Since the beginning of the hobby of gaming, there has always been a strong contingent of DIY resources. A lot of effort went into taking military gaming guides like Totten’s Strategos and converting them for use in tabletop wargames. Translating complex material for easy reference by others is one of the best aspects of tabletop games.
Dungeons and Dragons history is filled with homebrew rules and resource guides. Some of these are simple and useful like a Skills Guide and alternative DM Screens. Some are rare, unique resources that you never knew you needed until you saw them.
There you are, sitting at the table with the other players, eager to roll some dice and kick some ass. Maybe you’ve popped open your favorite tasty beverage and sampled some tasty salty snacks as you wait for the other players to arrange themselves and the game to start. What you didn’t realize is you are ruining your DM’s campaign.
Hi, I’m Sean D. Francis and I’ve run RPGs since the early 80s. I do not pretend to have immense amounts of experience in game design, player psychology, or anything like that. I do not have revolutionary ideas on how to change games to make them better, in fact I err on the side of sticking with rules that are archaic and pointless out of an innate fear removing them will upset some gaming economy I don’t quite understand.
Hey, so my wife and I are doing this thing called No Spend September. Is it really a thing beyond our house? I have no idea. Doesn’t matter. This is the gist of what is going on. We had an expensive summer. I went on wild tech buying sprees (buying WordPress themes and plugins, buying tech, buying kitchen gadgets), we took a trip to Montana where I finally was able to buy my wife a Yogo sapphire ring – something I wanted to do for our wedding but finally accomplished for our 2 year anniversary. Not a cheap thing.
My very first online community was a dial-in BBS message board hosted by the school district. My friends and I would log in and leave messages there in the guise of our RPG characters. We were young and full of imagination. The thing is, among all the very serious conversations, no one cared what we were doing. I even had one person offer up the floor plans to the White House to help with a story I was planning. This was all done over 300 baud modem. If you don’t understand the word ‘baud’ don’t worry about it. Think ‘telegraph’ or ‘smoke signals’ and you’ll get the idea. This was not the way to transmit video, pictures (who had a scanner?!), or music. Just text all the time. Continue reading “The Lost Islands of Online Communities”
In the first part of How to Write a Memorable Adventure for a Fantasy Roleplaying Game, I discussed how to start creating an adventure for a fantasy roleplaying game. I discussed how to take a basic story idea and begin the process of fleshing it out by asking and answering questions regarding the idea. I started with a simple idea, the PCs are enjoying a cold pint of the hair of the dog at The Hidden Jest, an Inn located between three large cities ruled by three different political authorities. While resting at The Hidden Jest the PCs are given a task by a local wizard.
I didn’t discuss much on how to motivate the PCs. Do the PCs know each other before this moment? Why would the PCs even want to take on this task? For the intrepid reader, there are many answers to these questions. The truth of the matter is the reason why the PCs have joined together is a shared lie. A fabrication agreed upon by everyone in order to get to the reason why people come together – to play the game.