Tabletop RPGs in 2022

Inkarnate is pretty, I agree. Based on your other comments, are you planning to do overland travel in any procedural fashion (Rations and transport matter, random encounters built to fit terrain types/regional areas, terrain mattering in terms of time/difficulty)? If so, I’d suggest a more granular map type in terms of terrain definition tied to speed of travel and supplies. If you aren’t planning to do that then I wouldn’t worry about it (bc you are handling that narratively).

Most definitely, part of the campaign will be managing a large expedition of adventurers and support team members. I have already 3d printed horses, and carriages for random encounters. The first region they need to explore/conquer is a vast desert past the mountains. I plan on handling that travel through the PF2 hexploration system. The maps I have created are for the cities as well as large scale direction.

A big part of the campaign for the players will be cost/benefit analysis. For example each “named” NPC they take along with them in the expedition will require a x% cut for joining them. It is a little oregon trails-y. They can bank less treasure and have an easier time. Bringing a blacksmith or medic with them to help, or they can forgo that and have a harder time.

I haven’t gotten to the planning/staging of the systems I will use for that, the first part or “book” will be doing some smaller trade missions, caravan protection etc, as the company they are working for gears up supplies for the expedition to the west.

Currently they are traveling to a small mining town in the mountains to the west, as the mining expedition the company sent did not return word about their finding/claims after 2 weeks, it has been a month since they arrived, and 3 weeks since anyone has heard from the town. The free companies have been trying to get the local legislature to send troops there, but it hasn’t been long enough. The city is also new enough that it hasn’t been issued its own mayorship/guards/outpost. The individual companies are supposed to handle protection there, as the site hasn’t been seen as profitable enough to warrant government assistance.

Again, the villain of my campaign is capitalism.

Dropping by for a meme while deeper thoughts ferment.

Secret of the Black Crag is an adventure for Old School Essentials up on Kickstarter now. I’m excited about it because the writer’s previous adventure The Black Wyrm of Brandensford is my favorite low level adventure. It’s got a great folklore tone, lots of fun characters, is fantastically terse and a super open ended point-crawl. It also has great jumping off points for turning it into a long running campaign after it ends. Looks like Secret of the Black Crag is going to be similar but with pirates in the open sea instead of dwarves and dragons.

I think OSE adventures are really easy to adapt to other systems too. If you run 5e or pathfinder, you can find the stat blocks for the same monsters in most cases. If they’re unique their stat block will just look like a simplified 5e one. The Black Wyrm isn’t super combat focused so a little unbalanced encounters won’t set you off too much. Maybe the biggest issue is it assumes you’re getting XP for gold, which means you might need to work in different incentives for other systems but I don’t think that’d be hard.

100%. Whether getting more or less complex, system-wise their bones are great for exploiting.

New RPG book porn courtesy @BiggerBoat and Starforged:

I backed it for all these goodies, can’t wait.

Recent games nonsense.

Still running my She-Ra and the Princesses of Power/Voltron: Legendary Defender/My Hero Academia-inspired scifantasy feel-o-rama on Sundays for friends. We recently entered a true genre classic: The Tournament Arc!

Brief catch-up: on a supposedly safe haven planet rich in Weird Magic Shit, a small settlement of refugees from the Alliance hide from the Empire, and our PCs are students at the local military academy, BARS (Bastion Academy of Radical Studies – they hope to train next-gen soldiers who’ve grown up on such a magic-rich planet). While most students have some magical or high-tech skills, the PCs all have been bonded to extra-powerful mystical entities in one way or another and are on a whole different level!

After an Imperial task force finds the refuge-world and begin attacking, including planting a traitor at the school, Classic Dickhead Archetype Alliance Commander Shumall has taken over the school and sentenced our heroes to indefinite detention for their various extra-scholastic shenanigans (their identities as magic heroes are still mostly secret, but they’ve been the only thing holding back the Imperials so far).

As part of their detention, they’ve been assigned to the defunct Student Activities Committee to plan BARS events. They decided on a vast intramural club-vs-club tournament that will conclude with a big dance, and have been setting that up for awhile now. Ahead of the tournament, they also dredged up the old Cosmicompatibility Quiz that had been used in years prior (riffs on those awful compatibility quizzes some schools used to subject their students to, where you’d answer a survey and get back a piece of paper listing your top “matches” at school).

However, because they are PCs and thus inveterate trolls, they hacked the actual results to cause maximum chaos, pairing bossy Queen Bee archetype Beffica Bones with people she hates, setting themselves up with their ideal partners, etc. The faculty were surveyed, too (and only paired with other faculty, cuz otherwise, ick), and they made sure to pair Shumall with the traitorous, disgraced ex-vice Principal Sheargull. In bold are our five PCs, fwiw. Oh, and for some awful reason, the quiz also tells you your greatest weakness, which is exactly the sort of data you don’t want hanging around the school mainframe when Imperials are trying to hack their way in. . . :D

Of course, the ongoing tournament has also proven a high point. The school’s 16 clubs and teams have been pitted against each other using the school sport of BARSball, which is sort of like jai alai crossed with basketball multiplied by a magitech-infused playing field that warps and changes during the match. Each match has a unique twist applied to it by one of the participating clubs (chosen by coin toss).

Thus far, the cheerleading team overwhelmed the school’s “culture club” (since the planet is many-species due to its refugee sanctuary nature, the school has a club for kids to showcase media from their homeworlds) by Voltronning themselves to victory; the magic “shaping society” (wizard duel club) has obliterated the theater kids through a mixture of distracting their team captain by talking about his feelings and also stabbing with a broken wand; the magitech tinkerer’s guild took out the marching band by rocket-boot tackling their captain and getting everyone tangled up in the chaos; the track and field kids were having a pretty standard athletic match against the dance team until team captain Lisette just started setting people on fire; the Baking Shoppe proved even more accurate in their measuring and precision than the Mathletes in their very small-scale match; the paranormal investigations club actually managed to summon a spirit of forgetting leg day to depower the weightlifters; and the literature circle overwhelmed the student government in a match determined by quoting famous works before scoring goals.

Next up, the current lone representative on the SAC who’s actually playing for that team, Evening Sky, has struck a bargain with the scheming Commander Shumall: if they win out versus the military Drill Squad (a team of three! with guns!), Shumall will relinquish control back to Principal Winters; if they lose, they will reveal the heroes’ “secret” to Shumall. Little does the Commander know, but Evening is planning to loose their full powers mid-match and transform into the Eternal Paragon, their heroic alter-ego they’ve been keeping under wraps so far.

Of course, the other way to score points for your club is to engage in a dramatic, show-y Promposal to your intended dance date. The SAC kids have rigged up recording devices all around the school grounds to capture these romantic overtures, which will be broadcast to the whole student body and voted upon for maximum teen embarrassment.

This doc is the second-most over-the-top thing I’ve generated for the campaign so far (the gigantic NPC bible – currently 55 strong and counting! – is worse). It’s been a blast :D

That is crazy impressive! You go all-in on details. Congrats!

I find myself in possession of an extra key for Tales of Xadia, the Cortex system RPG, from Fandom based on The Dragon Prince animated series. This key will give full access to the tools site as well as a full pdf copy of the game.

Cortex is a bit clunky as a system, but the rulebook is chock full of lore for the show, so a fan will probably really appreciate that.

If anyone would like it, please PM me.

First, RPG players will be able to take on the roles of Marvel’s most famous Super Heroes in ‘MARVEL MULTIVERSE ROLE-PLAYING GAME: CORE RULEBOOK,’ on sale June 2023.

The rule book will be followed by a brand-new adventure book on sale July 2023, ‘MARVEL MULTIVERSE ROLE-PLAYING GAME: THE CATACLYSM OF KANG.’ This book includes new character profiles and features a series of six interlocked adventures.

… use the D616 game system…

Cute, but where do I find a die that huge?

(It’s 3 six-sided dice, but still.)

Two more Zinequest things.

Rune, a solo TTRPG based on a series of video games. No, not on those games, but the Souls games. Yes, it’s a solo TTRPG Souls-like. I think I’ve now seen a Souls-like in every possible gaming medium (but I’m sure someone will come along soon with a new one to prove me wrong). Still, it looks pretty cool. The designer has apparently done other VG/TT conversions before, like Light (based on the Destiny games), but I haven’t looked to closely at them. The funding for this has ended, but you can still late pledge. I’ll be in for a digital version. There’s a quick-start/first region to explore on his page, linked from the KS.

Also, Lumpley Games is back with the next book in their 1-player/2-GM line (Wizard’s Grimoire, The Barbarian’s Bloody Quest, The Last Adventure) that all share a basic framework. The latest is The Thief and the Necromancer.

Apparently next in the line will be a framework to play them all together?

There is an expansion for the Last Adventure where you play a long dead dinosaur coming along for the adventure.

Yeah, that’s neat. Barbarian also got a companion along for the ride. But the next set will be a way for them to all work together, or at least run each other’s games? Not exactly sure…

Just came across this video from Shut Up & Sit Down about tabletop RPGs. Of course they’re much more well known for good ol’ boardgame videos, but they have done a few RPGs in their time and I found this one useful for trying to help a newbie dip his or her toes into the water. I like how they mention that while entertaining, some videos of role playing (like Critical Role) can be discouraging to new players because they’re as much about good theater as good gaming - as Quinns says, the way porn is to actual sex. I know most of you folks hanging out here are old hands, but these guys are always an entertaining watch even if you don’t necessarily learn anything.

That video was great. I hope it inspires people too take the plunge.

In other news, Free League has launched their new project: Dragonbane.

It’s a boxed set with everything you need to play in the first English edition of the “mirth and mayhem” roleplaying game.

The project comes with a quickstart. I’ve skimmed through it and I like it a lot.

It’s simple and streamlined enough (26 pages). It has the Symbaroum D20 roll under system, a simple “if the weapon skill check is successful, the attack hits” combat system. Also, “Monsters never roll dice to hit their target - monster attacks succeed automatically”. 😱 The system has a table of Fear attacks (think Alien panic effects), performed by some creatures.

This is coupled with the ability to push ability check rolls. If you push, you suffer a condition (Vaesen like).

All in all, it seems simple and uses a good mix of known and proven designs by Free League. Should be a hoot to play.

Freaking D&D players, man…

How it started: At the start of the session tonight, the big bad uses a town as hostages. Hungry gnolls under her sway drag helpless people to the town centre while salivating. She uses the threat of letting them loose to force the players to go retrieve a macguffin for her…
The players, feeling danger ahead, manage to negotiate for 2 of the gnolls to accompany them as far as the end of the spooky forest and no further.

How it’s going: So, if we keep feeding them and, considering we just happened to save the life of one of them, according to Tasha’s Guide to Everything, could Gromp and Chomp become…


Team #WillItFriend strikes again!

Just let them make the new furry race characters. You know they want to.

Just make sure that the gnoll befriending process is scientifically accurate:

All species, including the aardwolf, excrete an oily, yellow substance from their anal glands onto objects to mark their territories. When scent marking, the anal pouch is turned inside out, or everted. Hyenas also do this as a submissive posture to more dominant hyenas. Genitals, the anal area, and the anal glands are sniffed during greeting ceremonies in which each hyena lifts its leg and allows the other to sniff its anal sacks and genitals.

At first I thought: the gnolls will keep an eye on them and prevent the players from circling back to assassinate big bad.

Then, when they started trying to befriend them, I thought: opportunity for a dramatic non player death and some pathos.
After traveling through the dark forest and reaching the mountains, one of the gnolls ended up hanging over a chasm, its gloved hand slowly slipping as the shapeshifting druid failed to get a good hold of it.
It was a scene reminiscent of the opening of Cliffhanger with Stallone.
However, the wizard jumped to the rescue and got the gnoll out.

So close… But Gromp is still alive.


Well that would be something. :O