Tabletop Shop Talk

Discussions, Tips, and Resources for Tabletop RPGS & Board Games

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Think I’m gonna start planning more adventures in the way that One Last Job plans adventures.

"Here’s the  (theoretical) endgame, and here’s how it ties into one of the characters.

But to get there, there’s going to be an obstacle—that’s why we need character B.

But before that, Character C is going to have to accomplish THEIR objective.”

Give everyone a planned moment in the sun, then let them take the plan off the rails of their own volition.

Traveller in particular, with its wildly varying character types, seems like it’d be a good fit for this style.

52 notes &

snipwwolf-deactivated20140818 asked: How did you get into DMing/Storytelling? Also have any tips for some new DMs?

corruptionpoints:

Corruptionpoints origin story!

When I was really really young, I was invited to play Advanced Dungeons & Dragons by some slightly older kids that lived on the same street. As I loved video games featuring both dungeons and dragons, I thought it was a good idea and went for it.

The first session came and went. I decided to be a Fighter. I had a sword, a shield, and a shortbow. The session was super short and super simple, but I remember vividly that we were fighting a pile of goblins near some stacks of hay.

I said, “Well, I have a bow and arrow! I’ll light the arrow on fire, shoot it at the stacks, the goblins will run away.”

The GM disallowed it, as it wasn’t a true attack against the goblins, and we rolled normal initiative and continued to play the game. 

I found this to be lame. If a player has a good idea, they should be able to do it, right?

So rather than continuing to play that game, I waited a few years and picked up Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, and told myself that I would run games where players were allowed to give any solution to any problem. 

Therein lies my best advice for a starting GM. Above all things, no matter what, let the players have fun. If that means throwing out prep, throw out the prep. If that means changing an idea or three, change those ideas! Be flexible, have fun, keep the game going, and find ways to say yes. Do that, and you’ll do great!

16 notes &

Advice for Star Wars Gamemasters

unpossiblelabs:

After running more than 30 sessions of Edge of the Empire over the course of a year, Matt decided it was time to take a break from GMing. Now I’ve picked up the reins and am running Age of Rebellion for the group. After running the first session, I asked everyone for feedback, to be sure I was on the right track.

Matt didn’t have any qualms with the first session, but he did have this excellent advice for any GM running Star Wars:

  • Say “yes.”
  • Follow the players for tone.
  • Don’t make it a gritty military game. It should be a Star Wars swashbuckling space opera with the war as the backdrop.
  • Let players interpret dice when they can.
  • Stories are better than missions.
  • Make it personal to characters.
  • Be ready to chuck the module.

Matt is a consistently fantastic GM, and that Edge of the Empire campaign was the most fun I’ve had as a player in a long, long time. So I’m taking his advice to heart.

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Last weekend, my brother, a friend, and I got together online and made characters for two games we’re going to start playing—the War of Ashes RPG playtest, and 13th Age.

Both games are a blast to make characters for! My brother said FATE was the most fun he ever had making a character and our friend said he felt like his character was more developed after our chargen session than he did after playing through full adventures with other games.

Meanwhile, I loved 13th Age. I am not a fan of that vein of D&D derivatives—I’m terrible at tactical character creation—but I really enjoyed making a character in the game! Whether I enjoy actually playing is another story, but for now, I’m in love.

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tenleaguesbeneath:

Moving through the Age of Monsters quickly, at least until interesting things start happening.
Unless they run into some really bad luck those Gnomes (dark green) are going to be scary, given that they have the entire old Dvyrgar delve to themselves, with all its tomb treasures and all that.
Maybe I should ensure something else arrives to split the Delve.
Some stuff happened this turn too quick to show up on the map. A new alpha predator appeared downriver of the dragon, and then the dragon attacked it and killed it.
The Memory Fish Monologue:

Do you know what it’s like to have a memory that spans the ages all the way back to when the world was young? To remember everything every one of your ancestors ever saw or did or ate, every moment this cosmos has existed fresh in your memory like it was yesterday?
Do you know what it’s like to turn that gift and know that why you were hatched in this particular pool in this particular river is because a dragon tore your mother to pieces? To remember that as if it were you yourself?
Of course you don’t. That is why we, ageless as the stars, immortal, psionic, are destined to rule again as we once did, and you, mortals, exist only to be ruled. You are already wise to see your kin’s resistance will not last forever, that service to us is the only way to guarantee your future. So it has always been and thus so it shall be.

Observations:

A year has passed. The Antlings have scoured the tunnel near their home bare and continue to press down in search of more of the Tunnel Worm’s leavings. This is fortunate, as they draw closer to the Gateway Stone.
They now face pressure, too, from the Earthfolk. Perhaps this will give them the drive they need to release me.

Landholding Records:

On the anniversary of Lord Tomar the Daring’s reign, Ardent Post was granted to Dame Iruna as fief, titling her as a Baronet (formerly a Knight). Twenty households surrounding were allocated yeoman holdings in the newly-established village of Ardent.

tenleaguesbeneath:

Moving through the Age of Monsters quickly, at least until interesting things start happening.

Unless they run into some really bad luck those Gnomes (dark green) are going to be scary, given that they have the entire old Dvyrgar delve to themselves, with all its tomb treasures and all that.

Maybe I should ensure something else arrives to split the Delve.

Some stuff happened this turn too quick to show up on the map. A new alpha predator appeared downriver of the dragon, and then the dragon attacked it and killed it.

The Memory Fish Monologue:

Do you know what it’s like to have a memory that spans the ages all the way back to when the world was young? To remember everything every one of your ancestors ever saw or did or ate, every moment this cosmos has existed fresh in your memory like it was yesterday?

Do you know what it’s like to turn that gift and know that why you were hatched in this particular pool in this particular river is because a dragon tore your mother to pieces? To remember that as if it were you yourself?

Of course you don’t. That is why we, ageless as the stars, immortal, psionic, are destined to rule again as we once did, and you, mortals, exist only to be ruled. You are already wise to see your kin’s resistance will not last forever, that service to us is the only way to guarantee your future. So it has always been and thus so it shall be.

Observations:

A year has passed. The Antlings have scoured the tunnel near their home bare and continue to press down in search of more of the Tunnel Worm’s leavings. This is fortunate, as they draw closer to the Gateway Stone.

They now face pressure, too, from the Earthfolk. Perhaps this will give them the drive they need to release me.

Landholding Records:

On the anniversary of Lord Tomar the Daring’s reign, Ardent Post was granted to Dame Iruna as fief, titling her as a Baronet (formerly a Knight). Twenty households surrounding were allocated yeoman holdings in the newly-established village of Ardent.

(via fuckyeahdnd)

20 notes &

swordandbackpack:

OCCULT SLUMBER PARTY: THE MIXTAPE
Yesterday Rothbard & Gazpus released the free-to-download prototype of Occult Slumber Party, our cover version of the classic game Werewolf. In our take, instead of the players playing as villagers trying to uncover a murderous lycanthrope in their midst, they’re friends on a mountain-getaway-vacation-from-hell after an innocent reading of a forbidden text has the unfortunate side-effect of unleashing soul-hungry demons. Yes, we’re fans of Evil Dead 2 and Cabin in the Woods. Could you tell?
If you’re familiar with our fantasy RPG Sword & Backpack, you already know that we love making mixes to accompany our gaming. But we figured why limit awesome mixes to  adventuring? To that end, we present the Occult Slumber Party Mixtape, a collection of songs to swallow souls to. It’s spooky, it’s ominous, it’s dark and bloody fun, suitable for soundtracking any horror gaming or Halloween shindig. Originally we weren’t going to release this until October, but whatever — we’ll just repost it then! Enjoy!
Download it Here. (Click on the three dots on the page to grab a .zip file of the mix!)
The Tracklisting:
“Spells, Charms, Incantations” – Tarot Bolero
“Dunwich Horror – Main Title” – Les Baxter
“Bad Ritual” – Timber Timbre
“The Number of the Beast” – Iron Maiden
“Ain’t Superstitious” – Jack o’ Fire
“I Walk on Guilded Splinters” – Dr. John
“Lose Your Soul” – Dead Man’s Bones
“Pick Up if You’re There” – Mercury Rev
“Lady That’s My Skull” – Alan Moore & Tim Perkins
“The Pink Room” – Angelo Badalamenti
“Come to the Sabbat” – Black Widow
“Nasty” - The Damned
“Halloween Remix” – Ronald Jenkees
“Raining Blood” – Slayer
“Black Mass – Mort Garson
“Underground” – Tom Waits
“Devil’s Plaything” – Danzig
“Necronomicon” – Les Baxter
“At the Parlor” – Tarot Bolero

swordandbackpack:

OCCULT SLUMBER PARTY: THE MIXTAPE

Yesterday Rothbard & Gazpus released the free-to-download prototype of Occult Slumber Party, our cover version of the classic game Werewolf. In our take, instead of the players playing as villagers trying to uncover a murderous lycanthrope in their midst, they’re friends on a mountain-getaway-vacation-from-hell after an innocent reading of a forbidden text has the unfortunate side-effect of unleashing soul-hungry demons. Yes, we’re fans of Evil Dead 2 and Cabin in the Woods. Could you tell?

If you’re familiar with our fantasy RPG Sword & Backpack, you already know that we love making mixes to accompany our gaming. But we figured why limit awesome mixes to  adventuring? To that end, we present the Occult Slumber Party Mixtape, a collection of songs to swallow souls to. It’s spooky, it’s ominous, it’s dark and bloody fun, suitable for soundtracking any horror gaming or Halloween shindig. Originally we weren’t going to release this until October, but whatever — we’ll just repost it then! Enjoy!

Download it Here. (Click on the three dots on the page to grab a .zip file of the mix!)

The Tracklisting:

“Spells, Charms, Incantations” – Tarot Bolero

“Dunwich Horror – Main Title” – Les Baxter

“Bad Ritual” – Timber Timbre

“The Number of the Beast” – Iron Maiden

“Ain’t Superstitious” – Jack o’ Fire

“I Walk on Guilded Splinters” – Dr. John

“Lose Your Soul” – Dead Man’s Bones

“Pick Up if You’re There” – Mercury Rev

“Lady That’s My Skull” – Alan Moore & Tim Perkins

“The Pink Room” – Angelo Badalamenti

“Come to the Sabbat” – Black Widow

“Nasty” - The Damned

“Halloween Remix” – Ronald Jenkees

“Raining Blood” – Slayer

“Black Mass – Mort Garson

“Underground” – Tom Waits

“Devil’s Plaything” – Danzig

“Necronomicon” – Les Baxter

“At the Parlor” – Tarot Bolero

0 notes &

Question to those of you that have played Cosmic Patrol and/or the Valiant Universe RPG.

I feel like I’m missing something in both games’ descriptions of missions and scenes. I’m struggling to see how the game handles surprises and twists, if you’re also following the set scene-to-scene structure outlined in the books, and passing the LN role from player to player. It seems like everyone would know every twist (as outlined in the brief), and would be just sort of running through the motions.

Does everyone read over the entire mission brief (including the scene-by-scene “enemies/obstacles” sections), or just the first person taking the Lead Narrator role? And from there, how set in stone are subsequent scenes?

Filed under Cosmic Patrol Valiant Universe RPG

42 notes &

OCCULT SLUMBER PARTY - A NEW GAME FROM ROTHBARD & GAZPUS FOR FREE RPG DAY!

swordandbackpack:

image

It’s Free RPG Day, and Rothbard & Gazpus have a gift to put under the Free RPG Tree: our new party game OCCULT SLUMBER PARTY. It’s a variation on the game Werewolf presented as a tribute to horror films like  Cabin in the Woods, Demons, and Evil Dead 2. It is, in a word, groovy! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

All you need to play are the rules and the card templates (download link below). Once you’ve downloaded and printed them and used your scissor-and-glue-stick skills to make a 20-card deck you’re ready to party. But direct your attention to the art above— that’s one of the cards and that brings us to the coolest thing about Occult Slumber Party: all of the game art is original work done by our main man Arik Roper, who has done an insane number of frightening album covers and movie posters for the like of Sleep, High on Fire, Mondo Posters, and more. The dude is SKILLED.

And there’s more Occult Slumber Party coolness in the offing: coming soon is the CHILLING and THRILLING Occult Slumber Party mixtape, a truly terrifying collection of tunes that’s the perfect soundtrack for summoning evil from the underworld. If it doesn’t become your new favorite Halloween comp we’ll bite the head off a bat.

DOWNLOAD PDFS OF THE RULES AND THE CARD TEMPLATES HERE…IF YOU DARE!

(Also, keep a lookout for a revised version of Occult Slumber Party will go into actual physical production, and that version will have a very clever rulebook, high-quality cards and perhaps some NEW cards. Quoth Count Floyd, very scary.)

5 notes &

cerri-glok:

dunkelzahn:

cerri-glok:

tabletopshoptalk:

Currently reading D&D Vol. 2: First Encounters. It’s really cool!

Probably going to use the opening bit, about the group getting together in the planetarily-displaced City of Stairs, surrounded by overly defensive Eladrin and psychotic mutated Drow, in my upcoming Dungeon World campaign.

Words do not describe how much I love the D&D comics.

Obviously dwarven craftsmanship.

For me, it’s any of the halfling’s lines. She’s exactly the kind of character the Jackal plays.

"Look at me! Running away now!"

The character interactions in the book are so great. They feel simultaneously like fleshed out characters, but also D&D characters.

Chris Sims, I think, described it essentially as “you can feel the players behind the characters, but not in a way that distracts from the action or story being told,” and it’s a super refreshing way to present a D&D comic (I am, admittedly, not a big fan of the older D&D comics).