First impressions count
My first impression upon seeing the front cover was utter amazement. I always thought Kobold magazine is a fanzine. It’s not. What immediately strikes you is the art; it’s a very pretty front cover by a Nicole Cardiff called the “Winter Druid”, according to the credits.
My initial intention was to skip through the magazine, speed read to get an overview. I kept stopping to read articles and letters. The Style is good and the content is excellent. I’m glad to see plenty of Pathfinder specific stuff too. I guess that’s not really a surprise considering it’s the current pet favourite. It’s also the only d20 rule set I own, I love it.
A couple of my favourite articles
The Elves: the fallen ones.
The idea seems to be to reinvent the core races over several issues. This particular issue was focused on the Elves. The Article provides three pages of fluff and crunch. They seemed heavily influenced by Dragonage, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s nice to see the races redone. You could use one of these articles to add unique flavour to your setting, instantly. No conversion required.
The Ecology of the Froghemoth.
This little piece introduces a cool new monster. A Froghemoth complete with fluff, life cycle, stats and really top quality art. What’s cool for me is the stats are provided for every stage of the life cycle. There’s even a rare variant included “the Electric Froghemoth”.
Lessons from the shadows: History’s greatest assassins.
This article is about ninjas, seriously. Need I say more? There is never enough ninja.
Spice up your Combat Encounters: the Combat Skill Challenge
The Chatty DM’s first ever published article. It’s full of good advice for a GM fed up with “You kick down the door and are faced with two Orcs, Roll initiative”. All in chatty’s familiar friendly, fatherly tone.
Feel the love? I’m going to subscribe to a print copy.
Kobold has some amazing art and great content. I would wholeheartedly recommend it. If you play another fantasy system which is not d20, you could mine it for ideas. However it is a d20 mag. It’s just nice to see a RPG exclusive magazine. The last one I seen was a friend’s old (1983) copy of white dwarf.
Oh how times change.
I’m getting ready to run my first pathfinder game with my two players. As I’ve been preparing for the game I realise how unfamiliar I am with the whole system. Pathfinder/D&D 3.5 is NOT “rules-lite”. As an inexperienced role-player a 500-odd page rule book like pathfinder is intimidating, especially considering I only have until Sunday to learn it and get an adventure ready.
Ok, time to admit defeat. It’s freaking impossible, the game will be piss-poor and I’ll embarrass myself.
Until I hit a realisation. You don’t need to build an entire world, with cultures, factions, intrigue, political tensions and allegiances. Not yet anyway. If I can get a vague familiarity with the combat mechanic and the skill check resolution system I can run a dungeon crawl. Reference obscure or unfamiliar rules as I go.
100% old school hack and slash
Ok that’s not going to be fun long term. For me anyway. I can add complexity as my knowledge and understanding of the rules gets better. The setting and world can just evolve through play. Don’t get me wrong I love the creative challenge a cohesive setting will present. I just can’t take it on right now.
Perhaps little baby steps, just to start off with.
If you want the dead tree version it’s on LULU for cost price.
This is a 1970′s Gangsters and streetpunks Roleplaying game, accordingly the language and themes are for a mature audience.
I’ve been sitting on this review for a while as I really wanted to do a play test as well as a review, but alas i’ve haven’t yet had the opportunity. So I can’t hold it in any longer. I’m like an over agitated bottle of cloudy lemonade, ready to burst.
What a game! For £0.00 you get NINE professional quality e-books, including core rules, adventures and locations with maps. The Layout is easy to read with evocative street language that really brings the setting to life.
Character generation has three options. The first is the crunchy generation using an extensive skills set to get your punk “just right”. The second is to choose a character from the “20 punks” book, which has pre-made characters. But to be honest if you are incapable of creating your own character using the original rules set, even with the Excel spread sheet to guide you like lassy, Go for the lighter version of the rules “Dogtown, stripped”.
I think the author has reached his goal of recreating our favourite gangster films of yore (Scarface, Reservoir dogs etc) with an added dash of GTA.
With the influences of this game so obvious, adventures and plots are never-ending!
I think the only thing requiring a little improvement is the book covers or titles. They don’t make it clear what the book is. For example Dogtown stripped, is this 2nd edition revised or simply a rules lite version. Grenson park, The missing mafioso etc could all have a little subtitle on the cover which says “An Adventure module for Dogtown” or some such thing.
From a new readers point of view it’s a little difficult to understand which books i should be using and which books do what. Otherwise thats my only little gripe!
Having read this game I want to rob a shark, to pay my smack dealer.
I promise I will playtest it soon as I can!
Ok, it’s my turn to GM. I’m really intimidated but excited too.
I’ve chosen to do star wars D6 by west end games (1st edition) as it’s a universe i have fond memories of, everyone knows and its a fairly simple rules system. Its also one of the very few books i own.
I’ve used the myriad of resources available at rancor pit. What an excellent Forum. If any of you guys want to get back into starwars D6 head over there! It’s an excellent site.
We have done most of the Character generation over Email. We are raring to go. I have gathered all my plot ideas and possible choices for my custom adventure.
I am going to rely heavily on my improvisation skills. I have no idea what choices my players are going to make! But i’m ready with a list of plot hooks, a couple of possible outcomes, some obstacles to direct them without railroading and a good list of NPCs.
The main idea is to get a good balance between Roleplay and combat. I suppose thats every GMs job. I just need to remember that it’s all about the players having fun, and not running the worst game ever played!
Wish me luck.
Cyberpunk 2020 is only ten years and two months away.
Is it still fiction? I think so.
The fact is Kids aren’t super hackers, they can barely read and write. There is no Totalitarian, Dystopian world government. politicians are too inept to rule effectively in the current system never mind toppling democratic process and seizing global power. They can’t even get away with lining their own pockets without being caught.
We have no direct energy weapons, no flying cars and no crazy cool cybernetic enhancements. well not many :)
Secondlife -is- Netrunning, The father of cyberpunk, Neuromancer author William Gibson says so. I respectfully disagree.
Artificial intelligence has turned out to be an oxymoron. We may get to a stage of “strong AI” or general intelligence. Artificial consciousness however seems to be an impossible dream.
But the world of cyberpunk and science fiction in general still fascinates me, and many others. Take datafortress as an example. This website was updated on the 31 Oct 2009. My heart leapt for joy when i navigated to this site for the first time in years. It’s full of amazing cyberpunk content and links. I would go as far as to say its THE definitive resource.
Check out datafortress now!
Last night (wed 28th Oct 2009) I played my first RPG game.
We played James Bond 007.
My character was based upon a young James Bond. Set in 1967.
The opening scene was a feast in a Latvian gypsies farmstead. We were celebrating the finalisation of a new supply route for anti-soviet partisans. Agent Gordon proceeded to sneak out of the party with an attractive local. Agent Stuart sat and dined with the Latvian host Mr Zerib. Agent Stuart listened to many war stories from a slighty drunken Mr Zerib, who eventually introduced his daughter to Agent Stuart as the most important thing in his life. The typical drunk proud father, slightly embarrassing his daughter.
Meanwhile Agent Gordon proceeded across the yard into the farmhouse, he began to make himself comfortable with the Latvian woman .
At this point a huge firefight broke out, bullets were peppering through the wooden shutters sending splinters into the. It looked like the lower decks of a 19th Man-o-war. Latvians started handing out weapons from a cache under the floor. Mr Zerib instructed Agent Stuart to take his daugter to the jeep to the north-west of the compound. He told him he will be there in 10 minutes.
Agent Gordon meanwhile was struggeling with a hysterical Latvian woman, eventually resorting to force. He began to carry her unconscious form down stairs when she started to recover and whispering “pistale, pistale”. Agent Gordon then dropped her unceremoniously as he ran back into the room to search out the pistol.
Agent Stuart was given a ww2 era bolt-action rifle and proceeded to escort miss Zerib, out of the feast. With skillful use of stealth, dodging and flat-out sprinting Agent Stuart began to extract them both from the fight.
Agent Gordon met two enemy commandos on the stairs as he tried to escape. He dispatched them with ease and took one of their sub-machine guns.
As Agent Gordon out the front of the house a streak of gunfire attracted his attention. he could see it was aimed at Agent Stuart as he ran past with a woman. The shots came from just around the corner.
Four commandos were chasing Agent Stuart into the woods. Agent Gordon dispatched two with a short burst of automatic fire. The other two did not hear as they raced into the woods. Agent Gordon successfully approached one silently, and dispatched him with deadly efficiency.
Agent Stuart flanked the remaining commando as miss Zerib readied the jeep. Agent Stuart was completely unaware of Agent Gordon presence as he dispatched the commando. Agent Gordon shouted when he heard the gunfire as he thought Agent Stuart may have been hit. His shouting saved his life as agent Stuart lined up a shot onto his silhouette aborting at the last second.
They aproached the jeep when they noticed mr Zerib running towards them. A few minutes late. before he could reach them he was shot in the back of the head.
Agent Gordon struggled to control another histerical Latvian miss Zerib as agent Stuart careened down the dirt track. Agent Stuarts excellent driving outclassed the approaching enemy jeeps. The secret agents and the young Latvian boarded the fishing boat at the Emergency randez-vous and made a swift escape to Gotland.
This was only 30 mins of a 3 hour game! needless to say I had a blast. Covert surveillance, Close Quarters Combat, Gun fights, car chases, running along the top of trains as they careered through the alps!
I really could get into this.
Big thanks to Peter and Stuart