Monthly Archives: December 2010

Happy New Years!

I am Jack's Stinking Colon

May you have a BLOW OUT year 🙂 May your gaming time be ripe with adventure and intrigue! May your real life endeavors go well!

Ok enough of the mushy shit.. Go get drunk and run naked through the streets. We could all use a laugh!

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What Got You Into Role-Playing? Your First Session?

I’m eager to hear different peoples experiences on what got them into Role-Playing and about the first time they played!

Into the Realm of Role-Playing

What got me into RPG’s was Final Fantasy 1 for Nintentdo. I loved it. However what REALLY cemented it for me was Final Fantasy II and III for Super Nintendo. I played those two games to death and they still rank as some of my all time favorite games! I loved that there was this great storyline and that the characters had depth and developed as the game continued. I was hooked to RPG’s and rented and bought any RPG I could get my hands on at that point.

My First Roll of the Dice

When I was 15 I had moved to Montana from California and met some really cool people, all who had diverse passions. Art, comics, music, dancing, drinking, acting, and gaming.

My friend Brian and I went to my house to hang after play rehearsal with one of the other actors, Malcolm (who we were becoming friends with) to hang out. We starting talking shop on different video games and how we all liked RPG’s.

Malcolm asked us if we had ever played Dungeons and Dragons. Neither of us had so Malcolm got really excited and started talking to us about the awesomesauce nature of DnD and role-playing.

He ran home and got his books and we began making characters and he ran us on a 4 hour tour of the magic of role-playing.

Yes it was awkward because we didn’t know the rules and we stumbled here and there, but Malcolm was an awesome guide and he handled our bumps and falls with grace and kept us going.

Sadly Malcolm (who graduated High School the previous summer) was busy with doing acting in two play houses and working two jobs didn’t have much time to do more DMing. However I was invited to be a player in a Shadowrun 2e game his friend was running for him and a few other friends of mine.

I was hooked from that point on. I loved role-playing! The dynamics, the ever changing tide of what is happening, and the development! The story is truly the players and the GM together.

Within one month of being introduced to Role-playing I took up the mantel of DMing and began to run my own games, both Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and Shadowrun.

Now here I am 15 years later, and still a little kid in a candy shop when it comes to RPGing!

What about you? What’s your story?


Gaming in the World and People’s Perceptions

It's a small world after all.. It's a small world after all.. I can keep going..

Ok, so this post is more looking for feedback from other people than my own thoughts. Mostly I am just curious how gaming is viewed in other countries.

In America role-playing is viewed as something only socially awkward people with hygiene problems engage in. Not to mention the Calvanistic Puritan heritage of our country has spurned a wonderful view that role-playing is the handy work of the devil and by playing he is sucking out our dear little souls to nibble on, much like Nilla Wafers, while working on his next diabolical scheme.. Oh you crafty devil.. you need milk for those tasty Wafers!

So what is the view point of gaming in other countries? Does it have a negative, positive, or no real connotation held to it?

Thanks for taking the time to share with me and readers!


Character- Breaking Out is Sometimes Hard to do..

I was on vacation last week and caught up on a bunch of movies that I have wanted to watch for awhile. I also finished Dragon Age: Origins for the second time and continued on my second play through of Mass Effect 2 as well. Best Damned Vacation I’ve had in awhile.

While I was watching movies it hit me how often people who role-play want their characters to partake in some truly epic moments on the development side like those in books and movies. However I think that there is a barrier there that many players hit in accomplishing this. And that is actually “role-playing.”

I’ve seen many players who get embarrassed or uncomfortable with the prospect of actually talking like their characters or even just “saying” things as their character, instead delegating to, “my character tells Person A this”, or “I ask this.” Etc.

I am not knocking this approach if it is what the player is happy with. Whatever makes them comfortable. I just think that it removes the player a degree or so from the action.

Looking at character development in movies like Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, hell even the Dirty Harry series shows that there is something to be gained from putting yourself in your character, rather than outside of it.

Engaging

“Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes and he saved 800 lives. Including your mothers.. and yours.” –Captain Pike (Star Trek).

I think that it really is up to the GM to step up to the plate and BE in character to get his players to do it. Conversing as a character rather than telling them what is going on will encourage the players to do so, and they’ll feel less foolish.

Encourage your players to do it by pressing for it (without bullying) is also important. If a player says, “I tell him to let the girl go” you be positive by nudging them. “Ok.. Then say it.” Your players, as have mine in the past, may get squeamish and even plead, “Do I have to?”

Yes.. You do… And what do you do when they actually do it?

Reward them! Give Bennies, Action Points, Fate Points, an extra d6 to their next roll, etc! Also ham up the Role-playing! Not to the point of ridiculousness, but really act up the person(s) they are confronting. Make the players feel that they are really having an impact on the NPC(s), which will encourage and get the players more excited to “step inside” their character.

What do you do as a player or a GM to get your players to take that plunge into role-playing their character?


Aspects in Pathfinder- Communication

The other day Chuck and I each posted on implementing Aspects in our Pathfinder games and the benefits we both felt would be gained by such a house rule.

The one thing that neither of us touched upon was communication. This is perhaps the best and most fun part of the FATE system and the Dresden Files RPG, in particular.

Take a quick gander at my Halloween One Shot. I used the FATE system and there are some pretty good, and sometimes hilarious Aspects.

The really cool thing about those Aspects are many of them came into being by Chuck’s and my discussions when I was rambling to him about the different cliché’s I was going to use as characters.

I would suggest something and Chuck would offer a counter point, building on my original thought, then I would suggest something. After one or more suggestions we would have a cool and well rounded Aspect that would be fun in game play.

I’ll use the Goth from my Halloween One Shot as an example:

Goth:
Aspects-
• Already Dead Inside.
• “I’m Not Afraid of the Dark.”
• “I Need No One.”
• “I Don’t Care Who Did It, I Just Care How They Died.”
• Vampire Make-Up Kit.

Originally I wanted the Goth to be an emotional midget, being very cool and detached. First I had suggested Emotionally Dead, and Chuck bantered back Already Dead Inside, which was much more fun and could be used much more as an interesting Aspect.

While in this example it was only Chuck and I talking about Aspects, it is more enjoyable when in a group setting. Dresden Files RPG encourages ALL players go get involved in the discussion of everyone’s character Aspects.

With many people offering feedback and ideas you will come up with some really awesome and unique Aspects that will lend themselves well to your character ideas.


Aspects for Pathfinder- My $.02

One of my blogging buddies posted today about introducing Aspects from the FATE system into his upcoming Pathfinder Game. This is something that he and I have talked at great length about and something that I will be introducing into my upcoming Pirate Pathfinder game.

I’ve liked the concept of Aspects since I read about them in FATE 2.0. However it was the Dresden Files RPG that refined the mechanic, in my opinion, and made it shine.

I have several house rules I use to enhance my players and my fun and to accomplish things in a way I feel isn’t in the standard rules.

I knew Aspects were something I was going to incorporate into my game immediately after I discovered them. The only question was how I wanted to do it.

Now Chuck offers a quick and awesome idea for it:

Using Fate Points: The core rules of FATE let you get a +2 for invoking an Aspect. That’s fine but the scale is way different. Since we use Action Points which gives you +1d6, a flat +4 seems like the sweet number. The bonus can be only applied to d20 rolls.

I like this, but I wanted to incorporate Aspects into my house rules more fully. So I decided, as Chuck points out using a d6. Each character has 5 Aspects; High Concept, Trouble, and 3 others that are either Situational or Story Driven.

Using an Aspect let’s the player roll 1d6 and add that amount to any one of their rolls. 6’s explode and can be rerolled. A player could also reroll a bad outcome, even critical failures. When using an Aspect the player takes some Narrative control over the situation and describes the outcome.

How many Aspects does a player start with? 3 and as Chuck said, it is my affinity with Savage Worlds (and 3.5 Eberron) that also made me choose this number. The Aspects are activated by using Action Points.

Here are my rules for what AP can be used for:

A player starts a session with 3 Action Points unless the characters goals were realized last session, then they start with 4. The way a player gets more Action Points is either by the GM or they themselves compel their aspects in a way that can lead them to trouble.

These are used for several different things in the game:
• To gain a healing surge (which is 25% of total HP).
• To add 2d6 to any damaging attack or spell (including healing spells).
• To activate an Aspect (Cost 1 AP).
• To activate a Plot Twist (cost 3 AP).
• To take an extra action in a round (cost 2 AP).

So just like the FATE system you can only get more AP (and the use of Aspects) by compelling yourself into interesting situations or the GM doing so.

What do you think about Aspects? Any questions about how the mechanic works further?


Remembering John Lennon After 30 Years

A Great Artist and Visionary

Why am I making this post viewable for Role-playing? I’m doing it because John Lennon was an amazing artist and wasn’t afraid to share his feelings about life, love, and the conditions of “freedom” in the United States and he should be remembered.

He was a great story teller and there are actually many things in his songs that could make it to the game table for wonderful dynamic role-playing adventures.

Take a moment to read about John Lennon, his story, listen to his music and just appreciate that such an awesome artist was lost. Especially if you are unfamiliar with his works.