The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

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IceBear
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:59 am

From looking at the Fate Google community, seems like a lot of people are having fun with the Fate superhero settings. I believe the Fate core book is still pay what you want for the PDF. Also know some people that really like Mutants and Masterminds. I managed to snag the PDFs of the Marvel superhero game from Margret Weis Productions which uses the Cortex System. Seems like it could be fun, but think the base game requires you to play an existing Marvel character, but think one of the supplements included rules for making your own. Unfortunately, Marvel didn't renew the licence

The thing about both of those systems is that they are more on the narrative side which makes for faster combat

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:41 pm

Some of the responses in this thread helped to direct my research. Fate gets a lot of recommendations - especially ICONS (by the creator of Mutants & Masterminds.)
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:05 pm

So we're going to play the new Fantasy Flight - End of the World Zombie Apocalypse tonight. Guess I will be the first zombie death.

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by hentzau » Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:48 am

Today my eldest just engaged in her first college D&D game. She was the only person besides the DM that had dice with her. I feel that I have prepared her well.
"Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting." - Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:04 am

Zombie IceBear was not brained but rather he was tied to a chair and was put in front of a PS3 (a my friend did not have an Xbox to complete the Sean of the Dead experience

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:11 am

I'm supposed to be running the next session of our D&D 5th game tomorrow, but as of an hour ago my temp was 99.5. I'll wait until morning, but if that keeps up, my friends will be disappointed, and my kids are going to be very disappointed.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:35 pm

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:04 pm

[pedant]Knowledge and Profession checks don't have critical failures.[/pedant] :snooty:
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Zurai » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:40 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:[pedant]Knowledge and Profession checks don't have critical failures.[/pedant] :snooty:
No skill checks have auto-failures on a roll of 1, at least in 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder.

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:37 am

A DM who has a ~40 players, all of whom seem to have rolled fighters, probably has a few house rules.
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IceBear
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:35 am

Played Dungeon World last night. Went well

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:39 am

IceBear wrote:Played Dungeon World last night. Went well
I've been wanting to try Dungeon World (and Fate), but have never had quite the right group of players.

I'm reviewing my notes for my 5E game right now. We should be starting in an hour and a half or so.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:10 pm

Yeah I was concerned that it might be too "freeform" for my group. A couple of them are VERY tactical and like rules heavy systems, but other than some issues with me making a few harsher rulings on a 7-9 (and that wasn't the system's fault) they were quite accepting of the system. It was also nice playing a game that had the entire adventure and prep contained on one page of paper.

I keep wanting to run the 5E starter set adventure but currently I am the secondary GM for our group so I haven't really prepped for it. That's why the past couple of games I ran needed very little or no prep.

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:59 pm

One of these days I'd love to run a game where I could ditch the miniatures, maps, and most of the character sheets. I'd love to be able to play with just a small table and the lights turned down.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Smoove_B » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:05 pm

Blackhawk wrote:One of these days I'd love to run a game where I could ditch the miniatures, maps, and most of the character sheets. I'd love to be able to play with just a small table and the lights turned down.
True story. I was a DM from ~1985-1992 and not once did we play with miniatures. Everything was done in the theater of the mind. No maps or character sheets? That's crazy town. :)

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:10 pm

Yeah, it's pretty nice to not worry about that stuff. I picked up one of these http://thenoteboard.com/ and break it out if I need to quickly sketch out a map or a picture for those times when there's some confusion, but didn't need it during the Zombie apocalypse game and only once in the Dungeon World game when I needed to make sure everyone understood the situation
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:34 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Blackhawk wrote:One of these days I'd love to run a game where I could ditch the miniatures, maps, and most of the character sheets. I'd love to be able to play with just a small table and the lights turned down.
True story. I was a DM from ~1985-1992 and not once did we play with miniatures. Everything was done in the theater of the mind. No maps or character sheets? That's crazy town. :)
Did your players map the dungeon with graph paper? I know mine did and I think the books suggested doing it (I remember they suggested to choose one player to be the party leader and one to be the mapper)... I guess that was to help make sure the players and DM had the same picture in their minds. That said, even with the red box we eventually started using a checker board and stratego pieces to track where everyone was during combat. Think some of the players started getting frustrated when things didn't unfold like they had pictured in their heads

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Smoove_B » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:43 pm

I think some of them tried to map dungeons, but only if that was part of a requirement in the story (not getting lost, getting information, etc...)

I remember it becoming problematic when there were rooms with strange shapes or dealing with elevations. If you weren't an amateur cartographer trying to keep up with the story was an issue. For me the combat was secondary to the role-playing, character interaction and questing. I can totally see where people could get all tactical and into the minutiae surrounding line of sight, distance you could move each turn, flanking, etc... but I just made it all happen. You tell me what you want to do, I roll the dice and we figure it out. Somehow, it worked for my group but I'm realizing as an adult 20+ years later that what I did wasn't the norm everywhere. I also think that's why I sort of fell out of touch with D&D for a while as they started to add the skills and feats related to reach, facing, flanking, etc... -- all the stuff I never was interested in.

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Zurai » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:55 pm

I'm not a big fan of Dungeon World, myself, for two reasons. One, I don't like having such a restricted character advancement system. Two, I really hate the way that DW handles initiative -- or rather, how it doesn't handle initiative. I hate talking over other people, so I end up not getting to do anything because the rest of my group doesn't have any problem just shouting out what they want to do.

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:05 pm

Smoove_B wrote:I think some of them tried to map dungeons, but only if that was part of a requirement in the story (not getting lost, getting information, etc...)

I remember it becoming problematic when there were rooms with strange shapes or dealing with elevations. If you weren't an amateur cartographer trying to keep up with the story was an issue. For me the combat was secondary to the role-playing, character interaction and questing. I can totally see where people could get all tactical and into the minutiae surrounding line of sight, distance you could move each turn, flanking, etc... but I just made it all happen. You tell me what you want to do, I roll the dice and we figure it out. Somehow, it worked for my group but I'm realizing as an adult 20+ years later that what I did wasn't the norm everywhere. I also think that's why I sort of fell out of touch with D&D for a while as they started to add the skills and feats related to reach, facing, flanking, etc... -- all the stuff I never was interested in.
Actually, that was the norm 20 years ago, then the industry wanted more consistency so the rules got tighter, and now we are trending back towards less rules and more GM fiat. And it's all good. You should really check out Dungeon World as it is pretty much D&D and the story and role play trumps the rules. Plus it's fairly cheap

For my group what happened was stuff like the wizard going l cast a fireball at the goblins and then and argument insued over how many goblins would be hit, mainly because I did a crappy job describing the situation. Since I was too easy going and a couple of my players had a temper saying "Well, I am the DM so what I say is correct" didn't always go over well. So the minis helped.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:09 pm

Zurai wrote:I'm not a big fan of Dungeon World, myself, for two reasons. One, I don't like having such a restricted character advancement system. Two, I really hate the way that DW handles initiative -- or rather, how it doesn't handle initiative. I hate talking over other people, so I end up not getting to do anything because the rest of my group doesn't have any problem just shouting out what they want to do.
Several sourcebooks, like Class Warfare help with the restrictions but yeah I don't think I would like it in the long run but for a one shot it was fine. If we turned it into a campaign I would probably come up with some house rules for character advancement. As for the issue with the lack of initiative I can see it as a potential issue depending on the people, but I pretty much went clockwise around the table with the occasional redirect to keep everyone on their toes and it went very well

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:56 am

Smoove_B wrote:
Blackhawk wrote:One of these days I'd love to run a game where I could ditch the miniatures, maps, and most of the character sheets. I'd love to be able to play with just a small table and the lights turned down.
True story. I was a DM from ~1985-1992 and not once did we play with miniatures. Everything was done in the theater of the mind. No maps or character sheets? That's crazy town. :)
Sure. I owned miniatures during the 1st and 2nd edition eras, but they were only ever used to indicate marching order. Things like fireballs and line of site were described and abstracted. Mapping was on graph paper.

A lot of newer systems just work better with miniatures, though. Rogues, for instance, have a big advantage in 5th Ed if you use miniatures and flanking - it is much easier to set up advantage for sneak attack bonuses.

Also, I need to justify 50,000 miniatures. :ninja:
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Zarathud » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:23 am

There is no need to justify having them. Painting them, now that needs a little motivation.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:08 am

Blackhawk wrote:
Smoove_B wrote:
Blackhawk wrote:One of these days I'd love to run a game where I could ditch the miniatures, maps, and most of the character sheets. I'd love to be able to play with just a small table and the lights turned down.
True story. I was a DM from ~1985-1992 and not once did we play with miniatures. Everything was done in the theater of the mind. No maps or character sheets? That's crazy town. :)
Sure. I owned miniatures during the 1st and 2nd edition eras, but they were only ever used to indicate marching order. Things like fireballs and line of site were described and abstracted. Mapping was on graph paper.

A lot of newer systems just work better with miniatures, though. Rogues, for instance, have a big advantage in 5th Ed if you use miniatures and flanking - it is much easier to set up advantage for sneak attack bonuses.

Also, I need to justify 50,000 miniatures. :ninja:
Wow, that just triggered my memory. Yeah, for the most part the figures were just used mostly for marching order. I noticed that even the new Star Wars games that are supposed to be theatre of the mind with abstract distances and movement give you battle maps and figure tokens with their starter sets

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:37 am

Some pay what you want (including $0) stuff:

Lexicon of Traps : http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/8 ... n-of-Traps
Lexicon of Dungeons :
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/9 ... f-Dungeons

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:29 pm

Sunday's D&D 5E game went great. We're running Phandelver, which is surprisingly well done and packed with content. We played an eight hour session, which is one hell of a long time for an 11 and a 13 year old to sit still and remain attentive, but they did and loved every minute of it. I'm still very happy with 5E.

This is the start of the session. One player is only slightly visible on the left. Do ignore the flipping-off. We took this picture to send to the boys' mother, and my friend (TigerRider67 here on OO) was teasing her.

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:50 am

Can't speak to the accuracy of this, but just saw this page discussing converting 1-4E D&D adventures to 5E. Might be useful for those of us with a ton of old modules and adventures
http://stanshinn.com/dnd-5e-resources/

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:14 am

You're probably all aware of this resource as well, but there's been a one page dungeon contest since 2009. Tons of maps and adventures that fit on one page (and are pretty much system neutral, though typically of the D&D type adventure) can be found here:

http://www.onepagedungeon.info/

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:01 am

BTW, I have started up my Dungeon World play-by-post game over in the Forum Games forum. Not sure if all the players will be back or not, so I might need replacements for the grinder :)

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:06 pm

Ok, while I don't think this style of D&D 5E character sheet is for me, I could see some people liking it:

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:25 pm

I can see the logic, but using it would make my head spin.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by hentzau » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:50 pm

Very interesting! Might be fun to hand that to a player and just see how they end up using it.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:00 am

CHAOSIUM has released a free adventure for Call of Cthulhu 7E that's sort of like a choose your own adventure book that teaches you how to play the RPG at the same time

link

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:55 pm

After I reach the end of the pre-written portion of our 5E campaign in a few weeks, I'll be switching off with a friend of mine (the rogue in our current game) who will be DMing a 5E Oriental Adventures campaign for me and the boys. After we've gone a while on that, we'll start switching back and forth every couple of months to keep both the games and the DMs fresh.

I'm looking forward to the OA game. I'm especially looking forward to my character - a Vanara monk. He's going to be an absolute blast to roleplay, although I'll probably have to pound coffee to have enough energy to pull him off. I've already got the miniature picked out, and can't wait to buy him and get him painted:

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Yep, the Monkey King.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:00 am

This guy is looking for feedback on his free set of RPG rules meant to be played in the car on a road trip

https://plus.google.com/108536193585596 ... cpVCLyrTyY

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by hentzau » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:01 am

I watched the first half of the latest Penny Arcade D&D game last night before bed. Man, those are some fun game sessions. I'm not sure I would want to play D&D like that all of the time, but for a one off it seems like it would be great.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:03 am

Chris Perkins still the DM? Can't imagine working at WotC and having him for your permanent DM :)

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by hentzau » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:11 am

Yeah. That man is amazing. I just last week listen to a podcast that he was on where he talked about doing the PAX games, and he said that he pretty much walks out there with a bare shell of an idea, a general direction of how he wants the adventure to go, some monsters and NPCs, and otherwise he just lets the players truly dictate where/how the game will flow.

In the latest one, he had an NPC named Jeff, the office manager of the Baldur's Gate Branch of AI. Jeff was a halfling with a slight speech impediment that the AI guys IMMEDIATELY jumped all over. You could almost sense the instant dislike of the players. I would bet that Chris pulled that accent and impediment out of his ass at the last moment and instantly created a very memorable character.

That's one thing I have never been able to do. Voices.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by IceBear » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:25 am

Same. One of my players does voices when he GMs, but he's not really great at them so it ends up being more of a distraction or joke. It just reinforces my decision not to even try unless it's good :-(

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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:12 pm

I voice significant characters, and have been told I was pretty good at it - at least prior to the surgery (and such) that borked my voice.
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