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Postby trigross » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:17 am

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/695502966/comrades-a-revolutionary-rpg/description

this is probably gonna own, just backed it. this guys cool less complicated strat-o-matic baseball game is cool too (though i don't know anything about baseball). anyway the video is kinda corny but it's a pbta game that looks to be (from the preview pdf) very well designed
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Postby Legion » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:02 pm



Nice, thanks for sharing!

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Postby nite69 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:10 pm

had a player die last night, got vored by a gibbering mouther in solo combat after some fairly bad decisions and some extremely unlucky rolls.

the party got the emblem of a local baron that gave them the authority to search a mausoleum at a church that they'd previously been denied. went there and told the priests, priests ducked away to hurriedly hide the bad shit they were up to. after a couple minutes of waiting, 3 of the players dashed off to just go search the shit while 1 player (LN paladin, still believes this church might be on the level) stayed behind to wait for the priest to come back. priest eventually comes back, leads the player through a bunch of dark hallways until eventually they round a corner and 3 dudes jump the player. after a couple bad athletics & acrobatics checks he gets a bag noosed over his head, hands tied behind back, drug down a hallway blind, and thrown into a pit. he wriggles out of his bindings down here and spots a mouther slowly wriggling towards. the mouther crits him on it's second attack for 33, and the paladin is at 3 hp. makes a couple bad decisions during the fight, basically stands his ground and tries to smite the hell out of the mouther, and eventually goes down.

during this whole encounter, another player (half-orc barb, half spurred by out of character knowledge) turns to come back for him after a simultaneous encounter outside. he sees the paladin missing, and the door that he was waiting at locked. the barb kicks the door down, runs through the halls dragging a priest with him to lead the way after some good intimidation, and eventually hears a thunderclap (thunderous smite cast by the paladin) and rushes down that hall. arrives just as the paladin goes down and the mouther is beginning to eat his body. Barbarian gets 1 good hit off but leaves the mouther at 7 HP, the mouther eats, making the paladin fail a death save, and the paladin crit fails his first and only rolled death save on this character, instantly killing him. everyone was bummed, but they're ready to take heads next week.
sealed their fate wrote:The handwriting is already on the wall. These boys have been flushed.
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Postby WHITEBOYWASTED » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:12 pm

How did you handle the combat with one character and the (presuming) exploration of the others? Focus on one scene at a time? I can't imagine my players sitting still while one of them was in combat and the others weren't, but I guess that's my group's problem. I can see a simultaneous chase/combat thing happening turn by turn as you describe. That's pretty cool!

I'm knee deep in 5e lore right now trying to spice up a premade dungeon crawl with more interesting factions and npcs, but I'm not sure how much that will matter. I'm pretty sure these guys will try to kill anything that remotely stands in the way or just die standing against anything more powerful than them. I wish I could encourage bargaining, running away, scouting, or planning to them as something that might help them achieve their goals better, but maybe that's just my idea of fun.
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Postby Merciel » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:49 pm

WHITEBOYWASTED wrote:I'm pretty sure these guys will try to kill anything that remotely stands in the way or just die standing against anything more powerful than them. I wish I could encourage bargaining, running away, scouting, or planning to them as something that might help them achieve their goals better, but maybe that's just my idea of fun.


That would frustrate the hell out of me.

I get that that's how some people want to play and that's what's fun for them, but I just can't run a group like that.

nite that was a good story, I'm interested to hear how the rest of their game shakes out now that they have a Cause for Vengeance.
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Postby nite69 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:47 pm

WHITEBOYWASTED wrote:How did you handle the combat with one character and the (presuming) exploration of the others? Focus on one scene at a time? I can't imagine my players sitting still while one of them was in combat and the others weren't, but I guess that's my group's problem. I can see a simultaneous chase/combat thing happening turn by turn as you describe. That's pretty cool!

I'm knee deep in 5e lore right now trying to spice up a premade dungeon crawl with more interesting factions and npcs, but I'm not sure how much that will matter. I'm pretty sure these guys will try to kill anything that remotely stands in the way or just die standing against anything more powerful than them. I wish I could encourage bargaining, running away, scouting, or planning to them as something that might help them achieve their goals better, but maybe that's just my idea of fun.


it ended up just alternating between the two encounters - while the 3 players were fighting, at the top of each round i'd take a minute or two to talk to the paladin about what he was doing or what was happening to him, have him make a roll or two, then cut back into combat. the 1st combat ended up wrapping up just as the 2nd combat started, so then the roles swapped. I'd do 2 rounds of fighting, then check in with each of the other 3 players to see what they were up to. 2 of the players went on to the next area, so they were out of the loop for a while. I'll probably pick up with a couple minutes of just those two at the beginning of the next session. for the barbarian who was returning, i just gave him some options inbetween every 2nd round of combat (which was short, as it was just 1 on 1) and I saw that the combat was starting to go south so i made sure to get him far enough along that he could dramatically burst into the room at the critical moment to try to save the paladin. just didn't quite work out, lol. I was planning originally to just have everyone on the same initiative track and have 2 maps overlaid (this campaign is on roll20 but i've done similar stuff irl with 2 actual maps) but ended up not needing it.

there are a couple good ways to make players not just kill everything immediately. i think the best way to encourage players to not just kill their way through everything is to make there be serious consequences for killing in situations where it makes sense. if the dungeon is an environment with npcs and factions, they probably wont take too kindly to adventurers coming in and killing everything that moves. maybe one of the factions intentionally reaches out to the players in some way to try to bargain with them after a couple of their opponents are killed by the players, and at the same time the faction that was killed by the players launches a bigger force that begins hunting the players down. any time they try to take a rest, they're assaulted, until they dont have options but to seek allies. another way is present them with some puzzles that are nigh unsolvable without some help from a local. they still have the opportunity to cajole & intimidate but at least they cant outright kill.

i dont think there is a good way to get them to run away unless you as the dm specifically tell them "you are all trained fighters, and as you engage these people, their sheer numbers and skill at sword strikes worry into your hearts. you dont think you can win this fight". players go into every encounter assuming they've been balanced for their strengths, so if you give them one that's not you have to tell them outright. for scouting, you might need to do the same at first - just ask for an insight check of the player most likely to scout and tell them on a success "you don't know what your walking into, and your ranger's sense is telling you that it might be worth scoping out quietly before rushing in." seems cheesy but these are things that the players dont know but their characters certainly do know, so its worth giving them the information
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Postby ahungbunny » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:27 pm

thanks for the actual play recap, folks, i forget how much i enjoy reading those

now that i'm thinking about it, the two most memorable combats i've DMed involved unwinnable fights. in the first, the players had to deal with a wizard and steal an artifact without getting obliterated by an iron golem they knew they couldn't take. it concluded with the fastest PC dashing to a control mechanism at the other end of the dungeon to lock the door while the others pushed up against it to keep the golem from breaking through and obliterating them. after three rounds of doing everything possible to give themselves bonuses on opposed STR checks, the lever got pulled and the players all literally shouted and high-fived each other, haha. it was sick.

in another, after months of directly and indirectly learning that the duke was a legendary (and corrupt) warrior who wouldn't break a sweat killing them in a fight, they had to smuggle the head of a guild out of a city before she was arrested. they ended up blowing a hole in a wall and holding the city guard back while the NPC made a run for it, and ultimately the ranger placed himself between the duke and the NPC and was struck down while she jumped in a carriage waiting outside the wall and escaped. while the other PCs were trying to figure out a way to retrieve his body before they also ran out of town, the dead ranger's pet wolf attacked the duke and was, well, cruelly dispatched in front of the living characters. it was extremely memorable, everyone was fully invested and horrified, and it all made sense within the game. also, bam, campaign villain established
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Postby ahungbunny » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:46 pm

last night i ran the prologue in Masks of Nyarlathotep for Call of Cthulhu and i think i love that fuckin' system. super intuitive.

minor-ish spoilers for anyone who might play it: we had a surgeon, an archaeologist, a dilettante, a professor of languages, and an anthropologist head to lima to see about an expedition to some incan ruins. eventually, the surgeon pulled a three-pound maggot made of fat from someone's stomach which then started crawling up his sleeve, the professor burned the skin off his hand when he grabbed it, the anthropologist got kissed by a lamprey-faced vampire in the peruvian highlands and weighs ten pounds less than before, and the dilettante, the only PC to be present for all of these, lost every single sanity roll and is now afraid of teeth.Toggle Spoiler really hope i get everyone to buy in on playing the whole campaign!

coc's also great because it's easy to make 20s-style handouts and props. this is from a different session but i love being able to throw these kinds of things on the table

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Postby ahungbunny » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:50 pm

...or you can buy the super deluxe Masks of Nyarlathotep prop kit for only $919
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Postby dr. badvibes » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:29 pm

today Critical Role launched a kickstarter to fund an animated special, and they're already past 3.5 million :shock:

it was conceived as a half-hour special, i think, and they're going to end up with like a million per minute of animation...
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Postby WHITEBOYWASTED » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:13 am

Nite, thanks for all the practical advice. I like the idea of a ranger's sense or a warrior's sense attached to a roll as a way of getting them to try a different strategy, even if the roll is perfunctory.
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Postby trigross » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:07 am

awwww ahungbunny i have wanted to run coc and particularly masks forever - looks like you are an ultra prepared and sick gm. i am ... not. which might be why i am liking narrative/storygames as i get older. i think you can run it in trail of cthulhu, which might be the way to go - i love the gumshoe system. anyway, have you seen the 700 pp masks companion? it's supposed to be great.

as for a group that always rushes into combat, i guess the easiest is to just straight up kill a pc. for me at least, combat can be the least fun part of newer editions of d&d because it's boring as hell to me. the most fun is trying to escape dangerous encounters, getting the lizardmen on your side somehow, or formulating a complex tactical plan and see it all go to shit. but it's understandable, especially with a newer rp group, to just rush into combat. there are certainly cliche ways to show them that the other way can be fun and exciting too - maybe set them up with a social encounter or two with a big bad that is invulnerable or have some exposition from an old mystic that leans heavily on the "you'll die unless you plan". puzzles and traps can help too because it gets them thinking about something other than "i hit it with my sword"
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Postby ahungbunny » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:55 am

i have a thing about owning physical copies of everything i run but the masks companion is over a hundred bucks on ebay so i'm using the pdf. i already dropped lots of cash on the campaign, two rulebooks, and a screen, so i don't feel too bad. i can tell you that, even as an experienced gm, the first real chapter of masks of nyarlathotep (after the prologue) seems pretty damn overwhelming. i'm going to give it a shot sunday and will report back
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Postby ahungbunny » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:08 pm

decided to do a blog about character creation in various systems so i feel like there's more of a reason for my preoccupation with this shit. achieving a modern-ish format in blogspot is... difficult but i think i'm finally alright with what i got. first post regards the awful bram stoker's dracula rpg from 1992 https://generatingcharacter.blogspot.com/
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Postby trigross » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:15 pm

Nice! My friend did "Traveller" character creation with Marc Miller (the original designer!) At garycon this year. Your character can famously die during character creation (his survived)
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Postby trigross » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:18 pm

He also got to play empire of the petal throne with like the foremost tekumel scholar that played in Barker's home game for like 20 years. An Australian apparently came to the conclusion specifically to play with that guy. V jealous
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Postby ahungbunny » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:34 pm

wow all that is extremely sick. waiting to find the right deal for the traveller box set so i can give that a go. i really wanna go to garycon next year - i have a free US flight voucher and was planning on hitting gencon but i'll be playing a show that weekend, of fuckin' course

petal throne seems real cool in both historical place and fictional scope but the language barker created is so, well, ugly to me (based on what little i've read) that i'll probably never give it a proper shot. haha. i 100% love that there's a foremost tekumel scholar though
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Postby Legion » Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:07 pm



This is gonna be a long shot, but I lost an indie RPG last year when a bag of mine was stolen. It was fascinating, but I'd barely gotten a chance to check it out, and now I can't remember the name.

The most immediately distinctive thing about it is that it was printed on a series of concentric circles; you spin each circle upward to reveal the next page, and the text continues on the other side once you reach the end of the stack. Reading the format conveys the impression of a spiral or loop, though at the end of the day it's just a series of circles bound by a single metal stud.

The conceptual approach was similar to a collaborative storyboarder like Microscope, but it seemed more visual in nature. From what little I can remember, each individual player is encouraged to come up with an event and then use different colored pens or pencils to trace lines that show the connecting factors between a newly created event and any previously created ones.

Strike any bells? I would love to track down another copy, and my emails to the game shop in Oakland where I found it have gone unanswered.

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Postby Legion » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:07 pm



Found it! thanks to a forum called Story Games. Gonna have to dive deeper there sometime.

Of course, it's a Brazilian game called Pulse, and only 75 English copies were ever produced, so I managed to acquire one and then lose it. But the game's maker hopes a better English edition will come out one day.

Cool story, I know. :geek:


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Postby Spooky Jim » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:57 pm

Image

So I saw an ad for this book, and I am kind of intrigued, and looked a little into the book. It seems it could be cool, but I wonder if it is the kinda of shit I just do in my head already and is actually just going to make my daydreaming feel more constrictive or if it actually is cool advice on provoking more interesting self story making. Anyone know anything about it?
Combarieu declares that the songs of birds are not "musical" either, because they are "very difficult to take down in notation." See his Music-Its Laws and Evolution, 155. Will some divine power please create a "Musical" bird to sing the Air for G String in exact Equal Temperament for M. Combarieu?
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Postby dr. badvibes » Tue May 21, 2019 6:03 pm

anyone have any advice to help me ready up for an emergency 5e one-shot i got conned into running this weekend?

it's an idea that was being bounced around with some friends that suddenly became a "DO THIS NOW OR NEVER" deal due to peoples' work and travel schedules

i don't really want to learn and run a premade adventure, because i'm stubborn, but i am down to steal and rework story beats, encounters or gimmicks from any adventure

in an attempt to satisfy the projected desires of the people i'm running for i think i need to incorporate:

-- a "twist" (even if it's as simple as a suspicious NPC turning out to be good, or vice versa
-- a really hate-able final boss (joffrey or prince john levels) and/or a really vulnerable and love-able imperiled NPC to save
-- an early adventure defining choice, like a "pick your side" thing between two factions
-- an in media res starting point

i know it's hard to give advice on a vague prompt so here are some specific questions

What are some good enemies for a level 4 party to fight? Are bad humans too boring? Is the challenge rating system fairly accurate for preventing a TPK?

Do people expect unique loot in a one-shot? How do you manage that when you have, like, five players? First one to do some creative investigating gets the goods, or try to give everybody something?

Do you have any reliable "twists" or puzzles in your back pocket?
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Postby Marza » Tue May 21, 2019 6:18 pm

Have you or your players played 5e before? I think it was in bg2 where an npc tells the party about a dungeon that she needs help with - turns out she's possessed by the lair's resident BBE and is just being used as a lure. I always liked that as a twist/one shot concept because it's one less cast member to deal with (you get the npc guide if your players are new AND the betrayal.)
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Postby dr. badvibes » Tue May 21, 2019 7:10 pm

one player has never played, and probably hasn't played any dice game beyond monopoly or consumed any fantasy fiction

two players have played a handful of session in an ongoing campaign, plenty of other wargames/board games, and willfully consume fantasy fiction

the last two players will either be two season D&D players, or two complete rookies, depending on who accepts the invite first

i would love to do the NPC-goes-bad thing, except i don't think i have the chops to roleplay extended deceit that reads as believable in the denouement
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Postby Legion » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:31 am



I'm a little hesitant to back, given what happened with the last D&D documentary on Kickstarter ... but this looks really interesting and worthwhile. (D&D in prisons)


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kl ... ehind-bars

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Postby Merciel » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:16 am

This is out and I helped do it: https://dnd.wizards.com/products/tablet ... te_descent

I don't post all my tabletop projects because, uh, why?, but getting to scribble a few things on the latest Baldur's Gate project was pretty cool.

So there's that.
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Postby Legion » Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:30 am



he'll yeah

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