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hairylarry

JesseQ made a post about how he would use multiple free online tools for online gaming. I have been wanting to set up an Actual Play podcast as a Gamer+ event and JesseQ's post got me thinking. Here's his out of the box suggestions.


Discord for chat (text, video, voice)
Miro for shared whiteboard/tabletop
Watch2Gether for atmosphere/music


I have come  up with another platform set.


Discord - Tenkar's Tavern in particular for the chatroom/game table


Web Whiteboard - A whiteboard app on the web the DM could use for drawing maps or diagrams for online games. You can also post text and pictures. Players can also post, make map annotations during play, upload something they saw, etc.


File Downloads - My Pydio instance does this great. There are many other free web alternatives.


So the only barrier to participation is getting into Tenkars Tavern on Discord. Discord has become a new standard for voice chat and their apps are easy to install and work on every platform.


Once you are in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern the DM can post a link to the whiteboard set up for this game. The players click on this link and they are there on the whiteboard. No passwords or accounts required.


The DM can also post a link to a folder on Pydio. The players can follow this link, browse pregens, and download or print the character sheet they choose to play. The DM has a different link that allows uploading and file deletion. Again no install, passwords, or accounts required.


And this is the key. Follow the link and you're in.


You enter the chatroom. The DM posts a link and you go pick a character. When the DM starts to draw something he posts a link. You follow the link and view what he's drawing. It would even be possible to lay out battle maps and move player tokens on the map.


So these two apps, the whiteboard and the file manager, are both included in Miro as per JesseQ's suggestion. There is an advantage to having these both in one app. But Miro is more complicated to use and the DM would have to send player invites which means collecting emails. In some situations this would not be cumbersome but for Gamer+, If You Play You Win, actual play podcasts I wanted it to be as easy as possible to jump into the game.


As JesseQ suggests, Gamer+ has set up a Watch2Gether channel that the DM could use for Monster noises and appropriate background music. It is also available for listening on the public web just by linking in with no password or account necessary.


So this is just another possible way to set up for online gaming. I chose these apps because of their open availability to anyone without having to install apps or create accounts. There might be better choices for your games or campaigns. Please leave your ideas in the comments.


Thanks

SteveMiller

I'll try a few posts, and I'll see what happens. Some will be reposts from the current NUELOW Games blog, some will be new. Some may even be reposts from my long-time favorite blog, Shades of Gray.


Meanwhile... if anyone sees this, please let me know. Is it worth it for me to post here?


SteveMiller Jul 31 '19 · Rate: 4 · Comments: 6
ZDL
Unlike my previous, starkly negative review I'm switching back to the generally positive again.  Today's fringe game is actually a game line, one that is proudly hailed as being for "beer & pretzels".  This is by no means the earliest beer & pretzels game in role-playing.  The first of the line's products—a game called Shriek—was published in 2001.  Games like Ninja Burger, Kobolds Ate My Baby, and other such games were released before that in the late '90s.  Indeed I'm pretty sure I'd played loads of small, simple, comedy games before this game line was published.  Hell, Macho Women with Guns, which exists right on the very edge of that beer & pretzels divide, was published in 1988.

But this one is different.


... more

ZDL Dec 19 '19 · Comments: 5 · Tags: hero force, 1pg, heyoka, deep7, beer & pretzels, fringe, review
sound
Living in worlds with dragons, unicorns, dwarves, giants, wizards, super heroes and evil villains. ...... requires a player to sink into his/her character and take on that character's persona. It's a skill that requires creativity, imagination and a willing suspension of disbelief. 


Therein lies the crux of the matter. 


May the Schwartz be with you.

sound Jun 30 '19 · Rate: 5 · Comments: 5
hairylarry
Initial topic - Keeping it real.

all gaming is on topic


The yeep is an alien pet. Very affectionate. When RobboG described it as being like a ferret then that made it real for us.
When the yeep yeeped the other alien to death we could accept that because it's an alien.
So comparing the yeep to a known animal made it real but we knew it was alien so we could accept strange behaviour/powers.
One of it powers was extreme charisma - everyone loved the yeeps except Dolf.

He was the level headed one. Who invites an unknown alien into their spacesuit? (We all did except Dolf)


In literature there is a thing called willing suspension of disbelief.
That's definitely a thing in gaming that the DM can use.
In literature and gaming it is possible to go to far.
In The Chronicles Of Amber (not to be confused with The Chronicles Of Ember) Roger Zelazney has his characters walk in shadow which can be thought of as walking through the interstices between realities in the multiverse.

There is one point where the protagonist walks so far into shadow that there is really no connection to reality anymore. That was a hard chapter to read and probably equally hard to write.


He was intentionally no longer keeping it real as a literary device.

Still, I was glad when he got back to more familiar territory.


In gaming the DM relies on tropes to keep things real.
The characters are familiar with fantasy tropes so as long as the DM bases his story around standard tropes or archetypes the players can follow where he's going with it.
Keeping the fantasy real, so to speak.
So when the DM or the PCs break the tropes it can lead to surprise and excitement.


Philip K. Dick was expert at leaving reality behind.

You would think you know where his story is going and then you realize that the surface reality you were projecting onto the story isn't really in the story at all.
Maybe it's just the protagonist's schizoid delusion.
This works in literature but not so much in gaming.
For one thing the shared reality around the gaming table involves multiple PCs being played by multiple players.
It is highly unlikely that their schizoid delusions will match.
In fact it is a challenge for the DM to be descriptive enough to keep the PCs in the same reality.
It would be a real hat trick to cater to multiple paranoid delusions around the gaming table.
And then try to do that without an accepted underlying reality.
Philip K. Dick as a DM.

Not recommended.


Life is too short to live it without a few delusions.

ZDL
Continuing my little experiment in reviewing little-known RPGs, past and present, I'd like to go in a direction directly opposite of my last review.  In that I introduced a game that was in all ways completely different from most RPGs that people in the hobby are familiar with.  Intead it is, as I put it in a comment, "RPG meets collaborative fiction with a dash of improv".

Today's game is nothing of the sort.  It is three perfectly ordinary things:

1. It is a free game and almost militantly so.
2. It is a joke game, or, at least, it started that way.
3. It is a so-called "Old School Rennaisance" game (and arguably the first actual such!).

So why am I reviewing a game so ordinary?  Because, naturally, it is in no way ordinary!


The game (and indeed, to a degree, entire game line) that I am reviewing today is the game Mazes & Minotaurs (M&M) written by Olivier Legrande.  If you've compulsively followed the link provided you got a taste of the rabbit's warren that is the secret world of M&M.  If you didn't, let me give you a quick history so you can understand the joyful, wonderful madness you're about to face.

... more

ZDL Nov 24 '19 · Comments: 4 · Tags: free, fringe, joke, osr, review, m&m
ZDL
Rolemaster

No history of RPGs would ever be complete without discussion of Iron Crown Enterprises' Rolemaster line of game products.  Despite its many epithets (most notably Chartmaster)—whether justly or unjustly applied (and I feel largely unjustly!)—it is hard to deny the influence this game had on role-playing games in general and D&D in specific.  First published in 1980 with the first component, Arms Law (a naming convention that set the table for all of the line), it began its existence as a replacement weapon/melee combat system for AD&D.  (They couldn't state it that flatly, of course, for reasons of copyright, so it was "for RPGs".)  It was rapidly followed with Claw Law (later packaged together) which added creature and unarmed combat to the mix.  This was followed by Spell Law for magic and finally, in 1982, Character Law, turning Rolemaster from a set of supplements into its own independent role-playing game.  1984's Campaign Law was the final component (and one of the earliest guidebooks for world-building for GMs).


... more

ZDL
The 1980s were halcyon years for RPGs in many ways.  There was insane diversity of subject matter as every conceivable niche and sub-niche was explored, and madness infected a lot of game designs.  This was also, after all, very much the decade of the "crunchy" game: games with ever-more complicated and "realistic" rules.


FGU


The absolute monarchs of the '80s vibe were Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU)  There was not a crazy concept they weren't willing to champion and publish.  The first "realistic" medieval game (Chivalry & Sorcery) was theirs.  The first game to feature non-humanoids as the central characters (Bunnies & Burrows) was theirs.  The first popular superhero RPG (Villains & Vigilantes) was theirs.  The first medieval Japanese RPG (Land of the Rising Sun) was theirs as was the most popular one (Bushido) for ages.  And while not the first SF games ever, two of the earliest SF games (Starships & Spacemen, Space Opera) were theirs too, the latter of which still causes warm fuzzy feelings when I think back to its convoluted insanity but immense fun.


... more

ZDL Nov 30 '19 · Comments: 4 · Tags: psi world, review, old school, fringe, fgu
ZDL

Today's review is gong to be from the person I consider the James Brown of game design.  Which is to say the hardest-working man in game design.  His name is Greg Porter and he is the owner (and sole member) of the game producer BTRC (Blacksburg Tactical Research Center).  Neither he, nor his company, are likely names you know … but you should.  In his own, quiet way, Greg Porter has created some of the most interesting, most innovative, and most playable RPGs out there.

(Of course he's also created some of the most unplayable games as well…)


... more

ZDL Mar 23 · Comments: 4 · Tags: fringe, review, btrc, corps
hairylarry

When you get notified about a Newsfeed story there is a link to that story in the email. It looks like this.


https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/1548


But where can you find that link. ZDL pointed out that the timestamp is the permalink.


It might say 3 minutes ago or it might say Yesterday and a time or Nov 1.


Click on that link and it will go to that Newsfeed story on it's own page. Copy the address bar to get your link.


Or right click on the link and Copy Link Location from the context menu.


Thanks to ZDL for helping me figure this out. I never realized that the timestamp was the link.


Thanks



hairylarry Nov 3 '19 · Comments: 4 · Tags: help, link, meta, newsfeed
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