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Kevin Klemme
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Mycelia Board Game Review

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River Wild Board Game Review

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Outback Crossing Review

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What ROLE-PLAYING have you been doing?

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03 Aug 2015 11:42 #207818 by Green Lantern
I was able to give the Firefly RPG from Margaret Weis Productions a whirl on Saturday and my initial impression is favorable. It uses the Cortex Plus rules for those familiar with them. In short, you build a dice pool with various d4 thru d12 combinations based on your PC, the environment, and any complications that might apply and try to beat a target number based on an opposing roll. The game is fairly rules light and focuses more on narrating a tale over skirmish rules or mountains of spell and equipment lists and I like that. Gone are my days of wrestling with encounter levels and accounting for every experience point or gold piece.

I'm looking forward to more and hope my group continues to stick with it so we can get to know the system better.

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03 Aug 2015 12:14 #207825 by Shellhead
I played in a Firefly campaign for a while. The system is solid, and they did a nice job with the setting. But the experience of playing Firefly is somewhat disappointing. A lot of what I liked about the show was the humor and the interaction between the characters, and normal roleplayers just don't bring much of either to the table.

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03 Aug 2015 12:32 #207826 by Shellhead
My Ptolus (D&D 3.5) campaign has stagnated in the last year. We have been meeting less regularly, and certain players spend too much time picking spells. Worse yet, the combats have been bogging down with 3 of the 7 players frequently summoning creatures. Sometimes as many as half the participants in a fight will be creatures summoned by the druid and the two wizards. After 3 years of usually bi-weekly gaming, the average party level is only 12th.

So I have notified my players that I am accelerating the pace of the campaign, in order to finish sooner and with more action. For the next five or six sessions, we will start in the middle of things, at the start of a combat. To simulate skipped encounters leading up to that combat, I will put a pile of d6s on the table and ask the players to assign the dice to their characters. Spellcasters can cross off memorized spells to eliminate dice equal to the expended spell levels. Any remaining dice are rolled against the assigned characters as damage. If the players take too long to assign the dice, I will add additional dice to the pile. After the first combat, I will summarize the next several traps and encounters and put out another pile of dice. Then we will proceed to the next key encounter. A few of these key encounters will be traps, puzzles or encounters with important non-hostile NPCs. After each session, I will hand out grants of XP sufficient to level up each player character.

Once I get the party up to 17th or 18th level, I will drop out of accelerated mode as they begin the final adventure of the campaign. If that bogs down in the first session, I will resume the acceleration somewhat, to move quickly through the less interesting encounters. My intention is to finish the whole campaign within the next six months. I enjoyed the campaign, at least up until recent months, but it seems like the sweet spot for D&D 3.5 is maybe 4th through 10th level. The low level adventures are too easily derailed by character casualties, and the high level adventures seem to bog down to the complex potential interactions of a wide range of spells, monsters, magic items, and character abilities.

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03 Aug 2015 15:38 #207845 by Green Lantern
That was my experience playing Pathfinder and Star Wars Saga Edition, Shellhead. Anything below level 10 was fine, but after that it got to be too much or a burden to manage NPC stat blocks, piles of HP, and list of feats and spells. It felt more like an accounting class at the higher levels and that just took too much time away from the story telling aspect of playing an RPG so I ditched those systems.

To add to your point about most RP'ers not having the chops to portray a Firefly game I can see that, but like most games, it really depends on the players and the chemistry between them far more than the system to have a good time, and that doesn't apply only to RPGs either. There are folks I like playing Twilight Imperiumwith and there are other gamers who don't like that style of game and make playing it a miserable experience.

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21 Aug 2015 08:44 - 21 Aug 2015 08:45 #208931 by Sagrilarus
My three boys have fired up the 1st/2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons again, and I've been sitting in with Friar Grazie, my 5th level Cleric/Thief. They've been taking turns DMing and my character is getting an array of magical items that don't exactly fit with my previous 40 years of "normal" stuff. I have an Orb of Not Quite Flying, which largely does what it says. Last night I got a magic morning star -- +3 to hit, ignores shields, hits critical on a 19 or 20, and on a natural roll of 17 if you hit it's not from the swinging ball. Instead you've swung back like normal but instead of swinging forward you've pushed a button on the handle and a rod has shot out the bottom of the handle and hit your opponent in the eye. Boink! +3 damage in that case. I've named it the Curley Joe Morning Star.

I went online last night to pick up a couple of extra copies of the Player's Handbook and Unearthed Arcana, which I used to be able to pick up used for about $6. They're up to about $12 now, more than they originally sold for. It would be nice to have duplicate copies with four of us playing. I'm surprised their price is going up, making me wonder if more people are showing interest in the original rules again. Either that or more guys like me are too cheap and too lazy to buy their kids the new stuff instead.
Last edit: 21 Aug 2015 08:45 by Sagrilarus.
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21 Aug 2015 09:10 #208936 by the_jake_1973
I love the idea of the Orb of Not Quite Flying.

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21 Aug 2015 09:11 #208937 by Black Barney
i don't know if this is on-topic but I used an image of a succubus last night
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22 Sep 2015 13:13 #211115 by Green Lantern
I just started up a D&D 5E game on Roll20 this week and my first impressions are good. We're going to try and play through all of the starter box adventure, The Lost Mine of Phandelver. I've heard only good things about it and wanted to give it a spin so here we go. I'm really digging the proficiency bonus and how simple it is to implement. The rules are pretty simple, including the use of advantage/disadvantage. Very sweet.

Has anyone found any good online character builders or rules references? Any good house rules you've put into play or found were necessary to address gaps in the rules?
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22 Sep 2015 23:44 #211170 by dysjunct
Re: LMOP, nah dude, just play it as is. D&D is flexible enough to roll with it. If you have a bunch of players from Pathfinder, tell them that any new characters start with zero XP. That will stop them from making "builds" and otherwise playing solitaire at your expense.

To answer the OP, I actually played two RPGs this week:

- on Saturday I ran D&D&D: Dads and Daughters and Dungeons. Technically Dungeon Crawl Classics. Running Sailors on the Starless Sea for three 30ish/40ish friends plus their tween daughters. There was terror, fear, and carnage. The next generation has been indoctrinated.

- on Sunday I played in the FFG Star Wars RPG. We spent all evening drinking and making characters so it's hard to draw conclusions. I made a droid named Dee Three Arr Pee, or D3RP, because I have a hard time taking Star Wars seriously. We will see.

I am very excited for D^3 next week.
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23 Sep 2015 08:21 - 23 Sep 2015 10:53 #211175 by Mr. White
So, how far did they get into Sailors on the Starless Sea and what did you think of it?

I love the DCC RPG and have considered an article on it, but I'm curious how well it works for new role-players. It's different in then growing up with D&D as with DCC's funnel everyone is making multiple characters...and not getting attached to any. Also, most of the official DCC modules themselves are for very high character counts, so players either need to run multiple characters each or they need to fill out the party with a bunch of henchmen.

Again, I love the game, but it doesn't seem to lend itself to the more traditional "make a character and get into that character's world". DCC RPG seems more like Descent or a dungeoncrawl game. Roll up a bunch of folks and see who will survive the module. Makes for a great evening for me and people my age who aren't necessarily into world building or talking like elves, but I'm curious how well it is suited for new role-players.
Last edit: 23 Sep 2015 10:53 by Mr. White.
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23 Sep 2015 20:18 #211208 by dysjunct
So far it's working well. They are into the keep, explored the temple with the ooze, and just opened the door to the tower with the beast men.

The funnel is fine, like literally no issues. Each of the girls has lost one character but none of the dads have. I think it's about setting proper expectations. They all knew they were going to die horribly. And the dads' enthusiasm for marching boldly into the meat grinder helped them get the proper degree of raucous fatalism dialed in.

Everyone is playing three characters to start with. One they get to first level, I'll throw in more character stuff. But you don't want to get too attached to the zero-levels.

Lots of fun moments. Randomly rolling dwarfish names and helping an eight-year-old spell "Sigridsdottir." Watching the kids decide to burn the bodies of their recently deceased characters to prevent zombiism. Etc.
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23 Sep 2015 20:32 #211210 by Gary Sax

dysjunct wrote: proper degree of raucous fatalism dialed in.


I like that, I need to write that down.
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24 Sep 2015 21:37 #211287 by dysjunct

Gary Sax wrote:

dysjunct wrote: proper degree of raucous fatalism dialed in.


I like that, I need to write that down.


Tattoo it on your forehead.

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09 Oct 2015 09:57 #212217 by Green Lantern
There's a nice bundle of holding for The One Ring rpg running:

bundleofholding.com/presents/TheOneRing

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12 Nov 2015 11:23 #214917 by Green Lantern
Force and Destiny Beginner Game - this is a great set for those into story telling, love Star Wars, or are curious to try out a cool RPG. The set comes with a set of nice tokens, some maps, two condensed rulebooks, and a good introductory adventure that teaches the rules. On top of all that you get four pre-generated characters with enough backstory to tie everything together and give the story some momentum. The icing on the cake is the set of custom dice you get, which almost cost as much as the entire beginner set if you purchase them as a stand alone product.

I've played a bit of Edge of the Empire and was curious how Force and Destiny would set itself apart, and it looks like the biggest difference is the use of morality over obligation to motivate the PCs. This is a nice touch as it reflects what we see in the movies when a Force user is tempted by the dark side and risks falling from the light. The default setting seems be the same time period as the Star Wars Rebels TV series, approximately five years before the Battle of Yavin, but there's no reason you couldn't use the game to explore the post RotJ era or go back to the Old Republic and take on DARTH MALAK.

If you are a fan of Star Wars and particulary enjoy the moral dilemmas and philosophical exploration of good vs. evil I can't recommend Force and Destiny enough.

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