Freelancers
  • Freelancers


    Last summer, scheduling conflicts temporarily wrecked my D&D Basic live campaign. When play resumed only half the players were able to make the game. Instead of grinding through some side quests, and especially because the player characters were at an important point in the campaign; we transitioned to a completely different RPG. Knowing that we would likely get only a handful of sessions in before our regular game resumed, I decided to give the group a choice among a number of RPGs from my reviewer slush pile.


    Most people know the expression "can't see the forest for the trees," that is, you get lost in details and fail to see the big picture. In game (and level/adventure) design it's usually the big picture that counts, for players. Yet many designers, even experienced designers, sometimes get bogged down in details at the expense of the quality of the game as a whole.


    Necva was dead, of that there was no doubt. I had recently watched him get full on ganked by some kids in a crumbling tower. Still, there he was in front of me, body parts missing, but with some e-books in his spellbook. "Look, you're late. You're a humbug. Review these for the people." When that ole' liche tells you to make the people happy, you don't ask why, you just do it. I grabbed his spell book and began to read. Welcome to what was supposed to be the holiday edition of DM Guild Roundup. No random grab bag this month, but a selection of three holiday pdfs for you to run your crew through.


    Today I will be looking at the ENnie Nominated sourcebook Atlas Of Earth-Prime by Green Ronin. While it missed out on the top spots, this book has a lot going for it and I thought I'd break down where I think it shines and where it might could have been better.


    Welcome back you scallawags! I hope youíre ready for another PAIZO NEWS ROUNDUP because we go some exciting and new features for all you returning readers! We got a big olí pile of third-party and other supplemental products for you to sink your teeth into, so letís get started!


    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? My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria is an officially licensed RPG designed to let fans immerse themselves in MLP.


    Today I am going to discuss a destroyer of kings and armies, slayer of nations, stealer of lives and maker of orphans and widows. Yes, we are talking about pestilence. Plagues and diseases have reshaped human history and there is much that we can adapt for worldbuilding purposes.



    Back in Ye Olden Days, when I was first starting out running RPG campaigns, I sincerely believed that the worst thing that could happen to a player-character would be for them to die. This belief was encouraged, in part, by the mechanics of the games I was running at the time, particularly AD&D, with its classic binary Hit Point mechanic: positive Hit Points mean the character is healthy and mobile and all that other good stuff; zero or negative Hit Points equal death (or, at best, a discommodious unconsciousness).


    When someone says a game is "fun," you probably donít really know what they mean, and maybe they donít, either. Until you recognize that what's fun for you isn't necessarily fun for every game player, you cannot be a good GM.


    Rifts Atlantis, the second World Book for the Rifts RPG covers the legendary lost continent. Slightly shorter than its predecessor, it still packs a wealth of content into its 161 pages. Beginning with a brief history of the lost continent by Rifts character Erin Tarn, the reader is exposed to the backstory of the continent. This section is well-written and insightful, providing a superb jumping point for using this setting in oneís own Rifts campaign.


    The world of Dark Sun existed as an eco-disaster with most uses of arcane magic burning life to dust. Steel exists only as lost treasure and iron is as rare as gold. Water gives life but is a rare commodity and even if an oasis can be found it is likely protected or may be the hunting grounds for some menacing beast. Heavy armor is not only rare but likely to bake its wearer beneath the brutal sun and lead to death even without a battle.


    Welcome to the 7th Sea Explorerís Society Roundup! Created from the final stretch goal of John Wick Presents 7th Sea 2e Kickstarter campaign, the Explorerís Society is an option to distribute and/or sell official 7th Sea crowd-sourced content. Setup within DriveThruRPG and RPGNow, the model is similar to the DMsGuild (Dungeons & Dragons) or the Storytellerís Vault (World of Darkness) in that individual creators can share their 7th Sea 2E content as long as it conforms to the content guidelines for the Explorerís Society, which can be found here.


    Welcome back from the holidays, Paizo fans, and a happy upcoming new year to all! Weíve got an exciting new PAIZO NEWS ROUNDUP in store for you - once again, itís time for a Third Party Hullaballo! Iíll get a word that sounds right eventually. Anyway, we have a great selection of third-party products here for you to fill that hole in your heart left by disappointing holiday presents. I liked horses when I was FIVE, Aunt Marilyn! Regardless; to the presses!


    With the end of the year looming, it is traditionally a time for navel-gazing back at what has been done over the last year. I was proud to see that a number of my articles ended up in the round up of the top stories of the year, but as happy as I am with those stories (and the others that I have written for this site), the accomplishment that I am most proud of from 2017 is the one that gets the least amount of fan fair from the site. You may have seen tweets or Facebook posts about what we call the "UGC Program" here at E.N. World, and wondered what it means. What started as an idea to get a stable of freelance writers to augment the regular E.N. World columnists and their weekly pieces here on the site grew into what we call our User Generated Content Program (or UGC).


    Every Palladium fan probably knows the story behind 1990's Riftsófollowing a "small" nuclear war, the world is plunged into over 200 years of utter chaos. Then, dimensional rifts rupture the planet. All over the earth, strange creatures, inter-dimensional beings (D-Bees), cyborgs and aliens walk among men. After that, things get interesting.


    Within four years, indie RPG creator Fraser Ronald has used Kickstarter to fund and deliver three Storyteller RPGs successfully and Swords Edge is his latest creation. With Swords Edge the emphasis is sharing the narrative. It prescribes to player determined narrative, the "don't ask the GM, tell the GM" theorem, and it has a number of interesting game play mechanics to assist with this type of gaming.


    One of my favorite Ferengi Rules of Acquisition says, "Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack." In the realm of rpg design, I might modify that to say, "A good adventure idea and an empty sack is worth the sack." In this case, I'm talking about grand, imaginative, thrilling adventure ideas that game masters envision for their players but, for whatever reason, never actually run in a game. A million-dollar vision that fails to become reality isn't worth much at all. This continues the early part of this review.


    Welcome to this month's Storyteller's Vault Roundup! This month we have some exciting news for fans of historical Vampire: The Masquerade gaming, as well as a couple spotlights on recent releases from the Vault.


    This review covers the kickstarter PDF of the upcoming Mutant Crawl Classics (MCC) hardcover rulebook. In Mutant Crawl Classics you explore a mutated ruined world as a human or mutant (human, animal, or plant). In 282 black and white pages filled with amazing art, MCC presents hothouse jungles and glowing deserts filled with ruins hiding ancient artifacts guarded by mutated beasts. The game pays homage to Gamma World while providing its own twists and unique takes on a ruined world.


    In my previous two columns I laid out techniques for worldbuilding and applied them to a sample con game setting. In this one I am going to apply the Mindy Method and reverse-engineer an NPC to fit the requirements of a setting.


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