Donnerstag, 26. April 2012

Tabletop RPGs exciting me right now

Among the Tweets from half a dozen talkative people on my RPG list I almost missed that Monte Cook left Wizards of the Coast, quitting work on D&D. But more importantly, for me, I almost missed his "What's the tabletop roleplaying game that's got you excited right now?" Tweet. This is an important question for me, because it is something I actually wanted to talk about for a while.

To give a short answer, it is not D&D anymore, be it 3e or 4E. A few months ago, after many frustrating dungeon crawls in which I participated as a player, my group came to the conclusion that D&D had lost its appeal. Mostly because it lost touch with the R in RPG. Although there were other reasons as well, automatic advancement of skills, attack and defenses being one of the more prominent ones.

To make a long story with a few heated discussions short, we decided a switch to another RPG system was in order. Determining which system this would be was yet another story, with yet more heated discussions. Initially I would have preferred to game master Dark Heresy or Artesia Adventures in the Known World as I like the formers d100 System and the laters setting, but player interests lay elsewhere.

In the end we decided to return to our RPG roots. Now you might ask, how someones roots in the world of roleplaying games could not be D&D, especially considering the age bracket into which I fall. The reason for this is simple, I stem from a german speaking country. At the time I got started with roleplaying the local market was heavily dominated by Das Schwarze Auge and its game world Aventurien (The link leads to the german website of the publisher, as there never was an english translation - The dark eye - that really satisfied me). 

DSA in its latest version 4.1, my group decided, would be our new old game. And five game sessions later we are just about to finish our first short adventure and I do not regret this choice in the slightest (It probably helped that my players volunteered to buy the new rule books which are a tad on the expensive side, leaving me only with the expenses for the adventures.). 

There is the answer. Finally. The tabletop roleplaying game that's got me excited right now is:
 Das Schwarze Auge.

What has me so excited about DSA? Why do I not feel the same kind of excitement for D&D anymore?

  1. D&D had Dungeon Delves, lots of them. Especially 4E. Sadly I never got to play a 4E D&D game that was not a dungeon delve (If there actually are 4E modules from WotC or third party publishers that are not primarily dungeon delves I'd be grateful if you point them out to me).  DSA on the other hand has Adventures! Lots of them. Only in a rare few of them do you have to enter something resembling a dungeon even for a short period of time.
  2. Even after being away from DSA for quite a few years (enough to play three 3e campaigns and start one 4E game) I still remember more background info about its game world than I ever knew about any D&D setting. And with every day back to Aventurien I remember more of the Fluff.  And ever more gets published as the game world is a living one.
  3. The rules. No levels, point buy with classes that have almost more influence on the roleplay than on the game mechanics. Almost infinite possibilities to individualize your character, beyond what gear will I wear at which level. And especially I like the skill mechanics of DSA and the way that both magic and combat are esentially specialized applications of these mechanics instead of completely separate rule sets. (No in depth discussion of the rules as that would be beyond the scope of any single blog post.)
I guess trying to condense even half of this into a Tweet would have been quite a bit of work. Some of the above statements might be seen as critique on the 4E D&D rules set, which does not mean that I don't like 4E. As a matter of fact I still do, I just have trouble using it for roleplay. Well, that is enough rambling on my part. Feel free to respond, critically or otherwise.

Freitag, 20. April 2012

One Page Dungeon & ENnies 2012

Earlier this month, while following tweets and reading newsletters, two interresting things came to my attention. As the title suggests these were the One Page Dungeon Contest and the 2012 ENnies. In a spout of momentary enthusiasm I decided to submit entries for both. Writing a one page dungeon and doing some editing for one of your products at DriveThruRPG, couldn't be too hard after all. By now I know better. Still things are looking good.

Just a few moments ago I uploaded the revised version of "Forge of the Primordials" to DriveThruRPG and sent notifications to previous customers. Most of the work went into replacing the maps provided with versions of a higher resolution and with better contrast, to make sure they look decent when printed. Of course a multitude of typos and other small errors were corrected as well.

This experimental 4E D&D Raid Dungeon Delve will be my entry for the 2012 ENnie Awards. As mentioned in my author's notes I'm still very much open for feedback that could be incorporated into this product or into future Raid Dungeon Delves.

Next on the list would be my submission for the One Page Dungeon contest. This one is not quite as far along, but still making decent progress. By now the maps are mostly finished (they still need to be scanned and cleaned up a bit) and I have written a few short paragraphs of background info. the biggest challange remaining will be to fit this all and at least a short textual description of the map onto a single page and make it look good.

Early, unfinished version of the map for the One Page Dungeon

I guess this is enough rambling on my part for the moment. How is this for a "real" blog post? Any suggestions? More contests you could bring to my attention? Go ahead and let me know.

Dienstag, 10. April 2012

Inauguration Post

Well, I finally came around to set up a little blog, expanding my webpresence yet another little bit.

What will this blog be about? If you weren't able to guess by the title, it will be for the better part about tabletop roleplaying games. Although I might make one or another short excursion into 3d design. To be fair I have to admit, that I do most of my 3d modeling for my RPG releases though.

I started designing content and supplements for RPGs August 2011 and you should be able to find all the fruits of my labor over at DriveThruRPG (see the link in the sidebar to go to my publisher page). For the better part these are system independent products like maps and a few collections of stock renders. But if you look closely enough you will be able to find products published under the 4E GSL and the Traveller Logo License as well.

Only recently I decided to expand my portfolio a bit and make some of the 3d models I created available through TurboSquid (once again, see the appropriate link to the right). The portfolio is still small, but I hope to expand it as I go.

That's it for a short introduction. For more short term news follow me on Twitter. Next Blog post might be about my submission for this year's ENnie Award and just maybe the ENnies in general.