And another couple kickstarters…

Brutal!  Too many….

First one I can’t vouch for as a game, but it LOOKS good.  (Remember Dungeon Degenerates? that was well worth the kickstarter price based on the art alone, and was a solid game to boot!).  DEUS LO VULT.  

this one is around 50$ shipped so it’s not a bankbreaker like the CMON ones…

The second one is a no brainer.  Steve Jackson got the license back for “The Fantasy Trip” after many years as an out of print microgame and started a kickstarter to bring it back into print.  30$.

Remember these in the hobby shops back in the day? This is it.

DCC – Funnel with scratch off 0-level character sheets

Last weekend I finished running a funnel with the DCC scratch off character sheets. This will be a bit of a review of the sheets and a bit of a review of the new, brutal, way you can handle characters in the funnel if you have these sheets.

First, the sheets are aesthetically pleasing, but they are not made with the best scratch off stuff. I don’t play the lottery or any of that parasitic shit, but I’ve scratched off some stuff in my time and it was better than the sheets– the stuff was challenging to get off without scratching the crap out of the paper underneath.

Secondly, the size of the type in the scratch off areas made it difficult to read the text, especially for the lucky signs and some of the equipment.

Last, I think these should have been a quad of four character sheets and not just one. There is a lot of space on the sheet wasted and frankly 0-level characters aren’t worth a full sheet of paper in the first place!

We followed the suggestion that came with the pack of ’emergent’ stats, that is: when you have to use a stat on a character, you scratch it off the sheet and reveal it. Only when you use a stat do you get to see what it is and what the bonuses are.

While this was fun, a couple of the players felt like they were bit upside the ass by it when their front character turned out to have a 16+ in some stat and they didn’t know and doomed the poor fellow to some trap.  Make sure if you do this that you have ample opportunity for tests (PER especially doesn’t come up often).

That said, my funnel turned out not to be a very dangerous one, and with careful play (in most instances), the players came out with multiple characters.

Overall, it was fun to use the scratch off sheets, but they could be better and there were some complaints about reading the entries at times.

Names for Maaaat

We play a bunch of RPG’s and Matt is castigated most of the time for his character names. So much so that he has descended into utter filth or silliness as a response. While I’m used to players naming their characters after other PLAYERS in the game, or some two word combo that turns out to be violent sexual imagery when pronounced, I seek to help matt with his naming problem and wasn’t sure how until I found this post about a neural network generating thousands of ‘fantasy’ names.

Here are some good ones out of the 10K+

Chagg Castlewink
Mira the Bastard
Ravelock Hewclot
Saltroth Dank
Varion Mandrin
Perry Bardwood
Mellock Fistbelly
Rhon Smallthorn
Maedo Balland
Poppy Didgins
Corvish Prinn
Temen Maft
Morrigan Hellioa Forgelock

Losing stuff with ideas in it !

Well, I found my notebook with my FASERIP BPRD notes in it in my daughter’s room after a few weeks of looking and even starting over in another notebook! I have a lot of notebooks and they have random ideas in them all over the place. I realize that most of them are places of dead roads that nothing will come out of except the fervent act of creation itself in the moment and that’s just dandy, but sometimes I have stuff written down that I aim to do things with, like finish a LotFP module the cartography of which ALSO was in the lost notebook! (one demand I have of my non work notebooks is that they are all graph paper). So now I need to finish off the maps and get this thing done.

Another issue is playtesting. I’ve had the thing read over by a few people and it’s been playtested once in 5E, but I haven’t done it, mainly because my roll20 group does not generally like the character thresher that is LotFP. It’s something I gotta do. It’s not a long adventure: 3-4 set pieces and some ‘connective tissue’ between if the characters take the bait.

This points to an organizational issue of keeping everything straight paper wise when you run and play 5-6 different RPG’s in a given year (13th Age, Into the Odd, lotFP, Mythras, FASERIP and Dungeon Crawl Classics in 2017). What I’ve started doing after my ‘trapper keeper’ idea sorta failed (it got filled with stuff from all sorts of games and it’s a fuckin mess) is get one of those zipper folders and put all of the crap for that game you are running inside. It has to be totally self contained except for the rulebook (which shit for most games you don’t even need if you’ve played enough), but if you have a small rulebook like the LotFP or Into the Odd books, throw it in there too. So, that’s all character sheets, the module, any previous module the characters have run through (trust me on that one, you’ll need it),  and all session notes. The key is to have EVERYTHING there, even if you have to throw a 95% empty notebook in there (what are they? 2$?), it’s worth it so you can grab and go even if it has been years since the last time you’ve run it.

Zipper thingy with the Kid’s campaign modules and notes, cat.

RPG – my favorite books of 2017

Here’s my list of my favorite RPG books of 2017.  Not all of these came out in 2017 though!  These are books that have been at my bedside table or working desk most of the year.

How to Write Adventures that Don’t Suck

This is a great book of essays on adventure design from a lot of the greats, with short adventures to go along with each essay.  Fantastic stuff!  All GM’s should have this one.

FASERIP

This is an OGL redux of the Marvel Heroes RPG from TSR that had a LOT of expansions and material that my brother and I basically ignored after getting and playing the yellow box set a few times.  We were CHAMPIONS kids and that meant pointbuild and brokenness and combat that took forever.  Frankly I wish we had looked at TSR’s superhero game at the time a bit more OR they had the common sense to realize that kids wanted to make their own characters!  Faserip has character creation (which I would dub semi random).  Also, this shit is FREE.

We got to play FASERIP once this year (thanks to Lordlobo) and I intend to run it soon.

Veins of the Earth

This is great shit-reading.  Probably one of the best shit-reading books to come out in long time.  While the campaign itself is nothing compared to World of the Lost or Better than Any Man (it’s more of a gazetter), it has oodles of weirdness and unique ideas for your OSR, D&D5e or even 13th Age campaign.  While not a fan of the author’s writing generally (“get to the fucking point man!” is the constant comment running through my head) this is worth suffering through the rough spots.  After purchasing the lackluster Deep Carbon Observatory, I thought this guy needed an editor and he got one when publishing Veins: it really helped.  Hopefully he can tighten up his tendency to overwrite and wordiness even further for the next thing he does because the bones of it this are fantastic.  Art is great.

Silent Legions

This is older but I just picked it up this year.  It is likely an essential book in any GM’s library (like Dungeon Dozens!).   Why?  This has one of the best world building generators I’ve come across for both modern and fantasy stuff.  Not only that, it has a unique adventure builder that, while set up to work in the Early Modern to modern settings, could be used in any Fantasy Universe as well.  And this fucking guy really can write!

Runner Up:

Vagina’s are Magic!

This is the new magic system for Lamentations of the Flame Princess!  People have a lot of work to do getting all the spells in line with the new set up, and this also means the game is no longer backwards compatible with old D&D (sorta).  What’s most important is the system brings it closer in line with DCC’s (and likely the new WFRP’s) magic systems which are superior to the vancian system in oD&D and 5e).

Into the Odd character generator!

odd11

I typically hate D20 microlites. There are a shit load of them reaching for some perfect design goal of streamlined play that in my opinion has already been done by Moldvay and further improved by Lamentations of the Flame Princess.  There’s only so much you can strip away before your game becomes boring as fuck or, worse, Dungeon World.

However, Into the Odd is where I’ve eaten some crow on this hatred as it’s one of the best designed RPG’s to come forth recently, and it’s squarely in the microlite sub-genre.

That said, character generation takes about 2 minutes, such a long time right?  But with the online generator below, not only can you generate your character in seconds, but you can make all stat rolls right in the browser!

This is Alberta, about as good as you are going to get, and I don’t know what she’s scared of because she’s quite the badasche.

ALBERTA “SCARED” BICKLEY
STR
10
DEX
15
WIL
18
HP
5
Harpoon Gun (d8), Fire Oil, Mirror engine (arcana), Grappling Hook, Magnifying Glass

Make a bunch of guys here:
http://odd.pushingcows.se/

Fantasy Flight and GW – there goes Talisman

Fantasy Flight and GW are no longer working together.  The announcement is here.  

talisman

Basically the only thing I really care about is that Talisman will go out of print again. I will have to care for my stuff instead of abusing it as this level of support for Talisman we probably will NEVER SEE AGAIN. I just picked up the Harbinger Expansion to make sure I had everything (except Dragons) that was out for 4th Edition.

Other stuff that was good from FF: Chaos in the Old World,  Dungeonquest (updated version, not the first FF version) and Chaos Marauders.   Dracula was cool, but not my favorite game.  Other stuff, like the 40K and Fantasy CCG’s, the 40K Talisman version and Blood Bowl manager were all totally forgettable.

RPG wise, this is going to fucking sting for people that liked the 40K RPG.  Since it was closer to WFRP and had a TON of support from FF, I can see people weeping about this.  It wasn’t anything I was interested in, but I can see this as a loss.

FF not having the WFRP licence anymore is FUCKING GREAT as the 3rd edition of the game was an experiment gone wrong. Yes, it had some very very good adventures (witches song and the new version of the enemy within are notable examples); yes, it begot Edge of Empire which is a fine game attached to a boring ass license, but WFRP still is one of my favorite RPG settings and 3rd edition with all it’s pieces and chits and crap was just too much to deal with.  I’m fully aware that both 1st and 2nd edition’s rules are not great as well, but you can play it with the book, some paper and pencils and regular D&D dice….  GW: Give the WFRP license to DESIGN MECHANISM and be done with it.

Mountainous

I was off to the West for a long training and there’s been no time to really post so this is going to be a splatter of crap on the side of the bowl.

Steve and I went to the new Games Workshop (now WARHAMMER) store in Boulder to get some paints and saw a bunch of AOS crap but amidst it was the new Heroquest style Silver Tower game.  Miniatures looked great, the card board pieces that came with it are up their with Rackham’s Hybrid and Nemesis (read: good) and while not as cool looking as those, it looks to be a more playable game.  Though everything fantasy related from GW these days is really, really, really:

he-man

While out west, I didn’t get inside any headshops or smoke them tweeds as the saying goes. The thought was there, but it didn’t really count for much in the end.  I saw a place called “Starbuds” and thought that was clever and likely going to be sued soon!  I did walk through MANY clouds of THC both indoors and outdoors.  For a little while at least, I could pretend we were (collectively, instead of just Western CO) living in the better times imagined during the mid/late 90’s rather than a billionaire dominated, post citizen united, Swift boat veteran style country.

Blood Bowl is coming out.  There are pictures of people playtesting and some of the miniatures.  This is the first thing I’ve been really pumped about from GW that wasn’t a video game since Warhammer 8th Edition.  While AOS is garbage compared to the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle game and Warhammer proper, with the announcement of a new Epic, Blood Bowl and Necromunda, things may turn around for my interest in their stuff at least.

Blood-Bowl-Human

The BB miniatures look… awful chunky.  I’m not sure I dig the look of the orks, but the humans, especially the human catchers, look great.  The dwarves I’ve seen are very very blocky, and not the drunk, bearded short-fatties we’re used to. It’s not the olde worlde style, since they blew it up and all that.  I’m VERY glad the humans aren’t Sigmarines.  That helps a lot.

For weeks now, Warhammer Total War has been out and it’s gotten good reviews. …and I am going to wait to buy it, not because it isn’t great (it’s been the fastest selling TW game to date) or buggy (reports are that it’s a cleanish release by CA, which is a ..second?), but because I want to get a new video card first and play DOOM, then dish out the cash for Warhammer TW. Plans, plans– all go to ruins when I just start up Torchlight 2 again, or Fallout 4, or Darkest Dungeon.

I started playing LISA before I went off to training.  Wow.  Some broken people are responsible for that shit.  While I haven’t gotten anywhere, I want you to share my pain.  Highly recommended.  Buy it.

lisa

Other stuff along the RPG front:

There are two new releases from Lamentations of  the Flame Princess. One is by the guy who did Dwimmmmmermmmmmount and the other is by some English bloke set during the English Civil war.  Remember that shit?  I got them in the mail and plowed through Cursed Chateau, which reminds me a bit of Castle Amber (a good thing) and started on England Upturn’d. With World of the Lost, Towers Two and these new ones, I’m going to need to run some LotFP again soon.

SLUGS is coming on Free RPG day.  Look at that purdy cover.  It even has the GENCON booth for this year.

SlugsPromo

And this is from an interview here:

The inspiration for LotFP is the basic belief that the life of an adventurer is a hellish thing that nobody sane would want – full of danger and violence with no real home, no real family, no certainty, ever. Think of the classic RPG adventure form: You’re going into some dark hole with a sinister history, fully expecting to encounter death traps and supernatural monsters and all sorts of things that want nothing more to kill you and probably eat you, and you’re doing it for some money. …
That’s LotFP.”

GRENKUTS

This weekend is TALISMAN Weekend with Keneda.  We will drink, play Tobal 2 and play a massive couple of games of Talisman with (nearly) all the expansions.  This will include the new board, which is quite a work of art and a full on deconstructionist version of the original 4E and 2E’s boards.

tm16_board

While the 4e board is good, it really needed the FF artistic touch, so here it is!

 

 

Yeah, I’m off for XMAS

Xmas is the absolute worst time of the year to take a couple weeks off work, but fuck it, here it is.  Today is my second day off.

I saw STAR WARS a couple of times so far and yep, it’s great.  Worth the hype and I can’t wait for the next one.  Pulp fantasy /sci fi and let’s hope it ushers in a WAVE of cheesy clones like it did in the 70’s and 80’s a la MESSAGE FROM SPACE and STARCRASH.

SHINOBIGAMI!
SHINOBIGAMI!

I broke down and backed this fucker after saying NO MORE kickstarters.   While I’m not an anime freak and am certainly not all that into the whole schoolgirl ninja thing,  after reading the rules and how this plays, it seems like a lighter, shorter TENRA BANSHO ZERO.  From the description, it can be played in an evening on say a board game night as a one shot– and I’m all about the one shots.  I can do the Ninja school girl thing for a one shot!  As soon as I get the playtest/beta test packet, we’re playing this fucker.

lamentations

Over this holiday, if I get any time to myself at all, I’m going to finish up my random equipment tables for Lamentations of the Flame Princess.  I finished a draft of the fighter table last week and worked a smidge on the cleric.  Whether anyone else uses them,  it will speed up play for us a lot ditching the shopping mess during char gen.

bodyguard

 

Tonight is my first go at Feng Shui 2.  I haven’t run a game since 1997 so let’s see how it goes.  They fixed a lot of the annoying stuff in FS2 and while I think the backstory and fluff have gotten weaker, the rules are a lot better.

Degenisis
Degenesis

The above pic is from a Polish RPG called Degenesis.  It’s a horrifying post-apocalyptic world where earth is basically fucked forever.  I’ve been really impressed with the art and there are two excellent trailer videos for it as well.  Lookee here.