More Fun and Gaming

More Fun and Gaming

I've long enjoyed the rather.... colorful.... posts over at gamingwhileconservative. The man has a way with words, and an opinion on gaming that anyone who lives the phrases "git gud" and likes the brutal difficulty curve of your typical roguelike would recognize and take to heart. You can't avoid the meta - embrace it. Find ways to lampshade it on occasion as needed. Your character may be better than average, but he's not world famous yet - so why do you have a backstory/origin that's more than one brief line of text? Also - part of the fun is…

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Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Dungeon

Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Dungeon

I'd mentioned before that I'm running an ACKs campaign. For those not familiar, ACKs - Adventurer, Conqueror, King system - by Alexander Macris was an answer to the question "what if we took Basic, Moldvay-style D&D/OSR, and gave it a slightly more coherent set of rules, incorporated economics that make sense without requiring a ton of math, and used that to expand the rules all the way to "domain play" - kingdoms, armies, and so forth. While we're at it, we're neither running in the default Auran Empire (think late magical Roman Empire) setting,…

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A Significant Difference

A Significant Difference

Stumbled into this comment recently made by Alexander Macris, creator of ACKs, was asked to describe the difference between ACKS and 5e: 5E vs. ACKS: 5E offers your character more abilities in a game, ACKS offers your character more power in a world. 5E does not assume that there's a world that exists that follows the rules of 5E. ACKS assumes there is a world that exists that follows the rules of ACKS. The reason 5E's realms aren't overrun with a demographically-appropriate number of 20th level wizards with armies of dragons is that those wizards simply don't exist, and the…

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Catching Up

Catching Up

People forget that Car Wars was pretty much an RPG where the car was your character. Jeffro brings out Car Wars to show that, if you are worried about the plot of your adventure, you're doing it wrong. The question is asked, “What are your favorite ways of coming up with an engaging campaign plot line for role playing games?” My answer to this is that it’s an inherently wrongheaded question: If your campaign has a plot line, you are not just doing it wrong. You have repudiated the very concept of fantasy role-playing games! The most common structure…

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Cepheus/Traveller : Hard Space

Cepheus/Traveller : Hard Space

Omer G Joel over at spacecockroach.blogspot.com has been posting about his new background for the Cepheus Engine (a kindof Traveller retroclone mostly compatible with Mongoose Traveller), and it sounds fun, especially the aspects that lend themselves to aliens/outland style horror. I’ll note that it’s not the only project to do “weird shit man was not meant to know in space” of the gritty variety, there’s also a project called “Hostile” From his latest posting on interstellar travel: Interstellar travel uses the Jump Drive. The jump drive is a complex contraption manipulating an Antediluvian artifact…

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For Every Action

For Every Action

Today as a GM I got a valuable lesson in the craziness of reaction rolls and how it can cause some utterly unique moments in gaming. This is the kind of thing that happens when you run a “decision loop” as Bradford Walker has laid out, and the world is a simulation with the GM being the arbiter instead of the narrator of a “story” game. Background. We’ve got a 1HP cleric in the party, “Three Steps”. His stated goal is to “advance the candle into the darkness.” In the past encounters with orcs, some interesting reaction rolls to…

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Lending Meaning to Choice

Lending Meaning to Choice

A drum I’ve beaten over and over again with my game group – I want the choices my characters make to mean something other than “I get through the adventure, I gain XP”. It’s one reason that, if I’m running a game, I’m running ACKs, though I’m looking forward to some Traveller (book) play at some point as well. It’s why, as I alluded to earlier, I also prefer modules to “adventures” and “adventure paths”. So, someone going by “Raging Owlbear” posted that, after the game expectations were set, as they were rolling up characters,…

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