Posts Tagged ‘RPGs’

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Gaming Thursday: D&D Character Sheets

October 4, 2018

To complete the trifecta, here are the character sheets I whipped up for our D&D game:

This one was done very quick and dirty like, heavily slicing and dicing the PDF print from the Forged Anvil excel character sheet, coupled with the borders from the official D&D Beyond character sheets and a gaggle of other graphics, symbols, and a parchment like background.  Still, quite pleased how it turned out.  As a bonus, you can see the banner I designed for my character on the last page (which itself was a kitbash using the banners from the Battletech kickstarter game as a starting point).  Sorry about the shadow on that photo there…

We’re restarting that campaign in just over a week, looking forward to it and to continuing to give this gaming notebook a try.  Happy gaming!

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Gaming Thursday: Star Trek Adventures Character Sheet

September 27, 2018

Following up on last week’s post, next up:  Star Trek Adventures!

I had a lot of fun with this one, generating it from scratch using the principles and look of the now infamous TNG-era LCARS computer interface.  The LCARS look was really convenient in accommodating a layout split down the middle.  I played around a bit with whether to put the service record or gear inside vs which went on the back – in the end I chose to keep the service record on the inside as it linked best with the character’s history, values, and other RP items.

As with the last design, I’m very chuffed with how this turned out!  I like the look far more than the ones that come with the game, and I think it organizes thing in ways that better emphasizes RP and the mechanics that support it.

Also as with the last design this should work equally well outside of a/the notebook.  With a minor tweak to add equipment it could easily be a single-sided sheet as well.  I’ve made a blank version of the sheet in PDF format, an InDesign file with the necessary text boxes, and all required fonts available in a zip file for download.  Enjoy!  And live long and prosper.

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Gaming Thursday: Firefly Character Sheet

September 20, 2018

One of my gaming buddies surprised our group by buying each of us one of the rather lovely Gametee gaming notebook folios/folders.  “Ooooo…” thought I, “I gotta use me this.  Four separate notebooks, that’s one for each campaign.”  Thing is, the notebooks within use roughly A5 sized paper, so cramming a standard character sheet in there won’t quite work.  Plus, it’d be great to be able to put the character sheet right in the middle of the notebook, using the same elastic string that holds the replacable notebooks in the folio.  Which would therefore need a landscape-oriented character sheet with nothing down its middle.

You know what that means…  completely non-obsessive and totally healthy character sheet design mania activated!

First up, for our Firefly game:

As the game uses the Cortex Plus system there isn’t too much that needs to be captured onto the character sheet.  I followed the basic design of the official sheets, tweaking organization to be both clearer and avoid the centre of the sheet.  Also took an opportunity to add a splash of colour and make the die types quicker to read.  Since pretty much all game info could fit on one landscape page trimmed to fit, I could use the back of the sheet as a booklet for theme-inducing art and a character portrait.

I’m quite chuffed how this turned out and looking forward to using it in game tomorrow night!

With its fold-over design, I think it works equally nicely even outside of a/the notebook.  Or just print the “inside” and it’s pretty much all there.  I’ve made a blank version of the sheet in PDF format, an InDesign file with text boxes in appropriate places, plus font and die image information, all available in a zip for download.  Enjoy!  And keep flyin’…

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Gaming Thursday: Shore Leave

September 13, 2018

Last game session, our GM was away.  Rather than do a ‘traditional’ one shot, I loosely penned up an experiment and gave it a whirl.

A bit of backstory:  When we were creating the secondary/additional crewmembers for our ship, I gave our pilot a focus (which, in Star Trek Adventures game terms, is best thought as “Areas of Expertise”) of “Shore Leave”.  This proved to be an amazing RP boon, for it has given incredible personality to the character, and we’ve derived a huge amount of background info and lore from it. For example, we have a converted cargo bay that serves as our unofficial ship’s lounge, created by said pilot and named after him: “Gavin’s Quarters.”

And so, for this experimental one shot, I envisioned, in the best mid-season “fluff-episode” TV series tradition, taking the crew in for some starbase R&R.  My plan was to hew to the meta pretty strong, and fully embrace the episodic nature of the episode with a ‘forced’ split of the party into three groups (of both primary PCs and the secondary/additional crewmbers) between which we would rotate with the full intention they would each get into hijinks that, inevitably, would combine in unexpected ways.  All the while, Gavin would flit in and out of the scenes, elevating the humour and excitement in all his masterful shore leave ways.

I wrote down and solicited from the greater interwebs a list of potential events, mischiefs, and troubles that I could spring on the players.  But I didn’t want this to follow the traditional format with the GM laying out scenarios and guiding things – I wanted the players to be as involved as possible as well so that the story we wove together would be remembered for (game) years to come.

To that end, I set up two things.  First, I explicitly mentioned to them at the start of the session the intent of the episode and its 3 narrative structure, and, more importantly, mentioned that there was no losing or danger here.  Like all fluff episodes the lasting recourses would be nil.  Secondly, I invoked the spirit of Mouse Guard-style play, both in the idea of “Player Turn” in having the players inject as much into the narrative as the GM, and secondly in terms of the more overall-story-thinking method of play rather than immediacy and first-person play.  In other words, more “what would make for a great story, let’s write it out” and less direct-RP (though we still had plenty of that).

Experiment success!

It went splendidly.  I began the session with a set of scripted scenes to set the stage of a crew reaching the ends of their ropes in various ways (and with each scene ending with a character saying “I need a break/vacation/downtime/drink”) followed by the Captain announcing the upcoming resupply at the starbase.  Then the players each chose a character from the pool of main/secondary characters, and we started the first thread.  I let them take the scene for a bit and then injected one of the hijinks.  Let that run a bit more, then switch to the second thread, with three more main/secondary characters, and so on.  Accidentally entering a bat’leth tournament, dealing with a propelled surf board stuck on full throttle, high-stakes poker games leading to forced karaoke, finding strange alien devices left on their restaurant table, mistaken celebrity identity… just some of the all sorts of hilariousness that ensued.  All the while, Gavin would dance through the scenes at poignant points, tying everything together until the very end when he managed to turn the entire concourse into a giant music party complete with fireworks.

A completely great night of gaming.  We didn’t touch the dice once;  everyone was generating and adding to the storylines and having a good laugh while also developing deeper understanding of the characters, both their own and the secondary crewmembers.  Lots of creative fun.  As a single-shot fluff episode it worked perfectly, a nice break before we get back to the serious business of being Starfleet officers.

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Gaming Thursday: Star Trek Adventures Species

July 12, 2018

Here’s a new species to add to your Star Trek: Adventures games!  As I alluded to in my last ST:A post, our new campaign has afforded me the chance to recreate a character I’d been playing in a Trek game many years ago, a character whose playtime was unfortunately cut short when I moved out of the area.  She was bit unusual in that she wasn’t a standard Trek race.  Rather, I’d taken the basic outline (as well as the species name) from the Battlelords RPG, a game that I had randomly bought at some point.  After a bit of tweaking to their concept, crafting the rules, and writing a plausible insertion into the Trek universe, there she was – with a rich backstory of course! – walking onto the bridge.

Fast forward to today, and she’s back in action.  So without further ado, here’s the ST:A species treatment for the Cizerack for your gaming pleasure:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-zXIblE4C6LlVn48fEfSeJKoiutv5k9U

(Artwork copyright by SSDC)

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Gaming Thursday: Mouse Guard Flowchart

June 21, 2018

In the same vein as last week’s Star Trek Adventures, here is a flowchart/reference sheet/cheat sheet for the Mouse Guard RPG.  Given the unique way Mouse Guard works, there’s a lot that rides on each test, as there are so few of them.  Hence each test is rather involved.  Couple that with a rulebook that suffers from some organizational issues (such as having various aspects of the test procedure scattered throughout), this flowchart proved invaluable at our table.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1peik86Gj454fIgQEBbKy7w5zvd9VoHYc

In the end, once we got a handle on how it works, we ended up loving Mouse Guard (see my end-of-game reflection here).  We are stoked to play again, so our mouse adventures will continue!  If I update the sheet I’ll be sure to repost it.  And if you see anything that I erred on, please let me know and I’ll wrangle it right.

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Gaming Thursdays: Star Trek Adventures Cheat Sheet

June 14, 2018

As noted a few months ago, our group’s been playing the Star Trek Adventures RPG by Modiphius.  We’ve been having a blast (it has allowed me to recreate/resurrect a character I love that I was playing some 20 years ago in the Star Trek RPG by Last Unicorn Games) and the system’s proving to be a pretty good one.  As is my wont, I’ve made these quick cheat sheets/GM Screen/rules references to help us along:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1k9AR8oRJ_qiSPoxW7QEVWZU50jQiIYOr

One thing to note, I didn’t include all the actions and options for starship combat, as I found this great set of sheets by Potato_Fishy that contained everything very well.  Otherwise, I tried to include pretty much everything that comes up often in play.

Hopefully this can be of use for your games as well.  If you see any errors or omissions, please let me know and I will update the sheet.  And if you’re not playing ST:A, I do recommend it!