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I Swear to God, I’m Going to Scream

Tweet GM does not equal God. Again. I heard it again. It was Stork. “The GM is God.” If I wasn’t afraid he’d fall and break his hip, I would have hit him. Roleplaying games at their best are collaborative improvisational storytelling. COLLABORATIVE. I’ve heard players talk about how awesome their DMs are — how the players sit around in rapt silence as the DM describes the scene in florid prose. The players tentatively describe their actions and this awesome DM describes the horrible results of their actions. Blah, blah blah. Whatever. I’ll tell you this, MY favorite memories games NEVER have anything to do with block text. or a GM’s narrative ability. In almost 35 years of role-playing, the most memorable moments from games came from the player’s imagination, not the GM’s. It’s when a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Misc

Advice to Gamers: December is Prep-Month!

Tweet Yeah, this is a little late, but I’ve seen several blog posts by frustrated gamers who can get games going in December. Take some advice from a long-time gamer. This doesn’t go out to the younger members of the RPG community, who are unfettered by responsibility. Enjoy your youth. Play often. This is for the rest of us: the parents, the mortgage-payers, the gainfully employed (or furiously looking), those of us with familial obligations. Write-off December as a month to play. You’ve got Christmas trees to secure, decorations to get out of the attic, presents to buy and wrap, lights to hang, Then you have to put all that crap away. This is not to say you don’t get some free time. But ask yourself this: honestly, how likely is it that the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Advice

From the Archive: Orcs – the Noble Natives

Tweet Note: This article was originally written by Stu Venable and Bill Roper in 1997. The Noble Natives An Alternate View of Fantasy Role-Playing’s Cannon Fodder. by Stu Venable and Bill Roper Introduction Orcs are often described as brutal, ruthless, and stupid — typical combat fodder. Hardly a worthy foe. This is an attempt to rewrite orcs as a warrior race, noble in their brutality, calculating in their ruthlessness, and not so stupid. A Product of Society A society shapes those who live in it. It is a force of evolution as strong as nature, selecting those who will survive and prosper. The hierarchy of orc society is based on strength and ruthlessness, very different from the culture most of us know. For most orcs to survive to adulthood, there are certain attributes they must possess. Other races will … Read entire article »

Filed under: Alternate Views

Why You Should Try Hero System

Tweet Casey and Bruce are running a 5th Edition Hero Fantasy Game. I’ve talked about it on the show — I’m playing a blind guy with a katana. It’s a very fun game, and it’s reminded me what I really like about Hero — and it’s inspired me to run a one-shot at Orccon 2011 in February. Hero has been around for a very long time, starting with Champions in 1981, and it may be the first  RPG to use a point-based chargen system. Hero as a system has many aspects that set it apart from many other RPGs. Character Generation First and foremost is character generation. The Hero System strives to allow the players to come up with quite literally any character concept and create it. Because of this, the Hero Chargen System … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews