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Messages - FraserRonald

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News and Adverts / Centurion: Legionaries of Rome
« on: January 07, 2014, 04:42:37 pm »
March with the legions against the enemies of Rome in this role-playing game of military adventures.

Centurion: Legionaries of Rome was a successful Kickstarter in which players play scouts, spies, or special troops marching under the eagle of Rome. It is now available at RPG Now and Drive-Thru RPG.

The book supports games in the Late Republic (from the Second Punic War to the rise of Gaius Marius), the Civil Wars (from Marius to Augustus), the Principate (from Augustus to the third century), and the Crisis of the Third Century, providing ideas for characters and adventures. Face the army of Hannibal, track down Vercingetorix for Caesar, fight the dreaded Germanic menace with the armies of Marcus Aurealius, or try to save a shattered empire during the third century crisis as a legionary of Rome.

Whether you know Rome from textbooks or movies, Centurion offers your characters the chance to be part of history, and perhaps change it to suit their whims.

You can find more information on Centurion: Legionaries of Rome here.

Veni, vidi, vici.

News and Adverts / Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death
« on: January 21, 2012, 07:41:58 am »
Suffer the Witch, an adventure for Kiss My Axe, is now available.

A group of Vikings cast ashore find a village stripped of its warriors. The chieftain speaks of a witch, once a wise woman of the village, now bitter and flushed with hatred. The village suffers under her curse, and he has lost many men in attempting to free it. He cannot risk any more.

And these adventurers, lately come from the sea, lost and in need of aid? Can they save the village of Kalved?

Suffer the Witch, an adventure for the Viking RPG Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death, was created for Gen Con 2011. It is a challenge for 4 – 6 starting characters. Pre-generated characters are included, but the adventure can be run with any newly generated Kiss My Axe character. While the adventure does not require the use of Kiss My Axe, the narrative characters and some situations are based on that system and would require modification to use with another system.

You can find Suffer the Witch here.

News and Adverts / Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death
« on: December 21, 2011, 11:01:58 pm »
Are you ready for some Viking mayhem? Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death is an RPG of Viking adventure that looks to the sagas as much as to history to inform its take on Europe's romanticized pirates and pillagers. Vikings invoked fear in the monks of England and fascination in the Victorians from that same nation. Raiders and reivers, explorers and merchants, the men from the North left no part of Europe untouched, and reached beyond, to lands only imagined or wholly unknown. Their imprint on European history is so strong, they have their own eponymous epoch. Dread warriors, they have been a staple of fiction and a paradigm of the barbarian. Is it any wonder role-players regularly turn to them for inspiration?

Kiss My Axe is available now in PDF and Print format from Sword's Edge Publishing. You can find it at RPG Now and DriveThru RPG.

News and Adverts / [Sword Noir] Crossing the Millers
« on: September 03, 2011, 11:06:23 am »
Crossing the Millers is an adventure for Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery.

Finney the Miller, master of East Corners, wants the Fixer's crew to take care of a romantic rival he suspects has captured his mistress' eyes, if not her heart. But does this risk a war with a gang that has sworn allegiance to the Millers? Or does it risk something else entirely?

Crossing the Millers is a PDF adventure with 21 pages of content including 3 pages of narrative characters and 6 pre-generated characters for use by the players. While the adventure does not require the use of Sword Noir, the narrative characters and some situations are based on that system and would require modification to use with another system.

Crossing the Millers is now available from RPG Now.

If you have already bought both Sword Noir and the Kheufer Scrolls, you can get Crossing the Millers for free. If you aren't receiving email from RPG Now, drop me a line with your customer ID and I'll send you back the discount link.

News and Adverts / The Kheufer Scrolls: A Sword Noir Adventure
« on: July 07, 2011, 09:01:11 pm »
In this adventure, the PCs find themselves caught up in the search for scrolls belonging to the ancient necromancer Kheufer. Allies, enemies and the unknown all intersect as the sand runs through the hourglass and the plans of an ancient power, long thought dead, move toward fruition.

The Kheufer Scrolls is an adventure for for Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery. Designed for up to six starting characters, it is a 34 page PDF including 5 maps and 10 pages of narrative characters. While the adventure does not require the use of Sword Noir, the narrative characters and some situations are based on that system and would require modification to use with another system.

News and Adverts / Sword Noir RPG now on sale
« on: May 23, 2011, 07:51:08 pm »
Quote from: Tommy Brownell;459985
Ah, nice! I do think the added art was fitting, but definitely not overwhelming (as I noted in my review, I clearly thought the product worked fine art-free).
Another reason I didn't want to quibble. And on the kind of budget that produced Arcane Kingdoms, I can't really expect much more than "nice." ;)

Quote from: Tommy Brownell;459985
I'll drop you a line when the review is done...(I have a long weekend that I'm trying to get extended even further before I start a new job...which hopefully means tons of writing!)
Sweet. I look forward to it.

News and Adverts / Sword Noir RPG now on sale
« on: May 23, 2011, 08:37:38 am »
Quote from: Tommy Brownell;459958
I'm hoping to tackle this next week (or this weekend), myself...I recently reviewed Arcane Kingdoms by Mr. Ronald and was really pleased...and the *idea*, at least, behind Sword Noir sounds great.
That's excellent. I look forward to reading your review, positive or negative.

By the way, if you still have access to a review copy of Arcane Kingdoms from RPG Now, I think you may find it is slightly different than the advance copy you received. I wasn't about to complain, given the great review, but since I have your ear, though I'd mention it. ;) Also, thanks for such a positive review. That's always nice to read!

News and Adverts / Sword Noir RPG now on sale
« on: May 23, 2011, 12:24:49 am »
Quote from: finarvyn;456493
Anyone play this game yet? It sounds interesting, but I'd like to read a review first...
Hi finarvyn

There are three reviews right now up at the Sword Noir page at RPG Now. Berin Kinsman also wrote a pseudo-review (I don't think he's actually played it). I've put a few articles up with sneak peeks at the game, answers to some questions, and discussions of how combat runs. Finally, the basic engine that runs Sword Noir is free as the Sword's Edge System. The two are not identical, but SES gives you an idea of how the game runs.

Let me know if you have any questions.

News and Adverts / Sword Noir RPG now on sale
« on: April 26, 2011, 08:53:27 pm »
Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery is now available as a 104 page softcover 6” x 9” book with black & white interiors. Print + PDF from RPG Now is priced at $10.73. If you’ve been waiting for the print book, wait no longer. If you have purchased the PDF and have not received a discount code for the print version, contact me and give me your customer number and I’ll see that you get one.

Design, Development, and Gameplay / [d20 Modern Feats] Burst Fire
« on: July 21, 2006, 09:07:36 am »
Quote from: blakkie

No, you weren't suggesting rewriting the rules. That second paragraph doesn't belong in my post, so strike that sucker out. :bow:

I will consider it duly struck.

Quote from: blakkie

Often in a well tuned system changing one piece tends to ripple out in a noticable, and occationally unexpected way. Playtesting implies that it might need further changes.

Very true, and why careful, incremental changes to any system, followed by rigorous playtesting is important. Even when playtesting suggests there may be an issue with anothe rule or section of the system, it's important to analyze and understand how and why the change is impacting that rule/section before making further changes.

If one has a good group with a good grasp of the system, it's easier to make changes on the fly. Removing changes and re-setting to normal with such a group--in my experience--is quite easy. Also, such a group is able to give better feedback and offer good ideas when there is something that needs changing.

Quote from: blakkie

In this case with the ammuniton supply.  If that is the balancing factor you are going to count on for this change, and we assume that currently the system is balanced, then is the influence of ammunition supply going to need to be upped?  How to do that? And where will that change ripple too?

When using encumbrance rules, and enforcing the recording of ammunition usage, ammunition in d20 is already an important factor in weapon balance. It's also important to remember the time factor in changing magazines.

Quote from: blakkie

Of course knowing the system really, really well helps this a lot. Usually by playing with it for some time. But often I've see people read through a rules book once, or even played it for a while, and then say "well obviously this one thing has to change because of XYZ" and going ahead and doing that without realizing the ripple effect they are creating and it's far reaching implications.

And after doing so, watching their game go kla-blooie, and wonder what went wrong. Yeah, tinkering with rules without understanding them is like tinkering with an engine or electronic device without understanding it. Don't expect it to do what it did before one started one's tinkering.

Quote from: blakkie

I'm not saying that must be the case here, because I haven't even read the book/SRD. But that is something to watch for there.

It's a good warning, and something to remember, whenever trying to "fix" a system.


Design, Development, and Gameplay / [d20 Modern Feats] Burst Fire
« on: July 20, 2006, 09:23:09 am »
Quote from: blakkie
Old saw.  Problem being every you change things around you have to settle it all out. If you rip something appart bigtime then you end up effectively playtesting for a while, sometimes a long while. Which tends to bring rules confusion with it.

Because balance isn't just for the sake of itself. There is actually a motivation and goal behind it. Or should be.

Ya sure, you could even rewrite the whole ruleset. But then why the hell are you using it as a base to start with if it is that far out of wack from what you are looking for?

Well, in this case, with it being a single feat, it didn't cause too many problems. House rules are good in that they can be added incrementally, and with each step comes plenty of playtesting. If it's a problem, it's simply ripped out.

It is true that if you rewrite the whole ruleset, you might as well buy a new system. That's not what I was suggesting.

Design, Development, and Gameplay / [d20 Modern Feats] Burst Fire
« on: July 19, 2006, 12:42:22 am »
Quote from: blakkie
That's probably the biggest non-realistic aspect in RPGs.  Typically bringing a knife to a gunfight is usually a fatal mistake, but far less so in games.

It is also probably the one place that the fewest people complain about favouring balancing of options over realism. Likely due partially due to ignorance, but I'm guessing mostly to do with liking the movie version where unarmed people take on swordwielders and knives go face-to-face with firearms regularly and are treated as roughly on par.

That's all very true. And like you pointed out earlier, ammo consumption is a realistic and consistent balancing factor that affects the use of burst fire.

The beauty part is, in one's game, one can make the rules whatever the heck one wants. This one includes burst fire with advanced firearms proficiency.

Design, Development, and Gameplay / [d20 Modern Feats] Burst Fire
« on: July 18, 2006, 12:21:23 pm »
Brad Clark, the guy who tells me how things work in the real world and who actually uses weapons, hates the autofire and burst rules as well. His arguement was the same: "I learned it the same day I learned how to use an assault rifle." I figure it should be wrapped into the Advanced Firearm Proficiency. But, again, as others have mentioned, it's a balance thing. Force the firearm users to spend an extra feat, lower their chances to hit, don't make firearms too effective in-game versus hand2hand combatants.

It also bugs me that most low-level characters can only fire one round from a semi-automatic weapon in 6 seconds. In 6 seconds, people trained in firearms could put a lot of effective lead downrange. Doesn't take long to empty the magazine of a Beretta 92, and that's when one is actually hitting things with the bullets.

Hey All

Dark Quest Games has recently released Teams: SAS, a collection of NPCs from the UK's Special Air Service. The release was in cooperation with Sword's Edge Publishing, and your's truly wrote it. I thought I'd try something different and do a king of designer's blog but as a podcast. Being the goof I am, I coined it a "blodcast." In any case, it's up and available at SEP's Teams page. Have a look, give a listen, and let me know what you think. Hopefully I'll improve with practice.


Unfortunately, those lone warriors against the evil sorcerer types tend to have--in game terms--high stats in just about everything. In an actual game, rules require some form of balance. In order to replicate the warrior of mighty will, you'd need to up his WIS stat at the expense of his CON stat. Not the most elegant solution, given the need for high hit points, but for d20, it's the best solution.

I think this is a standard problem: most RPGs have difficultly replicating many types of related fiction. But maybe that's just me.

Take care all.

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