Roleplaying Game

Should You Buy the Star Trek Starter Set from Modiphius

Are you a fan of Star Trek? While I will admit that my knowledge of the lore and history of the Star Trek universe is woefully inadequate compared with many out there, I enjoy it immensely and have seen most of the shows – still need to go through Enterprise and Discovery. I started the latter but didn’t quite get hooked yet. I want to give it a full shot, though. So, when Modiphius released Star Trek Adventures using their 2d20 system a couple of years ago, I picked up a copy of the Collector’s Edition. I read through it, enjoyed what the book offered, and watched a number of live plays, such as Shield of Tomorrow.

I wanted to play or run a game but didn’t have anyone I knew that was into the idea. So, it sat on my shelf with a lot of other games I own. Still, I liked the game and when I found the Star Trek Adventures Starter Set for a good price, I decided to pick that up as well. I was hoping that it might be laid out in a way that would make it easy to help me teach others how to play the game.

I’m happy to say that it does this job remarkably well. In fact, it’s one of the best starter sets that I’ve ever had, and other companies would do well to follow this model.

What Does the Starter Set Include?

The Starter Rules booklet contains all of the basic rules you are going to need, including starship combat. Everything is laid out in a logical manner that will make it easy for people to pick up the gist of the 2d20 system quickly and easily. If you have ever played any of the other 2d20 systems from Modiphius, you will feel right at home here. The rules are written clearly, too, which is nice. There are some RPGs that have language that seems purposefully obtuse, but Star Trek Adventures doesn’t suffer from that problem. The concisely and clearly present the rules in about 20 pages.

In addition to the Starter Rules booklet, you will also find 5 premade PC sheets, as well as a sheet that describes the abilities and stats of the PC’s ship, the USS Magellan. “A Star Beyond the Stars” is the starter campaign, which is split into three adventures that should be run one after the other. The Starter Campaign booklet is about 50 pages.

One of the best things about this set is the campaign. It is laid out in a very easy to read and understand manner that slowly guides the GM, introducing different rolls and aspects of gameplay slowly, so they and the players can get used to them. By the time you finish with the campaign (and likely well before you finish), you will be able to run a session easily.

The adventures also provide a lot of the lingo and tech-speak, which is nice. Like I said, when it comes to Star Trek, I’m not the most knowledgeable. The way it’s written can make me seem far more competent than I am. The way the adventures in this campaign (and others I have) are written makes them sound and feel like a real episode of the show, which is great.

Do You Need Special Dice for the Game?

The Starter Set also comes with a set of special Star Trek dice, but special dice aren’t needed in order to play. The d20 rolls don’t need any conversions (they are just d20s), and the d6 conversion is very simple. Literally, just remember that 3 and 4 on a d6 mean no damage and 5 and 6 mean a point of damage with an effect. It’s easy. Also, the price of the special sets of Star Trek dice online is very overpriced if you ask me. The dice are cool, but you are paying for the licensing.

Do I Recommend the Star Trek Adventures Starter Set?

If you love Star Trek and roleplaying games, and you want to start playing a great game that does a good job at capturing the feel and flavor of the setting, this is it. The starter set is a perfect introduction, and I highly recommend it. In fact, I enjoyed the starter set enough that I’ve dusted off my core book, bought the GM screen, and the Star Trek Adventures Beta Quadrant Sourcebook, not to mention a bunch of PDF adventures.

Go ahead and check it out. I have a feeling you might like it.

On a side note, I swear, if I don’t find some people near me that want to play, this might end up being one of the online games that I plan to start running toward the end of this year.

Check Out the Christmas in July Sale at DriveThruRPG.com

Great deals currently on DriveThruRPG

Great deals currently on DriveThruRPG

If you have a little bit of extra money to spend, and you are looking for some roleplaying supplements for your favorite games, or you are looking to try out a brand new game and system, you are in luck. The Christmas in July Sale over at DriveThruRPG.com (a site I’ve loved and used for years) has many thousands of products that are currently 25% off.

While I certainly don’t have the time to talk about all of the products that are on sale here, I can let you know a little about a few gems that I have found and that you might like, as well. Just a blurb on these for now, as I will be reading them and figuring out how to play them over the next few weeks or so.

The Dawnline

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In this game from Voidspiral Entertainment, players are a group of vampires who protect a nomadic village of humans on the world of Janus. This village is always on the move, always trying to stay within the moving twilight. They need to remain ahead of dawn but not too deep into the darkness ahead where terrible things live.

Why do the vampires help the village? It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. There are dangers in the twilight, as well. There are ruins to explore for supplies, terrible monsters, other villages, bandits, and much more. The village needs the protection of the vampires, and the vampires need the blood of the village. They also need a connection to humanity, so they do not lose all of their own.

The vampires are also not run of the mill vamps. Most of the types are… different. And it’s kind of incredible.

This is a weird and cool setting that I feel needs more attention, and I can’t do it justice in this space. Go and check out The Dawnline on DriveThruRPG.com. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

H.P. Lovecraft Preparatory Academy

HP Academy.jpg

What you get with this game is exactly what you would expect from the title. Imagine the Cthulhu Mythos mixed with Harry Potter. You play as first-year students at the H.P. Lovecraft Preparatory Academy, and you can choose from six different character classes including witch, mad scientist, summoner, hybrids, dreamers, and Mondays (mundane folk). As you can imagine, there’s a lot of humor, not just horror, in this setting.

The book is 366 pages and is filled with fun info that can help to make for some great sessions. It features a full, detailed campus with a lot of nods to mythos fiction and other horror luminaries. For example, there is King Hall, Barker Hall, Cushing Hall, and Stoker Hall. You could also take some of your adventures off the campus and out into the town of Arkham and the world beyond.

It looks like a lot of fun! There is even a Savage Worlds ruleset for those who prefer it.

So Many Others

I don’t have too much time for this mid-week post, but I did want to list a couple of other cool games that I’ve either bought during this sale, have had for a while, or that I would like to get in the near future.

There are a lot of options, but it is extremely late at the time I am writing this and I am tired. I’m only missing High Plains Samurai and Würm from this list right now, and I plan to remedy that by the weekend. As an aside, Unity and Overlight are both beautiful books (I have both the pdfs and the hardcovers for each of those).

Whether any of these games interest you or not, do yourself a favor and go check out the discounts on the site before the sale is over. You are sure to find something that you’ll enjoy.

If any of the above games are of interest, and you might like to see an actual review, let me know. I will try to schedule it for an upcoming article.

As a note, the links I have provided above are affiliate links, which help to pay for the site.

Upcoming Tabletop RPG Dark Era from West Legacy Games Explores Alien Conspiracies and More

Full disclosure, I’ve written a story called “Red Skies” that will be appearing in the Dark Era© roleplaying game, and which might appear on their website, as well – I will let you know more when I know more. That said, I love the concept behind the game and would have promoted it regardless of whether I was in the book or not.

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Dark Era is a roleplaying game currently in development by West Legacy Games out of Australia. The players will typically take on the role of agents who are investigating and fighting against alien incursions. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be an agent that works for the government or another law enforcement organization, although that’s a common choice. You could be just about anyone from any walk of life that gets embroiled in alien conspiracies and incursions.

You can think of shows Project Blue Book, Dark Skies, or The X-Files to get an idea of the type of mood that you can evoke with the game, and it skews toward the horrific. I think it has the potential to work very well for evoking horror and paranoia, especially given that the first setting for the game is 1963 with other settings planned (past and future). This is a decade when a lot of conspiracy theories started to take off, particularly after the JFK assassination.

After all, how do you know that your boss at the agency hasn’t been influenced by the greys? Are you sure the civilians you just rescued haven’t been infected by whatever extraterrestrial entity was slithering through the sewers with them? Why does your neighbor keep staring at you out her window whenever you come home? Why are you getting strange calls in the middle of the night with whispering voices on the other end of the line that beg you to go to Mt. Rainier? GMs can have a lot of fun making the characters, and their players, paranoid of just about everything.

I already have a lot of creepy game ideas in my head for this RPG, and I’m sure you will, as well.

Of course, GMs are always free to run the game in whatever setting and with whatever tone they might want. Maybe they want a little more humor rather than horror, as found in the Men in Black films. Of course, if your game group is like most, humor is going to be present no matter what type of game you’re playing.

Easy to Learn System that Continues to Evolve

The core mechanic is a 3d6 + attribute rank + skill rank + modifiers system that is relatively easy to learn. Everything is quick to learn, including character creation and combat. You take actions with Action Points, which can be used for Tactical, Defensive, and Offensive actions. I’d also like to say that the art that’s being used for the game does a great job of evoking the mood and setting. The game is still being created and is developing and improving with each update.

You can learn more about Dark Era, which is still being finished and tested, by visiting their website and signing up to be part of the playtest group and even provide feedback. If this sort of setting intrigues, check it out.

Check Out These Great Roleplaying Games with a Stranger Things "Vibe"

Stranger Things Season 3

Stranger Things Season 3

Now that you’ve binged the entire third season of Stranger Things, what are you going to do when those pangs of nostalgia make you want to return to the 1980s for some good and creepy fun?

Well, there’s always roleplaying games.

Sure, you could play Dungeons & Dragons. It’s the game I run and play the most right now even though I love a ton of other games too. Hasbro even has a Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set that features an adventure called Hunt for the Thessalhydra “written by” Mike Wheeler, the character from the show. Luring people in with the siren song of Stranger Things can be a good way to get people into D&D. However, what if you don’t want to play in the typical fantasy setting?

What if you want to portray your own group of kids in the 1980s that are uncovering dark secrets, enjoying the freedom of childhood, and fighting and fleeing from terrible monsters? Well, you are in luck because there are plenty of roleplaying games that do specifically that.

Let’s take a look at a short list of options that you might want to check out further.

Tales from the Loop

Tales from the Loop

Tales from the Loop

Tales from the Loop, from Free League and Modiphius, is a fantastic game based on the world created by artist Simon Stålenhag. It takes place in a very different, yet familiar, version of the 1980s. The setting is full of advanced technology along with Research in High Energy Physics facilities, also called Loops.

Two locations (one in the U.S. and one in Sweden) with Loops are detailed in the book., along with advice on creating a town of your own with a Loop facility. A range of secret experiments occurs in these particle accelerators, as well as accidents including rips in the space-time continuum, illnesses, strange machinery, cyborgs, robots, strange beasts and much more.

Really, you can tailor the setting to how you what and the types of creatures and obstacles you want to face.

It is a simple d6 system. Ratings determine the number of dice you roll, and you will need to get a 6 on at least one of the dice for success. Most of the time, you will only be required to get one success.

More to Love

There is also a new Loop game called Things from the Flood, which is something of a sequel. You can play older kids, it takes place in the 90s, and this game can be lethal, whereas the kids in Tales from the Loop don’t die.

Guess what? Tales from the Loop is also being turned into a TV series by Amazon. Let’s hope they took a cue from the artwork because I really want to see Stålenhag’s work come to visual life.

Another beautiful image from Tales from the Loop

Another beautiful image from Tales from the Loop

Kids on Bikes

Kids on Bikes

Kids on Bikes

I recently talked about Kids on Bikes in a recent post you can find here, so I won’t bore you with all of that same information again. The thing that really helps to make this feel like Stranger Things is the fact that there can be a powered character in the game, like Eleven. Instead of having one player as the powered characters, they are controlled by the entire group of PCs. It is another very simple rules system, too, so it shouldn’t take long to get a game going.

If you are interested, there is a cool live play that’s on YouTube called Kollok 1991 that uses this system.

Dark Places & Demogorgons

Dark Places & Demogorgons

Dark Places & Demogorgons

Dark Places & Demogorgons from Bloat Games is an Old School Revival (OSR) game that uses a somewhat modified version of the classic rules from Dungeons & Dragons in the 1970s. The rules are simple, and there is a target number guideline table for difficulty checks and relatively simple combat.

Keep in mind that like the other games on this list, it tends to be less about combat than it is about investigation and finding ways to take care of the problems without fighting. After all, a group of kids might be able to stand up to bullies but confronting a raging werewolf head on and without anything to aid them is likely to lead to characters getting ripped apart.

That’s not to say that you can’t have combat. The kids should be smart about how they take down the monsters, and they should be rewarded for it. The GM should also try to come up with multiple methods of dealing with a problem and reward the players for thinking outside of the box.

With this system, there are some optional rules for character classes. In addition to the “typical” types of kid and teen classes, you could play as someone with psionics, an experiment, a Firestarter, or a telekinetic. Unlike Kids on Bikes, players can create powered characters, as long as the GM allows it in their game.

If you are familiar with D&D and like how the system works, it shouldn’t take long for you to understand how to play and run the game. In addition to the Dark Places & Demogorgons core book, there are quite a few supplements available for it already. These include a werewolf sourcebook, a vampire sourcebook, a UFO investigator’s handbook, a ghost hunter’s handbook, and a cryptic manual.

I’ve run a couple of sessions of this game, and it’s a lot of fun. It was easy to get people already accustomed to D&D on board.

Stranger Stuff

Stranger Stuff

Stranger Stuff

With this option from Fat Goblin Games, the similarity is right in the title. At the time of this writing, there is only a PDF available, but it’s likely that there will be a print on demand option coming from DriveThruRPG.com before too long. It is based on a game called vs. Stranger Stuff – Season 2, also from Fat Goblin Games, but has been adapted to use with the TinyD6 system.

When the player attempts something that could fail, they will roll 2d6. If they roll a 5 of 6, it is a success. In some circumstances, the player might get advantage, which allows them to roll 3d6. Disadvantage would allow the players to roll only 1d6. Combat is slightly more complicated, but it is still easy to learn.

I really like the style, layout, and the art of Stranger Stuff. It’s another rules-lite system, and it is easy to pick up and get a game going without too much work on the part of the GM.

What Else?

These are some of the games that I know about and own that work well for emulating stories like those you might find in Stranger Things. I’m sure there are plenty of other games out there that can do the same. Feel free to talk about them in the comments.

Just the Gist: Two Interesting Roleplaying Games to Check Out

Are you looking for a game to try that’s a bit different from the typical Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder? Maybe you want to run a one-shot or a short campaign, or you are looking for something brand new to play for a longer spell.

While I haven’t played the games below yet, I’ve read through the books and am excited about the possibilities they can offer. Instead of providing a deep and in-depth review, I figured that I would give you just the gist of what the basics of the setting and core mechanic are like to see if you might be interested. I will do these types of posts with games that I find and like every once in a while.

Of course, if enough people would like to know more about the games, let me know, and I could do a full review. Until then, here are two cool games that you might want to consider. You can find these on places like Amazon and DriveThruRPG.com. The links I’ve included are affiliate links, and they help out the site.

Colonial Gothic

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I find something really fricking cool about the Colonial-era aesthetic, especially when paired with the supernatural. Imagine a dark and fog-shrouded forest. It is the middle of the night, damp and desolate. A woman wearing a tricorn hat and long coat, sword in one hand, a pistol in the other. Fog swirls around her as howls grow closer and closer. Now, this might seem like it’s part and parcel of fantasy fare. However, now imagine that she’s a spy for George Washington and she’s carrying a message to the general, while a pack of ravenous werewolves attacks her on the road. Are they merely hungry or are they working for the British?

The system is simple enough with the core mechanic revolving around 2d12 for all actions. You roll the 2d12 and add modifiers to hit the target number. If it hits the target or is higher, it succeeds. It is a nice and simple system. Lots of story possibilities with this setting, and it could be fun to draw on real history, meet historical characters, and take on all manner of supernatural foes.

It has magic, monsters, and more, including a lot of historical info to help GMs and players nail the setting. I’d say it’s worth checking out. There are options for Kindle, as well as PDF and print options. Those who have Kindle Unlimited will be able to read this book and a range of the supplementary books with their subscription, which is nice. I’d love the print, but I will probably wait a bit to order it through DriveThruRPG.com until I can find more people who want to play.

Kids on Bikes

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Over the past few years, there have been a number of games that have been influenced by Stranger Things and many novels, films, and television shows from the 1980s (Dark Places & Demogorgons, Tales from the Loop). Kids on Bikes has a very similar feel in terms of the tone and the setting. The stories take place in any small town prior to things like cellphones and other bits of modern technology.

Players can create trope characters like the Popular Kid, the Scout, or the Young Provider. It’s a fast and easy way to get up and running. Of course, players who don’t want to use one of the tropes can work with the GM to come up with something unique. If you have the time, I suggest doing this to have just the character you want. Maybe you want a smart jock, for example. Also, while the focus of the game does tend to be on kids and teens, there are options to play as adults, with the trope of the Overprotective Parent, as an example.

A jock, for example, might have a d20 in Brawn and a d12 in Fight, but only a d6 in brains. The GM comes up with the difficulty number, which is from 1 to 20, with 20 being the highest. If the player rolls the highest number on their die, such as a 4 on a 1d4, the dice “explodes” and they roll again. The die can keep exploding up until they hit the target number. Of course, there are other game elements that can come into play, but that’s the basics of the core mechanic.

The rules are simple, which is good, at least to a certain point. It has the potential to become problematic. They are bare bones, which means it will require good judgment for making decisions on the fly on the part of the GM. They need to make sure that their rulings are consistent, as well. While I haven’t played yet, I imagine that it wouldn’t really be much of an issue with a good group with a fair GM.

There aren’t hit points in the game, but there is a table that can help the GM come up with narrative results for combat. This is a rules-light game that works best when there is a good back and forth between the players and the GM to come up with the world and to narrate what happens.

One element that makes Kids on Bikes a bit different is the addition of a powered character. Think Eleven from Stranger Things. However, this character is not played by just one player. The responsibility of the powered character is shared among the players at the table. Each player controls different aspects of that character.

I believe that there is some great potential with this game, but I haven’t played it yet. I’d like to run something similar to Stephen King’s It, where we start out with the kids are young and dealing with some type of horror, and then run again when they are adults. Stats and even character types could change as the kids grow up and become adults. For a game like this, I might even scrap the idea of a powered character.

There is the regular print and PDF versions of the game, as well as a version that’s free and contains the ashcan rules for the game, so you can give it a shot without spending money. You can also head to Renegade Games and pick up the deluxe hardcover, which is what I did.

Anyway, that’s just the gist of two roleplaying games that I think look like a lot of fun and that I’d love to play or run at some point. What other great games are out there?

A Quick Review of Festivals, Feasts and Fairs by Ashley May

An easy to use and affordable resource for Dungeon Masters.

An easy to use and affordable resource for Dungeon Masters.

I do a lot of homebrewing and I often have to come up with ideas on the fly… which can sometimes be more taxing than I really like. This is especially true after a long week of writing for my day job. That’s why I really appreciate products like Festivals, Feasts and Fairs by Ashley May. This book is fun and filled to the brim with useful information.

Available on the DM’s Guild, this .pdf is filled with easy to use, fun activities/ideas that you can throw into your Dungeons & Dragons games for when the characters have a little bit of downtime. There will be plenty of fun interactive activities, which you can incorporate into more than just fairs and festivals.

Although the book is only about 40 pages, it is full of great information that makes it easy to create holiday celebrations for a town or city, to create a carnival or circus, to create festivals, feasts, fairs, and to round them out with a wealth of activities.

You will even find rules for archery contests, arm wrestling, drinking contests, eating contests, jousting, milking cows, pig calling, carnival games, and… so much more. It gets even better. The book has information about vendors of different types, fortune telling, different types of items that can be found around a carnival or fair, six new magic items, two new backgrounds – carnie and mummer.

Lots of content that will be easy to integrate into just about any campaign.

Lots of content that will be easy to integrate into just about any campaign.

The book gives you plenty of information to put a festival or event (or even an entire traveling carnival) together relatively quickly and easily, which is a huge benefit to me. You will even find sample festivals that can be quickly re-skinned and slipped right into your campaign.

I’ve already used information from the book a couple of times, and I will be doing so in the future, as well. It’s one of my favorite purchases from the DM’s Guild thus far.

For less than $4, I highly recommend this for any overworked DMs who might want to have a simple way to put together some fast, fun things for the players to do. And like I said, it’s likely to ignite your imagination and provide you with some interesting story ideas. Check it out.

Cool on Kickstarter – City of Mist: Nights of Payne Town

Without a doubt, one of the coolest games with one of the most beautiful books to have come out in recent memory is City of Mist, created and designed by Amit Moshe, along with his team. Now, they have launched a new Kickstarter that looks very promising. First, though, it’s important to learn a bit about City of Mist.

Basics of What You Need to Know About Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron

Well, the Eberron campaign guide is here. Well, it’s mostly here. Currently, you can pick up a PDF version of the guide, which is called Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron, on the DM’s Guild by clicking the link. The current cost is $19.99, and having had a quick look at it, I have to say that thus far, there is quite a bit to enjoy.

What I’ve read so far is well-written and engaging, and there appears to be quite a lot that I will want to use. It also makes me want to run a setting in Eberron, which is saying quite a lot since I am mainly a homebrewer.

However, there’s a bit to unpack when it comes to exactly what this book is and why there is not currently a hardback release, as one might initially expect from a D&D release from Wizards of the Coast.

Don’t Be Afraid to DM! 6 Tips to Help You Get Ready to Take on the Dungeon Master’s Seat

Since the dawn of roleplaying games, there has always been a shortage of gamemasters. Everyone loves to play, but people tend to be somewhat reticent when it comes to sitting in the DM’s chair for one reason or another. Sure, there’s more work that goes into planning a session on the DM’s part than the players’, but it is also highly rewarding. Watching people partake in stories that you’ve created, and watching their characters grow and develop is fantastic.

You get to create storylines and adventures, become the NPCs and the monsters, and develop your own world if you wish (or play in one of the campaign settings already in place, such as Forgotten Realms, Eberron, or Tal’Dorei from Critical Role.)

Of course, there’s also the elements of fear and doubt that creep into the mind when you’ve never been a DM before. You are afraid of getting it wrong.

Don’t worry. It’s not as hard as you think. I’ve written about this sort of thing before, but it bears repeating. Being a DM is honestly not that difficult once you get rolling, and the tips below can help to make it even easier.

D&D Video Update for Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes from Wizards of the Coast

More news (a lot more news) has been released regarding the upcoming D&D book Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, but rather than having me dissect it all and write out a long winded post regarding the book, I thought I would provide you with a video of Dragon Talk from Wizards of the Coast. Hosted by Greg Tito and Shelley Mazzanoble, with guests Kate Irwin and Jeremy Crawford who are working on the book, the video delves into much of what we can expect when we get our hands on the book at the end of May.

I have to say, I'm even more excited now than I was when the first information was released.

D&D Random Tables: What’s for Dinner at the Tavern Tonight?

Tables can make the life of a Dungeon Master a lot easier, and I have always been a big fan. They can allow the GM to come up with exactly what they need on the fly

Since I feel there can never be too many tables, I thought I might put up a very simple table from time to time that you can take and use in your own games. Depending on whether people find these handy or now, I will try to add a new table of some sort every couple of weeks, and I will try to switch things up a bit with different types of tables for different sorts of games (modern, horror, etc.). For now, though…

5 Gifts for Tabletop RPG Players

Recently, I put up an article on items that DMs and GMs might like as a gift. However, I don’t want to leave out the players. I also figured I should do it before the holidays, even though these are great gifts no matter the occasion. After all, a gamemaster wouldn’t have much to do if there were no players. So, here’s a list of some items that you may want to consider picking up for some of your favorite roleplayers out there. While they might not need all these items, they can be a lot of fun.

Check out 5 great types of gifts for tabletop RPG players.

6 Gifts Your GM/DM Might Like This Holiday Season

It’s always a good idea to keep the GM happy. After all, the Gamemasters are crafting stories and adventures to keep you and the rest of the party entertained for hours at a time, often pulling characters, locations, and stories out of their derriere to help keep things moving. It’s a fun job, but a big one, so why not express thanks to that wonderful Dungeon Master, Gamemaster, Keeper, or Storyteller in your life. I’m not saying it’s going to stop a terrible fate for the characters in your party… but it couldn’t hurt.

So, here are five gift ideas that you might want to give to your DM this holiday season.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: A Brief Review

So, as an RPG addict and unrepentant diceaholic, it was only natural that I pick up a copy of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything… not to mention a load of other stuff to play and review on here eventually. Now that I’ve read through a large portion of the guide, I thought I would do a brief review, letting you know a bit about what’s in it, what I think about it, and whether it might be right for your gaming table or not.

DM Tips and Opinions: Tips for Creating Horror and Suspense in Your Tabletop RPG

Perhaps you are creating a full campaign in a horror setting, such as Ravenloft, Call of Cthulhu, or Shadow of the Demon Lord, or maybe you are just getting a one-shot ready to give your players something new to experience that’s outside of the normal sci-fi and fantasy genre. Horror in tabletop RPGs has a lot of potential… however, it doesn’t often go as planned, and the fear doesn’t really get under your player’s skin. There are some things you can do to change this.

DM Tips and Opinions: Expect the Unexpected and Roll (Role) with It

When new and even some more experienced DMs encounter the unexpected due to what their players decide to do or say in a game, they panic. They try to get what they believe is the story back on track. The problem with tracks is that they are often used as a railroad, and that’s not something the players like very much. They want to have more freedom, and they want their actions to mean something.

When a character wants to try something, I believe that it’s always a good idea to at least let them try. You never know what incredible things might happen, and it could help to make the campaign story, and even the campaign world, more interesting. This goes for all the pillars of D&D play – roleplaying, investigation, and combat. It’s often fun to let things happen and see how they play out.

Let’s look at how this might work by checking out an actual example from the first session of the current D&D campaign I’m running. I’ll write down what happened as best memory serves.

Keeping Organized as a GM

As of a few weeks ago I was able to run my own campaign for the first time. I was very nervous, though I am sure that is how everyone feels for the first few times. Luckily everything went smoothly and there were no hiccups! This was thanks in part to how I kept my notes and sheets organized.

Keeping Organized as a Player

I enjoy keeping things organized so it's no surprise to anyone (more specifically Kayla and Jason) when I suggested a few tips. Kayla wasn't too interested, so I more or less got her organized by myself and hoped she liked the outcome. She hasn't complained yet and I'm calling that a win!

Venturing into Virtual Tabletops with Roll20

With my eldest daughter moving out of state for her final two years of college (to add to the three degrees she already has... not sure why both of my daughters are such overachievers when they have me for a father, but I’m happy about it), I’ve decided to delve into the realm of virtual tabletops. Specifically, Roll 20.

Thus Far with Roll20