August 4

RPG – Monte Cook Games is a bit Stranger!

Who is Monte Cook you ask? Really… Well if you do not know who I am speaking about you need to come out of the cave you have been hiding in and look him up. He has worked for several RPG companies the most notables are TSR, Wizards of the Coast, and Paizo.

I had the privilege meeting Mr. Cook and I am sure he remembers me from Gen Con (Right Mr. Cook? ::Chuckles::) I mean you only met thousands of fanbois during that 4 days!

Most will know him for his contributions to 3rd Edition Dungeon & Dragons… well until recently that is. In September 2012 Monte Cook Games turned to Kickstarter to crowd-fund a new RPG that was set a billion years in the future in a science fantasy post-apocalyptic setting called Numenera. The rules (Cypher System) were streamlined to focus on the story and action of the players characters. The Kickstarter raised over $500k which was over 25 times the funding amount needed and with that extra funding was able to add supplemental books and accessory for the setting. The list can be found on the kickstarter page.

Numenera RPG
Numenera RPG

Bruce Cordell (You know who he is right, please tell me you do!) came up with a concept for another setting that used the base mechanics of Numenera (Cypher System). Just over a year later in October of 2013 MCG launched their 2nd kickstarter called The Stange looking to raise $60k. In November 2013 they successfully funded The Strange pulling in over $400k which allowed them to add supplemental and accessory for the setting. The list can be found on the kickstarter page.

The Strange RPG
The Strange RPG

What caught my attention The Strange kickstarter was one paragraph.

“The Strange is a game that crosses multiple worlds, called recursions, which player characters can explore and defend. In The Strange, your characters change with each world they travel to, taking on new aspects suited to help them function in that recursion’s unique laws and structures. But dangers found in these recursions threaten not only characters, but also our very own Earth. If characters persevere, however, they can not only save themselves and Earth, they may even gain the ability to create a recursion of their own!”

I love the idea that characters change depending on the recursion they are in. How can you ever get bored of a character that changes to fit into the world they enter? Two of the recursions that have been revealed are Ardeyn and Ruk and these are just the tip of the iceberg. I was however very intrigued with one recursion that I saw on a map posted by MCG and the name is Oz. Yes that is right recursions can be brought into existence by the fact millions of people are aware of a fictional place and it’s occupants. This is explained in detail in the core book but one line says it all.

“Many recursions were seeded into the network by the creative resonance of pure imagination (so-called “fictional leakage”), and over time these recursions have matured into places that are quite real.”

This opens up so many worlds that you and your friends can explore, the list is practically endless. You can bet I will be creating a recursion of Middle-Earth, the Walking Dead, and who knows I might even create a Harry Potter / Zombie mash-up!

If you think this sounds cool and intresting just head on over to www.montecookgames.com and read more about it on their blog or better yet get the free preview here!

Stay tuned Nerds next up “Creating a Character” in the Strange!

August 2

RPG – 5E: Wild Magic preview

If you have not seen it yet here is a preview of Wild Magic. Oh and on the page what do we see… none other the the Dragon Born! Nice rendition I have to say! OK… sorry back to Wild Magic The 50 different possible effects are diverse. For instance if you roll a 33-44 then your next damaging spell you cast does max damage or if you roll a 91-92 if you die you come back to life immediately and my favorite if you roll a 49-50 you cannot talk and pink bubbles come out of your mouth.

5E: Wild Magic
5E: Wild Magic
wild2
5E: Wild Magic Table

We have also been given a peak a couple more feats. Namely Dungeon Delver, Durable, and Elemental Adept. I have to say all three of these are pretty cool!

5E: Feats
5E: Feats

Until next time nerds!

July 31

RPG – 5E: The Paladin & The Barbarian!

Here we are again! Wizard of the Coast has released 4 more pages of the upcoming 5th Edition Players Hand Book. This time around they have given us the Paladin and the Barbarian.

The Paladin:

The picture of the first page depicts a half-orc paladin of Torm the lawful good God of Law. I actually like this character concept and think it would be fun to play!

pal1
5E: Paladin 1
pal2
5E: Paladin 2

The Barbarian:

The barbarian page shows a norse looking man hefting an axe over his shoulder. Um… Wait… Is that Grizzly Adams?

b0
5E: Barbarian 1
b1
5E: Barbarian 2

I am sure we will have more to share from the 5E PBH so stay tuned Nerds!

July 30

Blurb: RPGs and LGBTQ Community

I have to say growing up being gay in the 80’s was pretty tough. I mean I did it in Kentucky for God sake. Now do not get me wrong I had a few supportive friends and my sister to get me though some of the tough times. But… there was no LGBTQ friendly anything or many highly visible out people at the time. So there was no real support in society, actually there was nothing but damnation if I am to be brutally honest. At least that is how it felt.

I used, as many of you do, Role-playing games to escape real life. No I did not play female characters I had no inclination to do so. But what I did do was play characters that were the farthest from gay. I am not sure if it was self loathing or just the fact I felt that I needed to be “normal”. As the years passed (many years) and being a person in the LGBTQ community became more “normal” I actually started embracing who I was and started to play characters that were more like me. One of my favorite characters was in a Exalted game where I was a bad ass warrior who happened to be in love with another man. Who was murdered by a evil Storyteller (you know who you are Mike) that used him to taunt me….  ummm sorry… I digress.

In 2007 when I was reading through the first book in Paizo’s adventure path Rise of the Rune Lords I noticed what appeared to be a same sex couple. I thought it was just my own projection and reread it. No there it was in print a Cyrdak Drokkus (CN male human bard 6) & Sir Jasper Korvaski (LG male human paladin 3/expert 1) and in Jaspers description it stated “Despite his best efforts, his romance with Cyrdak Drokkus has become one of Sandpoint’s worst-kept secrets.” so I was not projecting at all! I can tell you that this inclusion of a same sex romance endeared me to Pathfinder.

Paizo did this without even a mention that it was choosing to be LGBTQ inclusive. So when I read Wesley Schneider’s blog this morning he gave a little insight on why they did not make a big deal of it.

As most of you know by now Wizards of the Coast D&D 5th Edition is out and one thing that is getting some notice is they are now following suit with being LGBTQ inclusive. In the Basic Rules download it states things like “Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture’s expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior.” and “You could also play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character’s sexual orientation is for you to decide.”.

In closing… It is important to feel included and accepted so I am pleased to see that some of the leading RPG companies have taken action to do just that. To those companies I raise my goblet of elvish wine and thank you!

Until next time Nerds!

 

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July 26

RPG – 5E: Players Handbook ToC & Sorcerer Pages!

I am not sure how much more of the 5th edition Players Hand Book Wizard of the Coast is planning on releasing. Here is the latest 3 pages and the first is the table of contents that shows us just what we are getting! It appears that they will repeat some of the rules that are already in the Basic Rules download. However the word on the street is we will receive more detail on how to create a character using rules for sub-races, for example the Drow. What I am most excited about is the feat descriptions and cannot wait to get my hands on them.

5E PHB Table of Contents

The Sorcerer class looks pretty fun. I have played a couple of them in the past and love that they do not use spell books. I am glad to see that has not changed.

5E Sorcerer Page 1
5E Sorcerer Page 2

Well I am not sure how much more they are going to show us before it’s release next month but I am liking what I am seeing for the most part!

Until later Nerds!

July 24

RPG – 5E: Tavern Brawler Feat

I figured for completion sake I should post the little tidbit that was released showing off one of 5E’s feats. I present to you the Tavern Brawler feat. This at the very least gives us a idea how feats are going to look and effect game play.

5E Tavern Brawler
5E Tavern Brawler

Until next time Nerds!

July 23

Software – Syrinscape: Adding a little ambiance to your RPG…

I have used music in the background of my gaming sessions to give them some ambiance. During a Pathfinder panel at GenCon last year I heard about a piece of software that had promise it was called Syrinscape. This piece of software allows you purchase different sound sets that you can use to set the mood of an encounter. For instance they have a “Dragon Battle”, “Bugbear Battle”, “Witchworld”, and “Brindol Town”. There are many more to choose from (23 to be exact) and more coming out each month!

Brindol Town Sound Set
Brindol Town Sound Set

How does the software work? Well as you can see above, it is like a soundboard. Choosing a sound set displays what scenarios are available to you. When you choose a scenario like the “Busy Market Day” it will begin to play, melding all the tracks together continuously. You can set the volume or turn off and on any of the tracks giving you control of what is playing. A feature I like is when you turn it off or pause the scenarios does not abruptly stop but tapers off . Another feature is you can also choose to use sound bytes to play during the playback. These are located at the top of the sound board (see above). Brindol Town includes a roster’s crow, a cow’s moo, and a horses snort. Also at the bottom you will find other sound bytes, like a Lightning spell or a fireball spell. You get the picture.

So when I opened Syrinscape today to see what was new I noticed something that made be giggle with glee! They are now offering sound sets for Pathfinder’s – Rise of the Runelords adventure path! The first bundle is out and has been made for the Burnt Offerings adventure. I love this so much and cannot wait to run the adventure path with a new group of players so I can use them! To see it in action and hear what the “Glassworks” sound set is all about you can go to their YouTube page!

In closing this is a great piece of software that delivers. If there was one thing I would change it would be the ability to make my own sound set. But these guys have that down to a science!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Until next time Nerds!