The language of games

Not long after getting into tabletop gaming properly we were visiting a Local gaming cafe/event, when one of the organisers explained to us that many games are designed to be language agnostic and in many cases the instructions are published online in a variety of languages. The big reason for wanting to do this is that often the prices from UK stores are much higher than on say the Amazon German website. I usually keep an eye on games for sale but haven’t purchase any since getting this information, until now. When scouting at games on Amazon I spotted that there was a Big Box version of the tile game Carcassonne. In the box is the Base Game, the two expansions Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders plus nine mini-expansions The Abbot, The River, The Flying Machines, The Ferries, The Messengers, The Gold Mines, Mage & Witch, The Robbers, and The Crop Circles. The English version was £76 but lurking on the site was the German version for £48, not one to looked a gift horse the mouth, I had a quick look online and found the Big Box instructions were available to download for free in my language, so we ordered the beast.

Now as much as we own the base game and an expansion it maybe kind of odd ordering something we already have but in all honesty having a single box with all the components is a more preferable option than having to home lots of separate boxes, they all just take up room.

I have to say I’m quite happy with the purchase, now to get them rules printed out.

 

Monster of the Week

After a riot of a evening on-call Friday night/Saturday morning, I decided that I would skip my blog post yesterday, In all honesty I couldn’t focus long enough to write anything down. So only 5 post this week, we’ll have to see how next week pans out.

Always on the lookout for another Role Playing game to add to my ever growing collection, this week I picked up the 2015 revised edition of Monster of the Week published by Evil Hat (nothing to do with me owning many Evil Hat products already honest). The premise of the game is straight forward, the Players are a bunch of monster hunters, each bringing unique skills and approaches to the party. The aim of the game is to gather information about, track down and then slay a monster, think Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Grimm, Dr. Who and dare I say it even Scooby Doo.

As is often the case, I liked the concept of this Game from the write ups, which is what spurred me into the purchase. On reading through the book the implementation looks to be very nicely done and the book is written in the order in which you need to perform steps. This is a nice feature as having to jump around in a book to find that one paragraph is frustrating as hell, especially when you are first starting out with a new game/system.

The game allows each player to pick an archetype (Hunter Type) each is customisable through the use of options that are unique to each type, thus allow every team to have variations and feel more like a character you have dreamt up rather than a cookie cutter wizard or rogue. The game imposes a restriction that each Hunter Type can only appear once in a team, this forces players to diversify, but since there are 12 Hunter Types in the book, plus some additional suggestions given, further still there are resources online that have some prebuild Hunter Types, or if done are to your exact liking you can make your own.

Monster of the Week

If you would like to hear some sample gameplay I recommend the Party of One Podcast who recently ran a session, it’s about 1 hour 20 minutes long and gives a wonderful overview of the mechanics and how the game plays out.

If you would like to hear more stuff the MBMBAM folks have just kicked off a mini-arc on their Adventure Zone podcast:
Here are the links for the Setup Episode and for Episode one.

I’m looking forward to trying this game out and will keep you posted.

Mind the gap!

I have been asking my Role Playing friends what would be the one Role Playing setting they would love to try out, maybe from TV,Film or Book, and yes i’m digging around for ideas on a home brewed FATE game. Some enjoy the fantasy world and are happy for another in a similar area, others want to go down the Sci-Fi route

Personally I have always wanted to play a game in the universe of London Below from the Neil Gaiman book Neverwhere. If you are unaware of the story, it was originally a TV mini-series that was mostly set in a world that exists beneath London, those that live there or end up there, appear as if they are almost functioning in an alternate reality.
All trade and deals is performed by barter or favours rather than monetary exchange, the world is rich with characters, groups battling for survival, many have names that sound similar to places in London Above.

There are already a number of Neverwhere themed RPGs in existence, I already own the Third Edition RPG by Postmortem Studios, which I’d like to try at some point but I’m tempted to try and homebrew a Fate Accelerated version in the future.

I also like the idea that the same thing can exist beneath other cities and places, it would need more knowledge about the place, but I like the idea of their being further adventures away from London.

  • What would be your Favourite RPG setting?
  • Would it be a one off like The Thing or Alien, or something more long term?

A la Mode

Welcome dear reader!
Hi, how is 2017 treating you so far?

I’ve usually attempted to post more by the halfway mark of the year but alas this year has been pretty much hectic with an added pinch of exhausting thrown in for good measure.

Why you ask , well mostly as my role has transitioned into something different, but while retaining much of the same stuff as I was doing before only more of it. Confusing right?

Streaming and gaming

I’ve been a little relaxing in my streaming habits, I started to ease back to streaming on Sunday mornings and will aim to keep up that habit while it makes sense to do so. I’ve been trying to keep the streams to relaxing games, mostly as it’s Sunday morning but also I usually have Little Troll in close proximity.

Gameblast was great fun this year and we raised more than our total in 2016, which considering there was on three of us this year was rather a good accomplishment. I totally love Special Effect and all the good work that they do.

Games

Munki and I are possibly going to get into a MMO (know first time in forever), we bought the game with the month trail as some kind of bonkers anniversary gift to each other, we’ll see how the first month in FFXIV pans out.

I am playing alot more Euro Truck Sim 2 recently, I think it’s that I find it quite relaxing ( until I hit something ), I’m covering more of the map to try and get those achievements.

Online Role Playing

Oneshot Island
Oneshot Island

Since the start of the year we have been playing through the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, we’ve had a few start and stops due to real life but it’s been enjoyable, we even picked up another player a month ago, So I must be doing something right.  It makes Sundays a little longer for me as a 8am start for streaming and a 11pm finish after the DnD session can make for a long day, but it’s enjoyable.

I find that Roll20 is such a great tool for our game, that I have now got a Pro account, which if they only thing it gave was the ability to copy between games would still be very worth it.

I had the pleasure of running a One-shot game for some friends from the streaming community I am part of, I was nervous as the last game I created and ran was in back in 1997, so I was worried that it wouldn’t go according to plan or I’d just turn into a blithering wreck. Thankfully it was fine and everyone enjoyed it, including me.

I have found that I enjoy building up scenes for the groups to consume, yes I know it’s all make believe, but sometimes it’s useful to have an idea of the environment or things that as the GM you want to remember to use in your story telling.

In getting to building these I pretty much bought all of the art assets by David Hemenway on Roll20, I find that his the art style lends itself well for use with both rendered and hand drawn characters, and the various packs fit well together.

Clan RPG

In one of my last posts in 2016 I mentioned that I was enjoying playing Dungeons and Dragons and that I was possibly looking into running a game for some of my clan members. Well that is now fully underway with a pre generated campaign to kick things off, this was to allow everyone to get to know 5th edition (players and GM alike), but also to test the waters with regards to if players are ready to commit the time, before having the GM spend time and effort on building a unique campaign.

The player characters have been rolled up now and i’m quite looking forward to throwing mobs at them over the next month or so.

We have looked into using fantasy grounds to run role playing games in the past but found that understanding the software was sometimes trickier than working out THAC0. So this time around we are using Roll20, which given the feedback I have got so far seems to be going down a storm. We have run some test fights to help players understand how their attacks, saves and skills work, which I have to admit is such a pleasure to using with the 5th edition ruleset.

As we are running an off the shelf campaign I haven’t any plans to share it, publicly, however once we move into custom work I’m tempted to host the campaign information on Obsidian Portal, to help keep track of characters, events and documents.