Sunday, 27 May 2012

D&D Next: Playtest


I've been signed up for the playtest of the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons for a while now. I got my invite to download the playtest pack a few days ago but had problems connecting to the site until last night.

My friends and I are avid D&D fans, many of us having played over several editions of the game, but 4th edition just hadn't pulled us in like previous editions had for many different reasons and I'm not about to start bashing it here, if you liked that edition of the D&D game, all power to you.

We haven't abandoned D&D just because we didn't like one edition of the game, if that was the case I don't think I would still be buying from several games companies. But also remember, just because a new edition of a game is being released, it doesn't mean you have to throw out all your old books from previous editions, if you still enjoy using them.... Then do it, the RPG police aren't going to kick in your door and confiscate your dice bag.

But change can be a good thing, so now that we have the playtest pack my games group and I intend on giving it a thorough going over and play-through and because we're now taking part in an open playtest, if we do see anything that really doesn't appeal, then at least we can voice our concerns to Wizards of the Coast and you never know... They may even listen...

Well that's enough harping on from me, there's not a lot more I can add to this at the moment...

A few members of my games group are coming around today to go over the pack together, I'll post up our initial thought's on the playtest pack of D&D Next when I get an opportunity.

So until then, take care and good gaming everybody,

Jonah.



(artwork and logo is the property of wizards of the coast and the associated artist, it is used without permission but not intended as any challenge to copyright and will be taken down if requested)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

RPG World and Setting Building : Introduction

I am going to start a series of articles on my blog, to record the efforts of myself with the help of my games group creating a setting as we play within that world. This is mainly going to be a fantasy world centric series because I'm making a fantasy world, so be forewarned.

Sources of Inspiration:


There are already many wonderful and rich settings out there put out by fantastic games companies for you and your group to play in:

Dungeons and Dragons (Wizards of the Coast):

- Greyhawk
- Forgotten Realms
- Dragonlance
- Eberron
- Planescape

Everway (also Wizards of the Coast):

- A multi-dimensional setting (can't remember the setting name... can't be bothered getting it down either...)

Pathfinder (Paizo):

- Golarion

Iron Kingdoms (Privateer Press):

- Immoren

Exalted (White Wolf):

- Creation

And many, many more.... (Hey... I feel lazy alright... I was just looking over at my bookcase then got bored... Stop looking at me like that and go look around yourself...)

There are also many thousands of literary settings from incredible authors out there:

- J.R.R.Tolkien
- Terry Brooks
- Michael Moorcock
- Anne Maccaffrey
- Robert E Howard
- Terry Pratchett
- Marion Zimmer Bradley
- Neil Gaiman....
(You know what? I don't think you're dumb enough to have missed out on some of the greatest literature filling the bookshelves of this world... But... If you have... GO TO A BLOODY LIBRARY!... For one thing they are a one stop point for any fantasy inspiration you may need, for another they really need our support these days, many have been closed down due to lack of use and it will be a sad day to see them go...)

Movies and cinema are also great sources of inspiration. Don't just stick to the newer slick Hollywood offerings, look out for some old classics, the effects may look a little dated (for those of you that care about that), but many have very rich stories that may inspire you further. Here's just a few of my favourites in no particular order:

- Willow
- Krull
- Dragonslayer
- Labyrinth
- Beastmaster
- Hawk the Slayer
- The Dark Crystal
- The Princess Bride
- Legend
- The lord of the Rings
- Excalibur

Although you can take inspiration from other genres too, from steampunk and horror, to mystery, comedy and more.

The Plan... Probably:


World creation is quite a monster task to take on and I don't claim to be an expert on the subject. I'm more an enthusiast, that, and I love creativity in art, writing, gaming etc. My gaming group is full of creative and talented people, this is an opportunity for us to build something together that we can use and add to more and more. We will be creating the setting, lands, peoples, gods and anything else we remember or when it crops up. At some point, anybody that wants to within the group may run campaigns in different locales adding more to the world, then many of us will be able to experience the setting from a player's perspective or at the helm as GM.

My campaign wiki is being hosted on the Obsidian Portal website and is entitled Beyond the Wardwall, we will be keeping record of the adventures our parties experiences and eventually all the other details of that world.
Our campaign is using the Pathfinder system, but may end up slightly modified to tie it to our setting. For instance, I'm looking at a the modification to healing magic presented in the Iron Kingdoms setting, which makes it more dangerous to excessively heal due to the scrutiny of the Gods, which will works quite well with the way I am intending on presenting the gods of the setting.

I will be keeping track of the work that goes into creating the setting both here and on my campaign wiki. And just to round off this introduction I'll end with a list of things I intend to possibly work on (subject to change, whim, time allowance.... fading memory etc...) and add to my series of articles and campaign wiki.

Setting and Locations:

This will include cities, landmarks, countries, continents, maybe planes and other such places to set the stage of the world.

Gods and Pantheons:

It didn't feel right using gods from the Pathfinder core book in this setting, so we're undertaking the task of creating Gods that actually fit the feel of it.

Races and Creatures:

Looking at various settings to decide what core races to include and what the wild creatures of the world will be like, maybe just lifting them from other settings and doing as little as just skinning** them for this setting.

Magic:

As discussed earlier in this post, I am looking at magic and how it may be presented differently and the prevalence/availability of magic items in this setting.

History and Society:

Society models of all the locations/cities created... Currency, government, religion whether the races are segregated or it's a more cosmopolitan location.
And the history of the locations and people therein.

That's about it for now... I'll start to post more as the work is done.

Take care,

Jonah

**using the mechanics of something in a game setting but describing/dressing it to represent something else.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Still here, just busy gaming...

Whoops, been a little while since I posted anything.

I've just been a little busy catching up with my notes for my Pathfinder RPG Campaign: Beyond the Wardwall and trying to get the wiki up to date on the Obsidian Portal site. And taking part in a handful of games as a player coupled with family life has been a little hectic.

But I thought I should share something on the blog to show I'm still trying to keep creative. I am playing in a Vampire the Requiem game titled Vitae et Mortem, that started out as the Requiem for Rome setting but has expanded to other parts of the classical world. I am playing the character of Lilit a Daeva that has set herself up as a Goddess walking among mortals with her own temple in the city of Carthage.

Well to cut to the chase, we had just completed a story arc and were having a downtime session to spend experience points and organise plans our characters have running in the background. I have been helping my GM organise his campaign's wiki and during this session he bemoaned the fact he didn't have a banner image, so while he was busy with the other players at the table, I made him one:


I just grabbed some reference material from around the web and made a digital collage, using masking layers and overlaying various effects and colours. All in all it was about a half hours work whilst pottering with other things. My GM loved it and I got extra XP.

So that's that, still roleplaying quite a lot and trying to squeeze in creative projects where possible. Updating my campaign wiki has slowed a little as I get my notes in order and help my friend with anything he needs on his campaign too, but other than that, good fun all around.

Well there's a quick post, hope you enjoyed it.

Take care now everyone,

Jonathan.