The Tabletop Roleplayer & Gamer Check-in Thread

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mkEngland

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(I couldn't find a thread like this elsewhere - apologies to mods if I missed it.)

Where my tabletop people at?

I adore video games as much as the next person, but my biggest gaming passion is tabletop boardgames and RPGs. For tabletop board and card games, I'll play just about anything. For RPGs, I play Dungeons & Dragons, Firefly/Serenity, and Star Wars mostly, though I've played other systems in the past.

In fact, I often use my roleplaying books when I'm in the initial brainstorming characters stage of my writing process. Using assets and complications or similar systems helps me make sure that my characters have both strengths AND weaknesses.

Do you play tabletop games? What's your favorite? Does gaming ever play into your writing? Do you have a regular group you play with?

I live in a black hole of gaming, people. I need a fix!
 
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Amadan

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Everything, at one time or another.

Favorites are GURPS and Champions.

Nowadays, mostly message-based games.
 

CoffeeBeans

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Woo hoo. Mostly the tabletop talk was mixed in the other-games talk in the lounge thread. Finally, room to spread out! ;)

It's mostly D&D lately, the local game shop runs two nights a week to play. Did some Call of Cthulu, but I preferred Vampire: Masquerade (tough to get a group together for that though). I want to get into Shadowrun, but I only know one person who even has the books...

Played "Tales of the Arabian Nights", which is half board game-half RPG the other night. Really good fun.
 

RedRajah

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Die hard 7th Sea fan here. Currently playing Deadlands Classic on Skype & an irregular D&D 3.5 tabletop.
 

JoshSpaceCole

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I love tabletop gaming! We just recently wrapped up a Fate campaign in which Jack the Ripper, Houdini, Sherlock Holmes, and Sigmund Freud worked together to kidnap Rockefeller from the Freemasons in 1893 New York.

That DM moving to 2013 New York was one of the year's greatest tragedies. Still, I'm trying to get another game running.

I also love card games - Illuminati, Dominion, Munchkin come to mind - but my family won't play with me any more because I'm too mean. Can I help it if the rules encourage cutthroat tactics?

I've been working on designing one in breaks between novels - have you ever tried building your own system?
 

Zoombie

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I have!

It's COMPLICATED.

But I will finish Masters of the Cycle someday. No one else is making a game like it - where the PCs are massive galactic civilizations!
 

mkEngland

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Played "Tales of the Arabian Nights", which is half board game-half RPG the other night. Really good fun.

Oooh, I love that game. Tends to run so long, and my husband hates how luck-based it is, but I just love the storytelling aspect of it.

I think my current favorite boardgame is the new Firefly game. Also enjoy King of Tokyo, Pandemic, Smallworld, and older fantasy classics like Talisman and Descent.

CoffeeBeans said:
I've been working on designing one in breaks between novels - have you ever tried building your own system?

I run a gaming club with my teens at the library, and they're interested in building their own board or card game. We're learning about the principles of game design right now, then we'll start brainstorming. I REALLY want to get them playing an RPG of some sort (so I can selfishly get my fix and pass the love on to the next generation), but we'll see.


Anyone playing D&D 5th edition right now? Had a hell of a good time creating a character for an upcoming skype game, but haven't actually played yet.
 

JoshSpaceCole

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I have!

It's COMPLICATED.

But I will finish Masters of the Cycle someday. No one else is making a game like it - where the PCs are massive galactic civilizations!

That sounds wonderful. I second mkEngland - get it done!

I find game design almost refreshingly left-brained. After all the strain of world creation, laying out spreadsheets of card interactions is almost relaxing. Is Masters of the Cycle your primary project?
 

Maggie Maxwell

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I've been working on designing one in breaks between novels - have you ever tried building your own system?

I've wanted to for years. Just never really settled on an idea for a game. I've made a few board games before for classes. Those were fun to throw together. One was a straight-up board game meant to play like a game of D&D in board format, the other was a board and card game based on the Iliad. Wish I'd fought to keep either of them, we put a lot of effort into them.
 

Lissibith

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I've been working on designing one in breaks between novels - have you ever tried building your own system?
Two in our group of rotating GMs for our D&D 5E (and occasional M&M or Fate games) have been constructing one based on the tastes and inclinations of our group. I look forward to seeing it, but haven't the technical mind to help.

Friday I'm running my first game in years. This will be a trainwreck
 

mkEngland

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Friday I'm running my first game in years. This will be a trainwreck

Best of luck! I'm sure it'll be great. I hope you have a good group together. What system?

So, some people like to create their own systems, which is awesome. How about homebrew adventures and campaigns? I used to love writing adventures and creating NPCs, but balancing encounters and creating monsters wasn't my thing.
 

CoffeeBeans

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Oooh, I love that game. Tends to run so long, and my husband hates how luck-based it is, but I just love the storytelling aspect of it.

I think my current favorite boardgame is the new Firefly game. Also enjoy King of Tokyo, Pandemic, Smallworld, and older fantasy classics like Talisman and Descent.

I love the storytelling. We get really into the dramatic readings. It became the next-game-up after I sidelined an endless Talisman game to quest bringing a prince (follower) back to his family after he got snared in a dungeon. About the time the whole table had sidelined the actual game to play out a completely invented storyline, we thought maybe there might be a game more suited to that...

Then again, we had very real angst trying to save the world in Pandemic! Maybe it's just us.

Friday I'm running my first game in years. This will be a trainwreck

Wheee! Have fun! Just remember, if you get stuck - throw a dance battle at them.

So, some people like to create their own systems, which is awesome. How about homebrew adventures and campaigns? I used to love writing adventures and creating NPCs, but balancing encounters and creating monsters wasn't my thing.

There are some pretty good encounter generators out there. The times I've run games, I've just relied on the generators for the enemies, and sunk the rest of my time into the story.
 

Lissibith

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Best of luck! I'm sure it'll be great. I hope you have a good group together. What system?
Thanks! D&D5E right now. This particular arrangement started as a playtesting group for the new edition, and just sort of continued with the release.

Wheee! Have fun! Just remember, if you get stuck - throw a dance battle at them.
It's funny you mention that. :D That won't be happening in this situation since I'm just updating an older module (wreck ashore) to ease myself back in. But a plan I have for a later homemade module in which our largely grimdark group's characters are most likely going to have to infiltrate and participate in a massive celebration being hosted by the priests of Lliira in order to get the help they need. So perhaps a dance battle is just what the GM ordered.
 

mkEngland

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It's funny you mention that. :D That won't be happening in this situation since I'm just updating an older module (wreck ashore) to ease myself back in. But a plan I have for a later homemade module in which our largely grimdark group's characters are most likely going to have to infiltrate and participate in a massive celebration being hosted by the priests of Lliira in order to get the help they need. So perhaps a dance battle is just what the GM ordered.

The 5e character I just created is a former sailor cleric of Lliira! Never chose her as a deity before - having a great time dreaming up possibilities for an ale-swilling, partying sailor-turned-cleric.

Perhaps I'll give her a penchant for challenging people to dance battles. :p
 

Zoombie

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Yep, I would play the hell out of that. Finish!

That sounds wonderful. I second mkEngland - get it done!

I find game design almost refreshingly left-brained. After all the strain of world creation, laying out spreadsheets of card interactions is almost relaxing. Is Masters of the Cycle your primary project?

TREMBLE BEFORE THE MIGHT OF MY MULTI-QUOTES!

Well, it's not my primary project - that is my fiction. And dear god, fiction is straightforward next to this sucker.

The basics I've got nailed down.

There are player civilizations (PCs) and a Game Master (GM) who run the game. The PCs want to expand, explore, exploit and exterminate, while the GM mediates and handles the four X-Risks: The Power, the Nature, the Future and the Fringe.

The Power is my game's Antarens (because I love Masters of Orion 2). They're essentially a post-dimensional civilization that ascended to a higher plane of existence before the game begins, and the goal of the players is to eventually hit that same ascension point, while the Power wants to stop them. The Nature is natural disasters (blights, asteroid impacts, that kind of thing), the Future is only unlocked if a race starts buying AI advancements, and represents robot uprisings, gray goo scenarios, that kind of thing. And the Fringe (by far the most common threat), is the fringe elements of your civilization...rebellion, terrorism, piracy.

Each PC is based around their aptitudes, features and flaws and organizations. Those aptitudes are: Heroic Potential, Physical, Social, Mental, X.

HP is your race's luck and pluck factor. Physical, Social, Mental are all self explanatory. X is your ability to interface with and use Power artifacts (which are everywhere.)

The human average is 2, and the peak of natural evolution is 5. Because I like White Wolf.

Features and Flaws are just what they sound like: They determine whether your race is arboreal or aquatic, naturally telepathic or shapeshifters, that sort of thing. Each feature is paired with a flaw, but you don't need to take both.

(E.G, Charismatic's Feature gives you a bonus to Diplomacy missions as your race is so likable. The Flaw makes your Fringe events more likely to be dangerous - due to how charismatic your malcontents are.)

A PC's organization is essentially their "Skill", and like an attribute, it is rated between 1 to 5, with 2 being the average. Organizations, though, are player named and played mandated to handle one or two linked tasks.

(E.G, humanity has an Org called Starfleet that handles exploration and defense. It has a rating of 3 - it is well trained, but not the best in the galaxy.)

So, when a PC wants to accomplish an action, the GM determines how long it will take, and the PC combines a stat and organization to give them a pool of D6s. You roll, the D6s explode on a 6, but the limit to how many times it can explode is your Hero Potential. Any roll that shows a 4, 5, or 6 is a success.

But this is only HALF of the game, you see!

The other half is the Movers!

Each Player Civilization gets 4 "movers", which are basically hero units, like Commander Shepard. They're astoundingly effective and have their own statline (essentially, you start with your racial stats, then add a number of bonus points equal to your HP to your Mover...so, for example, if human's statline was HP: 5, P: 2, M: 2, S: 2, X: 2, then your Movers would have 5 points to distribute among their 4 stats - modeling human flexibility and such.)

Movers also benefit from the bonuses and negatives of their race's Features and Flaws - if your race are arboreal, your movers are Arboreal.

So, Movers are used in two ways: Firstly, they can be used to enhance a task roll. So, if you want to do something REALLY fast and REALLY well, you put a MOver on it.

But the second and far more interesting way that Movers are used is in Flashpoints. These are events caused by the GM's various mucking about, and represent major events in galactic history. When Flashpoints begin, each civilization nominated a Mover that would logically be involved, and they send them in.

The game then focuses down to a more standard RPG - but set in the context of the larger game.

Other rough ideas that I have come up with!

1) Diplomacy and treaties let the players make in universe rules and make sweeping proclamations at each-other.

2) Passive espionage allows you to ask direct questions about enemy plans, while Active Espionage lets you act in enemy areas.

3) When fleet actions occur between two PCs, everyone participates via having everyone take command of at least one ship involved in the action.

4) Technology is bought with XP, to prevent super smart races from beating everyone by just getting the best tech.

5) Wars are possible, and can be encouraged, but wholesale extermination and slavery should be avoided - need to find rules to encourage this.

6) I have a rough ruleset laid out for how you can combine colonized solar systems into subsectors, and then subsectors into sectors, so that you can go from a tiny empire to a HUGE ONE!

But...

There's a looooooot I need to do.

I need to figure out spaceship combat rules, ground combat rules, how the GM rolls for X-risks, how to handle conquest of other players, then I need to make a tech-tree...
 

Lady Chipmunk

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I play a lot of different systems. D & D (3.5), Hero System, World of Darkness, Mechwarrior, and Battlelords are the ones most common around here.
 

Lissibith

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The 5e character I just created is a former sailor cleric of Lliira! Never chose her as a deity before - having a great time dreaming up possibilities for an ale-swilling, partying sailor-turned-cleric.

Perhaps I'll give her a penchant for challenging people to dance battles. :p
You should! I love that s/he's a former sailor too. With a mouth to match? How'd that career switch come about? :)

I'd never done anything with her before, but my character (obviously shelved for this event since I'm GMing) is also a cleric of Lliira. I have so much fun imagining him - a pretty laid-back, fun-loving guy - in this group full of fight-happy bloodletters. I haven't really been able to get him in a good solid conflict with any of them yet, but it will happen or my (internet) name's not Lissibith!

And then... dance battle. *serious nod*
 

mkEngland

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You should! I love that s/he's a former sailor too. With a mouth to match? How'd that career switch come about? :)

She worked on a ship with followers of Lliira for several years. Bad storm, captain was badly injured, ship was about to sink -- so she found religion and prayed to Lliira. Lliira granted her a use of cure wounds, captain was able to pull it together and save the ship, and all was well. Then the captain sold the ship - one close call too many - leaving my cleric to find something to do with herself. Adventuring and pursuing the priesthood it is!

And yes, she has all the lovely sailor habits you would expect. ;)
 

GingerGunlock

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I started gaming in college! I wish I'd known about it before. That was 3rd edition D&D, but the 3.5 switch happened...junior year? Senior? I don't remember. We were doing Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil at the time, and didn't convert the characters. We tend to have at least one weekly game going, of varying systems.

We do Pathfinder (the inheritor of 3.5 edition D&D, essentially) and new World of Darkness (have almost ALL of the old World of Darkness books, but like the cleaner rules of the new system. Story results may vary).

We've got the Player's Handbook for 5th ed, and the Quickstart box, but have only made a couple brief session forays into that, no solid playtime yet, but we like what we've been reading. So right now, we've got a friend's Pathfinder game on Mondays, and a Vampire game starting up at my house on Sundays.

We also had old World of Darkness Vampire at a friend's house on Wednesdays last spring (Transylvania Chronicles), and a new edition Shadowrun game on Thursdays.
 

Alessandra Kelley

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D&D, AD&D, first edition and 3.5, Runequest, Champions, Bushido, Toon, Chivalry and Sorcery, Hackmaster, Rolemaster, Amber Diceless, Doctor Who (the 1980s version), Paranoia, Teenagers from Outer Space, GURPs, Ars Magica, Shadowrun, and probably a bunch of others I've forgotten.

And I still game every Saturday afternoon.
 

mkEngland

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And I still game every Saturday afternoon.

Jealous! I haven't had a regular gaming group in three years. My schedule rotates every other week, so I work every other weekend. Haven't had much luck connecting with other roleplayers in Southern Jersey. Working to get something going with old gaming friends online, though! Not ideal, but better than nothing.

So here's an important question for all you roleplayers: diplomacy or violence? Do you try to talk through things, or are you that person that puts a narrow between the NPC's eyes during the interrogation?
 

Enrika

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I love Tabletop games! I only got into it in college as well, but I haven't regretted it since. My college buddies and I actually keep up with each other by doing a weekly game over Skype (which makes things a little complicated, but it tends to work out okay). We have some really great games as well, building entire worlds and huge sprawling backstories.

Right now we're actually doing a sequel campaign to one of our previous ones, and almost all of our characters are descendent from the heroes who saved the world from a Lich emperor. It's quite fun to have all these call-backs, as well as have our PCs all know each other really well. The fun backstory gags are the best!

Normally we do Pathfinder, since the SRD is free and easy to access, but we've also done Dragon Age and are looking into the Mistborn RPG.

So here's an important question for all you roleplayers: diplomacy or violence? Do you try to talk through things, or are you that person that puts a narrow between the NPC's eyes during the interrogation?

It honestly depends on the character. I've had a few that would be the type to put an arrow through the eyes, but I favor diplomatic characters.
 
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