Monday, April 20, 2020

Infatuation as a Condition

No, this is not the same as the Charmed condition. I'll explain, just hear me out.

Love usually doesn't find its way into TTRPGs, for obvious reasons. Some people try to tackle it, usually they fail. The systems most open to it are ones that already impose mechanics on lots of personality and communication related things anyway, like a lot of story games. It's pretty common in Pendragon to make a flirting check or to roll on a cuckoldry table or have to make a saving throw to not be too heartbroken or whatever.

But people like agency over their character's brain and are less inclined to allow "character skill, not player skill" into that part of your stats. That is more true in OSR games than probably anywhere else and lots of people in that scene will shriek at the mere suggestion that you mechanically enforce a specific mental state on a PC. It is a common paradigm that you cannot tell a player how their character feels about something, and I've frequently heard people bring this up as a reason you can't roleplay a true Arthurian story with all the romance bits. BUT...

Monday, April 13, 2020

Oh God There Are So Many RPGs (A Guide)

No TL;DR but I'll just tell you that the good shit is the misc. list at the end
Something you hear a lot in RPG spaces is the recurring lamentation of, "no one wants to try this system with me because everyone just wants to play D&D 5E!" DIY and OSR folks are obsessed with having different systems, making different systems, trying out different systems, etc. On the positive end, I once recall Questing Beast telling his 5th graders that "everyone who plays RPGs should try making their own system at least once" and I can definitely see the value in that as a creative exercise. On the negative end, I recently saw a guy say he's "thankful" for 5E catching 90% of people new to the hobby because it, "keeps the scum out." I love 5th Edition D&D, I'm glad that it's popular, and I'm glad that it's made the size of this hobby fucking explode over the last 6 years. But other games are cool too and I surround myself with people who never shut up about them so I needed to just sit down and make a guide. These are loosely categorized and described briefly. If I found something short that could give you a good handle on the system, I also put it in as a link (usually a page-by-page review of it, or in the case of smaller ones, a direct link to the RPG itself). Most things on this list either don't have a unified task resolution system or they use the basic d20 model, so I really only noted exceptions (and usually only when that exception is one of the most notable things about the system). This is, obviously, nowhere even close to an exhaustive list.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Flatter Me, Mortals

I've noticed a trend in fantasy art in this hobby, especially in "fan art" (i.e. not really something I've ever actually seen printed in an RPG book but still prevalent around the hobby). Sometimes people like drawing themselves and their friends in their D&D world. They want art of their group. But they don't want to leave anyone out, so they try to find a way to include their DM in the picture. And of the many examples of this I have seen over the years, I am at once both intrigued and modestly offended at the approach they consistently employ in this task. Here are some examples: