Stuff I Like: World Architect Cards and Dungeon Crate

Hello RPC faithful! Just wanted to pop in and let you know I’m still alive and kicking. I’ve been working on a few different things that aren’t quite ready for the blogosphere. I don’t update much, but I usually have something substantive when I do.

I just wanted to make a quick post to give some love to a couple of RPG related projects that have gained my admiration.

The first is a KickStarter which, as of this writing, has 7 days to go on it called World Architect Cards by Simian Circle Games. Now, this independant developer is actually local to me (I live in Lexington, KY and they are based out of Morehead) so I was surprised to learn of their existence. This isn’t their first rodeo either. They’ve got a few products to their name, including a neat looking RPG, as well as a successful kickstarter for Dungeon Architect cards, which are the precursor to these World Architect Cards.

The cards are a fun way to create a roleplaying world. As you can probably tell from the KS, each card is a location with a number of attributes on them to randomize a location. The art is also whimsical and nice to look at. Such items that create a sense of discovery gameplay (to borrow from a video game phenomenon) I’ve found are a great way to electrify tabletop role play. (Another reason why I love random tables in general).

I pledged at the 60 dollar level so as to get the Dungeon Architect cards as well, and I’m looking forward to playing around with them. With only 7 days left, now is the time to jump in.

Another product I’m excited about is Dungeon Crate! A subscription based service, a la Birchbox, based around tabletop RPGs and miniature games. I received the inaugural crate in February, and greatly enjoyed the contents, which I will show you pictures of below.

At 35 dollars a month, it is a bit steep. However, what came in the box felt worth it, and I’ve already gotten use out of a good portion of the bits. Of note were the Flat Plastic Miniatures by Arcknight. The art on those reminds me a Record of Lodoss War, an ancient anime you youngsters should look into, and they were a hit with the players of my current campaign.

The second crate is shipping out today, so the next crate you can sign up for would be the third one. I’ll post pictures of the second one when I get it. Hopefully it continues to be worth the price.

Well, until next time, happy gaming!

2015 in review

Only six posts last year. However, they tend to be large and crunchy. I suppose my goal next year should be a post a month!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Using 5th Edition D&D to do Sci-Fi: Class Talk

Would it be worth it?

The main reason I enjoy the 5th edition ruleset is it’s simplicity, and the ease at which you can arbitrate the rules at the table. I’ve enjoyed a number of sci-fi rulesets throughout the years, but I can think of none that can match the simplicity of 5e. Could a conversion be worth it? Would the feel of the sci-fi genre be lost in that translation?

GURPS and Traveller are my two favorite systems that can be used for sci-fi, but both of these systems are complex and definitely not pick-up-and-play friendly. In some ways that is the charm of these systems. Traveller character creation is, to me, a game in itself. However, could the ease of play of 5e be used to make a simple and fun sci-fi system?

In this series of posts, I will first lay out my ideas for the conversion, and then start spitballing ideas and hoping they stick.

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Using 5th Edition D&D to do Sci-Fi: Class Talk

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NaNoWriMo Diary: The Lady of Stone (Part 1)

Hello! I’m still trucking a long with my Nano project, an RPG sourcebook for my Ghartha campaign mentioned in the last post. Today I have for you a rough, unedited sampling of a piece of fluff text that will be in the Player’s portion of the book. It tells the tale of a barbarian woman who exiles herself to hunt the enemies of her tribe before she dies. It is called The Lady of Stone, and will be told in multiple parts throughout the text. The beginning is thus:

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Rebuilding the Realms of Twilight

Howdy folks! Sorry about the lack of posts here lately, the job has had me stretched pretty thin when it comes to time, so my next (and final) Ghartha post will be just a little bit. I also have a review of the Role Playing game Yellow Dawn by author David J Roger which will be coming before that (a very nicely detailed setting and system), so keep an eye out!

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I did want to give notice about a KickStarter I’m pretty excited about. The Realms of Twilight is a campaign world for Pathfinder created by Silver Crescent Publishing that offers a unique and dark twist on the usual epic fantasy fare. As I’m sure you’re aware, I like my fantasy pretty dark. The original product was a quality third party campaign setting, so having a new version coming out that really digs into the history of Relistan and offers a whole host of new goodies is pretty exciting. This is the sort of product I usually put in for, and is the sort of product that I hope to be one day making.

There are 13 days to go as of this writing, and it definitely needs some love. If the original product is any indication, then this is almost certainly worth your time.

Oh, did I mention that Ed Greenwood would be making an appearance as a guest author?

Anyway, just wanted to try and spread the word about this because this sort of third party RPG support is really my favorite thing about the hobby as a whole. I hope you back it, or at least go check it out.

Until next time, au revoir!

Plans and More Plans

Just a quick little post here.

I’ve been working on the way the site looks a little bit. I put in some menus up top to filter my posts by their categories, so if you’re looking for a setting or an adventure it’s just a button click to what you seek. I’m also messing around with the theme and stuff. Let me know what you think, will you?

I also decided to register a personal domain, rpcrpg.com (roleplaycraft.com was sadly taken by a minecraft server) so I can better mess with all that. Anyway, boring stuff.

I’m currently in the process of developing and expanding my Hollypond Vale adventure series into a more complete adventure, more along the lines of the sandbox style of Wine for Idleberry. You might notice that I hid those posts for this reason. I’d like to make this adventure into a downloadable PDF, either for free or as a self-published product through a site like DriveThruRPG. It’s a pretty big endeavor, one that I’m not exactly prepared for. I’m not really sure what program to even use to begin making a role playing book product. Is there something you guys can recommend? I know a lot of you have released some very spiffy PDFs so I’m hoping to learn your secrets. I’m also hoping to avoid photoshop.

If I do go the self-publish and sell route (I’m not sure at all at the moment), then I intend on commissioning art for it. I am blessed to know some great artists, and they will hopefully be glad to be paid to make some art. It really depends on the quality of the adventure itself. If I feel it doesn’t meet the standard of work of something you’d find self-published on a site like DriveThruRPG then I’ll just make a plain PDF and release it for free on here. We shall see!

Anyway, any wisdom or advice you might have for me would be one hundred percent appreciated. Thanks!

Religion, Ideology, and Philosophy in a Role Playing Campaign

When it comes to world building, one of the first things I look at when designing civilizations and groups of people are primary motivations. These are usually connected to religion and philosophy. I find, however, that many people are uncomfortable with delving too deep into that territory when it comes to role playing games. Either because they find it boring (most likely), or because the relationship between fantasy role playing and real life religion has been tenuous in the past. (Though, you should keep in mind that this is all anecdotal.)

When I think about the common equivalent or analogous era and human time frame of fantasy role playing, that is the medieval era of Europe, I find it very difficult to ignore religion, seeing as how throughout most of it religion was one of, if not the, primary motivation for a lot of what happened.

In this discussion, I want to talk about how I approach (or want to approach) religion, ideology, and philosophy when it comes to world building, as well as why I think it’s important to think about for fully fleshed out worlds. I would also, of course, love to hear your personal opinions and advice when it comes to this subject.

 

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Religion, Ideology, and Philosophy in a Role Playing Campaign

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Dreams of Development

A lot of the point of this blog is to provide myself with a personal space to play with development and created works for Dungeons and Dragons. I know I’m not at a professional level, but I’d like to be one day. Having this blog helps me practice. It’s been a lot of fun so far! It’s also opened my eyes a bit to the difficulty and amount of work that has to go into something like a complete adventure or even a set of optional rules. My last adventure, for instance, definitely fell short of my plans and I had to cut a lot out of it, mostly because the amount of work involved would have stalled the blog far too much for my liking. It was a tall order, especially after coming down off of Nanowrimo.

So what I’m probably going to do is write adventures on the side instead of serializing them, and then releasing it as one thing around once a year. This gives me the luxury to take my time and make sure they’re both deep and wide, instead of smattering of events strung together by some box text. I could then do posts every once in awhile about the adventure I’m working on. Does that sound interesting?

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The Dreamgate

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Dungeons and Dragons Next and the End of the Playtest

So, the last playtest packet (10/14/13) has been released by Wizards of the Coast That means that from this point on all playtests will be done in a closed manner, in house or among handpicked volunteers. (Pick me, pick me!)

I’d like to both discuss this particular packet and how I feel about Dungeons and Dragons Next as a whole in today’s post. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

So let’s have a discussion.

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