Into the Frey.. 4th Edition style

May 27, 2009

So after much consideration I have decided to inflict the players in my Wednesday night game with 4th Edition D&D. The reasons for this are quite many and varied so I thought I might go over a few of them here just to enlighted those who give a damn.

I’m an RPG geek… new systems entice me like nothing else. If a new version of a game that I own comes out, even if I have never played the game, I want a copy. And so it was with 4th Edition D&D. The day it came out I was in a Waterstones store getting all 3 base books (with a pretty good discount it turns out) and taking them to read during my lunch hour. The outcome of this was pretty much negative. I managed to get 3/4 of the Players Handbook read before I gave up, the DMG and Monster Manual left untouched. The reason for this was that I felt that 4E had taken the roleplay out of RPG, I mean skill challenges? come on!! And so those 3 books sat on my shelf for the past year with no chance of me going back.

What changed? Essentially me mellowing and peer pressure. Firstly I figured, even a poor game needs to be tried at least once. I even own copies of some games that I am sure I will never play, but everything deserves to be given its fair shot. Secondly the amount of blogs out there that say that they play 4th Ed and enjoy it is amazing. Im not sure if these are people who have different wants and needs for an RPG, but if anyone enjoys a game then their must be some merit to it. On top of all that, running a one off of 4th Ed will give me a chance to see what its like without any kind of commitment to the group. If we like it, great! If not, well we need never mention it again.

So tonight I will be running the adventure from the back of the DMG, fighting the good fight for the Kobolds while my evil players invade their cosy home. To make it easier i’ve even got maps and tokens (thanks to the DM’s starter kit by Newbie DM  – Now tactical maps are not something that I usually use, so this will be a real eye opener for me. If it comes off well then I might try Savage Worlds next week with a tactical map.

Fingers crossed that all goes well tonight and i’ll let you know how it went.


Suggestions for campaign breaks?

May 21, 2009

Im currently running a Dark Heresy game for a group on Wednesday nights and so far the game has followed about 8 scenarios, both published and homebrew. Its getting time for me to take a break, just to get the creative juices flowing again and I really want a change of pace for the guys, something that we can mess around with for a few weeks, have fun, have a laugh and then head back to DH.

So far i’ve yet to come up with a solution as to what to do. I want to stay away from anything Sci-fi and I would prefer not to do a fantasy Dark Heresy, so that cuts out a lot of games already. Traveller is out, Warhammer Fantasy is out, Star Wars, Shadowrun, Rifts, Babylon 5 and Aliens.. all out. So far i’ve thought about

  • Maid – not sure if we could play this for 3-4 weeks without the guys losing interest.
  • Mouse Guard – again not sure how the guys would react to this for more than a one off.
  • D&D – rock it old school style… its possible.
  • Twlight 2000 – old school modern but it would kind of lead to a campaign style.
  • WOD – Werewolf: The Apocalypse or something? got lots of old stuff from teh campaigns I used to run.

Still not sure what to do. Maybe I could tempt them with Dragonlance 5th Age, Cold City or Savage Worlds….. better make the call soon, game will start in a week and I need to get started on it…. gulp!

Alpha Omega

May 15, 2009

I just got hold of a copy of Alpha Omega (finally!) and so far im loving the book, it just looks great and the setting I have read so far is pretty good stuff. Kind of Shadowrun/Cyberpunk mixed with SLA Industries and In Nomine. The point of this post is that while checking up on the setting on the website, it seems as though the development team have a bit of a contest over there for people to submit scenarios and short stories.

Now this is not some small time thing. they are offering cold, hard cash and a chance to get your work published by them at a later date. Just from reading the first 3 chapters I already have about 15 ideas for scenarios, so I definitely going to give this a shot. Check out the site at and the forum entry on the competition at

Scenarios idea – Mash ups!

April 5, 2009

Ever heard of mash ups? Its where MTV or some other big shot (and sometimes bedroom JD’s) take two songs from different genres and put them together. A new thought accoured to me yesterday… why not do this with RPG’s? In the light of the D20 system, it was pretty much designed to do this but to be honest, I’ve never heard of anyone actually doing it. I did try something along these lines once mself in a Stargate game (by AEG) I was running where I introduced some Farscape creatures from the D20 game also by AEG. But this could have been so much more…..

  • D&D with Traveller – Travel from city to city trading goods rather than protecting someone elses.
  • 7th Sea with Exalted – Priates with an anime feel to it.
  • Runequest with Call of Cthulhu – Fantasy with horrors from beyond.

On second thoughts, maybe that last ones just Ravenloft after all…..

“So your in the local tavern….”

March 27, 2009

A lot of RPG scenarios start with the old faithful line of “Your in a tavern, and you notice a stranger in the corner…”. All in all its a bit repetitive and boring so why not  throw the PC’s a curve ball?

“So your at the local tavern….”

  • “… and its the local harvest festival. The place is packed with jovial, drunk peasents all trying to drink as much as possible.”
  • “… and its the local talent contest. Hows your singing?”
  • “… and its friday night, which means its the night of drunk louts all fighting and wenching.”
  • “… and its the local council meeting. Everyone from the village is here and the elders are seated at the top table.”
  • “… and the place is empty. Seems a local sickness means everyone is at home nursing a case of the flu.”
  • “… and the barmaid is taking a shine to you. Shame she’s the owners daughter.”
  • “‘… and its closed. The big sign with a skull and cross-bones nailed to the door kind of gives it away.”

Mix it up a bit. Don’t have a Strider/Mr Johnson/Mysterious Stranger waiting for them. Have them work a bit to get their next job. It makes it more enjoyable and for better roleplaying experiances if you don’t hand everything to them on a plate.

Prison Break

March 19, 2009

Our weekend game is a D6 Star Wars game where we started off in an imperial prison block and managed to escape in the first session due to a riot that was organised by the rebellion. After this weeks session we discussed the fact that a game could be centred around a period of imprisonment, rather than just the breakout aspect. It sparked quite a few ideas, so I thought that it might be worthwhile to record some of them for later, just in case. Note that while these were thought of after a Star Wars game, there is nothing to say that they should be Sci-Fi or any other specific setting. D&D or Call of Cthulhu could work just as well as anything else.

  • Prison Life, day to day, is pretty boring. However, relationships with other PC’s and NPC’s (guards, other inmates, warden, etc) could be interesting. Think Shawshank Redemption
  • A longer version of the breakout scenario where PC’s must find out the weaknesses in defenses and plan the breakout without any outside help. On top of that, they have to gather resources or jury-rig items to help them escape. Think Escape from Alcataz
  • Intenional imprisonment in order to find and breakout a friend, relative or confident. What tools can you bring in with you and how do you get them past the guards? How do you find 1 person in a prison of 1000? Think Prison Break.
  • Unconventional prisions and breakouts like on a small island full of prisoners . Who to trust and befriend? How to get off the island? Think No Escape/Lost.
  • Criminal connections with other prisoners. Prison Gangs and affiliations. Who are the movers and shakers? Who can get you what you need? Who to trust? Think just about any prison movie covers these scenarios quite well.

Traveller Missions Miscellany

February 28, 2009

Along with the Traceller Fluna book that I satarted work on, I also began drafting up a missions book. This simpel supplement is designed to procide a jumpstart for GM’s, giving them a simple scenario with some ideas for expansion. Presented in the attached PDF file are the first few pages of the document, detailing the layout, introduction and part of the first section of the supplement.

Ravens Missions Miscellany (Preview) (PDF – 288K)