rpg

A few words about Tenra Bansho Zero

tenra bansho zero title image

Deciding to skip training because of a hypersensitive stomach might sound like a pussy cop-out, but the advantage of having some off-time on a Monday night is that I can dive into some nerdier forms of entertainment. I know that I should have played some TSW, but trust me, I’ll get to that this week. What I did instead was getting my buddy Dee on Skype to check out the fancy-named Tenra Bansho Zero, the first Japanese tabletop RPG that has received a translation. How cool is that, once you move past the funky name and rad artwork? Well, pretty damn cool!

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Strange Sunday – Sidekicks & sponsored heroes

Lately, I’ve been watching a show I should have started watching some time ago: Young Justice. It’s all about those sidekicks of well-known DC heroes, working together as a team to prove their own heroic worth. It’s a cool concept, putting the spotlight on the number twos. It also got me thinking: why always play the big ones in games, when so much can be told from the point-of-view of the up-and-coming? That’s why I dedicate this week’s Strange Sunday to the sidekicks & sponsored heroes, showing you some cool themes that can be explored from their perspective!

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The other kind of experience

Gosh, my players love experience. Especially Dee, who is usually the first one to ask “So, how much XP do we get?” at the end of the session. I can’t blame him, though: getting those sweet points to turn into new, even sweeter points on your character sheet is one of the essential parts of our hobby, so it’s alright.

However, I don’t want to talk about experience points today, but about the other kind of experience. I’m talking about how the players actually experience a game, and remember some parts of a session even years later. This little essay will be about my experience with experience, inspired by this post over at The Pathfinder Chronicles.

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Strange Sunday – highlighting the special

special rpg needs

Yesterday, my group and I played a one-shot-turned-into-a-two-shot of Dungeon World, using our Industrial Revolution Roman Empire with space dragons idea. Dungeon World is a pretty awesome game, and judging by the tweets I unleashed during play, I enjoyed it more than I can actually describe. However, on my way back home yesterday night, I thought about how this really special background we had made up didn’t feel all that special. Sure, the player characters had stumbled upon steam-powered mining operations in the Alps while serving a toga-wearing Roman named Maximus Gracchus, and they even fought a dragon, but it didn’t feel like anything but your standard fantasy world. Is that typical?

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Actual Play: Courage – Chapter I

courage logo

Our feline shapeshifter is back in chapter one of our Exalted Actual Play! Though the play might not be so actual anymore, it’s still fun to read it again after all this time and sharing it with you. In this chapter, we get to know one of Courage’s closest friends, the businessman and all-round good guy Five-Coins Yvor. So, what are you waiting for? Click below to read the five pages of the first chapter.

Courage – Chapter 1

If you have any comments or feedback, hit me up in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share this Actual Play with your fellow gamers and friends!

Gender roles in RPG’s, or: bikini witches and action heroes

The above video illustrates one of my main gripes with many games, and sadly also with many RPG’s. I know that games are a place to give shape to our own dreams, and that sexualized versions of the genders are part of that, but…must it be done in such an obnoxious way? Is there no one who dares to challenge the stereotyping of genders, putting them into roles we thought we had escaped when we gave women the right to leave the kitchen?

Or am I just over-reacting? Read on to find out!

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Showin’ some love for Cortex

One of the rules I try to live by is “practice what you preach”. If I tell someone to act in a specific way, I should be able to lead by example. If I tell someone to go play game X, I should have played said game myself. In most cases, I can hold up this rule, but today, dear readers, I am breaking a habit. I will tell you how damn awesome the Cortex (Plus) rules are, while not having used them myself.

That’s right, once I’m done showering in shame in the corner, you can click past the cut and read more about why you should give the Smallville, Leverage or Marvel RPG powered by Cortex a spin.

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Actual Play: Courage – Prologue

courage logo

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Courage – a Lunar solo chronicle! Before you scroll all the way down to fetch the PDF of the prologue, let me get a bit deeper into the background of this campaign.

It all happened in the fall of 2011. I had left my hometown behind to live a bit closer to my university, and that was really cool and all. The drawback was that I was away from my role-playing troupe now, which caused me to play about zero hours a week. This started to annoy me, but my friend (who I will call Dee for the sake of privacy) proposed that we might play something online. He had this cool concept of a shield-using Lunar, defending a city he loves, and I had an urge to see how Google Wave fared when used as a RPG tool, and so we had ourselves a little solo chronicle. That night, Courage was born.

But what is Courage? Well, you should rather ask who Courage is. Shield of Feline Courage is a young Lunar, who works as a male escort and dancer during the day, and slaughters the corrupt and frees the weak at night. His adventures take place in the city of Whitewall, and together with a whole team of colourful individuals, he will witness some great changes in one of the largest cities of Creation.

The chronicle never really ended, so I will only post AP’s up to one of the dramatic peaks of the story. Even though we never wrapped it up, I have to admit that running a solo chronicle is a lot of fun. Doing it online on Wave also felt like an exercise in cooperative writing, which is something both Dee and I really enjoyed.

The transcripts you will find here are mostly unedited. The only things I removed were the most obvious / obnoxious spelling errors and the dice rolls. I hope that you will have fun reading these, and if you have any thing to say about them, feel free to drop me a line.

With that said… click below to see the seven-page long prologue!

Courage – Prologue

Walking down the Path of Exile

fishing hat templar

Even though I did not have so much gaming time this week, I decided to spend the few hours I had on a fancy game called Path of Exile. Developed by Grinding Gear Games, PoE (what a poetic abbreviation, hah) is more than just an homage to hack ‘n slay RPG’s like Diablo: it’s a daring playground for some things we have seen never before in this kind of role-playing games, and my fisher hat-wearing old guy and I will tell you all about it!

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Shapeshifters, blog updates and oh my!

Heya everyone, just a little heads-up about what’s going on behind the scenes of this blog. I’m pleased with my ability of keeping up a steady stream of posts, and it’s good to see that people appreciate the effort. In order to tell you what you can expect in the future, here’s a little summary about what will be coming.

  • You might have noticed the new pages on top of this…uh, page. I’m starting to sort through the mess this blog has become since its inception just somewhat more than a month ago. You will be able to find my columns in one place, which will make it easier to look them up later.
  • Next to the Columns page, you also see an “Actual Play” page. In the future, I’ll be sharing more of my adventures from the digital tabletop with you, and I’ll start with my current Song of Ice and Fire campaign dubbed “Riverlands Saga”, and a now-dead but rather long solo Lunar Exalted campaign. You’ll be seeing the first chapter of the latter later this week, and just like the Columns, you’ll be able to find that on its own page!
  • I’m considering doing something more than just writing. Podcasting is an option, as I just love to ramble on about the things I love (that’s what a podcast is for, right?), but the question remains if they will be pure audio or also footage of me playing games. I don’t wanna promise anything, but I’ll keep my options open.

So, in short, you’ll just get the usual servings of my opinions, with a possible side dish of my voice. Stop the excitement, I’m starting to blush!

Anyway, thanks for reading my blog, guys and gals! I’ll do my best to give you more than my best on this page!

Chin over and out.