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Messages - Brian Bloodaxe

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1
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 21, 2018, 12:59:26 PM »
Well if you like, you are welcome to come along and give it a try the next time I am running it.
I have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much on my plate right now -- basically, all RPGing I'll be doing for the next while will be supporting my work (playtesting, mostly). But, ta for the offer. :)

You're welcome! And if you need any more bodies for the playtesting, give us a shout!

2
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 19, 2018, 07:54:50 PM »
Tonight we generated the characters for my new D&D campaign:

A Wise Human Druid with powers of Animal Forms and Animal Control,
A Strong Human Spearman with the drive to make the world more democratic and free!
A Brave Human Ninja who should be entertaining to watch,
A Deft Monk of some sort (more details required)
A Strong Half-Orc holy warrior on the path of righteousness,
And a Wise Dogperson Cleric from Pugmire.

3
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 19, 2018, 06:40:34 PM »
I've almost played the Star Wars RPG more than once -- own it, and the dice, and a few bits and bobs -- largely because it's based on WFRP3's system, but without most of the faff. Just never quite had the time or inclination.

Well if you like, you are welcome to come along and give it a try the next time I am running it.

4
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 19, 2018, 08:32:14 AM »
From this, I've started looking into the Star Wars RPG; I'd played a one-shot a while back, but because it was a one-shot, nobody took it too seriously, so I never really got my teeth into it. I've... located the rulebooks (they go for £50-80 on Amazon!) to have a look at and I'm already writing the start of an Age of Rebellion campaign, despite not having any players. I do know a few people who are pretty into Star Wars, though, so maybe they could be convinced..?

It's Edge of the Empire rather than Age of Rebellion but if this is still available it's a great deal: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107730897868918905283/posts/d51oTcAvazT

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The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 19, 2018, 05:56:59 AM »
From this, I've started looking into the Star Wars RPG; I'd played a one-shot a while back, but because it was a one-shot, nobody took it too seriously, so I never really got my teeth into it. I've... located the rulebooks (they go for £50-80 on Amazon!) to have a look at and I'm already writing the start of an Age of Rebellion campaign, despite not having any players. I do know a few people who are pretty into Star Wars, though, so maybe they could be convinced..?

Go for it! It is a great game although it does take a little bit longer than most games to get it flowing right at the table. Two pieces of advice I always give for running these games:

1 - Don't call for rolls as often, even little checks can spin off into complications and new problems to solve so only roll for the things that matter.
2 - Discuss briefly what Advantages and Threats might look like for each roll before the dice hit the table. For whatever reason everyone seems to find it easier to think of think random stuff which might happen before the dice are rolled.

Each roll is a bit more work than you are used to but it's more than worth it as each roll brings so much more to the game. Also your players are supposed to be helping interpret the dice so it's not all down to the GM.

From a buying stuff point of view the books are expensive but they are huge and you could easily run a couple of campaigns just from any one of them. You don't need any of the supplements but they all offer new vehicles, aliens, character options and new optional rules for specific situations, so they are worth buying but they aren't required. The two adventures for Age of Rebellion are supposed to be pretty good, they looked pretty tightly structured though so I havn't bought them. The source book Strongholds of Resistance is really good, lots of floor plans for Rebel bases details on how they work and what you'll find there and advice on focusing a campaign on one home base that your PCs get to build up.

You'll also need dice. There are a few apps that'll do it, some free or the official paid app, they are fine. If you want actual dice and your players are happy to share, two sets will be enough. Buy a third later on as your PCs level up.

6
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 12, 2018, 06:53:37 PM »
I've read Apocalypse World, and Dungeon World and Uncharted Worlds. I liked what I read but not enough to actually try running them instead of all the other games there are out there to play.

I like the system used in FFG's Star Wars games and their new Genesys game. It uses funky dice which can be applied to any situation in all sorts of different ways and they provide all sorts of interesting unexpected results. It does require a bit of interpretation from the GM and players but there is plenty of guidance in the rules and I find it very natural and dynamic in play. I mention it here because you can go through a few sessions without a combat or a chase or a stealth check but you are still rolling dice just the same for following clues or convincing someone to help or trade or languages or whatever, and all of those rolls push the game forward in interesting and unexpected directions. Ways that it wouldn't have gone off I was just making GM calls and rolling on random encounter tables.

There's certainly a place for all the games which only provide you with a combat system and skill tests, but I like more support than that for some campaigns.

7
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 12, 2018, 03:38:16 PM »
Edit: Fixed many typos now that I'm not sitting in A&E.

Not to break up the flow, but why were you in an A&E? Everything alright?

I'm fine, my son however has broken d4-1 toes.

He'll be fine too though.

8
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 12, 2018, 01:09:25 PM »
But so much of any game is down to the DM/GM - giving out XP, Inspiration, or other rewards for creative/non-combat solutions, for example. How does one mechanically incentivise roleplay, something that it's pretty much entirely non-mechanical? If you want your players to have free reign in their RP approach, isn't it better to not restrict via rules how RP operates or is moderated, and instead let the players/DM decide what rules (if any) apply?

Well that's an argument which has been raging for many years and it is one of the biggest divisions between Story games and traditional games.

There is no one right answer you have to find a balance which works for you, but there are games out there which mechanise this stuff. Burning Wheel has the Duel Of Wits which is like combat but for resolving arguments in a public forum. Fate conflicts can cover anything from fisticuffs to political campaigns to domestics in the B&Q wallpaper isle.

Other games will provide rewards for achieving certain RP goals which is a sort of light-touch. Other games blur the lines by varying weather it's the GM or the player who gets to narrate the specifics of a situation.

If the mechanics are there to cover it, it doesn't have to be all down to GM fiat.

9
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:47:34 AM »
"System matters" is the meme. If you want a game where cowboys in space get in lots of trouble then mostly get out of trouble through quick thinking and luck, then don't use a system which seriously punishes mistakes.

If you want a game about political intrigue, don't use a system which only rates characters by their fighting ability.

You can run anything you like with any system you like, but if your well-chosen system is at every point guiding play towards the sort of experience you are hoping for then that frees the GM up to come up with and role-play the NPCs and the players should have an easier time of getting into character and playing as well as they can within the chosen setting.

My comment up thread that the rules in my White Star game were pretty much pointless was meant to imply that they didn't do their job. White Star is a SF rewrite of the original D&D. I thought that it's combat focus and general vagueness everywhere else would fit a bunch of noisey teenagers who just want to have a laugh and blow stuff up. To an extent this worked, the session was a barrel of laughs but that was despite the rules, not because of them.

A better system would have made it clearer what each character was actually capable of. It might have made combat more tactical, rather than just choosing a target and rolling. A better system might have helped the soldier who couldn't pass a to hit roll to save his life.

Edit: Fixed many typos now that I'm not sitting in A&E.

10
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 12, 2018, 10:36:20 AM »
It's a bit like asking why people care so much about a stable 60fps on their videogames when everything's made of 2D sprites. RPGs have come a long way since the 80s.

11
The Games Parlour / Re: I Love Pwb!
« on: February 12, 2018, 09:41:22 AM »
Depression - Depression's a bit rubbish, isn't it? Not having much fun, that's for sure.

I suspect this might be related to your avoidance of actually playing anything. When I was depressed I couldn't face starting a new game and I just watched TV or played old favourites like Borderlands or EDF which were basically effortless but still rewarding.

12
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 12, 2018, 06:02:25 AM »
While I'm here:

The second half of my White Star game went very well. The climax was when a 30m giant ant was being shot from below by a BFG from Doom and a lightning gun from Quake while a third PC used the Portal gun (from Portal) to leap on it's back and stick a lightsabre in the back of its head.

They also made friends with some psychic crystal squirrels (double six reaction roll at the exact moment the players all went, "Aww, can we keep them!?").

The last roll was a natural 20 to dodge the planetary defence system they had forgotten about, which was pretty much the only way they were going to get out of there without dismantling the skyscraper-sized defence system.

So the rules were pretty much pointless but the game was fun all the same. Dice were rolled, shit blew up.

One of the kids said it was the best game he had ever played in. Poor guy.

13
The Billiard Room / Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« on: February 12, 2018, 05:58:14 AM »
Couldn't agree more with this:

Now, I know what you're thinking: 'Why not just houserule it?'

As a paid designer on the world's most well known Roleplaying game, it is fucking inexcusable to ask someone that bought you terrible book to play armchair designer by dead reckoning. How do they, as a new player, know what needs to be fixed? How do they know how to fix things that they find that are broken? If you're going to ask someone to become the armchair designer, just tell them to download a copy of Basic Fantasy and save them seventy five quid and a shitload of time.

And this:

Rocks fall, everyone dies.

I am super fucking glad that more people are playing Tabletop games. I am glad that Critical Role, The Adventure Zone, Acquisitions Inc and One Shot are bringing people into the hobby in droves. I'm not happy that their first port of call is always DnD, and I'm really not happy that for many people it's their last port of call too.

5e isn't just a bad game by the standards of Dungeons and Dragons, it's a bad game by a whole bunch of measures.

Don't look at the incredible success of what Matt Colville has done as a thunderous approval of 5e. Maybe look at it as an approval of Colville's 170,000 YouTube subscribers. He has a large, in-built interest base and has run a really good kickstarter. Many of the rewards in the game are to do with his stream, and I think it might be less about 5e and more about him, his stream, his pretty considerable fanbase, and the cross-over between his fanbase and the Critical Role fanbase (he's writing the CR comic and worked with Mercer on the last campaign.)

I am super, super jazzed that you're here at the book club the rest of us have been at for a while. We've read all these great books. Some of the books you have to read a few times to get the most out of, but some of them are about superheroes, some of them are about spacemen, some of them are about being bunnies in burrows.

But please, please, please, don't stop reading books because you've read Harry Potter and are operating under the impression that it's as good as novels can get.

The rest I didn't know for sure but I had read complaints along similar lines.

Guess I'll just stick with 13th Age! And Whitehack, and Beyond the Wall. It's not like I'm short of alternatives.

Thanks Luscan!

14
The Games Parlour / Re: I Love Pwb!
« on: February 11, 2018, 07:00:02 PM »
I have a pretty strong dislike of Mearls for a wide range of interesting reasons that are probably not worth going into for any real length of time.

Also, fun fact, Bonus Actions are neither a bonus, or an action. A fun example of the conversational tone of the 5e core books that makes them such a joy to work with :D

I'd be more than happy to read more about this. Particularly before I decide to drop £75 on 5e.  :D Maybe take it to the D&D thread or elsewhere if you like...

P -
Subnautica. It's very good. A game that used its early access time wonderfully.

Bloodaxe Jnr is a big fan of Subnautica.

15
The Games Parlour / Re: I Love Pwb!
« on: February 11, 2018, 06:04:20 PM »
Quote
A few months ago the whole gaming industry was only valued at $35 million

What?  :blink:

Sorry, Tabletop RPG industry, not all gaming

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