I admit I was both curious and anxious when I read that there was a Doctor Who RPG. The child inside of me was gleeful that people had put the Doctor Who universe into a form that can be played by many and then the adult in me grew very cynical indeed. I wondered how they would deal with the Doctor as a character, will this be played by a player or is the Doctor like a super cool NPC.
Will there be references to the Doctors companions from the series? Which ones and indeed which Doctor/s are we going to interact with? There really was only one way to find out and so in a recent Humble Bundle sale, I picked up the RPG and some companion books to go with it. The following will only deal with the main rulebook and will try to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes with no expectations. This is going to be hard!
I found out about #UrbanHeroes from an email that hit my inbox, just before we went to UKGE. Tin Hat Games were promoting their new board game called Dungeon Digger, so I went digging into their history and found out about this superhero based RPG. The last RPG I looked at was Pugmire, which was not a full review, but rather an introductory look. By contrast, this article is a more in-depth look at the #UrbanHeroes RPG; All that I am aiming for here is an overview of the book, and how I feel about it as a person who has played a fair bit of D&D. I aim to introduce you to the “world” so to speak and give an opinion of what I think a game of it might be like.
What drives a “normal” person to take to the wayward life of adventure? Tanners, soldiers, smugglers, musicians, rarely are people born heroes, and even when presented with great power they may not be so inclined to take up the great responsibility. Ordinary people have lives, families, jobs and a status to keep quo, and don’t want to spend weeks walking between death traps for ungrateful clients and nations that will never know their names. It’s dangerous, difficult, stupid, and frankly not a great return on investment. (more…)
Deception is rarely fun for everyone concerned. Ok, so the longer you can keep the grand reveal from your group the more incredible it may be, but in between there’s a long stretch of frustration because people prefer to know things than be kept in the dark.
Ah, but when someone is in on it, then things get more interesting. Bringing someone into the fold makes for an interesting dynamic, pitches the group against one another in the best possible way, and can make for a few rather interesting story moments that will leave your group exchanging dirty looks at one another for years to come. (more…)
It’s been a long time…
There’s no point in orchestrating every little event in the world, it’s a lot of work for next to no reward, but if every little event is pure storyline then your world becomes bland and featureless. You can fill the quiet moments with quick little scenes and randomly determined vignettes, it’s a classic method of space-filling and a great opportunity to breathe life into your campaign. (more…)
Have you ever tried to write your own tabletop roleplaying system, or perhaps a board game? If you have plenty of patience it’s fairly easy to put something together that works, although “fun” takes a hell of a lot more effort to achieve. A basic rule set is actually surprisingly easy to throw together, but that must then be followed by testing said rules until you hate them to make sure that they absolutely work, and while you might say “the simpler the better” sometimes the simple rules are the easiest to get drastically wrong, and you end up patching over the open crack with specific rules.
At least that has been my experience of game design, others may differ. There’s one particular example I want to pick on here, and it’s one you may have already guessed if you read the title, and didn’t just dive in without looking. (more…)
Today one of my oldest gaming friends left town, and it looks like he’ll be gone for a long time.
This is a friend who I have spent the last fourteen years casually talking to about games, films, philosophy, one of the people who got me into Warhammer, and one of my favourite D&D players. Here is someone who became a verb, one that will stay with us for many years to come as new players come and go, and to openly mock and criticize one another over poor behaviour in games. (more…)
Roleplayers are creatures of bizarre habits, not all of them good. What follows is a quick follow-up to my last Player 101 piece with a few more tips on how to behave to maximize fun at the table. (more…)
Just a quick post today.
I have said this time and time again, mine is just one of many unique DM, GM, or Story Teller styles that everyone builds for themselves through practice and experimentation. As such, just taking my advice would be foolish, and me expecting you to do so would just be rude. A lot of people like myself have offered their own advice for your perusal, and I know a lot of you who have read a few of these articles have your own opinions.
So here is my request to anyone interested, I’m looking for anyone to discuss matters of gaming for the purpose of an occasional podcast. Aside from the fact that such conversations are generally awesome, they’re also the best way to learn from other DMs.
I want people to talk to, and I want matters to discuss. I will be trying to corner a few people at Kita next week to record our first subject: DM – Friend or Foe, but anyone interested in taking part or with suggestions for topics to bring to the table please contact us through the GOSW Facebook.
In the mean time, please entertain yourselves with a few other sources of information I have stumbled across through many years of trying to gather ideas for this very series:
Dungeon Master’s Block – A podcast that already covers a lot of matters that I’ve addressed here and a lot I haven’t touched. I’m still working my way through the series but these guys are awesome.
The creator of the above series also runs one of the better nerd-humour Facebook pages, Dungeons and Dragons Memes, not helpful but still funny.
And while I’m on the subject, please also enjoy my own website Quotes From The Tabletop, we just had a lot of fantastic new submissions and we’d love to hear some of your stories too.
Anyway, thanks for joining me time and time again for this series, and I look forward to bringing you more original content, I’d also like to work with practically everyone above. So that’s a hint about as subtle as a thrown brick with a note on it saying “Love Me!”
The simple fact of the matter is that anyone can play a game. It doesn’t take much skill picking up a set of rules and start playing by the numbers, even in a game as big as Pathfinder, D&D, Rogue Trader, games that deal with minutia on a fine level, you can learn very quickly how to play and incorporate every little rule into a well structured narrative.
The actual talent is in the acting, occupying, and even becoming the roles you play, and creating living entities from the page of numbers. As a DM it’s a great thing to practice yourself and encourage amongst your players, as it’s this skill that leads to the most memorable moments, and also has some fantastic benefits for real-world application. (more…)