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Posts Tagged ‘Roleplaying’

Gamemastering Preferences

In General on April 9, 2010 at 5:35 am

Role Playing Gamers at the Burg-Con in Berlin
Image via Wikipedia

Loved this article at Spirits of Eden so I decided to jump the bandwagon. I don’t think anyone is going to accuse me of being the cancer killing RPGs though. I added a bit of a rating system though. If the left hand choice is 1 and the right hand choice is 10, I pick a number somewhere on the line.

1 Comprehensive Rules vs Minimal Rules 10

7. When comparing games like 4E Dungeons and Dragons to systems like d6 Fantasy and Cyberpunk 2020, I much prefer the latter but I do want rules of some sort. I prefer a game with fast, abstract combat rules that can be expanded when needed.

1 High Power Fantasy vs Low Power Fantasy 10

9. Low power, in any game, at least at the beginning of the campaign. This gives me room to develop the setting and reward the players without having things fly out of control too quickly. I also really enjoy the grit of what my friends and I call “dirt-farming” games, both as a GM and a player. I want rewards to be earned through the campaign, not just handed out because you hit 7th level that game.

1 Narrative Mechanics vs Simulation Mechanics 10

9. Simulation. My preference is for modern games and our group knows enough about firearms to make this a huge issue. Narrative mechanics are fine for fantasy but suspension of disbelief and campaign immersion gets a huge boost from keeping combat as realistic as possible. That said, I did make sure to include the words, “as possible”. We still want to be able to actually play the game and truly simulationist combat would take forever.

1 Strategic Chargen vs Simple Chargen 10

6. A lot really depends on the system. As a player, I hate making characters in almost any game, regardless. As a GM, I don’t want character creation to take 3 days. I’m going to go very slightly on the side of simple.

1 Tactical Encounter vs Strategic Adventure 10

8. Definitely strategic adventure. If tactics were my thing, I’d play Warhammer 40k more than I do. It’s a direction the hobby seems to like that leaves me out in the cold. Read the rest of this entry »


More Basic Concepts

In General on March 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

Etymology of Corruption mid-14c., of material things, especially dead bodies, also of the soul, morals, etc., from Fr. corruption, from L. corruptionem, noun of action from corrumpere (see corrupt). Of public offices from early 15c.; of language from late 15c. emphasis mine

What is the stable currency and why? Eurobucks. With Europe being far more affluent than the fragmented remains of the US, the dollar has long been out of favor for world finance exchange. The euro is backed by a much stronger economy and more stable government system.

Why are the prices so high? Time and inflation. First, prices rise over time even when the economy is doing well. Second, when you have a collapse like I’ve posited inflation goes wild and things cost even more. For the most part, I multiplied book prices by 3 or doubled current pricing schemes if the item wasn’t listed in a book.

What’s a screamsheet? A news flimsy. Generally, these are electronic in the setting but players need something to hold in the game so I make a paper newspaper handout.

Is the term cyberpunk copy written? No, the word itself is not although terms like “cyberpunk 2020” are trademarks. You can read more about the differences here.

How would you go about persuading someone to drop their AD&D and take up Sci Fi roleplaying? Short answer, Ask.

Long answer: Read the rest of this entry »

The GM (Or, Who Is This Freak, Anyway?)

In General on February 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

My name is Viriatha de Cordova and yes, it’s pretty unique and that’s pretty much my entire outlook on everything.

I started gaming at fourteen when my grandmother gave me “Keep on the Borderlands”. This would be near the same time I discovered Robert Heinlein‘s “Stranger in a Strange Land“. Between the two, I was never the same again.

My family was supportive of my hobby but again, in a pretty unique way. Some years later, when all the hubbub about gaming being “evil” was going on, my grandmother apologized to my mom for introducing me to the game. My mom’s response was, “No, this is the best thing that ever happened to her! She’d be a serial killer or something without gaming!”

I was not an easy child to raise.

Over the years following, I played most versions of Dungeons & Dragons, Cthulhu, Vampire: The Masquerade, Champions, GURPs and anything else I could lay hands on. I haven’t played every game out there but I’ve certainly tried to do that.

I’m also a geek, a housewife and an artist. I darn socks while thinking about the next campaign I’ll run and yes, I’m a girl geek and gamer who prefers to be a Game Master. Not many of us around but we do exist.

My favorite games are usually  science fiction but once in a while I feel the draw of fantasy. I was writing for a blog named “Bard of Valiant” and I might republish some of the thing I wrote there, if I feel it has some relevance to this genre or gaming in general. But I’m pretty bored with the whole fantasy thing and I miss my guns.

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Life In A World of Corruption

In General on February 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Hi, this Viri from “The Bard of Valiant“. Fans of that blog will notice the last post was made back in early December. Honestly, I lost my passion for the fantasy game that I was writing about and for. My real love is, and always has been science fiction – Cyberpunk in particular.

The title is inspired by Billy Idol‘s song “Neuromancer“.

It’s the age of destruction
In a world of corruption
It’s the age of destruction
And they hand us oblivion

My system of choice for most games right now is some version of Cyberpunk 2020. It’s an awesome system that doesn’t rely on levels where classes are used in character creation but as a mechanic, can easily be ignored. Advancement has almost everything to do with what the character actually does in a game.

My experience mechanic for Cyberpunk 2020 is not the standard one found in the book. Instead, players make tics by skills they use during a game and every tick converts over to a 1d10 roll for Improvement Points in that skill at the end of a session. Yes, players try to cheese it. Experienced GMs can knock them down when they do 🙂

Campaigns I run are quasi-sandbox games. Because Cyberpunk is set in the modern world, things are going on around the players that they have to deal with, no matter what their actual plans might be. If an asteroid hits the planet, life is gonna suck, choomba. Get over it.

I also tend to cross-genre alot. My most successful campaign ever ran for 10 years and was a Cyberpunk/Vampire crossover. The Cyberpunk 2020 system is streamlined enough that it’s easily modified for this kind of thing. My current plan is to develop a Shadowrun theme but play the game through the change, starting in a normal world and ending in one very different and magical but still dirty, nasty and lethal.

Welcome to a World of Corruption. Enjoy the ride!

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