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Lunar Base Board Game Review

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10 Feb 2019 22:49 #292050 by RolandHemisphere
I'm currently DMing a campaign in Eberron with three friends. My first go 'round as a DM, and my first RPG play since doing a GURPS campaign in the mid 90s (fuck, that long ago?) and I dig it. Eberron is a perfect setting for a fantasy light adventure. It's actually gotten me into reading fantasy again to gather material to steal.
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11 Feb 2019 08:06 #292062 by Shellhead
Over the course of the last three months, I ran all three one-shot Call of Cthulhu adventures from John Wick's Curse of the Yellow Sign. One adventure is set just before World War II. One adventure is contemporary. The third adventure is set in the future. All three adventures come with pre-made characters who are carefully designed with built-in conflicts with each other. This led to intrigue, paranoia, betrayal, and a fair amount of pvp combat. Actually, I shouldn't use the word "adventure," as these are horror scenarios and not adventures. If any of the characters survive, they will be haunted by traumatic memories until the end of their dismal lives. I think there were 4 survivors out of the 20 characters played over the course of three sessions.

Each scenario setting seems generally inspired by a specific movie, but with a significant difference to avoid predictability. The first adventure is The Keep, the second adventure is The Shining, and the third is Alien. But that's just setting, and the story is a whole different deal. For example, the contemporary adventure is set in a grand, abandoned hotel with a bad reputation in Colorado. But the adventure is a brilliant director and his favorite actors sitting down for a read-through of the infamous play, The King in Yellow. The futuristic setting starts with explorers waking up from suspended animation during a long spaceflight, but there are no xenomorphs.

All three adventures have ties to the peculiar pre-Lovecraft mythos that has built up around the King in Yellow. Wick does a great job of addressing the fundamental themes of that mythos within the context of three very different settings. All three adventures offer some interesting tips for staging the adventures, as well as an alternative streamlined rules set for a GM who finds even Call of Cthulhu to have too many confining rules. However, Wick's work needed some editing. There are a few mistakes on the premade character sheets, and some promised bonus material on his website was never actually done. And there are aspects of each adventure that assume that a GM is great at improvising on the fly.

While I am capable of improvising after decades of GM experience, I am even better at advance prep work. So I put in 15 to 20 hours of prep for each session. I recalculated the character sheets. I made additional character sheets so that certain NPCs would be playable characters, or so there would be spare characters in case I had a high player count or characters got killed too early in the session. I even burned music mixes of thematically appropriate music for each session. For example, the futuristic session featured the Alien OST and also the soundtrack to the excellent Alien: Isolation pc game. I created or otherwise located missing material to flesh out each session.

Players had fun. There were some really dramatic role-playing moments due to the pvp aspect. There were moments of unexpected comedy. Players made clever plans, or appropriately role-played the ignorance of their characters. By the end of the third session, some players complained that it was a no-win scenario, and I admitted that they were correct and that was by design. Most of the players were experienced Call of Cthulhu players, but probably all of them started out many years ago with D&D, so they have that core belief that the players are supposed to win.
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11 Feb 2019 10:05 #292070 by charlest
I'll second Dust Devils. Perfect for a one shot that really nails the thematic underpinnings of the genre.

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11 Feb 2019 11:52 - 11 Feb 2019 11:53 #292077 by NeonPeon

allismom3 wrote: Just wrapped up a almost 3 year campaign of Labyrinth Lord. Lots of 1st level character deaths in the beginning, but we eventually got a handle on the lethality and most characters eventually got up to 7th level. Another guy is going to run the next few months to give me a DM break. I think we might go with T&T. I haven't played it since the 80's, but the guy who's wants to run it, just got the newest version from a recent Kickstarter from Flying Buffalo. Another factor is that Rick Loomis, long time owner of Flying Buffalo, had a recent cancer scare. He says the prognosis is good, but is looking for any extra sales to help offset the costs of medical bills his insurance won't cover. A bunch of us put a order together for a bunch of books, GM screen, ect to help him out.

T&T is tons of fun and the only RPG I play anymore. It's easy to kill off players however so hopefully your friend is a careful GM. ;) I'm going to kick off a campaign in about two weeks and bring some kids into the fold. I highly recommend joining the Facebook group "Tunnels & Trolls (Let's talk about Tunnels & Trolls)" for a good community of T&T fans, including the guys behind the scenes, i.e. Ken St. Andre, Steve Crompton and Rick Loomis themselves. Liz Danforth also shows up once in a blue moon. :) Great group of folks.
Last edit: 11 Feb 2019 11:53 by NeonPeon.
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11 Feb 2019 13:44 #292086 by stormseeker75
I'm running a solo D&D 5E campaign for my wife to break her into RPGs before our group campaign starts. She likes it and is excited to play with our friends. I was not planning on doing this right now because school is overwhelming, but hey, we're all enjoying it. Now I'm making counters out of old Magic cards, epoxy domes, and wooden discs.
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12 Feb 2019 19:02 #292136 by allismom3

NeonPeon wrote:

allismom3 wrote: Just wrapped up a almost 3 year campaign of Labyrinth Lord. Lots of 1st level character deaths in the beginning, but we eventually got a handle on the lethality and most characters eventually got up to 7th level. Another guy is going to run the next few months to give me a DM break. I think we might go with T&T. I haven't played it since the 80's, but the guy who's wants to run it, just got the newest version from a recent Kickstarter from Flying Buffalo. Another factor is that Rick Loomis, long time owner of Flying Buffalo, had a recent cancer scare. He says the prognosis is good, but is looking for any extra sales to help offset the costs of medical bills his insurance won't cover. A bunch of us put a order together for a bunch of books, GM screen, ect to help him out.

T&T is tons of fun and the only RPG I play anymore. It's easy to kill off players however so hopefully your friend is a careful GM. ;) I'm going to kick off a campaign in about two weeks and bring some kids into the fold. I highly recommend joining the Facebook group "Tunnels & Trolls (Let's talk about Tunnels & Trolls)" for a good community of T&T fans, including the guys behind the scenes, i.e. Ken St. Andre, Steve Crompton and Rick Loomis themselves. Liz Danforth also shows up once in a blue moon. :) Great group of folks.


You weren't kidding about character death. 2 sessions- 2 dead characters. It took a bit to wrap our head around the abstracted group combat, but I think we now have the hang of it. I'm not really a Facebook guy, but I may drop in to see what's up. Rick seems like a really good guy, the kind you can hang out with and have a beer.
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13 Feb 2019 13:51 - 13 Feb 2019 13:52 #292174 by NeonPeon

allismom3 wrote: You weren't kidding about character death. 2 sessions- 2 dead characters. It took a bit to wrap our head around the abstracted group combat, but I think we now have the hang of it. I'm not really a Facebook guy, but I may drop in to see what's up. Rick seems like a really good guy, the kind you can hang out with and have a beer.

Rick really only pops in once in a while to talk business really, it's mostly Ken you can talk about gaming with and BS with, and to a lesser extent Steve. Sorry for your losses. :) BTW in T&T combat, many GMs let players get creative and make saving rolls to pull off what are often referred to as "stunts" instead of straight rolling dice round after round. For example you could say "I'm going to try to blind one of the ogres by throwing sand in his eyes" and the GM will decide what SR you need to pull off - what happens if you succeed (maybe he's disabled for a round) vs. if you fail (you miss and maybe you don't get to roll your normal combat roll because you wasted time throwing sand around). The game lends itself well to this kind of improvisation.
Last edit: 13 Feb 2019 13:52 by NeonPeon.

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14 Feb 2019 12:16 #292279 by allismom3

NeonPeon wrote:

allismom3 wrote: You weren't kidding about character death. 2 sessions- 2 dead characters. It took a bit to wrap our head around the abstracted group combat, but I think we now have the hang of it. I'm not really a Facebook guy, but I may drop in to see what's up. Rick seems like a really good guy, the kind you can hang out with and have a beer.

Rick really only pops in once in a while to talk business really, it's mostly Ken you can talk about gaming with and BS with, and to a lesser extent Steve. Sorry for your losses. :) BTW in T&T combat, many GMs let players get creative and make saving rolls to pull off what are often referred to as "stunts" instead of straight rolling dice round after round. For example you could say "I'm going to try to blind one of the ogres by throwing sand in his eyes" and the GM will decide what SR you need to pull off - what happens if you succeed (maybe he's disabled for a round) vs. if you fail (you miss and maybe you don't get to roll your normal combat roll because you wasted time throwing sand around). The game lends itself well to this kind of improvisation.


Excellent combat advice, thank you.
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15 Apr 2019 09:15 #295509 by Josh Look
I got together with Uba, Al, Eggshen and another friend who lurks around here to play Dungeon World.

I’ve owned the book for YEARS, and reading through it excites me to play in ways no other RPG book does, but I just never got around to running it.

I played a single session years ago, shoehorned into a long running D&D 5e campaign because our DM wanted to try it out. Let me say that is NOT the way to play Dungeon World. You really should go in with nothing in mind for actual stories, just ideas, set pieces, monsters, etc. The way that everything falls together during character creation is pure magic.

I’m not going to prattle in about what happened, but I will say that not only did I have a great time, I may have had the *best* time I’ve had since getting into RPGs before I had even hit my teenage years.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, allismom3, engineer Al, DarthJoJo

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15 Apr 2019 11:06 #295517 by quozl
Lately, I've been doing one on one roleplaying with my daughter every week. Last week, her whole stable of characters died in my fantasy Chinese campaign. (We were playing the awesome Flying Swordsmen RPG.) So we've decided to give Ars Magica a try.
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15 Apr 2019 14:13 #295529 by dysjunct
Did session 2 of BLADES IN THE DARK and boy howdy is that a hoot. The roots of Apocalypse World are still there if you squint hard enough but it is much crunchier, which I like.

The setup of the setting has a bunch of powder kegs and the way failure works makes it easy to spin things out of control for the thieves.

In our particular story, one of the characters successfully found the hideout of a rival gang leader, but rolled a complication, so I presented him with being recognized by an orphan, so he’d have to decide whether to kill Tiny Tim or not. He instead chose to piss himself and start ranting, so no one would think he was actually a hardened thief but some crazy drunk.

Like Josh mentions for DW, the game is almost actively anti-prep. There are no stats for NPCs. Tables for generating leads on jobs.

The books itself is pleasure to read. It feels almost oracular, like the 1e AD&D DMG — nuggets of wisdom buried in the text, waiting to be rediscovered.
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01 Aug 2019 12:39 #300355 by barrowdown
I ran my game group through the intro scenario "Portal Under the Stars" for Dungeon Crawl Classics last night. Our 5e campaign is probably dead as the DM (and my primary wargaming opponent) will be moving in a couple of months so he had been not prepping anything for a while. We also had been missing at least one person the past several weeks, which is why all of the board gaming.

Anyways, the others had never played DCC before and they seemed to enjoy it. It was 0-level so they all had four characters and everyone lost at least one. The usual DM lost all but one character (who was an intelligence 5 genius). The best character death was when the DM's 1-hp character fumbled a roll to see if they could descent quickly from a statue and fell to his death. The DM also lost a character when he went off alone by himself to explore. The high point for the group was their epic struggle against some harmless crystalline beings that did not need to occur. They did however spend most of the session coming up with a complex plan involving chains and ropes for leverage, careful timing, and teamwork of all eight remaining party members. The result? Dunking the beings in the water to no effect. They could have also just walked by them, but they felt extremely threatened.

I think everyone is up for playing again with 1st-level characters. The chosen characters were suboptimal as they had grown attached to the one with the most humorous story instead of the "best" character.
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01 Aug 2019 15:20 #300364 by jpat
This is more "RPing I'm thinking of doing," but I'm intending to try to pull a few ppl together for a short arc for Edge of the Empire/SW RPG. Just a follow-on to the beginner-box adventure some of them did a few years ago. I'm intending just to summarize that one and move on to the Hutt follow up for a few sessions. I might continue to look for games on Roll20, but the last time I looked it wasn't too promising--not many options, and those tended to be late for this old man.

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01 Aug 2019 16:47 #300368 by dysjunct
DCC is so great.

I'm reading, and looking forward to running, SHINOBIGAMI ("God of the Ninja"), a Japanese RPG that just dropped in the English translation. It has a Fiasco-like scene-setting structure (but with a GM), an En Garde-ish combat mechanic (but with dice instead of cards), and a reaction chart to randomly generate your emotional response to the other PCs. Plus mechanics to let you use your emotional connections to ambush people, uncover their secrets, or help your allies.

Made for one-shots and looks slick as hell. I'm doing a read-through at RPGG:

www.rpggeek.com/thread/2247909/lets-read-shinobigami
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01 Aug 2019 17:39 #300372 by Michael Barnes
My son had a buddy over and I coerced him into wanting to try D&D. Handed him and my son a precon fighter and ran this super silly one shot from Prepared, a Kobold Press book of short scenarios. They don’t give much to go on, but enough to freeball with for two hours or so.

It turned out to be super fun. They were sent by a town mayor to investigate some roadside robberies and they came across an overturned wagon that had been turned into a makeshift goblin fort. They had to figure out how to get in, and my son’s friend turned out to be a total murder hobo. So they burned it down while the goblins shot at them and taunted them. Under the wagon was a tunnel that had a little pit trap and a chamber where Dib, a rowdy Bugbear awaited. He was kind of a self-styled wrestling champion, so it turned into a battle royale with goblin ring announcers and and everything. I came up with on-the-fly rules for wrestling, and they had to put him down for the 1-2-3.

The kid LOVED it and asked to play again in the morning. So there was a follow-up in Prepared 2 that I modified to make it part of the same story.This time, Dib’s brother Dib 2 )that’s right) rolled into town in a makeshift battle tank made from a broken down wagon and propelled by furiously peddling goblins. I totally cribbed Road Warrior And has him pop up and give a homage to Humongous’ speech. But he also proclaimed himself the “ultra heavyweight goblin wrasslin’ champion” complete with belt. So this tank trundled around a town setup I made with terrain pieces and terrorizes the good folks. I came up with rules t make it move erratically, and the goal was to protect the town square and three prized statues of the town’s founders.

So it was just a goofy battle encounter, with lots of torch throwing, trying to jump on the wagon, hacking off one of the wheels...Dib 2 even popped up out of the turret to piss on the fire they were trying to start. They stopped it right before it hit the statues and Dib 2 called for a match. So they wrestled again, this time the action resulted in one statue getting knocked over after of them was slammed into it, which fell on to the other, and then the other. Two goblins were squished. They tag-teamed him and pinned him for the 3 count, and he gave them the belt- which the Mayor confiscated to pay for damage to the statues.

I think the kid wants to play more, so we may have the makings of a new party.
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