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My Life with the Open Gaming License
In 1978 at age 12, I bought my second roleplaying game, Metamorphosis Alpha (MA) by Jim Ward. That’s the day I became a fan of the Open Gaming License and the d20 logo. Or at least I would have been a fan if someone had gone back in time and told me about them. The rules in MA described a different reality from those of Dungeons & Dragons, and I was disappointed. I already knew how many Hit Dice wolves, humans, and other creatures had; how combat worked; how experience and levels worked; and more. MA ignored all that and presented a different system. If it had been an improved version, I would have been OK with it, but it was just a different way of doing things, and it didn’t even have an experience system. I felt as though TSR had betrayed my trust. Even so, we played a lot of MA, at least until Gamma World released and we bought that game. It came in a box and a had a map of a war-devastated North America, so we were sold. In 1979, I switched largely to RuneQuest from Chaosium. It had a single dice-rolling mechanic that it used for everything: magic, skills, and combat. The system was designed from the ground up to be rational. Within a few years, the publisher used variants of the same system for their other roleplaying games, notably Call of Cthulhu. It made sense to me that if a publisher’s RPG rules were good then they’d want to use those rules for all their RPGs. Meanwhile, GURPS from Steve Jackson Games showed how much mileage a publisher can get out of a single RPG system. After I started doing professional game designer, Mark Rein•Hagen and I dreamed up simple, universal dice-pool system that we thought could apply to any setting. He ended up developing some of those ideas into the core mechanic for Vampire: The Masquerade, which then served several other RPGs. I derived a different dice-pool system and used mine for Over the Edge (Atlas Games, 1992). My interest in universal systems rose again in 1997, when Wizards of the Coast purchased...
A Chat With 'Solasta' 5E Video Game Developers
About six weeks ago, I mentioned an upcoming 5E-powered video game called Solasta: Crown of the Magister. Developers Tactical Adventures have been in touch, so I asked them a few quick questions about the upcoming game, wich will be coming to Kickstarter soon. What can you tell us about the world in which this game takes place? We will be giving more information on the world fairly soon (we plan to introduce our lore during our Kickstarter). We cannot reveal too much, as we want discovering the world of Solasta to be part of the final experience. That being said, Solasta is a High Fantasy universe where players will find most of their favorite playable races, with one notable caveat: they may behave / interact differently than you think, as an ancient cataclysm forged Solasta to its current state. You might also be interested to know that one of writer is Graeme Davis, one of the original author of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay back in 1986 - and that he won the Best Writing ENnies at Gen Con this year! You mention some character types such as a Darkweaver Rogue and a Mountaineer Fighter. Which 5E classes and races can we expect to see in the game? We would like to include the races and classes found in the System Reference Document of the OGL – though we may not be able to include all of them for our first game. Note however that the SRD only details one subrace per race and one archetype per class, so we will be adding more of those according to our own lore - hence the Darkweaver & Mountaineer. currently we have 4 races / Classes available on our Website: Human / Dwarf / Elf / Halfling, and Fighter / Cleric / Wizard / Rogue. More will be added through Kickstarter. How much of the 5E ruleset made it into the game, and how much did you need to change for the new medium? I actually wrote an article about that particular topic. Long story short I would say that we want to include as much as possible of the ruleset. Some successful games included 70%-80%...
Ed Greenwood: How The Realms Began
Begin at the beginning, saith the maxim. So here we go… Yes, I’m the guy who created The Forgotten Realms. Back in the spring of 1965. You read that right: 1965, about a decade before D&D, which came along in 1974, and wasn’t seen by most of the world (all the places that weren’t colleges in or near Wisconsin) until 1975. I was five years old. A few months away from being six. I was one of those kids they called “child prodigies,” and devoured all the books in my parents’ den. Like many book collectors, my Dad built his own bookshelves so he could cram the maximum amount of books onto them and out of the maze of boxes that filled the basement, so books ended up sorted by size, which meant an inquisitive young reader could stumble across anything. And I did. Everything from wartime National Geographics to “give one to a friend in uniform” wartime paperback murder mysteries and lurid pulps to fantasy and science fiction. Lots and lots of fantasy and science fiction. Note from Morrus -- I'm super happy to announce Ed Greenwood's new column here on EN World! Upcoming articles include Mirt Strides Out Of My Mind, and Making A Setting Come To Life! Please let us know in the comments about topics you'd like to hear, and don't forget to check out Jonathan Tweet's new column and, of course, Jim Ward's excellent column which delves into TSR's history! Many was the occasion upon which I’d go racing up the stairs waving a discovery I’d fallen in love with but just finished, calling, “Dad! Dad, where’s the next one? There IS a sequel, isn’t there?” And my father, who knew books and writers and the world of magazines like few mortals I’ve ever met (and I’ve worked for forty-five years in public libraries), would either direct me to where it could be found, or far more often would say something along the lines of, “Son, that writer died in 1938, and never wrote a sequel to that one, so far as I know, so if you want to read one, you’ll have to write it.” And I’d...
Oracle of War is the New Eberron Adventurer's League Season
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D&D Adventurers League has announced that its upcoming Eberron season is based on Eberron: Rising of the Last War.
EN5ider #287 - Mini-Adventure: Angel's Bacchanalia
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Today EN5ider delves deep into the woods to crash an epic party in another fantastic mini-adventure penned by Andrew Engelbrite!
Epic Monsters: Hodag (5E)
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This week’s Epic Monsters entry comes to us from the heartland of Dungeons & Dragons, hailing specifically from Rhinelander in Wisconsin—I could only be referring to the legendary Hodag!
Con Report: TerrifiCon
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I’ve been to TerrifiCon a few times, but this visit was a chance to get my Star Was Role-Playing Game signed by Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), which would add to the other signatures of the Star Wars principal actors from the film franchise. So with family in tow, we made the trek to Mohegan Sun.
Staff Changes At EN Publishing
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There have been a couple of staff changes at EN Publishing recently! We're growing, and we have a new Publishing Administrator and a new 2000 AD Line Manager!
Eberron: Rising from the Last War Coming For D&D In November
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A new D&D camapign setting has appeared on Amazon -- Eberron: Rising from the Last War. It's slated for November 19th, at $49.99.
The Origins of Mirt the Moneylender
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It’s the spring of 1965, and in an unassuming house in a back corner of the ritzy North York neighborhood of Don Mills, a tall, thin, shy geek of a boy is sitting in the dimly-lit den of the family home, scribbling tiny words in pencil all over a piece of paper.
Podcast Special Episode: Swords of the Serpentine Actual Play with Kevin Kulp
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In this special episode, Kevin Kulp returns to run a demo game of Swords of the Serpentine with Morrus and Peter as players.
Paizo Previews Lost Omens Character Guide
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The Age of Lost Omens is the new name for Pathfinder's default setting of the world of Golarion. One of the upcoming Pathfinder 2E releases is the Lost Omens Character Guide, which contains three new ancestries (races) plus new heritages, ancestry feats, and archetypes.
My Life with the Open Gaming License
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In 1978 at age 12, I bought my second roleplaying game, Metamorphosis Alpha (MA) by Jim Ward. That’s the day I became a fan of the Open Gaming License and the d20 logo. Or at least I would have been a fan if someone had gone back in time and told me about them.
PF2 TRAILseeker: New Skill Uses!
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It's a new edition for Pathfinder—and our second article in this new run of TRAILseeker, the weekly e-zine where we publish Pathfinder-compatible material thanks to the support of our lovely Patreons!
I Wrote a Book: World-Building for RPGs and Novels
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This is the last article in a series of posts about taking the plunge into self-publishing on multiple platforms with different media, including books and comics, but it can equally apply to tabletop role-playing games. I published three books in 2010 (The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games), 2011 (The Well of Stars), and 2012 (Awfully Familiar) and produced a mobile comic (Legends) in 2008. In this article, I wrap up the Furmiliar series with the final book in the trilogy, Unfurmiliar...
Unearthed Arcana: Barbarian and Monk
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Unearthed Arcana makes an unexpected return (the last one was back in May) with a three-page PDF containing two subclasses -- Path of the Wild Soul for the barbarian, and Way of the Astral Self for the monk.
A Chat With 'Solasta' 5E Video Game Developers
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About six weeks ago, I mentioned an upcoming 5E-powered video game called Solasta: Crown of the Magister. Developers Tactical Adventures have been in touch, so I asked them a few quick questions about the upcoming game, wich will be coming to Kickstarter soon.
News Digest for the Week of August 15
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Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! New D&D products, new Pathfinder products, Wil Wheaton sues Geek & Sundry, big license announcement from Green Ronin, Gen Con convention growth, and a lot, lot more!
New Numenera Kickstarter Delves Into Liminal Shores
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Monte Cook Games' latest Kickstarter contains three new hardcover Numenera books - Voices of the Datasphere (a 'metaphysical' space), Liminal Shore (a new continent on the Ninth World), and Edge of the Sun (secrets of why the sun hasn't swallowed the earth yet, a billion years from now).
Gen Con Behind the Stand
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Gen Con is amazing, and a place every gamer should try to get to see if they can at least once. A glorious and heaving mass of games and gaming all (only just) packed into Indianapolis. It has grown each year recently, now spreading beyond the vast convention hall into at least five other hotels and the huge Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Indianapolis Colts, so I'm told). It's an incredible con to visit, but a mammoth undertaking for the games companies that trade there every year.
Podcast #61: Stealing Rules
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This week, Morrus and Peter talk about stealing rules! No, not rules for thieves, but different rules systems perfect for your home game that you can steal from other roleplaying games. In the news, EN World gets an upgrade, Wil Wheaton suing Geek & Sundry, map of Avernus from Dungeons & Dragons Descent into Avernus, Jason Bulmahn makes a minimalist Pathfinder character sheet, and more! Plus another round of Which Would You Rather and a brand new sketch!
Frylock's Gaming & Geekery Challenges WotC's Copyright Claims
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Frylock, of Frylock's Gaming & Geekery, is a lawyer. He recently received an email from WotC requesting that he take down his one-stop stat blocks, a request with which he has chosen not to comply. He has put together the first of three blog posts outlining the legal situation.
RPG Crowdfunding News – World of Aetaltis, Epic Legacy Campaign Codex, Cities of Hârn, and more
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This week, I look at RPG Kickstarters that end between August 23rd and August 29th. There are more than eight RPG campaigns that complete during that period as well as seven RPG accessories, all worth checking out.


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