Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New RPG Teaser: Gateworld


To begin with, this game is almost certainly not going to be called "Gateworld." That is what we in the biz call a "working title" and it is little more than a placeholder until the proper name strikes the authors. A few thing are certain, though. First, this will be a smallish release of what I anticipate to be 50 pages or so. Second, it will be using the great, cinematic system that is Mini Six by AntiPaladin Games. Finally, if people seem to dig it, it will be followed by 20ish-page supplements that get into things like giant robots, magic, psionics, and specific people and places; the core RPG will be the middle-of-the-road type characters with a general setting. The creative team is kinda up in the air, as one of my colleagues may be too busy to be bothered with this right now, but since the idea of this style of game belongs to Zachary Houghton of RPG Blog II, I suppose I'll have to include him.

Interested? Read this draft of an introduction:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Taking d20 Modern Into D&D 3.5


The best thing about d20 and the Open Game License is the ability to port elements within the d20 family back and forth from one game or genre to another, and have everything speak the same language. Nothing can be simpler than taking skills, feats, talents, equipment, or even whole characters from, say, D&D 3.5 and into d20 Modern, or Pathfinder, or Star Wars, or Mutants & Masterminds; converting to or from any of these games may require some adjustments here or there, but fundamentally they share a common structure.

I hit on this a little bit last week in my blog about how much I'm digging d20 Modern, but I thought I would get more specific today. Conveniently enough, I have a subject for illustration as today marks the release of the OGL/d20 version of Complete Characters #5: Lisonnel Arma, the temptress and crime boss. The download is totally free, so give it a shot. This character was created primarily using d20 Modern, with element of d20 Fantasy/D&D mixed in as well.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Keys To Your Horror Campaign


Sometimes lost beneath the piles of fantasy RPGs, followed by the various incarnations of sci-fi and superhero games, falls the incredibly compelling, but often overlooked genre of horror. I don't mean a game where player character take on the roles of dark creatures as you might see in White Wolf's various World of Darkness titles, or Nightbane from Palladium Books, but a game where ordinary people are confronted by the terrors of the supernatural. Call of Cthulu, with its up-and-down publication history, is probably the most prominent of these true horror RPGs. Beyond our tabletops we look to the X-Files or Fringe for how these scenarios might play out.

However, any game possesses the potential for the horror angle to rear its head. Let's discuss some of the keys to building a successful world of horror. While we're at it, you can check out a free NPC download for your modern horror game, Complete Characters #4: Corporal Jake Avery, the haunted police officer.

Now, on with the discussion.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fighting The Gods: Supreme Beings As RPG Enemies


Any time you apply stats to gods for your RPG, you're playing with fire. Most fantasy games with an epic component allow for this sort of representation of any game's most powerful beings, but we as designers and Game Masters have to be a little careful when it comes to implementation. If we're not, we often end up with a big letdown as the endgame comes to a close.

What are the pitfalls and possibilities? Read on for more. In the meantime, if you want to check out a minor ocean goddess, fully statted out in d20 for low, medium, and high-level games, you can download Complete Characters #3: Brandy, the earthbound Sea Nymph, for free at DriveThruRPG.com.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ends Justify The Means: Vigilantism in RPGs


Vigilantism is a cornerstone of the role-playing experience. Second to the "adventuring party" of the typical fantasy game, which arguably veers into vigilantism as well, I'd say that it's the biggest core motivation for player characters, particularly in a modern setting. In a fantastic world of "good guys" and "bad guys," the hero that works outside the law has become a staple.

Let's continue this discussion below the fold, where we'll look at new takes on vigilantes as heroes and villains, and why not all players should be Batman, even if he is really cool.

In the meantime, would you like to check out a free vigilante-style character for your modern or superhero game? Check out Complete Characters #2: Helot, a human vigilante in a world of Supers. He now comes complete with not one, but three sets of d20 stats for your low, medium, or high-level campaign.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Building the Barbarian: Creating Complete Characters #1


Good evening, fellow gamers. Today is the day that Complete Characters finally comes back into view. It's an exciting day for me, as it always is when some of my work makes its way to the public. Briefly, what this retooling means is that the previous incarnation, with its full character description, custom illustration, and systemless stats, now includes stats for the d20 system. Not one set of stats, mind you, but three sets of stats, plus the full descriptions of the various Feats, Class Feats, Talents, Equipment, etc.

You'll get one updated Complete Character every day this week, totally for free, so be sure to go check it out. But before you do that, read on for some discussion into how this first character was created, and what decisions were made along the way. Can't wait, you can download Complete Characters #1: Hlifsteinn, Barbarian Witch-Hunter for free, right now.

So, continue below the fold for all there is to know about Hlifsteinn, the barbarian witch-hunter.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Superiority of d20 Modern

Say hello to my little friend.

Hello, one and all. It's very nice to see you. I thought this morning I would talk a little bit about my experiences over the past month or two with the d20 systems as I have spent this time getting my Complete Characters up and running using the OGL. Mostly, I really want to talk up d20 Modern, or as I call it, the great overlooked gaming system.

I think we're all pretty familiar with d20 Fantasy from its days as D&D 3.5, which is still a very popular game, supported by countless indie publishers and large gaming companies, alike, via the Open Gaming License. After spending a great deal of time with this system as a designer in recent weeks, as well as its less-popular cousin, d20 Modern, I think that many gamers are really missing out on a great gaming system that opens things up for Game Masters and players

Let's talk about d20 Modern and why I'm loving it so much more than the old D&D 3.5.