View Profile: Ilya Bossov - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Ilya Bossov's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:51 AM
    It is a rules-light low-prep game where you build your starship out of spare parts, crew it with custom made aliens, and go explore the galaxy one randomly (or not so randomly) generated sector at a time. When you blow something up, you weld the leftovers onto your ship, call them upgrades and keep on truckin’. More information about the game is available here: http://feyhaven.com/ Direct...
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  • Ilya Bossov's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 06:26 PM
    This is a false connection. Just because two words are similar-sounding in one language, it often means very little regarding their origins or roots. Orcs have more in common with orcas, I believe. In Tolkien's writing, they were creations of a fallen god/angel equivalent who tried to emulate elves but ended up creating ugly and pitiful creatures. Yes. Tieflings would like to have a word. ...
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  • Ilya Bossov's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 01:59 PM
    As a person who has written my own PbtA hack for Shadowrun, I'll go ahead and recommend Shadowrun 3rd edition. It was the last "good one", arguably. Although, Shadowrun in general is a bad fit for your needs. You're looking at cyberpunk themes with no magic, and Shadowrun's approach to vehicles and hacking is notoriously clunky. Every Shadowrun game is house ruled. Prove me wrong. :)
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  • Ilya Bossov's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 01:55 PM
    Classic D&D presumes a lot about the party and the game master, but colonialist themes observation is spot on. The party is supposed to be good, the monsters are supposed to be evil, and following tradition of Tolkien's presumptions of all members of this species (it's really wrong to call them a race) being evil is a little awkward, isn't it? How many kobolds does it take for a lawful good...
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  • Ilya Bossov's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 01:32 PM
    Are you an accomplished punomancer? Would you like your name listed in the credits of a brand new space western RPG? This is your chance. Dust Bowl Galaxy is coming out on August 1st. You name one of the 11 ships with a terrible tooth-ache inducing pun, or if you name all of them, and if your entry is chosen, you get your name in credits and a free PDF to boot. Details are here:...
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About Ilya Bossov

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Dust Bowl Galaxy released! It is an indie space western tabletop rpg where you are an alien crew aboard a junker you built yourself out of spare parts to explore a randomly created galaxy. Friday, 12th July, 2019 03:51 AM

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Thursday, 20th June, 2019


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Friday, 21st June, 2019


Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 09:23 PM - Umbran quoted Ilya Bossov in post Cyberpunk Genre RPGs
    As a person who has written my own PbtA hack for Shadowrun, I'll go ahead and recommend Shadowrun 3rd edition. It was the last "good one", arguably. I have played a lot of Shadowrun in my day. And I'd say.. go either 2nd edition or 5th. Do not bother with 3 or 4. If you want a bit of retro-future - what the past thought future technology would be like, go with 2nd. If you want a game that does a nod to understanding wireless technology, go with 5th, but be ready for people to be so paranoid that they won't use the technology in question, because it makes them too vulnerable. In general, don't play Shadowrun unless you are okay with 2 rounds of combat taking an hour or more. I'd also say that while you *can* use Shadowrun without its magical elements, that's kind of like going to Friendly's, but not getting ice cream. The magical elements are what make the system worth putting up with, IMHO. And removing the magic basically means you can't use most of the setting, or any of the publish...
  • 07:30 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Ilya Bossov in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Is it presumptuous to assume demons are evil? Yes. Tieflings would like to have a word. Yeah, they have diabolic ancestry, not Demonic. Totally different. I mean, heck, the whole XP primarily equals killing thing wasn't even a feature until 3e, so if that's your problem, then it's not old school games you have a problem with but modern ones. Counter-counterpoint. Typical play for AD&D was whatever I was playing. Atypical play for AD&D was whatever you were playing. Typical play wasn't. All we can go on, for sure, is the written rules at the time (& commentary, there was a lot of Gygaxian commentary woven into said rules), albeit, with the caveat that virtually no one used all of them, exactly as written, nor was there any given crazy rule that absolutely everyone ignored. At very beginning, you got big chunks of XP for killing monsters. Very quickly (Greyhawk!) that was reined in, and XP given for treasure, as well. That was roundly criticized, and eventually became opt...
  • 07:24 PM - Celebrim quoted Ilya Bossov in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Since we're talking about Tolkien's works, there's an interesting book that offers a unique, alternative perspective. If you're struggling to find colonialism in D&D or in Lord of the Rings, you should probably read The Last Ringbearer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ringbearer I have read 'The Last Ringbearer'. I consider it a distasteful, derivative, mockery of good which a person deluded by Morgoth might create. It is no more nuanced or reasonable criticism of Tolkien and his works than 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' is of Judiasm. And quite frankly, I believe it exists to serve the same purpose. If you can't create something interesting that stands on its own merit, don't purloin the work of someone else and distort it to draw attention to you that you'd otherwise not recieve. UPDATE: And as others have noted, it's bizarre to claim you are trying to understand one person's works, by reading a work by someone else entirely. If you can find "colonialism" in "The Last ...
  • 07:16 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Ilya Bossov in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Since we're talking about Tolkien's works, there's an interesting book that offers a unique, alternative perspective. If you're struggling to find colonialism in D&D or in Lord of the Rings, you should probably read The Last Ringbearer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ringbearer Cheers. I don't want to rehash this argument, because there is a closed thread dedicated to it (and I am still finding that discussion very unpleasant to think about). But I think this is a very strange way to make an argument. Number one, this book isn't even translated into English (at least not commercially). But more importantly anyone can write a book like that to make something look bad. But he is creating new material in order to build an argument. That doesn't reveal anything about Tolkien as much as it is a creative exercise. It is fine. I think that can be a cool thing to do (let's tell the Harry Potter Story from the perspective of Voldemort). But it is like shooting fish in a barrel because the author ...
  • 07:13 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Ilya Bossov in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Modern D&D is a lot better about this. Take Curse of Strahd for example. It's not just some faceless orcs you're killing. The main villain is a creep and the land is suffering because of him, so players are truly heroic figures standing up to a monster with powers of a demigod. . Celebrim made this point but neither was the original Ravenloft module about killing faceless orcs. That sort of became Ravenloft's whole thing with dark lords (which Strahd was the model for). I don't know I think people are often under the mistaken assumption if they can make their violent entertainment more wholesome or more morally appropriate, that will somehow fix the world. I think people in my age group, who lived through years of 'very special episodes' and who saw things like the Satanic Panic, are pretty wary and cynical about these kinds of efforts.
  • 03:38 PM - Celebrim quoted Ilya Bossov in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Classic D&D presumes a lot about the party and the game master, but colonialist themes observation is spot on. Why? The party is supposed to be good, the monsters are supposed to be evil, and following tradition of Tolkien's presumptions of all members of this species (it's really wrong to call them a race) being evil is a little awkward, isn't it? No. For example, there is a connection between the word 'orc' and the world 'orcus'. Is it presumptuous to assume demons are evil? Are we not allowed to incarnate good and evil in a fantasy? I mean it would be one thing if humans and elves were the incarnation of good, but they are not either in Tolkien (where many of the villains are human or elves) or in D&D. The PC races are the people, the ones capable of both good or evil, and they are in contests with evil as represented by things like demons, dragons, giants, and orcs and advised and aided by powers of good. Modern D&D is a lot better about this. Take Curse of Strahd for e...

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 02:41 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Ilya Bossov in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    RPGs are a creative endeavor, I think we can agree on that. Writing campaign books is similar to writing your own adventure books, and is thus literary. . I don't see how being similar to writing an adventure book makes something literary. Most adventure books I read fall pretty far short of being literature. It is entertaining gaming material. But literature is a much higher bar. There are a few books I'd say strive for or manage to hit the level of being literary. But honestly that is an aim that has nothing to do with how good of a game book it is.

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