As I discussed in review last week of Kromore 2154 (Kickstarting Kromore 2154: Steampunk & Space Opera fuse into a Mind-Blowing RPG Setting), mash-ups are the name of the game these days – role-playing games in particular. I’ve been receiving a number of these genre-bending role-playing games over the past few months, and each has its own unique way of pulling tropes together into a cohesive gaming experience.
I’ll start today by talking about what I’m not going to talk about: Fitness. I was going to discuss fitness but then I had a better idea and figured I’d wait until next week and also it would give me a chance to issue this big call to action: If you’re not already doing regular exercise then you have a whole week to get started so you can talk about it next week when I discuss fitness. Also my editor is on a business trip so I can type as many run-on sentences as I want and nobody can do a thing about it. Nyah! So with the fitness discussion on hold until next week, today I want to talk about what motivates us in gaming and other areas of our life. Last night I ran my 13th Age game, and it went fantastic. The reason why it went great owed very little to my GMing and a whole lot to my players’ genius.
Bruce Cordell has worked for TSR - and then WotC - on Dungeons & Dragons for nearly 20 years. Now he's got a new project: he's a lead designer at Monte Cook Games, working with his childhood friend on the brand new =numenera"]NUMENERA RPG. Bruce spared some time to sit down with me and answer a few questions about his career, and about his new role on =numenera"]NUMENERA.
Okay, the title may be a bit misleading, although Adventure Time is a great inspiration for D&D. What I’m alluding to is the time of year when gaming gets “kicked up a notch.” What makes it so special? There are two things – the first is Halloween, and the second is fall television show premieres!
Most GMs, at some point in their illustrious careers, will have to design a village. What at first appears to be a ridiculously easy task will, on closer inspection, turn out to ‘be’ a ridiculously easy task. In case you’re designing your village at 2 a.m. and can’t think straight, there’s always this handy guide to help you remember if you missed something.
Ahh, sci-fi! The place where imagination runs free and the dreams of film-makers and authors run riot, creating brilliant and beautiful worlds. Of course, we all know that the best sci-fi flicks are the dumbest ones where plans go awry at the flick of a switch. In Nefarious, you get to play one of those much beloved but utterly hapless scientists... but you still have a chance to take over the world. It's just going to take some effort...
Making mash-ups of genres seems to have become the new paradigm in the role-playing game industry. Where once, long ago, it was deemed an oddity to stray from a game's designated Sci-Fi or Heroic Fantasy genre niche, RP game players now revel in cross-genres settings and game systems. And many Indie Publishers strive to conceive the next big “thing” in role-playing, inventing new combinations of genres to amuse, amaze, and astound the RPG community of fans.
Getting Real: Three Parts of Presence VERISIMILITUDE! REALISM! SIMULATION! BELIEVABILITY! Those buzzwords and more on today's Bananagram. Come and feast mightily, my gaming monkey brethren. Within you will discover what SCIENCE says about why meta-mechanics, among other things, might make your game suck more (or maybe not!), and what things give your action within the game a high Significance (or maybe not!), and more (or maybe not!). Click on through (or maybe not!)!
It seems we are now in the days when most of the Edition Wars have died down and things are on a low simmer as we wait to see what Next has to offer. I’m very glad of that, even though I’ve retired from being a moderator here. I always enjoyed ENWorld much more when it was people talking about what they loved best about games instead of what they hated. That said, I believe it is perfectly fine to take issue with game mechanics that aren’t to your liking.
You may have seen me talking about EN World's HOT GAMES TRACKER recently. It asks the question: What's the current zeitgeist? What are the hottest games being played right now? This isn't a list of sales figures; it tracks what's currently being talked about using a top secret algorithm. Each game is also conveniently linked to a search for discussion about it right here on EN World, should you want to find out more. The spotlight list changes from time to time. The red and green arrows show a game's general trend over the last 90 days - is it being discussed more or less than it was in the previous 90 days?
A while back I showcased the rogue from the previous D&D Next playtest, discussing how the class advanced from 1st to 20th level (you can find it here). The final public playtest has now been released, and I’d like to see how the rogue has changed from one version to the next. Join me as Gerta Knifethrust (old rogue) and Gladys Grimtooth (new rogue) size each other up.
I've been looking back through my list of reviews that I've done here on EN World, and I realise that I have made a terrible mistake. Considering the fact that this is a site packed out with thousands of users who love to create stories, amongst all of those articles I've written, there is no sign at all of the excellent Dixit from Libellud. That, my friends, is something that'll be rectified here and now, because I guarantee that you will bloody love it.
JJ Abrams made TV history with his groundbreaking series LOST -- and, love it or hate it, it's hard to argue that the show wasn't a significant accomplishment on Network TV, a landscape dominated by reality programming and multi-camera, laugh-track powered sitcoms. Just this past Thursday, BoingBoing.com noted the appearance online of a PDF of the original LOST series bible[ ]. It's a 27 page document addressed to the folks who will be supporting and working on the show, and as interesting as it is on it's own, there are some really important messages to take away for Dungeon Masters of all stripes.
Sucking is part of getting better! Since you're never done getting better, you're never done sucking. This week, I look into how I sucked it up last week, and how the process of iteration makes things a LOT better!
There are some gamers who might argue that D&D d20 was one the most flexible RPG systems ever created. In its wake, dozens of different games and game settings, from nearly every genre imaginable, have been translated into d20 under its OGL. But could the same be said about D&D 4E?
Way back last fall I started writing this weekly column for ENWorld. The topic of my very first column was “Are you an Adventurer?” It was all about how we emulate the spirit of adventures contained in the games we play, and sometimes even a version of the activities our characters participate in.