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relatedtogeeks



Megan, Larry, and Carl are joined by Alan Wortman, creator of "The Chronicles Of Ember", discussing House Rules in board games and role playing games.
https://anchor.fm/relatedtogeeks/episodes/Related-To-Geeks---Season-2-Episode-7---House-Rules-efo4qa


Monopoly Board photo by Horst Frank, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3627036


Here's the script for the outtro.


You have been listening to the Related To Geeks Podcast, recorded March 2, 2020 on the Monday night Inspired Unreality open game chat held at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. For more about our geeky family visit relatedtogeeks.com. For more information about Inspired Unreality join Gamer+, a social network for gamers, at gamerplus.org. 


The music for this show is "Spam" by Hairy Larry from the "Collaborators" CD.

Aqualith


(This post previously published on Publish0x on 17 March 2020)
Last week, I snagged my first physical Pathfinder order from Paizo.com in years: the Silver Crusade faction pin, to be used in some upcoming Pathfinder Society 1st edition games at local game stores.
I received the pin late last week and all seemed well, until the stores started closing their game rooms, canceling the events. No real surprise, but I had the extra time outside of work available to me so it was a good opportunity to scratch the itch Con of the North left me.


The good news is that the MNPOP community is already mustering on a new Discord server, prepping for Virtual Tabletop (VTT) games in the wake of quarantines. I'll see if I can at least get in on one of them. The pin will just have to wait for it's physical, in-person debut another time.
Speaking of the pin, in terms of quality Campaign Coins really knocked it out of the pool with this one. I've had it sitting on my desk here and occasionally fiddle with it if I'm on a call, and its quite sturdy metal. The one odd part aspect of it was the choice paining the inner portion black. The Silver Crusade emblem that's used in Pathfinder has always been shown silver with blue accents. Perhaps in test runs it didn't pop enough for them. In any case, I'd happily pick up future faction pins if made available. For instance if I took up Starfinder Society, the Dataphiles faction interests me the most. I am more than likely going to play Pathfinder Society 2nd Edition however. Unfortunately like other 1st edition factions, the Silver Crusade did not carry over to 2nd. Lore wise I have found nothing to suggest they folded, which is at least good to hear. With it's absense, I will be aligning my characters to another faction, Vigilant Seal.
In Aqualith business news, I made a slightly new preview image for use when my Ko-Fi link is shared. The message regarding a waterskin never really jived with the hand displaying hydrokinesis. I think the new messaging is a little more straight-forward, but still willing to see improvement. 
With the aforementioned weekend events now canceled, I've got a little more time now to devote to product development. Been looking forward to it. All for now!
Steady tides be with you!
Ryan | Aqualith Media

hairylarry
Links for If You Play You Win.


file area


http://guitarshowdown.com/hll/public/ea2f45


whiteboard


https://www.webwhiteboard.com/board/8vztc54q


Here's an invite link to Tenkar's Tavern on Discord.


https://discordapp.com/invite/Dqz3VmT


Discord runs on everything, PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and IOS. Install Discord and then take the invite link. When you are in Tenkar's Tavern leave a message in the Common Room. You should be validated in about 10 minutes. You cannot leave a message in the gamerplus rooms until you are validated.


Questions or problems? Message me on Gamer+.


https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry


You can join us anytime to play or listen. The game starts at 7:00 Eastern/6:00 Central.


Thanks


hairylarry
Our first If You Play You Win actual play podcast will be held Friday, October 25 at 6:00 pm Central, 7:00 Eastern. RobboG will be running a one off in his new game, Universe Unleashed. Here's a link to the pregens and rules.

http://guitarshowdown.com/hll/public/e015bf

Players will find everything they need to know on pages 3-6 of the Universe Unleashed pdf.

If you pick and name your character post a reply here or message hairylarry or RobboG so we will know what's happening.

It's also fine to jump in tomorrow if you can. That's why we're using pregens.

I will be playing Constant Comment, in the support division, and I'm a hacker.

I'm looking forward to a new experience tomorrow night.


Thanks

hairylarry

If You Play You Win rescheduled to Friday, November 1.


If You Play You Win - Gamer+ Actual Play Podcast

Friday, November 1, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Central in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern.

DM Draklorx(Kier) - gamerplus.org/user/Draklorx

We'll be playing: Star Wars: Edge of the Empire

The module is the beginner game adventure called: Escape From Mos Shuuta

You are a group of outer rim fringers made up of bounty hunters, smugglers, explorers, and expatriates who have all run afoul of the crime lord, TEEMO THE HUTT! Trapped in the space port Mos Shuuta on the desert world of Tatooine you are running out of time and options, and need to get off of this planet fast! As luck would have it, a Trandoshan slaver by the name of Trex has recently docked his ship the Krayt Fang, and you wouldn't feel too bad about relieving the slaver of his ship. During a chase through the streets with Teemo's henchmen you duck into a Cantina and have only a few moments before they come in after you with their blasters ready.

You do not have to preregister to play. Anyone can jump in anytime. But if you want to preregister you can. Then you can choose your character from pregens. decide on your name, and be ready to go, blasters blazing.

You can peruse the pregens here. If you want to pick a character to play let me know. Message hairylarry at Gamer+ or email hairylarry@deltaboogie.com.
http://guitarshowdown.com/hll/public/3d25dc

hairylarry
If You Play You Win - Gamer+ Actual Play Podcast

Friday October 4, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Central in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern.

DM Draklorx(Kier) - gamerplus.org/user/Draklorx

We'll be playing: Star Wars: Edge of the Empire

The module is the beginner game adventure called: Escape From Mos Shuuta

You are a group of outer rim fringers made up of bounty hunters, smugglers, explorers, and expatriates who have all run afoul of the crime lord, TEEMO THE HUTT! Trapped in the space port Mos Shuuta on the desert world of Tatooine you are running out of time and options, and need to get off of this planet fast! As luck would have it, a Trandoshan slaver by the name of Trex has recently docked his ship the Krayt Fang, and you wouldn't feel too bad about relieving the slaver of his ship. During a chase through the streets with Teemo's henchmen you duck into a Cantina and have only a few moments before they come in after you with their blasters ready.

You do not have to preregister to play. Anyone can jump in anytime. But if you want to preregister you can. Then you can choose your character from pregens. decide on your name, and be ready to go, blasters blazing.
hairylarry Sep 16 '19 · Comments: 1 · Tags: actual play, if you play you win, podcast, rpg, star wars
hairylarry
I have an idea for an actual play podcast called "If You Play You Win". Basically the idea is to have rotating DMs running one offs where anyone can jump in. It will be in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern. The DM will choose the time, the date, and the game system. We will promote the game on Gamer+ and at Tenkar's. The DM can also invite people to play. Are you interested in helping with this?
Peter_R
Below is a published definition of what a Role Playing Game is:

It’s a game you play with friends in a social setting. …It’s an exploration of intriguing or fanciful scenarios. …It’s a chance to be someone you’re not. …It’s a celebration of sticky situations. …It’s collaborative daydreaming. …It’s exercise for your personal sense of drama. …It’s a way to trick ourselves into creating interesting things. …It’s something you’ve been doing all along.I am pretty sure that there are a lot of regular role players that would accept that definition at first glance and then stop, think and then disagree.

Not everyone has a regular group that they can get a game with. A lot of people are time starved or work unsocial hours which makes a regular game hard.

So if you cannot get a regular, around the dining table, game what are your options?

Discord

Many discord servers offer voice chat + dice roller bot online games. The plus is that you can pick a server for just about any game system in existence and you will get a game. The problem of being out of timezone or just time poor isn't solved but it is easier, a night shift working in the US could join an EU game. You get the social element to some extent. You can join in the banter and you get to role play but ultimately you are sat at home on your own most likely. It is a brave person who voice chats in character in Starbucks.

Forums

There are many forums that allow play by post. I like PBP games. The style I use is that every player gets two forum threads of their own that are invisible to all other players. The first is for out of character questions and comments. The second is purely in character. When two characters converse, I as GM will copy'n'paste from one to the other and then paraphrase the post to the other characters point of view. Imagine if you are trying to persuade someone and you have failed the relevant social skill test. The words remain yours but I get to describe you delivering that dialogue. I encourage people to add in mannerisms, facial expressions, gestures and if you are going to pace back and forth before the fireplace before unmasking the murderer then describe it.

What all this builds up is a really rich picture of how your character thinks and behaves. PBP games are perfect for political and intrigue games as characters have perfect recall, being able to scroll up to check facts and statements.

I set the game up so no player knows who is a PC and who is an NPC. I also do not insist that partys form or hold together. If you character's chip on her shoulder drives away people that get to know her then you may well end up as a loner.

PBP games give a wonderfully rich experience but at the cost of one or two posts a day being considered 'fast' and sometimes two posts a week is more normal.

Virtual Desktops

Virtual desktops exist to provide as rich an experience as possible and as such they are much the same as a Discord game but with graphics. They do turn role playing into a pay to play experience as at least the GM needs to pay for membership. There are some free options but only because they are new and want to steal away users from the other more established platforms. You are looking at the same issues of time zones and having to commit to regular time slots.

Solo Play

For some reason solo play is often looked down upon. It can be ridiculed as talking to yourself, day dreaming or just creative writing. It is mostly ridiculed by people who don't know what they are talking about, but that is true of most things.

Solo play has existed since the first Dungeon Master's Guide. Solo wargaming has always been an accepted part of war gaming and Chainmail and later D&D grew out of a wargaming background.

A regular game has a basic loop of the GM describes the scene, the players describe their actions, the GM resolves the actions and then loop back to describing the new scene. Solo play has two loops. think of them as a left and a right loop. You imagine a scene. If you would normally ask the GM a question to clarify your understanding then you use the solo rules to answer that question. Now you loop back you have your answers and you can imagine the scene. You imagine your characters actions, the conversations, NPCs and challenges. When you character acts you use the regular game rules to resolve the actions. You then loop back and imagine the new scene. So the left loop uses the solo rules and answers questions you would ask the GM. The right loop resolves in game challenges and uses the traditional game mechanics. So left loop would deal with "Are there any guards?", "Is there anywhere I can hide?" or "Trying the car door, is it unlocked?". Right look deals with picking locks, combat and spell casting etc.

Emulating a GM is not that difficult. It is often described as a RPG version of a magic 8-ball. You need to use your improv skills because of course any rules in a book cannot see your character or the scene or the goblins. 

At the core of every set of solo rule are three mechanics. The first is for yes/no type questions. you pitch your question as a closed yes/no question, use a modifier for how likely you think the answer is going to be a yes or a no and then roll the dice. You then have to use your improv skills to work that answer into your scene.

The second tool is for open ended questions like "What are they talking about?" and "What is this book about?" Often you roll the dice and get a two word answer and you have to think given the adventure so far and the current scene what does that two word combo mean to me? The answers are often kind of obvious like "Betraying + Leader" or "Plotting + Loved one" and that sort of thing. They are designed to fit in with adventures so you not going to get "Cut price + banana".

The final tool is the plot twist mechanic. If your adventure just plodded along with yes and no answers and the odd bit of description then things would get stale rather quickly. Plot twists are designed to throw up the unexpected. There are three common plot twist ideas. The first is 'complication'. These happen when you are asking a yes/no style question and it idea is that something happens that makes that particular yes/no questions irrelevant.  For example you ask if there is a horse you can steal and roll a complication. Using your improv skills you decide that there is a fantastic black stallion but at that second someone throws a saddle on to it and you recognise them as your arch nemesis. That would of course completely change the whole set of priorities that had you wanting to steal a horse. 

The next version is the interrupted scene. Solo play often works in scenes and a scene ends whenever you handwave a block of time (generally). If you had just discovered an important and incriminating piece of evidence against a mobster and you are racing to town hall and the mayors office. Normally you would probably not role play the journey to the town hall, you would just arrive. Not with an interrupted scene. You have to think of a reason why you don't get there. Does a car ram you off the street? Does a corrupt police officer flag you down? I had this situation in a modern genre game and at that moment terrorists had placed a bomb in the atrium of city hall and as I raced up the steps the entire glass fronted building exploded. That cancelled my meeting with the mayor!

The final plot twist you are likely to see are stage directions. They may say something like Introduce an NPC, or Your quest becomes harder. It is down to you to work out how to fit that into your game. If you five levels down in a megadungeon a new NPC is unlikely to be a merchant selling healing potions but it could easily be a chained up captive with half a dozen drow guards. If it told you your quest gets harder then maybe the route ahead has collapsed and you cannot get through the way you had planned? If you have your GM's hat on I am sure you can come up with some pretty miserable things to do to your character.

That is a pretty intense whirlwind tour of just the basics of solo play. I keep a rather terse bullet point list of key events and questions so I can recap and pick up where I was but you can record your adventures however you like, or not at all.

I talked about some of the advantages and disadvantages of the other forms of role playing. In solo play there is no loss of fidelity between what the GM imagines and what you see. You are both so your understanding is perfect. The same goes for NPCs and descriptions of magic and monsters. There are no time constraints or commitments to always be available at a particular time.

You can solo play to test a new game, or one of the three hundred games on your shelves that you bought but never got to play. You don't have to prep for solo play. You need to think of solo play as an infinite sandbox. I had an adventure once because my character had little or no starting money left. I asked if the tavern keeper was in a good mood and the solo rules said No. I asked why? and it said something like "Grieving + Crime". I decided someone had been murdered and my first reaction was that it was his wife and for some reason I tagged on that his daughter had been kidnapped. Well, there was something that I could do something about. I role played the scene as the taverner refused to let me into the tavern as he shut it up and barred the door. He had is club from under the bar and he was out for blood. I calmed him down enough to get some of the story out of him and I pointed out that while he was an excellent barkeep, I was the one with the spear and armour. I improvised a story about his debt to a street gang and how he fell behind the payments. He was supposed to take a beating as a warning but his wife walked in and tried to grab a sword off one of the thugs and in the ensuing struggle she was killed and his daugher was grabbed and taken away. There was my adventure and I had also learned a lot of flavour of the kind of town I was in.

Even with that tiny snapshot of my meeting with a taverner I hope you can see a bit of how solo play works.

I will blog more on solo play later as I think this has given anyone new to solo play plenty to take in for a first introduction.

Peter_R Jul 29 '19 · Comments: 3 · Tags: rpg, solo, role plying
sound
I started writing quests in the 80's with virtually no knowledge base except for the years spent as a lit major in college. I liked to zigzag through the quest with equal chances of mishaps or  triumph.  


It wasn't unusual for me to let the characters write parts of the quest as they were confronted with a new problem. For most encounters the die roll decided their fate. As we were mostly playing as a family group (and friends) their was always considerable amounts of discussion about the choices made.


As a teaching apparatus role playing was extremely beneficial. We often brought historic events, places and characters into the game. It also worked well for squeezing in math, science and art.



sound Jul 22 '19 · Tags: education, role playing, rpg

 

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