Friday, 5 June 2015

Blog Move

The Red Dice Diaries blog has now moved to our main site at http://www.reddicediaries.com where you will be able to find your regular doses of RPG goodness :)

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Monday, 11 May 2015

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Friday, 24 April 2015

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Matters of Fate 2 : Making a Character

Matters of Fate 2 - Creating a Character
Some advice and a walkthrough of the Fate Core character creation process:
https://youtu.be/h43qO6c8dlM




Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Fate magic - Aspect based magic

One of the questions that I see pop up more than any in discussions about Fate is people asking how to implement magic using the system; there are a number of suggestions and possibilities (I offered one such suggestion in my previous possibly the worlds simplest Fate magic system post); recently I downloaded copies of the 1st and 2nd edition of the Fate RPG out of curiosity to see how the system had evolved, and one thing in particular caught my eye in the first edtion, it was a system for improvisational magic.

Effectively the system allowed you to make a series of choices on a number of tables defining the effects of your spell, this would then give you the difficulty of the roll that you needed to make.

I like the flexibility of this magic but didn't think it would really work that well with the current iteration of Fate, it occurred to me that perhaps magic could be represented by allowing the spellcaster to create aspects; aspects are used to establish facts within Fate, if you have an aspect saying "fastest gunslinger in the west" then the you are in the fastest gunslinger in the west.

Being able to Cast a Spell

In order to cast any sort of spell the character must have an appropriate aspect that explains either their magical training or innate talent, this aspect can also be invoked/compelled as normal.

Creating a Spell

Spells are used to create aspects, in order to do this the character has to make a roll using an appropriate response or skill (whether this is a magic skill or an existing skill  is down to you, although Lore would probably be suitable from the Fate Core list).

Each use of magic costs a fate point.

The difficulty of the roll begins at mediocre (+0) and is modified by the choices that the caster makes from the following table.

The scope of the aspect is...

  • Boost (gives the caster a temporary aspect that can be invoked free once and then disappears) +0 
  • Situation aspect (lasts only for a scene) +2
  • Consequence (inflicting harm on a target) +2 (mild consequence) +4 (moderate consequence) +6 (severe consequence) +0 (if the target is a mook) +2 (if the target is a significant NPC) +4 (if the target is a PC)
  • Character aspect +4 (permanent but only applies to one PC or NPC) +0 (if the target is a mook) +2 (if the target is a significant NPC) +4 (if the target is a PC)
  • Game aspect (a permanent fixture of the campaign world) +8

Additional modifers

Target of the spell is the caster only -2
Spell takes a single action to cast +2
Spell takes a scene to cast +0
Spell takes a session to cast -2
Spell takes several sessions to cast -4
Spell requires no components +2
Spell requires easy to obtain components +0
Spell requires difficult to obtain components -2
Spell requires extremely difficult to obtain/unique components -4

This system is only a rough system, and may require some tweaking but it should be workable in a Fate game, although I would suggest having even game aspects having only a limited life-span to prevent your game being overrun by loads of aspects. 










Tuesday, 14 April 2015

RPG Tag Video - GM Questions

Answering Condor DMs GM questions tag video.



Combining Tianxia martial art styles with Jadepunk

Tianxia Blood, Silk and Jade is a martial arts action game produced using the Fate Core system from Evil Hat Publishing, I bought a PDF of it recently when it was mentioned by Lloyd Collins (JarlDM) in a Google Hangout; as with most wuxia related Fate purchases my first thought in buying the game was 'How can I use this in my currently running Jadepunk game?"

If you're interested in the Jadepunk game you can find videos of all the sessions here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMlEyLAkrE__EfHHAfYIIekLdh4qwJxOK and my review of the system here: https://youtu.be/aMiWg_zTlfg

Unfortunately we were down a player in our last session (due to RL circumstances beyond control) and I didn't want to continue the main plot with a character missing so I decided to run a flashback, asking the players what element of the setting they'd potentially like to find more about; it was suggested that, since in the present day of the setting we're approaching the time when the Four Winds martial arts tournament is being held, that perhaps a flashback to a previous tournament might be interesting.

Since we were doing a tournament where a number of bouts would take place, but I didn't want them to drag on, I decided first of all to use the excellent Jadepunk duelling system which allows quick one-on-one combats to be held using a slightly tweaked version of the contest system in Fate Core, but I really wanted the different martial arts styles and techniques to stand out from each other. While virtually flipping through the PDF of Tianxia I discovered the section on martial arts.

Essentially in Tianxia each character creates a martial arts style by pairing an element with a body substyle so you might have Forest Monkey, Stone Dragon or Lightning Tiger for example; each of these substyles offers a description of how the style looks and gives three Stunts for each of them (so 6 in total for a complete style) as well as a final secret technique that a practitionner can only master once they have all of the other Stunts in their technique.

This is a nice simple way of creating difference between martial arts techniques so I used in the game system and it worked quite well, although I had to make a few tweaks on the fly to get it to work (especially since they weren't designed to work within the contest framework of Jadepunk's duelling system).

Below are some suggestions for using Tianxia's system in Jadepunk, and also notes on using them in a duel:

Element Substyles

  • Forest: A technique where the martial artist adapts to their surrounding and uses it to their advantage.
    • Forest Hides the Beast: A tie in a melee based defence action grants no boost to your attacker.
    • Forest Opens its Paths: If you use explorer to overcome and obstacle with style, you may turn the obstacle into an advantage with a free invocation instead of taking a boost.
    • Leaves Like Razors: When invoking a situation aspect of environment based advantage in a melee attack count as having +2 harmful if the attack is successful (or you gain +2 shifts to your degree of success if in a duel).
  • Ghost: This style relies on focusing internal energies and flowing effortlessly from attack to defence.
    • Exalted Ghost Body: Gains +2 protective when not attacking that combat turn; in a duel if you use the +2 protective from this technique then you only gain 1 victory and may not succeed with style.
    • Ghost Haunts the Shadow: Gains a +2 on scoundrel rolls to create an advantage based on moving silently or remaining unseen.
    • Ghost Strikes the Spirit: Ignores 1 point of protection when making a melee attack, and adds an additional +1 shift of harmful to a successful attack against a foe who has less martial arts based stunts than you.
  • Iron: Practitioners of this style make themselves hard and unyielding, taking and resisting enemy blows.
    • Iron Cleaves the Stone: Ignore 2 points of protection when making an attack to inflict physical stress.
    • Flesh Breaks on Iron: When you defend against a melee attack with style, you may inflict a 2 shift hit on your opponent instead of taking a boost. In a duel, if you defend with style then your opponent takes a 2 shift hit, in addition to any victories they offset using stress/consequences.
    • Iron Body, Iron Mind: +2 bonus to create advantages related to resisting or coping with pain, intimidation or fear.
  • Lightning: Cultivating both speed and power to overcome your enemy.
    • Lightning cross the sky: When you succeed with style on a melee attack you may move 1 zone in addition to gaining a boost, if someone tries to stop this movement you gain a +2 to overcome.
    • Lightning splits the tree: When you succeed with style on a melee attack you may remove an invocation on an existing advantage affecting you, instead of taking a boost.
    • Lightning strikes without pause: You gain a +2 bonus when determining intiative.
  • Stone: Deliberate and uncompromising action focusing on making the most of the artists natural abilities.
    • Mountain does not fall: You gain a +2 bonus to defend against attempts to create an advantage based on unbalacing, pushing, tripping or knocking over the defender. If an opponents technique allows them to automatically create such an advantage with free invocations then they gain one less free invocation.
    • Stone resists the blow: You gain 2 protection against any physical attack you are aware of.
    • If you defend with style you may remove your first stress box or convert another stress box to 1 lower rather than taking a boost.
  • Storm: Fluid and unpredictable, masters of the storm styles move quickly between attack and defence to keep their opponents off guard.
    • Storm shakes the foundation: When creating an advantage you may trade free invocations to remove free invocations from another character's advantage.
    • Storm rumbles in distance: Make a Fighter or Explorer roll with a +2 bonus to create an advantage based on controlling or redirecting momentum.
    • Storm flows around mountain: If a target uses a full defence in combat against you, gain +2 bonus to your next attack against them (whether their defence succeeds or not).


Body Substyles

  • Crane: Using fluid movement, misdirection and swift movement to overcome their foes.
    • Crane hides in reeds: Add +2 protection when using full defence to defend yourself in combat.
    • Crane sleeps standing: +2 bonus when overcoming physical obstacles by on physical obstruction or poor footing.
    • Crane stuns the carp: If you succeed on a melee attack with style, you may create a stunned advantage on the target with a free invocation instead of taking a boost.
  • Dragon: Dragon styles focus on a balance of speed and power, borrowing strikes from other techniques; practitioners develop a hissing breathing technique.
    • Dragon rules the fields: When you succeed with style on an attack, gain a boost with a +3 bonus instead of the usual +2.
    • Dragon rules the heavens: Use Fighter instead of Explorer for rolls involving entering zones or preventing others from doing so. If both Fighter and Explorer skills are equal, or Explorer is higher, then gain a +2 bonus instead.
    • Dragon sleeps in the mist: When you succeed with style on a defence you may reduce the the result by 1 to gain +2 protection rating against the next attack in the scene that strikes you, in addition to the normal boost. In a duel you may reduce the number of victories gained by 1 in order to gain +2 on your roll in the next round.
  • Monkey: A collection of unconventional acrobatic styles.
    • Monkey grabs the peach: Add +2 harmful to an attack where you invoke a consequence that the defender has.
    • Monkey dances in moonlight: When succeeding on a defence with style, you may create a distracting movements advantage with a free invocation instead of the normal boost.
    • Monkey rolls away: When invoking an aspect or advantage during a defence roll, gain +2 protection rating against the attack if it succeeds.
  • Pheonix: Focus on balance, agility and re-directing the force of an opponents attack.
    • Pheonix beats its wings: If you defend with style you may gain an off balance advantage with a free invocation instead of a boost.
    • Pheonix calls to the heavens: Once per session you may reduce physical stress taken by 2 shifts. If this technique is used in a dual then you may nullify up to two victories scored in a round without actually taking a moderate or severe consequence.
    • Pheonix laughs at the sun: If you succeed at an overcome roll using Explorer or Fighter with style, you may create a situation aspect with a free invocation instead of taking the normal boost. 
  • Serpent: Masters of the serpent style are known for being fast, efficient and ruthless.
    • Serpent bites the hand: If you gain shifts on defence you can sacrifice your action next turn to immediately inflict an attack on your opponent using the shift value of your defense as the attack result.
    • Serpent strikes first: Gains a +2 bonus when initiative is determined.
    • Serpent strikes twice: +2 bonus to rolls to create advantages based on disorientation, distraction or unbalancing against opponents that you have already inflicted stress on in this combat.
  • Tiger: Tiger styles are about power, ferocity and inflicting maximum damage to your opponent.
    • Tiger moves with purpose: Move at least 1 zone and make an Explorer attack or make an Explorer attack on a target that has just moved into your zone, add +2 shifts to any damage you inflict with this attack.
    • Tiger rends the flesh: When you tie on a roll using Fighter for defense you can inflict a +2 point shift physical attack instead of taking a boost.
    • Tiger rules the jungle: You gain +2 bonus to overcome aspects and advantages based on provocation or psychological manipulation.

This list in no-where near exhaustive, there are additional techniques listed in Tianxia including the mastery level techniques and secret/lost martial arts styles, I highly recommend you give it a look if you're after some additional ideas for a high action martial arts RPG; the rules are (with a little tweaking) compatible with Fate Core/Accelerated games and I would expect most other games using the rules system as a base.


Monday, 13 April 2015

Skyless City - Session 10 (Flashback) - The Clockwork Parade

We flashback to events before the start of the campaign in our 10th session revealing events surrounding the previous years Tournament of the 4 Winds and also revealing some revelations about our cast of heroes:

https://youtu.be/8u1Nidiob0E



Saturday, 11 April 2015

Jadepunk ready made stat blocks

For those of you who may not be aware, i'm a massive fan of the Fate system by Evil Hat Productions in particular Fate Accelerated Edition is the build of the game that is my go to game when wanting to run a quick one-shot or even just a game that players can jump into quickly and enjoy getting caught up in playing the characters they envision rather than getting snarled up in overly complex character creations processes and hundreds of pages of complex rules.

Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE for short) using six Approaches to define the stats of characters (instead of Skills as with Fate Core), choosing to define character less by what they know and what they do but more by how they do it, these Approaches are:

  • Careful
  • Clever
  • Flashy
  • Forceful
  • Quick
  • Sneaky

 (If you want to know more about Fate Accelerated you can find details on the excellent SRD site here: http://fate-srd.com/fate-accelerated-fae-menu)

One of the things I love about FAE is that right at the start it gives you six example spreads of Approaches to create six archetypal characters:



  • The Brute:
    Forceful +3, Careful and Flashy +2, Sneaky and Quick +1, Clever +0
  • The All-Star:
    Quick +3, Forceful and Flashy +2, Clever and Careful +1, Sneaky +0
  • The Trickster:
    Clever +3, Sneaky and Flashy +2, Forceful and Quick +1, Careful +0
  • The Guardian:
    Careful +3, Forceful and Clever +2, Sneaky and Quick +1, Flashy +0
  • The Thief:
    Sneaky +3, Careful and Quick +2, Clever and Flashy +1, Forceful +0
  • The Swashbuckler:
    Flashy +3, Quick and Clever +2, Forceful and Sneaky +1, Careful +0

These samples spreads are a great time saving device if you are playing a quick pick up game or you just want to jump straight in, you pick the type of character you want to play, bang on some Aspects and Stunts and you're good to go.

So you might be wondering why i'm banging on about Fate Accelerated when the title of the post mentions Jadepunk; well recently i've been running a Jadepunk game using Google Hangouts for a small group (you can see the actual plays here if you're interested: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMlEyLAkrE__EfHHAfYIIekLdh4qwJxOK) and it seems to be going quite well, we're on our ninth session. For those of you who aren't aware Jadepunk is a game by Re-Roll Productions that uses a slightly tweaked of the Fate rules to tell exciting stories that blend elements of Wuxia, the wild west and steampunk fantasy into a very compelling and exciting setting full of potential for great storytelling; Jadepunk uses a number of Professions rather than Approaches or Skills to define characters:

  • Aristocrat
  • Engineer
  • Explore
  • Fighter
  • Scholar
  • Scoundrel
 
However there's one thing that isn't in Jadepunk that i'd have liked to have seen, yep you guessed it, the example stats spreads that are found in Fate Accelerated Edition; you could argue that they're not really necessary and (truth be told) I don't think the game suffers massively from their absence, however they are a handy thing to have access to so i've come up with six archetypal character Profession spreads for you to use in your Jadepunk game:

  • The Honourable Warrior/Samurai:
    Aristocrat +2, Engineer +0, Explorer +1, Fighter +3, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +1
  • The Jadetech Engineer:
    Aristocrat +1, Engineer +3, Explorer +2, Fighter +0, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +1
  • The Idle Noble:
    Aristocrat +3, Engineer +0, Explorer +1, Fighter +1, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +2
  • The Sage:
    Aristocrat +2, Engineer +1, Explorer +2, Fighter +0, Scholar +3, Scoundrel +1
  • The Thief/Shadowy Assassin:
    Aristocrat +0, Engineer +1, Explorer +2, Fighter +2, Scholar +1, Scoundrel +3
  • The Pioneer/Explorer:
    Aristocrat +0, Engineer +1, Explorer +3, Fighter +2, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +1


     

RPG Review - MYFAROG

Reviewing MYFAROG mythic fantasy RPG.

https://youtu.be/6XNsQfOCaDM

Monday, 30 March 2015

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Fate One-shot: Pirates of the Cthulhu Main

Pirates of the Cthulhu Main, a Fate Accelerated one-off featuring an all star cast from the Brigade and One-shot group, very enjoyable to run :)
https://youtu.be/kQS3b_xTNmk





Friday, 20 February 2015

Sunday, 15 February 2015

[Actual Player] Tremulus One-off

My first attempt at running some for the one-shot group, a one-off game of Tremulus, thanks to my two players :)




Thursday, 12 February 2015

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Monday, 2 February 2015

[Video-RPG] Witch RPG Character Gen

Liz C.  from Angry Hamster Publishing kindly takes TheRogueDM  and myself through character generation in the Witch RPG:



[Video-RPG] Player Tips - One Unique Thing

Discussing ways that you can add to your campaign world and also help your RPing by coming up with "one unique thing for your character."



Friday, 30 January 2015

[RPG] Using Rory's Story Cubes as an Idea Generator for RPGs

Using Rory's Story Cubes as an Idea Generator for RPGs

I'm sure we've all been in this situation at one point or another in our lives, you've got a game to prepare for the end of the week, you've been staring at your notes while the seconds tick by and waiting for some sort of inspiration to strike; given all the other pressures in life that can pile up and demand our attention it can be sometimes very difficult to get over that initial hurdle and get the ideas flowing to create a session. I'm a big fan of anything that either jump starts this process or helps give the GM a little creative boost to get the mind working.

A couple of weeks ago I saw an advert on the internet for a product called Rory's Story Cubes; the concept is a fairly simple one, each story cube is a six sided dice containing a number of small pictures rather than numbers, you roll nine of these cubes and then use the imagery on them to inspire a story.


The basic set of Story Cubes is the orange box shown above and contains a wide variety of initial pictures from light bulbs, to moons, draconic shadows, fish, torches and globes, all of these are designed to be fairly ambiguous so that they can be interpreted in a number of different ways when you tell your story; the point is not to see a flower and say, well i've rolled a flower so i'll have to put one into the story, your tale might not mention a flower but it could feature other vegetation, the concept of beauty, growth or any other idea spurred in your imagination by the imagery.

For example below is a sample roll using just the basic set:



In that initial roll I have a shooting star, a crescent moon, a flower, a dice, an L plate, a mobile phone, a light bulb, a pyramid and a high rise apartment building.

So why is this any use for RPGs?

Well although the basic idea of the Story Cubes is to tell a narrative inspired by the icons, to me one of the central facets of RPGs that makes them very enjoyable and that keeps me coming back to the table year after year, game after game, is that RPGs are essentially a group narrative, a story, but one created by the collaborative input of all of the people involved. An RPG isn't just me sat tapping away on my computer keyboard with a mug of coffee or can of cider next to me (as i'm doing whilst writing this) and with only my ideas going onto the page, it's a group creative space where lots of people can throw their ideas into the ring and where the result often exceeds the sum of it's parts.

But doesn't the GM have more control in the game than any of the players?

There are some schools of RPGing that believe that the GM should have a lot more control than the players and that can work in some games, however, i've always been a fan of getting the players involved in games I run and giving them almost as much control over the narrative as myself; this means that occasionally i'll get surprised or not know what shape a session is going to take, it can be scary, concerning and occasionally a lot of work if things really go off track, but it's never boring and i've had some truly magical moments in RPGs when the players have taken that narrative ball and have really run with it.

So using Story Cubes for RPGs

The core Story Cube idea is to roll nine of the dice, these might all come from the orange basic set or there are two additional large sets (covering voyages and actions respectively) and some smaller sets (I have three, enchanted, clues and prehistoria, each containing three dice).


You take a number of dice from your sets totalling nine, roll them and then create a story based on the imagery. The instructions suggest that you select three of the dice to represent the beginning of a story, three to represent the middle of a story and the remaining three (unsurprisingly) to represent the conclusion of the tale.

Now of course roleplaying games are a little different, when it comes to planning an adventure you aren't defining the whole story, since the actions of your player characters may alter it significantly; there are a few ways that I think Story Cubes could be useful during RPGs though:

  • Coming up with adventure ideas


If you're stuck for adventure ideas then the Story Cubes could help give you some ideas to get you started, since you're not going to be determining the middle and end of the adventure beforehand, i'd suggest that instead of rolling 9 dice and splitting them into beginning-middle-end that you roll 3 dice per adventure that you want to create (so you would get three adventure seeds out of the default 9 dice pool).

As an example i'm going to make a roll below and use it to create three adventure seeds, these will all be set in a standard tolkien-esque fantasy world for ease of example (since most people are familiar with that setting) but you could do the same for your home-made campaign world or any purchased RPG campaign.

This example was created just using the basic orange pack.


And here is my roll, I have grouped the dice into three lots of three and below them are three potential basic plot/adventure seeds that I have come up with using them as inspiration:

  1. Herd animals are dying across the world in a deadly plague that is spreading in an unknown fashion, leaving animals twisted and mutilated, people have begun to whisper that perhaps more than a simple disease is behind the deaths.
  2. A strange mask has been discovered locked in a seal compartment within the fortress of an ancient and noble race whom no longer walk the world, all those who discovered the mask died in mysterious circumstances shortly afterwards.
  3. An ailing noble has discovered a reference amongst some ancient papers that he purchased at auction to a wizard having unlocked the secret of immortality, he now seeks people brave (or foolhardy) enough to venture to the desert ruins of the sorceror's previous lair to recover the elixir of life.

These are just three possibilities for different adventures all from a single 9-dice roll, there is plenty more potential in the basic set and even more once you add in dice from other sets.


  • World Events
The same technique can be used to create world events, things that are occurring in the background of your world and that may or may not directly involve the PCs, having these events in your game though help to create the fiction that the world exists independently of the player characters rather than it being a simple stage set that depends on the actors to give it life.

The example below was created using the three dice from the three smaller sets that I own:



  1. Strange creatures that hunt only by the dark of night have been hunting along stretches of river that supply several kingdoms with water.
  2. The unsolved murders of several prominant citizens, all reputedly linked to the founding families of the kingdom has lead to an increasing city guard presence and further draconian laws being introduced in the kingdom.
  3. Seismic activity amongst a local mountain range has caused several herds of animals and more dangerous denizens to venture down into populated areas, panicked town authorities are currently looking for a way to deal with the unwanted animals whilst fearfully eyeing the smoking mountain tops.
NPC occupations

The Story Cubes can also be good for finding out what sort of occupations or activities a random NPC is engaged in, we've all had those encounters where the PCs have stopped a few random bods in a town or city and it can be difficult to come up with occupations and activites for them; rolling a single dice (or a few if you wish can help give you some ideas.

The rolls below use dice from the blue 'actions' set:


In the examples below I offer a suggestion for both an occupation and an activity.


  1. Action - "Oh I was just here looking for a friend of mine."
    Occupation - Scout.
  2. Action - Looking for someone to stash something important.
    Occupation - Builder.
  3. Action - Travelling to a nearby well to fetch water.
    Occupation - Alchemist or apothecary.

I hope this blog post has given you some ideas for how Story Cubes could be used to help you create some interesting adventures, world events and NPC activities/occupations; obviously the cubes don't do all the work for you and there'd still be a lot of fleshing out to do, but if you're stuck for an initial idea or you're coming up a blank with your starting concepts then the Story Cubes could at least get you up and running. Personally I found them easier to use than a random table because I tend to be quite visually minded and something about seeing a picture (as opposed to a line of text) not only got me thinking more but it also allowed me to make broader interpretations.

[Video-RPG] GM Tips - Poker Face

Talking about one potential GM tool, the poker face.



Thursday, 29 January 2015

[Actual Play-RPG] Moments of Light & Dark - Skyless City - Jadepunk Session 4

Actual play videos of our fourth session of Jadepunk.
Unfortunately due to Hangout problems i've had to upload it in three sections.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3






Tuesday, 27 January 2015

[Video-RPG] Jadepunk Session 4 - Blooper Reel

Whilst my video of session 4 of our Jadepunk game is processing on YT, here's a small blooper reel I put together; it just goes to show with good players and good humour, hitches and problems can be dealt with and good fun still had by all :)


Monday, 19 January 2015

[Video-RPG] RPG Questions - Game catchphrases

I've been thinking about one of the catchphrases associated with WTROF and wondering why more games don't have catchphrases; so I thought that i'd ask people to come up with a catchphrase to suit their favourite RPG?


[Actual Play] Skyless City - Session 3

Skyless City - Jadepunk Campaign - Session 3

Following the tragic events of the Windrider crash our heroes have been laying low in the deepest reaches of the Sheshin district, a dark grotto of the magnificent multi-layered Kausao that rarely sees the sun. They find themselves pursued by a strange shadow creature known as the 'Ghost of Sheshin', a creature that seems capable of killing it's victims, leaving nothing but a scorched shadow behind. Sheltering in the hut of Yukimura Chou, the old fortune teller tells them that they are pursued by forces from their past.

What is the strange creature haunting the Sheshin District? Why is Yuuto being pursued by someone known as Kaiyu Shizu, someone who shares a given name with a long-dead figure from her childhood? And who is banging on the door of Chou's hut?


[Video-RPG] 3 Things GMs do that I love

This is a video response to Rhaegar the Dragonborn's (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwBfksuiyAIc6hiNJpwSNbA) video about 3 things GMs do that he loves, you can find his original video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aTzDSx7lJQ


[Video-RPG] First look at the Witch RPG by Angry Hamster Publishing

TheRogueDM and myself take a two-part first look at the playtest package for Witch that we received from Angry Hamster Publishing:

Part 1 - Contents


Part 2 - Opinions



Liz C. from Angry Hamster was also kind enough to post a video response to our initial queries and thoughts about the playtest package, you can find this below:


Sunday, 18 January 2015

[Video RPG] Interview - Jacob Possin & Ryan M. Danks

Ryan M. Danks and Jacob Possin from Reroll Productions talk to us about their work on Jadepunk, starting up Reroll, their likes and dislikes about the RPG hobby, the future of Reroll and (of course) ninjas :)

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

[RPG] D&D 5E character background - Skamos Sorrowson

I'm going to be playing in my first D&D 5E game in a few days, it's a two-shot dungeon crawl inspired by the Tomb of Horrors being run by Rob 'theSwamper' Davis and featuring a host of other great players such as Alex 'Captain Gothnog' Gillot, Thashif Muran and Sameoldji; really looking forward to it, we're genning 15th level characters and i've settled on a Tiefling rogue called Skamos Sorrowson, during my dinner break I though that i'd have a quick go at knocking up a background, below is what I came up with:

Alignment - CG

Skamos Sorrowson was born to the noble house of Turuval in the great City of Marapolean; whilst initially happy to be given a son at last the Patriarch of the family Michael Turuval was incensed when the childs infernally tainted features became obvious shortly after the birth, for a long time the child was shut up in doors and Michael would speak to no-one, not even his wife Sareena, who he secretly suspected of having been unfaithful to him, after all there was no way that such devilish features could have originated in his own family. The knowledge ate away at him like a cancer until it drove Michael mad and, one dark night, he gathered his loyal bodyguard to him and strode through the house determined to put an end to the cursed child; Sareena stood blocking their path, determined that no-one would kill her child, she was stabbed fatally for her efforts, but even with her last breath she triumphed, her sacrifice had given a loyal manservant time to steal away from the house carrying the child with him.

Originally the plan had been for the manservant Tollamy to carry the child to Sareena's own family in a distant steading, but as with many things in life, things did not go according to plan and Tollamy ran afoul of the noted thief and footpad Vernius Mudge and his burgeoning gang of the thieves, the Clawed Hand. Determined to carry out his final orders the manservant refused to surrender his charge and was shot before he could leave the bounds of the city, throwing open the carriage, the robbers found not the gold and jewels they expected but a strange child who had an odd devilish look abot him; Mudge's second in command, a half-orc brute by the name of Ramus, pulled out a knife ready to end the child's life and as he did so the knife vanished to reappear in the crib next to the infant, smiling Mudge pronounced it a sign from the gods that the clawed hand was destined for greatness and that he would take the child as his own, naming it Skamos (after a child that he had long ago in another life, who had died along with it's mother).

Mudge's prophesy seemed to be true as the Clawed Hand, with Skamos as a member, rose to become the ruling thieves guild in the city.

Skamos initially harboured a great deal of hatred against the nobility (although Mudge had only told him the very basics about his history, raising him like his own son) and initially began adventuring as a way to make himself powerful enough to take revenge on those who had cast him; over the course of a long adventuring career he came to understand that the worth of a person was not defined by their class or their riches but by their own actions and the people they regarded as friends and finally he achieved some measure of peace before retiring from his adventuring days and returning to rule the Clawed Hand thieves as second, alongside the aging Verinus Mudge, who welcomed the return of his beloved son. 


(Please note the Tiefling picture is copyright 2009 Wizards of the Coast, it is used for non-profit making purposes and no challenge is intended to copyright)