Freelancers
  • Freelancers


    Welcome aboard our latest Journey To... a distant culture in Earth's past to examine how we might incorporate that culture into a broader gaming experience. Today we journey to the Hopi, a sovereign nation in the southwest United States. Today, the Hopi live on the Hopi Reservation lands in northern Arizona, though once, their lands stretched throughout the area known today as the Four Corners. Let's discover more about the Hopi.  ...READ MORE

    Many RPGs promise to let us do exactly what we want, but few of them achieve this goal quite as well as Open Legend. With a bit of effort this setting-free system can allow you to build everything from a band of medieval knights to off-brand X-Men, though this comes at the cost of a little more complexity than you'd expect from the average d20-based game.  ...READ MORE

    It's not every day that you find a Pathfinder supplement written with both players and GMs in mind. Lore of the Gods, a divinity-focused supplement from Dragon Wing Games, strikes that balance admirably, but the flavor bursting from the seams is marred somewhat by the inconsistency of style and substance throughout the book.

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    Are you looking for an old school adventure for your traditional fantasy games? Check out Operation Unfathomable, a dungeon delve for games like Swords & Wizardry that explores weird fantasy worlds. What will this adventure bring to your gaming table? Let's look and see.

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    Do your D&D games ever contain romantic elements? Iím not talking about stereotypical antics involving trying to hook up with NPC barmaids or seduce a guard as a distraction. Realistic relationships are unlikely to develop that much in a one-shot, or in a style of play which de-emphasizes role play in favor of action. But in longer-running games with ample time for RP, Iím curious how often it actually becomes a plot element.

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    This month's Storytellers Vault Roundup takes a look at a pair of setting sourcebooks for Vampire: The Masquerade, but we start with a quick follow-up product to last month's announcement regarding Werewolf: The Apocalypse being opened up for development.

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    Legacy: Life Among the Ruins is a Powered by the Apocalypse game that draws on the post-apocalyptic origin of this stream of design while introducing a wildly different tone from Apocalypse World. Where the original Apocalypse World is about the hardcore, survival-of-the-fittest-style endurance, Legacy instead tackles the decades-long, even centuries-long, process of rebuilding. Where Apocalypse World strongly focuses on the "now", the focal point of Legacy is most certainly the future.
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    Mike Carr played the first cleric in the history of fantasy tabletop role playing games. Like, the very first. Ever. In the decades since, the character class has earned a spot at the core of the hobby, so when Carr casually mentioned in an email that he played the first one in a now-legendary campaign, it seemed like a follow-up question was necessary. But for Carr, it's just another interesting footnote in a life in gaming.

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    I run a weekly D&D game for children ages 8-14 at my shop. When I took over our Young Heroes League program last fall, I had very little experience as a DM. I started running an Adventurerís League table for adult players a few months later, which is easy by comparison. There isnít much the grownups can throw at me that I havenít already dealt with on some level while wrangling the kids.

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    Today I want to talk about a subject that is near and dear to adventurers. Yes, weíre talking about money. Money is a medium for exchanges. It is accepted in payment for goods, services and debts. Different cultures handle money and currency differently, however, and what is accepted as currency can change with time, so letís do a little digging and see what we turn up.

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    Obviously, the best way to reward your D&D players for participating is to have a good game ready. But when youíve found a good group and want to dig deeper to enhance the experience, here are a few methods for rewarding your players. Some are DM-specific, but others can apply to any player or the whole group.

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    So, you're playing a tabletop RPG for the first time. Congratulations! You're in for an adventure. However, you're probably also feeling a little overwhelmed. Even if you're familiar with other kinds of gaming, tabletop RPGs come with their own specific sets of challenges. With that in mind, let's talk about a few things that will make your gaming experience a critical success.

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    Monte Cook Games has a license to create original content for their in-house tabletop system dubbed the Cypher System Creator program. This option augments their offerings by allowing crowd-sourced adventures and supplements. Are you looking for a solid set of Cypher System adventures?

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    In the late 70s and early 80s there were a large number of magazines running around that talked about gaming in general and role playing games in particular. Of course most people are familiar with Dragon Magazine or the early White Dwarf, but I wonder how many remember the gem from Task Force Games that did as much to broaden my RPG horizons as either of those. That gem was Nexus Magazine and it began in 1982 talking about of all things, what is a role playing game.

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    When the GM puts in the effort to create a game session for your party, and everyone makes time in their busy lives to show up, you might as well make the most of the occasion. Setting the scene for your game and creating a space where you can relax can help immerse you in the experience. Whether you prefer to create an atmosphere that suggests the setting of your game, or choose to focus on the fact that you are hanging out with your friends for a few hours, you can find little ways to make it special.

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    A large subset of board games is Eurostyle games. These games are almost exactly the opposite of RPGs in many ways. Keep in mind, board (including some card) games are a vastly larger segment of tabletop gaming than RPGs in monetary terms, and Eurostyle games are a large part of that segment. So even if you have no interest in non-RPGs, a comparison may help you understand what you do (and could do) with your own campaign or RPG design.


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    Dungeon World is the first foray into Powered by the Apocalypse games for many gamers, since it is just a hop, skip, and a jump from something like Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder into Dungeon World. It borrows quite a bit from those games, in terms of surface-level mechanics, to capture the tone of those worlds while keeping the core of the PbtA system intact.

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    Technically, all you need to play Dungeons & Dragons is a set of dice, a pencil, and a character sheet. Sure, itís very helpful to have least one copy of the Players Handbook on the table, of course, but many optional tools are available for players and DMs that can make game play easier, or just more fun.

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    Central Iowa gamers, cosplayers and fans took a trip down the rabbit hole last weekend for DemiCon 29. The annual science fiction, fantasy and gaming convention held at a Holiday Inn in Des Moines, Iowa, provided an impressive variety of options for entertainment, from art and music to creator-led panels. I tried to experience as much of the con as possible during my roughly nine hours in attendance, though gaming took precedence as I sorted out my schedule.

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    Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes is so packed with material, my first review mainly focused on the lore and race options. Now we'll address the other half of the book Ė the bestiary.

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