They may join up in a cantina because they’re desperate. They might not have started off as friends. Some of them fought on different sides of a war. Some might have had to take a (more literal than usual) leap of faith. Adventuring crews often start off as a ragtag bunch of misfits, and in some ways that may never change . . . but over time all the good ones come together to become something more. As our tale of the crew of the Lost and Found comes to a close, the various members notice something going on with their Captain, head to the planet of Centares, and offer some new people a home among the stars. If you haven’t listened to Season 4 of Dice for Brains, now’s the time . . .
Sometimes it’s the last ones to arrive that end up being the secret sauce that make an adventuring party, and even a campaign, fully coalesce into something truly memorable. It was that way with White Coat and High Impact Heroics, it was that way with first Caleb and Patience and then the Alliance troops aboard the Borrowed Time, and so it was with the crew of the Lost and Found. The Dice for Brains Season 4 Pregame crew was coming together pretty solidly as a band of ne’er-do-wells, but even with Zaja they might not have turned out as friendly without the help of their final member, who certainly made an interesting first impression (on the hull) . . .
Here’s the thing about adventuring parties, ad hoc teams, and ragtag starship crews: they don’t always get along with one another. Whether it’s past associations, disagreements over a course of action, or basic personality conflicts, every group is going to have moments where they’re fighting among themselves (hopefully only verbally). The crew of the Lost and Found is no different. Carga found himself joining up with Zaja’s eccentric crew of data pirates, and has even gotten along with the curmudgeonly technician Thraga, but the fact is that the crew has both an ex-Rebel and an ex-Imperial on the roster, and that was bound to come to a head at some point . . .
Everyone is looking for something, and that everyone includes player characters. After finding himself joining data pirate captain Zaja on the Lost and Found in Part 1, Klatooinian thief Carga now finds himself acclimating to his new comrades. Each of them have come to the Lost and Found for reasons of their own, and not all of them could exactly be described as friendly . . . but most have their own, sometimes surprising, ways of being welcoming. After all, it’s easier to find what you’re after with a crew by your side. There are adjustments to be made, of course, and as we start Part 2 of our Dice for Brains tale some of them turn out to be explosive . . .
No plan survives contact with the players. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Pregame for Dice for Brains Season 4 some time ago, a method that GM Ross uses to populate the story with interesting NPCs and setting details. We were told we were to be data pirates, and the assumption going in was that we were going to be (possibly nefarious) antagonists for the main characters of Season 4. That . . . wasn’t exactly what happened. The crew of the Lost and Found operated in the background as Mor’a, Darlene, and Lon tried to complete their own job, only the L&F‘s Captain Zaja meeting them openly. In this five-part Table Fiction we’ll see how that crew came together and how they became what helped shape the events on Centares. Our tale is from the perspective of one Klatooinian thief, and begins on the Smuggler’s Moon . . .
Style Over Substance. Attitude is Everything. Take it to the Edge. Break the Rules. I’m the Level One Wonk, and today we’re going to the hairy edge, the space between real and digital where high tech and low life mix into a dark future where it’s always raining and everyone wears their mirrorshades at night. That’s right, choombas, we’re going Cyberpunk.
Greetings, wastelanders! I’m the Level One Wonk, and today it’s the end of the world as we know it. The end of the world has captivated authors for centuries, and also left a strong mark on film. Whether it’s anxieties about where society is going or fantasizing about being a sole survivor, post-apocalyptic novels, movies, and games have been popular for quite some time. The post-apocalyptic genre works very well for tabletop RPGs, too: an unexplored world full of dangers, potential treasures and traps existing from the old world, and driving motivations that are simple and strong make for a huge palette of potential games. A post-apocalyptic setting conceit can be layered on top of many other genres, and the resulting games can range from a brutal struggle for survival to a gonzo trip down Fury Road. What’s important is not the particulars of any given game, but rather how to choose and write those particulars to best serve your desired play experience.
A few years ago, I played in my first (and currently only) GURPS game. It was set in the early Age of Sail, using GURPS rules for tech levels where we had to find a new heir to the crown in Tudor-era England after an explosion kills Henry VIII. The game was, in predictable fashion for my group and the system, a little wacky: the leader of the sailing expedition had neglected to put points in either sailing, swimming or leadership. The doctor was a manic depressive pyromaniac (aboard a wooden ship). Our priest was actively planning to betray the party, and the rest of us learned it, leading to each trying to out-scheme each other. The game never finished, but for all the craziness, I still have fond memories of it.
‘Tis the season, nerds and geeks, fellow wonks and gamers of all ages. The season when we gather with family and friends, reflect on the year that is ending, and look forward to the new one. And, of course, ’tis the season when your very own Level One Wonk sneaks away from his family, but only has time to hastily bang out a year-in-review article rather than bring you any new content. It has been a good year, though. We started the year with a good foundation and finished strong, bringing in tons of eyeballs with a review that was very nearly a scoop, and of a game people actually cared about to boot. Let me tell you what I’ve seen, and what I think 2018 is going to look like.
Welcome back! I’m the Level One Wonk, and today we’re throwing things at a wall to see what sticks! Most popular games out there exist within the framework of a genre or existing setting, and use those constraints to create interesting stories. In Dungeons and Dragons you have magic, monsters, and an underlying battle between good and evil. In Star Wars you have the Force, liberties taken with the laws of physics, and…an underlying battle between good and evil. At the end of the day, though, sometimes you want to mix chocolate and peanut butter and get something else. What if your D&D setting was invaded by aliens? Who were actually Force Ghosts…who actually came from the world of Exalted? What if they were all psychic? Why stop there? Sometimes you want everything and the kitchen sink.