Aser and Megan Go To GenCon (2018 Edition)

It’s August once again and the TRF braintrust’s credit score has just dropped precipitously. This can mean only one thing: Aser and Megan are back from GenCon! Once again, we’ve returned with a suitcase full of new games to try and new scenarios to run. We’ve also made a bunch of new friends to bother on the internet and new plans to maybe get around to in the next few months. And lest we forget, we also hit a new milestone as far as the podcast goes, we’ve released our 200th episode!

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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

A Woman with Hollow Eyes

The One Shot podcast is launching a dramatic new twitch stream featuring Invisible Sun from Monte Cook Games. They have Darcy Ross on board to GM and have gotten access to some of the IS materials early in order to start this really awesome new project. In order to help the players have the time they need to immerse themselves into this world, they’re planning on paying everyone involved, which is what this kickstarter will help support. What’s cool is if you contribute you can help direct the direction of the story. You also get access to a bunch of campaign information from Darcy and from the ideas everyone helps contribute. I’m really excited to see this project come to life, and you should check it out.

“We’re taking full advantage of Invisible Sun’s player-driven system by inviting some of Chicago’s most talented performers to join us. Fans of our L5R, Mustang, and Dogs in the Vineyard episodes can look forward to being immersed in a rich surreal setting, replete with suspense, danger, and secrets.

We’re working with Monte Cook Games to bring you A Woman With Hollow Eyes. While this is not an official MCG production, we have the company’s permission and support to launch this unofficial series ahead of the release of Invisible Sun. And our GM is none other then Darcy Ross, the Community Relations Coordinator for Monte Cook Games.

In addition to an early look at many of the innovations in Invisible Sun, viewers of A Woman With Hollow Eyes will be our confidants and co-conspirators, learning secrets and receiving materials about this living setting created between the cast and backers. Higher-tier backers also have the ability to directly impact the story of the game with their ideas. These unofficial materials and secrets can be used alongside canon Invisible Sun lore, or may simply serve as inspiration for your own creations! Together we’ll create a truly beautiful, dramatic actual play that will change the way you play Invisible Sun before you even open The Black Cube.”
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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

Seven Worlds

I’m really interested in this new Savage Worlds setting. It’s a near future sci-fi setting that really focused on staying true to science, including realistic space combat rules and receiving the Atomic Rockets Seal of Approval. While the game does allow you to use FTL or play a psychic, they worked hard to include real science in the setting, which I really love. They have some short rules available if you’re interesting in giving it a try before you pledge on the Kickstarter page, and I’m looking forward to trying it out!

“Welcome to Seven Worlds, a new Epic Science-Fiction Setting and Campaign for the Savage Worlds role-playing game, from Intellistories, official Savage Worlds Licensee! Seven Worlds is a unique, epic hard(ish) Science-Fiction role-playing campaign and setting. In the year 2217 humanity’s greatest achievement is the colonization of the nearby star systems now known as the Seven Worlds, where humanity lives, thrives, and prepares for the next great wave of space exploration. But when the unexpected threatens humanity, only an unlikely band of heroes can unravel a deadly conspiracy and try to avert the Fall!”
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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

7th Sea: Khitai
7th Sea is such a great game for playing heroes, and it really allows you to focus on intrigue or combat as you prefer. 7th Sea: Khitai doesn’t require you to own 7th Sea to play, it can be an entirely separate game, or you can integrate the two settings. Khitai takes an Eastern influence in it’s setting and lore, and is more supernatural based then 7th Sea is. The stretch goals are for fully fleshed out books for the kindgoms of Khitai, so you can take a really deep dive into the different parts of the world as you want.

“The Big Question in 7th Sea is “What does it mean to be a hero?” I wasn’t content with just the European answer. I wanted to include Heroes from all over the world to come play in our sandbox. 7th Sea: Khitai is a chance to allow the Eastern Hero into the world and bring more voices into the discussion. In the East, the Hero’s role is different than in Théah. The Call to Adventure is very real, a spiritual urge to travel toward one’s destiny. It is not metaphor, but an inevitable pull all Heroes feel, a pull toward a duty that is greater than a Hero’s own desires. The Song of the World brings these Heroes together to fulfill important roles.

In Théah, the Hero walks her own path. In Khitai, the Hero serves the World. In Théah, honor is personal. In Khitai, it is supernatural.

7th Sea: Khitai is a standalone game; you don’t need any other books to play it. Khitai uses the same ENnie Award winning system from 7th Sea: Théah, but with new twists to make the game fit the concepts of the East.”
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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

Numenera 2: Discovery and Destiny
I already wrote a little bit about Numenera 2, but I can’t help but urge everyone to look at this again. Numenera 2 is an expansion of my favorite RPG. It is funding the release of two new books: Discovery, which will be replacing the core book, and Destiny, which expands the scope of what you can do in Numenera. The main change is updating character creation, so that the Nano, Jack, and Glaive get more abilities that are unique to them. They are also introducing three new character types, which sharp-eyed people have noticed might be called Arkus, Delve, and Wright. Destiny is focused on letting your players build a better world, through crafting or establishing and protecting communities. The books are completely backwards and forwards compatible, though they will be retiring Character Options and Character Options 2. But if you want to keep the original core book, you’ll still be able to use any new book released in the future. They’ve an announced an absolutely gorgeous deluxe set, as well as hit five stretch goals! If you join the campaign you have the opportunity to help shape an entire supplement that will also be published by interacting with other backers and building a story together. If you’ve ever been interested in looking at Numenera, this is a great spot to jump in!

“Numenera Discovery will be a book that covers familiar territory; it is basically a revision of the original Numenera corebook. Next summer, we will allow the original corebook to go out of print, and Numenera Discovery will take its place. In Numenera Discovery, you’ll get some revisions to make things clearer and more fun, and to increase the options available to players. Nanos, Jacks, and Glaives will get an overhaul. Many foci and some of the descriptors might see some reworking. You’ll have more options, clearer rules, and perhaps a bit of expansion to the regions of the Steadfast and the Beyond that are covered in the existing corebook.

As excited as we are about Numenera Discovery, we may be even more excited about Numenera Destiny. This title will enable characters to truly become a part of the setting—to help shape the future of the Ninth World. The people of the Ninth World are locked in a medieval-like state, a world of struggle and danger and often suffering in the shadow of the prior worlds’ wonders. Numenera Destiny allows you to build adventures and campaigns in which players don’t just explore the wonders of the past—they utilize them to help lift the Ninth World out of darkness.

You can make the world a better place. Help a community defend itself from abhumans or the iron wind. Create centers of learning or trade. Innovate, build, and protect. Manage an entire community and help it prosper and grow—or simply create a cool base or vehicle for your adventuring group. Numenera Destiny will allow you to take what you discover and make your mark on history as someone who elevated the Ninth World into the future.

Adventuring—exploring the weird and wondrous remnants of the prior worlds—remains, of course, at the core of Numenera play. Numenera Destiny will give you new things to do with your discoveries, along with entirely new and epic ways to structure your campaigns. You’ll discover materials, power sources, and treasures that you can utilize in an entirely new, robust crafting and building system. And perhaps best of all, Numenera Destiny will offer three new character types and a number of new descriptors and foci geared toward this innovative style of play.”
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What’s Cool on Kickstarter: Numenera 2

I try to love all of the kickstarter projects I fund equally, but nothing is like a new release by Monte Cook Games. Numenera 2 is an expansion to my personal favorite RPG that enhances character creation and adds a means for your players to build a better future. Discovery and Destiny are looking like two beautiful books and a great continuation of the system. However, it’s not a second edition. Numenera: Discovery will replace the Numenera Corebook moving forward, but pretty much everything that’s been published will be 100% compatible. If you have a player at your table who only wants to use the original corebook for character creation, and one who only wants to use Numenera: Discovery, that’s ok! All of the supplemental books will be compatible, though both Character Options books will be retired to make room for all of the updates to character creation in Numenera 2.

I’m incredibly excited for this campaign. Not only will we get more then our value from pledging, the whole campaign is interactive in building a town as a community, and that community will become part of the Numenera 2 release in the Trilling Shard supplement. So if you want to be part of the Ninth World you should jump on board!

They’ve already reached their funding goal, and first stretch goal of Building Tomorrow, a supplement that will give you even more options for crafting materials, NPCs, and communities. The next goal is for an all new Player’s Guide, and then who knows! But I’m sure it will be wonderful.

The kickstarter is running until October 27, so head over and pledge now!

How to be a Good Roleplayer, part 2

Maybe you play Dungeons and Dragons. Maybe you play Delta Green, Numenera, or any of the other amazing tabletop role-playing games given a spotlight by Megan, Aser, and the rest of the cast of The Redacted Files. Whatever game you play, I hope you’re having fun. I also hope you read my piece on etiquette for the gaming table. In it, I highlighted what I consider the cardinal rules for anyone who wants to play these types of games. Even more than the actual rules laid out in any game’s rulebook, these rules will guarantee that, even if you struggle with the rules from time to time, or you’re just learning a game, the other players and the DM/GM/whatever they choose to be called will appreciate the effort you put into it and show you an appropriate level of respect.

But TTRPG’s are about more than the rules.

I play these games because they allow me to escape, to step out of myself, with all of my neuroses, anxiety, and other issues, out of a world that is often unpleasant. When I play in any of the countless game settings out there, I get to take on the role of the hero (or, occasionally, the villain) and live the fantasy of being an important figure to the shape and future of the worlds in which I play. I get to, for a couple of hours at a time, be somebody else, and forget about everything that is going on in my real life.

Continue reading How to be a Good Roleplayer, part 2

What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

Tiny Dungeon 2e
Tiny Dungeon is releasing a second edition of it’s quick set-up and easy to run game. The game is simple, with a ton of options for setting, written by a list of amazing creators. I love how much the system is able to do with really simple mechanics. The micro-settings look like a lot of fun as well, I want to play in Marie Brennan’s setting as a dungeon dweller trying to keep waves of adventurers out of my home.

“Tiny Dungeon uses a simple, fast, and dynamic ruleset to handle actions. The game uses up to three six-sided dice as part of action resolution. If you roll a “5” or “6” on a die, your check succeeds. Most checks are made with two dice. However, if you are deemed to have “advantage” on a roll, you gain a third die to roll. If you have disadvantage, you lose a dice (rolling only a single die).

Characters are made quickly and easily. You will select a fantasy race (such as dwarf, salimar, goblin, human or more), three traits, and write down some basic information and you are ready to play!

Micro-settings are unique, small “example settings” specifically designed to be used as a tool, resource, or spring-board for your own campaigns. All of the micro-settings come with some story and some fluff that is designed to be unique to that particular micro-setting. The core book comes with some very different micro-settings, written by professional authors, industry veterans, and fans of the genre. ”
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How To Be a Good Roleplayer, Part 1

Did you watch Stranger Things when Netflix released it last October? I did. I didn’t even know what it was going into it, I just happened to see it pop up in my “Recently Released” queue and put it on as something to have on in the background as I edited some audio. Nine hours later the sun was coming up, I hadn’t slept, and I was a weeping, emotional mess (to be fair, I’m often a weeping, emotional mess) having just watched all 8 episodes of what would go on to be one of the most lauded, award-winning shows, in any format, of 2016.

Even more unexpected than this gem of a show that I just happened to stumble across was the sudden interest many of my more mainstream Hollywood friends developed for Dungeons & Dragons, the game that formed the basis for so much of the lore of the show. It was a very welcome surprise because, as I’ve mentioned before, I have both played and run D&D games for a very long time. A year later, as I await season 2 with eager anticipation, I’m playing more than ever on both sides of the DM’s screen.
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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

Mighty Dice
Dog Might Games has another beautiful game accessory. The hero sleeves are small, well-built cases for you to store your favorite set of polyhedrals in. Need a new favorite set? They’re also selling all kinds of gorgeous new dice, including an amazing transparent rainbow striped set. Or you can get your reward with metal dice, if you like a more substantive sounding roll. The Bone Box stores five hero sleeves, but also can be used as a rolling tray. The acrylic screen can be used in the game as well, and there’s even a spot to store a dry erase marker. If you can’t afford the boxes, you should at least give yourself the chance to ogle all of the beautiful options.

“Our new Hero Sleeves and Bone Boxes offer all gamers a sturdy, sleek, and beautiful way to elevate your game. They are available in a number of exotic hardwoods and we will be releasing new woods and sculpts based on your feedback so visit our comments section and let your voice be heard.

All of our wooden boxes are made by our small group of passionate woodworkers in our shop in Ann Arbor, MI. and every piece that we make comes with our Lifetime Guarantee.

Our new Hero Sleeves are sleek and sturdy. Each side is cut from a solid piece of fine hardwood and lined with an aesthetically matched lining. The Hero Sleeve is held together with super strong neodymium magnets that keep it firmly closed for transport. Each one comes with one set of dice of your choice from the PEARL, SWIRL, or LAYERED styles.

The Bone Box is an all in one dice storage and rolling system. It features 5 individual Hero Sleeves, a rolling tray, dry erase marker storage, and a removable acrylic screen that you can write on. Each Bone Box is crafted in Black Walnut with Wenge banding and features a gorgeous sculpted lid.”
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