Saturday, March 27, 2021

News - Luke Crane Resigns from His VP Position at Kickstarter Due to "Perfect RPG" Fiasco

Go figure.

Apparently, Luke Crane was not able to weather the storm that resulted from the Perfect RPG Kickstarter fiasco. I'm not going to say Luke abused his position at Kickstarter to further his own projects, but it's apparent that he felt that the rules that applied to everyone else did not apply to him.

Luke snuck Adam Koebel into the Perfect RPG Kickstarter. Adam is "Best known as the co-designer of the popular Dungeon World game system, Koebel in 2020 broadcast a TTRPG scenario involving in-fiction sexual assault live on Twitch. His handling of that scene was widely criticized by viewers and fans, and ultimately resulted in the dissolution of the actual-play series in which it occurred."

Kickstarters official announcement:

After a discussion about what is best for Kickstarter and our team, we came to the mutual decision with Luke Crane for him to leave Kickstarter. We recognize the many years of work Luke has done to help bring creative projects to life at Kickstarter and we are committed to ensure continued support for our team and for our backer and creator community through this moment of change.

Luke Crane was the main man behind The Burning Wheel RPG.

Read the full article at Polygon 

Luke's statement was shared as an update on the Kickstarter project:

Hello.

I apologize for such a long silence in the wake of the project launch last month. I’ve been in a lot of conservations, and doing a lot of listening. I waited to post anything because I wanted to be sure to be as thoughtful and considered as possible:

When we began the Perfect RPG project, my only goal was to launch a small collection of micro-games designed by my friends and others whose work I respect in the community. On the day it launched, while the project was falling apart, I did not fully understand what was at stake and what had happened—in the shock of the moment my communications were insensitive and desultory.

So here and now I wish to unequivocally apologize to you, and everyone affected, for the harm I’ve done to the community with this project. I am grateful for your input over the last month, and have done my best to listen with an open heart. I thank you for sharing your opinions and feelings, and know that I have violated the trust you placed in me. I am sincerely, deeply regretful.

In creating the project, I made a series of missteps and miscalculations that added up to a gross oversight on my part and, accordingly, I am fully responsible for the current situation and its effects. So I would like to add some clarification around some of the particular points raised, in the hope that it will help the community as a whole move forward in a productive way: There was no deceit, deception or bad faith in any of my actions around the project. I understand that I should have disclosed the participant list to all contributors beforehand, and I feel terrible that my poor planning placed some creators in a difficult position. Likewise with the unusual order in which contributors were listed—I was seeking to highlight the first creator on the list, who was my primary playtester for this project. In hindsight this was a poor idea that came off as duplicitous, for which I apologize.

The Indie RPG community is close-knit and passionate—it is one of the things I've loved the most about being a member. I have worked for 20 years to build and advocate for this community and expand it past its roots. It is very much my life’s work. To see it hurt through my actions has been devastating. Therefore I am now doing my best to repair the harm I have caused and make restitution to anyone negatively affected by my actions.

I recognize that this statement reflects an as-yet incomplete understanding of the impact of my actions, and only a start to making things right. I am actively looking for other ways to redress the wrong I’ve done. To begin this process, I have reached out to all the contributors of the project and I am in discussions with them, listening to their perspectives and asking them for input. I hope that with their help, and the help of this gaming community, I can demonstrate my continued commitment to building better games for all of us.

Sincerely,

—Luke




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Friday, March 26, 2021

Kickstarter - Spellbook Games Celtic Dice Boxes

Dice. I can never seem to have enough dice. Heck, I bought a box of 24 sets of RPG dice from Dollar Tree at the end of last year, and I'm apt to buy more at the drop of a dime. Because they are dice. 'Nuff said.

I store my dice in various glass jars for the most part, but a nice box or three would probably be the better solution. The Spellbook Games Celtic Dice Boxes Kickstarter seems to be a good option. I like the Celtic knot designs and the pricing is right. Heck, I suspect Rach will want to snag a box or to for herself.

Prices start at $19 for a basic box and increase from there. I'm in at 99 for three boxes with the bells and whistles, as I know my better half will be appropriating one of the boxes ;)

We are Spellbook Games, a Father/Son duo producing Tabletop RPG supplements, 3D printed gaming miniatures, and now expanding to the world of beautiful and customizable dice boxes.

With this Kickstarter we are going to launch our first line of Dice boxes with Celtic inspired tabletop gaming designs.  These boxes are made of durable yet light Paulownia hard wood and engraved in house by our artist. The Kickstarter will allow us to purchase new tools and equipment, including an advanced engraving machine, to enable production of these boxes on a large enough scale to support demand.

The Boxes are available in 4 selectable finishes depending on what pledge level you select. Amber, Ebony, Weathered, and Wildwood.


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Thursday, March 25, 2021

News - Trollhalla Press Becomes Trollgodfather Press - To Lose ALL Tunnels & Trolls Titles

Not the clearest news, but interesting nonetheless. Note, I received this update via email from DTRPG.

Greetings, my friends.

I have some news for you. Today Trollhalla Press changed its name to Trollgodfather PressTrollgodfather still has all its titles, but sometime in the near future, it will lose all of the Tunnels & Trolls titles as well as all of the Monsters! Monsters! titles.  If you've been putting off buying any of that, especially the pdf versions of Monsters! Monsters! don't let it slide too long.  When the new owner takes things over, prices are very likely to go up on everything.

In other news, my non-T&T games, Starfaring, Power Trip, and Rollerball have all done very well, also.  If you thought about my superhero variant of T & T, Power Trip, you might want to grab that before the end of the month too, as it probably won't be available next month.   Starfaring has already sold over 100 copies and Power Trip has over 50.  I am quite elated over the success of both of these products.

Times are changing, friends. Get the best of the old world while you can--the new world will be here before you know it.

Trollishly,

Ken St. Andre



Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Do You Prefer Rules or Guidelines in Your RPG?

It's a valid question, and the two may be similar, but their goals are not the same.

Rules are rigid. Professional sports have rules. Infield fly rule in MLB is just that, it's a rule that isn't open to interpretation. Nor is a foul ball. The strike zone, however, seems more like a guideline, as different umpires call different balls and strikes. Some seem more generous to the pitcher, others are more generous to the batter.

Instant replay is an attempt to remove interpretation away from making a rule decision in the heat of the moment - if it was called wrong, it can go to the replay booth, where it will be viewed from multiple angles before the call is either verified or overturned.

I prefer my RPGs to be rules-light, where rulings, not rules, set the precedent. Even the few rules present are more like guidelines, waiting for a better house rule or new interpretation to change the ruling and creating a new precident. 

For me, a game like Pathfinder, or even Dungeons &Dragons 5e, has simply too many rules getting in the way of the gameplay. In my experience, too many rules smother the roleplay and turn every action into yet another roll of the dice.

This is why I find it interesting that the Basic D&D rules from the BECMI Era, had a Dungeon Master's Rulebook, but Advanced Dungeons & Dragons had a Dungeon Master's Guide. Rules are, by definition, rigid. Guides are less so. Yet Advanced Dungeons &Dragons was supposedly the system that was going to be the ruleset of organized play at conventions so that everyone was to play with the same set of rules at each table.

My personal experience with AD&D is that the gameplay was not consistent between groups, let alone different DMs within the same group. Heck, my one and only Gen Con experience in '92, I played in an AD&D 2e Tournament, and in the two rounds I played in, initiative and surprise were ruled differently both the two DM's in question. So even at Gen Con, AD&D 2e didn't have the consistency of rules, let alone rulings.

This is why I thoroughly enjoy Swords & Wizardry in all of its incarnations. There is no attempt made to have a rule for everything, and I can expect and even embrace that the gameplay will vary from one gamemaster to the next, maybe even between campaigns from the same GM. 

Teach someone the rules, and you may create a GM. Guide someone and allow them to make the game their own, and you may create a GM that is invested in the game they run.

 


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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Worlds Without Number has Arrived!





 


I've got to say, this book is huge! 396 pages huge. Doesn't seem so high a page count as a PDF, but as a full-color POD, it has some heft.

I'm less interested in the game system, which I am already familiar with due to SWN, Other Dust, and more, and more interested in the tools to run a fantasy sandbox.

Now that I have my print copy, I'll be delving into Worlds Without Number over the next few days and I'll be back to touch on more after I do. 

Wow! Already a Platinum Best Seller on DTRPG!

You can grab the free version of Worlds Without Number here.

Fun stuff :)

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Monday, March 22, 2021

Bundle of Holding - Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea


There are certain RPG systems I want an opportunity to play as a player. Not GM, but simply experience the world and the ruleset from the unencumbered side of the PC. Beyond the Wall is one. The One Ring is another. Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is probably at the top of that shortlist.

My first encounter with AS&SH was with the First Edition Boxed Set. It oozed atmosphere and familiarity at the same time. Then the AS&SH 2nd Edition HC Book was released, and I snagged that, and it was GOOD. This was followed by a series of adventures, of which I even own the shirt for one (Rats in the Wall and Other Perils)

If you have yet to experience the greatness that is Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea, this is your chance. The rules are excellent, and the adventures fit the default setting to a T, yet are easy enough to move to your own world. The Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperboria Bundle of Holding collection is a bargain and I strongly suggest it for those that haven't had that AS&SH fix yet ;)

For 9.95, you get the rulebook, pre-gen characters, and the GM screen. If you go in for the threshold price, you add in seven adventures. Really, you simply can't go wrong at either price.


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Sunday, March 21, 2021

More Playing with Myself: But with Computers (and Consoles!)

More Playing with Myself: But with Computers (and Consoles!)
Like probably everyone reading this blog I enjoy playing games, specifically RPGs. Now most of us here probably think of slinging dice first when talking about RPGs, but the average non-gamer tends to equate "RPGs" to computer games.

Now I like computer RPGs as well, but it's such a different animal and frankly the blend of D&D and computer RPGs has been rather hit-or-miss for me.

I've only played a few "Official" D&D computer games and really.....I only remember two: Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. Both games were pretty awesome, for different reasons.


Baldur's Gate Rules

Baldur's Gate was a fun game I've played about 1/2 way through several times. I still have the original CD-Roms, the expansions, and even the follow-on games. I recently tried to install the game and play again, but no matter what I did I just couldn't get the game to run. No clue why....it was beyond frustrating. No worries, I'll just try another methodology.......I'll grab the Xbox version.

Now that starts right up......but OMG does the gameplay suck. For such an expensive game the graphics suck and navigation is problematic. It just isn't fun to play.

I ended up grabbing it again on Steam. Now I can play on my laptop wherever I am.....much, much better.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance better than expected

The one Xbox D&D(ish) game that did work, and I did enjoy was Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. It is so not like playing D&D, but the graphics were good and so was the gameplay. I especially enjoyed the fact that I it was a two-player hack & slash. Unfortunately it isn't available for backwards compatibility.....so no go, well at least not yet.

I'm working on a couple of emulation projects and maybe I'll get to try this game again that way. While I'm at it I might be able to check out one of the bazillion(ish) other actual D&D computer games.

I did not know there were so many other titles to check out.

Now to this point I've been restricting my computer gaming to D&D-only titles, but there are a metric-butt-ton of other Fantasy RPGish games out there, far more than I am aware of. One of my favs has been Torchlight, but you can only replay that so many times before it gets old. Now South Park: Stick of Truth was a fun homage of sorts and I do have a couple Witcher games to check out.

Clearly I have hours of future entertainment already lined up, but I'm thinking there could be some real gems out there I am just not aware of....and other readers might not know about either. If you have a favorite computer RPG game, especially one that does a good D&D-style fantasy RPG...please share with the group!

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