockwood, a game designer and author (Serenity RPG, BSG RPG, Demon Hunters, Cortex RPG System), and since DW is just starting up, I figured I'd poke around for an RPG related community. This one looks good :-)

Couple of questions for Bryant, the admin: Do you want to post some community rules in the bio? It might prevent drama later; you know, the basics, like staying on-topic, don't be disrespectful to others, etc.

Also, do you want to set a policy regarding introductory posts? Some folk prefer that community members NOT do what I'm doing here, and post just introduce themselves, and so they have special threads for that; others don't mind.

Blessed be,
bryant: (Default)
[personal profile] bryant
The rules: Every Monday, I pick a piece of popular media -- a book, a movie, a TV show, or even an album. You pick a roleplaying world and talk about how you'd combine the two. Post on your blog or LiveJournal, and stick a pointer to your post in the comments here; if you don't have a blog, then go ahead and abuse my comments section for your own pleasure.

Our Monday Mashup for this week is Fringe, the television home of bad science and fun characterization. Remember, kids, always cultivate vaccines in your own spinal fluid!

Spoilers for the show may follow.
Read more... )
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