Tabletop RPG Catch All

I was actually tempted to grab the 5e version as well, but I felt like I didn't want to just rely on the crutch of running yet another 5e game, and try something a bit different instead.

We started The Incandescent Grottoes last session, which helped test how adventures convert and exposed some math problems in my homebrew system I was starting to suspect during the previous session’s wilderness exploration phases. I use 3d6+attribute+skill for skill checks versus a fixed range (9−/10–14/15+) in my system.

The problem is the thief had +5, which meant on average he got a complete success (no complications). Well, the actual problem +5 is not hard to get. The thief was 5th level, but you can get it at first level (+2 attribute, +1 skill, +2 from help). That’s not really intended. The full range of modifiers is −7 to +10 (though the former is extremely unlikely because you would have to tank your attribute, roll a skill untrained, and have someone hinder you).

It’s given me some appreciate for progression treadmill as a way to allow increasing modifiers as well as clever dice pool systems like BitD. The most obvious solutions are to bump complete success all the way out to 18+ while keeping a large partial success range. I could also introduce non-static difficulties, which I feel meh about. Not really sure what I want to do (and I need to avoid the temptation of going more extreme like moving everything to an opposed-2d6 style system, which has been tempting me lately).

My Monday evening crew finished our Darkening of Mirkwood game last night. That's been going on (with breaks) since 2015 or 2016.

What was great is that the finale felt both epic and well earned. It's also nice to be able to have played through one of the great, long rpg stories there are.

We all still really like The One Ring as a system, too. It absolutely did exactly what it needed to for the Tolkien style we wanted. I'll probably play some 2nd edition some time... but not for while.

On long games: having played through this one, and after many years having wished to do something like this (such as the great Pendragon campaign), I'm not sure it's actually *that* desirable. There are certainly some things you get out of such a long game that don't come up in a short one, but none of them are either unmissable or really better as such. Just different. So, if you're one of those people who always wanted to play one of these and hasn't had the chance, I don't think you need to feel like you've missed out really.

I LOVE me some long, long games I think my Odyssey campaign is coming up on 2 years pretty soon, and my City of Mist game on sundays is probably going to be a pretty extended game as well hopefully (I'm running the Nights of Payne town campaign which is, like, 10 loosely connected case files).

I also REALLY want to put a group together to run through Symbaroum with a mixture of one-off side treks into the forests of Davokar but also run through the five (eventually six!) book long campaign, too...it's just finding the time to do it

Short games are fun for little palette cleansers inbetween but I really like to sink my teeth into something longer, personally!

Also I just bought that super fancy two-book + extras copy of Masks of Nyarlathotep. Another one for the "to do" pile I guess!

Cool.

For me, the ideal game length is either a single session, or something 5-20 sessions long I think. Longer, and I feel like the baggage/history of the game begins to weigh me down. I've played a few great longer games (like this Darkening of Mirkwood one), but most outstay their welcome.

My D&D group, the first one to make it past a couple of sessions, started early in the pandemic and plays online for two hours every week. Having heard of long campaigns, I was very surprised when the DM called it done when we were around level 10. We'd done, to my understanding, Lost Mines of Phandelver and Princes of the Apocalypse, plus two special holiday adventures. I think that took the better part of two years.

After that, we all rolled new characters and our DM handed the reins to another player and became a player himself. Since then, I've come to appreciate the idea of creating and playing multiple characters over a period of time. You only really come up with a backstory and all that once per character, and that's a lot of the player's opportunity to create - not that improv isn't creative, but very different.

All to say, epic sounds amazing, and aspirational, but it may not be my preference.

Woo, I got to go to an in-person minicon this weekend. That was fun!

Between that minicon and my usual group, I've got in two playtests of the hopefully-nearly-final version of Xenogate Expedition 13 (Stargate-inspired, Forged in the Dark by way of Band of Blades). Looking pretty good—plenty of notes for things to update, but fundamentally things are working as intended.

Also played in a quick Alien cinematic scenario at the minicon, where all the humans survived (although in the case of my colonial marine—only just). Still not sure what to think of that. Luck, most likely.

I mentioned somewhere that I've been looking into Mothership and a couple other sci-fi horror RPGs. I finally got a chance to play a one-shot of Mothership last week, and it was exactly as hoped! Rules light, big focus on characterization and problem solving. The one book they've published isn't very dense, but there is an absolute ton of community support, filling in the gaps. It's kind of cool that way; kind of meta when you think of RPGs as collaborative storytelling.

Not sure what's triggered it, but my ADD has been going into overdrive learning about the history of Dungeons & Dragons. I just finished reading Empire of Imagination by Michael Mitwer, I'm watching the above documentary as I type this, I'm currently reading Of Dice and Men by David M. Ewalt and both Playing at the World and Slaying the Dragon are on hold at the library for me... like I said, my ADD's gone crazy for this

Any other books or documentaries y'all would recommend? I'm finding it all absolutely fascinating.

Trachalio, of the ones I've read, Playing at the World was the best (but it's very, very deep and detailed!)

MikeSands wrote:

Trachalio, of the ones I've read, Playing at the World was the best (but it's very, very deep and detailed!)

I bet! I watched a YouTube video he put up that's just for how to identify dice from the 70s!

Dude has some extremely dense knowledge!

Trachalio wrote:
MikeSands wrote:

Trachalio, of the ones I've read, Playing at the World was the best (but it's very, very deep and detailed!)

I bet! I watched a YouTube video he put up that's just for how to identify dice from the 70s!

Dude has some extremely dense knowledge!

The DM at the game I was in that wrapped last year has been playing since the 80's. His dad started playing back in 1975 and said that he paid $15 for a golf board game (which was a LOT of money back then) because it had a single 20 sided die which he could find nowhere else. He never played that golf game and still has that die.

$15 WAS a lot back then. Those days, candy bars were 25 cents. You could get a triple scoop of Thrifty's ice cream (double chocolate malted crunch forever!) for 30 cents.
I think a quarter pounder with cheese was like $1.25

So, I have spent a few hours browsing druid wild shapes on etsy... anyone have good recommendations for places to buy less commonly needed mini's?

manta173 wrote:

So, I have spent a few hours browsing druid wild shapes on etsy... anyone have good recommendations for places to buy less commonly needed mini's?

Slightly adjacent, but maybe helpful:

Look at the past Reaper Bones Kickstarters and see if any of the shapes you want were in any of those. Many many people have bought those and may have what you need lying around gathering dust. If I had one you needed, I'd throw it in a mailer to you.

I'll also 3D-print you some (resin) if you find the STLs.

Edit: For example, I searched "druid" in my stl files and found this:
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/oGellms.png)

-BEP

bepnewt wrote:
manta173 wrote:

So, I have spent a few hours browsing druid wild shapes on etsy... anyone have good recommendations for places to buy less commonly needed mini's?

Slightly adjacent, but maybe helpful:

Look at the past Reaper Bones Kickstarters and see if any of the shapes you want were in any of those. Many many people have bought those and may have what you need lying around gathering dust. If I had one you needed, I'd throw it in a mailer to you.

I'll also 3D-print you some (resin) if you find the STLs.

Edit: For example, I searched "druid" in my stl files and found this:

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/oGellms.png)

-BEP

Thanks! I will take a look at what they have. That's a great idea and a great offer.

Humble Bundle has a bundle of comics based on RPGs: Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder with some other's I'd never heard off: Skull Kickers and Die

Trachalio wrote:

Humble Bundle has a bundle of comics based on RPGs: Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder with some other's I'd never heard off: Skull Kickers and Die

Die is REALLY good.

Skull Kickers is decent and fairly fun too. DIE is the star there, though.