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Grave_Wyrm
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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Location: FML States of America
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:03 pm 
 

Xlxlx wrote:
When I visit the USA some day, you can be damn sure I'm gonna GM something for the MA people.

Game on.

Although, I'm tempted to say that the US isn't worth the trip and we should meet in Montreal instead.
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Xlxlx
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:15 pm 
 

That sounds terrific. Get Tony and the other Canadian MAers to roll some dice too! :-D
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:03 pm 
 

And scratch beards over the war games I'll bring. Those have .. a couple of dice, I guess. One doesn't have any, which is great. Dice are fine when used judiciously, sparingly, but I'm beginning to dislike them as a default. Not that I mind rolling the bones over some miniatures combat, I just find that there's only so chuffed I can really get over a game if it's not something I can get good at. It's not possible to "get good" at rolling dice. That said, I've found that I'm quite happy to roll off a table to see what happens narratively. Ironically, I really like dice. Like .. heaps. But phrases like "it's a dice game" leave me looking around for something else to play just as much as "the winner is the one with the most victory points." Meh .. not my cup of tea. And I really like tea. Lots of different kinds. Even more than dice.
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Xlxlx
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:08 pm 
 

Eh, I really like dice myself! I enjoy the element of randomness and unpredictability that they add to a narrative. Sure, it kinda takes away from anything that you want to be focused on skill and such, but then again, I don't play RPGs for everything to go like a SWAT raid or something. I play them to tell a fun story, and in every fun story, unexpected things happen :-D
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:56 pm 
 

In short, I don't mind dice at all when they're used to simulate genuine chance. I get really pissed at them when excessive randomness scuttles all my planning (to borrow from Herr Thrower).

I don't exactly count RPG's as a dice game so much as rolling off a lofty amount of tables, which they very much are (even the combat seems that way, at a stretch, but with more emotional investment than, say, a perception check). At that point you just roll as fast as possible to not slow everything down. Besides, they're ballasted by a shit load of personal decisions without a dice cup to be found. I'm talking dice games proper like Roll for the Galaxy or Battle Dice (ugh fucking kill me) or something like that. Even Warhammer I'm not as into as I want to be, despite being fucking awesome to see on the table. Playing that game amidst Dwarvenforge is something to behold. I'm very much on the fence with Elder Sign, too, but I can't think it's bad for some reason, so much as "I wish I could get better at this." Then again, I'm not working at all on getting near enough items, so even there there's room to improve on my game play.

I'm in no way opposed to them categorically. I've spent hours in front of the dice counter. I'm just probably never going to be playing Lords of Vegas, that's all.
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Resident_Hazard
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:32 am 
 

Cheap plug for all Dungeons and Dragons players: Battle Helper.

This app is designed to aid in making your battles faster and with less work on your side having to keep track of everything in that capacity. A guy on my dev team (about a third of the team are huge DnD players) designed it to make his time playing DnD smoother, and the rest of the team got together and updated it, graphics, logos, smoother use, etc. So yes, this is something I took part in making. Free download with some ads.

We somehow have over a thousand installs without seriously promoting it yet.
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Zelkiiro
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:40 am 
 

4e had something like that with the Character Builder, where all your shit was automatically catalogued and added up and presented neatly in little cards. It also catalogued all the classes, their powers, all the races, their variants, and every power and every feat available in the game with a handy Houserules switch so you can view them all at your leisure. It was paradise if you liked choosing stuff.

I was always salty WotC never made the same amazing Character Builder program compatible with all the other editions. I'd be much more willing to jump into a 3.5e/Pathfinder game if they had such a convenient way to quickly make characters and track all their modifiers and bonuses. But they don't.
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Scorntyrant
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:50 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
In short, I don't mind dice at all when they're used to simulate genuine chance. I get really pissed at them when excessive randomness scuttles all my planning (to borrow from Herr Thrower).

I don't exactly count RPG's as a dice game so much as rolling off a lofty amount of tables, which they very much are (even the combat seems that way, at a stretch, but with more emotional investment than, say, a perception check). At that point you just roll as fast as possible to not slow everything down. Besides, they're ballasted by a shit load of personal decisions without a dice cup to be found. I'm talking dice games proper like Roll for the Galaxy or Battle Dice (ugh fucking kill me) or something like that. Even Warhammer I'm not as into as I want to be, despite being fucking awesome to see on the table. Playing that game amidst Dwarvenforge is something to behold. I'm very much on the fence with Elder Sign, too, but I can't think it's bad for some reason, so much as "I wish I could get better at this." Then again, I'm not working at all on getting near enough items, so even there there's room to improve on my game play.

I'm in no way opposed to them categorically. I've spent hours in front of the dice counter. I'm just probably never going to be playing Lords of Vegas, that's all.


I used to argue with my Brother about the dice thing when we were playing a lot of 40k. He would say "there's more skill than chance, you could roll all 1s", and I would say "I put myself in a position where I'm rolling so many dice at your small squad that even if 3/4 fail I'll still kill them all". So what you get better at is calculating the odds, having contingency plans, concentrating your force where it will do the most and designing lists to maximise whatever aspect it is that you want to emphasise. In other words, a weak player relies on the dice, a strong player minimises the reliance on them
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:39 pm 
 

True that. I was talking with a friend of mine (at a baby shower of all places) about this very thing. Once you get enough dice the statistics involved actually gain some traction and can be included in a strategy. A low sample set is really swingy and deeply annoying as a result (like rolling 1d20 when everything is equally likely, so higher isn't necessarily better. The roll is effectively random, not probability-based at all, which is weird because real life scenarios aren't anywhere near that random, even for a level 1 actual person!). Another way to balance it that I'm really into is with well-designed modifiers. I've been reading over the rules of Conflict of Heroes which put a lot of work into their modifiers because they were trying to actually simulate a combination of factors, not just balance game play. That game is fucking rad, btw.

Do you play other wargames, Scornytyrant? We might be the only ones around here who do, unless others just aren't saying so.
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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:21 pm 
 

Zelkiiro wrote:
4e had something like that with the Character Builder, where all your shit was automatically catalogued and added up and presented neatly in little cards. It also catalogued all the classes, their powers, all the races, their variants, and every power and every feat available in the game with a handy Houserules switch so you can view them all at your leisure. It was paradise if you liked choosing stuff.

I was always salty WotC never made the same amazing Character Builder program compatible with all the other editions. I'd be much more willing to jump into a 3.5e/Pathfinder game if they had such a convenient way to quickly make characters and track all their modifiers and bonuses. But they don't.


Ha, maybe I should mention that to the guy on my team who headed the design of the Battle Helper.
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:12 pm 
 

I’ve actually quit playing 40k and sold most of my stuff. Apparently 8th edition is good but 6/7 pissed me off. I play a lot of Bolt Action and SAGA these days, both of which have really clever mechanics underlying them. Also hoping to take up Napoleonics this year, most likely the fogn system
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andersbang
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:20 am 
 

Cool, I've heard good stuff about SAGA. I'm starting to look at alternative rules for my wargaming needs too. I regularly play warhammer fantasy 8th edition with my group, and sometimes Mordheim, but I want to create a grimdark 40k Inquisitor skirmish campaign with my group using an indie rule set called This Is Not A Test that's originally a Fallout inspired post apoc skirmish game.

On other board game related news I've been playing a lot of Mansions of Madness second edition these last few months, and my groups Pandemic Legacy campaign is starting up again soon.

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:25 pm 
 

Scorntyrant wrote:
hoping to take up Napoleonics this year, most likely the fogn system

That sounds fun.

Speaking of (non-miniatures) Napoleonics, the 2nd edition of Bonaparte at Marengo is in development. I've been reading the designer's blog for it, which has been pretty interesting. It's nice to see the design process underway and also great to see what I'm avoiding by waiting for the 2nd edition. On the site is also the completed design diary for Napoleon's Triumph, BaM's beefy successor.

It's cool to see a highly qualified nerd struggling with and then solving challenging design flaws that also streamline the game, like in the case of the counterintuitive and apparently repeatedly enraging "forward retreat" which after months of frustration ended up with a simple, elegant solve. Also stories about the game board's design process, involving the woes of image searches and taking his own portable scanner to the Library of Congress while he scoured topgraphic survey maps for the sweetest plum.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:18 pm 
 

Scorntyrant wrote:
I play a lot of Bolt Action

Rad. How simulative are these scenarios of the historical deployments? or maybe a better question is how close to historical do you play them?

Spent a little time looking at the Warlord Games site. The horse and musket era looks pretty rad to play. If you start that up, please take some pictures and keep me posted. I've not done any historical wargaming with minis, only seen them out on the tables at the con. (The cotton ball cannon smoke is pretty awesome.)

andersbang wrote:
I'm starting to look at alternative rules for my wargaming needs too. I regularly play warhammer fantasy 8th edition with my group, and sometimes Mordheim, but I want to create a grimdark 40k Inquisitor skirmish campaign with my group using an indie rule set called This Is Not A Test that's originally a Fallout inspired post apoc skirmish game.

On other board game related news I've been playing a lot of Mansions of Madness second edition these last few months, and my groups Pandemic Legacy campaign is starting up again soon.

How is Mansions of Madness? It looks cool, but I don't know anyone who owns it.

I'm curious to hear how those skirmish rules pan out for the 40k setting. The great thing about dolls is that they're just dolls, it's not like it's a video game enslaved to the choices of the tyrranical programmers. Also, I've played never played Warhammer 8e. I learned the 9th age and we sometimes play Age of Sigmar, though we're all pretty convinced we aren't playing it correctly and a couple of the guys have already started modding it pretty heavily.
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andersbang
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:48 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
andersbang wrote:
I'm starting to look at alternative rules for my wargaming needs too. I regularly play warhammer fantasy 8th edition with my group, and sometimes Mordheim, but I want to create a grimdark 40k Inquisitor skirmish campaign with my group using an indie rule set called This Is Not A Test that's originally a Fallout inspired post apoc skirmish game.

On other board game related news I've been playing a lot of Mansions of Madness second edition these last few months, and my groups Pandemic Legacy campaign is starting up again soon.

How is Mansions of Madness? It looks cool, but I don't know anyone who owns it.

I'm curious to hear how those skirmish rules pan out for the 40k setting. The great thing about dolls is that they're just dolls, it's not like it's a video game enslaved to the choices of the tyrranical programmers. Also, I've played never played Warhammer 8e. I learned the 9th age and we sometimes play Age of Sigmar, though we're all pretty convinced we aren't playing it correctly and a couple of the guys have already started modding it pretty heavily.


Mansions of Madness is really fucking cool. It's really great in that it's both really immersive and it keeps the pressure on - there's no time when you're bored, and at the same time it's "light" enough that I can play it with my friend while we're getting high or play it with my girlfriend who is a casual boardgamer.

When I first tried it I didn't like it as much as other big Lovecraft games like Arkham Horror or Eldritch Horror, because you can't strategize or plan your future moves a lot - it's pretty dice heavy, ie random, and so much of the game is run by the app, so you react more and try to put out fires (figuratively and sometimes literally) while you slowly work towards the end goal, than you execute a grand plan. But I've come to love it, mainly because the pressure is almost always on.

The big strength of the game is the variety, especially the scenarios. I can borrow the game from my friend who has a lot of the expansions, so there are like 30 different characters with different stats and special abilities to play, and many different spells, weapons, equipment, conditions (ie buffs or mainly debuffs) etc. But the scenarios is where it's at - they go from 1½ hours to 6 hours, some are "mysteries" where you have to interview people, search rooms etc, some are straight up monster hunts, most are a mix where you occasionally encounter monsters while you try to figure out what happened. The difficulty, the play time and the goal varies between the scenarios and there really is a lot to explore in the game. Now, I've played it pretty intensely the last couple months and I've tried all but one out of maybe 13 scenarios available to me, about half of them several times, and I still think it's a great game. My friend that lent me his game has also played it intensely before, and he has started to become maybe a little bit bored - because there was only 10 scenarios available, he played them all several times, and they will vary a bit each time but the general feeling and layout of the board will be very similar each time. The beauty is that Fantasy Flight Games releases new, fairly cheap downloadable scenarios sometimes, and he just bought a new expansion with new play tiles, new characters and of course 3 extra scenarios, so now he's excited again.

It's a very expensive game with expansions and all, but I'm lucky to be able to borrow it, and then I can't recommend it enough.

Have to run now, this suddenly got very long, I'll get back to you on the warhammer stuff

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Scorntyrant
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:12 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Rad. How simulative are these scenarios of the historical deployments? or maybe a better question is how close to historical do you play them?

Spent a little time looking at the Warlord Games site. The horse and musket era looks pretty rad to play. If you start that up, please take some pictures and keep me posted. I've not done any historical wargaming with minis, only seen them out on the tables at the con. (The cotton ball cannon smoke is pretty awesome.)



Dolls? :/

Anyway, in the main Bolt Action rulebook there are 6 generic missions, and we mostly play these at tournaments/events as they are balanced enough to run with any 2 random armies from any period of the war. The campaign books, conversely, have campaign-specific missions designed to replicate historical battles, so they specify what forces are used. Great if your opponent happen to have the other side for that battle, not so much if you end up playing Japanese vs Germans or Americans vs Russians.

In general terms, it's a very cartoony take on WW2. Personally, I'm a bit of a stickler for historical accuracy but as the community grows and attracts former 40k players we are seeing a lot more people building lists around what's most efficient on the table rather than what was actually used in a given campaign. On the facebook groups I'm seeing more and more new players asking "what's the best tank to use for X army", to which I always reply "The one they used in the campaign your army is built to represent". It's not my place to tell people how to have fun but it's a historical game not an exercise in math-hammer list building. I struggle to understand why you'd want to play it if you're not into history, but I get called a rivet-counter when I bring this stuff up.

Re Horse & Musket, I think 28mm is too large a scale really. By all accounts 15mm works ok and as small as 6mm for large battles works well.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:21 pm 
 

Scorntyrant wrote:
Dolls? :/

"This isn't a doll. It's an action figure."

My friend started using the term to troll game-forums' machismo. I think it's important to rid oneself of denial and have a healthy relationship with one's hobbies.

Sacrilege!!
WARHAMMER 40K AND THE QUEER DARKNESS OF THE FETISH-FIRST MILLENNIUM

Scorntyrant wrote:
"what's the best tank to use for X army", to which I always reply "The one they used in the campaign your army is built to represent". It's not my place to tell people how to have fun but it's a historical game not an exercise in math-hammer list building. I struggle to understand why you'd want to play it if you're not into history, but I get called a rivet-counter when I bring this stuff up.

I support counting that type of rivet.

Interesting point about the players transitioning from Mathhammer 40k. Warhammer's more a fighting game than a war game. I can understand being a little let down that my soldiers don't have bodacious tech, but the relative vulnerability of non-fictional solidiers of the past is, I think, more compelling because it heightens the peril. Also, I like playing historical scenarios because I get to read about them in the rules. For instance, the opening scenario in Memoir '44 included the description of a midnight attack by British elite troops who landed gliders in a nearby clearing and rushed the dug-in Germans: "Despite furious opposition from a heavily sandbagged machine gun nest at the end of now famous "Pegasus" bridge, they capture their objective within moments. To the east, the Orne bridge is secured equally rapidly, giving British troops the first victory of D-Day!".

It's pretty awesome that actually happened.

Scorntyrant wrote:
Re Horse & Musket, I think 28mm is too large a scale really. By all accounts 15mm works ok and as small as 6mm for large battles works well.

I hear that. It's a good scale for individual scenes like dungeon crawling, or squad-based firefighting. Napoleonic Wars were pretty low on skirmishing, as I understand it. Those more reduced scales sound better for rank and file dispositions. Having only ever played with minis, the abstraction of block games was off-putting until I got my head around the numbers of men involved in these conflicts.

How's the terrain quality you're playing with? It's been slow-motion blowing my mind how compelling immersion is.
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theagentcoma
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:21 am 
 

I've really been enjoying Warhammer Underworlds since its release. Quick and easy to play. I'm afraid that it will be a gateway drug to heavier Games Workshop stuff..
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:27 pm 
 

theagentcoma wrote:
I'm afraid that it will be a gateway drug to heavier Games Workshop stuff..

Don't be afraid. Lean into the addiction. What of the heavier stuff is speaking to you over the encrypted headset in your mind?
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theagentcoma
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:44 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
theagentcoma wrote:
I'm afraid that it will be a gateway drug to heavier Games Workshop stuff..

Don't be afraid. Lean into the addiction. What of the heavier stuff is speaking to you over the encrypted headset in your mind?


Haha. Pretty much all of the AoS stuff. I'm much more into fantasy than science fiction but 40K still looks awesome as hell. I've been contemplating picking up a starter. I'm actually about to head to my local GW so maybe I'll get a demo of a game.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:09 pm 
 

Neat. If you haven't already, get a few games of Space Hulk in before you make that a categorical thing. I also REAAALLLY want to play Necromunda. I don't blame you, though. Fantasy is my preference for table top spreads, although now Scornytyrant has me curious about these 15mm Napoleonic set ups. I think, though, that sci-fi would do very well in a "steal the stuff with your warband" scenario like Frostgrave, which is essentially wizards and mercs loot a town and murder each other while monsters spawn in the area and chaotically wreak havoc. Next weekend I'll be playing that for the first time and asked our band-builder to set me up with something stealthy. I'd really like to see a sci-fi treatment of this system.

In other war game whittering, I've gotten Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! and it's Eastern Front solo expansion on the table a couple times and boy is it good. It uses a new artificial enemy called the Athena AI system, and it's great. They've done a really careful job of making the AI deck balanced, broad, and versatile, and I'm looking forward to playing against another human to see which is more deadly. It's an excellent simulator. There's nothing heroic about it. It's dangerous, tense, and unnerving. There are a little over a dozen different hit counters with unique conditions on them that get pulled from a bag. The unit can potentially rally and discard the hit, but if hit a second time before then, the unit is eliminated (the rules say this doesn't necessarily mean it's been killed, as not every solidier who left the field did so dead -- however, there is the dreaded KIA counter, and hits grow more likely the closer combat gets, close combat is accounted for, and the modifiers ramp harrowingly, and no one's going to get me to believe that a close combat knife fight ends with someone getting away with their skin due to a slip in leadership). It's remarkably easy to imagine the conditions of the game. You're hiding in a little wooden house and you can see the enemy in the woods, but you can't really hit them reliably. The AI doesn't always make the Germans fire on you; sometimes they simply move towards you, which means they might well rush from the woods into the house and have at you inside. Or what about that armored car guarding the village? How are riflemen going to deal with that? Well you have to figure out some way or else you're all going to die.

Also, I've played a couple of dummy rounds of Sekigahara and I love it, too. It has as much grace and fluidity as CoH has bitter stress and action point crunch, and I love it with teeth. What a gorgeous, elegant, well-balanced game. This one does not have a solo mode, but I barely care. Neither does chess, and nothing stopped me from putting that on a lazy-susan Scrabble board and playing myself (and losing, go figure). Sekigahara uses the standard block game hidden information, but I just make them all face me, dole out the cards as necessary and have a grand time all by myself. It's amazing what you'll forget about "the other player's" intentions as soon as you pick up the other hand. And being able to see all the information doesn't necessarily make it easier because then I know just how badly I've made my decisions up until that point. That goes for every turn. It's weird!
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televiper11
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:36 am 
 

Hey Everyone into RPGs in this thread. The Library I work for has started collecting them and while I have some solid knowledge, I'm a lapsed player recently returned to the fold (haven't gamed regularly since college) and could use some input from people here about newer games/newer editions of stuff.

So far, the Library has purchased D&D 5e (a no-brainer), Mouse Guard, Tales From The Loop, & Conan: In An Age Undreamed Of <--- does anyone here have experience running or playing any of the three latter? I'd love some feedback.

Also, researching Call Of Cthulhu, I am utterly bewildered by the number of publishers and editions. Any particular recommendations there would be helpful.

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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:41 pm 
 

Man, Mouse Guard looks really cool. It seems like it totally hits the right nostalgia notes for people who grew up with movies like The Secret of NIMH, books like Ralph the Motorcycle Mouse, the Redwall series, etc. In fact, it's basically Redwall the RPG minus all the Christian moralizing. I'd totally play it, except my regular 5e group can already barely find the time to get together.
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televiper11
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:53 pm 
 

Yeah, Mouse Guard is dope and the best part is that everything you need to get years of fun out of it is right in the box set: no additional purchases necessary. It is a simple, fun, clever RPG with amazing art and I highly recommend it. Our library is hosting a group that is keen to try it and I will probably GM it for them.

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theagentcoma
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:12 am 
 

I'm having a ton of fun with Mouse Guard. I've never GMed anything and after our first session with a party of 5, everyone was loving it (including the 3 who had no RPG experience whatsoever). It really is akin to Redwall in a lot of ways lol
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televiper11
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:58 am 
 

Any Dungeon Crawl Classics fans here? I about to run my first session. The art is so damn metal!

http://save.vs.totalpartykill.ca/assets/img/dcc-rpg-modules-i.jpg

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

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Location: FML States of America
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 10:23 am 
 

WARGAMES! INCOMING! *takes cover under the game table, preps d6 grog mortar, buckles thrift store life vest against component shells*

Many pre-orders on horizon, intelligence spotty, sentries posted and frosty. First up: Hannibal & Hamilcar, the (carefully) updated 20th anniversary reissue of the impossible to find 2 player, 2nd Punic War classic! YUS! Accompanied by the tale of the naval climax to the First Punic War featuring Hannibal's father, the sea-warring badass, Hamilcar. Both fought the Rome and the Rome won, but Carthage was a beast not to be fucked with. By .. anyone but Rome.

After that we'll head into two excursions with Volko Ruhnke's COIN series, an asymmetrical wargaming series focusing on COunterINsurgencies, guerilla, and asymmetrical warfare; mainly modern ones (like the Andean conflict, Cuba, the French-Algerian war, Vietnam, Afghanistan), but also branching into more distant history like the American Revolution and Rome's conquest of Gaul, which didn't come easily*. I'll be getting Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar, and Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917-1947 (the first in the series to involve the tactics of a pacifist faction, a design feature appearing also in 'All Bridges Burning' set during the Finnish civil war of 1918). Also a couple of Commands & Colors releases, The Great War (miniatures trench war) and Medieval (foot and horse block game).

The same designer as the original COIN series, Volko Ruhnke, is launching a new series called Levy & Campaign which also features asymmetrical war, but the asymmetry comes from vasty different fighting styles, and the games will lean heavily on the logistics involved in maintaining momentum in intermittent campaigns involving short-term troops (vassals with limited obligations, mercenaries who were on limited contracts, locals who had to return home to do the planting, etc). I've ordered the first, Nevsky: Teutons and Rus in Collision, 1240-1242, set during the Teuton's crusade against the pagan Rus.


*For more on the interesting tale of guts and slaughter that was this conflict, see Dan Carlin's "The Celtic Holocaust".
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MammothRider
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:16 am
Posts: 426
Location: Alberta, Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 5:01 pm 
 

Gonna be running (for the first time) a 4th edition campaign for a few of my friends this weekend. I'm thinking of doing a monster campaign ie: they play as various enemy creatures and do basically whatever the fuck they want. I've played one of these before, and it was damn fun because you're basically OP from the very start.

Thing is, I have next to no experience GMing, as the only other one I've done was a Call of Cthulhu game like 4 years ago. Anyone have any tips that would be useful? I have the basics down pretty good, but again, I'm a pretty huge noob when it comes to running a campaign.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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Location: In the Arena
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:31 pm 
 

So today our party was able to defeat an evil beholder through good customer service and polite professionalism. It tried to attack us at the inn we own and operate, but we convinced all its minions that it was being rude and unreasonable (and gave them a discount on drinks at the bar) and escorted the now minion-less beholder off of our property, all without escalating the conflict into an actual fight (which would have been bad for business).

We then used magic to grow a giant cucumber, which we then pickled in a giant mason jar, which then became the focus of a pickle festival which we threw to make some money and get publicity for our inn.

I had fun, but THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PLAY DUNGEONS AN DRAGONS WITH A BUNCH OF GIRLS.
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rexxz
Where's your band?

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:38 pm 
 

Demand one fit of unbridled violence for every diplomatic resolution. It's only fair.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 11178
Location: Tyrn Gorthad
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:56 am 
 

Long post incoming, so I'll hide it in spoiler tags. I realized I haven't given a single update about the new D&D 5E campaign we've been playing since our old one fell apart, and it's been completely awesome so far so I'll try to run through it.

Spoiler: show
I'm playing a halfling bard, Osnan Birchbarrel. He was raised as a storyteller and musician who fell in love with adventure stories and the concept of the noble hero defeating villainous evil. While wandering through the forest looking for inspiration for a piece of music, he saw a pale feminine arm beckon to him through an opening in an old tree. He passed through into the Feywild, and was gifted a nine-stringed hardanger fiddle by a beautiful nymph, who told him to seek out heroes and write their tale. He promised he would, but promised also to himself that he would not only write about the heroes but become one himself. He then spent several years wandering the Eastern Kingdoms (which are the fragmented remnants of the once-great Ambroxian Empire) seeking out those who would make a mark on the world, breaking into libraries and mercenary guilds and tavern chambers, until he found a group of people who were all converging to head west through The Blinding Dark, once prosperous mines that were now used as a pass through the mountains to The Cauldron, a sort of wild-west frontier area.

He met up with Melech Therai, a hexblade warlock tiefling, Matthias Sternsbruck, an undead-hunting human spell-less ranger, and Gerard, a human eldritch knight, and we faced various terrible things (fungal zombies, troglodytes and darkmantles, for example) while on the trek through The Blinding Dark to The Cauldron. This first leg was DM'd by the player who plays Matthias. On the other side, we found ourselves in the shithole frontier town of Rat's Peak, populated by settlers from the Eastern Kingdoms as well as humans native to The Cauldron, namely Galgaidil (sort of Norse-like clans with a shamanistic religion), Viskari (badlands-dwelling nomads who become sellswords on rites of passage quests in search of salt) and Gujorans (mysterious veiled wizard-knights from the west). They found Rat's Peak to be run by a corrupt council of merchants, nobles, religious leaders and mercenary captains, with the slaver Ulric Jorn pulling most of the strings. They heard about a series of murders around town, and while investigating them got roped into accepting a duel by a slave trader who had double crossed them back in The Blinding Dark. They also heard tell of a plot by the rats of the town, who became intelligent on full moons, to take over the town and kill all of the big people in it. Their first night in town, they were awoken by the sound of panpipes being played by stag-horned satyrs, who were attacking a blacksmith's house. We killed a few of them and found a grizzly scene of dwarf children with their heads smashed on anvils, and the parents flayed with their skinned corpses used to open a portal to the Feywild. We met a mad gnome inventor who promised to help us through the portal, and we entered.

Inside, we found ourselves in a sprawling manor owned by a powerful hag named Rotten Polly. We encountered lots of her insane doings, such as giant pots of writhing flesh that attacked us, a flesh golem, and a huge piece of machinery manned by enslaved goblins that rotated the house between the planes. We fought a weaker hag and found cocoons growing beautiful young hags, and we found both a trapped demon (which we defeated) and a trapped deva (which we freed) that helped power the machine. We also rescued a new PC, a fey-touched (our version of half-elf) druid named Dakota, who had been trapped there by Rotten Polly centuries earlier. We shifted the house back to the material plane, and it appeared in the Slave Fields north of Rat's Peak. We found that three days had passed since we entered the Feywild, and the gnome who had promised to help us had been arrested for the murder of the dwarf family. But first, we had a duel to fight, and the slaver had chosen some Gujoran champion to fight in his stead. We defeated it and found it to be a helmed horror that the Gujorans had been using to execute their enemies. We met with Ulric Jorn to try to secure the freedom of the gnome, and he made Melech sign a death contract that said if we went back to the slave fields and cleared out all of the fey that had appeared there, the gnome would be freed.

However, another noble, who had secured us audience with Jorn, asked for a favor: now that people knew what the Gujorans were up to and were rioting and burning down their embassy, we had to go to one of their garrisons outside of town and clear out any remaining there. (This is where I took over as DM.) We went there and found a huge operation using slaves to excavate under their garrison building, and a paper trail indicating that there was some powerful weapon that they sought. We also found out that they weren't human but actually snake-men (our world's Yuan-ti). After clearing it out, we were met by a force of Galgaidil warriors led by a hulking dragonborn paladin of Tiamat named Heskan Delmirev, and after fighting off some of his men with the aid of Ka the Lesser (a human assassin rogue/shadow monk, played by the guy who DM'd the Rat's Peak/Feywild excursion), headed to a nearby small town with a massive inn called Nine Trees.

In Nine Trees, we learned that a local noble who owned all of the Slave Fields had not been seen for some time, several local people had gone missing, and strange creatures were attacking the guild huntsmen in the nearby woods. We tackled the huntsmen issue first, and found displacer beasts (dirlagraun in our world) in the woods that were stalking a trained pack of blink dogs led by a huge werebear. We managed to kill all the displacer beasts, and learned that the werebear was once an elf of the Feywild who had killed Oberon's favorite bear, and was cursed with werebear lycanthropy and banished to the material plane to forever hunt any foul fey beasts that spilled over to this plane. He told us about a nearby desecrated druid grove which he refused to go to. We went there and fought a huge troll skeleton that was animated by corrupted vines as well as a weeping treant, which we managed to calm down, learning that it was mourning the druid who guarded that place but was killed by evil fey. We went back to Nine Trees, and received an invitation from the missing lord to dinner. However, Matthias suspected a trap, as a man he believed to be a vampire from his youth, responsible for killing his family, had been spotted there. We went anyway, and fought a running battle with the vampire and its thralls through the manor house, barely escaping with our lives.

We went back to Nine Trees to recuperate, and found ourselves in a bizarre funhouse dreamworld while we slept (now DM'd by Melech's player) where we were tempted by various things tailored to our characters' flaws and bonds and fought a terrible demon in order to escape. The guy who DM'd the Rat's Peak/Feywild segment took back over at this point. My character was lured into a carriage by Ulric Jorn, who wanted to take me to Rat's Peak to explain what had happened there. After I got in, it turned out he was just Rotten Polly in disguise, and I witnessed a gruesome scene as her guardian, an enslaved Oni called The Engineer, stomped a boy to mush to open another portal for her to return to the Feywild, unlocking dark shadow sorcery in my character. Meanwhile, the rest of the party rushed toward Rotten Polly's house in the center of the Slave Fields, fighting their way through plague faeries and her dark elf armies. They passed through a barrier into the Feywild, and found themselves at a fork in the road: turn right to go to a swamp, or left to some frozen waste. They went left, and found themselves in the wintry domain of another of the coven of hags, Red Lorri. They made a deal with her to rescue me from Rotten Polly and return us to our world, but only if we killed a white dragon for her that was preventing her influence from spreading. They agreed, and after my character was rescued from Polly's clutches and an arduous journey to and up a huge mountain, with encounters with snow sharks, icy hobgoblins, snow gorillas, winter wolves, frost giants, ice spiders and a near disaster encounter with the goddess Winter herself, we finally found and killed the white dragon.

On our way back to Red Lorri, we found that she had been killed by another hag, Ursula, whose domain is the swamp they didn't explore. Now, we've gotta figure out how to get the hell out of the Feywild so we can finally kill the evil Ulric Jorn and end Melech's death contract. Meanwhile, I've also been DMing the solo adventures of Ka the Lesser, who has been hunting the vampire that got away while the rest of the party deals with the hags and the troubles in Rat's Peak.


The rotating DM thing is definitely interesting, though it does admittedly come with its own set of complications. On the whole, though, I'm really proud of the awesome homebrewed world we've built together, and we've all grown really attached to our characters and heavily invested in the story. I know the campaign won't last forever as most people's lives in Korea are temporary, but it's great while it lasts. I had a blast getting to DM for a couple of months. I think once I'm settled into a more permanent living situation I'd like to be involved with two campaigns, one where I can play and another I'd DM.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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Location: In the Arena
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:50 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
Demand one fit of unbridled violence for every diplomatic resolution. It's only fair.

Well part of the problem was that our loose-cannon ranger had a work thing that day and couldn't make it. I usually rely on him to start the unbridled violence, which I can then pretend to disapprove of.
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rexxz
Where's your band?

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:55 pm 
 

You just need a political barbarian in your group. Renowned for solving disputes with words and grace, but the trick is their persuasion rolls work best after you've beat someone's face into a bloody mess. Something about an ass-whipping that really puts people in an agreeable mood.
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acid_bukkake
SAD!

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:45 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:57 am 
 

A friend's husband is thinking about throwing a Pathfinder game together. What should I, as somebody whose tabletop experience is limited to D&D 5e, expect?
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rexxz
Where's your band?

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:53 am 
 

Pathfinder is essentially DnD 3.5e so if you know anything about that edition, that's what you can expect.

A bit more rules but also with that comes some more interesting mechanical possibilities. I played 3.5 for a decade and although I love it a lot, compared to 5e I found it a bit more cumbersome. However with a knowledgeable and skilled DM you shouldn't have much trouble, especially if they are good at adjudicating rules disagreements in a quick fashion.
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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
Posts: 6175
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:58 am 
 

I would be happy to jump into any 3.5e/Pathfinder game if there were a tool like 4e's Character Builder that worked with it. Just show me every option that exists, along with its full text, and do all the math automatically so the character is (mechanically) ready to rock.

As it is, I ain't got the time or patience to sift through several dozen books or find someone else who will.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 11178
Location: Tyrn Gorthad
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:51 pm 
 

Campaign update!

Spoiler: show
On our way back to Red Lorri's camp to try to find some way to get the fuck out of the Feywild, we came across a party of travelers from our own plane, but the other side of the world, who apparently came to the Feywild on regular expeditions to hunt for magical artifacts. We tried to talk to them with no success, then they started doing shady shit and eventually were more overtly hostile, so we fought them. It was a long, hard-fought running battle, but eventually we killed all of them except for the wizard leader of the bunch. He ran away while invisible and we hauled ass out of the mountain and, after bumbling through a lot of traps, managed to steal his plane-hopping wizard's tower, power it up, fight its defenses, and ride it back to our world.

When we got back we headed to Rat's Peak, where we found that a week or two had passed while we were in the Feywild for two days, and meanwhile the smallfolk had started a full-blown rebellion against the rich slaver houses, and regarded us as their champions. We led a sortie into the besieged rich district of town, obliterated an army of owlbears, then broke into the home of the lord who we knew to be demon-possessed and who held one of our characters in a death contract from a prior arrangement. We fought his army of mooks, murdered them all, then fought him and his demon possessor, killing him and chasing the demon back to the Abyss. I cut open my palm so Melech could use my blood to write "NULL AND VOID" on the lord's forehead, voiding the contract.


Now we're level 8!
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3858
Location: FML States of America
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:45 pm 
 

Anyone watching this thread into painting miniatures? I'm about to embark on a series of paints over the next year, and it got me curious who else here does it.

I've wanted to do it more regularly for a long time, but ordering the reprint of Mythic Battles: Pantheon made me want to get my chops up over the next year so I don't totally suck toads when it gets here. If anyone's into really strong tactical miniatures games with basically the best sculpts and resin work around, watch for Ragnarök next year because that's going to be choice.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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Location: Tyrn Gorthad
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:32 am 
 

I think my hands are too unsteady for mini painting. However, our D&D group recently ordered minis for our characters from Hero Forge and the painter in the group has been painting them for us. Here's my halfling bard battling some zombie gnomes:

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Image
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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Location: FML States of America
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:28 pm 
 

Good show, bard. Play well, fight hard.
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