Monday, February 27, 2012

Reverb #6: My Favorite Character

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #6: Describe your all-time favorite character to play. What was it about
him/her/it that you enjoyed so much?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Encyclopedia Magica: Amulet of Arachnid Control

At first blush, this seems like an over-specialized item with little practical application. However, it is important to note that it comes from the Spelljammer campaign setting. The setting prominently features neogi, a villainous race noted for being intelligent, powerfully magical, and arachnids. They, and their enormous spidery ships, are subject to the power of this amulet.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Encyclopedia Magica: Amulet of Amiability

I must say, I am quite happy with the range of items we are getting right off the bat here. Today, we get our first cursed item! Though, quite honestly, I'm pretty sure this one was not thought of as a cursed item by its creator.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reverb #5: Kids at Play

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #5: Have you ever introduced a child to gaming, or played a game with a
young person? How is gaming with kids different than gaming with adults?

Friday, February 17, 2012

How do you spell?

Magic is a ludicrously tricky topic in RPGs. I've talked about it here before. (Actually, due to some strangeness, I've actually talked about it twice.) I also presented a couple options for my Seven Kingdoms setting, version one and version two, which attempted to mitigate some of the issues I'd brought up previously.

I'm looking at the magic system for my Charovnye d20 game, and I want to make the system evocative but still simple. But, wow, is that difficult.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Encyclopedia Magica: Amulet Against Disease

This is a nifty little item, that is both obvious and traditional. Various charms of protection are one of the most common applications of magic, right up there with luck and fertility. In a world with little in the way of proper medical treatment, an amulet against disease is the closest thing you have to vaccination.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Encyclopedia Magica: Amulet Against Crystal Balls and ESP

To me, this is a standard book item. It comes from the D&D Expert set, which is where I learned to play. Seeing it included here was a little jarring the first time. But, it was in fact not included in this form in AD&D. Of course, most AD&D players are more familiar with its big brother, the amulet of proof against detection and location.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Reverb #4: Gamer Shame

The next installment of our weekly Reverb Gamers questionnaire deals with gamer shame.

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #4: Are you a "closet gamer?" Have you ever hidden the fact that you're a
gamer from your co-workers, friends, family, or significant other? Why or why not? How did they react
if they found out?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Can I battle innumeracy?

For my d20 variant (and likely for Seven Kingdoms as well, with significant tweaks) I am working on a gear system. I came up with it a couple years ago, when working on my d20 Rifts conversion. A brief outline is below.

My problem, though, is that it is based on some "advanced" arithmetic. I can do this stuff reflexively, but I was a math major. Apparently, people really freak out when asked to do anything more complex that adding. Do you think this is too hard?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Encyclopedia Magica: Amulet of the Abyss

Get used to seeing "amulet" in the title. This begins a long section of neck baubles. We definitely start with a bang. Because who doesn't want a combination cell phone/multipass to the Abyss?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Encyclopedia Magica: Al-Azid's Ghostly Palace

I love this type of magic item. In the spirit of Daern's Instant Fortress, Leomund's Secure Shelter, and Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion, the party is able to carry instant comfy camping wherever they go. The ghostly palace, though, comes with an Arabian flavor, and a nasty twist.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Aligning expectations

I saw the image below (check out the original post on GAS), and I was struck by a bug to do a series of posts on alignment. Specifically, digging into what behaviors I expect out of each of the classic nine D&D alignments. I have to say that of all the breakdown examples of alignment I've seen, this one is really good.

Reverb # 3: What kind of gamer are you?

I'm doing a weekly series in which I am answering Atlas Games' Reverb Gamers 2012 Master List of questions. You can find #1 here and #2 here.

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #3: What kind of gamer are you? Rules Lawyer, Munchkin/Power Gamer,
Lurker, Storyteller/Method Actor, or something else? (Search "types of gamer" for more ideas!) How
does this affect the kinds of games you play? For example, maybe you prefer crunchy rules-heavy
systems to more theatrical rules-light ones.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Social chase mechanics

Last week, I started to dive into some thoughts on creating a social combat mechanic. Combat seemed like a good place to start, because it is an iconic type of conflict. We definitely ran into some problems, though. Combat sees a give and take, with the roles of attacker and defender shifting each round. Social encounters typically have the attacker (we were using the term "bidder") and defender ("mark") determined at the encounter level instead of the action level. Also, combat typically only ends when one side is either dead, or sees death as his only alternative to surrender. Social conflict should have easier thresholds for "tapping out."

There is another classic conflict mechanic that might address these issues. When you have a chase, you have a relatively constant predator and prey. You can also have the chase decided by fatigue, in which one side or the other simply decides it's not worth the fight anymore. That sounds pretty close to what we are looking for as a model.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Encyclopedia Magica: Air Spores

Oh, my! (I know you just read in George Takei's voice.) We have an item that is actually useful. And not just useful, but pretty darn interesting.

And it is an excuse to trot out one of my favorite Latin phrases: Dum spiro, spero.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Take 20: Creating a constrained setting

Over at the excellent They Might Be Gazebos blog, a challenge was thrown down. Create a sandbox setting based solely on twenty monsters. I think this is a pretty awesome idea. I like the idea of constraints spawning creativity. I think a setting with only twenty common monsters would likely hold together somewhat better than one with everybody in the book. And, it would help to strongly reinforce character build decisions like a ranger's favored enemy.

So, here's my list of 20. I'm going with the d20srd list, for simplicity's sake.