Christopher Helton
  • Christopher Helton


    A few weeks ago, a ponderous volume was plopped onto my doorstep by a no doubt arcane delivery service. It was Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for the Pathfinder role-playing game. I've had a couple of weeks to go through the book now, and I think that I have my thoughts on it gathered up. Outside of Lovecraft himself, I don't think that few single people have had as great of an impact upon the overall shape of the Cthulhu Mythos as Petersen has had. Between creating Call of Cthulhu for Chaosium and being one of the original developers of Doom, Petersen has cast a dark shadow across the Mythos from a number of media.

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    Back in 1977, a couple of weekend after it opened, my mother took my younger brother and I to a movie that changed things for a lot of people. That movie was, of course, Star Wars. A short ten years later, all three of the original Star Wars movies had come out and everyone thought that there wouldn't be any more movies coming out. That was when West End Games entered with their Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. Thirty years later, Fantasy Flight Games (the current holder of the Star Wars gaming license) are putting out a slipcased edition of that original game, along with the Star Wars Sourcebook.

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    The Fall of Delta Green is a mixed bag of a role-playing game. A well-developed incarnation of the Gumshoe system is married to a setting that really fails to utilize a time period full of drama and story potential as well as it could have. Is the Fall of the title just address the fiction of the Delta Green setting, or does it speak to changing times, or changing tastes, negatively impacting a fan-favorite gaming franchise?

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    This past Saturday, I ran a game of Fate Accelerated (like last year) at a local gaming store for Free RPG Day. A couple of the players were unfamiliar with the game, but this isn't unusual since a lot of people use events like this to play games that they wouldn't normally get to play. But running sessions like this point out the importance of Session Zeroes in gaming, even if the session is a mini one.

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    The Diana Jones committee has announced the nominees for this year's awards. The award itself is given at a private gathering on the Wednesday before Gen Con starts. Here are this year's nominees from the Diana Jones committee.

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    Recently, I was able to ask Steve Jackson, of Steve Jackson Games, a couple of questions about the upcoming relaunch of his classic role-playing/combat game The Fantasy Trip. In addition, he gave us at EN World an early look at the preliminary art for the cover of The Fantasy Trip: Melee.

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    I've spent a lot of time, money and words on the growing state of the old TSR material that has been slowly rolling out via the OneBookShelf print on demand services. I have talked a lot about the older materials that are being released in PDF as well. Today I am going to talk about a couple more releases, the B1: In Search of the Unknown module for Dungeons & Dragons and the first edition of The World of Greyhawk for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1E.

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    Monday's Pathfinder 2 preview over at the Paizo blog talked about skills, so it only makes sense that the Friday preview would take a look at skill feats in the upcoming game.

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    I think that, outside of comic books, the one media that I've glommed onto for the longest part of my life has been horror. But, the longer that I role-play the less interested I become in horror role-playing. Most of the 90s were taken up with Call of Cthulhu and horror-themed GURPS games that I ran. Both of these systems were great for horror for me, but something changed over time.

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    It is time again for a preview of Pathfinder 2 over at the Paizo blog. Today they take a look at downtime for characters.

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    Cubicle 7 has released a preview of the combat system for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay on their Facebook page. "The combat system for WFRP Fourth Edition has its roots in earlier editions of the game, but we’ve made significant changes. The design goals were to speed up fights and eliminate boring stalemates arising from repeated attack roll failure."

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    I've talked more than once about my love of bestiaries. They're my favorite part of any fantasy role-playing game. A well-done bestiary can do more to set the tone, and explain the setting, of a game than anything else. I've also followed along with the releases that DriveThruRPG has been doing of print on demand reprints of vintage TSR games and supplements. Today, these two streams cross in what I am going to call a tale of two bestiaries.

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    Paizo released a few more teases about Pathfinder 2 on their Friday blog post about the upcoming game. In previous previews we saw some art and actual mechanics, but in this preview we're seeing more hints than reveals. Most of the hints have been for information previously given out in their blog posts, so let's looks at a few things.

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    The Oblex, one of the new monsters featured in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, is a creation of Make-A-Wish recipient Nolan Whale.

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    Yesterday's Pathfinder 2 playtest update at the Paizo website talked about the Wizard class for the game.

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    I am typically a game master when I game. It is the role that I enjoy the most, and I think that the world building part of the GM's "job" is a big part of what I enjoy. But I do sit on the opposite side of the GM's screen from time to time* and being a player. So, does "world building" apply to character creation?

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    The Monday update to the Pathfinder 2 development blog took a look at building monsters under the new rules. Today, with the Friday update we're getting a look at a couple of stat blocks. They look at an ogre and a redcap (pictured below).

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    The latest contender in the area of tabletop gaming conventions have announced that tickets have gone on sale for the second PAX Unplugged. The event will be at Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Convention Center from November 30th to December 2nd.

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    I came home from running some errands recently, and I was greeted at my doorstep by a door stop of a box, the recently Kickstarted game of Munchkin Starfinder from Steve Jackson Games. There was a lot to see in the box, so let's take a look.

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    The nominees for this year's Origins Awards have been announced by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design. There are a number of different categories for the awards, but we will focus on the role-playing specific nominations. You can find the complete list of nominations here.

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