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    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:53 PM
    I won't say every DM or adventure of any organized play is perfect and beyond reproach. I will say that they are all volunteers, that they are rarely compensated in any meaningful way (A free badge is great but you have to put in 20+ hours in most cases to get one), and that creating content that will be played by thousands of people with wide variations in skill, attention span, and what they...
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About SMHWorlds

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December 5, 1971 (47)
About SMHWorlds
Writer, Designer, Lover, and Slayer
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Gamer, Game Designer, Writer, and the father of the most amazing young dragon ever.
Atlanta, GA
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SM Hillman
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Friday, 7th June, 2019

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019

Monday, 3rd June, 2019

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

  • 10:49 AM - pemerton mentioned SMHWorlds in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    ...rd that nearly every ethnicity has histories that they are certain are filled with similar atrocities. Look at Australia's Aboriginal experience, how Native South and Central Americans fell to the Spanish, the history of the Polish, Rome's presence in England, the Jewish plight throughout recorded history, Japan's treatment of China, etc.I don't know where you live. I live in Australia. I will confidently assert that the British conquest of Australia is a live rather than purely historical event in a way that the Roman conquest of Britain is not. If one turns to the subsequent Germanic and then Norman conquests, I'll let the Welsh speak for themselves; but as an outsider I do notice that they have a degree of self-government and official recognition of the Welsh language. That already marks a significant difference from the Australian situation. Furthermore, for Welsh fantasy gaming, we have the Mabinogion as one possible starting point. I think part of the point of the point of SMHWorlds's article is to encourage looking at American First Nations cultures through that sort of lens, rather than eg as exotic people one might meet if one were a Viking sailing to Manhattan.

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Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 09:24 PM - Egg Embry quoted SMHWorlds in post Paranormal Friction, Patreon, and Playing Games with Christopher Helton
    Awesome interview. I am intrigued to test out some frames for Paranormal Friction. Thank you, Sean! :-D
  • 04:32 PM - DMMike quoted SMHWorlds in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    Note from Morrus[I]: This is the first article in a monthly column from WotC alumni Jonathan Tweet. Here, here! The 3E launch was definitely the most exciting D&D edition launch. The couple of years before that were the first launch that took place in the Internet era, and all the scoops and speculation were such fun. That magic was never recaptured I suspect it could only happen once. The second and third time arent the same. More fuel for my 3e reboot theory... Folks bemoan THAC0 (and they will do so in reply to this comment) but I never had an issue with it. . . Was 2E perfect? Nope. Oh, gods! Not THAC0! That was horrible! SUBTRACTION? Argh!! ;) 2e wasn't perfect, but that didn't stop me from keeping a 2e monster manual for use in every game (including non-D&D) since. That was a worthy investment.

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 11:04 PM - aramis erak quoted SMHWorlds in post Fantasy Grounds Usage Stats Through Q1 2019: D&D Up, Pathfinder Down
    I am a little shocked at how well Rolemaster Classic does compared to others. Rolemaster front-loads most of the complexity, and automating the tables makes it play MUCH MUCH faster. In a way, that makes VTT a superior platform to the home table for it. If fully set up, it could even make character gen superior. Plus, when you ignore all the optional rules, tis a fairly simple ruleset. Plus, it's a system with lots of meaningful choices in Character Generation, despite being a random roll.

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 03:23 PM - Corone quoted SMHWorlds in post Tough Truths About the Game Industry
    While there are free PDF making sites and some software comes with "Export to PDF", it should be noted that there is often a software cost to making a PDF. There may even be slight differences in the PDF version of a book and the physical copy. Someone has to take the time to index the PDF. So while the PDF may be small or even appear negligible if you produce many PDFs (cost over time), for a small or indie publisher, the cost may not be zero or insignificant. I am not trying to disagree with point #1, just adding the idea that in fact PDF creation may not and often does not have a "zero" cost. It is also the easiest medium to share around, which we know inevitably will happen. That being the case, a decent up front cost for a PDF is not a strange idea at all. Very much agree. As pdfs are becoming more common and expected, so are full bookmarks and the like and all this does indeed take extra work.

Friday, 8th February, 2019

  • 04:05 PM - Egg Embry quoted SMHWorlds in post RPG Jobs Roundup February 2019: Modiphius, Uncanny Magazine, and SIXMOREVODKA
    Fantastic jobs this month. I think the Uncanny Magazine call is especially forward thinking. A shame none of them are here in the ATL, but good jobs none the less. I'm excited about Uncanny Magazine's call for disabled creators and I can't wait to read their work. As well, your zine on Kickstarter, D.I.R.G.E.zine, is offering work for diverse voices. "We need more diverse voices. If you wish to be a contributor (it is paid work) go here and submit your pitch! D.I.R.G.E.zine" - Thank you, Egg Embry Love's Labour's Liberated - A 5e RPG Zine POWERED by the DREAMR, a PbtA RPG #ZineQuest

Friday, 1st February, 2019

  • 06:06 AM - Mouseferatu quoted SMHWorlds in post Bad Guys Have Adventures Too
    I get that and different groups certainly handle it differently. But good sarcastic wit is a bit different than silly and goofy humor, the former is fine but the latter does not appeal to me as a GM or player. At least for a bad guy game. Well, yeah, it has to be the right type of humor. No argument there. Though even occasional goofiness works, if it's in character for the evil folks. (When dealing with humanoids, some of which aren't the brightest spoons in the shed, for instance.)

Monday, 28th January, 2019

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 03:27 PM - collin quoted SMHWorlds in post First Impressions Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
    Is there a direct connection between Dragon Heist and Mad Mage or just something tangential? There is not a direct connection to WDH. You can connect the 2 if you desire (easiest would be using the Spring scenario with Xanathar from WDH), but Mad Mage is not a direct sequel to Dragon Heist.

Monday, 29th October, 2018

  • 12:46 PM - CapnZapp quoted SMHWorlds in post Burning Questions: Why Do DMs Limit Official WOTC Material?
    This may seem a bit unfair to those who have paid for a product and expect to be able to use that product anywhere they go. This here is where your problem is. Where on earth did you get the preposterous idea that players should be entitled to enforce their rules on the DM? Not all crunch fits all campaign visions or DMing styles. This game is not "pay to win". tldr: no, it is not unfair, it is perfectly natural and wholly reasonable for DMs to be able to say "no". Case closed. What's unfair is the wet dream of merchandizers the world over that somehow inflicts D&D but no other rpg I've ever played... :erm:

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 02:57 AM - Tun Kai Poh quoted SMHWorlds in post A Mixed Bag Of Horror And Delight In The Fall Of Delta Green
    My interaction with Delta Green came from a local (VA) gamer network that ran a version of it as a Living style game. I definitely enjoyed it. My question is: it sounds as if the setting does not know exactly what it wanted to be, maybe trying to do too much? Would that be accurate? See what Chris and I have said above, about the book not choosing to focus on the really meaty themes like decay and hubris. I would have liked to see Ken Hite write a DG 1960s sourcebook and try to work some thematic threads into it. That said, I get why they would rather have a standalone game as you sell more core books than sourcebooks. It's a better business decision if not an artistic one.

Friday, 20th April, 2018

  • 08:55 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted SMHWorlds in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    Interestingly, 1st edition Stormbringer has a small section on playing Elric, which I thought was interesting. As a player it never occurred to me to want to be the fictional character, constrained by their actions and motivations. But I guess there was a desire among some groups to do just that. Your post is invisible on a black background.

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 01:53 AM - pemerton quoted SMHWorlds in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    I suspect (as always) system matters a great deal. How you might model Belgareth in D&D is different than say how you might in Rolemaster or FATE. The notable exceptions, even though systems vary wildly, is super heroes. I think the old Marvel Super Heroes did a pretty decent job of modeling the comic characters. Where as the DC games, from what I heard, always had some issues.I like Marvel Heroic RP's approach, although I've only seen a few characters in action (War Machine, Nightcrawler, Bobby Drake, Wolverine are the main ones). And I like Burning Wheel's Tolkien-esque approach to elves and dwarves. System matters a lot. It's easier to model fictional characters in games like Fate, Cortex Plus or Heroquest, than in DnD type games. Games with levelling, and/or heavy emphasis on nitty gritty mechanical details are especially bad at simulating fictional characters. When I think of emulating fictional characters in D&D, I only think in 4e terms. AD&D generally isn't flexible enough. But G...

Wednesday, 28th March, 2018

  • 01:06 PM - Michael Silverbane quoted SMHWorlds in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    * Make the Elven High Fleet ...villains.. kind of like the Peace Keepers. Maybe not that bad, but close. Almost like the Vulcan High Command in Enterprise. That may be a better analogy. This is very much the way that I treated the IEN in my most recent Spelljammer game. They weren't bad per say, but they were very much of the opinion that they were right, and that their policies would bear out as such over time, no matter what anyone else said. My players' characters hated them, but still felt compelled to (mostly) defer to their authority, because oftentimes, the alternatives were much, much worse (i.e. allowing Illithid, Neogi, Mercane, or Beholder authority to gain ascendancy). Also, I portrayed (baslically) all planetbound elves as sort of backwater rednecks. It was great fun.

Monday, 26th March, 2018

  • 10:42 AM - Bagpuss quoted SMHWorlds in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    No one is saying "Don't play other cultures", instead we are saying "do so with respect". You only need to look at the second comment for an example of someone saying "Don't play other cultures".

Saturday, 24th March, 2018

  • 08:49 PM - thundershot quoted SMHWorlds in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    So I was thinking about Spelljammer recently. I intend to do a live game stream using it and the Realms. But if I were going to design it for 5e, these are the basic changes I would make * Give it a fresh coat of paint that is reminiscent of Farscape. A Henson make over, not with puppets per se but with that colorful and rich texture to the creatures native to the setting. The Giff as a species in Frscape would have been gold. * Make the Elven High Fleet ...villains.. kind of like the Peace Keepers. Maybe not that bad, but close. Almost like the Vulcan High Command in Enterprise. That may be a better analogy. * Engage adventures both from the POV of old space hands AND fresh faced characters who had no idea that you could go into space. * Bring back the Vodoni from Under The Dark Fist as bad guys. * A Better space combat system. Maybe not Saganami Island Simulator, but a Star Fleet Battles or B5Wars kind of thing, but with more boarding actions. Oh my God. Farscape is PERFECT to dra...
  • 07:12 PM - Skepticultist quoted SMHWorlds in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    Somehow I fail to see what this article wants to say. Maybe its because I have no idea what the author means with "sacred" exactly. Something "sacred" usually means something with a religious meaning or importance. Yet I fail to see how Beowulf or Thermopylae would be considered sacred. "Mythic" might have been the better word. That's because "sacred" is an extremely wishy-washy, vague term that has no specific or concrete action. Like the statement "The magic would be subtle and beautiful and full of mystery." This is poetic, but completely ungameable. Nobody, not even SMHWorlds, really knows what it means or how it would translate into gameplay. Also I disagree that a campaign about Tribes in North America necessarily have to be very spiritual. Like with the druid in D&D the spirituality can be mentioned but take a backseat to exploring, diplomacy/politics or warfare among the tribes. I think it's reductive and plays dangerous close to the Noble Savage stereotype. I live inbetween two different reservations, and Native Americans are the second largest ethnic group after whites, and while it would probably be wrong to assume too much about pre-colonial natives from their modern ancestors, I can say with quite a bit of assurance that Native Americans are people, and like all people, some of them are spiritual and some of them are profane, some of them decent people and some of them are degenerates. There are industrious, honest, hard-working natives, and there are lazy, dishonest and criminal natives -- just like white people. I strongly, strongly suspect...

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