Insight, napkin-note edition

I have been replaying Bloodborne and recently been running Burning Wheel with a group of players that are majorly magic users. Both of these have got me thinking about Insight and risk-reward style systems in rpgs.

I’ve been toying around with the idea of Insight as it exists in Bloodborne, and I think I have came up with something I want to toy around with more. Here’s the basic top-of-my-head version with no amount of play-testing or really running it by other people for quality control.

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Perfect for Me (so far) DIY D&D

I’ve been coming up with a doc for my players to collect all the various parts from different OSR games that I enjoy, so I don’t ever have to print off multiple games again and then print a guide for what sections from what they have to follow for character creation or rules.

Mostly its just a collection of different mechanics copy-pasted from other games and blogs, some of it customized for me, a little bit changed and added, but most as-is. Here’s what I’m using for my own games and why.

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Odd Duel

Two games I have been obsessed with for a very long time are old school D&Ds and Burning Wheel.

I was super pumped when I initially read Torchbearer, and while it is an awesome game on its own terms, it wasn’t quite the mix of old school dungeon crawling and Burning Wheel-styled detailed systems I was looking for.

I have wanted for a long time for there to be a system similar to Burning Wheel’s Fight system, although a bit simpler, paired to D&D’s tactical hand-wavy rulings over rules.

This is my attempt at hacking Into the Odd to facilitate this kind of system.

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Autumn Update

Hello, I hope your Fall has been a good one!

I attended Big Bad Con 2018 a little while ago. As per usual it was a lot of fun – I got to meet a lot of great people, play a bunch of games, and I also ran two – Tall Pines and Bluebeard’s Bride.

I’ve been toying around with some OSR hacks recently. I definitely want to playtest some ideas and probably throw some rules up here. Look for those soon (hopefully)!

3 Ways To Play Better

I spend a lot of time playing with new players, and often get questioned about how one can learn to roleplay better. A lot of people ask about improv classes, how into a particular system you need to be to play it well, other game and acting-related strategies.

While these are all good, I think there are much easier things that you can do to elevate your play. Here are three suggestions I often give. Let me know others that you feel improves play.

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Gen Con 2018

Well, almost another year went by and my commitment to blogging has failed yet again.

I made my yearly trip to Indianapolis for Gen Con. This was a pretty good year. It felt a tad lighter than previous years, I have not checked the numbers so far, so I don’t know if that is because there was less people, or if they did a better job at spreading out events to other locations.

None the less I spent a majority of my time running and playing in Games on Demand. I offered Into the Odd and a playtest of Freebooters on the Frontier 2e, but every session that I ran was Into the Odd.

I had a lot of fun, some people who had never played an “OSR” or DIY D&D game, and some who have. I felt every session was a success, and had a great time with everyone who showed up.

As for hauls – I bought way too much. Some Game Science dice, the Magpie Games aschans, the new Runequest, all of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess Gen Con supplements, the collected Parsley, too much more to name.

I also got to hang out at Metal Church, the 3rd annual Sunday meetup of roleplaying metal heads, where Luke, Dro, and Adam discussed playing metal while playing.

I’ve been slowly recovering at work, but am definitely lacking on sleep. Hopefully I can actually make blogging, socializing, etc. a regular thing. I just often find it more work than I want to contribute to. I often like gaming over posting about gaming, but I do want to continue analysis and discussion.

GM Responsibilities

If there is one thing that bugs the most about “conventional” RPG wisdom is the idea of what the GM is responsible for. The GM is a player adjacent role, and aside form a few exceptions regarding the responsibilities that an individual game prescribes to a GM, they should have nearly identical responsibilities that other players of the game. I want to address a few of these typically shouldered by the GM and why I do not think they are valid.

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Big Bad Con 2017

I got “back” from Big Bad Con this prior Sunday. Since I was commuting from home every day I wasn’t really gone, but it was a bit of a commute. I believe I say this every year but next year I should really get a room.

I ran Inheritance which I hope to review soon. Its an amazing game, and I was especially lucky to have a large cast of super talented players that really brought the game to life.

I also ended up playing several games. Off the top of my head I remember playing Into the Odd, Burning Wheel, Tales from the Loop, and Witch: Road to Linsfarne. Out of the new games I played (everything but Burning Wheel), I will have short-take reviews shortly.

The con is absolutely the best roleplaying convention I attend every year. I love going to GenCon, but the games, people, and size of Big Bad is absolutely perfect. I cannot recommend it higher if you are in the Bay Area next October.