I'm starting to see game consoles, e-readers, and even franchises like Pathfinder and Warhammer 40,000 differently. They all have built-in stores, in a sense, but they also want to be your whole lifestyle, or even your religion.
We got to try out a game of Endless Fantasy Tactics with Alias, a day or two ago. It was pretty fun!
It's basically Final Fantasy Tactics: the minis game. Which means we had to draw an isometric map, and HP/MP counters for everyone. Oh, and it uses stat cards normally, so we printed out lists with our models' stats on them instead.
Technically you don't have to go to these lengths. They sell decks of cards for all of the models and items, plus a beginner set with a reconfigurable 3d board. But we wanted to start with the core rulebook, and we figured it wouldn't take that long to make our own play aids.
Turns out, it did ^^; partly because we had to learn how to do layout in Pages first. And then when we actually started playing, our large-sized models took a hit for each square they stand on, every time Alias' Lunarian bunnies AOE'd.
(The gels all want to be heroes, or something. It's awesome.)
Anyway, we'll probably be playing this more in the future. And here are some more pics of the play aids we created / used, behind the cut:
( Read more... )
Today I read a Q&A that went something like:
Q. Is it possible for one of my fantasy harpies to be transgender when they're an all-female species? Isn't that like a human who thinks he's an elf???
A. Of course it's possible, because gender isn't the same as physical sex. Write your own fluff to explain if it makes you feel better.
This is going to sound melodramatic, but the answer that my heart was aching to hear was "who are you to tell [PLAYER] what body their character would prefer?"
So, I went out to GM the first session of the in-person Fate game we planned with the other players. Who are a guy we already knew, and his two friends.
(Content Note: Fictional pepper spray, and sibling abuse.)
One of the characters was a mad scientist college student, one was his (doormat) assistant who took the same classes, and one was a Fighter-class fantasy adventurer who stumbled upon their "Time Fridge," when it teleported them to an alternate timeline.
Yes. Time Fridge.
(Name shamelessly stolen from the Faulty Logic webcomic.)
All in all, it was a really fun experience and educational as well. ^^; I feel like I'm learning a lot about game design, which is now my Dream Career, by playing out these new games on the table. And seeing just how much they empower players, GMs, and creatives.
This is what I wanted, long ago, with the "Fursona Project" and "Fursona Code" and "Become Your Fursona" website. At their core, at the most basic level, I wanted people to be able to live as their personal characters, and have a common design vocabulary and resources to help express what they're like. I'm still learning the historical reasons why, but d20 and Pathfinder did not deliver on that.
From what I am seeing, Fate Core has delivered on that promise.
Now to see if we can kick off this online campaign properly.
So, lately I've taken to reading transcripts of the "FATAL & Friends" reviews on Something Awful, named after the legendary Worst RPG Ever. It's been very interesting to get a fresh perspective on games like Pathfinder, and see their flaws pointed out by an outsider.
(The Original D&D review was also very interesting. Did you know that the reason Pathfinder has so many spells like Cloudkill and Hallucinatory Terrain is because they were originally supposed to be used in a Warhammer style miniatures game, to delete blocks of infantry or to create or obscure terrain?)
Fate Core in person
I also recently had the experience of going out to GM a starting session of Fate Core in person, for a Pathfinder veteran and his friend who was new to RPGs but was very interested when I described Fate.
In hindsight, I think I did things all wrong for the planned Capsule Contingency RPG. >_>;;
So, for redsixwing and sablin27 ...
What should we do for our planned game? Do you want to just start it right now, and then help us come up with things as we go? Because I think that we could do that, if there is an understanding that it isn't going to be perfect. ^^; We could alternately discuss some of the ideas we had for where the game's going to go, so we can find out what stories you're interested in exploring and maybe get some ideas and stuff.
I don't have the energy to look up citations right now. But I feel like the history of tabletop games is largely the history of diverse, fannish groups adopting games that catch on because they are "good enough" for the time. And then watching as the next 30-40 years see the people who made these games get a lot of unearned power and capital, until they are dictating the shape of their hobbies to everyone else.
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We're still trying to do this Fate Core RP, but we're feeling like we're in a little over our head.
tl;dr We're doing our best but we're afraid of messing up, and this is making us avoidant of working on RPG things.
However! We've kept to our schedule so far, and as of right now, we've contacted both redsixwing and sablin27 about the last details that need to be clarified on their character sheets. If we can get that sorted out, we are going to write the first public RP post this weekend.
Check out these miniatures!
You can see more photos and read the full writeup on Polygon. I'm just thinking of all the uses for Portal minis now:
Give one of our Shas'uis a portal gun
Make the companion cube an objective marker
Surprise RPG players by changing the "dungeon" into a test chamber
Just imagine teaching someone to play Fate, Dungeon World, or Pathfinder by throwing their character into the Enrichment Centre. ^^ Or using the slices of cake (not pictured above) as victory points in 40k or another game.
... did I mention I am apparently good at impersonating GLaDOS?
So, I spent much of today reading comments and forum posts by Warhammer 40,000 players, for some reason. (This doesn't only apply to them, though; it has a lot to do with Pathfinder and video games as well.)
40k players spend an awful lot of time complaining online, it feels like. But what's interesting to me is what they choose to complain about. Roughly half of the forum-goers I saw were complaining about the company that makes the Warhammer models; how Games Workshop's latest rulebook ruined their fun, invalidated their strategies, and obsoleted their favourite models.
Some of their stories are really sad. "40K" players invest dozens or hundreds of hours in their cherished pastime, sometimes in just a single model, and it shows. Far from looking for an excuse to complain, the most upset players seemed more like betrayed lovers, who had given and given and given and were rewarded with Games Workshop's scorn.
The other half ... were complaining about the first half.
( Read more... )
I don't know where I'm going with this. It's late, and I'm tired and rambly.
I just feel like, the less inequality there is between players and game publishers -- and between the players and each other -- the less fighting and arguing there seems to be, and the more creative freedom there is.
I like the Tau model collection I'm building, but I feel more at home with game players and companies which treat me with respect.
Back when the first editions of Dungeons and Dragons saw print, the writers had to explain to players from the 70's and 80's that this wasn't a game like Chutes and Ladders that you were trying to "win." In fact, the game could continue indefinitely, with a new adventure for your character in every session.
Having said that, players through the years have tried to achieve their own personal win states for whatever roleplaying game they were in. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for how to win most of the roleplaying games we have personal (or substantial second-hand) experience with!
(These suggestions are not completely serious, but they aren't completely UN-serious, either.)
Babylon 5: Level up enough times that a single PPG shot won't kill you.
Call of Cthulhu: Don't die or go insane this session.
D&D / AD&D 1.0: Figure out how the heck to play Dungeons and Dragons.
D&D / AD&D 2.0: Cause your DM to pull their hair out, burn all their RPG books, and join a convent. Alternately, if you're the DM: Kill all the players. Not the characters, the players.
D&D 3.0 / 3.5: Get to level 6, so you can finally go into a "prestige" class and play the character you wanted to.
D&D 4.0: Win or survive every combat encounter, until you best the final boss fight and beat the game at level 30.
D&D 5.0: Survive D&D 2.0 dungeons, using a D&D 4.0 character, until you acquire one magic item from the D&D 3.5 rulebooks. (This may take several years.)
D20 Modern: Get to level 4, so you can finally go into an "advanced" class and play the character you wanted to.
FATE Core: Insert your own win condition here (then invoke it as an Aspect during play).
Pathfinder: Convince the GM to let you play the character you want to play.
Pathfinder Society: Buy enough Pathfinder stuff, and kiss up to enough Venture-Captains, to get the boon (and the books) that you need to start over from level 1 as the character you actually wanted to play to begin with.
Traveler: Don't die during character creation.
Special bonus for those who've been subject to it
FATAL: Cast FATAL.*
* Although really, the only way to win is not to play.