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Archive for the ‘Generic’ Category

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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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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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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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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The Dwarven Gate Puzzle

In D&D 4E, Generic on January 24, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Edit: There’s a follow-up to this post here.

The other day, my group of players were encountering a dwarven kingdom, closed to the world for 1,500 years. I wanted the gate to the kingdom to be something special and also wanted a shift in pace from all the combat, so I made it a puzzle. Now puzzles are hard to design. Too difficult and they easily become frustratingly impossible, too easy and they don’t leave an impression. This one ended up pretty well, keep reading if you want an instant Dwarven Gate puzzle you could add to your adventure.

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