Table Top RPGs

Pip System Released!

Third Eye Games new generic rules are released and available at the One Bookshelf sites RPGnow andDrivethrurpg.  My first scan through the pages show me a decent set of rules and how those rules can work in a number of different ways to make for a good gaming experience. A couple of things stick out to me to be aware of when buying this pdf. The first is that if you like to print out pages or the whole book for use at the table, the pdf is layered letting you turn off the background colors for a printer friendliness. The second is that while the rules call for six sided dice, the majority of rolls could be made just as effectively with any binary random selectors you might have. I picture using pennies and nickels when the black and white dice are called for. The only difference is that certain abilities make it so sixes count double, and unskilled shot-in-the-dark rolls only succeed on a 1. If you neither have the special abilities nor are unskilled, coins flipped will do, it seems.

Is it really going to be worth fifteen bucks?

As fully realized generic rule sets go, this is in fact a fair bargain. Some, like Savage Worlds, are cheaper by a bit, but I have to point out that for the most part, you use SW with another supplemental world book while The Pip System is geared to work pretty much out of the book with no more than the usual session prep time. There will be game books coming out based on The Pip System, some of which were stretch goals for the Kickstarter campaign, but each of these will be a stand-alone book without need for the basic rules open alongside.

The artwork throughout the book is charming. The page background is friendly to the eyes. The fonts are well chosen and easy to read at speed. Not as gorgeous as some books, but then I spent half as much as I would have for them.

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When all seems darkest, and I feel so little hope, and then I see a couple good things.

The first good thing is another update from Eloy Lasanta about his game system book “The Pip System” soon to be on RPGnow.com and soon to be in my hands as a Kickstarter backer.

The next good thing is an update that a new revision of preliminary rules will be out from Green Ronin’s Cortex Prime system book. I backed that one, too so I get to see it Wednesday or soonish after.

And then to cap it all off, I went over to RPG.net and ran across a very funny comic called Fuzzy Thinking and then got my resident 14 year old boy in here to see it and a few pages more back issues of it, and not only did I get to laugh a lot, but it kind of made me feel like I could get out there and game a bit once again. It has been rather a while since I played with friends. Instead I have finished an Associates in the Applied Science of IT Services with honors, and I played a lot of computer games, mostly Subnautica these last few months.

So good things happen when you go looking for them. Has that ever happened to you? Comment below or on your favorite media platform, and tell how something funny has brought back your gamer mojo.

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If you don’t have a chronic illness, don’t talk about your spoons

The Secret Reason I am Not Gaming Anymore Won’t Surprise Some.

It is also why I don’t have the stuff to make videos and why I don’t finish my homework or clean up my office, bedroom, or yard. Mine is invisible and insidious, diagnosed as “neuralgia” which means basically “nerve pain we cannot explain or legally verify.”

Disabled, but denied disability, so a burden on my family, church, and friends.
Dependent on my disabled son and overworked underpaid wife.
Mental illness fueled by invisible wings of fire sprouting from between my shoulder blades with roots stabbing into my spine.

Pot holes and big rigs.

I cannot even face my truly officially disabled friends and family.

Poser.

Faker.

Bum.

Nobody says it. Maybe nobody thinks it. But I hear it all the same.

sewbiwan

EDIT May 18th, 2017:Several people have written to ask if they “count” as a spoonie because they have a mental illness like anxiety or depression. Yes, yes! It’s right now 6am in Seattle, and I’m about to leave on a trip with my husband to California to visit the Stanford Infectious Disease Clinic, where Jose Montoya is doing research into what causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I’m going to be a new patient, and see if they have any treatments that might help me. I’ll be back on Saturday, and I want to write more about this, but in the meantime, I want to apologize for failing to clarify what I mean by “chronic illness”. ANY chronic condition that causes fatigue, is a chronic illness. I’ve lived with panic disorder for over a decade, I’m painfully aware of the fatigue that it can cause. Depression, cancer, anything that is chronic…

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GM Tips #02 – The Social Contract, or the “Golden Rule” Of RPGS

Allow me to present the article written by a much more prolific game writer and commentator, Eric Evjen, on the importance of the social contract in setting up a role playing game. It may seem like a lot of it would go without saying, but that is a certain road to misunderstanding. A skewed expectation can harsh a whole game, for just one person or for the whole group.

Erik Evjen

As far as the scope of “GM Tips” goes, I want to make sure I cover things in a chronological fashion in the same way I go about starting my own campaigns. Obviously, you need to pick a game system to run (GM Tips #01 is a primer of some great d20 games to try out), but once that’s settled you’ll need to figure out how you want to run your campaign.

This is where the “Social Contract”, or the “Golden Rule” as I like to call it comes into play: I find it extremely important to sit down with my potential players and discuss what they’re looking for when they come to play in one of my games. Likewise, I also like to let them know what I’m looking forward to running or how I’m doing it.

What is the “Golden Rule”? Essentially, an agreement between the GM and…

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General · Table Top RPGs

Nobody Asked, But

Yeah, I’ll answer, anyway.

What do you mean you won’t buy ?

Well, it is not because of lack of interest. I am just not really wealthy, despite my living standard that is far above any of my royal ancestors. I occasionally come into a little money and splurge on a few books or a couple of Kickstarters. One of these most recent opportunities was my final grant for college at the same time as my tax return. I was very happy to be able to support The Pip System and Cortex Prime, and I am very stoked that both of these projects have funded and will be real books. I have had pretty good luck with the things I have supported, even the one that took two years to finalize with product in my hands.

What is so all-fired awesome about these dice pool games?

Yeah, I noticed that, too. I see that my two recent crowdfunded books are both dice pool systems. Some of my favorites from the past are also dice pool games, most notably Fantasy Flight’s iterations of Star Wars,  FASA’s Shadowrun, and <grargh> World of Darkness.* The way you feel when you can roll a bunch of dice to figure how things went, this is quite gratifying. I am also particularly fond of how in the Cortex Prime games, you get dice from several places on your sheet, roll them all and add the two best, or more if you pay tokens for it.

*(I was dragged into the WoD by my friends who wanted to play nothing else but those Critter: the Adjective games once they came out. Any appearance of enjoyment on my part is purely coincidental. I did get a little Soggy, though.)

Where is the video promised in a recent Facebook post?

Well, I tell you what is going on. Since Windows Movie Maker was deprecated, I have not found a satisfactory video editing program. I thought I had when I got HitFilm 4 Express, but I am having a lot of trouble getting my footage to work in that platform. It is just too feature filled for me to see past it. I still don’t have money, really, so getting the Adobe Creative Cloud is not happening since I have no desire to rent my software. That may totally be the wave of the future, but it’s just crashing on me and not letting me surf. I’m kind of too perfectionist to want to mess around with it too much, since that is frustrating and school is all I can manage this final quarter. Still I went to all the trouble to learn Photoshop, and I have found the freeware stuff entirely unfriendly for that. Maybe I should be more open to other paths.

So please don’t hold your breath for the videos, but they are somewhere in the future.

Thanks and Happy Waffling!