Archive for the ‘Role-Playing’ Category

Since starting again role-playing with local group at home I have got the bug for playing and running role-playing games. But I have found there is still that age old issue with games like Dungeons & Dragons, Role Master and Chivalry & Sorcery which are centred about their rules rather than their backgrounds. This has become very apparent with lasted editions of Dungeons & Dragons which almost glorifies its rule system over background and I have always felt it is far too centred on combat rather role-playing.

Do not get me wrong such games to have a place in the hobby as they are very good introduction for new players and game masters especially those coming from computer game background. As it is easier to set up and run such games, especially Dungeons & Dragons, which makes a good starting point for role-playing hobby for the novice players and game masters.

But for experience players like myself who have moved onto more sophisticated games especially those of story teller ilk that is role-playing games in which the story comes first rather than the rules and gives both the players and storyteller for more opportunity role-play such games like Dungeons & Dragons seam very limited in comparison.

What I find by comparison playing such games like Dungeon & Dragons are not as satisfying to play as strangely they actually do not encourage role-playing and far too centred on combat even with an excellent games master. Though such games do not help themselves currently by centring a large majority of source books on rule extensions rather than giving the games masters and players wonderful background.

There is one major issue with current editions of Dungeon & Dragons unlike the earlier editions and Advanced Dungeon & Dragons the range of backgrounds provided are very small range of backgrounds which currently only includes Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft. This is unlike Advanced Dungeon & Dragons which a whole range of published backgrounds from Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Dragon Lance to name a few which game the games master a lot of choice of the game they wanted to play and to role-ply.

Added to the range of alternative games tend to be more heavily rule based with few actually put the story and background first so new players and games masters get little real opportunity to move on from more combat orientated games to more storyteller based games. This really does not encourage new players and game masters encouragement to develop their role-playing skills and widen their experience of role-playing games.

I do have the advantage of being a very experienced role-player and storyteller but I currently miss the fun of real role-playing which the likes of classic White Wolf World of Darkness. I have learnt that creating an interactive story with the players is far more rewarding for both the players and storytellers as both have put a lot into the game.

Yes, I know it is very satisfying completing quests and winning a hard won combat in Role-Playing game but this pales into insignificance for myself when I get to the end of a storyteller game as the fruit of my and my players comes to fruition.

Basically saying rules do not maketh the character but the players themselves.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal miscellany of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

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I remember once when Role-Playing Companies produced real and self-contained rule books and source books and not as they do now splitting the rule books and source material across a number of books along with current trend to even selling you special dice!

Personally this is dirty trick as it costs people more to get all the required material to play a role-playing game and fools them into buying unnecessary dice.

But this tend reflects the way we do business nowadays in so much why sell someone one book when two or more books will do and our profits go up.

At a time when Role-Playing is not as popular as it once once and need to encourage new players, the whole industry seams more intent on making more expensive to start the hobby.

My personal view is that this trend should be stopped by the companies and they treat players more fairly after with a workable core rule/source book people will still buy more books and not like myself feel we are being taken a ride by the Role-Playing Companies.

It also highlight a common malaise with some modern Role-Players in so much they have not figured out it takes imagination and creativity to run a game not a whole lot of rules and source books which the said companies are exploiting.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal miscellany of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

Since returning back to role-playing after a 5 year break it has become very apparent that I have moved on from the older and more traditional rule heavy role-playing rules which included such games as Advanced Dungeon & Dragons which were one first systems I played and ran.

I have moved since my early days towards the more story telling based games which are more rule light and background heavy which allow both myself and players to create more rounded games based more on role-playing than combat.

All this reflects a change what I want out of my role-playing since I started which is now a more creative environment in which I can weave a story using my own and player’s imaginations and creative sides. It makes role-playing a very enjoyable and satisfying experience for myself which feeds my own imagination and creativity something I need to do to keep my mind active as I grow older.

I still play a variant of Advanced Dungeon and Dragons and similar games and enjoy them though more as a traditional role-playing experience which is more centred around combat which reflects it origins within the war gaming community. Though I am finding personally this war gaming background detracts from the role-playing opportunities for both the players and games masters as it does not easily encourage players to get involved in the games themselves.

Do not get me wrong such role-playing systems still have their place as there are role-players out there who love this form of role-playing and they make a good introduction to role-playing especially those who have come from computer games backgrounds.

But I have moved on as most experienced game masters/storytellers and players do in search of a better role-playing experience which fires up their imaginations and creativity, all part of the journey of role-players like myself.

Though the biggest irony of all role-playing, especially story based role-playing games, are adult versions of lets pretend games of all our childhoods.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal miscellany of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

The 13th Age Role-Playing Game has brought back something which has been missing in most Role-Playing Games over the past few years that is a sense that the story is far more important than the rules themselves. Add to this it takes me back to the early days of my role-playing when the games were simpler to play and run in so much they did not try to create a complex world or background but centred around group of people simply enjoying themselves trawling dungeons, wondering the wilderness and bashing a few monsters.

Though saying that 13th Age does add the more positive side of modern role-playing games adding the emphasis on the story rather than the rules. All in all it makes it a wonderful mixture of old and new styles of role-playing which makes it very playable and full of possibilities.

It has finally inspired me enough to actually create my own version of the 13th Age world which I intend to use to run my own games in the future. It always helps it reminds me of the why I started to role-play those many years ago.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

Once again I am world building for a role-playing game again as the recent purchase of the 13th Age Role-Playing has inspired me to write again for role-playing games. As always it is a good exercise for my creativity and imagination as it always gets me thinking in more positive and creative ways.

Though role-playing has given me a good focus for something I have done since I was a child that is create worlds inside my imagination sometimes resulted in myself drawing things from these worlds when younger. Something which as I grew older I stopped doing as so called more adult things took up more of my time.

Role-Playing gave me a means as an adult to indulge in this childhood passion for creating imaginary worlds again but this time I could use the worlds within role-playing itself so they get a life of their own.

Though as always I used a core of an idea from elsewhere but modified it to suit my own brand of creativity and imagination which certainly make the worlds easier to run as role-playing game backgrounds as with better idea how the world works always helps.

Currently I have a number of worlds orbiting in my mind most of which are currently only partly written fragments of worlds but very clear ideas inside my mind and these include:

Bubbles in the Quantum Static, not a world as such but a background to connect all my worlds together as a common theme that runs through them all. The Quantum Static being the space between the Universes which appear as bubbles which float there. It is the home of the Pattern Masters an extra-planar humanoids who can create Universes.

Hampshire by Day and Night, a nearly complete World of Darkness background originally created for a Live Role-Playing Game which never took place. It is based around Hampshire with a Mage bias with heavy presence of both Tradition and Technocracy Mages.

Metroplex Europe, a far future world in which humanity has been forced to live in giant sealed Metroplexes because of a universe wise virus called Apocalypse Virus which changed very DNA of it’s victims usually with fatal results. It is a very grim view of a future with some hope as the Earth outside has recovered but the masters of the Metroplex are hiding the fact to keep their power over the people and their lives of luxury intact.

The Sapphire Empire, a 13th Age World based heavily on the Dragon Empire as given within the 13th Age Core Rulebook and modified so I can run it more comfortably and with more confidence as I will know more about the world because I changed it to suit my style of storytelling.

Void Jammers, a fantasy come steampunk space opera originally written for Radiance Role-Playing system which is based in a region of the Void, called the Ten Thousand Worlds, where void wide empires ply the space ways in magic driven space craft called Void Jammers. It is a larger than life space opera background where fantasy meets steampunk head on to create a wondrous world.

One day I will finish the work on these world to a point they will be in workable and playable state though I will have hours of fun getting there in the meanwhile.
Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

I decided to treat myself this birthday to a new Role-Playing System something I rarely get to do over the past few years so I wondered off to my local Gaming Shop, The Two Fat Goblinz, and brought 13th Age by Pelgrane Press.

To be frank 13th Age did not look promising if anything yet another Dungeons and Dragons clone much like Pathfinder and I only really brought it as I wanted something new to read to inspire my role-playing creative side.

But on reading 13th Age I was very surprised indeed it was a clone of Dungeons and Dragons but a nice mixture of old Dungeons and Dragons with a modern free form twist which breaths life back into such Role-Playing rules and takes me back to the first days of when I started Role-Playing at University.

Buying 13th Age certainly fit the saying never judge a book by it’s cover and I would recommend it for those Role-Players who like the Dungeon and Dragon sort of games without the maze of rules which I have always thought slowed down Role-Playing games and certainly detracted from the story telling essence of Role-Playing.

The system is certainly for the more experience Dungeon Masters as it does expect a lot of work both before and during a game because of it free form nature but does solve issues of such games when the Player Characters insist of going off the plot. Helps that the system encourages the Player Characters to help to determine the direction of the story itself.

13th Age has got my Dungeon Master hat on again as I am starting to think of my own version of the 13th Age world and scenarios for a campaign of my own. It certainly pandas to my more free form style of Dungeon Mastering and tweaked my creative side.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.