Wargaming Recon #98: Battleground Games & Hobbies

 Interview, Reviews, Table Top, Wargaming Recon  Comments Off on Wargaming Recon #98: Battleground Games & Hobbies
Aug 192013
 

WGR_FINAL_iTunes_HD_Logo

Battleground Games & Hobbies

Battleground Games & Hobbies is the successful game store in southeastern Massachusetts. It is a model for all game stores. Guests for this special episode are:

  • Derek Lloyd, owner of Battleground Games & Hobbies
  • Chase Laquidara, manager of Battleground’s Plainville store
  • Drew McCarthy, gamer and long-time Battleground customer

Battleground’s origin story is told, how the store promotes gaming in southeastern Massachusetts is shared, and listeners will easily be able to tell why Derek & Chase have a highly successful game store in Battleground.

We chat about Warhammer 40k, Apocalypse mega battles, and many other amazing things that Battleground does exceptionally well.

This is the episode that many listeners have been waiting to hear.

Some Reminders:

Continue reading »

About Jonathan J. Reinhart

Jonathan J. Reinhart is an editor of Troll in the Corner where he writes about wargaming. Jonathan also is the owner of the Wargaming Recon podcast. He has been gaming with miniatures since 2000 and playing board games from a young age. He's played a myriad of games such as: Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Warmachine, Starship Troopers, Axis & Allies: War at Sea, Flames of War and Warlord Games' Black Powder rules. War at Sea and the Black Powder rules are his current go-to games. Jonathan enjoys casual, fast, fun, and group board games. Sitting Ducks Gallery, Zombie Dice, Guillotine, Pandemic, and Carcassonne rank high on his list. He is a retired local politician with a B.A. in Politics & History, which provides a useful background for historical gaming. A casual World of Warcraft player, he became a Kingslayer as Viktrious the Blood Elf on 4/23/11 and followed that up by slaying Deathwing on 5/9/12.

The Player’s Perspective: First Lessons

 Role Playing Games, Table Top  Comments Off on The Player’s Perspective: First Lessons
Jul 022013
 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreetings once again all!

As I mentioned last week, I have been playing tabletop RPG’s for nearly my entire life. All of this was thanks to my father, who was one of the original D&D geeks. I started gaming with Dad around the age of 7. He ran a weekly game for some of his friends and I would always have to watch and generally be bothersome. Eventually, after months of begging to be a wizard so I could throw a fireball, my Dad caved.

One of the first lessons I was ever taught about playing RPG’s was to put myself in the character’s place. At such a young age I was not really able to develop interesting and compelling characters, so everything I played was really just me with cool powers and abilities. So my first lesson was about immersion and the idea is simple: don’t think of your character as a piece you are moving around on a board; instead, imagine yourself in your character’s situation.

Half of the point behind the game is to escape, even if only for a few hours. Why not let yourself do just that by truly stepping into the shoes of your character?

DragonEvery time I sit down to a gaming table I cease to be just Jason. I blend with whatever character I am playing and try to get into their head. What would I do if I were this person? For example, if I were to encounter a dragon just Jason would wet himself and run away as fast as possible, but if I was Caeldon the young ambitious knight trying to prove himself to his liege lord, I would charge into the fray for the sake of honor and glory.

The more you are able to step into the persona of your character the easier it is to make an honest and believable personality. In fact, I usually find that I never really know the character until I have played them for a few sessions. During creation, I make a concept that sounds good to me; kind of an outline. This rough sketch is what I take into the first game and the interactions with the GM and my fellow PC’s help me find the fine lines hidden within the broad strokes. Slowly but surely, a character is born.

Bear in mind that one does not have to go overboard to immerse themselves in their character. Chances are no one at the table is expecting an Oscar-winning performance. How deep the rabbit hole goes is really up to you and your style of play. However, even a small amount of character immersion can go a long way to keeping you engaged and entertained. Speaking as a player and a GM I always have a better time when other people in the group are getting into the story and action.

Sometimes all it takes to get your creative juices flowing is that one spark that you get by seeing what someone else made. The next thing you know, you have a table full of well-developed PC’s and a GM inspired to create by his players’ excitement. That, my friends, is the place where all the best gaming stories come from.

Monsters of the Shattered World #5: Revelations

 Monsters of the Shattered World, Role Playing Games  Comments Off on Monsters of the Shattered World #5: Revelations
Oct 232012
 

Monsters Logo 1300x1300In this episode of Monsters of the Shattered World, Andreas recounts his final battle in the lich’s laboratory, and the surprises he uncovered.

And that’s the end of season 1! Thanks for listening. Depending on the feedback we get from this episode–hint, hint–we’ll produce another season soon. Please let us know if you’d like to hear about Andreas’s further adventures.

For those of you new to this show, Monsters of the Shattered World is a storytelling podcast. It’s about a young scholar out on his own in the world, encountering strange monsters and writing about them. Each episode is 5 to 10 minutes long, so it won’t overburden your iPod.

Credits: This podcast is written and performed by Brent P. Newhall (a.k.a. Dr. Worldcrafter), and amazingly edited by Quinn Conklin (columnist at Troll in the Corner and author of Toys for the Sandbox). The show’s theme song is “To The Ends” by Kevin Macleod.

About Brent Newhall

I'm a 21st Century Renaissance Man. I work at Amazon, I make and run RPGs, I write fantasy books (none published yet), and I'm a huge anime and manga fan. I wrote the OSR Handbook (a profile of many old-school tabletop RPG systems), the Original D&D retroclone Dungeon Raiders, a mecha RPG called Gunwave that tries to actually simulate mecha anime series, a kid-friendly animal RPG called Weasels!, and a tile-based board game called Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls.

GE17: Meet Ben and Brent

 Geeks Explicitly, Reviews, Role Playing Games, Technology  Comments Off on GE17: Meet Ben and Brent
Sep 202012
 

Ben Gerber & Brent Newhall cover for Jonathan while he’s engaged with real life stuff for his first home.

Brent and Ben sneer at real life, preferring to spend our time on the internet. Where it’s virtual, and friendly. They do what comes naturally, which is talk about themselves.

They discuss their upcoming projects, talk a bit about board game design, and Ben also does a month in the life of a indie publisher, where the cover about the numbers. Total units “sold” (including free stuff), total gross and total net $$$ and the fact that a lot of people who get a free copy to review it, don’t end up reviewing it.

Many thanks to Ben and Brent for covering for me while I was indisposed.

Don’t forget to listen to Episode 16: 5 Great Soundtracks, if you haven’t done so yet.

Continue reading »

About Jonathan J. Reinhart

Jonathan J. Reinhart is an editor of Troll in the Corner where he writes about wargaming. Jonathan also is the owner of the Wargaming Recon podcast. He has been gaming with miniatures since 2000 and playing board games from a young age. He's played a myriad of games such as: Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Warmachine, Starship Troopers, Axis & Allies: War at Sea, Flames of War and Warlord Games' Black Powder rules. War at Sea and the Black Powder rules are his current go-to games. Jonathan enjoys casual, fast, fun, and group board games. Sitting Ducks Gallery, Zombie Dice, Guillotine, Pandemic, and Carcassonne rank high on his list. He is a retired local politician with a B.A. in Politics & History, which provides a useful background for historical gaming. A casual World of Warcraft player, he became a Kingslayer as Viktrious the Blood Elf on 4/23/11 and followed that up by slaying Deathwing on 5/9/12.

Aug 252012
 

Monsters Logo 1300x1300In this episode of Monsters of the Shattered World, Andreas and his band finally reach the island of Prima, where they search Granfeld Crag for information about strange rumors. They journey into the jungle and into an abandoned temple, much to the consternation of a clutch of kobolds.

For those of you new to this show, Monsters of the Shattered World is a storytelling podcast. It’s about a young scholar out on his own in the world, encountering strange monsters and writing about them. Each episode is 5 to 10 minutes long, so it won’t overburden your iPod.

New episodes are released every month. If you want to hear it more frequently, we’ll release a new episode every two weeks if we get more than 100 listeners. So tell your friends!

Credits: This podcast is written and performed by Brent P. Newhall (a.k.a. Dr. Worldcrafter), and amazingly edited by Quinn Conklin (columnist at Troll in the Corner and author of Toys for the Sandbox). The show’s theme song is “To The Ends” by Kevin Macleod.

About Brent Newhall

I'm a 21st Century Renaissance Man. I work at Amazon, I make and run RPGs, I write fantasy books (none published yet), and I'm a huge anime and manga fan. I wrote the OSR Handbook (a profile of many old-school tabletop RPG systems), the Original D&D retroclone Dungeon Raiders, a mecha RPG called Gunwave that tries to actually simulate mecha anime series, a kid-friendly animal RPG called Weasels!, and a tile-based board game called Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls.

Jun 302012
 
Khairul Hisham - Sahuagin

Khairul Hisham – Sahuagin

Monsters of the Shattered World is a new podcast debuting, well, today on Troll in the Corner.

This is a different podcast: it tells a story. It’s about a young scholar out on his own in the world, encountering strange monsters and writing about them. Each episode is 5 to 10 minutes long, so it won’t overburden your iPod.

New episodes will be released every month. If you want to hear it more frequently, we’ll release a new episode every two weeks if we get more than 100 listeners. So tell your friends!

In this episode, our hero travels to a remote island to investigate an attack of sea devils.

Credits: This podcast is written and performed by Brent P. Newhall (a.k.a. Dr. Worldcrafter), and amazingly edited by Quinn Conklin (columnist at Troll in the Corner and author of Toys for the Sandbox). The show’s theme song is “To The Ends” by Kevin Macleod. Big thanks to Khairul Hisham for the fantastic piece of artwork for this episode.

About Brent Newhall

I'm a 21st Century Renaissance Man. I work at Amazon, I make and run RPGs, I write fantasy books (none published yet), and I'm a huge anime and manga fan. I wrote the OSR Handbook (a profile of many old-school tabletop RPG systems), the Original D&D retroclone Dungeon Raiders, a mecha RPG called Gunwave that tries to actually simulate mecha anime series, a kid-friendly animal RPG called Weasels!, and a tile-based board game called Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls.

May 252012
 

So, for those of you that missed it, the upcoming rules set of D&D has entered a public beta, and you can sign up now over at Wizards of the Coast (be careful, there’s still some server load and issues with download links. Check their Twitter for help if needed.)

I’ve been looking forward to the public beta, not only because D&D is what brought me into roleplaying, but because I might actually get to play some D&D with it.

I tried to get into 4E when it came out, but among a great number of the people I might actually play with, it wasn’t really popular. A great number moved on to Pathfinder, the rest clung to 3.5 because the new version was “too complicated” and they “got bored during character creation” (actual responses when I tried to get a few to play – they refused my help with explaining it to them, too). I’ve been hoping that the new rules might make them realize that there are other versions of the game they love so much, and whilst they might not play exactly the same, fun can still be had playing them.

Now, I want to stress that I haven’t finished digging through the playtest materials, but I’ve gone through them enough to mention a couple of highlights. I also haven’t played the game, but that’s happening next week, so there will likely be a follow up article about that.

So, on to my first impressions.

It feels like an amalgamation of the different editions of D&D. I’ve not got a lot of experience with the earlier stuff, but I can see some of it coming through. Some quick (though actually a little detailed) highlights:

  • Each ability is also used for a save. Strength can be used to escape grapples, Dexterity too, but obviously in different ways. Strength means batting aside falling masonry; Dexterity means dodging it to start with. Constitution can ignore poison and petrification; Intelligence resists spells, so does Wisdom (but again, different spell effects are implied); and Charisma helps against compulsions. Obviously, abilities have other uses too, but this stood out.
  • Advantage and disadvantage. No more +/-2 checks; just roll 2d20, and choose the best or worst roll depending on what you have. Certain effects give you each, and it looks like it can come down to DM judgement/table consensus too. If you’re hidden, you get advantage on attacks. Aiding another gives them advantage on their rolls (presumably providing you aid successfully; I’m still reading).
  • Surprise is now a -20 to your initiative check. Seems sensible. Even rolling a 20 when surprised by someone who rolled a 1 means the surpriser goes first.
  • There is actually a heading in “things you can do in combat” labelled “Improvise,” which suggests coming up with cool stuff and using an ability check to do it. Obviously within reason, but I liked the inclusion enough to point it out.
  • Minor actions are gone. Most of them are now free. Effectively, everyone has the equivalent of the Quick Draw feat.
  • Hit points work out a little different. At first level, add your Constitution score to a hit die roll. Every other level, add hit die roll OR Con modifier, whichever is higher. Helpful for weak wizards I suppose. At the other end, you’re unconscious and dying at 0 HP, and dead at Con score plus level in the negative. There are death saving throws, like in 4E. Healing also stabilises/brings you to 0 HP before gaining your HP from the healing.
  • Speaking of healing, Long and Short Rests allow you to heal up. Short rests can give you a boost of a hit die plus Con modifier for as many hit die as you have levels, though you only have so many hit die to spend in a whole day (one at level one). Long Rests heal you up fully (8 hours rest).
  • Armor has set Armor Class values, but allows you to add your Dex modifier, depending on the armor. Light armor adds Dex modifier to AC, Medium adds half the modifier, and Heavy doesn’t add.
  • Weapon Finesse is folded into the weapons themselves. Weapons come in flavours of Basic, Finesse, Martial, and Heavy. Finesse lets you use your Dex to hit, if you wish. Small characters can’t use Heavy Weapons (no Halflings running around with Greatswords, it seems). Also, using a Bastard Sword two-handed upgrades the damage die.
  • Spells seem to have verbal and somatic components (remember them?) so if your hands are bound and your mouth gagged, you’re probably not casting your spells. Spells use spell slots, though wizard cantrips and cleric orisons are the equivalent of 4E’s at-will powers. Using a higher level spell slot for some spells means nastier results. Spells can be cast as rituals, but they use up some expensive spell components and take a while to cast (tens of rounds).
  • The characters themselves are interesting enough to me, although I’ve heard people saying the fighter isn’t very interesting. The way the different races look interests me, but the Backgrounds and Themes for the different characters look great. The Dwarven Paladin has a Knight background, so he knows how to handle an animal, and might even get free boarding if someone recognises him. The Halfling Rogue’s Commoner background gives her a profession, and others in her profession might be more willing to talk to her. The Themes give a starting feat and seem to follow a progression track, with some other feats at later levels. There is some fine print on the sheets advising removing Background and Theme for an Old-School game.

I’m excited by the adventure, The Caves of Chaos, which is part of Keep on the Borderlands. I’ll be playing this week with a small group, so I can get back to you more on the adventure then, and how the game itself plays. From what I’ve heard of hints from the closed playtest contingents, I’m excited to see how well it all works together.

There are still a few things I’m unsure about. The Dwarf’s starting damage with his Greataxe is 2d6+7, and I can only account for +6. And why does a wizard have 10 torches in a backpack if they can cast a light spell at will?

EDIT: I’ve been having more of a dig around. There are some more discrepancies than a simple +1 modifier for the Fighter – Greataxe in equipment is listed as 1d12 (which is the 4e damage value). For now I’ll run as the sheet says, but make a note for feedback.

 

Well, that’s my two cents for now, more after I’ve played the game itself, probably with more commentary once I’ve had a better look at the rules. What are your thoughts so far?

About Ben Hall

Benedict is a British roleplayer with too much time on his hands. Find him on G+ at gplus.to/baelion and twitter at @baelion

Apr 012012
 

Boobies

Before you start rolling your eyes, this isn’t a post about sexuality in games or how women should or shouldn’t be portrayed. This is simply about the plain old fact that most women have boobs. And, any size, shape or flavor, there are things to consider in game regarding these modifiers. They are actually very mobile, sensitive and malleable organs that will affect how your female acts or reacts in any given situation. And, being a female who owns a pair, I have considered the repercussions of having a character that also sports girls.

Now I’ll be brief and to the point with the sticking point. Breasts have weight. They swing, the bounce, when you lie down they take a little nap in your armpits. Running actually physically hurts if they aren’t supported.  Sitting a trot on a horse has the same result. Ouch.

Armor.  Now I could go long and hard into practical vs awesome looking armor but we’re all hoping to get on with the day at some time. So just a few things to consider: To protect properly, they have to be big enough to cover dem boobies. If they don’t, that’s cool. Just something extra to consider just like you have to consider fighting in a 4 foot high corridor is gonna be hard. While not quite as bad as a kick to the nuts, getting a direct blunt blow to the nipple causes the same doubled over, moaning pain.

Consider your weapon. If your character’s chest is large, swinging an ax is going to be tricky. Swords are great, but two handed weapons may limit your range/strength. If a female archer who rolls a NAT 1 should be required to have the bow string hits her in the boob. While not quite on the same level as a nutshot, a direct hit to the chest results in a similar doubled over, moaning position. It hurts. A LOT!

Consider other stats. If they’re tiny, chances are your CHA checks may be affected. A female with small breasts pads them to look bigger. She can survive one direct hit to the chest due to all the padding but loses one charisma point due to her secret being found out. A character with ridiculously large girls may not be taken seriously either by sexiest men or women who are self-conscious about themselves.

The alignment of the female character can almost always be exclusively advertised by her cup size. A
Lawful Good misses will have modest, unobtrusive AAs. True Neutrals usually sport a classic B. Chaotic Evils throw all common sense into the wind and can swing some DDs and up with the best of them. When dreaming up the design of your PC to think hard about how this factors into the moral fiber of your character.

Consider modifiers for neckwear. Consider cleavage and the repercussions of showing it. Please remember cleavage is not a natural phenomenon and actually requires support to happen. If you flaunt it, be prepared to face the consequences.

They are a fact of female life and should be enjoyed as a fascinating aspect of the game. With these (hopefully) helpful suggestions you should be well on your way to facing a brave new world of female enlightenment.

 

About GingerSnap

New to RPGs but an old hat to geekery. I have lots of red hair, not enough time and too many hobbies! A real live librarian my interests span music, food, books, video games, sewing, tv/movies and lots more.