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The Big List of RPG Links

4th October 2008 (15:07)

Updated:-

Talking online

Getting a game groupKeeping a game group or, Running an interesting game
Free rpgs and discussions
- you don't need a wad of cash or bitorrents to game or get good gaming advice

Gaming resources
or, making a more interesting character and game
  • Treasure Tables' GMing wiki, an excellent series of articles on running game groups, preparing campaigns, and so on - also, they're written by different people so you get different points of view.
  • The Big List of RPG Plots - sitting there munching your cheetos wondering what to run your group through, and it's ten minutes before the first ones are showing up, half an hour late? Use this!
  • Roleplayer resources, a page linking to many articles about character creation, development, working with other players and so on.
  • Gamer Chick articles, including how to roleplay (well) the other gender.
  • Postapocalyptic media, a site looking at books, movies, roleplaying games and computer games with a postapocalyptic setting; also a forum.
  • Rules for Party Creation.
Games under construction - under development, and inviting input
  • MARINER - "Modern-Day Adventure on the High Seas". "... dedicated to the brainstorming and development of a modern-day roleplaying game using the classic roleplaying rules set, Traveller."
Character Sheets & Fonts & Names & Images & Maps
  • RPG GM tools, HexMapper, DiceRoller, RandomCityGenerator, all sorts!
  • Autorealm, a freeware program for making fantasy maps; it does not offer a random map creator, and is about 3Mb.
  • Mad Irishman Productions, page of different character sheets. The focus is on d20, but there are sheets for Ars Magica, Rolemaster, James Bond, all sorts. Also many other gaming resources, such as maps of Russia for Ars Magica.
  • Fonts of various kinds, good for getting just the right font for that character sheet for this campaign.
  • Wasteland: the postapocalyptic photo series. Very inspiring...
  • Onamastikon, Kate Monk's big list of names of people of different cultures and times.
  • Wikipedia's list of public domain images online, spice up your webpage or rpg pdf with images without shafting anyone's copyright!
  • Mike's Images, a big site with screencaps from Xena, Hercules, Firefly, Aliens, Lord of the Rings, etc etc etc. Great for getting just the right character image.
  • Maps of the Ancient World - even if you're not running anything in the ancient world, you can at least steal the place names for your own game world.
  • Topoquest.com, Free USGS topographic maps of the US and parts of Canada
  • UK's Defence Image Database, all sorts of militaria

Soundtrack music
- free downloads of public doman or Creative Commons music

Historical
resources
- for those who like historically-flavoured games
  • Armour Archive, a page about armours of history with the aim of making modern examples for reconstruction or SCA.
  • Warrior Clothing in Ancient China. Better than those anime.
  • Levantia, site about the late Roman Empire in the Near East. Byzantium is a great place to adventure.
  • Timeless Myths - about Celtic, Norse and Arthurian myths and stories, very good for getting that flavour to a campaign.
  • Roman army re-enactment, Legio XV in Germany, and Legio XXX in Italy. The Italian site links to many others.
  • English Historical Recreation, images from modern-day recreators of the Anglo-Saxon era. Very good, many images and authentic
  • Wychurst, a project to build a reproduction of an old English village of Saxon times.
  • Viking re-enactment and information
  • Late medieval re-enactment in Norway, focusing on 1397-1434, with a particular focus on mounted combat (page in English).
  • Resources for the Suzerain Roleplayer, another big list of links to stuff about Asia Minor and the Middle East in ancient and early history
  • Streets of Shanghai - webpage of Shanghai in the 1920s, from a roleplayer.
  • Snowshoemen, a recreation group focusing on late colonial North America. Pop on that Last of the Mohicans soundtrack and grab your dice.
  • Action Squad. Real life "adventurers" exploring strange old building, tunnels, closed asylums, etc. Good images for a post-apocalyptic or horror campaign.
  • Military unit organisation, a thread here with discussion of and links to... well, that.
e-zines Since magazines are all company-specific now, it's a good thing we have the web
  • The Iridia Zine - a general roleplaying zine, with a common focus on GURPS and D&D, publishes in pdf and print weekly - over 40 issues now.
  • Knowledge - Current Events. A zine taking current events and converting them into stuff for campaigns. Though it focuses on d20, it's of general interest.
  • Places to God, People to Be. ...devoted to role-playing and role-playing games. It is put together by gamers, for gamers and contains what we believe to be the highest quality material about our games available. It is dedicated to gamers everywhere, and in particular to those in Australia and Brisbane. Irregularly publihsed (last issue June 2005), but with lots of old issues available.
  • The Oerth Journal, a zine dedicated to keeping the old World of Greyhawk going.
Campaign & setting webpages
Reading "actual play" usually suxxorz, but NPCs, maps and so on are great.
  • Tiwesdæg Clíewen, Dark Ages low fantasy campaign. Where magic is magical, and monsters are monstrous.
  • Northenden, a medieval low fantasy game.
  • Saduria, "I like gritty campaigns where the players and characters are challenged by their lifestyle, geography and society as much as by huge monsters. Saduria is very much a reflection of that philosophy. Magic is a rare thing and not to be taken lightly..." A very detailed set of pages.
  • Gehennum, a fantasy world that breaks the pseudo-European-Tolkien pattern, set in something rather like Polynesia.
  • John Kim's Buffy campaign
  • Fallout 3 files. From an abandoned version. May help you run your own Fallout campaign. Docs and so on, not the code stuff.
  • David Icke, not a roleplaying page, but good conspiracy-horror-scifi campaign material. This guy thinks that the ruling classes of the world are actually all alien blood-drinking reptilians.
  • Alien abductions - like Icke's webpage, also not a roleplaying one, but with many articles on alien abductions of humans and their plans to create alien-human hybrids to take over the world. Good for a Delta Green campaign, perhaps?
Crazy shit relating to The Forge and other RPG loonsFunny shit about roleplaying

[rpg development] SixLetterSystem

1st October 2008 (12:22)

After some experiences playtesting the SixLetterSystem, I have a couple of ideas for changing it. The first is to extend the skill list (though not to GURPSian levels) and the second is niche protection by skill defaults.
Take a lookCollapse )
Thoughts?

Why I was disappointed with...

29th September 2008 (13:42)

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy - all the characters started off as 250 points. This is described in GURPS Campaigns as

Larger-than-Life (200 to 300 points): Leading roles in kung fu movies, fantasy novels, etc. Typical of the professional adventurer who has already made a name for himself.
which entirely misses the point of classic dungeon adventurers. You adventure to make a name for yourself, you don't make a name for yourself and then adventure.

A lot of people don't get that. In the age of saved games and cheat codes it's hard to get people to sit still long enough to enjoy zero to hero. Having a character in a dungeon crawl start off at 250 points makes about as much sense as having a Supers character stuck at 50 points. Sean Punch - GURPS line editor, and authour of the DF series - is on record as saying he prefers campaigns where the PCs can confidently approach difficult tasks, where they have several skills mastered. And that's fair enough, but it's not what dungeon crawls are about.

Dungeon crawls are not about being confident, but about taking risks and being afraid, about learning from your experiences and growing in power so you can take on tougher challenges - not in the artificial way presented by D&D3.5 with the DM presenting challenges which have been measured precisely to use X% of the party's resources, but simply by virtue of PC choice. When you're low-level you choose to clear out the local kobold raider's cave, and avoid the red dragon's lair; when you're high-level, you choose differently.

But whether high or low level, the PCs shouldn't be confident of being able to take on whatever task presented them. That's not what it's about.

Some people just don't get it.

Best version of Beowulf ever!

30th August 2008 (17:29)


The Six-Letter System

28th June 2008 (20:42)

The Six-Letter System (that's a wiki) is a roleplaying game harking back to the simple days of gaming. All you need is a pencil, some paper, and five six-sided dice per player.

GAMERS [600k pdf, 8 pages] is the generic version of the Six-Letter System, a series of games with the same mechanics, only the names of the basic six attributes changed, and all given six-letter titles which are mnemonics for those attributes.

Basically it's the approach old Classic Traveller took: tasks are 2d6 + skill vs some target number, and in combat there are no hit points, you just take damage directly to your attributes. You can have physical conflicts and lose from the physical stats, or mental conflicts and lose from the mental stats.

There are six attributes, optionally six "features" (to cover the Dis/Advantages of many systems), and thirty-six skills. You can have specialties in each, you just get +1 to that specialised area.

At the moment, the only character generation options are random, and I may keep it that way.

I've not yet playtested it, but I've playtested Risk Dice which has the same 42 attributes/features/skills, so I think that number works, your character can fit on an index card and it's quick to roll them up; Risk Dice also has the same "lose attributes, not hit points" thing, and that works though can be a bit abstract.

The playtesting would then be of the character generation, and parts of the combat system.

Any thoughts? Anything you think is missing from the basic GAMERS rules? Any obvious problems?

JimBobOz
Army 1 term, Common Scum 3 terms
976758
Brawling 1, Fire (Rifle) 1, Handicrafts (Cooking) 1, Liberal Arts 1, Speech 1, Survival 1, Tracking 1, Writing 1

Teamwork & Tension

18th June 2008 (16:58)

Teamwork and tension are things which I find fun to have in a game session. It's why I prefer the old Mission Impossible tv series to the modern movie series - in the old series, each specialist contributed a bit to the mission as a whole. What was impossible for one was possible for them as a group.

That sort of teamwork, driven by or done under some external threat, I think that's great fun in a game session.

But I find that many gamers create real "individuals". I've been quite successful as a GM at getting them to connect their characters together, but they still don't act as a team. Some of you may be familiar with the basic infantry tactic of "fire and movement" or "mobile overwatch" - one group stops and gives covering fire while the other moves forward, then the second group stops and gives cover while the first moves forward. That's about the most basic kind of teamwork you can have.

But many game groups can't even manage that - players get impatient and have their characters all rush forwards at once. Obviously you can have them just get wiped out or captured, but I find that sort of thing isn't good for encouraging teamwork. It just pisses them off.

I've tried to help things out with game mechanics. Whatever the system, I say that there are "complementary traits" - your Maths helps your Physics, Jim's Strength can help Bob's Agility as he's trying to wriggle out of his bonds, that sort of thing. This is meant to encourage players to think "how can my guy help the other guy?" which is basically all teamwork is.

But I find I have to prompt players a lot. Everyone wants to be a one-person party.

Any thoughts? I'd love to be running military, police and espionage games, or games with elements of that in there - but they fall on their arse without teamwork.

Deodorising books

8th May 2008 (16:05)

Heading into the city for my weekly lunch with my friend and old gamer buddy, I was a bit early, so I stopped by the game store. Looking at the second-hand shelf, I saw that someone had cleared out their early 80s collection. There was RuneQuest, old D&D modules, the lot. And there was also Aftermath, which I happily snagged for $15.

On getting home and sliding the books out of their plastic covers, I found that the previous owner had been a chronic smoker, the books have a real stench of old, stale, dead tobacco. There's also a hint of body odour - just a hint, the dead tobacco dominates.

I find myself looking over at the bookshelf at the scented oil burner and thinking of giving the books a good splash in the inside spine. Any suggestions on deodorising books?

Just Speculatin'

29th April 2008 (13:51)

And so it begins...



Having finished Fourth Tiwesdæg, it was time for a new campaign. Last night we settled on Just Speculatin',

I wonder what it's like to have an impartial media?

28th April 2008 (17:37)

No use asking the USA, apparently :)

Courtesy of the Daily Show, the hard questions asked of McCain.

Geeks who really need a father figure

23rd April 2008 (15:15)

... who can say "NO!" and whack them on the back of the head.

As seen here, a lonely geek goes up to chixxorz at cons and asks to squeeze their boobs. Some, perhaps high on too much Mountain Dew and late-night CCG games, say "yes". Dude starts a whole "wear a button" thing at the Con.

Seriously, this is a boy who was not beaten enough as a child.

Creepy fatbeards. Helping the gamer image at your local con!

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