View Profile: Christopher Helton - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:44 PM
    It is. The vast majority of the time Cthulhu will make the save but occasionally it won't--I'm not buck wild on inner belly fights and figure that at least once a minute somebody that's been swallowed should be able to get out and participate in the battle again.
    14 replies | 395 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 03:38 PM
    Welcome to Epic Monsters, a complementary series to the Mythological Figures column! These are high challenge rating statblocks built to bring a grin to the faces of GMs and strike terror into the hearts of even the most experienced adventurers. Read on only if you have the mettle for it! What better way to kick off the series than with the greatest of the Great Old Ones: Cthulhu! Cthulhu...
    14 replies | 1549 view(s)
  • satbunny's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 07:44 PM
    Alternity?
    20 replies | 641 view(s)
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  • satbunny's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:49 PM
    Savage World's has simple easy to run rules for "Allies" and associated combats. Many SW games I have read or run seem to have naturally included bands of same. It suggests that the decline of henchmen in more complex RPGs is a consequence of book keeping for player *and* GM.
    63 replies | 1226 view(s)
    1 XP
  • satbunny's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:46 PM
    He failed to deliver a big RPG project he had promised. IMHO various things broke him at the same time as this very big project. This happens. People are people. Kickstarter is not a store.
    63 replies | 1226 view(s)
    2 XP
  • satbunny's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:40 PM
    Read the developer notes. The default may have Witchers but they are rare. I suggest it's going to be a test of your player's maturity, can they cope with assymetric character mixes. Assymetric challenges will help. I have played such games before such as Stormbringer or Ars Magica and it's fine, but I know some don't like that.
    25 replies | 529 view(s)
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  • satbunny's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 10:38 AM
    It's a grimdark setting as much inspired by 20th century Eastern European politics and war as fantasy. But it could also be as simple as "go kill that monster of the week".. although usually the books suggest it's more subtle and nuanced than that; even monster killing can be an eye opener.
    25 replies | 529 view(s)
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  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:14 PM
    Forgot to respond to this when I first got pinged (sorry!) but aye he's got it right.
    14 replies | 364 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 02:25 PM
    Welcome aboard our latest Journey To... a distant culture in Earth's past to examine how we might incorporate that culture into a broader gaming experience. Today we journey to the Hopi, a sovereign nation in the southwest United States. Today, the Hopi live on the Hopi Reservation lands in northern Arizona, though once, their lands stretched throughout the area known today as the Four Corners....
    5 replies | 1270 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 04:26 PM
    Many RPGs promise to let us do exactly what we want, but few of them achieve this goal quite as well as Open Legend. With a bit of effort this setting-free system can allow you to build everything from a band of medieval knights to off-brand X-Men, though this comes at the cost of a little more complexity than you'd expect from the average d20-based game. The core mechanic of the game is...
    6 replies | 2102 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 10:16 PM
    The Dragon Issue 5 was published in March 1977. It is 32 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this issue they start their move to be more than just a "house organ" for TSR games. Editor Tim Kask has some welcome news for readers. The Dragon has been so successful that they are expanding from six to eight issues per year! There is a downside, though, as the expansion was made...
    17 replies | 1719 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 09:12 PM
    A few weeks ago, a ponderous volume was plopped onto my doorstep by a no doubt arcane delivery service. It was Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for the Pathfinder role-playing game. I've had a couple of weeks to go through the book now, and I think that I have my thoughts on it gathered up. Outside of Lovecraft himself, I don't think that few single people have had as great of an impact upon the...
    9 replies | 1645 view(s)
  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 06:17 PM
    I got to ask award-winning lead game designer Ross Watson over at Ulisses North America about Wrath & Glory, the new Warhammer 40,000 RPG releasing next month at GenCon 2018! Ross is a veteran when it comes to the grimdark future, leading the teams on Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch, and working on several different iterations of play in the Imperium for card games, miniature games, and...
    9 replies | 2091 view(s)
  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 06:06 PM
    I got to ask award-winning lead game designer Ross Watson over at Ulisses North America about Wrath & Glory, the new Warhammer 40,000 RPG releasing next month at GenCon 2018! Ross is a veteran when it comes to the grimdark future, leading the teams on Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch, and working on several different iterations of play in the Imperium for card games, miniature games, and...
    9 replies | 154 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 10:05 AM
    Today’s entry in Mythological Figures is one of Greece’s most beloved heroes, known far and wide for slaying Medusa and having the coolest gear: Perseus! He is not however the tamer of Pegasus—read onward to find out more about the invisible-capped decapitating founder of Mycenea. Not unsurprisingly, Perseus is one of Zeus’ offspring. His mother is Danaë, a woman prophecied to beget the...
    11 replies | 751 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 02:40 AM
    It's not every day that you find a Pathfinder supplement written with both players and GMs in mind. Lore of the Gods, a divinity-focused supplement from Dragon Wing Games, strikes that balance admirably, but the flavor bursting from the seams is marred somewhat by the inconsistency of style and substance throughout the book. First and foremost, credit where credit is due. What little I do...
    0 replies | 1098 view(s)
  • satbunny's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th July, 2018, 11:09 AM
    Witchers are not liked, but they are *needed* The School is in decline, indeed the setting is in turmoil in a "D&D meets the Eastern Front" with as much emphasis on pogroms, partisans and cynical political betrayal as mass armies waging total war. But the conceit of monster of the week still works just fine if you want to let the background fade away. Fuzion had a brief time in the sun but...
    25 replies | 529 view(s)
    1 XP
  • satbunny's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th July, 2018, 09:03 AM
    satbunny replied to 6e? Why?
    The skill will be to have a refresh that is attractive enough to old players to buy but didn't break compatibility. Unless you need/want a new design philosophy then this isn't too hard. A Golden Anniversary version, with a remix of classes/races/backgrounds, would make a PHB that would be fun and different enough but not break the compatibility (much.. a little reinterpretation or...
    144 replies | 7363 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th July, 2018, 10:07 PM
    John Wick Presents' 7th Sea 2e offers a marketplace to sell original, crowd-sourced products called the Explorer's Society. Each month, I review some of the best pieces just as EN World does for the DMs Guild (D&D) as well as Storyteller's Vault (World of Darkness). Let’s explore Thomas G. Harrison’s Bloody Misadventures: Dramatic Battles on the High Seas, a 27-page manual detailing...
    0 replies | 1048 view(s)
  • satbunny's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th July, 2018, 08:26 PM
    satbunny replied to 6e? Why?
    Nope
    144 replies | 7363 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Friday, 6th July, 2018, 11:22 PM
    Last weekend, I spent some time hanging out with a friend from my D&D group. We had other things on the agenda, but we also realized that it was a perfect opportunity to have an in-character conversation we had been trying to have in-game for nearly two months. Our sessions have been eventful, and there wasn’t a good time to pause for it. We thought it might be a longish discussion, and wouldn't...
    17 replies | 2280 view(s)
  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 08:04 AM
    Welcome to Epic Monsters, a complementary series to the Mythological Figures column! These are high challenge rating statblocks built to bring a grin to the faces of GMs and strike terror into the hearts of even the most experienced adventurers. Read on only if you have the mettle for it! What better way to kick off the series than with the greatest of the Great Old Ones: Cthulhu! Cthulhu...
    14 replies | 395 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 02:08 PM
    Back in 1977, a couple of weekend after it opened, my mother took my younger brother and I to a movie that changed things for a lot of people. That movie was, of course, Star Wars. A short ten years later, all three of the original Star Wars movies had come out and everyone thought that there wouldn't be any more movies coming out. That was when West End Games entered with their Star Wars: The...
    19 replies | 2601 view(s)
  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 10:06 AM
    Today’s entry in Mythological Figures is the beleaguered slayer of windmills, the man of La Mancha, the greatest knight errant (errant knight?) of Spain: Don Quixote! The deluded protagonist of The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha is the first of his kind and an archetypal knight—just not the sort most warriors aspire to be. Actually named Alonso Quixano and a middle-aged...
    14 replies | 1039 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 10:54 PM
    Good evening! Or good morning, or good afternoon, depending on when you read this - you know what, that's not important. WELCOME BACK TO THE PAIZO NEWS ROUNDUP! Pathfinder 2E is AL. MOST. HERE. and I canNOT handle it, this is gonna be redonk you guys. Enough time wasting, let's talk about Pocket Editions and – hold on, I'm getting some chatter from pedants here, apparently, it's called the...
    1 replies | 1742 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 05:59 PM
    Are you looking for an old school adventure for your traditional fantasy games? Check out Operation Unfathomable, a dungeon delve for games like Swords & Wizardry that explores weird fantasy worlds. What will this adventure bring to your gaming table? Let's look and see. Operation Unfathomable is an OSR adventure by the Hydra Cooperative funded originally by Kickstarter. The PDF is 108...
    5 replies | 1716 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 05:02 PM
    Do your D&D games ever contain romantic elements? I’m not talking about stereotypical antics involving trying to hook up with NPC barmaids or seduce a guard as a distraction. Realistic relationships are unlikely to develop that much in a one-shot, or in a style of play which de-emphasizes role play in favor of action. But in longer-running games with ample time for RP, I’m curious how often it...
    45 replies | 2783 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 03:24 PM
    The Dragon Issue #3 was published in October 1976, with a cover price of $1.50. The issue contained the usual mix of fiction (a bit too heavy on the fiction for some readers) and gaming material. One of the more controversial articles of the early years of The Dragon appeared in this issue. In the editorial, Tim Kask gives an impassioned defense of his decision to include so much fiction...
    38 replies | 2605 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th June, 2018, 09:28 PM
    The Fall of Delta Green is a mixed bag of a role-playing game. A well-developed incarnation of the Gumshoe system is married to a setting that really fails to utilize a time period full of drama and story potential as well as it could have. Is the Fall of the title just address the fiction of the Delta Green setting, or does it speak to changing times, or changing tastes, negatively impacting a...
    14 replies | 1712 view(s)
  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th June, 2018, 09:55 AM
    Here I was thinking King Arthur was going to be hard! For every bit of popularity the lord of Camelot has in the west, the Handsome Monkey King/Great Sage, Equal of Heaven/Victorious Fighting Buddha matches him in the east. You may know him through Goku but to most of the world he’s Sun Wukong! This week in Mythological Figures we’re tackling the untackleable—the star sidekick of Journey...
    6 replies | 1081 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Monday, 25th June, 2018, 09:03 PM
    Legacy: Life Among the Ruins is a Powered by the Apocalypse game that draws on the post-apocalyptic origin of this stream of design while introducing a wildly different tone from Apocalypse World. Where the original Apocalypse World is about the hardcore, survival-of-the-fittest-style endurance, Legacy instead tackles the decades-long, even centuries-long, process of rebuilding. Where Apocalypse...
    6 replies | 1871 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 04:32 PM
    Mike Carr played the first cleric in the history of fantasy tabletop role playing games. Like, the very first. Ever. In the decades since, the character class has earned a spot at the core of the hobby, so when Carr casually mentioned in an email that he played the first one in a now-legendary campaign, it seemed like a follow-up question was necessary. But for Carr, it's just another interesting...
    15 replies | 3929 view(s)
  • Christopher Helton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd June, 2018, 07:34 PM
    I run a weekly D&D game for children ages 8-14 at my shop. When I took over our Young Heroes League program last fall, I had very little experience as a DM. I started running an Adventurer’s League table for adult players a few months later, which is easy by comparison. There isn’t much the grownups can throw at me that I haven’t already dealt with on some level while wrangling the kids. ...
    15 replies | 2614 view(s)
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About Christopher Helton

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Date of Birth
January 29
About Christopher Helton
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Writer of Words, Reviewer of Things
About Me:
I've been a gamer since 1979, when I was first introduced to D&D. I like Science Fiction, Pulp and Super-Hero RPGs. I've blogged at the Dorkland! blog since 2003 (http://dorkland.blogspot.com) and written for the Bleeding Cool website. Now I write right here.
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Friday, 6th July, 2018


Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018


Wednesday, 27th June, 2018


Saturday, 12th May, 2018

  • 03:47 PM - Morrus mentioned Christopher Helton in post Morrus currently absent
    I will be out of commission for a bit. Please be patient, as I will be unable to deal with anything for a while. No ETA on my return, but I hope it isn’t too long. I won’t be able to respond to messages or emails for now. If you have anything which needs dealing with, Umbran and Dannyalcatraz are about for forum moderation stuff, darjr for tech stuff, AngusA for publishing stuff, Christopher Helton for articles stuff. For news scoops, please use the ENW news address: news@enworldnews to be sure the columnists will see it! Thanks guys.

Wednesday, 5th April, 2017


Saturday, 9th April, 2016

  • 05:41 PM - Neonchameleon mentioned Christopher Helton in post We're All Gamers Together: Why Harassment Has To Stop
    ...nce then you've redefined the word. This article labels "white male" gamers as "terrorists" without any substantiation whatsoever. No volume of data has been collected or presented to support the proposition. Apparently you didn't read the OP - which wasn't the original article. And did collect data. The only thing that has changed is the complete wussification of America to such a degree that the knee jerk reaction to accusation is to accept it at face value without proper validation. Your reading comprehension again fails. The OP of this thread did set out to validate whether it was just this person's experiences. And found that no it wasn't. As for wussification, the biggest wusses around would appear to be those who are throwing distractions to avoid dealing with the real issues raised by the terrorism article and validated by the start of this thread. "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data." - Arthur Conan Doyle Which, if you'd read this thread was why Christopher Helton started talking to people. And why I've talked to people. There's plenty of data. Christopher collected a lot. I've provided some. Plenty of others have also done the same. You just want to ignore the data that exists.

Friday, 29th January, 2016

  • 07:00 PM - Tequila Sunrise mentioned Christopher Helton in post Why OD&D Is Still Relevant
    Thanks for the article and the link, Christopher Helton! I'm unlikely to ever play OD&D, but game history is a point of personal curiosity. Having cut my teeth on 2e, I do indeed tend to lose focus in discussions about earlier editions due to having no access to them. I can't even describe how pre-WotC editions differ from one another, despite reading many second-hand descriptions like yours, due to having only read and played one of them.

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Sunday, 17th June, 2018

  • 10:56 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Christopher Helton in post Ways to Reward Your D&D Players
    Ways to Reward Your D&D Players post was generated by a news article which your device or browser is not displaying directly. You can view the article directly here. One way to reward your D&D players would be to run something else for them, now & then...

Thursday, 14th June, 2018


Wednesday, 13th June, 2018

  • 04:27 AM - Yaztromo quoted Christopher Helton in post In Search of the World of Greyhawk
    I've never actually seen anything that would link this adventure to the Known World. [...] I've never seen any evidence that would point out a connection. Happy to help! :) 98393 Please chech out the map: it is an official map published by TSR as part of the Blue Box, i.e. canon. Have a close look at the Grand Duchy of Karameikos: you will find a spot marked "B1" that is the canon place where this adventure is placed, together with other adventures of B and X series, a bit all over the map We can discuss things a lot, but this is where TSR canon places this adventure: Mystara. I don't know if there are similar canon sources placing it in other settings. Maybe there are, but I'm not aware of them. Personally, I played it in several worlds and it can be played in several worlds, but that's where the Blue Box placed it.
  • 02:02 AM - philreed quoted Christopher Helton in post Talking With Steve Jackson About The Fantasy Trip
    Steve Jackson does love a good pun. That twisted sense of humor found in Munchkin games existed in the company _long_ before Munchkin was published.

Thursday, 7th June, 2018

  • 06:29 AM - Doctor Futurity quoted Christopher Helton in post Building A Deeper Horror World
    You say this like it is a bad thing. Nope! Well maybe I wrote it more melodramatically this morning when I posted but it's not a bad thing...just different. But to give you an idea, I'm nowhere near exausted on the horror genre, and while the idea of a shift in approach is interesting in its own merits, it doesn't (once done) feel like the same genre to me. I may love my Lovecraft but I've never been a fan of Supernatural or Buffy. OTOH I love me some X-Files, and that definitely provides some structure to a genre that manages to blend the two. It's all in the execution, really. I think I'd be fine with any approach which still retained the structural and emotional resonance of horror even if it did structure it within a sort of group-based existentialist collaboration (don't games like Delta Green and Chill's SAVE organization sort of do this already? I would posit they succeed in a relevant framework without sacrificing the core conceits of the genre.) EDIT: I can provide another example of ho...

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018

  • 09:36 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Christopher Helton in post Getting A Vision For Creating Your Character
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news! Apocalypse Culture was massively influential for me as well. That book was a doorway and a window to all sorts of strangeness. That is a shame, I didn't know any of that. Parfey's Apocalypse Culture books have had a huge impact upon my game worlds since the 90s.
  • 09:11 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Christopher Helton in post Getting A Vision For Creating Your Character
    Alas, Mel Gordon died two months ago (and Adam Parfrey, the head of publisher Feral House, just died a week ago or so). I’d like to suggest another one of Gordon’s books, “Erik Jan Hanussen: Hitler's Jewish Clairvoyant,” which could also be a great inspiration for CoC material, and probably somewhat more Morrus-friendly. Anyway, I agree that vision boards can be useful. I’ve used Pinterest for such, and have gotten a fair bit of mileage from some of the images and art. At the same time that I was starting all of this an artist friend on social media picked up a book on Weimar-era Germany by author and filmmaker Mel Gordon and was sharing some photos of the book. When I looked up that book, I found another book about a personality from the time and I decided to order them both. Warning before clicking those links, neither of these books are all that safe for work. The nice thing about Voluptuous Panic is that it is mostly a book of photos and illustrations, so it became the center of my vision...

Saturday, 12th May, 2018

  • 06:13 AM - dragoner quoted Christopher Helton in post Fantasy Grounds Adds Mongoose Traveller (1E) Support
    SmiteWorks announces that Fantasy Grounds will support the first edition of the Traveller role-playing game, published by Mongoose Publishing. Wow, this is interesting. I have been running a Mongoose 1e game online for 4 years in a forum I have made for it: http://dragonersdomain.com/forum/ and I was a player in a virtual tabletop game for a couple of years before that. I don't mean to be controversial, so if anybody has a reasonable explanation, I'd be happy to hear it. But it seems to me Traveller is one of the most re-released games in the history of RPGs. And yet I never see any re-release prompting a new release of modules. Traveller modules seem both scarce and old. Is there a problem with the license? Is there a trove of new modules available on a pdf store online? The game has been around far longer than there are modules to support it, it seems to me. If I'm wrong, please point me to where the modules are. You are right, there are a ton of iterations of Traveller, Mongoose 1e is in ma...

Thursday, 3rd May, 2018

  • 08:23 PM - DM Magic quoted Christopher Helton in post Hidden
  • 07:34 PM - Dualazi quoted Christopher Helton in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    This does open up the question of: At what point do conventions become responsible for the actions of their guest, when they are not more closely scrutinizing the backgrounds of those guests? One woman, who is a convention organizer, with whom I spoke for the background of this story told me that word gets around, in the world of comic conventions, when guests and creators cause problems. Apparently this is not yet the case in the world of tabletop role-playing game conventions, because there are a growing number of publishers and designers who have been outed for various types of harassing behavior, but are still being invited to be guest, and in some cases even guests of honor, at gaming conventions around the country. The message that this sends to women who game is pretty clear. Yeah, thankfully the message is "witch hunts shouldn't destroy people's careers" it seems, which is a pretty good one on the whole. Convention organizers are under no impetus, nor should they be, to conduct background chec...

Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018

  • 04:33 AM - Sunseeker quoted Christopher Helton in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    People seem to be taking a lot of issue with the article, which I find strange, because I found the article fairly neutral in tone, maybe I missed that. The specter of sexual harassment has once again risen up in tabletop gaming circles. Conventions are supposed to be places where gamers and geeks can be themselves and embrace their loves. Conventions need clear and well formulated harassment policies, and they need to enforce them. In this instance the allegations from multiple women have taken place at gaming conventions and gathering in different locations around the country. In one case, the harassment was took place over the course of years and spilled over into electronic formats. This is fairly boiler-plate article introduction, no names are named, and it sets the stage for what is about to be talked about. The alleged harasser in these cases was Sean Patrick Fannon, President of Evil Beagle Games, Brand Manager for Savage Rifts at Pinnacle Entertainment Group, as well as being a game designer...

Friday, 27th April, 2018

  • 04:23 PM - Dragonmoose quoted Christopher Helton in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    Just as a note: I don't actually say anything about non-violence at any point in my article. I apologize for putting words in your article. I must have been leaning more to the pages of responses that lead to the way of non-violence. So I kinda lost the way there I guess.

Wednesday, 25th April, 2018

  • 06:47 PM - Pauper quoted Christopher Helton in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    Hopefully, like Baron Munchaussen and Puppetland, we'll get to see an expanded version of Powerkill that addresses contemporary culture as well. I think it is overdue. I'll agree -- I'd definitely be curious to see how Tynes reacts to the changes in the hobby over the past two decades since his original Power Kill essay. Game design has in many ways evolved beyond the simpler 'kill and get XP' systems of gaming's past; as noted by other posters in this thread, a number of current RPGs reward 'defeating' rather than killing foes, which leaves open a variety of different scenarios whereby the enemy doesn't have to be killed to be worth XP. (Even in my own D&D games, I found the degree of 'chasing down and murdering every last monster in the combat' dropped significantly once I made it plain that the PCs would still get full XP for surrendering/fleeing opponents. Though one enterprising munchkin considered releasing a surrendered opponent, then immediately engaging him again to force another surrender...
  • 02:47 AM - HasturtheUnnameable quoted Christopher Helton in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    I define a lot of games as being heroic that others might not. I think that the underlying struggle of Call of Cthulhu and games like Trail of Cthulhu are inherently heroic. In this style of Lovecraftian gaming, the characters are engaged in a struggle that they will likely not survive, not because they want to be a part of that struggle, but because they feel that they must. I think that is the core of heroic characters: they are motivated to take action, regardless of their personal safety, because they know that the action has to be taken. I know that this is an untraditional interpretation of Lovecraftian games, but it is an interpretation that makes the games easier on those who aren't as much of a fan of horror, or horror gaming. I'm pretty sure that's just how a lot of people see Call of Cthulhu games. In fact, my favorite fantasy RPG, Agone, has a very similar premise for heroism. It also adds in the fact that open and direct conflict with the entity they are struggling against, and his min...

Tuesday, 24th April, 2018

  • 06:10 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Christopher Helton in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    We have a problem with being heroic in a number of role-playing games, but most particularly in fantasy games where the ideas of advancement and betterment for characters are built around the concept of killing. It's almost trivially easy to make combat about defeating an enemy rather than killing him, even in systems like D&D (in the classic game, and even, IIRC, 3.5, it was intentionally made harder to subdue than to kill, but in 4e, you could declare that you defeated rather than killed an enemy when you dropped it to 0 hps, and 5e kept the option of declaring an enemy dropped to 0 by a melee attack unconscious instead of dead). So you can go all BS&P* on your RPG with minimal effort. This is what causes the problem with being heroic, because in my mind being a hero and killing are at cross purposes with each other. I get that there are a number of different ways to define heroes, but for me that definition has been informed by my years of comic book reading.[/ The fantasy genre is full of kil...

Tuesday, 20th March, 2018

  • 09:06 PM - Von Ether quoted Christopher Helton in post What's In The Cards? Looking At Some Card-Based Tools For Your Game
    I don't like card-based resolution systems, and particularly hated what it did to Marvel Super-Heroes. In replacing FASERIP, it was a crime. But as a stand alone supers RPG, it wasn't too bad. And I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about card based resolution since I've been waiting for someone to crack the code on making a completely card based RPG with long term play that was strong seller to boot (carrying a whole game in your pocket or purse sounds cool.) Then again, maybe the key to unlock that puzzle would be something that changes your mind and I'd dislike?
  • 08:53 PM - Samurai quoted Christopher Helton in post What's In The Cards? Looking At Some Card-Based Tools For Your Game
    I don't like card-based resolution systems, and particularly hated what it did to Marvel Super-Heroes. As I am currently writing a game using standard playing card-based resolution, I'd be interested to know why you don't like it. Is it simply a love of rolling dice, or something more? Is there something that a card-based game could do to get you to like it? One of the features IMO is the ability to have a small hand of cards (3-5 per player) that they can then use to alter their chances in certain situations by substituting it for a drawn card, redrawing cards, or a bonus. Another feature is the ability to use suits, colors, and face cards vs number cards to add additional options and depth to a result that a simple die roll can't do.

Friday, 9th March, 2018


Monday, 19th February, 2018

  • 10:42 PM - Jester David quoted Christopher Helton in post Critical Role columnist needed for EN World
    Welcome to the fun world of deadlines. :) I imagine the ideal candidate would be a Hawaiian, who is able to watch the show from 5-9pm and then has a couple hours to leisurely and eloquently finish their write-up before bed. ;) I am tempted to apply. However, as a MSTer who already stays up 60-90 minutes past my usual bedtime to finish the show, I imagine the final few paragraphs will most resemble something composed by a face rolling back and forth over a keyboard.

Wednesday, 14th February, 2018

  • 05:23 AM - Shasarak quoted Christopher Helton in post A Change Is Coming...
    I think that conflating page count with influence is, at best, disingenuous. Looking at something like the Fantasy Grounds usage figures, 7th Sea doesn't even make the top 20 for the site. Yes, 7th Sea made a lot of money, and generated a lot of content, but what has it done lately? Even the creator program at OneBookShelf is spare compared to the other programs. What has 7th Sea done lately? 7th Sea: Khitai.


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