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Sep. 18th, 2016 @ 09:53 am Dungeon World ruined things
Current Mood: embarrassedembarrassed
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I know, I am going to sound like a total fanboy in this post. But I know I am a fan of Dungeon World, and as a recent convert, I know I am a bit of a fanatical. So read this post with this in mind and forgive me my youthful enthousiasm.

Friday night, I played in an online game of 13th Age, which is a D20 game. That is: it is a clone of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 with added rules. (Pathfinder is another one of those. During the era of D&D 4th edition and until the release of D&D 5th edition, it ruled the roost and in it's own turn spawned a whole set of games that are compatible with it.)
The group of players was excellent, but the game felt very flat to me. I mean, there's plenty to like there: every character has 'one unique thing', there's powers and spells that trigger during or outside of battle, there are 'Icons' which are the movers and shakers of the setting and the characters have positive, conflicted or negative relationships with them, etcetera. Everything for a cool game in a rich setting.

And yet, it was a bit of a slog. Perhaps this was due to us not being familiar with the system or perhaps this was due to not having played with everyone in the group before -- but I don't think it's that. It is that D20 combat (and the scenario was basically a set of combats strung together) is a slog. You can't do cool things at low level because you don't have those abilities. And in fact, D20 combat is not about doing cool things, but all about damage output per round and killing things through a million papercuts. A siege troll took maybe ten combined hits to bring down.
Contrast this with, say, The Hobbit where a single bowman can bring down a dragon in a single shot. Sure, a single bowman of outstanding ability, but still. You can't do that in D&D, it just doesn't model fiction like that.

But Dungeon World does. I completely agree with this assessment by Weem: Dungeon World ruined things.
I really like the people I played with Friday, and would game with them again without any reservations. And yet I kind of feel horrible that I didn't like the game and at the same time thought that this set-up could make such a cool scenario for Dungeon World...
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D20
Sep. 13th, 2016 @ 07:08 pm Last #RPGADAY
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
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31) Best advice you were ever given for your game of choice.
Hm. I'm not sure I have a "game of choice". Best advice for a GM that I ever received was to trust yourself and your players -- go with the flow and make up the details as you go along to fit your group.

Also, this was the last of the #RPGADAY entries. You can now breathe a sigh of relief. ;)
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D20
Sep. 12th, 2016 @ 10:16 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: okayokay
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30) Describe the ideal game room if the budget were unlimited.
Cozy room. Well-lit table large enough for character sheets and room to roll dice. Central area for maps and diagrams. A side-table to make coffee and tea, next to a small fridge. Comfortable chairs or benches. Bookcases along the wall.
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kodama
Sep. 11th, 2016 @ 09:55 am #RPGADAY
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
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29) You can game anywhere on Earth. Where would you choose?
Playing an RPG is a very 'internal-facing' activity: you're sitting around a table with friends and the attention should be focused on what is going on in the game. Playing in a fancy or distracting environment is actually detrimental to the fun I have in a game. So dining tables are actually a pretty good spot to play at.
That being said, there is something to be said for gaming in a private suite at a luxurious hotel, with staff available to cater to your needs. Where the hotel itself is located doesn't really matter for the game itself, but it might be a factor right after the game when you go out for a meal.
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haiku
Sep. 10th, 2016 @ 09:56 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: okayokay
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Well, I'm running behind. Time to catch up.

26) What hobbies go well with RPGs?
Reading, obviously. Being a fast reader means you can read about a new ruleset or scenario, which is most useful. And of course anything that gets you inspiration, in the form of novels, movies, narrative video games etcetera, is good too. If you can draw, then you could use that to make illustrations to show things the characters are encountering.

27) Most unusual circumstance or location in which you've played a game?
I don't have much to say here... I just don't seem to game in weird or extreme situations. I guess that's the advantage of having your own house and having friends with their own houses too. ;)
Though I guess I should mention here that I also play RPGs online, using Google Hangouts. (Though Google is doing its best to kill all the features in Hangouts that make it useful as a tool for online RPGs.) I'm also playing in a campaign that's been streamed live to Twitch, which is a really interesting experience. I'm looking to stream some online RPGs too.

28) Thing you'd be most surprised a friend had not seen or read.
Meh. There's so much stuff that I haven't seen either. As anybody who has been following this LJ knows, we watch a ton of anime. And yet, when I see photos of people cosplaying as characters that are obviously from an anime, 80% of the time I have no idea who the character is and from what series. Not knowing something that "everyone" knows is not shameful. Don't let anybody give you any shit about your choices in media consumption.
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net zombie!
Sep. 7th, 2016 @ 11:07 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: okayokay
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24) What is the game you are most likely to give to others?
The D&D 5th edition Starter Set. I've gifted two people with it. It has everything you need to play and it contains a really nifty mini-campaign that I've run two groups through. And it can be nicely complemented by things like the free Basic Rules to expand the options slightly. It's really cheap too -- excellent value for money!

25) What makes for a good character?
A good motivation that will lead to adventure, coupled with the ability to work together with the characters of the other players.
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d&d
Sep. 5th, 2016 @ 06:08 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: amusedamused
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23) Share one of your best "worst luck" stories.
Not a specific story, but Baldric the Bard in the Twitch.tv Dungeon World campaign rolls epically bad. In Dungeon World, you take 1 XP for every failed roll, and you gain a level for every level+7 XP. Baldrick is level 8 while the rest of us have just gotten to level 6... Mostly, these rolls get us into no end of trouble!
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Fleeing rabbit
Sep. 4th, 2016 @ 02:43 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: amusedamused
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22) Supposedly random game events that keep recurring?
Does anybody use random tables anymore for game events? Well, I guess there's the 'random monster encounter' tables that are such a big part of D&D modules. And I do have a story about that.
The second group I ran through the D&D Starter Set campaign kept encountering packs of Stirges over and over again through the random monster encounters while out on the Triboar Trail. Stirges attach themselves to their victims and keep draining them of blood, until someone grabs them off of the character -- but you can't attack that turn if you do that. I had the stirges each attack a random PC, which meant that some characters had more than one Stirge attached to them. And if you miss your attack, then the stirge gets another go! So after abumbling fight against a pack of Stirges, the party had to actually rest to recover some of their HPs and spells! The Wizard had found out that a Magic Missile, which does 1+1d4 damage per missile, is a sure kill for a 2HP Stirge, and he saved the day. But he did blow through most of his spells.
There is a room in the final dungeon of the campaign where there is another pack of Stirges. So when I described this, the players all rolled their eyes. The Wizard, who knew that this would be a tough dungeon, did not hesitate to blow almost all of his level 1 spells on killing the Stirges -- so big was his hatred for the beasts.
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isopod
Sep. 3rd, 2016 @ 10:49 am #RPGADAY
Current Mood: tiredtired
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Again, two today.

20) Most challenging but rewarding system you have learned?
Dungeon World. The system itself is not challenging at all, but the way it is worded in the rulebook is... opaque.

21) Funniest misinterpretation of a rule in your group?
Hm. Can't really recall something off the top of my head -- but there's probably lots involving Rolemaster.
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nixie
Sep. 1st, 2016 @ 09:56 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
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19) Best way to learn a new game?
Play with a GM that knows the rules.
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kodama
Aug. 31st, 2016 @ 07:56 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: groggygroggy
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18) What innovation could RPGs benefit most from?
Technological support for long-distance/online roleplaying. There's Google Hangouts, but Google has been killing that softly. There's Roll20, but that has dismal support for video-conferencing. I'm sure that by cleverly combining tech that exists today, it is possible to recreate an 'at the table'-like experience online, but there is not (yet) a single thing that does this.
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net zombie!
Aug. 30th, 2016 @ 11:21 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: blankblank
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17) What fictional character would best fit in your group?
Geez, I don't know. You'd need an adult leading a stable life who will allow themselves to have fun at the table... I'm coming up blank.
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net zombie!
Aug. 29th, 2016 @ 08:05 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: mellowmellow
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Forgot to post one yesterday, so you're going to get two today.

15) Your best source of inspiration for RPGs?
Anything, really. Things I read or see... But as a GM, the biggest source of inspiration is how the players react to the world. And as a player, seeing hos the world changes because of my character's actions is quite inspiring.

16) Historical person you'd like in your group? What game?
Perhaps a cliché, but I'm really curious what professor Tolkien would make of a D&D game. As a GM, I'd want him to do a game of The One Ring, of course!
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the one ring
Aug. 27th, 2016 @ 08:53 am #RPGADAY
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
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14) Your dream team of people you used to game with?
I think it would be reaaaaally interesting to game again with the crew I used to play with back when I started out. I think I'd do The One Ring, as a tribute of sorts to all the MERP modules we completely butchered.
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the one ring
Aug. 26th, 2016 @ 10:00 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: okayokay
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13) What makes a successful campaign?
On the game side: story, party-cohesion, player agency.
On the social side: players who can conduct themselves as adults.
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Ships passing in the night
Aug. 25th, 2016 @ 09:31 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
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12) What game is your group most likely to play next? Why?
Good question. A month ago, I would have said 'Dungeon World', since we had scheduled the first session for the new campaign. I have a game of 13th Age scheduled, but that's a one-shot with an online group, not 'my' group. So, I don't really know what's going to be next.
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slotmachine
Aug. 24th, 2016 @ 08:18 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
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11) Which gamer most affected the way you play?
I think that's A., in whose Amber campaign I played. Little mechanics, lots of story, lots of inter-party stresses (if not open conflict). For someone who had mainly played the rules-heavy Rolemaster, that was a bit of an eye-opener.
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hand-eye coordination
Aug. 23rd, 2016 @ 07:46 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: calmcalm
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Missed yesterday, so doing two today.

9) Beyond the game, what's involved in an ideal session?
Enjoying the company of the other players. Playing RPGs is a social experience -- and I don't play with people I don't like. That's not to say that I haven't had good experiences gaming with people that weren't my friends outside of the game, but if I actively dislike someone, I will not play with them.
There is a school of thought that holds that bad gaming is better than no gaming, but I disagree.

10) Largest in-game surprise you have experienced?
Hm. Nothing really springs to mind. I rarely play in mystery games, so there's seldomly a 'big reveal'. I do play in plotted games, but there the occurrences follow in a logical order.
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juggling
Aug. 21st, 2016 @ 10:45 pm #RPGADAY
Current Mood: mellowmellow
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8) Hardcover, softcover, or digital? What is your preference?
I will go on record that I am an absolute fan of the Bits and Mortar program, which provides a PDF of a book that you buy. Some of my favourite publishers, Evil Hat and Cubicle 7, participate in the program. Which means I have the hardcovers of the full run of The One Ring, while I also have all the books in PDF form. This is ideal for me: I play a lot online, and PDFs are easy to find stuff in when you're at the computer anyway. And I read most of my RPG books on my tablet, which is really convenient when travelling or just sitting on the couch.
So for me, the order would be: hardcover + PDF, PDF, hardcover, softcover.
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Glowing LED
Aug. 21st, 2016 @ 01:48 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: happyfestive
Happy birthday, andrewducker!
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eten