Homebrew Tech Domain

Today’s Feature comes from an amazing homebrew blogger that I recently came across. And I am now a huge fan of.

Walrock Homebrew

Go give his Blog a look you will not be disappointed.

So as I have slowed down working on my homebrew with the RPGaDay going on I wanted to feature one of Walrocks Homebrew’s that I will be using in my personal game.

The Divine Domain of Technology

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Kickstarter Watch: Invisible Sun by Monte Cook Games

Monte Cook Games is at it again. I am sure most of you have already heard about this two days old Kickstarter that has already reached it’s funding goals. It comes out the gate with a High-end entry buy-in of $197. But you will be getting a High-end deluxe product.
This game also has a Directed Campaigning option that has an entry level of $539 dollars but gives you and your group directed story ideas and props from Monte himself !

Invisible Sun can be played anywhere and is a game of secrets and magic. The art is amazing and I am sure Monte is going to deliver on another great product. Sadly there is not at this time a PDF option for this product so if you want in your going to have to open up your wallets. But be assured, When you set the black cube on the table your players will know you are not about to play a normal game.

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For $197 you get what has pictured above. And for  $539 you will get to partake in the Directed Campaign by Monte as well as any stretch goals this project reaches. I have a feeling they will reach a lot of them.

Even more, if they decided to open it up to PDF backers as well. This will be a fun one to watch!  Myself I will not be backing this project unless it offers a PFD options. It is out of my personal price range. But if you can afford it I envy you!

 

#RPGaDay2016 Day 16 Historical person you would like in your group? What Game?

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Day 16… What Historical person you would like in your group and why?
(Aug,1)
Oh, good grief. Really ?
(Aug,15)
FINE FINE…I’LL do it!

Since I know tons and tons of you will pick Gary the Great Gygax.
I am going to tip the well in another direction.

If I could bring back someone to game with that I know loves a good story and would make the table a better place. Heck, the world a better place just by being back in it.
Robin Willams.

The only downside here would be the hilarity and be laughing as well as the pure joy of having a personality so amazing  at the table. The downside of a personality so big you would never get anything done in the game but be totally happy never getting out of town ever week with him in the group lol.

NOTE: I also asked this question to my group. Who would they like to  join the table should be talked about with the group. Some names of note that the group called out for.
Lovecraft, Poe & Frank Herbert.

Who would you pick ?

Monday Musing on Tuesday​ #RPGaDay Everywhere? Is it good bad or too much?

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So here we are half way through the #RPGaDay2016. I decided today this would be a good muse. As I look over the questions so far I noticed my thoughts on the entire endeavor were mixed. Three years ago I took part in the first of the #RPGaDay blogging marathon and,  I loved it ! It was new and even then a ton of people participated in the event. The questions were decent and it flooded my blog with a ton of blog posts. I gained many new viewers and as well as many followers from taking part in it.

Going into year two I was excited but after 30 days of blogging, I was happy to see it go away for another year. I try my best not to ever phone in any of my responses. But 31 short blogs in a month on top of regular blogging is a hefty workload. I wrapped up year two drained. I was one of the vocal people that begged, please give out the questions a few weeks earlier next time to lighten our personal work loads. Thankfully they heard the comments and about 2 weeks before the 1st they revealed the questions for this year.This year’s questions are much deeper and require a lot more thought than in years past. I like that.

So what are my though’s overall this year ? Mixed, Some of these questions have been excellent, some not so amazing. That said you can not make everyone happy all of the time so if I like at least half of them I would say you have done a damn good job with the selection for the year. So I will declare this years questions a good set at least personally.

BUT…. 
Yeah, I am going to stir the pot a bit. I find myself with a growing complaint/Gripe/concern. In the first year, a few bloggers and Vloggers and fans took to the internet and took part. In year two it became somewhat of a slow moving avalanche. More and more as the days went by people joined in the fun.

This year… nothing short of a terrifying amount of people are doing #RPGaDay2016. I see it everywhere. I wonder how do I cut through the noise ? Is it worth it to keep doing these questions ? I weigh the burnout factor of the workload vs the determination of trudging through. I exaggerate in some regards, yet not in others. I welcome the tidal wave of responses and input from the community. At the same time, I fear a ton of very good blogs responses will have been lost in this ocean of Hashtags. I also wonder if my very own followers might be growing tired of the day after day RPGaDay content growing wall on my blog.

In the end, I have decided to gut it out and keep doing them for now. I do not know if it is the #RPGaday that has generated the conversations or new and awesome followers that are eager to share their thoughts. But one goal I have always wanted to reach in my blog is my audience interaction. I have had several replays on more than one day of This years #RPGaDay content and I am thrilled by that. Here is hoping it continues.

Are good posts being lost in the mix ? Maybe, I can’t honestly be sure. What I can tell you is that I spiked several hundred views the first week. Also my second week my total views were noticeably lower than average as well. So who knows ?

So, I will end on a question. Do you think the concern is valid ? That the #RPGaDay hurts the blog more than helps ? Or do you enjoy the questions that are posed and interested in replies I have on the topics ?

UPDATE: I wanted to also wanted to point out the fact that years later some of my #RPGaDay topics still get consistant hits each month! That is impressive!

 

#RPGaDay2016 Day 11 Which Gamer most affected the way you play?

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This question was a stumper for me, I thought on this one for more than a few days trying to think of who over the  years would have affected the way I play the most at the table. Yet it is difficult to name one gamer that affected the way I play that rises to the top in the crowd. I will boldly say that I game with some of the best gamers I know. I take a little bit of each of them and use that to make myself a better person and player. Then just as I was beginning to write this blog and say that I had forged my own way, I looked at it in a different light.

So here is my story of who affected the way I paly the most.

I for a time I was greatly affected by a gamer in the way I play. But not in a positive light. As 3.5 D&D was drawing to a close and pre 4E & Pathfinder something monumental happened in real life as well as at the table. This involved one person and he had a tremendous affect the way I play the game. I let a very his very loud descending voice influence how I play the game that I love. The anger and rudeness of it all and his passion arguments directed at things I held very dear in gaming was crushing. In short, I walked away from the hobby because I was convinced by him that the only reason why anyone took part in anything I ran was because there was no one else willing to run a game.

I let that very loud descending voice influence how I play the game that I love. The anger and rudeness of it all and the passion of arguments directed at things I held very dear in gaming was crushing. In short, I walked away from the hobby because I was convinced by a hateful person  that the only reason why anyone took part in anything I ran was because there was no one else willing to run a game.

He was bitter and spiteful and lashed out because I had begun to see him for who he was and remove him from my life as a bad influence. But as often is the case this moment also broke the group up. For better or worse.

For me at least in early months, it was for the worse. I stepped away from the hobby and began to tell myself it was time to move on. I nearly did sadly, until one of my other friends stepped up having seen what was going on and intervened.

Even then I was stubborn. I kicked and fought allowing depression and the pain of the subject try to drag me down. They persisted, Literally dragging gamers to my house and running games amid my protests. With the the statement

You can either sit down and play or sit in the other room and listen. But were going to game with or without you.
-Beowulf

So, I got up and drug myself back to the table to give it a go one more time. We went through 3 maybe 4 groups of players that my friend continued to bring by the house till we could find a set of players that were the right fit. Eventually, we found them.

Lance, Amber, Nick and Joe. I still game with them to this day. More people have joined our group since then.  In 2009 we met and we still come together 2 times a week to game. Of the three or four other groups, I made more friends that I still game with once or twice a month as well. But that is another story.

In closing Beowulf, you get the trophy, my friend. You affected the way I game more than anyone. You didn’t let me walk away from the hobby when hate pushed me away from the table.

Late Night Monday Musing: The Importance of Time in your games…

The Passage of time is of huge importance in your RPG games. It’s also often overlooked or relegated to a footnote in my RPG games. Yet unless you are running a one-off game it is of vital importance in an RPG.  If there is no passage of time in your games then there can never be any sense of urgency in your games. Also if you have no passage of time in your games and you then Interject time into your game for the purpose of one or two sessions it then feels like little more than a plot device.
There are many downsides to not having the passage of time in your games. Here are just a few off the top of my head.

  • No one ages, No one dies of natural causes unless the GM its plot worthy
  • No NPC family ever has children, no children ever grow up to adulthood & NPC friends are forever frozen in time from the moment the player meets them and never improve age or die.
  •  Villages never grow into bustling cities or fade away
  • The Ruling Class never loses power – unless directly due to player activity or scripted events.
  • Quest lines just sit in idle until the players become involved if ever.
  • NPC bad Guys stay at one level of ability. Don’t worry that NPC that nearly wiped your party. You can come back in 6 or 7 levels and defeat him in  your sleep.

When time passes in your game you add an entirely  new level of depth to your world. Decisions the players make now can have much wider implications.

  • By making choices of who in the world to help or not. These actions could have massive implications. Say the PC’s chose to delve into that dungeon instead of seeking out the nearby bandit camp.They might return to a village in flames!
  • Maybe since the player group would not deal with the bandits, another adventuring group takes care of the bandits. Leaving the players on the outs with many of the locals.
  • NPC bad guys in these style settings not only grow in power but might go on to raise entire armies to continue to hinder the players. Learning from his mistakes if given enough time he will only become more powerful. 
  • Days weeks months and years now pass. With that Towns, Citys, Nations or even gods may rise or fall in  your story.

Monday Musing: Stay on Target

Today’s Monday Muse is staying on target. One of the harder things to do these days as a gamer.I myself am not safe from the pull of distractions at the table. In the world we live in becoming distracted is not only simple, it is second nature. The irony of all of these distractions is that when most of us were kids or young adults. We played games to distract us from the real world. Now the real world far too often distracts  us from our games. Between gif’s, text’s or memes and messengers the assault comes from every angle.

No one is safe these days, with at least one mobile device attached to every human being on the planet. Each essentially with the power of  a personal computer. You are just not going to get away from the reach of the real world into your game it would seem. I am just as guilty as many others out there reading this. Add in laptops and Tablets and these days some RPG games look more like LAN parties of old than Gaming sessions in progress.

So take the time to know that the distractions are there and give yourself a leg up in the efforts to stay on target during your games. Here are a few tips.

1. Take short breaks. The irony of this is my table knows me as a guy that frowns at too many breaks during the game. But In the last few weeks, I have begun to flip on the topic. After a long combat or before one is about to start a quick breath of fresh air can help you get back into the game.

2. Turn off any unneeded electronics. Now again this one will make some of my players giggle. As I swear by my electronics. This is true, yet even as a DM I turn off my messenger and log of things like G+and Facebook before the game. In an effort to minimise the distraction potental. I also only have notifications set to on for my most important applications on my phone. That Pidgey can wait till break guys, he’ll still be there he’s a Pidgey they are everywhere.

3. Grab your snacks before the game or during breaks. This will keep your focus on the game once things start back up. There is no sense going outside to stretch your legs and then as everyone is settling back in to play the game you hop up to go get that one snack you forgot.

4. If you can bring yourself to do it.

Turn off all of your electronics.

Embrace the time in the tech free dead zone…

I can’t believe I said it. I imagine I will get called on this lol as all of these.. I am guilty of all of these things. But I am working on all of them so I thought it would be a good one to share ! Until next time gamers !

What are some tips or tricks that you have to keep on task at the game table ?