Survive The Night: A Horror RPG Review

With Halloween approaching I felt this was the perfect time to cozy up to Horror RPG for a review. After some careful consideration and the irony of fate, I picked Survive the Night. It has been on my review radar since March of this year. While at MACE West I had the absolute pleasure of playing in a pick-up game of the RPG ran by DM Scotty (Linked to his video of StN). It left such an impression on me that I reached out to the creator and asked if I might have a copy for review. They were more than happy to provide me with one in short order. As fate would have it, I was unable to write my review of the game at the time. Now both the season and timing are perfect. Survive the Night just became available on DTRPG.

Can You Survive The Night?

Survive the night knows at its core it is a narrative one-shot horror game. It wastes no time like other horror products with things like a leveling up system. The Game Mechanics are simple, smooth and designed to get out of the players way letting the story take center stage.

Mechanics

The only dice you need to play is a single D6. With that one die, you can do everything in the game. At first, I thought rolling only one dice would bother me, dare I say even lessen the experience. Instead, it further pushed focus to the action taking place in the game. Dice rolls didn’t become an afterthought. They became exciting. Everyone at the table knew a roll of a six occurs great things are about to happen… Yet, that 1… Might be the roll that sends you to the grave.

Characters

There are four classes in the game and each class has three character types. These classes are by design Tropeish, further setting the atmosphere of the game. 12 pre-gen characters are included with the product if you want to just get right into the game. Or if you prefer you can make your own character via a point-buy system. Players assign a class and choose from a selection of 18 skill and 24 traits.

Narrator’s Guide & Adventure Section

The Narrators section is short sweet and to the point. There are no special rules that you need to know. All of the rules of the game are provided in the player’s section of the book. This section focuses as a guide to assist in running a session of Survive the Night. What you will find in this section are tips on controlling the mood and, setting the pace of play. This is important in a game where a total party kill is likely a great end to a fun night of gaming. The last section of the book is four full adventures spanning over 50 pages.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoy a good horror one shot from time to time, but you do not want to learn another rules heavy system. Survive the night is exactly what you are looking for. The gameplay is fast and fun. It’s easy to learn in a matter of a few dice rolls. Leaving you all the time to dive deep into the story and lose yourself in the game. I highly recommend picking up a copy of this game.

Crafting a Dragon

Crafting a Dragon Dice Holder

For a while I have been making cute little Dice Holder Beholders. They were a hit at on Etsy and at conventions where I have vended. They have been fun to make and I have enjoyed making everyone of of them.Since my blog talking about about the cute dice holders, I have begun calling them Dice Buddies. Additionally, I send them with a little adoption certificates and name tags. A big thank you to one of my customers for this idea. Since I started making the dice beholders I now feel that I am ready for crafting something more complex. Something like a cute cuddly awesome dragon dice holder companion! Trust me, if you take a walk through the internet you will find there are a ton of these magnificent creations out there. I am going to join the ranks of my fellow creators bringing them to life as also.

Dragon Dice Holder Research

With the day of the convention rapidly approaching. I decided it is the perfect time to try my hand at making one of these adorable, fun, and intimidating creations. Let’s talk about the way it came together! The fist steps was to build out body shape. After taking some time and looking carefully at the steps of crafting Sculpey Dragon figures. I realized I would need to watch a few Sculpey tutorials. After viewing several I rapidly became less intimidated by the process.

The Build

I used some tinfoil to build a skeleton to wrap my Sculpey around. The reason for this:

  • Keeps the Sculpey thickness consistent for baking times.
  • Provides you with considerably more product to work with.
  • It provides strength to your craft.

After rolling the first bit of Sculpey out and applying it to the skeleton this is the result was a nice Nessie looking body. The rest came together in short order. I surprised myself that the more that I began to work on my Dragon it began to understand how simple its complexity actually was. The things that were intimidating became easier and less stressful to work on as time past. When you look at the finished dragon figures they have much detail to take in. Because of this they look more complex then they are. In reality the Dragons are simply a collection of cones and cylinders. With a few additional pieces added for extra flare.

The Result

Pictured is the finished version of my first Dragon Dice Holder. Overall for the first one that I did I am very proud of the results. As the person that has crafted it I see several errors and mistakes that I need to work on. In future dragons, but I am confident that I will nail them as time goes by. With each one I will get better. Have you seen any other fun looking Sculpey dice holders that you think would be fun to try? Feel free to let me know, I have discovered I enjoy making these things. If you would like one of these creations check out my Etsy store!

Foster Leathercraft Leather Wallet Game Screen

The Idea

A while back I had an inspiration for a portable magnetic game screen to use for tabletop gaming. Since this idea was more for a game master on the go than a home-based gamer. What I would need was as a screen for keeping a few notes and to roll dice behind nothing more. But I still wanted it to be as functional as possible while looking great on the table.

Bringing the Game Screen To Life

I turned to Foster Leathercraft for the assist in bringing my idea to reality. The Result was this beautify crafted Leather wallet style game screen with magnetic backing and index card Inserts. I honestly could not be more impressed with the finished product. It was an absolute treat watching its development take place. Over the course of a few months, Foster Leathercraft and I discussed the progress and hurdles of the game screens creation. The idea was simple enough, economically bringing it to life would prove to be more difficult than expected. We soon learned to cut and insert the sturdy panels for the game screen proved to be the most complicated portion of the design. Cutting the steel inserts to size proved both quiet time consuming and costly. After many broken blades, Foster devised a process to affordably cut the steel inserts. Once this was overcome he had a prototype crafted in short order.

Finished Product

The game screen itself is nothing short of a work of art. The craftsmanship is top-notch. Its appearance will only get better with use as the leather ages. Taking on the character of the sessions, months and years of gaming it will see. The artwork is in the style of the first edition of D&D core books. This also complements the art on the Dice Cups that he crafts as well. This will make a nice looking set at the table of any game session. The screen itself measures just over 16 inches long and shy of 5 inches high. Making it large for some pockets but in reality, is only slightly bigger than my iPhone plus when folded. Thus making it perfect for travel for me. I use a couple of disk magnets to keep it game screen securely closed when not in use. It turned out looking amazing but a bit smaller than my first plan. I had originally wanted the screen sized for 4×6 inch index cards. But with the finished wallet in hand, I now think that it would have been too large.

At The Table

When it comes to gameplay, space is not at a premium by design. That said, with the use of flat disk rare earth magnets that I keep my wallet game screen closed. I can place twenty, three by five index cards in the wallet and still securely close it without issue.

How Will I Use It?

I break my sessions into three Acts. Each act has a number of index cards with notes for how things will play out in the game. I keep things sorted by placing each of these Acts in their respective panel from left to right in the game wallet. With this method between my notes and my phone or my iPad, I can run anything I need during the game.

I also discovered that with the magnets. I also have the ability to snap my Paizo face cards to the game screen for added depth of role play. Allowing my players to add faces to the NPC’s they meet. This is a huge benefit when traveling. In a convention setting your players will need all the help, they can get to remember who they encounter. I am looking forward to this year’s upcoming MACE convention to show this awesome wallet game screen off to my friends and fellow gamers. If you think this is as nice a portable screen as I do and you would like one of your own. Give a shout out to my friend Fosters Leathercraft and let him know that this is a must-have for you as well!

Runkle Plays Games, Post Game Wrap-Up

So when your weekly tabletop RPG is wrapping up and you have a week or two until your next game session. When does your game prep start? For me it begins before my players even leave the table.

Post Game Wrap Up

Post game I often have two things that I try and do after every session. One is game related the other is to prevent complacency as a GM and promote communication.

One of the first things I do after a game, is ask my players what they thought of the game! This is a key part of my game prep. I also want my players to know the lines of communication are always open with me. During this time I am seeking feedback and insights from my players, good or bad. Often it is in these brief interactions in the few min while game is wrapping up that players will open up and share their thoughts more candidly. Often I am also able to take away deeper insights as to what the players may be thinking is going on in the greater story as well.

I think that it is important to note that I used to ask if my players “Had Fun”. This prompt too often would result in comments like “Good Game” Or “Yah it was Great”. By not priming the conversation with a leading question I found I get much better feedback. I find that asking “What did you think? or How was game?” Often gets you a far more in depth on topic response about the game itself.

Get Feedback

Take Notes

Luckily for me often after game is over I have some quiet time where I can reflect on the game. During this time I take notes about what happened during the session for my upcoming game prep. This is never a very extensive note taking session as often five to ten minutes of note taking is all I need for a 4-6 hour game. Even if the game session has taken a hard turn and we have ventured into uncharted territory I keep this bit of my game prep short. I Never spend more than 20 min or so on this step of my game prep.

Next Time Downtime & Session Prep…

Next time I will share some of the things things I do between game sessions and before game day itself that I personally find make for a better game master experience for me at the table from week to week.

Dice Apps Do You Allow them?

Oh, Dice Apps, so many players and GMs dread you and yet you are becoming more and more mainstream.  A few years back I wrote a blog talking about what my thoughts were concerning electronic Dice Apps. At the time I had said only if you could find a good free dice App would I recommend picking one up. My reasoning back then was as good as they were it was unlikely that you would ever be allowed to use them at the table. Dice apps once were looked at as a digital version of cheating, some still feel this way. But before we rush to judgment lets take a look at some of the facts surrounding this new technology that has taken the tabletop RPG world by storm.

Dice Apps Today

Honestly, if anything they have improved visually but they are essentially they are still codded very much the same. The math says both physics and number generated dice apps these days are as random of more so than physical dice. It has been my experience that more and more electronic dice are slowly being accepted by gamers and game masters at the table.  But I do not feel that it has anything to do with the App programs themselves that have made them any more or less acceptable at the table.

So What has Changed?

I think the there are a number of factors that have made Dice Apps more acceptable at the time these days.

First
I think with more and more people playing RPG games on sites like Roll20.net, Fantasy Grounds, and watching games over platforms like Twitch, and even players gaming over Discord. Gamers are having to use electronic dice more and more often. This makes players at tables and game masters alike less apprehensive about the use of Dice Apps at the table.

Second
In my personal opinion, I would also think that Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars  “Dice Soup” narrative setting. As well as the popular GENESYS system both having top-notch Apps available to download have played a role as well. They speed play up, are faster for many players especially for beginners. Lastly, in my opinion, they are intentionally priced at 1/3 the cost of the physical product. I only bring up this second point because in the years since I wrote my first blog. I have encountered whole tables of players playing FFG SW where only one or two players would be using dice.

Would I buy Dice Apps?

These days I have several dice apps that I have and use. I still love my physical dice. But often I find that digital dice especially when I am running game is faster for me. Why, well mostly because the game aids I use as a GM have built in dice rollers in my encounter trackers. But that is for another blog.

So do you love or hate Dice Apps? Do you allow at your table?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

You Might Also Enjoy This link

@Your Table Electronic Dice

Homebrew Spotlight: Centaur Nomad

Centaur Nomad

Medium Monstrous Humanoid (quadruped) (14 RP)

Racial Traits

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Greater Paragon:  +4 Str, +2 Con, -2 Dex, -2 Cha (2 RP)
  • TypeMonstrous humanoid with the quadruped subtype. (3 RP)
    • Darkvision: Nomad Centaurs have darkvision and so can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.  (0 RP)
  • Size: Centaur Nomads can choose either small or medium (see below): (0 RP)
  • Quadruped Nomad Centaurs have four legs. (2 RP)
    • Fast Speed: Centaur Nomads have a base speed of 50 feet. (1 RP)
      • Sprinter: Nomad Centaurs gain a +10 foot racial bonus to their speed when using the charge, run or withdraw actions. (1 RP)
    • Increased Consumption: Nomad Centaurs require 3 times the food required by humans and other races. (-2 RP)
  • Keen Senses: Nomad Centaurs have honed their senses from living in the wild so gain a +2 racial skill bonus to all Perception checks. (2 RP)
  • Natural Armor: Nomad Centaurs have tough skin, granting them a +1 natural armor bonus. (2 RP)
  • Hoof Attack: The Nomad Centaur may attack with both their hooves and with their torso weapons (fists or otherwise) in one round. This requires 50% of their height above them to do so. Hooves suffer a -5 to attack if used in combination with torso weapons (-2 if Multi-Attack feat is taken) and do 1d4 small, 1d6 medium each, with 1/2 strength bonus for damage. If attacked from behind, the Nomad Centaur can also kick for 1d6 points of damage. A Nomad Centaur attacks with his hooves as if armed. (2 RP)
  • Primitive Craftsman: Nomad Centaurs gain a +2 racial bonus on all Craft or Profession checks to create objects from any natural material (leather, rope, stone, wood, etc). (1 RP)
  • Languages: Common and Sylvan. Bonus: Elven, Halfling, Draconic, and Goblin. (0 RP)

Legendary hunters and skilled warriors, centaurs are part man and part horse. Typically found on the fringes of civilization, these stoic people vary widely in appearance, their skin tones typically appearing deeply tanned but similar to the humanoids who occupy nearby regions, while their lower bodies are similar to the coloration of local equines. Centaur hair and eyes trend toward darker colors and their features tend to be broad, while the overall bulk of their bodies is influenced by the size of the horses their lower quarters resemble. Thus, while an average centaur stands over 7 feet tall and weighs upward of 2,000 pounds, there are vast regional variations—from lean plains-runners to burly mountain hunters. Centaurs typically live to be about 60 years old.

Aloof with other races and at odds even with their own kind, the centaurs are an old race only slowly coming to accept the modern world. While the majority of centaurs still live in tribes roaming vast plains or the fringes of eldritch forests, many have abandoned the isolationist ways of their ancestors to walk among the more cosmopolitan cities of the world. Often such free-spirited centaurs are considered outcasts and are shunned by their own tribes, making the decision to leave a heavy one. In some rare cases, however, whole tribes under progressive leaders have come to trade or make alliances with other humanoid communities—typically Elves, but sometimes Halflings, Gnomes, and rarely Atlanteans or Dwarves. Many races remain wary of centaurs, though, largely due to legends of territorial beastmen and the regular, violent encounters the centaurs have with stubborn settlers and expansionist countries.

 

Because of some of the pictures I found below, I have decided to work on some variant tribes. They will be of any type of equine or bovine, also anything with hooves and maybe other quadrupeds. More to come!!

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Homebrew Spotlight: Gungan

For today’s post, I decided to use an already created race that fits perfectly in my world. They didn’t naturally evolve on Aquatica but were forcibly evolved by the Atlantean biomancers (probably from a froglike progenitor). 

Finding the Path – Star Wars Races

August 3, 2017Kim Frandsen Lore Check
Copyright LucasFilm

Did you ever see a race in a science fiction or fantasy film that you wanted to play, but never had the stats for? Did you ever want to see your favorite film species in your game of Pathfinder?

Well look no further, today, I give you a new race from the Star Wars Saga, best explained by the following quote:

 “Mesa back!”

That’s right, the Gungans are here!

Gungans

Gungans are an amphibious sentient species and native to various swamps. The various different Gungan races can live on both water and land, but often make their home in underwater cities, that awe those coming from the outside. Physically, Gungans were tall humanoids with a flexible structure, strong leg muscles, strong bills, muscular tongues, and many other traits designed for living in watery environments.

The Gungans have a tense and uneasy relationship with the other humanoid species, especially humans, as they have been at war with them in the past. Now, they have an envoy by the name of Binks serving at an embassy in a nearby human kingdom.

Gungans are a sentient amphibious species, though some would dispute this claim after having met Envoy Binks. Some, in fact, claim that he was sent to allay suspicion and that he’s part of a clever cover-up designed to make humans underestimate the Gungans. Generally, both subspecies are tall humanoids with a flexible structure and strong leg muscles allowing them to become the predominant underwater species in the areas where they choose to live.

There are two Gungan races: the lanky Otolla, who sport prominent bills and eyes set on short stalks, and the heavier Ankura, whose eyes are hooded. The Gungan earlobes, called haillu, were most prominent in the Otolla. These earlobes displayed their emotions.

Below you’ll find the rules for adding these races to your game, as well as the rules for their racial mount, the Kaadu. Please note that both types of Gungans come up to 11 Racial Points (RP) as per the guide in the Advanced Player’s Guide, meaning that they are on roughly the same power level as the races presented in the Core Rulebook.

Otolla Gungan (11 RP)

Racial Traits

  • +2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Wis. (1 RP) Otolla Gungans are flexible and hardy, but they tend to be gullible.
  • Type (0 RP): Otolla Gungans are humanoids with the Gungan subtype.
  • Size (0 RP): Otolla Gungans are medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed (1 RP) Otolla Gungans have a base speed of 30 feet on land. They also have a swim speed of 40 feet, can move in water without making Swim checks, and always treat Swim as a class skill.
  • Darkvision (2 RP): Otolla gungans can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
  • Amphibious (2 RP): Otolla gungans are amphibious and can breathe both air and water.
  • Jumper (2 RP): Due to the strength of their legs, Otolla gungans are always considered to have a running start when making Acrobatics checks to jump.
  • Powerful Swimmer (1 RP): Otolla gungans have strong legs and are excellent swimmers. As such, they receive a +10 foot bonus to their swim speed. (Included in the base speed above).
  • Sticky Tongue (2 RP): Otolla gungans have long sticky tongues, and they can make melee attacks with them. This is a secondary attack. A creature hit by this attack cannot move more than 5 feet away from the attacker and takes a –2 penalty to AC as long as the tongue is attached (this penalty does not stack if multiple tongues are attached). The tongue can be removed by the target or an adjacent ally by making an opposed Strength check against the attacking creature as a standard action or by dealing 2 points of damage to the tongue (AC 11, damage does not reduce the sticky-tongued creature’s hit points). Otolla gungans cannot move more than 10 feet away from a creature stuck to its tongue, but it can release its tongue from the target as a free action. A member of this race can only have one creature attached to its tongue at a time.
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Ankura Gungan (11 RP)

Racial Traits

  • +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Cha. (1 RP) Ankura gungans are strong and hardy, but they tend to be grouchy and disagreeable.
  • Type (0 RP): Ankura gungans are humanoids with the Gungan subtype.
  • Size (0 RP): Ankura gungans are medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Slow and Steady (1 RP) Ankura gungans have a base speed of 20 feet on land. They also have a swim speed of 30 feet, can move in water without making Swim checks, and always treat Swim as a class skill. They are never encumbered by armor on land and only encumbered in water if wearing medium or heavy armor.
  • Darkvision (2 RP): Ankura gungans can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
  • Amphibious (2 RP): Ankura gungans are amphibious and can breathe both air and water.
  • Powerful Swimmer (1 RP): Ankura gungans have strong legs and are excellent swimmers. As such, they receive a +10 foot bonus to their swim speed. (Included in the base speed above).
  • Terrifying Croak (2 RP): Once per hour as a standard action, an Ankura Gungan can emit a thunderous croak. Any non-Gungan must make a successful Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the user’s character level + the user’s Charisma modifier) or become shaken for 1d4 rounds. A target that successfully saves cannot be affected by the user’s terrifying croak for 24 hours. Creatures that are already shaken become frightened for 1d4 rounds instead. This is a sonic, mind-affecting effect.
  • Warrior Culture (2 RP): The Ankura gungans are known as terrifying warriors, and once per day, the Ankura Gungan takes damage, it flies into a frenzy for 1 minute, gaining a +2 racial bonus to Constitution and Strength, but a –2 penalty to AC.

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