Ensign Expendable

I'm going to need a team of Templars ready to mobilise, street level maps of all of Denerim, a pot of coffee, twelve Jammie Dodgers and a fez

29Sep/115

Skill System in Mongoose Traveller RPG

Posted by Ensign Expendable

It seems like every one and their dog are writing about skills in D&D since Monte Cook started talking about them in his new Legends and Law column at the WotC web site. There's been lots of talk on twitter about it too. If you want to know people's thoughts on the future of D&D skills then some of the blogs I link to on the right are likely to have a thing or two to say about it. All the chatter has made me pretty much shut off from talk about the future of D&D, I'm way past the point where the speculation is interesting and I want to look to different things until it all blows over (luckily it's Play a New RPG Month soon so it's easy to do that). However it has got me thinking about skill systems in other games and how I feel about them. So I'm going to talk a little about one of them and see how they compare. read on...

14Sep/116

Using Maptool for the Basics

Posted by Ensign Expendable

Mine

Map from my campaign. The party mopped them up.

Recently I mentioned in my previous post that when DMing a one on one game of Dungeons and Dragons 4e over Skype I use Maptool from www.rptools.net as a pretty basic digital battlemat during combat. Seeing that I've heard some people talk about Maptool as if it's only great if you have a lot of time to prepare and learn all of it's features I figured that it was worth writing about how I use it to try to dispel those myths.

Maptool is virtual tabletop software that allows you to display a map and put objects and tokens on the map to represent a combat encounter area in an RPG. It replaces the battlemat and miniatures that you might use in D&D and puts them on a computer screen. It's useful for playing over the internet because players or extra DMs can connect to a central Maptool server and share the play space, including having limited control over it. read on...

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6Sep/114

Dungeons and Dragons With a Single Player

Posted by Ensign Expendable

Over the last year I've been DMing a very unusual game of Dungeons and Dragons. For one it was my first real 4th edition game so I've been learning the rule system and honing my DMing approach to it. For another it's been played over the internet using Skype and Maptools. But the most important thing that makes it unusual is that there is only one player and, for the most part, he plays one character. This provided lots of challenges but also lots of rewards as we worked together to produce what was as much collaborative fiction as it was game.

This is something that I've done on a small scale before. In fact this player and I played our first AD&D 2nd edition games in my parents attic, which we'd renamed The Inn of the Last Home in honor of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman back when we thought they were a duo of female writers. This game however was to last, and did last, for more than the few hours or sessions of my teenage years. It lasted for a year and told a story about a city in the midst of a coup by a demonic entity. We finished a couple of weeks ago with the city being saved but the true extent of the threat being hinted at to set up for next season. read on...

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