Tuesday 19 May 2009

Star Trek D20

I've been 'gearing up' for some Star Trek Roleplaying, and (of course) I plan on using the Prime Directive D20 Books as a basis.

Even though the games I want to run will be set during the Original Series Era, I still want to add a few tweaks and put my own spin on things.

I've written some, but want to go over the format before 'putting them up - so stay tuned!

Win a Trip to Gen Con!

I don't know if everyone is aware of this yet, but DnD News & Wizards are running a Competition.

If you tell them about your character, you could win a trip to Gen Con in the US this August!

The Eight finalists also will win a 3 Month subscription to DnD Insider, and the overall winner will then be chosen from the finalists!

More information here - www.tellmeaboutyourcharacter.co.uk

How cool is that!

Sunday 17 May 2009

DnD for Everything

I was chatting to my good friend Chris by Email the other day, and I commented about other milieu's I would like to play in - and that I wanted to use DnD (or at least the D20 system in some form) as the basis for all our RPG'ing in the future.

Why I hear you ask (well I don't, but you get me) . . . .

1 - Playability. Its a system that works, not I know a lot of people don't like Experience and Level systems - but we do. They may be an abstraction, but for heroic style Role Playing they are brilliant. Plus in real life many people make a big deal over 'Experience' and such systems represent gains in experience (and training) well.

2 - Familiarity. One of the things that can stall any Campaign before it even begins, is lack of rules familiarity - this applies to both players and games masters. If you are playing a D20 based game, all the basic systems are the same. There will be few (if any) new systems and rules amendments to learn.

3 - Fun. The BEST Gaming experiences of my life have been with DnD or the D20 system - period! Both as a DM and as a Player. I know my group feels the same way.

A (short) list of non-DnD D20 Games, both official and unofficial.

Call of C'Thulhu
Star Trek/Prime Directive
Star wars
Starship Troopers

And so on . . . . . .

Sunday 3 May 2009

Multi-Classing Revisited

WHY can't we just do Multi-Classing the 'old-way' - that is, if you belong to two Classes - you have to earn Experience for each.

The Character then gains the abilities of both Classes, and takes the Average of Hit Points, the best resistances from each etc.

Furthermore, they are restricted to the lesser Armour available - but may take any/all the Weapons available to each Class. If the levels between the Classes become too 'uneven' (i.e. more than one level difference) the Character pays for it with a 10% penalty on all Experience earned.

BALANCE I hear people screaming from the highest tower to the deepest Dungeon - Its no secret that I believe vehemently that game balance comes from the Dungeon Master rather than a set of artificial constraints in a rules-set (White Wolf were the first to instigate this in their Storytelling games, and it became very popular throughout the RPG Industry) - Rules Constraints do indeed make RPG's easier to run for newbies and more accessable to the masses - but IMHO they can also bland out the flavour and suck some of the fun out out the whole experience for both the DM and his players.

Should people REALLY be up-tight about this way of Multi-Classing, we could always limit the number of Encounter Powers etc - to the basic Number available at each level, all the Multi-Classed Character would gain really would be a greater choice. I personally don't like this, as its watering things down again IMO.

HOWEVER - if I were to instigate the 'Old-School' Multi-Classing I would reinstate certain Racial Limitations. Thats not Level Limitations, but rather WHAT Classes each Race may Multi-Class in - Mainly for 'flavour', for example with the Devotion and Piety a Paladin would need - I really don't see a Palading Multi-Classing in this way as Logical.

Just some random musings.

Good Power Gamers

Good Power Gamers - is there such a thing. I have been privileged enough to encounter one, just the one - for they are a rare and elusive breed . . .

How do I discern a Good Power Gamer - simple, I have encountered more varieties of Power Gamer than one could care to imagine.

From the Guy who makes himself feel powerful in the game by constantly badgering and bullying his fellow players, to the fellow who actually ADDS Hit Points of Damage taken to his Hit Points for every other hit (way better than a healing surge Lol), to the chap who fiddles and cheats and grubs each and every little minutia during games and during character creation . . . . .

Now, I'm not going to mention the names of the bad gamers - because I don't think that would be particularly fair - although simply from my descriptions they are going to realize who they are - except for the 'Hit Points Fellow' who passed away a number of years ago, which was a shame - because for all his faults he was a lovely bloke.

But back onto point, the Good Power Gamer - who's name is Andy. His 'Power Gaming Kick' came in with wanting his Characters to be the best and the most powerful they could be (One of his favourite Games was Metascape - it was a Power Gamers dream Lol). Even so, he NEVER attempted his quest for power at the expense of his fellow gamers.

Sure, he made unusual requests as a Player (he wanted a Cambion Character once) - but he was excellent as a Player. Even though Andy couldn't do voices, or accents - all his characters were different. With different goals and passions.

One of my favourites out of all his Characters was Nightshade (not Robin as I thought it was, Andy has since corrected me), a Thief under the Second Edition Rules - I even ran Adventures for Nightshade alone (whilst our Mrs' were nattering in the other room) - I wonder if he ever thinks about Nightshades Solo escape from the Prison at Guildstown - through the sewers no less Lol. Happy Days :-) (though technically not for Nightshade Lol).

So, as I wrote - there are Good (if not great) Power Gamers. You just have to be lucky enough as a DM to find one.

Saturday 2 May 2009

Words & Rules . . . . . . . . .

Words & Rules . . . . . . . . .

Thats what its all about isn't it - 'shaping' your Game world with Words and with Rules.

What I plan to do with 4th Edition is put back some of the ideas I (and my Gaming Buddies) enjoyed from previous editions of DnD and ADnD.

Multiclassing done 'Old School', a new Version of our Old 'Critical Hit' System, Hit Dice at each level (after the first) rather than a Static Hit Point advance, MORE skills - rather than just the small 'Adventuring' Skill selection in the current 4e Rules.

I really like 4th Edition, but there are some elements that need 'tweaking' for them to fit into our style of play.

Roleplaying & Respect

Unclebear, over at his blog made a post about "Roleplaying & Respect" -


That people treated him differently because he was open about his interests in Roleplaying and DnD in particular.

I left some supportive remarks, as I found this sad that people are still so intollerant of other peoples hobbies and passtimes.

All I can say really is I've never encountered a DnD'er 'giving himself a treat' over a picture from a DnD manual - I have however walked in on someone 'indulging' his needs over a Character from Final Fantasy.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm . . . . . . . . . .