The Game Mechanic: Character Sheets

Character sheets are an essential part of tabletop gaming, and whether they’re a few notes scribbled on a piece of notebook paper of a meticulous 12 page spreadsheet kept solely on a tablet PC. While crucial to the game, character sheets can also cause some problems at the table. Poorly conceived layouts, missing stat boxes, swaths of unnecessary information and unreadable fonts can make an utter mess out of combat and skill tests. Luckily, there are a number of dedicated, talented individuals who churn out dozens of excellent sheets for a variety of games, and we’ll be looking at a few of them after the jump.

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The Game Mechanic: Mixed Company.

Image courtesy of BarefootLiam-Stock.

I play with a fairly mixed bag of psychotic cats individuals: a few old hands clashing with the newer generation of gamers, while those with a foot in either camp watch with bemusement from the sidelines. While there are no real edition wars to speak of at our table, the difference between those who have been running in a system for a few versions and those who have just arrived to the campaign can become fairly weighty over time.

After the jump, we are going to examine how we can help bridge that gap during game, as well as helping to run a better game for people who might have conflicting concepts of what they want from the table.

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The Game Mechanic: A Future Near You (Part 1)

Yes, you can actually buy these.

Speculative science fiction has always been one of my favorite genres of literature. I love seeing people put their dreams and ideas of the future to paper, and joining them in looking forward to (or dreading) what has yet to come. I’m particularly fond of older sci-fi, reading through and seeing what they got right and what they never even saw coming.

On the other hand, it can also be a little frustrating to play classic tabletop RPGs, such as the earlier editions of Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun and get pigeon-holed into what the future looked like back in the 80’s and 90’s. Therefore, we are going to take a look at a few speculative technologies that will probably be horribly outdated in another decade or two, but will still feel a little more modern.

Our launching point will be a small handful of personal combat gear, with stats for the Savage Worlds system, and then we’ll spend the rest of the month on implementing the future near you.

 

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The Game Mechanic: Xanatos Gambits.

Image courtesy of Deviantart member Superdiddy.

A Xanatos Gambit, according to TV Tropes, is a two-tiered plan designed to assure victory, even in the face of apparent defeat. It’s named after a character from a certain animated series who was a master at this particular tactic, and would often use it to manipulate the story’s protagonists into fulfilling his own goals in spite of their supposed foiling of his presented plot.

Today, we’re going to be examining the Xanatos Gambit and its potential usage for your campaign, as well as taking a few cautionary measures to ensure your players don’t start busting out the torches and pitchforks after their own actions come back to haunt them.

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The Game Mechanic: Building a better metahuman archer

Not pictured: Bow, arrows, sensible crime-fighting outfit.

The Super Archer is a highly versatile character, usually sporting a technologically advanced bow and a variety of arrows ranging from the devastating to the ridiculous. It can, however, be a righteous pain to properly capture their flexibility and potency while still maintaining some semblance of game balance.  After the jump, we’ll be grabbing the Savage Worlds Super Powers Companion and slapping together a proper powerset for this ubiquitous, if not somewhat abstract, archetype.

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The Game Mechanic: Wax Slugs.

All the colors of the rainbow… the murder rainbow!

Player Characters are a wildly creative bunch. Improvising a solution that inflicts the most collateral damage with the fewest resources is a mark of pride among most gamers, so today’s article is all about getting a little more bang for your buck.

We’ll be talking about Wax Shotgun Slugs, an improvised round your characters can quickly and easily make in order to accomplish a variety of mayhemjustice-related tasks with nothing but a little preparation and a few boxes of crayons. We’ll also have stats for the items in NWoD and Savage Worlds.

Disclaimer: Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not attempt to do this at home. It is remarkably easy to blow your hands/face/head clean off messing around with hand-made ammunition. Please keep it on the tabletop, folks.

 

 

 

 

 

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