Month: August 2017

Memorable Villains

Have you ever been neck deep in a story around the table as a storyteller or player and had your immersion suddenly ground to a screeching halt when one of the players asks “Who’s that?” as soon as the main villain, who has been mentioned quite frequently by the NPC’s and been the player’s target for several sessions, is finally introduced and you realise that they have no emotional connection to the story? It has happened to me several times and as such I have been plotting some ways to prevent this occurrence for years. Baby Steps The first...

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Part II: Trudvang Chronicles – System

Trudvang Chronicles by Riotminds was voted the most anticipated RPG in 2017. After a very successful Kickstarter Campaign it is due to be released later this year. Trudvang Chronicles is a high fantasy roleplaying game, based on the Swedish Drakar och Demoner, which was first published in 1982.  Last week we took a look at the Trudvang Chronicles setting (see here) and it looks really good, especially for those who love Beowulf, Nordic and Celtic mythology, and Nordic Medieval literature, e.g. the finnish poem Kalevala, the viking poetry Havamal and Voluspa. Trudvang is old and full of traditions, yet...

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More than a statblock

Creating a PC for a roleplaing game is a fun process and a giving one. But a character is more than a statblock and when creating a PC for a long-term campaign, it’s good to leave room for character development. Make sure that your character is defined by more factors than the stats and information on the character sheet.  Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Many players, when creating a character for a roleplaying game, write about their character’s backstory...

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Splat! The wondrous beauty and absolute horror of supplements.

One of the greatest words we rpg players invented was the term splatbook. It’s funny, it’s descriptive and it’s useful. Now, there is not exactly an iron-clad definition but the general consensus is that a splatbook is a sourcebook dedicated to particular element or facet of a game, such as a character class, nation, race or faction. It provides background and flavour and almost always new rules and options. I’m fairly sure most players and GM’s love anything that enhances the immersion and flavour a of a campaign or a game world. I thumb through books that expand and...

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Heroes or murderhobos?

Every now and then I find myself in a bit of a tight spot. I try and I try, yet I constantly seem to hit a wall. No matter how I present things and events, the PCs won’t act heroic or courageous. Have you been there? Many years ago, I bought a brand-new campaign setting for AD&D. It contained a short adventure, which I decided to run for my group. It starts at a tavern (no surprise there!), but suddenly a woman screamed out in terror in the street, just outside the tavern. The PCs grabbed their weapons and...

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Part I: Trudvang Chronicles – Setting

Trudvang Chronicles was elected the most anticipated rpg in 2017, following a successful Kickstarter campaign. The game is based on Drakar och Demoner, which is a Swedish roleplaying game, one that has been published since 1982. Trudvang Chronicles is published by Riotminds.  Ever since I backed the campaign I’ve been waiting for this roleplaying game. It looked really well and since the game has already conquered the local market, it’s easy to imagine that Trudvang Chronicles is a well-established roleplaying game. Riotminds was formed in 2005 and the company has released two roleplaying games for the Swedish market, Götterdämmerung...

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Savage Worlds

A while back I had a conundrum. I had an idea for a campaign involving street level superhero´s, hard nosed investigators, eldritch and amorphous monsters and horrible ancient magic. It was a mix of historical drama, Call of Cthulhu, The Avengers and Hellboy on steroids. But without a good rule system I was at an impasse. How was Dracula and his Brotherhood of the Seven Dragons ever going to take over Pennsylvania if I could not settle on a system to run the game in. After scouring the systems I had on my shelf I turned to the internet...

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A Tribute to the Humble Orc

The scene was as gruesome as expected. Unlike the Kelbit tribe, who took slaves, the Urzun tribe simply killed. The two carts had been utterly destroyed and stripped of all valuables. The guards who had attempted to defend the caravan were dead in the mud, their skulls crushed by the heavy clubs and hammers of the Urzun, who liked the feeling and sound of breaking bone. The traders had been slaughtered and cut to pieces. The Urzun were known to eat the flesh of men. Rannvar the Ranger knew the terrible truth – this was the work of only...

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Game studies: Skill, Luck, Fate: The Three pillars of tabletop roleplaying.

Game theory is defined as „the study of mathematical models between intelligent decision-makers“. But „game studies“ or „ludology“ is the study of games, playing and cultures surrounding games. I first came across the term Ludology in a podcast thusly named. In these very informative podcast the hosts and guests fathom the meaning of games and what makes them interesting. I find that this is something worth considering in regards to roleplaying games. What makes roleplaying a game? Everyone wants to have „fun“ playing. What aspects of roleplaying games make them „fun“? What makes a game „epic“ and what makes...

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How Gamers Gamed the Games

Pen and paper RPG’s are not my only nerdy hobby. I’m also an avid (way too avid sometimes) computer and video gamer. Once you stop to think about it, you can really see how these two otherwise mutually exclusive hobbies have affected each other a lot in the last twenty years or so. And one side has gained a lot more from this than the other. Let’s start with video games. It’s obvious that games have integrated more and more elements from RPG’s over the years. Every giant multiplayer shooter now allows your character to level up and collect...

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