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Making Failure Interesting – Part 1

Making Failure Interesting – Part 1

Tweet In a recent post on the Happy Jack’s forums, savagedaddy mentioned that the Bennies in Savage Worlds are rather one dimensional. He notes (and I agree) that they really only exist to turn a failure into a success, and in doing so kind of steer the plot down a specific path; one of character success. For those of you unfamiliar with Bennies (which is impossible if you’re a Happy Jacks RPG podcast listener) players can spend … Read entire article »

Filed under: General Gaming, Inspiration, Reviews

Why I Don’t Believe in Wizards Anymore

Tweet I’ll admit that I didn’t really care all that much when Wizards of the Coast announced  the 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game back in January of this year. I’d already fallen in love with other systems (especially the new World of Darkness), and D&D just didn’t really do it for me anymore. I don’t dislike the game (except for 4th edition which felt like a glorified tabletop miniatures wargame to me) and I understand that Dungeons & Dragons is the “face” of role playing, both for the business side of things as well as those outside the hobby. Dungeons & Dragons is also considered by many, including myself, to be the “gateway” to role playing games, thanks to the organized play programs Wizards runs. However, if D&D Next turns out to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion, Reviews

I Over Prep?

Tweet Never Unprepared is a concise guide to game prep. For those unfamiliar with (or overwhelmed by) brainstorming and the critical steps beyond just coming up with ideas, this book would be a valuable resource. I personally think I’ve pretty much got the whole game prep thing down. I’ve been doing it for almost 35 years, and I’ve made enough mistakes along the way that I’ve learned some pretty valuable lessons. What this book made me realize is that I am very likely over-preparing for my games. “Too much prep?” Yup. Too much. I generally write out my scenes as if someone else was going to GM the game. I sometimes do this with an eye of publishing the adventure some day, but I’ve gotten into the habit of doing it all the time. For … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews

Legend by Mongoose Publishing

Tweet I love what Mongoose Publishing does for the RPG hobby. They’ve taken some old, oft-forgotten systems and breathed new life into them, modernizing the rules and supporting them. Legend is in someways the evolution and “genericization” of Mongoose’s revival of the classic (and table-heavy) Runequest, Runequest II. Legend is a setting-less fantasy RPG using a percentile dice based skill system, much like Call of Cthulhu. The skill system is very flexible and includes rules for taking extra time for bonuses, penalties for rush jobs, applying two skills to a situation. The character generation system is both detailed and quick. In some ways, they’ve applied some aspects of the Traveller chargen and applied it here (though it isn’t random). Characteristics (Strength, Constitution, Size, Intelligence, Power, Dexterity, Charisma)  can either be rolled randomly or purchased … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews

Cowboys vs. Xenomorphs — Mongoose Traveller

Cowboys vs. Xenomorphs — Mongoose Traveller

Tweet Mongoose’s modernization of the classic Traveller science fiction RPG is a fine example of a mature gaming system. It has maintained (and in some cases improved upon) some of Marc Miller’s great innovations, like the random and detailed character generation system and a simple but effective skill system. We’ve played a lot of Mongoose Traveller (MGT) over the last year or so, and a few of us have mused that, because of MGT’s high tech level, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews