Stats, they speak to me

Most stats in most systems have effective ranges of 5 (-1, 0, 1, 2, 3) and often the same for skills and special abilities.
My condrium is intellectual there is a 5 point range but that doesn’t leave me feeling anything for them. DnD 3-18 gives me a feeling. SW d4,d6,d8,d10,d12 give me a feeling. Star Wars RPG 2d6-5d5 give me a feeling. Traveller 2-12 give me a normal feeling. But 20,40,60,80,100 don’t give me a feeling. The past 2 times we played CoC I had to mentally convert back to pre-7th ed to get the character feeling. This is maybe my biggest hurdle with Ironsworn, -1 to 3 ranges. Didn’t Star Frontiers do a percentile stats? Have this vague memory of never understanding the SF rules as a kid and just putting DnD characters in the setting when we played it.
Just one of those strange things probably from starting with DnD but it does put me off of some systems.


A Complicated Profession

Does anyone have good/fun mechanics for bounty hunting?

Find it interesting that the great bounty hunter Mando is only shown bringing in 2 bounties alive, Mythrol and the child.

Then Cowboy Beebop which is all about failed bounties.

I’ve noticed a lot of recent Beebop link games recently and while some have interesting ideas none seem to answer the bounty problem usefully.


RPG Best Mechanics Ideas

What are some of the best of mechanics to come out in the RPG space in the past decade?

Blades in the Dark Flashbacks
Advantage/Disadvantage rolling
Clocks, so i hear but don’t havn’t looked into yet
Playbooks, PtbA
Fail Forward, PtbA
Player Facing Rolls, PtbA
Point Crawl like Gardens of Ynn, Stygian Library, Neverland uses this for Faye land
Oracles, Ironsworn and Scarlet Heroes
Stars Without Number Factions system,
Fronts from Dungeon World but I haven’t looked into it yet
Letting the random tables define the world, Electronic Bationland and to some extent Greyhawk Fiolo random tables
Hexcrawling but fun, Hot Springs Island and Neverland

Protagonist Underdogs

Listening to an interview with Graham Walmsley about Cthulhu/Lovecraft gaming.

In his Cthulhu Dark mini game the protagonists have to be the underdog. When he added settings in the Victorian one the players are the underclass, orphans, prostitutes and beggars and not the upper class. He is british and found when playing  upper class characters players would become pretty nasty to the underclass.
In episode 49, we interview Graham Walmsley, writer of Play Unsafe, Stealing Cthulhu, and Cthulhu Dark, as well as two Trail of Cthulhu campaign books (The Final Revelation & Cthulhu Apocalypse).

The Vanilla Game

Maybe a good candidate for a least feature DnD like base to build on.

And checkout the The Other Vanilla Game Jam


Kenneth Hite interview

Listening to a podcast interview with Kenneth Hite(Trail of Cthulhu, Night’s Black Agents, The Fall of Delta Green, GURPS Horror 3e)
Horror is about player emotion at the table. If all the players are not willing to bring emotion to the table Horror doesn’t work. Think we have talked around this a bit but he seemed to sum it up succinctly. Also part of why Ravenloft and the Domains of Dread doesn’t really work, people are playing DnD not Horror.
Second one was to read masterpieces of the hobby. In context he suggests Masks of Nyarlathotep as a masterpiece of sandbox.

Altered Carbon in Fantasy setting

Just a stray thought might be worth following up on . Doing Altered Carbon in a fantasy setting. I’m watching S2E2 Payment Deferred and the opening scene triggered the thought that milspec sleeves are kinda like 5+ level classes characters.

RPG Uncategorized

The Next Medium Defines this Medium

To me this was the stand out bit:

You could use a similar analogy for computer games and roleplaying games, and say that a computer is to a roleplaying game what a movie is to play.  As computers became masters of heavy math then roleplaying games could see their limits and focus on other areas like the social aspect or the physical play area.

Everything you think about Game Mastering is probably wrong: Part I – The whole concept


Reading Greyhawk, Forgetten Realms and Mystara History

I’ve been reading/looking into a lot of the in world histories of
Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms and Mystara. Combinations of current canon
and almost canon fanon.

Possibly the biggest standout is a history filled with great works
being created and stopped. By great works I’m mostly talking about
great magical works. Almost seems like more contemporary adventures
are much better at stopping the big bad then historic ones 🙂

Sorta amazing how many historic problems stem from some human wanting
to live forever or just longer.

I suspect Eberron is possibly an exception. I don’t know much about
it’s history, given it was created to be decidedly different and
hasn’t been around or abandoned long enough for gaps in history to be

Then there are the gods, demi-gods and godlike heroes. Definitely in
the older D&D lore but even today it is sorta of amazing hoe much
Lovecraftianness exists in the mythology. Or maybe Lovecraft and his
literary followers all taped into something D&D lore tapes into.

Also like how pop culture monster creation myths vs. D&D monster
creation myths often differ. I suspect that since the 90’s people have
definately tried to apply more scientific explainations to how
monsters got here and evolved. Like in Greyhawk Vecna rewarded a
Lieutenant with long life making him the first Greyhawk vampire.

Another one is how long historical grudges can be remembered. In world
maybe this is due to long lived elves and other longer lived than

Dwarves are almost always an afterthought. Oh, and the dwarves just
kept digging in there mines or the dwarves were tired of all the shit
between humans and elves so they moved on and started digging new

Then you have halflings who were mostly happy farmers and crafts
people just hanging out laughing at all the big people fucking things

RPG Uncategorized

The Witcher

As a long time Dungeons & Dragons / Table Top RPG player and game master The Witcher feels like a BECMI Dungeon Master’s really well developed home brew world. Very high praise. Like in BECMI the Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes feel like classes and occur spairingly. Like in BECMI religion is a thing but not much a part of the story. The brilliant bit is the whole Witcher orders creation and openly and actively hiring monster hunters.

I also like what seems to be elves are not these Tolkien beautiful angelic beings. Most of the elves running around in human society are beautiful but not most elves hiding in the hinterlands or “squirrels” raiding human society.

Somewhere I’ve read that 0-5 level characters are still in the normal human ability so in The Witcher there are “mutated” characters with level 5+ abilities.

Magically speaking maybe not so much BECMI but ODD with a very forgiving GM with on the fly spell creation. Signs work as traditional DnD spells and cantrips.

Using portals and the world spheres colliding to bring what are often time nonsensical and contradictory fantastic creatures into one world was a great idea not used as much since the 80’s.

I do have one complaint both time and distance feel much like a good DnD campaign, it only matters when it matters but in fiction I find myself lacking a good understanding of place. And place or Kingdoms and cities do seem to matter. Lots of good world building is being lost on my inability to link it all yet.

Disclaimer: Currently I’ve read Saga 1, 1/3 Saga 2, Last Wish and a couple chapters in Swords if Destiny. Watched the first season of the Netflix Series and caught a few YouTube videos on the books and games.