Monday, April 27, 2015

Introducing New Players To The Hobby

I talk about this here from time to time, but with the discussion on Friday I figured it might be a good time to bring it up again. Introducing new players to the hobby is both easier and harder than ever. In general, some of the stigma around RPGs seems to be gone as the concept of people of all ages playing games becomes more and more accepted. However, there are also new challenges in the age of videogames and past the age of MMOs.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Discussion: Who Got You Into Gaming, And How?

For today's post I want to talk about our roots as gamers. Now everyone has a first game, first session, and first adventure story and those are awesome. Today though I'm curious about who was the person who got you into roleplaying games? Was it a boyfriend? A girlfriend? A parent? A sibling? Just a school friend? Did you get yourself into it when you either heard about or saw it at a store and wanted to try? What was it that brought you into the hobby, and how did it go well enough that you decided to make it a thing you still do to this day?

For me the blame lands squarely on the shoulders of my cousin John. When my family first moved to the states we lived about an hour and a half from John's family. This meant there were sporadic but regular times when one family or the other would visit the other for the weekend. When that happened the kids would all play, and as frequently happened John and I would play RPGs. Only, at first I didn't know that is what we were doing.

We didn't start with D&D or anything like that, but rather with the Marvel Collectible Cards that had relative power levels. They looked like this:

Using these cards we'd make teams of heroes/villains and do battle using dice and adding the stat number for various things to determine who won or whatever was going on. It was a stupid, simple, and rudimentary system but it was a lot of fun.

From there we progressed into other games, Star Wars, D&D, Palladium's Heroes Unlimited, but that's a story for Monday I think.

How abot you? Who got you into the hobby? How did they do it?


I apologize, and I know this is happening a lot lately. I spent yesterday with a high fever. Today's post is coming. It'll just be a little bit. Sorry!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

When To Call For Dice Rolls

I've been gaming for twenty years, GMing for a bit more than 75% of that, and to this day I still struggle with when I should call for a dice roll and when I should just hand waive it. As the years have gone on I have strayed more and more to "less die rolls is better." It may not be the right answer, but it is the one I think works the best for my games. I'm still working on how few, but lately I've been reading some good advice on it and I wanted to share it with you today.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Death Comes For Us All. Let the GM Know When You're Ready

On Sunday at my housemate's L5R game I did the most brazen thing I've ever done with a character in my long history of playing in L5R. My character made bold statements and big actions in the Emperor's court, complete with dropping boxes with nearly 10,000 koku in value inside them onto the floor. It was big, it was loud, it was boisterous and brazen, and it should have got me killed. I told my GM so, and today I want to share with you why I did, and why you should in those situations as well.

Late Post for Patriot's Day

Today is Patriot's Day in Massachusetts, which is a holiday for me from work (yay State job!) However, it's also been a busy weekend. As such, today's post will be up a bit later. It should be up by either noon or 5pm tomorrow. We'll pick up with the normal schedule after that.

Have a good Monday everyone!

Friday, April 17, 2015

How Do You Define Power?

Power creep is a thing for a lot of GMs. They worry about power creep in their games. It could be that they don't want the PCs to get too strong too fast so that they can challenge them with certain things. It could be they don't want certain thresholds of power being crossed for reasons relating to the theme of the game. After all, a Warrior who can great cleave through three hundred goblins in a round is neither challenged by a group of fifty goblins nor appropriate in a "gritty, bloody dark fantasy" adventure.

There is a lot of advice on how to deal with power in games. Even I have posts about it - short version: worry about the what will they do, not what can they do - but it occurs to me that not many take the time to look at what power actually is. How do you define power? What is its metric? Is a warrior more powerful than a mage? Today I want to look at power, and what it actually is. Why? Because once we know what power is we can actually work to control it - or unleash it - in our games.