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  • Raddu's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 08:18 PM
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA., 10/1/18: Today Alligator Alley Entertainment announces the wide release of the Esper Genesis Core ManualTM, now available in hardcover and fully compatible with the 5E rules of the world’s most popular roleplaying game. Gamers can acquire the book from their friendly local gaming store, which can be ordered directly from Alliance Game Distributors and other major...
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  • Raddu's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 04:01 PM
    If you're interested in more Esper Genesis goodness check out the new Discord server: or ye olde Facebook Group:
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  • Von Ether's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 03:28 AM
    Yep, with a Mass Effect vibe. You could easily do something akin to Star Wars too. The starship rules are inspired, I think.
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The New Savage Worlds Is Storming Kickstarter Wednesday, 17th October, 2018 09:53 PM


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  • 12:28 PM - Connorsrpg mentioned Von Ether in post Why Aren't Designers Using The GUMSHOE System?
    Von Ether. Oh cheers, now worries. Misunderstanding now understood. ;) I certainly was not flaming either. I thought you meant 4E had easy creature stats and Cypher did not. I haven't seen an easier system, especially on the fly. But thanks for clarification. Yes, the 2 have taken some very different approaches.

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Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 12:55 AM - barasawa quoted Von Ether in post The New Savage Worlds Is Storming Kickstarter
    I know it's sacrilege but I wish SW had an option for HP. While I had no problem with Wild Card Wounds and Soak rolls, too many players couldn't seem to wrap their head around them. Worse yet, I think some of them were doing it on purpose because they thought SW "math" was wrong, i.e. too swingy for them. Otherwise, can't wait to get my hands on a copy. Savage Worlds grew out of the system used for the original Deadlands, which did use hit points. I agree that some people have trouble dealing with the shaken/wounds system, it's definitely a different way to deal with combat results. None of them are perfect, but HP allows you to whittle away at the opponent and eventually take them down even with small hits, S/W, not so much. If you want to fight godzilla, those rifles just will NOT do enough damage to even catch his attention. Another factor is if the opponents usual damage is high enough vs your character, you are on the fast train to coffinville. Sure you can spend bennies to TRY and...

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

  • 07:23 PM - Derren quoted Von Ether in post Mythological Figures: Queen Boudica (5E)
    I remember the scandal when WotC created Eberron rulers who weren't kings of combat (see what I did there.) The main complaint was "but what if my players what to just kill the royals?" It's a long standing tradition to D&D leaders of all types bigger bad asses because GMs are afraid that players can decide that a coup is as easy as just walking in and doing full murderhobo on a regent and take his stuff (kingdom.) This was long before video games, btw. So if it rolls that way for a king, how goes it for a general who may very well be the "end boss" of a fight? Yet why should you adhere to D&D murderhobo prevention when statting mythological (more or less) figures?

Tuesday, 4th September, 2018

  • 05:50 AM - pemerton quoted Von Ether in post Where Are All the Dungeon Masters?
    It has gotten to the point, where I need clarification of what type of story is unfolding.I mean a story in the literary sense - a series of fictional events which involve an initial situation, some rising action, and then a climax and resolution. A lot of RPGers, especially those whose experience is only of D&D or other games modelled on it, think that you can't get that unless the GM (i) writes it in advance, and (ii) uses various techniques (eg overt railroading; the "three clues" rule; "node-based" desgin; etc) to make sure the players play through it. This creates one perceived need for prep - creating the plot, and then writing up all its elements, working out the "hooks" and the "nodes" and the rest that will make it happen at the table. There are also mechanical aspects of D&D (and many similar games) - eg its reliance on maps for evaluating quite a bit of action declaration (not only in combat; most dungeon exploration play relies on maps also); the mechanical complexity of NPC...
  • 04:11 AM - pickin_grinnin quoted Von Ether in post Where Are All the Dungeon Masters?
    One of my complaints over the decades has been that we need people to be less attached to D&D as their only RPG to play. One of the reasons for DM burnout is because playing the same thing over and over again. If playgroups would be open to playing other RPGs, it would keep more GMs inspired. It's not the only way to get inspired, but can be after seeing how other games tackle different RP tasks. That is a big part of the reason why I don't end up GMing as much these days as I would like to. I burned out on D&D/Pathfinder style fantasy a while back. I don't mind running a campaign here and there, but I'm not interested in putting together or joining a group that ONLY does that. In past decades I didn't have trouble finding people who were open to trying new games, at least on occasion, but in the past 10 years or so it has grown increasingly difficult.

Wednesday, 29th August, 2018

Monday, 13th August, 2018

Sunday, 12th August, 2018

  • 07:08 AM - Egg Embry quoted Von Ether in post Introducing "Sengoku Punk" by Warsong 2E
    And I know just the thing for a Warsong GM to watch, Into the Badlands! That is spot on! :-)

Friday, 27th July, 2018

  • 06:19 PM - Abstruse quoted Von Ether in post News Digest: New D&D Books Leaked, Pathfinder Video Game Pre-Orders Open, Spiel des Jahres Winners, and more!
    But this is part of Hasbro's issue with D&D, which they saw as just part of the bundle to get to Magic, they haven't known what to do with it. Ideally, their holy grail has been how to make D&D evergreen, like a board game. No need for R&D or overhead, just print, stock and sell. While Hasbro suits thought the solution was 4e, I think the irony maybe lost on some that 5e's much slower production cycle (while the DMGuild keeps the hype going between the gaps) might be the answer. Hasbro's issue with Dungeons & Dragons is that the movie rights are tied up in litigation and conditional settlements. That's pretty much all Hasbro cares about the property. That and the fact that it's doing well on a percentage growth quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year which means it's great to brag about in shareholder's meetings. Otherwise, Hasbro doesn't give a damn about D&D because it makes no money. To give you an idea of the scale we're talking about, ICv2's best estimates of annual gross sales for D&D...
  • 07:08 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Von Ether in post Watch These 4 Trailers for Ravnica
    Seems to be the case or something close to it. I wouldn't be surprised if a D&D designer ran Dragonheist through their own Ravnica or Eberron game first and then adapted it to Waterdeep only to make the higher ups happy. I believe Dragonheist prominently features Jarlaxle though, who is very much FR.

Friday, 8th June, 2018

  • 09:40 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Von Ether in post Jon Peterson posts Mordenkainen in 1974
    Huh. In a weird way, that makes Savage Worlds use of NPC allies very old school. You are even guided to split the NPC per player, not PC in a fight so every one has something to do if a PC is down. As I recall, SW was very much rooted in war-games. By the bye, I played in a long-running 2E game where there were many henchmen and hirelings. The main PCs were higher level (around 10th - 12th) mostly wizards, but there was a rotating cast of somewhat lower, say 5th - 7th, level NPCs. They were often a lot of fun to play, too. Some were characters that wouldn't necessarily be suitable for an entire game but were fun to explore for a while. The other fun thing was that if your main PC was out for some reason the game continued. This worked because the number of players was small (2-3, with a DM). In retrospect this is what the old Lake Geneva crowd did but we didn't know that at the time.

Saturday, 2nd June, 2018

Sunday, 27th May, 2018

Thursday, 24th May, 2018

Saturday, 12th May, 2018

  • 05:35 AM - Xavian Starsider quoted Von Ether in post Mythological Figures: Aladdin (5E)
    Seeing as how every kid in the 70s and 80s "knew" that phrase "Open Sesame" was what Aladdin said to open his cave of 40 thieves. Quite a few of us probably knew that from other cartoons (Looney Toons), I'll agree to disagree that he was much less known Sinbad. On that note, I think they were pretty close tie back then. Since Open Sesame comes from Ali Baba, not Aladdin, you may have unwittingly helped prove my point.

Wednesday, 28th March, 2018

  • 07:48 PM - delericho quoted Von Ether in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    If you are world building for sake of world building, yes. And it's a classic trap many novice game designers and genre writers fall into, letting the world get away from them as they get lost in the weeds creating detail after detail. Many designers and authors do worlds in iteration, reigning things in and refocusing as they keep in mind that future mechanics or plot have an impact. It's one of the reasons I think that genre writer don't get the credit they deserve. They have to make a fun plot, engaging characters, great prose AND a new world. Yep. Agreed on all points.
  • 08:27 AM - delericho quoted Von Ether in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    We can agree to disagree. For me, "mechanics should flow from the setting" imply exactly that. Design the setting first, narrow down what you want players to experience in that setting and how you want to them to experience it and figure how your rules accomplish that goal. That would be a bad idea - as bad as focusing purely on the mechanics. Any fundamentalist position will lead to a bad experience: if you work purely from mechanics first you'll get something that will probably work but that will be no fun to actually use; if you work purely from setting first you'll get something that may look nice but is unfocused and useless. It's a thermostat, not a light-switch. What's more, it's a thermostat with a fairly wide range of acceptable answers. My experience has been that it should be set over towards the setting-first end of the scale, but not to the exclusion of the other. You absolutely need both. The air currents around said "bastions" were dangerous high up and you had to find a...
  • 05:05 AM - Christopher Helton quoted Von Ether in post Bring Wonder Back To The Magic Of Your Fantasy Games With Wonder & Wickedness
    Silent Legions, I'd be curious on your take of sandbox Lovecraft. I backed the KS, oh so many years ago now, but I've never had a group that was interested in playing it.

Tuesday, 27th March, 2018

  • 06:50 PM - delericho quoted Von Ether in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    If you embrace that philosophy, odds are though, you probably won't get a 1e running 2e AD&D spelljammer game. Why would you think that? There's nothing in Spelljammer that doesn't work with AD&D - which shouldn't be a surprise, given that it is an AD&D setting. "The mechanics should flow from the setting" shouldn't be taken to imply simply throwing everything out - cut your cloth according to your desires. an "All Planets Accord" that forbids dropping rocks on huts. D&D has a long and glorious history of ignoring inconvenient things that PCs might do - such as striding into the throne room and killing the king. And, indeed, it has a long history of ignoring the implications of flying fortresses - in addition to the aforementioned airships in Mystara and Eberron, Dragonlance has floating citadels and the Realms (and probably Greyhawk) has flying Storm Giant castles. Spelljammers in the atmosphere would just use the same systems as those game elements. :) Alternatively, if you want ...

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

  • 08:37 PM - aramis erak quoted Von Ether in post What's In The Cards? Looking At Some Card-Based Tools For Your Game
    But I'm surprised we didn't touch on the SAGA system from TSR. While both decks were used for resolution, both had essays on how to use the decks for inspiration. Both really play well when players are open to them; it's been hit-or-miss for me with players. The system makes excellent use of multiple features of the cards: Action success/failure side initiative damage resistance of PCs Yes/no answers Yes/no/maybe answers The inspirational use is documented, but not of great use for me due to not knowing all the iconics, in both games. Great fun to run. Love the "draw 12 and arrange them" character gen. Great way to do it. The trump suit mechanic tends to shape player actions, it's like having your next 5 dice rolls to pick from. One of my favorite uses custom cards was in Torg/Shatterzone/Masterbook. Unfortunately my player group at the time didn't like any of the settings and/or the rest of the mechanics. They don't replace the dice; they serve as a form of fate poin...

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