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TabletopIsland
October 31, 2020
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October 30, 2020
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oliverkinne
October 29, 2020
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October 29, 2020
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boardgameinquisition
October 29, 2020
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October 28, 2020
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Andi Lennon
October 28, 2020
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oliverkinne
October 27, 2020
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October 25, 2020
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Jaws Review

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Michael Barnes
October 22, 2020
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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

× Use the stickied threads for short updates.

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What ROLE-PLAYING have you been doing?

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25 Feb 2020 17:25 #307473 by dysjunct
Hmm, I dunno. There are some solid games designed for younger kids. HERO KIDS is great, as is TAILS OF EQUESTRIA.

If they are teen/tween or up, you might as well run B/X, but younger than that, something rules-light is probably best. MAZE RATS (made by the designer to play with his 5th-grade students) or the aforementioned KNAVE (same designer, but better OSR compatibility). Or HERO KIDS or TOE.

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26 Feb 2020 09:53 #307490 by thegiantbrain
Currently playing a home brew anime inspired game which is really good fun and going to be setting of on Greek Adventures with Agon on Sunday.

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26 Feb 2020 10:49 #307496 by charlest
Agon is awesome. Loved that game.

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02 Mar 2020 10:28 #307602 by Shellhead
First time role-playing in over a year. An old friend who I have known since grade school recently reached out to me on Facebook. I'm on Facebook often, and friended him a decade ago, but he is rarely on Facebook. Anyway, he retired early on his military pension and currently runs two D&D campaigns on Discord. He persuaded me to give it a try by playing an NPC in his high-level 5E weekend game. I already had a Discord account, so he friended me on there and we traded a few messages to make sure the interface would work. My computer doesn't have a microphone but does have nice speakers, so I sent him messages while he talked to me. Saturday didn't work out, but he was also running a short sidebar session on Sunday for a couple of players engaged in a subplot.

Playing an rpg on Discord is okay. He had a camera feed set up and pointed at a big game table with a map and miniatures. He and his girlfriend were there and on laptops. Another local player was present via internet so he wouldn't need to drive across town. They could all talk via microphones in their computers, while I had to type my messages. One of the other players eventually switched to messages, because he didn't like the way his microphone was working. I'm a really fast typist, so it wasn't much of a hinderance. I learned how to use the dice-roller function, but this was mostly a role-playing interlude and there was no combat. I played a doppleganger, but the other player characters knew that. The story involved planning and reconnaissance for a heist during an upcoming masquerade. The host seems to be a vampire, and has some connection to a local drug dealer/pimp/rogue who is selling a highly addictive blood-based drug. Like any rpg session, sometimes I was very involved, and sometimes not at all, and it was easy to tab over to Facebook or newsites while sort of listening in on other conversations in the game. Discord would ping me whenever there was a new message or picture posted there while I was at another site.

Even though I haven't seen this friend in ages, I felt like I was almost reading his mind during game. He would give a very faint wisp of a clue, and I would know immediately and precisely what was going on. By the time an NPC ditched me just after turning a corner into an alleyway, the first thing I typed was "I look up to the sky to see if I spot either a fluttering bat or billowing mist." It wasn't that he had DMed much for me or vice versa back in the day. We actually tended to both DM for our own groups of players, but sometimes compared notes. And we read a lot of the same books and comics back then. Anyway, it was moderately fun, and I will probably play with their group from time to time.

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02 Mar 2020 11:47 #307605 by Michael Barnes
I've got some longtime friends trying to get me to run a remote game for them, I still haven't really looked into it. That sounds fun though.

I just got the Labyrinth Adventure Game, a new thing from River Horse (they did the cool Terminator board game last year and the previous Labyrinth/Dark Crystal games that were bad). This book has blown me away. It is an extremely simple RPG (like, just over the complexity of a Fighting Fantasy book really) with an amazing format. The Goblin King (GM) keeps track of everything on a sheet. There are 200 or so encounters and they are sketched out in a very OSR style (light on text, lots of tables, lots of room for improv and bespoke story elements). They are mostly written by Ben Milton, who does the Questing Beast reviews on YouTube, with some guest spots from Patrick Stuart (Deep Carbon Observatory), Matt Ward, Alessio Cavatore (both Warhammer), and others.

After each encounter, you roll and add to the progress to determine where to go next, with the possibility of random encounters or events along the way. The goal is to reach the center (duh) in 13 hours and get "something" from the Goblin King. The players determine what this is when they make a character.

Characters have no actual stats. Things they are good at and bad at, maybe some equipment. It's a 2D6 versus DC system. If you have a tool, situation or trait that makes a roll advantaged, you get a bonus. Or you might get hindered and have a disadvantage. The end. That's the whole system, thanks.

It looks absolutely brilliant and thoroughly accessible. The book is just marvelous, with lots of new Froud illustrations and little cut-out in the pages where you can store the two custom owl dice that it comes with. Three bookmark ribbons. And it is styled like the book in the movie, which is just a lovely touch.

It was just like $28 too...can't wait to try it out.
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02 Mar 2020 14:15 #307608 by dysjunct
Where did you find Labyrinth for $28? It's like $60 on Amazon.

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04 Mar 2020 14:19 #307675 by BillyBobThwarton
Just a follow up on my last post. Decided to stick to the board game slot rather that delve into AD&D. That left me the 5E slot. Stressed myself out getting through work that morning, ate a junky lunch on the way there, paid my parking, hiked a ways, found the room, met three nice folks, but the DM never showed.

Another day I suppose.

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04 Mar 2020 15:07 #307677 by Shellhead

BillyBobThwarton wrote: Just a follow up on my last post. Decided to stick to the board game slot rather that delve into AD&D. That left me the 5E slot. Stressed myself out getting through work that morning, ate a junky lunch on the way there, paid my parking, hiked a ways, found the room, met three nice folks, but the DM never showed.

Another day I suppose.


As a form of gaming, role-playing is fundamentally fragile compared to boardgaming. When the DM is a no-show, there is no game. Or if too many players miss a session, the game probably gets put on pause. But if it had been a board game slot, you would have likely played a game.

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04 Mar 2020 21:31 #307687 by san il defanso
Looks like I'm running a game of Old School Essentials on Tuesday next week. I'm pretty excited about it! I'm actually going to run a module from Basic Fantasy Roleplaying, which can be converted with basically minimal effort. Looking forward to finally getting OSE to the table.
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05 Mar 2020 00:09 #307689 by blatz
Nice! I’m also running Old School Essentials on Friday night for some friends. Gonna try Stonehell mixed with some home brew story and see how it goes. Character creation night was a ton of fun. Everyone seemed almost relieved by the simplicity and the idea that they get to flesh out their stories DURING play, not before. I forced them all to be human classes with the exception of one Demi-human. I never realized until now how much I miss old D&D basic.

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05 Mar 2020 02:39 #307690 by Michael Barnes
For me, that is one of the things I love most about playing OSE/BX- not having to spend 3 hours making a character. Having players “discuss” their backstory with you. Somebody handing you a six page story to read about their character. Going over the tons of options for their character...

My son had a friend over and he wanted to play...I said “cool, well make you a couple of characters”. He was like “doesn’t it take a long time, my friend said it takes hours”. He was dungeon ready with 2 characters in 10 minutes.

My main group is TOTALLY into “character emerges through play” now. And as the DM, it’s so much more fun than trying hit a bunch of forced notes or beats from character backstories.

There are some official OSE pregens that are a lot of fun- look for the Rogues Gallery on DTRPG.

Stonehell is incredible. I’ve just done bits and pieces of it for one shots but it is so well laid out and easy to run with NO prep. Lethal as hell though. I like the setup before the prison a lot, but it can take a while to actually get into it so if you aren’t looking at a longer campaign, consider just putting them right in it.

Something else to consider is troupe play. I am all about this now in every game I run. I don’t have any regular players with less than 2 characters. It encourages you to not hold back (as character death doesn’t “eliminate” a player) and it also increases the field of options available for the player. And, a lot of older adventures are for high player counts (I think Saltmarsh supports up to 10-12 characters). Another effect is that instead of getting hirelings (which can be fun) you have full characters on the roster.

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05 Mar 2020 13:04 #307705 by blatz
Yeah, that's a great idea. With only 3 players I was going to have to use henchmen. This makes way more sense. One guy just rolled a second character whose only good score is Charisma. This is going to be awesome.

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05 Mar 2020 13:17 #307706 by dysjunct
Looking at OSE, there's a ton of stuff on DTRPG. What's the best starting point?

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05 Mar 2020 14:02 #307708 by Michael Barnes
Duuuuuuuude. You just missed the big bundle sale with everything.

But this is still on sale, and it is all of the core materials you need. The individual PDFs cost more. There is a 2nd printing of the physical book coming but it will sell out with the quickness.

www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/279183
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05 Mar 2020 19:22 #307717 by san il defanso

dysjunct wrote: Looking at OSE, there's a ton of stuff on DTRPG. What's the best starting point?


The Rules Tome is the full ruleset in a single PDF/volume. Those can alternately be purchased in five smaller books: Core Rules, Genre Rules, Cleric & Magic-Users Spells, Monsters, and Treasures. There are also a couple other Advanced Rules books to essentially port the game closer to an AD&D kind of format, if you want.

If you're going with PDF the Rules Tome is all you need. I'm not sure I see the appeal of buying five separate PDFs, that seems more like an option for buying in print.
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