Posts Tagged ‘RPGs’

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Gaming Thursday

January 31, 2019

This is the kind of shenanigans we players get up to during our games… especially when the DM brings 3D printed magnet-edged tiles:

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Gaming Thursday

December 20, 2018

D&D humour!  (and a great pun to boot!)

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Gaming Thursday

December 6, 2018

In honour of both Ralph Breaks the Internet as well as our own just-started D&D campaign…

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Gaming Thursday: Conveying the Rules

November 8, 2018

Over the past 6 years or so, I’ve had fun trying out many new game systems.  From role playing to pure tactical, from the crunchy to the more narrative, they’ve run the gamut.  Through this all I’ve been reminded of two very big things:

  • Crafting a smooth, engaging, fun, and enabling game system is an art.
  • Conveying those rules with clarity and structure is an entirely separate art.

Neither of these are revelatory, of course.  But while most of these new systems I’ve come to enjoy and find quite well done, almost all of them suffer greatly in the second department.  Often, horribly so.

It’s a strange phenomenon to me, this consistency to which rulesets these days (in my experience, at any rate) are both poorly explained, with awkward, ambiguous, and poorly worded statements, and poorly laid out, with the most egregious (and, again, common) being interlocking rules elements that are strangely separated in the book by whole chapters and further compounded by meagre, or worse, no index so you can’t readily find things mid-game.  It is one reason I’ve been making so many cheat sheets – designing them allows me to see and learn how the game rules actually fit together*, with the in-play for quick reference being almost a bonus feature.

This may be starting to sound a bit like a rant, and truly I don’t mean it to be.  Instead, these two things have been great reminders for me of the importance of finding and trusting good editors and, even more importantly, being aware of what we’re good at, and what we’re not.  We may be brilliant at designing rules, but we may stink at writing them down (or vice versa).  Hiring people to aid us in those roles where we are weak can be the best thing for us and the game.

It is also a reminder that when I do find a game that excellently handles both bits, celebrate both the rules but even more so the authors/team who wrote them and laid out the book with such elegance.  For it is most certainly not a given.

 

* To which really allows one to see just how strange the organization can be by noting how many times, forty or sixty pages later in the book, you need to go back and add something to a part of the cheat sheet you thought you were done with.

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Gaming Thursday: STA Cheat Sheet Update

November 1, 2018

Just a quick post to note I updated my Star Trek Adventures cheat sheet to fix a few errors I had on there (oops!)…

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

Happy gaming in the final frontier!

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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.