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Topics - David R

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The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Hitch is Gone
« on: December 16, 2011, 07:36:26 PM »

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / The things they know
« on: December 04, 2011, 07:39:04 PM »
Recently I have been gaming with complete newcomers to the hobby. Mostly, short pick up games, nothing serious. The common trend with all these groups is that they don't separate player and character knowledge. I don't really mind as sometimes it produces some interesting in game moments (and I don't think these people will ever become gamers much less my regular players) but I was wondering, how important is the separation of player and character knowledge in your games? (Note: In my regular games it's very important)

Also, as a GM, do you (often ?) use things you know of your players in your games?

David R

The Butcher's thread got me thinking. Tell me about your campaigns. System (Setting). How did you plan it? What inspired it? How your players reacted to it. The highlights - those moments that really defined it. How it ended.

David R

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Centurion
« on: February 13, 2010, 07:40:10 PM »

So, what do you think, old chap?

David R

This is the movie that should have inspired the Pundit's trainwreck Avatar thread.

David R

Media and Inspiration / The A-Team
« on: January 15, 2010, 12:24:17 PM »

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Homebrewing
« on: September 20, 2009, 07:41:30 PM »
I have posted this before.

In this thread, I'd like to talk about how we homebrew. It's an aspect of gaming that's always fascinated me. What's the process like for everyone else.

Do you start with a concept and move on from there? A map maybe? A piece of artwork? A period of history? Do you loot from published settings? Movies, books, comics.....

Who comes up with the idea? How do you sell it to your crew(group)? Is it a collaborative process and whose the judge of what goes in and what stays out?

For instance.

I love the early work of John Carpenter. The Thing, The Fog, Halloween, Assault on Precinct night I had a marathon session of some of his old flicks (with some of my non-gamer friends), and all the while I was thinking, "why am I not running, something like this?"

For the next few weeks these random concepts started popping up in my head. I wanted to run the game (what game/system?) in the present (late 90's) but filled with anachronisms from the (70's). I started thinking that this alt America would be stuck in a quagmire in a foreign country - Iraq - with returning vets finding it difficult to assimilate back into society.

Conversations with my group, brought out other ideas. I decided that Hollywood was filled with the Kids - Spielberg, Coppola, Lucas etc but they never made their feelgood films...Spielberg was alternating between directing polemics like The Colour Purple and musings on the nature of vengence, Munich. Lucas was a made genius who continued making bleak SF after his breakthrough THX 1138

The above was just to set the tone and mood of the setting. I also advised the crew to watch films like Serpico (how the law works) and Dog Day Afternoon (what a bad day looks like).

I liked the idea of "liquid evil" from Carpenter's Prince of Darkness and decided that would be the glue that binds the whole mess together. And then I read oWoD Hunter...."so, like you're this group of misfits that hunts evil, that nobody else sees" that's how The Righteuos Kind came to be.

I've also been toying with this one - Goodnight Where Ever You Are - for some time.

I got slammed with this idea when I saw the movie Fallen, where Denzel Washington's character says, that "Cops are the Chosen people".

Somewhere along the line, Harlan Ellison creeped into the picture - as he normally does - and it got mixed up with that old TV show, The Midnight Caller with Gary Cole.

All the pcs are cops who wake up one morning, and find themselves the only souls left on the face of the earth. Everyone else has just dissapeared (except animals -think of the scene in 12 Monkeys with the lion). Everything still works - utilities, transport etc - but there is not another person in sight. It's as though they just dissapeared. Think of the opening credits of the 4400.

There is only a radio show. A call in radio show. They can't seem to figure out where the broadcast is coming from. The DJ interacts with them. Sometimes he tells them to go to some place usefull. Sometimes he leads them into danger. Always with the hint, that they may find out what the hell is going on.

With his help they may find other survivors or they may not...I'm thinking that this should be a long term campaign, so, they should be other npcs (good or evil), in the long run.

But at it's core, it's just a conversation between them and this strange fellow on the radio -who may be their salvation or doom.

So, what about you folks?

David R

Media and Inspiration / Upcoming Movie trailers thread...
« on: September 04, 2009, 06:57:50 AM »
....of flicks you are interested in.

Here are two that I like the look of.

Christopher Nolan's Inception :

The Men Who Stare At Goats

David R

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Osere: No Comebacks
« on: August 31, 2009, 02:37:14 AM »
(Mods, I'm not sure where this goes but feel free to move it)

As many of you don't know, I'm running a campaign based on kyle's Osere setting. Osere (in my campaign anyway) is a semi legal multinational security firm dealing with espionage (corporate and international) and grounded in realpolitik of the most dubious kind - is there any other kind, well no.

Field operatives are recruited from all over the world and almost always former military or espionage personnel. When they are not, they are from underworld  organizations or so-called unfriendly groups of certain nations. Osere prides itself with associating with professionals and for the most part they do, however, most recruitment are from individuals who realize that Osere is the last chance for them, being that they have lost their jobs with their former masters for various personal or professional reasons or in some cases lost faith in the causes they fought for.

So what you get are highly individual operatives with differents creeds and levels of professionalism forced to work together in units, operating around the world.

My campaign deals with the South African branch and revolves around the turf war between Hani Salaam ,former head of Jordanian intelligence and newly appointed, director of Special Projects  and Karen Hayes, former National Security Adviser to an unnamed President of the United States, and current head (African division) of the most powerful (and feared and off the books) division of Osere -  The Bureau of Sabotage.

The PCs are naturally caught in the middle. That's just little back story. What I want to write about is the interior lives of player characters. Here's what happened.

The PCs (all members of Special Projects Retrieval unit (hopefully kyle can help a brother out and post a link to a real world company involved in retrieving "big" toys) under orders from Hayes (long story) had retrieved a vehicle (from a deadbeat CEO) which was of immense value to Hani. This normally would not be such a big deal but due to certain obligations owed to Hani (even longer story), they realized they had to steal the vehicle from Osere and deliver it to Hani's operatives. Of course this is a very bad idea. Osere deals with betrayal in a way that would give the most virulent Jihadist, an attack of conscience.

Now, there was no way they could steal the vehicle from Osere's holding facility. What they realized they had to do, was to steal it on route back to Osere's client. A risky proposition for various reasons , the least of which was the internal witch hunt  that would ensure. But their obligation to Hani, superseded any Osere fallout.

Now stealing the vehicle back from Osere themselves was an option but one they didn't want to risk. They knew this was a favor to Hayes and she would be relentless in tracking down whoever was involved with the help of the Cousins (slang for Internal Affairs). If ever they were implicated.....

So they decided that they would outsource this particular project to reliable comrades. They settled on crew who were the close associates of the leader of their group, a vicious half French/Tamil Sri Lankan expatriate :

Osere NPC : What were you doing before joining Osere ?

Vicious Bitch Leader : I served in Sri Lanka

ONPC : Doing what ?

VBL : Nation building

Right, this particular crew were a close knit group of siblings and friends. Although they operated beyond the fringes of the law, they were basically honorable thieves. Their main rule was : No Killing. They were professional thieves, not professional killers. Because of this and the fact that they had known criminal connections (unpredictable Russians), firms like Osere, the big cash payoff contracts were not an option for them.

So instead of just letting the PCs hire them and make a few rolls I thought I would allow the players to play these NPCs and make an adventure out of it. You now, an exciting side trek from the main plot line. Have a bit of fun. Play other characters. Let the setting breathe a bit. It's a big world out there and here are folks other than yourselves.

Hey, what now, you guys think it's a great idea (I game with the best group in the world, yay me !) and have a few suggestions ( all this while rolling up stats) about character and back story - sounds great.

So there we were, for three whole sessions, the players ditching their characters for these new ones. And what a close knit group they were. I even developed a new part of the fictional South African city, to add a little more space. The players really got into character, creating amusing and substantive relationship between the characters. There was even a subplot involving vicious Russian gangsters.

These characters were all about family obligations and friendship. They were honorable. What was important to them was that  they were doing this because they made some bad choices and were hoping to make enough money to get out of this shithole life and move on to better things.

And all this came from the players themselves. This was not a simple diversion but rather a complex beast, with characters of depth. And they did this within a few sessions. And best of all, the players wanted a soundtrack. Ok, it was basically pop - Stones (Rolling and Stone), Beatles, good stuff.

And the action. We really out did ourselves. Regular Osere adventures were  toned down affairs. Gritty as opposed to action adventure (can you dig it?). But this here was Fast & Furious  type shit. Jumping from moving vehicles. High Speed car chases (not in public though, most of the action occurred at night), shootouts that defied reality but made movie sense and one liners from over payed Hollywood hacks.

VLB played the honorable leader of the crew - a Gulf war vet (first one) who had a tender if complicated relationship with his compassionate but drug addicted younger fast driving (Master of Wheels) brother (essayed by another player) the rest of the players had equally compelling characters. It was great fun.

They managed to pull of this really cool but highly improbable plan and managed to steal the vehicle. And best of all, they did this without any killing. They snuffed out a some nasty gangsters, though. But the thinking was that these Osere types were "not the bad guys".....they are like us.

To be honest we kinda of forgot about the regular characters. My players were having a great time with this bunch. It was all just spontaneous. Like I said, good rpg stuff.

The crew meet the Osere PCs (which is where I took over the characters). In the background that song which title I always forget is playing....

My heart goes boom , boom, boom.

VLB is actually smiling, holding the briefcase stuffed with laundered cash. A new life. Everyone is happy. Jokes and one liners from me and them flying back and forth.

My heart goes boom, boom, boom

Then as she hands Mr. Cool Honorable guy the cash, VLB shoots him in the face. I can't remember exactly when the others started shooting. I'm sure it would not have made a difference with all the penalties my "crew" had incurred.

My heart goes boom, boom, boom

Hani Salaam once said that if you wanted to make moves in this game, you have understand that there were only survivors and dead men. Of course one of the smart ass players said -obviously.

Hani shakes his head condescendingly, being a survivor does not mean you win and being dead doesn't mean you lose.

Personally I think he's wrong.

All I could say to my players who honestly didn't understand my confusion was :


So, kyle, you wanted to know how my Osere game was coming along. That was a little taste.

David R

In case anybody is interested there's this great Jorune thread on RGPNET by this chap Grymbok. Very good analysis of the 3rd Edition and a lively discussion about the game. Some very interesting ideas there that should be useful even if you aren't a fan of the game.

David R

Media and Inspiration / Sherlock Holmes Trailer
« on: May 26, 2009, 07:35:35 AM »

Media and Inspiration / Wolverine
« on: December 15, 2008, 10:24:45 PM »

Okay lads, what do we think ?

David R

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / A Philippine Gamer
« on: September 30, 2008, 09:03:01 PM »
I got this link from the EvilDM's blog. Thought some of you might be interested in a gaming perspective from this part of the world.

David R

I recently watched this doc on the History channel and since there's already a walker inspired setting, I thought it would be interesting to do another one.

For those who don't know what this documantary is about, here's some info :

Now of course there isn't supposed to be any "people" in this setting, but let's play a game of what if?

The doc tracks the progress of Mother Nature reclaiming the world in specific time frames. 1 day after people..... six months after people....two years after people....

So what if there were survivors during these different periods ? Not enough to make a difference against the slow creeping progress of Nature, just enough to bear witness to the fact that it's all over. I reckon it would be a survival type game.

I don't seriously think that anyone but a few hardy souls would actually want to play in a setting like this, but I think it would be a fun to explore what this world would like as a rpg.

This should be an uber realisitc setting and yes this means this should be reflected in the system.

So what do you folks think. What would be your favorite time frame to explore ? What kind of adventures would you have? System ?

David R

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