What more needs to be said, other than it’s an RPG?
Obviously because an article needs a little more than that I will say a bit more.
Just enunciating the title is enough to get the mind working, the imagination fires up and we have people dressed in Victorian clothes, with odd looking contraptions literally brimming with pipes, lenses and brass surrounding them. This is a game based on a band, Abney Park, and their music, it’s Steampunk and it’s proud.
I have been running a bit of this game for C7 at the odd convention and I love it, the players get into the swing of the world very easily and the system is pretty darn simple. All the dice are d6, stat+skill dice pool in red dice, add in some black for difficulty, 1 or 6 is a success on red and a negative success on black, red 6′s explode i.e. you get to roll another red die for each 6 to try and add further successes this carries on ad infinitum. If I’m honest I don’t really like the skill resolution system, it has a number of items that I have a problem with, for a start I don’t like dice pools with loads of dice, I also don’t like the statistical probabilities inherent in this system, the combat is cumbersome and I find I wing it more often than not.
I have also been running a game on a Monday night for HertsRPG I’m not sure if it’s the system or my style but the players seem a little detached from the action, I don’t normally see this kind of issue and am going to assume for the sake of my ego that the system seems to promote this.
Bearing the above in mind I have decide to convert Airship Pirates to BRP, it seems like the natural conversion to me, it’s simple, the rules are fairly clear and the experience system ties in well with the current system, I’ll be documenting the conversion over on ExSanguinated if you want to see where it goes.
Thanks for reading,
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.
I’m not DMing at the moment, someone else has taken the helm of our group for a while. After a bit of a vote we’ve ended up playing the first Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rise of the Runelords.
I’ve got to say that the Adventure Path does seem very well written, although I’ve not peeked at any of the books. It’s very reminiscent of the old 3.5 stuff that Paizo wrote for Dungeon when it still existed in print.
I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy the return to 3.5, although after a couple of weeks it feels kind of homely and comfortable like the return of an old friend. I’m still into 4e and must get back to regularly attending the local weekly encounters session, but I’m also finding something in Pathfinder/3.5 that I feel is not as emphasised in 4e, which is the differences between classes.
I understand this was the whole point of 4e design, balance, balance and more balance. Which in my opinion the design definitely achieved, but is it at the expense of a feeling of variety? I’ll know more when we’ve played further and the Wizard has become overpowered and I feel left behind!
I’m playing a Cleric, and I like some of the changes that pathfinder has made to 3.5, such as the ability to Channel Energy a number of times per day, and so not use up all my carefully chosen spells being the party band aid.
The campaign is going well and I’m looking forward to playing more of it.
Whilst the Capn’ is fighting the internet trolls with his +2 words, I have a game to review. Obviously, I’m talking about Bully Pulpit’s wonderful game Fiasco, written by Jason Morningstar. The one that @Captcalamitous called “too indie even for me”. Is it very indie? I guess, although I don’t see anything wrong about that. The presentation is sleek and stylish, the quality of the book is amazing, and for twelve pounds I got a physical copy and a PDF download. Can’t go wrong. On top of that, every month there’s a new free playset on the website, complete with a crisp and fresh gorgeous illustration.
Fiasco calls itself a roleplaying game of powerful ambition and poor impulse control. The book presents itself as a “make your own Coen brother’s film in a few minutes and play it out in your living room” kind of thing. Which is exactly what it is, and it works wonderfully. Now, if you’re not a film aficionado then you’re probably wondering who the hell these Coen brothers are. For those of you less film savvy, think of films with criminal ideas gone disastrously wrong, possibly with a lot of black comedy elements. Like Guy Ritchie films or, say, Ocean’s Eleven that end up killing each other for the money they just stole, until there’s nothing but the money left (I’d so watch that).
The way it works is, you choose a playset, which is effectively a list of details styled around a certain theme. The default ones that come with the book are a southern town, a booming town in the wild west, suburban life and a research station in Antarctica. There’s plenty more to choose from on their website, like a rock tour or a group of adventurers who just slew a dragon and want all of the loot for themselves. These give you some ideas for the relationships, needs, objects and locations you’re gonna give to your characters. And then you play out scenes, where you either set up the scene and let the other players resolve it, or give your friends the right to set you up but choose the outcome yourself. You play these scenes till it all comes crashing down. There’s a bit more to it than that, but this forms the bulk of the game.
I’ll be honest with you, the rulebook sat on my shelf for about three months, if not a bit more, without being touched. I read it as soon as it came in the post, which took me about 2-3 hours, very quick for a roleplaying game. But finding a group to play with was not as quick. Admittedly my wife jumped at the idea, and our flat mate was partial to it as well, but we felt like we needed one more person. Now, after having played it, I wish we had been playing it all along. In fact, I enjoyed myself so much that, right after we finished, I wanted to dive in again and play a second game. We picked the ‘Antarctica research station’ playset and slowly progressed through character creation, which took a bit more time than the book suggests. But in the end we had a rag tag group of flawed individuals that were about to face each other in inevitably gruesome fashion. I felt like my character was the catalyst for it all; being the guy who scams the warehouse system, is being investigated for fraud and has an unhealthy obsession with his fire axe. Why would I create such a psychopath? Well, the beauty of the game is that you’re only responsible for 40% of who your character is and what he does. The rest is decided by the group and the game still feels like you have the right amount of control.
There were a few hiccups I have discovered. The rules for the setup were incredibly vague and hard to read. I had to re-read it a few times. This might just be me but I usually don’t find rulebooks confusing. But this I feel is a minor issue compared to how much everyone in our group preplayed. Instead of playing the scene we would pre-describe what would happen in it, and when it came to actual roleplaying we wouldn’t know what to do since everything’s already been said out loud. The book addresses this and tells you to avoid it, but it’s very tempting to still do it. Of course this isn’t the game’s fault, but it did taint our session slightly.
The real driving force behind the mechanics however is ‘The Tilt’ and ‘The Aftermath’. The Tilt is a midway point and introduces a car-crash element to your stories. Suddenly my axe-guy, who up to this point was only mildly threatening, had to become a murderer because some of the other players thought that “Greed leads to killing” is a good tilt element to introduce to our game. The aftermath is an exercise in the unexpected. It’s a montage-like summary of the game that wraps things up with three to five sentences per character. Again, because you are not in control of your fate, you never truly know how the game is going to end, even when you think you have it all figured out. I was fairly sure that my axe-man was not coming out of this alive. Not only did he get away with only a minor insignificant head injury, but the final sentence of my montage revealed him in a new warehouse, getting up to no good again.
The bottom line is: this game is awesome. I can’t think of enough ways to recommend it. Oh and I hear there’s a sourcebook coming out in the near future too.
p.s. Follow me on twitter @banjotheclown
No seriously, WTF?
I get product extensions, I really do, obviously I get apoplectic over stupid ones like the release of the Dettol No-Touch Soap Dispenser. Do the morons in marketing not understand that the first thing you do after you touch a soap dispenser is wash your freaking hands?
Anyway, I digress, game affecting cards in D&D? For me these are symptomatic of the drift of 4th Ed D&D towards the Squad Level tactical game it reminds me of. I played encounters today and it was a fairly unimaginative scenario that I feel the writers could have done more with, but during this session we actually received the cards posted out to the organisers.
Reading the rules you now have a draw phase at the start of your turn and you can play your card accordingly during your turn, if anything is guaranteed to turn me cold it’s playing rules extensions and revisions during a game because you have a card for it, it’s ridiculous and it’s just NOT role playing.
What do they think they’re doing?
Of course this will mean that there are rares, uncommons and commons that people will simply have to own, which of course is good business for Hasbro, but playing cards to determine battle outcomes?
D&D as an RPG is dead to me, I’ll turn up and play with the guys at the Encounters sessions because it’s socialising, but I will not be spending any more money on 4th Ed, I will not be running any more games, I will not renew my ddi subscription, from here on in it’s Pathfinder all the way baby, well that’s when I’m not playing SLA Industries, or FATE or any one of a multitude of RPGs.
Oh yeah, while I’m here, did I mention there’s a new forum for SLA Industries?
Go there, check it out, it’s cool.