Tag Archive for role-playing games

KS Highlights: Age of Cthulhu 9 – The Lost Expedition

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Yesterday without much fanfare Goodman Games launched their latest Kickstarter – The Lost Expedition. This one is the latest in their Age of Cthulhu series of scenarios, and not surprisingly within 24 hours they’ve nearly reached their funding goal.

This title will be the ninth installment in their line of adventure modules officially licensed by Chaosium. Much like the eighth module – Starfall Over the Plateau of Leng – this one will also be released in hardcover. However, unlike the last adventure this time the intrepid investigators will not find themselves bumbling through the Dreamlands, but somewhere else just as terrifying. Read more

Old School Roleplaying – what is it?

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I thought I would share a few thoughts about old school roleplaying, and why (for me and others) it is so attractive as a gaming outlet. First, a little about me – I have been a gamer since the mid 1970s, although my first gaming was military board games. I started with the lightweight military board games that became popular in the 1970s (Carrier Strike, Skirmish, Tank Battle, etc), and then moved into Avalon Hill type games. From there, it wasn’t long before I discovered miniature wargaming, round about the late 1970s. I was excited about the Battle of Waterloo figures I got from Airfix, but my brothers (who were my gaming companions) were having none of that. So we went into medieval, and due to the popularity of the animated Lord of the Rings movie, we also got interested in fantasy miniatures. And then I found Dungeons and Dragons, the original white box edition, that said on the box that it was “Rules for Fantastic Medieval Wargames Campaigns Playable with Paper and Pencil and Miniature Figures”. Eureka! This is what we were looking for! Previously we played around with rules from Hinchliffe, and wrote some of our own, but it was all in the sense of a wargame.

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I saw this Dungeons and Dragons stuff everywhere, once I became aware of it. It was in toy stores, in book stores, and of course at the hobby store. Different versions? Whoa! So I got some money from mowing yards, and bought the Dungeons and Dragons Basic set that was written by J. Eric Holmes. Why do I mention the author? Because a few years later, there was another basic set writing by Tom Moldvay. The first one, which I got, came with the module B1 “In Search of the Unknown” by Mike Carr. To this day, I still think that is one of the best modules for any game, that was designed to teach new game masters the art of building RPG adventures.

So, from there, the rest is history. Here we are in 2016, and I am still roleplaying. Now my high school aged daughter joins in, and I have friends that I have been playing with since the early 80s. It is, has been, and will continue to be a great hobby (along with the rest of tabletop gaming, that I find so intriguing – that is, board games and miniature games). In the time between 1974 when D&D was initially published (which was, at first, in response to all the players learning it from Mr. Gygax and company, and who needed their own copy of the rules), and today, there have been hundreds and hundreds of other roleplaying games, and a number of excellent editions of D&D and its successor Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. The first successor to the basic game was the AD&D game, published as three books in 1977 (with the appearance of the Monster Manual), 1979 (Player’s Handbook) and 1980 (Dungeon Master’s Guide). That game was EXTREMELY successful, and many thousands of players still play first edition AD&D (as it is known today). It gave way, however, to a second edition (AD&D2E, as it is known on countless websites). That version of the game is also extremely popular (and still played by many, many people), with the core again being three books – a Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monstrous Compendium. Versions of those books, and many hundreds of supporting products, came out starting in 1989, and would continue into the 1990s, until the year 2000, when 3rd Edition AD&D came out. Here, my history ends because at this point, I believe we finally moved away from what anybody would call old school roleplaying. Read more

1d4Con Debriefing

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The fourth annual 1d4Con struck Martinsburg, West Virginia a little more than a week ago. 1d4Con is an event filled with tabletop role-playing games, card games, board games, miniatures, and yes even LARPing. Many folk likely attended one or more of the previous years, and as such, returned again for their fill of Pathfinder or Dungeons & Dragons. And yet, among their number still rose those who attended for the first time.

In full disclosure I’ve been gaming for over 20 years. Yet, this was my first convention. I set out to attend the entire weekend with other Lodge members attending throughout the event, and this is a telling of our adventures. Read more

Call of Cthulhu 7e Rules Explanations

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Over at Blasphemous Tomes we find that Paul Fricker, co-author of Call of Cthulhu seventh edition, has released a series of videos providing insight into the new/updated rules for Call of Cthulhu.

Below you will find the five videos (if more are released this post will be updated accordingly). The videos cover: Character Creation, the Game System, Sanity, Combat, and finally Wounds and Healing.
Read more

To the Frontiers! – Reviewing Hard Nova II

Space is big. Really, really friggin big. Someone has to discover it.

So what are you waiting for?

Hard Nova II is the tenth-year anniversary, revised and expanded version of the 2004 role-playing game by the same name. It comes in smooth paperback form with attractive, hand-drawn artwork. Those with tablets may prefer the PDF version, which is readily available for the price of a latte and is of good transfer quality from the paperback form.

The rules themselves are quickly learned and will be very familiar to anyone that plays Savage Worlds. The system seems to stick to the model of “rules as resolution” and lets the mechanics be ignored in a typical game until they are needed to resolve a situation – something of which I, as a storyteller, am very much fond.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t know anything about the universe of Hard Nova prior to receiving this rulebook. Some quick Google-mining reveals a decently-reviewed RPG videogame of the same name from EA back in the 1990’s, though I can’t confirm that this game is the same intellectual property. Aside from that, there’s really not much to go on. I entered this read quite literally blind.

For those of you like me that know nothing of this game, the world universe of Hard Nova consists of an expansive alliance of populated planets called the United Sovereign Worlds (at which Earth seems to be, naturally, the center). Each world is populated by one or more sentient species ranging from humanoid to insectoid to robotic to a puddle of intelligent ooze (seriously!). Humans themselves have branched out into two distinct species – the cybernetics-enhanced Earth-based line and the psionic-powered thread that has evolved on Alpha Centauri.

The game is fast-paced. The system is easy to learn. And the source material presented in the rulebook is quite extensive.

So is this game any good? Read more