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Topics - The Butcher

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Say what you will about the D&D3/d20-era avalanche of games and supplements (the infamous "d20 glut"), but it had some interesting things going on. WotC's own Star Wars, Mongoose's Conan, Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved and Iron Heroes, Privateer Press' original Iron Kingdoms, AEG's original Spycraft, GR's M&M and True20, FFG's Midnight and Dawnforge...

It is entirely possible that there's a thriving third-party 5e scene that I am unaware of, but Adventures in Middle-Earth is the first one that shows up on my radar, and Opaopa's off-hand comment here makes me wistful for the good bits of the d20 age.

What, if anything, would you all like to see done with the 5e ruleset?

Savage Rifts is down the to-run queue and I hope I get to give it a spin eventually. I am somewhat skeptical of it, even though I admire the considerable work and passion Sean's put into it.

But in any case, it got me thinking about what sort of game I'd like to run.

I'd set it in North America because it's the classic, iconic (for me) Rifts setting, even though I did run a NGR game back in the day.

As for the timeline, I'd set it in 101 or 102 PA because I'm not crazy about the Tolkeen War plot; I strongly flavor the classic Kevin Long designs for Coalition gear over the sleeker look of Vince Martin's Coalition War Campaign gear (the Wayne Breaux ones are okay); and I'm undecided on whether to use the Mechanoids (I probably will) and the Four Horsemen (traveling to Africa looks like too much trouble).

So I'd probably use setting material from:
Core (classic)
Sourcebook 1 (haven't seen the revised version, would love to)
Conversion Book 1
Vampire Kingdoms
Pantheons of the Megaverse (some great adventure hooks there!)
Lone Star
Plus odds and ends (Temporal Magic from England, Necromancy from Russia, some OCCs from Juicer Uprising, some OCCs and setting stuff from Federation of Magic and Psyscape)
Undecided on New West/Spirit West, Dark Conversiobs, Dinosaur Swamp, Arzno, Madhaven, Merctown.

What about you? If you're running Rifts, what ate you using? If not, what would you use?

Not seeing a lot of Invisible Sun love in this thread so it made me curious.

What, if anything, would get you to splurge two hundred dollars American on RPGs?

I'm thinking several variations on the "deluxe boxed set with a ton of actualky game-table-useful stuff":

A deluxe Call of Cthulhu boxed set that would steer clear from the unfortunate (IMHO) rule design choices and bring the system closer to the French version; include 1920s maps, a thoroughly researched gazetteer/almanac and a book on occult and conspiracy material, as well as a bunch of handouts and an adventure. And maybe a Mythos anthology. Yeah, that'd do the trick.

Here's another one: Castle Fucking Greyhawk. All levels, mapped and keyed, plus a detailed JG-style write-up of the Free City of Greyhawk and a Flanaess gazetteer. Dual-statted for 1e and 5e a plus.

One more: a deluxe WFRP 4e with something resembling 1e/2e system-wise, maps, an Empire gazetteer, a detailed write-up of at least one major Imperial city, and a revised/updated Enemy Within campaign. And of course, handouts.

And any one of these better have stellar production values 'cuz $200 is $200.


Just idle curiosity, as I'm not buying right now, but I've been out of the loop on those for some time and (to my surprise) a fair number of rulesets continue to come out.

Beyond the Wall, Blood & Treasure, Into the Odd, Hero's Journey, The Black Hack...

I'm pretty sure there are more out there. If you have a favorite, pimp away :)

Mr. Schwalb (lately of Shadow of the Demon Lord fame) recently posted a Facebook status update, answering to fan inquiries on SotDL's lack of ENnie nominations.

Here's a link to said update.

Quote from: Robert J. Schwalb on Facebook, a few hours ago
A few people have reached out about Shadow of the Demon Lord's absence from the ENnie nominations. The reason the game's not there is because *I* chose not to participate. The love and support I receive from all the fans is enough recognition for me. If you want to support Shadow of the Demon Lord, keep running, keep playing, and keep telling everyone you know about it. If you like a product, maybe throw some stars at it on or post a review. These things mean more to me and my company than an award. Thanks for all of your continued support and enthusiasm for this little game.

First, philosophically speaking, I have a ton of sympathy for his position. Screw bullshit committee-voted awards, a game's true value is to spark imaginations and get games going. For this alone, I salute the man.

Second, I do find this somewhat puzzling in business terms, and in fact I vaguely recall reading about suspicious shenanigans involving the ENnies a few years ago. What gives? Since these boards love industry gossip, I thought someone might make more sense of this than I did.

Third, I should really look into SotDL. I thumbed through a friend's copy and it had sone great ideas for escalating an apocalyptic (not post- or pre- but actually apocalyptic, cataclysmic, world-ending) dark fantasy campaign. But I read very little on the game itself. And I hear good things about the adventures and supplements.

Design, Development, and Gameplay / [Actual Play] Godbound
« on: June 30, 2016, 10:51:46 am »
Here's an AP report of our short but fun initial game of Godbound.

The PCs are Gian Carlo Menzogna Di Tretta, cunning and perverse envoy of powerful family Vissian merchant-princes, who binds the Words of Deception, Luck and Passion; Godar, a penitent Ancalian knight who witnesses the loss of his family and goes out into the world to fix it, with the Words of Endurance, Health and Sun bound to him; and Jinrei, a doughty Dulimbaian blacksmith who wields the Words of Artifice, Endurance and Wealth in a quest to learn about the world and forge new and wondrous things.

The trio's destinies converge in the heart of the Raktine Confederacy, where the roads from Drenkova and Gyorok, too, converge towards Krasna and the eastern shores. In the small village of Gorice, the small folk bars their doors and windows; it is the night of St. Svyatoslav, when the lords and ladies of the Black Academy called Obok Smerti, "Vault of Death" send forth their winged servants to collect a horrifying tribute in flesh.

Gian Carlo arrives while the sun still shines and gets rushed inside the tiny local inn, where the fear-stricken owners reveal the horrid tradition after being eased into trusting the Passion-binding scion. Godar and Jinrei arrive well into the night, to find a city of barred windows and unlit candles. Knocking on the inn and church is met with sepulchral silence, until two Uncreated horrors swoop down on the village!

Godar lights up the city with his Corona of Fury, scalding one of the beasts, a dragon-like abomination made of solid darkness who retaliated by vomiting a torrent of cold darkness and wounding him only slightly. Jinrei waits for the second monster to make landfall and tries to persuade it to take him to their masters above the mountain, which the beast seems happy to do (even bowing down so he may mount), but upon witnessing the onslaught of the other horror upon his fellow traveler, decides to lash out with his mighty hammer, severely wounding the strange creature.

Inside the inn, Gian Carlo waits as the struggle plays itself out. A lucky blow knocks Jinrei unconscious, but Godar restores the Dulimbaian to full health with nary but a gaze! Eventually the canny merchant-lord sends the innkeeper and her son off to the basement, disbars the door and joins the fray taking crossbow potshots at the monsters, downing one who was already grievously wounded. The other falls shortly after, and both lifeless bodies dissolve in nothingness, leaving no trace of existence behind.

While the population is still wary of their intentions and fearful of sorcerous retribution, Gian Carlo eases them as Godar visits households seeking for sick and wounded to care for, and Jinrei busied himself with helping the faltering harvest (Sustain the Multitude) and getting the good folk to gather stones (committing 1 Influence) to substitute the flimsy palisade with a mighty wall, which gets raised in a day (Ten Thousand Tools).

An uneventful night ends as the sun rises to the thundering of a dozen horsemen approaching south from Visegrad, the nearby sit of Gorice's liege-lord, the regal and capricious Prince Ondrej "the Pious." If his envoys are to be believed, the exalted lord is less than thrilled about three strangers moving into his breadbasket, erecting walls overnight, and above all upsetting the ages-old pact between the people of the lowlands and the lords of the Black Academies. Veiled threats are exchange from both sides, with Godar challenging Prince Ondrej's mandate and combat being averted by Gian Carlo's use of Banner of Passion to add intimidation to Godar's fiery words. The riders leaving, vowing to return...

...but Godar will have none of it, and miraculously transports himself to the road (Hasten By The Light, via miracle) seeking to intercept and slay them before they can reach the walls of Visegrad.

And this is where we leave our heroes.

DA1 is available for sale over at DTRPG/OBS (link). Is it any good? I am only vaguely familiar with Blackmoor by way of Heard's Mystara writings, and of course, Playing At The World.

From the Pinnacle website, which for some reason isn't loading right on my iPad.

Ordinarily I'd be dubious of the ability of most "generic" systems to emulate Rifts — having an "imbalanced" party like, say, Dragon, Juicer, Mystic and Vagabond is central to the Rifts experience IMHO — but Sean Patrick Fannon has declared, in more than one online venue, that be took a wrench to the SW engine, the better to make such things viable.

This level of attention to replicating the classic Rifts experience has definitely piqued my interest and I am really looking forward to it.

My wife's only joined us at the game table for a year or so. So far all she's played is D&D 5e (kick-ass Human Barbarian) and now we're playing CoC.

Today was our second session and the Keeper took us through a modified Haunted House (as in, the classic CoC core rulebook scenario). But she looked positively bored at some points, prompting me to ask her, on our way back home, whether she was actually having fun.

She assured me that she enjoyed both the social aspect of the game, and the game itself — but the kicker is that she didn't enjoy participating as much as witnessing the turn of events (the "story" if you will), which may play into her shyness. But she also voiced her distaste for dead-end investigative avenues, such as our failed attempt to persuade or bribe a city clerk for additional documentation on the haunted house. "That's too much like real life!" (she's a lawyer)

Did I marry a storygamer? I mean, maybe she'd enjoy a narratively-slanted RPG more than my strongly trad poisons of choice like D&D, BRP and Traveller?

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Brazilian political clusterfuck
« on: March 17, 2016, 08:49:47 am »
So Pundit, since you've shown an interest in South American politics in the past. How do you like the ongoing implosion of the Brazilian government?

Eclipse Phase: Stars Without Number. I've wanted to convert EP since I first tried making a character. Between the SWN expanded core (rules for AIs and robots), the Mandate Archive: Transhuman Tech (body-swapping and memetics) and Polychrome (cyberware and hacking), I think I finally found the right one. I might actually get around to doing this one... Hell, one could even use the pretech and maltech bits for alien and TITAN tech.

A Song of Ice and Fire: RQ6. If someone else easn't already running a Westeros RPG in our group, I might have tackled this one already. Very little magic to worry about, so most "cults" would probably be non-magic-working factions. I'd use MRQII Empires provinces as a template for noble house stat-ups. Not too labor-intensive and a great fit for the trademark GRRM brutality.

Tékumel: RQ6. I don't really like any one of the several systems attached to Tékumel throughout its publication history (Dave Morris' Tirikélu is the one that comes closest). I think RQ6 would be just perfect (I understand there's a RQ2 conversion floating around but it's far from complete for my purposes). But of all the conversions here, this one would probably requires the most actual work — so many monsters to convert and cults to stat up.

Totems of the Dead: RQ6. Notice a pattern here? :D I blame CRKruger for getting me to buy this and much as I enjoy SW, by God I cannot imagine a better fit than RQ6. It seems made-to-order for RQ6 character generation and magic systems.

Unhallowed Metropolis: Savage Worlds. Old RPGnet darling impulse purchase. Very nice setting with thorough worldbuilding. Great fit for SW in my book, and a much better setting than Rippers which kind of weirds me out. Another easy one I might end up doing, especially if my wife is psyched about Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (I suspect she will be).

Not really high up on my list of priorities, as I'd need several lifetimes to play through all the OSR content I want... and Paizo's AP are apparently very railroady and very much tied to the Pathfinder Chronicles setting... but someone was raving about the Iron Gods AP over at Google+ and I became intrigued.

I've decided that the setting I want to run with D&D 5e is Forgotten Realms... 1e, of course. Nothng against the 5e Sword Coast book, which I have yet to check out; but I've spent many happy hours in the Realms, not at the tabletop but with D&D licensed PC games, and the sparsely populated and cruft-free 1e version looks better suited to my DMing style.

Other than the gray box, what's good for pre-ToT Faerûn-crawling?

Still undecided on the exact location but it's a toss-up between Sword Coast (Luskan!) and Cormyr.

Any persona, any system, any setting.

I'll do the easy one.

Major Tom — Navy (Flight) 5 terms 5A799A
Comms 1, Pilot (small craft) 2, Vacc Suit 2, Zero-G 1 (all skills TL7)

Hailing from our time, the young major's experimental small craft mysteriously hurls him across time and space careening towards the PCs' path. What unknown force, with what purpose, plucked an astronaut from legendary Old Earth into the contemporary space lanes of the Third Imperium? And how will the Solomani extremists running the show at this Amber shithole react to the presence of a living, breathing, unintelligible ancient language speaking ancient human?

New article on the WotC website. Link.

AD&D 2e fans, stand and be counted.

Everyone else, some great new PC options. I love the Fighter ones especially because they provide viable non-spellcasting knights in shining armor and wilderness warriors.

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