Fourthcore D&D’s 4th Anniversary Celebration

•October 31, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This Halloween is the fourth anniversary of Fourthcore. Sersa V has moved on to other projects and he has no new Fourthcore modules coming out, but the significance of the fourth anniversary led me to collect some links for your reading, listening, or viewing pleasures.

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JPS Numenera Episode 1: The Nightmare Switch

•October 29, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As you may recall, Luke from Just Press Start is running a game of Numenera online.

The game was a lot of fun to play in but I don’t know what was up with Anthony and that guard that night. Unfortunately for Luke, we may have come off as a bunch of assholes last night. The good news is that he handled it pretty well. That is to say, I think he … erm… “role-plays” frustration pretty good. :)

Seriously. As Luke reminds us, he has not run a game in nearly 20 years and his recent role-play has been limited to my Marvel RPG sessions. He ran the session better than some other GMs that I have met with waaaay more experience. Nervous as he was, I think he did a fantastic job.

The next live session is Wednesday, Nov 6th. We’re shooting for a bi-weekly game.

Luke’s Twitter handle is @JPSXeserox. Follow him and tell him what you think of the game!

Numenera

•October 17, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I hadn’t planned on getting involved with Numenera. I already have a number of potential RPG projects backed up at the moment and I’m rarely one to follow a project because of a designer’s name. Providence interceded, however, when Monte Cooke and Shanna Germain came to town.

My FLGS is Kirwan’s Game Store. The store owner (another Steve) contributed heavily to the Numenera kickstarter, earning a visit from Monte and Shannon. I know Steve from back when I used to own a game shop, and he offered to seat me at Monte’s table to play the game, which I accepted about of curiosity.

Then, my good friend Lucas lands and interview with Monte & Shanna. Lucas is the producer for a video game blog and podcast, Just Press Start, but he also runs the local board game group and has been looking to expand the focus of his blog to include them. Lucas asked if I would like to conduct the interview instead, which I also accepted.

You can find the interview here, preceeded by a few thoughts on the game from Lucas and myself. To say that I was nervous is an understatement. I knew who Monte was, but I didn’t follow him or his career and I had to do a ton of reading to catch up… or so I thought. I.. over-prepared… I also hadn’t been in front of a mic for JPS in a long time and this was the first interview that I have conducted in person!

On the day that Monte Cook Games arrived. Monte and Shannon held a lengthy Q&A followed by a signing. (All the store copies are signed by the way, so contact Kirwan’s if you want to snag one.) Luke and I got our interview just before the dinner break. Monte and Shannon then ran 1 full session of Numenera each before meeting with the local paper and then, I imagine, collapsing from sheer exhaustion! (It was a looong day for all of us.)

Luke was so impressed by what he heard in the Q&A that he decided to buy Numenera, his first RPG purchase since D&D 2nd Edition! I gave up my seat at Monte’s table so Luke could play instead, which was just the thing to tip him into running the game himself. The first session of which is here:

Since I’m playing, I’ll be posting the videos here, just as I have for everything that I run. I hope that you enjoy them!

Actual Play: Star Wars + Fate Accelerated

•July 22, 2013 • 1 Comment

I finally had my shot at running Fate. The goal was a one-shot using Fate Accelerated to see how quickly we could make characters and get into the game. I chose Star Wars for the setting because, well.. I’ve been talking about it nearly forever! Also, SW has the added bonus of being familiar to nearly every geek on the planet, so there is a wealth of shared understanding to mine.

***WARNING***
I talk a lot in this video
***WARNING***


From left to right, the players are:
Dustin “Cassus” B, Co-Host and Editor of Under Discussion. (@8one6)
Kevin “Dent” Smith. (@down2dm)
Joe “Longshot” Stroup. Formerly Colossus in my Marvel game. (@raisedead)

Character generation and establishing the opening scenario took about 40 minutes. Given the narrative foundation of the mechanics, char-gen requires a different set of skills, or the ability to put existing DM skills into a new context. As you can see, we flounder a bit over the best phrasing for our Aspects but the intent behind them is pretty clear. For a one-shot, we aren’t concerned with “getting it right” and, as it happens, everything turned out fine in the end.

Had this become an ongoing game, we definitely would have refined the characters after each of the first few sessions. I think that if you are new to Fate, you pretty much have to play this loose and forgo some of the character advancement options until you get a better feel for what makes a good character Aspect. (I ran into a similar situation with home-made characters in Marvel HRP.)

I think that laying out the intent of the one-shot before we began helped give focus to the process. In Fate, character generation has a great impact on how the game itself plays out. The choices made by the players are useless unless supported by the plot later on. Likewise, by incorporating theer choices into the session, I was easily able to create challenges that rewarded their efforts.

In my head, this was an adventure suited for scoundrels, bounty hunters, mercenaries, and Jedi trying to navigate the underworld to get what they wanted. Char-gen blew that idea out of the water and it was great.

Tabletop Day RotIL D&D Run Sampled by *PBS*

•June 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This blog has always been a place for me to work out my thoughts on gaming through writing. It’s been an honor to know that someone (anyone, really) finds what I have to say interesting.

However, had an audience ever been the point of this exercise, I can die happy now.

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The Secret to RPGs and proposed Game Aspects for V:TM

•June 18, 2013 • 2 Comments

I’ve slowly been acclimating my wife to Fate/FAE by discussing the system when I find an interesting post about it or achieve a new insight regarding the system. She hasn’t played an RPG in some time and has never been terribly inclined toward the mechanics of such, preferring to carry through with her instinctive command of story.

On one occasion where I was talking about aspects, she asked how vampires can be modeled in Fate. I recall what prompted the question, but I do remember choosing that time to tell her The Secret regarding all RPGs.

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“Biting” the Bullet

•May 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Few people remember, but my wife used to roleplay. She got her start when I did—with second edition D&D—but her true passion turned out to be Vampire: The Masquerade.

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