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RPGs

The Failings Of D&D

I may get a bit “ranty” about Dungeons & Dragons, it’s the system I learned to role-play with, it’s the backbone of some of my greatest creations, and yeah I’m prepared to admit that it’s the game that changed my life. I have dabbled in other systems, run a few of them, modded some for my own purposes, and even had a stab at creating some* but I am under no illusions that it is the perfect system.

I know so many people who are simply no longer interested in D&D itself. Either they’ve embraced Pathfinder and never looked back, or perhaps Savage Worlds, Exalted, Big Eyes Small Mouth, some people actually enjoy GURPS. And it’s certainly not because D&D is a bad system, but it has some serious gaps in the kind of stories and styles of gameplay it can support. (more…)

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UKGE 2018 – An RPG Heavy Year

This weekend (1st to the 3rd of June) was UKGE, which saw a tremendous turnout of nearly 22,000 geeks and nerds, a dramatic increase on last year and it showed in the density of packed halls of the NEC on the Saturday. Even the Friday was a bustling affair, with space enough to breath and manoeuvre, but every stand was still surrounded and occupied with interested punters, tables filled with gamers.

For me, this year was all about the RPGs. I went in knowing that I wanted to meet up with Will from Inked Adventures, whose gaming accessories I recently reviewed, and whose designs I also incorporated into the design of the Shropshire Dungeon Master business cards. I also had the opportunity to meet up with Creighton Brockhurst from Raging Swan (I may have mentioned I’m a fan) to talk writing and role-playing for half an hour between shopping and seminars. (more…)


Kickstarter Highlight – IS IT A PLANE!?

I’ve expressed an interest in diceless role-playing games for a few years now, but I’ve yet to be involved in a game that is completely without some influence of chance, even the odd playing card based game which wasn’t wholly without dice. Is It A Plane!? by Psychic Cactus Games is something rather different… actually something very different. Now funding on Kickstarter is a role-play about interpretation, and is going to be a must have for those who are quick on the draw. (more…)


Review – Inked Adventures

I recently spent money…

I too was taken aback by this turn of events, but I was presented with something I had never seen before. Ok, so I have trawled through an abundance of shops and online stores for RPG resources for items that fit a tight budget but still look nice, and I have to say that while there’s a lot of very nice products out there, I rarely encounter anything that shows me something particularly different.

Between the MDF, printables, and neoprene mats, I encountered at the Nationals in Bradford, Inked Adventures: (more…)


Dungeon Situational – Three Things…

A three-way tie between the choices: three dragons, three NPCs, and three extra-planar threats. This can only mean one thing. You get one of each.

As usual I will generally be drawing upon Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition rules, but most of the content here should easily be modifiable to any other system or edition you choose. (more…)


National Student Roleplaying and Wargaming Championships 2018

Here’s all the warning I got:

“Hey, I’m going to a big role-play weekend event, do you want to come, ’cause the guys who’s organising it needs names as soon as possible!”

I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the incredibly vague gist. Further information included three possible venues, and the idea that you could pay a pound to charity to have a dice re-rolled to impact the game. Sounded fun, if maddeningly lacking in detail or organisation but what the hell, I coughed up some money for a shared hotel room with a complete stranger one of three possible cities none of which I’d ever been to with a man I’d met through the GeekOut Shrewsbury Meets (next event is the 26th by the way, thanks for asking).

Worth it.

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Dungeon Situational – An Item Set

Items sets have been a classic component of RPGs for many years, perhaps most commonly in ARPGs. Groups of lootable items brought together by a shared history, each powerful in their own right, but together immensely potent. They might have been crafted together to work in unison, or perhaps they were brought together once and never again can be divided.

In this, as in most other Dungeon Situational articles, the items below are written with the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition rules in mind, but can be modified to suit any edition or system you choose. Presenting…

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Dungeon Situational – A Mini Dungeon

Your players have just reached the end of their first major plot arc, you suddenly have a lot of planning to do, and while you reach for ideas for next session, your group have a few plans of their own to execute. And maybe it all goes well, maybe they know exactly how to spend their hard-earned cash, or have some personal loose ends to tie up. And maybe you spend a session staring blankly at each other. What fortune for you that the ground has begun to quake, and skies in the east have begun to blacken.

Presented below is a short dungeon for 4-6 level 5 players, and as in all Dungeon Situational articles presumes Dungeons & Dragons 5e, but can be readily adapted to other levels or systems in a high-fantasy setting. This adventure is presented without a map, but can easily be mapped using the descriptions given, and random encounters can be placed in specific locations rather than stumbled across. (more…)


The Shropshire Dungeon Master Update III, The First Quest

Would you believe that’s the shorter title?

Shrewsbury has just had a busy weekend, pouring into the growing geeky community we have played host to a Steampunk festival for which I rearranged some booked holiday time to ensure I’d be free to attend, and then I foolishly organised an all-day Dungeons & Dragons marathon for the sake of advertising the new business on the same weekend. So I squeezed a couple of hours out of the festival on the Saturday before D&D on the Sunday, let’s talk about that one first.

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Dungeon Situational – The Blade Dancer

A Prestige Class is a class that one can take when advancing in level, but is not available to starting characters as they require a greater degree of training or esoteric knowledge that they could possibly possess as lowly hedge wizards or mercenary thugs. For more information check out this Unearthed Arcana from WotC themselves, but let me add that I firmly believe that a Prestige Class should only be issued as an option or opportunity by the DM or GM, as they make for a reward on-par with magic items or greater boons.

The following Prestige Class is designed for Dungeons & Dragons 5e, and being heavily detailed may be harder to adjust to other systems and editions than other Dungeon Situational articles. I’d also like to say that this material is not playtested, not even a little bit! The balance of this character option is based upon my familiarity with the system as a whole, but has not been checked against such complications as feats and mixing them with multiple classes. So if you use this material let me know how it goes.

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