Friday 30 December 2011

RPGs are NOT doomed!

Thank heavens! After seeing countless threads on message boards about how the RPG hobby has taken yet another nosedive, or the industry is DOOMED!! and therefore the hobby is DOOMED!! also, Bottg started a thread on asking about how gaming is thriving.

It makes a hell of a change to hear positivity regarding the hobby. More of this please.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Dragon Warriors... again

I'm a massive fan of Dragon Warriors, especially the new version released through Magnum Opus Press that I pushed with a passion. Now a new company called Serpent King Games have picked up the torch and are re-releasing the game.

And good luck to them - Dragon Warriors is a great, simple and atmospheric game and they deserve all the good fortune they can get. They're dead lucky and they have a stable platform to work from - if I was to release my own version of Dragon Warriors there wouldn't be a single thing I'd change.

Well... maybe one or two things.

1 - Introduce a skill system. I'm a sucker for skill-based games and a skill system to reflect general skills and career-based skills would be cool.

2 - Random damage rolls. As much as I like the Armour Bypass system I'd like to see a random damage roll. I know there is an optional version in the rulebook but a more solid version would be nice.

3 - Lots more careers. You could get another dozen careers in the book easy by paying atention to number 4 below.

4 - Don't give the Assassin career half the book. Because that was just plain stupid. Yes, we've all seen Robin of Sherwood. Yes, we all wanted to be Nasir.

Dragon Warriors is a great game. If I could convince my gaming group I'd love to run a long campaign in the Lands of Legend with a whole slew of new PCs. If you can get hold of a rulebook, and I know there are plenty floating around still, then do so. If nothing else it'll give you a whole new campaign world as Legend is definitely one of the best out there.

Sunday 11 December 2011

On The Table

I was a tad shocked today to find a TV show called 'On The Table', that featured all manner of tabletop gaming thingies, from miniatures to rules to all kinds of things. It's run by the guys over at, supported by Wayland Games, and it's a pretty good short show letting everyone know what's going on in the market. I'd like to see a little more roleplaying in there, but it was good enough to hold my attention for the time it was on even though I don't have much interest in the wargaming hobby. It was slick, well made and really very good.

For UK Sky viewers it's on Showcase TV, every other Thursday.

Nice one, lads.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Using game trailers as RPG campaign teasers

So I was wondering how to entice players to play my games, or how I could get them excited about what they could do, or give them a taster of atmosphere... you know, there is nothing you can write that will get them all on the same page because everyone will imagine something different from what is written and in many respects expectations will be either too high or too low. Either way there's a good chance my game won't work, might not even take off.

One way to get them on the same page is to show them visuals, and recently I've been perusing some computer game trailers.

Let's say I wanted to run a gritty, dangerous fantasy game. Well, of course, I'd show them the live action Skyrim trailer - not that they'll be playing in the Elder Scrolls setting, just to invoke some atmosphere.

Then I thought about a World War Three post-apocalyptic military game. MW3, anyone?

Science Fiction horror? Dead Space is pretty perfect.

Like I said, it's not the game setting I want to use, just the atmosphere that the trailer is trying to invoke. Game trailers really try to push the envelope with imagery whereas movie trailers can sometimes feel stilted and forced. Game trailers also tap into the part of you that just wants to play and have fun, makes you want to experience what they're advertising instead of being a passive observer, like in a movie.

Roleplaying games want exactly that - involvement. Yeah, I think game trailers are pretty cool for advertising the kind of game you want to run.