Tag Archives: Advice

Level One Wonk: Drama-Driven Games

Are you a Butt-Kicker, a Specialist, or a Story-Teller? There is a huge world of games out there to satisfy every player’s and group’s style. And while there are academic discussions in every corner of the internet, sometimes it’s best to start at level one. Join the Level One Wonk in exploring the possibilities that RPGs have to offer, from Aberrant to Zorcerer of Zo. Today we look at drama! Characters can be so much more than stat blocks when they have loves, loyalties, and maybe teenage hormones. Today I’m looking at driving stories with character drama through the lens of a particularly successful session of Masks, by Magpie Games.

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So You Want to Have a Gaming Marathon

I met our own Level One Wonk via a gaming group that actually spends most of its time playing games online; although the core of original members were all playing together in college, these days they (now we) primarily play over Skype/Twiddla/Google+/etc. However, starting six years ago, we have all gathered together in Delaware once a year to trade stories, raise a few glasses, and play a bunch of games over the course of a long weekend. I’m writing this in Delaware, most of our way through Beach Weekend VI (which I suppose could also, given that the pair of us did most of the GMing, be thought of as Cannibal Halfling Con I), and I’ve definitely learned a few things over the years about turning tabletop roleplaying into a marathon affair.

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Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Pt. 17

On the far side of Zalxuc City from a certain bacta tank warehouse Verjylla, accompanied by The Wookiee and Bas, were meeting with Lieutenant Blaine Averre and his four-being Alliance SpecOps team to organize their journey to the port so that they could join the Borrowed Time when it left Thyferra. It was late at night, and Averre’s team had been laying low for a few days, so they simply planned to drive an acquired landspeeder to the port. No sooner had they settled on the route, however, than a small but respectable fireball and accompanying mushroom cloud blossomed on the other side of the city with a window-shattering roar. Near or at a certain bacta tank warehouse, in fact. With the sigh typical of long-suffering Bothans surrounded by maniacs, Verjylla opened a channel on her personal comlink. Sure enough, Nak was already yelling over it.

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Level One Wonk: One-Shots

Are you a Butt-Kicker, a Specialist, or a Story-Teller? There is a huge world of games out there to satisfy every player’s and group’s style. And while there are academic discussions in every corner of the internet, sometimes it’s best to start at level one. Join the Level One Wonk in exploring the possibilities that RPGs have to offer, from Aberrant to Zorcerer of Zo. Today we look at one-shots: whether you need a break from a long campaign or just want to try something new, one-shots are an important way to mix it up and experiment. Check it out!

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Adventure Log: Perils of the Warp

It had been a long few days for the band of Inquisitorial acolytes. They’d boarded the Rogue Trader ship in pursuit of the Faceless Trader Durron, only to be split up until an hour or two ago. Trapped on a truly terrible ship with at least one daemonic incursion, a sputtering Gellar Field Generator, and far too many warpy doorways and malfunctioning grav plates, the group largely considered themselves lucky to have only accrued a few score Insanity Points between them,  doubly lucky that only one eyeball had been lost, and triply lucky that only one Fate Point had been burnt. At least they considered themselves lucky until, in the middle of a gunfight with Faceless Trade goons, Meem the Astropath finally noticed the daemonic aura coming off of fellow acolyte Happy the Chirurgeon.

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Level One Wonk: Domain-Level Play

Are you a Butt-Kicker, a Specialist, or a Story-Teller? There is a huge world of games out there to satisfy every player’s and group’s style. And while there are academic discussions in every corner of the internet, sometimes it’s best to start at level one. Join the Level One Wonk in exploring the possibilities that RPGs have to offer, from Aberrant to Zorcerer of Zo. Today, we look into the tricky business of building an empire. Want to turn your role-playing game into a wargame? That’s done with rules for domain-level play!

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Level One Wonk: Crunch

Are you a Butt-Kicker, a Specialist, or a Story-Teller? There is a huge world of games out there to satisfy every player’s and group’s style. And while there are academic discussions in every corner of the internet, sometimes it’s best to start at level one. Join the Level One Wonk in exploring the possibilities that RPGs have to offer, from Aberrant to Zorcerer of Zo. Today we talk about games with big rules and games with small rules: how much crunch do you like in your gaming?

Crunch is probably a term you’ve heard if you’ve wandered around RPG discussion groups for more than five minutes. “This game is very crunchy”, “I’m looking for a low-crunch experience”, and other similar phrases help gamers boil down their gaming desires into a reductive but understandable scale. Crunch, in game terms, is the amount of complexity in the rules, and it’s one of the strongest drivers of preference in the RPG market.

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Level One Wonk: Cortex Prime

Are you a Butt-Kicker, a Specialist, or a Story-Teller? There is a huge world of games out there to satisfy every player’s and group’s style. And while there are academic discussions in every corner of the internet, sometimes it’s best to start at level one. Join the Level One Wonk in exploring the possibilities that RPGs have to offer, from Aberrant to Zorcerer of Zo. Today we look at a potential Indie RPG hit in the making: Cortex Prime!

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Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Pt. 16

As the small task force led by the Borrowed Time and now going by the name of the Rabblerousers hurtled through hyperspace to put some distance between itself and Sullust, the various leaders were meeting aboard the CEC L-2783 Rabblerouser One. Definitively out of touch with High Command the mixed group of Special Operations agents, Sullustan Resistance recruits, and Bolthole Station refugees were facing down the prospect of carrying on the Rebellion by themselves. It was a daunting proposition. While they were relatively well-stocked and had essentially been growing the task force ever since leaving Dahvil, they were operating on their own initiative and with no supply line. Thankfully the Intelligence agents assigned to report to Patience had a few leads . . .

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Level One Wonk: Two Person Games

Are you a Butt-Kicker, a Specialist, or a Story-Teller? There is a huge world of games out there to satisfy every player’s and group’s style. And while there are academic discussions in every corner of the internet, sometimes it’s best to start at level one. Join the Level One Wonk in exploring the possibilities that RPGs have to offer, from Aberrant to Zorcerer of Zo. Today we look at a variation of typical gaming that takes a bit more thought: two-player gaming, with just one player and one GM! Ready to stare into someone’s eyes and tell them to roll initiative? Read on.

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