A multifaceted blog on RPGs

Archive for 2009|Yearly archive page

Science Fiction For Fantasy GMs II – Waiter, There’s A Magic Sword In My Space Soup

In Generic on July 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

To say that the posting on this blog has been infrequent lately is akin to saying that Palin for vice president wasn’t a particularly good idea. In both cases, those responsible would prefer to just move on with their lives and forget the whole thing. With that said, posting frequency will continue to be low for a while, due to real life stuff.

In my first post on this subject, I looked at the staying power of fantasy campaigns in order to find the reasons why my D&D games can run on low fuel for months without people losing interest, while my SF ventures need a constant flow of fresh ideas to stay alive. I identified some areas where a fantasy campaign stands out from its SF counterpart and I got some more tips in the comments. In this post, I will look at some ideas on how to incorporate common fantasy themes in SF campaigns while keeping the SF flavor an not delving too much into midichlorians and light sabres.  Read on for more tips on how to make your SF campaign successful by taking a page from the fantasy book.

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The Gunmage IV – Daily Powers, lvl 1

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on April 21, 2009 at 7:43 am

I received a fair amount of criticism for my last post about encounter powers (and also for the at-wills). According to my critics (I’m looking at you PrecociousApprentice) the powers were overpowered and the Gunmage was a better controller than a wizard and a better striker than the ranger. The critics were, of course, right and I have since edited the powers to make the Gunmage more on par with other strikers. Even if the balance was a bit off on the first take, it seems like the flavor of the class is generally appreciated and I take that as an incentive to continue on the same path.

This time I hope I’ve done a better job at balancing as I give you the 1st level daily powers of the gunmage:

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The Gunmage III – Encounter Powers, lvl 1

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on April 18, 2009 at 10:12 am

Since I created the At-will powers for the gunmage, I received some well thought-out comments and decided to revise them a bit, go to the original post to see the results! In this post, I continue with the encounter powers for lvl 1, focusing more on singling out one target and making him feel all alone. Next up are the daily powers in the next installment. Read on after the break!

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Savage Campaigns Webtools

In Generic, Savage Worlds on April 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Savage Worlds is increasingly becoming my roleplaying system of choice for one-off adventures and short campaigns. It’s simple and intuitive, but complex enought to accept som twiddling. Also, the design principles behind the game (summarized in the tagline – fast, furious, fun) appeals to my GMing style.

This infatuation with Savage Worlds coincides with my plans for some kind of online campaign and character manager created with the excellent django framework. Savage Worlds is published under a very generous license (look and learn WotC) making it more than possible to create homemade campaigns and websites. To that end, I’m currently working on an as of yet unnamed site for Savage Worlds where I intend to host characters and campaigns for official and unofficial settings. To guide my efforts, I would like some comments on what features to include in such a tool. The following feature list is intended for some kind of first beta release:

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The Gunmage II – At-will powers, lvl 1

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on March 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm

In my last post, I introduced The Gunmage, a spell-powered gunslinger using elemental bullets to single out and take down enemies. I started of with the class description and the features, and now I continue with perhaps the most defining parts of a class, the first level at-will powers. Read on for the gory details. This post has now been updated after comments , some powers have changed name to better suit the fact that all powers except Magelock shot now has two special bullet types.

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The Gunmage I – Class Description And Features

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on March 24, 2009 at 11:46 am

I’ve had a fairly popular series on black powder weapons in D&D 4E going and though I’ve done two paragon paths, the musketeer and the pistoleer, based on the feedback in the comment, there seems to be a need for a full blown class á la the gunmage from the 3.5E setting Iron Kingdoms. Writing a class is quite some work though, so I’ll post things as I get along and use the feedback from the comments to change and update the class and power. Finally, I’ll put the class and the other Black Powder posts in a pdf compendium and post it here for those who are interested in using it. Read on for the first post on the Gunmage, the arcane black powder class.

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Science Fiction for Fantasy GMs I, aka Orcs in Spaaaaaace!!!

In D&D 4E, Generic on March 18, 2009 at 10:20 pm

I’m not very much into fantasy literature. The little non-work-related reading I manage tend to be more in the Science Fiction genre. When it comes to roleplaying however, it’s all orcs and elves. It wasn’t always like this, of course, I’ve done my share (and still do) of non-fantasy gaming: steampunk, cyberpunk, espionage, cold war supers, pulp and so on. But when it comes to campaign staying power and player satisfaction, nothing compares to run-of-the-mill, vanilla fantasy. For me as a GM, this is highly unsatisfying, I want to run Science Fiction dang nabbit! However I try though, my epic SF campaigns rarely last more than 4-5 sessions. So a while back, I asked a couple of friends of mine: what’s so hard about science fiction gaming? I then realized that the question should be: what’s so easy about fantasy?

To that end, I start this series of posts about Space Fantasy, the hows, the whys, the dos and the don’ts. Read on for the first post in the series, What’s the deal with fantasy anyway?

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Fantasy Civics in RPGs

In D&D 4E on March 17, 2009 at 8:16 am

Are your campaign worlds series of identical fiefdoms with warring kings and mischievous noblemen. Gets kind of old, doesn’t it? To spice up the life of you and your players, I’ll give you some alternatives. Next time your players save the country, perhaps they’ll marry the consul’s daughter? Read on for my take on some alternative fantasy civics.
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Black Powder Weapons IV – Monsters

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on February 19, 2009 at 9:19 am

What begun as a simple post on how to include black powder weapons in Dungeons & Dragons has bulged out like a gelatinous cube and is now into its fourth installment. With players getting most of the love so far, time has come for the DM to receive some well deserved attention. It’s time for some black powder inspired monsters and traps. Read on for the goodies!

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What System To Use For Tolkien’s Middle Earth?

In Generic on February 11, 2009 at 10:03 am

 Over at Greywulf’s Lair, there is a very well written and inspiring post on how to do Tolkien’s Middle Earth with D&D 4E rules. Not d20, not OGL, but strict D&D, all inclusive. If it’s a beholder, then perhaps it’s a Morgoth construct from the second age, if it’s a lich then perhaps it’s a nazgul, if it’s an orc then it’s an… orc. In the comment section to that post, it was mentioned that even though it is feasible,perhaps D&D 4E isn’t the best system to use when playing in Middle Earth. If this is true, then what system would be best? Read on for my take on different systems in Tolkien’s world.

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