Month: February 2018

Splat! Advanced Bestiary

Few things get the hearts racing more for us gamers than an exciting, new splatbook, full of options and possibilities. While some of them are not all that good and may even contain elements that have the potential to make your game worse, a lot will contain some brilliant ideas that you can adapt partially or even entirely. And sometimes you hit on that must-have, amazing supplement that completely turns your game around. Splat! aims to look at some of the good, bad and ugly of gaming supplements throughout the years. If you have a supplement you would like...

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Let’s Hear it for the Little Guys – an interview with independent developers Hayley Gordon and Vee Hendro

We just started doing a Kickstarter Watch here at Yawning Portal. The headliner was Strongholds & Followers, which shouldn’t be a surprise. It has gotten a lot of attention everywhere and looks very promising. It has also already broken the previous record for a Kickstarted RPG product. However, the thing that has stuck with me is a very different product.  What impressed me the most was Good Society: a Jane Austen Roleplaying Game. First and foremost, it’s a great idea. It obviously has a willing audience, having gathered pledges for more than twenty five times the minimum as this...

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Part I: Symbaroum review – The Setting

Symbaroum is a dark and gritty fantasy roleplaying game by the Swedish publisher Järnringen. In Symbaroum you take on the roles of explorers and adventurers, in the lands of the dark Davokar forest. In this game the players roll every single die and the game master only serves the role of a storyteller. Symbaroum is one of the many great Swedish roleplaying games that have been taking the world by storm in the last few years. Symbaroum is a dark and gritty fantasy setting that has been well received and has many fans. The game was released in Sweden...

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Introduction to an Adventure – Getting the characters hooked

One of the most important parts of any roleplaying module are the hook and the introduction. How you get your characters and players invested and interested in your narrative is a subtle art, unfortunately often reliant on tired tropes. A few days ago I spent the entire evening writing a module and creating what I thought was a pretty solid adventure hook. In fact, I was so convinced that the hook was so good that I didn’t even think about having multiple hooks or at least a fall-back option. I got a friend who is a fellow game master...

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The Hard Life of Privilege

I’m a straight, white male between the ages of 18-49. In the West, there simply hasn’t been invented a prejudice for us and what’s more, we’re considered the most valuable and sought after demographic in a high proportion of marketing etc. – because the averages make it clear that we are in position of privilege, have disposable income and are quite willing to spend frivolously. If you belong to almost any other group, I’m pretty sure you’ve experienced how great we have it. If you haven’t, then I’m happy for you and hope you never will. If you’re a...

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Kickstarter Watch – Strongholds, Princesses and Sensibility. Oh My…

Kickstarter has been a big boon for both players and developers alike – but it is a double-edged sword. This is the first of our monthly Kickstarter watches, where we will look at some RPG and board game products that interest us. Update: Idiot that I am, I foolishly forgot to credit fellow writer and board game editor Magnús for contributing to this article. Sorry about that. It still surprises us how much misunderstanding there is about how Kickstarter actually works and why it is a risk. The fact is that in today’s environment, whether you are developing an...

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For all you newer readers

Since the start of 2018, there has been a massive increase in traffic at Yawning Portal. With all the new eyeballs on our work, we decided to gather together in one place some of our best, some of our most popular and even some of our most controversial articles out of the first 100. If this all seems familiar then we love you. If it isn’t, then you might be one of our new readers and who knows, this might be just what you’ve been looking for. So her’s a sampling of some our best, most popular and most...

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Our 100th article – looking back on the last six months

This is our 100th article and our first editorial. Our first saw the light of day on August 3rd, so we’re slightly over the six month mark. In that half year we’ve seen quite a lot of developments.  On our tenth day, we published what is so far our most read article – on the truly incredible RPG scene in Sweden. It exploded almost immediately and perhaps gave us unrealistic hopes for our growth at the start. But it also started something of a theme with us. We are based in Iceland and understandably are very impressed by our...

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New on Kickstarter! A sourcebook and a campaign for Trudvang Chronicles

Trudvang Chronicles is a great fantasy roleplaying game by the Swedish publisher Riotminds. Following a very successful Kickstarter campaign the game was released late last year. Now you can partake in their follow-up Kickstarter campaign, a sourcebook for the Stormlands and the Snowsaga Campaign. Trudvang Chronicles roleplaying game has been well received and gained much attention. The game is based on an old Swedish roleplaying game, Drachar och Demoner, which has been played in Sweden since the early 80’s. Following a very successful initial Kickstarter Campaign Riotminds, the game publishers, have now a new Kickstarter campaign for two new...

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Forbidden Lands First Impressions: Character Creation

It is a late summer evening in 1988 and I’m seven. I’m lying on a sofa at my grandparents’ house in a small town in northern Iceland and I’ve been reading non-stop for hours in a book I just received. I can’t stop. Every page is more and more exciting and fills my mind with ideas, even though it’s not in my native language and I have trouble with a lot of the new and complicated terms in the book. What exciting thriller is this? It’s a battered and heavily used copy of the AD&D 1e player’s handbook and...

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