Freelancers
  • Freelancers


    Nearly two years have passed since the partnership between Wizards of the Coast and OneBookShelf entered into the "partnership" that lead to the creation of the Dungeon Masters Guild (DMG) website. With release of the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition System Reference Document (SRD) and the DMG platform, Wizards of the Coast has been at the head of a pretty steady stream of new D&D content. Finders Keepers is my first opportunity to review something specifically created for the DMG, so let's have at it.


    I've discussed topics in worldbuilding, and I hope they're interesting and educational, but today I'm going to discuss the process of worldbuilding, and how I go about it.



    As the first actual rules expansion of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGtE) is facing an immense amount of scrutiny, guaranteeing that it won't please everyone. That said, there's a lot there for fans to like.


    Enter into a world of adventure that you have encountered before in books and movies with The One Ring from Cubicle 7 Entertainment. Based on the words and worlds of J.R.R Tolkien, the game has you adventure between the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. Play heroes who explore the world of Middle-earth after the great dragon Smaug has fallen, and before the Fellowship of the Ring must rise up.


    Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the PAIZO NEWS ROUNDUP! As always, I am your excitable and long-winded host, ready to give you all the deets on the latest from our favorite company of golems. It seems that Paizo is laser-focused on its newest upcoming release: Ultimate Wilderness! That said, they’re not about to leave Starfinder fans hanging in the solar winds. Let’s get started!


    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! This week’s column was delayed a day for a variety of reasons, including my mother having surgery (she’s okay), so I want to focus on some good news (and a lot of segues) before we get to the…fourth week in a row where I have to write about something bad. The Last Unicorn is getting a roleplaying game! A new Wizards of the Coast job posting may give hints for D&D’s future! Lots of news about movies, television, and games! And more!


    Off the coast of the main American continents are a group of islands with their own cultures, histories, conflicts, and stories. Although influences from South America and eventually West Africa, Spain, and France wove their ways into the folklore of the Caribbean, the synthesis of these influences have created a beautiful and sometimes melancholy portrait of the native folk who call the islands home. Our focus will be on the original native cultures and their lives prior to European contact. As always we can offer only a glimpse into the true depth of these cultures, so I encourage you to do your own research.


    Role-playing has existed for a century, if not longer. Some role-playing exercises (for education or business) are games with active human opposition, others are puzzles. You play a "role" even in Monopoly, and in many other board games, especially wargames ("you are the commander" said Avalon Hill long before "RPGs" existed). Yet most people would agree that hobby RPGs really got going with Dungeons & Dragons.


    If you ever wanted to game master a RPG which would allow the player characters to travel through time and navigate the multiverse; where do you imagine such a game, might take your player group? DayTrippers asks this in a big (Scott Bakula, "Oh, boy!?") gonzo inspired way, blending dream dimensions and alternate realities, both as a device which slightly obscures as well is somewhat dismissive of paradox. Temporal distortions in player agency got you down? Bah! Unlike my favorite city in the desert, things that occur in any DayTrippers timeline, won't necessarily stay where they occurred.


    Previously I talked about fabric, and where it comes from. In this one I discuss clothing and its applicability to worldbuilding and plot.


    Set in the industrial city of Doskvol, Blades in the Dark starts the players as ground level criminals in a world where magic and technology rub shoulders in an uneasy fashion. Significant narrative work has gone into to bringing Doskvol, and its criminal gangs to life and the setting feels like a wild blend of Dishonoured, Peaky Blinders and Stalingrad.



    Video game designers use two terms worth understanding for all game and adventure designers, "atoms" and "loops". This time I'll talk about loops.


    In 1984, comic creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird put the final touches on their 3,000-copy limited run of a satirical comic dubbed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The first issue promptly sells out and becomes an overnight sensation. Prompted by the success of the comic, Eastman and Laird form Mirage Studios to produce more issues. Their success opens the door to the Turtles crossing over into other media. In 1985, Palladium Books obtains the license to produce an RPG based on the terrapin ninjas and from this agreement, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness role-playing game was born.


    There are many reasons for travel and those can be very useful for setting the mood in media res. Compare a campaign that opens with the PCs hired to explore an unknown region, with one that opens with them as refugees fleeing a war. The tone changes completely, even if the contents of the character sheets are still the same. They could be pilgrims or bodyguards upon a pleasure cruise.



    Chaosium Inc’s Call of Cthulhu is one of the best-known RPGs in gaming with numerous official products as well as third party expansions to the franchise. While the majority of these produce outstanding products, some of those third party publishers have collected money via crowdfunding, then gone months between backer updates, and have yet to fulfill their commitments. Around Gen Con 50, Chaosium made announcements that addressed several of these unfulfilled third party products.


    Hello my fabulous fans and welcome to another exciting round of the PAIZO NEWS ROUNDUP! For this special event we’re bringing back an all-time favorite: the Third Party Bonanaza! Those busy beavers are always making more stellar content, so let’s get straight to work! First, Starfinder, and then to Pathfinder.


    Give me a dystopian future peppered with 80s analogies and Easter eggs, like Earnest Cline’s Ready Player One, or give me the dark and beautiful gloom of George Orwell’s, 1984. What can I say? Give me hope, or give me misery. With the Synthicide RPG from Will To Power Games, you get a role-playing game that offers a dystopian future on a cosmic scale that bridges the gap between these two types of desires.


    Mesoamerica was a profoundly important region and set of cultures that arose independently in the region stretching from central Mexico to northern Panama. The pre-colombian cultures created powerful civilizations that flourished for thousands of years. Study of the cities and monuments of these cultures suggests these civilizations were on par with those found in South America, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. There were many cultures that thrived in the region, including the Toltec, Mixtec, and Zapotec to name just three. However, we are going to look at three of the civilizations most familiar to modern society.


    "Lifestyle games," games that are hobbies in themselves for players who rarely play anything else, are almost always great games: Diplomacy, Bridge, Chess, Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons. But not all great games become lifestyle games. What makes a game "great"? Not good, not a flash-in-the-pan, rather an all-time great game?


    Here at EN World, I’m looking at all-ages tabletop role-playing games, board games, and card games. Do they engage the players at the kids' gaming table? Would they cut it at the adults' table? Are they genuinely fun for every age? The Pip System Corebook is a multi-genre RPG designed for adults, yet streamlined enough for children. From ENnie Award-winning creator, Eloy Lasanta, this rulebook features 143 pages of genre creation, character creation, skills, enemies, and guidelines for how to present this game to both adults and kids.

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