• Miscellaneous

    "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?

    In the second part of this series, we'll continue to highlight the best in new RPG podcasts. This week's offerings range from an eclectic bunch of cyberpunks, through a piratical D&D live play, to a monster-inspiring discussion of cryptids.

    When October comes around, many gamers turn their heads from their regularly scheduled explorations of dungeons to look at a genre within which they do not normally crawl around. We are of course talking about horror. Whether you are looking for a one shot game for your Halloween night, or an ongoing campaign, there are a lot of very good horror games out there in the wilds of your local gaming store (or preferred online retailer) to check out for your horror needs. Let's look at a few of them.

    There are two different extremes in arranging fights. One is like war and the other is like a sporting event. Sporting events are supposed to be fair contests between roughly equal forces. On the other hand, war is the epitome of unfair competition.

    It can be difficult to separate out the true myths of any particular culture from stories told by explorers who came after. Perhaps those become part of the mythology as well, but we want to do our best to get as close to the root mythology as possible. This is doubly difficult in South America where all we have of some of the cultures that called that land their home are ancient sites and strange monuments. Many of the civilizations overlapped and others were contemporaries.

    Imagine contemporary life without clothing. No socks to prevent feet from blistering, no pockets for keys, change or the omnipresent smartphone. It is true that naturists do get by fairly well with purses or fanny packs, but such individuals tend to be concentrated in areas with balmier climes for obvious and pertinent reasons such as frostbite in sensitive places.

    Role play is breaking into the mainstream! While games like Dungeons and Dragons might once have been confined to people's basements, the success of shows like Critical Role, Acquisitions Incorporated and The C-Team has resulted in a deluge of new podcasts on subjects ranging from insightful DM advice to thrilling live-play. The downside of this is the sheer number of new podcasts coming can be a little overwhelming. It can be hard to decide which ones are worth listening to and impossible to find the time to listen to all of them. Well worry not, it's EN World to the rescue! It this series of articles we'll be highlighting some of the best and newest RPG podcasts to fill your ears with during the grey time between games.

    I was looking for some podcasts to add to my weekly dogwalking routine, mainly general RPG ones (as opposed to those which talk about a single game) to expand my horizons a little. I asked about on social media and other places and got these suggestions. I figured I'd share the list for those also looking for some general RPG podcasts to try out. And yes, there's only 11, not a dozen.

    In this second part of our coverage of The Index Card RPG (ICRPG), we talk to its creator Hankerin Ferinale, creator of Drunkens & Dragons on YouTube, author, and owner of Runehammer Games. Ferinale was interviewed while at Gen Con, and talked about how he went from working a full time job to being a full-time creator and writer and his future plans. You can find the first part of this coverage here.

    I was reading about the level cap increasing from 60 to 70 in an online game, with many new possibilities/abilities. "How do people keep track of so many abilities at such high levels?" I thought. Then I realized yet another reason why I prefer simple games: "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Another version, about Japanese gardening, is "Your garden is not complete until there is nothing else that you can remove."

    Last column I covered food in a macro scale and how it could influence a setting. In this column I am going to discuss the logistics of food for the purposes of worldbuilding. Contemporarily, farms and ranches produce most of our food. Seafood, of course, is harvested from the oceans via fishing ships, but aquaculture is used in the production of sea vegetables, shrimp and some species of fish.

    It seems like a simple question, but the way you answer it may, in effect, determine the metaphysics of your game. Many RPGs use some sort of "experience point" system to model growth and learning. The progenitor of this idea is, of course, Dungeons & Dragons; the Experience Point (XP) system has been a core feature of the game from the beginning.

    This column is running late because I am waiting out one myself, and because of that I have been spending the last couple of days thinking about how to use a coming storm as a part of the story of an ongoing gaming campaign. Either a literal or figurative approaching storm can bring some interesting drama to a campaign.

    If you're going to design games, or GM RPGs, it helps to understand a little bit about what makes games enjoyable. Game publishers often say in their guidelines for designers "game must be fun," but I've always found this to be useless because fun means different things to different people.

    So, the 31st August… the last day of our month long fun and thoughts with the annual #RPGaDAY. I’d like to thank everyone who contributed answers for our daily column and I hope you all enjoyed reading the thoughts of our staff and guests as well as contributing your own answers and ideas both in our comments sections and across social media and your own blogs. Looking forward to doing it all again in eleven months time! Until then... here’s Day 31 of #RPGaDAY 2017!

    Sustenance and the lack of it has driven wars, informed politics, caused revolutions. The humble potato is a great example of food’s potential to drive history and narrative. It was introduced to Europe after contact with the Americas, and then became the staple food of a third of Ireland’s population. A potato blight then caused the Great Famine which killed a million and triggered the mass emigration of Irish people to the US.

    It’s August and that means that the annual #RPGaDAY ‘question a day’ is here to celebrate “everything cool, memorable and amazing about our hobby.” This year we’ve decided to join in the fun and will be canvassing answers from the ENWorld crew, columnists and friends in the industry to bring you some of our answers. We hope you’ll join in, in the comments section, and share your thoughts with us too… So, without further ado, here’s Day 30 of #RPGaDAY 2017!

    Gaming has been growing again over the last few years. You can see it in the heightened sales for Wizards of the Coasts' latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons. You can see it in million dollar tabletop role-playing game Kickstarter projects like 7th Sea. You can see it in the increased attendance at events like Gen Con. The trouble is that outside of luck and hope, you still don't see a lot of coordinated effort on the part of RPG publishers or event organizers to elevated their profiles in the public, or within their share of the market. I'm not just talking about just marketing and publicity, although both of those are important to this overall conversation, but I am saying that those who consider themselves to be the tabletop role-playing game industry (as well as those hobbyists who want to jump to that next level) need to be a lot more media savvy than they currently are.

    It’s August and that means that the annual #RPGaDAY ‘question a day’ is here to celebrate “everything cool, memorable and amazing about our hobby.” This year we’ve decided to join in the fun and will be canvassing answers from the ENWorld crew, columnists and friends in the industry to bring you some of our answers. We hope you’ll join in, in the comments section, and share your thoughts with us too… So, without further ado, here’s Day 29 of #RPGaDAY 2017!

    Modiphius Entertainment has been none-too-bashful about converting some of the entertainment industries most iconic intellectual properties (IPs), for the love of RPGs. From H.P. Lovecraft's mythos crafted into multiple ENnie award winner -Achtung! Cthulhu (2013), and Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, to CONAN - Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of (Kickstarter, currently mid fulfillment), the company is certainly on the up take.

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