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Role Playing Games-RPGs - Pair O’ Dice Games

Role Playing Games-RPGs

The Addition of Editions: A Brief Look

The release of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition is right around the corner and if you have been paying attention at all you’ll know I am pretty excited about it. When I first heard about it I shrugged it off but then curiosity got the better of me and I did some research and posted the results of that research. Since that time I have been reading the Wizards posts and poking around for opinions from people with advanced copies while I eagerly await the arrival of my copies of the books.

The opinions about the new edition seem to be fairly split, with an edge given to positive impressions. While there are many different complaints (no gnomes, no half-orcs, no sorcerers, multi-class changes, alignment changes, etc.) the most amusing complaint I have seen is “3.5 is fine, don’t let Wizards trick you into spending more money!”

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Smorgasbord of Gaming Goodness

This past weekend I got to play games with Scott for the first time in… well… a while. We played History of the World, Citadels, Boom Blox (yes, it’s a Wii game but it’s awesome!), Minimum Wage, and Vegas Showdown as well as playing the one shot Paranoia game I ran. All in all it was a pretty cool weekend.

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Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition – The Good and Evil of the new Good and Evil (Alignment Changes in 4th Edition)

I’ve been waiting for today’s D & D preview to come out even know I was pretty sure I already knew what it was going to say. It was about alignment. I have already spoken about how I feel about the old alignment system and anyone that read that post can be fairly certain that I was looking for a change. Well, it looks like I got what I wanted or at least got part of what I wanted.
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Paranoia XP – Mission – Code Seven Cheap Shot

The following is a one-shot Paranoia mission that I wrote up to run in place of my normal Scion game for the day Scott was in town. It is basically a Zap game (as opposed to Classic or Straight – Classic being what I normally run) and was truly designed to be a Code 7, which is Troubleshooter dispatcher slang for a mission which will cost the Troubleshooters more clones than they have.

Paranoia XP RPG Cover

It would not be too hard to change a couple of things and make it a Straight game however. It isn’t the most amazing mission ever (the last game I ran which involved the TV show Wheel of Traitors and Vanna Bots conducting Unauthorized Turning was possibly more amusing) but feel free to use all or part of it in your own games or just shoot me some feedback about it.

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Paranoia XP – The Only Real Name for the New Version

I had mentioned in a previous post that I still call the new version of Paranoia, Paranoia XP even though the XP has been removed and I figured I might as well look up a bit of information on the change and fill people in about it.

A Game by Any Other Name

The story is actually a pretty short one but first I wanted to give a bit of background about the game. Mongoose Publishing now has the rights to Paranoia and quite frankly I think they did an amazing job with the new version. If I had been writing more frequently on this blog when I read the book (or writing at all, I can’t remember exactly when I picked it up) I would have certainly written a positive review of it.

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Scion – Chronical Concept – More Statistics (As Promised)

As usual with this kind of post I will ask my players not to look any further as the following is plot related.

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Stunt Dice, Role Playing XP Rewards and How Not to be a Jerk While Game Mastering

Perhaps this does not deserve a whole post but I came across this while reading up on D&D 4th and found it to be quite interesting.

“I’ve seen a lot of games (both in early RPGA and home games) that gave XP for good roleplaying. By good roleplaying do I mean the quality of your character acting? The problem with the roleplaying reward is this: You’re almost always going to give out the maximum to everyone at the table. Why? Because telling someone that they didn’t do a good job of roleplaying in a game where everyone is there to have fun seems overly judgmental, can create hurt feelings, and is… well… just downright crappy. It’s also so very meta and arbitrary that it begs questions about other forms of bonus XP. Why not give similar bonus XP for rule knowledge? Playing well with others? Bringing the most snacks?”
Stephen Radney-MacFarland

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Scion – Chronicle Concept – Explanation of Things Previously Mentioned

The following is yet another post about my Scion game and again it is the kind that my players cannot read. For the rest of you I hope you find it interesting and I welcome any comments about it.

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Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition – Skill Challenges

Yes, it’s me, talking about D&D again. Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of the game but this new edition really has me excited. I wanted to hate it. A friend mentioned that he had it pre-ordered and I scoffed at him. Then another friend mentioned how excited he was and I shook my head. Then I took a look for myself… and shook my head again. I had to admit, it sure looked cool.

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The State of My Gaming Life

This is fluff. It’s so absolutely, completely, and amusingly fluff that it hardly needs to be read or looked at or edited or posted and it certainly doesn’t need to be written. Of course I have already written it and gone ahead and posted it so well… go ahead and waste your time reading it if you want to. But you are wasting your time. I mean, at least I warned you. It’s not like they had an announcement like this at the beginning of In the Name of the King that politely informed you that you were wasting your time. At least I am being nice about it.

Actually, it does serve some purpose. I find that knowing a writer can help me enjoy books and many people love watching director (or writer or producer or whatever) commentary on their special edition DVDs. Think of this as a brief look into me that you might be able to refer to as you look at some of the other things I have posted.

Still, it’s pretty much useless fluff.

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Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition – A Pre – release Perspective From a Long Time Detractor

Dungeons and Dragons Player
Cover of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition Player’s Handbook

Most people that know me know that I don’t like D&D. I have played both 2nd and 3rd edition and I have run games for both (sometimes under some amount of protest… from me) but it has never been my favorite game and while I considered the move from 2nd edition to 3rd edition a huge leap forward I still came to dislike the game and find it lacking.

So, why should you care what I think about 4th Edition? Well, simply put, so far I kind of like it.

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Scion – Slight Change in Plans (Also Some Statistics)

I must again ask my players not to read this post. I apologize for the lack of posts that they can read lately but this week has been a tad on the busy side and I have not felt well. As always those who can read the post are welcome to comment and make suggestions.

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Scion – Opening Gambit

Scion Demigod Cover

I am now reading Scion: Demigod to get a better idea of where the game should be heading. So far it seems like an interesting book although, as many people have already stated, the pre-made characters and adventure do take up a lot of room.

My group had our first Scion game this past Saturday and overall I feel it went fairly well. One of the players is new to our group but seems to fit in quite well and while first sessions are (at least for me) rife with distractions it seemed everyone had a good time.

So far only some small pieces of the story have unfolded. I won’t include any information the players don’t know here (and would also hope no one else would in the comments section) so that they may read this post if they so choose.

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Scion – Chronicle Concept – Locations

One of my flaws as a game master is my description of things. I have had this problem in my writing as well but that’s another story. I tend to rush to the next plot point or piece of dialogue (while we don’t usually call it dialogue in a role playing game it amounts to the same thing) and ignore the mood affecting descriptions of things.

Some of this comes from a desire not to take control of my player’s actions. For example if I say something like, “You approach the house” I am telling them what they are doing. While this is acceptable and is in fact inevitable I have, for some reason, always had issues with it. Thus one of the things I would like to work on is these details.

They say the three rules of advertising are Location, Location, Location and I think to some degree this translates to role playing as well. Give the players an interesting place to explore and you as the storyteller have reduced your burden as they will already be intrigued and involved. I hate to think how many times in the past my players have walked into an abandoned warehouse, for example. I would like to make sure that this doesn’t happen too often in the future.

Because of this I thought it might be good to write down some of the places my players may visit. That way I can have a general description of them to build off of and a place to refer to if I forget exactly what I wanted to do with them. Below are a few of the places that will become important in my Scion game.

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Scion – More Titanspawn Statistics

Expanding on the other post regarding Titanspawn, this post includes a modified version of one of my previous types as well as a new creature that hints at elements not yet mentioned in my overview.

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Scion – Titanspawn Statistics

What follows are some of the NPC statistics and descriptions, including a little bit of plot information, for my Scion game.

Again, if you are in my Scion game please don’t look.

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Scion – Chronicle Concept

What follows is a brief overview of the concept for my Scion campaign. I’m still working on fleshing out the details and would encourage any input. Obviously if you are in my Scion game you probably should not read any further. In other words… no peeking.

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Social Combat – Intrigued but Uncertain

I just wanted to make a quick post on some of my thoughts about Social Combat. I added a link to Social Combat rules under my Scion House Rules post. These rules have been modified from Exalted 2nd Edition for use with Scion and I have been thinking about this concept for a couple of days.

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Why Shadowrun 4th Edition Books Aren’t at Amazon

Shadowrun 4th Edition Core Rules book

I love Shadowrun. Even when I don’t get to role play very frequently (which is another story), Shadowrun is one of those games I enjoy reading, and hope to play again when the chance arises.

Yet for months now it seems to have disappeared from major online stores. Were Shadowrun books selling out as fast as they came in? Or was the game making the transition to Catalyst Game Labs poorly? Perhaps a more sinister force was at work, maybe Lofwyr suppressing any media which made mention of his name?

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Scion – House Rules

I have been trying to decide exactly what rules I want to change for Scion (it seems almost everyone feels that some rules need to be changed) so I have been tracking down places on the net that have information about different rules. I’m going to try to keep this post up to date and add the rules that our group ends up using. For now I am going to post the rules I plan to change and places that people can find information about what other groups have changed.

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Werewolf: End of the Line

The Werewolf: The Forsaken game I have been running for a while now came to an end this past Saturday. I think it went fairly well though my wife commented that she felt that there could have been a bit “more”. It’s always hard for me to do these final stories and I wonder if other people have similar problems.

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What Veronica Mars Taught Me About Role Playing, or How to Use TV Series as Chronicle Archetypes

I began my role playing career by running games. To this day I find running games more enjoyable than playing in them (partly because I am very easily distracted and find that I am not the best player in the world because of this) and thus have run far more games than games in which I’ve played.

My game mastering style has changed a lot over the years and recently has gone through another major change. I’ve discovered TV is at the heart of the change.

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R.I.P. Gary Gygax (July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008)

“I would like the world to remember me as the guy who really enjoyed playing games and sharing his knowledge and his fun pastimes with everybody else.”

-Gary Gygax

D&D co-creator Gary Gygax

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Scion RPG First Impressions: Late to the party but I brought Pizzerias!

For those that don’t remember Pizzerias were a Doritos-like chip that were way better than Doritos. In other words, if someone actually brought them, that person should be excused for being late.

Yes that’s right, I’m late. Scion has been out for a good long while now and the follow up books to Scion: Hero (which is what this review is actually about) Scion: Demigod and Scion: God are already out as well. Perhaps if this was a review of Scion: God it would feel a bit less dated but since I have not read that book and I am writing about the game concept as I see it as a whole this will have to do. Now, I haven’t played a session of the game yet so this isn’t exactly a “review” per se but rather a collection of initial impressions. Most importantly I wanted to make statements as to what I think Scion is and what it is not and give you an idea of whether or not to look into the game further.

Scion RPG Overview

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How it All Began (for Me at Least)

I was young, and had never… played D&D before, or any other role playing game. But every seasoned gamer gets their start somewhere, and this is how I developed my interest in gaming.

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Werewolf: This Story is True…

I hit a bit of a quandary in my Werewolf game when it came time for the players to get a totem. I didn’t like the idea of forcing them to stumble around until they liked a spirit of my creation enough to make it their totem, but I also wasn’t sure I liked the idea of not role-playing the rather important event of finding and claiming one.

Since the group was new it seemed prudent to allow them to build their totem and then make the finding of the totem into more of a shared story than an actual role-playing session.

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Werewolf Campaign Outline

This is the basic outline for my first Werewolf: The Forsaken campaign. The basic plot outline mirrors the demo adventure that can be found on the White Wolf web site in a few aspects as I used it so that I could steal a couple of encounters (for example the glass spirits that appear at the beginning of that adventure also appeared at the beginning of mine). The basic plot of my campaign begins with Roostam Petrov a Russian immigrant and leader of the most powerful pack in Orlando, FL putting together a pack of forsaken and placing them in a position to hold the small town of Hica Kitisci. Some members of the pack are familiar with the area but others are not (at a later point I may well put up a post that speaks to more of the specifics of the way things are panning out). Mostly the below information is meant to be an outline of the area. The Rail Man is the main adversary for the first campaign while Butcher of Angels may become a major antagonist as well depending on the actions of the players.

Again this is just a basic outline. I wrote it before the game even began and personally I am a firm believer in allowing the players to tell the story. I like to give them some options and I try to give them side plots and personal mysteries. Also there are a number of minor characters that are not listed here I can include them in future posts if people are interested. Statistics are also hopefully on the way!

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Shadowrun 3rd Edition Character Sheet

Shadowrun 3rd Edition Character Sheet
Download Shadowrun 3rd Edition Character Sheet

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Role Playing Game to Movie Matchups

Pen and paper RPGs have always had a strong relationship with movies. Play in some games (and with some gamemasters) tends to embody a heightened cinematic style. Most role playing games are influenced by at least a few cult movies, and some even state their influences openly. Then of course players often draw heavily on characters in books and movies for their own in-game persona, or when visualizing specific scenes.

One of the best uses of these rpg-to-movie tie-ins is to quickly communicate the style of a game to a new, or prospective, player. Relating a game to movies that share its themes can give the player an instant feel for what the world can be like, and immediately conjure images of cool characters and scenes that they will enjoy reenacting or using for inspiration.

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Welcome to Pair O’ Dice Games

Pair O’ Dice Games has a brand new games blog! Written by a couple of veteran gamers, it’ll feature gaming articles on topics like:

  • Game reviews
  • House rules and game rules variants
  • Role playing story, adventure, and character ideas
  • Game strategies
  • Game design

Check out the latest gaming articles, and subscribe to the Pair O’ Dice Games Blog RSS Feed to stay notified of new additions – we’re just getting started!

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