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Messages - WillInNewHaven

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Quote from: jahud;974564

I know one novelist GM. I haven't played in his campaigns, but those that have, have enjoyed them. Are novelists are better or worse GMs than other people? Are they micromanagers with their worlds (more often than not)?  

I think that James S. A. Corey's excellent "The Expanse" series is based on Ty Franck's  MMORPG (then table-top RPG) setting. IIRC Steven Erikson's Malazan series is based on his fantasy world (and he uses GURPS). I would have loved to play in their campaigns - although I don't much care for Malazan series.

I play every Wednesday night in C.J. Carella's game. He has written superhero novels, modern fantasy novels (starting with _Shadowfall Las Vegas_ and now has a very successful military SF series going. He's a great GM. Of course, he was very involved in roleplaying games before he was a novelist. He created the Unisystem, wrote tons of GURPS material, wrote for Palladium and created the Buffy game and All Flesh Must be Eaten. I've been playing in his games (and GMing with him in my games) since the late Eighties.

Bill Reich

Quote from: Gronan of Simmerya;974619
Unfortunately none of those systems seem to include TACTICS.  CHAINMAIL should be more than just line up troops and grind 'em together.  Terrain and maneuver is what win battles, not dice rolling.

Terrain, maneuver and morale. You (generally) break armies, you don't kill them, especially in the days before firearms. I don't think the OP wants something from wargaming but others interested in this subject might want to look at edition six of War Games Research Group's ancient and medieval wargame rules. Of course, they have to be modified. Adding in magic gives one many opportunities to break the opponent's troops.

Quote from: daniel_ream;974145
What, seriously?

The reason "orphaned sociopath with amnesia" is such a common character back story is that a very, very large portion of players are not interested in the slightest in playing a character - they want to kill things, or disturb shit, or just pfaff around in a fictional world without consequences.  A similar portion of players are so emotionally invested in their character that any attempt by the GM to motivate them by leveraging their character's relationships is tantamount to railroading.  This is a trope that goes back to the very beginnings of roleplaying.

People who want to play a character will do so without needing any further prompting.  People who don't, won't, and no amount of encouragement will get them to.  Know which you've got in your group and plan accordingly.

I think that almost everyone I have played with over the years has been a mix of those two attitudes and a group where most of the players lean toward roleplaying will get some roleplay out of the most hardened murder hobos.

Bill Reich

Quote from: Nexus;974132
The breadth of experiences found in gaming is truly amazing, no joke. In this thread I keep hearing about the "25-50 page" backstories and I have never, in 30+ yrs of gaming gotten anything that long. I think the longest background I can easily recall receiving was 8-10 pages from a player with a very ornate writing style. Someone more with a drier more concise style might have said the same thing in 3-4. I don't think I've ever gotten one of these infamous masturbatory fanfics disguised as a background which seem to plague so many others. But that might stem in part from a different outlook. I've rarely run "You're nobodies and don't matter." zero to hero games.

What is it with the "you're all no one from nowhere" attitude. Being someone from somewhere, even if neither is very important, is part of being a character and how can one play a  character without being one?


Quote from: Nexus;974135
I met most of gaming crew in high school and college then online. I never got much into the pick up game at the FLGS thing but it was healthy around here for awhile. Never had the gaming drunk/stoned issue come up but we were pretty straight arrow. Worst that happened was playing -way- to late and sometimes things got weird about 3-4 in the morning. :D

Gaming drunk? Once or twice. Gaming stoned? More often but the weirdest was gaming with the GM's two exes in the game.

Quote from: Dumarest;972814
If youre ever in the San Diego area let me know; I can show you how badly I run D&D games. I mean, I hardly even use hobbits, for the love o' Mike. :D

So what do you throw, run with and kick in your Rugby games?

"I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be what they had promised me it was going to be — instead of the tawdry, lousy fouled-up mess it is.
I had had one chance — for ten minutes yesterday afternoon. Helen of Troy, whatever your true name may be — And I had known it ... and I had let it slip away.
Maybe one chance is all you ever get." Oscar Gordon

Quote from: Voros;972714
I found powergamers faked their chargen, random or otherwise. 'Policing' my players is about as attractive to me as keeping all my players in gimp masks.

I often GM with half or more of my players on Skype and I don't want to do all of the dice rolling. So they could be cheating me blind. But I don't think they do and I don't worry about it. As for chargen, I don't have to make any effort to police my players and I don't have to be there when they are creating a character. I know what a character created with Adventurer or Cinematic point totals looks. I'm not even checking for cheating. I just know that none of them have cheated. It isn't rocket science.


News and Adverts / Playtesting Module
« on: July 01, 2017, 05:06:04 pm »
It has been pointed out rather forcefully that the person who designed the adventure setting and wrote the system should not be the one, and certainly not the only one, playtesting the module. She is quite correct and is playtesting the module as GM now. I am not even being allowed to play in it. Waaaaah.
If anyone else wants to do it, I can send a PDF of the game system. Everything else necessary to run the adventure is at the website under my name.
Bill Reich

Quote from: S'mon;971804
Do PCs talk to each other in your games?

Does it depend on the game? Do Call of Cthulhu PCs talk more than D&D PCs?

Does it depend on the game format (tabletop, online text chat, PBP & PBEM, live action etc)?

 I suspect PCs pretty much never interact in-character in my D&D tabletop games, and that this is a big difference between tabletop and text-chat or pbem play where that is often the focus of play.

Do you think it's something worth encouraging? Do you discourage it?

It happens all the time in the games I GM and the games in which I play. We have a fairly new player now who tends to say "I  tell them what I saw" and I say "so tell them," so I guess I am encouraging it.


Quote from: ffilz;971869
Ok, cool, how big were these backgrounds? How many pages? Given the campaign premise, all sound fine, and I could see several paragraphs from each being useful though your short descriptions go a long ways.

That was your main question and I didn't answer it.

The guy whose dad was the Chief Constable wrote me a note saying pretty much what I said in his character description and we decided that he had been away training up as a knight for a couple of years and returned to find that the other nobles had pretty much turned against his family. Not a whole lot written. Joanne typed a one-page summary of her character being a Shah noblewoman and I approved it. It surprised me because it put more difficulties in her way. The guy whose dad had been executed wrote a page and I told him to cut out the bit about making his way alone in the slums. That might happen in the course of play and he might gain connections in the criminal underworld but he couldn't have them at the start of play. Bruce asked me what could make a rural noble family cut all connections with a second son, or at least threaten to, and we decided that taking the money he had for good armor and a war-horse and enrolling at the Stone House would do it. Not much written. The last player had always played magicians and she wanted to play something closer to her real self, she was a rugby player. So  we worked out the character together.


Quote from: ffilz;971788
I'd love to understand how big the backgrounds are (paragraphs, pages?) and how all the information helped.


The campaign with the biggest back stories began with my telling the players "After this campaign wraps up, let's start one where you are all young nobles in Old Meyoss (a big city which they knew about but it had never been the site of a campaign) but all of you have serious issues. Maybe your family lost all of its money, maybe you are out of favor with the government and the Bureau of State Security, maybe both. Maybe it is something I haven't thought of." They all had some weeks to come up with back-stories and I stood ready to edit, especially to avoid duplication. I got:
1: The son of the Chief of the Constabulary. His father was in hot water with the other nobles because he had gotten the government to allow his constables to arrest nobles and interfere in some of the crap they pulled. They also looked down on him because he had a job. The kid was proud of his father but most of the other noble kids avoided him.
2: The daughter of a noble house of the previous rulers of the city. Differing in both ethnicity and religion from the new rulers, the Sha are still a large minority and mixed-race people are probably the majority. I had outlined all that in my description of the setting but Joanne fit her character into it. She had the least money problems of all of the characters but the greatest social problems.
3: A youngster whose father had been a very important city official but had been arrested, tried secretly and executed by the Bureau. He and his family had the cash they had on hand and the house they lived in. He was probably the worst off. Maybe his social problems were greater too.
4: A young man who had gone against the wishes of his rural minor-noble family and come to the city to study at The Stone House, a school for Earth magicians. His mother sent him a small allowance but that only provided enough for his food and tuition.
5: A young woman who had inherited a little money from an aunt and gone against the wishes of her family and attended The School of Three Swords. The upper classes of the city, except for the Sha, are pretty patriarchal and she faced great disapproval.
This all impacted how they became allied, got involved in minor quarrels and a few duels, and eventually combatted the big problem facing the city, it was lousy with vampires.

This looks like it's going to be a good thread to dig into but I'm going to bed, so I will just give my first reaction. We didn't do dungeon crawls much since just before the turn of the century, so I can't say I am tired of them. We were playing caravan guards and merchants for a long campaign that a friend ran and then I ran the first Elven Fusion band on the planet and the beginning of the magically-recorded music industry and that lasted a quite awhile. We were in a dungeon-like setting in that one for a month or so out of the year plus that it ran. Right now, I'm playing in a game that resembles a dungeon crawl in that we fight monsters almost every week but we haven't been underground and I'm running a campaign that was mostly overland/wilderness but just had a short climactic dungeon crawl at the end. When we resume, we will be in a city and go out into wilderness again, possibly to wind up in a dungeon, possibly not.

I think that the more variety you get, the less tired you would be of any one thing. I kept telling my girlfriend that but that's another story.

I have found backstories to be an interesting side issue in character creation. If someone wants to play the mysterious stranger, with no family or connections, that's ok too, but I rarely encounter that. I've started campaigns with all of the characters knowing one another and some of them related and they had big backgrounds that gave them motivations. Those generally lasted a long time. But I've had "five strangers meet at the caravan hiring hall" too and that lasted a couple of years.

News and Adverts / Playtesting Module
« on: June 22, 2017, 01:45:54 pm »
Play Location/Method: Deerfield Beach, FL or via SKYPE.
Game/System: Glory Road Roleplaying, PDF of game system will be supplied to players.
Player or GM? I'm the GM in this campaign
Time/Frequency: To Be Determined
Genre: example: Fantasy
Current needs: Additional players
Accept Drop-In Players? Yes
Accept Spectators? Maybe
Short description of the setting/campaign (5 lines or less): example:
"PCs are stopping at the High Point Inn and are snowed in by April blizzard.

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