The voice was Ingdols. Gwenich could recognize it, though she could not see its source. He sounded far away, as if he were yelling through a wall. Her eyes were full of ghost images of the forest: vague outlines of trees and brush, a grey smudge where the cave had been. It was all fading slowly to black, leaving her field of vision a dark impenetrable curtain.
“Gwenich! Yarlloth fight me, girl. Can you hear me?”
Most people glorify the long running D&D campaign. We all love the Lord of the Rings, right? The default mode of play seems to be the vast world spanning quest of epic proportions, saving the universe from an antagonist with unimaginable power. Every game just serves to move along a huge overarching plot. Personally, I love this.
Some one rolls dice, you get hit, you lose hit points. You run out of hit points, you’re dead. That is how D&D works.
What are hit points, though? Most people view it as a relative measure of health. You get stabbed, your health decreases. You get stabbed again, the process repeats itself. Eventually, you just run out of health.
What I’m proposing here isn’t a new concept. I know I got the idea from reading about it somewhere else many years ago. If I could remember where, I’d give it some credit. It was an idea that really stuck with me, though. Hit points actually represents a number of things: health, how tired you are, the strength of your sword arm… hit points ultimately show how close you are to death, but not necessarily health. Continue reading “A Different Take on Hit Points”
She wished she could count the rain drops. They came through the air in an ever increasing rate, causing a beautiful anxiety to well up in her stomach. Gwenich was anticipating something, though what it was she did not know. There was something in the very air itself that she couldn’t quantify. It was like the charged electricity before a storm but different. It was softer and more deadly. It felt like whatever waited behind it all could tear the world apart. Continue reading “The Coming of the Astar Uln, Part 12”
“I rolled a 17. Does that hit?”
“Yeah. Roll for damage.”
“Okay, that’s… 8 points of piercing and 6 points of radiant damage.”
“Okay, next player…”
Sound familiar? Combat starts and the game suddenly becomes just a long drown out battle of dice rolling, especially when all your flashy powers are used up. It feels sterile and players can quickly become bored if they’re just waiting to roll above a certain number. How can you keep combat fresh and keep the players engaged?
Nothing beats sitting around the table with your friends and playing games. It’s great to be face to face and riff off of each other, planning out rounds on a grid board and playing off of each others jokes. Share a drink or two and you have a nice low key evening full of adventure with, hopefully, some of your favorite people.
Sometimes your people aren’t in the same town, however.
Mental health has a stigma surrounding it. We all know this. It’s a tough thing to talk about, which makes it a tough thing to deal with. I’ve urged many a friend to open up and spent a good amount of time letting people know that their feelings are valid and that they aren’t their anxiety. Sometimes just being heard makes it a little better, takes the edge off. Sometimes talking about it helps.
I’ve found this advice much easier to follow when I’m on the listening side than the talking side, however.
By now, we’ve started season two of Tales from the Tower on Twitch. We’re playing World Wide Wrestling, a game about being a professional wrestler. We’ve had a blast getting together costumes and creating the back stories for this little world. I’ve personally spent a lot of time on YouTube watching old matches and promos for research. While it’s been a lot of fun, I’ve also learned some things.
Wrestling has some great villains.
Mishtil and Drugar Wormchomper had wandered around the woods for half the day. Dusk was starting to blanket the land as the sun sank behind the western hills. The brilliant shades of autumn afternoon were giving away to soft shadow bathed in crisp air. Still, the other companions we’re not found.
Currently, the pair sat with their backs to a great oak. Mishtil had found some apples in the wood that she now cheerily munched on, her feet swaying back and forth to some imaginary tune. The child goddess had begun to worry, but that dissolved as the sweet juices of the fall fruit sat upon her lips. Her free hand stroked Wormchomper’s head as the badger nestled it against her leg.
I just want to start off by saying that there are very few wrong ways to play an RPG. If you and your players are having fun and everyone is comfortable, you are doing it right. From hack and slash dungeon delvers to in depth method acting role players, its all valid. Its a game. Have fun.
That said, I’ve often seen people talk smack on alignment. They find it limiting and hindering to their role playing. If their character wants to save a town and then kidnap its children all in the same day, than by Rerox’s beard, they should be able to do it. Who in this life can really just be summed up by two words?
Echos of a song ran through Mishtil’s head. The words and melody were far away and it seemed she forgot more of it with every fleeting moment. The child god’s eyes were closed against the light. It had flared unimaginably bright for a moment and created an impossibly loud boom that seemed to split the very sky asunder. Everything was disorienting and she could no longer feel Yurilda. It was as if some sixth sense she has always had but never recognized was suddenly gone. A surge of anxiety welled up in her throat.
Then she opened her eyes.
I’ve been on a bit of a roll when it comes to GMless games, especially of the solo kind. Last week, I talked about a dungeon crawl engine. This time, the game is more like a choose your own adventure book, but with dice.
And cosmic Horror.
And Existential terror.
You know, the good stuff.
I’ve been doing a series of posts on GMless games lately. Lets take that idea one step further. What if you want a dungeon crawling experience but you don’t have a GM or even other players? Don’t worry, boo. I got you covered.
This is the third in the series of articles about GMless games. This week’s game is pretty special and unlike anything else I’ve had the pleasure of playing. As you go, everyone works together to tell stories. They are stories of community and the triumphs and difficulties of belonging to one. Often times, it’s not tidy or conclusive, just like real communities and discussions. You don’t know much about it when you start. All you really have to count on is that you have one quiet year.
This is the second in a series of posts about GMless games. Sometimes you don’t have time to do the prep or someone can’t make it to the game. These are great substitutes for your ongoing campaign. Today’s game, Microscope, stands just fine on its own. It’s an RPG where you get to build everything.