Freelancers
  • Freelancers


    Back when Dungeons & Dragons was new, the designers and most of the players were wargamers. Typical adventures involved threats to the player character's lives and possessions - their money and magic items. As the hobby has grown, more of the participants are not wargamers, and many campaigns must find other ways to create tension, or abandon tension entirely in favor of linear stories or other means. People refuse to have their painstakingly-crafted characters killed.


    One of the first rules they teach you in those pesky freshman-year composition courses is "know your audience." Before you sit down to write a text, consider who's going to be reading it and plan accordingly. When it comes to tabletop role-playing games, I've always considered the game master to be the primary audience of published adventures. Game masters are far more likely than players to read the text of an adventure, so why wouldn't a designer write with the game master in mind?


    A lot has been made recently about specific games for gaming with your children. A lot of products in the last five years have focused on this with a wide variety options and feels from Hero Kids, Little Heroes and the upcoming Last Unicorn RPG from Playground Adventures. With that I thought I'd provide a review of a game I used for a long time to get kids into gaming Ė Steve Jackson Games's Toon.


    So here we are on the shores of my home, the continent of North America where I want to talk about the indigenous people here. As this series of articles has gone on, it has grown into more than a just a collection of alternative myths that you or I can utilize in our campaigns. As more than a few people have pointed out, these articles only scratch the tip of the iceberg in terms of getting to know people around the world, their personal mythologies, and how we might respectfully represent them in role playing games. We do our best to find good sources; it has been quite an education to be honest.


    Welcome back folks, itís time for the PAIZO NEWS ROUNDUP, your one-stop spot for all the new and interesting material coming from your favorite ever-giving golem. In this go-round, weíll pick up some new toys that got left out of the earlier look at Ultimate Wilderness, and also introduce a brand new Player Companion. Letís get started!



    Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play portrays a grungy world being infiltrated by Chaos magic and cultists. Beneath the dirty streets of Renaissance cities are the tunnels of the Skaven, ratmen, while in the highest halls of power leaders and rulers corrupted by Chaos plot the downfall of the kingdoms of men.



    Like WotC's Dungeon Masters Guild and White Wolf's Storytellers Vault, Atlas Games has entered the field of fan-contributed content with the (appropriately) enigmatically-named Statosphere program for their Unknown Armies RPG.


    If you run a big RPG campaign, with a lot happening other than the adventures of the characters, often there will be a war on. I had to create a list of fundamental patterns of warfare for an online class I'm teaching, and thought the list might benefit GMs.


    Sins of the Father is a uniquely dark storytelling role-playing game created by Eloy Lasanta of Third Eye Games. The prime mechanics of this 2017 ENnie Award nominee, utilizes standard decks of playing cards, rather than dice. Player characters will be taking the role as Hellborn, humans born without agency of their soul, and bearers of a dark ancestral secret. After the jump you will find spoilers for Sins of the Father, so be warned.


    In my last column I showed you the processes I used for worldbuilding. Now let's see those lessons applied in an example setting.



    In this installment of the podcast roundup weíre looking at podcasts that generate ideas on how you can improve your game, from sharpening your GM and storytelling skills to how to turn your hobby into a career.


    Welcome back, my most content-famished readers, itís time for the PAIZO NEWS ROUNDUP! Here, we bundle up the latest juicy deets from the Golem. Following last editionís in-depth focus on Paizoís newest player supplement, it is once again time to shine the spotlight on the little guys. Thatís right, itís time for another Third Party Extrrrravaganza!


    So you finally slew the Kobald Lich and her minions who have been harrying the kingdom for more than a year. Bloodied but satisfied you and your companions wander over to her pile of loot and start sifting through the valuables. You find a bag full of books; apparently Ashrital, Scourge of the North was a reader. Fortunately, so are you and your eyes alight with the possibility of what strange tomes may lie within. Welcome to the DMs Guild Round Up! There has been so much material created for the Dungeon Master's Guild since its inception, so we want to spotlight some of the great works being produced. Some days it will be Random Loot (like today) and some days it will be a theme. So let's get started and dip our hand into the hoard and see what tomes await.


    Xanathar's Guide to Everything packs a lot of useful content for both players and DMs in its 192 pages. Here I'm going to expand on the first part of my review to cover the section that will probably be used the most by its readers Ė character options.


    Here at EN World, Iím 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? Instead of reviewing an all-ages game this time Iím looking at Medusaís Guide for Gamer Girls - Gaming with Kids, a collection of essays about gaming with kids, what players gain from role-playing, and what GMs can bring to the gaming table.


    Launched just prior to this year's Gen Con, Storytellers Vault is a crowd-sourced content creation arrangement that allows fans of World of Darkness to create and sell supplements for their favorite games from that line. The Storytellers Vault is similar to the successful Dungeon Masters Guild program for Dungeons & Dragons, and indeed it uses the very same content guidelines.


    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.

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