Archive for the ‘gaming society’ Category

Supers RPGs and Comic Book RPGs

In game design, gaming society, mechanics, role-playing games on October 14th, 2010 at 11:09 am

WARNING: An uncharacteristic amount of namedropping occurs in the following anecdote. I’ve done my best to keep it to a minimum, but some is necessary for context.

I was fortunate enough to attend DexCon 13 in July, partially as a birthday present to myself. My first session was an experimental session of Marvel Superheroes run by With Great Power… designer Michael Miller. Darren Watts, president of Hero Games (publisher of the Champions RPG) and Indie Press Revolution (the latter newly minted at the time) was just closing up the IPR booth as we started up, and when someone mentioned we were playing MSH, Darren expressed nostalgia for the game. That inevitably led to us wheedling him into taking the last available seat for the game. Seriously, supers gaming with Michael and Darren was too good an opportunity to pass up. Read the rest of this entry »

Kickstarting Worldbreakers

In gaming society, role-playing games on October 12th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I want to let my readers know about a new project that’s just come up on Kickstarter. Quinn “Gamefiend” Murphy is starting a new line of Dungeons & Dragons, Fourth Edition PDF products, and he is Kickstarting his first product, Worldbreakers: Legendary Villains.

If you know Quinn’s D&D blog At-Will (and his game design blog The Black Pond) you’ll know that he is on the cutting edge of 4e thinking and design. That alone is reason enough to support this project, since it will help Quinn get the wider audience he deserves. He’s using Kickstarter to fund this project, though, because he doesn’t want to make another slapdash third-party D&D product created on a shoestring budget. The Kickstarter funds will go to pay such talents as print designer Daniel “Happy Birthday, Robot!” Solis and freelance illustrator Jared von Hindman (who WotC has used on some projects). Oh, and he has hired your humble authour to serve as his editor, too 🙂

In Worldbreakers, Quinn explains a new type of monster, the Worldbreaker, which is a solo with the ability to warp reality or change the environment around him part way through a fight. This tool helps DMs design epic solo villains that do not devolve into a grindfest. Worldbreakers have been in development for more than six months, and are being honed to a high polish in public discussions on At-Will and in hardcore playtesting. When complete, this 32-page PDF will include complete rules for creating and playing your own Worldbreaker solos, plus a catalogue of nine worldbreakers designed by Quinn to serve as examples and to inject into your own games. Each of them comes with a useful backstory complete with plot hooks.

Check out the Kickstarter page, and if Worldbreakers are something you want to see the light of day, kick in a few bucks. Support quality third-party D&D products so people want to make more of them.

UPDATE: Worldbreakers has met its funding goal! Don’t let that stop you from providing Kickstarter funding while you can, though. You can still qualify for the Kickstarter-only packages, like custom-made worldbreakers and illustrations, and Quinn can use the extra funds to improve the final product in numerous ways, as well as letting him know now that there is a market for his work.

A Brief, Rant-like Post on Art in Roleplaying Games

In gaming society, role-playing games on February 3rd, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I own half a dozen books on improving your chess skills, and I’ve read (thanks to libraries) a couple dozen more. Among them, I doubt there has been a single illustration except chess positions and, possibly, photos of great chess players whose games are being referenced. In particular, I cannot think of a single picture of a “chess babe” in any of them (although chess magazines have indulged in the genre; paging Alexandra Kosteniuk).

I’ve also read a couple dozen books on the history of espionage, ranging from the Cambridge Five to the history of National Security Administration. Most of these books have a section of glossy pages in the middle that feature photos of prominent figures within the book, and possibly a couple of key locations. Those that discussed cryptography also had pictures of some related equipment; say, the the Nazis used to encode and decode messages using the “Enigma” cipher during World War II. I’ve never seen a gratuitous photo or illustration of a large-breasted woman stroking a gun barrel lovingly or sneaking along a corridor, though.

Even coffee table books, which are largely about collecting large numbers of attractive photos and illustrations, normally manage to be written around topics that justify all the eye-candy.

If you page through most roleplaying books from major publishers, though, you will see plenty mood pieces, and cheesecake is not that uncommon. Worse, when a game book does not have these kinds of illustrations, it is subject to comments like this one, which finally prodded me to write this post: Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome Desperate BGGers

In boardgames, gaming society on April 11th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

I see Melissa was nice enough to post a link here to the “BGG down” Google group.

Welcome new readers 🙂

All of my extant writings on this blog on boardgames.

If you like what you read, please subscribe to my RSS feed.

Don’t panic. The Gathering only lasts until Sunday 🙂

Game Chef 2007 is Here!

In game design, gaming society, role-playing games on March 17th, 2007 at 1:54 pm

Who among you is mighty enough to create an entire roleplaying game in two weeks?

Oh yeah?

Prove it! Read the rest of this entry »


In gaming society, role-playing games on November 23rd, 2006 at 10:20 pm

Levi Kornelsen has just opened up GameCraft, a new forum for developing the technique of RPG enthusiasts. I’ll let his announcement from his LiveJournal say the rest.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Geek-on-Geek Crime

In gaming society on October 26th, 2006 at 12:22 pm

[Note: While I have been thinking about this topic for a while now, credit has to go to Jason from Point2Point and Paul from Have Games Will Travel for getting this meme started, including a catchy name.]

Geek-on-geek crime is when a member of the hobby gaming community (that is, the community involved in the types of games that this blog discusses) disparages an entire class of games because they are not the sort of games he or she plays. The permutations of this are endless, and it is a behaviour that date back decades.

It has to stop.

Read the rest of this entry »

GenCon 2006 Podcasts Repository

In boardgames, gaming society, role-playing games on August 19th, 2006 at 5:26 pm

I intend to keep straight ahead linkblogging to a minimum, but, once in a while, something too good not to mention shows up. This is one of those things.

The good folks over at The Dragon’s Landing podcast are maintaining a centralized archive of podcasts that were created live at this year’s Gen Con Indy, called Gen Con Live.

It can’t be 100% complete, but there’s still plenty of podcasty goodness from all corners of the gaming hobby, as well as a little all around geekery.