Thanks to some incoming posts on my Google+ stream, I’ve spotted a new upcoming RPG recently, by the name of Legends and Labyrinths.
I was directed to a blog post that outlined how L&L is different from other fantasy RPGs and it makes for a very interesting read.
My first reaction was, do we need another old school remake of early D&D? But I was wrong, it’s not an OGL clone but an entirely new creation from the dark mind of George Strayton, screenwriter and game designer.
It’s seems to have a feel of early D&D melded with elements of more modern RPG thinking and I can’t wait to give it a go.
I was so taken with the ideas and game-play possibilities, that I pledged some cash to the L&L Kickstarter Campaign, thereby securing my hardcopy of the book on release. That release date of course will be GenCon next month.
Check out the blog post about how L&L is different and if you it tickles your fancy then why not secure your own copy!?
I’m looking forward to making some helpful little L&L software projects to aid my job as GM.
Preparing for today’s Alternity game and I came across something called Skill Ladders whilst reading Wolfgang Baur’s Dataware book.
Skill ladders are presented by Wolfgang as a way to avoid the monotony of Alternity’s complex skill checks. A complex skill check requires a certain number of successes before a number 3 failures. This can descend into just totting up successes and failures at the table until you’ve either succeeded or failed.
Wolfgang outlines skill ladders, just a quick to write list of what each success or failure of a hacking attempt actually means. Here’s a quick example from my prep for today.
Hacking bio tagged laser weapon
1. Removed take down pin
2. Gained access to internal ciruitry
3. Bypassed authentication routines
4. Weapon unlocked for any user
1. Mild electric shock
2. Ammo halved by power discharge
3. Weapon locked. Power discharged. Ammo depleted.
This is a quick an very easy way to write simple game raising things to respond to each failure or success with. Next time I’m doing 4e skill checks I think this easy method would transfer quite well as well. It’s a good way to show your players that they are actually progressing through a skill challenge and gives them an idea of how far is left to go.
I can’t stress how quick this is to knock up, and how powerful it is in use at the table. Here’s another example that I knocked together in a few minutes at lunch today.
Opening Hanger Airlock Doors
1. Bypass microswitches and remove access panel undetected
2.Find power conduit
3. Reroute power to door controls
4. Disable anti tamper device
5. Inner door open
6. Override safety measures
7. Access airlock sub routines
8. Outer doors open
1. Power fails needs re-routing
2. Alarm sounds
3. Safety measures kick back in. Any open doors shut. Power fails. Start again.
I’ll definitely be writing more of these, maybe even at the table, they are that quick.
How about you?
Last year our regular D&D game fell on April 1st, so I decided to try and see if I could con my player’s characters out of some gold.
I’d been reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, a worthwhile read which features a number of con tricks. The book inspired me to head off to the internet and research the art of hustling. This is what I came up with, I hope it inspires you to do something similar this year!
Missing, One Glass Eye
The Glim Dropper is similar to the more famous Pigeon Drop, or Fiddle Game cons, and relies on the mark being convinced that something of no value has much greater value. In this case a glass eye.
Making the Switch
I’ve recently switched from being DM to running a PC. After many years of DMing this is the first time I’ve had a chance to really spend a couple of weeks playing, attempting to get into character, and drawing character portraits.
Apart from a couple of sessions here and there I’ve not played a PC for any length of time since 1992, that was at university where I also DMed more than I played. It could be said that I’m not a very experienced player of RPGs, particularly in this latest case where it’s the first time playing D&D 4e for me.
Learning the ways of a PC
I’m struggling to be a good PC, and I’m convinced being a DM makes me a bad player. I’m constantly second guessing our DM, questioning the need for dice rolls, adding up encounter budgets, and other annoying habits. I hasten to add I’m not doing this out loud at the table.
It’s detracting from me concentrating on my character somewhat.
And then there’s the points where my inner rules lawyer raises his hackles…
Today I found a great post by Alric of The RPG Athenaeum, a list of one hundred street scenes that are the perfect thing for a fantasy DM to keep tucked away in the ideas file.
Not only are they great ways to add flavour to your towns and cities when players ask what they can see, but also if your players bite they can also serve as plot hooks.
One of my favourites:
A cart selling “roasted rat on a stick” is on the corner. The proprietor looks surprised as someone dressed in noble attire strolls up and orders one with honey sauce.
Thank you Mr.Dibbler.
The list is available as a nicely formatted PDF in the downloads section, where you’ll also find one hundred topics for tavern chatter!