Saturday, May 24, 2014

BBC Radio 4 Extra: Dicing With Dragons

This radio broadcast from BBC Radio 4 was recently brought to my attention.  I had never listened to it before.  In case anyone else is interested in hearing it, the show can be found at the BBC Radio page.

SteamCraft Supplements Kickstarter Update

This is just a quick update on the SteamCraft RPG: The Supplements Edition kickstarter that I backed and mentioned a few posts ago.  The initial funding goal was met pretty quickly and by the third day or so the first stretch goal was reached!  The funding currently sits at $1,307 pledged on a $850 goal with 29 days left to pledge.  I have my fingers crossed that at least a few more of the stretch goals will be met.  This is their second kickstarter and it follows their successful kickstarter for the SteamCraft core rule book. 

For anyone interested in steampunk role-playing this is a great opportunity to go "all in" at two very reasonable price levels: $40 for pdf products and $75 for print products.  The products you will receive for funding at either of these levels include the SteamCraft RPG core rules, the Wake the Dead adventure parts one to three, and the Shadows Over Newport supplement. With either of these you will also receive a pdf of the Ironskeep Introductory Adventure that will teach the game to new players as they explore the city of Ironskeep and the nearby areas; this is the first stretch goal.  Either way you decided to go you will get six products for a very good price.

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Thoughts on the D&D 5E Starter Information...

As the information on D&D 5E is slowly coming out the blogosphere has been lit up with various posts about the cost of the books, release dates, the OGL (or lack thereof), and the upcoming $20 Starter Set coming soon.  My tentative plan was to pick up the Starter Set and see how well the rules match my expectations.  With the latest word of mouth containing information similar to "the Starter Set will be geared towards the DM" and "pre-generated characters instead of character creation rules" I am starting to re-think that decision.

There are several Basic Sets from the old TSR catalog that can serve as fine examples of how to do the 5E Starter Set correctly; Holmes, Moldvay, & Mentzer all have their own strengths and following in their foot steps would improve the quality of any new version.  I am going to touch on some of the information I have read from other blogs in this post. 

It has been pointed out that the 5E Starter Set will cater to the DM in several posts.  I understand this approach because there will be plenty of experienced hobbyists that use this set to introduce new players and the owner will most likely be the DM in those instances.  I do think that 5E would be better served by a  Starter Set placing equal importance on the role of player and DM by including a condensed PHB and DMG that are both around 48 to 64 pages in length.

The other bit of information I keep reading in posts is the inclusion of pre-generated characters instead of character creation rules in the Starter Set.  I realize that pre-generated characters could lead to quicker set up time if the characters were presented in a clean layout with notes about rolling, combat, skills, etc. on the character sheet.  I have heard that the character creation rules will be available for free online for people to reference.  Why not just include them in the Starter Set?  It was done with the old Basic Sets from the past and it was great so why not just do it again?  Character creation is one of the most basic essentials of a role-playing game so they should be included.  The Starter Set should serve as a snapshot of the full rules.  

I have flip-flopped a few times on whether or not I am going to buy the Starter Set or skip it.  I would like a "complete" product but with the exclusion of character creation rules in the box I am not sure.  Ideally, along with character generation the rules should cover the first 5 levels of play with the appropriate information split between a condensed PHB and DMG.  I would assume that they would only include 3 or 4 races with the same number of classes.  Of course, any DM information would only include information appropriate for the possible levels.  Throw in some dice and an introductory adventure and I am all over this.

Now I hear that Amazon has the Starter Set listed for $12.66 so maybe I will be buying it...


Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Power Rangers Game?

My children have recently discovered the immense collection of Power Rangers television episodes on Netflix.  I remember seeing bits and pieces of this show over the years.  In case you need a refresher, every intro is in the following clip.

My son is really interested when he sees my role playing books and the few miniatures I have.  He is not ready for full blown Pathfinder or anything like that but I did have an idea - maybe there is some game similar to Power Rangers that I could get for him to play.  He has several Power Rangers action figures, some of the Kreo figures, and some Zords also.

I looked for a simple game that would allow him to play in the Power Rangers universe or at the least something similar.  I have had absolutely no luck at all.  I entertained the thought of whipping something together myself but I am not knowledgeable enough when it comes to Power Rangers to do so.  Sure, the basics would be:

1.  Focused on teamwork instead of solo missions.
2.  The team would have a and (Zordon) that would supply a base, etc.
3.  The team would use weapons, combo weapons, zords, and combined zords to fight evil.
4.  The good guys would be opposed by the Big Bad (Rita Repulsa) and it could expand. (Lord Zed)
5.  The Big Bad would have minions. (Whatever those mobs are called)
6.  There would also be a Monster of the Week with special powers and that could grow in size.

Yeah, it is pretty formulaic and it would be easy to emulate.  Quite honestly, I do not want to spend a large amount of time reading about the shows or watching them to whip up something myself.  I am not quite sure I would get the feel right, either.  I would probably make the mistake of trying for a "serious version" because I do think the co re idea is pretty good.  Anyway, it is time to get down to business. 

Does anybody reading this have any information, links, etc. about a free and simple Power Rangers role-playing game or something similar?  I have looked all over the internet and I can not find anything like I have for G.I. Joe (Strike Force Seven iirc), Thundarr the Barbarian, or several others.  It does not have to specifically emulate the Power Rangers specifically as long as it is similar in tone and execution; names can always be changed, etc.  I appreciate any input that anyone has to offer.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Kickstarter: I Finally Took the Plunge

I have been tempted several times and I actually came "this close" to backing one or two previous projects but I finally broke down and backed the SteamCraft RPG: The Supplements Edition kickstarter.  If this successfully funds then I will get the Wake the Dead trilogy of adventure modules, the Shadows Over Newport supplement, and a copy of the core rules for gift purposes.  Just getting the initial rewards will give me the SteamCraft hookup but I really hope at least a few of the stretch goals are reached.  Check it out!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

[Toldara Tuesday] Quick Outline of the Halberd Fantasy Roleplaying (USR) Adaptation

I planned on getting to this sooner but the action at work really picked up so I was a tad bit too busy to dedicate the time to blogging; it just came down to simple priorities and the blog had to wait.  I am starting off the Toldara conversions with a look at the Halberd Fantasy Roleplaying game of the USR line of products.  I am planning on a document that can be used in tandem with the Halberd rules for play in my campaign world of Toldara.  Of course, there will be some tweaks and customization here and there because I just can not seem to leave any rules system alone.  The following is just a quick outline of subjects to cover and is - as always - subject to change.


Cover: An illustration showing a combat scene involving a party of adventurers and a squad of orcs.

Credits: Exactly what is says – author, artist, etc.

Forward: Some thoughts on Halberd, USR, and Toldara.

Toldara at a Glance: A general overview of the campaign setting with several of the more well-known locations mentioned.

Character Creation: This section will guide the player through the process of creating a character for play in the world of Toldara.  Any restrictions or additions to the standard list of archetypes and races available in the Halberd rules will be detailed in this section.

Money: Information about the coins of Toldara.

Organizations: Information about groups that take an active role in the world of Toldara.  The PCs may encounter them, join them, or become rivals with them.

Map: a map of the world of Toldara.

Rumors & Legends: Common rumors and legends that will work as adventure seeds.

Adversaries: Several monsters and foes for encounters.

Treasures: Magical Equipment and Artifacts to be discovered. 


In the next post, I will start crunching some numbers and give some specific details...