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  1. Aldarc

    "Cool setting, bro. But what's the hook for the PCs?"

    I sometimes suspect that TTRPG world-builders underestimate the importance of plot hooks and campaign premises when it comes to their settings. There are a fair number of interesting and well-constructed TTRPG settings (from the perspective of pure world-building) that I have encountered...
  2. Aldarc

    D&D General The Best Non-D&D System for Each D&D Setting

    The settings of D&D were obviously designed for D&D or with D&D in mind, but what if they weren't? Or have you ever thought that there were other systems out there that could take a setting and capture the spirit of the setting, dare I say, better than D&D can? That's what this thread borne from...
  3. Aldarc

    Next Gen Games?

    Which non-D&D TTRPGs published within the past 5 or so years do you think represent the leaders of next generation games and publishers that will (or already are) influence future game design? I would like to leave out D&D of this discussion, because as the 800-pound gorilla industry leader, D&D...
  4. Aldarc

    D&D 5E Blue Rose RPG Coming to 5e D&D

    Green Ronin announced that their romantic fantasy setting Blue Rose is coming to 5e D&D. I have not seen talk on this, so pardon me if it has been discussed. Blue Rose was an RPG by Green Ronin Publishing that drew its inspiration from the romantic fantasy genre while also being inclusive...
  5. Aldarc

    TTRPG Settings: A Canny Valley of Playability?

    I will not tread heavily into summarizing the well-known principle of the "uncanny valley" (as per the link) regarding the corollary relationship between an object's resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to it. But I am wondering whether Fantasy TTRPG settings operate as the...
  6. Aldarc

    D&D 5E Let’s Build a Psion

    Let's build a psion that uses spells. I know this breaks a cardinal rule for some psionic fans, but let's try to work within the 5e system and framework. What kinda neat tricks can the Psion do that distinguish them from other mages? (1) Psions can bypass VSM spell components. (2) Psions can...
  7. Aldarc

    The d2010 Era

    There is a remarkable cluster of fantasy TTRPGs that came out primarily post-2010 that are basically d20 derived variants, including the elephant in the room: 5e D&D. These "d2010" games, in part, likely exist as a reaction to not only 4e D&D, but also 3e D&D. But what I would like to discuss...
  8. Aldarc

    Shadows of the Demon Lord and the Weird Wizard

    Maybe it would be helpful to have a General Discussion thread for Robert Schwalb's works: Shadow of the Demon Lord, PunkApocalyptic, and the Shadow of the Weird Wizard. In today's news: Weird Tales: Let's Make a Character - wherein Schwalb writes-up a sample character from his upcoming Shadow...
  9. Aldarc

    "Family-friendly" version of SotDL gets Re-Named

    From Shadow of the Mad Wizard to Shadow of the Weird Wizard. Based upon what little I caught on Twitter, Schwalb may have received a little push back about calling it the "Mad Wizard," due to potential insensitivity to mental illnesses, but I actually like "Weird Wizard" better anyway. That...
  10. Aldarc

    Diamond Throne (Arcana Evolved) Announced for Cypher System

    Monte Cook's setting The Diamond Throne is being licensed for an update using the Cypher System. It will be published by Here Be Dragon Games instead of Monte Cook Games. The Kickstarter is in a few weeks: August 18. Full Announcement HERE Diamond Throne was probably one of my favorite...
  11. Aldarc

    Rethinking Alignment, Inspiration, and the Great Wheel

    There is a discussion here regarding alignment. Needless to say, opinions are divided on the utility of alignment. Shocker. I would like to use this thread, however, to brainstorm some possible ideas I had about how to make alignment and inspiration both more meaningful in 5e play. It's kinda...
  12. Aldarc

    Mana, Shamans, and the Cultural Misappropriation behind Fantasy Terms

    So here is a short 10 minute video from an educational YouTube series called Religion for Breakfast that discusses how the term "mana" entered into the lexicon of fantasy novels, tabletop roleplaying, and video games to mean "magic". Long story short is that it came from a white English...
  13. Aldarc

    D&D 5E Re-Imagining the D&D Planes as MtG Color Pie

    Discussion in the "Are evil gods necessary" thread got me thinking about the alignment setup of the Great Wheel and how extraplanar entities factor into that setup: good/evil, law/chaos, and everything in-between. (And it's a lovely Wheel for what it does and represents.) But I was curious about...
  14. Aldarc

    The Sort of TTRPGs You Want More (and Less) Of

    There are a lot of TTRPGs out there in the market, and more are being produced every day. There are a lot games covering a tremendous breadth of genres and the like, but what sort of TTRPGs would you like to see more of? This is an intentionally broad question that is meant to cover a variety of...
  15. Aldarc

    Bronze Age Fantasy

    This is a spin-off thread meant to continue the discussion precipitated from this remark: And my follow-up question: What systems and games exist for Bronze Age Fantasy and what systems would be suitable for delivering a Bronze Age Fantasy game? Or for that matter, what constitutes a Bronze...
  16. Aldarc

    D&D 5E The Ship of Theseus and 5e Homebrewing/3pp

    When it comes to homebrewing with 5e or writing 5e 3pp, at what point in changing the rules, genre, or mechanics of 5e is better just to create or use another system entirely than 5e? At what point does it become another system entirely and should be distinguished as such? I'll admit that this...
  17. Aldarc

    D&D General My (altered) Dawn War Pantheon

    I will be running a campaign for a new group of players set in the Nentir Vale of Nerath, which is a setting that I mostly enjoy due to its mythical character and PoL sandbox style design that is reminiscent of old Greyhawk. The one major adjustment that I am making to the setting is with its...
  18. Aldarc

    Experiences running Shadow of the Demon Lord?

    Does anyone have any experiences running or playing Shadow of the Demon Lord? If so, what are your thoughts and feedback? What did you like or dislike? How does it feel? Ease of use? Points of contention? Etc. I have been toying with using SotDL for a homebrew, though gutting its grimdark...
  19. Aldarc

    Brainstorming Potential Underworld Campaign

    I'm a bit stumped. Currently beset by decision paralysis about some ideas about an upcoming campaign of which I am in the initial planning stages. The main influencers of our group like the basic elevator pitch. But now I am stuck on the details, including some fairly large ones like which TTRPG...
  20. Aldarc

    New Bard Colleges: Arcana and Vigor

    With the two UA bardic colleges released, I thought now would be a good time to try my own hand at homebrewing some bardic colleges. The bard represents an incredibly versatile class that can occasionally serve as either a jack-of-all-trades or a niche-filler. The colleges represent ways to...
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