Month: January 2018

Learning a new board game? Six tips to get you started

Learning a new board game can be cumbersome. Especially if you’re new to the hobby. All you want is to rip the plastic off the box, set up and get started, but learning a new game takes some preparation. I want to teach you some of my favourite tips on learning a new game. Have someone teach you If you’re lucky enough to know someone who knows the game already then now is the perfect time to invite them around for a game night. Playing is naturally the best way to learn and if you have questions you can...

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Villains and Antagonists – Intelligent Undead

Intelligent undead are one of the most used villains in fantasy roleplaying games, and no wonder, their sole existence is evil enough. But roleplaying a super-intelligent villain who has eternity to burn, doesn’t need to sleep and has nothing better to do than take over the world can be a challenge. Imagine this: You sit in the Three Stags common room with your group, just easing your way down to the bottom of a mug of ale and talking about your last adventure. A freezing wind howls outside, blowing from the north, bringing snow and sleet but inside it’s...

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You must have faith – or do you?

I have never believed in a higher power. The same applies to most of my family. In fact, here in my native Iceland we have one of the highest proportions of atheists in the world, despite not having separation of church and state. But I respect whatever faith anyone has and am not out to convert anyone. I expect the same from others. At the gaming table, things are different. The gods are very real and their influence is felt. In many fantasy RPG’s and especially in D&D and its offspring, the gods are omnipresent and their agents are...

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Arkham Horror: The Living Card Game

There has been no shortage of board games based on the Cthulhu Mythos, inspired by the works of H.P Lovecraft. Fantasy Flight Games have been doling out a variety of board games in a category of their own called The Arkham Files. There are multiple other games, such as Cthulhu Love Letter, Cthulhu Fluxx, Mythos Tales (the Lovecraft version of Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective), Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu and more. If you’re unfamiliar with the tales and themes of Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, we’ve gone quite deep into it several times. There is no shortage of RPG’s and...

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The Endless Possibilities of Eberron

Eberron was released in 2004 after winning the Wizards of the Coast Fantasy Setting Search in 2002. To claim that title Eberron had to slay 11.000 competitors and is as of yet the only published campaign setting in D&D history to have to fight so fiercely for its place among the greats. But what makes Eberron great? At First Sight I instantly fell in love with Eberron when it was released after following its rise through the Fantasy Setting Search. Having always been a sucker for departures from the norm  in fantasy, I jumped in feet first. The setting...

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Is your campaign going stale?

After playing the same campaign for months, after numerous fights and encounters, finding many magical items in dusty tombs, do things tend to go stale for you? Do you struggle keeping your campaigns fresh and the players on the edge of their seats from first session to the last?  One of the best campaign I’ve ever game mastered was the Dark Sun campaign City by the Silt Sea using 4th edition rules. It was simply awesome, I had great players and the narrative had a great build-up and reached a perfect crescendo in the perfect final battle. On the...

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Starfinder: First Glance – Alien Archive

All right, I’ll just say it. This post was meant to published three months ago. That’s a quarter of a year. A long time. There’s a lot of reasons, most of them personal, but in that time when I’ve paged through the Alien Archive I have repeatedly changed my mind on what to make of it. So, yeah, I apologise for that. Anyhoo, on to the meat of the matter. To make a long story short, Starfinder’s Alien Archive is effectively its Monster Manual or Bestiary but with a pretty big twist. There are extensive rules on how to...

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The Enemy Unknown

There are many campaigns that struggle because the players think they know everything there is to know about their enemy. And the sad thing is that they are often right. Most roleplaying systems release specialised books filled with antagonists to fight and monsters to slay. These books often go into excruciating detail on the creatures’ psychology, physiognomy and culture, all things that are an excellent source for green and veteran storytellers alike. Often this information becomes common knowledge, as is the case with the standard D&D troll’s vulnerability to fire and acid, or with nosy players combing these tomes...

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Becoming a better game master

Does your group sometimes engage is mindless murder-hobo playing style? Does it bother you? Do you realize that you could be a part of the problem? But you could also be a part of the solution. Shortly after the first episode of campaign 2 by Critical role aired I got a call from a fellow DM, who was in awe over Matthew Mercer’s DM style and his troupe of great players. “Why can’t I be more narrative focused like Mercer?” my friend asked and continued: “Why do my players always resort to murder-hoboism? All they want is to get...

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Nobody ever forgot the Realms

It’s been more than 30 years now since the Forgotten Realms setting was released (the beloved Grey Box) and more than 50 since Ed Greenwood originally started working on his vast fantasy world. It was an instant hit, is almost certainly the most popular fantasy world in existence (absolutely the most played one) and is now the default world of D&D. There can be no simple discussion of this giant and so we elected to make this a round table. But first some context and history. Ed Greenwood started creating the fantasy world of Faerûn, set on the planet...

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