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Messages - Marchand

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1
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / 3D models online
« on: March 04, 2021, 06:57:01 AM »
I just noticed Historic Scotland have put up some 3D models online - including some castles, Pictish hill forts, a Roman fort, and an Iron Age underground grain store.

https://sketchfab.com/HistoricEnvironmentScotland

Also various statues and other objects.

Seems like there are a lot more models on there from different sources too.

Thought it might be useful for DMs in helping players visualise stuff. I haven't tried it at the table yet myself. It might work well for online play.

2
Are they complaining about demons and evil spirits being racist yet?

Then they haven't gotten as bad as RPGNet.

I need to look at that thread in the same way I need to scratch a mosquito bite, but link seems to be broken

3
There were flu pandemics in the 1890s, 1910s, 50s, 60s, 90s and 00s. So, calling a flu pandemic in a given decade is roughly a 50/50 bet.

Hong Kong flu in the 60s is estimated to have killed between 1m and 4m people (COVID 2.5m and counting).

4
Buried in a footnote to slide 12 of the earnings presentation: "Hasbro believes its gaming portfolio is a competitive differentiator and views it in its entirety." Sounds like management are committed to the gaming segment.

D&D gets exactly one mention in the conference call remarks on p. 3, near where they say: "Gaming has long been a priority investment category for Hasbro".

Talk is cheap, but investors hate management flip-flopping on core strategy. Switching focus without very strong reason would be job-loss territory for execs involved.

Apparently Chris Cocks, Wizards president, is doing a virtual investor event on Feb 25th. Tune in for that, I guess.

5
It's Mongoose so it will almost certainly be derivative, badly-written, and overpriced. Otherwise, not sure what the problem is here.

6
Traveller is inherently capitalist and free market.

I know it gives off that vibe (which is part of the reason why I love it) but it isn't really mandated in the rules. I suppose the tramp freighter campaign is probably the most popular, even if most of the published adventure material (at least classic era) is more survivalist or mercenary.

This is kind of obscure but there was a supplement called Olympus Mons for an SFRPG called Stellar Wind.

And I quote: "With a touch of Ayn Rand, a touch of Heinlein and a slightly larger touch of Poul Anderson as inspiration, Olympus Mons is set in a time when the solar system is settled; great fusion-powered "scoop ships" travel back and forth between the stars; and a powerful, wealthy, terraformed Mars is the center of human civilization."

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/92841/Olympus-Mons

It's one of the few explicitly conservatively inspired RPG products I know of.

7
Why is it that some of the most bigoted, elitist, and closed minded people in every corner of gaming are european?

...
Seen it time and again in LARPing where they push that the only "real" LARPs are with real weapons and real armor and its not "real" until you bleed.

Are you fucking kidding? That sounds ridiculously dangerous.

Then again with all the health and safety bullshit these days (yes I know how old I sound!), it's almost refreshing.

8
Quote
For example, I don't want (or need) general rules for advancing monsters, or applying a skill system to monsters. I certainly don't want someone to argue that a monster I include isn't built according to such rules. I suspect that's the kind of thing Gary was getting it when he talked about "too rules intensive" and the DM being demoted from "master of the game."

Well I generally like those rules - especially templates, they give world nice flow of organicism - like vampirism is template, and you can add it to some dwarven barbarian and he won't be just random vampire 1 from Monster Manual. But as you are not obliged to show players your notes - I think as long as you're honest and do not tweak monsters you built because suddenly they are too easy or too hard.

I don't find much value in things like templates. I have no problem at all with making a vampiric dwarf barbarian, but I'd just give it the abilities I want it to have without following a template for doing so. That's what I mean by not needing such rules: for me, they're just extra weight for no real benefit.

Exactly, my feeling is who needs a template, just use your brain.

However clearly some do prefer the more rigid template approach.

No doubt I'm oversimplifying but my (fairly limited) experience of the 3.5E style of play is that players do (a significant amount of) their gaming in advance by optimising character build. The goal of this is to achieve success within the framework of the game's mechanics. In that case, you want monster builds to be tightly defined because that is "fair". If the DM just makes something up, that's like moving the goalposts.

The OSR style of play is that players do their gaming at the table, reacting to the DM's description of the world and submitting to on-the-hoof but (hopefully) broadly fair and reasonable adjudication where the course of events isn't obvious from common sense.

Not saying you can't play OSR style using 3.5 rules or vice versa, of course, although I wonder why you would want to. 

My read of the Gygax quotation is that he was criticising a drift towards the style of play I'm characterising above as 3.5. Which I file under "different strokes for different folks".

9
Hmm, interesting. Still, I'm not interested in tactics to boost sales myself as I'm not selling anything.

My question was prompted more by a suspicion that turnover on the site must be tiny, given that what seem to me like niche products (e.g. expensive Mongoose Traveller stuff) quickly reaches top seller status.

I'd expect the distribution of sales is: a ton of copies of Cyberpunk Red, quickly dropping off through some nostalgia VtM/Traveller etc. product, then down to next to zero for 99%+ of the titles.

10
But 5e works for me and its easy to get new players into as basic is free.

There are a load of free rulesets for earlier editions, too. Swords and Wizardry, OSRIC, Lab Lord, For Gold & Glory, Basic Fantasy etc.

11
The Magical Society books get good feedback. I have the Silk Road one, which is great. A little expensive though.

The Bank of England has a database available from its website with data on English food prices and wages back to the middle ages.

12
Varies over time. Right now I would like to try one of various OD&D versions I've come across.

Interested to see all the love for 2e. BTW I noticed WotC recently put up this kind-of 2e starter set for free.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/284581/Dungeons--Dragons-Adventure-Game?src=newest

One of the strangenesses about it is it's date-stamped 1999, which is right before 3e. Maybe it was a marketing attempt to shift some 2e stock before the changeover.

No rules for character creation, but includes a folio of Level 2 characters and enough rules to take them to Lvl 5. Uses a single saving throw, and THAC0.

There's an old-school feel to it, e.g. the sample adventure DM guidance includes advice on what to do if the players try to negotiate with the monsters vs what to do if they attack, with explicit advice to just make it up if you either can't remember a rule or there isn't a rule.

13
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Onebookshelf sales?
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:22:26 AM »
Does anyone have much of a clue about OBS sales or turnover?

Question prompted by genuine curiosity - I have no vested interest one way or another.

I've noticed some stuff on drivethru for games I like, but that I would have thought was pretty niche, achieving what seem quite high places in sales rankings. E.g. Mongoose is releasing some high-priced pdf's of Third Imperium (official Traveller setting) material, $30ish for pdf only. One such item is currently ranked 3rd. I can see a few hardcore Traveller fanboys buying this, but... really?

Likewise, there is a community-content item for Coriolis that is a "copper seller" (whatever that means). It's effectively an illustrated version of the setting calendar. It looks quite nice from the preview, and it's quite cheap, but still.

Either this stuff is far more popular than I would have thought (great, cos I like these games); or as I suspect, overall sales are incredibly low; or, the algorithms on the website are screwed.

Edit: I have heard of an exploit where a publisher can buy a ton of their own stuff through dummy accounts to bump it up the rankings. OK but at least for the community content guys, I would expect they would do this for more of their stuff, not just 1 item.

14
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Re: Support Your FLGS
« on: January 15, 2021, 05:02:19 AM »
I remember dropping into a place called Games Paradise or something in Sydney, back when I had a job where I travelled a lot in Asia-Pac. It was a great store with a fantastic range of stock (OSR stuff etc.). Except for the older lady working there, who downloaded to me how much she hated it because the customers were all weirdos. I guess because I was between meetings and wearing a suit, she thought I wasn't "one of them". Can't remember if I bought anything on that occasion although I definitely did at some time.

Anyway, bricks and mortar retail was in plenty of trouble (by no means just games stores) before COVID, although COVID has accelerated it.

I think the discussion about supporting LGSs, F or not, is moot (not denying stores could benefit from a few extra dollars to get them over this recession). They will eventually have to find a viable business model.

I'll throw this out as a contrarian view - we could be on the brink of the golden age for the FLGS. They will be able to ride a wave of more mainstream acceptance of gaming, and cheaper city centre commercial real estate as downtowns progressively become a place we go to socialise rather than shop and work.

That's so long as the SJWs don't fuck it all up by scaring off the punters, of course.

15
So, the Alpha rules dropped today for Twilight:2000 by the Free League.

It's very pretty. And looking through the rules, I get a good sense of the post-apocalyptic world that the writers are trying to set up. Lots of game-able stuff for diseases, starvation, all that good stuff.

What's clear to me upon reading the history/set-up is that the writers are absolutely lost at sea. There's a lot of stuff missing in their write-up: nothing on China & Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Turkey and the Black Sea region, Balkans, and Persian Gulf, to name a few important geo-strategic places that seem to be missing.  Instead, we get the Russians invading the UK in 1999, Northern France is now a radioactive wasteland, and in 1998 the Syrians, supported by the USSR, attack Israel, which responds by using tactical nuclear weapons on the West Bank to stop the invasion. There's lots and lots on Poland, which is good. We also get a lot of stuff on Sweden, which is neat, sure. There's more written about Sweden here than the USA, which I suppose is to be expected.

I'm totally fine with some gonzo stuff, but I'm disappointed. It's the Alpha though.

France getting nuked means the 2300AD timeline must be junked, which would be a negative point for me (as the 2300AD setting is one of my favourite things in SF ever, not just RPGs). Although I suppose I can't really criticise them for not writing exactly the game I would have wanted.

From what people are saying, it seems the background might have some plausibility fails. That is a shame. I don't understand why professional RPG companies struggle with this. Not asking for a PhD level analysis, but it can't be that hard to find a consultant with enough knowledge of history and geopolitics to write something functional for people who read things other than comic books and RPGs. I never bought Twilight 2013 but apparently its background is laughable.

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