Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby McCaber » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:54 pm UTC

I was about to suggest just draw a tiny map copy of the parts the characters can see and erase the parts they can't, but then I remembered that 4.0 needs minis for combat.

Perhaps leave the main map blank and tell the group when they hit a wall, and give them a smaller dry-erase map they can see.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby TaintedDeity » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:59 pm UTC

I think having the map on screen and zooming in on the relevant part sounds like the best idea.
It shows them what they need to know, forces them to remember where they've been and shows nothing ahead.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:00 pm UTC

Steal some skill-challenge like mechanics for the maze. This lets you narrate getting lost, or finding interesting things/clues, or chases through the maze, without having to actually draw a 1000 x 1000 maze.

A problem with solving a maze is that it is best done by one person -- as there is only one set of decisions to make. And you have a group. Skill-challenge _like_ mechanics can work better.

Instead of abject failure when you accumulate X failures, instead have bad things (tm) happen with each failure. Encounters with defenders, traps, getting lost for days and running short of provisions, etc. Write up a bunch of bad things (tm) to happen in the maze, and throw one at them when they get a failure. When they get a N successes, they make it to the other side of the maze (or find interesting positive encounter #X).

Game isn't full on optimized and my DM has asked me not to entirely break his game. What do folks think?

A pure wizard, without any PrC boosting, is quite capable of breaking D&D power-wise. So really, pick something that seems flavourful and fun to play as a Wizard.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby HalfEvil333 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:01 am UTC

I have never really tried the DnD table top game and I don't really know anyone that does so I don't have a chance there :(

Does anyone know of any computer games that emulate the table top game? Its always been something that has interested me..
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:19 am UTC

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:41 pm UTC

and it emulates D&D the same way that a treadmill and the weather channel emulate running across a country.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Jessica » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:43 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:and it emulates D&D the same way that a treadmill and the weather channel emulate running across a country.
Clearly, you should turn the channel to the travel channel.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:49 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:and it emulates D&D the same way that a treadmill and the weather channel emulate running across a country.
Clearly, you should turn the channel to the travel channel.

That is NWN 2.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby McCaber » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:14 pm UTC

HalfEvil333 wrote:I have never really tried the DnD table top game and I don't really know anyone that does so I don't have a chance there :(

Does anyone know of any computer games that emulate the table top game? Its always been something that has interested me..

What you should do is use the internet to join a game. Perhaps if someone here wants to GM one over irc ... ?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Jessica » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:37 pm UTC

doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby YourReality » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:28 am UTC

HuzzahHenry wrote:I've been playing DnD (4th ed) for a year and have just been nominated as this year's DM - first, any general advice for a complete novice? Second, I really want to have a maze as one dungeon, a la Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but have no idea how to go about it so that the players can't see the whole maze - it can't all be visible on the table - but know what's directly ahead of and behind them - the game can't be completely obscured. I was thinking of having it on a computer screen, with the image zoomed in so only the appropriate section was visible, or drawing the maze out on lots of different pieces of paper, but I'm aware that this might be over-ambitious for a first adventure or simply not practical at all...Any ideas?
Thanks :)


I've just recently had a similar experience, although I wasn't so much actively nominated as left to take up the post if I wanted there to be any D&D playing happening. In any case, I've found that a really useful think to do is to start off the game with maybe a session of interesting, attention grabbing plot tidbits and then dive into a dungeon or something where there are a lot of encounters one after another before getting to another plot piece. It's really allowed me to get comfortable with the metaphorical meat and potatoes of the DM role while also allowing the party to get a sense of solidarity.

As for your mapping, the zoomed in computer screen sounds really handy. If that option doesn't really tickle your fancy you could always go low-tech and draw out your map on paper and put a blank sheet with a hole cut out of it over top of your map so that you can move it around a bit and only show a controlled window. When all's said and done the computer is probably easier than that, though.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby mickafen » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:17 pm UTC

@HuzzahHenry:
For mapping out dungeons and keeping the full extent hidden from players, I just recently discovered a pot full o' nerdy goodness called Map Tool.
As well as drawing maps and being able to move player and NPC tokens around on them, you can set up light sources and, crucially for what you're after, you can cover the whole thing in Fog of War. I've tested it out and it seems to work nicely although i haven't used it in a game yet.

I haven't tried the more extensive macroing tools out yet, but apparently you can also track health and states on all tokens (bloodied, cursed, marked, poisoned etc), manage initiative, power usage, and probably your stock prices and heartrate as well, Science only knows.

And it's FREE.

If you want to check it out, google for rptools dot net and/or MapTool.
(I don't post too often, so don't want to accidentally defy any policies by adding in links and invoke the wrath of ST...)

Incidentally i have no affiliation with the good folks at RPTools - i have just recently got back into DMing again after about an 18-year hiatus (mid-life crises FTW!!), and so have been ravenously devouring free lazy DM resources from teh webz.

edit: typos

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:47 pm UTC

I always found mapping a maze just plain annoying and a bit of time wasting. Assuming you have a wizard/cleric or some other somewhat scholarly type in the group someone is going to have some parchement and will just draw out the way they're going. As such I inevitably found it easier not to bother erasing the "old" parts of the maze and just continued to draw the maze as the PCs moved through it.

The only other suggestion to new DMing is to know how optimized your PCs are going to be. A fully optimized party (not necessarilly odd combinations of things, but just chosing the best powers per level) will wipe the floor with the "suggested" challenges that the DMG poses. I had an encounter that was easily 5 levels higher than the PCs (3 skeletons warrior type things and 2 of the eye of flame beholders) and the party would have destroyed them in a couple of rounds if I didn't practically triple the number of hit points the beholders had. After doing that it ended up being a challenging encounter but one they still really didn't have a chance at losing.

The group I play with is fairly good at powergaming. This leads to an issue that the monsters are rarely a good challenge without significant fudging of the dice rolls or hit points by the DM. This occurred in 3.5 as well. I haven't really found a good alternative to increasing monster HP to make combat reasonably challenging for well built PCs. Anyone else have any experience with this?

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby endercoaster » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:47 pm UTC

Re: oWoD vs. nWoD

I can't really give an overall opinion as I'm mainly interested in Hunter, and have only read the core rules. I'm weird like that, guess it comes from liking Supernatural. Given that, and given the flavor I like for Hunters, I gotta go with Vigil, with it's whole Hunters as normal humans who organize and fight back rather than just another supernatural group of things, except these supernatural things are on the side of the humans.

Hopefully at Gencon I can give the official Supernatural RPG a spin and see whether I like the mechanics for that more or less than WW, seeing as how it'd be fairly effortless to use the Supernatural flavors with Vigil rules.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:11 pm UTC

I may be mistaken, having only a passing familiarity with Supernatural (and almost no familiarity with nWoD Hunter), but would the core mortal rules work better for that? The Hunter template seems almost unnecessary.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Jessica » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:01 pm UTC

I do like some of the little tweaks they made in hunter to mortals. Like risking willpower, and tactics.
I don't know if I'd ever play a hunter game beyond tier two. the tier 3 just seems... I mean cool, but silly and not really the point. Also, highly illogical and stuff.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby McCaber » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:37 pm UTC

Belial wrote:the base mortal system can be used for just about anything that has mortals in it (I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but it makes a totally kickass system for Silent Hill)

I know this is old, but sweet zombie Jesus I need to try this.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:06 am UTC

There's actually a fan-made supplement for it that works *really well*. Has a lot of suggestions for running characters in the town, customizing the way the town "treats" your characters based on their vices, customizing monster appearance and behaviour based on said vices, and that sort of thing. On the more mechanical side, it has a few rules for static (how far away you're able to detect certain enemies with a radio), and rules for monster durability and reincarnation (the way certain enemies never seem to stay dead, and others that are almost avatars of the town (Samael, Pyramid-Head) just don't seem to be killable in the first place until you satisfy certain conditions).

If I can find it later tonight, I'll post it.

Edit: Here 'tis
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby McCaber » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:03 am UTC

Awesome. Thanks, Belial.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:15 am UTC

Belial wrote:I may be mistaken, having only a passing familiarity with Supernatural (and almost no familiarity with nWoD Hunter), but would the core mortal rules work better for that? The Hunter template seems almost unnecessary.

As soon as I saw nWod Hunter, I thought of Supernatural. Although *Standard* nWod might still work better for characters with *no* experience with the spooky stuff, nWod Hunter actually works really well for... well... Hunters. None of that sissy Magic stuff from the oWod system. You're a person. Who hunts.


There are a couple of less "Average Joe" Conspiracies, Aegis Kai Doru and Lucifuge particularly. But for the most part it just drops you into the World of Darkness with maybe 2 or 3 hunts under your belt. Tactics make sense, since making a survivable independent Hunter would require pretty serious munchkinry (Although it is possible), and although I haven't Risked yet, it looks fairly appropriate to the atmosphere they're getting at.

So... yeah, I'd say New Hunter works pretty well for Supernatural, One can only speculate on what kind of tactics Sam and Dean have bought, but I bet there's one that starts with the words "Sam is Grappled"
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:38 am UTC

Fair enough. Like I said, I have very little familiarity with either.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby maxmillean » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:03 am UTC

I've only played White Wolf RPGs (Hunter and Aberrant). Aberrant was the first RPG I actually played, it was GMed by a college roommate. Then the following year at college another friend tried his hand at GMing a Hunter game for the first semester, then the second semester I GMed another Aberrant game. The hunter game was cool because there was a lot of H.P. Lovecraft lore and mosters thrown in it. My Aberrant game was a mix of Aberrant meets Mortal Kombat. Could have came out better but it was my first time and I didn't put as much planning into it as I should have.

I have wanted to try playing DnD at some point, or do something with minitures. I like the idea of being able to see what's "around" you instead of just going off of want to GM/DM tells you.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Aethernox » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:59 pm UTC

If anyone's interested in 4e, it's been confirmed that the next official campaign setting will be Dark Sun, a few months after the third Player's Handbook.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:18 am UTC

Aethernox wrote:If anyone's interested in 4e, it's been confirmed that the next official campaign setting will be Dark Sun, a few months after the third Player's Handbook.

Yeah, I didn't play 2e at all, so I've never played in that setting, but from what I've read, it sounds really cool. I don't know when it's coming out (besides sometime in 2010), but if I get a chance, I may try and convince my friends to at least partially trade Living Forgotten Realms in for a Dark Sun campaign. I imagine they'll publish a few, but I may be inspired enough to write one.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Aethernox » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:45 am UTC

I think it's a good choice, actually. My personal preference would have been Planescape, but Dark Sun provides excellent contrast with the somewhat-generic FR and Eberron, with it's machinery and such. I'm curious as to how classes and races that don't fit well in the setting (Paladin, Monk, Dragonborn, to name a few) will be handled. I would expect it to be out in June, at the latest. It's also a great way to help psionics into 4e, imo.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:11 am UTC

Aethernox wrote:If anyone's interested in 4e, it's been confirmed that the next official campaign setting will be Dark Sun, a few months after the third Player's Handbook.

Meh, campaign worlds besides Eberron are dead to me. Though I have to admit Eberron definately "worked" a lot better in 3.5 than it does in 4.0, due to the strong focus on practical magic. I will be interested in seeing whether 4e can create some signifigant interest in Darksun.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby YourReality » Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:45 am UTC

Aethernox wrote:If anyone's interested in 4e, it's been confirmed that the next official campaign setting will be Dark Sun, a few months after the third Player's Handbook.

Ooh, any other juicy details about it? Always a chance there will be a random door in a random dungeon in my random game that leads to it.......

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Aethernox » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:19 am UTC

Source.

Honestly, I never found Eberron very appealing. I thought Valenar elves were kinda cool, and I like a few of the supplements (Explorer's Handbook, I'm looking at you.). but the setting as a whole always seemed fairly... meh. Not that Greyhawk was much better, mind you. Faerun had its moments.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby YourReality » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:19 pm UTC

I used to feel really 'bla' towards Eberron too but it's managed to grow on me over the last year or so. It always seemed, I dunno, somehow overcomplicated and a little too big-city feeling for me. I had a tough time expressing my misgivings about it, I just had this vague feeling of distaste (which was especially difficult to get accross to a couple of people I was gaming with who are head over heels in love with the setting). I think what actually ended up making it grow on me was the politics and all the opportunity for spooky intrigue. I definitely like spooky intrigue.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby McCaber » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:48 pm UTC

I'd feel terrible if I didn't mention the new edition of Warhammer Fantasy RP that just got dropped on me. Check it out.

Part of me is extremely skeptical, while another part just thinks all the stuff looks awesome. Anyway, the RPGverse has been flaming this thing like there's no tomorrow.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm UTC

Went to GenCon this past weekend and I got to try out some really great games. Some I'd never heard of, some I've been wanting to try out for awhile.

1. Spirit of the Century.
Spoiler:
This was a lot of fun. Very 1940's type pulp feel. Felt a lot like the Rocketeer or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Nice, basic system. Easy to learn. I enjoyed that I was able to use traits to help myself win by spending a resource (called Fate in this case), but I could also choose to hinder myself with a trait and gain Fate. Also, the GM can sort of bribe you with a Fate point to get you to do something and if you don't like it, you have to pay a Fate to resist. Definitely a good time, would play again.


2. Wild Talents.
Spoiler:
Uses the One Roll system like Godlike which is the only other One Roll game I've played. My understanding is it's in the same universe as Godlike but in the future. And instead of just having super powers there are cybernetics and that sort of thing. I enjoyed it, but I'm not a huge fan of the One Roll system. I think it's an awesome mechanic for combat, but it's not terribly fulfilling for everything else.


3. Burning Wheel.
Spoiler:
Still one of my favorite games, but I was excited to get to play with Luke Crane. The game was full and everyone showed up I opted to hang out and watch. It was a lot of fun just watching actually and it's really great to watch Luke in action. He's great at keeping everything moving and knowing when to step in. Definitely helped cement some things in my mind.


4. Burning Empires.
Spoiler:
I actually missed out on getting into this, but my friend was super gracious and gave me his place at the table (he'd manage to get in both BW & BE games). I didn't know a whole lot about BE, because I've never managed to make myself look through the book, so I didn't quite know what I was in for. The whole scene economy is of course the major thing for most players to deal with, it's certainly a big paradigm shift. Plus, I'm not very familiar with the source material (Iron Empires). Either way, I definitely had a great time, and I'd like to see more of it sometime.


5. Kogematsu (or something, I kept forgetting the name of the game).
Spoiler:
A small indie game. The creator (whose name I definitely don't remember) ran me and my friend through a short demo. The basic premise is there's a Ronin, Kogematsu in this village. Every PC is a female and they're all vying for his love and affection and eventually convincing him to confront the evil (what that evil is is left up to the players). So each PC gets various scenes to try and build a relationship with Kogematsu by doing various things, like getting a formal introduction, or a stolen glance getting a gift from him. The fun thing is when you fail to get something you want you can go desperate. For example Jahmal was trying to make a lasting impression by dancing gracefully in the rain. It failed. He tried going desperate and one of his options was to simply get naked. He narrated a very seductive strip tease. Now here's the kicker, the GM (Kogematsu) has a love and pity score for all PCs that is kept secret. They can decide how to interpret the actions. Maybe he finds the strip tease pitiful. I really liked the going desperate part of failing. I could see myself playing a session every now and again, but not something worth a lot of time. Like many indie games there are some amazing ideas in the game, but as a whole doesn't hold up terribly well to certain types of gaming; in this case, long term play, which isn't a bad thing, I just tend to prefer it.


6. Annalise.
Spoiler:
Another indie game. Unfortunately this was a very short demo and we were just picking up speed when it got caught. I definitely want to see more of it at some point. The overarching idea is there is a "vampire". In quotes, because it's not literal, and it's decided exactly what that means through play -- I say decided it actually sort of arises through play, noone really comes out and says "this is it". One of the interesting mechanics is that when a PC is narrating a scene, anyone else can take something from that scene (say, a dark room) and tag it. They can then later bring that in to another scene. The idea is to keep all these themes running through the game, and it quickly builds up to supernatural stuff and a lot of creepiness, eventually one of those things becomes the vampire (at least that's my understanding). Everyone also has secrets they're trying to hide; at the beginning everyone writes down a secret, then passes it to the GM, who then shuffles them all and passes them out randomly, so you may or may not get the secret you thought up. The longer you manage to keep your secret a secret the less power the vampire has over you, but to get out of hairy situations you have to do some stuff that tends to put your secret in jeopardy. There's a bit more, but like I said, we didn't get to touch on a number of things, so I didn't get a great handle on this.


7. Misspent Youth.
Spoiler:
This one's a lot of fun. You play teenagers fighting authority. And you decide in the beginning what that authority is; in this case we went with big corporation. You have a few traits that define your character like optimism or tough. The awesome part is that when it comes time for a conflict and say you fail a roll, you have a couple options: accept the consequences of failure or sell out one of your traits. For example, selling out optimism becomes cynical and selling out tough becomes brutal. You never get to use the original trait again. In fact, the GM is supposed to take your character sheet and very emphatically mark out the original trait. Other suggestions were a big "REDACTED" stamp or even to cut out of the page with an exacto knife. It's a pretty visceral feeling watching that get marked away from your sheet. The end game happens when you eventually, basically, grow up. You've sold out all your traits and eventually your core -- who you are, and you grow up and mature and become an adult. I believe it's meant for maybe 2 or 3 sessions before that happens. I talked a bit with the creator (Rob Bohl), which is pretty awesome. One of the great things about the indie game scene is how available all the creators and such are. It's pretty awesome talking about a game with the person who created it.


8. Carry.
Spoiler:
I have to say I was definitely on the fence about this one. I definitely wasn't real sure what to expect. Basically, it's set in the Vietnam war and you're soldiers. Everyone has burdens. For example my character got some pretty brutal burdens: I want to go home; I can't go home because I'm in love with a Vietnamese girl. She's pregnant with my child. She's a translator for the VC. HOT! Anyhow, the brutal part is in fighting. It's everyone against the GM. One PC is in charge and gives orders, everyone can choose to agree/disagree and follow/not follow. What it comes down to is if you give your die to your sergeant or to the GM. Even better is there's a bit of strategy involved. You, of course, want to win, but you don't want to win by too much. In our case, our first round had us winning by 6. Well that meant the guy in command had 6 points to dole out amongst the squad. What does he do with those points? Well, basically there's all sorts of things like soldiers dying, becoming shell-shocked, wounded, etc. But they have to make those decisions. It's brutal. There's other scenes that are just amongst the squad but we didn't have a chance to do that. Overall I enjoyed it. I'd definitely like to see a little more of it.


9. In a Wicked Age.
Spoiler:
This is one I've heard about for a long time and I finally got to play it. One of my favorite demos of the entire weekend. It's very hard to explain, unfortunately. You start out with some sort of Oracle, which sort of sets the tone. Like one is untold secrets and another is war and bloodshed (or something). Those then bring into play different things, like in our game there was a dead queen trying to regain her power, there was a monster guarding a hidden temple, a merchant king, a ghost tied to a waymarker in the forest. Well, any of those characters can be claimed by a PC. Then you get powers and goals and stuff and push towards them. It was a blast. Really. I rolled terribly and lost everything (I was the ghost who was a knight seeking vengeance), but it was still just awesome. My understanding is that in later sessions you do new oracles and bring more things into play. And it doesn't necessarily have to follow any sort of progression, maybe you want to go back in time to see why this knight is dead. And you don't even have to be the same character if something else grabs. A HUGE amount of potential for replayability.


10. Poisonous Ambitions.
Spoiler:
Not really a tabletop RPG, but it deserves a mention for being so awesome. This is a game Luke Crane's been working on. Started out as Burning Wheel, but it's evolved a lot and he's making into a, as he calls it "social game", because a lot of people have a huge aversion to the word LARP, but it sort of is. Anyhow, it's for 8-20 players (we had 17, I believe), and everyone's in an orc tribe (so there's orcs, great wolves, goblins, trolls, etc). And there are different factions and everyone vying for different things. It's pretty chaotic but it's a hell of a lot of fun. There's really a lot of strategy that goes much deeper than the surface, and it's really fun to think back how different I would've done some things had I recognized a few things earlier in the game.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby razrsharp67 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:23 pm UTC

I've always wanted to get started playing tabletop RPGs, but i've never known where to begin! I don't know the rules, or people who play them, or anything! Advice to get around this?
Which game is typically considered the most popular? Or the highest quality?
Needless to say, I am a complete loser when it comes to these things.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby pseudoidiot » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:01 am UTC

One of the best ways to get in is knowing people that play, but since you said you don't know anyone another good option is finding some gaming stores in your area, or maybe even comic book stores. A lot of those places have areas where people are usually playing something, whether it's rpgs, board games, or collectible card games. Just start introducing yourself to people; other customers, the people that run the store. Let them know you're interested and you'll find yourself playing something in no time, I'm sure.

As far as what to get in to, it really comes down to what you want in a game. There's a HUGE variety. That can be overwhelming. My advice is to just get into what you can for now and never pass up an opportunity to try something new once you start.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:00 am UTC

So, google is your friend. As tabletop gaming is local, you need to find local places to play.

There are things like meetup.com (which contains evil, but also good), there are local gaming clubs which advertise online, there are local gaming stores that tend to have 'post it boards' of people looking for players.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:48 pm UTC

I loved Dark Sun back in 2nd ed. I suspect that'll make our next D&D game a Dark sun based one.

Currently finishing off a VtM campaign and going to start a Requiem one. A question for the new world of darkness players though. At first glance the balance system for Disciplines in Requiem seems a bit off. In terms of using powers on someone its always 3 stats (Attribute+Ability+Discipline) vs 2 (Defensive attribute + blood potency). This seems like it heavily favours the attacker in all cases which is a bit of a switch from VtM where pools were generally similar number of dice if people were attacking similar power level other people. Also most things seem fairly expensive Exp wise whereas Exp rewards haven't increased very much at all. Seems like character progression would be VERY slow going by general rules.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:13 pm UTC

People pay attention to the experience rewards suggested by the books? We never did, in either system. The storyteller just awarded based on how fast he wanted the game to progress, and modified a bit based on group performance.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:26 pm UTC

Belial wrote:People pay attention to the experience rewards suggested by the books? We never did, in either system. The storyteller just awarded based on how fast he wanted the game to progress, and modified a bit based on group performance.


Story rewards were fairly ad hoc, but in general the session rewards worked out fairly well in the original one so we kept with it. Thing is it looks like things are more expensive this time around not to mention theres more to buy, notably merits that would generally have been taken care of in regular skills in the previous edition.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:11 pm UTC

Fair enough, I suppose. That said, even if you paid attention to them before, you can always ignore them now. Just award how much you see fit for the speed of advancement you want.

nWoD-related-tangent: Man, fuck this. Requiem is starting to grow on me, now that I'm digging further into it. This means my terrible composite WoD (which was previously just the oWoD with "Dreaming" carved out and "Lost" stitched into its place) is going to have to gain another terrible patchwork part.

Not that I have any real intention on running vampire, but I like to have a complete idea of what's going on in the world even when I'm running a different game (i.e., Werewolf or Mage).
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Jessica » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:51 pm UTC

That has been a real problem for running games like changeling for me. I mean, I can't just run changeling. I gotta have vamps, and mages and...

Sigh.

Speaking of changeling games... I REALLY need to get my ass in gear and get this game ready to be played. Fuck.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby TauCeti » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:24 pm UTC

razrsharp67 wrote:I've always wanted to get started playing tabletop RPGs, but i've never known where to begin! I don't know the rules, or people who play them, or anything! Advice to get around this?

Ok, generally RPG gaming groups can be found at the local hobby shop (especially if it specializes in games and RPGs, as opposed to comic books).

Local colleges sometimes have a games club, who can often point you in the correct direction even if they aren’t running games themselves.

There is usually a lot of demand for GMs (also called DMs, Storytellers, etc. The person who runs the game). As such, getting into a new game may be a bit tricky. I recommend trying for a one-shot or two before trying out a campaign game. If you get into a campaign and it turns out to be crappy for whatever reason, there’s social pressure to not quit ‘cause that disrupts the game for everyone else. If a one-shot is crappy, you just lose a few hours of your time.

There are a lot of different play styles and philosophies for RPGs. Some people like to play heroes who delve dungeons, smash orcs, and steal their loot. Some people like political intrigue games. Some people like clear plots, where the GM tells the story and the players play along. Others like “sandbox” worlds where there is no plot, except the ones the players create. Experiment and find out what you like.

Don’t insult anyone for disliking your style of game, or liking one you dislike. Some people (myself included) have a chip on their shoulder.

Every game system has its own rules, and most core-rule books cost around $50 or so. Don’t worry about it. If someone is running a game, they’ll have a rule book. Ask them for advice on how to play and how to build a character, and maybe borrow the book or read it in their presence. If you get into a long game of something and want your own copy of the rules, then think about buying it.


razrsharp67 wrote:Which game is typically considered the most popular? Or the highest quality?

The most popular game is Dungeons and Dragons, currently on its 4th edition. The previous edition (3.5) was a substantially different game, and gamer forums are clogged with arguments over which is better.

Historically, D&D was the game most people would hear about before getting into RPGs, and thus most people’s first games were variants of D&D (not mine, but whatever). 4th edition is designed with this in mind, and is a pretty good system for someone who is new to RPing. It pulls many concepts from computer RPGs, so it may be easy to get into if you are used to those. (Most computer RPGs pulled their ideas from older versions of D&D originally, anyway).

The other famous system would be the Storyteller system, created by White Wolf. It’s what Vampire and Mage and Werewolf run on. It’s fragile to min-maxing and power gaming, but the world is rich and open-ended. With good players and a good GM, it is an excellent system. With poor players and a poor GM, it’s terrible. The best and worst RP stories come from here. Note that “good” and “poor” don’t necessarily mean “experienced” and “inexperienced”, although that can help. It’s a personality thing, and hard to quantify.

There is no “highest quality” game. And to be honest, I wouldn’t worry about it much. At the end of the day, the only games you can play in are ones being run by a GM, and they’ll run whatever system they like.


razrsharp67 wrote:Needless to say, I am a complete loser when it comes to these things.

Not a loser. Just new. Which has some value to us GMs, since you don’t have any preconceptions that might not jive with whatever we’re running.


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