Rooting for Shiny Disco Balls!

21 08 2008

I’ve finished reading [this] post, on the very entertaining Cogito, ergo ludo blog and I wanted to share some thoughts on the topic. Besides, it ties very nicely with the series that I’m writing so it’s even thematically accurate!

So do yourselves a favor and go read that when you have a few minutes. As for me, these are my proverbial two cents on the topic… Read the rest of this entry »

Gorilla Jam! ep1: Sailors in the Sea of Fate

20 08 2008

I’ve gotten my feet wet with D&D goodness (or madness?) and I’m here to tell the tale of my first days on the road. We’ll take baby steps through the first 3 chapters of the Player’s Handbook in order to prepare ourselves for the 100+ pages rampage through the classes chapter. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, we have plenty of material to go through and some pretty pictures to look at (except for the tieflings… you’ll see what I mean.)

I’ll be making pretty specific comments on certain parts of the text, but I will always try to give page references so if you want you can follow along and scream about how utterly wrong/right I am. Everyone ready? Let’s dive in! Read the rest of this entry »

Cuddling with the 800 lbs. Gorilla

14 08 2008

There is a big bad monkey in my lawn and he is certainly not going away! I recently wrote an entry titled “There is a Gap Between Us”, and I’ve realized that people have mostly gotten the wrong impression from it; the “screaming maniac who thinks that the mere mention of D&D is worse than killing puppies” kind of impression.

That is simply wrong, and you might be rejoiced to know that I harbor a certain affection for that bulky primate. In fact, our bond is so strong that I have set my sights on a fabulous journey of RPG goodness that will take me through all the core books of its latest incarnation as I madly chop and cut to take D&D to its true unD&D potential (hint: that was sarcasm.) Read the rest of this entry »

Back to Business

14 08 2008

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been absent for the last couple of days. This has been due to some rather nasty string of midterms (? I’m not even sure what you call them, suffice to say that I’m talking about the final exam in a class) that had me going head over heels… but in a bad way. In any case, having achieved a 75% rate of success (sadly I had to skip one and leave it for December) I can finally say I’m back in business.

Of course that this would mean something if I had actually told you that I was going to be away for a few days but, of course, I didn’t. The good thing is that this whole shebang has been a wonderful learning experience, and I’ve gained much from it. As far as you are concerned, I promise next time you will be dutifuly noticed.

The second piece of news is that my PC has gone completely nuts. Vista decided that my activation code was invalid and now has gracefully locked me out of my system. And seeing that there is no actual tech support where I live I’ll be doing a re-install in the next few days, which might (but I hope not) cause some delays in the posting.

That’s all for now, let’s get back to business!

There is a Gap Between Us

8 08 2008

For years I have been acting as if I sat on a seat of ice. I looked at gaming as if it was open ground for human development and achievement of fun. Fun is a very special thing for me, and I said that it was everyone’s prerogative to find their own path.

Alas I am human… and for some reason, some things infuriate me to no end. There is no rational explanation, there is no moral support for such wrath but its burning presence is no less powerful because of that.

I have just finished reading [this] post from the Chatty’s DM blog. And I just don’t get it. Read the rest of this entry »

Kick Combat Back Into Shape! -part 2-

6 08 2008

Physical combat has been a part of roleplaying games for as long as I can remember. While this focus on combat might not be true for every roleplaying system out there, most rpg products have at least a section devoted to it and some might have as little as a section devoted to anything else.

This time, we’ll be putting conflict resolution on turbo wheels and hope it doesn’t crash. We’ll have a deeper look at some other ways we can treat combat resolution that are geared towards more efficiently creating a narrative that stands of top of meaningful choice, instead of tactical detail. Read the rest of this entry »

Kick Combat Back Into Shape! -part 1-

29 07 2008

Physical combat has been a part of roleplaying games for as long as I can remember. While this focus on combat might not be true for every roleplaying system out there, most rpg products have at least a section devoted to it and some might have as little as a section devoted to anything else. Among people who have played RPGs for some time, this is standard knowledge.

What interests me is that, while a lot of games set a pretty comprehensive framework to resolve physical combat, I have seen very little in terms of actually making an interesting combat scene. This can be very problematic and can turn a supposedly exciting part of the story into 3 hour long boardgames. Let’s get to the roleplaying gym and see if we can kick combat back into shape! Read the rest of this entry »

The Elements of Roleplaying Characters -preview-

20 07 2008

With my next article I’d like to explore what I consider to be certain essential elements that need to be developed in order to have a working character at a roleplaying game. The idea is not to talk about what good or bad character creation is, but rather to present my personal thoughts on what ‘efficient’ character creation is for me, and to present them in a practical way that you can apply to your own story entertainments (RPGs.)

I will be working on the assumption that the goal is to create leads that:

Are dramatic. These will be leads with strong emotional elements that tie them to the world around them, to the past and the things they were and to the future and the things they desire.

Are rich without being unmanageable. The method will have to provide ways to create depth in the leads without being complicated to do so and without taking a long time.

Are efficient. I am looking for a method that will give the players the tools that will allow them to play their lead (or leads) in a confident way. I want these tools to be a roleplaying guide not only for the player and his character, but also for all the players involved in the game.

Hopefully I will be able to achieve these goals to a greater or lesser degree. As with everything else these methods are a permanent work in progress and I sincerely appreciate your input and your presence in this website.

The “Why” Method

16 07 2008

In the years that I’ve spent roleplaying, I have found myself more than once struggling with the character creation process. More than anything I think it’s because the more I play, the more I find that characters will indeed make or break the game.

We have all been through it, we have some new and exciting game to play but we dread having to sit down and write down something interesting for our leads. We scratch our heads thinking that our ideas are just “not cool enough” or just simply amazed at discovering what a blank mind really was. What I want to do here is simply to tackle a method that is fairly easy to employ and that can help you make a richer and more interesting character, and has the added benefit of being quick, easy and painless. Read the rest of this entry »